Saints and blessed – Holyblog.com http://192.168.99.122/com Holyart.com Blog Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:01:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.14 http://192.168.99.122/com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/02/cropped-cropped-Holyart-Logo-32x32-32x32.png Saints and blessed – Holyblog.com http://192.168.99.122/com 32 32 The cult of Mary Help of Christians http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/cult-mary-help-christians/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:57:13 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=261 Mary has always been seen as the ideal mediator between God and men, the one who, by her very nature, can take to the ears of our Heavenly Father the pain, afflictions, prayers of his children. With the name of Mary Help of Christians, from […]

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Mary has always been seen as the ideal mediator between God and men, the one who, by her very nature, can take to the ears of our Heavenly Father the pain, afflictions, prayers of his children.

With the name of Mary Help of Christians, from the ‘Auxilium’, there has been a movement since the antiquity to honour this exceptional figure of a woman, who by her virtue, her grace and her devoted sacrifice and suffering merited the title of ‘mother’ of all Christians.

It was Jesus himself who indicated her as the mother of mankind, as she watched helplessly, at the foot of the cross, his agony. It’s a difficult, painful legacy that this woman accepted with the usual spirit of sacrifice. Comforter of the afflicted, then refuge of sinners and Help of Christians, with a totality of love and mercy that could only be expected of a mother.

Born under Pius V (1566-1572), the cult of Mary Help of Christians met her true consecration in the nineteenth century through the work of two great figures of Catholicism: Bartolo Longo and St. John Bosco.

In particular, St. John Bosco, a great educator and innovator from Turin, attentive to the problems of youth, was one of the most devoted apostles of the cult of Mary Help of Christians. It was he who built the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in the Salesian citadel of Valdocco. He also connect the cult of Mary Help of Christians to religious institutes and congregations that he founded: the Salesians of Don Bosco, the ‘Daughters of Mary Help of Christians’ and the ‘Salesian Cooperators’.

For this reason, the Mary Help of Christians is also known as the ‘Mary of Don Bosco‘ and the Salesian Family is inextricably linked to this mother-saviour figure.

Mary Help of Christians is the patroness of Catholic Australia, China, Argentina, and Poland. Her devotion is particularly wide spread in Slavic countries.

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Pope John Paul II: 10 curiosities you might not know http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/pope-john-paul-ii-10-curiosities-might-not-know/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:56:04 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=416 Pope John Paul II, or Pope Wojtyla, made the history of the twentieth century with his pontificate. He directed the Church for 27 years, establishing relationships with rulers and heads of state, taking part in the most significant events of our time with his constant presence […]

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Pope John Paul II, or Pope Wojtyla, made the history of the twentieth century with his pontificate. He directed the Church for 27 years, establishing relationships with rulers and heads of state, taking part in the most significant events of our time with his constant presence and tirelessness, even when his health conditions wouldn’t allow it. A passionate man in love with life, close to young people as no other Pope before him.

But today we don’t want to talk about his early sanctification, his merciful acts, profound humanity, joy and admirable living. Maybe there is still something about him that you don’t know.

  1. John Paul II was the first non-Italian Pope after 400 years. Just elected, he appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Square, and to justify his unfamiliar knowledge of the language he pronounced the famous phrase: “… and if I’m wrong, you’ll correct me.”
  2. He was the first Pope after St. Peter to enter a synagogue. John Paul II always had a special relationship with the Jews.
  3. John Paul II was always on the move. He traveled more than all Popes before him put together! He officially travelled in 129 countries around the world, but also made secret trips, to enjoy relaxation and solitude.
  4. Always on the road, he received the honorary Globetrotter award. The Globetrotter have been promoting, since the late 19th century, a new form of travel with improvised and adventurous means.
  5. His passion for sport, in particular mountaineering, skiing and swimming, is the reason behind his nickname of ‘athlete of God’.
  6. He was the first Pope whose face appeared on a banknote, in the 50 Polish zloty since 2006.
  7. During his papacy he performed 1338 beatifications of 482 sanctifications: a record never equaled by his predecessors.
  8. The World Youth Days, started in 1985, reached 5 million people in 1995 in Manila. The most famous was the one in Rome in 2000 for the Jubilee, when the press invented the word ‘papaboys’ to describe the more than 2 million young people who came to the Tor Vergata Square for the Pope.
  9. John Paul II apologized for many acts of cruelty and barbarism committed by the Catholic Church over the centuries, such as persecution of Protestants, participation in African slave trafficking and the persecution of the astronomer Galileo Galilei.
  10. John Paul II appears among the 10 most important and admired people of the twentieth century according to Citizen’s chart Gallup, a US company specializing in world socio-demographic research.

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Saint Paul of Tarso: story of a missionary http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/saint-paul-tarso-story-missionary/ Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:50:46 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=382 Saint Paul of Tarso can be considered the first great missionary of the Christian Church. His work as proselyte and contribution to spreading the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean find no equal. His excellence is even more remarkable because of his conversion, from the fierce persecutor […]

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Saint Paul of Tarso can be considered the first great missionary of the Christian Church. His work as proselyte and contribution to spreading the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean find no equal. His excellence is even more remarkable because of his conversion, from the fierce persecutor of Christians to their pastor and defender. Though he had not personally known Jesus, he was among the most fervent and passionate of his disciples. His own life is a testimony to divine greatness and saving power of Grace.

Saint Paul was born in Tarso, Cilicia, around 5-10 AD. His family was of Jewish origin, but had Roman citizenship. Paul, or Saul as he was called then, grew up in a Jewish culture, and his studies followed the rules of the rabbinical school.

Saint Paul of Tarso statue
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Sent to Jerusalem to study, he had the first contact with Christians, which seemed to him a sect of dangerous subversives that must be extirpated by any means, in the name of the Jewish law.

Growing up, his anti-Christian fervor turned into a real mission. Saint Paul, before becoming the one the important figure we know today, contributed to the arrest and condemnation of countless Christians.

It was while chasing a group of Christians fleeing to Damascus that Paul was caught up by a sudden vision. A light from heaven struck him, making him blind, and a voice asked him, “Saul, Saul, why do you pursue me?” And he: “Who are you, Lord?”; and the voice said: “I am Jesus, the one you pursue. Now rise up and enter the city, where you will be told what you must do “(Acts 9: 3-7).

It was not easy for Saul to understand that call, nor to adapt to his new life. Riddled by his own people, looked suspiciously by those who were accustomed to seeing him as an enemy, he began his preaching armed only with his enthusiasm. The meetings with Peter and the other Apostles made him aware of the life and the Word of Jesus. From then on he began a series of apostolic journeys, often accompanied by the apostle Barnabe and other disciples and friends. He knew persecution and imprisonment by the hand of Jews and Romans, but never stopped, animated by an inexhaustible zeal, and desire for the truth. His mission led him to the martyrdom, in Rome.

The Letters and the texts he left are the foundations of the Doctrine of the Church as we know it.

In his studies and preaching, he analyzed all the arguments related to the earthly life of men and the way to salvation.

In Saint Paul, the Church sees one of his greatest, wisest men, and the first of his preachers.

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The story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/story-mother-teresa-calcutta/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:48:37 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=378 We will always remember Mother Teresa of Calcutta for her untiring will to help the last ones, the deprived and poor. Today she is a Saint, celebrated all over the world, and surely one of the most important figures in modern history, awarded with the […]

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We will always remember Mother Teresa of Calcutta for her untiring will to help the last ones, the deprived and poor. Today she is a Saint, celebrated all over the world, and surely one of the most important figures in modern history, awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize and countless other awards.

But we must not forget that she was first of all a woman: a simple woman who has consciously decided to devote all her life to others.

We should never forget this because it’s from this that we can find the will to imitate, in our small, such important and precious figures.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta statue
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Santa Teresa of Calcutta (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu) was born in Albania. After a difficult childhood with the premature death of her father, she shows an early interest in charity and mercy; she became nun at eighteen and, after a short stay in England and Ireland, she was sent to India. Since very young she showed her love towards this country in her close correspondence with the Jesuit missionaries in Bengal.

Since then, Saint Teresa lived between Calcutta and Darjelling, divided between prayer and charity, until in August 1946 when, while Calcutta was bloodied by independent fights, she was reached by the ‘call within the call’. She understood that she had to leave the quiet life of the convent to fully immerse in the poverty of those who lived in the street. Saint Teresa considered it as a precise order of God.

Since then, even by fighting the rejected of the Church itself, she began her true mission as the poorest among the poor. She abandoned the black veil and assumed citizenship in the newly independent Republic of India. Soon her example was followed by others. Around her began a bigger network of volunteers: their tasks ranged from distributing food, teaching, assisting the sick and dying.

