Your questions about Saints

Vallumbrosan's Saints (OSBVal)

Vallumbrosan's Saints (OSBVal)

The Order of Vallombrosa, of Benedictine spirituality was founded in 1039, at the site of the same name (valley of the shadow) by Saint John Gualbert (pictured), the prominent noble family of Florence Visdomini, which he did until impossible to make them quit their idea. John, become regret after killing an enemy of the family, was first a Benedictine monk at Saint Miniato, then was Camaldolensian, but disappointed by the mediocrity of his monastic environment, he wanted to return the austere ideal of Saint Benedict, finding in seclusion solitude and the ideal of seeking God through penance, contemplation and the cultivation of virtues. Order divided the religious and secular, being the first to adapt the rules to the laity (1).

The Order was approved by Pope Alexander II in 1070 and came to have many monasteries, drastically reduced by the wars of religion and monastic relaxation. Pius II completed the reform of the Order had begun Eugene IV, which merged with the Order Silvestrina in 1662, but 18 years later became independent. Thrown from his home until 1963, not reoccupied the monks. Today it has 10 monasteries, all in Italy. Saint John Gualbert was canonized by Pope Celestine III in 1193 and is patron of workers and forest guards (at the valley of the shadow).

7: Saints Timothy and Luciano, african martyrs. (2)
20: Blessed Benedict Ricasoli of Coltibuono, hermit.

1: Santa Veridiana of Castel Fiorentino, pilgrim and recluse. (It is unclear whether it was recluse lay of the Order).
8: San Pedro Ígneo, monk and bishop.
9: San Erico of Vallombrosa, the third General of the Order.

10: Blessed John of Vallombrosa, monk.
24: Belssed Berta of Cavriglia, abbess.

20: Blesseds Jerome and Orlando of Vallombrosa, hermits. (And 1 August)
22: San Aton of Pistoia, abbot and bishop.
       Saint Humility (Rosana) of Faenza, wife, prisoners and abbess, founder of the nuns.

12: Saint John Gualbert , father and founder.

1: San Rodolfo of Vallombrosa, the second General of the Order.

9: Blessed Joan of Signa, virgin recluse. (some say was a Franciscan tertiary, but it is doubtful).

4: Saint Bernard of Parma, fourth-General of the Order, bishop and cardinal.

(1) therefore were not the mendicant Francisco and Sunday the first to "create" tertiary, as we read there.
(2) do not know why, but the Acta Sanctorum said to appear on the calendar vallumbrosano on this day, although the Roman Martyrology brings to 13 January. For similar cases, is likely to have had their relics and party at the Mother House, the monastery of Valleumbroso and, over time, have passed the Order. Anyway, they are martyrs of old, with nothing to do with the Order.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

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Saint Baldomer for the locksmith.

Saint Baldomer for the locksmith.

Question: Hello, good evening. I write from Argentina. CONGRATULATIONS! for such a beautiful blog! Today I discovered and filled my day really. My son opened his business (...) locksmith. Some time ago I’m looking for who is the patron saint of locksmiths. I found a place that is Saint Peter, say for carrying keys. But I do not find it anywhere, nor prayers, nor the Ninth to Saint Peter, if this were really the patron saint. I can not find the Ninth to Jesus of Good Hope. If you know these prayers and these novenas, would you kindly send them? Thanks. A warm greeting from my beautiful Argentina.

Answer: Hello! Thank you for your kind words and praise for the blog, just do what I can heartily. I have to apologize for the delay, but the question had gone to spam, do not know why, and just out of view. And I answer, hoping that the business is going well. As you say, though St. Peter and other saints (1), are also employers locksmiths for keys, the traditional patron of the craftsmen of the keys is:

Saint Baldomer of Lyon, monk and subdeacon. February 27 and December 8 (translation of Savigny).
He lived in the seventh century, in the French city of Lyon, where he was a blacksmith and locksmith. Since young man had taken a vow of chastity, never married and considered the poor and homeless as their own children, even to sell their own tools more than once, to help the poorest. He was much loved and respected for his charity and pious life. On one occasion, while praying in the church of the monastery of Saint Just, saw the abbot Saint Vivencio (July 12), and was charmed and impressed by his modesty, he saw a glow out of it. Spoke to him and noting his holiness and spiritual life level, proposed to enter the monastery as a monk. It went, entered the monastery where he was professed and ordained subdeacon. He lived a pious life in the monastery, exercising the same office that had played out, until February 24, 630 or 650, date of death (due to poor quality of the documents, does not specify the year).

Although this is only what is known of him, the devotion has been steady, thanks to the many miracles that occurred in his grave. The "Acta Sanctorum" gets that from the seventh century, his name is inscribed on the martyrologies and his relics were venerated without interruption until the sixteenth century, when Protestants profane and disappeared, except for an arm that had previously been transferred to church dedicated to him in the Loire, and other relics that had previously been formally transferred to the monastery of Savigny.

According to the Big Book of Saints, Jacques Baudoin, also known as Gaumier Galmier. Lyon is the pattern of locksmiths and blacksmiths. His attributes are typical monastic robes, anvil, hammer, pliers and some keys.

As for the prayers you ask, here you can find some: The subject of sentences, with few exceptions, do not deal here, since there is a devotional blog or pious.


San Benno of Meisen: To prevent the excommunicated emperor enter his cathedral, threw the keys to Elba. Some time later, a fish is the back. June 16.

Santa Lioba of St-Petersberg: was sacristan of his monastery and lost the keys to the choir, so the nuns could not go to pray. Before dawn, a fox came up to her and brought them. To tell Tetta, abbess, had been the demon thief. 23 and 28 (translation of relics) in September.

St. Erwin of Worcester: On certain sins of youth, put shackles for penance and threw the keys into a river. Going to Rome, a fish was caught in the Tiber and was in the keys. January 11.

St. Servatius of Tongeren: his iconography has always key because, according to legend, St. Peter himself appeared and gave him a silver key, a symbol of authority, but in reality is one of the "clavis confesionis" keys. Popes used to give as a prize to bishops or kings, which had alleged filings chains of St. Peter. 13 May.

San Maurilio of Angers: threw the keys to the cathedral to the river when he fled the city and, having caught a fish, he found inside, so he returned to his diocese. 13 September.

San Lolan: was church warden of St. Peter in Rome and one night he went to Scotland to preach. Mysteriously, the doors of St. Peter was not opened to the canons, they heard a voice say: "only he who closed the door, you can open." Sent a deacon and a subdeacon who reached Lolan. This, to know what happened, he cut his right hand, setting up the key and opened the basilica. 22 September.

St. Hubert: St. Peter himself appeared to the saint in his first Mass and gave him a golden key. It’s really another "clavis confesionis", in this case lost. 3 November.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

The child of St. Alto.

The child of St. Alto.

Question: Hello, you can tell me why this saint has the baby Jesus in a chalice. Any Eucharistic miracle, perhaps?

Answer: Hello, friend! even though it’s not within the traditional and venerable Eucharistic miracles, especially because it is an isolated incident, to be related to the Eucharist, yes that could be given this title in this event that happened to:

Saint Alto of Altomünster, hermit, founder and abbot.  February 9 & November 5.
There are differences in the origin of Alto, while some do English, others brought in from Ireland, but the name has Germanic origin, so ... The common view is that it was an eighth-century Benedictine monk who, after a while as a hermit, was devoted to pilgrimage to various shrines.

His "life" was wrote by the monk Otloh of the monastery of San Emmeran of Regensburg in 1060, and he´s the one  who says that Alto was a Scottish monk, companion of St. Virgil of Salzburg (November 27). He settled near Augsburg, where he preached the Gospel and created his best work, the monastery that bears his name "Altomünster", or "Monastery of Alto", in Baviera. The origins of the monastery also rub the legend or at least the desire to do so important: According to this, the land was donated by Pepin the brief  and the church was consecrated by St. Boniface (June 5). Other common miracles are therefore the bear that eats the beast of burden and then he  does the work, the scarcity of water and  the saint opens a fountain with  his staff.

The monastery lived boom times in every way: artistic, pastoral, economic, political, until he began to relax and plummet. According to some chronicles of the monastery, in 1000, San Alto appeared to the Duke of Bavaria, commanding restore the monastery. Brigidine nuns currently are the tennnts from Since 1487.The cult to St. Alto was initially limited to Altomünster, Weingarten (these sites are relics from him) and Freising, it extended to all Baviera, celebrating its feast on 9 February. In writing this "life" and give foreign origins, became a figure in Scottish and Irish martyrologies marks the 5th of November.

Otloh is the one referred to (and finally got to the point) than in the opening Mass of the monastery, raising the chalice and host, this became a beautiful child in the eyes of Alto, a fact that has become his primary attribute. It’s a miracle that often read of other saints.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

The Invention of the Holy Cross (II)

The Invention of the Holy Cross (II)

In the previous article on the Invention of the Holy Cross  awe saw some legendary historical references about the event. Now briefly discuss, cause  summarizing nearly two millennia of history and devotion in a small, insignificant blog would, be too much to ask:

The first and most significant hurdles facing the "Invention" is that Eusebius, who lived at the time the cross was found  and that, indeed, tells us about the expedition of  Helena to the Holy Land in his "Life of Constantine” , does not mention the finding of the cross! It is unthinkable that an event like that was not recorded by him, having narrated the construction of a church in Bethlehem and one in the mountain of the Ascension at the hands of Helena. And further: in 335, Eusebius is present at the dedication of the church of the Anastasis (Resurrection), tells the whole ceremony and described the place, but makes no mention of the Cross.

To make matters worse, there is the original manuscript of an anonymous pilgrim of Bordeaux, who visit the holy places in 333. Describe the relics venerated as the bloodstain of Saint Zaccaria in his martyrdom, the column where Christ was scourged, to a palm branches which were pulled on Sunday when Christ entered Jerusalem, etc. But it doesn’t say a word about hpoly cross, so it must be concluded by this year, still not aware of that relic. If Constantine died in 337, the discovery had to have occurred between the 335 (Eusebio date) and the 337, but it happens that Helena’s journey to Jerusalem took place between 326 and 327.

Therefore, it was back to them when this cross (false or not is impossible to determine) was discovered and revered, and in 345, as evidenced by St. Cyril when he was a priest, who mentioned the presence of the Cross in his catechesis though without naming Santa Helena. Only confirms the existence and knowledge of the Vera Cruz, which is something. And I must remind you that around the year 351, it is  mentioned again in a letter to Constantius, but if the cross had been brought to Rome by Helena and Constantine himself, no sense that Cyril mentioned the presence of the cross at Jerusalem to a son of Constantine, Constantine and Rome as whole would have refused.

Egeria, the great pilgrimage V century, tells the liturgy of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and crafts around "the cross", but it is unclear if it refers to the cross of Christ.

And on the subsequent history, the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he allegedly kept the Cross and the title has already been written a lot and everywhere you can find out more, view photos, etc. For example, here in this video. My intention was to put the sources, historical and legendary. But i would not like to end this without some:

Considerations on the Cross:
Knowing a little history and customs, both Roman and Jewish, one can say with some certainty that the cross of Christ is completely unknown. The crosses were instruments used over and over again. Christ was crucified on a cross used many times before and after him. One more. It is inconceivable that the apostles or disciples collect and hide, knowing as the Jews’ aversion to blood. The apostles came from the Jewish world and we should not presume a particular devotion to the instrument of the martyrdom of his master.

On the other hand, the vertical beam used to be nailed, for practical reasons at the site of torture, the accused only had the tree section. So it would be even more difficult than the two beams remain together, when they should be used on multiple occasions and not always both a cross form.

Nails, like any instrument, were highly prized, as also used repeatedly edges and sharpen them as often as necessary and could be used. And since iron is thought to be many times. And most of the nails, presence and sites of worship, as in the third article.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

Cult and iconography of St Anthony de Padua.

Cult and iconography of St Anthony de Padua.

On the day June 13th, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, principal patron of this blog, along with Francis of Assisi and Catherine de Alexandria, I would like to congratulate you all: the regulars, the ones who comment, the ones that don’t stand me, the ones who ask, the ones who collaborate... to everyone. Many blessings from the saint. I want to make some brief notes on the cult of St. Anthony and his iconography, both very varyed. Anthony is probably the most represented saint in art, along with St. Francis, and even more in statues for worship. In churches is frequent to see their images, making it perfectly recognizable. Local traditions, legends, proverbs and superstitions, have Anthony as an object. All continents know him, and his image has been extended long beyond the limits de the Franciscan Order.

Saint with a reputation for miraculous finder of objects, boyfriend seeker, relied for almost everything, patron de the poor and beggars, a man of letters and excellent preacher ... is so Anthony, loved and revered around the world:

St. Anthony received cult virtually since his death, and June 13 was from the beginning on the day of the liturgical memory (though he died 12) since his canonization in 1232, the year after his death. Also, Padua held on 17 June and February, the translation of the relics. Pope Sixtus V, a conventual franciscan, extended the feast to the whole Church. And Pius XII in 1946, he was named Doctor of the Church, although from the fifteenth century, at least, was recognized and represented as such.

