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St. James of La Marcha

Name: St. James of La Marcha
Date: 28 November

The small town of Montebrandone, on the eastern coast of Italy, called the March of Ancona, gave birth to this Saint in the year 1391. While still young he was sent to the University of Perugia, where his progress in learning soon qualified him to be chosen preceptor to the children of a young gentleman of Perugia. He went with him to Florence, to aid in theadministration of a juridical office the nobleman had obtained there; but realizing that he wasabout to be engulfed in the whirlpool of worldly excesses in which he found himself, SaintJames applied himself to prayer and recollection, and thought of entering the Carthusian Order.

When traveling one day near Assisi, however, he went into the Church of the Portiuncula to pray, and moved by the fervor of the holy men who there served God and by the example of their blessed founder Saint Francis, he determined to petition in that very place for the habit of the Order. He was then twenty-one years of age; he received the habit near Assisi, at the convent of Our Lady of the Angels. He began his spiritual war against the world, the fleshand the devil in prayer and silence in his cell, joining extraordinary fasts and vigils to hisassiduous prayer. He fell ill with a number of different illnesses which for thirty years heendured with heroic patience, without ever exempting himself from saying Holy Mass orassisting at the offices in common. For forty years he never passed a day without taking thediscipline.

When, through the response of the Mother of Heaven to his prayers, he became able to preach,he carried out that ministry with such great fervor and power that he never failed to touch themost hardened hearts and produce truly miraculous conversions. He joined Saint John ofCapistrano to preach a crusade against the Turks, who had become masters of Constantinopleand were terrorizing Western Europe. At Buda he effected the miraculous cessation of afurious sedition by simply showing the crucifix to the people; the rebels themselves took himupon their shoulders and carried him through the streets of the city. At Prague he broughtback to God many who had fallen into error, and when a magician wanted to dispute with him,he rendered him mute and thus obliged him to retire in confusion. He traveled through thenorthern Provinces, into Germany, Dalmatia, Hungary, Poland, Norway and Denmark andmany other places; he went without any provisions other than his confidence in God. If hefound no aid or was without lodging he rejoiced in his union with Lady Poverty, to whom hewas joined by his religious profession.

When he was called back to Italy to labor against a heresy, he acquired new persecutors who attempted in several ways, including ambushes, poison, calumny and the arousing of seditions against him, to do away with him. But God delivered him each time from the most adroitly conceived artifices. When chosen as Archbishop of Milan, he fled, and could not be prevailed on to accept the office. He brought about several miracles at Venice and at other places, often by the simple Holy Name of Jesus written on a paper. He raised from dangerous illness the Duke of Calabria and the King of Naples. The Saint died in the Franciscan convent of the Holy Trinity near Naples, to which city the Holy Father had sent him at the prayer of its King, Ferdinand. The date was the 28th of November of the year 1476; he was ninety years old, and had spent seventy of those years in religion.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of t

St. Catherine Labouré

Name: St. Catherine Labouré
Date: 28 November

Saint Catherine Zoé Labouré was born in a small village of France in 1806, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer who had at one time wanted to become a priest, and his very Christian wife. Catherine, the ninth of the eleven living children, lost her mother when she was only nine years old and had to abandon school to go to live with an aunt, accompanied by her younger sister. Two years later she was recalled to take charge of the household, because the older children had all left, one to become a Sister of Saint Vincent de Paul, the others to marry or seek a living elsewhere.

She made a vow of virginity when still very young, desiring to imitate the Holy Virgin, towhom she had confided herself when her mother died. She longed to see Her, and she prayed,in her simplicity, for that grace. She spent as many hours as possible in the Chapel of theVirgin in the village church, without, however, neglecting the work of the household. Shetalked to Our Lady as to a veritable mother, and indeed the Mother of Christ and ours wouldprove Herself to be such. Catherine wished to become a nun, without having opted for anyparticular community; but one day she saw a venerable priest in a dream, saying Mass in herlittle village church. He turned to her afterwards and made a sign for her to come forward,but in her dream she retreated, walking backwards, unable to take her gaze from his face. Hesaid to her: “Now you flee me, but later you will be happy to come to me; God has plans foryou.” The dream was realized and, as a postulant in the Community of Saint Vincent de Paul,she assisted at the translation of his relics to a nearby church of Paris. She had indeedrecognized his picture one day in one of the convents of the Sisters of Charity, and obtainedher father’s consent to enter that Congregation when her younger sister was old enough toreplace her at home.

