"To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.101
Everything is grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love.Everything is grace because everything is God's gift.Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events -- to the heart that loves, all is well.
"Thank you Jean, you are a beautiful soldier for the cause. I appreciate your superb work. Keep it up!"
Amazing Catechists and Catholic Mom Puppet Show Ministry
" I’m amazed at your blog. I can barely get out one post a day and sometimes you have a few (and I now know how much work it takes to do that). You do a great job! "
Michelle, Unborn Word of the Day
"When I read your blog, I just want to comment on everything, your insights are just so on-key!" Leticia, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae and Cause of Our Joy.
"I enjoy your blog every day. It is the best Catholic blog out there. Thank you so much for all the work you put into it!"
Ellen Gable, author, "Emily's Hope"
"I love the zeal Jean puts into her posts, especially when it comes to the prolife movement." Esther, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
"Jean of Catholic Fire...provides so much informative content. She posts about pro-life issues and events, what happened 'on this day', biographies of saints, prayer intentions, and lots more each day. No matter what she's posting about, I can always come away each day feeling uplifted...and that's saying a lot for me, as I'm someone who often tries to avoid thinking about some of the political and other issues that she posts about. It must be her strong faith and trust in God, as well as her love, shining through her posts, that inspire me." Margaret Mary Myers , Reflections, Catholic BVI Readers, VIP Homeschooler.
"The devil writes down our sins—our guardian angel all our merits. Labor that the guardian angel's book may be full, and the devil's empty."
~ St. John Vianney
"What a comfort to you it is to know that when we go out of the house, we are never alone en route. "
~ St. John Vianney
"Our guardian angels are our most faithful friends, because they are with us day and night, always and everywhere. We ought often to invoke them."
~ St. John Vianney
"If you find it impossible to pray, hide behind your good angel and charge him to pray in your stead."
~ St. John Vianney
"When tempted, invoke your angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him; he trembles and flees at the sight of your guardian angel."
~ St. John Bosco
"How many people in mortal sin were saved from death by their angel, that they might have a chance for confession!"
~ St. John Bosco
"Pray to your guardian angel. Invoke his aid if you should find yourself in any serious danger of body or soul, and I assure you that he will help and protect you."
~ St. John Bosco
Angels are servants or messengers from God. Angels are spiritual creatures appointed by God to complete certain duties. God has given his guardian angels the responsibility of watching over us and protecting us. The duty of the guardian angel is to protect us from evil and guide us to salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us the following about our guardian angels: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God [CCC 336]. Every human being has his own guardian angel.
How does one develop a personal relationship with his/her guardian angel?
1. Pray daily to your guardian angel.
The Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God's love
commits me here,
ever this day,
be at my side,
to light and guard,
rule and guide.
You can find the Litany of the Angel Guardian and more prayers to your guardian angel at this beautiful website. 2. Be attentive to the promptings of your guardian angel. If you listen, your guardian angel will enlighten you through the voice of your conscience to avoid temptations that can lead to sin. Your guardian angel will also offer good ideas on ways to love and serve God and others. Your guardian angel may even help you avoid physically dangerous situations.
3. Send your guardian angel on various spiritual tasks or errands. St. Padre Pio did this and people often sent their guardian angels to Padre Pio to obtain prayer. This is one way Padre Pio was able to watch over his spiritual children from a distance. For example, when one of Padre Pio’s spiritual sons became involved in a serious car accident thousands of miles away, he sent his guardian angel to promise his prayers and protection. St. Gemma Galgani sent her guardian angel to communicate with her Spiritual Father, a Passionist priest, who lived in Rome, and frequently travelled on parish missions.
4. Greet the guardian angels of others. Before entering a room, greet the guardian angels of family members or co-workers to assist you in interacting with them. 5. Thank your guardian angel for watching over you daily. ~ copyright Jean M. Heimann October 2014
October 1st is the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a saint who is very dear to my heart. Over the years, she has been a close friend and a powerful intercessor for me.
Let me share a little about one of my favorite saints with you and why she is so special to me. I first learned about St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus when I was 15 years old, a sophomore in a Catholic high school. In English class, her autobiography, Story of a Soul, was one of the options on our required reading list. As I read her love for Jesus and learned of her "Little Way", I couldn't help but admire and desire to emulate this beautiful saint, who expressed so much joy in the midst of suffering. I cheered when this young woman who was my age when she acted with such strong faith and determination and did the forbidden, speaking out when she was told to remain silent, pleading with the Pope to let her enter Carmel. I was fascinated with the poetic way she expressed herself (being a poet myself), her love for flowers, her deep insights into the faith, her strong love for God and for others, and the humor she interjected into her personal anecdotes.
