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Friday, October 30, 2009

Blessed Benvenuta Bojani

Hmmm! Three "B's" but, sorry, it's not Blessed Brian Batty.

Blessed Benvenuta Bojani was the last of seven daughters. Her parents, too, must have been amazing people in comparison with so many in our time. When the silence of the midwife proclaimed that her father had been disappointed once again in his desire for a son, he exclaimed, "She too shall be welcome!" Remembering this she was christened by her parents Benvenuta ("welcome"), although they had asked for a son. A vain older sister unsuccessfully tried to teach the pious little Benvenuta to dress in rich clothing and use the deceits of society. Benvenuta hid from such temptations in the church where she developed a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. By the age of 12, Benvenuta was wearing hairshirts and a rope girdle. As she grew the rope became embedded in her flesh. When she realized the rope must be removed, she couldn't get it off, so she prayed and it fell to her feet. For this reason she is often pictured in art holding a length of rope in her hands.

Having become a Dominican tertiary at an early age, she added the penances practiced by the sisters to those she had appropriated for herself. All her disciplines, fasting, and lack of sleep soon caused her health to fail and she was confined to bed for five years. Thereafter, she was too weak to walk, so a kind older sibling carried her to church once a week for Compline (Night Prayer) in the Dominican church, her favorite liturgy after the Mass.

After evening prayer on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic, Dominic and Saint Peter Martyr appeared to Benvenuta. Dominic had a surprise for her. The prior was absent at the Salve procession, but at the beginning of Compline she saw Dominic in the prior's place. He passed from brother to brother giving the kiss of peace, then went to his own altar and disappeared. At the Salve procession, the Blessed Virgin herself came down the aisle, blessing the fathers while holding the Infant Jesus in her arms.
Benvenuta spent her whole life at home in Cividale busy with her domestic duties, praying, and working miracles. She was often attacked by the devil, who sometimes left her close to discouragement and exhaustion. When someone protested against the death of a promising young child, Benvenuta commented, "It is much better to be young in paradise than to be old in hell." The devil often appeared to her in horrifying forms but was banished when Benvenuta called upon the Virgin.

Benvenuta's companions called her "the sweetest and most spiritual of contemplatives, so lovable in her holiness that her touch and presence inspired gladness and drove away temptations." This is amazing in light of the severe penances that she imposed upon herself--and another sign of blessedness that she didn't judge others by her standards for herself.

Prayer from the General Calendar of the Order of Preachers

Lord, you gave Blessed Benvenuta the gifts of penance, prayer and humility. Through self-denial and contemplation on heavenly things may we too live in the Spirit and find rest and glory in you, the one God. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

St. Colman Mac Duagh

Some sources report there are over 300 St. Colmans from Celtic Church traditions; I can confirm, myself, they are numerous just from reading and searching old Irish Christian books, calendars and lists. St. Colman of Cloyne, St. Colman of Dromore and St. Colman of Lindisfarne are just the beginning of such a list.

However, today's St. Colman is one of the great Irish saints, St. Colman Mac Duagh (or St. Colman of Kilmacduagh).

He was born in 560, the son of the Irish chieftain, Duac (from the race of Fiachre, one the 4 sons of Eochaidh Muidhmheadhoin). His hagiography tells the story of a prophesy his father heard before Colman's birth that his son was destined to surpass in greatness all the others of his prestigeous lineage. After a miraculous rescue from Duac's jeleousy by Our Lord, Colman's mother, Queen Rhinagh, gave birth to him in self-imposed exile and solitude. The story of his baptism is also a miraculous event; the well in Corker where he was baptized is still a site of pilgrimage.

After his ordination, he lived as a hermit first at Arranmore and then Burren Forrest.

St. Enda was the head of the key monastery on Aranmore and instructed St. Colman in his spiritual path. In the few years on Aranmore, St. Colman built 2 churches.

Wanting to live in even more solitude, he secluded himself to the Burren Forrest (unlike today, it was very dense in his day). He lived there for seven years. Leaba Mhic Duagh (his cave or "grotto") is still very well preserved after over 1400 years along with the remains of a small oratory he constructed. It is recorded it was during this period he had his three unusual companions/pets. They were a fly, a mouse and a rooster. All three had "jobs" and reportedly responded to his commands. He had a great love of animals and he is reported to have had an overwhelming sadness when the last of the pets died. His sadness was so heavy that he wrote to his friend the great St. Columba of it. St. Columba's response remains with us today:
You were too rich when you had them. That is why
youare sad now. Great troubles only come where there are great
riches. Be rich no more.

