Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Saint Felix II, Pope
March 1st
From Butler's Lives

    Pope Felix was the great-great-grandfather of Pope Saint Gregory the Great; according to whom Felix conducted his dying aunt, St. Tharsilla, to heaven. Felix is sometimes numbered as the third of that name due to the long standing but erroneous numeration of an antipope named Felix as Felix II. In 482 the Emperor Zeno published a document called the Henotikon, which had been devised by the patriarch of Constantinople, Acacius, to placate the dissenting monophysites by ignoring the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon. Two years later Felix held a synod at the Lateran and excommunicated Acacius and his supporters for this betrayal of the Catholic faith. St. Felix thus appears in the common role of the Roman Pontiffs as an upholder of an ecumenical council against the secular power. But the resulting Acacian schism unhappily lasted thirty-five years, and helped to pave the way for the eventual separation of the Eastern and Western churches. In the west, Felix helped in the restoration of the African church after its long persecution by the Arian Vandals. He died in 492 after a pontificate of nearly nine years.



Saint Chad, Bishop
March 2nd
From Butler's Lives

    Most of what is today reliably known about St. Chad comes to us from St. Bede in his Ecclesiastical History. Chad was one of four holy brothers of whom all became priests and two (Chad himself and his older brother Cedd) were raised to the episcopate. Born in Northumbria, Chad and Cedd were trained at Lindisfarne under St. Aidan. Chad went to Ireland after the death of Aidan, but returned to take charge of the abbey of Lastingham which Cedd founded. Within the year he was called from the abbey by King Oswy to become bishop of York; in spite of the fact that Oswy's son and designated successor had already named St. Wilfrid to the same see. Chad was consecrated by Bishop Wine of West Saxony, one of the few that observed Easter according to the Scottish custom and not that of Rome. When St. Theodore was installed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury in 669, he judged Chad to be a usurper and improperly ordained; but, impressed with his qualities, prevailed upon Oswy to name him Bishop of Mercia. Chad moved the seat of his new diocese to Lichfield, and founded several monasteries and a retreat house in the area. After ruling over the Mercians for two and a half years he cautioned his monks to be at peace with one another and departed this life after an illness of one week.


Saint Ælred of Rievaulx, Abbot
March 3rd
From Butler's Lives

    Ælred was of good family, son of the "hereditary" priest of Hexham, born there in 1110. After a good education he was invited by King David of Scotland to become master of his household. At twenty-four, in order to detach himself from the world,  Ælred left the court and took up the Cistercian life at Rievaulx in Yorkshire.  Ælred was a monk under the first abbot, William, a disciple of St. Bernard. But in 1142  Ælred was designated abbot of a new monastery founded at Revesby in Lincolnshire, where he presided until 1147 when he was called back to Rievaulx to serve as abbot over some three hundred monks. By all accounts, he maintained the strictest of monastic discipline. Toward the end of his life he suffered greatly from gout and kidney stones, although he was able to make monastic visitations until 1166. He died in his quarters on January 12, 1167, and was canonized in 1191.


Saint John Joseph of the Cross, Confessor
March 5th
From Butler's Lives

    Carlo Gætano was born on the feast of the Assumption 1654 to Joseph Calosirto and Laura Garguilo, a well to do and exemplary couple in Naples. Their house was always open to the poor, providing them with food and medicines. Five of the seven children entered religion, Carlo being the most saintly. At the conclusion of a novena he made to receive guidance in selecting a vocation the Calosirto home was visited by two Franciscan Friars of the Alcantarine reform, with whom Carlo returned to the convent of Santa Lucia del Monte. At the age of sixteen he was clothed in the habit of St. Francis, taking the name of John Joseph of the Cross. Sent to establish a new monastery at Piedimonte di Alife, John Joseph labored with his hands, carrying stone up the mountain with bare and bleeding feet, with no regard to the often freezing weather. Although he wished not to advance beyond the Diaconate (in order to imitate St. Francis) his superiors advanced him to the priesthood in 1677. Despite young age and lifelong innocence, he was endowed with great wisdom and insight in the tribunal of penance. He served as novice master, and later as superior at Piedimonte. His fame spread as a worker of miracles, both healing the sick and supplying provisions for the house. He had to contend with a rift between the Spanish and Italian members of the Alcantarine Franciscans, with the latter being dispossessed of their Neapolitan houses until 1722. He spoke of his impending death, suffering from apoplexy on March 1, 1734 and dying five days later. He was canonized in 1839.


