日历

二月纪念的圣人

2月2日: 献耶稣於圣殿(庆日) Presentation of the Lord

 耶稣圣诞後的第四十日。

 按犹太传统,长子出生後第四十日,是奉献於主的日子,故此,圣母玛利亚和若瑟上圣殿,奉献婴孩耶稣。 那时,西默盎和亚纳受到圣神感动,进入圣殿,接待了耶稣,并颂扬上主,尤其西默盎的圣歌,更彰显了基督乃万民之光; 基督来临,是为驱逐世间的黑暗。(路2:22-40)

 「主啊!现在可照你的话,放你的仆人平安去了! 因为我亲眼看见了,你在万民前准备好的救援:为作启示异邦的光明,你百姓以色列的荣耀。」(路2:29-32)

2月3日: 圣巴拉斯(主教丶殉道) St. Blaise

 圣巴拉斯是亚美尼亚的瑟巴斯德城主教。其时教难惨烈,圣人退隐山林,与野兽为伍。 被捕後,解往衙门,中途遇一妇人,因其猪被野狼衔去,正在哀哭。 圣人口出一语,野狼即将猪送回。 又有一小孩鱼骨卡在喉部,窒息将死,圣人显灵迹,当场将其治愈,故後世患喉病者,多求圣人救治,即源於这一灵迹。 总督亚格利各劳对圣人施以鞭笞丶铁钩等酷刑,并断绝其饮食。但是那个重获失猪的妇人,感圣人的恩,暗中送食物给他。 圣人最後被斩首致命,时约在公元三一六年。 在很多地方,本日将两支蜡烛交叉成圣安德肋十字架形,安放在信友喉部或头上,求圣人转祈,免患喉疾。 中世纪时,圣人的敬礼流行甚广,仅罗马一地就有三十处圣堂奉献於他。同时他也是羊毛加工丶蜡烛制造丶房屋建筑以及技术人员的主保。

求圣巴拉斯主教代祷文

 藉着殉道圣人圣巴拉斯主教的转求,愿主医治你的喉疾及任何其他疾病。因父,及子及圣神之名。亚孟。

St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr (†316)

Saint Blaise devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God. From being a healer of bodily ailments, he became a physician of souls, then retired for a time, by divine inspiration, to a cavern where he remained in prayer.

When the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia died, Blaise, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was chosen to succeed him. Saint Blaise at once began to instruct his people, as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of the servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts, the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills.

When the governor of Cappadocia and Lesser Armenia, Agricolaus, began a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius, Saint Blaise was seized. After interrogation and a severe scourging, he was hurried off to prison. While he was under custody, a distraught mother, whose only child was dying of a throat disease, threw herself at his feet and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, he offered up his prayers, and the child was cured.

The prisoner was brought before Agricolaus again for further questioning, and again was whipped while tied to a pillar. He was spared from drowning when thrown into a lake; the governor ordered then that he be beheaded. At the execution site he prayed aloud to God for his persecutors, and asked that in the future those who would invoke him might be aided, as he had been permitted to assist them during his lifetime. Our Lord appeared to him and said in a voice which all bystanders heard, that He granted his prayer. Since that time his intercession has often been effectually solicited, especially in cases of all kinds of throat problems.

Blessing of the throat (Feb 3)

(On the day following the Presentation of the Lord, it is customary to bless the throats of the faithful with 2 candles tied together with a red ribbon to form a cross. The priest or deacon places the candles around the throat of whoever seeks the blessing, using the following prayer)

Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat, and from every other disease. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2月3日:圣安斯卡(主教) St. Ansgar (826-865)

 圣人於第九世纪初在法国出生,在高尔比隐修院受教育。公元八二六年往丹麦宣扬福音,旋往瑞典工作,後被选为德国汉堡主教,并为教宗额 我略四世所核准,委任为丹麦及瑞典两地的宗座代表。圣人为了宣扬福音,历尽艰辛,却能百折不挠,克胜一切。八六五年逝世。

St. Ansgar (826-865)

http://www.st-ansgars-montreal.ca/Ansgar_Biography.htm

Born near Amiens, Picardy, France in 801, died in Bremen, Germany on February 3, 865.

With the coming of the barbarian after the death of Charlemagne, darkness fell upon Europe. From the forests and the fjords of the north, defying storm and danger, came a horde of pirate invaders, prowling round the undefended coasts, sweeping up the broad estuaries, and spreading havoc and fear. No town, however fair, no church, however sacred, and no community, however strong, was immune from their fury. Like a river of death the Vikings poured across Europe.

It’s hard to believe that there would be an outbreak of missionary activity at such a time, but in Europe’s darkest hour there were those who never faltered, and who set out to convert the pagan invader. St.Ansgar was such a man. As a young boy of a noble family he was received at Corbie monastery in Picardy and educated under Saint Abelard and Paschasius Radbert. Once professed, he was transferred to New Corbie at Westphalia. He once said to a friend, “ One miracle I would, if worthy, ask the Lord to grant me, and that is, that by his grace, he would make me a good man.”

In France a call was made for a priest to go as a missionary to the Danes, and Ansgar, a young monk, volunteered. His friends tried to dissuade him, so dangerous was the mission. Nevertheless, when King Harold, who had become a Christian during his exile, returned to Denmark, Ansgar and an other monk accompanied him. Equipped with tents and books, these two monks set out in 826 and founded a school in Denmark. Here Ansgar’s companion died, and Ansgar was obliged to move on to Sweden alone when his success in missionary work led King Bjørn to invite him to Sweden.

On the way his boat was attached by pirates and he lost all his possessions, arriving destitute at a small Swedish village. After his unpromising start, he succeeded forming the nucleus of a church -- the first Christian church in Sweden -- and penetrated inland, confronting the heathen in their strongholds and converting the pagan chiefs.

Ansgar became the first archbishop of Hamburg, Germany and abbot of New Corbie in Westphalia c. 831. The Pope Gregory IV appointed him legate to the Scandinavian countries and confides the Scandinavian souls to his care. He evangelized there for the next 14 years, building churches in Norway, Denmark and northern Germany.

He saw his accomplishments obliterated when pagan Vikings invaded in 845, overran Scandinavia, and destroyed Hamburg. Thereafter the natives reverted to paganism. Ansgar was then appointed archbishop of Bremen around 848, but he was unable to establish himself there for a time and Pope Nicholas 1 united that see with Hamburg. Nicholas also gave him jurisdiction over Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Ansgar returned to Denmark and Sweden in 854 to resume spreading the Gospel. When he returned to Denmark he saw the church and school he had built there, destroyed before his eyes by an invading army.

His heart almost broke as he saw his work reduced to ashes” The Lord gave,” he said, “and the Lord have taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” With a handful of followers he wandered through his ruined diocese, but it was a grim and weary time. “Be assured my dear brother, “ said the primate of France, who had commissioned him to this task, “that what we have striven to accomplish for the glory of Christ will yet, by God’s help, bring forth fruit.”

Heartened by these words, and with unfailing courage, Ansgar pursued his Swedish mission. Though he had but four churches left and could find no one willing to go in his place, he established new outposts and consolidated his work.

King Olaf had cast a die to decide wether to allow entrance of Christians, an action that Ansgar mourned as callous and unbefitting. He was encouraged, however, by a council of chiefs at which an aged man spoke in his defense. “Those who bring to us this new faith,” he said” by their voyage here have been exposed to many dangers. We see our own deities failing us. Why reject a religion thus brought to our very doors? Why not permit the servants of God to remain among us? Listen to my council and reject not what is plainly for our advantage.”

As a result, Ansgar was free to preach the Christian faith, and though he met with many setbacks, he continued his work until he died at the age of 64 and was buried at Bremen. He was a great missionary, an indefatigable, outstanding preacher, renowned for his austerity, holiness of life, and charity to the poor. He built schools and was a great liberator of slaves captured by the Vikings. He converted King Erik of Jutland and was called the “Apostle of the North”, yet Sweden reverted completely to paganism shortly after Ansgar’s death.

Ansgar often wore a hair shirt, lived on bread and water when his health permitted it, and added short personal prayers to each Psalm in his Psalter, thus contributing to a form of devotion that soon became widespread.

Miracles were said to have been worked by him. After Ansgar’s death, the work he had begun came to a stop and the area reverted to paganism. Christianity did not begin to make headway in Scandinavia until two centuries later with the work of Saint Sigfried and others. A life story was written about Ansgar by his fellow missionary in Scandinavia, Saint Rembert (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Fanner, Gill, Robinson, White)

In art Ansgar is shown with converted Danes with him (White), wearing a fur pelisse (Roeder). He may sometimes be shown otherwise in a boat with King Harold and companions or in a cape and miter Hamburg Cathedral (Roeder).

Saint Ansgar is the patron of Denmark, Germany and Iceland (White). He is venerated in Old Corbie (Picardy) and New Corbie (Saxony) as well as in Scandinavia (Roeder).

2月5日:圣亚加大(贞女丶 殉道)(纪念)St. Agatha

乳癌病患者的主保

 圣女大约在罗马德西乌斯皇教难时,在西西里岛加大尼亚殉道;其敬礼於第六世纪就列入罗马礼中。

 圣女是一位年轻貌美的丶富有的女青年,自幼立志守贞。

 时值罗马皇帝禁制基督徒,地方长官垂涎她的姿色,竭力追求,遭圣女严词拒绝。地方长官老羞成怒,将圣女逮捕下狱,威吓利诱,期望她面 对酷刑及死亡 威胁时会回心转意。但她坚决拒绝及祈祷说:「耶稣基督,万有的主,你明察我的内心,你深知我的渴望。你是我的一切,我是你的羊,请帮助我克胜魔诱!」

 恶官威逼圣女背主不遂,下令毒鞭拷打,烈火炙烧,施刑威迫圣女背主,并唆使妓院的鸨母败坏她的贞操,不遂,遂割去她的双乳,圣女仍不 屈。最後圣女 经多次酷刑,二五一年二月五日夜,她於狱中喘息着说:「主,我的造物主,从我的摇篮起,你一直保护我,你救我摆脱了世俗的诱惑,你给我力量忍受世苦,现在 请收我的灵魂吧!」说毕,一缕芳魂,飞入天国,荣获殉道和贞洁的双重花冠。圣女的芳名,列入弥撒圣祭经文中。

5 February St. Agatha of Sicily

Honored since ancient times, Saint Agatha's name is included in the canon of the Mass.

St. Agatha's family lived in Sicily and were very rich and important. Young, beautiful and rich, she lived a life dedicated to God. St. Agatha refused marriage proposals from all the men who asked. Quintian the magistrate believed himself to be of high enough rank to be worthy of her affection, but she refused him also.

When Decius announced the edicts against Christians, the magistrate Quinctianus tried to profit by Agatha’s sanctity; he planned to blackmail her into sex in exchange for not charging her. He had her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil."

He then turned Saint Agatha over to a brothel, but she refused to accept customers and had suffered a month of assault and humiliation in the brothel.

Quintian brought her back before him, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came from Jesus.

After rejecting Quinctianus’s advances, she was beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and her breasts were crushed and cut off.

God gave her the relief she needed in the form of a vision of Saint Peter who then healed her wounds.

Imprisoned further, she was rolled on live coals. To increase the torture, she was not permitted to be burned to death, but taken back to her dungeon to die in agony.

she died after saying a final prayer: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul."

A year after her martyrdom, when Mount Etna was in eruption, the terrified inhabitants of Catania Sicily, in the district, took refuge at her shrine, and finding there her veil, they stuck it on a lance and marched towards the mountain, invoking her intercession, with a result that the fire was at once put out.

Saint Agatha is the patron of Sufferers from diseases of the breast and she is also protector against fire.

2月6日:圣保禄三木及同伴 (日本殉道)(纪念)Ss. Paul Miki and Companions

 圣保禄三木於公元一五六四至一五六六年之间,在日本出生,後入耶稣会修道,即在本国宣讲福音,成绩颇佳。当日本教难时,与其他二十五 位教友(其中 有一名十三岁的华侨教友名郑安道),一同被捕,备受凌辱,终於一五九七年二月五日,解至长崎,捆拴在十字架上,一一被长矛刺死,为主殉道。

2月8日:圣热罗尼莫.艾明 廉(司铎)St. Jerome Emiliani

 圣人於一四八六年出生於威尼斯。起初从军,後解甲归里,慷慨解囊,专事济贫工作。旋在意大利北方索马斯加创立神职修会,以賙济贫苦孤 儿为宗旨。一五三七年在索马斯加逝世。

2月8日:圣女若瑟芬.柏姬 达(贞女)St. Josephine Bakhita

(1869-1947) Canossian Nun

 圣女若瑟芬柏姬达是一位黑人,是嘉诺撒修会的修女。若瑟芬柏姬达大概是在一八六九年,在苏丹(Sudan)的达尔富地区出生。我们不 知道她的父母是谁,她很小的时候便被人拐去卖作奴隶,而且被人贩卖多次,受过不同的主人的虐待。

 柏姬达为了取得自由和逃避虐待,她曾多次逃走。可是每次都被人捉回之後,主人又会用鞭打来惩罚她。

 终於「幸运之神」来到了,今次他被卖给意大利驻苏丹的领事夫妇。这对夫妇对他非常好,就好像是自己的女儿一般的叫他读书写字。有一 次,领事夫妇带 她到热那亚看一位好朋友,他有一个三岁的女儿,和柏姬达一见如故,於是,主人便将柏姬达送给她们,柏姬达在那儿开心地过她的童年生活。後来还送到威尼斯的 嘉诺撒修院学教理。柏姬达认识天主,深深感受到天主的爱,耶稣的伟大牺牲精神,便决心跟随,做修女。当主人知道後大怒,认为柏姬达是奴隶身份,便得一生跟 着主人。後得修女的帮助才说服主人让她入修院。柏姬达於一八九六年发初愿,正式成为嘉诺撒的修女。

 柏姬达以爱心及基督的牺牲精神为人服务,世界大战期间她参加多项工作,照顾伤兵及安慰她们。她到过的地方都得到人的爱戴。

 柏姬达於一九四七年二月八日去世。二千年十月一日教宗若望保禄二世册封为圣人。圣柏姬达成了非洲天主教国家的主保圣人。

Eucharist quotes (2/8 St. Josephine Bakhita)

St. Josephine spent hours in Eucharistic Adoration and, when one Sister asked if it tired her, she said, "Not at all! I have been having a wonderful time with Him. He has waited so long for me."