Antoniane Devotions and prayers:
The Responsory: This is the first time, known until today, the Responsorial is attributed to St. Bonaventure, but in fact he wrote Friar Julian de Speyer, in 1234.
The thirteen Tuesdays: Its origin is varied and there is no agreement, some say it commemorates his funeral, which occurred on Tuesday, others who started as ninth by a devotee of Bologna, which lasted four Tuesday more to not getting their order. Deten take place publicly in Franciscan churches. Has shortened version de "Thirteen minutes to St Anthony."
The rosary: is a type de crown, repeating Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory, for thirteen consecutive times. Stems from the nineteenth century.
The Cross of St Anthony: A cross Greek, especially dedicated to St Anthony, with the image of the saint in verse and his blessing on the back. It’s a blessing you used Antonio to others: "Behold the Cross of the Lord all my enemies flee. Has won the Lion of Judah, the Root of David. Hallelujah, Hallelujah!".
Prayer to the tongue: In 1263 St Anthony’s body was exhumed and found intact language, weird thing, because its composition is the first to be incorrupted. Was placed in a reliquary, which is currently displayed in Padua. This prayer is the only prayer that is known to be directed especially to a body part de the saint. So, he goes to Anthony, but with special reference to the language, and this because he always praised God and led others to praise him. He spoke of men and interceded for them before God.
The scapular of St Anthony: Like all scapulars are brown two-piece, joined by two white cords. You can always be replaced by the St Anthony medal.
The bread of the poor: the work is devoted to more social outreach. Born in France in the nineteenth century and consisted de two piggy banks were placed to the left and right of the image of the saint. In a paper to be put requests to the saint, which were extracted and by which members prayed. In the other, put a donation in cash and thanks for the request heard by the saint, and the proceeds are devoted entirely to the poor. No longer practiced today, although many charities continue to have the saint as protector. Also on the day of your party is customary in Portugal, Spain and South America, mainly to passing out candy and bread blessed.

In general, St. Anthony is portrayed as a beardless youth, and stylized. Although exceptions exist, such as pictures or paintings sponsored by the Capuchins, where the saint does have a beard, but never the classic bearded Capuchin three feet. The oldest paintings are more realistic and do not affect the beauty, as it makes the Baroque, it feminoid figure, movements and angelic beauty.

Habit: Well, we can find in various forms. The most common is the brown robe, cord three knots on the right and left rosary. However, baroque images look five knots, for the five wounds, and South America is common to see blue, from the eighteenth century. Sometimes, it is not the most usual, has short coat, the Franciscan style. Another aspect to note is that, depending on the church, we can see gray cape and wide, if the site is a franciscan conventual monastery, or long hooded cloak and no, if it is a capuchin monastery.

The Child Jesus: It is your most distinctive iconographic element. It is said that a host of the saint, saw the baby Jesus visited Antonio in his prayer. Anyway, the truth is that the antoniane images tend to give the saint Child, mainly in three versions:
1: Tucked away in his arms and looking ecstatic, these images are deten of great expression and tenderness, are those of the Baroque.
2: The Child between glares down from heaven and Anthony opens its arms to him in this way the paintings and stamps are frequent pious.
3: The child sits on a book, although iconographically be a solution to include the book in images, but the iconography of the Child on the book is more deep: the wisdom, preaching and teaching the St. Anthony is supported by Christ.

The book:
As with the other saints, the book is a symbol de wisdom and teaching. May be the Gospels, if an apostle or a book of rules, if a Founder. In the case of Anthony, holds his teaching, preaching and teaching, which earned him a Doctor of the Church. Unfortunately, your side has hidden too miraculous knowledge de his work, expressed in his "sermons".

The lily: Is a symbol the purity excellence, dedication and love virginal. Always accompanies him in the form de a small branch, not as a blossoming rod, as in the case the St. Joseph.

The heart on fire:
A flame is a symbol of faith and love that fills the heart of the saint and spreads to others. Only what we see in old and rare performances, as the iconographic repetition, missed this attribute.

The crucifix:
The cross has many meanings, and is generally belonging to Christ and radical following. It is a sign de victory over sin and death. It is very common in Anthony, leading to the Child Jesus, but you can see in some Baroque paintings as part of its iconography "environmental" (hair shirts, skulls, books, pen writer). In some cases, few, wearing a crucifix flowered lilies, recalling her victory over the carnal temptations of youth.

In many sculptures and paintings, St. Anthony appears to give bread to a poor and with a bag full of bread. Proverbial was charity de the saint, coming to empty the pantry of the communities where he lived, on the other hand, something that Francis always wanted, nothing was saved and shared with the poor.

The Virgin Mary: An element’s own paintings are the Marian apparitions to the saint to give the Child. And this in various ways, Anthony playing with the Child, which remains in the lap of Mary, Anthony received the Child of Mary’s hands, and the most common: Mary from heaven, sees her child in the arms of Anthony. Another common representation is the Marian apparition at the time de the death of Anthony.

Custody or ciborium: we see in the environment of the miracle occurred when a donkey fell down before the Sacrament, worshiping Him, before coming to eat. With this miracle, Anthony was able to convert several heretics.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

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The Invention of the Holy Cross (I)

The Invention of the Holy Cross (I)

Recalling the ancient feast of the Holy Cross (May 3), now fused with that of the Exaltation of the Cross, I want to talk a little about this "invention" of the Cross, the date and details are sketchy, as well as unreliable by the contradictions in stories:

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18), being a priest (at 345), had among its duties to instruct the catechumens of the city. In some of his teachings, Cyril mentioned "the wood of the True Cross, which is among us today", and even said that some parts were already scattered around the world. Later, in 351, already Patriarch of Jerusalem, wrote to the Emperor Constantius, clearly stating that "the log of salvation, was found in Jerusalem" in the days of his father Constantine the Great.

St. John Chrysostom (September 13) referred in his homily 58 to the finding of  the Cross, and was identified by the title, but did not make reference to the nails, much less to St. Helena (18 August, in the image) .

Rufino, who lived in Jerusalem between 374 and 397, expanded in the year 400 the "Ecclesiastical History" of Eusebius. It says that on Calvary had built a temple to Venus, to clear the place of worship of Christians. So the place was known by all as the Calvary. It says that Helena   destroyed the temple, dug through the ruins and found three crosses, along with the title, but this was apart of the crosses, and could not identify the one of the Savior. Then, on the advice of St. Macarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, touched a sick person with the three crosses, and to be healed with the touch of one, it was decided that the cross of Christ. They were also found the nails, which gave two to his son Constantine, who put one in the bridle of his horse, and another in his crown. He reported that Elena sent a part of the cross to his son, while the rest were kept in a silver casket in Jerusalem. (1)

In 488 the elder Socrates, in his extension of the "Ecclesiastical History" (I, chapter 13) reaffirms this legend, adding that Constantine placed the fragment of the cross that was given by his mother, a pillar of porphyry in the forum Constantinople,  meant that he did not took it  to Rome. As for the nails, said that during the sea voyage back to Rome, there arose a tempest, and Helena tied a nail with a rope, threw it into the sea and this calmed down. Sozomen on the same date, adds some more details as to the location of the tomb of the Lord was discovered by a Jew, whose father had told him where I was, and that the true cross was distinguished from the other two healing a sick woman (and not a man), but also by the return to life of a dead  man.

The most solemn reference to the finding of the Cross by Saint Helena, makes St. Ambrose of Milan (December 7) in the funeral sermon by the Emperor Theodosius. Giving the fact of history without hesitation. And from then until today. But, as usual, a simple reference source, are added minute details that make the legend made into a quirky and full of nonsense. Thus was born the "Acts of Ciriaco", a jew named Judas and assistant to the finding, which became (and was named Ciriaco) to see the wonders of Santa Cruz.

Also invented a spurious letter of Pope St. Eusebius (September 26) to the bishops of Campania and Tuscany, which says: "The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, has been discovered recently (...) on 4 May. Command all celebrate Day said solemnly the feast of the Invention of the Cross". (2) Anastasius the Librarian, in his "Lives of the Popes", by recounting the life of St. Eusebius, says: "In its time it was discovered the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ on May 4, and Judas was baptized, that is the same Ciriaco."

In the V century, the Armenian historian Moses of Khorene says "Constantine sent his mother, Helen, to Jerusalem, so she could find the cross  Elena found the  savior log, along with five nails." In the eighth century, St. Andrew of Crete says it all happened in 303, and gives an interesting version: St. Elena threw Judas the Jew down a well, and kept him there until he confessed wich one was  the true cross. Already converted to Christianity, Judas (not renamed here) was a priest and bishop of Jerusalem.

It must be said that Pope St. Gelasius I (20 November) condemned this legend in his decree "Recipiendis Libris" in 496 (ie, newborn the canard). And in his "Corpus Juris Canonici" in a section called "De inventione Crucis", it names these stories as apocryphal  and modern, and orders should not be read by Catholics. But in vain because the people liked were read in the liturgy, from antiquity to commemorate the "fact" of the discovery. (3)

In the Middle Ages these legends were accepted and expanded by many of the medieval chroniclers, and Regino of Priim (tenth century), who says "The cross of our Lord was found by Judas, but, as we read in the Acts of the Romans Popes, was under Constantius, the father of Constantine, and was discovered while Eusebio was the Pope of Rome. This Judas was the son of Simon, brother of St. Stephen the first martyr, and grandson of Zechariah. Judas had heard of his father Simon’s site in which they found the cross and the grave, and went and revealed to Santa Elena. Judas was given the name of Ciriaco, by Pope Eusebius, or as some say, by Pope Sylvester." In other words, a nephew of St. Stephen is still alive three centuries after Christ, when he allegedly found the cross!

