Educate Yourself on How to Get Rid of Spider Veins

With the extremely varied applications of the recently perfected laser technology, there is no limit to the cosmetic effects you can achieve. From reducing wrinkles to destroying fat, it is only a matter of time that laser treatment will be as common as a facial or massage. Spider veins are among the cosmetic issues readily treatable by laser procedures.

Understanding how to get rid of spider veins through laser treatment is important in deciding whether or not this procedure is optimal for ridding of the spider or varicose veins. There are several other options that may be better suited to treating your spider veins, and it is important to assess the exact problems posed by the presence of your spider veins and which procedure is most able to address these issues.

Laser treatment is the most common, however it is only beneficial for spider veins that are small to medium sized and are easily visible from the surface. The laser technology has light specified to the wavelength of the vein, and thus is able to penetrate your skin without harming it. The light energy significantly shrinks the vein, and eventually it will be absorbed by your immune system.

Many patients wish to know how to get rid of spider veins through surgery, as they are finding that the laser treatments are not drastic enough to eliminate the size of the veins they have. Varicose veins are due to lack of good circulation, and aside from causing discolored veins this can also present physical elevations in the legs that are not only clearly visible, but also uncomfortable. These are common in patients who are obese, and can range in size and location. In the case of these larger, more intrusive veins, sclerotherapy or surgery is most commonly advised. The surgery involves ceasing the blood flow from one end of the vein, and then physically removing the entire length of the vein from the body. This is most likely the quickest and most effective way to rid of the vein.

Sclerotherapy is also an option, somewhere between surgery and laser treatment. It consists of an injection of a liquid that will shrink the vein and, similar to laser treatment, cause it to collapse. Once again, the natural immune system will absorb the vein.

An introduction to all the various treatments available makes it all the more apparent that knowing how to get rid of spider veins is more than simply finding a treatment. It is about finding the best treatment for your specific needs. Speaking with a doctor or specialist is beneficial in making this decision and is highly recommended.

More information on VNUS in Saint Louis Park MN, Sclerotherapy in Saint Louis Park MN, and a Saint Louis Park MN vein doctor in your area is just a click away.

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Day of St. Patrick

St. Patrick is the National Saint of Ireland. He is the one responsible for bringing Christianity to the once pagan country. St. Patrick is highly regarded in Ireland and a special day, which is the St. Patricks Day, is intended solely in commemoration to this great Saint. Saint Patrick is Irelands patron Saint and e carries the symbol of Shamrock- the famous symbol in Irish. A St. Patricks Day is a day full of celebration for Irelands favorite Saint.

St. Patricks Day is also celebrated in other countries where Irish population is indeed plentiful. In Dubuque, Iowa the St. Patricks Day is also celebrated. People don green shirts which are the shade of the color of St. Patrick and carry with them the Shamrock symbol on parades and fun activities. In Ireland, it is reported that people go all the way as dyeing a whole river in the color green to increase the festive spirit. Irish food and delicacies are often offered in this event too.

St Patrick day is Irelands patron saint. The Festivity in commemorating this special day is great, but you always have to ask about the saint? According to research St. Patrick is known to be the one who drove away the entire snake in Ireland the main reason why there are no snakes in Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is spent on March 17 which is commonly known to be the day St. Patrick died.

Green, gold, shamrock, and luck are the usual symbols too often seen in a St. Patricks Day Celebration. Children and adults as well look forward to this event in anticipation as several fun and activities await them. Performances, musicals and dance numbers with colorful green and gold costumes are presented to the delight of the attendees. A mascot in a leprechaun outfit and a green bowler hat is usually the Festivals main attraction.

St. Patricks Day Celebration is indeed an event that is full of fun, laughter, festive charm and oh well- luck!

Mercie Hallow is a writer and a researcher on events in Travel and Leisure. Visiting events such as the Iowa craft fairs will open ones spirit on the beauty of the world beyond home’s borders. If youre staying in Iowa, the author suggests checking out the Iowa craft shows for entertainments to make your stay memorable.

Gold Coin Collecting Trends For 2009

Gold coin collectors everywhere are celebrating the soaring gold prices that have been seen in recent times. Coins and collections that were once valuable are now very valuable. For 2009, gold coin collecting will remain strong.

Proof gold coins are expected to be strong performers through 2009, as are rare date and early gold. With rare date and early gold coins, the better they look, the higher their value. Proof gold coins are rare by definition and those in F.D.C. (fleur de coin) condition are going to have the highest value.

The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin is still one of the most beautiful, popular and sought after gold coins on the market, and will remain so for a long time. Saint Gaudens proof coins, and those with no motto (without In God We Trust) on them are more rare and therefore more highly valued.