In 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a congregation devoted to the mercy and care of the poor and those in need. As a robe Mother Theresa chose a white sari with blue stripes, the colors of the caste of the Untouchables.

Mother Teresa’s influence grew rapidly, also thanks to the worldwide media attention. With the help of local and foreign personalities, she opened reception centers and care for the poor, sick and lepers. She received the visit of heads of state, the most powerful men in the world, and had a long friendship with Pope John Paul II, who already considered her a living Patron of Hospitality.

She remained in charge of her congregation as long as health permitted her to, continuing to serve among her people, and died in her Calcutta the age of 87. John Paul II started a special beatification process for her, only two years after her death, to confirm the holiness that accompanied her throughout her life.

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Sant’Agostino d’Ippona: philosopher, bishop and theologian http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/santagostino-dippona-philosopher-bishop-theologian/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:10:21 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=363 Very few men of faith can be compared to Sant’Agostino d’Ippona. He was not only a great theologian and bishop, philosopher and doctor of the Church. Sant’Agostino d’Ippona put his higher sensitivity and genius in the service of Faith as a priest, but also as […]

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Very few men of faith can be compared to Sant’Agostino d’Ippona. He was not only a great theologian and bishop, philosopher and doctor of the Church. Sant’Agostino d’Ippona put his higher sensitivity and genius in the service of Faith as a priest, but also as orator, writer of some of the most beautiful and intimate pages that ecclesiastical literature can recall.

A great man, an elevated mind who discovered Faith after long inner labor: it is perhaps because of the sufferings of this research that his reflections are so deep, and so strenuous his defense of orthodoxy.

Born African, Roman for culture and mentality, Christian for education taught by his mother, Sant’Agostino was a teacher of rhetoric and grammar in Tagaste, Carthage and Rome.

He moved away from Catholicism when very young, and followed for some time the Manicheans, seeking the truth and wisdom he was looking for through rationalism, materialism and dualism they professed.

Only later, and mostly because of the preaching of St. Ambrose, he came to the conclusion that the journey to Jesus was through Church and the Holy Scriptures he had given it.

When he came to this new revelation, he renounced teaching and the marriage, and took the vows. After many trips he settled in Hippo and founded a monastery. He later became bishop. He led a lifetime of asceticism, devoting himself to study, theology, and preaching, as well as charitable works for orphans, poor and infirm. His long journeys led him to be the chair of numerous councils and to stand up as proud defender of faith against heresies.

Sant’Agostino d’Ippona was certainly the first and one of the greatest Christian philosophers. His many works speak of the search of God, but always through self-knowledge, deep reflection on man’s nature, eternity, time, freedom, and evil.

The moral doctrine he spread is a doctrine based on love, a love that from his writings emerges in an almost sensual, profoundly and desperately human way.

A magnificent speaker, a formidable dialect master, he studied the works of his opponents, respecting the diversity of thought. Among his most important works we remember: the Confessions, the City of God, the Speeches, and the Letters.

His image is among the most common statues of saints; His depictions recall his life and the greatness of his intellect throughout the Christian world. Sant’Agostino d’Ippona is still considered as one of the Fathers of Western spirituality: a master of faith and life, shepherd of souls and inspiration for hungry minds looking of knowledge and beauty. The superior beauty which in his mind and works coincided with God.

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13 May 2017 – Fatima’s centenary http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/13-may-2017-fatimas-centenary/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:47:12 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=375 On 13 May, faithful throughout the world celebrated the Holiday of Our Lady of Fatima. This year, however, it was a very special celebration: it was the centenary of Mary’s first appearance to the three shepherds Francesco, Jacinta and Lucia. On May 13th, 1917, the […]

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On 13 May, faithful throughout the world celebrated the Holiday of Our Lady of Fatima.

This year, however, it was a very special celebration: it was the centenary of Mary’s first appearance to the three shepherds Francesco, Jacinta and Lucia. On May 13th, 1917, the three children, while aiming to graze the herd at Cova da Iria (Conca di Iria), in the surroundings of Fátima, a small town in Portugal, saw a cloud descending over them, and from that cloud emerged a woman dressed in white and carrying a Rosary in her hands.

That was only Her first apparition, as the beautiful lady asked the children to return to that place on the 13th of each month, for the next five months. During these meetings, she revealed to the children and to the other witnesses great wonders and secrets about the destiny of all humanity.

