Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Month at a Glance: September*

Week 1

Tuesday, September 1st: feria (St. Giles Abbot)

Wednesday, September 2nd: St Stephen, KC

Thursday, September 3rd: Pope St. Pius X, PC

Friday, September 4th: feria (St. Rose of Viterbo, V)

Saturday, September 5th: St. Lawrence Justinian, BC


Week 2


Sunday, September 6th: 14th Sunday after Pentecost (St. Eulogius, B)

Monday, September 7th: St. Cloud,C

Tuesday, September 8th: Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, Double (St. Adrian, M)

Wednesday, September 9th: St. Peter Claver, C

Thursday, September 10th: St. Nicholas Tolentino, C

Friday, September 11th: Ss. Protus and Hyacinth, Mm

Saturday, September 12th: Most Holy Name of Mary


Week 3


Sunday, September 13th: 15th Sunday after Pentecost (St. Eulogius, B)

Monday, September 14th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Double,

Tuesday, September 15th: Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Wednesday, September 16th: Ember Day -- Sts Cornelius and Cyprian bishops and martyrs, Semidouble,

Thursday, September 17th: Stigmata of St. Francis of Assissi

Friday, September 18th: Ember Day -- St. Joseph of Cupertino, C

Saturday, September 19th: Ember Day -- Sts Januarius and Companions


Week 4


Sunday, September 20th:  St Eustace and Companions martyrs.

Monday, September 21st: Matthew Apostle, Double.

Tuesday, September 22nd: S t. Thomas Villanova  (Sts Maurice and the Theban Legion Mm)

Wednesday, September 23rd: Linus pope and martyr, Semidouble, (St Thecla virgin and martyr.)

Thursday, September 24th:  Our Lady of Ransom

Friday,  September 25th: feria (St. Firmin, B)

Saturday,  September 26th: St. Isaac Jogues and Companions, Mm  (Sts Cyprian and Justina martyrs)

Week 5



Sunday, September 27th: 17th Sunday after Pentecost (Cosmas and Damian martyrs)

Monday, September 28th: St. Wenceslaus, Duke M

Tuesday, September 29th: Dedication of St Michael Archangel, Double.

Wednesday, September 30th: St. Jerome, PrCD

* The Calendar of Pope Pius XII

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Images of Mary:

The First Week of September



















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Mary, the Sorrowful Mother

September 3rd: Pope St. Pius X

One of the shining beacons of modern times, Pope St. Pius X, left a legacy and a warning particularly important for the modern world. Born Giuseppe Sarto, the second of ten children in Riese, Italy in 1835, Pope Pius X was a pastoral pope, with a father's concern for the spiritual lives of his flock throughout the world, but he was also a militant pope, fighting early and long against the seeds of theological error sprouting in his day. He foresaw the dangers of our day, and defended the Church against the evils of modernism, and its twin progeny, indifferentism and relativism. He codified Catholic doctrine, promoted the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas as the basis for all Catholic education, and developed the idea of a universally used Catechism for the Faithful.

A practical man, this first new pope of the twentieth century, kept a keen watch over the theological and political interests of the Church, but he was also a pious Catholic of the highest order. He had a tender devotion to the Blessed Mother and his favorite ambition, "to restore all things in Christ," he directed through the hands of the Mother of God. Pope St. Pius X also had a particular dedication to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and is in fact known by the title: Pope of the Blessed Sacrament. It was through his intervention that children were permitted to receive Holy Communion at the age of reason, instead of waiting until the customary age of thirteen or fourteen. He also encouraged the reception of frequent Communion, a practice discouraged in former times, saying, "Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven." Also known for his charity, Pope St. Pius X permitted the Vatican to be crowded with the poor that he fed, yet he lived in the greatest humility, himself. He said, "I was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die poor."




Before he died of a heart attack on August 20th, 1914, Pope St. Pius X had beatified ten holy souls and canonized four. He also left with us sixteen encyclicals, among which were:


Pascendi Dominici Gregism, On the Doctrine of the Modernists, September 8, 1907


Preaestantia Scripturae, the Biblical argument against modernism, November 18th, 1907


Tra le Sollecitudini, on sacred music, November 22, 1903


Acerbi Nimis, on teaching Christian doctrine, April 15, 1905


E Supremi, on the "restoration of all things in Christ," October 4, 1903


Une Fois Encore, on the separation of Church and state, January 6, 1907


The Oath Against Modernism, an encyclical given to the Church on September 1, 1910, was to be sworn by "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" and was a mandatory requirement of Pope St. Pius X. This oath continued to be required by all popes until, 1967, when it was rescinded by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Pope St. Pius X is the patron of:

First Communicants;
Pilgrims;
Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia;
Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa;
Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana;
Archdiocese of Kottayam, India;
Santa Luċija, Malta;
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri;
Achdiocese of Zamboanga, Philippines

Teacher's Helps:

For the feast day, you can find a wonderful coloring page here.

Ideas for celebrating the day gastronomically, can be found at Catholic Cuisine, under their First Holy Communion recipes and dinner plans, since Pope St. Pius X is the Pope of the Blessed Sacrament.

The children might enjoy drawing the coat of arms of this saint of the day, shown here (click to enlarge, and copy).

Topics to discuss -- Older students: 1) What is modernism? How did Pope St. Pius X try to stem the tide of modernism? Was he successful? 2) Why was the Blessed Sacrament so important to Pope St. Pius X, and what did he do to increase devotion to it? 3)Research and discuss the origins and history of the formalized Catechism of the Church, and Pope St. Pius X's role in it.

Younger students: 1) At what age do children usually receive Holy Communion today? 3) Before the time of Pope St. Pius X, children had to wait until they were teenagers to receive Holy Communion. How would it make you feel if you had to wait that long? 4) Why do you think Pope St. Pius lowered the age? 5) Do you think this was a good idea? 6) Make sure to say a prayer today to thank Pope St. Pius for allowing young children to approach Our Lord at the altar.

Litany of Pope Saint Pius X

For private use only.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for us.

Saint Pius X, model for priests, etc.

Saint Pius X, wise bishop,

Saint Pius X, humble cardinal and patriarch,

Saint Pius X, zealous Pope for his flock,

Saint Pius X, pious teacher,

Saint Pius X, devoted to the poor,

Saint Pius X, consoler of the sick,

Saint Pius X, lover of poverty,

Saint Pius X, humble of heart,

Saint Pius X, faithful to duty,

Saint Pius X, heroic in the practice of all virtues,

Saint Pius X, filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice,

Saint Pius X, who didst aim to restore all things in Christ,

Saint Pius X, who didst bring little children to the the Altar rail,

Saint Pius X, who didst counsel daily and frequent Communion for all,

Saint Pius X, who didst urge us to know and to love the Holy Mass,

Saint Pius X, who didst seek everywhere the diffusion of Christian teaching,

Saint Pius X, who didst withstand and reprove all heresies,

Saint Pius X, who didst teach us righteous Catholic Action,

Saint Pius X, who didst consecrate the faithful to the lay apostolate,

Saint Pius X, who didst wish to be known as a poor pastor of souls,

Saint Pius X, who answereth the prayers of those who cry to thee,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Saint Pius X,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

O God, who didst fill the soul of Saint Pius X with a burning charity andcalled him to be the Vicar of Christ, grant that through his intercessionwe may follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Our Divine Master; and mayour prayers to this saintly Pope be fruitful for life both here and hereafter,through the same Christ Our Lord.

R. Amen.

September 4th: St. Rose of Viterbo


St. Rose of Viterbo is a remarkable saint, accomplishing amazing wonders toward the conversion of many souls before her early death at the age of nineteen.  You can read about her life here.

Basic Stats

Born: 1235, Viterbo, Italy


Born: March 6, 1252, Viterbo, Italy

Canonized: 1457 by Pope Callistus III

Major shrine: Viterbo, Italy

Feast: 4 September

Patronage: people in exile; people rejected by religious orders; tertiaries; Viterbo, Italy

Teachers' Helps: There is a video of the life of St. Rose, that I have not viewed, but which might be worth checking out here.

September 8th: Our Heavenly Mother's Birthday

September 8th
The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady
The Birth of the Virgin Mary - by Esteban Murillo ( at the Louvre, Paris)
Blue gentians star the woods at morn
Near crystal pools in woodland aisles -
In this bright month a Queen was born.

No silver fanfare filled the air
As angel wings flashed round the child;
No crown was placed upon her head,
But at her halo, Heaven smiled.

October's trees wear rosaries
Of gold and scarlet, green and brown,
And as the west wind fingers them
The Ave-leaves drift slowly down.

May raises high her blossom-shrines
Where bird-choirs sing their wood-notes wild,
But both these months pay homage to
A blue-gowned Queen - September's child.

Sr. Maryanna

Teachers' Helps:
Catholic Culture has a good list of good ideas for celebrating this day! But here are some more ideas we found:

Here is a lovely coloring page of the Blessed Mother. A picture gallery of  classic Blessed Mother paintings can be found here. The children might also want to make Our Heavenly Mother some birthday cards to display in front of her image!

The most simple and meaningful form of celebrating Mary's birthday is, of course, to bake a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday!" This afternoon maybe the children can help bake a beautiful white cake (or possibly a blue jello poke cake or a traditional angel food cake?), or maybe cupcakes with white icing. Since blue is the traditional color of Mary, blueberries might make a good garnish...

