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Archive for June, 2012

Feastday: June 30

St. Martial Bishop of Limoges St. Gregory of Tours informs us, that he was one of the first apostles of France. St. Martial was sent from Rome with St. Dionysius of Paris, about the year 250. He was the first bishop of Limoges, and his name is famous in ancient Martyrologies. Great miracles have been witnessed at his relics.

Under the Emperors Decius and Gratius (AD 250-251), Pope Fabian sent out seven bishops from Rome to Gaul to preach the Gospel: Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturnin to Toulouse, Denis to Paris, Austromoine to Clermont, and Martial to Limoges.

Martial was buried outside the Roman town, and as his tomb became progressively more important as a pilgrimage site, the monks found patronage in the Benedictine order in the 9th century. The site became the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Martial, a great library (second only to the library at Cluny) and scriptorium.

His Feast is celebrated on June 30.

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Feastday: June 24

John the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of Mary who visited her. He was probably born at Ain-Karim southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel Gabriel had told Zachary that his wife would bear a child even though she was an old woman.

He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea until about A.D. 27. When he was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism “for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand”. He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, John recognized Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, “It is I who need baptism from You”.

When Christ left to preach in Galilee, John continued preaching in the Jordan valley. Fearful of his great power with the people, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Perea and Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned at Machaerus Fortress on the Dead Sea when John denounced his adultrous and incestuous marriage with Herodias, wife of his half brother Philip.

John was beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias, who asked for his head at the instigation of her mother.

John inspired many of his followers to follow Christ when he designated Him “the Lamb of God,” among them Andrew and John, who came to know Christ through John’s preaching. John is presented in the New Testament as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the precursor of the Messiah. His feast day is June 24th and the feast for his beheading is August 29th.

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Feastday: June 23

Patron of prison chaplains, captives, imprisoned people and prisoners
1811 – 1860

Joseph Cafasso or Giuseppe Cafasso (January 15, 1811 – June 23, 1860) was born at Castelnuovo d’Asti in the Piedmont, Italy, of peasant parents. He studied at the seminary at Turin, and was ordained in 1833. He continued his theological studies at the seminary and university at Turin and then at the Institute of St. Franics, and despite a deformed spine, became a brilliant lecturer in moral theology there.

He was a popular teacher, actively opposed Jansenism, and fought state intrusion into Church affairs. He succeeded Luigi Guala as rector of the Institute in 1848 and made a deep impression on his young priest students with his holiness and insistence on discipline and high standards.

He was a sought-after confessor and spiritual adviser, and ministered to prisoners, working to improve their terrible conditions. He met Don Bosco in 1827 and the two became close friends. It was through Joseph’s encouragement that Bosco decided his vocation was working with boys. Joseph was his adviser, worked closely with him in his foundations, and convinced others to fund and found religious institutes and charitable organizations.

Joseph died on June 23 at Turin and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947. Cafasso is the patron saint of prison chaplains, captives, imprisoned people, prisoners and prisons. His feast day is June 23rd.

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Feastday: June 17

St. Emily de Vialar (Anne Marguerite Adelaide Emily de Vialar), foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph “of the Apparition” was the eldest child and only daughter of Baron James Augustine de Vialar and his wife Antoinette, daughter of that Baron de Portal who was physician to Louis XVIII and Charles X of France. She was born at Gaillac in Languedoc in 1797.

At the age of fifteen she was removed from school in Paris to be companion to her father, now a widower, at Gaillac; but unhappily, differences arose between them because of Emily’s refusal to consider a suitable marriage.

For fifteen years, Emily was the good angel of Gaillac, devoting herself to the care of children neglected by their parents and to the help of the poor generally.

In 1832, her maternal grandfather died, leaving her a share of his estate which was a quite considerable fortune. She bought a large house at Gaillac and took possession of it with three companions. Others joined them and three months later, the archbishop authorized the Abbe to clothe twelve postulants with the religious habit. They called themselves the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Their work was to be the care of the needy, especially the sick, and the education of children.

