Christopher Herman
St Drosis was daughter of the emperor Trajan (98-117), a fierce persecutor of Christians. In the year 99 he revived an earlier law which forbade secret gatherings and was indirectly aimed against Christians. In the year 104 he issued a special law against Christians.Beginning in that year, the perse

Christopher Herman
"The Bulgarian State was founded on the Balkan Peninsula in 680 AD by a militant Turkic tribe - the Pra-Bulgarians (the "original Bulgarians"). It was chiefly populated, however, by local Slavic tribes which had much earlier established themselves in this region. For the most part these Slavs were already Christianized. This Christian population was augmented when the great Bulgarian khan, Khrum the Fearsome (802-814), in the course of his numerous incursions into Byzantium, captured many Byzantine Christians and brought them back to his country as slaves.

Among these captives was the learned Christian, Kinamon, who became a tutor of the khan's children. Khrum's heir, the pagan Khan Omurtag (814-831), whether because he noticed Kinamon's influence on his elder sons or simply out of enmity towards his Christian faith, tried to force Kinamon to take part in an idolatrous banquet. When Kinamen resolutely declined, Omurtag had him tortured and thrown into a dungeon where he languished for many years.

The Holy Martyr Boyan, Prince of Bulgaria, suffered for Christ around the year 830. When his pagan brother Malomir [Vladimir] ascended the Bulgarian throne, Prince Boyan asked him to free the learned Christian Kinamon, who had been in prison for a long time for refusing to participate in pagan sacrifices under Prince Omurtag (Obrit or Krutogon), Prince Malomir's predecessor.

Malomir consented and gave Kinamon to Prince Boyan as a slave. Boyan spoke to Kinamon about Christianity, telling him of the errors of paganism and that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation. At the end of their conversation he told the prince, "Without Jesus Christ there is no light for the mind, no life for the soul. He alone is the Teacher of mankind and our Savior. By His death, He has reconciled fallen mankind with God. If you do not wish to perish, believe in the Lord Jesus." Prince Boyan recognized the truth of his words, and was inspired to ask for Baptism.

The newly-converted prince was filled with a love of prayer, fasting and contemplation of God. Malomir, learning about the conversion of his brother to Christianity, demanded that he renounce the Christian Faith and return to paganism. Instead, the holy Prince Boyan answered, "I despise the pagan idols and I revere Christ, the true God. No one shall separate me from the love of Christ." Malomir, hearing his brother's reply, sentenced him to death.

Before his martyric death, the holy martyr-prince declared: "The faith for which I now die will spread throughout the Bulgarian land. You vainly imagine that you will stop it by killing me. Temples to the true God will be built, and priests will offer Him true worship. The idols and their foul sacrifices, however, will vanish." Then he said to his brother Malomir, "You will gain nothing from your cruelty, and death will soon overtake you."

The holy martyr was killed by the sword, and his predictions to his brother were the first to be fulfilled. Malomir soon died, and since he had no heir, his elder brother Presian (836-852) succeeded to the throne. Prince Presian's son, the holy Prince Boris, in holy Baptism Michael (May 2) later Christianized the Bulgarian nation. Thus the prophecy of the holy Martyr Prince Boyan was fulfilled."

Christopher Herman
Saint Silouan the Athonite was a Russian monk who lived and struggled at Saint Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos in the early 20th century. His biographer and spiritual child, Elder Sophrony, established a brotherhood in 1959 in Essex, England known as the Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner.

Christopher Herman
"The Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors Friday St. Sofrony, Bishop of Vrachnaski, one of the leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival.

In the beginning of the 19th century, the priest had been considered by the Russian and the Romanian governments the most important representative of the Bulgarian community.

Vrachanski left Bulgaria for Bucharest in 1803 where he served as a high-ranking clergy. He was released from his Bishop duties on his own will, but retained the name Sofrony Vrachanski. Between 1806 and 1812, he served as one of the top diplomats and representatives of Bulgarian people in the relations with the Russian commandment during the Russian-Turkish War. He spent his last years in a monastery near Bucharest where he wrote some of his best works."

Christopher Herman
The holy and right-believing Empress Theodora of Arta was the wife of Michael II Komnenos Doukas who was the ruler (Emperor) of Epiros in the thirteenth century, during the time of Latin rule of Constantinople. She endured suffering from abuse by her husband, being forced into exile without complain

Christopher Herman
"As a young man, Fr. Philotheos Zervakos (+1980), the well-known abbot of Paros and spiritual son of St. Nektarios of Aegina, was imprisoned twice by the Turks during the final years of the Ottoman occupation of Thessaloniki. In his time of trial St. Demetrios, his patron, was a ready helper, as we read below in his own words..."

