Saturday, January 27, 2007

St Angela Merici:

St. Angela Merici
Feastday: January 27
When she was 56, Angela Merici said "No" to the Pope. She was aware that Clement VII was offering her a great honor and a great opportunity to serve when he asked her to take charge of a religious order of nursing sisters. But Angela knew that nursing was not what God had called her to do with her life.
She had just returned from a trip to the Holy Land. On the way there she had fallen ill and become blind. Nevertheless, she insisted on continuing her pilgrimage and toured the holy sites with the devotion of her heart rather than her eyes. On the way back she had recovered her sight. But this must have been a reminder to her not to shut her eyes to the needs she saw around her, not to shut her heart to God's call.
All around her hometown she saw poor girls with no education and no hope. In the fifteenth and sixteenth century that Angela lived in, education for women was for the rich or for nuns. Angela herself had learned everything on her own. Her parents had died when she was ten and she had gone to live with an uncle. She was deeply disturbed when her sister died without receiving the sacraments. A vision reassured her that her sister was safe in God's care -- and also prompted her to dedicate her life to God.
When her uncle died, she returned to her hometown and began to notice how little education the girls had. But who would teach them? Times were much different then. Women weren't allowed to be teachers and unmarried women were not supposed to go out by themselves -- even to serve others. Nuns were the best educated women but they weren't allowed to leave their cloisters. There were no teaching orders of sisters like we have today.
But in the meantime, these girls grew up without education in religion or anything at all.
These girls weren't being helped by the old ways, so Angela invented a new way. She brought together a group of unmarried women, fellow Franciscan tertiaries and other friends, who went out into the streets to gather up the girls they saw and teach them. These women had little money and no power, but were bound together by their dedication to education and commitment to Christ. Living in their own homes, they met for prayer and classes where Angela reminded them, " Reflect that in reality you have a greater need to serve [the poor] than they have of your service." They were so successful in their service that Angela was asked to bring her innovative approach to education to other cities, and impressed many people, including the pope.
Though she turned him down, perhaps the pope's request gave her the inspiration or the push to make her little group more formal. Although it was never a religious order in her lifetime, Angela's Company of Saint Ursula, or the Ursulines, was the first group of women religious to work outside the cloister and the first teaching order of women.
It took many years of frustration before Angela's radical ideas of education for all and unmarried women in service were accepted. They are commonplace to us now because people like Angela wanted to help others no matter what the cost. Angela reminds us of her approach to change: "Beware of trying to accomplish anything by force, for God has given every single person free will and desires to constrain none; he merely shows them the way, invites them and counsels them."
Saint Angela Merici reassured her Sisters who were afraid to lose her in death: "I shall continue to be more alive than I was in this life, and I shall see you better and shall love more the good deeds which I shall see you doing continually, and I shall be able to help you more." She died in 1540, at about seventy years old. In Her Footsteps:
Take a look around you. Instead of just driving or walking without paying attention today, open your eyes to the needs you see along the way. What people do you notice who need help but who are not being helped? What are their true needs? Make a commitment to help them in some way. Prayer:
Saint Angela, you were not afraid of change. You did not let stereotypes keep you from serving. Help us to overcome our fear of change in order to follow God's call and allow others to follow theirs. Amen
Copyright (c) 1996-2000 by Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved.
St Marius:

St. Marius
Feastday: January 27
St. Marius Abbot January 27 A.D. 555 Dynamius, patrician of the Gauls who is mentioned by St. Gregory of Tours, (l. 6, c. 11,) and who was for some time steward of the patrimony of the Roman church in Gaul, in the time of St. Gregory the Great, as appears by a letter of that pope to him, (in which he mentions that he sent him in a reliquary some of the filings of the chains of St. Peter, and of the gridiron of St. Laurence,) was the author of the lives of St. Marius and of St. Maximus of Ries. From the fragments of the former in Bollandus, we learn that he was born at Orleans, became a monk, and after some time was chosen abbot at La-Val-Benois, in the diocese of Sisteron, in the reign of Gondebald, king of Burgundy, who died in 509. St. Marius made a pilgrimage to St. Martin's, at Tours, and another to the tomb of St. Dionysius, near Paris, where, falling sick, he dreamed that he was restored to health by an apparition of St. Dionysius, and awaking, found himself perfectly recovered. St. Marius, according to a custom received in many monasteries before the rule of St. Bennet, in imitation of the retreat of our divine Redeemer, made it a rule to live a recluse in a forest during the forty days of Lent. In one of these retreats, he foresaw, in a vision, the desolation which barbarians would soon after spread in Italy, and the destruction of his own monastery, which he foretold before his death, in 555. The abbey of La-Val-Benois *being demolished, the body of the saint was translated to Forcalquier, where it is kept with honor in a famous collegiate church which bears his name, and takes the title of Concathedral with Sisteron. St. Marius is called in French St. May, or St. Mary, in Spain, St. Mere, and St. Maire, and in some places, by mistake, St. Maurus. See fragments of his life compiled by Dynamius, extant in Bollandus, with ten preliminary observations.
St Avitus:

St. Avitus
Feastday: January 27
Martyr of Africa, possibly the St. Avitus venerated in the Canary Islands as an apostle and first bishop.
St Theodoric of Orleans:

St. Theodoric of Orleans
Feastday: January 27
Theodoric of Orleans (d. 1022) + Benedictine bishop, also listed as Theodoric II. Originally a monk in the monastery of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif, at Sens, France, he was named bishop of Orleans after a distinguished period as a royal counselor.
St Candida:

St. Candida
Feastday: January 27
Mother of St. Memerius and hermitess. A Spaniard, Candida was a recluse near St. Stephen of Banoles, an abbey close to Garona, Spain.
St Datius:

St. Datius
Feastday: January 27
African martyr with Reatrus and company, also a second Datius, with Julian, Vincent, and twenty-seven companions. They were slain by Arian Vandals.
St Devota:

St. Devota
Feastday: January 27
Virgin martyr of Corsica, France, who was slain on the rack. Patroness of Corsica and Monaco, her relics are in Monaco on the Riviera di Ponente.
St Emerius:

St. Emerius
Feastday: January 27
8th century
Benedictine abbot of France, also called Emerus. He founded St. Stephen of Banoles Abbey in Catalonia, Spain. His mother, St. Candida, lived in a hermitage near the abbey.
St Gamo:

St. Gamo
Feastday: January 27
8th century
Benedictine abbot of Bretigny, near Noyon, France. He aided the monastic expansion of the era and was a staunch patron of the arts.
St Gamelbert:

St. Gamelbert
Feastday: January 27
Parish priest of Michaelsbuch in Germany. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome, was ordained, and served more than fifty years as a pastor. His cult was approved in 1909.
St Gilduin:

St. Gilduin
Feastday: January 27
Canon of Dol, in Brittany, France, who refused a bishopric from Pope St. Gregory VII. After going to Rome to decline the honor, Gilduin died on his way home. His tomb became a popular pilgrimage destination.
St Julian of Le Mans:

St. Julian of Le Mans
Feastday: January 27
3rd century
First bishop of Le Mans, France. Tradition states that he was a noble Roman. Julian performed extravagant miracles and was honored during the Middle Ages as the patron of churches in England.
St Julian of Sora:

St. Julian of Sora
Feastday: January 27
Martyr of Sora, Campania, Italy. He was a Dalmatian who was beheaded in the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius.
St Lupus of Chalons:

St. Lupus of Chalons
Feastday: January 27
Bishop of Chalons-sur-Saone, in France. Pope St. Gregory the Great corresponded with him. Lupus was a model of charity and cared for the sick and poor.
St Natalis:

St. Natalis
Feastday: January 27
A founder of monasticism in northern Ireland and a disciple of St. Columba, also called Naal. He served as abbot of the monasteries of Naile, Daunhinis, and Cill. A well in that region honors his memory.
St Maurus:

St. Maurus
Feastday: January 27
Abbot founder of Bodon Abbey, near Sisteron, France. He is sometimes called Marius or May. Maurus was cured of a serious illness at the tomb of St. Denis in Paris. He was a revered prophet.
courtesy of

No comments: