日曆

二月紀念的聖人

2月2日: 獻耶穌於聖殿(慶日) Presentation of the Lord

 耶穌聖誕後的第四十日。

 按猶太傳統,長子出生後第四十日,是奉獻於主的日子,故此,聖母瑪利亞和若瑟上聖殿,奉獻嬰孩耶穌。 那時,西默盎和亞納受到聖神感動,進入聖殿,接待了耶穌,並頌揚上主,尤其西默盎的聖歌,更彰顯了基督乃萬民之光; 基督來臨,是為驅逐世間的黑暗。(路2:22-40)

 「主啊!現在可照你的話,放你的僕人平安去了! 因為我親眼看見了,你在萬民前準備好的救援:為作啟示異邦的光明,你百姓以色列的榮耀。」(路2:29-32)

2月3日: 聖巴拉斯(主教、殉道) St. Blaise

 聖巴拉斯是亞美尼亞的瑟巴斯德城主教。其時教難慘烈,聖人退隱山林,與野獸為伍。 被捕後,解往衙門,中途遇一婦人,因其豬被野狼銜去,正在哀哭。 聖人口出一語,野狼即將豬送回。 又有一小孩魚骨卡在喉部,窒息將死,聖人顯靈跡,當場將其治愈,故後世患喉病者,多求聖人救治,即源於這一靈跡。 總督亞格利各勞對聖人施以鞭笞、鐵鉤等酷刑,並斷絕其飲食。但是那個重獲失豬的婦人,感聖人的恩,暗中送食物給他。 聖人最後被斬首致命,時約在公元三一六年。 在很多地方,本日將兩支蠟燭交叉成聖安德肋十字架形,安放在信友喉部或頭上,求聖人轉祈,免患喉疾。 中世紀時,聖人的敬禮流行甚廣,僅羅馬一地就有三十處聖堂奉獻於他。同時他也是羊毛加工、蠟燭製造、房屋建築以及技術人員的主保。

求聖巴拉斯主教代禱文

 藉著殉道聖人聖巴拉斯主教的轉求,願主醫治你的喉疾及任何其他疾病。因父,及子及聖神之名。亞孟。

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:聖安斯卡(主教) St. Ansgar (826-865)

 聖人於第九世紀初在法國出生,在高爾比隱修院受教育。公元八二六年往丹麥宣揚福音,旋往瑞典工作,後被選為德國漢堡主教,並為教宗額 我略四世所核准,委任為丹麥及瑞典兩地的宗座代表。聖人為了宣揚福音,歷盡艱辛,卻能百折不撓,克勝一切。八六五年逝世。

St. Ansgar (826-865)

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

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:聖亞加大(貞女、 殉道)(紀念)St. Agatha

乳癌病患者的主保

 聖女大約在羅馬德西烏斯皇教難時,在西西里島加大尼亞殉道;其敬禮於第六世紀就列入羅馬禮中。

 聖女是一位年輕貌美的、富有的女青年,自幼立志守貞。

 時值羅馬皇帝禁制基督徒,地方長官垂涎她的姿色,竭力追求,遭聖女嚴詞拒絕。地方長官老羞成怒,將聖女逮捕下獄,威嚇利誘,期望她面 對酷刑及死亡 威脅時會回心轉意。但她堅決拒絕及祈禱說:「耶穌基督,萬有的主,你明察我的內心,你深知我的渴望。你是我的一切,我是你的羊,請幫助我克勝魔誘!」

 惡官威逼聖女背主不遂,下令毒鞭拷打,烈火炙燒,施刑威迫聖女背主,並唆使妓院的鴇母敗壞她的貞操,不遂,遂割去她的雙乳,聖女仍不 屈。最後聖女 經多次酷刑,二五一年二月五日夜,她於獄中喘息著說:「主,我的造物主,從我的搖籃起,你一直保護我,你救我擺脫了世俗的誘惑,你給我力量忍受世苦,現在 請收我的靈魂吧!」說畢,一縷芳魂,飛入天國,榮獲殉道和貞潔的雙重花冠。聖女的芳名,列入彌撒聖祭經文中。

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:聖保祿三木及同伴 (日本殉道)(紀念)Ss. Paul Miki and Companions

 聖保祿三木於公元一五六四至一五六六年之間,在日本出生,後入耶穌會修道,即在本國宣講福音,成績頗佳。當日本教難時,與其他二十五 位教友(其中 有一名十三歲的華僑教友名鄭安道),一同被捕,備受凌辱,終於一五九七年二月五日,解至長崎,捆拴在十字架上,一一被長矛刺死,為主殉道。

