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。

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.htm#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.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”