For the feast of Saint Agnes we would like to share with you some printables we have on the site. A coloring/storybook of Saint Agnes and some coloring pictures. You can find them below.
St. George was a tribune in the Roman army. One day when he was on his way to join his legion, he came to a city whose inhabitants were in great terror on account of a terrible dragon which lived in a marsh near the walls. This fearful monster had devoured all the flocks and herds; and the people, having retired into the city, gave him daily two sheep until all they had were gone. Then, in order to prevent his approaching the city, they commenced to send out two children to be devoured by this greedy monster. Terrible as this was, it was better than to have him come near them; for his breath poisoned the air for a great distance about him, and all who breathed it died. The children were chosen by lot, and were less than fifteen years old.
Now the king had a daughter whom he loved exceedingly. At length the lot fell to her. The king offered all he possessed, even to the half of the kingdom, that she might be spared; but the people said that, as it was his own edict that their children had been sacrificed, there was no reason why his daughter should be spared, and they threatened to take the princess by force if she was not delivered to them. Then the king asked that she might be spared to him eight days longer. This request was granted, and at the end of that time the princess went forth to the sacrifice, clothed in her royal robes and declaring herself ready
and willing to die for her people. As she moved slowly toward the field where the dragon came daily for his victims, she saw that the way was strewn with the bones of those who had already perished. Just then St. George came to the place. Seeing her in tears, he stopped to learn the cause of her sorrow. After she had told him, he said, "Fear not, for Iwill deliver thee!" She replied, " 0 noble youth, tarry not here, lest thou perish with me; but fly, I beseech thee!" Then St. George answered, "God forbid that I should fly! I will lift my hand against this loathly thing, and will deliver thee through the power of Jesus Christ!" Even as he spoke, the dragon approached them. Then the princess again entreated him, "Fly , I beseech thee, brave knight, and leave me here to die!" But St. George, making the sign of the cross, rushed to combat with the monster. The struggle was terrible, but at length the dragon was pinned to the earth by the lance of the brave knight. He then bound the dragon with the girdle of the princess; and when he gave it to her, she was able to lead the conquered beast like a dog. In this manner they approached the city. The people were filled with fear; but St. George cried, "Fear nothing; only believe in the God through whose might I have conquered this enemy, and be baptized. Then I will destroy him before your eyes." On that day twenty thousand people were baptized. After this, St. George slew the dragon and cut off his head. The king gave him great treasures; but St. George gave all to the poor, keeping nothing for himself. Then he went on his way toward Palestine.
This was the time of the publication of the Edict of Diocletian, which declared the persecution against the Christians. All who read it were filled with terror, but St. George tore it down and trod it into the dust. For this he was carried before the proconsul Dacian, and condemned to eight days' torture. He was first bound to a cross, and his body torn with sharp nails; next he was burned with torches, and then salt was rubbed into his wounds. Seeing that all these horrible cruelties had no power to vanquish the spirit of the Saint, Dacian sent for an enchanter, who invoked the aid of Satan, and then poisoned a cup of wine which St. George drank. Before drinking the wine, however, St. George made the sign of the cross, and the poison had no effect on him. The magician was converted to Christianity by this miracle.
St. George was next bound upon a wheel filled with sharp knives, but two angels descended from heaven and broke it into pieces. They then put him into boiling oil. Believing that he must now be subdued, the judges took him to assist at the sacrifices in the heathen temple. Crowds came to witness his humiliation. But the Saint knelt down and prayed, and instantly there came thunder and lightning from heaven. The temple was destroyed; the idols were crushed; while the priests and many of the people perished. At last Dacian commanded the saintly hero to be beheaded. He met death with joy and courage.
In Europe St. George was but little honored until the time of the Crusades, when the aid he obtained for Godfrey of Boulogne made Christian soldiers seek his patronage. When Richard I made holy war, he placed his army under the protection of St. George, who from this time has been patron saint of England. His feast was ordered to be kept through all England in 1222.
Source: Misericordia Fifth Reader, Imprimatur 1928
Three coloring pictures of Saint George can be found below.
Next to the Blessed Virgin we honor St. Joseph as the person who warn most dear to Our Lord. St. Joseph was the foster father of Jesus. Jesus did not have an earthly father; His Father was in heaven. St. Joseph took care of the Holy Child and His Mother. He worked for them in his carpenter shop. He was poor; he did not live in a fine house. God chose a poor man for the foster father of His Son. God wanted to show us that He loved the poor: His only Son was poor; Jesus lived and died poor.
