Friday, September 28, 2012

TODAY'S SAINT: SEPT. 29: ST. MICHAEL, ST. GABRIEL AND ST. RAPHAEL: ARCHANGELS



St. Michael, St. Gabriel, & St. Raphael
ARCHANGELS
Feast: September 29
Information:
Feast Day:
September 29

The Sacred Scriptures have revealed the proper names of only three Angels, all of whom belong to the Choir of the Archangels. The names are well known to all, namely: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Ancient apocryphal literature of the Old Testament contains several other names of Archangels in addition to the three just mentioned. Like the sources themselves, these other names are spurious. Names like Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jeremiel are not found in the canonical books of Sacred Scripture, but in the apocryphal book of Enoch, fourth book of Esdras, and in rabbinical literature. The Church does not permit proper names of Angels that are not found in the canonical books of the Bible. All such names that were taken from apocryphal writings were rejected under Pope Zachary, in 745. There must have been danger of serious abuses in this regard during that century, because a similar step was taken in a synod held at Aix-la-Chapelle in 789.
THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL
Michael from the Hebrew , meaning: ? His name is a battle cry; both shield and weapon in the struggle, and an eternal trophy of victory. The popularity of this name in the Old Testament appears from the fact that no less than ten persons bearing the name of Michael are mentioned in the sacred books, like: "Sthur the son of Michael." A similar name is found also in the Accadian language with a meaning identical to that of Michael; the Accadian equivalent is
As the proper name of one of the great Archangels, the word Michael appears for the first time in the book of the prophet Daniel, where he is called: "Michael, one of the chief princes," and again: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people."
The name "Archangel" is given only to Saint Michael, even though sacred tradition and the liturgy of the Church attribute the same title to Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael: "When Michael, the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee." In spite of such an explicit testimony of the Scripture, a few writers have maintained that Saint Michael, because of his exalted position among the Angels, must belong to a much higher order, perhaps to that of the Seraphim, rather than to the order of Archangels. We do not believe that this opinion can be defended. The exalted position occupied by Saint Michael can be explained by the fact that, even though he belongs to a relatively low order by nature, his outstanding zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of his fellow Angels, at the time of Satan's rebellion, merited him such glory and power as to equal and even to excel through grace such celestial spirits that belong to a much higher Choir by nature. If we remember, ie Angels lived through a period of probation during which they could merit each according to his works. The great variety of merit explains, in addition to other natural elements, the great difference in their glory and in their power.
Father Joseph Husslein points out that the Church calls Saint Michael "Prince of the heavenly hosts"-, adding further: "The fact that the three Angels I have just mentioned are spoken of as Archangels need not imply more than that they were entrusted with extraordinary missions. Michael is the only one to whom the Scriptures apply this title, but there is good reason for the opinion that he may be the very highest of all the angels." Saint Michael is indeed a prince of the heavenly hosts, but this is sufficiently explained by the power granted him by God and not necessarily by superiority of nature. We believe that a power of that sort would not be conferred upon Seraphim and Cherubim who are the living throne of God, but rather upon those who belong to the order of ministering spirits, namely Principalities, Archangels, and Angels, who "are sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation."
According to Gustav F. Oehler, "this name: Michael-Who is as God?-of the prince of the Angels does not imply merely a humble acknowledgment on the part of the Angel, but it is rather an actual assertion concerning the Angel himself. The name thus expresses the irresistibility of him to whom God gives the power to execute His behests."
Saint Michael has always been the warrior Angel, fighting first Satan and his demons from the beginning, then, in the course of time, all the enemies of God's own People. He is "the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people." As of old, so today, Saint Michael is the great defender of the Church of Christ on earth.
The now famous problem, "The Angel of the Lord," , that has engaged the attention of Scripture scholars for decades, may perhaps be solved by admitting that this mysterious Angel of the Lord (who in various books of the Old Testament is represented as acting in ie name of God Himself, and is often received and honored as God would), is none other than the Archangel Saint Michael, God's own legate to His people. The words of the prophet Daniel seem to insinuate this: "None is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince." "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people." A legate can speak and act in the name and by the authority of the supreme ruler who sent him and whom he represents. This seems to have been Saint Michael's position with the children of Israel; he was both the heavenly Prince representing the King of Heaven and the heavenly protector of God's own people against both human and diabolical enemies.
Saint Michael who had defended and protected God's children in the spirit world, was to extend the same protection to the human children of God here on earth. Surrounded and threatened as they were by hostile pagan nations, over which Satan had established his tyrannical rule, Saint Michael could not remain indifferent to this new form of seduction and rebellion introduced by his archenemy among the children of men. As long as Satan persists in his attacks, the heavenly champion, the Prince of the heavenly hosts will continue to shatter his plans with the war cry of old: "Who is as God?" In the Old Testament, therefore, Saint Michael is the Angel par excellence, the Angel of the Lord, the national Guardian Angel of the Israelites.
At times, especially in the book of Exodus, this "Angel of the Lord" is called simply, the Lord; as for example in this passage, "And the Lord went before them to show the way by day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire, that he might be the guide of their journey at both times." He who is called "the Lord" in this passage, is mentioned again in the same capacity as the "Angel of God" in the following passage: "And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, leaving the forepart, stood behind, between the Egyptian camp and the camp of Israel, and it was a dark cloud, and enlightening the night." This very clever military maneuver dearly shows the strategy of the Prince of heavenly hosts.
As the national Guardian Angel of the Israelites, and God's special legate to His people, Saint Michael is introduced with words which reveal the great divine love and solicitude of the Lord, together with man's duties towards Guardian Angels in general: "Behold I will send my Angel who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned, for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and my name is in him. But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee."
The other opinion which holds that the expression the "Angel of the Lord" is not really an Angel, or Saint Michael, but the Word of God (the Logos) God Himself, is now regarded as a mere conjecture and a rather obsolete opinion.
Several apparitions of the Archangel Michael have been reported during the Christian centuries. One of the most outstanding of all such apparitions is the one which is commemorated in the universal Church on May 8. The Archangel Saint Michael appeared on Mount Gargano in Apulia, South Italy, in the days of Pope Gelasius (492- 496). A shrine was erected in the cave of the apparition and it became the goal of devout pilgrimages in subsequent centuries. Another feast in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel, on September 29, formerly known as , is the anniversary of the Dedication of the former basilica of Saint Michael and all the Angels on the Salarian Way in Rome. An apparition, similar to that of Mount Gargano, was honored in the great shrine called , near Constantinople, according to the historian Sozomenus, who wrote about the middle of the fifth century, a century of great devotion to the Holy Angels in general and to Saint Michael in particular.
In the liturgy of the Mass Saint Michael is regarded as the Angel who leads the souls of the faithful departed to heaven: "Deliver them from the lion's mouth, that hell engulf them not, that they fall not into darkness; but let Michael, the holy standard-bearer, bring them into the holy light."
Saint Michael is invoked in a particular manner in the prayers recited at the foot of the altar after Mass: "Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, etc." This particular prayer is a condensed form of the general exorcism against Satan and all the evil spirits, published by Pope Leo XIII.
As long as God's children are exposed to the attacks of Satan in this world, Saint Michael's battle cry: "Who is like God?" will continue to scare and shatter all the forces of evil, and his powerful intervention in the struggle in behalf of the children of God will never cease.
THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL
The name Gabriel seems to be composed of the Hebrew words, : man, and <'el>: God. It means, therefore, , or,
Practically all the missions and manifestations of this Archangel are closely connected with the coming of the Messias. The most accurate prophecy regarding the time of the coming of Christ was made by Saint Gabriel through the prophet Daniel.
Immediately before the coming of Christ we meet the Archangel Gabriel in the temple of Jerusalem, announcing to Zachary the birth of a son, John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ: "I am Gabriel, who stand before God, and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings."
The greatest and by far the most joyful message ever committed to an Angel from the beginning of time, was the one brought by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, announcing to her the Incarnation of the Word of God and the birth of Christ, the Savior of mankind. The simplicity and heavenly grandeur of this message, as related to us by her who was the only witness to Gabriel's good tidings, should be read in full in order to understand the sublime and delicate mission of Gabriel in the work of human redemption.
It is the first time that a prince of the court of heaven greets an earthly child of God, a young woman, with a deference and respect a prince would show to his Queen. That Angel's flight to the earth marked the dawn of a new day, the beginning of a new covenant, the fulfillment of God's promises to His people: The Angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary."
Heavenly wisdom, tact, adroitness are evident in Gabriel's conversation with the Virgin Mary: "The Angel being come in said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." Gabriel must overcome Mary's reaction of surprise at both his appearance and especially at his "manner of salutation." He has to prepare and dispose her pure virginal mind to the idea of maternity, and obtain her consent to become the mother of the Son of God. Gabriel nobly fulfills this task: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God." He calls her by her own name in order to inspire confidence and to show affection and solicitude in her perturbation. The great message is presented to her as a decree of the Most High God, a thing ordained in the eternal decree of the Incarnation, predicted centuries before by the prophets, and announced now to her as an event of imminent occurrence depending on her consent: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." From these words of the Angel, it became very evident to Mary that her son was to be the promised Messias, the Son of David. But she did not know how to reconcile her vow of virginity with the promised motherhood, hence her question: "How shall this be done, because I know not man." Gabriel's reply shows that God wanted to respect Mary's vow of virginity and thus make her a mother without a human father, in a unique and miraculous way: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee."
As a last word of encouragement and, at the same time, a most gratifying information, the Archangel reveals to Mary that her elderly and barren cousin Elizabeth is now an expectant mother in her sixth month of pregnancy. This final argument was offered in order "to prove that nothing can be impossible with God."
Mary, unshaken in her profound humility, replied: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word." This reply was Mary's consent, a consent awaited by heaven and earth. The Archangel Gabriel departed from Mary to bring to all the Angels the glorious tidings of the Incarnation of the Word.
It seems very probable that Gabriel, the Archangel of the Annunciation, was given special charge of the Holy Family of Nazareth. He was probably the Angel who brought "good tidings of great joy" to the shepherds "keeping night watches over their flock," the night that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. We notice, on this occasion, the same procedure of first assuaging fear and surprise, as had been the case at Mary's Annunciation by Gabriel: "Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.... This day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David." Who else could be the messenger of such good tidings, but he who had promised them through the prophet Daniel, and announced them to Mary, Gabriel the Archangel?
Having delivered the joyful message, the Archangel is joined suddenly by a vast multitude of the heavenly hosts, singing for the first time in this valley of tears the canticle of the celestial Sion. It was fitting that the Archangel of Redemption should intone the canticle of human redemption: "Suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."
Gabriel's duties towards the Messias did not come to an end with his birth. Gabriel was probably the Angel who "appeared in sleep to Joseph," first in Bethlehem when he warned him saying: "Arise, and take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell you. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him." After the death of Herod the Angel appeared to Joseph again in Egypt to tell him to bring the child and his mother back into the land of Israel.
Gabriel who is "the strength of God" must have been the Angel mentioned by Saint Luke, in his narrative of Christ's agony in the garden: "And there appeared to him an Angel from heaven, strengthening him." It was fitting that the Angel who had witnessed the Savior's agony, and who had announced His coming to both the Old and New Testament, should also be the first to announce to the world the Savior's Resurrection, His triumph over sin and death on Easter morning: "An Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow."
It is very probable that the Archangel Gabriel is meant when Saint Paul speaks of the second coming of Christ at the end of the world, when Saint Michael's struggle with Satan shall be over, and when all the physical and spiritual remedies of Saint Raphael are needed no more. It would seem that of the three
Archangels known to us, Saint Gabriel is the one who with a mighty voice will call the dead to life and to judgment: "The Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead who are in Christ shall rise first." The voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God seem to be the same thing, having the purpose to convey the divine command to the dead to rise again by the power of the Almighty God. The resurrection of "the dead who are in Christ" is the harvest, the gathering of the fruits of Redemption. Gabriel, who helped along during the long day of man's life on earth, in preparing man for the work of Redemption by the Messias, would seem to be the first among the Angels who are sent out to gather the elect from the four corners of the earth.
THE ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL
Raphael, from the Hebrew : to heal, and <'el:> God, means "God heals," or the "Divine healer."
The history of Tobias, father and son, contains the grandest angelophany of the whole Bible, and it all revolves around the manifestation of the Archangel Raphael under the assumed name and form of a beautiful young man named Azarias. At the very end of his long mission the Archangel revealed his own identity and his real name, together with the actual purpose of his mission: "And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord." In this angelophany, Saint Raphael reveals himself as a divine healer not only of physical infirmities, the blindness of old Tobias, but also of spiritual afflictions and diabolical vexations, as in the case of Sara, young Tobias' wife. Had not the Archangel resorted to an assumed human form and personality, it might not have been possible for him to consort in such a familiar way with men, for several consecutive weeks, because of the instinctive fear that man experiences in the presence of celestial beings. Had either father or son, or both, known the real identity of the stranger, from the beginning, the Angelic mission could not have been accomplished in the charming human way in which it was actually carried out. However, the assumed form, and especially the assumed name and paternity-"Azarias the son of the great Ananias"-has been regarded by some as a sort of deception and a lie. However, the perfect sanctity of the Angels is opposed to even the appearance of sin and deception, even to what we call a white lie. In order to carry out his mission, it was necessary for the Angel to assume a form perceptible to man, a human form and a human name. In this case he assumed the appearance of an Israelite, a young relative of Tobias himself. By divine command the Archangel was to act as proxy for that young Israelite, Azarias, whose name he took; hence there was no lie on his part when he gave the name of the person he was representing in his human form. His true identity was revealed at the close of his mission, and whatever misconception had been created in the minds of the various persons he had met, was completely removed, and these were then grateful to the Archangel not only for his many benefits but also for his consideration in dealing with them like a human being. Besides, the Archangel was not hiding a human name and personality and giving another instead; in taking the place of Azarias he could in all truth call himself Azarias.
The story of the Archangel Raphael and the two Tobias' is too beautiful and too instructive for us to dismiss it with a simple reference: it reveals how Angels act when in human form; their Angelic nature, their power, wisdom, holiness are made manifest in the various incidents of this charming narrative. The Archangel is God's legate, he carries out God's plan acting as an instrument of Divine Providence, and Divine Goodness.
The old, charitable, and pious man Tobias is blind and feels that his days are numbered. He gives his young son Tobias some godly admonitions and tells him of some money he had lent to Gabelus of the city of Rages in Media, many years back, for which he had a regular note with Gabelus' signature. He wants his son to go and collect that money, but he first wants him to find a man to accompany him on the long journey: "Go now and seek thee out some faithful man, to go with thee for his hire, that thou may receive it, while I yet live."
