"Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him. Prayer is the key that opens God’s heart.” St. Padre Pio

THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH: SEPTEMBER-2018:

“I saw three crosses very different from one another.

That on the right is alive and not dead.

That on the left is dead and not alive.

That in the middle makes me marvel.

It is like the one who wakes while he sleeps.

It is like one who lives while he dies.

It is like a son of man and He is God.”

“King Constantine saw the Cross and bowed his head….

May your Cross be our protection by night and by day.”

(St. Ephrem; from Prayer with the harp of the Spirit Vol I. Night Vigil on Friday)

GOD’S ALL PERVADING PRESCENCE:

  “All that we see in this great universe is enveloped and permeated by God. Renounce it that you may enjoy whatever is given by him. Harbour not any greed in your heart; for the wealth of the world is not yours. You must renounce the world because it is not yours. You must enjoy it and work in it because it is his; and work with him towards the removal of evil.” (Isha Upanishad I)

SAINTS / SAGES/EVENTS: SEPTEMBER- 2018:

Sept 01. St. Giles: (650-710): Christian hermit saint from Athens, whose legend is centered in Provence and Septimania. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and Patron of beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; Edinburgh (Scotland); epilepsy; fear of night; noctiphobics; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility.

Sept 02. St. Ingrid of Sweden: She was the first Dominican nun in Sweden and in 1281 she founded the first Dominican cloister there, called St. Martin's in Skänninge. She died in 1282 surrounded by an aura of sanctity.

Sept 03. Pope St. Gregory the Great: (540-604): He was the head of the Catholic Church from 3 September 590 to his death in 604. Gregory is well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope. Throughout the Middle Ages he was known as “the Father of Christian Worship” because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day. Gregory is a Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

Sept 04. St. Rosalia: (1130-1166): St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, was a descendant of the great Charlemagne. She practiced great mortifications and lived in constant communion with God. She died alone, in 1160, ending her strange and wonderful life unknown to the world. Her body was discovered several centuries later, in 1625, during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII.

Sept 05; St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata: (1910-1997): She was an Albanian born, Indian Roman Catholic Religious Sister. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give "Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor". Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”. She was canonized on 4th September 2016, by Pope Francis at Vatican in Rome.

Sept 06. St. Eleutherius: ( Died in 585): A wonderful simplicity and spirit of compunction were the distinguishing virtues of this holy man. He was chosen abbot of St. Mark's near Spoleto, and favored by God with the gift of miracles.

Sept. 07. Bl. Aloysius Victor Stepinac: (1898-1960): He was a Croatian Catholic cardinal and Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 to 1960. In 1998 he was declared a martyr and beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Sept.08. Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary; Mother of God. St Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.”

Today is also the feast day of Bl. John Tomaki: (Martyred in 1628): He was the father of four sons; Michael, Paul, Dominic and Thomas, who were also martyred along with him at Nagasaki.

Sept. 09. St. Peter Claver: (1581-1654): He was a Spanish Jesuit priest and missionary born in Verdu (Catalonia) who, due to his life and work, became the patron saint of slaves, the Republic of Colombia and ministry to African Americans. During the 40 years of his ministry in Colombia it is estimated he personally baptized around 300,000 people.

Sept 10. Bl. Agnes Tsao Kouy: (Martyred in 1622): Agnes was a widow when she faced persecution for being a missionary catechist. She was executed by being placed in a cage at Sy-Lin-Hien. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Sept 11. St. Paphnutius of Thebes: Also known as Paphnutius the Confessor, was bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century, and one of the most interesting possible members of the First Council of Nicaea in 325. He was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great. Some ancient church historians claim that he took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the First Ecumenical Council on the subject of the clerical celibacy. The great veneration in which he was held, and the well known fact that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or discontinue their marital relations. In addition, Paphnutius was a zealous defender of Orthodoxy in the face of the Arian heresy.

Sept 12. St. Guy of Anderlecht: (950 – 1012): He was born near Brussels. He was poor and uneducated but led an austre life. He gave up and lost what little he had. Returning from a seven year pilgrimage, he took on foot to Jerusalem and Rome, he died in Anderlecht. Miracles were reported at the grave of this 'poor man of Anderlecht'.

Sept 13. St. John Chrysostom: (344-407): Archbishop of Constantinople, he was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death in 407 (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek epithet chrysostomos, meaning "golden mouthed" in English, and Anglicized to Chrysostom.

