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Category Archives: Prayers to the Saints

SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS

SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS

SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS, MARTYRS – MEMORIAL: MAY 12

The brothers Nereus and Achilleus were eunuchs who served Flavia Domitilla. They were baptised with Domitilla’s mother, Plautilla, by St Peter, and the brothers persuaded Domitilla to consecrate her virginity to God.

Because of this, Aurelian, who had been engaged to her, accused them of being Christians, and they were banished to the isle of Pontia.

THEY WERE ACCUSED OF BEING CHRISTIANS 

To force them to sacrifice to idols, they were scourged and then taken to Terracina where they were beheaded after being racked and burned. Their disciple Auspicius brought their bodies to Rome and they were buried on the Ardeatine Way.

Flavia Domitilla, who had received the veil from blessed Pope Clement, was also banished to Pontia. After a long imprisonment she was taken in chains to Terracina where the judge ordered her lodging set afire.

THE PAGAN JUDGE ORDERED HER LODGING TO BE SET ON FIRE

She and her foster sisters, the virgins Theodora and Euphrosyne, thus died gloriously on the Nones of May in the reign of Trajan. The deacon, Caesarius, buried them.

Pancratius [St Pancras], who was born in Phrygia of a noble family, was baptised at Rome when a boy of fourteen. In the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, he was apprehended, and after he firmly refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, offered his neck to the executioner and was martyred. A lady named Octavilla secretly buried his body on the Aurelian Way.

PRAYER:

May the holy feast of your Martyrs, Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancras, ever comfort us, we beseech you, O Lord, and make us worthy to serve you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

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

 

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THE ICE SAINTS (11th TO 15th OF MAY)

THE ICE SAINTS (11th TO 15th OF MAY)

The Ice Saints, known in the colder regions of Europe, are: St Mammertus, St Pancras and St Servatius. They are so named because their feast days fall on 11th, 12th and 13th of May (a period also traditionally known as “blackthorn winter”). Some areas add St Boniface of Tarsus and St Sophia (feast days on 14th and 15th of May respectively).

Because of ground frost and frost, already flowering plants can be severely damaged, and large-scale planting is undertaken once the Ice Saints have passed. “Avant Saint Servais, point ete; apres Saint Servais, plus de gelee” – “Before the feast of Saint Servais, no summer; after Saint Servais, no frost.”

 

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ST GEORGE PRECA, PRIEST

ST GEORGE PRECA, PRIEST

ST GEORGE PRECA, PRIEST – MEMORIAL: MAY 9

George Preca was born in Valletta, Malta, on 12th February 1880. Ordained priest at age 26, he began working with young people. Shortly after, he founded the Society of Christian Doctrine, ‘M.U.S.E.U.M.’ (Magister Unitam Sequatur Evangelium Universus Mundus). Initially, the Society was known as ‘Museum’ due to the old building the members met in; the title was then adjusted by St George. A zealous preacher and teacher, he also lead a life of prayer and constant meditation on the Sacred Scriptures.

A LIFE OF PRAYER AND CONSTANT MEDITATION ON THE SACRED SCRIPTURES

On 21st July 1918, St George was enrolled as a Carmelite tertiary and at his profession in September 1919 he chose the name of Fr Franco. Devoted to Our Lady of Good Counsel, he also promoted use of the Miraculous Medal. In 1957 he suggested the use of five ‘Mysteries of Light’ for the private recitation of the Rosary.

St George Preca wrote many books on dogma, morals and spirituality in Maltese, as well as prayer booklets for the lay faithful. He was a great apostle of the Word of God, especially of the Gospel which he used to call ‘The Voice of the Beloved’. He encouraged the faithful to memorise phrases from the Gospel. He movingly preached about death, judgement, heaven and hell. Utterly convinced of God’s justice, he also always emphasised the Lord’s infinite mercy. Many people recount cases of healings wrought by God through St George’s prayers.

George Preca died on 26th July 1962. He was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI.

 

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REMEMBER US, O BLESSED JOSEPH

REMEMBER US, O BLESSED JOSEPH

ST BERNARDINE’S PRAYER TO ST JOSEPH 

Remember us, O blessed Joseph, and with the favour of thy prayer, plead with him Who was deemed to be thy Son; and render gracious to us thy most blessed Virgin Spouse, the Mother of Him, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth world without end.

