THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER:
The key to love of God is prayer. By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God. Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others, and talk to God. The test of prayer Is a person's actions: "To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one's relations with people is to go lame on both legs." St. Francis De Sales.
SAINTS/SAGES/EVENTS: MAY 2013:
May 01. St. Peregrine Laziosi:(1260-1345): He is an Italian saint of the Servite Order (Friar Order Servants of Mary). He is the patron saint for persons suffering from cancer, AIDS, or other illness. Today is May Day and it is also the feast day of St. Joseph The Worker.
May 02. St. Athanasius of Alexandria: (298-373): His episcopate lasted 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 were spent in five exiles ordered by four different Roman emperors. He is considered to be a renowned Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.
May 03. Sts. Philip & James the Lesser: Both were among tthe Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem, who died in 62 or 69, was an important figure in Early Christianity. He is distinguished from the Apostle James, son of Zebedee by various epithets; he is called James the brother of the Lord by Paul (Galatians 1:19), James the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just.
May04. St.Pelagia of Antioch: (Died in 311):She was a virgin of fifteen years, who chose death by a leap from the housetop rather than dishonour from soldiers during the Diocletianic Persecution. She is mentioned by Ambrose (De virg. iii. 7, 33; Ep. xxxvii. ad Simplic.), and is the subject of two sermons by Chrysostom.
May 05. St. Angelo: (1185-1220): He was a saint and martyr from the Holy Land, was born in Jerusalem to a Jewish family. His mother, however, converted to Christianity, and Angelus, along with his twin brother, John, was baptised when she converted. He was martyred in Sicily by a local knight, when Angelo denounced him for his incestuous life. He died seeking pardon for his assasin.
May 06. Bl. Edward Jones & Antony Middleton: (Died in 1590): They became priests and were sent to the English mission in the time of Elizabeth I. After offering their death for the forgiveness of their sins, the spread of the true Faith, and the conversion of heretics, they died on May 6, 1590.
May 07. St. John of Beverly: (Died in 721): He was the bishop of Hexham in 687 and then transferred to York as metropolitan in 705, succeeding St. Bosa. John was known for his holiness, his preference for the contemplative life, and his miracles, many of which are recounted in Bede's Ecclesiastical History, the author of which he had ordained.
May 08. St. Maria Magdellan of Canossa: (1774-1835): Foundress of the Daughters of Charity at Verona, Italy. Born in 1774, she was the daughter of the Marquis of Canossa, who died when Maria Magdalen was three. Her mother abandoned the family, and Maria Magdalen managed her father’s estate until she was thirty-three, then founding her institute. She was canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.
May 09. Ascension Day:This day commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter. St. Pachomius: (292-348): Today is also the feast day of St. Pachomius was the first monk to organize hermits into groups and write down a Rule for them. Both St. Basil and St. Benedict drew from his Rule in setting forth their own more famous ones. Hence, though St. Anthony is usually regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, it was really St. Pachomius who began monasticism as we know it today.
May 10. St. Peter Van: (Died in 1857): Vietnamese martyr. A native catechist, he was arrested by authorities and beheaded. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988.
May 11. St. Ansfrid: (Died in 2010): Bishop and founder, the Count of Brabant. Ansfrid was a courtier and friend of Emperor Otto II of the Holy Roman Empire. In 994, the emperor named him the bishop of Utrecht. Ansfrid founded a monastery at Heiligensberg, Germany, and a convent at Thorn.
May 12. Sts. Nereus & Achilleus: Legends say that they served Flavia Domitilla, the great-niece of Emperor Domitian, and were exiled and executed with her when she converted. This legend probably originated in the fact that the martyrs were buried in what was later known as the cemetery of Domitilla.
May 13. Bl. Imelda Lambertini: (1322-1333): The patroness of fervent first communion, she died soon after she received her first Holy Communion, on Ascension Day in 1333. Her body still remains incorrupt.
May 14. St. Mathias, the Apostle: according to the Acts of the Apostles, was the apostle chosen by the remaining eleven apostles to replace Judas Iscariot following Judas' betrayal of Jesus and suicide. His calling as an apostle is unique in that his appointment was not made personally by Jesus, who had already ascended to heaven, and, it was made before the descending of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church.