We do not know anything about St. Joseph when he was young. Probably he lived just as other boys of those days, but he uwas purer and holier than any of them. He was meek and humble. He loved God with all his heart and served Him every day of has life. Can you imagine, dear children, what a great saint he must have been to be chosen by God to care for Jesus. To be with Jesus all day; to live for Jesus, to work for Him, to care for Him and His Blessed Mother,- what a wonderful life that was! St. Joseph was pure and holy- That is why he was chosen to live with the two holiest persons who were ever on earth. How happy he must have felt, when after a day of hard work, Jesus ran to meet him. Joseph tank good care of Jesus and Mary. You remember how kind and gentle he was when he and the Blessed Virgin had to leave their little home in Nazareth to go to Bethlehem. How sad he was. when they could find no place to stay when Jesus was to be born. How happy he must have been when he held the dear Babe in bis arms on the first Christmas night! How carefully he watched over Jesus and Mary on the Flight into Egypt. Surely he was greatly troubled that Herod wanted to kill the Child. He never complained or grumbled that he had to work so hard. He might have thought that God ought to make him rich so that he could care better for Jesus and Mary. His days were spent in work and prayer. All day long he thought of Jesus and His Blessed Mother he did was for them. What a wonderful example St. Joseph gives you, dear children. See how he worked from morning till night for Jesus. Everything he did was for Him. His thoughts were all on Jesus. And when he came to die, he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. What a happy death. That is why we pray to St. Joseph for a happy death. We ask him to obtain for us the grace to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary as he did. But if you wish to die as he did, you must also live as he did. St. Joseph never did anything great or grand. He was only a poor carpenter. He never built big houses, or made fine furniture for rich people or kings. He worked for the poor. He lived and died poor.
Pray often that St. Joseph may help you to be satisfied with what you have. Do not grumble and complain when you do not have the fine clothes and expensive toys you like. By working and praying as St. Joseph did, you will also be able to keep yourself free from sin. If you are always busy the devil cannot tempt you for you will have no time to listen to him.
Try to have a great devotion to this dear saint, for Jesus will hear his prayers for you. He cannot refuse his dear foster father who never refused Him anything when He was on earth. Ask St. Joseph to help you in your prayers, especially for a happy death for all in your family.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I die in your holy company. Amen."
Source: Practical Aids for Catholic Teachers, Imprimatur 1928
There are four coloring pictures below for the children:
Below you will find two coloring pictures that will go with the meditation for children today.
SAINT JOHN THE APOSTLE, EVANGELIST
YOUNGEST of all the Apostles was he whom we know as the "Beloved Disciple," he who was permitted to rest his head upon the Sacred Heart throbbing with love for men, and afterwards to make that Divine love his constant theme.
John was the brother of James whom Herod Agrippa had put to death, and therefore the son of Zebedee and Salome. From his earliest years he had doubtless heard of the time when the long-foretold Messiah should be given to Israel, and thus when John Baptist came to preach penance and to prepare the way for his Master, John, after wards the Evangelist, enrolled himself among the Saint's disciples, and was directed by him to Jesus by the words," Behold the Lamb of God." From that hour, St. John became a follower of Christ, and his love was so deep and strong and true that be was admitted to great and particular favour by Our Lord.
With Sts. James and Peter, John was suffered to be present at the miracle of the raising of the young daughter of Jairus; they too were permitted to attend their Master to the Mount of Transfiguration and to go with Him in the first hour of His bitter Passion to the sorrowful Garden of Gethsemane. Truly John fled in the moment when the soldiers came to seize upon Jesus—fled because overcome by a great and sudden fear; but love soon conquered, and he returned to the hall of judgment to be near his Lord during His trial, and with aching agonized heart beheld the Crucifixion, and received the last earthly wish of that beloved Master, and took the Virgin Mother to his own home.
During the remaining fifteen years of Mary's life on earth, John remained with her in Jerusalem, but after she had been assumed to heaven he made his way to Asia, there to preach the Gospel of Christ and to confirm those who had already received the truth. The churches of Pergamos, of Smyrna, of Sardis, and others, were founded by St. John; but his chief residence was at Ephesus, which church he governed.
During the reign of the Emperor Domitian, a great persecution was raised against Christians, and by his order the Apostle was sent for and carried to the gate of Rome called Latina, where he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. Doubtless St. John offered his life gladly to God in that moment; yet the Will of the Almighty was not to accept him among the company of martyrs, but to prevent the fiery bath from causing him either pain or injury, so that he came forth from it refreshed as if it had been clear pure water.
Domitian's disappointment and rage were great, and believing this miracle had been effected by the power of magic, of which men spoke and thought so much in those days, he banished the aged Apostle to the desolate isle of Patmos in the Aegean sea. It was a bleak and barren spot, and thus chosen by the Emperors of Borne as especially suited for the residence of criminals, there being no chance of escape and no possibility of aid being rendered to them.
Away from all who could comfort him, Domitian deemed his punishment the most severe which he could inflict upon the Apostle, short of positive death; but his power could not shut heaven from the captive's sight, and God granted to St. John glorious visions of that "Jerusalem the Golden" which he mystically describes in the Apocalypse or Book of Revelations.