2月8日:聖熱羅尼莫.艾明 廉(司鐸)St. Jerome Emiliani

 聖人於一四八六年出生於威尼斯。起初從軍,後解甲歸里,慷慨解囊,專事濟貧工作。旋在意大利北方索馬斯加創立神職修會,以賙濟貧苦孤 兒為宗旨。一五三七年在索馬斯加逝世。

2月8日:聖女若瑟芬.柏姬 達(貞女)St. Josephine Bakhita

(1869-1947) Canossian Nun

 聖女若瑟芬柏姬達是一位黑人,是嘉諾撒修會的修女。若瑟芬柏姬達大概是在一八六九年,在蘇丹(Sudan)的達爾富地區出生。我們不 知道她的父母是誰,她很小的時候便被人拐去賣作奴隸,而且被人販賣多次,受過不同的主人的虐待。

 柏姬達為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,主人又會用鞭打來懲罰她。

 終於「幸運之神」來到了,今次他被賣給意大利駐蘇丹的領事夫婦。這對夫婦對他非常好,就好像是自己的女兒一般的叫他讀書寫字。有一 次,領事夫婦帶 她到熱那亞看一位好朋友,他有一個三歲的女兒,和柏姬達一見如故,於是,主人便將柏姬達送給她們,柏姬達在那兒開心地過她的童年生活。後來還送到威尼斯的 嘉諾撒修院學教理。柏姬達認識天主,深深感受到天主的愛,耶穌的偉大犧牲精神,便決心跟隨,做修女。當主人知道後大怒,認為柏姬達是奴隸身份,便得一生跟 著主人。後得修女的幫助才說服主人讓她入修院。柏姬達於一八九六年發初願,正式成為嘉諾撒的修女。

 柏姬達以愛心及基督的犧牲精神為人服務,世界大戰期間她參加多項工作,照顧傷兵及安慰她們。她到過的地方都得到人的愛戴。

 柏姬達於一九四七年二月八日去世。二千年十月一日教宗若望保祿二世冊封為聖人。聖柏姬達成了非洲天主教國家的主保聖人。

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:聖思嘉 (St. Scholastica 480 - 542)

 聖女思嘉與她的雙胞胎兄長聖本篤,在距離彼此不遠的地方同時創建了隱修院。

 聖女與她的兄長本篤誕生於480年(出生地在義大利的諾西亞),他們在一個很富有的家庭裡一起成長,直到本篤前往羅馬讀書時,二人才 短暫地分離。關於聖女早年的生活,我們所知甚少。她在Plombariola的加西諾山(Monte Cassino),為婦女創建了一座隱院,該處距離她兄長本篤所建立的團體,僅距離五哩之遙而已。這對雙胞胎兄妹每年會在附近的農舍中彼此會晤一次,這是 因為本篤自己規定,女性不得進入男隱院內;他們只能藉由這些會晤的機會,彼此討論屬天的事物。

 按《聖大額我略的對話錄》所載,這對兄妹在世的最後一天是在祈禱與對話中渡過的;思嘉由於已意識到自己死亡的時刻已到,因此懇請她的 兄長本篤能陪同她直到次日。

 可是,本篤拒絕了聖女,因為他認為修道人在修院外過夜並不妥,違反了他自己所訂下的會規。為了讓其兄長留下,聖女便向天主祈求。於 是,雷聲大作、滂沱大雨便從天而降,聖本篤與他的修士們便因大雨而無法回去會院了。

 本篤見狀便呼喊道:「妹妹,願天主寬赦妳!妳究竟做了什麼呢?」思嘉回答說:「我請你留下,你拒絕了;我只好向天主請求,而祂卻應允 了我!現在,你若能回去,就離開我回到你的隱修院去吧!」

 在促膝長談一夜之後,這對兄妹隔天早晨便各自回會院去了。三天後,本篤在會院內祈禱時,在異象中看見了妹妹的靈魂以一隻白鴿的樣式往 天堂飛奔而 去。於是,本篤便向其他修士宣佈聖思嘉的死訊,並將其安葬在原先預備給自己的墳墓內。聖女約在542年過世,不久後,她的兄長聖本篤也隨著過世了。

