Entries tagged as saints
Posted by Imelda S in Catholicism at 21:40 | Friday, February 10. 2012 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
To celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I dedicate these posts about several Marian Apparitions. I wonder, how would it be like to be a visionary? a victim soul? What I know is that most of the visionaries experienced immediate conversion, and if they were already faithful to begin with, their faith got deeper. Also, in most cases, they went through a life of penance. Having seen a slice of heaven, everything in this world was as though nothing compared to the glories of heaven. Therefore, the penances they offered and suffered for many were 'insignificant' compared to the triumphs that awaited a soul in grace in heaven.
The sources of the information in this post are linked to the titles.
OUR LADY OF BANNEAUX/THE VIRGIN OF THE POOR
"This stream is reserved for me, Good evening."
"Push your hands into the water."
"I am the Virgin of the poor. "
"This spring is reserved for all the nations - to relieve the sick."
"I shall pray for you. Au Revoir."
"Believe in me, I will believe in you. Pray much. Au Revoir."
"My dear child, pray much. Au Revoir."
"I am the Mother of the Saviour, Mother of God, Pray much. Adieu."
Mary indicated that she was the Immaculate Virgin when questioned, and told the children to return on 8 December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
When asked by Fernande if she wanted a chapel built, she replied, "Yes," before disappearing. Mary again asked for a chapel.
"My last apparition will take place soon."
"Pray, pray very much."
"Goodbye." (to Gilberte Degeimbre)
"I will convert sinners. Goodbye." (to Gilberte Voisin)
"Goodbye." (to Albert Voisin)
"I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always, Goodbye." (to Andree Degeimbre)
Mary appeared later and spoke to Fernande Voisin asking her if she loved her Son and herself; when Fernande replied that she did, the response was: "Then sacrifice yourself for me." "Goodbye."
On September 19, 1846, the Blessed Mother appeared to two young herders, Melanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud in the mountains in the Parish of La Salette. The Blessed Mother told the children that if the people did not repent, she would be compelled to let go of her Son's hand which was just about ready to deal punishment on the world for the loss of piety and blasphemy. The Blessed Mother underscored the people's failure to observe the holiness of Sundays and for their blasphemy.
In 1635, the Blessed Mother appeared to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador. During these apparitions, the Blessed Mother underscored the importance of monasteries and convents saying that 'in them can be found the remedy for all physical and moral evils...”; the importance of the Sacrament of Penance - “x x x it is the only sure means of salvation after one had lost his baptismal innocence.” She lamented how people, especially the ministers of Jesus Christ, have come to regard the Sacrament with indifference and ignore this precious and valuable treasure. The Blessed Mother prophesied that in the 19th and 20th century, the devil would rule almost completely because of the Masonic Sect, helped by unfaithful religious who in the guise of virtue and unspirited zeal would mislead people; the faithful would esteem Extreme Unction less and less and thus many would die without its consolations and graces; the Sacrament of Matrimony would be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word; there will be a decrease in vocations as the effects of secular education increased; the Sacrament of Holy Orders would be oppressed, ridiculed, and despised; many of the priest would be corrupted thereby scandalizing the Christians and non-Christians alike; there would be unbridled luxury that would conquer innumerable souls; innocence among children could hardly be found, nor modesty in women. Her other prophecies included the Proclamation of the Dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility, respectively (both of which were fulfilled hundreds of years later); the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the assassination of a truly Catholic President, Gabriel Garcia Moreno. Click here for more.
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Thank you all for dropping by. Have a blessed day.
Posted by Imelda S in Catholicism at 14:08 | Friday, February 3. 2012 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Lawyers. We would not find it surprising to hear the words of the Gospel changed to say - "It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a lawyer to enter heaven". After all, that goes well with the many jokes, mostly disparaging, there are about lawyers. Lawyering and Goodness just seem to be diametrically opposed to each other. But these saints have proven that lawyers do go to heaven, and that God has a great use for that lawyerly skill and intellect. So, my lawyer friends, take heart. All is not lost for us. ;-)
Just let me add that this topic is so close to my heart. Once upon a long time ago, before I met my husband and married him, I was a lawyer. Many of my friends I hold dear are in the legal profession. :-)
The legend of St. Theophilus the Lawyer was closely interwoven with that of St. Dorothy's.
St. Germain, Bishop of Auxerre
Ten years later, when the Church in Britain was being plagued by the Pelagian heresy, the Church asked the Pope to send someone to help it fight the attacks. Who would the Pope send to debate with the heretics and set straight people's thinking? Bishop Germain, the eloquent lawyer. (Source: The Young People's Book of SAINTS, by Hugh Ross Williamson, @ Sophia Institute Press)
St. Ivo of Kermartin
He had a degree in Canon Law and Civil Law. When he returned to his native Brittany after his education, he was appointed by the Archdeacon as diocesan official, i.e., judge of the cases that came before the ecclesiastical court. "In this capacity, he protected the orphans, defended the poor and administered justice with impartiality and kindness that gained for him the goodwill even of the losing side.” Later, his own diocese appointed him as official to the Bishop of Treguier. His championship of the poor won for him the name of “Poor Man's Advocate”. He was not only a just judge but, outside of the court that he presided in, he advocated for the helpless before other courts, often paying for their expenses and visiting them in prison. He did not accept bribes or presents and he made the people compromise, if possible, so that they would avoid costly litigation and unnecessary lawsuits. Later he was ordained priest and soon thereafter, he resigned his legal office to focus on parish work where he continued to be known for his charitable work. (Please click here for the source.)
St. Catherine of Alexandria
It was dangerous to debate with her, for one would surely lose his head. Literally!
She was not a lawyer but I included her in this selection because of her great skill at debating which is, in a way, a very lawyerly skill. St. Catherine was a pagan princess who was converted to Christianity during her teens. She was renowned for her intelligence and, as mentioned earlier, debating skills. This skill she used to advocate one great cause - the Christian faith.
"As a young adult, she visited her contemporary, the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and attempted to convince him of the moral error in persecuting Christians for not worshipping idols. The emperor arranged for a plethora of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate and succeeded in converting all of them to Christianity, for which the philosophers and orators were executed by an enraged Maxentius. Catherine was then scourged and put in prison, during which time over two hundred people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife the empress, all of whom converted to Christianity and were thereforemartyred.  Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage to her, at which point in time the Saint declared that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on the spiked breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. The wheel was miraculously destroyed, however, in answer to St. Catherine's prayer, and so Maxentius had to settle for beheading her."(Please click here for the source.)
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More, a lawyer, was the Chancellor of King Henry VIII when the latter decided to divorce his wife so that he could marry another woman. King Henry, unable to obtain the Pope's permission to do as he wished, decided to establish himself as the head of the Church in England. He made the people take an oath of allegiance under pain of death. While many of the people in the Church saw no problem with the King's proclamation and took the required oath, St. Thomas More refused to swear allegiance to the King. To him, 'it was impossible for the whole Church in England to make its own particular laws which the rest of the Church did not agree with as it would be for the City of London to make one of its rules an Act of Parliament which should be lawful for the whole country.'
Because of his disobedience to the King, St. Thomas More was imprisoned in the Tower of London, tried, and condemned to death. Before he was executed, he made a short speech (in obedience to the King's message asking him to say little) which ended with "I die the King's faithful servant, but God's first." (Source: The Young People's Book of SAINTS, by Hugh Ross Williamson, @ Sophia Institute Press)
St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus Liguori became a Doctor of Laws when he was only 16 years old at a time when the general practice was to admit a person to the bar when he was at least 20 years old. His lawyer robes were so big on him that people laughed at him. But that did not last too long. By his early 20's, he had distinguished himself as on of the leading lawyers in Naples.
In 1723, there was a celebrated property dispute between the Duke of Tuscany and a nobleman from Naples. St. Alphonsus, who was known for not having lost a single case, was the counsel for one of the parties. He made a brilliant opening argument for his client. The opposing counsel decided that he would not make any arguments nor present any evidence in favor of his client at all. Why? The opposing counsel said - "Your arguments are a waste of breath. You have overlooked a document which destroys your whole case." St. Alphonsus was very familiar with the document. He read it many times before. But, he missed the point of the document and during the trial, saw for the first time that the document proved the opposite of what he thought it meant previously. St. alphonsus conceded the case. He was shamed and humiliated, but he realized that God allowed that to happen to break his pride. St. Alphonsus turned to God in prayer and sough His will. One day, while visiting the sick in the Hospital of Incurables, he found himself surrounded by a mysterious light and heard a voice in his heart saying - "Leave the world and give yourself to Me."
He became a priest when he was 30 years old. In between his pastoral works, he managed to write book after book and hymns for the honor and glory of God. (Source: The Young People's Book of SAINTS, by Hugh Ross Williamson, @ Sophia Institute Press)
St. Raymond of Penafort
St. Raymond was born to a noble family in Spain. He obtained a doctorate in Canon Laws and Civil Laws in 1216. A few years later, he entered the Dominican Order.
"Knowing Raymond's reputation in the juridical sciences, Pope Gregory IX summoned him to Rome in 1230 to help in the rearranging and codifying of canon law. Canon laws, which were previously found scattered in many publications, were to be organized into one set of documents. In particular papal decretal letters had been changing the law over the course of the previous 100 years since the publication of the Decretum of Gratian. Being pleased with Raymond's efforts, the pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in 1231, commanding that the work of Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used in the schools. His collection of canon law, known as the Liber extra or Decretals of Gregory IX, became a standard for almost 700 years. When Raymond completed his work, the pope appointed him Archbishop of Tarragona, but he declined the honour. Raymond followed this with the publication of a work on penitential discipline, Summa casuum, which is widely considered an authoritative work on the subject. Canon law was finally fully codified by 1917." (Please click here for the source.)
All of the pictures in this post are linked to the pages where I found them. There are certainly so much more to say about the above Saints. However, for purposes of this article, focus was made on their legal work.
Thank you for dropping by. Please feel free to leave any comments. If I do not reply in a timely manner, my apologies. Rest assured that all comments are appreciated and acknowledged sooner or later. For more Quick Takes, please visit Conversion Diary.
Have a blessed day.
Posted by Imelda S in Catholicism at 22:19 | Friday, January 27. 2012 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
For this week, I will list down Saints who miraculously escaped their imprisonments. Their escape may not be as cinematic as The Exodus, but they are not in any way less than miraculous. The images in this post are obviously not mine . I linked the pages of my source in the pictures, where I can. Otherwise, I just listed down the places where I got them. I do not know how to do the close caption thing yet - so listing my source at the bottom of each topic was the best I could do.
After his conversion, St. Paul, then still known as Saul, preached about the Lord Jesus Christ. He confounded the Jews living in Damascus when he proved that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews conspired together to kill him. They guarded the city gates day and night in order to kill him. St.Paul/Saul became aware of the plot and his disciples took him one night and let him down from the top of the wall, lowering him in a basket. He joined the disciples in Jerusalem who were quite reluctant to accept him because of his past record of persecuting the Christians. Barnabas stood for him and thereafter, moved and preached freely with the disciples. The Hellenists wanted to kill him. The believers learned of the plot and they took St. Paul down to Ceasaria and sent him to Tarsus. (Acts 9:23-30; 2 Cor. 11:32-33)
St. Thomas Aquinas, a son of a nobleman, wanted to join the Dominican Preachers. This scandalized his noble mother, Lady Theodora. The sight of his son in Dominican 'rags' was just so unacceptable. She wanted him to become the Abbot of a prestigious monastery and to wear fancy robes as such. So, she ordered her sons to kidnap St. Thomas while on his way to Cologne and to bring him back to their castle. She tried to dissuade St. Thomas from joining the Dominicans, and when he did not relent, she ordered St. Thomas to be locked up in the castle's donjon tower. She even made a vow not to lay her eyes on him until he changed his mind. For about two years, St. Thomas languished in the tower until one day, one of his sisters told him that the Holy Father himself declared that the Aquino family would be excommunicated if the family did not release St. Thomas. Lady Theodora did not declare a release but hinted that if St. Thomas would find a way to escape, she would not hinder him. So St. Thomas' sisters, St. Thomas' varlet and his brothers, and some other persons, hatched a plan for his escape. One night, the varlet went to the tower carrying a big basket. St. Thomas went in and was lowered from his tower window to freedom. Under the tower waited two brother Dominicans and as soon as St. Thomas joined them, they went posthaste to Rome and had St. Thomas ordained as a Dominican.
(Source SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS and the Preaching Beggars by Brendan Larnen, O.P. and Milton Lomask @ 1957 by Vision Books)
The picture is from The Young People's Book of SAINTS by Hugh Ross Williamson, Sheila Connelly, ill., Sophia Institute Press. Orig. Publication - 1960).