And here suffice as strokes, references added documentaries and legends in the history of the Church. In the next article, the contradictions and conclusions.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)


(1) I. Ecclesiastical History Chapters 7 and 8.
(2) This letter is one of the Pseudo-Isidore forgeries inserted in the collection of decrees attributed to St. Isidore.
(3) The antiphons of Lauds on the feast of the Invention of the Cross, in the Breviary of Trier, is one example. Take data from apocryphal works condemned by St. Gelasius, being this is the only remaining relic literiaria a liturgical service.

St. Richard Reynolds, the Angel of Syon.

St. Richard Reynolds, the Angel of Syon.

Today I want to bring the figure of a little-known holy martyr, who, to make matters worse, was long held as belonging to another religious order:

St. Richard Reynolds, brigidine martyr. May 4.
Richard was born into in 1490 in Devon, England. It was an excellent student of Arts and Philosophy of Cambridge , outstanding student and emeritus member of Corpus Christi College, where he graduated BA in Theology. From the studies, he went to the monastic life at the Abbey of Syion, from the Order of the Holy Saviour, founded by St. Bridget. It is considered one of the most brilliant theologians of the sixteenth century. It was a great preacher and wrote (though not preserved) a lot of sermons and theological treatises.

In 1534, when Henry VIII separated the Church, some of the monks of Syon were in favor of the separation, supporting the English king was the visible head of the Church of England. In other abbeys some priors forced all the monks and other monasteries to accept the idea of submission to the king. Others, loyal to the Church, refused to recognize the new title of king among them was from the beginning Richard, who used his word and pen to defend the faith. As a result, and reports of their brothers of the monastery, the King fixed his attention on the Syon Abbey and Richard.

In Syon Richard organized a meeting between Saint Thomas More (June 22), the leading opponent of the king on his assumption of the Supreme Governor of the Church, and Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy Maid of Kent", an English mystic known for its revelations and writings, convicted of "conspiring" against the king (apparently would have predicted the separation). Shortly before Thomas Cromwell, King’s minister, had visited Syon for accepting the oath of the Royal Supremacy of the monks (the king was very much interested by the prestige of the abbey), but a monk faithful to the Catholic faith slammed doors and not let them pass. Cromwell left two guards at the door of the monastic complex, to convince the monks and nuns, especially the Abbess (1). But none succeeded. Had to send the bishop of London, an enthusiast for the cause of Henry VIII to two clerics to convince the monks and nuns.

The more coherent monks were Richard and two others, whose last name where Whitford and Little. One of the guards of Cromwell blackmailed the first, saying that he would reveal he´s confidences with their penitents and flirting (fake, of course) with several ladies, but the monk did not backed. Knowing that his confession and spiritual direction monks were telling the faithful and the nuns who remain in the Catholic faith and did not obey the royal order, Cromwell sent to shut the confessional grille (2).

Being apart the nuns, would be easier to convince, so gathered in the chapter, with the presence of the Bishop of London and its clerics were asked to leave those who opposed the king’s supremacy, and to stay those who accepted . They all stood seated, which meant acceptance. And is that the nuns had been coaxed with the promise that if they agreed, they could continue the monastic life without problems. Only one nun named Agnes Smythe resisted and tried to convince the nuns do not accept, preventing men of Cromwell took the stamp of the abbess to seal the declaration of acceptance of the Royal Supremacy over the Church. Finally, all signed, except Richard Reynolds and monks previously mentioned, Whitford and Little, who we do not know his whereabouts. Richard was taken to Tyburn Tree, in London. Were he was imprisoned with : St. John Houghton, St. Robert Lawrence and St. Augustine Webster (the three on 4 May and 16 July), priors of the London Charterhouse, and Axholmey-Beauvalle respectively. For this reason it has long been held as a Carthusian, until the investigations deepened enough to clarify that it was Brigidine (3). With them there was also martyred, the priest of Isleworth, St Alexander Hailes (May 4).

They were dragged through the streets of London, hanged and the body of San Richard was shattered and pieces hanging from various parts of the city, as a warning. San Richard beatified on 1929 and in 1970 by Paul VI, along with other martyrs of England and Wales, and her feast is set for 4 May.

By Ramon Rabre (text) and Marco Antonio Martinez Ruvalcaba (translation)

(1) The Brigidine monasteries were mixed and both monks and nuns were subject to the Abbess, who represented Christ. should have twelve Priests brothers, like the apostles and 72 members, including nuns and monks, like the disciples. It is clear that this numbering was symbolic and not always achieved, either by default or by excess.

(2) The common use in this type of abbeys was that the confession was a hole in the wall with a grid, to supply two areas separate. On one side the monks, other nuns, and other holes to the church, the faithful external field.