In 1835, she made her profession with seventeen other sisters, and received formal approval for the rule of the Congregation. The foundress, in the course of twenty-two years, saw her Congregation grow from one to some forty houses, many of which she had founded in person. The physical energy and achievements of St. Emily de Vialar are the more remarkable in that from her youth she was troubled by hernia, contracted characteristically in doing a deed of charity.

From 1850 this became more and more serious, and it hastened her end, which came on August 24, 1856. The burden of her last testament to her daughters was “Love one another”. Her canonization took place in 1951; her feast is June 17th.

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Feastday: June 16

Died: 1106

St. Benno, (1010-1106) was a bishop in Germany. Born in Hildesheim, Germany and educated in the abey of St. Michael, he bacame a canon at Gozlar in Hanover, chaplain to Emperor Henry III and in 1066 bishop of Meissen.

He was imprisoned for a year for backing the nobility againsty Henry IV supported Pope Gregory VII was desposed by the bishops who sold out to the emperor shifted his allegiance to the antipope Guibert and appears to have been heavily enmeshed in contemporary pollitics.

In his last years he was a missioner to the Wends. He was canonized in 1523. Benno’s feast day is 16 June. He is the patron-saint of anglers and weavers, and also alliteration. His iconographic figures include a fish with keys in its mouth and a book. The reason for the fish is a legend that upon the excommunication of Henry IV the bishop told his canons to throw the keys to the cathedral into the Elbe; later a fisherman found the keys in a fish and brought them to the bishop.

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Feastday: June 10

Died: 661

St. Landericus (or Landry) was a sincere and dedicated servant of God who, like his Lord Jesus Christ, had great love for the poor and the lowly. As Bishop of Paris, from 650-661, he labored zealously to improve their lot. And when the proceeds from the sale of all his possessions did not suffice to relieve their hungry during a famine, he went so far as to sell some of the Church vessels and furniture.

St. Landericus became increasingly aware that the sick poor of his diocese were not really cared for by the custom then in vogue of housing them in little hostels dependent on the casual alms of charitable persons. This led him to erect the city’s first real hospital, dedicated to St. Christopher, which in time became the famous Hotel-Dieu.

Always on the alert to provide spiritual help for his people, this saintly bishop welcomed the Benedictines into his diocese and encouraged them to set up the Abbey of Denis.

In 653, in company with twenty-three other bishops, he signed the foundation charter granted by King Clovis to the Abbey. He died in 661 after having commissioned the monk Marculfus to compile a collection of Ecclesiastical Formulas. His feast day is June 10.

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Feastday: June 9

Diana was born in a powerful noble family near Bologna, Italy. She was formerly titled Lady Diana. She was a member of the d’Andalo family. Bl. Diana was both beautiful and spoiled. She convinced her father to withdraw his opposition to the founding of a Dominican priory on the land he owned in Bologna.

Her life changed when she heard Blessed Reginald of Orleans preach. Becoming enamored with the Dominicans, she longed to start a life as a member of the new order but her family was firmly opposed. She joined the Augustinians at Roxana but was forcibly removed from the convent by her family. She was injured in the struggle but later escaped and returned to Roxana.

Meeting St. Dominic when he stopped in Bologna, she obtained his permission to start a community of sisters, with St. Dominic, himself, putting four of the brothers in that local community under obedience to assist the building of her convent.

It wasn’t until after the death of St. Dominic that Bl. Diana was able to overcome the forceful resistance of her family not allowing her to enter religious life. Having a great correspondence with Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the Monastery of St. Agnes was built and she entered in 1223 and was its first prioress. Blessed Jordan of Saxony convinced the family to establish a Dominican convent in 1222 for her, staffed with Diana and four companions and four nuns brought from Rome, two of them Cecilia and Amata.

Diana died on January 9, and when Cecilia and Amata died, they were buried along with her. All three were beatified in 1891. Feast day is June 9th.

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