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:露德聖母 Our Lady of Lourde

 紀念無玷童貞聖母瑪利亞於一八五八年,在法國露德附近一山洞中十八次顯現給伯爾納德。 聖母透過這貧窮的小女孩,呼籲罪人悔改。 顯現事件在教會中,掀起了很大的祈禱與愛德善功的熱潮,為貧病人服務,尤為諸善功中之佼佼者。

露德聖母的故事

露德是法國南部一個美麗的小鎮,一八四四年的一月七日,一個小女孩在這裡出生了,她的父母喜悅無比。 兩天之後,女嬰接受洗禮,沿用熱心恭敬聖母的聖女--聖伯爾納德之名,取名為瑪利.伯爾納德。

 小伯爾納德約六個月大時,母親罹患重病,將她送到鄰村托給一位友人愛若溫特太太撫養。 這位友人是虔誠的天主教友,視同己出來照顧哺育。直到十五個月後,小伯爾納德才又被帶回到露德的父母身邊。

 伯爾納德的父親施比爾斯擁有一家磨麵廠,由於技術不佳,經營不善,不得不放棄了這家磨麵工廠。 伯爾納德十一歲時他們搬離之後,經常居無定所,最後在母親娘家親戚的首肯下,搬進一個小閣樓裡去住。 這間小房子曾是露德地方上的監獄。 施比爾斯一家除了伯爾納德,還有三個弟妹,雖然貧窮,但虔誠平和,藉由每晚誦唸玫瑰經、每個主日參與彌撒,親近天主和聖母。

 一八五七年,伯爾納德的養母瑪利.愛若溫特太太徵得她父母的同意,讓伯爾納德搬去巴翠斯與她同住,要她看管羊群, 從此這位小小的牧羊女,整日與小羊嬉戲,採野花編花冠戴在聖母像的頭上以榮耀聖母,隨身帶著唸珠誦唸玫瑰經, 感到與天主和聖母是這樣的接近。

 日子一天一天的過去,伯爾納德十分渴望有機會進學校讀書及開領聖體。 一八五八年的一月伯爾納德請求父母接她回到露德,這位小小的牧羊女回到那陰暗、潮濕的老獄房。 後來她進入一個收容所,裡面由納威斯慈善修女會辦學授課。

 一八五八年二月十一日星期四,這天異常的寒冷,伯爾納德偕同妹妹安多利特、鄰居珍.阿貝娣,在近午時分,一同去找柴火。 她們沿著蓋沃溪走著,自群山間經過一片青草地往塞維磨坊走去,由河道的主流走向水道與溪流的交會處引到一個巖洞的前面, 當日磨坊休工沒有轉動,安多利特和珍已在兩溪的交會處涉水而過,而伯爾納德還站在一旁觀望,突然地, 一陣連續強風襲來,聲音響亮而清晰,令她不覺為之一愣。

 伯爾納德朝著巖洞的方向望去,不遠處正站著一位身著白衣的美麗女子,讓她大驚失色,當即拿出唸珠恭唸玫瑰經, 正當舉手劃十字聖號時,手臂卻感到麻木而不能動彈,令她又驚又怕。 這位高貴的女士甜美地笑了,也拿出玫瑰經唸珠來,然後劃十字聖號。 伯爾納德此時定睛凝視著她,並跟隨舉手劃十字聖號,所有驚恐都消失了,當她雙膝跪下,不一會兒美麗的女士就漸漸地消失了。

 在回家的路上,伯爾納德問女孩們在巖洞附近看到什麼沒有。 她們都不覺有異,但從伯爾納德回答的語氣,兩個女孩懷疑她有什麼秘密? 便開始纏著追根究底,直到伯爾納德說出了整個實情,然而妹妹安多利特卻不能守秘,回到家就向母親吐露實情。 由於母親擔心伯爾納德是一時的幻覺,或遇到了魔鬼,便囑咐她不要准再去那個地方。

 伯爾納德想到那位美麗的女子,如此超凡脫俗,不可能欺騙她。 主日當天,伯爾納德感到一股力量正吸引著她到巖洞去,只好懇求母親准許。 另有五六個小朋友也渴望能去,母親終於答應了。 她們一行來到巖洞,正要唸玫瑰經時,那位高貴女子出現在伯爾納德前面,她按母親的囑咐,立刻朝女子顯現方向灑三次聖水, 又對那位女子說,如果她是天主的使者請向前,那位女子聽了就微笑朝向伯爾納德走過來。 不久伯爾納德與同伴們唸完玫瑰經後,很奇妙的站在這位女子前面,而欣喜若狂不能自己。

