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Category Archives: Our Beloved Saints and Holy People

ST LAURENCE O’TOOLE, BISHOP

ST LAURENCE O’TOOLE, BISHOP

ST LAURENCE O’TOOLE, BISHOP – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 14

St Laurence O’Toole, Patron of the Diocese and City of Dublin, was born near Castledermot, County Kildare, in 1127. His father was Maurice O’Toole, prince of the territory now called South Kildare, and his mother was daughter of O’Byrne, prince of the north-eastern portion of Co. Kildare.

The cross was his portion from childhood, for from ten years old till he was twelve, he was a hostage of Dermot MacMurrough, who treated him with relentless cruelty. Ferns, then a wild and desert place, was probably the scene of the hardships and privations of our Saint. Here, no doubt, the foundation was laid of that wonderful mortification, and spirit of contemplation and prayer, which distinguished his later life.

At the demand of Maurice O’Toole, our Saint was transferred to the custody of the Bishop of Glendalough, under whose care his health, impaired by privation and neglect, returned, and he engaged in a course of study with the greatest ardour. Some time after he became a monk of St Kevin’s Monastery, Glendalough, was ordained priest, and later, in 1153, was chosen Abbot by the monks.

On the death of Gregory, Archbishop of Dublin, 1161, St Laurence was elected to succeed him, and was consecrated by Gelasius, Archbishop of Armagh, in the Church of the Holy Trinity (now Christ Church), Dublin, 1162. In 1179 he attended the Third General Council of the Lateran, and Pope Alexander III made him Delegate Apostolic of the Holy See for the Kingdom of Ireland.

Full of virtues and labouring for the peace of his beloved but afflicted country, he died at the age of 53, on the 14th November, 1180,at the Abbey our Lord, at Eu, Normandy. At the moment of his holy death the Abbey was so flooded with celestial light that it was thought to be on fire. St Laurence was canonised by Pope Honorius III, in 1225, who mentions in the Bull of Canonisation that seven dead persons were restored by his intercession.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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ALL SAINTS DAY, COLLECT

ALL SAINTS DAY, COLLECT

Almighty ever-living God,

by whose gift we venerate

in one celebration

the merits of all the Saints,

bestow on us,we pray,

through the prayers of so

many intercessors,

an abundance of the reconciliation with you

for which we earnestly long.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

 

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SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES

SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES

SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES – FEAST: OCTOBER 28

Simon was a Chananite, sometimes called Zelotes. Thaddeus (who in the Gospel is called Jude the brother of James) was the author of one of the catholic epistles. Simon went through Egypt preaching the Gospel, Thaddeus did the same in Mesopotamia. Afterwards they met in Persia, where they raised countless children to Christ. Together in those far-reaching countries by their teaching and their miracles, they spread the faith. Finally by a glorious martyrdom they paid together their testimony of honour to the most holy name of Jesus.

PRAYER:

O God, who have given us a way of coming to know your name through your blessed Apostles, Simon and Jude, grant us to honour their everlasting glory by becoming more holy and to become more holy by honouring it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA

ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA

ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: MAY 20

Bernardine Albizecchi was born of a noble Sienese family. When he was very young and not many years in school, he began to give up hours of play and perform exercises of prayer, especially to the Blessed Virgin. His love and mercy towards the poor were outstanding, and for their service he joined the hospital of Blessed Mary of the Ladder, in Siena.

HE EXCELLED IN HUMILITY, PATIENCE, AND THE OTHER VIRTUES

He pondered what religious institute he would enter, and God so disposed that he prefer the Franciscans. With them, he excelled in humility, patience, and the other virtues of a religious. He started preaching under obedience even though he knew his weak, hoarse voice made him unfit for the task.

HE WAS MIRACULOUSLY FREED OF THE IMPEDIMENT 

After seeking God’s help, he was miraculously freed of this impediment. He travelled through the cities and towns, and in the name of Jesus which was ever on his lips and in his heart, he put an end to civil disorders everywhere, and restored fallen piety and morals largely by his word and example. He wrote devout and learned books. Full of merit, renowned for miracles, he died a happy death at the age of sixty-six [in 1444] in the city of Aquila in the Abruzzi.

