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Thursday, July 23, 2015





This is holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, the Catholic Church, fighting against all heresies; she can fight, but she cannot be conquered. All heresies are expelled from her as if they were dead branches pruned from the vine; she herself, however, remains fixed in her root, in her vine, in her charity. The gates of hell shall not prevail against her.



St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD) on the permanence of the Catholic Church

Friday, July 17, 2015

Carmelites

July 17 – Martyred in the Name of Equality


The Sixteen Blessed Teresian Martyrs of Compiègne

Guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), Paris, 17 July, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified 27 May, 1906. Before their execution they knelt and chanted the “Veni Creator”, as at a profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was executed first and the prioress last. Absolute silence prevailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. The heads and bodies of the martyrs were interred in a deep sand-pit about thirty feet square in a cemetery at Picpus. As this sand-pit was the receptacle of the bodies of 1298 victims of the Revolution, there seems to be no hope of their relics being recovered. Their names are as follows:
Plaque at the Picpus Cemetery in Paris in memory of the 16 Martyrs of Compiègne, guillotined on July 17, 1794 and beatified by Pope Pius X on May 27, 1906. Photo by Mu
  • Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, b. in Paris, 22 Sept., 1752, professed 16 or 17 May, 1775;
  • Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, b. at Belfort, 7 Dec., 1752, professed 3 Sept, 1771;
  • Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said “I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me”;
  • Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. at Mouy, 16 Sept., 1715, professed 19 Aug., 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson’s work cited below;
  • Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;
  • Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. in Paris, 18 June, 1745, professed 22 Feb., 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;
  • Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, b. at Compiègne, 4 April, 1743, professed 12 Dec., 1771;
  • Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville, widow, choir-nun (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), b. at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;
  • Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. at Cajarc (Lot), 17 June, 1760, professed 22 Oct., 1786.
  • Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born 12 May, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born 7 Sept., 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;
  • Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. 28 May, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit 16 Dec., 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing “Laudate Dominum”. In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourières. The lay sisters are:
  • Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. at Fresnes, 4 August, 1742, professed 14 May, 1769;
  • Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, b. at Beaune, 1 or 2 Oct., 1742, entered the community in 1772;
  • Julie or Juliette Vérolot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. at Laignes or Lignières, 11 Jan., 1764, professed 12 Jan., 1789.

The two tourières, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were: Catherine and Teresa Soiron, b. respectively on 2 Feb., 1742 and 23 Jan., 1748 at Compiègne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.
The miracles proved during the process of beatification were
  • The cure of Sister Clare of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of New Orleans, when on the point of death from cancer, in June, 1897;
  • The cure of the Abbé Roussarie, of the seminary at Brive, when at the point of death, 7 March, 1897;
  • The cure of Sister St. Martha of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay Sister of Vans, of tuberculosis and an abcess in the right leg, 1 Dec., 1897;
  • The cure of Sister St. Michael, a Franciscan of Montmorillon, 9 April, 1898.
Five secondary relics are in the possession of the Benedictines of Stanbrook, Worcestershire.



PIERRE, Les Seize Carmélites de Compiègne (Paris, 1906); WILLSON, The Martyrs of Compiègne (Westminster, 1907).
JOHN B. WAINEWRIGHT (Catholic Encyclopedia)
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 10 – Seven Holy Noble Brethren


St. Felicitas, Martyr


The earliest list of the Roman feasts of martyrs, known as the “Depositio Martyrum” and dating from the time of Pope Liberius, i.e. about the middle of the fourth century (Ruinart, Acta sincera, Ratisbon, p. 631), mentions seven martyrs whose feast was kept on 10 July. Their remains had been deposited in four different catacombs, viz. in three cemeteries on the Via Salaria and in one on the Via Appia. Two of the martyrs, Felix and Philip, reposed in the catacomb of Priscilla; Martial, Vitalis and Alexander, in the Coemeterium Jordanorum; Silanus (or Silvanus) in the catacomb of Maximus, and Januarius in that of Prætextatus. To the name of Silanus is added the statement that his body was stolen by the Novatians (hunc Silanum martyrem Novatiani furati sunt).
In the Acts of these martyrs, that certainly existed in the sixth century, since Gregory the Great refers to them in his “Homiliæ super Evangelia” (Lib. I, hom. iii, in P.L., LXXVI, 1087), it is stated that all seven were sons of Felicitas, a noble Roman lady. According to these Acts Felicitas and her seven sons were imprisoned because of their Christian Faith, at the instigation of pagan priests, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus. Before the prefect Publius they adhered firmly to their religion, and were delivered over to four judges, who condemned them to various modes of death. The division of the martyrs among four judges corresponds to the four places of their burial. St. Felicitas herself was buried in the catacomb of Maximus on the Via Salaria, beside Silanus.
Martyrdom of St. Felicitas's seven sons, painting by Francesco Coghetti.
Martyrdom of St. Felicitas’s seven sons, painting by Francesco Coghetti.

These Acts were regarded as genuine by Ruinart (op. cit., 72-74), and even distinguished modern archæologists have considered them, though not in their present form corresponding entirely to the original, yet in substance based on genuine contemporary records. Recent investigations of Führer, however (see below), have shown this opinion to be hardly tenable. The earliest recension of these Acts, edited by Ruinart, does not antedate the sixth century, and appears to be based not on a Roman, but on a Greek original. Moreover, apart from the present form of the Acts, various details have been called in question. Thus, if Felicitas were really the mother of the seven martyrs honoured on 10 July, it is strange that her name does not appear in the well-known fourth-century Roman calendar. Her feast is first mentioned in the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”, but on a different day (23 Nov.). It is, however, historically certain that she, as well as the seven martyrs called her sons in the Acts suffered for the Christian Faith. From a very early date her feast was solemnly celebrated in the Roman Church on 23 November, for on that day Gregory the Great delivered a homily in the basilica that rose above her tomb. Her body then rested in the catacomb of Maximus; in that cemetery on the Via Salaria all Roman itineraries, or guides to the burial-places of martyrs, locate her burial-place, specifying that her tomb was in a church above this catacomb (De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, I, 176-77), and that the body of her son Silanus was also there. The crypt where Felicitas was laid to rest was later enlarged into a subterranean chapel, and was rediscovered in 1885. A seventh-century fresco is yet visible on the rear wall of this chapel, representing in a group Felicitas and her seven sons, and overhead the figure of Christ bestowing upon them the eternal crown.

Fresco by Paris Noggia of Saint Felicity, who having witnessed the death of her seven sons, during the persecution of Diocletian, is about to be put death as the Emperor watches.
Fresco by Paris Noggia of Saint Felicity, who having witnessed the death of her seven sons, during the persecution of Diocletian, is about to be put death as the Emperor watches.

If St. Felicitas did not suffer martyrdom on the same occasion we have no means of determining the time of her death. In an ancient Roman edifice near the ruins of the Baths of Titus there stood in early medieval times a chapel in honour of St. Felicitas. A faded painting in this chapel represents her with her sons just as in the above-mentioned fresco in her crypt.
Santa Susanna in Rome

J.P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Nobility.org Editorial comment: —

Like St. Cecilia and many others, St. Felicitas and her seven sons share in the glory of the Roman Christian nobility that embraced martyrdom, shedding their blood, rather than renouncing the Catholic faith and their baptismal vows.
In martyrdom, these Roman nobles led by example. By faithfully following themselves in the footsteps of the Redeemer, they showed other Christians that neither life nor money are our supreme values. In baptism we acquire a special bond with Our Lord and this bond of faith is our greatest supernatural good. It is more precious than life, our greatest natural good.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Holy Family Vtge Dat. 1954 Holy Card Postcard photo"When we call the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God, we assert our belief in two things: First - That her Son, Jesus Christ, is true man, else she were not a mother. Second - That He is true God, else she were not the Mother of God.
In other words, we affirm that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word of God, who in His divine nature is from all eternity begotten of the Father, consubstantial with Him, was in the fulness of time again begotten, by being born of the Virgin, thus taking to Himself, from her maternal womb, a human nature of the same substance with hers.
But it may be said the Blessed Virgin is not the Mother of the Divinity. She had not, and she could not have, any part in the generation of the Word of God, for that generation is eternal; her maternity is temporal. He is her Creator; she is His creature. Style her, if you will, the Mother of the man Jesus or even of the human nature of the Son of God, but not the Mother of God.
I shall answer this objection by putting a question. Did the mother who bore us have any part in the production of our soul? Was not this nobler part of our being the work of God alone? and yet who would for a moment dream of saying "the mother of my body," and not "my mother"?
The comparison teaches us that the terms parent and child, mother and son, refer to the persons and not to the parts or elements of which the persons are composed. Hence no one says: "The mother of my body", the "mother of my soul;" but in all propriety "my mother", the mother of me who live and breathe, think and act, one in my personality, though uniting in it a soul directly created by God and a material body directly derived from the maternal womb.
In like manner, as far as the sublime mystery of the Incarnation can be reflected in the natural order, the Blessed Virgin, under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, by communicating to the Second Person of the Adorable Trinity, as mothers do, a true human nature of the same substance with her own, is thereby really and truly His Mother.
(p. 137-138: Faith of Our Fathers)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger/3070/1368/1600/694933/mother.jpg
Seek refuge in Mary because she is the city of refuge. We know that Moses set up three cities of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed his neighbor. Now the Lord has established a refuge of mercy. Mary, even for those who deliberately commit evil. Mary provides shelter and strength for the sinner.
St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231AD)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This image of St. Thomas shows his essential kindness and joyfulness.




The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing…. Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest…. Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil.


St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274AD) on the permanence of the Catholic Church