 接下來的星期四,堂區的聖母團體的兩位教友也一起到巖洞,並且隨身帶了祝聖過的蠟燭、紙張和筆墨。 當抵達這個巖洞時,伯爾納德看到那位女士正在等她了。 這次她請這位女士把她的意願和要求寫下來,但那位女士表示不需要,只要她一連兩個星期,每天到巖洞來就可以。 這位女士又說,伯爾納德雖無今生短暫的幸福,但會得到天堂永恆的快樂。 伯爾納德聽了欣喜萬分,繼續專心祈禱了約一個小時後,這位女士就消失了。 伯爾納德得到母親的同意,為信守承諾,每天都到山洞這裡來,而這位美麗的女士,回報她的到訪,前後在她面前一共顯現十八次。

 當顯靈事件傳開後,遠近各地的人們蜂擁而來爭睹伯爾納德一眼,但也因此讓地方官員不悅,同時調侃整件事的荒謬, 試圖恫嚇伯爾納德和她的父親。然而伯爾納德既已答應這位美麗的女士,仍信守承諾每天來會見她。 這位美麗的女士遂將她個人的秘密,透露給伯爾納德,以增強她的信心,並要她為罪人祈禱,多作犧牲與補贖, 又指著一處會冒出神奇泉水的地上,告知有著治癒身心病痛的功效。

 伯爾納德便按這女士示意走到巖洞的一角地方,用雙手將泥土撥開,在撥開的小洞口瞬間湧出一股清泉來,她啜飲了幾口,再照指示, 洗了一把臉,這時泉水便不停地湧出,激流成小渠道,從山石間婉延而下。 憑著信德、懷著愛心,和對聖母瑪利亞的虔敬,這如水晶般清徹純淨的清泉發揮了神奇的治病功效,它帶走了世人無數的病痛。

 當伯爾納德第十一次來到山洞時,美麗的女士要她轉告當地的神父:在山洞的附近建一座教堂; 三天以後,就在第十四次顯現的時候,這位女士又要伯爾納德轉告神父,她要求舉行遊行到山洞的活動。 伯爾納德銜命立刻去面見她堂區的培瑞梅神父,向他說出女士的要求。培瑞梅神父行事謹慎,沒有親見巖洞的顯現,不願輕舉妄動。 因此他必須知道這位女士的大名,及要求蓋教堂的證據。 尤其聽到要求遊行時有些激動,懷疑是伯爾納德自己編故事,或是這位女士在玩花樣。 認為若是來自天上,就必須送請主教批准,也相對提出要求: 如果這位女士能証明自己身分,就在每次顯現的地方,當著眾人面前突然地綻放一叢野玫瑰來,並要她依例站立其上。 伯爾納德聽了這個提議,微笑著離開了。

 在這段期間此地已出現了太多的奇蹟: 奇妙的泉水、病人的治癒、更多的人群皈依天主,還有蜂擁的群眾,以及當這位天堂的女士在伯爾納德面前顯現時, 伯爾納德在凝神的祝禱中形貌的改變。還需要証明嗎? 然而,到了三月二十五日聖母領報節那天,這位美麗的女士在伯爾納德三度向她祈求之後,終於揭示: 「我是無染原罪的。」然後她就消失了。

 伯爾納德趕忙去找堂區的神父,雖然她並不懂「無染原罪」這幾個字的意思,但她相信神父會懂的,一路上害怕忘了不停的默唸著。 當培瑞梅神父聽到這幾個字時,一時顯得十分激動,令在旁的伯爾納德驚訝不已。 對神父和信友們而言,現在已不用懷疑那位在山巖顯現的是誰了,她就是天國之后--聖母瑪利亞。 早在一八五四年十二月八日,教宗碧岳九世即已宣佈聖母無染原罪的信理召告世界; 聖母瑪利亞在成胎之初,因天主的特恩,免於原罪的沾染。 而今聖母自稱「無染原罪」,在伯爾納德面前顯現,就是藉此向世界証實這一項天主教的信理。

 此後,聖母又在伯爾納德前顯現了兩次。在四月十七日那天,當聖母顯現時,伯爾納德凝神專注陷於神魂超拔之中。 她的左手不慎握住了右手所持的蠟燭,只見火苗從她的指間冒了出來,足足有十五分鐘之久,但她絲亳不覺疼痛,也沒有任何被灼傷的痕跡。 群眾一陣驚慌,在場目睹的醫生,在伯爾納德回復到現實來時,要求檢驗她的手指反應是否正常。 在用火試驗中,伯爾納德迅速把手縮回,顯然她手是有良好感覺。