2月10日:圣思嘉 (St. Scholastica 480 - 542)

 圣女思嘉与她的双胞胎兄长圣本笃,在距离彼此不远的地方同时创建了隐修院。

 圣女与她的兄长本笃诞生於480年(出生地在义大利的诺西亚),他们在一个很富有的家庭里一起成长,直到本笃前往罗马读书时,二人才 短暂地分离。关於圣女早年的生活,我们所知甚少。她在Plombariola的加西诺山(Monte Cassino),为妇女创建了一座隐院,该处距离她兄长本笃所建立的团体,仅距离五哩之遥而已。这对双胞胎兄妹每年会在附近的农舍中彼此会晤一次,这是 因为本笃自己规定,女性不得进入男隐院内;他们只能藉由这些会晤的机会,彼此讨论属天的事物。

 按《圣大额我略的对话录》所载,这对兄妹在世的最後一天是在祈祷与对话中渡过的;思嘉由於已意识到自己死亡的时刻已到,因此恳请她的 兄长本笃能陪同她直到次日。

 可是,本笃拒绝了圣女,因为他认为修道人在修院外过夜并不妥,违反了他自己所订下的会规。为了让其兄长留下,圣女便向天主祈求。於 是,雷声大作丶滂沱大雨便从天而降,圣本笃与他的修士们便因大雨而无法回去会院了。

 本笃见状便呼喊道:「妹妹,愿天主宽赦妳!妳究竟做了什麽呢?」思嘉回答说:「我请你留下,你拒绝了;我只好向天主请求,而祂却应允 了我!现在,你若能回去,就离开我回到你的隐修院去吧!」

 在促膝长谈一夜之後,这对兄妹隔天早晨便各自回会院去了。三天後,本笃在会院内祈祷时,在异象中看见了妹妹的灵魂以一只白鸽的样式往 天堂飞奔而 去。於是,本笃便向其他修士宣布圣思嘉的死讯,并将其安葬在原先预备给自己的坟墓内。圣女约在542年过世,不久後,她的兄长圣本笃也随着过世了。

SAINT SCHOLASTICA

Born in Nursia (Nurcia), Italy, c. 480 (?); died near Monte Cassino, Italy, c. 543. Almost everything we know about Saint Scholastica comes from the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great.

Saint Scholastica, twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia who founded of the Benedictine order, was consecrated to God at a very early age but probably continued to live in her parents' home. It is said that she was as devoted to Jesus as she was to her brother. So, when Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a convent in nearby Plombariola, about five miles south of Monte Cassino. The convent is said to have been under the direction of her brother, thus she is regarded as the first Benedictine nun.

The siblings were quite close. The respective rules of their houses proscribed either entering the other's monastery. According to Saint Gregory, they met once a year at a house near Monte Cassino monastery to confer on spiritual matters, and were eventually buried together, probably in the same grave. Saint Gregory says, "so death did not separate the bodies of these two, whose minds had ever been united in the Lord."

Saint Gregory tells the charming story of the last meeting of the two saints on earth. Scholastica and Benedict had spent the day in the "mutual comfort of heavenly talk" and with nightfall approaching, Benedict prepared to leave. Scholastica, having a presentiment that it would be their last opportunity to see each other alive, asked him to spend the evening in conversation. Benedict sternly refused because he did not wish to break his own rule by spending a night away from Monte Cassino. Thereupon, Scholastica cried openly, laid her head upon the table, and prayed that God would intercede for her. As she did so, a sudden storm arose. The violent rain and hail came in such a torrential downpour that Benedict and his companions were unable to depart.

"May Almighty God forgive you, sister" said Benedict, "for what you have done."

"I asked a favor of you," Scholastica replied simply, "and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!"

Just after his return to Monte Cassino, Benedict saw a vision of Scholastica's soul departing her body, ascending to heaven in the form of a dove. She died three days after their last meeting. He placed her body in the tomb he had prepared for himself, and arranged for his own to be placed there after his death. Her relics were alleged by the monk Adrevald to have been translated (July 11) to a rich silver shrine in Saint Peter's Church in Le Mans, France, which may have been when Benedict's were moved to Fleury. In 1562, this shrine was preserved from the Huguenots' plundering.

2月11日:露德圣母 Our Lady of Lourde

 纪念无玷童贞圣母玛利亚於一八五八年,在法国露德附近一山洞中十八次显现给伯尔纳德。 圣母透过这贫穷的小女孩,呼吁罪人悔改。 显现事件在教会中,掀起了很大的祈祷与爱德善功的热潮,为贫病人服务,尤为诸善功中之佼佼者。

露德圣母的故事

露德是法国南部一个美丽的小镇,一八四四年的一月七日,一个小女孩在这里出生了,她的父母喜悦无比。 两天之後,女婴接受洗礼,沿用热心恭敬圣母的圣女--圣伯尔纳德之名,取名为玛利.伯尔纳德。

 小伯尔纳德约六个月大时,母亲罹患重病,将她送到邻村托给一位友人爱若温特太太抚养。 这位友人是虔诚的天主教友,视同己出来照顾哺育。直到十五个月後,小伯尔纳德才又被带回到露德的父母身边。

 伯尔纳德的父亲施比尔斯拥有一家磨面厂,由於技术不佳,经营不善,不得不放弃了这家磨面工厂。 伯尔纳德十一岁时他们搬离之後,经常居无定所,最後在母亲娘家亲戚的首肯下,搬进一个小阁楼里去住。 这间小房子曾是露德地方上的监狱。 施比尔斯一家除了伯尔纳德,还有三个弟妹,虽然贫穷,但虔诚平和,藉由每晚诵念玫瑰经丶每个主日参与弥撒,亲近天主和圣母。

 一八五七年,伯尔纳德的养母玛利.爱若温特太太徵得她父母的同意,让伯尔纳德搬去巴翠斯与她同住,要她看管羊群, 从此这位小小的牧羊女,整日与小羊嬉戏,采野花编花冠戴在圣母像的头上以荣耀圣母,随身带着念珠诵念玫瑰经, 感到与天主和圣母是这样的接近。

 日子一天一天的过去,伯尔纳德十分渴望有机会进学校读书及开领圣体。 一八五八年的一月伯尔纳德请求父母接她回到露德,这位小小的牧羊女回到那阴暗丶潮湿的老狱房。 後来她进入一个收容所,里面由纳威斯慈善修女会办学授课。

 一八五八年二月十一日星期四,这天异常的寒冷,伯尔纳德偕同妹妹安多利特丶邻居珍.阿贝娣,在近午时分,一同去找柴火。 她们沿着盖沃溪走着,自群山间经过一片青草地往塞维磨坊走去,由河道的主流走向水道与溪流的交会处引到一个岩洞的前面, 当日磨坊休工没有转动,安多利特和珍已在两溪的交会处涉水而过,而伯尔纳德还站在一旁观望,突然地, 一阵连续强风袭来,声音响亮而清晰,令她不觉为之一愣。