In this book, the glory of gold and the radiance of rare gems are employed to figure to us the splendour of heaven, still even the most learned of men must fail to comprehend what is reserved for us in that bright home; we only know and love to think that there is perfect peace, perfect joy, for no sorrow and no care can enter in, neither shall there be any more sin—it will be holiness, light, love, and "Christ all and in all!" At length Domitian died and was succeeded by Nerva, under whose milder rule St. John was allowed to leave Patmos for Ephesus, in which city he wrote his Gospel.
This Gospel abounds not so much in narrative as in doctrine, the design and work of Christ being specially dwelt upon. The reason for this seems to lie in the fact that certain heresies prevailed in those early days when men were beginning openly to deny the Divinity of Our Lord—an error which St. John sought to counteract. He also supplies some passages of Evangelical history which had been omitted by the other Evangelists.
St. John was the only one of the Apostles who did not die a martyr's death—it was the Will of God that he should remain a "living example of holiness unto all men," to the great age of nearly a hundred years. Three Epistles come to us from the hand of the Beloved Disciple.
In the first of these he addresses Christians generally, telling them that in Jesus we have eternal life and fellowship with the Father, but that holiness of life must be the fruit of this faith, for "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." He goes on to preach the forgiveness of sins, and to insist upon fraternal charity as the proof of love to God; he also warns us not to give ear to false teachers who are not led by the Spirit of God.
The second Epistle of St. John was written for the purpose of encouraging a Christian matron with her children to walk perseveringly in the way of truth, and to avoid any dealings with those who taught not the true doctrine of Christ Jesus.
The third Epistle is addressed to one called Gaius, of whose good and charitable deeds the Apostle had heard with joy. It seemed the especial work of St. John to teach the grand, yet simple lesson of Divine love, and that love to all men which must spring from the heart which is indeed penetrated with this love of God. "If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another;" thus did he write for us of later times as well as for those who heard the message also from his holy lips.
Tradition tells us a beautiful story of St. John's last days on earth. Feeling that his time was short, and being so weak that he could no longer walk to the church where he had been accustomed to teach, the old Apostle entreated his friends to bear him in their arms so that he might once more speak of Christ. They did what he desired; but when he looked round upon the assembly his strength failed him, the words he longed to utter died upon his feeble tongue, he could only raise his trembling hands in a last blessing and falter, "Little children, love one another, love one Another!"
Among the other cruelties which the Emperor Domitian practiced upon the holy Apostle John, was the sending him a poisoned cup. But the Saint, taking it in his hand, made the sacred sign of the Cross, at which a serpent sprang from it, and, without doing harm to any one, glided away. This cup is preserved at Rome, in the church of St. John Lateran, as well as the tunic of the Apostle, and a piece of the chain with which he was bound on the journey from Ephesus to Rome.
A singular devotion has been entertained for St. John by many of the Saints. Among these is St. Edward the Confessor, of whom we read that he never refused anything asked in the name of the Apostle. On one occasion St. John himself appeared in a beggar's dress beseeching alms, and the pious king, having no money with him, took the ring from his finger and gave it to the beggar. It was returned to him afterwards by St. John, with the tidings of his death upon a certain day, which prediction was fulfilled.
To both St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Gertrude, the Apostle appeared several times in vision, and when the last-named Saint asked; God to reveal to her how she could show her love and gratitude to His beloved disciple, the answer was this: "If any one will say an 'Our Father' daily in honour of this Apostle, reminding him of the faithfulness which filled his heart when he learnt this prayer from My lips, he will surely obtain for such an one the gift of persevering in sanctifying grace to the end of his life."
There is an oft-told legend of St. John's life, which we cannot omit here, because it shows so clearly his love for souls and his tenderness to sinners. After his sojourn at Patmos, the Apostle met in a certain city with a youth whom he persuaded to begin to walk in the way of eternal life. Being compelled to go elsewhere, St. John entrusted this youth to the care of the Bishop, calling upon Our Lord to witness his charge solemnly given in the church of the city. The Bishop promised to guide and watch over the young man, and did indeed baptize him and instruct him carefully in Christian doctrine but he allowed him to go from his care too soon, so that, borne down by strong temptation, he fell into many and grievous sins. One night he went with his bad companions to take part in a highway robbery, and the desire for gain took such hold of his mind that he became one of the chief robbers and assassins in those parts. Time passed, and St. John, returning to the city, sought the Bishop and said: "Give me back him whom I committed to your charge in the presence of Christ Jesus." "He is dead," said the Bishop, "Dead to God, for he has become a robber upon the highway."
The Apostle's heart was pierced with grief at such tidings, and calling for a horse he rode quickly towards the mountain where his pupil was then known to dwell. The robbers, however, employed sentinels to guard the mountain passes, and these seized upon St. John and carried him before their leader.
He, the once promising youth—recognized his spiritual Father, and, for very shame, turned and fled. But the old Apostle would not thus let him go, and following him cried: "Why art thou flying from thy Father? stay, my son, for Jesus has sent me to you." The young robber paused at these words, sorrow now succeeded to shame, and he began to weep bitterly; yet he would not stretch out his hand, defiled as it was with crime, to touch the Saint.