 七月十六日嘉爾默羅聖母節,聖母再次顯現給伯爾納德,這次警方在山巖的出入口設置路障,伯爾納德和她的姑姑無法走近巖洞, 只得行過了蓋沃溪,再面朝顯靈的洞口跪下,聖母的微笑和眼神超過了路障直接投向她們, 聖母那不同凡俗的笑容是她僅見的一次,從此她在這個世界再也沒有見到聖母了。

 這段時間,大批人潮與團體紛紛擁向巖洞祈禱。 而警方為維護秩序在此設置層層路障管制,引起群眾怨聲載道,怨聲傳到法國皇帝拿破崙三世的耳裡,於是下令官員把路障移走, 不再干預群眾來此朝聖。至於,人潮湧向露德的現象,有些自由派人士,完全否定這個奇蹟,他們認為這是伯爾納德的幻想或有精神異常。 而且教會當局還未發佈任何有關顯靈的消息,當地行政官員認為這些現象是迷信的行為,對教會有不利影響。

 在此期間,教會方面耐心等待事件漸趨明朗後,培瑞梅神父與勞倫斯主教終於相信伯爾納德,不再懷疑聖母顯現。 在一八五八年的七月二十八日那天,一個調查委員會成立,由學有專精的神職人員、知名的科學家及醫生們組成,以四年的時間, 致力於調查顯靈的真實性,舉凡水質、治癒者、巖洞和伯爾納德本人,都經過詳查和嚴謹檢驗。 到了一八六二年,勞倫斯主教以教會的立場,鄭重宣佈:信友們確認聖母在露德岩洞顯現給伯爾納德十八次。

 至於聖母要求建聖堂及遊行一事,主教也給予同意,並立刻著手進行。 首次在顯靈地點舉行的儀式是聖母大理石雕像落成的祝聖大典,由教會具有聖德的雕刻家,根據伯爾納德的描述精心雕製完成後放置在巖洞。

 培瑞梅神父在聖母顯靈的巖洞保持原狀下,蓋了三座教堂在山巖頂端的空地上,於一八六六年五月二十一日完工舉行祝聖禮。 當日彌撒由主教親自主禮,而參與彌撒的伯爾納德站在聖母的一群孩子們當中,她深深地察覺到與聖母是這樣的接近, 也感到親臨祭壇上的耶穌就在旁邊。一八七三年,第一個盛大的法國國內的朝聖之旅開始了。

 不久,雄偉莊嚴的大殿終於落成祝聖,也為露德聖母雕像隆重的舉行加冕。 全體教會為紀念這個不凡的日子,特別將二月二十一日訂為「露德聖母日」。 在巖洞那座聖母大理石雕像祝聖後不久,伯爾納德獲准加入她在此讀書的女修會,很快就接受會服, 取名為瑪利.伯爾納德修女,開始她在此修會的初學。

 就在同一年,一八六六年十一月,伯爾納德嚴重生病了,由於氣喘病發,她咳嗽、吐血,非常嚴重。 修女們擔心她會不治身亡,讓她領了臨終聖體以及傅油聖事,並且准許她矢發貧窮、貞潔和服從三願。 在這一連串的臨終準備之後,伯爾納德竟因此很快恢復元氣,也曾在病危時,同意她的請求,飲用露德的泉水後痊癒,重獲健康。 當她完成了初學以後,於一八六七年十月十三日與同伴們一起發了終身誓願。

 伯爾納德還在初學階段時,一八六六年十二月八日聖母無染原罪日,母親辭世了,深感傷心難過。 由於培瑞梅神父的幫助,父親成為拉丕卡溪上的拉卡德磨坊的主人,這時一家的生活才較為好轉。

 在修會的奉獻生活中,瑪利.伯爾納德修女的謙遜、慈善、苦修,尤其是她捨棄自我,完全服從天主的精神,深深地感動教化了其他的修女們。她負責祭衣 的管理和醫療服務,工作中,她的仁慈關愛,令眾人囑目,更得到病患們衷心的感激。當她後來由於氣喘、肺病、骨傷而臥病不起時,她把自己的病痛奉獻於天主, 與基督的苦難結合。在聖母面前,她早已學會了含笑以對,而今纏綿病榻,她也學會了帶著笑容,勇敢的面對自己的十字苦架。

