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Category Archives: Prayers to the Saints

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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THY BODY WITH LONG FASTINGS WORN (HYMN)

THY BODY WITH LONG FASTINGS WORN (HYMN)

Thy body with long fastings worn;

Thy flesh with cruel scourgings torn;

‘Twas thine to live, O Blessed Saint,

A most unspotted penitent.

 

Oh, may we follow after thee,

In ways of holy purity!

And in the Spirit’s might control

Each evil passion of the soul!

 

Thou on the poor in winter’s snow

Oft thy own raiment didst bestow:

By hunger or by thirst oppressed,

They flew to thy parental breast.

 

O thou, who nothing didst deny

To those who sought thy charity,

Thy native land from harm defend,

And peace to all her borders send!

 

Praise to the Father, with the Son,

And Holy Spirit, Three in One;

Jesu, through thy dear servant’s prayer,

May we thy joys eternal share.

Amen.

 

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

 

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ST LUKE, EVANGELIST

ST LUKE, EVANGELIST

ST LUKE, EVANGELIST – FEAST: OCTOBER 18

Luke was a physician of Antioch. He knew Greek and was a disciple of the Apostle Paul. Luke wrote the Gospel from holy tradition (word of mouth) and compiled the Acts from what he, personally, had seen. He never married and lived eighty-four years.

PRAYER:

Father,

you chose Luke the evangelist to reveal

by preaching and writing

the mystery of your love for the poor.

Unite in one heart and spirit

all who glory in your name,

and let all nations come to see your salvation.

Through our Lord…

 

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ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN

ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN

ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 15

Teresa was born of pious and noble parents at Avila, in Spain. While she was still a very little girl, she was so enkindled with a desire for martyrdom that, running away from home, she tried to go to Africa. She was brought back to her home. After her mother’s death, she committed herself wholly to the patronage of the Blessed Virgin.

SHE EMBRACED THE RULE OF THE NUNS OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

When she was twenty years old, she embraced the rule of the nuns of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Solicitous for the salvation of souls, she built many monasteries and proposed that the original rule of the Carmelite foundation be observed by its women and men. She continually offered to God the voluntary sufferings of her own body on behalf of infidels and heretics and, burning with divine love, she took a most difficult vow of always doing that which she considered the most perfect.

SHE WROTE MANY BOOKS OF HEAVENLY WISDOM 

She merited that her bosom should be pierced with a fiery dart by an angel. She wrote many books of heavenly wisdom and taught much by word and example, having this often on her lips: “Lord, either to suffer or to die.” Renowned for virtue, the gift of prophecy and other charismatic gifts, she gave back her most pure soul to God at Alba, in the year 1582, in the sixty-seventh year of her age, on the Ides of October.

PRAYER:

Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, that as we rejoice on the feast-day of blessed Teresa, your Virgin, we may be so nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching as to learn how to serve you. Through our Lord…

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

 

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ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 14

Callistus, a Roman, ruled the Church when Antoninus Heliogabulus was emperor. He instituted the four periods of the year which are known as Ember Days – days on which, in accordance with the apostolic tradition, fasting was to be observed by all. He built the basilica called St Mary across-the-Tiber and enlarged the ancient cemetery on the Appian Way, in which are buried many holy Priests and martyrs. For this reason, it is called the cemetery of Callistus. He reigned five years, one month and twelve days.

HE WAS CROWNED WITH MARTYRDOM

After a long imprisonment, during which he was starved and frequently scourged, he was thrown head-downward into a well. He was crowned with martyrdom under the Emperor Alexander and was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, at the third mile-stone from the City, on the day before the Ides of October [222]. Afterwards his body was carried to the basilica of St Mary across-the-Tiber, and was placed under the high altar, where it is venerated with the greatest devotion.

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

PRAYER:

God of mercy,

hear the prayers of your people

that we may be helped by Saint Callistus,

whose martyrdom we celebrate with joy.

Through our Lord…

 

 

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ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN

ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN

ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN; DEACON, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: JUNE 9

Ephrem was of Syrian descent and the son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man, he went to the holy Bishop James, by whom he was baptised. In a short while, he made such progress in holiness and learning that he was appointed teacher of a flourishing school at Nisibis, a Mesopotamian city. He was ordained deacon of the Church of Edessa, and refusing the priesthood out of humility, he was conspicuous with the splendour of every virtue and strove to acquire piety and religion by professing true wisdom.

HE WAS CONSPICUOUS WITH THE SPLENDOUR OF EVERY VIRTUE

His works, taken as a whole, are so infused with the bright light of his learning, that this holy man, even while yet living, was held in great honour and even considered a Doctor of the Church. He was noted, above all, for his great and tender devotion to the Immaculate Virgin. Full of merits, he died at Edessa in Mesopotamia on the fourteenth of the Calends of July [373], in the reign of Valens. Pope Benedict XV declared him, by a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, to be a Doctor of the Universal Church.

PRAYER:

O God, who willed to enlighten your Church by the wondrous learning and glorious merits of the life of blessed Ephrem, your Confessor and Doctor, we humbly pray you that, by his pleading, you will shield her with your lasting power against the snares of error and evil. Through our Lord…

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

 

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TO BE THE LAMB’S CELESTIAL BRIDE (HYMN)

TO BE THE LAMB’S CELESTIAL BRIDE (HYMN)

To be the Lamb’s celestial bride

Is Juliana’s one desire;

For this she quits her father’s home,

And leads the sacred virgin choir.

 

By day, by night, she mourns her Spouse

Nailed to the Cross, with ceaseless tears;

Till in herself, through very grief,

The image of that Spouse appears.

 

Like him, all wounds, she kneels transfixed

Before the Virgin Mother’s shrine;

And still the more she weeps, the more

Mounts up the flame of love divine.

 

That love so deep the Lord repaid

His handmaid on her dying bed;

When, with the food of heavenly life,

By miracle her soul he fed.

 

All praise to thee, O Maker blest!

Praise to the everlasting Son;

Praise to the mighty Paraclete

While ages upon ages run.

Amen.

 

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

 

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