Sunday, May 9, 2010

WOMEN SAINTS AND MARTYRS MAY 9- 15


St. Solange
d. 880 A.D.
Feastday May 10.
Born of a poor family of vineyard workers near Bourges, France, she became a shepherdess whose beauuuty attracted thelstful attention of a noble in Poitiers. He kidnaped her, but when she leaped from the hourse on which he was carrying her off, he pursued and killed her.

St. Epimachus
Feastday: May 10
250 A.D.
Martyr of Alexandria, Egypt, with Alexander. Four women suffered the same martyrdom with Epimachus: Ammonaria, Mercuria, Dionisia, and a second Ammonaria. Epimachus and Alexander were burned to death after being imprisoned and cruelly tortured.

St. Flavia Domitilla
2nd century
Feastday: May 12
Martyr with Euphrosyna and Theodora. She was related to Emperors Domitian and Titus and was a great-niece of St. Flavius Clemens. She was martyred with her two foster sisters.

St. Richrudis
Feastday: May 12
688 A.D.
Benedictine abbess. A member of a noble family from Gascony, France, she wed the Frankish nobleman St. Adalbald despite family objections, and the couple had four children — Eusebia, Clotsind, Adalsind, and Mauront — all of whom became saints. After Adalbald was murdered by relatives in Gascony, she refused royal pressure to remarry and instead, with the help of St. Amandus, she became a nun at Marchiennes, Flanders, Belgium, a double monastery that she had founded. Rictrudis served as abbess for some forty years until her death. Adalsind and Clotsind joined her, and Mauront became a monk there too.

Bl. Imelda
Feastday: May 13
Patron of fervant first communion
The patroness of fervent first communion, Blessed Imelda, came from one of the oldest families in Bologna; her father was Count Igano Lambertini and her mother was Castora Galuzzi. Even as a tiny child she showed unusual piety, taking delight in prayer and slipping off to a quiet corner of the house, which she adorned with flowers and pictures to make it a little oratory. When she was nine, she was placed, at her own wish, in the Dominican convent in Val di Pietra, to be trained there by the nuns. Her disposition soon endeared her to all, while the zeal with which she entered all the religious life of the house greatly edified the nuns. Her special devotion was to the Eucharistic presence of Our Lord at Mass and in the tabernacle. To receive Our Lord in Holy Communion became the consuming desire of her heart, but the custom of the place and time had fixed twelve as the earliest age for a first communion. She would sometimes exclaim: "Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die? "
When she was eleven years old she was present with the rest of the community at the Ascension Day Mass. All the others had received their communion: only Imelda was left unsatisfied. The nuns were preparing to leave the church when some of them were startled to see what appeared to be a Sacred Host hovering in the air above Imelda, as she knelt before the closed tabernacle absorbed in prayer. Quickly they attracted the attention of the priest who hurried forward with a paten on which to receive It. In the face of such a miracle he could not do otherwise than give to Imelda her first communion, which was also her last. For the rapture with which she received her Lord was so great that it broke her heart: she sank unconscious to the ground, and when loving hands upraised her, it was found that she was dead.

Bl. Juliana of Norwich
1423 A.D.
Feastday: May 13
Benedictine English mystic, sometimes called Julian. She was a recluse of Norwich, living outside the walls of St. Julian’s Church. In 1373, she experienced sixteen revelations. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love - a work on the love of God, the Incarnation, redemption, and divine consolation - made her one of the most important writers of England. She wrote on sin, penance, and other aspects of the spiritual life, attracting people from all across Europe. She is called Blessed, although she was never formally beatified

St. Merewenna
970 A.D.
Feastday: May 13
Abbess of Romsey, in Hampshire, England. She is also called Merwenna and Merwinna. King Edgar the Peaceful of England restored Merewenna’s abbey.

St. Agnes of Poitiers
586 A.D.
Feastday: May 13
Abbess and model of the conventual life. Agnes was a friend of the poet Venantius Fortunatus, who visited her in the Holy Cross convent in Poitiers, France. Recognized for her holiness and intelligence, she was named abbess of the convent by St. Radegund, a princess who erected the convent in 557. Holy Cross was a double monastery, having men and women living in enclosed separate structures. It was also known as a place of learning. When Agnes assumed the role of abbess, she introduced a rule of life given to her by St. Caesarius, the bishop of ArIes and apostolic delegate. Agnes ruled Holy Cross until her death in 586.

St. Glyceria
177 A.D.
Feastday: May 13
Martyred virgin of Trajanopolis, in Greece, slain at Heraclea in the Propontis. Tradition states that she was the daughter of a Roman senator. Arrested as a Christian, Glyceria destroyed a statue of Jupiter. Tortured, she was thrown to the wild animals but died before they could harm her.

Our Lady of Fatima
Feastday: May 13
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell. Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a 'bishop in white' who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.

St. Maria Dominic Mazzarello
Feastday: May 14
Co-foundress of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix or Our Lady Help of Christians and a disciple of St. John Bosco. She was born near Genoa, Italy, and joined the Pious Union of Mary Immaculate while young. Her institute formed slowly, aided by St. John Bosco, despite her bout with typhoid. She was the first superior general in 1872 when St. John Bosco received approval from Pope Pius IX. The Salesian Sisters, as they are called, spread rapidly. By 1900, there were nearly eight hundred foundations. She died on April 27 at Nizza Monferrato and was canonized in 1951 by Pope Pius XII.

St. Dymphna
Feastday: May 15
Patron of those suffering for nervous and mental affictions
Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some woman of noble birth, resembling his wife, who would be willing to marry him. When none could be found, his evil advisers told him to marry his own daughter. Dymphna fled from her castle together with St. Gerebran, her confessor and two other friends. Damon found them in Belgium. He gave orders that the priest's head be cut off. Then Damon tried to persuade his daughter to return to Ireland with him. When she refused, he drew his sword and struck off her head. She was then only fifteen years of age. Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her purity about the year 620. She is the patron of those suffering from nervous and mental afflictions. Many miracles have taken place at her shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium.

Prayer: Hear us, O God, Our Saviour, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen.

St. Caesarea
Feastday: May 15
Virgin recluse at Otranto in southern Italy. To defend her virtue, Caesarea took refuge in a cave near Otranto. The site became a popular pilgrimage destination.

St. Bertha
Feastday May 15
Bertha was related to the Dukes of Lorraine and she owned extensive properties on the Rhine. She married a pagan, and when he was killed in battle, she devoted herself to raising her son Rupert as a Christian. She founded several hospices for the poor, and after a visit to Rome, they gave away their possessions and became hermits near Bingen (Rupertsberg), Germany. Rupert died when he was twenty years old, and she spent the remaining twenty-five years of her life there.

St. Dionysia
1st century
Feastday May 15
Martyr, who died at the age of sixteen in Lampsacus, Mysia. Dionysia witnessed the trial of three Christians, Nichomacus, Peter, and Andrew. During a torture on the rack, Nichomacus recanted and denied Christ. Dionysia rebuked him for his cowardice and was arrested. She was tortured and turned over to three men for physical assault. An angel halted their advances, and Dionysia escaped. She did not flee the area, but went to the arena where Andrew and Peter had just died. There, she demanded martyrdom beside the two saints, but soldiers carried her to another site, where she died by the sword.

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