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The Assumption (Dormition) of Our Lady the Blessed Virgin Mary. Roman Catholic Feast and Orthodox and Anglican celebration of the taking up, in the presence of the Apostles, of Mary, body and soul, to heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Apostles buried Mary at Gethsemane, where Jesus had also been buried, but on the third day after the burial, when they were eating together, Mary appeared to them saying: “Rejoice”. When the Apostles went to the grave, her body was gone, leaving a sweet fragrance. Assumption conveys death as falling asleep, to be followed by eventual resurrection. If the glory even of the least of the saints is ineffable, the glory of the Most Blessed Mary is that of the most holy and she by herself is more like to her Son than all the saints together, since her grace and glory exceed those of all the rest. Observed by Oriental, Eastern and Reformed Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran Churches, Church of the East, parts of the Anglican Communion. The analogous Feast in the Eastern Churches is known as the Dormition of the Theotokos. Many Catholic communities mark the festival of the Assumption with processions and fêtes. In Lutheranism and Anglicanism, the feast is celebrated in honour of St Mary, Mother of our Lord. Parts of the Lutheran Church celebrate Mary, Mother of Our Lord and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church the Feast of the Assumption of Saint Mary (Vaangipu perunnaal, Shoonoyo). The Greek Orthodox Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is normally a day of family reunion with church processions followed by open-air feasting in village squares, a celebration regarded as almost as important as Pascua (Easter). The Eastern Orthodox Dormition of the Mother of God is celebrated on 28 August on the Julian calendar. Image: ewtn.com.
Prayer O God, Who, looking on the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, raised her to this grace, that Your Only Begotten Son was born of her according to the flesh and that she was crowned this day with surpassing glory, grant through her prayers that, saved by the mystery of Your redemption, we may merit to be exalted by You on high. We praise You, Father in heaven, for all life and all holiness come from You. In Your wisdom she who bore Christ in her womb was raised body and soul in glory to be with Him in heaven. May we follow her example in reflecting Your holiness and join in her hymn of endless love and praise. Amen
Sant’Antonio da Padova (St Anthony of Padua, António de Lisboa, Fernando Martins de Bulhões, Hammer of Heretics, Professor of Miracles) (1195-1231). Commemoration of the birth of the wealthy Catholic priest and Friar of the Franciscan Order, Evangelical Doctor and Doctor of the Church born in Lisbon and noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick. Fernando was instructed in the local cathedral school, at 15 entered the Augustinian community of Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross at the Abbey of Saint Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon and asked to be transferred to the motherhouse of the congregation, the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, then the capital of Portugal, where he studied theology and Latin. After his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guestmaster at 19 and placed in charge of hospitality but he obtained permission to leave the Canons Regular to join the new Franciscan order with the Friars at a small hermitage, adopted the name Anthony and set out for Morocco before landing in Sicily. He made his way to Tuscany and was assigned to a rural hermitage, where in 1222 he preached most eloquently to visiting Dominican Friars. The founder of the Franciscan order, Francis of Assisi, tasked Anthony with teaching young members of the order seeking ordination and in 1224 entrusted the pursuit of studies for any of his Friars to the care of Anthony, who then taught at universities in Montpellier and Toulouse. However, Anthony’s preaching was considered to be his supreme gift and in 1226 he returned to Italy and was appointed Provincial Superior of northern Italy, choosing the city of Padua as his base. Anthony became sick in 1231, went to a woodland retreat and died on the way back to Padua on 13 June at the Poor Clares Convent at Arcella (now Padua), all the church bells ringing of their own accord. As he had requested, Anthony was buried in the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini in Padua, near the 1229 convent he had founded. The church was incorporated, as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna), into the structure of the large Basilica now known locally as Il Santo (The Saint) that was then built. Anthony’s remains were venerated in the Chapel, displayed in a large reliquary and thirty years after his death the tongue was incorrupt, a sign of his gift of preaching. Anthony’s fame was spread by Portuguese evangelisation and he was known as the most celebrated of the followers of Francis of Assisi. The thirteen sets of beads of St Anthony Chaplets help devotees to meditate on St Anthony’s thirteen virtues and some Chaplets were used by members of confraternities that had Anthony as their patron saint. In 1692, Spanish missionaries built a mission as the focal point of a small community that eventually grew to become San Antonio, Texas. On the weekend of the last Sunday in August, Boston holds a feast in honour of Saint Anthony, begun in 1919 by Italian immigrants from a small town near Naples where the tradition of honouring Saint Anthony goes back to 1688. Each year, the Sandia and Santa Clara Pueblos celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Anthony with traditional Native American dances. In Albania, the Franciscans arrived in 1240 to spread the word of Saint Anthony and the St Anthony Church, Laç (Kisha e Shna Ndout) was built in his honour. In the Philippines, the devotion to St Anthony began in 1581 in Pila, Laguna, where the first church in the country dedicated to him is now the National Shrine of St Anthony of Padua. In Poland, an icon of Saint Anthony dating from 1649 is housed in the Franciscan church Kaplica Świętego Antoniego w Przeworsku 40 km south of Warsaw. Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglicanism. Feast Day 13 June. Major shrine Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Patron of Lisbon, lost items, lost people, lost souls, American Indians, amputees, animals, barrenness, Brazil, elderly people, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, harvests, horses, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed people, poor people, Portugal, pregnant women, shipwrecks, starvation, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, Tuburan, Cebu, San Vicente, Sulat, Eastern Samar, watermen, runts of litters, counter-revolutionaries, Pila, Laguna, Taytay, Rizal, Iriga, Camaligan Camarines Sur. Image: papaboys.org.
