April 7th - St. Juliana of Mt. Cornillon, Blessed Herman Joseph of Steinfeld and St. Hegesippus
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Saint Juliana of Mt. Cornillon

Saint Juliana was born near Liege, Belgium in 1193. At the age of five she lost her parents and was placed in the convent of Mt. Cornillon near Liege. She made rapid progress in virtue, and read with pleasure the writings of Saint Augustine and Saint Bernard. She also cultivated an ardent love of the Blessed Virgin and the Sacred Passion, but especially of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. In 1206 she received the veil and devoted herself to the sick in the hospital associated with the convent.

Taught in repeated visions that Our Lord wanted a feast in honor of the institution of the most precious heritage of the Eucharist, after twenty years in which her humility protested the investiture of such a mission, she addressed herself to many dignitaries to obtain their opinion. The unanimous decision was that nothing in the divine law was opposed to the establishment of a special feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.

But soon opposition arose to her proposed feast of Corpus Christi. Although in 1230 she was chosen as Superior of her community, she was accused of being a visionary, and she became the object of harsh persecution by a man who had secured his position as overlord of the community by intrigues and bribery. He aroused the neighboring populations against her, and she was obliged to leave the region. Later she was vindicated in the courts through the influence of the Bishop of Liege; her persecutor was deposed, and she was restored to her position in the community.

In 1246 the same bishop ordered that the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament be celebrated every year on the Thursday after the octave of the Trinity. Nonetheless, after the death of the worthy bishop, the furious persecutor was reinstated in 1247 and succeeded once more in driving out the Saint. She passed the last years of her life in seclusion at Namur, and was buried in 1258 at Villiers.

It was Pope Urban IV, formerly archdeacon at Liege, who in 1264, formally instituted this feast day for the entire Church; it was he also who had commissioned Saint Thomas Aquinas to prepare the magnificent text of the Office and Mass. The Pope wrote to the friend and associate of Saint Juliana, a Sister-recluse who had continued her efforts to obtain the request of the Lord: May this day bring to all Christians the joy of a new feast and be celebrated with great joy, as We recommend fully in the Apostolic Letter We are sending to the entire world. In 1312 the Council of Vienna confirmed the papal bull, and from that time on, the feast day became general.

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Blessed Herman Joseph of Steinfeld
Priest, Premonstratensian monk
(† 1230)

Blessed Herman from his earliest years, was a devoted client of the Mother of God. As a little child he used to spend all his playtime in the church at Cologne before a statue of Mary, where he received many favors. One bitter winter day, as little Herman was coming barefooted into church, his heavenly Mother, appearing to him, asked him lovingly why his feet were bare in such cold weather. Alas! dear Lady, he said, it is because my parents are so poor. She pointed to a stone, telling him to look beneath it; and there he found four silver pieces, with which the family could buy shoes. He did not forget to return and thank Her. She enjoined him to go to the same spot in all his wants, and disappeared. Never did the supply fail him; but his comrades, moved by a different spirit, could find nothing.

Once Our Lady stretched out Her hand, and took an apple which the boy offered Her in pledge of his love. Another time he saw Her high up in the sanctuary, with the Holy Child and Saint John; he longed to join them, but saw no way of doing so. Suddenly he found himself placed by their side, and was able to hold sweet conversation with the Infant Jesus.

At the age of twelve he entered the Premonstratensian monastery at Steinfeld, and there led an angelic life of purity and prayer. His fellow-novices, seeing what graces he received from Mary, called him Joseph; when he shrank from so high an honor, Our Lady in a vision took him as Her spouse, and told him to accept the name. Jealously She reproved the smallest faults in Her beloved one, and for Her dowry, She conferred on him the most cruel sufferings of mind and body, which were especially severe on the great feasts of the Church. But with the cross Mary brought him the grace to bear it bravely, and thus his heart was weaned from earthly things, and he was made ready for his saintly death, which took place about the year 1230.

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Saint Hegesippus
a Primitive Father of the Church
(† 180)

Saint Hegesippus was by nation a Jew who joined the Church of Jerusalem, when the disasters attaining his unhappy land opened his eyes to see their cause. His writings were known to Saint Jerome and Eusebius and were praised by them and by all of antiquity. Saint Hegesippus journeyed to Rome, stopping to visit all important churches along his way, afterwards remaining there for nearly twenty years, from the pontificate of Pope Saint Anicetus to that of Saint Eleutherius. During the time of the latter he returned to the Orient, where he died at an advanced age, probably in Jerusalem in the year 180, according to the chronicle of Alexandria.

Saint Hegisippus wrote in the year 133 a history of the Church entitled Memoirs, which was composed of five books and covered the time from the Passion of Christ until that year, that is, one hundred years; the loss of this work, of which only a few fragments remain, is extremely regretted. In it he gave illustrious proofs of his faith, and placed in evidence the apostolic tradition, proving that although certain men had disturbed the Church by broaching heresies, yet even to his day no episcopal see or individual church had fallen into error. This testimony he gave after having personally visited all the principal churches, both of the East and the West, with the intention of gathering all authentic traditions concerning the life of Our Lord and of the Apostles.
St. Hegesippus

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(Roman Martyrology, 7 April).