This story is quite a lesson in learning what true riches are and how even the most humble of riches can have a spiritually blocking effect!

He was reputedly ordained a bishop against his will. He eventually founded the monastery at Kilmacduagh on land given for that use by his relative King Guaire of Connachta (Connaught). Today, the remains of this monastery are famous ruins containing the best preserved example of an Irish round tower in existance.


The Martyrology of Donegal oddly records his feast day as February 2. But its entry also notes that Ua Sechnasaigh (The O' Shaughnessy or head of the clan) during the martyrology's writing mentions the family always celebrated his feast on October 27 (another oddity). His feast is always celebrated on October 29.

Of his relics, St. Colman's tomb is still in existance.

It is known that his belt (girdle or cinture) was perserved as a holy relic. It remained in the possession of his kinsman, the O'Shaughnessy's. It was later studded with precious gems and alleged to have the mystical trait of no one that was not chaste being able to wear it, no matter how thin. It disappeared during the Battle of the Boyne, where the O'Shaughnessy's had taken it into battle with them for luck and its whereabouts are now unkown.

St. Colman's crozier has been used through the centuries for the swearing of oaths. Although it was in the custodianship of the O' Heynes of Kiltartan (descendants of King Guaire) and their relatives, the O' Shaughnessys, it is now in the National Museum in Dublin.

Aingil De dar gcoimhdeacht
's dar sabhail aris go fuin;
ar coimri De is Mhuire,
Mhic Duach is Mhic Daire
agus Colm Cille
aris go fuin.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blessed Joachim Royo

Blessed Joachim Royo was martyred 1848; beatified in 1893. He was a Spanish Dominican missionary, who was sent to China to work under Blessed Peter Sanz, and was ordained there . He was strangled in prison at Fu-tshen.

Martyrs of China

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blessed Antonia of Brescia

Born in 1407, Blessed Antonia entered the Dominican convent at Brescia as a young girl but she was not chosen prioress until she was 66.   She was a mystic after St. Catherine of Siena.  She governed Saint Catherine's Convent at Ferrara, Italy, rigorously but with justice.  She underwent deposition and other trials with patience and humility.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blessed Damian Fulcheri

One of the bright lights of the fifteenth century was Damian of Furcheri. Unfortunately we know very little about him, expect that he lived at a time and place not noted for sanctity, and he was known as a holy man.

Damian was born in Furcheri, near Genoa, at the end of the fourteenth century. His people were ich and noble, and also pious. We know nothing of his youth, except the not-too-revealing fact that when he was a baby he was kidnapped by a lunatic. His parents prayed to Our Lady, and the baby was returned unharmed.

Damian entered the order at Genoa and became a diligent student and a model Dominican. He was to be known especially for his preaching. The field of his endeavors was Italy. He seems never to have left the country. By the force of his preaching, he inspired many hundreds of sinners to repentance; and, since the fifteenth century produced many sinners who needed such preaching, he was kept supplied with works for a long lifetime.

Damian died in a little village near Modena, in 1884, and immediately became the object of much pious speculation, because of the miracles worked at his tomb. He was not, however, beatified until 1848, though his relics were by that time widely distributed and his cult well known.

Saint Dominic Doan (Xuyen Van Nguyen)

Today was the original memorial (old Roman Calendar) of St. Dominic Doan Xuyen when he was beatified as a Blessed in 1900.   His memorial on the current Roman Calendar is November 26.  He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

He is one of the Vietnamese Martyrs, born in Tonkin;  died 1839;  He was a member of the Dominican order and was martryed by beheading with Blessed Thomas Du (a Benedictine).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blessed Bartholomew de Braganza

The historians of Vicenza agree with those of the Order of Preachers in placing Blessed Bartholomew di Braganza among the first and most illustrious of Saint Dominic's disciples. As a matter of fact, he was a noted man in many ways. Nature endowed him with splendid gifts which he developed by tireless industry. The services that he rendered the Church as an apostolic preacher, as master of the Sacred Palace in Rome, as bishop, and as legate of the Holy See make him worthy of an honorable place in ecclesiastical history. An exceptional purity of heart and eminent piety gave the finishing touches, so to express it, to his grand character.