 伯尔纳德朝着岩洞的方向望去,不远处正站着一位身着白衣的美丽女子,让她大惊失色,当即拿出念珠恭念玫瑰经, 正当举手划十字圣号时,手臂却感到麻木而不能动弹,令她又惊又怕。 这位高贵的女士甜美地笑了,也拿出玫瑰经念珠来,然後划十字圣号。 伯尔纳德此时定睛凝视着她,并跟随举手划十字圣号,所有惊恐都消失了,当她双膝跪下,不一会儿美丽的女士就渐渐地消失了。

 在回家的路上,伯尔纳德问女孩们在岩洞附近看到什麽没有。 她们都不觉有异,但从伯尔纳德回答的语气,两个女孩怀疑她有什麽秘密? 便开始缠着追根究底,直到伯尔纳德说出了整个实情,然而妹妹安多利特却不能守秘,回到家就向母亲吐露实情。 由於母亲担心伯尔纳德是一时的幻觉,或遇到了魔鬼,便嘱咐她不要准再去那个地方。

 伯尔纳德想到那位美丽的女子,如此超凡脱俗,不可能欺骗她。 主日当天,伯尔纳德感到一股力量正吸引着她到岩洞去,只好恳求母亲准许。 另有五六个小朋友也渴望能去,母亲终於答应了。 她们一行来到岩洞,正要念玫瑰经时,那位高贵女子出现在伯尔纳德前面,她按母亲的嘱咐,立刻朝女子显现方向洒三次圣水, 又对那位女子说,如果她是天主的使者请向前,那位女子听了就微笑朝向伯尔纳德走过来。 不久伯尔纳德与同伴们念完玫瑰经後,很奇妙的站在这位女子前面,而欣喜若狂不能自己。

 接下来的星期四,堂区的圣母团体的两位教友也一起到岩洞,并且随身带了祝圣过的蜡烛丶纸张和笔墨。 当抵达这个岩洞时,伯尔纳德看到那位女士正在等她了。 这次她请这位女士把她的意愿和要求写下来,但那位女士表示不需要,只要她一连两个星期,每天到岩洞来就可以。 这位女士又说,伯尔纳德虽无今生短暂的幸福,但会得到天堂永恒的快乐。 伯尔纳德听了欣喜万分,继续专心祈祷了约一个小时後,这位女士就消失了。 伯尔纳德得到母亲的同意,为信守承诺,每天都到山洞这里来,而这位美丽的女士,回报她的到访,前後在她面前一共显现十八次。

 当显灵事件传开後,远近各地的人们蜂拥而来争睹伯尔纳德一眼,但也因此让地方官员不悦,同时调侃整件事的荒谬, 试图恫吓伯尔纳德和她的父亲。然而伯尔纳德既已答应这位美丽的女士,仍信守承诺每天来会见她。 这位美丽的女士遂将她个人的秘密,透露给伯尔纳德,以增强她的信心,并要她为罪人祈祷,多作牺牲与补赎, 又指着一处会冒出神奇泉水的地上,告知有着治愈身心病痛的功效。

 伯尔纳德便按这女士示意走到岩洞的一角地方,用双手将泥土拨开,在拨开的小洞口瞬间涌出一股清泉来,她啜饮了几口,再照指示, 洗了一把脸,这时泉水便不停地涌出,激流成小渠道,从山石间婉延而下。 凭着信德丶怀着爱心,和对圣母玛利亚的虔敬,这如水晶般清彻纯净的清泉发挥了神奇的治病功效,它带走了世人无数的病痛。

 当伯尔纳德第十一次来到山洞时,美丽的女士要她转告当地的神父:在山洞的附近建一座教堂; 三天以後,就在第十四次显现的时候,这位女士又要伯尔纳德转告神父,她要求举行游行到山洞的活动。 伯尔纳德衔命立刻去面见她堂区的培瑞梅神父,向他说出女士的要求。培瑞梅神父行事谨慎,没有亲见岩洞的显现,不愿轻举妄动。 因此他必须知道这位女士的大名,及要求盖教堂的证据。 尤其听到要求游行时有些激动,怀疑是伯尔纳德自己编故事,或是这位女士在玩花样。 认为若是来自天上,就必须送请主教批准,也相对提出要求: 如果这位女士能证明自己身分,就在每次显现的地方,当着众人面前突然地绽放一丛野玫瑰来,并要她依例站立其上。 伯尔纳德听了这个提议,微笑着离开了。

 在这段期间此地已出现了太多的奇迹: 奇妙的泉水丶病人的治愈丶更多的人群皈依天主,还有蜂拥的群众,以及当这位天堂的女士在伯尔纳德面前显现时, 伯尔纳德在凝神的祝祷中形貌的改变。还需要证明吗? 然而,到了三月二十五日圣母领报节那天,这位美丽的女士在伯尔纳德三度向她祈求之後,终於揭示: 「我是无染原罪的。」然後她就消失了。

 伯尔纳德赶忙去找堂区的神父,虽然她并不懂「无染原罪」这几个字的意思,但她相信神父会懂的,一路上害怕忘了不停的默念着。 当培瑞梅神父听到这几个字时,一时显得十分激动,令在旁的伯尔纳德惊讶不已。 对神父和信友们而言,现在已不用怀疑那位在山岩显现的是谁了,她就是天国之后--圣母玛利亚。 早在一八五四年十二月八日,教宗碧岳九世即已宣布圣母无染原罪的信理召告世界; 圣母玛利亚在成胎之初,因天主的特恩,免於原罪的沾染。 而今圣母自称「无染原罪」,在伯尔纳德面前显现,就是藉此向世界证实这一项天主教的信理。

 此後,圣母又在伯尔纳德前显现了两次。在四月十七日那天,当圣母显现时,伯尔纳德凝神专注陷於神魂超拔之中。 她的左手不慎握住了右手所持的蜡烛,只见火苗从她的指间冒了出来,足足有十五分钟之久,但她丝亳不觉疼痛,也没有任何被灼伤的痕迹。 群众一阵惊慌,在场目睹的医生,在伯尔纳德回复到现实来时,要求检验她的手指反应是否正常。 在用火试验中,伯尔纳德迅速把手缩回,显然她手是有良好感觉。

 七月十六日嘉尔默罗圣母节,圣母再次显现给伯尔纳德,这次警方在山岩的出入口设置路障,伯尔纳德和她的姑姑无法走近岩洞, 只得行过了盖沃溪,再面朝显灵的洞口跪下,圣母的微笑和眼神超过了路障直接投向她们, 圣母那不同凡俗的笑容是她仅见的一次,从此她在这个世界再也没有见到圣母了。

 这段时间,大批人潮与团体纷纷拥向岩洞祈祷。 而警方为维护秩序在此设置层层路障管制,引起群众怨声载道,怨声传到法国皇帝拿破仑三世的耳里,於是下令官员把路障移走, 不再干预群众来此朝圣。至於,人潮涌向露德的现象,有些自由派人士,完全否定这个奇迹,他们认为这是伯尔纳德的幻想或有精神异常。 而且教会当局还未发布任何有关显灵的消息,当地行政官员认为这些现象是迷信的行为,对教会有不利影响。

 在此期间,教会方面耐心等待事件渐趋明朗後,培瑞梅神父与劳伦斯主教终於相信伯尔纳德,不再怀疑圣母显现。 在一八五八年的七月二十八日那天,一个调查委员会成立,由学有专精的神职人员丶知名的科学家及医生们组成,以四年的时间, 致力於调查显灵的真实性,举凡水质丶治愈者丶岩洞和伯尔纳德本人,都经过详查和严谨检验。 到了一八六二年,劳伦斯主教以教会的立场,郑重宣布:信友们确认圣母在露德岩洞显现给伯尔纳德十八次。