But he, the Saint of love took that sinful hand and touched it with his lips, then he led away the youth to the church, nor was it long before his soul was restored to life, and he regained all the grace he had lost. Thus did John love sinners, because great, and deep, and burning was his love for Him Who died for sinners, and Who came into the world to seek and to save the lost.
Source: Lives of the Saints, Vol. IV, 1878
Collect from the Mass of St. John
Mercifully, O Lord, enlighten thy Church: that being taught by blessed John, thine Apostle and Evangelist, she may come to thy eternal rewards. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in unity with the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
Source: The Liturgical Year, 1867
A couple coloring pictures for the children can be found below:
Just sharing a lovely coloring picture of the Nativity. You will find the file below. . . .
THE name of Stephen signifies a crown, and a glorious crown in heaven was surely won by him who was chosen of God to lay down his life for Christ's love, first of all the many martyrs.
St. Stephen was one of six other Jewish men who had been elected to the office of deacon by reason of their well-known piety and wisdom. This office was constituted in the early Church for the purpose of having proper care taken of the poor, and Stephen with his companions were admitted to it by the laying on of hands, and we bear that he was "full of faith and power, and did great wonders and miracles among the people."
But certain men began to feel great enmity against the holy deacon, and resolving to do him harm, they bribed false witnesses to declare that he had been heard publicly to utter blasphemy against Moses, and also against the Almighty. St. Stephen was therefore summoned to appear before the council or Sanhedrim upon the charge of saying that Jesus the crucified and rejected Nazarene, should destroy Jerusalem and change all the rites which had been celebrated by the command of Moses.
We hear that as the holy deacon stood before the assembly, his face shone as that of an angel, bright with the love of God, and the thought of the dear Master, Who also had been evil spoken of and dragged before an earthly tribunal. He made a long address to the council with such power and courage, that they were "cut to the heart at his words," yet gnashed with their teeth in their passionate anger against the Saint, who, looking upwards, cried: "Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." We read that at these words the infuriated people stopped their ears, and with one accord fell upon their victim, casting him violently outside the gates of the city that he might be stoned to death.
Heavily upon the martyr's head fell the stones, terribly they cut and bruised him; but he called upon his Master for help, saying: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" But Jesus had done more than suffer—He had prayed for His murderers; and Stephen, who was treading the hard, rough, bloodstained way of the Cross, must also pray for those who were taking his life. "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge," he cried, and thus speaking, he "fell asleep," the sweet sleep of a holy death, a martyr's death, which should know such a blissful awakening.
Oh, happy Saint, so soon to follow his crucified Lord! May we learn from him to love our enemies and to pray for our persecutors, and thus grasp the lesson of his holy life.
Source: Lives of the Saints, Vol. IV, 1878
Collect from the Mass of St. Stephen
Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we may imitate him whose memory we celebrate, so as to learn to love even our enemies; because we now solemnize his martyrdom, who knew how to pray even for his persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
Source: The Liturgical Year, 1867
A coloring picture for the children can be found below:
"Thou art all beautiful, Mary! and no stain of original sin is in thee; thou art the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the honor of our people."
Such is the anthem of the Church in today's festival in honor of Mary. Today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and we are therefore full of joy.
From time immemorial the Church has conceded this privilege to Mary; the ancient doctors and saints taught it; but it was only in our day that it was made an article of faith, when Pius IX., in the year 1854, supported and surrounded by two hundred cardinals and bishops assembled in Rome from all parts of the world, proclaimed it as a dogma that Mary the Mother of God was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception; that she did not need to be purified from stain of sin; that God had created her pure and immaculate. The decree was applauded by all, amid demonstrations of the most profound respect and liveliest enthusiasm.
No less should be our joy at the recurrence of a festival that marks so wondrous a grace. But will you content yourselves with joy and exultation? Do you think it will suffice to Mary to know that you are happy? Mary desires above all that you imitate her purity. If your souls have been stained with sin she wants you to seek pardon at once, and in order
that you may succeed the better she is anxious to come to your assistance. She herself wants to intercede for your pardon at the throne of the Most High. She herself wishes to be your advocate, for she is the refuge of sinners. Under this title invoke her today; with the grace of God I will prove to you how well she merits that title. Mary, who is all pure and all holy, deserves that we all should be pure and free from sin. Sin renders us abominable in the sight of God. Our soul is like a horrid desert filled with wild beasts; the vile passions of anger, revenge, and impurity dwell in it. Mary sees our unhappy condition, feels the greatest pity for us, and seeks to make us know the miserable state we are in. Many feel this and are converted, but, on the contrary, many, and among them a larger number of young people, have hardened their hearts and live in the indulgence of their vices because they prefer to walk in the broad road of sin which eventually leads to eternal death.