 有一天,院長修女來探視瑪利.伯爾納德修女,問候她,並垂詢她的近況,修女溫婉簡潔地回答院長,她正忙於自己的職責。 當她被問到職責為何的時候,她說:「我在生病。」這種委順於天主的精神不禁令人肅然起敬! 她輾轉病榻的日子既苦且長,終於在受盡了折磨和苦楚之後與世長辭了,那是一八七九年四月十六日星期三的復活節, 死時靠在一張有扶手的椅子上,時年才三十五歲。

 在她去世的前一年的九月二十二日,她許下了終身誓願。死後伯爾納德受到各地人們的尊崇與仰慕。 人們稱她為謙遜聖女、純樸聖女、明智聖女,以及聖母密友。有關她的奇蹟也不斷地發生,她的遺體完好無恙,沒有腐壞。

 一九二五年七月十一日,教宗碧岳十一世宣佈伯爾納德為真福。 一九三三年十二月八日,在一項盛大的慶典中,教宗在聖伯多祿大殿宣佈伯爾納德為聖人。

 伯爾納德,這位純樸的法國鄉間女孩,為聖母所揀選,向世界宣告聖母允准的「無染原罪」信理。 作為聖母的小小使者,她不僅把天國確認的信條向世人報曉;也由於她的請求,建立起一座莊嚴巍峨的聖殿; 同時更經由她,信友們來此朝聖和遊行。她所實踐的就是聖母對孩子們所要求的:度聖善的生活--愛、祈禱和補贖。

 現在每年從世界各地來到露德朝聖的人們絡繹不絕,參與午夜的燭光遊行中,人人手持唸珠,口中喃喃誦唸著玫瑰聖母經, 當「萬福、萬福、瑪利亞……」聖母頌在黑夜的一角響起時,天主和聖母瑪利亞是如此的接近,感動著每個朝聖者的心靈。

2月13日:聖藍月旺(司 鐸、殉道) St. John of Triora

 聖藍月旺,聖名若望,一七六○年二月十五日生於意大利。十七歲時入方濟會,晉鐸後,多次請求來中國傳教。於一八○○年獲准,先到澳 門,後到陝西及 湖南一帶傳教,勸化多人領洗入教。後當地發生教難,被捕入獄。一八一六年二月十三日,被判絞刑,為主犧牲。一九○○年,由教宗良十二世宣布他為真福。二千 禧年十月一日宣聖。

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

2月14日:聖濟利祿(隱修 士)及聖默多狄 (主教)( 紀念) Ss. Cyril & Methodius

 聖濟利祿(隱修士)及聖默多狄(主教)是兩兄弟。他們是九世紀的偉大傳教士,致力於向斯拉夫民族傳揚福音,有斯拉夫宗徒的美譽。

 聖濟利祿生於希臘得撒洛尼城,在君士坦丁堡受良好教育,與胞弟默多狄同往摩拉維亞、保加利亞等地宣道,以希臘文字母為基礎,創造了斯 拉夫字母,並用斯拉夫語翻譯聖經等,又共同編訂後人所稱「濟利祿禮」禮儀書。

 八六九年,兄弟二人,被召赴羅馬,濟利祿於八六九年二月十四日在羅馬逝世,葬於聖格來孟大殿。其弟則被立為主教,隨即至巴諾尼亞(匈 牙利)傳教,不遺餘力;後遭人嫉妒,歷盡艱辛,但獲羅馬教宗的支持。八八五年四月六日在捷克佛萊拉城安逝。

2月17日:聖母忠僕會七位 會祖Seven Founders of the Servite Order

 七位聖祖均為意大利佛羅倫斯人,首先在塞納里山上度隱修生活,特別敬禮聖母。後在多西加省各處宣講福音,共同創立聖母忠僕會。一三○ 四年菜聖座核准。七位會祖中之一名聖雅來西.法高尼,據說於一三一○年二月十七日安逝,故定本日為他們的紀念日。

2月18日:聖劉格來(方濟 克萊)(司鐸、殉道) St. Francis-Regis Clet

 聖劉格來(方濟.克萊)原籍法國,一七四八年生,二十歲時,進里昂遣使會,晉鐸後曾任神學教授;後來中國,在江西兩湖一帶傳教,共三 十餘年。後遇教難,被捕入獄,受絞刑為主殉道,時年七十二歲。

