Saints: September 2008 Archives

Mass of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

| | Comments (0)


I am especially mindful today of all who devote themselves to the service of the poor in the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Tulsa, of the Lazarist Fathers, of fellow-blogger and hymnographer Vincent Uher, of good friend Lisa Hoffer on her birthday, and of kind Sister Elma and the other Daughters of Charity at St. Mary's Hostel, Knock, County Mayo.


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor,
and to heal the contrite of heart (cf. Lk 4:18).


O God, who for the salvation of the poor
and the instruction of the clergy
endowed the blessed priest Vincent with apostolic virtues,
grant, we pray,
that inflamed by that same spirit,
we may both loved what he loved
and carry out what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Our Lady of Mercy

| | Comments (1)


Marian Orders and Institutes

Our Blessed Lady is at the origin of any number of Orders, religious institutes, and monasteries. Very often she appeared, entrusting a founder or foundress with a particular mission, with a rule of life to foster that mission and, sometimes, with a distinctive habit. Among the many institutes established by an inspiration from the Mother of God, and with her help, are the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel; the Cistercians who, in the middle ages, were called the Monks of Mary; the Olivetan Benedictines; the Bridgettines; the Servites; and the Order of Our Lady of Ransom or Mercedarians. The latter keep today as their patronal feast.

Saint Peter Nolasco and the Mercedarians

It is related that, in the early thirteenth century while much of Spain lay under the domination of the Saracens, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Peter Nolasco, encouraging him to found an Order for the purpose of redeeming Christians held in brutal slavery by the infidels. The brethren of the new Order, in addition to the three vows of religion taken by other mendicants, bound themselves by a fourth vow to give themselves in pawn to the infidels, if necessary, to obtain the liberation of Christians from slavery.

Catherine McCauley and the Religious Sisters of Mercy

On September 24, 1827, Mother Mary Catherine McCauley opened her House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. The Religious Sisters of Mercy, vowed to the service of the poor, the sick, and the ignorant, placed themselves under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Mercy.

RSMs in Choir.jpg

In addition to the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, Mother McCauley's Sisters of Mercy chanted the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in choir and, on solemn occasions, donned the ample white cloak associated with the Order of Carmel, as sign of their devotion to Our Lady and of the Institute's spiritual affiliation with the Carmelite Fathers of Saint Teresa's Church in Dublin. The prior of the Carmelites in Clarendon Street was, in effect, the ecclesiastical superior of Mother McCauley's Convent of Mercy. The Religious Sisters of Mercy also keep September 24th as their patronal feast.

The Collect for today's feast is an effective prayer for deliverance from bondage to sin:

Deus, qui per gloriosissimam Filii tui Matrem,
ad liberandos Christi fideles a potestate paganorum,
nova Ecclesiam tuam prole amplificare dignatus es:
praesta, quaesumus,;
ut quam pie veneramur tanti operis institutricem,
eius pariter meritis et intercessione,
a peccatis omnibus et captivitate daemonis liberemur.

O God, who for the deliverance of Christians
from the power of the heathen,
wast pleased through the most glorious Mother of Thy Son
to enrich Thy Church with a new family,
we pray Thee grant that we,
who devoutly venerate her as the foundress of this great work,
may likewise be delivered by her merits and intercession
from all our sins and from bondage to the power of hell.


Almighty and ever-living God,
who gave to Saint Gaetano, your priest,
the knowledge of your glory
shining in the Face of Christ,
mercifully grant that we
who rejoice today in his memory,
may imitate his love for that same Holy Face
concealed in the Sacrament of the Altar
and in the poorest and most forsaken of your children.
Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


Stir up, O Lord, in our hearts
the spirit of adoration and reparation
that filled Saint Gaetano, your priest,
that we, having our eyes fixed, like his,
on the Holy Face of Jesus,
may live in ceaseless prayer
and in the humble service of those
most in need of compassion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Evviva San Gennaro!

| | Comments (0)


The miracle of Saint Januarius recurred at 9:45 this morning in the cathedral of Naples, filled with expectant devotees of the bishop of Benevento beheaded under Diocletian in 305. Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe recalled the words of Pope Paul VI in 1966: "Just as this blood boils again at every feast, so too may the faith of the people of Naples boil again, flower again, and grow ever stronger." This is what the Italian RaiNews24 had to say:

Liquefatto il sangue di San Gennaro, il vescovo ai napoletani: "A Maronna v'accumpagni"

Il miracolo di San Gennaro si è ripetuto alle 9.45. L'annuncio della liquefazione del sangue nelle ampolle custodite nella Cappella del Duomo di Napoli è arrivato, come da tradizione, dal cardinale arcivescovo della citta' Crescenzio Sepe dall'altare maggiore poco prima dell'inizio della solenne celebrazione eucaristica in occasione della festività del Santo.

Secondo testimoni il sangue era già sciolto quando le ampolle sono state tratte dalla cassaforte in cui sono conservate tutto l'anno, evento non frequente. Il sangue del protettore di Napoli, ricorda Sepe, è "seme di speranza: sia sempre per tutti noi il segno che nessuno mai potrà separarci dall'amore di Dio". Il cardinale poi saluta la città con l'augurio di Papa Paolo VI nel 1966, "quando benedi' Napoli - ricorda - come questo sangue ribolle a ogni festa cosi' la fede del popolo di Napoli possa ribollire, rifiorire e affermarsi sempre di più".

"A Maronna v'accumpagni", conclude l'arcivescovo Sepe prima di portarele ampolle, percorrendo la navata centrale della cattedrale, fino all'esterno del Duomo per benedire la città e la regione.

Fire for a World Grown Cold

| | Comments (0)

17. San Francesco riceve le stimmate.jpg

Never underestimate the effect of an image on the memory and imagination of a little child. An image of the stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi profoundly marked my childhood. Shining with jewel-like colors, a window depicting the impression of the stigmata illuminated the south transept of my beautiful parish church, named for Saint Francis, in New Haven, Connecticut. I only regret that I don't have a photo of that stained-glass window. Later on, in my Daily Missal I discovered the Collect for the Commemoration of the Holy Stigmata celebrated on September 17th. It remains, to this day, a prayer that speaks to my heart.

Lord Jesus Christ,
who didst reproduce,
in the flesh of the most blessed Francis,
the sacred marks of thy own sufferings,
so that in a world grown cold
our hearts might be filled with burning love of thee,
graciously enable us by his merits and prayers
to bear the cross without faltering
and to bring forth worthy fruits of penitence:
Thou who art God,
living and reigning with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory