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Blog Post - June 12th

S. John of San Facando| SS. Basilides Cyrinus Nabor and Nazarius| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of S. John of San Facando, Confessor. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

Today is the feast day of Saint John of Facundo (or Sahagun). Ora pro nobis.

John, the oldest of seven children, was born of pious and respected parents, John Gonzalez de Castrillo and Sancia Martinez. He received his first education from the Benedictines of his native place. According to the custom of the times, his father procured for him the benefice of the neighbouring parish Dornillos, but this caused John many qualms of conscience.

by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

Pope Alexander VIII. canonized in 1690, with all the usual ceremonies, St. John of Facundo, to whom the Roman Martyrology gives the testimonial that he was a light of the Church by his faith, holiness of life and the many miracles he performed. He was born in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain, in a small village called St. Facundo or Sahagun. His parents for many years had no issue; but after long prayers were at last blessed with John; hence they bestowed particular care in giving him a Christian education. He studied the liberal sciences in the monastery of St. Benedict, which was not far from his native place. In the course of time he came of the Court of the pious Bishop of Burgos, who, esteeming him highly on account of his virtues, ordained him priest. During his sojourn there he frequently visited a miraculous image of the crucified Saviour, which is preserved in the Church of the Augustinian Monks. One day he was there witness of the cure of a paralysed man, who, in gratitude for the benefit derived, and also to consecrate himself entirely to the service of God, joined the religious in whose Church the miracle had taken place. This event determined St. John to give himself also entirely to the service of the Almighty. Hence he left the court of the bishop and went to Salamanca, not only for the purpose of perfecting himself in theology, but also to lead a more perfect life.

After having made in both the desired progress, God called him by an interior voice to the office of preaching. John obeyed the call of God, and made a beginning in Salamanca, a city which was at that period in a most pitiful condition. Two young men of the nobility had, in a quarrel, killed two other noblemen. The mother of the two murdered youths, clad in the garb of a soldier, went with a few of her domestics after the assassins, who had immediately fled from the city. She found them in Portugal, and there killed them both; upon which a terrible feud broke out between the two families and all their respective connections. Some of the nobility took part with one of the families, some with the other. Drawing the other citizens into their quarrel, the whole city was soon divided into two parties. Both sides took up arms, and some of either were frequently wounded or killed. John was chosen by God to make peace between them. He often ventured into the midst of the combatants: spoke sometimes with kind, sometimes with severe words, and rested not until he had restored peace. Many prayers and penances he had offered to the Almighty for this end, had preached emphatically in behalf of it, and several times had endangered his life, until he had accomplished his design.

After this he fell sick, and suffered greatly; and when the physician found it necessary that he should submit to a most painful and dangerous operation, he vowed that should the operation be successfully performed and his health be restored, he would enter a religious order. All went as he desired, and he hesitated not to enter, in pursuance of his vow, the order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine. How zealous he must have been during his novitiate may be concluded from the fact that he was soon after elected as Master of the Novices, and in the course of time he became Prior. He never left off preaching, for'which God had not only bestowed upon him a peculiar talent: but also worked through him some very extraordinary conversions. Although the holy preacher was much persecuted on account of the impartiality with which he condemned vice, without respect of persons, he relaxed not in doing his duty. To a certain Duke who reproved his frankness with anger and menaces, he replied: “Your Grace must know that a preacher must have such a disposition that he should tell the truth even if it cost him his life.” Several times were ruffians hired to waylay the Saint and to maltreat him, but God ordained that on the approach of their victim they could not move hand or foot until they had acknowledged their fault and begged his pardon.

This divine assistance, as well as the great success of his sermons, St. John obtained by his frequent and fervent prayers, to which he gave the greater part of the night; by his austerity in fasting and other work of penance, and by the great care he took to keep his conscience free from all stains of sin. Therefore he confessed almost daily, and when this was blamed, he said: “I am not sure of a day or an hour in which I may not be called to appear before the judgment-seat of God and give a rigorous account of my conduct. I often see that some die suddenly, while others lose their senses in sickness; hence, I endeavor to be always prepared. I confess frequently because I sin frequently.” Thus spoke the humble servant of God, who never burdened his conscience with a mortal sin. To say holy Mass he prepared himself during whole hours, and scarcely ever said it without shedding many tears. He had often the grace to see visibly, while standing before the Altar, our Blessed Lord, the Virgin Mother and other Saints, and to receive from them the most beneficial instructions.

The Almighty bestowed upon him, besides other graces, the gift of prophecy and of reading the thoughts of the heart. At St. Lazare, on the opposite side of the bridge, a great feast was given during the winter season. The holy man feared that in consequence of the old quarrel related above, one side or other might provoke a new feud by angry words or reproaches. He therefore, had a pulpit erected near the bridge, and from it exhorted all to love and harmony ending with the words: ” I announce to you this beforehand: that he who dares to draw his sword will pay for the deed with his life. Keep therefore peace, that none of you, on this day, may become a prey to Hell.” Notwithstanding this exhortation, one youth dared to quarrel with another and drew his sword against him. He had, however, instantly to experience the truth of the Saint's prediction; for he was killed on the spot. A woman wished to kiss the Saint's hand, but he, withdrawing it, said: “I will not permit my hand to be touched by one who carries the devil in her heart.” The woman asked what he meant by these words; when he answered: “I know that you have determined to take your daughter's life, because she has become a mother without being wedded.” These words clearly proved that God had bestowed upon him the gift of reading hearts. Many other similar events and many miracles might be told of this Saint, but space is wanting for us to relate them all, and we will only add a few words of his happy end.

