Saint Aninus, the Wonder-Worker (dates unknown). Little is known about the life of this great saint, a hermit who lived a reverently austere life in Syria, and is remembered for his miracles. What is known was recorded in ancient text, and may be the stuff of pious legend.
Aninus was born in Chalcedon, an ancient maritime town of Bithynia in Asia Minor, part of the Roman Empire at the time, and today, part of the modern city of Istanbul. Despite a short stature and young age, Aninus demonstrated a great zeal for God, and was recognized to have pious faith and confidence in the Lord. At the young age of 15, he left his parents’ home, moving far away, and settling in a small hut near the Euphrates river. There, he spent his days in prayer and penance for his sins, embracing a life of solitude with the Lord.
Word of his piety spread, and local residents and those who traveled great distances came to call upon him for spiritual counsel and advice. It is said the through the power of his prayer alone, he worked many miracles. Saint Aninus is said to have replenished a dry well with water in the midst of a great drought, healed the sick of various incurable illnesses, and tamed wild beasts that threatened the lives of man. When her traveled, it is said that a trained lion accompanied him and was at his service at all times. He was also known to discern the future, possessing the gift of prophecy.
When Aninus was 110 years old, he had a prophetic vision of his death in which Moses, Arron, and Or called out to him. “Aninus,” Moses said, “the Lord is calling you to arise and come with us.” Saint Aninus recounted his vision to his disciples and peacefully went to meet his Maker.
The life of Saint Aninus may seem somewhat fanciful, as the earliest writings of the lives of the saints frequently due. Looking closer, however, we see the faithfulness and charity of Aninus, which does not seem fanciful at all. Rather, his faith and charity, stemming from the Lord, remind us that we need not have the gift of prophecy or the ability to tame wild animals to do God’s will. We need faith in His gifts to us, and charity toward those around us. We need to give away our donkeys. Is this Lenten season the time to make that change in our lives?
A Prayer for the Preservation of Faith
(written by Saint Clement Hofbauer)
O my Redeemer,
will that dreadful time ever come,
when but few Christians shall be left
who are inspired by the spirit of faith,
that time when Thine anger shall be provoked
and Thy protection shall be take away from us?
Have our vices and our evil lives
irrevocably moved Thy justice to take vengeance,
perhaps this very day,
upon Thy children?
O Thou, the beginning and end of our faith,
we conjure Thee,
in the bitterness of our contrite and humbled hearts,
not to suffer the fair light of faith
to be extinguished in us.
Remember Thy mercies of old,
Turn Thine eyes in mercy upon the vineyard
planted by Thine own right hand,
and watered by the sweat of the Apostles,
by the precious blood of countless Martyrs
and by the tears of so many sincere penitents,
and made fruitful by the prayers
of so many Confessors and innocent Virgins.
O divine Mediator,
look upon those zealous souls
who raise their hearts to Thee
and pray ceaselessly
for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Thine,
the true faith.
We beseech Thee,
O God of justice,
to hold back the decree of our rejection,
and to turn away Thine eyes from our vices
and regard instead the adorable Blood
shed upon the Cross,
which purchased our salvation
and daily intercedes for us upon our altars.
Ah, keep us safe in the true Catholic and Roman faith.
Let sickness afflict us,
vexations waste us,
misfortunes overwhelm us!
But preserve in us Thy holy faith;
for if we are rich with this precious gift,
we shall gladly endure every sorrow,
and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness.
On the other hand,
without this great treasure of faith,
our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit!
O good Jesus, author of our faith,
preserve it untainted within us;
keep us safe in the bark of Peter,
faithful and obedient to his successor
and Thy Vicar here on earth,
that so the unity of Holy Church may be maintained,
the Holy See protected in freedom,
and the Church universal extended
to the benefit of souls.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
humble and convert the enemies of Thy Church;
grant true peace
and concord to all Christian kings and princes
and to all believers;
strengthen and preserve us in Thy holy service,
so that we may live in Thee and die in Thee.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
let me live for Thee and die for Thee.
Year 2: Day 75 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Strengthening of our faith; Change in our lives.
Requested Intentions: For successful outcome to surgery (C); Healing for brother (M); Successful employment (C); For the victims of the Japanese tsunami/earthquake (J); Healing (E); For a son struggling with depression (B); Successful conception (M); Freedom from social anxiety; confidence in the Lord (J); Improved success in employment and studies (D); Freedom from illness (T); For a wife’s employment (E); Healing of a husband’s knee (M); Freedom from sickness (R); Healing (C); Restoration of marriage (F); Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); End to suffering for sick brother; reconciliation of estranged family (E); End to husband’s addiction; Improved relationship; strength (M); Successful God-centered marriage; Sacramental life (M); Healing, successful relationship (S); For successful marriage (A); For a husband’s freedom from addiction (C); Freedom from pain and illness for a friend (M); Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."