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St. Peters' Chair at Rome

Name: St. Peters' Chair at Rome
Date: 18 January

Saint Peter having triumphed over the devil in the East, the latter pursued him to Rome. But hewho had formerly trembled at the voice of a poor servant girl now feared not the very throne ofidolatry and superstition. The capital of the empire of the world and the center of impiety calledfor the zeal of the Prince of the Apostles. God had established the Roman Empire and extended itsdominion beyond that of any former monarchy, to facilitate the propagation of His Gospel; and itsmetropolis was of the greatest importance for this enterprise. Saint Peter took that province uponhimself and, repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and established his ecclesiastical chair.

That Saint Peter preached in Rome, founded the Church there, and died there by martyrdomunder Nero, are incontestable facts, by the testimony of all writers of different countries who livedaround that time — persons of unquestionable veracity, who could not but be informed of thetruth in a matter so important, and of its own nature so public and notorious. This fact is verifiedby monuments of every kind, attesting the prerogatives, rights and privileges which that churchenjoyed from these early times, in consequence of its title as seat of the Vicar of Christ.

It was an ancient custom observed by churches to keep an annual festival commemorating theconsecration of their bishops, and the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter is found in ancientmartyrologies. Christians justly celebrate the founding of this mother-church, the center ofCatholic communion, in thanksgiving to God for His mercies to His Church, and to implore Hisfuture blessings for it.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

St. Canutus

Name: St. Canutus
Date: 19 January

Saint Canutus, King of Denmark, was endowed with excellent qualities of both mind and body.As a young prince, he cleared the seas of pirates and subdued several neighboring provinceswhich were harassing Denmark by their incursions. His courage rivaled in excellence with hisability in the conduct and skills of war, but his singular piety, in a time when few of his land wereChristian, eclipsed all his other endowments.

Saint Canutus succeeded his elder brother Harold on the throne of Denmark in the year 1080. Hebegan his reign by a successful war against the troublesome, barbarous enemies of the state, andby planting the faith in the conquered provinces. Amid the glory of his victories he humblyprostrated himself at the foot of the crucifix, laying there his diadem, and offering himself and hiskingdom to the King of kings. After having provided for the peace and safety of his country, hemarried Eltha, daughter of Robert, Earl of Flanders, who proved herself a spouse worthy of him.They are the parents of Blessed Charles, Count of Amiens and Flanders, a martyr for his faith,brutally slain like his father, while in prayer.

The justice of Saint Canutus as sovereign became evident when he condemned to death a Danishlord whose vessel, to sustain the owner’s luxury, had pillaged the ship of a neighboring countryand massacred the crew. He applied himself to the reform of all internal abuses. For this purposehe enacted severe but necessary laws for the strict administration of justice, the repression ofviolence and tyranny by the powerful, without respect to persons. He favored and honored holymen, and granted many privileges and immunities to the clergy. His charity and tendernesstowards his subjects made him study all possible ways to make them a happy people. He showed aroyal munificence in building and adorning churches, and gave the crown which he wore, of verygreat value, to a church in his capital and place of residence, where the kings of Denmark are stillburied.

To the virtues which constitute a great king, Canutus added those which prove the great Saint. Arebellion having sprung up in his kingdom, the king was surprised at church by the rebels.Perceiving his danger, he confessed his sins at the foot of the altar and received Holy Communion.Stretching out his arms before the altar, the Saint fervently recommended his soul to his Creator;in this posture he was struck down on his knees by the enemies of his Christian reign.

Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

St. Fabien

Name: St. Fabien
Date: 20 January

St. Sebastian

Name: St. Sebastian
Date: 20 January

Saint Sebastian was an officer in the Roman army, esteemed even by the pagans as a good soldier,and honored by the Church ever since as a champion of Jesus Christ. Born at Narbonne, Sebastiancame to Rome about the year 284 and entered the lists against the powers of evil. He found thetwin brothers Marcus and Marcellinus in prison for the faith, and when they were close to yieldingto the entreaties of their relatives, encouraged them to despise flesh and blood, and to die forChrist. God confirmed his words by miracles: light shone around him while he spoke; he cured thesick by his prayers; and in this divine strength he led multitudes to the faith, among them thePrefect of Rome, with his son Tiburtius.