Here is a list of flowers meaningful to Our Lady. This would be a perfect day to make a trip to the florist and arrange a boquet forthe Blessed Mother. How perfect to choose flowers based on their meaning for her!

And, last, but not least, s list of poetry devoted to Our Lady's Nativity and to her holy name can be found here.

Prayer to the Holy Child, Mary

Sweet Child Mary, destined to be the Mother of God and our sovereign and loving Mother, by the prodigies of grace you lavish upon us, mercifully listen to my humble supplications. In the needs which press upon me from every side and especially in my present tribulation, I place all my trust in you.

O Holy Child, by the privileges granted to you alone and by the merits which you have acquired, be merciful to me this day. Show that the source of spiritual favors and the continuous benefits which you dispense are inexhaustible, because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited. Deign through the immense profusion of graces with which the Most High has enriched you from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception, grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition, and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Heart.
Mary's Childhood
Zurburan, 1660

September 10th: St. Nicholas Tolentino

Basic Stats

Born: c. 1246 AD

Died: 1305 AD
Feast: September 10
Symbolism: Augustinian giving bread to a sick person; Augustinian holding a container of bread; Augustinian holding a container of money; Augustinian holding a lily; Augustinian holding crucifix garlanded with lilies; Augustinian with a star above him; Augustinian with a star on his breast; basket with bread rolls; crucifix garlanded with lilies; lily
Patronage: animals; babies; boatmen; diocese of Cabanatuan, Philippines; dying people; Lambunao, Philippines; Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines, mariners; diocese of Mati, Philippines; sailors; sick animals; souls in purgatory; diocese of Tandag, Philippines; watermen; St. Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Naujan Or., Mindoro Philippines

Teachers' Helps
 
The story of his life from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
 
Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness.
 
He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour's church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: "Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus", he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen.
 
 After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day. Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.



Painting by Gregorio Martínez y Espinosa, Lamentation with Saints Augustine and Nicholas of Tolentino, 1590s

September 12th: The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

I remember when I was a little girl being jealous of girls named Mary. It was the highest of honors to share a name with the Queen of Heaven and the fact that Lisa is a derivative of Mary's dear and holy cousin, Elizabeth hadn't hit home for me yet. Dang it all, anyway. I wanted to be named Maria! Alas! It was not to be.


But I was consoled by the fact that my birthday got to be in the perfect spot, right between Our Lady's birthday and the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. And my birthstone is a saphire ~ Ha! Blue is Mary's color! So I had that going for me, too. So, in spite of recent tragic events. September 11th is still a pretty darn good day to have been born.

I love all feasts of Our Lady, but I think today's is a feast especially beautiful in concept and imagery. The Holy Name of Mary. To think of her name, to speak it, is to join in the music of Heaven!
Thoughts on the celebration: Though we aren't going to be able to do it up big today, in past years, we have celebrated this feast day with high tea, including blueberry scones with clotted cream, and other confections in the theme of white and blue. We decorated with white roses, made Our Blessed Mother's statue a special crown for the day and along with the rosary, recited the Litany of Our Lady, honoring Our Heavenly Mother through many of her titles and virtues. One year, we bought an inexpensive plastic white tablecloth for our tea party and wrote on it all of her titles from the litany with a blue sharpie. Today, each of us chose our favorite title of Mary and found a corresponding image on the computer to print out. We backed our pictures with construction paper, found a prayer to go with each, and covered them with contact paper to make our very own holy cards.


The images (at top and bottom) that I posted here today represent two of my most favorite titles for Mary. Do you know what they are?
Teacher's Helps:
The etymology of Our Lady's name: Latin meaning "star of the sea" or Hebrew for "sea of bitterness", partially derived from Egyptian mry meaning "beloved" or mr meaning "love"
Origin & history: The name Mary has roots in the Bible (Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene), although its roots (mry) can be traced back to Egypt.


Popularity: Since biblical times, the name Mary has been very popular. From 1880 to 1960, Mary was either the first or second most popular name, according to the US census. It fell to the bottom of the top ten in popularity by 1970, and continued it's decline to 84 as of the 2006 US census. (H/T: Stephie L)
An interesting exercise: See how many derivatives of the name "Mary" that you can. See who can come up with the longest list. Go here for a bunch if you're stumped.
Here are some coloring pages for the day!
Holy Name of Mary cookies can be found here.

And, last, but not least,east, Our Lady's Litany, which salutes her many titles, is a must for the day!
The Litany of Our Lady
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven: -- Have mercy on us.
(repeat at end of each phrase.)
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world
:God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Holy Mary, -- Pray for us.
(repeat at end of each phrase.)
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of Heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without Original Sin,
Queen assumed into Heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,
Queen of Peace.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

v. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
r. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
*They're Our Lady, Maris Stella, or Star of the Sea

Poetry

One for children to memorize for the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary on September 12th.
Mary
What beauty and what meaning
Lies hidden in that name.
Though many times I hear it,
It never sounds the same.
.
It often makes me think
Of the radiance on your face,
When the Angel Gabriel said,
"Hail Mary, full of grace."
.
Or I see you smiling sweetly
At the crib where He was born,
And softly humming lullabies
On that first Christmas morn.
.
Sometimes I seem to sense
The joy you must have felt,
When you were crowned in glory
As before your God you knelt.
.
So, Mother dearest, pray for me
Lest from thy path I roam,
Keep me ever close to Jesus
And bring me safely home.
~ C. F. Fitzgerald

September 14th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross


Teachers' Helps:

For the history of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, go here.

Pictures and information on the Basilica, Santa Croce, where the Relics of the True Cross are kept can be found here.

Catholic Cuisine hosts a link-fair with a multitude of ideas for celebrating the feast here.

For several versions of crosses to color, go here.  A coloring page of St. Monica can be found at Waltzing Matilda's.

September 15th: The Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Mother

From a post written (by me) September, 2007:

 The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are such a good meditation, though maybe a difficult one, especially considering how different Our Blessed Mother's sorrow must have been from sorrow as we understand it -- as flawed human beings. All the experiences of Mary's life were colored by her complete, unquestioning surrender to the Will of God. She was not affected by any of the vices of thought or deed that we're prone to due to original sin.  Her knowlege and understanding were (are) far keener than ours. The sorrows she felt in her life on earth were100% unselfish.
I don't consider myself an authority in any way on the Bible, or the life of Our Blessed Mother, or theology, or much, in fact, except maybe diaper changing and laundry. What follows are just some of my random thoughts and impressions on the Seven Sorrows, and what lessons I found in thinking about them today.
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother:

1) The Prophesy of Simeon, in which he foretold to Our Blessed Mother that her child was "set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce..."

As a mother, this immediately brings to mind for me the terror and worry I would have for the future if someone said those same words to me. I'd be a nervous wreck! But, we know for a certainty that Jesus' Mother didn't worry. At most she "wondered at those things which were spoken concerning Him." If we can learn to place our complete trust in God like Our Lady did, we won't have worry for our future either.   but this is way easier said than done. But Our Blessed Mother,  is always there to help.  She understands sorrow better than anyone and knows each of us well enough to our best consolation and help.  God is so good to us to give us the help of all our Heavenly family, and especially His Mother, Our Mother, who has such a tender love for us.

Learn not to worry!

2) The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt

 Imagine your husband wakes you up in the morning and says, "Pack up, dear. We're going to Egypt." You have a new baby, and your bank account is not just low, it's nonexistent. You don't know a soul in Egypt, and you will have to walk or ride a donkey across a desert to get there. But, you go. Mary went. I doubt she even asked any questions of St. Joseph, but started packing their meager belongings immediately. This not only teaches us abandonment, once again, to the Will of God, but obedience to our husbands!

In the God-given roles of husband and wife, the Bible makes it very clear what is expected of each of us. We're a team because our skills and roles were designed to complement one another. My job, as a wife and mother is to tend to the details of the family and to love and honor my husband; my husband's job is take care of the big decisions and to cherish his wife and family. Do we consult one another on these things? Of course we do, or it'd be a miserable existence for both of us. But the final word on where my husband takes a job, for instance, belongs to my husband, while what we have for dinner and how the children are dressed are things I take care of. This is an arrangement I am blessed to be able to comply with, as I have a Godly husband. For this I need to be grateful. And to be content to obey.
The Mother of God is our best example for fulfilling and obeying the demands of our stations in life.

3) The Losing of the Child Jesus in the Temple

This sorrow (which accompanies the the 4th Joyful Mystery) always gives me comfort in a way. Picture the scenario: You're traveling with a large group of family members and friends, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a very large and unfamiliar city. On the way home, you're sure you'd seen your twelve year old son in the group at departure, so aren't worried when you don't spot him again throughout the day. You assume he's with friends in the company. But, at the end of the day you can't find him. You go all the way back to Jerusalem to look for him. You're frantic. How could you have left him behind? Finally, you go back to the Temple, and there He is, surrounded by a group of church scholars, deep in conversation.

Didn't He know that you had to be concerned for Him? How could He not have known that you were looking for Him?? When you ask Him, His answer is strange and somewhat vague: Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know I had to be about my Father's business?

Alllrighty then! How do you answer that one? I think that Our Blessed Mother and holy St. Joseph knew better than to be terribly upset; this was no ordinary boy they were raising. But, here's the comfort for me... If Our Lady and St. Joseph had trouble with their adolescent, who am I to be surprised when my teenagers give me pains? And who better for me to call upon in my distress over them?
Our Blessed Mother is our best counselor on child rearing!

4. The Blessed Mother meets her Son on the Way to Mount Calvary

This scene, as it plays in my mind, is heartbreaking. How can we, as mothers, even imagine the horror? Our dearest child is suffering unimaginably, and we can't do anything to help! We can only watch helplessly. Or is that all that His Mother did? Sometimes we're faced with situations in our lives over which we truly have no control. Our loved ones suffer, we suffer, and though we may not be able to change the earthly situation, we can affect the landscape of our own souls by prayer. When Our Blessed Mother followed Our Lord up the hill to Calvary, I believe she filled all the sorrow of that time with some of the Earth's most fervent prayer. Prayer, I bet, mostly that God's Will be done. We can affect change through prayer. Prayers left in Our Lady's hands will always be perfectly handled and distributed.
When all else fails, pray!

5) The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord on the Cross

When I meditate on Our Lord's three hours on the cross, I'm always glad that His Mother was not alone there. How her mother's heart must have been breaking! And, though the mystics tell us she was constantly surrounded by angels, how comforting it must have been, in a human way, to have the arm of St. John around her shoulders in that awful time. How good it must have been that the other women were there at the foot of the cross, mourning with her. I know she was aware of their sorrow, and that they had ultimate concern for her at that time as well. The company of our friends in the Faith should never be taken for granted. Though we have the ever-ready help of the heavenly court, it's important to remember that oftentimes, God answers our prayers through concrete comfort and help.
God often sends His help through the hands of His friends here on earth!

6) The Body of Our Lord is Taken Down from the Cross and Laid in the Arms of His Mother

How bittersweet these moments must have been. Our Lady's heart must have been drowning in sorrow; she must have already begun  to miss Jesus' earthly presence near her. But, she knew, too, that His suffering was over and that He was now with His Heavenly Father, His mortal mission on Earth completed. It is always so touching and deeply meaningful to me to see how God gives Christ to us through His Mother. She bore Him, through the Holy Ghost, and brought Him into the world. After His sacrifice on Calvary, the Body of Christ was laid in her arms. I like to think that His Mother must be present, too, in a way, at every Holy Communion.
Who can better help us prepare for the Sacrament of His Body and Blood than His Holy Mother?

7) The Burial of Jesus

In another example of Christian charity and practical solicitude, it appears the friends of Mary took chief responsibility for the preparation of Our Lord's body for death. Perhaps Our Lady looked on as the holy women gathered together spices and someone located fine linen in which to wrap Jesus' precious body. I imagine she was grateful, but not surprised, when Joseph of Arimethea eagerly contributed his own new tomb. Everything had to be taken care of quickly because the Sabbath was fast approaching, but everything was done as carefully and perfectly as possible. Do I prepare myself with as much care when I approach the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist? Do I take the time and trouble to fast appropriately? Do I really try my hardest to understand the great privilege of this sacrament? How can I complain to myself that it's too difficult to focus on my prayers when I'm hungry and the children are acting up and I'm in a bad mood... relative to the scene on that Friday?
We should carefully prepare ourselves body, mind and soul both to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and to meet Him someday at the end of our lives.

More on the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Mother
Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows
By St. Bridget
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief, beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst co-operate in the benefit of my redemption by thy innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only-begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh! make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son. that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins; arid that, persevering till death in His grace, I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen.
Mother of love, of sorrow, and of mercy, pray for us.
The Seven Sorrows
First Sorrow: The Presentation
Second Sorrow: the Flight into Egypt
Third Sorrow: The Loss of Jesus in Jerusalem
Fourth Sorrow: Mary Meets Jesus on the Via Dolorosa
Fifth Sorrow: Mary at the Foot of the Cross
Sixth Sorrow: Mary Receives Jesus' body a it is Taken From the Cross
Seventh Sorrow: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

The devotions and promises for those who meditate on the Sorrows of Our Lady can be found here. And here are the details of the Chaplet of the Sorrowful Mother. Our boys singing the Stabat Mater last Lent right here.
Mother of Sorrows, pray for us in this vail of tears!

Ember Week: Septemer 16th, 18th, 19th


The Ember Weeks—the weeks in which the Ember Days occur—are the week between the third and fourth Sundays of Advent, between the first and second Sundays of Lent, the week between Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and the week beginning on the Sunday after Holy Cross Day (September 14), the liturgical Third Week of September.


A thorough explanation of the Ember Days can be found at Fisheaters.
Mother's Helps
Meatless Meals for Ember Days -- here for bean recipes, and here  for spaghetti and clam sauce, and here for Lenten recipes of many different lands, and here for six meatless soup recipes, and here for a meatless meal carnival

September 17th: Stigmata of St.Francis

St. Francis of Assisi's vocation prayer

Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our minds.
Give us a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity,
so that we may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.
Amen.

