Tuesday, 20 February 2018

 

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Những tài liệu này thuộc quyền sở hữu của Trường Thánh Tôma Thiện. Khi sử dụng, quý vị đồng ý chỉ sử dụng trong việc giáo dục, không sử dụng cho việc kinh doanh dưới bất cứ hình thức nào. Quý vị cũng đồng ý sẽ không sao chép, thay đổi nội dung hoặc phân phối nếu chưa có sự chấp thuận của trường.

Nếu quý vị thấy tài liệu này hữu ích trong công việc giáo dục các em, xin giúp chúng tôi trang trải chi phí cho việc biên soạn để chúng tôi có thể tiếp tục cung cấp các tài liệu miễn phí trong tương lai. Xin chân thành cảm ơn quý vị.

JANUARY 17 - ST. ANTHONY OF EGYPT

St. Anthony was born at Heracleus in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister. Anthony felt overwhelmed and turned to God in prayer.

He soon became more and more aware of the power of God in his life. About six months later, he heard this quotation of Jesus from the Gospel: “Go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21).

He took the words as a personal message in answer to his prayer for guidance. He made sure that his sister completed her education, then sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned and gave the money to the poor and to the people who needed it.

Anthony’s sister joined a group of women living a life of prayer and contemplation. Anthony decided to become a hermit. He begged an elderly hermit to teach him the spiritual life. Anthony also visited other hermits so he could learn each one’s most outstanding virtue.

Then at the age of thirty-five he moved alone to the desert, living in an abandoned fort and began his own life of prayer and penance alone with God.

By the time he was fifty-five, people found out where he was and began coming to him for healing and for spiritual counseling. Finally, Anthony built two monasteries on the Nile, one at Pispir and one at Arsinoe. The monks and people who lived around him supported themselves by making and selling baskets and brushes.

Many people heard of him and came to him looking for advice. He would give them practical advice such as: “The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross.”

St. Anthony visited Paul the hermit shortly before he died and helped dig a grave to bury him. He felt enriched by the example of Paul’s holy life.

Anthony died after a long, prayerful life in 356. He was 105. St. Athanasius wrote a well known biography of St. Anthony of Egypt.

JANUARY 19 - ST. CANUTE

St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark and was called Knud IV. He was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and a marvelous general. He married Adela, sister of Count Roberts of Flanders.

At the beginning of his reign, he led a war against the barbarians and his army defeated them. He loved the Christian faith so much that he introduced it to people who had never heard of Christianity. Through his kingdom, he spread the gospel, built churches and supported missionaries.

St. Canute knelt in church at the foot of the altar and offered his crown to the King of kings, Jesus. King Canute was very charitable and gentle with his people. He tried to help them with their problems. Most of all, he wanted to help them be true followers of Jesus.

But trouble started in his kingdom because of the laws he had made about supporting the Church and he fled to the Island of Fünen. Then one day some angry people went to the church of Saint Alban where Canute and some of his followers were praying. He knew they had come to harm him.

While his enemies were still outside, King Canute received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. He felt compassion for those who were upset enough to kill him. With all his heart he forgave his enemies.

Then, as he prayed, a spear was thrown through a window and he was killed. It was July 10, 1086.

St. Canute tried to be a good king so he could thank Jesus for all the blessings he had received. We, too, should thank God every day and offer him a crown made up of good deeds.

JANUARY 18 - BLESSED CHRISTINA

Matthia Ciccarelli was born at Luco in Abruzzi, Italy. She was the youngest of six children and her father was Domenico de Pericolo. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.

She decided to become a cloistered nun. (Cloistered Nuns are nuns who live hidden from the world and spend all their time alone in silent prayer). Matthia entered the convent of St. Augustine in Aquila and took the name Sister Christina.

Sister Christina’s life as a nun was hidden and silent but the people of Aquila began to find out about the beauty of her work and the life she had chosen. She and the other nuns were bringing many blessings to them through their fervent prayers.

Sister Christina was cloistered but she knew the needs of the poor people of her area. She and the nuns sent to them whatever they could. Sister Christina was also aware of the crosses and sufferings people experienced. She prayed and offered penances to the Lord for these people.

Jesus blessed Sister Christina with ecstasies. On the feast of Corpus Christi, Christina was seen to float above the ground, and the image of a Host in a golden chalice radiated from her breast.

A vision on Good Friday caused her to have invisible stigmata (the five wounds of Jesus) and the pains of Crucifixion until the next day.

She was also blessed with the gift of prophesy and had the ability on occasion to know the future. The Lord used her to work miracles for the good of others.

When she died on January 18, 1543, the little children of Aquila went through the streets shouting that the holy nun was dead. A large crowd of people came to honor and thank her for the gift she had been for their city.

JANUARY 20 - ST. FABIAN AND ST. SEBASTIAN

Fabian was a simple farmer but was an extraordinary person. He was also very holy.

St. Cyprian explained how Fabian had been elected pope. The group who had gathered to elect the next pope prayed for a sign. The day the new pope was to be elected Fabian came into Rome. A dove flew in and settled on his head. They took this as a sign that Fabian had been anointed. He was immediately chosen Pope and was the first layman to be pope.

He died a martyr in 250 during the persecution by Emperor Decius. Fabian’s remains are now in the basilica of St. Sebastian. And the two martyrs share the same feast day.

St. Sebastian was born at Narbonne, in Gaul. He came from a rich Roman family and studied in Milan. As an officer in the Imperial Roman army and captain of the guard, he became known for his goodness and bravery. He was a favorite of Emperor Diocletian.

Then during the persecution by Diocletian, Sebastian visited Christians in prison bringing them supplies and comfort. He even healed the wife of one of the soldiers by making the sign of the cross over her. Seeing his witness, many soldiers and a governor became Christians.

Diocletian ordered Sebastian to give up his Christian faith but he refused. Then Sebastian was tied to a tree and archers shot arrows into his body and left him for dead. When a holy widow came to bury him, she was shocked to find him still alive. She took him to her home and nursed his wounds.

When Sebastian was well enough, the widow pleaded with him to escape the dangers of Rome. But Sebastian was a brave soldier. He would not run away. He returned to preach to Diocletian and urged him to stop torturing the Christians.

The emperor was shocked to see Sebastian alive. He refused to listen to what Sebastian had to say. Diocletian ordered that Sebastian be immediately clubbed and beaten to death. He died in 288.

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