Archive for August, 2012

Feastday: August 26

1773 – 1838

Sain Bichier (1773-1838) was born near LeBlanc, France . Her father was lord of the manor. She was sent at ten to a convent at Poitiers. On the death of her father in 1792 she met St. Andrew Fournet who was trying to reestablish his parish church at Maille and under his guidance she devoted herself to teaching and caring for the sick and needy.

After her mother died in 1804 she joined the Carmelites at Poitiers. Eight months later, she founded the Society of Providence; In 1806 with four assistants who had been formed into a community by Abbe Fournet she moved into Chateau de Molante near Maille and the Daughters of the Cross also called the Sisters of St. Andrew came into being.

The congregation received diocesan approval in 1816 and spread rapidly. In Igon in the Basque country she met Fr. Michael Garicoits spiritual adviser of the house there and encouraged him in founding the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betharram.

She was canonized in 1947. Her feastday is August 26.





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Feastday: August 25

St. Patricia according to legend, was of a noble and perhaps royal family in Constantinople. She fled to Italy to escape marriage arranged for her and became a nun. She then went to Rome and became a virgin consecrated to God. There she received the veil from Pope Liberius.

She returned to constantinople after the death of her father and distributed her wealth to the poor, and then went back to Italy. She planned to go to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage but died before she could do that in Naples.

She is a patron of Naples where it is believed that a vial filled with her blood reportedly liquefies thirteen hundred years after her death. Her feast day is celebrated on August 25.




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Feastday: August 19

Patron against cold and cold weather; Nuremberg; Bavaria
Died: 770

Saint Sebald was a hermit, missionary and a saint. He is the patron saint of Nuremberg. Although his exact ancestory is not known, he is most likely an Anglo-Saxon from England. He arrived on the Continent and became a hermit near Vicenza, Italy, and then participated in the missionary enterprise of the times, assisting in the work. of St. Willibald in the Reichswald. Many miracles were attributed to him, including turning icicles into firewood.

The earliest existence of his cult can be dated to the late eleventh century, with a passing reference under the year 1072 in the chronicle of Lambert of Hersfeld. In 1255, he became the co-patron, with Saint Peter, of the newly rebuilt parochial church, where his tomb was venerated.

On March 26, 1425 he was formally canonized by Pope Martin V, following a request by the Council of Nuremberg. The feast day of St Sebaldus is August 19 appeared, and many children born in that city bore the saint’s name. T

he relics of the saint were translated in 1397 to the new choir of the church of Saint Sebaldus, and every year his relics were carried in procession. The kings and emperors of Germany, when in Nuremberg, customarily prayed before his reliquary.




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Feastday: August 18

Died: 330

Empress mother of Constantine the Great. She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co Emperor Maximian’s stepdaughter. Constantine became emperor in 312 after the fateful victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena was named Augusta, or empress.

She converted to Christianity and performed many acts of charity, including building churches in Rome and in the Holy Land. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Helena discovered the True Cross.

She is believed to have died in Nicomedia. In liturgical art Helena is depicted as an empress, holding a cross.

Several relics purportedly discovered by Saint Helena are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Among them are items believed to be part of Jesus Christ’s tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross. The rope, considered to be the only relic of its kind, has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena.

She is the patron saint of new discoveries. Her discovery of the cross along with Constantine is celebrated as a play in the Philippines called Santacruzan.




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Feastday: August 12

Jane Frances was born in Dijon, France on 28 January 1572. The mother of six children (three died shortly after they were born), she was widowed at the age of 28. Her husband, Christophe, had not only inherited the title of baron but enormous debts as well.

Despite the early financial worries, she and her husband shared “one heart and one soul.” They were devoted to each other and to their children.

One way Jane shared her blessings was by giving bread and soup personally to the poor who came to her door. Often people who had just received food from her would pretend to leave, go around the house and get back in line for more. When asked why she let these people get away with this, Jane said, “What if God turned me away when I came back to him again and again with the same request?”

Her happiness was shattered when her husband was killed in a hunting accident. Before he died, her husband forgave the man who shot him. The heartbroken Jane, however, had to struggle with forgiveness for a long time. At first she tried just greeting him on the street. When she was able to do that, she invited him to her house. Finally she was able to forgive the man so completely that she even became godmother to his child.

These troubles opened her heart to her longing for God and she sought God in prayer and a deepening spiritual life. Her commitment to God impressed Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop who became her director and best friend. Their friendship started before they even met, for they saw each other in dreams, and continued in letters throughout their lives.

With Francis’ support, Jane founded the Visitation order for women who were rejected by other orders because of poor health or age. She even accepted a woman who was 83 years old. When people criticized her, she said, “What do you want me to do? I like sick people myself; I’m on their side.” She believed that people should have a chance to live their calling regardless of their health.

She died in 1641, at sixty-nine years of age.

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Feastday: August 11

Patron: Babies, Infants, and Youth
Died: 304

Little is known of her life. It is believed that she was martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church. In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a virgin and martyr named Saint Philomena. The bones were exhumed, cataloged, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.

In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican. When he reached the relics of Saint Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy, and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano. After some disagreements, settled by the cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano.

Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds, and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured a severe heart ailment overnight.

St. Philomena, who the pope named as the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary, is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom, although pertinent revelations regarding her life have been recorded. Her relics are now preserved in Mugnano, Italy.

Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor.

Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity. Pope Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named Saint John Vianney its patron. Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint Euphrasia Pelletier, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Saint Peter Chanel, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

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St. Afra

Feastday: August 5

Died: 304

Martyr and penitent, listed in some records as the daughter of the king of Cyprus. Afra was caught up in the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in Roman Augsburg.

She is listed in the Martyrology Hieronymianum. Afra possibly operated a brothel in Augsburg or served as a prostitute in the temple of Venus, living with her mother, Hilaria, and serving women Eunomia, Eutropia, and Digna.

When the persecutions started in Augsburg, Bishop Narcissus of Gerona, Spain, arrived in the city and took lodging with Afra and Hilaria, not knowing their profession. His holiness attracted the women, who converted. When officials came looking for the bishop, Afra hid him under a pile of flax. Afra and her household were baptized, and her uncle Dionysius was ordained as a bishop.

Arrested, Afra was burned to death, tied to a tree on the small island of Lech. She was buried in Augsburg and her mother erected a chapel for her tomb. Soon after, Hilaria and her serving women were burned alive in their house. Afra’s remains were buried in a church named after her. Pilgrims visited her shrine as early as 565.

In 1012, the Benedictine monastery of St. Ulrich and St. Afra displayed her sarcophagus. The Acts of Afra give an account of her martyrdom.




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