In that Lent can start as late as March 10th and the Octave of Easter may come as early as March 29th, all of the 3rd class feasts between those two dates are perpetually impeded unless provision is made otherwise by the Ordinary. Therefore, lessons are given only for those feasts likely to be observed.


Forty Holy Martyrs
March 10th
Breviary ex Guéranger

    During the reign of the emperor Licinius, and under the presidency of Agricolaus, the city of Sebaste in Armenia was honored by being made the scene of the martyrdom of forty soldiers, whose faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and patience in bearing tortures, were so glorious. After having frequently confined in a horrid dungeon, shackled with chains, and having had their faces beaten with stones, they were condemned to pass a most bitter winter night in the open air, and on a frozen pool, that they might be frozen to death. There they united in this prayer, "Forty have we entered on the battle; let us, O Lord, receive forty crowns, and suffer not our number to be broken. The number is an honored one, for thou didst fast for forty days, and the divine law was given to the world after the same number of days was observed. Elias, too, sought God by a forty days' fast, and was permitted to see Him." Thus did they pray.

    All the guards except one were asleep. He overheard their prayer, and saw them encircled with light, and angels coming down from heaven like messengers sent by a King, who distributed crowns to thirty-nine of the soldiers. Whereupon, he thus said to himself: "There are forty men; where is the fortieth crown?" While he was thus pondering, one of their number lost his courage; he could bear the cold no longer, and threw himself into a warm bath, which had been placed near at hand. His saintly companions were exceedingly grieved at this. But God would not suffer their prayer to be void. The sentinel, astonished at what he had witnessed, went immediately and woke the guards; then taking off his garments he cried out with a loud voice that he was a Christian, and associated himself with the martyrs. No sooner did the governor's guards perceive that the sentinel had also declared himself to be a Christian, than they approached the martyrs and broke their legs with clubs.

    All died under this torture except Melithon, who was the youngest of the forty. His mother who was present, seeing that he was still living after his legs were broken, thus encouraged him: "My son, be patient yet a while. Lo! Christ is at the door helping thee." But as soon as he saw the other bodies being placed on carts, that they might be thrown on the pile, and her son left behind (for the impious men hoped that if the boy survived, he might be induced to worship the idols) she lifted him up into her arms and summoning up all her strength, ran after the wagons on which the martyrs' bodies were being carried. Melithon died in his mother's arms, and the holy woman threw his body on the pile, where the other martyrs were, so as he had been united with them in faith and courage, he might be one with them in burial, and go to heaven in their company. As soon as the bodies were burnt, the pagans threw what remained into a river. The relics miraculously flowed to one and the same place, just as they were when they were taken from the pile. The Christians took them and respectfully buried them.


Saint Constantine, King & Martyr
March 11th
Commemoration at Lauds



Saint Gregory I, Pope & Doctor
March 12th
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Gregory the Great, a Roman by birth, was the son of the senator Gordian. He applied himself early to the study of philosophy and was entrusted with the office of prætor. After his father's death he built six monasteries in Sicily, and a seventh, under the title of St. Andrew, in his own house in Rome, near the basilica of Saints John and Paul on the hill Scarus. In this last named monastery he embraced the monastic life under the guidance of Hilarion and Maximian, and was, later on, elected abbot. Shortly afterwards he was created Cardinal-Deacon, and was, by Pope Pelagius, sent to Constantinople as legate to confer with the emperor Constantine. While there he achieved that celebrated victory over the patriarch Eutychius, who had written against the resurrection of the flesh, maintaining that it would not be a real one. Gregory so convinced him of his error that the emperor threw his book into the fire. Eutychius himself fell ill not long after, and when he perceived his last hour had come, he took between his fingers the skin of his hand, and said before the many who were there: "I believe that we shall all rise in this flesh."