Newly minted 24-kt Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse gold coins, both proof and uncirculated are going to be strong for the coming months. Other gold coins that are remaining high in popularity are the $ 10 Liberty and the $ 5 Liberty, the $ 5 Liberty Half-Eagle (with or without motto), American Gold Eagle bullion coins, the Commemorative US gold coins – 1988 Olympic (uncirculated) and 1986 Statue of Liberty, British Sovereign gold coin – King Edward 1902-1910, Canadian Maple Leaf, and the Australian Lunar gold coins – 2005 1 oz Gold Rooster and 2004 1-oz. Gold Monkey.

In uncertain financial times, gold is one thing whose value continues to remain strong if not rise. Consider adding any of these coins to your collection.

One of the best gold coin investment is Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coins. They represent great collectible and investment opportunity as they increase in price on average about 8% a year. Here is a little history on Saint Gaudens gold coins.

In the early 1900’s, President Theodore Roosevelt inquired of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens as to whether or not he would be interested in re-crafting the design or the nation’s coinage to look more like the coins of ancient Greece, where democracy first took root. What Saint Gaudens created was a breathtaking high relief design featuring the image of Miss Liberty on one side and a flying eagle on the other. This coin symbolized both the county’s strength while moving into the future and independence as a powerful and glorious nation.

Only a few proofs were struck, and then production began of the $ 20 gold coins. Because of the high relief, these coins were not the favorite of bankers (they wobbled when being stacked). Eventually the coin was altered to be flatter. Even though all of the Double Eagle gold coins are considered collectors items, those struck in high relief are more highly prized.

Interestingly, this incredible symbol of America was, for a time, produced without the motto “In God We Trust.” Roosevelt felt that it was sacrilegious to have that motto on coins that could be used for gambling. The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin is indeed a symbol of greatness. A symbol of artistry, independence, strength and even the workings of our government, this gold coin has a history that spans a century and beauty that is unmatched.

Like this article? Visit Gold Eagle Coins site to learn more about gold eagle coins. I love investing in gold coins and collecting gold coins, and run http://www.goldcoineagle.com/ site to share my gold coin findings.

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The Most Important Historical Monasteries in Egypt

Monasticism as a concept started to emerge in Egypt at the end of the 3rd century AD. The main idea of monasticism is that the Copt leaves his family and community and goes to live alone in the desert to worship god. The ideas then developed that many monasteries were built to accommodate these monks.

The cruelty of the Roman rulers in treating the Egyptian Copts contributed to the appearance of the idea of monasticism as the Christians used to escape and resort to the desert. Today the land of the Nile hosts many quite remarkable monasteries that included in many travel packages in Egypt.

The Monastery of Saint Catherine

Due to its ancient history and significant geographical location at the bottom of one of the highest mountains in Sinai, the Monastery of Saint Catherine is perhaps the most important historical monastery in the country visited by hundreds of travelers who tour Egypt every day.

The Monastery of Saint Catherine is the oldest inhabited monastery in the whole world. Empress Helena constructed it in the 4tth century. However, most of the buildings were actually carried out in the reign of the Emperor Justinian at the middle of the 6th century. The monastery is dedicated to the soul of Catherine, a Coptic martyr who lived in Alexandria and was killed by her father because she converted to Christianity.

The Paromeos Monastery

Located in the Wadi Natrun region in Egypt, the Paromeos Monastery is a huge complex that covers a surface area of more than two acres. The monastery, that is famous for being the monastery of the Romans, welcomes many tourists who travel to Egypt.

The Roman Emperor Valentine constructed the Paromeos Monastery in the 4th century AD. It was afterwards renovated in the 6th century. The monastery is famous for hosting the remains of some important Coptic saints. This is besides a large collection of icons from various periods of history. A lot of travel packages to Egypt include a visit to the Paromeos Monastery.

Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great

The Monastery of Saint Macarius is considered to be among the holiest monasteries in Egypt. This is where the Egyptian pope usually resides as well. The monastery hosts the dead bodies of some of the most iconic Egyptian Coptic saints and monks. Explored by some travellers who visit Egypt, the monastery, built in the 4th century, is featured with some notable architectural elements.

The Monastery of Saint Antony

Located near Ain El Sokhna in the Red Sea region of Egypt, the Monastery of Saint Antony is the first monastery to be built in the whole world. Egyptian Copts regards Saint Antony to be the first monk in history.

With a surface area of 18 acres, the monastery still preserves some original elements including some towers, the library, and many some remarkable wall paintings. The monastery is included in several tours to Egypt.

The Syrian Monastery

Established in the 4th century in a location visited by the holy family during their visit to Egypt, the Syrian Monastery has a surface area of one acre and it is among the most popular Christian monuments visited by many tourists who travel to Egypt.

