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 29 - ST. GILDAS

St. Gildas was born at Scotland in Britain and came from a family of English nobility. As a child, he was placed under the care of a nearby monastery where he was trained by Saint Illtyd.

When he grew up, he moved to Ireland to study and give his life over to God by leading a life of sacrifice and penance. Gildas was serious about his Christian commitment and did whatever he could to get closer to God. He felt it was his responsibility to pray and sacrifice for the sins committed by the people of his times.

He wrote sermons trying to convince people to give up wickedness. He encouraged them to stop their lives of shame. Because Gildas cared so much, he was very strict in his writings. Actually, he didn’t mean to find fault with anyone. He was only begging people to turn to God.

After a pilgrimage to Rome Gildas became a hermit, living on the tiny island of Rhuys. He didn’t choose a quiet, prayerful life because he wanted to stay away from the world around him. He chose his life to help him grow closer to God.

He was more aware than most people that some things were very wrong in society. Sadly, many people did not know enough of God and his law. They did not even realize the evils that were destroying them.

Gildas attracted many followers and his hermitage became a monastery. People in the Church - priests, bishops and laymen and women also went to Gildas for advice about deeply spiritual matters. His many writings were aimed at monks, encouraging them to holiness.

Toward the end of his life, Gildas lived his hermit’s life on a tiny island in Houat, Brittany. Even though he wanted to be alone to prepare his soul for death, disciples followed him there. He welcomed them as a sign that the Lord wanted him to share his spiritual gifts with others.

Gildas was like the “conscience” of society. Sometimes we don’t like to hear about sin, but sin is real. Sometimes we, too, are tempted to do wrong or are neglectful. Then we can say a little prayer to St. Gildas. We can ask him to obtain for us the will power to do the right thing.

JANUARY 31 - ST. JOHN BOSCO

John Bosco was born in Turin, Italy. His parents were poor farmers. His father died when John was only two years old. John and his brothers helped their mother work on the farm as she struggled to keep the family together. As soon as he was old enough, John, too, worked as hard as he could to help his mother.

He was intelligent and full of life. By the age of nine, John wanted to become a priest and his mother let him go to school. John used to wake up early in the morning to do his chores before he left for school. Finally, a holy priest, St. Joseph Cafasso, found out about John’s wish to be a priest. Father Cafasso helped him enter the seminary.

He learned to do all kinds of trades. He was a carpenter, a shoemaker, a cook, a pastry maker and a farmer. He did many other jobs as well. He didn’t realize how much this knowledge would help others later.

John would go to circuses, fairs and carnivals, practice the tricks he saw magicians perform, and then present one-boy shows. After his performance, while he still had an audience of boys, he would repeat the sermon he had heard in church that day. John became a priest in 1841.

As a priest, Don Bosco, which means Father Bosco, began his great ministry. This kind priest felt sad when he saw so many children living on the streets of Italy. Like a loving father, he gathered together these homeless boys and taught them trades. This way they would not have to steal or get into trouble.

Many rich people gave him money to help build workshops. He later started a printing press so he could print books and leaflets to teach people about God’s love for them and how to be good Christians.

By 1850, there were 150 boys living at his home for boys. Don Bosco’s mother was the housekeeper. He loved these children, however naughty they were, and the boys loved him because John Bosco always encouraged them.

“Do you want to be Don Bosco’s friend?” he would ask each new boy who came to him. “You do?” he would ask happily. “Then, you must help me save your soul,” he would say.

Every night he asked his boys to say three Hail Mary’s, so that the Blessed Mother would help them keep away from sin. He also helped them receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion often and with love.

Every morning he would say Mass for his students giving them beautiful sermons and telling them interesting stories. He asked the young boys to imitate Jesus in everything they did - whether it was work, study or play and told them that God wanted everyone to be saints as He had a great reward waiting for them.

His advice to them was, “Pray when it’s time to pray. Study when it’s time to study. Play when it’s time to play. Show kindness to everyone you meet. But do it all for the love of Jesus.”

One of the boys listening very carefully was young Dominic Savio who told John Bosco that he would try very had to become a saint and please God. And he did.

Don Bosco started his own religious order of priests and brothers. They were called the Salesians, after St. Francis de Sales. Then he started the order of Salesian sisters with the help of St. Mary Mazzarello. These men and women pray and teach young people about God’s love in countries all over the world even today.

Don Bosco died on January 31, 1888. All the people of Turin came out on the streets to honor him. His funeral became a joyous proclamation of thanksgiving to God for the life of this wonderful man.

JANUARY 30 - ST. BATHILDIS

The story begins around the year 630. A frightened, Christian English girl had been kidnapped and was on a pirate ship. Where was she going? Who could she ask? Finally, the ship docked and she heard people saying they were in France. Bathildis was quickly sold as a slave to Erkenwald, the Mayor of the Palace of King Clovis.

The rest of the story is like a Cinderella fairy tale, except that this story is really true. The quiet girl paid careful attention as her duties were explained or showed to her. Each day, she went from one task to another doing the very best she could. When she was older she was put in charge of the household.

Bathildis was shy and gentle, but even King Clovis began to notice her. The more he observed, the more he was impressed. This was the kind of girl who would make a wonderful wife - even for a king.

In 649, Clovis married Bathildis. The little slave girl had become the queen. They had three sons. Clovis died when the oldest son was only five, and Bathildis became ruler of France until her sons grew up.

Everyone was surprised that Bathildis could rule so wisely. She remembered only too well her years as a slave and what it was like to be poor. She had been sold as if she were a “thing of no importance.” Bathildis wanted everyone to know how precious they were to God.

She was filled with love for Jesus and his Church. She used her royal position to help and protect the Church in every way she could. As queen, she did not become proud or haughty but cared for the poor. She also made a law that protected Christians from being captured and sold as slaves.

She filled France with hospitals. She started a seminary to train priests and a convent for nuns. When her son Clotaire was fifteen, Queen Bathildis handed the throne over to him and entered the convent of Chelles.

As a nun, she set aside her royal dignity and became humble and obedient. She never demanded or even expected that other people should treat her like royalty. She was also very kind and gentle with the sick. She suffered a long, painful illness before her death on January 30, 680.

FEBRUARY 1 - ST. BRIGID OF IRELAND

A few years after St. Patrick arrived, a little girl named Brigid was born at Faughart, County Louth, in Ireland. Her father was an Irish lord named Dubthac and her mother was a Christian salve named Brocca.

As Brigid grew up, her love for Jesus grew deep. She once heard St. Patrick preach and never forgot his teaching for the rest of her life. She looked for Jesus in the poor and often brought food and clothing to them.

One day she gave away a whole pail of milk and then she began to worry about what her mother would say. She prayed to the Lord to make up for what she had given away. When she got home, her pail was full again.

Brigid was very pretty and her father thought that it was time for her to marry. But, she had decided in her heart to give herself entirely to God. She did not want to marry anyone.

When she realized that young men wanted to marry her because of her beauty, she made an unusual request to God. She asked God to take away her beauty and God granted her request.

Seeing that his daughter was no longer pretty, Brigid’s father gladly agreed when Brigid asked to become a nun. She even started a convent with just seven nuns so that other young women could become nuns, too.

As Brigid took her vows in the convent, a miracle happened. Brigid became beautiful again! She reminded people of the Blessed Mother because she was so lovely and gentle. Some called her the “Mary of the Irish.” St. Brigid died in 525.

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