 至於圣母要求建圣堂及游行一事,主教也给予同意,并立刻着手进行。 首次在显灵地点举行的仪式是圣母大理石雕像落成的祝圣大典,由教会具有圣德的雕刻家,根据伯尔纳德的描述精心雕制完成後放置在岩洞。

 培瑞梅神父在圣母显灵的岩洞保持原状下,盖了三座教堂在山岩顶端的空地上,於一八六六年五月二十一日完工举行祝圣礼。 当日弥撒由主教亲自主礼,而参与弥撒的伯尔纳德站在圣母的一群孩子们当中,她深深地察觉到与圣母是这样的接近, 也感到亲临祭坛上的耶稣就在旁边。一八七三年,第一个盛大的法国国内的朝圣之旅开始了。

 不久,雄伟庄严的大殿终於落成祝圣,也为露德圣母雕像隆重的举行加冕。 全体教会为纪念这个不凡的日子,特别将二月二十一日订为「露德圣母日」。 在岩洞那座圣母大理石雕像祝圣後不久,伯尔纳德获准加入她在此读书的女修会,很快就接受会服, 取名为玛利.伯尔纳德修女,开始她在此修会的初学。

 就在同一年,一八六六年十一月,伯尔纳德严重生病了,由於气喘病发,她咳嗽丶吐血,非常严重。 修女们担心她会不治身亡,让她领了临终圣体以及傅油圣事,并且准许她矢发贫穷丶贞洁和服从三愿。 在这一连串的临终准备之後,伯尔纳德竟因此很快恢复元气,也曾在病危时,同意她的请求,饮用露德的泉水後痊愈,重获健康。 当她完成了初学以後,於一八六七年十月十三日与同伴们一起发了终身誓愿。

 伯尔纳德还在初学阶段时,一八六六年十二月八日圣母无染原罪日,母亲辞世了,深感伤心难过。 由於培瑞梅神父的帮助,父亲成为拉丕卡溪上的拉卡德磨坊的主人,这时一家的生活才较为好转。

 在修会的奉献生活中,玛利.伯尔纳德修女的谦逊丶慈善丶苦修,尤其是她舍弃自我,完全服从天主的精神,深深地感动教化了其他的修女 们。她负责祭衣 的管理和医疗服务,工作中,她的仁慈关爱,令众人嘱目,更得到病患们衷心的感激。当她後来由於气喘丶肺病丶骨伤而卧病不起时,她把自己的病痛奉献於天主, 与基督的苦难结合。在圣母面前,她早已学会了含笑以对,而今缠绵病榻,她也学会了带着笑容,勇敢的面对自己的十字苦架。

 有一天,院长修女来探视玛利.伯尔纳德修女,问候她,并垂询她的近况,修女温婉简洁地回答院长,她正忙於自己的职责。 当她被问到职责为何的时候,她说:「我在生病。」这种委顺於天主的精神不禁令人肃然起敬! 她辗转病榻的日子既苦且长,终於在受尽了折磨和苦楚之後与世长辞了,那是一八七九年四月十六日星期三的复活节, 死时靠在一张有扶手的椅子上,时年才三十五岁。

 在她去世的前一年的九月二十二日,她许下了终身誓愿。死後伯尔纳德受到各地人们的尊崇与仰慕。 人们称她为谦逊圣女丶纯朴圣女丶明智圣女,以及圣母密友。有关她的奇迹也不断地发生,她的遗体完好无恙,没有腐坏。

 一九二五年七月十一日,教宗碧岳十一世宣布伯尔纳德为真福。 一九三三年十二月八日,在一项盛大的庆典中,教宗在圣伯多禄大殿宣布伯尔纳德为圣人。

 伯尔纳德,这位纯朴的法国乡间女孩,为圣母所拣选,向世界宣告圣母允准的「无染原罪」信理。 作为圣母的小小使者,她不仅把天国确认的信条向世人报晓;也由於她的请求,建立起一座庄严巍峨的圣殿; 同时更经由她,信友们来此朝圣和游行。她所实践的就是圣母对孩子们所要求的:度圣善的生活--爱丶祈祷和补赎。

 现在每年从世界各地来到露德朝圣的人们络绎不绝,参与午夜的烛光游行中,人人手持念珠,口中喃喃诵念着玫瑰圣母经, 当「万福丶万福丶玛利亚……」圣母颂在黑夜的一角响起时,天主和圣母玛利亚是如此的接近,感动着每个朝圣者的心灵。

2月13日:圣蓝月旺(司 铎丶殉道) St. John of Triora

 圣蓝月旺,圣名若望,一七六○年二月十五日生於意大利。十七岁时入方济会,晋铎後,多次请求来中国传教。於一八○○年获准,先到澳 门,後到陕西及 湖南一带传教,劝化多人领洗入教。後当地发生教难,被捕入狱。一八一六年二月十三日,被判绞刑,为主牺牲。一九○○年,由教宗良十二世宣布他为真福。二千 禧年十月一日宣圣。

http://www.ofm.org.hk/300-History-Saints/310-Chinese-Franciscan-Martyrs/chinesefranciscansaints.htm#triora

2月14日:圣济利禄(隐修 士)及圣默多狄 (主教)( 纪念) Ss. Cyril & Methodius

 圣济利禄(隐修士)及圣默多狄(主教)是两兄弟。他们是九世纪的伟大传教士,致力於向斯拉夫民族传扬福音,有斯拉夫宗徒的美誉。

 圣济利禄生於希腊得撒洛尼城,在君士坦丁堡受良好教育,与胞弟默多狄同往摩拉维亚丶保加利亚等地宣道,以希腊文字母为基础,创造了斯 拉夫字母,并用斯拉夫语翻译圣经等,又共同编订後人所称「济利禄礼」礼仪书。

 八六九年,兄弟二人,被召赴罗马,济利禄於八六九年二月十四日在罗马逝世,葬於圣格来孟大殿。其弟则被立为主教,随即至巴诺尼亚(匈 牙利)传教,不遗馀力;後遭人嫉妒,历尽艰辛,但获罗马教宗的支持。八八五年四月六日在捷克佛莱拉城安逝。

2月17日:圣母忠仆会七位 会祖Seven Founders of the Servite Order

 七位圣祖均为意大利佛罗伦斯人,首先在塞纳里山上度隐修生活,特别敬礼圣母。後在多西加省各处宣讲福音,共同创立圣母忠仆会。一三○ 四年菜圣座核准。七位会祖中之一名圣雅来西.法高尼,据说於一三一○年二月十七日安逝,故定本日为他们的纪念日。

2月18日:圣刘格来(方济 克莱)(司铎丶殉道) St. Francis-Regis Clet

 圣刘格来(方济.克莱)原籍法国,一七四八年生,二十岁时,进里昂遣使会,晋铎後曾任神学教授;後来中国,在江西两湖一带传教,共三 十馀年。後遇教难,被捕入狱,受绞刑为主殉道,时年七十二岁。