Fatima’s apparitions have been recognized by the Catholic Church since 1930: the Portuguese town became the center of a cult that still attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.

On May 12th and 13th, Pope Francis went to the Sanctuary of Fatima and was welcomed by thousands of believers in prayer, to celebrate the centenary. During the celebration, he canonized the two shepherds, Francesco and Jacinta, who died very young. The Pontiff recalled the importance of the figure of Mary for Christians all over the world: the way she, with her humility, mercy and devotion, becomes vehicle between God and men, as a lovely and immensely good mother.

“If we want to be Christians, we must be Marians: we must therefore recognize the fundamental, vital and providential relationship that unites our Lady with Jesus, and opens the way that leads us to Him”, said the Pope during the candle blessing in the Cappellina of Apparitions.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the sanctuary erected where the Virgin appeared to the three shepherds, is worshiped by faithful from all over the world.

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Statues of the Madonna in Italy in Southern Italy http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/statues-madonna-italy-southern-italy/ Thu, 04 May 2017 12:58:52 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=333 The Council of Trento was one of the largest assemblies of bishops in history. It lasted from 1545 to 1563, its main purpose: to evaluate the impact that the Protestant Reformation was having on the Catholic Church, and discuss that. The result of this meeting […]

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The Council of Trento was one of the largest assemblies of bishops in history. It lasted from 1545 to 1563, its main purpose: to evaluate the impact that the Protestant Reformation was having on the Catholic Church, and discuss that. The result of this meeting was the so-called Counter-Reformation: the Catholic response to Calvinism and Lutheranism.

The arts were not spared from the consequences of this new era, especially in Southern Italy. Painters, sculptors, architects used all their skills and talent to outshine the Protestant figurative art, ultimately offering with devotion the cult of sacred images, so dear to Catholicism. The late Baroque art, which reached its highest peaks in Southern Italy, led to the production of a considerable amount of artworks, in particular of statues of the Madonna and polychrome wood sculptures of saints.

The objective of these works was to emphasize the excellence of the Roman Church, the papacy, and mostly the constant presence of these devotional figures in the life of the believers.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries we see the proliferation of timber’s sculpture, mostly depicting Mary.

Only a name among those of the artists who contributed to this artistic renaissance is worth mentioning: Giuseppe Picano, famous for the Veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel, which was also the author of some breathtaking woods of Immaculate Conceptions, which have been preserved to this day.

The Immaculate Conception was a favorite subject, together with the depiction of Madonnas and Child.

Ancient sources record a number of shops operating in the Kingdom of Naples in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, specialized in this type of wooden sculptures.

Frequent exchanges with Spain and the rest of Mediterranean led to the spread of these statues even outside the Italian territory. Many of these works have come down to us.

The wooden sculptures were often placed in churches, chapels, places of worship, and carried in procession during large religious demonstrations, whose opulence and splendor were almost theatrical. These processions contributed greatly to the spread of counter-reformed Catholic orthodoxy in all countries of the Christian West.

 

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The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/annunciation-blessed-virgin-mary/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 15:51:37 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=314 The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the highest and most evocative points within the Catholic Christian religion. Its symbolic and spiritual value is immense, as is the exact moment in which God held out his hand to men and gave them […]

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The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the highest and most evocative points within the Catholic Christian religion. Its symbolic and spiritual value is immense, as is the exact moment in which God held out his hand to men and gave them a second chance with the miraculous incarnation of his Son in the pure and virgin womb of Mary.

The announcement is in fact led by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary about her pregnancy. It is reported in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew (in which the Annunciation is addressed to Joseph, husband of Mary, and takes place in a dream).

That is how the adventure of Jesus among men begins, his mission of love and hope of salvation for those who will welcome his message. It is the first time in the history of religions, that a God deliberately chooses to become man, to take upon himself the burden of the flesh, and all this for a gesture of pure, absolute love.

Annunciation to Mary fulfils the alliance, as promised to the prophets in the Old Testament. The date on which we celebrate the Annunciation, March 25, was a symbolic date for Christianity and many other festivals were celebrated on this day. The dialogue between the Angel and Mary became the Hail Mary, one of the most important prayers and spread of Christianity, matched only by Our Father.

The Annunciation is not just a Marian Holiday, although over time countless works of art have been created to celebrate it. Paintings of immortal masters and Madonna statues tell the world of this miraculous moment when the Word was made flesh, and did so through a young woman of Galilee. Some of the Madonna statues depict the exact moment of Annunciation and Incarnation. They represent Mary in a humble, devoted attitude, her hands clasped in her lap or chest, while pronouncing the “fiat”, with which she will accept her destiny and will mark the destiny of all men from that moment onwards.

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The great master of spirituality, St. Francis de Sales http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/great-master-spirituality-st-francis-de-sales/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 15:37:04 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=275 The Patron Saint of Journalists, an eminent figure of the Counter Reformation and the French Catholic mystic, St. Francis de Sales was an authoritative doctor of the Church, but a man of his time first. Born in 1567 and raised in a family of ancient […]

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The Patron Saint of Journalists, an eminent figure of the Counter Reformation and the French Catholic mystic, St. Francis de Sales was an authoritative doctor of the Church, but a man of his time first.

Born in 1567 and raised in a family of ancient Savoyard nobility, he enjoyed all the privileges that his birth gave him, living between France and Italy, and pursuing his education at the most prestigious schools and universities.

Despite the infinite possibilities that his position and his name would guarantee him, he preferred to follow a religious vocation. He took orders and immediately devoted himself to preaching, especially against the Protestant Reformation.

Voluntarily, he chose to settle in Geneva, symbol of Calvinism and maximum headquarter of the reformers, and in a few years, he became bishop of the city. His method was based primarily on dialogue, and on the belief that the divine presence was present in men, supporting their actions. Especially in the early years of his preaching, the ‘manifests’ he affixed in public places were famous, as were the papers that he slid under doors to reach the faithful via written word for those he could not reach in person.

It was this unusual and new use of written communication that made him the patron of journalists and writers. He was the author of important religious works, which are still considered today to be among the most important texts of the Church, such as the “Introduction to the Devout Life” and “Treatise on the love of God”. His idea of love of God was at the root of all his preaching and work, and allowed him to convert also many Huguenots and Calvinists to Catholicism. In this sense, he was one of the main representatives of devout humanism. He was beatified in 1661, less than forty years after his death, and he inspired many congregations, particularly the Salesian Family created by Saint John Bosco, with regard to the education of children, especially those of the poorest classes.

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St. Agnes: story of a virgin and martyr http://192.168.99.122/com/saints-and-blessed/st-agnes-story-virgin-martyr/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:32:11 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=266 St. Agnes is the patron of virgins, fiancées and girls of marriageable age. Inevitably, if we think of her history, it is as tragic as it is poignant. She was a young girl belonging to one of the most powerful aristocratic families of Rome, who, […]

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St. Agnes is the patron of virgins, fiancées and girls of marriageable age. Inevitably, if we think of her history, it is as tragic as it is poignant.

She was a young girl belonging to one of the most powerful aristocratic families of Rome, who, at the age of twelve was martyred under Diocletian. It is a scary story, like many of those that bloodied Rome and the Empire in those terrible years. There was nothing sacred, nothing innocent, and what was nice was destined to die, to suffer an even worse, just by virtue of its own beauty. Yet St. Agnes survived all that horror, indeed, her tragic fate made her a symbol of beauty and virtue that has transcended the ages, illuminating the path of thousands of the faithful and devoted people.

It is said that the son of the prefect had been in love with her, but she pushed him away because she was determined to sacrifice her virtue to God. The rejected boy complained to his father, who tried to bend the stubbornness by forcing her to become a Vestal. Because of this rejection, he closed her in a brothel, as a sign of supreme contempt.

Legend has it that no man, however, was able to touch her, and that the only one who tried lost sight by the will of an angel. This point of Agnes’s story takes an increasingly bleak and frightening colour, and it’s even more poignant to imagine this girl shining in the horror that surrounded her, who by virtue of her faith rose above hate and violence.

Dragged to the streets and stripped, a lush mass of hair grew from her head, so she could wrap it in like a blanket to defend her modesty. Condemned to the stake, the flames refused to touch her.

In the end, the evil of the men got the better: she was slaughtered with a sword, the way used to kill lambs, and it is with a white lamb in her arms we often see her depicted, an effigy of innocence, of violate inviolable purity. It even seems that when she fell, mortally wounded, she did so with such grace that it aroused tears from her own executioners. Her sacrifice immediately raised forms of popular worship and still is today celebrated in many festivals and beloved throughout Christendom.

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