While this was going on in Tobias' home, Heaven was listening in and preparing the companion, the "faithful man" young Tobias was looking for. The Lord gave the Archangel Raphael the command to appear as a young man named Azarias, to accompany young Tobias to the land of the Medes, and to bring peace and happiness to two God-fearing but very unhappy families. As the young man stepped out of his house in search of a companion, one morning, the Archangel Raphael was there as if waiting for him, in the disguise of "a beautiful young man." "And not knowing that he was an Angel of God, he saluted him, and said: From whence art thou, good young man? But he answered: Of the children of Israel." In a very short time the Archangel informed young Tobias that he knew the road to Gabelus, and knew Gabelus himself, having spent some time there; he knew all that country very well. Tobias could hardly believe in such a happy coincidence. Immediately he took his new friend and companion and returned to his blind father. The Angel who well knew the purpose of his mission, implicitly announced it in his words of greeting directed to the blind old man, when he said: "Joy be to thee always!"
Not knowing who was he who wished him joy, old Tobias replied: "What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven." Here the Archangel Raphael became more explicit, making both a promise and a prophecy: "Be of good courage, thy are from God [God heals, was Raphael's own name] is at hand." He could not say more without engendering suspicion and betraying his own identity. Old Tobias regarded those kind words as an expression of good will and paid no particular attention to them; he had heard such expressions so often in the past. His interest is now in the voyage of his son, and he wants to know in whose hands he is committing the life of his only child and part of his own fortune. Upon hearing that the young guide is no less than Azarias, the son of the great Ananias, he remarks: "Thou art of a great family." Old Tobias, like his kinsman Gabelus, later on in this story, expresses his belief in the protection and guidance of guardian Angels. Not knowing that an Archangel is actually accompanying his son, he says: "May you have a good journey, and God be with you on your way, and his Angel accompany you." Had this circumstance been known to him, both he and his wife would have been spared all the worry and the sleepless nights during the long absence of their son. One thought, however, sustained the mind of old Tobias during his waiting: "Our son is safe: that man with whom we sent him is very trustworthy."
How carefree, and how joyful must have been that journey for young Tobias. To travel in the happy company of an Angel! He knew the road so well. He was never in doubt about anybody or anything they met on the road; always cheerful, never tired or sleepy; so sweet and kind in his conversation, yet always full of respect and attention. He was deeply spiritual and profoundly devout in his prayers, pure in all his words and actions. How true and inspired were the words of old Tobias when, comforting his weeping wife, he said to her: "I believe that the good Angel of God doth accompany him, and doth order all things well that are about him, so that he shall return to us with joy."
The sacred text remarks that when young Tobias started on his journey with his Angel companion, his pet dog followed him all the way to the East. Tobias was one of the thousands of Israelites living in the Babylonian captivity. Some of them had settled down in neighboring provinces, such as Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Media. It was exactly in this last province of Media that Tobias' kinsman Raguel lived with his family. This was not really the goal of his trip to the East, but it was here that God and His Angel wanted him to go; whereas his father had sent him to collect his money from Gabelus in the city of Rages in the mountains of Ecbatana, in Media. The Angel by diverting his trip accomplished more fully his mission, bringing unexpected joy and happiness to three families.
Having left his home town, the great city of Ninive, that morning, Tobias and his guide reached the river Tigris just before dark. They decided to spend that night by the bank of the Tigris. Here the Archangel Raphael began to reveal medical knowledge and experience. At the same time he provided food for that evening and for the rest of the journey. Weary of walking all day, young Tobias went to wash his feet in the cool water of the river before retiring. Here the sight of a monstrous fish that seemed to be coming up to devour him, frightened him exceedingly and made him cry for help: "Sir, he cometh upon me !" The Angelic guide, without coming to his rescue, instructed him on what to do, both giving him directions and inspiring him with confidence. At the end of the first day young Tobias had not yet acquired familiarity with his guide, so he calls him, Sir. Later he will call him brother. When the monstrous fish had been successfully drawn out of the river, it was cut open, roasted, and salted. "Take out the entrails of this fish," ordered the Angel, "and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee, for these are necessary for useful medicines." These, no doubt, may have seemed strange medicines to young Tobias and he wanted to know when and how to use them. Here he begins to show more confidence and affection for the heavenly guide: "I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish." The Angel explains the medical virtue of those parts of the fish. More practical details are imparted as the proper time for their use approaches. The liver of the fish was needed as a material ingredient for an exorcism in order to free Tobias' future wife Sara from the evil influence of the devil; the gall was to be used for the cure of the blindness of old Tobias.
The Archangel Raphael had been sent by God to cure and comfort two afflicted souls, old Tobias and Raguel's young daughter Sara, the widow of seven husbands, all of whom had died on the first night following their wedding to her.
As night was falling, at the end of another day of their long journey, young Tobias turning to his guide asked him the customary question: "Where wilt thou that we lodge ?" Here begins the first part of Raphael's mission. He must induce young Tobias to marry Sara, Raguel's daughter, and at the same time deliver her from all diabolical influence and vexation. This was a very delicate matter, for sinister rumors about this young dame, as being the cause of death to seven husbands, had reached Ninive and young Tobias himself knew all about her and was deathly afraid of associating with her. At the question of where to lodge for the night, Raphael had proposed to put up at Raguel's and for Tobias to propose to Sara, his own cousin. "I hear," answered Tobias, "that she hath been given to seven husbands, and they all died; moreover I have heard, that a devil killed them." Imagine this young man, now, going to ask for the hand of such a dame! The Archangel Raphael obtained just that, and what is more, their marriage was a very happy one, blessed with good health and long life, so that they both saw their children's children to the fifth generation. The instructions on marital union given by the Archangel Raphael to young Tobias on this occasion remain an ideal of moral perfection for married couples for all time. Prayer, continence, and pure intention dispose the soul for God's blessings and thwart all influence of the evil spirit. Young Tobias listened intently to his heavenly guide and later carried out his instructions most faithfully, first repeating them to his bride: "We are the children of the saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God."