    On his return to Rome he was chosen pope by unanimous consent, for Pelagius had been carried off by the plague. He refused as long as possible the honor thus offered him. He disguised himself and hid in a cave, but he was discovered by a pillar of fire shining from the place, and was consecrated at St. Peter's. As Pontiff, he was an example to his successors by his learning and holiness of life. He every day admitted pilgrims to his table, among whom he received, on one occasion, an angel, and, on another, the Lord of angels, who wore the garb of a pilgrim. He charitably provided for the poor, both in and out of Rome, and kept a list of them. He reestablished the Catholic faith in several places where it had fallen into decay. Thus, he put down the Donatists in Africa and the Arians in Spain; and drove the Agnoites out of Alexandria. He refused the pallium to Syagrius, bishop of Autun, until he should have expelled the Neophyte heretics from Gaul. He induced the Goths to abandon the Arian heresy. He sent Augustine and other monks into Britain, and, by these learned and saintly men, converted that island to the Faith of Jesus Christ; so that Bede truly calls him the apostle to England. He checked the haughty pretensions of John the patriarch of Constantinople, who had arrogated to himself the title of bishop of the universal Church. He obliged the emperor Mauritius to revoke the decree whereby he had forbidden any soldier to become a monk.

    He enriched the Church with many most holy practices and laws. In a council held at St. Peter's he passed several decrees. Among these the following may be mentioned: That in the Mass the Kyrie eleison should be said nine times; that the alleluia should always be said, except during the interval between Septuagesima and Easter; that these words should be inserted in the Canon: And mayest Thou dispose our days in Thy peace. He increased the number of processions, litanies, and stations, and completed the Office of the Church. He would have the four Councils of Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon to be received with the same honor as the four Gospels. He allowed the bishops of Sicily, who, according to the ancient custom of their churches, used to visit Rome every three years, to make that visit once every fifth year. He wrote several books; and Peter the deacon assures us that he frequently saw the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove resting on the head of the Pontiff while he was dictating. It is a matter of wonder that, with his incessant sickness and ill health, he could have said, done, written, and decreed as he did. At length, after performing many miracles, he was called to his reward in heaven after a pontificate of thirty years, six months and ten days; it was on the fourth of the ides of March (the 12th), which the Greeks also observe as a great feast on account of this Pontiff's extraordinary learning and virtue. His body was buried in the basilica of Saint Peter near the secretarium.


Saint Gerard of Mayo, Abbot
March 13th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saint Matilda, Widow
March 14th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria
Adapted from The Catholic Encyclopedia

    Wife of King Henry I of Germany, (The Fowler), Matilda was born. at the Villa of Engern in Westphalia, about 895. She was brought up at the monastery of Erfurt. Henry, whose marriage to a young widow, named Hathburg, had been declared invalid, asked for Matilda's hand, and married her in 909 at Walhausen, which he presented to her as a dowry.  Matilda became the mother of: Otto I, Emperor of Germany;  Henry, Duke of Bavaria;  St. Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne;  Gerberga, who married Louis IV of France;  Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet.  In 912 Matilda's husband succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony, and in 918 he was chosen to succeed King Conrad of Germany. As queen, Matilda was humble, pious, and generous, and was always ready to help the oppressed and unfortunate.  She wielded a wholesome influence over the king.  After a reign of seventeen years, he died in 936, leaving to her all his possessions in Quedlinburg, Poehlden, Nordhausen, Grona, and Duderstadt.

    It was the king's wish that his eldest son, Otto, should succeed him.  Matilda wanted her favourite son Henry on the royal throne.  On the plea that he was the first-born son after his father became king, she induced a few nobles to cast their vote for him, but Otto was elected and crowned king on 8 August, 936.  Three years later Henry revolted against his brother Otto, but, being unable to wrest the royal crown from him, submitted, and upon the intercession of Matilda was made Duke of Bavaria.  Soon, however, the two brothers joined in persecuting their mother, whom they accused of having impoverished the crown by her lavish almsgiving.  To satisfy them, she renounced the possessions the deceased king had bequeathed to her, and retired to her villa at Engern in Westphalia.  But afterwards, when misfortune overtook her sons, Matilda was called back to the palace, and both Otto and Henry implored her pardon.

    Matilda built many churches, and founded or supported numerous monasteries.  Her chief foundations were the monasteries at Quedlinburg, Nordhausen, Engern, and Poehlden. She spent many days at these monasteries and was especially fond of Nordhausen.  She died at the convents of Sts. Servatius and Dionysius at Quedlinburg, and was buried there by the side of her husband.  She was venerated as a saint immediately after her death on  14 March in the year of our Lord 968.



Saint Clement Mary Hoffbauer, Confessor
Saint Louise de Merillac, Widow
March 15th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saint Eusebia, Virgin & Abbess
March 16th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria



Saint Patrick, Bishop
March 17th
From Guéranger and Patrick's Confessions

    About 385, Patrick, called the "Apostle of Ireland," was born in the town of Bannavem Taberniæ in Britain, the son of Calpurnius, a deacon and Roman decurion, and the grandson of the priest Potitus. His mother, Conchessa, was a relative of St. Martin of Tours. He was several times taken captive by the barbarians when he was a boy, and was put to tend their flocks. As a result of his confinement, he came to appreciate the importance of the Christian Faith that he had ignored in the home of his parents, and gave signs of the great sanctity he was afterwards to attain. Full of the spirit of the faith, and of the fear and love of God, he used to rise at the earliest dawn of day, and in spite of the snow, frost, or rain, go to offer his prayers to God. It was his custom to pray a hundred times during the day and a hundred times during the night. After his third deliverance from slavery he entered the ecclesiastical state and applied himself for a considerable time to the study of the Sacred Scriptures. Having made several most fatiguing journeys through Gaul, Italy, and the Islands of the Mediterranean, he was called by God to labor for the salvation of the people of Ireland. Pope Saint Celestine gave him the power to preach the Gospel, and consecrated him bishop. Whereupon, he set out for Ireland.

    It would be difficult to relate how much this apostolic man had to suffer in the mission thus entrusted to him: he had to bear with extraordinary trials, fatigues, and adversaries. But by the mercy of God, that land which heretofore had worshipped idols so well repaid the labor wherewith Patrick had preached the Gospel, that it was afterwards called the "Island of Saints." He administered holy Baptism to many thousands: he ordained several bishops and frequently conferred Holy Orders in their several degrees; he drew up rules for virgins and widows who wished to lead a life of continency. By the authority of the Roman Pontiff he appointed Armagh the metropolitan See of the whole island and enriched that church with the saints' relics which he had brought from Rome. God honored him with heavenly visions, with the gift of prophecy and miracles; all of which caused the name of the saint to be held in veneration in almost every part of the world.

    Beside his daily solicitude for the churches, his vigorous spirit kept up an uninterrupted prayer. For it is said that he was wont to recite every day the whole Psalter, together with the canticles and the hymns, and two hundred prayers; that he every day knelt down three hundred times to adore God; and that each canonical hour of the day he signed himself a hundred times with the sign of the Cross. He divide the night into three parts: the first was spent in the recitation of a hundred psalms, during which he genuflected two hundred times: the second was spent in reciting the remaining fifty psalms, which he did standing in cold water and his heart and eyes and hands lifted up to heaven: the third he gave to a little sleep which he took laid upon a bare stone. Being a man of extraordinary humility he imitated the apostles and practiced manual labor. At length being worn out by his incessant fatigues in the cause of the Church, powerful in word and work, having reached an extreme old age, he slept in the Lord after being refreshed with the holy mysteries. He was buried at Down in Ulster, in the fifth century of the Christian era.