When I was preparing for my Oblature with the Community of St. John several years ago and going through a dark night of the senses, I entered the refectory at the monastery and was met by a very large and reassuring portrait of St. Therese. I later learned that she is one of the secondary patrons of the Community, which was founded by Fr. Philippe, a Dominican from France.As I was losing my own "French - American" family at this time (my parents to their eternal reward), St. Therese was helping me surrender my loss and was leading me to another family, in many ways similar to my own. It was the family of St. John, whose main charism is that of love.
Through her intercession, St. Therese has worked many mini miracles for me, as well as for others to whom I have entrusted to her. One of these miracles involved a dear friend, Therese, from my Community, who was miraculously healed of a cancerous tumor through the intercession of St.Thérèse. Her healing is described in detail in my short story, "Joy in the Midst of Suffering," which is contained in Elizabeth Ficocelli's anthology, Shower of Heavenly Roses.
St. Therese was the subject of my Master's thesis in theology and one of my main intercessors throughout graduate school. She is the one who encouraged me when things got tough. Thank you, dear St. Therese!
Most recently, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, has interceded for me in writing and publishing my first book for a Catholic publisher after waiting ten years! My author copies arrived just yesterday -- one day prior to her feast day and on the eighth day of my novena to her!
I want to tell you what it is a special privilege to have someone in Heaven who cares so much about our most intimate needs – someone who can speak to us so powerfully by being an example of love through her missionary spirit – the spirit of love which profoundly impacted the world from her cloistered monastery walls.
What is her secret? Therese is known for her "Little Way." In her search for sanctity, she realized that it was not necessary to accomplish heroic acts, or "great deeds", in order to attain holiness and to express her love of God. It is her humble and simple, yet profound way of loving God through small acts of love and sacrifice offered up to Him.
She tells us: "Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love."
It is a formula that any one of us can follow. It is the formula that Blessed Teresa of Calcutta followed and just look how God worked in her to bring others to Him.
Patron: florists; foreign missions; missionaries; pilots; against tuberculosis; AIDS sufferers; illness; loss of parents; Australia; France; Russia; Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska; Diocese of Fresno, California; Diocese of Juneau, Alaska; Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado.
Symbols: roses; discalced Carmelite nun holding roses; Carmelite nun with roses at her feet; Carmelite nun holding images of the Child Jesus and Holy Face of Jesus; Carmelite nun holding a crucifix and roses; book.
Miraculous Invocation to St.Thérèse of the Child Jesus
O Glorious St. Thérèse, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire the human family, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you "Prodigy of Miracles... the Greatest Saint of Modern Times." Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (mention here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good upon earth... of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Thérèse, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere" and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen. Favorite Quotes from St. Thérèse of Lisieux
“Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant, prepare me to appear before You."
“Oh! How sweet is the way of Love! How I want to apply myself to doing the will of God always with the greatest self-surrender!”
“Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude…See, then, all that Jesus lays claim to from us; He has no need of our works but only of our love.”
“I thank You, O my God for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on my the Last Day, carrying the scepter of Your cross.”
“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy.”
“Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity.”
“How happy I am to see myself imperfect and be in need of God’s mercy.”
“We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so powerful and so merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for.”
“Prayer is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy.”
“Oh my God, You have surpassed all my expectations.”
Oh! no, you will see...it will be like a shower of roses. After my death, you will go to the mail box, and you will find many consolations.
~ Saint Thérèse on June 9, 1897 after Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart told her we would be very sorry after she died.
Today, September 30, is the feast of St. Jerome, a Father and Doctor of the Church. Translator of the Bible into its official Latin version (the Vulgate), brilliant scholar, monk, traveller, teacher, letter writer, and consultant to Popes and Bishops, St.Jerome is one of the most important figures in the history of the Church.
St. Jerome was born in Dalmatia (near Aquileia, north of Rome) around 340 to a wealthy Christian family. At the age of 20, Jerome was sent to study in Rome, where he became fluent in Latin and Greek and developed a love for the classical writers. Here he acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to control his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. He travelled throughout western Europe with a friend but that ceased when he had a conversion experience in Trier and decided to become a monk. He joined a community in Aquileia in 370, where he met some who would become his close friends and others his enemies. When the community disbanded, he decided to go east and he lived for years in the the Syrian desert as a hermit. He studied Hebrew, which he hated, but used it as a distraction against sexual temptations. He was ordained a priest in Antioch and at the age of 40 went to Constantinople, where he met and befriended St. Gregory of Nazianzus (one of the four great Greek Doctors of the Church.)
St. Jerome became the secretary of Pope Damasus, who commissioned the Vulgate from him, which took him 30 years to write. His harsh temperament and his biting criticisms of his intellectual opponents made him many enemies in the Church and in Rome and he was forced to leave the city. Jerome went to Bethlehem, established a monastery, and lived the rest of his years in study, prayer, and asceticism. Jerome died at Bethlehem, September 30th, 420. Saint Jerome's remains are interred in the church of Saint Mary Major at Rome and his relics are in the Sistine chapel of Saint Mary Major in Rome.
Saint Jerome is the patron saint of archaeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, schoolchildren, students, and translators. Quotes from St. Jerome:
"The measure of our advancement in the spiritual life should be taken from the progress we make in the virtue of mortification; for it should be held as certain that the greater violence we shall do ourselves in mortification, the greater advance we shall make in perfection."
"I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: 'Search the Scriptures,' and 'Seek and you shall find.' For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."
"In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert, burnt up with the heat of the scorching sun so that it frightens even the monks that inhabit it, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome. In exile and prison to which for the fear of hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, I many times imagined myself witnessing the dancing of the Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them: in my cold body and in my parched-up flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion able to live. Alone with this enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and I tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, but I grieve that I am not now what I then was."
-- Saint Jerome's letter to Saint Eustochium
Prayer of St. Jerome for Christ's Mercy
O Lord, show Your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid. I am like the sheep that went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will. Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and praise You for ever and ever with those who are there.
"‘Spiritual combat’ is [an] element of life which needs to be taught anew and proposed once more to all Christians today. It is a secret and interior art, an invisible struggle in which (we) engage every day…” ~ Pope St. John Paul II (Vatican Archives: Address of the Holy Father, May 25, 2002)
Traditional Consecration Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Oh most noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God and zealous lover of His glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just angels, my beloved Archangel Saint Michael, desiring to be numbered among your devoted servants, I, today offer and consecrate myself to you, and place myself, my family, and all I possess under your most powerful protection.
I entreat you not to look at how little, I, as your servant have to offer, being only a wretched sinner, but to gaze, rather, with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made, and remember that if from this day onward I am under your patronage, you must during all my life assist me, and procure for me the pardon of my many grievous offenses, and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God, my dear Savior Jesus, and my Sweet Mother Mary, and to obtain for me all the help necessary to arrive to my crown of glory.
Defend me always from my spiritual enemies, particularly in the last moments of my life.
Come then, oh Glorious Prince, and succor me in my last struggle, and with your powerful weapon cast far from me into the infernal abysses that prevaricator and proud angel that one day you prostrated in the celestial battle. Amen.
Today is the feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. These three Archangels are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture and all three have important roles in the history of salvation.
Michael's name means "Who is like God?" St. Michael’s name is mentioned four times in the Bible: twice in Daniel and once in both the Book of Revelation and the Epistle of St. Jude. In the book of Revelation 12:7-9, we read of a great war that took place in heaven, in which Michael and his angels battled with Satan and the other fallen angels (devils). Michael became the great champion of faithfulness to God and the victor over evil. Today, he is our protector. He guards the people of God, defends the souls of the just, and brings the souls to their final judgment. To combat the forces of evil in our world today, we pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer. Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer after experiencing a horrific vision of attacks against the Church. The prayer was said at the end of Mass prior to 1968. Today, in some areas, parishioners continue to recite this powerful prayer after daily Mass. Patron: Against temptations; against powers of evil; artists; bakers; bankers; battle; boatmen; cemeteries; coopers; endangered children; dying; Emergency Medical Technicians; fencing; grocers; hatmakers; holy death; knights; mariners; mountaineers; paramedics; paratroopers; police officers; radiologists; sailors; the sick; security forces; soldiers; against storms at sea; swordsmiths; those in need of protection; Brussels, Belgium; Caltanissett, Sicily; Cornwall, England; Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Florida; England; Germany; Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama; Papua, New Guinea; Puebla, Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Sibenik, Croatia; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Gabriel's name means "the power of God." He, too, is mentioned in the book of Daniel. He has become familiar to us because Gabriel is an important person in Luke's Gospel. This archangel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of our savior. Gabriel announced to Zechariah that he and St. Elizabeth would have a son and call him John. Gabriel is the announcer, the communicator of the Good News. We can ask him to help us be good communicators as he was.
Patron: Ambassadors; broadcasting; childbirth; clergy; communications; diplomats; messengers; philatelists; postal workers; public relations; radio workers; secular clergy; stamp collectors; telecommunications; Portugal; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington.
Raphael's name means "God has healed." We read the touching story of Raphael's role in the Bible's book of Tobit. He brought protection and healing to the blind Tobit. At the very end of the journey, when all was completed, Raphael revealed his true identity. He called himself one of the seven who stands before God's throne. We can ask St. Raphael to protect us in our travels. We can also ask him to help when illness strikes us or someone we love.
Patron: Blind; bodily ills; counselors; druggists; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; healers; health inspectors; health technicians; love; lovers; mental illness; nurses; pharmacists; physicians; shepherds; against sickness; therapists; travelers young people; young people leaving home for the first time; Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington. Prayer to all the Archangels
St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, be with me today. Protect me from whatever could cause spiritual or physical harm. Help me be faithful to Jesus and a good communicator of his divine love. Amen.
Prayer to St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the 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 power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Prayer to St. Raphael
Blessed Saint Raphael, Archangel,We beseech thee to help us in all our needs and trials of this life, as thou, through the power of God, didst restore sight and give guidance to young Tobit. We humbly seek thine aid and intercession, that our souls may be healed,our bodies protected from all ills,and that through divine grace we may be made fit to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. Amen.
Prayer to St. Gabriel
O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.
September 26 is the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century French priest known for his apostolic work among the poor and marginalized.
Born to a poor family in Pouy in the southwest of France in 1581, Vincent was an intellectually gifted youth who began his theological studies at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 20.
On a voyage to the Holy Land, Vincent's ship was boarded by pirates and he was captured and sold into slavery in Africa, where he was held for two years before he converted his master to Christianity and was freed.
He returned to France and was appointed to a parish near Paris, from where he began to initiate and organize missions for the poor, destitute, forgotten, sick, uneducated, and unemployed.
He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission and the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and sent priests to Africa to minister to and ransom slaves.
He vigorously opposed Jansenism and helped reform orders of priests and religious, famously preaching retreats around France.
The humble St. Vincent often spoke on humility saying once, "The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it."
Vincent died in 1660 in Paris and his body still lays there in an incorrupt state. He was canonized June 16, 1737, by Pope Clement XII.
St. Vincent de Paul is the patron of: charitable societies; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; volunteers; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; Madagascar; diocese of Richmond, Virginia.
“No matter what others say or do, even if the wicked succeed, do not be troubled: commit everything to God and put your trust in him.”
“Extend mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His mercy from us?”
"You have been chosen to be at the disposition of Divine Providence and, if you do not fully submit to it, you will lose much."
"But do you know what it is to labor in charity? It is to labor in God, for God is charity, and it is to labor for God purely and entirely; it is to do so in the grace of God."
"Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances."
"We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love."
"Free your mind from all that troubles you; God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this (choice) without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires."
"It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer.... Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity."
"Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of God. For, according to Our Lord's words, it suffices for perfection to deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better than he who seeks not to do his own will, but always that of God? Behold, now, how little is needed to become as Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills."
"He who allows himself to be ruled or guided by the lower and animal part of his nature, deserves to be called a beast rather than a man."
"Whoever wishes to make progress in perfection should use particular diligence in not allowing himself to be led away by his passions, which destroy with one hand the spiritual edifice which is rising by the labors of the other. But to succeed well in this, resistance should be begun while the passions are yet weak; for after they are thoroughly rooted and grown up, there is scarcely any remedy."
"We ought to deal kindly with all, and to manifest those qualities which spring naturally from a heart tender and full of Christian charity; such as affability, love and humility. These virtues serve wonderfully to gain the hearts of men, and to encourage them to embrace things that are more repugnant to nature."
"It ought to be considered a great misfortune, not only for individuals, but also for Houses and Congregations, to have everything in conformity with their wishes; to go on quietly, and to suffer nothing for the love of God. Yes, consider it certain that a person or a Congregation that does not suffer and is applauded by all the world is near a fall."
"Humility and charity are the two master-chords: one, the lowest; the other, the highest; all the others are dependent on them. Therefore it is necessary, above all, to maintain ourselves in these two virtues; for observe well that the preservation of the whole edifice depends on the foundation and the roof. "
Prayers to St. Vincent de Paul
Dear Saint, the mere mention of your name suggests a litany of your virtues:
humility, zeal, mercy, self-sacrifice. It also recalls your many foundations:
Works of Mercy, Congregations, Societies.
And the Church gratefully remembers your promotion of the priesthood.
Inspire all charitable workers, especially those who minister to the poor
---both the spiritually and the materially poor. Amen.
Noble Saint Vincent de Paul,
beloved servant of the poor,
may we follow your example and do good works
among those whom society has abandoned,
enslaved, or forgotten.
Inspire us to feed the hungry,
to love a child,
to provide comfort and medicine to the sick,
to clothe those whose garments are threadbare,
and to offer hope and our Lord's words
to all who need respite.
Pray for us to our beloved God
that we may commit ourselves selflessly
to doing the same charitable acts
that you did all your life,
and intercede with him
that we may have the favor of his guidance
and strength and love upon this important and meaningful work.
Gerard Seghers, Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian (17th century)
Today, Friday, September 26, is the optional memorial of Sts. Cosmas and Damian.
Cosmas and Damian were twin bothers born in Syria in the third century. They were also doctors, and they became known as “the holy moneyless ones” because they cared for the sick free of charge. The strange practice of accepting no money for medical care was their way of embodying God’s providential love and care for his people. And folks took notice.
The twin brothers were arrested on September 27, during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 303. Soon after, the faithful brothers defied death by water, fire and crucifixion before they were finally beheaded in Cilicia, along with their three brothers. They were buried in Cyrrhus, Syria.
Veneration to Cosmas and Damian began immediately. The faithful asked for their intercession, especially in matters of physical illness. St. Gregory of Tours spoke about the twin brothers in this way: “These two physicians cured as many people by their prayers as they did by their medical knowledge, and now in heaven they still care for the sick miraculously.”
St. Cosmas and St. Damian are patron saints of pharmacists, physicians, and surgeons. In fine art, they are usually depicted in lined robes, hoods or cylindrical physicians’ hats, carrying surgeons’ bags and instruments. They are represented by a box of ointment and medical emblems.
Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian, Physicians and Martyrs
O Physicians of souls, Saints Cosmas and Damian, stand before the Lord of All and ask Him to heal me and all those dear to me of any spiritual ills we may endure.
Drive away from us all sin and sadness of mind, all darkness and despair. Make us then willing and loving servants of Christ, following your holy example of detachment from the things of this world and care for the needs of our neighbors.
On the glorious day of the Universal Resurrection may we shine with you in the full health of our nature restored by the mercies of Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever.
The saint of the day for September 25 is St. Vincent Strambi, Passionist priest and bishop.
Vincent Strambi was born in Civitavecchia, the port city of Rome on January 1, 1745, the only child of the pharmacist Giuseppe Strambi and his wife Eleonora who survived infancy. He was a happy and athletic child who manifested a strong interest in spirituality. When he was fifteen, he received the clerical "tonsure" and entered the diocesan seminary at nearby Montefiascone. Two years later, he decided to continue his studies in Rome. The following year, he attended the Dominican house of studies in Viterbo to study theology.
Prior to his ordination he was named rector and professor within his seminary, Montefiascone. While on his ordination retreat, he met St. Paul of the Cross and immediately decided to become a Passionist. Paul of the Cross named him professor of theology, patristics and preaching.
Traveling throughout most of Italy, he endeavored to promote the Christian life among the people by preaching on the Passion. He wrote hagiographical books, including a Life of St. Paul of the Cross, and devotional books, the most significant of which was that on the Precious Blood. Being an outstanding 'spiritual director,' he directed, among others, Saint Gaspar del Bufalo and Blessed Anna Maria Taigi.
Appointed Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, he showed himself to be a true shepherd of his flock and promoted the reform of the clergy and the people with apostolic zeal. In the political upheavals of the time, he was a fearless advocate of the freedom of the Church and chose exile in preference to an unlawful oath of loyalty to Napoleon. When he returned to his Diocese after exile, he once again manifested his deep pastoral concern and extraordinary charity for the poor.
Called by Pope Leo XII to become his personal advisor, he died in Rome on January 1, 1824. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1950.
Jesus, only You are the best Shepherd of Your Church.
Support with grace those we are responsible
for the fate of Your fold,
so that following the example of St. Vincent Maria Strambi,
they devote all their powers and talents to service to the Church.
You live and reign for ages and ages.