More than one Pope honored Bartholomew with implicit confidence. Saint Louis, king of France, held him in the highest esteem. His virtues endeared him to those placed under his charge. Italy reaped many and signal benefits from his preaching. He brought numbers into the Church, while the fervor of the faithful was increased by his example and labors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bl. Peter of Tiferno (Peter Capucci)

Blessed Peter Capucci (b. 1390 ) was of a noble family. He was received into the order together with St. Antoninus. Fra Angelico and Fra Benedetto were his friends.

Feeling the need to atone for his noble birth, he begged for alms to give to the poor and to make sure his other mendicant brothers had food. He was known for his passionate, sometimes relentless, pursuits in converting others back to the faith. He was also known as the preacher of death because he used to preach with a skull in his hands (inspiration for Hamlet?). Like the great saint of our own times, Padre Pio, he was gifted with the ability to read hearts. He was a miracle worker in life and he continued working them in death. He died a natural death in 1445.

Late 19th Century Prayer

O God, who hast declared that Thy faithful, by continually remembering their latter end, shall never sin, grant, through the prayers and example of Blessed Peter, Thy Confessor, that we may so bear in mind our temporal death, that, by continually weeping over the sins we have committed, we may avoid eternal death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blesseds Francis Serrano and Francias Diaz

Two of the many martyrs of China:

Blessed Francis Serrano & Francis Diaz OP MM (AC) Born in Spain; died 1748; beatified by Leo XIII in 1893. These Spanish born, Dominican missionaries were sent to Fo-Kien, China. After 20 years of work in China (now Vietnam), Serrano had been arrested with Blessed Bishop Peter Sanz in 1646. While in prison he was elected titular bishop of Tipasa after the beheading of Sanz on May 25, 1747. Serrano was a resourceful, careful person, which one would have to be to survive in such harsh conditions. He became adept at scaling walls and hiding in unlikely places.

Father Diaz was born in Ecija in 1713. He always claimed that he owed his vocation to having skipped school one day. A white-robed religious appeared to him--a Dominican. The curious boy continued to ask questions about the order, until he convinced himself that he must join. Even though his father tried to persuade his to accept a family benefice instead of entering the austere life of the Order of Preachers, he persisted. He was determined to serve God as a Dominican and to die in China. He preached the Gospel in Tonkin for eight years before his death.

Fathers Alcober, Serrano, and Diaz were captured and tortured to reveal the whereabouts of Bishop Sanz. Despite horrendous punishment, they refused to say anything. Father Joachim Royo and Bishop Sanz, wishing to spare his brothers further suffering, surrendered themselves to the authorities.

The five Dominican, as well as a native catechist named Ambrose Kou, were dragged before the emperor in chains. Again they were tortured, then sentenced to death in December 1746. After the bishop's death, the other four priests were branded on their faces with the words ta dao ("false religion") and left for six months to languish in prison.

Serrano, Diaz, and the two other Dominican priests were strangled at night in prison at Futsheu in order to end their evangelizing of the guards and soldiers. When the executioners returned the following morning to dispose of the bodies, they were terrified to see the beatific faces that shone with an unearthly radiance-- especially miraculous considering that they died of strangulation. The relics were preserved and treasured by the Christians (Benedictines, Dorcy).

Blessed Mother Agnes de Jesus Galand

I have no good excuses - I missed posting about yesterday's memorial day for Blessed Agnes.
Here is her biographical summarie from the booklet "Holy Dominicans" by the Order of Preachers:

A Dominican mystic of the XVII century, Mother Agnes is known principally for her providential role in the life of Monsieur Olier, founder of Saint Sulpice for the formation of priests. She was born in 1602 at Puy in Velay, France. From childhood she was known for piety, love of poverty and courageous charity; she was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady. At the age of 21 she was received into the Dominican laity in Puy; in 1624, after great discussion, she entered the Dominican Monastery at Langeac as a choir sister. Later she was elected prioress, deposed and reelected. Her humility, charity and especially her mystical graces often disconcerted those around her. She died in 1634 and leaves a twofold Dominican posterity: the nuns of the monastery of St. Catherine at Langeac (Note that she is also known as Mother Agnes of Langeac.) and a congregation of the apostolic life called “Dominicans of Mother Agnes” at Puy, although she is not their foundress.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scito te ipsum

“Parents who prevent their children from entering religion sin mortally. To turn one from a religious vocation is nothing else than to slay Jesus Christ in the heart of another.”
--- St. Jerome

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dominican Sunday October

Today is Dominican Sunday for the Third Order chapter of the Mother of God Monastery.
We're off to the monastery today. Let's hope the weather stays moderate for driving!