 教宗若望保禄二世於二千禧宣布他为圣人。

2月18日:圣吴学圣丶圣文 乃耳及同伴 (殉道)

 圣吴学圣,圣名玛尔定,贵州人,一八一七年生,吴学圣生自热心教友家庭,在主教的邀请下帮助神父到多处地方传教,但多次被地方人士所 压迫及驱逐。

 圣文乃耳司铎,圣名若望.伯多禄,一八三二年生於法国里昂,为巴黎外方传教会会士,在领受司祭职後三个月即起程前往中国传教,抵步时 是二十七岁,他立刻开始学习语言,一年後就在二十多间圣堂照顾教友及传播福音。文神父邀请易贞美,陈显恒及吴学圣协助他的福传工作。

 圣陈显恒,圣名若望,四川人,一八二○年生,在贵阳认识了几位教友後听道领洗入教。神父见他虔诚事主,率直朴实,平易近人,便邀请他 习医及传教。

 圣张天申,圣名若望,贵州人,一八○五年生,共有十五名子女,但不幸相继死亡,只馀下两名子女,因见人生苦短,遂打算在家修行,更在 邻近兴建庵堂,但仍难心安。有一天,他在开阳城遇见一位传道员及听道,随後他回家焚化佛像,决意信主。

 文乃尔神父奉主教之命探访张天申,为张天申及其妻子施洗。仇教官员派人到张天申家中,把他和文神父,陈显恒,吴学圣拘捕,抢走家中值 钱物品,并以酷刑虐待。在审讯期间,他们表示决不背教,终被判斩首死刑。

 张天申是有名的好人,故一直都有亲友恳切地劝他悔(背)教说:「只要你说一句,等风波平息後,仍旧可随便恭敬你天主呀。」

 张天申坦诚回答:「神父要为天主而死,我也不辞为主而死。」

 亲友:「你太固执,你的小女才生下几个月,你死後她靠谁呢?」

 张天申:「不要紧,天主自会安排。」

 一些差役也善意的劝说:「我们愿担保你,只要你说一个悔字。」

 张天申说:「万万不能说『悔』,我只悔太迟信教领洗,没有早认识天主。」

 一九○九年由庇护十世宣布他们为真福。教宗若望保禄二世於二千禧宣布他们为圣人。

2月17日:圣母忠仆会七位 会祖Seven Founders of the Servite Order

 七位圣祖均为意大利佛罗伦斯人,首先在塞纳里山上度隐修生活,特别敬礼圣母。後在多西加省各处宣讲福音,共同创立圣母忠仆会。一三○ 四年菜圣座核准。七位会祖中之一名圣雅来西.法高尼,据说於一三一○年二月十七日安逝,故定本日为他们的纪念日。

2月18日:St. Geltrude Comensoli

(1847-1903) Foundress: Institute of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

Geltrude Comensoli was born in Bienno in Val Camonica, Brescia, on January 18, 1847, the fifth of ten children. On the same day of her birth, her parents, Carlo and Anna Maria Milesi, took her to the parish Church to be baptized and she was given the name of Caterina. During her childhood, Caterina experienced the joys of innocence and light-heartedness typical of that age. However, the Lord instilled within her the necessity of being intimately united to Him: she was often drawn by a strong desire to pray and meditate deeply. To those who asked her what she was doing she would answer: “I am thinking”.

At the age of seven, unable to resist any longer the pressing invitation of Jesus, one day, in the very early morning, she wrapped herself in her mother’s black shawl and went to the nearby Saint Mary’s Church. Standing at the balustrade, she secretely made her First Communion. Caterina experienced a “heavenly” feeling and swore eternal love to Jesus. The child became more serious, meditative and more absorbed in the thought of Jesus present in the Eucharist who, she realized, was often left alone for many days. While still young, she became an Apostle of the Eucharist: she would have liked to take Jesus present in the Holy Sacrament onto the top of a high mountain so that everyone could see and adore Him.

She chose some among the girls she knew to establish the Guard of Honour. Her ideal was Jesus. The motto: “Jesus, loving You and making others love You”, became the program of her life. Attracted by a more perfect life, she left her family in 1862 and joined the convent of the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Bartolomea Capitanio in Lovere, Brescia. Everyone had the highest hopes for her but the wonderful and mysterious ways of Providence were different. The Postulant became seriously ill and was dismissed from the Institute.

After her recovery, she left her village due to the financial situation of her family and, surely not by chance, entered into domestic service, first with Rev. G. B. Rota, parish priest of Chiari, who a few years later was to become the Bishop of Lodi, and afterwards with the Countess Fé-Vitali. These meetings and experiences were to be very important to Caterina. During the Christmas season of 1876 she reaffirmed her dedication to Jesus and wrote a very demanding way of conducting her life, to which she remained faithful.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi of 1878, with the permission of her confessor, she made the vow of chastity, which she had made on the morning of her secret Comunion, perpetual. Without neglecting her duties as a domestic servant, Caterina decided to educate the children of San Gervasio, Bergamo, guiding them towards an honest life of christian and social virtues.

By means of assiduous prayer, mortification, an intense interior life and the practice of the deeds of charity, Caterina prepared herself to accept the will of the Lord. Freed from family responsibilities after her parents’ death, the young woman sought a way to achieve her Eucharistic ideal.

She opened her heart to the Bishop of Bergamo Mgr Speranza, who was, at that time, in Bienno as a guest of the Fé-Vitali’s. He encouraged and assured her that her plans were the will of God.

In 1880, while in Rome with the Fé-Vitali’s, she succeeded in speaking with Pope Leo XIII about her plans to establish a religious institute devoted to the adoration of the Eucharist. The Pope changed them by inviting her to include the education of young female factory workers as well.

Supported by the new Bishop of Bergamo, Mgr Guindani, and by her “Father and Superior”, Rev. F. Spinelli, on December 15, 1882, Caterina, together with two of her friends began the Congregation of the Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo with the first adoration hour of the Blessed Sacrament. On December 15, 1884 she took the name of Sister Geltrude of the Blessed Sacrament.

The new Congregation revealed itself to be God’s work. In fact, like all God’s work, it endured many adversities which sorely tried the “tender little plant”. However, this plant had already spread its deep roots into the rich soil of prayer, mortification and humility. It mattered little that Sister Geltrude and her Sisters, advised by the Bishop of Bergamo, Mgr Camillo Guindani, successor to Mgr Speranza, had to abandon their first “nest” in order to take refuge in Lodi. Mgr Rota, Bishop of Lodi, welcomed them and generously gave them a house in Lavagna di Comazzo, which temporarily became the Mother House of the Institute.

When innumerable difficulties had been overcome, Mgr Rota, with the Decree of September 8, 1891, gave canonical recognition to the Institute. On March 28, 1892, Mother Geltrude returned to Bergamo, the birthplace of the Congregation. There she gave it decisive and strong direction. God’s work was fulfilled!

The Foundress had guaranteed by then the continuation of the perpetual and public adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and had instilled her precious ideas into her Sisters. Hers was a spirit of prayer, sacrifice, mortification, obedience, humility and charity mainly towards the poor. Therefore, she could approach her godly Bridegroom. On February 18, 1903, at midday, Mother Geltrude, bowing her head towards the Church of Adoration, began her eternal adoration. The news of her death quickly spread. Those who had known her, especially the poor and the humble, who were her favourite people, declared her a saint. On August 9, 1926, her venerable remains were taken from the cemetery of Bergamo to the Mother House of the Institute which she had established. There she lies in a special chapel next to the Church of Adoration.