Amid the charming and intimate family reunion in Raguel's home, described in chapter seven of the book of Tobias, an unseen struggle goes on in the spirit world. Young Azarias (the Archangel Raphael) absents himself for a very short while from the gathering of the family and friends in order to attend to a very important business of his own. During those few minutes, Raphael, in the name and with the power of God, "took the devil, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt." This devil Asmodeus, who had caused so much sorrow to Sara and her family, was Satan himself. With the exile of the spirit of evil, joy, peace and all blessings came to Raguel's home. Having attended to his business, young Azarias returned and took his place at the wedding feast, while actually contemplating the face of the Father Who is in heaven. The following morning, leaving Tobias there with his happy bride, he continues on the journey, accompanied by four servants and two camels. He finally found Gabelus and collected the money for old Tobias and, on his return, he took Gabelus to the wedding feast of his kinsman young Tobias.
The last part of the mission entrusted to Raphael the Archangel was now to follow. Having brought joy and happiness to Sara and all her family, it was time to bring a similar and even greater joy to old Tobias and his wife. The slow pace of the caravan that accompanied the bride to Ninive did not suit the Archangel who well knew the pain and the worries of Tobias' old parents: "Brother Tobias," said the Archangel, thou knowest how thou didst leave thy father. If it please thee, let us go before, and let the family follow softly after us, together with thy wife and with the beasts." Tobias agreed and taking with himself the gall of the fish, he and the Angel began to advance with much greater speed, the dog following them. It was time now to give the final instruction as to the use of the gall: "As soon as thou shalt come into the house, forthwith adore the Lord thy God, and giving thanks to Him, go to thy father and kiss him, and immediately anoint his eyes with this gall of the fish.... Thy father shall see the light of heaven, and shall rejoice in the sight of thee."
In the meantime Tobias' old mother was waiting for her son, sitting daily on top of a hill, scanning the horizon for a sign of her son and his guide. Finally one day Tobias' pet dog, running ahead brought the joyful news to the afflicted parents by his fawning and wagging his tail. All these human and earthly elements blend beautifully with the heavenly in this charming story of Angels and men.
Everything happened as promised by the Angel. Old Tobias regained his sight. At this point the heart of young Tobias was filled with gratitude, love, and admiration for his wonderful guide; so many and so great were the benefits received through him. Having witnessed the miraculous cure of his father he could find no words to express his feelings: "We are filled with all good things through him," he kept telling his father. Old Tobias understood that it was God Who was actually working all these marvels through young Azarias, and thus, full of reverence, he calls the young guide a holy man: "What can we give to this holy man, that is come with thee?"
The Lord never permits man to remain in error because of the disguise assumed by His ministering spirits in any of their apparitions. Sooner or later the truth about them will be made manifest. For several weeks in succession, the Archangel Raphael had been acting under assumed human form and human name. Now that his mission has been happily completed, he begins to prepare his two friends, father and son, for a great surprise, the revelation of his real self. At the moment that they both humbly approach him offering one half of everything that had been brought home as payment for his service, young "Azarias" answers with a wonderful explanation of why God has so blessed them. He recalls to the mind of old Tobias all the good he did in his days, his charity, his mercy, his patience, his alms, and his tearful prayers. Thus he begins to reveal himself gradually in order not to frighten them with a sudden disclosure. The enumeration of all the good deeds and of secrets of conscience known only to God are the first step in this revelation; the second is the statement: "Now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil." The third and final step was liable to trouble and frighten them, hence he begins with comforting and reassuring words: "Peace be to you; fear not." As he said this, both father and son fell upon the ground on their faces, for suddenly the human form of Azarias was transfigured into that of an Archangel of light and beauty, and the final revelation came: "I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord . . . when I was with you I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him." This is the only reward that he will accept, but none of the material things, money and cattle and clothes offered him generously by his good friends. Yet, these could still entertain some doubts, because they had seen him eat and drink like any other human being, and Angels do not eat and drink as men do. To this secret doubt he answers with saying: "I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you, but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men." Now that his work has been done, and that they know that God has sent His Angel to fill them with blessings, it is time for him to return to Heaven: "It is time therefore that I return to him that sent me; but bless ye God, and publish all his wonderful works." Here the Archangel returned to his invisible form, and from the company of men returned to that of the Angels.
Raphael, the Divine healer, seems to have been at work at Jerusalem, in the days of Christ our Lord, in the pool called Bethsaida by the Sheepgate. In the five porticoes surrounding that pool there was a multitude of sick people, waiting for the action of the Angel upon the water of the pool, an action which cured immediately any person who first descended into the pool: "An Angel of the Lord used to come down at certain times into the pool and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pool after the motion of the water, was cured of whatever infirmity he had."
The health-giving ministry of Saint Raphael may still be seen in the miraculous cures that have taken place up to our own times in many of the sacred Shrines throughout the Christian world.

VATICAN : RATZINGER PRIZE TO JESUIT PHILOSOPHER DALEY

(RADIO VATICANA IMAGE) :
RATZINGER PRIZE PRIZE 2012 TO GO TO PHILOSOPHER REMI BRAGUE AND HISTORIAN BRIAN DALEY
Vatican City, 28 September 2012 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the "Ratzinger Prize", which was established by the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI" and is due to be conferred on 20 October.
At the press conference Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Foundation's academic committee, announced the names of the prize winners: the French historian Remi Brague and the American scholar of patrology and theology Fr. Brian Edward Daley S.J.
From 1990 to 2010 Remi Brague was professor at La Sorbonne University in Paris, France. He currently holds the "Romano Guardini" chair at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, while continuing to work as visiting professor at a number of American, Spanish and Italian universities. He is a member of the "Institut de France, Academie des sciences morales et politiques", and holds the "Grand Prix de Philosophie de l'Academie Francaise". His many works include: "Europe, la voie romaine", "La sagesse du monde. Histoire de l'experience humaine de l'univers", "Du Dieu des chretiens et d’un ou deux autres" and "Les Ancres dans le Ciel".
Cardinal Ruini described Professor Brague as "a true philosopher and, at the same time, a great historian of cultural thought who unites a profound and unequivocal Christian and Catholic faith to his speculative ability and historical vision".
From 1978 to 1996 Fr. Brian Edward Daley taught theology and the history of theology at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently he is a professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is active in the field of ecumenism, particularly as regards relations between Catholics and Orthodox, and is the Catholic secretary of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation. Among other works, he is author of "The Hope of the Early Church: A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology". He has also edited an anthology of texts of Jesuit spirituality entitled "Companions in the Mission of Jesus", and contributed to the "Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte".
Fr. Daley, said Cardinal Ruini, "is a great historian of patristic theology, but also a man entirely committed to the life and mission of the Church, an exemplary model of the fusion of academic rigour with passion for the Gospel".
Benedict XVI ordered the creation of the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI" on 1 March 2010, in order to respond to a desire expressed by many scholars over the course of the years. One of the tasks of the academic committee is to establish criteria of excellence for the creation and conferral of prizes to scholars who have distinguished themselves in academic publications and/or research.
"The aim of the Foundation", explained Msgr. Giuseppe Scotti, president of that institution who was also present at today's press conference, "is to place the issue of God at the core of philosophical reflection. ... The conferral of the Ratzinger Prize, which seeks to place the question of God before the eyes of the public, is just one of the Foundation's three regular activities. The other two, perhaps less well know but equally important, ... are the granting of bursaries to doctorate students of theology, and organising high-level academic conferences".

MESSAGE TO THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE CCEE
Vatican City, 28 September 2012 (VIS) - The plenary assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) is meeting in Sankt-Gallen, Switzerland, from 27 to 30 September, in an event which coincides with the 1400th anniversary of the arrival there of St. Gallus, a disciple and compatriot of St. Columbanus. For the occasion Cardinal Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has, in the Holy Father's name, sent a message to Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the CCEE, in which he notes that this anniversary "invites us to reflect on the perennial task of evangelisation, and on its current and renewed importance".
"The experience of St. Gallus, like that of so many other protagonists of the evangelisation of Europe and the entire world, teaches us that the Christian message is sowed and takes root where it is put into authentic and eloquent effect by a community, in such a way that preaching is supported by the witness of fraternal charity and animated by joint prayer", the cardinal writes.
"Thus the memory of St. Gallus and his work, on the eve of the Synod on the New Evangelisation, will be a stimulus to the plenary of the CCEE to look with faith and hope - with the gaze of Christ the Lord - to the 'great harvest' of the European peoples, following the path of Vatican Council II and the teachings of the Supreme Pontiffs who have put it into effect. In particular, we should recall the magisterial lesson of Servant of God Paul VI in his 'Evangelii nuntiandi', and the bequest of Blessed John Paul II in 'Novo millennio ineunte', naturally in the light of Magisterium of the Holy Father Benedict XVI and with a view to the forthcoming Year of Faith".
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 28 September 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Zion Evrony, the new Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.
- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.
- Cardinal Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.

NOVENA : FEAST OF THE ANGELS - ST. MICHAEL - GABRIEL - RAPHAEL - DAY 8




September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and ST. Raphael.
Novena to St. Michael the Archangel

Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.


Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.



Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.

ASIA : VIETNAM : 3 CATHOLICS SENTENCED - EXPRESSING FREEDOM OF SPEECH

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Judges confirm sentence for two defendants; reduce prison term to six months for the third. A trial for "propaganda against the state" and distributing "anti-government leaflets." The faithful of Vinh demand their release. Rumors, unconfirmed, of five arrests among those who tried to gain access to the courtroom.


Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Vietnamese court has upheld the sentence on appeal, handed down at first instance in May, against three young Catholic activists, guilty - according to the Communist authorities - for "propaganda against the state" and distributing "anti-government leaflets." The hearing was held on September 26 at the Nghe An province People's Court, in the north of the country. In recent weeks even the Vinh diocese' Commission for Justice and Peace had campaigned for their release, appealing for an appeal "in accordance with international law" and their subsequent release "because they are innocent people."

The court upheld the initial sentence for Antonie Dau Van Duong and Pierre Tran Huu Duc. The sentence of the third Catholic, Chu Manh Son, was instead reduced to six months. The fourth defendant, however, preferred not to appeal, for fear of an even harsher punishment being meeted out. The Catholics of the diocese of Vinh tried to gain access to the court, but a heavy deployment of police and the lack of transportation hindered the faithful. Unconfirmed reports speak of five or six people arrested.