Catherine’s interior life was alimented by the visions she frequently had of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, where once she saw Him as Christ the King. And the designs of God for this humble novice began to be fulfilled, after Our Lady appeared to her in July of 1830, and confided to her the mission of having a Medal struck according to the living picture she saw one night, when a little Angel led her to the convent Chapel, and there she knelt at the Virgin’s feet to hear the words which would be the motivating force of her forty-six years of religious life.

Once more — insofar as we know — she would see the Blessed Mother, on November 27th of the same year, when one afternoon while at prayer with her Sisters, she beheld Her to one side of the chapel, Her feet poised on a globe, on which was prostrate a greenish serpent; the hands of the Virgin were holding a golden globe at the level of the heart, “as though offering it to God,” said Catherine later, in an attitude of supplication, Her eyes sometimes raised to heaven, sometimes looking down at the earth, and Her lips murmuring a prayer “for the entire world.” The face of the Virgin was of incomparable, indescribable beauty, with a pleading expressionwhich plunged the Sister into ravishment, while she listened to Her prayers. The ImmaculateVirgin, after having offered to God Her Compassion with the suffering Christ, prayed for allmen and for each one in particular; she prayed for this poor world, that God might take pityon its ignorance, its weakness and faults, and that by pardoning He would hold back the armof Divine Justice, raised to strike. She prayed the Lord to give peace to the universe.

For many years Catherine kept her secrets from all save her confessor, Father Aladel, priest of the Mission of Saint Vincent, who, wanting to be able to continue with his penitent, saw to it that she was not sent far from Paris, after he had fulfilled the first mission of having the Medal struck. He died, however, before having the statue made according to this second vision, as Our Lady desired. Catherine suffered much from her inability to accomplish the second part of her mission. When she finally confided this second desire of Our Lady to her Sister Superior, a statue of Our Lady, Queen of the World and Mediatrix of all Graces, was made for two Chapels of the nuns.

Saint Catherine died in 1876, after spending her life in the domestic and agricultural duties associated with the kitchen and garden, and in general caring for the elderly of the Hospice of Enghien at Reuilly, only about three miles southeast of Paris. Among her writings recounting the apparitions, we read: “Oh, how beautiful it will be to hear it said: Mary is Queen of the universe. That will be a time of peace, joy and happiness which will be long... She will be borne like a banner and will make a tour of the world.” The Virgin foretold that this time would come only after “the entire world will be in sadness... Afterwards, peace.”

Sources: La Sainte du silence et la Vierge au globe, by G. Gaetano di Sales (Centre Marial Canadien: Nicolet, 1951); Vie de Catherine Labouré, by Rev. R. Laurentin (Desclée de Brouwer: Paris, 1980).

St. Saturninus

Name: St. Saturninus
Date: 29 November

Saint Saturninus was a contemporary and a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ; he came to Palestine from Greece, attracted by the reputation of Saint John the Baptist, which had echoed even to the northern Mediterranean region. He then followed our Saviour, heard His teaching, and was a witness to many of His miracles. He was present in the Cenacle when the HolySpirit descended at Pentecost upon the Mother of Christ, the Apostles and Disciples assembledin the number of 120. (Acts of the Apostles 1:15) He departed to teach Christianity under Saint Peter’s authority, evangelizing the lands east of Palestine, and going as far as the region of the Persians and Medes and their neighboring provinces. He cured the sick, the lepers, and the paralytics and delivered souls from the demons; and before he left, he gave written instructions to the new Christians concerning what they should believe and practice.

When Saint Saturninus went with Saint Peter to Rome, the Apostle was inspired to send out a number of fervent evangelists to the West, to dissipate by the light of Christ the darkness in which those regions were still plunged. Saturninus was directed to go to what is now southern France, to Toulouse in particular. Saint Peter consecrated him a bishop, that he might form and ordain native priests for the future Christian churches of Gaul. He was given for hiscompanion Papulus, later to become Saint Papulus the Martyr.

