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Saint Finan, Bishop and Confessor. Feb. 17
WE beseech thee, O Lord, graciously to hear the prayers which we offer unto thee on this feast of blessed Finan, thy Confessor and Bishop: that, like as he was found worthy to do thee faithful service, so, by the succour of his merits, we may be delivered from the chastisement which we have deserved. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Finan was an Irish monk from Iona, who succeeded Saint Aidan as Bishop of Lindisfarne. It should be remembered that news of Christ was brought to England from two quarters. Kent and all the south received the Gospel from Rome through the mission of Saint Augustine; whereas the whole of the northeast, that is Northumbria, in which was included Durham and Yorkshire, was taught through the mission of Saint Columba, which was first established on the holy island of Iona, and afterwards spread to the Island of Lindisfarne. Finan for ten years governed his great Diocese with vigour and holiness. He baptized King Peada of the Middle English, and King Sigbert of the East Angles, and sent missionaries into their territories. And in 661 he went to God, to receive the reward for his diligent teaching of the word of God. ... See more
Our Father Sears is on the news!
Sanford Raymond Sears, Father Sandy, is the Port Chaplain, Priest in the Anglican Catholic Church, Seafarers’ House, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale
Saint Scholastica, Virgin.
St. Scholastica is considered the founder of the Benedictine sisters; her symbols are a dove, the book of the Benedictine Rule, and a pastoral staff; she is the patron saint of women religious; and she is a special intercessor against storms and lightening, and for children suffering convulsions.
O GOD, who for a testimony to the path of innocency didst cause the soul of blessed Scholastica, thy Virgin, to enter heaven in the appearance of a dove: grant unto us, that by her merits and intercession we may walk in such innocency of life; that we may be worthy to attain to everlasting felicity. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
It was the custom of that worshipful woman, Scholastica, sister to our Father Benedict, to come to see her brother once every year. And there was a day when she came, as her custom was, and they passed the whole day together, praising God, and speaking one to the other of spiritual things. Then the holy woman his sister besought him saying: Leave me not, I pray thee, this night, but let us speak even until morning of the gladness of the eternal life. But he answered her: I can by no means remain outside of my cell. Now the firmament was so clear that there were no clouds in the sky. And the holy nun, when she had heard the words of her brother, that he would not abide with her, clasped her hands on the table, and laid her face on her hands, and besought the Lord Almighty. And it came to pass that when she lifted up her head from the table, there were great thunderings and lightnings, and a flood of rain, insomuch that neither the worshipful Benedict, nor the brethren that were with him, could move so much as a foot over the threshold of the place where they sat.
Now the man of God, when he saw that he could not return to his monastery, because of the lightnings and thunderings and great rain, was sorrowful and grieved, saying: Almighty God forgive thee, my sister; what is this that thou hast done? To whom she gave answer: Behold, I besought thee, and thou wouldest not hear; I besought my God, and he hath heard me. And so it came to pass that they slept not all that night, but fed one another with discourse on spiritual things.
And when the morning was come, the worshipful woman arose, and went unto her own cell, and the man of God went back to his monastery. And, behold, after three days he was sitting in his cell, and he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and saw the soul of his sister, as though set free from the body, and flying to heaven in a bodily shape like unto a dove. Wherefore he rejoiced because of the glory that was revealed in her, and gave thanks to Almighty God in hymns and praises. And he commanded his brethren to go and take up her body and bring it to his monastery, and lay it in the grave which he had made ready for himself. Whereby it came to pass that they twain who had ever been of one mind in the Lord, even in death were not divided.
From the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Pope ... See more
Saint Cyril of Alexandria
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church.
O GOD, who didst strengthen thy blessed Confessor and Bishop Saint Cyril, invincibly to maintain the divine motherhood of the blessed Virgin Mary: vouchsafe that at his intercession we, believing her to be indeed the Mother of God; may as her children rejoice in her protection. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen
Cyril of Alexandria hath been styled the Doctor of the Incarnation. For he was concerned with the Nestorian heresy from its inception, and denounced the same to Saint Pope Celestine I, and at the Council of Ephesus in 431, at which the heresy was solemnly condemned, he presided as the representative of the Holy See. And the rest of his life was given over to the defence of the truth that in Christ Jesus there is one divine Person.