To date, only four out of 17 Christian activists, who were arrested by the police in June 2011, have undergone trial. The first trial was held May 25 in Nghe An province people's court (see AsiaNews 25/05/2012 Four Catholic activists, on trial for "propaganda against the state", are sentenced "). In accordance with Articles 88 and 79 of the Penal Code, the judges issued a sentence of 42 months in prison, plus 18 months probation for Antonie Dau Van Duong, 39 months in prison and one year of probation to Tran Huu Duc; 36 months and one year of probation to Chu Manh Son, and finally Hoang Phong, was sentenced to 18 months.

For Catholic leaders, the first trial was a "sham" in which civil rights enshrined in the Constitution were violated: freedom of speech, press, assembly and information. The young people were only expressing personal opinions and could - in theory - rely on the basic human rights. They are "good students" and come from "poor and hard-working" families.


SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AMERICA : USA : RIP BISHOP OTTENWELLER OF STEUBENVILLE OHIO

Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller
April 5,1916 - September 23, 2012

DIOCESE OF STEUBENVILLE RELEASE: The body of Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller, second bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, will arrive in Steubenville Thursday afternoon (Sept. 27).

Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, will receive the body at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, 411 S. Fifth St. The public is invited to join Bishop Monforton in the liturgical reception of the body.
After the liturgical procession, the body will lie in state until the time of vespers, at 7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 27). The cathedral will remain open to the public during that time, also, and until 8:30 p.m. that day.

The cathedral will reopen to the public at 9 a.m. Friday (Sept. 28), where Bishop Ottenweller’s body will lie in state until the funeral Mass at 11 a.m.
Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller Obituary

Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller, retired Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio, was welcomed into the eternal love of God, Sunday morning, September 23, 2012 at the Ursuline Center, Toledo, OH. During his short sickness, he was surrounded by family, friends and the loving care of the Center’s community and staff.
Bishop was born April 5, 1916 in Stanford, Montana to his late parents, Charles and Mary (Hake). He is survived by his sisters, Joan Pfahler, (Richard), Phyllis Lowry (Richard, deceased) Rosaline Buescher (Robert, deceased), Jane Brandt (Richard), an adopted sister. He is preceded in death by his sisters, Sister Mary Jogues, SND, Beatrice and brother, Raymond and by his many nieces and nephews of the Buescher, Lowry and Pfahler families.
He attended St. Mary Elementary School of Leipsic, St. Joseph High School and St. Joseph College, both in Renssalaser, IN. He received degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1943.
He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1943 for the Diocese of Toledo by the late Most Reverend Karl Alter. On April 23, 1974, Pope Paul VI named him the first Auxiliary Bishop of the Toledo Diocese and he was ordained bishop by Bishop John Donovan May 29, 1974. In October, 1977, he became the Second Bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio and served there until his retirement in March 1992.
As a young priest associate he served at St. John’s Delphos, Ohio 1943-1959, St. Richard Parish, Swanton, Ohio 1959-61. As pastor he served St. Joseph Parish, Blakeslee, Ohio and Sacred Heart in Montpelier, Ohio 1961-62. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bono, Ohio 1962-68. At St. John’s Delphos, Ohio 1968-76. At. St. Michael’s Findlay, Ohio 1976 to October of 1977 when appointed Bishop of Steubenville.
During these forty-nine years of ministry, Bishop Ottenweller was one who not only served the people but lead them to be fully active in the ministry of the church. He understood that each person had a call to live out their faith for the good of others. This spirit was manifested in many ways as a pastoral leader. He worked among the migrant people of NW Ohio seeking their basic needs and justice in the work place. He supported and encouraged young priests to learn Spanish and called many religious sisters to the work of Pastoral Care and religious education for Migrants and their families. He had special interest in helping pastors to be more collaborative with their parishioners when organized the Alliance of Pastors both in the Toledo and Steubenville Dioceses. This passion for the laity’s roll in the church was recognized on a national level as he served as chairman of the National Conference of Bishop’s Laity Committee and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Parish Renewal. He used this spirit of lay involvement when he called for a Diocesan Synod in 1983 for the Diocese of Steubenville which included both lay, religious and clergy participation.
These interests did not cease in retirement when he joined with long time friend Sister Nancy Westmeyer in the work of Vision Time and Servant Leadership.
Reception of the Body will take place at 4 pm Tuesday Sept 25th in St. Martin de Porres Church, Toledo followed by a wake service at 6: 30 p.m. The body will lie in state for visitation at Rosary Cathedral, Collingwood Blvd., Wednesday from 3 p.m. until a Mass at 6:30 p.m.
A Vespers Service will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. in Holy Name Cathedral, Steubenville and the funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, September 28th.
Interment will be Saturday, September 29th at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery Leipsic, Ohio. It is Bishop’s desire that any contributions be given in his memory to the continuation of the Servant Leadership, 1618 Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH 43612 Please view and sign the “on-line” guest registry at www.CoyleFuneralHome.com.
SHARED FROM DIOCESE OF STEUBENVILLE, OHIO, USA