St. John had converted, by the force of his sermons, a young man who, for a long time, had lived in criminal intimacy with an unchaste woman. The latter menaced the Saint that, before the year should end he would dearly pay for what he had done; and, in fact, she, in some manner, administered poison to him, which slowly wasted his strength. The Saint was more concerned about the sin that had been committed, than about his own suffering. He prepared himself, with great fervor for death, by receiving extreme unction, and joyfully resigned his soul into the hands of the Almighty, in the year 1479, just at the moment when the bells were rung for the Angelus. Soon after his death his countenance shone with such wonderful beauty and divine radiance, that all who beheld it were touched with veneration for the holy man. This, however, still increased when, by invoking his faithful servant, God wrought many miracles at his tomb. The first of these was, that a woman, named Beatrix, who for 23 years had had a paralyzed hand by touching the tomb of the Saint, recovered the entire use of it. Soon after, a dumb man received speech by invoking the aid of St. John, and a child crushed to death was restored to life with the use of all its limbs.

His sermons against sinful living conditions, and in support of the rights and dignity of workers brought him great opposition of some local leaders. He became known as an outstanding preacher, whose style, clarity, sincerity, and integrity attracted large crowds and created many opportunities for conversion. To the Duke of Alba, who complained of John's stern denunciation of the sins of nobility and commoners alike form the pulpit, John replied: “It is becoming of Your Grace to know that a preacher must be prepared in his soul to speak the truth, both in denouncing and correcting shortcomings and in praising virtue, to such a point that he is willing in that cause even to face death.” Incensed, the duke hired assassins to stop Saint John’s preaching, but upon recognizing John's holiness, they repented, confessing and begging forgiveness—which he freely gave. The duke later fell ill, and was healed by John's prayers, himself repenting and renouncing his former ways.

The process of beatification began in 1525, and in 1601 he was declared Blessed. New miracles were wrought at his intercession, and on 16 Oct., 1690, Alexander VIII entered his name in the list of canonized saints. Benedict XIII fixed his feast for 12 June. His relics are found in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. His life written by John of Seville towards the end of the fifteenth century with additions in 1605 and 1619, is used by the Bollandists in “Acta SS.”, Jun., III, 112.

Also in the Latin Calendar there is commemorated today SS. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

Today is the feast day of Saint Basilides & Companions, Martyrs. Orate pro nobis.

Sts Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius were all soldiers martyrs at Rome. On the Aurelian Way, during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian, and under the prefect Aurelius, the birthday of the holy martyrs Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius was June 12. All these soldiers were cast into prison for the confession of the Christian name, scourged with knotted whips, and finally beheaded.

In the Roman Martyrology and that of Bede for 12 June mention is made of four Roman martyrs, Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius, who suffered death under Diocletian. Their names were taken from the “Martyrologium Hieronyanum”, in the Berne manuscript of which (ed. De Rossi-Duschesne, Acta SS., Nov. II [77]) we read: Romæ, via Aurelia miliario V, Basiledis, Tribuli, Nagesi, Magdaletis, Zabini, Aureli, Cirini, Nabori, Nazari, Donatellæ, Secundæ.

The quartet is mentioned in the sacramentaries of Pope Saint Gelasius and Saint Gregory the Great as interred on the Aurelian road. Their unreliable acta states that they were four soldiers in the army of Maxentius. It seems, however, more likely that this group is the result of a confusion of names in the martyrologies. Basilides is probably the Roman martyr of June 10, who died in the late 3rd century; Cyrinus (Quirinus), the martyr of June 4; and Nabor and Nazarius, two Milanese martyrs of whom nothing reliable is known. All four were venerated together on June 12 until 1969, when their feast was suppressed because of this confusion.

In 756, Saint Chrodegang, bishop of Metz procured the relics of several martyrs from Rome. He placed those of Nazarius in the abbey of Lorch in the diocese of Worms and those of Nabor in that of Saint Hilary (now corrupted to Saint Avol’s) in the diocese of Metz (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).

Daily Meditation

Open Your Heart:

Open the doors of your heart. Give special attention, love and prayers to all those who come to the door of your home and workplace. Let this simple gift of self be a witness to the love of Christ among us.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

Turn your thoughts to the annihilation that the Son of God suffered for the love of will experience its salutary fruits.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188

We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.

You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.

Reflection 163: Glorifying God in Your “Wretchedness”

Do you see the wretchedness of your own soul? Some may be offended by such a question. But if we understood the Mercy of God, and realized that it is our “wretchedness” that enables Him to be glorified the most, we would not shy away from such a thought. Many want to be holy and to see themselves as holy. It’s easy to think, “If I am good, God will be pleased.” But what we fail to realize is that God is glorified most when we see our littleness, our nothingness, and our wretchedness before Him. It is then that He can manifest His glory to the greatest extent through us. True, we have infinite dignity and value as persons as a result of being made in God’s image and as a result of God taking on our human nature. But in our actions, we are sinners incapable of doing anything good. When we realize this, we open the door for God to enter in and manifest His Mercy. We let Him act through our weakness and do glorious things. This is the way we give glory to God (See Diary #836).

When you consider your holiness, do you tend to think highly of yourself, as if you have done many good things for God? This is pride. Humility is the virtue that allows you to see your weakness and complete dependence upon the Mercy of God. It enables you to realize that without Him, you can do nothing. It enables you to cry out with St. Paul, “Wretched man that I am” (Romans 7:24). But in that cry, you also perceive the unlimited Mercy of God using you in your weakness and, thus, become an image of His glory.

Lord, help me to see clearly my weakness. Help me to humble myself before Your greatness and, in that act, to be open to Your transforming power in my life. I give my littleness to You, dear Lord. Manifest Your glory through me as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.

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