(3) Interestingly, the Blesseds Brigidines, Ana Maria Erraux and Lilvina La Croix, martyrs of the French Revolution, in Valenciennes, were taken as the Ursulines nuns, for this same reason. Held on 23 October.

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John Paul II the Great, the imponent beatification

John Paul II the Great, the imponent beatification

Personal Testimony.
The beatification of John Paul II is in memory of the Church and the world as the most exciting one ever, with features that make it truly unique. I want to record, interwoven with my personal experience, some peculiarities that might go unnoticed, or were not sufficiently detailed in the press. Perhaps many of them are secondary to the central event of the day, but certainly it contributed to a record a date without any precedent in the Church of Rome.

It is true that is traditional in the Church, local community it belongs to the son of God that will be raised to the altars, to organize a vigil of preparation the night before the event. But it is rare that such vigilance  like this one gets the character of  universal, official endorsement and participation of towering authorities  of the holy site, to the point that the Vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini was the one  who presided.

The vigil, which was played the famous Circus Maximus, was structured in two parts, during which they alternated different choirs, as Gaudium Poloniae, who performed emotional songs:

1 - The celebration of memory, which is projected short videos of the life of Pope Wojtyla, was a procession with candles, with the participation of young people in the parishes. They lit lamps in front of the venerable icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, enthroned on the stage, along with a beautiful image of John Paul II. In this part, we had the presence and testimony of those who knew more deeply beloved Pope, and who experienced the power of his intercession. I refer to Dr. Joaquín Navarro Valls, Vatican spokesman during much of the pontificate of John Paul II. He also gave his testimony of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, blessed with the miraculous cure of Parkinson suffering, through the intervention of Blessed Pope Polish. Finally, we heard the voice of the dear Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, personal secretary to John Paul II for almost forty years.

2 - The second part, centered on prayer, paid tribute to the great Pope by praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, which he himself introduced. The pious exercise held in connection with five shrines, each of whom read a mystery, asking for an intention:

Sanctuary of Saint Mary of Lagniewuniki, in Krakow, he prayed for the young.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Kawekamo-Bugando, Tanzania, prayed for the family.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa, for evangelization.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, hope and peace of nations.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, prayed for the Church.

In conclusion, we had the blessing of Pope Benedict, via a live video from his papal apartment. Meanwhile, many parishes are preparing for the "White Night", as it was called the vigil of Eucharistic adoration to which they invited.


And get to the awaited and memorable day of the Beatification. The bus that was carrying us left us near the Castel St Angelo. The number of people was impressive. Many had spent the night there, as they were already occupied all the places near the route of conciliation, she was completely "covered" by people, let alone in the plaza of San Pedro. Big screens were placed at strategic locations in the city. The vast majority of pilgrims were content only, realistically, to be located in a place from which they could see well the transmission by these screens.

I tried to move as I could, and came with great difficulty to the Way of the Settlement. In the meantime, had already begun the "Preparation for the celebration, which consists of a set of prayers, reflections and songs in different languages, that predispose us to a fruitful conclusion spiritually. With this objective, sang in different languages, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, revealed by Jesus himself to the Polish nun St. Faustina. It was very significant that perform this pious act, it was the Sunday of Divine Mercy, instituted by Pope John Paul II, and before which he had been called to the Father’s House. The life and ministry of the unforgettable Polish  Pope, were always associated with devotion to the Merciful Jesus. He himself was who canonized  Faustina Kowalska in the Holy Year 2000, by establishing the Celebration.

In this preparation also read excerpts from homilies of John Paul II, in which he referred to the Divine Mercy. When are the song of the chaplet, I kept moving slowly, by the Way of the Settlement. It was extremely difficult. I’ve never seen so many people. When I got the leg of the route that precedes the Saint Peter Square, I could not go further.

At that time, the notes of the organ which played the melody of the illustrious "Tu es Petrus", by Palestrina. What was my astonishment when I remembered a few days ago, had chosen to insert the same topic in a simple power point I did as a tribute to John Paul II.

After the entrance procession began, more solemn and moving, at the end of which, to an incomparable applause, venerated from the heart, and with filial love, the beloved Pope Benedict, who with his face visibly moved and happy, that closed procession, imparting the desired apostolic blessing, a treasure reserved for the Roman Pontiffs.

From the central balcony of St. Peter saw a white cloth that covered the tapestry of the future blessed. The same balcony from which John Paul and Benedict had intended mankind its first words as Successor of Peter, and had given his first solemn blessing. The balcony from which so many Christmas and Easter had delivered the traditional Urbi et Orbi message. Few know that the Popes only peer through the balcony when elected, and the two holiest days of the year, at Easter and Christmas.