[100 days’ Indulgence, once a day – Leo XIII., December, 1889]

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

 

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ST DOMINIC SAVIO, PATRON SAINT OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS

ST DOMINIC SAVIO, PATRON SAINT OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS

ST DOMINIC SAVIO – MEMORIAL: MAY 6

Dominic Savio was born on April 2, 1842 in San Giovanni di Riva near Chieri. At the First Holy Communion at the age of six he described his life programme: “I will confess frequently and receive communion as often as the confessor will allow me. I want to sanctify the holy days. My friends are to be Jesus and Mary. Better death than sin.”

“BETTER DEATH THAN SIN”

At the age of twelve, Dominic was admitted to the oratory in Turin by Don Bosco. Dominic asked him to help him “become holy”. He was mild, cheerful and showed great enthusiasm for fulfilling his duties as a student and for helping the school mates in every way. He taught them catechism, assisted the sick and settled disputes. Dominic was given rich gifts from God, so that he remained true to his life programme. Regular help through the sacraments, child-like veneration of Mary and the joy of renunciation helped him. He passed to his holy reward after contracting tuberculosis in 1857.
St Dominic Savio is the patron saint of juvenile delinquents. St Dominic Savio, pray for us.

 

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ST JAMES, APOSTLE

ST JAMES, APOSTLE

SS. PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES – FEAST: MAY 3

James, the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just, from his childhood never drank wine or strong drink, abstained from fleshmeat, and never cut his hair, or used ointments or the bath. He was the only one permitted to enter the Holy of Holmes. His garments were of linen. So assiduous was he in prayer, that his knees were covered with hard skin, which resembled the hide of a camel in toughness.

BISHOP OF JERUSALEM 

After Christ’s ascension, the apostles made him Bishop of Jerusalem; and it was to him that the Prince of the Apostles sent the news of his being delivered out of prison by an angel. A dispute having arisen in the council of Jerusalem concerning the law and circumcision, James followed the opinion of Peter, and, in a speech which he made to the brethren, approved the calling of the Gentiles, and said that the absent brethren were to be told by letter not to impose the burden of the Mosaic law upon the Gentiles. It is of him the Apostle speaks in Galatians: “But I saw none of the apostles, except James, the brother of the Lord.”

“FORGIVE THEM, O LORD, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” 

Such was James’ holy life, that people used to strive with each other in their desire to touch the hem of his garment. At the age of ninety-six, of which he had spent thirty years governing the church of Jerusalem in the most saintly manner, as he was preaching, with great courage, Christ the Son of God, he was first attacked with stones; after which he was taken to the highest part of the temple, and cast down. His legs were broken by the fall and, as he was lying half-dead upon the ground, he raised his hands to heaven, and prayed to God for their salvation in these words: “Forgive them, O Lord, for they know not what they do.” While praying in this way, he received a heavy blow on the head from a fuller’s club, and gave up his soul to God, in the seventh year of Nero’s reign. He was buried near the temple, from which he had been thrown down. He wrote one of the seven catholic Epistles.

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

 

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ST PHILIP, APOSTLE

ST PHILIP, APOSTLE

SS. PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES – FEAST: MAY 3

Philip was born at Bethsaida, and was one of the twelve apostles who were first called by Christ the Lord. It was from Philip that Nathanael learned that the Messia had come who was promised in the law, and by him he was led to the Lord. How familiarly Christ treated Philip is well shown by the fact that certain Gentiles went to Philip, when they wanted to see the Saviour; and when the Lord wished to feed the very great multitude in the desert, he spoke to Philip in this manner: “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?”

PHILIP, AFTER HE RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT… 

Philip, after he received the Holy Spirit, when Scythia fell to him in which to preach the Gospel, converted almost its entire population to the Christian faith. Finally, when he reached Hieropolis in Phrygia, he was crucified for the name of Christ, and stoned to death. The Christians buried his body in that place; it was afterwards taken to Rome, and, together with the body of the Apostle St James, was placed in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles.

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

 

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