PRAYER:

O Lord Jesus, who bestowed on blessed Bernardine, your Confessor, an unusual love for your holy Name, we beseech you, by his merits and intercession, graciously pour upon us the spirit of your love. Who live…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: MAY 28

In 597, Pope Gregory the Great sent to England the monk Augustine and a group of forty fellow monks of the Lateran monastery in Rome. King Ethelbert invited them all to Canterbury, the chief city of his kingdom, and Augustine built an oratory nearby. Through his preaching he converted to Christianity many of the islanders and even the king, to the great joy of the king’s Christian wife, Bertha.

THE SEE OF CANTERBURY 

Gregory ordered Augustine consecrated a bishop, founded the See of Canterbury, gave him the use of the pallium and the power to establish a hierarchy in England. Augustine underwent many exhausting labours for Christ.

MANY EXHAUSTING LABOURS FOR CHRIST

He placed Mellitus in charge of the church in London, Justus in charge of the church of Rochester, and Lawrence in charge of his own church. He at last died on the seventh of the Calends of June, and was buried in the monastery of St Peter. After this, the monastery became the burial place of the bishops of Canterbury and a number of kings.

PRAYER:

O God, who graciously enlightened the English peoples with the light of the true faith by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, your Confessor and Bishop, grant, through his intercession, that the hearts of those who have strayed may return to the unity of the true faith and that we may be in harmony with your will. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST WILLIAM, ABBOT

ST WILLIAM, ABBOT

ST WILLIAM OF VERCELLI, ABBOT – MEMORIAL: JUNE 25

William, born of noble parents at Vercelli, had scarcely completed his fourteenth year when, with a wonderful spirit of penance and an ardour of piety, he undertook a pilgrimage to Compostella. Then, after attempting in vain another pilgrimage to the sepulchre of Christ the Lord, he remained two years on a lonely hill in constant prayer, vigils and fasts.

HE BUILT A MONASTERY 

When he restored sight to a blind man, fleeing the praises of men, he built a monastery in a rugged and inaccessible spot on Monte Virgiliano, which thereafter was called Monte Vergine. He there admitted companions and molded them by certain rules, taken for the most part from the institutes of St Benedict, and by his words and by the example of his most holy life.

A MOST HOLY LIFE

When other monasteries were built later on, the holiness of William became more famous day by day and attracted men from all parts to him. They were also drawn by the fame of his frequent miracles. Finally, after predicting his death, he fell asleep in the Lord in the year of salvation 1142.

PRAYER:

O God, who made your saints an example and a help for our weakness; grant us, as we walk the path of salvation, so to venerate the virtues of the blessed Abbot William that we may obtain his intercession and follow his footsteps. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold titles added]

 

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ST JOHN CANTIUS, CONFESSOR

ST JOHN CANTIUS, CONFESSOR

ST JOHN CANTIUS, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 23

John was born in the diocese of Cracow in the town of Kenty, from which he took his surname Cantius. His parents Stanislaus and Anna were holy and respectable people. From his infancy, his sweetness of disposition and innocence gave hope of the greatest virtue.

HE BECAME A PRIEST 

After becoming a priest, he increased his ardour for Christian perfection. For some years he administered the parish of Ilkusi with great efficiency. Whatever time was left from his studies he devoted partly to the salvation of his neighbour, especially preaching sermons on sacred subjects, and partly by prayer.

ON FOOT, HE MADE FOUR VISITS TO ROME

He made four visits to Rome, travelling on foot and carrying his own luggage, both to show honour to the Apostolic See and, as he used to say, to save himself from the punishments of Purgatory through the indulgences obtainable there daily.

HE ABSTAINED ENTIRELY FROM MEAT

He guarded his virginal purity most vigilantly, and for about thirty-five years before his death abstained entirely from flesh-meat. On Christmas Eve [1473], his soul took flight to heaven. Pope Clement III added him to the list of the saints, and he is honoured as one of the foremost patrons of Poland and Lithuania.

PRAYER:

Grant, we beseech you, almighty God, that by following the example of blessed John, your Confessor, we may advance in a knowledge of holiness and, by showing pity for others, obtain your forgiveness through his merits. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold titles added]

 

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