Saints: August 2009 Archives
We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, grant us to revere with unceasing devotion the glorious victories of Thy holy Martyrs Saints Margaret Clitherow, Anne Line and Margaret Ward; may we at least honor with our lowly homage those whose praises we cannot sing worthily.
Saint Margaret Middleton was born in York in 1556, lived there all her life, and died there on 25 March 1586. At 15, she married a butcher, John Clitherow, and three years later became a Catholic. Imprisoned for her non-attendance at church, she taught herself to read and later ran a small school for her own and her neighbours' children. Her husband remained Protestant, but allowed her to hide priests in their house. In 1586, the secret hiding places were discovered, and Margaret was put on trial. She refused to plead, for which the punishment was being crushed to death.
Saint Anne Heigham was born at Dunmow (Essex) around 1565, and was hanged at Tyburn on 27 February 1601. In her teens, she became a Catholic and was disinherited, and in 1585 married Roger Line, also a disinherited convert, who was subsequently imprisoned then exiled for his faith, leaving her destitute. She taught and embroidered, and also kept house for priests. After a large number of people had been seen gathering at her house for Mass, she was arrested, tried and condemned to death.
Saintt Margaret Ward was born at Congleton (Cheshire), but entered into the service of a family in London. She was arrested after assisting a priest escape from prison, but refused under severe torture to reveal his hiding place or to renounce her faith. She was tried at the Old Bailey, and executed on this day in 1588. All three are remembered for their resourcefulness, for their loyalty, for their outstanding courage, and for the service they rendered the Church during dangerous times in aiding the ministry of priests. (Liturgy Office, Bishops of England & Wales)
For more on these 3 English Martyrs see this entry.
In the Diocese of Bridgeport, those who prepare for the major seminary at Saint John Fisher Seminary, Stamford, call to mind the martyrdom of these women saints daily as their statues surround the altar. May Saints Margaret, Anne and Margaret, pray for us!!!
St Augustine, whom we are commemorating today, has some marvellous thoughts about the invitation found in Psalm 105: "Quaerite faciem eius semper - constantly seek his face" (v. 3).
He points out that this invitation is not only valid for this life but also for eternity. The discovery of "God's Face" is never ending. The further we penetrate into the splendour of divine love, the more beautiful it is to pursue our search, so that "amore crescente inquisitio crescat inventi - the greater love grows, the further we will seek the One who has been found" (Enarr. in Ps 105: 3; CCL 40, 1537).
This is the experience to which, deep down, we too aspire. May the intercession of the great Bishop of Hippo obtain it for us! May the motherly help of Mary, the Star of Evangelization whom we now invoke with the prayer of the Angelus, obtain it for us. (Pope Benedict XVI, 28 August 2005, Angelus)
Who has chosen for his own
Those of ev'ry age and nation
To hold fast to God alone
Through all changing styles and customs,
Hearts that only Christ enthrone.
In a faithless time of torpor,
John Vianney loved the Lord,
Preached the truth with ceaseless fervor,
Led his flock by deed and word,
And by his example fearless
Caused our God to be adored.
Lovingly he coaxed the sinner
To submit to Jesus' way;
In humility and patience
To his Lord he knelt to pray
And, obedient to his calling,
Lived his teaching ev'ry day.
To the Trinity give glory,
Father, Son, and Paraclete:
Those on earth with those in heaven
Joining in one anthem sweet:
As the saints on earth gave witness,
Let us each our course complete!
87 87 87
PICARDY, ST. THOMAS
James Michael Thompson (c) 2009, World Library Publications
"O my God, come to me, so that You may dwell in me and I may dwell in you."
Father of mercy, you made Saint John Vianney outstanding in his priestly zeal and concern for your people. By his example and prayers, enable us to win our brothers and sisters to the love of Christ and come with them to eternal glory.
Pope Benedict's letter proclaiming the Year of the Priest for the 150th year of Saint John Vianney's death
A brief biography of Vianney
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
Father, you constantly build up your Church by the lives of your saints. Give us the grace to follow Saint Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of men, and so come to share his reward in heaven.