The chapel altar's grated reredo with monstrance at the monastery

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Movin' On Up!

Well, not to the East Side, but we are now listed on one of my favorite blogs!

Jeff Miller of The Curt Jester has graciously added The Four Pillars to his blog's "Bloghood of the Faithful" listing of other blogs! Please take the time to check out The Curt Jester yourself and see why it's so good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Artist Crucifies Ape and Electrocutes Jesus

I'm a firm believer in freedom of expression. However, whether we like to admit it or not, there is such a thing as good art and bad art not matter its message.

Guess which of the two this exhibit is? I think you should read the article and let the "art" speak for itself.

Artist Crucifies Ape and Electrocutes Jesus.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Truth suffers, but never dies"

The title of the post is just one of the myriad of quotes by the incredible St. Teresa of Avila who is truly one of Christ's greatest saints! Today is the Church's memorial of this extraordinary Church doctor, mystic, reformer, founder, virgin and poet!

Photobucket Photobucket

Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He lookscompassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


"Be gentle to all and stern with yourself."

Photobucket Photobucket

"It is love alone that gives worth to all things."


Prayer to Redeem Lost Time

O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments. Amen.


"Untilled soil, however fertile it may be, will bear thistles and thorns; and so it is with man's mind."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Head Orthodox Rabbi Defends Rome

This incredible tidbit came from the Historical Christian website. We do not have enough of this. It's a breath of fresh air in the unbalanced pollution we usually receive from the "mainstream" media.

So nice when people of good will stand up and defend the Catholic Church. And this from a prominent Jewish Rabbi, defending Pope Benedict XVI. This particular Rabbi has a good grasp of historical facts that get overlooked in the heat of the moment. His last line: "This man, Pope Benedict XVI, has a decades-long track record of anti-Nazism and sympathy for the Jews." As I've said before, how quickly we forget - or perhaps I should say, how easily we are led, when we are ignorant of the facts. Read the entire article at the Historical Christian site.

Blessed Marie Poussepin, memorial

Blessed Marie Poussepin was well remembered and long honored on this day by the Order of Preachers before her official beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

Born on this day in 1653 in France, she was raised by a pious mother. Her mother was the treasurer of the Confraternity of Charity when founded by a diciple of St. Vincent de Paul in 1663. On her mother's death, she took on all her mother's domestic responsibiliies while helping with her father's knitting factory and continuing works of charity.

Inheriting her family's debt and with the factory in trouble after her father's death, she had the foresight to convert the factory from hand-knitting to machines and save the business. She learned how to operate all the machineray herself and personally trained her hired apprentices. She was also ahead of her time in her Christian treatment of employees which was not common in her time.

She became a 3rd order dominican when she was 37. She then slowly transitioned control of the family business to her brother so she could devote herselt to her calling of charitble works. In 1693 she became president of the Confraternity of Charity. When she was 42 she left her hometown of Dourdan and resettled in Sainville to establish a new Dominican 3rd order: Congregation of the Sisters of Charity (Dominicans of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin). The community received legal recognition in France from King Louis XV in 1724; the bishop of Chartes approved the rule of her order in 1738.

At the time of her death when she was 90, there we 20 communities of her order in France! Today, the congregations of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation (another name they are know as) can be found in 36 countries all over the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blessed Magdalen dei Panattieri

On this day which is her memorial, Blessed Magdalen dei Panattieri still serves as an excellent model in aspects of the vocations of Lay Dominicans today.

Bl. Magdalen became a tertiary before she 20. She tried to model her life after St. Catherine of Sienna; she had a special devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Her tertiary chapter was mainly elderly women and widows but she thrived in their apostolate.

She was harsh in her self-discipline and mortification. She fasted frequently. She feed the poor as guests in her own house, serving them herself; she fed herself from their leftovers. She would spend all morning in Eucharistic adoration and then go out to tend to the sick in her town.

In her preaching it is said she had a great gift of influencing others and a sweet voice that people never tired of hearing. Others noted that she was also unaware of another gift where she had great powers of description and could make the truths of religion clear to simple people. It is well recorded she had a great love for children. She was given a large room in a church to use as a classroom. Her preaching and lessons there even drew other religious and priests!