The Monastery, that is originally called the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, was named the Syrian Monastery because a large number of monks who came from Syria in the period from the 8th till the 16th century resorted to it. The monastery has some unmatched original architectural elements.

Discover the best things to do in Egypt. Book a tour to Egypt with Right Travel and enjoy your vacations with our affordable packages. For more details please call to toll-free number (877) 636-6660.

The History of St. Gallen, Switzerland

St. Gallen is nestled between two ranges of rolling hills in the north eastern plateau of Switzerland. Switzerland is composed of 26 sovereign cantons and St. Gallen is actually the capital of the canton which is also named St.Gallen. It is surrounded on the north by Germany, on the south by Italy, on the east by Austria and on the west by France. Even though this small city only spans 15.22 square miles it has one of the richest and influential histories in all of Europe.

Back in the year 610 CE Columbanus set out on a religious expedition from Ireland with twelve other monks from Ireland and one of those men was Saint Gall. Saint Gall (also known as St. Gallen or St. Gallus) is believed to have lived from the year 550 CE to 650 CE, however the exact year of death is unknown. In 612 CE, while they were traveling up the Rhine River to Italy, Saint Gallen fell ill and had to stay behind in Brebenz. It was there that he built a hermitage by Steinach River and lived in seclusion until his death.

After his death all his relics and manuscripts were appointed to Othmar to oversee and in 719 CE the Carolingian style Abbey of St. Gall was erected. The church was under Benedictine rule from 747 CE, which included the study of all books, so in the 9th century a larger church was built and included a massive library.

The 9th century saw a lot of changes surrounding the Abbey. It became a very important source of culture and education for much of Europe (due to the collection of books and manuscripts) and this brought strife over control and religious freedom. To protect the Abbey in 954 a wall was constructed around the Abbey and the town continued to grow around the wall.

Many stories were told of the life of Saint Gallen and the town made embroidered tapestries to honor him depicting these scenes. Tapestries become sought after world-wide and brought economic prosperity to the town. The Abbey of Saint Gallen also became one of the major Benedictine abbeys in Europe until the late 13th century, later becaming an independent principality. In the 15th century the city of St.Gallen and the Abbey of Saint Gallen became associated places of the Swiss Confederation and in 1803 the entire canton of St.Gallen became an equal member of the Swiss Confederation.

It was not until the 20th century that change began again in St.Gallen. The population grew to over 70,000 thousand residents, a single party no longer dominated the government (there are now four parties with posts) and in 1983 the Abbey Of St. Gallen became a UNESCO world heritage site. They are also the only country to have a “Stadtlounge”, a “city lounge” styled after a lounge room including red carpets but outside in the town center.

But some things have never changed. In between Appenzellerland and Lake Constance lays an old town where the locals still speak “St.Gallen”, a dialect of both High and Swiss German. The original roads are still traffic-free and the original burgher homes with their oriel windows are still standing from the 16th century. The library at the Abbey of St.Gallen is still the home to over 160,000 thousand medieval books, many of which are handwritten and over 1,000 years old. Every year on the 16th of October the city has a feast in the honor of their patron saint, Saint Gallen.

Nathan Martyn is webmaster for Gallus Light, introducing a world premier product, Rotating Flame Candle Holder, which naturally rotates the flame at the rate of a human rest heartbeat.

Valentine Gifts- Valentines Flowers with Chocolates

Year after year the 14th of February has been observed as the Valentine’s Day. This day is all about love and the people we love and care for.But then a question always arises, why it is named as Valentine’s Day. Well it is named after Saint Valentine and has been modified from Saint Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s Day. The story of Saint Valentine goes back to as long as 4th century. He was a priest under the rule of Claudius II in the city of Rome. The legends say that Saint Valentine was capable of healing people.

He was in prison for he was responsible for several secret marriages of Roman soldiers which were otherwise not allowed. While waiting for his sentence, the jailor came up to him with a request to heal her daughter from blindness. It is said that Saint Valentine did it and she got back her vision. This impressed the emperor a lot, but the difference in views of the Saint and him lead to the order of execution. While going for the execution Saint left a letter for the daughter of the jailor with a signature “From your valentine”. That is where the idea of “will you be my valentine” arises.

Even though Saint Valentine had an unwanted end, but he left behind a lot of things. That is why this day is celebrated for love. On this day lovers express their love to each other. There is a huge demand of gifts on such occasions. Well of course love cannot be bought by gifts but the gifts make the loved ones feel special. On the Valentine’s Day gifts such as Valentine flowers and chocolates are pretty famous. Special occasions call for special gifts and one can come across several such special gifts.

