10th august: Saint Lawrence (falling stars)

Spinello_Aretino_001

The night of San Lorenzo (10 August) is traditionally associated with the passage of the meteor shower of the Perseids, a phenomenon popularly and erroneously called shooting stars but also poetically tears of San Lorenzo, considered evocative of the burning coals on which the saint was martyred. Indeed, in those days, the Earth’s atmosphere is traversed by a much higher number of small meteors than normal. The phenomenon is particularly visible in our latitudes as the summer sky is often clear.

Shooting-stars

Lorenzo (in Latin: Laurentius; Huesca, 225 – Rome, August 10, 258) was one of the seven deacons of Rome, where he was martyred in 258 during the persecution desired by the Roman emperor Valerian in 257. The Catholic Church venerates him as a saint .

There is little information on the life of St. Lawrence, who in the past also enjoyed notable popular devotion. It is known that he was originally from Spain and more precisely from Osca, in Aragon, at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Still young, he was sent to Zaragoza to complete his humanities and theological studies; it was here that he met the future Pope Sixtus II. He taught in what was, at the time, one of the best known study centers in the city and, among those teachers, the future pope was one of the best known and most appreciated. A friendship and mutual esteem therefore began between teacher and pupil. Later both, following a very lively migratory flow at the time, left Spain to move to Rome.

When on 30 August 257 Sisto was elected bishop of Rome, he entrusted Lorenzo with the task of archdeacon, that is, of responsible for the charitable activities in the diocese of Rome, which benefited 1500 people including the poor and widows.

At the beginning of August 258 the Emperor Valerian had issued an edict, according to which all bishops, priests and deacons were to be put to death:

The edict was carried out immediately in Rome, at the time when Daciano was prefect of the city. Surprised while celebrating the Eucharist in the catacombs of Pretestato, Pope Sixtus II was killed on August 6 along with four of his deacons, including Innocent; four days later, on 10 August, it was Lorenzo’s turn, who was 33 years old. It is not certain whether he was burned with a grill set on fire.

8th august: Saint Dominic

Fra_Angelico_St._Dominic

Saint Dominic (Spanish: Santo Domingo), also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán ; 8 August 1170 – 6 August 1221), was a Castilian Catholic priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.

According to Guiraud, Dominic abstained from meat, “observed stated fasts and periods of silence”, “selected the worst accommodations and the meanest clothes”, and “never allowed himself the luxury of a bed”. “When travelling, he beguiled the journey with spiritual instruction and prayers”. Guiraud also states that Dominic frequently traveled barefoot and that “rain and other discomforts elicited from his lips nothing but praises to God”.

2nd August: Saint Mary of Angeles (Virgen de los Ángeles)

245px-Pere_Serra_-_Virgin_of_the_Angels_-_Google_Art_Project

Saint Mary of Angeles is one of the titles with which Catholics honor Mary, the mother of Jesus.

This title spread considerably thanks to the action of the Franciscan friars: in fact, the small church near Assisi (the so-called Porziuncola) was dedicated to Santa Maria degli Angeli, which Saint Francis chose as his home “because of his veneration for the angels and his special love for the mother of Christ “.

In 1216 Pope Onorio III granted plenary indulgence to those who had visited the church on the day of the titular feast, on August 2nd.

Numerous Franciscan churches and institutions are dedicated to Santa Maria degli Angeli: the congregations of the Franciscan nuns of Waldbreitbach, Castelspina and Angers are dedicated to Santa Maria degli Angeli; the city of Los Angeles, on the other hand, takes its name from the Franciscan mission of Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles.

The feast of Saint Mary of Angeles is always celebrated on August 2 and, for the Franciscan order, has the degree of solemnity; in Costa Rica, the nation of which Santa Maria degli Angeli is patron, on August 2 is a national holiday.