Święty Jacek (St Hyacinth OP, The Apostle of Poland, Apostle of the North, Jacek Odrowąż) (c1185-1257). Feast Day commemorating the death of the Polish Dominican religious, priest, confessor and missionary, a son of the noble family of Odrowąż born in Kamień Śląski, Silesia and educated in Kraków, Prague, Paris and Bologna, where he received the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. On his return to Poland, he was given a prebend at Sandomierz, a medieval centre of administration in the south-eastern part of the country, and subsequently accompanied his uncle, the Bishop of Kraków, to Rome, where he became a Dominican Friar. In 1219, the Pope invited Jacek to join Dominic of Osma, the Castilian founder of the Dominican Order, at the ancient Roman Basilica of Santa Sabina as one of the first to enter the convent. After an abbreviated novitiate, Hyacinth received the religious habit of the Order from Dominic himself in 1220 and was sent back to his homeland to establish the Dominican Order in Poland and Kiev, setting up on the way a new monastery for each of his three companions, Hyacinth continuing to Kraków alone. He travelled throughout northern Europe spreading the faith and is reputed to have preached in Poland, Pomerania, Denmark, Prussia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Russia, Greece, Turkey, China and Tibet. Hyacinth worked to reform women’s monasteries in his native Poland and died in Kraków on 15 August 1257. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Aglipayan Churches. The tomb of Hyacinth is in the Basilica of Holy Trinity in Kraków, in a chapel that bears his name. One of the major miracles attributed to Hyacinth was during a Mongol attack on Kiev, when he went to save the ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle in the monastery chapel and heard the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, asking him to take her too. He lifted the large, stone statue of Mary, as well as the ciborium, and was easily able to save both, despite the fact that the statue weighed far more than he could normally lift. The Polish exclamation Święty Jacku z pierogami! (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is a long-established saying, a call for help in some hopeless circumstance, derived from two legends. In 1238 in Kościelec, a hailstorm was destroying the crops, Hyacinth told the people to pray and the next day the crops were miraculously restored, Hyacinth being treated to pierogi (filled dumplings) made from those crops. The second legend tells of Hyacinth feeding people with pierogi during a famine caused by the 1241 Mongol invasion. In Spanish-speaking countries, Hyacinth is known as San Jacinto, although most of the many towns and locations that are so named are named for the early Christian martyr Hyacinth of Caesarea. However, the town of San Jacinto in Yaguachi, Ecuador has had him as its patron saint since the Fifteenth Century and the Cathedral of San Jacinto de Yaguachi holds some of his relics, given to the Archbishop of Guayaquil by the Pope in the 1980s. In the Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto in the Philippine city of Tuguegarao, his Feast Day is celebrated with a procession and folk dancing contests. The 1595 Camalaniugan town church dedicated to him has the oldest church bell in the Far East, the 1595 Sancta Maria. His Memorial Day of 17 August is now confined to local calendars. Patron of Lithuania, São Jacinto Island, Goa, Basilica of St. Hyacinth, University of Santo Tomas College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto, Camalaniugan, the Philippines, San Jacinto, Ecuador, weightlifting, invoked by those in danger of drowning. Image: dystrybucjakatolicka.pl.