Category Archives: Saints

Saints Martha, Mary & Lazarus

Martha Mary & Lazarus.jpgWith the Church we pray:

Heavenly Father, your son was received as an honored
and welcome guest in the home of Bethany. Keep us close to the Master in our prayer and work that, blameless in his sight, he may welcome us into our eternal home, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

(Today, the Roman Missal observes the feast of Saint Martha and the Benedictine Missal supplement observes together the memorial of all three saints, Martha, Mary & Lazarus. Since it’s the preference of this blog writer to follow a diversity of Missals, I am using the collect found in the Benedictine missal supplement because the collect there gives the feast a slightly different sense in our liturgical monastic sensibility today. Of prime concern is the remembrance of monastic hospitality and these saints are known to be hosts of the Lord. Our work today, then, is look at those areas in our life where hospitality exists and where it is unfortunately restrained or non-existent.)

Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of Mary

Mother Anne, be joyful;Life of Joachim & Anne Giotto.jpg

sing, O mother holy,
Since thou art the parent
O God’s Mother lowly.
Praise thy wondrous daughter;
Joachim, too raises
To the Virgin Mary
His paternal praises.
For in her our planet
First hath benediction
Which hapless Eva
Suffered malediction.
Therefore take the praises
Joyous hearts are paying;
And from all defilement
Cleanse us by thy praying.
Father, Son eternal,
Holy Ghost supernal,
With one praise we bless Thee,
Three in One confess Thee. Amen.
(the Lauds hymn for the feast)
O God, Who did choose blessed Joachim and Anne to be the parents of the glorious Mother of Thine only-begotten Son, grant us through their prayers to praise Thy mercy forever in the fellowship of Thine elect.

Saint James the Greater, Apostle

St James the Greater Greco.jpg

O daughters of Jerusalem come and see the Martyrs with crowns, whom the Lord has crowned on the day of solemnity and joy, alleluia, alleluia.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, keep and sanctify Thy people, that strengthened by the help of Thine Apostle James they may please Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf


St Sharbel.jpgEvery one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

God our Father in Saint Sharbel Makhluf, You gave a light to Your faithful people. You made him a pastor of the Church to feed Your sheep with his word and to teach them by his example. Help us by his prayers to keep the faith he taught and follow the way of life he showed us.

 

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf (1828-1898) was born in a small Lebanese mountain village who became, at 23 years old, a monk of the Lebanese Maronite Order and later ordained a priest in 1859. He is known for his intense devotion to lectio divina, the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sensing a deeper call in 1875, he began a solitary life (as a hermit) which he lived for twenty-three years of his life. Sharbel’s witness taught us about the virtues of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer in world dominated by an attraction to money, power and fame. Since July 24, 2004 Saint Sharbel has been introduced the liturgical observance in the sacred Liturgy.

Archbishop Francis M. Zayek said of Saint Sharbel:

“Reading about the holy hermits of the desert, we used to consider many reported facts as mere fables. In the life of Blessed Sharbel, however, we notice that these facts are authentic and true. Blessed Sharbel is another Saint Anthony of the Desert, or Saint Pachomius, or Saint Paul the Anchorite. It is marvelous to observe how you, Maronites, have preserved the same spirituality of the fathers of the desert throughout the centuries, and at the end of the nineteenth century, 1500 years later, produced a Sharbel for the Church.”

(The icon was painted by iconographer Christine Habib el Dayé. Other pieces of the artist’s work can be seen here and she can also be found on Facebook.)

Saint Bridget of Sweden

St Bridget of Sweden.jpgLord, our God, you revealed the secrets of heaven to Saint Bridget as she meditated on your Son’s Passion. Grant that we your servants may find great joy when your glory is revealed.

“In Christ’s death, I have died now;
In Christ I live anew.
With faith in God’s Son, Jesus,
That keeps me ever true,
I know the love he’s shown me,
That washed my sin away.
His cross, which daily guides me
Informs me as I pray.”
Thus Bridget, monarch, mother,
Good spouse and Christian wise,
Lived Jesus’ sacred Passion
And, e’er before His eyes
She loved the poor and lowly,
Gave all her store away,
Called men and women to her
To live the Gospel way.
Give glory to the Father,
Whose loving plan ordained
That we should each be bought back
From sin and sorrow’s shame!
Give glory to Christ Jesus,
Whose death has set us free!
Give glory to the Spirit;
To God, the One-in-Three.
James Michael Thompson
76.76.D; suggested tune: O Sacred Head Surrounded

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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