As is sadly the case with many summaries of the saints in our time, her mystic experiences are rarely, if ever, mentioned. One older source gives us some insight into her deep spirituality:
She was favored with frequent rapture and apparitions; on every
festival she was granted a vision of the mystery or of the Saint honored by the
Church on that day. This was particularly the case in Holy Week when she
was admitted to a mysterious and visible participation in the sufferings of her
Divine Spouse, and in Easter Week, when her countenance appeared radiant with
celestial light. (Short Lives of the Dominican Saints, London, 1901)


O God, who forsakest no man that trusteth in Thee, and mercifully hearest him that meekly beseecheth Thee, grant, we pray Thee, that what we cannot obtain by our own meritis, we may received throught the patronage of They Blessed Virgin, Magdalen. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blessed Dominic Spadafora

Today is the memorial of Bl. Dominic Spadafora (d. 1541) on the Traditional calendar, but is now observed earlier on 3 October in the current Dominican calendar.

Oddly, we know of nothing that is outstanding of his life. He appears to have been happy with complete obscurity. In 1493 he was sent to found the Our Lady of Grace convent in Monte Cerigone. The convent was never thought to be important and was not very large. He remained there for the rest of his life, being zealous in his observance of the rule immediatly to his death. He died at the age of 90 singing the Salve Regina with his community around him.

Dominican First Vespers:
Ant. Strengthen by holy intercession, O Dominic , confessor of the Lord, those here present, have we who are burdened with the weight of our offenses may be relieved by the glory of thy blessedness, and may by thy guidance attain eternal rewards.
V. Pray for us, Blessed Dominic
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

In the English translation of the official Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers (Dominican Martyrology), here are some of the martyrs of note remembered today:

In Africa, four thousand nine hundred and sixty-six confessors
and martyrs in the Vandal persecution under the Arian King Hunneric. Some were
bishops of the Churches of God, some were priests and deacons, while the rest
were multitudes of the faithful. Because of their adherencc to the Catholic
religion, they were driven into a horrible desert. Many were cruelly treated by
the Moors, by being compelled to run at spearpoint, and by being stoned. Others
had their feet tied together and were dragged like corpses through rough and
stony places until torn limb from limb. All, tortured in diverse ways, finally
gained martyrdom. Chief among them were the noble priests of God, Bishop Felix
and Bishop Cyprian.

At Milan, St. Monas, bishop. When the question of electing a bishop
was being discussed,. he was surrounded by a light from heaven and by that
wondrous sign was received as the bishop of that church.

Isabella's Day

This is the day the U.S. observes Columbus Day. While there are at least 12 states that do not recognize the holiday, those that do face a growing controversy concerning the day as one of celebration. Since the late 20th century, it's been hard to ignore the resurfacing of some of the true character of Columbus the man concerning his views and treatment of indigenous peoples in parts of the Americas. At the same time, there are many for which the day is not just a mere "celebration" of a man but a time to honor the Age of Discovery and even ethnic pride (for Americans of Italian descent).

However, contemporary opposition to the the observance of the day is nothing new. There has been resistance to Columbus Day celebrations since the 19th century. Although there were similar concerns of today, a large aspect of the objections then was because Columbus was a Catholic. There were fears that celebrating a Catholic would help American Catholics take over the country!

Whichever part of the scale you're on - the celebration of the European discovery of America, wanting to end a day that glorifies conquest and genocide or all the rest that falls in the middle - this day is a good prompt to remember something better.

As Catholics, let's remember the great Queen Isabella the Catholic. At the least we should pray that the unjust smearing of this great monarch's historical reputation is finally put to rest; at best, pray for and take up the cause for her canonization.

Beyond her famous, almost mythical, foresight in financing Columbus's voyages, she was a devoted wife and incredible mother that made sure her daughters were well educated along with the promotion of education for women. She united Spain and was a more capable ruler than her king husband. Her piety was known to be sincere, she was a great defender of the faith and a great champion of justice.

Mere short paragraphs can't even begin to properly introduce the greatness of Queen Isabella. For good information about Isabella and her cause for canonization, visit the Queen Isabella the Catholic website. Also visit the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on her. If interested, check out the Daughters of Isabella, once a local auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus and now one of the largest Catholic Women's organizations in existence.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In Memoriam: Pope Pius XII

This day is the 51st anniversary of the death of Venerable Pope Pius XII. Pope Pius XII, while being the greatest pope still in living memory, is second only to Pope St. Pius X as the greatest pontiff of the 20th century. He was also a 3rd order Dominican!