They get further and further away from that influence which could lead them back to conversion; they avoid the church, the sacraments, the word of God, the counsels of pious people and associates, and give up the little devotion they had to the Blessed Virgin. Mary has great compassion on even the most wicked men, and she does not desert them. She is the refuge of sinners, and provided they have a wish to lay aside the habit of sin, provided they say at least a little prayer, that bright immaculate Queen will strike off their fetters and they will be converted to God. St. Bridget says that this sweet Mother is a bait to catch souls for heaven. Honor her then, ye sinners! Find a joy in doing it and she will obtain for you grace and salvation.
A criminal once said, "What has the Blessed Virgin ever done for me?" "What has she ever done for you, ungrateful creature!" answered an interior voice. " Do you remember
the sudden death of this and that sinner? It might have been the same with you, but she obtained for you the grace of a longer life and an opportunity to do better." She thus does good, even to those who are ungrateful.
Mary of Egypt, when twelve years old, went to the wicked city of Alexandria against the express command of her mother, and there she lived a most sinful life for seventeen years. One day she saw a big crowd going to the shore to embark for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. She took a notion to go along. On the ship she behaved most scandalously and led many of the pilgrims into sin. The feast came, and she wished to witness these festivals also. When she arrived before the church she made an attempt to enter, but she felt a hand restraining her. Three times she attempted to cross the threshold, and though she made the greatest effort she could not succeed. Then she understood that her great sins were the cause of the mysterious force that prevented her from entering the church; that in her condition she was not worthy to enter the house of God and look upon the sacred relics of the Cross of Christ. She wept at the remembrance of her sins; she did not know what to do, when by the side of a house she saw a painting of the Blessed Virgin. Throwing herself at the feet of Mary she exclaimed, "Holy Virgin, who didst conceive an omnipotent God, I know well that since thou lovest purity so much and wert so pure thyself, thou oughtest to abhor such a person as I am. But 0, most merciful Mother, have mercy on me! The greater my misery, the greater is my right to thy intercession. Obtain for me the grace of seeing that holy wood of the cross; and I will go where thou leadest me to do penance." Mary heard her prayer, and obtained for her the grace to enter the church and adore the holy cross. Having come out of the church the sinner went to the desert and there did penance and became a great saint through the intercession and help of the Blessed Virgin. Thus you see that Mary feels compassion for the greatest and most disgusting sinners.
A youth of twenty-five years was dying. He had led a most sinful life, but having been converted, he was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, and became a model young man. He was on his sick-bed and held in one hand a crucifix and in the other an image of the Blessed Virgin. He looked from one to the other and in turn kissed them. When he had received the last sacraments he confidently said: "Father, I am going to heaven, for Mary has obtained for me this grace." You also, my dear young friends, if you commend yourselves to Mary, if you are converted with a sincere heart and abandon sin, you will surely go to heaven.
But you, my dear young friends who are still innocent, do not forget on this beautiful day of the Immaculate Conception to pray to Mary. You, too, have need of Mary's protection that you may preserve your baptismal purity. Pray to her in this wise: "Obtain for me, immaculate Virgin, that no sin may come into my soul. Obtain for me that my eyes may be preserved from the contamination of impurities; obtain for me that my ears may not hear any impious discourses against religion, purity, or charity; obtain for me that my tongue may not utter bad words, that my hands may do nothing wrong. Obtain for me, immaculate Virgin, that my whole heart and my body may be the temple of the Holy Ghost fitted for this divine habitation by the most scrupulous purity."
"Thou art all fair, Mary, and no stain of sin is to be found in thee."
Source: Sermons for Children's Masses, Imprimatur 1900
Below you will find coloring pages for the children. On our download page there is also an entire coloring book filled with images of our dear Blessed Mother.
In honor of our wonderful Guardian Angels feast day we have uploaded some lovely coloring pictures. We hope you enjoy coloring them. Don't forget to thank your Guardian Angel for all that he does for you.
All coloring pictures are copyrighted by Crusaders-for-Christ.com
Our Lady of the Rosary
Through thee, to us, our Savior came,
Through thee, to Him, we fain would go.
Our lives are marred by wrong and shame,
Yet, confidence in thee we know.
The friendship thou dost give to all
Who love thy name, shall ever be
Assurance thou wilt hear our call,
Sweet Lady of the Rosary!
Thou art our Strength upon the way,
Our Morning Star, to cheer and guide; with picture
Our Beacon Light to show the day,
And lead us to the Savior's Side;
A Comforter in ev'ry pain
We find, O Mother blest, in thee,
And seek we, never, thee in vain,
Fair Lady of the Rosary!
Thy praises, Mary, we would sing,
And all our faculties employ,
That unto thee our hearts might bring
A glory-crown of love and joy.
Bless thou each humble effort made
In thy regard, and grant that we
May by thy influence be swayed,
Our Lady of the Rosary!