A writer of the second century, known to us almost exclusively from Eusebius, who tells us that he wrote in five books in the simplest style the true tradition of the Apostolic preaching. His work was entitled hypomnemata (Memoirs), and was written against the new heresies of the Gnostics and of Marcion. He appealed principally to tradition as embodied in the teaching which had been handed down in the Churches through the succession of bishops. St. Jerome was wrong in supposing him to have composed a history. He was clearly an orthodox Catholic and not a "Judaeo-Christian", though Eusebius says he showed that he was a convert from Judaism, for he quoted from the Hebrew, he was acquainted with the Gospel according to the Hebrews and with a Syriac Gospel, and he also cited unwritten traditions of the Jews. He seems to have belonged to some part of the East, possibly Palestine. He went on a journey to Corinth and Rome, in the course of which he met many bishops, and he heard from all the same doctrine. He says: "And the Church of the Corinthians remained in the true word until Primus was bishop in Corinth; I made their acquaintance in my journey to Rome, and remained with the Corinthians many days, in which we were refreshed with the true word. And when I was in Rome, I made a succession up to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And in each succession and in each city all is according to the ordinances of the law and the Prophets and the Lord" (Eusebius, IV, 22).

Many attempts have been made to show that diadochen epoiesamen, "I made for myself a succession," is not clear, and cannot mean, "I made for myself a list of the succession of the bishops of Rome." A conjectural emendation by Halloix and Savile, diatriben epoiesamen, is based on the version by Rufinus (permansi inibi), and has been accepted by Harnack, McGiffert, and Zahn. But the proposed reading makes nonsense: "And being in Rome, I made a stay there till Anicetus." When did he arrive? And what does "till Anicetus" mean? Eusebius cannot have read this, for he says that Hegesippus came to Rome under Anicetus and stayed until Eleutherus. The best scholars have accepted the manuscript text without difficulty, among others Lipsius, Lightfoot, Renan, Duchesne, Weizsaecker, Salmon, Caspari, Funk, Turner, Bardenhewer. In fact diadoche had then a technical meaning, which is precisely found in the next sentence, where "in each succession and in each city", may be paraphrased "in each list of bishops in every city", the argument being that of St. Irenæus (Adv. Haer., III, 3): "We are able to enumerate those who were made bishops in the Churches by the Apostles, and their successions up till our own time, and they have taught and known nothing resembling the wild dreams of these heretics." The addition of Soter and Eleutherus is intended by the writer to bring his original catalogue up to date.

With great ingenuity Lightfoot has found traces of this list in St. Epiphanius, Haer., XXVII, 6, where that saint of the fourth century carelessly says: Marcellina came to us lately and destroyed many, in the days of Anicetus, Bishop of Rome", and then refers to "the above catalogue", though he has given none. He is clearly quoting a writer who was at Rome in the time of Anicetus and made a list of popes beginning with St. Peter and St. Paul, martyred in the twelfth year of Nero. A list which has some curious agreements with Epiphanius, and extends only to Anicetus, is found in the poem of Pseudo-Tertullian against Marcion; the author has mistaken Marcellina for Marcion. The same list is at the base of the earlier part of the Liberian Catalogue, doubtless from Hippolytus. It seems fairly certain that the list of Hegesippus was also used by Irenaeus, Africanus, and Eusebius in forming their own. It should be said, however, that not only Harnack and Zahn, but Funk and Bardenhewer, have rejected Lightfoot's view, though on weak grounds. It is probable that Eusebius borrowed his list of the early bishops of Jerusalem from Hegesippus.

Eusebius quotes from Hegesippus a long and apparently legendary account of the death of St. James, "the brother of the Lord", also the story of the election of his successor Symeon, and the summoning of the descendants of St. Jude to Rome by Domitian. A list of heresies against which Hegesippus wrote is also cited. We learn from a note in the Bodleian manuscript Barocc. 142 (De Boor in "Texte und Unters.", V, ii, 169) that the names of the two grandsons of St. Jude were given by Hegesippus as Zoker and James. Dr. Lawlor has shown (Hermathena, XI, 26, 1900, p. 10) that all these passages cited by Eusebius were connected in the original, and were in the fifth book of Hegesippus. He has also made it probable (Journal of Theol. Studies, April, 1907, VIII, 436) that Eusebius got from Hegesippus the statement that St. John was exiled to Patmos by Domitian. Hegesippus mentioned the letter of Clement to the Corinthians, apparently in connection with the persecution of Domitian. It is very likely that the dating of heretics according to papal reigns in Irenaeus and Epiphanius — e.g., that Cerdon and Valentius came to Rome under Anicetus, etc. — was derived from Hegesippus, and the same may be true of the assertion that Hermas was the brother of Pope Pius (so the Liberian Catalogue, the poem against Marcion, and the Muratorian fragment). The date of Hegesippus is fixed by the statement that the death and apotheosis of Antinous were in his own time (130), that he came to Rome under Anicetus (154-7 to 165-8) and wrote in the time of Eleutherus (174-6 to 189-91). Zahn has shown that the work of Hegesippus was still extant in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in three Eastern libraries.

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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