Christopher Herman

Christopher Herman

"With her husband's consent Frances practiced continency, and advanced in a life of contemplation. Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gif...t of miracles and ecstasy, we well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning purgatory and hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience, exemplified on the occasion ofher husband's banishment, the captivity of Battista, her sons' death, and the loss of all her property."See More
March 8 at 8:59pm

Christopher Herman

Born 1384 in Rome, died 1440 in Rome. St. Frances of Rome received a supernatural gift of visions from God. She is famous for her visions about Hell. Perhaps throughout the His...tory of the Church no other mystic has had so many descriptive visions of Hell as St. Frances.

The following text is taken from Rohrbaher, Universal History of the Catholic Church. The author reproduces words of the Saint regarding one of her visions on Hell:

St Frances of Rome

St. Frances of Rome, protected by her guardian angel, sees the devils who tempt men on earth
While one-third of the angels sinned, the other two-thirds persevered in grace. One-third of the fallen angels is in Hell tormenting the condemned souls. These devils are the ones who freely followed Lucifer and deliberately revolted against God. They cannot leave the abyss except with the special acquiescence of God, when He decides to punish the sins of men with a great calamity. These are the worst among the devils.

The other two-thirds of the fallen angels inhabit the air and the earth. They are the ones who did not take a side in the battle between Lucifer and God, but remained silent.

The devils of the air often instigate storms, winds and thunders to frighten souls, causing their wills to weaken and cede to inconstancy, thus preparing them to falter in the Faith and to doubt Divine Providence. The devils who live on earth among men to tempt us are the fallen angels of the lowest choir. The faithful angels of this choir are our guardian angels.

The prince and chief of all devils is Lucifer, who is confined at the bottom of the abyss, where he punishes the other devils and the condemned men and women. Since he fell from the highest place among the angels, the Seraphic choir, he became the worst devil. His characteristic vice is pride.

Below him and under his power are three other princes: First, Asmodeu, who represents the vice of impurity and was the head of the Cherubim; second, Mammon, who represents the vice of avarice and was the first among the Thrones; third, Belzebuth, who represents idolatry, sorcery and spells and was the chief of the Dominations. He is over everything that is dark and that diffuses darkness over rational creatures.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

St. Frances of Rome describes Lucifer as the highest Seraphim, and for this reason his sin was very grave. You know that the Seraphim constitute the highest of the nine choirs of angels. Since he was the highest angel in Heaven who revolted, he was thrown into the deepest part of Hell.

The torments of Hell

Lucifer torments the worst souls condemned to Hell
There were angels who made the decision to follow Lucifer with a special malice and by their own initiative. These went to Hell with him and are being tormented by him since he is more powerful than they, and because Divine Justice delegated him the task of punishing for all eternity those whom he had convinced to follow him in the rebellion.

After that, St. Frances tells us, there are three principal demons who follow Lucifer’s commands. The first is Asmodeu, who represents the vice of the flesh; the second is Mammon, head of the vice of avarice, and then Belzebuth, chief of all idolatries and dark works.

You are seeing that the two principal rebellious angels – Lucifer and Asmodeu – are the angels of pride and sensuality. According to our conception of History, pride and sensuality are the two driving forces of the Revolution. In a certain sense, this description of St. Frances confirms it. These angels are in Hell and only rarely does God permit them to leave the abyss to punish humanity. I have the impression that in our times Hell was opened and these worst of devils are on earth trying to accomplish the special task of destroying the Church, just as they were also on earth to kill Our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that the Catholic Church is immortal, but I think that in our days they are here to try to destroy her.

Then there are the other fallen angels. In the first battle they did not want to choose between God and Lucifer. They did not revolt outright against God nor did they clearly support His cause. At the same time, they did not give straightforward support to the cause of Lucifer. They remained in the middle of the road, in a neutral position, which at depth meant they had sympathy for Satan. It was for this reason that God condemned them. But Divine Justice made their chastisement less terrible than that of the other angels. Instead of being hurled into Hell, they are in the air and on the earth. After the Final Judgment they will go to Hell for all eternity. Therefore, during this time between their sin and the Final Judgment, they escape the suffering of Hell.

Guardian Angel, Devil of perdition

The devils of the earth tempt the souls, while the guardian angels protect them
These “middle-of-the-road” angels are divided into two kinds. First, there are the angels who inhabit the air and produce climatic turmoil to frighten men on earth. Second, there are the angels on earth who belong to the same choir as our guardian angels. They normally do the opposite of the guardian angels, that is, instead of protecting persons, they try to lead them into the danger of sin. There is a constant battle between these two kinds of angels.