By request of numerous people, on February 18, 1928, the Ordinary Process on the reputation of Mother Geltrude’s sanctity, her virtuous life as well as miracles, granted by God through Mother Geltrude’s intercession, began. It ended in 1939. In the same year, Pius XII authorized the preliminary investigation of the Apostolic Process in the Cause of Mother Geltrude.

On April 26, 1961, the General Congregation of the then Congregation of Sacred Rites was held in the presence of Pope John XXIII. His Holiness promulgated the Decree on the heroic virtuous life experienced by Mother Geltrude Comensoli, who was then given the title of “Venerable”.

On October 1, 1989, Pope John Paul II declared her a Blessed Soul. On April 26, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI entered her on the register of Saints.

Eucharist quotes (2/18 St. Geltrude Comensoli)

St. Geltrude had such a great love for the Blessed Sacrament that she founded an order, with its primary purpose as Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, called the Institute Of The Sisters Of The Blessed Sacrament."

2月19日:圣易贞美 (殉道)

 圣易贞美,圣名路济亚,四川绵阳人,一八一五年生,自幼品性温良端庄,自幼立志守贞,热心事主,并期望有机会为主殉。二十岁的她得文 乃尔神父指派 教导女童,并向妇孺教授道理。开阳仇教气氛强烈,易贞美得当地文神父邀请前往福传,二哥对她说:「妹,你既然想殉道,去吧!听长上命去救外教人的灵魂。」 易贞美答说:「随天主安排吧!我却不敢希望获殉道的光荣。」

 文乃尔神父奉主教之命探访张天申,为张天申及其妻子施洗。仇教官员派人到张天申家中,把他和文神父,陈显恒,吴学圣拘捕,易贞美随後 也被拘捕,在文神父等被杀後第二天同被判斩首。

 一九○九年五月二日,由教宗克护十世宣布她为真福。二千禧年十月一日宣圣。

2月21日:圣伯多禄.达弥 盎(主教丶圣师) St. Peter Damian

 圣人一○○七年生於意大利拉温那城。学有所成,即任教职;但不久,即遁往亚威拉纳泉的隐修院隐修。後被选为院长,竭力促进院务,推广 到意大利各 地。教会遭难时,圣人曾以行动协助罗马教宗;他一面着书立说,一面被教宗派为使者,以革新教会。後为教宗斯德望九世擢升为枢机,任奥斯底城主教;一○七二 年安逝,逝世後,立即受人尊为圣者。

2月21日:圣刘翰佐(司 铎丶殉道)

 圣刘翰佐,圣名保禄,四川乐至人,一七七八年生於热心教友家庭,三十五岁时晋铎,忠於圣职,後教难蔓延全国,被捕入狱,一八一九年二 月二十一日殉道。一九○○年五月二十九日,由教宗良十三世宣布他为真福。

 二千禧年十月一日宣圣。

2月22日:建立圣伯多禄宗 座 (庆日)

 本庆节始於第四世纪时的罗马,纪念伯多禄宗徒宣认耶稣为天主子丶默西亚。耶稣就把伯多禄及他的继任人,立为教会团结共融之最高有形可 见之连系。

(这节日本来是罗马人的亡者节,在进餐时留空一座位给亡者;教会移风易俗,纪念「建立圣伯多禄宗座」。)

2月22日:圣妇玛加利大高 多娜(St. Margaret of Cortona)

 圣妇玛加利大出身农家,七岁丧母,继母性情暴躁待她很不好。失去母爱的玛加利大,得不到良好的家庭教育,只知享乐,爱慕虚荣。十六岁 那年,与一位 富少年同居,享受卑污的肉身快乐达九年之久。某日,少年外出,竟被仇人暗杀。玛加利大恍然大悟,年青力壮俊美的人,何以一日之间竟遭杀害?美好的躯体变为 不堪入目之尸骸。因此,她感到生命的短暂与肉身的朽坏,她悔悟自己的放纵是悖逆天主的,若不回头改过,灵魂将永堕地狱。
 她将少年的遗产交给他的亲戚後,回到父亲家,可是遭到继母的为难。玛加利大很伤心,想起方济各会士对罪人异常慈受,便向高多娜城方济各会求助。从此,玛 加利大勤操苦行,但魔鬼常阴谋破坏。一天,忽有一个甘饴的声音对她说:「女儿!放心吧!我在苦难中与你同在。」
  玛加利大圣德之名传扬全邑,人人以圣女称之,玛加利大更感不安,每天默想耶苦难和追念自己以往的罪过。一天,耶稣发显给她说:「我降生救世,虽然甚苦,但 预知我的痛苦将换取世人的得救,所以悦乐爱难。可怜世间善人少,恶人多,然而即使整个世界上只有一个爱主修德的人,我也不惜负起十字架的苦难。」此後,玛 加利大以身灵所受之苦为罪人赔补而还爱於主,不少罪人因着她的祈祷而改过;炼灵也因着她的苦身补赎而早日脱离炼狱。
 圣女克己苦身廿三年之久,四 十八岁时,得到耶稣默示:「你离世之期已近,你祈祷赎所救的灵魂将陪伴着你。」公元一二九七年,圣女安然逝世,安葬於方济各会院圣堂内,墓前显了许多奇 迹。玛加利大一生告知我们,犯罪的人勿再冥顽,从速回头,补赎罪恶,天主将伸出双臂拥抱你的归来!
Saint Margaret of Cortona
Farmer's daughter. Her mother died when Margaret was seven years old, and her stepmother considered her a nuisance. Eloped with a young nobleman from Montepulciano, bore him a son, and lived as his mistress for nine years. In 1274 he was murdered by brigands, and his body dumped in a shallow grave.
Margaret saw the incident as a sign from God. She publicly confessed to the affair, and tried to return to her father's house; he would not accept her. She and her son took shelter with the Friars Minor at Cortona. Still young and attractive, Margaret sometimes had trouble resisting temptation, but each incident was followed by periods of deep self-loathing. To make herself unappealing to local young men, she once tried to mutilate herself, but was stopped by a Friar named Giunta.
She earned her keep by tending to sick women. She later began caring for the sick poor, living on alms, asking nothing for her services. Became a Franciscan tertiary in 1277. Margaret developed an deep and intense prayer life, and was given to ecstacies during which she received messages from heaven.
In 1286 she received charter to work with the sick poor. She gathered others of like mind, and formed them into tertiaries. They were later given the status of a congregation, and called the Poverelle (Poor Ones). Founded a hospital at Cortona. Preached against vice to any who would listen. Developed a great devotion to the Eucharist and Passion. Prophesied the date of her own death.
Though she worked for those in need, and though the poor sought her help and advice, the calumny of her earlier life followed her the rest of her days, and she was forever the target of local gossips.
O Saint Margaret of Cortona, I too come today as a pilgrim and I pause to pray with you at the feet of the image of Christ Crucified and Risen, whom, as a penitent, you contemplated at length. Lord Jesus, crucified for us, in offering yourself on Calvary for all humanity, you have revealed to us the wellsprings of everlasting life. May the mystery of your Passion enlighten our life making us ready to follow you on the way of holiness and love. Rekindle our faith; teach us to recognize and welcome in our everyday life the plans of your mysterious Providence. Give us the courage to confess our sins and open our hearts to sorrow, in order to receive the gift of your mercy. Empower us to forgive our brethren following the example of your love that knows no bounds. Help us to be humbly disposed to repair the harm we have done by actively and generously serving the poor, the sick, and all who are marginalized and without hope. Give everyone the joy of persevering faithfully, in full harmony with the Church, along the way of the particular calling. Above all others, show the young the splendid plan of love that you intend to bring about for them and with them at the threshold of the new millennium. Enable us to be peacemakers, tenacious weavers of daily relationships of fraternal solidarity, artisans of reconciliation, witnesses and apostles of the civilization of love. O glorious Saint Margaret of Cortona, present this request to your Crucified Lord and ours. Guide us with the strength of your example, support us with your constant protection, be our companion we beg you, till we reach our Father's house. Amen.
-Pope John Paul II, 1999