"And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers, to be kept, intending, after the pasach, to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee and follow me, And going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent his angel and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews." (Acts 12: 4-11)
St. Jerome Emiliani
St. Jerome Emiliani was a soldier. He was commissioned to lead a group of men to defend the fortress Castelnuovo (of the Republic of Venice) against the invading Germans. They were defeated and he and his companions were imprisoned. He was placed in a deep dungeon with fetters on his arms and a ball of chain on his legs. During imprisonment, he realized the wicked life that he had led thus far and promised to go on a pilgrimage to a nearby shrine of the Blessed Mother once he got free. Not too long after that, he noticed a key nearby. It opened his fetters. Now, there was still one problem - the chain on his legs. Then he noticed somebody being there freeing him and leading him out of the prison door. This miracle was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother. The Young People's Book of SAINTS by Hugh Ross Williamson, Sheila Connelly, ill., Sophia Institute Press. Orig. Publication - 1960)
When he was 16 years old, Irish raiders captured St. Patrick and sold him into slavery in Ireland. He was put to work watching sheep and was forced to live outdoors. During this time, he was converted and started to have his deep prayerful conversations with God. It seemed that St. Patrick was an unbelieving, quasi-pagan before this time. After six years in slavery, he heard a voice say "See, your ship is ready." So, St. Patrick left his post and headed for the coast. There, he found a ship that was about to leave but the captain did not want him on board. St. Patrick prayed as he walked away. Before he even finished his prayer, a crew called him back and told him that he could join them in the voyage. (Source - SAINTS BEHAVING BADLY, @2006 Thomas J. Craughwell, Doubleday Publishing)
"In his Confessio, St. Patrick wrote, After three days we made land, and then for twenty-eight days traveled through a desert. They had no food, and were sorely pressed with hunger. Then one day the captain said to me ‘Well, now, Christian, you say your God is great and omnipotent. Why can you not then pray for us, for we are in danger of perishing from hunger, and we can hardly see anywhere a single human being’. Thereupon I plainly said to them, ‘Be ye truly converted to the Lord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that He may send food in your way and you may be filled for He hath abundance everywhere’. And so, through God’s help, it came to pass. A herd of swine appeared on the road before their eyes, and they killed many of them, and remained there for two nights until they were well refreshed. Then they gave great thanks to God, and I was honored in their eyes." [Read More]
St. Audry, then known as Etheldreda, was a newly widowed princess. After her husband died, she retreated to her home, Isle of Ely, where she wanted to found a nunnery. However, her uncle, who was a king, prevailed upon her to marry Prince Egfrid of Northumbria. The Prince was informed that she, Etheldreda, could not be a proper wife because of her dream to serve God as a nun. St. Audry repeatedly begged her husband to let her go. One day, when he was already the king, he gave his permission and St. Audry left the palace and went to her aunt's convent in Coldingham. But the king changed his mind and ordered his soldiers to follow and bring back the departing queen. The soldiers, however, lost their way and went back to the king without the queen. So, King Egfrid himself led a second expedition. They managed to catch up with St. Audry and companions in a place called Coldeburgh Head, a great rock jutting out to sea. As the king was about to scramble into the headland to seize St. Audry, the sea suddenly swirled around the rock and cut it from the mainland. For days, the king waited for the tide to recede. But he waited in vain. Soon he gave up, taking the event as his sign from God to let go. St. Audrey and companions were then able to go back to her home and establish the nunnery that she hoped for. (Source - The Young People's Book of SAINTS by Hugh Ross Williamson, Sheila Connelly, ill., Sophia Institute Press. Orig. Publication - 1960)
St. Cunegund was the wife of St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria. As husband and wife, they determined to give an example of Christian rulers of a Christian country. St. Henry apparently spent a lot of money for religious purposes, e.g., building grand Cathedrals. The nobles did not like it. They believed that the money could be better spent somewhere else such as their caprices. Because they could not change St. Henry's mind, they decided to spread nasty rumors against the Empress, St. Cunegund. To silence the gossips, she agreed to go through a trial - walking barefoot over red hot ploughshares. As in the Old Testament, they believed that she would be unhurt if she was innocent. Well, not only did she walk over them, she also carried a ploughshare in her hand. (Source- The Young People's Book of SAINTS by Hugh Ross Williamson, Sheila Connelly, ill., Sophia Institute Press. Orig. Publication - 1960)
Well, I suppose that this last bit did not fit well with the strict idea of escape. But she was delivered miraculously anyway and I am running out of a more appropriate story to go with the collection.
Thank you very much for dropping by. Please feel free to add to the list. I suppose that this will be a fine way to remember the saints and God's power and glory.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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