Post by Elizabeth on Mar 24, 2019 16:58:07 GMT
Saint Gabriel Archangel
Patron of telecommunications and diplomats
The day before the great feast of the Annunciation, the Church celebrates the feast of the Archangel who brought to earth the glad tidings that Mary was chosen to be the Mother of the Incarnate God.
This angelic Messenger appears several times in the history of God's chosen people. He came to Daniel the prophet after he had a vision of the future Persian and Greek empires, to explain the vision to him, as Daniel narrates in the eighth chapter of his book. So great was the Archangel's majesty that the prophet fell on his face trembling.
The Angel of the Incarnation again appeared to the prophet to answer his prayer at the end of the exile, and advise him of the exact date of the future Redemption by the long-awaited Messiah.
When the fullness of time had come, Gabriel was sent several times as the harbinger of the Incarnation of the Most High God. First, to the Temple of Jerusalem, while Zachary stood at the altar of incense, to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would bring forth a son to be called John, who would prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 1:17) Six months later the great Archangel again appeared, bearing the greatest message God ever sent to earth. Standing before the Blessed Virgin Mary, this great Archangel of God trembled with reverence as he offered Her the ineffable honor of becoming Mother of the Eternal Word. Upon Her consent, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. It was he, we can readily believe, who also fortified Saint Joseph for his mission as virginal father of the Savior.
Gabriel rightly bears the beautiful name, the strength of God, manifesting in every apparition the power and glory of the Eternal. According to some of the Fathers of the Church, it was Saint Gabriel, Angel of the Incarnation, who invited the shepherds of Bethlehem to come to the Crib to adore the newborn God. He was with Jesus in His Agony, no less ready to be the strength of God in the Garden than at Nazareth and Bethlehem. Throughout Christian tradition he is the Angel of the Incarnation, the Angel of consolation, the Angel of mercy.
Saint Catherine of Sweden
Queen and widow, daughter of Saint Bridget
Invoked against miscarriages
Saint Catherine was the daughter of Saint Bridget of Sweden and of Ulpho, Prince of Nericia, a region of the same land. The love of God seemed to hasten in her the use of her reason, and at seven years of age she was placed in the convent of Risburgh, to be educated in piety under the care of the holy abbess of that house. Being very beautiful, she was promised by her father in marriage to a young nobleman of great virtue; but the virgin persuaded her suitor to join with her in making a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. Listening to her discourses, the young man became desirous only for heavenly graces, and, to draw them down upon his soul in greater abundance, he readily acquiesced to the proposal. The happy couple, having but one heart and one desire, by a holy emulation encouraged each other to prayer, mortification, and works of charity.
After the death of her father, Saint Catherine, out of devotion to the Passion of Christ and to the relics of the martyrs, obtained her spouse's permission to join her mother in her well-known pilgrimages and practices of devotion and penance in Rome. She went to her there and they visited the tombs of the martyrs and the churches, and together practiced mortification and works of piety, caring for the sick in the hospitals. Not long afterward, Catherine's royal spouse died piously and then she found herself obliged to refuse numerous requests for her hand in marriage. When her mother died in 1373, she returned to Sweden, taking the mortal remains of Saint Bridget with her for burial. Catherine entered a monastery at Vatzan, where after a life of severe penance, she died on the 24th of March in 1381. For the last twenty-five years of her life Saint Catherine had purified her soul daily by the sacramental confession of her sins.