Cyril was born of distinguished parents, and was the nephew of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, whom he succeeded in that office. He was a man of learning, and of much vigour and determination, and he turned all his powers to the extirpation of heresy and unbelief. His sternness in these matters made him many enemies, even amongst those of orthodox practice, but chiefly he was assailed by the followers of Nestorius, who at one time secured a sentence of excommunication against him as a troublemaker, to which many even of the orthodox bishops assented, which same was later declared null and void.
He wrote much regarding the Faith, and was emphatic in his teaching concerning the Eucharist, whereof he said: We receive it, not as common flesh (which God forbid), nor as the flesh of a man sanctified and associated with the Word, but as indeed the lifegiving and very Flesh of the Word himself. But chiefly he is remembered for his teaching that Mary is the Mother of God, which title the Council of Ephesus acceded to her. At length he died a holy death, in June of the year 444, and the 32nd of his episcopate, but in the West his feast is kept in February. ... See more
Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Patron of Sicily, bellfounders, breast cancer, against fire, Palermo, rape victims, and wet nurses
Birth: 231 / Death: 251
St. Agatha, also known as Agatha of Sicily
She is commonly featured in religious art with shears, tongs, or breasts on a plate.
St. Agatha is the patron saint of Sicily, bellfounders, breast cancer patients, Palermo, rape victims, and wet nurses. She is also considered to be a powerful intercessor when people suffer from fires. Her feast day is celebrated on February 5.
Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault and indignity because of your faith and purity. Help heal all those who are survivors of sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen
O GOD, who among the manifold works of thine almighty power hast bestowed upon us strength to win the victory of martyrdom: grant, we beseech thee; that we, who on this day recall the heavenly birth of Saint Agatha thy Virgin and Martyr, may so follow in her footsteps, that we may likewise attain unto thee. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Agatha was early recognized by the Church as one of the most illustrious of virgin Martyrs. Therefore, along with Lucy, Agnes, and Cecilia, her name is mentioned in the Gregorian Canon. But nothing can now be surely established concerning her life save that she bare such witness to Christ, about 251, in Sicily, as soon to fill Christendom with her praises. The written Acts of Saint Agatha (on which this Legend and the Propers of her Office are based) were compiled long after her death, like the Acts of the other three aforementioned virgin Martyrs, and doubtless contain such memories of her as had then survived, along with the wonders that naturally came into belief to explain how Christ's strength was made perfect in the weakness of his handmaiden. According to these Acts, the Praetor of Sicily, Quintianus, conceived a passion for Agatha, who was of noble birth and of great beauty. And when he could not make her consent to his wicked desires, he had her arrested as a Christian, and turned her over to an evil woman, named Aphrodisia, to be corrupted. Of such methods for breaking down Christian hardihood, Tertullian wrote to the pagans: Ye, by condemning the Christian maid to the lewd youth, rather than to the brute lion, do acknowledge that we more dread a stain to purity than any torment or death; but your cruel cunning availeth only to gain men over to our holy religion.
But the companionship of Aphrodisia in the brothel made Agatha only the more determined to live faithful to Christ. Whereat the Praetor ordered her brought before him, that he might try to turn her from Christian living, which he declared to be fit only for slaves. Then the Praetor gave her the choice of sacrificing to the gods or undergoing torture. And when beatings, the rack, and branding with white-hot metal failed to shake her constancy to Christ, he ordered her breasts cut off. Whereat Agatha cried out, and said that he who had suckled at a mother's breasts should feel shame to order such cruel indignity done to a woman. But that night, after she had been returned in irons and pain to prison, the Apostle Peter appeared to her, and healed her wounds.
The following day she was subjected to new tortures. But an earthquake, from Mount Aetna, shook the town and terrified the people. Whereupon the Praetor, fearing a riot, ordered Agatha to be returned quietly to prison. And there, in the town of Catania, she died at peace, in prayer, on February 5th, and her body was taken and buried by the Christians. She is invoked against earthquake and fire and molten lava, and is accounted the patroness of bell-founders.
After four days, Quintianus ignored the miraculous cure of her wounds. He had her stripped naked and rolled over naked over hot coals which were mixed with sharp shards. When she was returned to prison, Agatha prayed, "Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul." ... See more
February 4th is The Sunday called Sexagesima,
or the second Sunday before Lent.
O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 2 Corinthians xi. 19.
YE suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
The Gospel. St. Luke viii. 4.
WHEN much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way-side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. ... See more
Feast of Candlemas (Feb 2): Luke 2:22-40. Love this holiday wherein we remember that Jesus is presented in the temple and we gear up for Lent.