St. Cyril, Patriarch
March 18th
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Cyril of Jerusalem was given to the study of Holy Scripture from the time of his childhood and made such progress that he became an eminent champion of the orthodox Faith. He embraced the monastic institute and bound himself to perpetual chastity and austerity of life. He was ordained priest by Saint Maximus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and undertook the work of preaching to the faithful and instructing the catechumens, in which he won the praise of all. He was the author of those truly wonderful Catechetical Instructions, which embrace clearly and fully all the teaching of the Church, and contain an excellent defense of each of the dogmas of religion against the enemies of the Faith. His treatment of these subjects is so distinct and clear that her refutes not only the heresies of his own time, but also, by a kind of foreknowledge, as it were, those which were to arise later. Thus he maintains the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the adorable Sacrament of the Altar. On the death of Saint Maximus, the bishops of the province chose Cyril in his place.

    As bishop he endured, like blessed Athanasius, his contemporary, many wrongs and sufferings for the Faith at the hands of the Arians. They could not bear his strenuous opposition to their heresy, and thus assailed him with calumnies, deposed them with a pseudo-council, and drove him from his see. To escape their rage, he fled to Tarsus in Cilicia, and, as long as Constantius lived, he bore the hardships of exile. On the death of Constantius and the accession of Julian the Apostate, Cyril was able to return to Jerusalem, where he set himself with burning zeal to deliver his flock from false doctrine and from sin. He was driven into exile a second time under the Emperor Valens, but when peace was restored to the Church by Theodosius the Great, and the cruelty and insolence of the Arians were restrained, he was received with honor by the Emperor as a valiant soldier of Christ, and restored to his see. With what earnestness and holiness he fulfilled the duties of his exalted office was proved by the flourishing state of the Church at Jerusalem, as described by Saint Basil, who spent some time there on a pilgrimage to the holy places.

    Tradition states that God rendered the holiness of this venerable Patriarch illustrious by signs from heaven, among which is numbered the apparition of a cross, brighter than the sun, that was seen at the beginning of his patriarchate. Not only Cyril himself, but pagans and Christians alike were witnesses of this marvel, which Cyril, after giving thanks to God in church, announced by letter to Constantius. A thing no less wonderful came to pass when the Jews were commanded by the impious Emperor Julian to restore the Temple which had been destroyed by Titus. An earthquake arose and great balls of fire broke out of the earth and consumed the work, so that Julian and the Jews were struck with terror and gave up their plan. This had been clearly foretold by Cyril. A little while before his death he was present at the Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, where the heresies of Macedonius and Arius were condemned. After his return to Jerusalem he died a holy death in the sixty-ninth year of his age and thirty-fifth of his episcopate. Leo XIII ordered that his Office and Mass be said throughout the Universal Church.


Saint Cuthbert, Confessor
March 20th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saint Benedict, Abbot
March 21
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Benedict was born of a noble family at Nursia. He was sent to Rome that he might receive a liberal education; but not long after, he withdrew to a place called Subiaco, and there hid himself in a very deep cave, that he might give himself entirely to Jesus Christ. He passed three years in that retirement, unknown to all save a monk named Romanus, who supplied him with the necessaries of life. The devil having one day excited him to a violent temptation of impurity, he rolled himself amidst prickly brambles and extinguished within himself the desire of carnal pleasure by the pain he thus endured. The fame of his sanctity, however, became known beyond the limits of his hiding place, and certain monks put themselves under his guidance. He sharply rebuked them for their wicked lives; which rebuke so irritated them that they resolved to put poison in his drink. When he made the sign of the Cross as they proffered it to him, it broke, and he, leaving the monastery, returned to his solitude.