2月23日:圣玻里加 (主教丶殉道) (纪念) St. Polycarp

 圣人是若望宗徒的弟子,任斯米纳(今日土耳其境内)主教,为依纳爵.安提约基亚的朋友。他曾往罗马,与亚尼塞多教宗商讨,该在那一天 庆祝逾越节。一五五年左右,为主殉道,被焚死於城中广场内。

 《圣玻里加殉道录》(155/157年)是非常着名的圣人殉道记录,亦指出敬礼圣人的真意:

过是巴不得和他们团结一致,共作吾主的真门徒而已。

 「百夫长眼见犹太人掀起了争端,於是令将玻里加的遗骸留置刑场,并依照习惯加火焚烧。烧後,我们拣拾了灰中尚馀的碎骨,视为珍宝,胜 於宝石黄金, 供放在适宜的处所,敬为圣髑。於可能时,吾主赏赐我们在欢欣喜悦中,於存放圣髑的处所,聚众开会,庆祝殉道圣人(在天上)的诞辰,追念逝去的勇士;同时, 对於未来的勇士,加以训练和准备。」(《圣玻里加殉道录》,17-18章)

圣人金句

 「我赞美你,因为你曾认为今天,此时,我可被列入殉道者的行列中……信实及真理的天主,你坚守了你的许诺。为了这恩宠,为了这一切, 我赞美你丶称 谢你,并为了天上永远的大司祭,你可爱的圣子丶耶稣基督,我光荣你。他与你及圣神同在,藉着他,光荣归於你,现在及来世,永无穷尽。阿们。」(《圣玻里加 殉道录》14,2-3)

2月25日:Bl. Domenico Lentini

(1770 to 1828) Italian Priest who was known as “An Angel of the Altar”

Source: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/bios97.htm#lentini Domenico Lentini was born, the youngest of five, in Lauria, Potenza, Italy, on 20 November 1770, to parents who were poor but deeply religious. He felt called to the priesthood at the age of 14 and made great progress in piety as well as in his studies at the seminary in Salerno. He received priestly ordination in 1794 and exercised his ministry in Lauria throughout his life, He would spend long hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and celebrated the Eucharist with such intense participation that his contemporaries called him “an angel at the altar”. Fr Lentini was always available to administer the sacrament of Penance, and by his zeal he brought about the conversion of many sinners. He was totally dedicated to evangelizing activities not only in Lauria but throughout the Diocese and outside it. His Lenten homilies touched many hearts, because he first practiced what he preached. He also had a tender devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows spreading this devotion and founding a congregation of spiritual commitment, penance and charity. He intensely loved the Church and combined holiness of life with a profound Christian culture which he made available by teaching literature, philosophy and theology to young people, turning his house into an authentic Catholic school. He was a shining example of Gospel charity and saw Christ in the poor to whom he offered whatever he had. He observed a strict voluntary poverty, united to an unconditional obedience to his Bishop whom he regarded as God’s representative. Inspired by the humility of the Cross, he lived frugally, rigorously mortifying his body and sleeping little, with the floor as his bed, Through these harsh acts of penance, he offered himself to God in expiation and reparation for sinners. The Servant of God died on 25 February 1828. In his lifetime and after his death he was considered a saint, and the fame of his holiness endures.

Domenico Lentini was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

Eucharist quotes (2/25 Bl. Domenico Lentini)

Blessed Lentini would spend long hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and celebrated the Eucharist with such intense participation that his contemporaries called him “an angel at the altar.”

2月27日:St. Francis Possenti

(1838 to 1859)

Saint Gabriel Possenti is officially known as Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother and is the official Catholic patron of youth, seminarians, clerics, and the Abruzzi region of Italy. Gabriel Possenti was born in the famous town of Assisi, Italy on March 1, 1838. His family name was Francis Possenti. He was the eleventh of thirteen children born to Sante Possenti and Agnes Frisciotti Possenti. Sante was both a civil and Church lawyer, and served as an appointed public official in the Papal States, which included large sections of what would eventually become a unified Italy in 1859.

Young Francis was a normal young boy and teenager. He was interested in hunting and dancing and the theater, and was very popular among the other youth in Spoleto, where the family had moved from Assisi. Francis experienced a calling to the religious and priestly life and entered the Congregation of the Passionists, a religious community devoted to the living and preaching the saving merits of Our Lord’s passion and death. He took vows in the Passionist community and was given the religious name, Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. He was stricken with tuberculosis about a year before he was to be ordained a priest and died on February 27, 1862 in the Passionist monastery at Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi region of Italy.

Gabriel’s life as a religious was marked by a faithfulness to prayer, love of sacrifice, heroic virtue, and a very cheerful disposition despite his illness. Through his intercession, after his death, miraculous cures were obtained. Pope Benedict XV canonized Gabriel in 1920 and declared him a patron of Catholic youth. In 1959, Pope John XXIII named him the patron of the Abruzzi region, where he spent the last two years of his earthly life. His shrine at Gran Sasso is one of the more popular ones in Europe.

His unofficial adoption as the patron saint of handgunners and marksmen is based upon documented events in which Friar Possenti interceded when a couple of goblins were in the process of robbing some folks on a back road (or by some accounts terrorizing the residents of the town of Isola).

Friar Possenti approached the brigands and ordered them to leave. When they refused he drew a pair of pistols (some accounts say “revolvers” but given the 1859 date of the event, it was more likely they were flintlock or percussion single shot pistols) from beneath his tunic. They laughed at him, saying something to the effect of “...those are useless -- what would a priest know of hitting anything with a pistol...” and they advanced to attack him and the others.

Friar Possenti took aim at a lizard across the road, and cut it in half with a well placed shot. Friar Possenti pointed out that he still had another shot in his other pistol, and asked which of the goblins wished to receive it first --whereupon, they decided that they had more important business elsewhere and departed with a stream of cursing.

While accounts of the actual incident appear to have grown somewhat embellished over time, the core of the story has been reasonably substantiated by references to the event in a diary and the diocesan journal kept by the friars of his order.

Eucharist quotes (2/27 St. Francis Possenti)

“There is more sweetness in one hour of prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament than in all the world's crowded theaters, and brilliant drawing rooms, and giddy diversions, and social gatherings.”

“Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things but to do the ordinary well”