Deacon Ed’s September 2016 Message

Continuing on with our saints of the month, this month’s, saints are as follows:

September 3rd. is the feast day of St. Gregory of God (540-604). He was the son of a wealthy patrician, Gordianus.  He was born and educated in Rome. When the Lombard’s invasion of Italy was threatening Rome in 571. Long attracted to the religious life he converted his home in 574 into St. Andrew’s monastery.  He became a monk their and established six monasteries in Sicily. He was ordained by Pope Pelagius II and was made a deacon in 578. He was elected Pope after the death of Pope Pelagius and consecrated on September 3,590.He restored ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations and was prodigious in his charities. In593 he persuaded the Lombards in their invasion to spare Rome and negotiated a peace treaty with them.  He was responsible for the conversion of England to Christianity. He was untiring in his efforts to make the Pope the supreme authority in the church. He died in Rome on March 12,604 and canonized on September 3, 604.

September 8th. is the feast day of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary has been graced to be exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son. From early times she has been honored as the Mother of God. Nothing is known of her childhood accept that she was the daughter of Joachim and Anne and was born in Jerusalem. She made a vow of virginity and by a message from an angel became betrothed to Joseph, who told her she would be the mother of Jesus. Shortly after giving birth she had to flee with Joseph to escape the wrath of Herod who feared the child as a threat to his kingdom. After Herod’s death she and Joseph returned to Nazareth. Nothing more was known of her life when she lived there except the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.  She was instrumental in the first miracle of Jesus at the feast at Cana. She was present at her son’s crucifixion and resurrection and ascension into heaven. After the days of Pentecost she went and lived with John in Ephesus where she died.  Her assumption into heaven declared as one of the oldest traditions was declared dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

The feast day of her Assumption is celebrated on August 15th. 

September 9th. is the feast day of St. Peter Claver (1580-1654).  He was born at Verdu, near Barcelona, Spain. He studied at the University of Barcelona and joined the Jesuits when he was twenty years old. He studied at Montesione College at Palma, Majorica and was greatly influenced by St. Alphonsus Rodriguez whom he met there.  After studying at Barcelona he was sent as a missionary to Granda in 1610 and was ordained at Cartagena.  Peter joined Fr. Alfonse de Sandovel in trying to alleviate the horrible conditions of the slaves who poured into the city.  He visited many plantations pleading with slave  owners to improve their conditions. He ministered to the Lepers in St. Lazarus Hospital and heard the confessions of condemned prisoners. In 1650 he was stricken with a plague and never recovered from it. He died on September the eight and was canonized in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII.

September 13th. is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom (347-407).He was born at Antioch, Syria the son of an important military officer. He studied under the famous pagan rhetorician Libanius at Antioch and theology under Diodorus of Tarsus the leader of the Antiochene School.  John was baptized by Bishop Meletius in 369 and in in 374 became a hermit under St. Basil. He became a deacon in381 and was ordained in 386 by Bishop Flavin of Antioch. He became famous for his preaching and converted many to the faith.  He died on September 14th.  He was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 by Pope Pius X on the 13th. of September.

September 14th. is the feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross. This feast day recalls three historical events. The finding of the true cross by St. Helena the mother of Constantine. The dedication of the churches built by Emperor Constantine on the sites of the Holy Sepulcher, Mount Calvary and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by Heraclius II. In deeper sense the feast celebrates the Holy Cross as the instrument of our salvation. 

September 16th. is the feast day of St. Cornelius and Cyprian. St. Cornelius (253) a Roman priest was elected Pope to succeed Pope Fabian delayed fourteen months by the persecution of Christians by Decius. The main issue of his pontificate was the treatment to be accorded Christians who had apostatized during the persecution. He condemned those confessors who were lax in not demanding penance of these Christians and supported St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage against Novatus and his dupe Felicissimus whom he set up as an archbishop to Cyprian. When the persecution of the Christians started up again in 253 under Emperor Gallus, Cornelius was exiled to Centum Cellae where he died as a martyr on September 16th.

St. Cyprian (200-258) was a pagan rhetorician, lawyer and teacher. He was converted to Christianity by Caecilius, an old priest about the year 246. He became a profound scholar of the Bible. He was ordained in and in 248 became the bishop of Carthage.  He was forced to flee Deius persecution of Christians in 249 but continued to rule his See through letters from his hiding place. Criticized for his leaving he returned he returned in 251. Because of his beliefs he was arrested and brought to trial. Refusing to worship idols he along with many priest, bishops and deacons were up to death. He was beheaded on September 14th. and was considered a pioneer of Latin Christian literature on September the 16th. 

September 17th. is the feast day of St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). He was born in Tuscany, Italy on October 4, 1542. Despite his father’s objections he joined the Jesuits. He studied in Florence, Mondovi, Padua and Louvain. He was ordained in 1570 at Ghent. He was appointed professor at Louvain the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain. He lectured on Thomas Aquinas and gained a reputation for his knowledge and preaching. He studied scripture and learned to speak Hebrew. He was the leader in preparing the Clementine revised version of the Vulgate he was name rector of the Roman College for 11 years. In 1597 he became the theologian for Pope Clement VIII in 1597. He was created a Cardinal in 1599. On September 1621 he retired to St. Andrew’s novitiate in Rome where he died on September the 17th.  He was canonized in1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931.

September 19th. is the feast day of Januarius(305). According to legend he was born at Naples, Italy and was bishop of Benevento when Emperor Diocletion launched a persecution against people of the Christian faith. He went to visit his friend Sossius, a deacon of Miseno who because of his fiath was put in in prison  at Pizzuoli . He was arrested there with his deacon Festus  and a lector Desiderius on the order of the governor Campania. They were thrown in an arena to wild beast and when they were not harmed they were beheaded. 

September 20th. is the feast day of St. Andrew KimTae-gin and St. Paul Chong Ha-sang and companions. St. Andrew was born on August 1, 1821 he died September 16,1846.He was born in Chung Chong, Korea. At the age of 15 he was chosen by a priest to be a seminarian. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1844. After his ordination, he went to Seoul in184. He led French missionaries to Shanghai where Bishop Ferreor ordained him as a priest. In his efforts to spread the faith asking their men to become priest.. Because of his he was arrested and put into prison by the authorities. He was accused of being a ringleader and traitor to his country. He was beheaded on September 16, 1846 and beatified by Pope Pius XI. In 1925 he was canonized by Pope Pius II BY John Paul II on May 6, 1984. He is the patron sent of the Korean clergy. 

St. Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions feast day is also September 20th. He was born in 1794 and died in 1839. He was the son of the martyr Augustine Jeong Yak-Jong and nephew of the noted philosopher John Jeong Yak-Yong who were amonr the first converts of Korea. John Jeong wrote the first catechism for the Roman Catholic Church in Korea entitled

(Jugyo-Yoji).   When he grew up Paul chose to become an interpreter for the Government. He ask the Bishop of Beijing to send priest to Korea and requested of Pope Gregory XVI to establish a diocese in Korea. This was made possible in 1825. Sometime after he was captured and taken tto the King who  forbade him to preach the Catholic faith in his country. As a result Hasang was tortured, bond to a cross. He died of crucifixion at the age of 45 and was canonized a Korean martyr by John Paul II in 1984.

September 23rd. is the feast day of St. Pius of Pietrecina. He was born May 25,1887 and died September 23, 1968. He was born in Pietrecina, Italy and died in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. His parents were Maria Giuseppa D.Nunzio Forgone. His father was Grazio Mario Forgone. He was baptized the day after his birth, with the name of his brother Franceso who had died in infancy. He had an older brother and three young sisters. Religion was the center of his family’s life. They prayed the rosary daily, attended daily mass and fasted three days a week. At 5 years of age he dedicated his life to Jesus.  He liked singing, playing church and preferred to be by himself to read and pray. His parents learned about his desire to become a priest in 1892 and on September 27,1899 he was confirmed. At age 15 he took the Habit of the Order of Friars on January 22, 1903. On the day of his investiture he took the habit of the order and took the name Pio in honor of St. Pius V. On Jan.22, 1904 he took the vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. He took his final vows in 1907. On August 14, 1910 he celebrated his first Mass at our Lady of the Angels Church. On September 7, 1910 while praying in Piana Romana Jesus and Mary appeared to him giving the wounds of Jesus. He said he wanted to suffer and even die for his faith. He went on to  become a teacher at the seminary and became the spiritual director of the students a short time later he was put in charge of the college.   In 1917 in the month of August he was inducted into service. He had the following rules for a spiritual life. Daily prayer mass and communion, Spirtual reading, meditation and an examination of Conscience. In 1918 on August the 5th. he received the stigmata for all to see for his remaining 50 years.

September 26. is the feast day of St. Comas and St. Damian(303). According to legend they were twin brothers  born in Arabia.  They studied medicine in Syria and then lived at Aegeae, Cilica and became widely known for their medical knowledge without charge to all. As outstanding Christians they were arrested and tried during the persecution of Christians before Lysias the governor of Cilicia. They were tortured and beheaded for their faith. Their three brothers also died with them. Many miracles were reported after their deaths. They are the patron saints of physicians. 

September 27th. is the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul(1580-1660). He was the son of Jean de Paul and Bertrande de Moras. He was the third of six children. He was educated at the college at Dax and the University of Toulouse. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1600. In 1605 he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Algeria. He escaped his slavery in 1607 and went to Rome with a secret meeting with Henry IV. . He became chaplain to Queen Margaret of Valois in Paris. He worked with the poor and his preaching attracted widespread attention. His meeting with St. Francis De Sales in Paris in 1618 made him a discple of St. Francis.  He became te tutor in the household of Count de Gondi, general of the galleys(1613-1625 and began ministering to the galley slaves. In 1625 he found the congregation of the Mission , known as the Viventians and Lazarists devoted to missionary work among the peasants. His knowledge and faith spread throughout France. He established many parrish confraternities to aid the poor. He established several hospitals  and orphanages. The friend of royalty and the nobility he spent his whole life to the alleviation of human suffering. He died in Paris on September the 27th. He was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737. In 1885 he was declared patron of all charitable groups by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.

September 28th. is the feast day of St. Wenceslaus and Lawrence Ruiz and companions. St. Wenceslaus(903-929) WAS BORN NEAR Prague and was the son of Duke Wratislaw of Bohemia and Drahomira daughter  of the chieftain of a northern Slav Tribe called the Veletians. He was raised a Christian and educated by his grandmother, St. Ludmila and her chaplain Paul.  When the Duke was killed fighting the Mayars in 920, Drahomira with the anti-Christian factions took over the government and instituted anti-Christian policies. She was deposed by an uprising and Wenceslaus becoming ruler in 922 encouraged Christianity rule strictly but justly suppressed disorders and oppression by the nobles. In 926 his acknowledgement of King Henry the Fowler as his overlord in keeping with his friendship with Germany. When his wife bore him a son, his brother no longer successor to the throne joined the noble Czech dissenters. On his way to Mass on September 20 he was attacked by Boleslaus and a group of Boleslaus followers murdered him. He was venerated as a martyr on September 28th. and is the patron saint of Bohemia.

September 29th. is the feast day of St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael the archangels. St. Michael is one of the three angels, with Gabriel and Rafael liturgically venerated by the church.  St. Michael appears twice in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. He is usually depicted with sword fighting a dragon. In early Christianity he was regarded as the captain of the heavenly host and at death protects the dying from the devil as he conducts the soul to heaven.

St. Gabriel was God’s messenger to Daniel to explain his vision and prophecy. He also foretold the coming of John the Baptist to John’s father, Zechariah and proclaimed the birth of Christ to Mary.   St. Raphael was sent by God to minister to Tobias and Sara. His name means”God heals”. He is one of only three archangels identified with Michael and Gabriel in the 

Bible and has been venerated down through the ages by both Catholic and Jewish faiths.  He is the angel who healed the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels.

September 30th. is the feast day of St. Jerome(342-420). He was born at Strido near Aquileia. He studied in Rome under the guidance of Donatus a famous grammarian who was baptized by Pope Liberius at Rome in 360. Jerome became an ascetic at Aquileia in 370. Joining a bunch of scholars under Bishop Valerian. A vision of Christ caused Jerome to go to Chaleis in the Syrian Desert. After a serious illness he lived as a hermit for 4 years praying and fasting and learning the Hebrew language. And writing a life story of St. Paul of Thebes. On his return to Antioch he was ordained by St. Paulinus.Jerome went to Constantinople to study scripture under St. Gregory Nazianzen and in 382 went Rome with Paulinus and St. Epiphanius to attend a council and he remained there as secretary to Pope Damasus. While there he revised the Latin version of the four gospels, St. Paul’s epistles and the Psalms. Jerome is venerated as a Doctor of the Church.

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