THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH: APRIL- 2018:

“I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me.” (Psalm 84:9)

“Blessed is the soul, that hears the Lord speaking within her and from His mouth receives the word of consolation. Blessed are the ears, which receive the sweet murmur of divine inspiration and pay no attention to the whispers of the world. Blessed are the eyes, which closed to external things are attentive to the interior. Blessed are they who penetrate interior things and try to prepare themselves more and more by daily exercise to understand heavenly secrets. Blessed are they who ardently desire to attend to God and who detach themselves from every worldly impediment. Consider these things, my soul and close the door of your sensuality, so that you may hear what the Lord God says inside of you.” (Thomas. A. Kempis; Imitation of Christ: Bk III: Ch 1)

“Thanks to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly and follow Thee more nearly.” (St. Richard of Chichester)

SAINTS/ SAGES/ EVENTS: APRIL- 2018:

April 01. Easter Sunday: The Modern English term Easter, cognate with modern German Ostern, developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre. The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.

Today is also the feast day of St. Melito of Sardis: (Died in 180): He was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in Early Christianity; Jerome speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful.

April 02. St. Mary of Egypt: (344-421): Patroness of chastity and deliverance from carnal passions. She led a wanton life in her youth, but was transformed by the miraculous intervention of B.V. Mary, who led her into the desert, where she lived a hard life of penance and prayer for forty seven years. She was discovered about 430 by a holy man named Zosimus, who was impressed by her spiritual knowledge and wisdom. He saw her the following Lent, but when he returned, he found her dead and buried her. When he returned to his monastery near the Jordan, he told the brethren what had happened and the story spread.

April 03. St. Richard of Chichester:(1197-1253): In Chichester Cathedral, a shrine dedicated to Richard had become a richly decorated centre of pilgrimage. In 1538, during the reign of Henry VIII, the shrine was plundered and destroyed by order of Thomas Cromwell. St Richard of Chichester is patron saint of Sussex in Southern England; since 2007, his translated saint's day of 16 June has been celebrated as Sussex Day. Richard is widely remembered today for the popular prayer ascribed to him.

April 04. St. Isidore of Seville: (560-636): Saint Isidore of Seville served as Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and is considered, as the 19th-century historian Montalembert put it in an oft-quoted phrase, "The last scholar of the ancient world". Two of his brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, and one of his sisters, Florentina, are revered as saints in Spain. He is revered as a Doctor of the Church and he is also the patron saint of the Internet and of internet users.

April 05. St. Vincent Ferrer: (1350-1419): He was a Valencian Dominican friar, who gained acclaim as a missionary and a logician. He is honored as the patron saint of builders.

April 06. St. William of Eskilsoe: (1125-1203): He was a French religious who willingly led a life with few comforts. He spent many hours in prayer and became a scholar of religious law. His reputation as a holy man spread across his country. An account written after his death described him as “famous for his life and miracles.”

April 07. St. John Baptist de Salle: (1651-1719): He was a French priest, educational reformer, and founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the patron saint of teachers.

April 08. St. Julie Billiart: (1751-1816): She was a French religious sister who founded, and was the first Superior General of, the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She was beatified on 13 May 1906 by Pope Pius X and canonized in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. Saint Julie was best known for her charity. Today is also called St. Thomas’ Sunday, that characterizes the profession of faith by St. Thomas; as “My Lord and My God!”

April 09. St. Waldetrudis: (Died in 688): Also known as Waltrude or Waudru, she was the daughter of Saints Walbert and Bertilia and sister of St. Aldegunus of Maubeuge. Marrying St. Vincent Madelgarius, she became the mother of saints Landericus, Madalberta, Adeltrudis, and Dentelin. When her husband chose to become a monk about 643 in the monastery of Hautrnont, France, he had founded, she established a convent at Chateaulieu, around which grew up the town of Mons, Belgium.

April 10. Bl. Anthony Neyrot: (1425-1460): A Dominican martyr. He was born in Rivoli, in Piedmont, Italy, and entered the Dominicans. Captured by Moorish pirates, Anthony became a Muslim and married. After a few months, he repented and put on his Dominican habit to preach Christ's message. As a result, Anthony was stoned to death in Tunis, in modem Tunisia.

April 11. St. Margret d’Youville: (1701-1777): She was a French Canadian widow who founded the religious order theOrder of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal. She was canonized by Pope John-Paul II in 1990.

April 12. Pope St. Julius: (Died in 352): He was a native of Rome and was chosen as successor of Mark after the Roman see had been vacant for four months. He is chiefly known by the part he took in the Arian controversy. Julius is also credited with splitting the birth of Jesus into two distinct celebrations: Epiphany stayed on the traditional date, and Nativity was added on 25 December.

