SAINT OF THE DAY: 30 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Fiaker

Saint Fiaker

Prince of Scotland and Anchorite
(† 670)

Saint Fiaker was the eldest son of Eugene IV, king of Scotland, born in the early sixth century heir to the throne of Scotland. He was educated under the care of a bishop of eminent sanctity, Conan, Bishop of Soder or the Western Islands.

Considering all worldly advantages as dross, the young prince, accompanied by his sister, left country and friends when in the flower of his age, and sailed to France.

The prince intended to seek a solitude to which they might retire and devote themselves to God, unknown to the rest of the world.

Divine Providence conducted them to Saint Faro, Bishop of Meaux, eminent for his sanctity. When Saint Fiaker addressed himself to him, the prelate, charmed with the marks of extraordinary virtue and abilities which he discerned in this stranger, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest called Breuil, two leagues from Meaux.

He placed the princess Sira in the Faremoutier monastery for women, of which his own sister was Abbess, and in that convent the young Christian found the enduring peace of Christ.

The holy anchorite Fiaker cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell and cultivated a small garden. He built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, where he spent the greater part of the days and nights in devout prayer, laboring also with his own hands for his subsistence.

The life he led was very austere, and only necessity or charity ever interrupted his exercises of prayer and heavenly contemplation.

Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor sought relief at his door. Saint Chillen, or Kilian, an Irishman of high birth, on his return from Rome visited Saint Fiaker, who was his kinsman.

After spending some time under his discipline, this other budding Saint was directed by Fiaker’s advice and with the authority of the bishops, to preach in the nearby dioceses as well as in that of Saint Faro.

This commission he executed with admirable sanctity and fruit, and his relics were later placed in the same coffer as those of his eminent relative, the saintly hermit.

Saint Fiaker died in the year 670, on the 30th of August; he is the patron of gardeners.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 30 AUGUST, 2014

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“Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.

It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

 

READING OF THE DAY: 28 AUGUST, 2014

LEGION

 

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.

So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?

Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.

Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.

But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards,  the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour  and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” -Matthew 24:42-51.

 

 

READING OF THE DAY: 25 AUGUST, 2014

Jesus teaching in the Temple Tissot

 

“Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’

Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?

And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’

You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.” -Matthew 23:13-22.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 25 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Mary Micaela

Saint Mary Micaela

Foundress
(1809-1865)

Maria Soledad Micaela Desmaisieres y Lopez de Dicastillo, often called Madre Sacramentobecause she founded a religious Order of Sisters consecrated especially to the Blessed Sacrament, was born in Madrid on the first day of January, 1809, during a time of political unrest. From the age of nine to twelve, she was a pupil of the Ursulines of the city of Pau in France.

At the age of thirteen, she lost her noble father, a general in the royal army. Her life as she grew older was divided between religious duties, which attracted her, and social ones involving trips, festivals and visits.

In 1844, when she visited the Hospital of Saint John of God in Madrid, she saw with compassion the plight of young girls living a disordered life, and in 1845 established a school to re-educate them. She personally took on the direction of the school in January of 1849, and gave it new force.

She resolved in 1847 to live for God alone, and in Paris, during the same year on Pentecost, received a mystical grace of union with God. She was drawn to an ardent love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as to an apostolate for the feminine youth of Madrid.

Until 1856, she dedicated herself entirely to the school she had founded there, and then founded the Institute of Religious Adorer-Slaves of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of Charity.

She was directed by Saint Anthony Mary Claret for several years after 1857; and the foundations multiplied. She promoted and animated various apostolic works for the laity — the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul, Sunday Schools for public school children; she counseled the Sisters of the Love of God at Zamora, at the request of their founder.

Her Institute of the Blessed Sacrament was definitively approved by the Holy See in 1866, a year after the death of the Foundress on August 24, 1865, a victim of her charity for the cholera victims of Valencia.

For Madre Sacramento, religious consecration is a service of love.

The religious is at the disposition of God to procure His glory; and God gives Himself to her, as she has given herself to Him. For God she loves suffering as a proof of love.

The Foundress herself, in the last four years of her life, made the exceptional vow to choose what appeared to her as most perfect, in the practice of her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; this vow requires a total and heroic gift of self.

She was beatified in 1925 and canonized on March 4, 1934 by Pope Pius XI.

(SOURCE: Dictionnaire de Spiritualité)

SAINT OF THE DAY: 24 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Joan Antide Thouret

Saint Joan Antide Thouret

Foundress
(1765-1826)

Born in the diocese of Besançon in November of 1765, Saint Joan Antide lost her pious mother when she was 16 years old, and for several years took charge of the household and her family of younger brothers and sisters. After many hesitations, her father permitted her to enter the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1787.