26th july: Saint Ann and Saint Joachim

800px-Master_of_Moulins_-_Meeting_at_the_Golden_Gate_-_WGA14470

Anna (Sefforis, 1st century BC – 1st century AD …) is considered by Christian tradition to be Joachim’s wife and the mother of the Virgin Mary and is revered as a saint
Mary’s (and Elizabeth’s) parents are never mentioned in canonical biblical texts; their story was narrated for the first time in the apocryphal Proto-Gospel of James and Gospel of the pseudo-Matthew, and then enriched with hagiographic details over the centuries, up to the Golden Legend of Jacopo da Varagine.

The feast in the Catholic Church occurs on July 26, while the Novena of Sant’Anna is recited on July 17.

Many Eastern saints preached about St. Anne, such as, for example, St. John Damascene, St. Epiphanius of Salamis, St. Sophronius of Jerusalem.

The vicissitudes of the saint were then collected in the De Laudibus Sanctissime Matris Annae tractatus of 1494.

Pope Gregory XIII (1584) extended the feast to the whole Catholic Church.

The episodes of the story of Anna and Gioacchino are often represented in the depictions of the Vita Christi; Giotto’s from 1305 in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua are famous. Starting from the early Middle Ages, the iconography of St. Anna mettza (with Mary and the Child Jesus) spread, also taken up by Masaccio and Leonardo.

16th july: Lady of Mount Carmel

carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid-13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the “Lady of the place.” Our Lady of Mount Carmel was adopted in the 19th century as the patron saint of Chile, in South America.

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock (1165-1265). The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its difficult early years. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary” at Cambridge, England, in 1374. The date chosen was 17 July; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, requiring a shift to 16 July, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church. The Latin poem “Flos Carmeli” (meaning “Flower of Carmel”) first appears as the sequence for this Mass.

14th February: Valentin’s Day

linus
Valentine’s Day [Peanuts]

Every year on the 14th of February is celebrated the feast of lovers, in honor especially of the Saint Valentine of Terni.

The festival is very old and has gained worldwide importance only in recent centuries. But in recent decades it obviously had a commercial power to make it one of the most important anniversaries of the year.

The gesture (or the most common custom) is the gift of chocolates to the person we love.. But of course there are many other customs, such as a love note, the gift of a plush heart, or any object that symbolizes our affection. However, chocolates are the most popular gift.

The Anglo-Saxon countries have given in the common imagination the idea that the most common gesture was also a love note, especially because it was emphasized by children’s cartoons or films, but also by some writings of shakespeare..
Obviously the gesture of the chocolates is very intimate and there are many gifts more appropriate and relevant to our feeling ..

 

Short History

There is no evidence of any link between St. Valentine’s Day and the rites of the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia, despite many claims by many authors.[20][45][notes 1][46] The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer’s poetry about “Valentines” in the 14th century.[26] Popular modern sources claim links to unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays alleged to be devoted to fertility and love to St. Valentine’s Day, but prior to Chaucer in the 14th century, there were no links between the saints named Valentinus and romantic love.[26]

In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier” or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia. Some researchers have theorized that Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with the celebration of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and claim a connection to the 14th century’s connotations of romantic love, but there is no historical indication that he ever intended such a thing.[46][notes 2][47] Also, the dates do not fit because at the time of Gelasius I, the feast was only celebrated in Jerusalem, and it was on February 14 only because Jerusalem placed the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas) on January 6.[notes 3] Although it was called “Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, it also dealt with the presentation of Jesus at the temple.[48] Jerusalem’s Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 14 became the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple on February 2 as it was introduced to Rome and other places in the sixth century, after Gelasius I’s time.[48]

Alban Butler in his Lifes of the Principal Saints (1756–1759) claimed without proof that men and women in Lupercalia drew names from a jar to make couples, and that modern Valentine’s letters originated from this custom. In reality, this practice originated in the Middle Ages, with no link to Lupercalia, with men drawing the names of girls at random to couple with them. This custom was combated by priests, for example by Frances de Sales around 1600, apparently by replacing it with a religious custom of girls drawing the names of apostles from the altar. However, this religious custom is recorded as soon as the 13th century in the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, so it could have a different origin