Click here for the biography of this great saint, and go here for more prayers of St. Francis!

September 18th: The Flying Saint


This is the Basilica of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo, Italy, where St. Joseph's body is laid.

Close to the ceiling of the basilica is a painting of the saint levitating.

These pictures were borrowed from here, where you can also find a complete Life of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph, a saint of many miracles, is especially known for levitating while meditating on Our Lord or Our Lady. But, he was also noteworthy in his time for the fact that he was a notoriously poor student who only passed his examinations into the priesthood due to God's intercession. St. Joseph of Cupertino is, therefore, the patron saint of:

aviators,
astronauts,
pilots,
air crews,
paratroopers,
students,
anyone taking a test
Prayers to St. Joseph for Taking an Examination
O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.

Through Christ our Lord.

St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.

Amen.

(Then, you must remember, when you succeed in the exams, to publicly thank St. Joseph of Cupertino ~ in the newspaper, for instance, or on the internet.)


Prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino for Aviators

Dear ecstatic Conventual Saint who patiently bore calumnies, your secret was Christ the crucified Savior who said: "When I will be lifted up I will draw all peoples to myself." You were always spiritually lifted up. Give aviators courage and protection, and may they always keep in mind your greatly uplifting example.

Amen.


*This reminds me, incidentally, of a poem that is a favorite of mine, though I'm far from being an aviator. That last line just stays with me, every time I read it, and it somehow seems to link with St. Joseph, our flying saint, who did "touch the face of God".

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand,
And touched the face of God.

September 19th: St. Januarius

Basic Stats

Born: c. 275, Benevento or Naples, Campania, Roman Empire


Died: c. 305, Pozzuoli, Campania
Major shrines: Cathedral of San Gennaro, Naples, Italy and the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City.

Feast: September 19 (Western Christianity)

Symbolism: vials of blood, palms, Mt. Vesuvius

Patronage: blood banks; Naples; volcanic eruptions[1]

Commentary from Lisa: I could not possibly do a better job than the Catholic Tradition website (from whence I borrowed the beautiful painting, above) in re-telling the story of today's saint ~ and his is a story of such fortitude, piety and wondrous miracles, that I highly suggest running over to read the whole tale.

But, in the interest of piquing your curiosity, here are some highlights: St. Januarius was the bishop of Beneventum, Italy, during the reign of Diocletian. He was tortured for the Faith, then sent into the arena with the wild beasts to be devoured ~ but the beasts knelt before the holy bishop, sparing his life as the evil Romans would not do. After other amazing miracles, our saint was finally beheaded and his soul flew to its eternal reward in heaven.

His body was interred first at Beneventum, then, in the monastary of Monte Vergine, and finally at the principal church at Naples (the Cathedral of San Genarro). The holy relic has always been accompanied by miracles, one most notable being the quieting of Mount Vesuvius, thus sparing its prayerful neighbors from iminent destruction.

But, the most famous and enduring of the wonders of St. Januarius is the miracle of the liquification of his blood every year on the anniversary of his martyrdom. When a vial of the saint's blood is brought into the vicinity of the relic of his severed head, the contents, which, during the rest of the year, are dried and solid in the crystal reliquary, become liquid. God still honors and utilizes this holy saint to turn and edify souls by the proof of His power. This amazing miracle which has occured throught the centuries can still be seen today!

Praise be to God in his Angels and in His Saints!

September 20th: And Companions...

I went to bed tonight with every intention of going to sleep. I had determined I wasn't going to post anything today, as I just had too many other things to focus on ~ we have company, and are taking a moving truck full of flotsam and jetsam over to the farm this weekend (that's another post!). But, you know, even with all I've had going on, running as an undercurrent in my whole day has been a story we read this morning after prayers. It was the life of the saint of the day: St. Eustachius. And I just had to get up and write about it. I seem to be heading into some insomnia tonight, anyway, and maybe he'll help me sleep if I write about him.

Now, generally, I have a tendency to lump together into a large, hazy, but still vaguely glorious lump, all the martyr stories, especially the ones that end in "and companions." I know that's terrible, but I admit I have trouble keeping most of them straight in my mind, there were so many! And, honestly, after so many years of reading Butler's Lives of the Saints to the children, pretty much every day, you'd think I'd remember this story! But somehow it slipped by me. I mean the real story. There's one visual scene about deer antlers and a cross I remembered somewhat, but somehow the true story, the epic tale of valor and tragedy and victory and defeat and final triumph eluded me until today.