 教宗若望保祿二世於二千禧宣布他為聖人。

2月18日:聖吳學聖、聖文 乃耳及同伴 (殉道)

 聖吳學聖,聖名瑪爾定,貴州人,一八一七年生,吳學聖生自熱心教友家庭,在主教的邀請下幫助神父到多處地方傳教,但多次被地方人士所 壓迫及驅逐。

 聖文乃耳司鐸,聖名若望.伯多祿,一八三二年生於法國里昂,為巴黎外方傳教會會士,在領受司祭職後三個月即起程前往中國傳教,抵步時 是二十七歲,他立刻開始學習語言,一年後就在二十多間聖堂照顧教友及傳播福音。文神父邀請易貞美,陳顯恆及吳學聖協助他的福傳工作。

 聖陳顯恆,聖名若望,四川人,一八二○年生,在貴陽認識了幾位教友後聽道領洗入教。神父見他虔誠事主,率直樸實,平易近人,便邀請他 習醫及傳教。

 聖張天申,聖名若望,貴州人,一八○五年生,共有十五名子女,但不幸相繼死亡,只餘下兩名子女,因見人生苦短,遂打算在家修行,更在 鄰近興建庵堂,但仍難心安。有一天,他在開陽城遇見一位傳道員及聽道,隨後他回家焚化佛像,決意信主。

 文乃爾神父奉主教之命探訪張天申,為張天申及其妻子施洗。仇教官員派人到張天申家中,把他和文神父,陳顯恆,吳學聖拘捕,搶走家中值 錢物品,並以酷刑虐待。在審訊期間,他們表示決不背教,終被判斬首死刑。

 張天申是有名的好人,故一直都有親友懇切地勸他悔(背)教說:「只要你說一句,等風波平息後,仍舊可隨便恭敬你天主呀。」

 張天申坦誠回答:「神父要為天主而死,我也不辭為主而死。」

 親友:「你太固執,你的小女才生下幾個月,你死後她靠誰呢?」

 張天申:「不要緊,天主自會安排。」

 一些差役也善意的勸說:「我們願擔保你,只要你說一個悔字。」

 張天申說:「萬萬不能說『悔』,我只悔太遲信教領洗,沒有早認識天主。」

 一九○九年由庇護十世宣布他們為真福。教宗若望保祿二世於二千禧宣布他們為聖人。

2月17日:聖母忠僕會七位 會祖Seven Founders of the Servite Order

 七位聖祖均為意大利佛羅倫斯人,首先在塞納里山上度隱修生活,特別敬禮聖母。後在多西加省各處宣講福音,共同創立聖母忠僕會。一三○ 四年菜聖座核准。七位會祖中之一名聖雅來西.法高尼,據說於一三一○年二月十七日安逝,故定本日為他們的紀念日。

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:聖易貞美 (殉道)

 聖易貞美,聖名路濟亞,四川綿陽人,一八一五年生,自幼品性溫良端莊,自幼立志守貞,熱心事主,並期望有機會為主殉。二十歲的她得文 乃爾神父指派 教導女童,並向婦孺教授道理。開陽仇教氣氛強烈,易貞美得當地文神父邀請前往福傳,二哥對她說:「妹,你既然想殉道,去吧!聽長上命去救外教人的靈魂。」 易貞美答說:「隨天主安排吧!我卻不敢希望獲殉道的光榮。」

 文乃爾神父奉主教之命探訪張天申,為張天申及其妻子施洗。仇教官員派人到張天申家中,把他和文神父,陳顯恆,吳學聖拘捕,易貞美隨後 也被拘捕,在文神父等被殺後第二天同被判斬首。

 一九○九年五月二日,由教宗克護十世宣布她為真福。二千禧年十月一日宣聖。

2月21日:聖伯多祿.達彌 盎(主教、聖師) St. Peter Damian

 聖人一○○七年生於意大利拉溫那城。學有所成,即任教職;但不久,即遁往亞威拉納泉的隱修院隱修。後被選為院長,竭力促進院務,推廣 到意大利各 地。教會遭難時,聖人曾以行動協助羅馬教宗;他一面著書立說,一面被教宗派為使者,以革新教會。後為教宗斯德望九世擢升為樞機,任奧斯底城主教;一○七二 年安逝,逝世後,立即受人尊為聖者。

2月21日:聖劉翰佐(司 鐸、殉道)

