Thursday, May 19, 2011

So now I know who to blame

                                                              Blessed Alcuin of York

English noble who established schools at cathedrals and monasteries. Established a scriptoria dedicated to copying and preserving ancient manuscripts, both pagan and Christian.By this act  we have  much of the writings of classical Roman authors due to Alcuin and his scribes.

     Credited with the invention of cursive script in which letters are connected for greater writing speed.

So now , those of us who received low marks for their terrible cursive skills , we now know who to thank . And alongside that , who to pray too to seek  improvement in this area .If only I knew of him back when I was in school .Who knows ?What may of come of me with good and proper cursive writing skills  :)

     Perhaps he should be a dear and near saint for Doctors .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

                                               St.Rumwold of Buckingham

A unusual saint to say the least . While many saints will sometimes show a liking toward the things of God at a early age, for example Thérèse of Lisieux  , or perhaps after a rebellious youth turn to God , St. Augustin of Hippo being the perfect example of this . This saint has none of that .

 He is ,to this parent of 2 young girls ,a great hope and encouragement that God can install his tranforming grace at even at the earliest times in our lives . For you see ,St. Rumwold begin from day one of his life proclaiming and confessing and preaching the truth of Jesus our Lord and remained steadfast in that faith  until his death some 2 days later . I do not say steadfast as a joke , for to remain even a hour in perfect love and devotion with our God is a great Grace that we must never underappreciate .

This may seem well , fantastic and a fable to tell ourselves .A nice bedtime story to tell our children so that they do what is right and abhor that which is wrong . But is anything too hard for God ? This same God who  from nothing caused and upholds all that we see to exist , The same God who made a  simple donkey rebuke Balaam for his errors .The same God who saves even the vilest of sinners even in our own day and time .

No nothing is too hard for our God . Our Lord and Shephard tells us after some reprimanded those who praised him that

"I tell you,” he replied,

“if they( the crowd , the children )  keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” ( Luke 19:40)

and again He receives  criticism from those who wished him evil for receiving the praise from the children who  proclaimed : 

 "Hosanna to the Son of David " he says Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘“Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’( Matthew 21:16 )

Here is our Saints story :

    Rumwold's mother, St. Cyneburga , was described as a pious Christian who, when married to the pagan king Alchfrid of Northumbrai, tells him that she will not consummate the marriage until he converts to Christianity; he does so, and she soon becomes pregnant. The two are called by Penda of Mercia ( a pagan , and also Rumwold's grandfather ) to come to him when the time of her birth is near, but she gives birth during the journey, and immediately after being born the infant is said to have cried out:

"Christianus sum, christianus sum, christianus sum" ("I am a Christian, I am a Christian, I am a Christian").

He went on to further profess his faith by reciting the Creed, to request baptism, and to ask to be named "Rumwold", afterwards giving a sermon on the Trinity . He predicted his own death, and said where he wanted his body to be laid to rest, in Buckingham

Later in 1262 a Sir Alured was chastised by the saint for swearing on his wedding day . Alured repented and cleaned up his language. However, at a royal feast some ice cream made his tooth ache, which caused him to curse with much gusto. Romwold suddenly appeared in a window, and Sir Alured’s bride disappeared in a puff of perfume, leaving behind her clothes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Today's saint ... Divine Irony

                                                              Saint Boniface of Tarsus
"My lady, if I do not find any relics, and if I myself suffer for Christ, will you accept my body with reverence?"

Today's saint is a lesson in irony , sent on a mission to recover relics from other martyr saints , He himself becomes a willing martyr in the process .

   This causes me to stop and ponder , We ( I ) venerate and uphold the saints as examples of the true christian life  . We especially uphold those who die for the faith . Can I like Saint Boniface of Tarsus go beyond just mere reflection upon their lives ,  devotion of my mind but not my Spirit/Body  and  take the next step of truly following the saints examples .

    I say this in part to condemn my own self . I have a great love for St. Francis of Assisi . I am amazed at his life and the example that He is to all generations ,of How He broadcasts to the world  the great worth of serving and loving God wholeheartedly. Yet , I find myself afraid or too full of  pride to take the next step . To not just be a admirer of the saints, of Francis  , a collector of holy stories ,but to be a follower of the saints . To be in the final analysis a true fully devoted  follower of Christ .