Here's the story in a nutshell:

Eustachius was a highly respected officer in the Roman army under Emperor Trajan (Ok, so now you should start hearing the first slow drumbeat of ominous music... The names Trajan or Diocletian, especially, spell doom in Butler's...). Our Lord chose to reveal Himself and the truth of the Faith to Eustachius through the image of Himself crucified in the antlers of a deer. I can only assume that this was the method most sure to get this man's attention, and it truly did.

Eustachius and his wife and children all converted, which at this time was not a politically correct thing to do, of course. The family lost everything due to this decision; they were even forcibly separated from each other. Eustachius, once a proud Roman officer was reduced to tending crops for his survival.

And then the barbarians came.

And, of course, who could the evil Emperor Trajan count on better than our hero to oust them from the empire? Obviously a man of Eustachius' noble mind owned a temperament and ability to equal it. He was the can-do man of the army and Trajan apparently knew it. So, off Eustacius went, his rank and power restored. Miraculously, during this campaign, he was reunited with his family, and then returned to Rome the conquering hero, the toast of the town, the man of the hour.

Picture the parade of welcome through the streets of Rome as was the custom in that day! The fanfare, the triumphant march! His wife and children near at hand, looking on proudly, the cheers of the crowd, the Emperor on the dais up ahead, ready to receive Eustachius in honor. Ready to crown his head with the laurel wreath... If.

(The music stops here.)

If he would sacrifice to Trajan's false gods.

Would he? He had lost everything in this world that was important to him, and now he had miraculously found it again. His family had the chance to live in peace and ease in Rome again, have a comfortable villa again, enjoy afternoons of games and conversations with their old friends again... They could be together as a family. It could be as it once was. Could Eustachius bear to lose it all again? And it wasn't just himself that he had to consider! Could he subject his dearest wife and children to more ignomy and suffering, and perhaps death?

Only the strongest of men could say yes to this. Only the most loving of men could say yes. And, of course he said yes to Christ. He would give it all up again. He would risk it all for love of God, for love of Truth, for the love which taught him faith in life everlasting!

This faith is staggering to me! How the human conflict must have raged in him, how he must not have wanted to see his family suffer any more! How tired he must have been! But he knew truly and completely that God had something better waiting for them. I believe his wife and children knew this, too.

When Trajan had two starved lions brought into the arena with Eustachius and his family, the lions played at their feet like kittens. God does like to make His points, doesn't He? It always amazes me that the savage persecutors in those days never took the hint! I mean look at the miracles which surrounded the deaths of the martyrs! But the Roman dictators never did pick up on it. Trajan just became more angry when he was deprived of his spectacle, and ordered the family to be locked inside a bull molded of metal and roasted to death over a fire, father, mother and children.

At first glance, a tragic end. That poor, poor family! How can we not be moved by the horror of it?
But, wait!
We haven't come to the final scene. The scene where the whole family emerges, whole and perfect spirits, and ascends to Heaven, where they are received as highly honored citizens of a new country, where the Almighty Father is seated on the throne. And they live in peace and perfect happiness for eternity. Eternity. And they're there now. Not just figuratively. Not as in a two dimensional holy card. But in reality. Tragedy or victory?
Victory.

September 21st: St. Matthew

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Read about him here.
Basic Stats
Died: 24 January, near Hierapolis or Ethiopia
Major shrine: Salerno, Italy
Feast: 21 September
Symbolism: tax collector, human or angel 
Patronage: Accountants, Salerno, Italy, and others, see[1]
Of Interest:  The four evangelists are known by different symbols: St. Matthew is a human with wings or angel, St. Mark is a winged lion, St. Luke is a winged ox, St. John is an eagle.  The illumination at right is from the Irish Book of Kells.

September 24th: Our Lady of Ransom

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

(Double major, commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians.)

On 10 August, 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Gregory IX on 17 January, 1235. The Mercedarians celebrated their institution on the Sunday nearest to 1 Aug. (on which date in the year 1233 the Blessed Virgin was believed to have shown St. Peter Nolasco the white habit of the order), and this custom was approved by the Congregation of Rites on 4 April, 1615 (Anal. Juris Pont., VII, 136). But the calendar of the Spanish Mercedarians of 1644 has it on 1 Aug., double. Proper lessons were approved on 30 April, 1616. The feast was granted to Spain (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) on 15 Feb., 1680; to France, 4 Dec., 1690. On 22 Feb., 1696, it was extended to the entire Latin Church, and the date changed to 24 September. The Mercedarians keep this feast as a double of the first class, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: "Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V.de Mercede". Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona; the proper Office was extended to Barcelona (1868) and to all Spain (second class, 1883). Sicily, which had suffered so much from the Saracens, took up the old date of the feast (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) by permission of the Congregation of Rites, 31 Aug., 1805 (double major), Apparition of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco in the choir of Barcelona, on the Sunday after 24 Sept. In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady's Dowry.