May 15. St. Dymphna: She was the daughter of a pagan Irish king and his Christian wife in the 7th century AD. She was murdered by her father when she refused to become his wife after the death of her mother who was a devoute Christian. She is the patron saint of mentally afflicted persons..
May 16. St. John Nepomucene: (1345-1393): He is the national saint of the Czech Republic, who was drowned in the Vltava River at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of the queen of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional.
May 17. St. Paschal Baylon: (1540-1592): He is the patron saint of Eucharistic congresses and Eucharistic associations.
May 18. St. Eric IX, Patron saint of Sweden: (Martyred in 1160): He led a victorious expedition against the marauding Finns and persuaded English bishop Henry of Uppsala to remain in Finnland to evangelize the Finns. Eric was killed and beheaded near Uppsala by rebelling Swedish nobles in the army of Magnus, son of the King of Denmark, who had invaded his territory, on May 18. Though never formally canonized, Eric was long considered the Patron of Sweden.
May 19. The Solemnity of Pentecost: It commemorates the descend of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Apostles of Jesus along with his mother Mary, on the tenth day following his ascension to heaven.
May 20: St. Bernardine of Sienna: (1380-1444): He is known in the Roman Catholic Church as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century. His preaching was frequently directed against gambling, witchcraft, sodomy (with an emphasis on homosexuality) and usury - particularly as practised by Jews.
May 21. St. Constantine the Great: (272-337): He was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire.
May 22. St. Rita of Cascia: (1381-1457):She was an Italian Augustinian nun, who was known for practicing mortification of the flesh, along with the apparent efficacy of her prayers. St. Rita is venerated due to various miracles attributed to her intercession, and is often portrayed with a bleeding wound on her forehead, which the Roman Catholic Church claims to have been a partial stigmata. In many pious Catholic countries, Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women, since she had been a devouted wife with two children, who was constantly abused by her husband.
May 23. St Julia of Corsica: She was a virgin martyr who is venerated as a Christian saint. The date of her death is most probably on or after AD 439. She, along with Saint Devota, are the patron saints of Corsica in the Roman Catholic church.
May 24. St. David I of Scotland: (1080-1153): David, the youngest son of Scotland’s virtuous queen, (Saint) Margaret, succeeded his brother to the Scottish throne in 1124. On his death bed he is reported to have said,” Let me rather think about the things of God, so that my spirit may set out strengthened on its journey from exile to home. When I stand before God’s tremendous judgment seat, you will not be able to answer for me or defend me.”
May 25. St. Madeline Sophie Barat: (1779-1865): She was a French saint of the Catholic Church and was the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
May 26. Feast of Holy Trinity. Today is also the feast day of St. Philip Neri: (1515-1595): Known as Apostle of Rome, Philip Neri was an Italian priest noted for founding a society of Secular clergy called the "Congregation of the Oratory".
May 27. St. Augustine of Canterbury: (Died in 605) : ) He was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church.
May 28. Bl. Margret Pole: (1473-1541): One of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses, she was executed in 1541 at the command of King Henry VIII, who was her Cousin Elizabeth's son. Pope Leo XIII beatified her as a martyr for the Roman Catholic Church on 29 December 1886.
May 29. St. Maximnus of Trier: (Died in 347): He was the fifth bishop of Trier, according to the list provided by the diocese's website, taking his seat in 341/342. Maximin was an opponent of Arianism, and was supported by the courts of Constantine II and Constans, who harboured as an honored guest Athanasius twice during his exile from Alexandria, in 336-37, before he was bishop, and again in 343. As a patron, Maximin was invoked as protection against perjury, loss at sea and destructive rains.
May 30. Feast of Corpus Christi: Today is also the feast day of St. Joan of Arc: (1412-1431): St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. She was born a peasant girl in what is now eastern France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War. She was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old. Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
May 31. St. Thomas Du: (Martyred in 1839): A native of Vietnam, he entered the Dominicans as a tertiary and aided the Catholic cause in Vietnam until his arrest by authorities. He was tortured and finally beheaded. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988.