The Mass began as usual. After the Kyries, began the Rite of Beatification, by formal request made by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, who prayed to the Holy Father if you could include his beloved predecessor in the catalog of Blessed. The cardinal read a brief biography of the beloved Pope, interrupted by applause from the faithful.

Then, Benedict XVI pronounced the formula of beatification, the end of which, before the clamor enthusiast crowd, tears of excitement, applause and praises to the Blessed, witnessed the discovery of the tapestry, he haloed his face wore a joyful and John Paul II’s youth. Personally, I think it was the most emotional moment of celebration. I could not believe that this blessed hands which had the grace to kiss, then they gave me Communion, was being officially elevated to the altar by my always beloved Mother Church.

Then, two nuns, one of them, Polish, who had always served his illustrious compatriot, and the other, Marie Simon-Pierre, favored by blessed with the miracle of curing Parkinson’s, presented the relics to the Holy Father. These are two small tubes with the blood of John Paul II, placed in a beautiful shrine, which in some of its details, seems to play inside features the Shrine of Divine Mercy Polish.

After being enthroned relics, sang the hymn Gloria in excelsis. Then he delivered the opening prayer typical of Mercy Sunday, the Octave of Easter. He began the Liturgy of the Word. The first reading was read in Polish, the psalm was sung in Latin, the second reading was read in English and the Gospel was proclaimed in Latin. After the Pope delivered his homily in which he referred to the internationally recognized sanctity of John Paul II.

Later he prayed the prayer of the faithful in various languages, a feature that few noticed: the petitions were drafted from the Latin words which gave name to the major encyclicals of the new Blessed. The Official Book of the celebration, these words are in italics.

In the Eucharistic Liturgy, the procession of offerings opened a boy and a young Polish significantly excited, who with their typical clothing, reverently approached the Holy Father. I have to say here, and allow me this digression, which the Polish presence in all these days, and above all it was admirable. The devotion of these people, their loyalty and love for the Church, they are truly unparalleled. I do not remember having seen any corner of the Plaza, or the Vatican or the Holy City itself, from which not see a flag fluttering alongside the Polish pope in the hands of groups of pilgrims from all ages and civil and social. Salve, Poland, daughter most faithful of the Church and the Popes!

Then, with a fervor worthy of note, the Mass continued as usual until the end, when the Holy Father, Prayer before Easter antiphon Regina Caeli, spoke a few words of greeting and gratitude in different languages ​​to all present, starting with religious and civil authorities.

After the solemn blessing, sang the official anthem of the new Blessed. At the conclusion of Mass, very long lines waited to venerate the relic (and is called the chest containing the remains of Blessed) John Paul II, placed before the Altar of the Confession of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. It was a grace of God shed tears of emotion at the same chest that made me sad shed them six years ago, when witnessed on television the funeral that made me realize that never again see on this Earth to Papa Pilgrim, my father, teacher and friend.

And to conclude this story, I want to share one more experience, very personal, I can not but consider another grace of God. After being in Rome, I visited other parts of Italy, the last of which was Milan. When the last day I was at the Milan airport, waiting for the flight to take me to Rome, and from there back to Argentina, I saw a priest, whom I recognized as such by its cleryman. I asked him please to bless some sacred objects that had me as a souvenir of the beatification. I said yes. He was Italian but spoke good Spanish.

When I was plotting the blessing I saw that his episcopal ring, and I realized I also had pectoral cross. Then I said. "But you are a bishop". I said yes, and had been in Argentina in 1987, when John Paul II came to this country. I told him that reminded me of Piero Marini, for their strong resemblance. Monsignor Piero Marini served as Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies of John Paul II. Polish Pontiff accompanied each of his travels around the world, and was beside him at every liturgical celebration. I always admired him because it seemed the guardian angel of Blessed Pope, especially in his later years of life on earth.

The fact is that the bishop replied, smiling: "Yes, I do look like him". And he showed me his identification. IT WAS H IM! PIERO MARINI IN PERSON! And I without knowing, asked him to bless those memories. I asked an autograph, the Book of beatification that I got. I was thrilled to recognize that firm that I had so often seen at the foot of official liturgical documents. And then I took a picture with him. It was an unforgettable experience.

I conclude this report by thanking the Almighty for granting me the gift of being at the point that I love in the planet the most , the Plaza of Saint Peter, participating in the beatification of the person I love the most, John Paul II, presided over by the person who I admire the most on  the world, Benedict XVI.

Deserve nothing, what more I can ask?

Rodolfo Roberto Reynoso.
(translated by Marco Antonio Rodríguez Ruvalcaba)

Thanks, Rodolfo, for your invaluable testimony, told with such precision and emotion, it feels like we were there. Serve so that others who have been present or have lived especially from home, send to us all his own testimony.


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