The two companions acquired at Nimes an ardent assistant in the person of Honestus. AtCarcassonne, when the three announced Christ they were thrown into a prison, where theysuffered from hunger; but an Angel was sent by the Lord to deliver them, and they continuedon their way to Toulouse, preaching the doctrine and the name of Christ publicly. At thislarge and opulent city, where idolatry was entrenched, the idols became mute when themissionaries arrived. This caused great astonishment, and the cause of the silence was sought. Saint Saturninus in the meantime was working miracles which produced a strong impression onthe witnesses; among them, the cure of a woman with advanced leprosy. The sign of the crosswhich he made over crowds often cured many sick persons at the same time, and he thenbaptized those who showed themselves ready for the sacrament. For a time he left his twodisciples there and continued on elsewhere, preaching in the cities of what are now Auch andEauze. A Spaniard heard of him and crossed the Pyrenees to hear him; this man, by the nameof Paternus, advanced so rapidly on the paths of virtue that Saint Saturninus ordained him andthen established him bishop of Eauze. He himself returned to Toulouse and sent Honestus toSpain to preach. When the latter returned to ask him to come with him to Spain, he left hisdisciple Papulus in charge for a time at Toulouse.

At Pampeluna his preaching brought thousands to the truth, delivering these former idolaters from the heavy yoke of the ancient enemy. While he continued his apostolic labors elsewhere, in Toulouse a persecution broke out against Papulus, and the faithful Christian obtained the crown of martyrdom by a violent death. At once Saint Saturnin returned to Toulouse, when he learned of it.

The idols again became mute. One day a great multitude was gathered near a pagan altar, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, whowas passing by, as the cause of the silence. “There is the one who preaches everywhere thatour temples must be torn down, and who dares to call our gods devils! It is his presence thatimposes silence on our oracles!” He was chained and dragged to the summit of the capitol,situated on a high hill, and commanded to offer sacrifice to the idols and cease to preach JesusChrist. An Angel appeared to him to fortify him, and the terrible flagellation he endured couldnot alter his firmness. “I know only one God, the only true one; to Him alone I will offersacrifice on the altar of my heart... How can I fear gods who you yourselves say are afraid ofme?” He was tied by a rope to the bull, which was driven down the stairs leading to thecapitol. His skull was broken, and the Saint entered into the beatitude of the unceasing visionof God. His body was taken up and buried by two devout young women. Traditionconserved the memory of the place of his burial, where later a church was built.

Source: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13.

St. Andrew Apostle

Name: St. Andrew Apostle
Date: 30 November

Saint Andrew was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida, and was the brother of Saint Peter. He became a disciple of Saint John the Baptist. When called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said to Peter, “We have found the Messiah!” and brought him to Jesus.

It was Saint Andrew who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out a little lad with five loaves and a few fishes. After Pentecost, Saint Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the Faith in Scythia and Greece and, at the end of years of toil, to win a martyr’s crown at Patrae in Achaia. When Saint Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy. “O good cross!” he cried, “made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee!” After suffering a cruel scourging he was left, bound by cords, to die upon this diagonal cross. For two whole days the martyr remained hanging on it, alive, preaching with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.

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).

Other Highlights
»The Eternal Father
»The Circumcision of Our Lord
»St. William Berruyer
»St. Theodosius
»St. Alfred or Aelred
»St. Margaret Bourgeois
»St. Veronica of Milan
»The Baptism of Our Lord
»St. Hilary of Poitiers
»St. Paul the First Hermit
»St. Honoratus
»St. Marcellus, Pope
»Blessed Stephanie Quinzani
»St. Anthony Abbott
»St. Peters' Chair at Rome
»St. Canutus
»St. Fulgentius
»St. Macarius
»St. Fabien
»St. Sebastian
»St. Agnes
»St. Vincent, martyr
»St. Raymond of Pennafort
»St. Timothy
»St. Paul, The Conversion of
»St. Polycarp
»St. John Chrysostom
»St. Peter Nolasco
»St. Francis de Sales
»St. Genevieve
»St. Martina
»St. John Bosco
»St. Gregory, Bishop of Langres
»St. Angela of Foligno
»St. Simeon Stylites
»The Epiphany of Our Lord
»St. Lucian
»St. Claude Apollinaire
»St. Julian the Hospitalarian
»St. Basilissa
»St. Remi or Remigius
»St. Francis Borgia
»St. Tarachus
»The Divine Maternity of Mary
»St. Wilfrid
»Bl. Jane Leber
»St. Edward
»St. Callistus I
»St. Teresa of Avila
»St. Gall

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