Saturday, June 7, 2014
Feast: June 8
|ST. MEDARD, one of the most illustrious prelates of the Church of France in the sixth century, was born of a pious and noble family, at Salency, about the year 457. From his childhood he evinced the most tender compassion for the poor. On one occasion he gave his coat to a destitute blind man, and when asked why he had done so, he answered that the misery of a fellow-member in Christ so affected him that he could not help giving him part of his own clothes. Being promoted to the priesthood in the thirty-third year of his age, he became a bright ornament of that sacred order. He preached the word of God with an unction which touched the hearts of the most hardened; and the influence of his example, by which he enforced the precepts which he delivered from the pulpit, seemed irresistible. In 530, Alomer, the thirteenth bishop of that country, dying, St. Medard was unanimously chosen to fill the see, and was consecrated by St. Remigius, who had baptized King Clovis in 496, and was then exceeding old. Our Saint's new dignity did not make him abate anything of his austerities, and, though at that time seventy-two years old, he thought himself obliged to redouble his labors. Though his diocese was very wide, it seemed not to suffice for his zeal, which could not be confined; wherever he saw the opportunity of advancing the honor of God, and of abolishing the remains of idolatry, he overcame all obstacles, and by his zealous labors and miracles the rays of the Gospel dispelled the mists of idolatry throughout the whole extent of his diocese. What rendered this task more difficult and perilous was the savage and fierce disposition of the ancient inhabitants of Flanders, who were the most barbarous of all the nations of the Gauls and Franks. Our Saint, having completed this great work in Flanders, returned to Noyon, where he shortly after fell sick, and soon rested from his labors at an advanced age, in 545. The whole kingdom lamented his death as the loss of their common father and protector. His body was buried in his own cathedral, but the many miracles wrought at his tomb so moved King Clotaire that he translated the precious remains to Soissons.|
(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)
Pope Francis has invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, to join him in a prayer encounter. Peres and Abbas will arrive at the Vatican within a few minutes of each other. The Holy Father will receive them at the entrance of Casa Santa Marta, and will briefly with them individually. All three will then join with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and proceed by car to the Vatican Gardens where the event will take place, beginning with a musical introduction and an explanation in English of the structure and form of the celebration, which will follow the chronological order of the three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
At around 7pm there will be a prayer (creation) in Hebrew, a brief musical interlude, a prayer invoking forgiveness, another musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally, a Jewish musical meditation. The Christian part will follow the same structure, but the first prayer will be in English, the second in Italian, and the third in Arabic. Finally the Muslim part of the celebration will proceed as above, in Arabic. The reader will then introduce in English the final part of the celebration, beginning with Pope Francis' discourse invoking peace.
The Holy Father will then invite each of the two presidents to formulate his own invocation. Shimon Peres will begin, followed by Mahmoud Abbas. As a gesture of peace, in which the Patriarch Bartholomew will also participate, they will all shake hands and the Pope will then accompany them in planting an olive tree, symbol of peace. At the end of the celebration the four will remain side by side while the delegations pass by to greet them. The Holy Father, the two presidents and the Patriarch will then proceed to the Casina Pio IV to speak in private. Finally, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas will leave the Vatican, while Pope Francis and the Patriarch Bartholomew will return to the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Source: VIS
Feast: June 7
|He was a native of Yorkshire, and even in his childhood an enemy to the usual amusements of that age, loving only prayer, serious reading, and useful and pious employments. Having finished his studies, he was ordained priest, and instituted to a rectorship of a parish in the diocese of York; but after discharging that office some time with great assiduity and zeal, he resigned that living, and took the religious habit in the Benedictine monastery of our Lady in York. Richard, the prior of this house, and twelve others, desiring to serve God according to the primitive institute of the Benedictine Order, left the monastery, with leave of the abbot, and endeavoring to execute their project, struggled with incredible hardships; till Thurstan, the pious archbishop of York, gave them a desert valley, called Scheldale, with the town of Sutton, where, in the midst of winter, and in extreme poverty they founded the celebrated abbey which, from certain springs, was called Fountains, in 1132. The Cistercian Order, which had been lately introduced into England, and settled at Rievalle, was perfectly agreeable to the fervent dispositions of this holy colony; and at their request the monastery of Fountains was received into it by St. Bernard, who in his letters extols the perfection and sanctity of this new nursery of saints, which, from the beginning, was a model to the whole order for devotion, austerity in fasts, labor, by which all the monks procured their subsistence, fervor in all religious exercises, and cheerfulness in singing assiduously the divine praises. No murmur or sadness was known among them; nor any strife or contention ever heard of, unless of charity or humility: they never yielded to rest, till fatigued with labor; and always came hungry from their slender table, which was chiefly furnished with pulse and roots from their garden. St. Robert seemed so far to eclipse the rest of this holy company by the lustre of his piety, that they all had their eyes on him in their religions duties, and studied to transcribe his fervor in their actions. Ranulph of Merley, baron of Morpeth, paying a visit to the monastery of Fountains five years after its foundation, was so struck with the edifying deportment of the terrestrial angels who inhabited it, that he obtained of the abbot Richard a certain number of those monks, and built for them a monastery called Newminster, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, in 1137, of which St. Robert was appointed abbot.|
The saint in his new dignity thought it his duty not only to walk before his brethren, but to go beyond them all in every religious observance; and all his virtues seemed to receive new vigor, and a new degree of perfection in this eminent station. His affection to holy prayer is not to be expressed. He recommended to God continually those committed to his care, and with many tears poured forth his soul for them night and day. He was favored with the gift of prophecy and miracles. He founded another monastery a Pipinelle, or Rivebelle, in Northamptonshire, and lived in the strictest union of holy friendship with St. Bernard; also with St. Godric, a holy hermit in those parts, illiterate as to secular learning, but a most spiritual man. St. Robert finished his course by a happy death on the 7th of June, 1159. Miracles attested his sanctity to the world. He is named in the Roman Martyrology.