    But whereas many daily came to him, beseeching him to take them as his disciples, he built twelve monasteries and drew up most admirable rules for their government. He afterwards went to Monte Cassino, where he destroyed an image of Apollo, which was still adored in those parts; and having pulled down the altar and burnt the groves, he built a chapel in that same place in honor of Saint Martin, and another in honor of Saint John. He instructed the inhabitants in the Christian religion. Day by day did Benedict advance in the grace of God, and he also foretold in a spirit of prophecy, what was to take place. Totila, the King of the Goths, having heard of this, and being anxious to know if it were the truth, went to visit him; but first sent his sword bearer, who was to pretend that he was the king, and who, for this end, was dressed in royal robes and accompanied by attendants. As soon as Benedict saw him he said, "Put off, my son, put off this dress, for it is not thine." But he foretold to Totila, that he would reach Rome, cross the sea, and die at the end of nine years.

    Several months before he departed from this life, he foretold to his disciples the day on which he should die. Six days previous to his death he opened the sepulchre wherein he wished to be buried. On the sixth day he desired to be carried to the church, and there having received the Eucharist, with his eyes raised in prayer towards heaven, and held up by his disciples, he breathed forth his soul. Two monks saw it ascending to heaven adorned with a most precious robe and surrounded by shining lights. They also saw a beautiful and most venerable man, who stood above the saint's head, and they heard him thus speak: "This is the way whereby Benedict, the beloved of the Lord, ascended to heaven."


Saint Nicholas van Flue, Confessor
March 22nd
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saints Victorian & Companions, Martyrs
March 23rd
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saint Gabriel, Archangel
March 24th
Lesson: Daniel ix: 21-27

    I, Daniel, was still occupied with this prayer, when Gabriel, the one I had seen before in vision, came to me in rapid flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me in these words: "Daniel, I have now come to give you understanding. When you began your petition and answer was given that I have come to announce, because you are beloved. Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision. Seventy weeks are decreed for your holy people and your holy city: then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a Most Holy will be anointed. Know and understand this: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt until one who is anointed and a leader, there shall be seven weeks. During sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, with streets and trenches, in time of affliction. After the sixty-two weeks an anointed shall be cut down when he does not possess the city; and the people of a leader who will come shall destroy the sanctuary. Then the end shall come like a torrent; until the end there shall be war, the desolation that is decreed. For one week he shall make a firm compact with the many; half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and oblation; on the temple wing shall be the horrible abomination of desolation until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the horror."


Saint John Damascene, Confessor & Doctor
March 27th
Breviary ex Guéranger

    John, who received the name of Damascene from his native place, was of noble birth, and studied sacred and profane letters at Constantinople under the monk Cosmas. When the Emperor Leo the Isaurian made a wicked attack upon the cult of the holy Images, John, at the desire of Pope Gregory III, earnestly defended the holiness of this cult both by words and writings. By this he enkindled so great a hatred in the heart of Leo that the Emperor accused him, by means of forged letters, of treachery to the Caliph of Damascus, whom he was serving as a councilor and minister. John denied the charge but the Caliph was deceived by it and ordered his right hand to be cut off. John implored most earnestly the help of the Blessed Virgin, and she manifested the innocence of her servant by reuniting the hand and arm as though they had never been severed. This miracle moved John to carry out a design which he long had in mind. He obtained, though not without difficulty, the Caliph's permission to leave him, distributed all his goods to the poor, and freed all his slaves. He then made a pilgrimage to all the holy places in Palestine, and at length withdrew with his teacher Cosmas to the monastery of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem where he was ordained priest.

    In the religious life he was an example of virtue to all the monks, especially in his humility and obedience. He sought the lowest offices in the community as though they were particularly his own, and fulfilled them with greatest care. When he was sent to Damascus to sell baskets he had made, he welcomed the mockery and jests of the lowest classes in that city where he had once held the most honorable offices. He was so devoted to obedience, that not only was he ready to obey the nod of his superiors, but he never though it right to ask the reason for any command, however strange or difficult. While practicing these virtues, he never ceased earnestly to defend the Catholic doctrine as to the honoring of holy Images. Thus he drew upon himself the hatred of the Emperor Constantine Copronymus, as he had once done that of Leo the Isaurian, and this all the more because he freely rebuked the arrogance of these emperors who meddled with matters concerning the Faith, and pronounced sentence on them according to their own judgment.