From this, we can learn an important lesson. It is to realize how small man is. How minute we are compared to the magnitude of the angelical nature. There was a Saint who often saw her guardian angel, that is, an angel from the lowest choir in the celestial hierarchy. Well, the first time she saw him she was so impressed with the appearance of the angel that she thought he was God Himself. She fell prostrate to the ground to adore him. He had to stop her and explain who he was. This shows us the splendor of a simple guardian angel. Can you imagine, then, the splendor of an Archangel, and even more, of a Cherubim or a Seraphim?

How small we are in face of this battle among the angels that is taking place around us everywhere and all the time! There are angels who come down from Heaven with this or that mission. There are devils who come out of Hell to cause a great damage. There are demons who infest the air, demons who are working among men. Really we are very small in face of this angelic struggle.

What is our defense against all the plots and evil instigated by these devils? We need to apply the warning of Our Lord: be vigilant and pray in order not to fall into temptation. And the beginning of this vigilance is to believe in the angelical presence, its power, and its continual action.

A Bishop once taught me a principle that is currently admitted among theologians. It is that in any natural temptation a man has, the devil adds his action to the natural cause to make the temptation more intense. For instance, suppose that one of you feels irritated by someone who is bothering you in this crowded meeting. This small temptation toward irritation receives a new impulse from the devil, who tries to increase the natural irritation and induce one to sin.

The devil is always acting against us; the guardian angels are always protecting us. We should try to discern the action of the devils and ask the protection of our guardian angels more often. We should also pray to Our Lady more often. This is to be vigilant against the action of the devils.

This is the lesson I suggest to you from this revelation of St. Frances of Rome.
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March 8 at 9:29pm
  • Liz Franklin

    John of God (Spanish: San Juan de Dios; Portuguese: São João de Deus) (March 8, 1495 – March 8, 1550) was a Portuguese-born friar and saint, one of Spain's leading religious figures.
    • Liz Franklin
      ‎"It was during this period of his life that he is said to have been granted the vision of the Infant Jesus, Who bestowed on him the name by which he was later known, John of God, also bidding him to go to Granada. There he was so deeply im...pressed by the preaching of Blessed John of Avila that he distributed his worldly goods and went through the streets of the city, beating his breast and calling on God for mercy. For some time his sanity was doubted by the people and he was dealt with as a madman, until the zealous preacher obliged him to desist from his lamentations and take some other method of atoning for his past life. He then made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, where the nature of his vocation was revealed to him by the Blessed Virgin. Returning to Granada, he gave himself up to the service of the sick and poor, renting a house in which to care for them and after furnishing it with what was necessary, he searched the city for those afflicted with all manner of disease, bearing on his shoulders any who were unable to walk."See More
      March 8 at 9:32am ·

    Christopher Herman

    Christopher Herman

    Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Prassede, Papal Secretary of State under Pius IV, and one of the chief factors in the Catholic Counter-Reformation — was born in the Castle o...f Arona, a town on the southern shore of the Lago Maggiore in northern Italy, 2 October, 1538; died at Milan, 3 November, 1584. His emblem is the word humilitas crowned, which is a portion of the Borromeo shield. He is usually represented in art in his cardinal's robes, barefoot, carrying the cross as archbishop; a rope round his neck, one hand raised in blessing, thus recalling his work during the plague. His feast is kept on 4 November.

    His father was Count Giberto Borromeo, who, about 1530, married Margherita de Medici. Her younger brother was Giovanni Angelo, Cardinal de' Medici, who became pope in 1559 under the title of Pius IV. Charles was the second son, and the third of six children, of Giberto and Margherita. Charles' mother died about the year 1547, and his father married again.
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    March 7 at 12:03pm ·

    Christopher Herman
    ‎"The position which Charles held in Europe was indeed a very remarkable one. The mass of correspondence both to and by him testifies to the way in which his opinion was sought. The popes under whom he lived — as has been shown above — his advice. The sovereigns of Europe, Henry III of France, Philip II, Mary Queen of Scots, and others showed how they valued his influence. His brother cardinals have written in praise of his virtues. Cardinal Valerio of Verona said of him that he was to the well-born a pattern of virtue, to his brother cardinals an example of true nobility. Cardinal Baronius styled him "a second Ambrose, whose early death, lamented by all good men, inflicted great loss on the Church".

    It is a matter of interest to know that Catholics in England late in the sixteenth or at the beginning of the seventeenth century had circulated some life of St. Charles in England. Doubtless some knowledge of him had been brought to England by Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J., who visited him at Milan in 1580, on his way to England, stopped with him some eight days, and conversed with him every day after dinner. Charles had much to do with England in the days of his assistance to Pius IV, and he had a great veneration for the portrait of Bishop Fisher. Charles also had much to do with Francis Borgia, General of the Jesuits, and with Andrew of Avellino of the Theatines, who gave great help to his work in Milan."
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    March 7 at 12:05pm ·