April 13. Pope St. Martin: (Died in 655): He succeeded Pope Theodore I on 5 July 649. He was the only pope during the Byzantine Papacy whose election was not approved by a iussio from Constantinople. Martin I was abducted by Emperor Constans II and died in the Crimean peninsula. He is considered a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

April 14. St. Lydwina: (1380-1433): She was a Dutch mystic who is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church. At age 15, Lydwina was ice skating when she fell and broke a rib. She never recovered and became progressively disabled for the rest of her life. Thomas a Kempis wrote a biography of her. She was canonized Pope Leo XIII in 1890.

April 15. St. Paternus: (482-565): The first 5th century saint. He followed his father's path by becoming a hermit in Wales. He founded the monastery at the great church of Paternus, and became a bishop of that region. He was known for his preaching, charity and mortifications.

April 16.St. Bernadette: (1844-1879): She is best known for her participation in the Marian apparitions of a "small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at the nearby garbage dump of cave-grotto within Massabielle where apparitions are said to have occurred between 11 February and 16 July 1858. She would later receive recognition when the lady who appeared to her identified herself as the Immaculate Conception. The Marian shrine at Lourdes (Midi-Pyrénées, France) went on to become a major pilgrimage site, attracting over five million Christian pilgrims of all denominations each year.

April 17. St. Dornan: (Martyrdom 617): He and his fellow monks on the island of Eigg provide the most dreadful case of martyrdom in the history of the Celtic Church. He and fifty-two of his followers were butchered within the refectory of the monastery.

April 18. St. Apollonius: (Martyred in 185), whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator whose debate clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

April 19: St. Paphnutius of Thebes:(Died in 360): Also known as Paphnutius the Confessor, he was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great and a bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century. He is accounted by some as a prominent member of the Council of Nicaea, which took place in 325.

April 20. St. Agnes of Monte Pulcino: (1268-1317): Agnes was noted for her visions. She held the infant Christ in her arms and received Holy Communion from an angel. She experienced levitations and she performed miracles for the faithful of the region. She is still revered in Tuscany.

April 21. St. Anselm: (1033-1109): He was a Benedictine monk, philosopher, and prelate of the Church, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he has been a major influence in Western theology and is famous as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and the satisfaction theory of atonement. Anselm was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1720 by a Papal Bull of Pope Clement XI.

April 22. St. Abdeisus: (Died in 342): Also called Hebed Jesus, a deacon in the Christian community of Persia who was caught up in the persecutions conducted by King Shapur II. Records indicate that Abdiesus was accompanied in his martyrdom by Abrosimus, Acepsimus, Azadanes, Azades, Bicor, Mareas, Milles, and a woman named Tarbula. Some were Persian courtiers, others priests and bishops. Tarbula was the sister of St. Simeon, and suffered a particularly cruel death by sawing.

April 23. St. George: (275-303): Born in Lydia, Roman Palestine, he was a soldier in the Roman army and was later venerated as a Christian martyr. His father was Gerontius, a Greek Christian from Cappadocia, and an official in the Roman army. His mother, Polychronia was a local Greek Christian of Palestine. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian. In hagiography, Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic (Western and Eastern Rites), Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

April 24. St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen: (1577-1622): He was a Capuchin friar who was a major figure in the Counter-Reformation, and was murdered by his opponents at Seewis im Prättigau, now part of Switzerland. Fidelis was canonized in 1746.

April 25. St. Mark the Evangelist: (Martyred In 68): He is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. He is one of the Seventy Disciples, and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, one of the original three main Episcopal sees of Christianity.

April 26. St. Cletus: (Died in 92): Also called Anacletus, he was the third Bishop of Rome, following Saint Peter and Pope Linus. Anacletus served as pope between c. 79 and his death, c. 92.

April 27. St. Zita: (1212-1272): She is an Italian saint, the patron saint of maids and domestic servants. She is often appealed to in order to help find lost keys and she is also the patron saint of domestic workers.

April 28. St. Peter Channel: (1803-1841): He was born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France. Channel joined the Marists missionaries in 1836, and he travelled to the Canary Islands in 1837, where he met with his martyrdom in 1841. Within five months after his death, the entire island of Futuna was converted to Christianity.

April 29. St. Catherine of Sienna: (1347-1380): She was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. Since 18 June 1866 she is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with St. Francis of Assisi. On 3 October 1970 she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI, and on 1 October 1999 Pope John Paul II named her as a one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden and Edith Stein of Germany.

April 30. Pope St. Pius V: (1504-1572): He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church. Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for schism and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states. Although outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottoman Empire, which had threatened to overrun Europe, at the Battle of Lepanto. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory in her honour.