Our Lady's Praise in Poetry, Imprimatur 1944.
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Prayer to be said before the Rosary
We unite ourselves with all the saints in Heaven,
with all the just on earth and with all the faithful
we wish were here present. We unite ourselves with
Thee, Oh my Jesus, in order to praise worthily Thy
most Holy Mother and to praise Thee in her and
We renounce all the distractions we may have
during this rosary which we wish to say with
modesty, attention and devotion, just as if it were
to be the last of our lives.
We ask of Thee a lively faith, a firm hope and an ardent charity.
Below you will find some coloring pictures for the children. May you all have a blessed feast of the Most Holy Rosary.
THERE is a little golden blossom growing on many of the heaths and mountain sides of Germany, which the peasants call "Elizabeth's Flower," in memory of the Saint who dwelt in their land long ago, the child of Andrew, the pious King of Hungary, and his Queen Gertrude.
These parents had been happy when God gave them this little daughter, but their joy increased as they heard her baby tongue first lisp the Names of Jesus and Mary, because they believed she would grow up to be a very holy servant of Christ.
Before Elizabeth was four years old, a rich prince asked her parents to promise her to his son Louis when she was of an age to marry, and, though they grieved to part with her, they granted this request, because they thought it was for her good, giving her into the care of this German landgrave, who, with many nobles and ladies in attendance journeyed with her into Thuringia, which was to be her home. The young Prince Louis was then eleven years of age, and from that time they were brought up together, calling each other by the names of brother and sister. The good landgrave tried to make the little stranger child happy, and chose out some of the noblest girls of her own age belonging to his court for her companions, one of whom stayed with her nearly all her life. This friend was named "Guta," and she has told a great deal about the Saint's early days in Thuringia.
The little Elizabeth was very merry and fond of play, but she loved God so much that in the midst of her amusements she thought of Him, and often she would hop on one foot to the castle chapel with her young friends hopping after her, and even if she found the door fastened she would kiss it, and kiss the lock and the walls, for love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Who dwelt there. Before she was old enough to read, she would go to the altar steps, and putting a great, open psalter before her, folded her tiny hands reverently, thinking of God, and praying to Him. At other times she would persuade the children to go with her to the cemetery, and offer up prayers for the souls of those persons who had been buried there. If a child loves Jesus so much she becomes very sweet and gentle, and thus Elizabeth's companions delighted to be with her, and they declared that the Holy Child Himself came frequently to play with her. She fixed upon certain prayers to say every day, but if anything kept her from finishing all, she would pray quietly to God, as she lay in bed, while others supposed her to be sleeping.
Elizabeth began, even as a young child, to practise giving up her will every day in little trifling things, so that she might be imitating Jesus, and getting ready to make larger sacrifices for Him when she grew older. In the midst of a game, when she was enjoying herself the most, she would stop, saying, "Now I am quite full of happiness—I will leave off for the love of God." And in dancing, which she liked so much, she would cease when she had made one turn, exclaiming, "That will do for the world; the rest I will give up for Jesus Christ."
This gentle little Elizabeth had placed herself particularly under the protection of the Blessed Virgin; but she had so great a love for St. John the Evangelist that she chose him for her patron saint, and remained faithful in her devotion to him until the end of her life. From her infancy, Elizabeth had felt an intense love for the poor, and a great desire to relieve them, and, as she grew older, she gave away all the money which was allowed her, and would go through the passages and kitchens of the castle, seeking the scraps of meat and bread which were cast aside by the servants, but received so gratefully by the half-starved beggars who came to ask alms at the gate.
Thus, in prayers, and amusements, and good works, the time passed, until Elizabeth was nine years old, and then a great sorrow happened to her. Since she had been in Thuringia she had heard of the death of her own mother—now the good landgrave, the father of her future husband, was taken from her to her very great grief, for he had loved her as dearly as if she had been his own child, and after he died the landgravine and the other ladies of the court turned against the little Elizabeth, and treated her unkindly. All they complained of was the manner of life she led, her love of the poor, her desire for prayer; and they said she was unfit for a princess, and ought not to be the wife of Louis. But through all this, we are told that no angry or impatient words escaped her; the more harsh they were, so much the more did she fix her heart on God, whose love made up for all she suffered.
One year, upon the Feast of the Assumption, the landgravine desired Elizabeth and her own daughter Agnes to put on their richest dresses, and crowns of gold, and go with her to the large church in Eisenach to hear Mass in honour of the Blessed Virgin. They obeyed, and accompanied her to the city, and into the church, where places had been specially prepared for them; but at the sight of the crucifix Elizabeth forgot the landgravine's presence, and, taking off her golden crown, lay prostrate on the ground. "What is this for, my Lady Elizabeth?" said the landgravine, angrily. "Cannot you behave better than an ill-brought-up child? Do you find your crown too heavy that you lie crouching there like a peasant girl?" Then Elizabeth rose, and with great humility and sweetness answered, "Be not angry, dear lady. How can I wear gold and jewels when I see before me God my King adorned with sharp thorns? My crown would be a mockery of His!" And she wept so bitterly, covering her eyes with the folds of her mantle, that the princesses could not help doing the same, and hiding their faces also, although in their hearts they were more than ever displeased with her.