He saw his disciples die before him, and one of them came back from heaven to tell him that hisown end was near. It was in a contest of fervor and charity that Saint Sebastian found theoccasion of martyrdom. The Governor-Prefect of Rome was converted to the faith and afterwardsretired to his estates in Campania, taking with him a great number of his fellow-converts to thisplace of safety. It was a question whether Polycarp the priest or Saint Sebastian shouldaccompany the neophytes. Each was eager to stay and face the danger at Rome; finally the Popedecided that the Roman church could not spare the services of Sebastian, who therefore remainedamid the perils in the city.

He continued to labor at his post of danger until he was betrayed by a false disciple. He was ledbefore Diocletian and, at the emperor’s command, pierced with arrows and left for dead. Godraised him up again, cured, and of his own accord he went before the emperor and conjured himto halt the persecution of the Church. Again sentenced, he was beaten to death by clubs, andcrowned his labors by the merit of a double martyrdom.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

St. Agnes

Name: St. Agnes
Date: 21 January

Saint Agnes was twelve years old when she was led to the altar of Minerva at Rome andcommanded to obey the persecuting laws of Diocletian by offering incense. In the midst of theidolatrous rites she raised her hands to Christ, her Spouse, and made the sign of the life-givingcross. She did not shrink when she was bound hand and foot, though the manacles slipped fromher young hands, and the heathens who stood around were moved to tears. Bonds were notneeded for her; she hastened gladly to the place of her torture.

When the judge saw that pain had no terrors for her, he inflicted a sentence comporting an insultworse than death: she was condemned to be taken to a house of infamy and her clothes strippedoff. “I have an Angel with me,” she said, “and he will guard me. Christ, whom you do not know,surrounds me like a wall which cannot be forced.” And so it occurred. The Spouse of Virginsrevealed, by a miracle, His custody of the pure in heart: her hair grew miraculously to such alength that she was entirely covered by it. The place to which she was taken was illuminated by abrilliant, inexplicable light; and there she knelt down to pray. At that site a Church has been builtin honor of this young maiden’s victory over impurity. Only an impudent suitor, the cause of herarraignment as a Christian, dared approach her, and her Angel struck him dead at her feet. Hisfather prayed Agnes to raise him up again by her magic arts; she answered that magic was notresponsible for his death, but only the young pagan’s lack of respect for God. She said she wouldpray to Him that her Lord’s glory might be manifested by the miracle his father requested, and itwas granted to her prayer.

At length the sentence of death by the sword was passed upon her by a subordinate judge. For amoment she stood erect in prayer, then bowed her neck to the sword, rejoicing that the time ofher liberation had arrived. The Angels bore her pure soul to Paradise. A week after her death,Saint Agnes appeared to her parents as they were praying at her tomb; she was amid a choir ofvirgins clothed in golden robes and crowned with garlands. She begged them not to weep for heras for one dead, telling them rather to rejoice with her in her happiness.

Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Other Highlights
»The Eternal Father
»The Circumcision of Our Lord
»St. William Berruyer
»St. Theodosius
»St. Alfred or Aelred
»St. Margaret Bourgeois
»St. Veronica of Milan
»The Baptism of Our Lord
»St. Hilary of Poitiers
»St. Paul the First Hermit
»St. Honoratus
»St. Marcellus, Pope
»Blessed Stephanie Quinzani
»St. Anthony Abbott
»St. Peters' Chair at Rome
»St. Canutus
»St. Fulgentius
»St. Macarius
»St. Fabien
»St. Sebastian
»St. Agnes
»St. Vincent, martyr
»St. Raymond of Pennafort
»St. Timothy
»St. Paul, The Conversion of
»St. Polycarp
»St. John Chrysostom
»St. Peter Nolasco
»St. Francis de Sales
»St. Genevieve
»St. Martina
»St. John Bosco
»St. Gregory, Bishop of Langres
»St. Angela of Foligno
»St. Simeon Stylites
»The Epiphany of Our Lord
»St. Lucian
»St. Claude Apollinaire
»St. Julian the Hospitalarian
»St. Basilissa
»St. Remi or Remigius
»St. Francis Borgia
»St. Tarachus
»The Divine Maternity of Mary
»St. Wilfrid
»Bl. Jane Leber
»St. Edward
»St. Callistus I
»St. Teresa of Avila
»St. Gall

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