 聖劉翰佐,聖名保祿,四川樂至人,一七七八年生於熱心教友家庭,三十五歲時晉鐸,忠於聖職,後教難蔓延全國,被捕入獄,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為真福。

 二千禧年十月一日宣聖。

2月22日:建立聖伯多祿宗 座 (慶日)

 本慶節始於第四世紀時的羅馬,紀念伯多祿宗徒宣認耶穌為天主子、默西亞。耶穌就把伯多祿及他的繼任人,立為教會團結共融之最高有形可 見之連繫。

(這節日本來是羅馬人的亡者節,在進餐時留空一座位給亡者;教會移風易俗,紀念「建立聖伯多祿宗座」。)

2月22日:聖婦瑪加利大高 多娜(St. Margaret of Cortona)

 聖婦瑪加利大出身農家,七歲喪母,繼母性情暴躁待她很不好。失去母愛的瑪加利大,得不到良好的家庭教育,只知享樂,愛慕虛榮。十六歲 那年,與一位 富少年同居,享受卑污的肉身快樂達九年之久。某日,少年外出,竟被仇人暗殺。瑪加利大恍然大悟,年青力壯俊美的人,何以一日之間竟遭殺害?美好的軀體變為 不堪入目之屍骸。因此,她感到生命的短暫與肉身的朽壞,她悔悟自己的放縱是悖逆天主的,若不回頭改過,靈魂將永墮地獄。
 她將少年的遺產交給他的親戚後,回到父親家,可是遭到繼母的為難。瑪加利大很傷心,想起方濟各會士對罪人異常慈受,便向高多娜城方濟各會求助。從此,瑪 加利大勤操苦行,但魔鬼常陰謀破壞。一天,忽有一個甘飴的聲音對她說:「女兒!放心吧!我在苦難中與你同在。」
  瑪加利大聖德之名傳揚全邑,人人以聖女稱之,瑪加利大更感不安,每天默想耶苦難和追念自己以往的罪過。一天,耶穌發顯給她說:「我降生救世,雖然甚苦,但 預知我的痛苦將換取世人的得救,所以悅樂愛難。可憐世間善人少,惡人多,然而即使整個世界上只有一個愛主修德的人,我也不惜負起十字架的苦難。」此後,瑪 加利大以身靈所受之苦為罪人賠補而還愛於主,不少罪人因著她的祈禱而改過;煉靈也因著她的苦身補贖而早日脫離煉獄。
 聖女克己苦身廿三年之久,四 十八歲時,得到耶穌默示:「你離世之期已近,你祈禱贖所救的靈魂將陪伴著你。」公元一二九七年,聖女安然逝世,安葬於方濟各會院聖堂內,墓前顯了許多奇 蹟。瑪加利大一生告知我們,犯罪的人勿再冥頑,從速回頭,補贖罪惡,天主將伸出雙臂擁抱你的歸來!
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:聖玻里加 (主教、殉道) (紀念) St. Polycarp

 聖人是若望宗徒的弟子,任斯米納(今日土耳其境內)主教,為依納爵.安提約基亞的朋友。他曾往羅馬,與亞尼塞多教宗商討,該在那一天 慶祝逾越節。一五五年左右,為主殉道,被焚死於城中廣場內。

 《聖玻里加殉道錄》(155/157年)是非常著名的聖人殉道記錄,亦指出敬禮聖人的真意:

過是巴不得和他們團結一致,共作吾主的真門徒而已。

 「百夫長眼見猶太人掀起了爭端,於是令將玻里加的遺骸留置刑場,並依照習慣加火焚燒。燒後,我們揀拾了灰中尚餘的碎骨,視為珍寶,勝 於寶石黃金, 供放在適宜的處所,敬為聖髑。於可能時,吾主賞賜我們在歡欣喜悅中,於存放聖髑的處所,聚眾開會,慶祝殉道聖人(在天上)的誕辰,追念逝去的勇士;同時, 對於未來的勇士,加以訓練和準備。」(《聖玻里加殉道錄》,17-18章)

聖人金句

 「我讚美你,因為你曾認為今天,此時,我可被列入殉道者的行列中……信實及真理的天主,你堅守了你的許諾。為了這恩寵,為了這一切, 我讚美你、稱 謝你,並為了天上永遠的大司祭,你可愛的聖子、耶穌基督,我光榮你。他與你及聖神同在,藉著他,光榮歸於你,現在及來世,永無窮盡。阿們。」(《聖玻里加 殉道錄》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.html#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”