But the dislike to Elizabeth grew with her growth, and some of the greatest counsellors urged the young landgrave to send her back to her father, while his mother would have wished to place her in a convent, so that she could never be his wife. Elizabeth was often very sad when she heard such things said of her; she felt lonely in that foreign land away from her home, and without any father's care; but God her Father in heaven had her in His keeping, and when she was most sorrowful she would kneel before her crucifix, and pour out her heart in prayer, and then, with fresh peace of mind, would return to her companions without a shadow upon her sweet face.
Although so much was done to make Louis dislike his future wife, he never ceased to love her, and when he returned home after his short absences he would bring her some little gift as a proof of his affection. Once, however, he omitted doing this, which caused Elizabeth some pain, and one of the young nobles who had come with her from Hungary spoke to Louis, asking him if he meant to break his word, and let her return home to her father. The landgrave sprang to his feet, declaring he would never give her up, that he loved her more because of the piety which all condemned, and very soon afterwards his marriage with Elizabeth took place at the Castle of Wartburg, when he was twenty, and she about thirteen years old.
Louis of Thuringia was worthy to be the husband of the Saint, for he also loved God above all things, and they lived very happily together; but her affection for him never caused her to neglect her prayer, or the works of charity she had practised before. Constantly in the cold winter nights she would rise to meditate upon the birth of Jesus in the chilly darkness of the stable at Bethlehem; she would go away from rich banquets having eaten nothing but dry bread, and yet, though she was hard with herself, she was so happy and had such a bright joyous countenance, that every one felt peace and comfort in her presence.
It pleased God in return for her faithful love to show some wonderful signs of His grace upon her. Once she was sitting down alone to a meal of bread and water, when Louis happened to come in quite unexpectedly, and raising his wife's cup to his lips, he found it full of a richer wine than he had ever before tasted. He asked the steward from whence he had drawn it, but when he heard that Elizabeth's cup was never filled with anything but water, Louis said no more, for he saw now that it was the work of Almighty God in blessing for the love she gave to Him and His poor.
Although the dear Saint's gifts to the sick and suffering were so constant, she also waited upon them and visited them herself, no matter how keen the wind, or how rough and steep the road which led to their dwellings. She also obtained the landgrave's permission to build a hospital half-way upon the rock where the castle stood, so that about twenty-eight sick people might be received there who were too weak to climb up the hill to the gate for relief These she visited every day, carrying them food with her own hands, washing their sores and kissing their feet in the greatness of her charity. It happened once that as Elizabeth, with her servant, was coming down a very steep path, she suddenly met her husband and a company of nobles returning from a day's hunting. She was almost bending beneath the weight of bread, meat, and eggs she was carrying to the poor, and folding her cloak tightly round her, stood aside to let them pass by; but Louis insisted on knowing what she had with her, and opening her mantle, he saw with surprise that it was filled with the most beautiful red and white roses he had ever beheld, and it was the more astonishing because the season for such flowers was long since passed. But the dear Saint was so troubled by God's favours to her being thus made public, that Louis tried to soothe her, but he drew back with reverence as he saw the light of a glowing silvery crucifix appearing above her head, and bidding her farewell, he rode homeward musing over God's wonders, carrying with him one of the miraculous roses, which he wore near his heart to the day of his death. Meantime Elizabeth, with great simplicity, went on her way, and when she reached the homes of the sick and destitute, the roses had vanished, and the food for their relief was again visible.
As time passed on the landgrave and his young wife had several children given them by God, and soon after the birth of each one the mother would take the newly born baby up the steep path to the church of St. Catherine, and there offer it upon the altar, beseeching God with many tears to make the little one grow up His friend and servant.
While the life of Elizabeth was passed in these lovely deeds of charity and holiness, Germany was calling upon all her princely knights to gather together in a fresh crusade to wrest the holy sepulchre of Christ from the power of the infidel Turks, Louis of Thuringia joined the number, and received the cross worn by crusaders from the hands of the Bishop of Hudesheim. It was a terrible sorrow to the Saint when she heard that he was leaving her, and at first she cried bitterly, begging him to remain at home; but when he told her that he felt called by the love of Jesus Christ to undertake this holy cause, she ceased weeping, and, begging God to watch over him, bade him farewell. They never met on earth
again, for the brave Louis was one of the first to be slain; be had gone for the love of God, and he died for that love willingly, without a murmur or regret.
