Monday, April 29: St Catherine of Siena, Religious, Doctor (1802-1841)
St Catherine was child number 23 in her family. She was intelligent, cheerful and very religious. She cut her hair in protest to the urgings of her mother to be more attractive to attract a husband. Cathrine worked at total surrender to Christ. She entered the Dominican Third Order and spent the next 3 yrs in seclusion and prayer. Her public influence grew, because of her holiness and the deep impression she made on the Pope. She urged unity in the Church, and influenced Pope Urban VI to return to Rome. Her spiritual testament is found in “The Dialog”.
“In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my nature, and what is my nature, boundless Love? It is fire, because You are nothing but a fire of love, and You have given humankind a share in this nature, for by the fire of love You created us”
Patron: fire, miscarriages, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation, sickness
Tuesday, April 30: St Pius V, Priest, Bishop, Pope (1504-1572)
Pius V was a Pope faithful to his Dominican Rule. He spent long hours in prayer, fasted and denied himself many papal luxuries. He implemented the reforms of the Council of Trent. He worked to reunite a shattered church. He published a new Breviary and Catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for the youth. In order to train priests correctly, he ordered the founding of seminaries. He served the sick and poor in the building of hospitals. Money for papal banquets was instead used for poor Roman converts. He wore his Dominican habit, which is wear the custom of the Pope wearing a white cassock came from. In spite of opposition from Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor, he managed to unite Europe against the Turkish invasion.
“Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary”
Wednesday, May 1 St Joseph the Worker
“In 1955 Pope Pius XII instituted the Feast of St. Joseph the Workman and decreed that the new Mass in the saint’s honor be said on May 1st. It is not by chance that this day was chosen. May 1st is May Day, a Communist legal holiday in honor of the radical workers. In contrast, the Holy Father sets aside May 1st to give honor to St. Joseph and to restore dignity to labor. The Church wants people to have private property and to work out a decent livelihood through their labors. She knows that through this private property a person will have more initiative and be more diligent. Labor will be more dignified as it was for St. Joseph.”
Fr Robert Voigt
Thursday, May 2: St Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor (296-373)
Athanasius, born if Egypt, was a defender of the Church against the heresy of Arianism(the teaching that Jesus was not truly divine). His passionate writings earned him the title of Doctor. He was exiled five times for his defense of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity.
“The Lord did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach suffering men. For one who wanted to make a display, the thing would have been just to appear and dazzle the beholders. But for Him Who came to heal and teach, the way was not merely to dwell here, but to put Himself at the disposal of those who needed Him, and to be manifested according as they could hear it, not vitiating the value of the Divine appearing, by exceeding their capacity to receive it.”
“Even on the cross he did not hide himself from sight; rather, he made all creation witness to the presence of its Maker.”
Friday, May 3: St Philip and St James, Apostle, martyr (time of Christ)
St. Philip preached the Gospel in Turkey and was martyred there. He was married and had three devout daughters.
St. James was called the lesser to tell him apart from James the greater, who was of larger stature. James was visited by Jesus after the resurrection and was made the first Bishop of Jeruselem.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Patron, Philip: pastry chefs
Patron, James: druggist, the dying
Saturday, May 4: Eighty-five Martyrs of England and Wales (d 1584-1679)
The Eighty-five Martyrs of England and Wales are a group of men who were executed on charges of treason and related offenses, in the Kingdom of England. They were beatified on 22 November 1987 by Pope John Paul II
Sunday May 5: St Judith of Prussia, Hermit (1200-1260)
Saint Judith of Prussia, also known as Jutta, was born to a noble family and married to nobleman. Her piety displeased her husband at first, but later he accepted and even supported her in her endeavors. While on a pilgrimage to the holy places in Jerusalem, he died. After her children were provided for, she chose a life in the Third Order of St Francis and traded her costly clothes and jewels for a religious habit. She devoted her life to the care of the poor and sick.
After Saint Judith of Prussia had provided for her children, who had all been reared in the fear of God, Jutta, with the consent of her confessor, disposed of the costly clothes and jewels she had until then worn in accordance with her rank, as well as all her expensive furniture. She entered the Third Order of St Francis, and wore the simple garment of a religious. She devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially the lepers, and to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels and provided with all necessities. The crippled and the blind she led by the hand to her home and took care of their needs.
Once when she was at prayer, Christ Himself appeared to her and said to her lovingly:
“All My treasures are yours, and yours are Mine.”
Patron: Prussia, widows