Sept. 14. The Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross: According to legends that spread widely, the True Cross was discovered in 326 by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, with a portion of the cross. The date of the feast marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 335.

Today is also the feast day of St. Nothburga: (1265-1313): Also known as Notburga of Rattenberg or Notburga of Eben, was an Austrian saint from modern Tyrol. She is the patron saint of servants and peasants.

Sept 15. St. Valerian: He was executed in 177, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. He was beheaded at Tournus, near Autun in France.

Sept 16. St. Edith of Wilton: (961-984): Edith of Wilton was the daughter of King Edgar of England and Wulfrida. Edith became a nun when fifteen, declined her father's offer of three abbacies, and refused to leave the convent to become queen when her half-brother, King Edward the Martyr was murdered, as many of the nobles requested.

Sept 17. St. Robert Bellarmine: (1542-1621): He was an Italian Jesuit and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation. He was canonized in 1930 and named a Doctor of the Church.

Sept 18. St. Joseph Cupertino: (1603-1663): He was an Italian Conventual Franciscan friar who is honored as a Christian mystic and saint. He was said to have been remarkably unclever, but prone to miraculous levitation and intense ecstatic visions that left him gaping. He has been declared the patron saint of air travelers, aviators, astronauts, and people with a mental handicap, test takers, and poor students.

Sept 19. St. Januarius: (Martyred in 305): Januarius is the patron saint of Naples, where the faithful gather three times a year in Naples Cathedral to witness the liquefaction of what is claimed to be a sample of his blood kept in a sealed glass ampoule.

Sept 20. St. Andrew Kim Taegon: (1821-1846): He is the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is the patron saint of Korea. In 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. On May 6, 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized Kim along with 102 other Korean Martyrs, including Paul Chong Hasang, during his trip to Korea.

Sept 21. St. Matthew the Apostle: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

Sept 22. St. Salaberga: (Died in 665): She was twice married, first to a man who died after two months and then to a nobleman, Saint Blandinus, by whom she had five children, Saretrude, Ebana, Anstrude, Eustasius (died in infancy), and Baldwin. Two of these became saints, Saint Baldwin (Baudoin) (feast day October 16) and Saint Anstrude. Her brother was Saint Bodo.

Sept 23. St. Padre Pio: (1887-1968): He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Capuchins, thus he is popularly known as Padre Pio. He became famous for bearing the stigmata. A strong believer in Christian meditation, Padre Pio stated: "Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him. Prayer is the key that opens God’s heart.”

Sept 24. St. Rupertof Salzberg: (660-710): He is a saint in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and a founder of the Austrian city of Salzburg. He was a contemporary of Childebert III, king of the Franks.

Sept 25. St. Finbar: (550-520): He was Bishop of Cork and abbot of a monastery in what is now the city of Cork, Ireland. He is patron saint of that city and of the Diocese of Cork.

Sept 26. Sts. Cosmas & Damien: (Died in 287): They were twin brothers, physicians, and early Christian martyrs born in Cilicia, part of today's Turkey. They practiced their profession in the seaport of Ayas, Adana, then in the Roman province of Syria. Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named "Ανάργυροι" (Unmercenary); it has been said that, by this, they attracted many to the Christian faith. According to Christian traditions, during the persecution under Diocletian, Cosmas and Damian were arrested by order of the Prefect of Cilicia, one Lysias who is otherwise unknown, who ordered them under torture to recant. However, according to legend they stayed true to their faith, enduring being hung on a cross, stoned and shot by arrows and finally suffered execution by beheading. Anthimus, Leontius and Euprepius, their younger brothers, who were inseparable from them throughout life, shared in their martyrdom.

Sept 27. St. Vincent de Paul: (1581-1660): He was a priest of the Catholic Church who dedicated himself to serving the poor. De Paul was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity and is known as the "Great Apostle of Charity".

Sept 28. St. John Kokumbuko: ( Martyred in 1630): Martyr of Japan, and an Augustinian tertiary. A catechist, he was arrested and beheaded at Nagasaki.

Sept 29. Feast day of the Archangels; Sts Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles. St. Gabriel was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of John the Baptizer. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Savior of the world. Raphael's name means "God heals." This identity came about because of the biblical story which claims that he "healed" the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal book of Enoch.

Sept 30. St. Jerome: (331-420): Confessor, theologian and historian, who also became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospel of the Hebrews. His list of writings is extensive.