Poor Elisabeth! Now, indeed, she was solitary. "I have lost everything," she said. "Oh! my Jesus, strengthen my weakness." Just at first everyone pitied her, but very soon the old dislike to her returned, all manner of evil things were spoken of her, and at last her cruel relations drove her from the castle with her little fatherless children, and not even those whom she had fed in their hunger would shelter her. From door to door she went, only to be turned away, Like Jesus her Master, she "had not where to lay her head;" but at length she was admitted into a miserable little inn, and put to sleep in an outhouse where pigs were usually kept. While resting there she heard the bell of the Franciscan church close by, and hastening to the friars, she begged that the "Te Deum" might be sung, in thanksgiving for the humiliation and suffering God had sent her; and as the music rose up to heaven, peace and joy filled her sad heart, and never again left it. But though dear St. Elizabeth was glad to suffer so as to be more like Christ when He was on earth, she could not bear to hear her little children crying with cold and hunger, therefore she resolved to bear the pain of sending them away from her, and some friend took them to places of safety.
But though every one forsook Elizabeth, God took care of her, and gave her more and more wonderful proofs of His great love, allowing her many times to have beautiful visions of Christ and the Blessed Virgin, which comforted her in her great sufferings.
After a time the Landgravine Sophia and her sons were sorry for their treatment of the Saint, and restored to her a great part of her property, so that her children were provided for, but Elizabeth chose for herself a life of continual poverty and hardship. Her coarse dress was patched with all shades and colours; she worked for her bread by preparing wool for spinning, and took part with her two companions, Isentrude and Guta, in the labour of their home.
It was God's Will that Elizabeth should become quite perfect in suffering, so He even allowed the priest, who was her confessor and a very holy man, to be often severe and harsh with her, giving her difficult commands to obey, and humbling her by great penances which needed much patience and gentleness to bear; but through every trial the Saint drew nearer to God, setting all her love upon Him, never failing in obedience to her confessor, whom she regarded in the place of Jesus Christ. Even when he sent away her two early friends, and put in their places coarse, rough women, who were very unkind to her, she behaved with perfect sweetness and submission, although at first the parting with her beloved companions made her shed many tears.
Soon she was to receive her reward, for one night, at the close of the year 1231, as Elizabeth lay praying in her bed, she had a vision of our Lord in the midst of a golden brightness, Who bade her prepare for her approaching death. She arose, and began very gladly to arrange for her burial, visit her poor friends, and divide the few things she possessed between them and her two companions; and after four days she felt the beginning of illness. For a fortnight she suffered from violent fever, but she was almost continually engaged in prayer, and was quite calm and happy. One evening, when Elizabeth seemed to be sleeping, the woman who watched her heard a sweet soft song coming from her lips, and afterwards she exclaimed,
"Oh, madam, how beautifully you have been singing."
"Did you hear it?" said the Saint. "I will tell you how it was. A little bird came and sang so sweetly to me that I could but sing with him, and he revealed to me that I shall die in three days."
From that moment she refused to see any visitors, desiring to keep herself alone with God; she made her confession to the Blessed Conrad, and afterwards talked with him of God and the joys of heaven; then, having heard Mass, she received the last sacraments with a love only known to Jesus, and on the
night of the 19th November she died, having just reached the age of twenty-four years.
Those who came to look at her in death said that never before had she appeared so beautiful, for the glory of her wonderful holiness rested upon her sweet calm face, a fragrant perfume was observed in the room where her body was lying, and angel voices were heard singing above her.
Four years afterwards, when all the accounts of her life had been made known, the Pope declared Elizabeth a Saint in heaven, whose name was to be honoured in the Church on earth; and the tidings spread far and wide, so that pilgrims from all countries began to visit her shrine, to make prayers and offerings there.
And now, in closing this story of Elizabeth's childish days, and the sweet suffering life she led when she grew older, we will put here a little, prayer which has been addressed to the Saint, begging her to get us grace to love and serve God as she did,
"Oh, dear St. Elizabeth, I honour thy pious childhood, I grieve for thy sufferings and persecutions. Why have I not passed my first years in holiness? why have I not borne my little sorrows patiently? I entreat thee, by thy blessed childhood, crush my childish wilfulness and sin, and by thy great patience obtain for me the pardon of all my faults. Amen."
Source: Stories of the Saints for Children, Volume III, 1874
Two coloring pictures of St. Elizabeth can be found below. Another can be found on our Catholic coloring page under Saints of November.
We have added a couple more coloring pictures for January, St. Timothy and St. John Bosco. The Saints for February that we have added are: Catherine de Ricci, Bernadette, Brigid of Ireland, Matthias the Apostle, The Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ethelbert, King, John of Matha, The Marriage of Mary and Joseph and Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
We have added coloring pictures for: St. John Bosco, St. Timothy, St. Catherine de Ricci, St. Bernadette, St. Brigid of Ireland, St. Matthias, the Apostle, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ethelbert, King, St. John of Matha, the Marriage of Mary and Joseph and St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Holy Mother Church
has dedicated the
month of September to
Our Lady of Sorrows
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