Information of Interest: Read here about the Scapular of Our Lady of Ransom

Prayer to Our Lady of Ransom

O God, who by means of the most glorious Mother of Thy Son was pleased to give new children to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the heathen; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who love and honor her as the foundress of so great a work may, by her merits and intercession, be ourselves delivered from all sin and from the bondage of the evil one. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.


The black and white picture, above, can be right clicked to save and printed in a larger format for a coloring page. The stories of Mercedarians, St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Pentafort dovetail with this feast. We'll be talking about the threat to the Christian world that is still alive today, as well as the different kinds of captivity -- physical and spiritual.

September 27th: Sts Cosmas & Damian

Saints Cosmas and Damian, by Fra Angelico

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Saints Cosmas and Damian were early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword.

Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.



Basic Stats
Born: 3rd century AD, Arabia

Died: c. 287 AD, Aegea, Roman province of Syria
Major shrine: Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Bitonto, Bari, Italy
Feast: September 27
Symbolism:  depicted as twins, beheaded, or with medical emblems
Patronage: surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.

Teachers' Help:
Discuss the moral role of physicians in the time of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and their role today.  How was the practice of medicine different in the 3rd century?  Read the Hypocratic Oath, the original and modern versions.  Research its beginnings.  Discuss whether it is in keeping with Catholic morality and whether modern physicians, in general, seem to abide by its promises. (There is an interesting -- scary --commentary here...)

September 28th: St. Wenceslaus


From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

St. Wenceslaus
(Also Vaclav, Vaceslav.)

Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.

His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for his virtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September.

Basic Stats

Born: c. 907, Prague, Bohemia


Died: September 28, 935, Stará Boleslav, Bohemia

Major shrine: St Vitus Cathedral, Prague

Feast: September 28

Symbolism: Crown, dagger, eagle on a banner

Patronage: Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague

Though the story of the life of King Wenceslaus is not particularly connected with the Christmas Season, we tend to make the connection because of this carol.  No harm there. Perhaps today's feast is a good reminder that we have less than three months until the great feast of the Nativity.

September 29th: St. Michael the Archangel

The prayer we recognize, the short form:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power  -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl  throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.
Now for the whole the story (taken from Christian Classics Ethereal Library):
On September 25, 1888, following his morning Mass, Pope Leo XIII became traumatized to the point that he collapsed. Those in attendance thought that he was dead. After coming to consciousness, the pope described a frightful conversation that he had heard coming from near the tabernacle. The conversation consisted of two voices – voices which Pope Leo XIII clearly understood to be the voices of Jesus Christ and the Devil. The Devil boasted that he could destroy the Church, if he were granted 75 years to carry out his -plan (or 100 years, according to some accounts). The Devil also asked permission for “a greater influence over those who will give themselves to my service.” To the Devil’s requests, Our Lord reportedly replied: “you will be given the time and the power.”



Shaken deeply by what he had heard, Pope Leo XIII composed the Prayer to St. Michael and ordered it to be recited after all Low Masses as a protection for the Church against the attacks from Hell.


The longer version of the prayer taken from The Raccolta, 1930, Benziger Bros., pp. 314-315 is given below. The Raccolta is an imprimatured collection of the official and indulgenced prayers of the Catholic Church.

 Prayer to St. Michael (original, long form)

O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.

Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.

Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.

As we have hoped in thee.

O Lord, hear my prayer.

And let my cry come unto thee.

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.

Amen.

Teachers' Helps:
-- Fisheaters as a good history and explanation of the feast, as well as a teriffic catalogue of customs for celebrating the feast of St. Michael
-- You can find "Feasting With the Angels" and "Michaelmas feast" at Catholic Cuisine
-- A Coloring page
-- Information of interest: the Medieval Celebration of Michaelmas
-- Some traditional "sayings" of the day:

* So many days the moon is old on St Michael’s day, so many floods after.

Traditional English weather marker

* Harvest comes as long before Michaelmas as dog roses bloom before Midsummer.
Traditional English weather marker

* On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
Traditional northern Irish proverb

* St Michael’s rain does not stay long in the sky.
Traditional French proverb

*If it does not rain on St Michael’s and Gallus [Oct 16], a dry spring is indicated for the next year.
Traditional English proverb

* If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will not be short of money all year round.
Traditional English proverb

* A Michaelmas rot comes ne’er in the pot.
Traditional English proverb

* If St Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow.
Traditional English proverb

* Michaelmas chickens and parsons’ daughters never come to good.
Traditional English proverb

* Three things that never come to any good: Christmas pigs, Michaelmas fowls, and parsons’ daughters.
Traditional English proverb