    It is a marvel how much John wrote both in prose and verse for the protection of the Faith and the encouragement of devotion. He was worthy of the high praise given him by the Second Council of Nicæa. He was surnamed "Chrysorrhoas," on account of the golden streams of his eloquence. It was not only against the enemies of the holy Images that he defended the orthodox Faith, for he also opposed the Acephali, the Monothelites, and the Theopaschites. He maintained the laws and the power of the Church. He asserted the primacy of the Prince of the Apostles in eloquent words, and often called him the pillar of the Churches, the unbroken rock and teacher and ruler of the world. His writings are not only distinguished for doctrine and learning, but have a savor of simple piety, especially when he praises the Mother of God whom he honored with a singular love and devotion. But the greatest praise of John is that he was the first to arrange in order a complete course of theology, thus preparing the way in which Saint Thomas Aquinas has so clearly dealt with the whole body of sacred doctrine. This holy man, full of days and good works, fell asleep in the peace of Christ about the year 754. Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church and ordered his Mass and Office to be said throughout the world.


Saint John Capistran, Confessor
March 28
Breviary ex Guéranger

    John was born at Capistrano in the Abruzzi. He was sent to study at Perugia, and made such progress in learning, both sacred and profane, that on account of his eminent knowledge of the law, he was made governor of many cites by Ladislaus, King of Naples. He was laboring piously to restore peace to those troubled states when he was kidnapped and put in chains. He was wonderfully delivered from his captivity and made profession according to the Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi among the Friars Minor. He devoted himself to the study of divinity, and had as a master Saint Bernardine of Siena, whom he zealously imitated in spreading devotion to the holy name of Jesus and to the Mother of God. He refused the bishopric of Aquila, and is most famous on account of his mortified life and his writings on the reformation of manners.

    He zealously devoted himself to preaching the word of God and traveled throughout nearly all of Italy, where he recalled countless souls to the way of salvation by the power of his words and the number of his miracles. Martin V made him Inquisitor against the sect of the Fraticelli, and Nicholas V appointed him Inquisitor General in Italy, against Judaism and Mohammedanism. He converted many souls to the faith of Christ. He did much good in the East, and at the Council of Florence, where he shone like a sun, he brought the Armenians back to the Catholic Church. The same pope, at the request of the Emperor Frederick III, sent him into Germany as nuncio of the Apostolic See, in order that he might bring back heretics to the Catholic Faith, and the minds of princes to peace and union. He did a wonderful work for God's glory during the six years of his mission, and brought back to the Church by the light of his teaching and miracles almost countless numbers of Hussites, Adamites, Thaborites, and Jews.

    It was mainly at John's entreaty that Callistus III proclaimed a crusade, and John hastened through Pannonia and other provinces where by his words and letters he so roused the minds of princes that in a short time seventy thousand Christian soldiers were enrolled. It was mainly through his advice and courage that a victory was gained at Belgrade, where one hundred and twenty thousand Turks were either slain or put to flight. The news of this victory reached Rome on the sixth of August, and Pope Callistus consecrated this day forever to the solemn Transfiguration of our Lord. When John was seized with his last illness and taken to Illak, many princes came to see him, and he exhorted them to protect religion. He piously yielded up his soul to God in the year of salvation 1456. God confirmed his glory by many miracles after his death, and when these had been duly proved, Alexander VIII enrolled his name among those of the saints. Leo XIII extended his Office and Mass to the Universal Church.


Saint Berthold, Confessor
March 29th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria


Saint Zosimus, Abbot & Bishop
March 30th
Commemorated at Lauds of the Feria



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