She worked in various hospitals caring for the sick, until the Revolution in France brought about the dispersion of the Congregations. She was ordered to abandon her religious habit in 1792, but refused and fled; she was struck so violently that she remained for eight months between life and death.

In 1793 she returned from Paris to her native village of Sancey on foot, begging her bread; there she opened a school and cared for the sick.

Times were growing ever more difficult, and Sister Thouret again had to depart, this time journeying to Switzerland, where she assisted a French priest who had gone into exile with a few members of his little community.

Again she cared for the sick; but the entire group was forced to move once again and go to Germany.

After two years she went to the village of Landeron in Switzerland. There she met the Vicar General of Besançon, and he asked her to found a school and a hospital in that city.

In 1799 the foreseen school was opened at Besançon, and with a few novices the Foundress began work in France again.

She wrote a rule for her Daughters of Saint Vincent de Paul, as she called them to distinguish them from the larger group, the Sisters of Charity, of whom they were independent. The Congregation’s members multiplied, as did their works; in 1802 they were given the direction of a house of detention at Bellevaux, sheltering more than 500 prisoners.

They opened schools in eastern France and Switzerland. The foundress was invited to go to Naples to take on the direction of a hospital and initiate other works; she accepted this invitation in 1810.

She remained in Naples until 1818, obtaining from Pope Pius VII the approval of her Institute in 1819. Problems arising in Besançon caused her many sufferings, when the new bishop there desired to maintain the Community under diocesan authority.

Saint Joan Antide died in Naples in 1826, having left for her Sisters many examples of heroic virtue.

She was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI, who invited the French nation to exult with joy on seeing its crown enriched by a new flower of holiness.

(SOURCE: Almanach Catholique français pour 1927; pour 1934 (Librairie Bloud et Gay: Paris, 1927, 1934).)

READING OF THE DAY: 24 AUGUST, 2014

angel4

 

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!

How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! 

“For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid?”

For from him and through him and for him are all things.

To him be glory forever.

Amen.” -Romans 11:33-36.

READING OF THE DAY: 23 AUGUST, 2014

Jesus teaching in the Temple Tissot

 

“Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.

For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

All their works are performed to be seen.

They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.

Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” -Matthew 23:1-12.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 23 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Rose of Lima

Saint Rose of Lima

Virgin
(1586-1617)

This lovely flower of sanctity, the first canonized Saint of the New World, was born at Lima, Peru, in 1586. She was christened Isabel, but the beauty of her infant face earned for her the title of Rose, which she thereafter bore.

As a child still in the cradle, her silence during a painful surgical operation seemed to foretell the thirst for suffering which would consume her heart.

At an early age she engaged herself as a servant to support her impoverished parents, then worked day and night. In spite of hardships and austerities her beauty ripened with increasing age, and she was openly much admired.

Fearing vanity would enter her heart, she cut off her hair, blistered her face with pepper and her hands with lime. She never left the interior of her parents’ house in Canta, for four years, not even to walk in an inviting garden just beyond its walls.

She finally obtained her parents’ permission to be enrolled in the Third Order of Saint Dominic; from her childhood she had taken Saint Catherine of Siena as her model, and she then redoubled her penance. The Blessed Sacrament seemed virtually her only food.

Her love for it was intense. Her fasting was near miraculous; during Lent in particular, she denied herself her former single piece of bread each day, to consume only a few orange seeds.

Her disciplines were of an almost incredible severity, and her hair shirt reached from her shoulders to her wrists and knees; not satisfied with its rudeness, she armed it with iron nails.

The cell of Saint Rose was a garden hut, her couch a box of broken tiles. Concealed by her veil, a silver crown armed with ninety sharp points encircled her head.

More than once, when she shuddered at the prospect of a night of torture, a voice said, My cross was yet more painful.

The demon tormented her for fifteen years with insupportable temptations; but God sustained His spouse against them, though she would gladly have died rather than live any longer in their clutches.

When a Dutch fleet prepared to attack the city of Lima, Rose took her place before the tabernacle, and wept because she felt unworthy to die in its defense, as she hoped she might; the enemy weighed anchor soon afterwards and departed without attempting a siege.

All of Saint Rose’s sufferings were offered for the conversion of sinners, and the thought of the multitudes in hell was ever before her soul. She died in 1617, at the age of thirty-one.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 22 AUGUST, 2014

alegria_01

 

“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, 

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:34-40.