   Saint Boniface of Tarsus and all you others beloved of God pray for me , pray for us all that we may move beyond being just spectators, part time players , sometime cross bearers  , but that we may join the race ,take up our cross ,  that we may strive to finish the race not ashamed .To win the victors crown .To die to this world and embrace our  Cross to adore it as "blessed wood"  That we may just as St. Boniface when faced with the reality of his Cross when meeting those who were about to die for the faith :

  "He embraced them and kissed their feet, asking them to pray that he might be found worthy to suffer with them "

Here is Saint Boniface of Tarsus story :

"The Holy Martyr Boniface was the slave of a rich young Roman woman named Aglaida and he dwelt with her in an iniquitous cohabitation. But they both felt the sting of conscience and they wanted somehow to be cleansed of their sin. And the Lord granted them the possibility to wash away their sin with their blood and to finish their life in repentance.

Aglaida learned that whoever keeps relics of the holy martyrs in the home and venerates them receives great help in gaining salvation. Under their influence, sin is diminished and virtue prevails. She arranged for Boniface to go to the East, where there was a fierce persecution against Christians, and she asked him to bring back the relics of some martyr, who would become a guide and protector for them.

As he was leaving, Boniface laughed and asked, "My lady, if I do not find any relics, and if I myself suffer for Christ, will you accept my body with reverence?" Aglaida scolded him, saying that he was setting off on a sacred mission, but he was not taking it seriously. Boniface pondered her words, and during the whole journey he thought that he was unworthy of touching the bodies of the martyrs.

Arriving at Tarsus in Cilicia, Boniface left his companions at the inn and proceeded to the city square, where they were torturing Christians. Struck by the beastly horrible torments, and seeing the faces of the holy martyrs radiant with the grace of the Lord, Boniface marveled at their courage. He embraced them and kissed their feet, asking them to pray that he might be found worthy to suffer with them.

The judge asked Boniface who he was. He replied, "I am a Christian," and then refused to offer sacrifice to idols. They stripped him and hung him upside down, beating him so hard that the flesh fell from his body, exposing the bone. They stuck needles under his nails, and finally they poured molten tin down his throat, but by the power of the Lord he remained unharmed. The people who witnessed this miracle shouted, "Great is the God of the Christians!" Then they began to throw stones at the judge, and then they headed for the pagan temple, in order to cast down the idols.

On the following morning, when things had quieted down somewhat, the judge directed that the holy martyr be thrown into a cauldron of boiling tar, but this also caused the sufferer no harm. An angel come down from Heaven and bedewed him as he stepped into the cauldron. The tar overflowed the cauldron, splattering and burning the torturers themselves. St Boniface was then sentenced to beheading by the sword. Blood and a milky fluid flowed from his wounds. Beholding such a miracle, about 550 men believed in Christ.

St Boniface's companions, waiting for two days at the inn for him in vain, began searching for him, thinking that he had gotten drunk somewhere. At first their search was without success, but finally they came across a man who had been an eyewitness to the martyr's death. The man also led them to the place where the decapitated body lay. St Boniface's companions tearfully begged his forgiveness for their unseemly thoughts about him. After they ransomed the martyr's remains, they brought them back to Rome.

On the eve of their arrival an angel appeared to Aglaida in her sleep and told her to prepare herself to receive her former slave, now the brother and fellow-servant of the angels. Aglaida summoned the clergy, and she received the holy relics with great reverence. Then she built a church on the site of his grave and dedicated it to the holy martyr. There she enshrined his relics, glorified by numerous miracles. After distributing all her wealth to the poor, she withdrew to a monastery, where she spent fifteen years in repentance, then fell asleep in the Lord. She was buried beside St Boniface. The sins of the one were washed away by his blood, the other was purified by her tears and asceticism. Both were found worthy to appear unsullied before our Lord Jesus Christ, Who desires not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his wickedness and live (Ezek. 33:11).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Simply Beautiful...

         May is Marys' month and one of the traditions  at this time is the singing of  The Akathistos Hymn
as a recent convert ( I am still in the process ) Mary has always been a sticking point for me . Reading this hymn has helped me overcome many issues I have had , I share it with you and pray that it may help you to come to a great love and devotion to Our Lady .

The Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos

Having secretly received the command, the Archangel hastened into Joseph's abode and spoke to the Holy Virgin. He Who bowed the Heavens with His descending, is wholly contained, yet unchanged in You. And seeing Him taking the likeness of a servant in your womb, I stand in amazement and cry unto you:
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin [3 times].  


Unto you, O Theotokos, invincible Champion, your City, in thanksgiving ascribes the victory for the deliverance from sufferings. And having your might unassailable, free us from all dangers, so that we may cry unto you:
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


The Archangel was sent from Heaven to cry 'Rejoice!' to the Theotokos. And beholding You, O Lord, taking bodily form, he stood in awe, and with his bodiless voice he cried aloud to her such things as these:
Rejoice, you through whom joy shall shine forth. Rejoice, you whom the curse will vanish. Rejoice, the Restoration of fallen Adam. Rejoice, the Redemption of the tears of Eve. Rejoice, O Height beyond human logic. Rejoice, O depth invisible even to the eyes of Angels. Rejoice, for you are the King's throne. Rejoice, you bear Him, Who bears the universe. Rejoice, O Star revealing the Sun. Rejoice, O Womb of divine Incarnation. Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is born a Babe.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Beholding herself in purity, the holy one courageously said to Gabriel: Your strange voice seems almost unbelievable to my soul; for how do you speak of birth-giving without seed? crying aloud:


Seeking to know the incomprehensible knowledge, the Virgin cried to him who ministered to her: How many a Son be born from a virginal womb? Tell me! To her he answered in fear, yet crying thus:
Rejoice, O seer of the ineffable Will. Rejoice, O surety of those praying in silence. Rejoice, you the Preface of Christ's miracles. Rejoice, you the Pinnacle of His commandments. Rejoice, O heavenly Ladder, by which God descended. Rejoice, O Bridge leading those from earth to Heaven. Rejoice, O Miracle, much marveled of Angels. Rejoice, O trauma, much dirged of demons. Rejoice, you who ineffably gave birth to the Light. Rejoice, you who revealed the mystery to none. Rejoice, O knowledge superceding the wise. Rejoice, You who enlightens the minds of the faithful.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin


The power of the Most High then overshadowed the Virgin, that she might conceive; and her fruitful womb He made a fertile meadow for all those desiring to reap salvation, as they chant:


Carrying God in her womb, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth, whose unborn babe forthwith recognizing Mary's salutation rejoiced, and with leaps as it were with songs, he cried out to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O branch of the unwithering Vine. Rejoice, O Land yielding the untainted Fruit. Rejoice, O Husbandry of the merciful Husbandman. Rejoice, O birthgiver to the Planter of our life. Rejoice, O Field bearing abundant compassion. Rejoice, O Table laden with an abundance of mercies. Rejoice, for you make the meadow produce contentment. Rejoice, for you prepare a haven for souls. Rejoice, acceptable Incense of intercession. Rejoice, Oblation for all the world. Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals. Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Having doubtful thoughts, the righteous Joseph was troubled; for he suspected a secret union as he beheld you unwed, O blameless one; but when he learned of your conception through the Holy Spirit, he cried:


On hearing the Angels praising the incarnate presence of Christ, the shepherds hastened as to a Shepherd, and beholding Him as a spotless Lamb, pastured in Mary's womb, her they hymned, and said:
Rejoice, Mother of the Lamb and Shepherd. Rejoice, Fold of the rational sheep. Rejoice, O Defense against invisible foes. Rejoice, Opener of the gates of Paradise. Rejoice, for the things of Heaven rejoice with the earth. Rejoice, the things of earth join chorus with the Heavens. Rejoice, never-silent Voice of the Apostles. Rejoice, never-conquered Courage of the Martyrs. Rejoice, firm Support of the Faith. Rejoice, shining Token of grace. Rejoice, you through whom Hades was laid bare. Rejoice, you through whom we are clothed with glory.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Beholding the Godward-pointing Star, the Magi followed it radiance; and holding it as a lantern, they sought through it the mighty King. And having approached the Unreachable, they rejoiced and cried to Him:



The sons of the Chaldees saw in the hands of the Virgin Him Who by His hand fashioned man; and sensing Him as Lord, even though He had taken the form of a servant, they hastened with gifts to do homage, and they cried out to her who is blessed:
Rejoice, Mother of the never-setting Star. Rejoice, Dawn of the mystic Day. Rejoice, you who has quenched the fiery furnace of error. Rejoice, you who enlightens the initiates of the Trinity. Rejoice, you who has removed the inhuman tyrant from power. Rejoice, you who has shown Christ, the man-befriending Lord. Rejoice, you who has redeemed us from the pagan religion. Rejoice, you who has rescued us from the works of mire. Rejoice, you who ceased the worship of fire. Rejoice, you who saves us from the flames of passions. Rejoice, Guide of the faithful to chastity. Rejoice, O Delight of all generations.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Having become God-bearing heralds, the Magi returned to Babylon. Fulfilling Your prophecy, and having preached You as the Christ to all, they left Herod as a trifler, who knew not how to chant:



Having shed the light of truth in Egypt, You expelled the darkness of falsehood; and unable to bear Your strength, O Saviour, her idols fell; and they that were set free from them cried to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, Uplifting of men. Rejoice, Downfall of demons. Rejoice, you who trampled upon the delusion of error. Rejoice, you who censured the deceit of the idols. Rejoice,Sea which drowned the symbolic Pharoah. Rejoice, Rock which refreshed those thirsting for life. Rejoice, Pillar of fire, guiding those in darkness. Rejoice, Protection of the world, more spacious than a cloud. Rejoice, Nourishment, successor to manna. Rejoice, Minister of holy joy. Rejoice, Land of promise. Rejoice, you from whom flows milk and honey.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


When Symeon was prepared to leave from this age of deception, You were presented to him as a newborn Babe, but he recognized You as perfect God. Wherefore, he marvelled at Your ineffable wisdom, chanting:


New was the Creation which the Creator showed to us His creatures, when He sprang forth from the seedless womb; and He preserved it incorrupt, even as it was, that we, seeing this Miracle, may praise her saying:
Rejoice, Flower of incorruption. Rejoice, Crown of self-restraint. Rejoice, O shining Token of Resurrection. Rejoice, you whom reflects the life of the Angels. Rejoice, Tree of delectable Fruit that nourishes the faithful. Rejoice, well-shaded Tree under which many find shelter. Rejoice you who bears the Guide of those astray. Rejoice, you who gives birth to the Redeemer of captives. Rejoice, Intercession before the righteous Judge. Rejoice, Forgiveness for many transgressors. Rejoice, Robe of confidence for those bare of courage. Rejoice, Tenderness conquering all desire.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Seeing a strange childbirth, let us estrange ourselves from the world by transporting our minds to Heaven; to this end the Most High God appeared on earth a lowly man, that He might draw to the heights those who cry out to Him:


The Infinite Word was wholly present with those on earth, yet never absent from those in Heaven; for this was a divine condescension and not a mere change of place; and His birth was from a Virgin chosen of God, who heard such words as these:
Rejoice, Land of the Uncontained God. Rejoice, Gate of the sacred mystery. Rejoice, doubtful Rumour of the faithless. Rejoice, undoubtful Pride of the faithful. Rejoice, all-holy Chariot of Him Who is above the Cherubim. Rejoice, most excellent Dwelling-place of Him Who is above the Seraphim. Rejoice, you who conducts the opposites of unity. Rejoice, you who has woven maidenhood into motherhood. Rejoice, you through whom transgression is annulled. Rejoice, you through whom Paradise is open. Rejoice, Key of the Kingdom of Christ. Rejoice, Hope of eternal blessings.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin


All angel-kind was amazed by the great deed of Your Incarnation; for they saw the inaccessible God as Man accessible to all, dwelling among is and hearing from all:


Orators most eloquent do we behold mute as fish before you, O Theotokos; for they are at loss to explain how you could remain a virgin and yet give birth. But as for us, marvelling at this mystery, we cry with faith:
Rejoice, Vessel of the Wisdom of God. Rejoice, Treasury of His providence. Rejoice, you who proves the philosophers fools. Rejoice, you who proves the logicians illogical. Rejoice, for the subtle debaters are confounded. Rejoice, for the inventors of myths are faded away. Rejoice, you who breaks the webs of the Athenians. Rejoice, you who fills the nets of the Fishermen. Rejoice, who draws us from the depths of ignorance. Rejoice, you who enlightens many with knowledge. Rejoice, Raft for those who desire to be saved. Rejoice, Haven for those who fare on the sea of life.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Wishing to save the world, to this end did the Ruler of all come of His own will; and, though as God He is the Shepherd, for us He appeared as a Man like us; for by this likeness He called those of like kind, yet as God He hears:


You are a fortress protecting all virgins, O Theotokos and Virgin; for the Master of heaven and earth prepared you, O Immaculate One, and dwelt in your womb, and taught all to cry out to you:
Rejoice, Pillar of virginity. Rejoice, Gate of salvation. Rejoice, Leader of spiritual restoration. Rejoice, Bestower of divine goodness. Rejoice, for you regenerated those conceived in shame. Rejoice, for you gave guidance to the thoughtless. Rejoice, you who abolished the corrupter of hearts. Rejoice, you who gave birth to the Sower of chastity. Rejoice, bridal Chamber of a seedless marriage. Rejoice, you who joined the faithful to the Lord. Rejoice, fair Nursing-mother of virgins. Rejoice, bridal Escort of holy souls.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


Defeated is every hymn that strives to pay homage to the multitude of Your many compassions; for even should we offer You, O holy King, odes of praise numberless as the sands, we should still have done nothing worthy of what You have given to us who cry to You:


As a brilliant beacon-light shining to those in darkness do we behold the holy Virgin; for she kindles the celestial Light and leads all to divine knowledge; she illuminates our minds with radiance and is honoured by these our cries:
Rejoice, Ray of the spiritual Sun. Rejoice, Beam of the innermost Splendour. Rejoice, Lightning, enlightening our souls. Rejoice, Thunder, striking down the enemy. Rejoice, for you caused the many-starred Light to dawn. Rejoice, for you caused the ever-flowing River to gush forth. Rejoice, you who depicts the image of the Font of Siloam. Rejoice, you who washes away the stain of sin. Rejoice, Laver purifying conscience. Rejoice, Wine-bowl over-filled with joy. Rejoice, sweet-scented Fragrance of Christ. Rejoice, Life of mystic festival.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin


Wishing to bestow His grace, He that forgives the ancient debts of all mankind came of His own will to dwell among those who departed from His favour; and tearing up writ of indebtedness, He hears from all:


Whilst praising your Offspring, we all praise you, O Theotokos, as a living temple; for the Lord, Who holds all things in His hand, dwelt in your womb, and He sanctified and glorified you, and taught all to cry to you:
Rejoice, Tabernacle of God the Word. Rejoice, Holy one, holier than the Hollies. Rejoice, Ark made golden by the Spirit. Rejoice, inexhaustible Treasury of Life. Rejoice, precious Diadem of godly kings. Rejoice, venerable Boast of faithful priests. Rejoice, unshakeable Tower of the Church. Rejoice, impregnable fortress of the Kingdom. Rejoice, you through whom trophies are raised up. Rejoice, you whom enemies are cast down. Rejoice, Healing of my flesh. Rejoice, Salvation of my soul.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.


O all-hymned Mother, worthy of all praise, who brought forth the Word, the Holiest of all Saints [3 times], as you receive this our offering, rescue us all from every calamity, and deliver from future torment those who cry with one voice: Who is more

1st Stanza

The Archangel was sent from Heaven to cry: Rejoice! to the Theotokos. And beholding You, O Lord, taking bodily form, he stood in awe, and with his bodiless voice he cried aloud to her such things as:
Rejoice, you through whom joy shall shine. Rejoice, you the Redemption of the tears of Eve. Rejoice, Height hard to climb for human thought. Rejoice, Depth hard to explore even for the eyes of Angels. Rejoice, for you are the Throne of the King. Rejoice, for you sustained the Sustainer of all. Rejoice, Star that causes the Sun to appear. Rejoice, Womb of the divine Incarnation. Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. Rejoice, you whom the Creator is born a Babe.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin


Unto you, O Theotokos, invincible Champion, your City, in thanksgiving ascribes the victory for the deliverance from sufferings. And having your might unassailable, free us from all dangers, so that we may cry unto you:
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin.

The sun danced at Fatima

"...All shall be well, and all shall be well,
                                  and all manner of thing shall be well."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

saints in the news

Interesting read about the relics of St. John Bosco and the trail of miracles that are occuring alongside with them .