It was he that defined the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. He wrote 41 encyclicals. He is the pope that canonized Pope St. Pius X and many other great saints, including: St. Francis Xavier (Mother) Cabrini, St. Catherine Labouré, St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. Maria Goretti and St. Dominic Savio.

Despite selectively forgotten history and bad revisionism, during WWII he eventually became the "lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent." (N.Y. Times, December 25, 1942, p. 10, 2-5).

Until many in the world cowardly turned on him after his death, he was considered a hero and great man, particulary by world Jewry.

The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world. -- Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Palestine, 1945

It is understandable why the death of Pope Pius XII should have called forth expressions of sincere grief from practically all sections of American Jewry. For there probably was not a single ruler of our generation who did more to help the Jews in their hour of greatest tragedy, during the Nazi occupation of Europe, than the late Pope. -- The Jewish Post

Some sites of great interest related to Pope Piux XII are:


Monday, October 5, 2009

Today's Dominican Saint & Catholic Martyrs

Blessed Raymond of Capua, memorial

Bl. Raymond had held several posts after entering the Order of Preachers: he was prior of the Dominican house in Rome and lector in Florence and Siena.

While he was in Siena is when he met St. Catherine of Siena. He became her spiritual director, confessor and closes advisor.

He was not only associated with most of the great tasks of St. Catherine (i.e. helping to end the Avignon papacy) but worked, himself, in works of mercy like bringing aid to plague victims in Siena. When he became sick from his efforts, St. Catherine, herself, nursed him back to health.

After St. Catherine's death, he became the Dominican master general, bringing reforms and enforcing a strict following of St. Dominic's rules and always at the defense of the authority of the pope.
He wrote biographies of two of the order's greatest saints, St. Catherin of Siena and St. Agnes of Montepulciano.

Let us Pray: O God, who wast pleased to make Blessed Raymond, Thy Confessor, a distinguished master of evangelical perfection and a faithful supporter of the of the apostolic authority, graciously grant that, living after his example on earth, we may deserve to be crowned with him in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bl. Raymond taking dictation from St. Catherine


There are many martyrs today in the Dominican Divine Office.
From the English translation of the official Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers (Dominican Martyrology), here are a few early martyrs of note:

"At Messina in Sicily, the birthday of the holy martyrs Placidus,
monk and disciple of St. Benedict the Abbot, his brothers, Eutychius and
Victorinus, his sister the virgin Flavia; also Donatus, Firmatus, deacon,
Faustus, and thirty other monks. All were killed for the faith of Christ by the
pirate Manucha. [also celebrated today in the new Roman

"At Treves, the holy martyrs Palmatius and his companions, who
were martyred by the governor Rictiovarus in the persecution of Diocletian.

"On the same day, the suffering of St. Charitina, virgin. At the
time of the Emperor Diocletian and under the proconsul Domitius, she was
tortured by fire and then thrown into the sea. When she emerged from it
unharmed, her teeth were torn out and her hands and feet were cut off. She died
while in prayer."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rosary Sunday

"St. Dominic knew well that, while on the one hand Mary is all powerful with Her divine Son, who grants all graces to mankind through Her, on the other hand, She is by nature so good and so merciful that, inclined to aid spontaneously those who suffer, She is absolutely incapable of refusing Her help to those who invoke Her. The Church is in the habit of greeting the Virgin as 'Mother of Grace' and 'Mother of Mercy,' and so She has always shown Herself, especially when we have recourse to Her by means of the Holy Rosary." -Pope Benedict XV

"The Rosary is a priceless treasure inspired by God." by St. Louis De Monfort
"Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today." by St. Padre Pio

"The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description."
- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"Would you like me to tell you a 'secret'? It is simple, and after all, is no secret: 'Pray, pray much. Say the Rosary everyday.'" -Pope John Paul II

Friday, October 2, 2009

Suicide woman allowed to die...doctors feared saving would be assault

Suicide woman allowed to die because doctors feared saving her would be assault.

This goes far beyond the standard pro and con debates when it is life support dependant individual.

If the individual suffers from a mental illness, you cannot be sure she is making the correct moral choice (though there is only one to make).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

This is feast day of dear St. Thérèse according to the new Roman Calendar (her original feast is October 3rd on the old Roman Calendar).

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,
please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly gardens
and send it to me as a message of of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus
ask God today to grant the favors
I now place with confidence in your hands...
[ mention your intentions]

St. Therese,
help me to always believe as you did,
in God's great love for me,
so theat I might imitate your "Little Way" each day.