AFRICA : KENYA : FAMILY DAY FOR DIOCESE

CISA REPORT:
Embu-Diocese-Marks-its-Family-Day
EMBU, September 25, 2012 (CISA) –Thousands of Catholic faithful on Sunday September 23 braced the simmering sun and thronged Iriamurai Parish grounds to mark the diocese of Embu’s family day.
The special mass was celebrated by Rt Rev Anthony Mukobo, the bishop of Isiolo Vicariate, assisted by the host bishop Rt Rev Paul Kariuki and over 40 priests.
Bishop Mukobo urged the faithful to always be at hand to help each other in times of need and never be greedy. He told them to fully support the church in its endeavors.
On his part Bishop Kariuki urged dioceses that have not started the family day to do so for self reliance.
“Last year we raised 14 million and we hope to collect over 25 million before the year ends. Small Christian Communities have their own projects in their prayer houses. This money collected is used to construct new churches, run schools and children’s homes and sustain the personnel,” said bishop Kariuki.
He further added that “Christians ought to support the diocese in its operation for by doing this they support themselves.”
He said that the church is missionary in nature and “soon we shall be sending missionaries to Europe’. The diocese of Embu offered one of their own priests to go and serve in the Isiolo Vicariate which lacks enough priests. Bishop Mukobo thanked bishop Kariuki for the gesture.
The bishops thanked teachers for calling off their strike and asked the government to go to the drawing board with doctors and reach a solution to end their strike. “This is serious for it is affecting a lot of sick people in hospitals who are going unattended.”
Majority of the faithful present said they support the Church wholeheartedly and hoped that church leaders would reciprocate and be exemplar in their service.
The event that is held once every year is geared towards the diocese achieving self reliance and moving away from donor dependency. Each parish does it own family day before they all meet for the diocese’s day.
The diocese has four deaneries consisting of 18 parishes.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS

AUSTRALIA : SISTER CASEY PRESIDENT CANON LAW SOCIETY

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Sep 2012

Sr Maria Casey rsj is the first woman and religious to be elected president of the Australia and New Zealand Canon Law Society
The former Postulator for the Cause of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and an expert in canon law, Sister Maria Casey RSJ has been elected President of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Sr Maria who is based in Sydney studied canon law at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada and is the first woman and the first religious to be elected president of the society.
The election took place at the Society's annual conference held in Auckland earlier this month. Attended by more than 80 delegates the conference not only included international speakers from the US, Great Britain and SE Asia but a significant proportion of women.
Over the past decade the number of women who hold a masters or doctorate degrees in canon law has continued to increase.
Sr Marias's election not only recognises her wisdom, knowledge and experience in canon law but is a reflection of the growing number of women in the field.

Archbishop Cardinal Pell with Sr Maria Casey rsj
The Society's executive include committee members Dr Rodger Austin, the Rev Ken Cafe OFM, the Rev Paul Clark and the Very Rev Dr Brendan Daly.
As president, Sr Maria will hold the office for a three year term and follows in the footsteps of past presidents such Bishop Robert McGuckin, Bishop of Toowoomba; Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Emeritus Bishop for the Archdiocese of Sydney; Bishop Adrian Doyle, Bishop of Hobart and Bishop Philip Wilson, Bishop of Adelaide.
On Australia Day this year Sr Maria was awarded an OAM for her work as Postulator for the Cause of Canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Father Paul Gardiner who was appointed Postulator for the Cause of Canonisation in 1985 until his retirement in 2008 was also awarded an OAM in the Australia Day honours.
In addition to her many duties, Sr Maria is also Vicar of Consecrated Lives for the Archdiocese of Sydney.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

AMERICA : VENEZUELA : ARCHBISHOP - VOTE - FREELY AND PEACEFULLY

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The President of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, His Exc. Mgr. Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez, Archbishop of Cumaná, asked the candidates in the upcoming presidential elections on October 7, to " think about the good of the country. " Speaking to a radio station, he added that the presidential candidates should give "an example of respect " and " example of how to express oneself. "
The Archbishop then recalled that the Catholic Church has asked for three things to the people of Venezuela: "vote of conscience, thinking about the good of the country", "vote freely, with security" and "vote peacefully." In the note sent to Fides Agency, Mgr. Padron also stresses the Church's invitation when choosing a candidate: "Make sure there is justice, in particular the care for the most disadvantaged people in society and that at all times the Constitution is not just a book, but a concrete reality in Venezuela."
Archbishop Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez concluded his speech by saying that after October 7 a new stage for Venezuela begins, and the Church will be on the side of the people in its concerns, its needs and its manifestations.
The new president elected on October 7 will remain in office for a period of six years. Although there are 7 candidates on the list, only two are favoured: Hugo Chávez Frías and Henrique Capriles. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 28/09/2012)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRIDAY SEPT. 28, 2012

Luke 9: 18 - 22


18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
19 And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."
20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
22 saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

TODAY'S SAINT: SEPT. 28: ST. WENCESLAUS, D. 935


St. Wenceslaus
DUKE, MARTYR, AND PATRON OF BOHEMIA
Feast: September 28
Information:
Feast Day:
September 28
Born:
903, Prague, Bohemia
Died:
September 28, 935, Stará Boleslav, Bohemia
Major Shrine:
St Vitus Cathedral, Prague
Patron of:
Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague

Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.
His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for his virtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September.