The best part is one can buy valentine flowers with chocolates online and send it to the desired person. What this does is it enables the people to sit back and just place the order. The gifts would reach the destination and spread happiness and it’s magic. There are many people who stay out of their home land, this in no way means that their love goes down. Thus with the online shopping one can send valentine chocolates to India to their near ones. One can send valentine flower to India and be assured that their loved ones get fresh and lively flowers.

Buy Valentine flowers and chocolates online with flowersCakesOnline.com and send valentine chocolates to India, send valentine flowers to India and buy valentine flowers with chocolates.

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What You Did Not Know About Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest retail days in the calendar. In 2006, the average American spent around US$ 100 on his or her significant other, totalling $ 13.70 billion. Men typically spend about twice as much as women (in 2006 $ 135.67 and $ 68.64 respectively), mostly on cards, chocolates, flowers, and dinner at a swish restaurant. Approximately 180 million cards are exchanged industry-wide a year(excluding packaged kids’ valentines for classroom exchanges), making Valentine’s Day the second largest holiday for giving greeting cards, according to Hallmark.

The history of the tradition of dedicating the middle of February to love is complicated. The ancient Greeks dedicated that time to the rather passionate marriage of their prime gods, Zeus and Hera. In ancient Rome, on February 15, young nobles celebrated the Lupercalia which was regarded as a happy festival of purification and fertility with wild sensual dances and participants running through the streets naked striking passers-by. Apparently noble women would get in their way on purpose, because they believed that it would help with childbirth and cure barrenness.

This style of celebration proved a little too rowdy for the Christian emperors and at the end of the fifth century Pope Gelasius abolished the Lupercalia and replaced it with a festival to honour Valentine the patron saint of Lovers. Pope Galasius wisely adopted the old date for a more sedate version of a love-celebration – thus facilitating its acceptance among pagans.

He declared 14 February to be the feast of Saint Valentine. However which Saint Valentine the Pope meant to honour is not clear. Historically it is believed to be Valentine, bishop of Terni in Italy of 197 AD. He was killed during Emperor Aurelian’s persecutions of Christians. It is believed by some historians that he could be one and the same as Valentine of Rome, a priest and doctor who treated the poor for free. This Valentine was martyred around 269 AD for helping imprisoned Christians. While in prison he converted his jailer by restoring sight to the jailer’s daughter.

But as popular masses have a mind of their own and do not follow orders well, they chose their own Saint Valentine. During the middle ages, Valentinius of Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian city (c. 100-153) was the the most popular. He was destined for papacy, but his Gnostic preaching, and his emphasis on love in the bridal chamber, ruined his chances. Albiet his preachings made him an attractive candidate for a romantic Valentine’s Day Saint.

The romantic Valentine tradition really took off in the 14th century, when courtly love was all the rage at the royal courts and it has proved immensely popular ever since.

It is interesting to note that the old Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints lists 11 Saint Valentine’s Days, but in 1969 all of these were scrapped as historically insufficient. So when you are looking at your credit card statements in March pondering how your balance jumped so high, just take a moment to thank your lucky stars that there are not 11 Saint Valentine’s Days.

This February, a famous landmark with a romantic history could provide the perfect location for a Valentines Day break. The Loire Valley in France fits the bill perfectly and you will not have to remortgage your home to pay your your romantic getaway.

It is said that “The Loire Valley is a Queen and the King loved her”. The Loire Valley conjures up imagines of fairytale chateaux with turrets, topiary and tapestries and fine wines accompanying great food. To visit the Chateaux of the Loire is to take a romantic step back in time to past centuries of French aristocratic life. The winding Loire River cuts through the land of castles deep in France’s heart. No other stretch of Loire River can boast so many royal residences, with over 120 fairytale castles and mansions lining the river bordered by vineyards.

Royalty and nobility built chateaux in this valley during the French Renaissance, and an era of pomp reigned until Henri IV moved his court to Paris. The Loire is blessed with attractions, from medieval, Renaissance, and classical chateaux to Romanesque and Gothic churches to treasures like the Apocalypse Tapestries.

The best way to enjoy the Loire Valley especially for Valentine’s Day is to not just visit historic chateaux but to stay in a chateau and to experience the grandeur yourself. You will not be disappointed for the cost of a little more than a boring old hotel room you can have a palatial suite in a renaissance castle with a canopied bed fit for a king. There are many chateau in the Loire Valley now available for lodging ranging from huge more pricey chateau hotels with Michelin starred restaurants to smaller intimate homely chateaux which are run as upmarket bed and breakfasts where you may be one of only six parties staying at the chateau. For the cost of two dozen long-stemmed red roses, a box of chocolates and a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant in England or America, you could stay in an amazing chateau in the Loire Valley for three nights and feel like royalty. What is more in February you will avoid all the tourist rush at the historic chateaux and you can snuggle up with your love in front of a roaring fire.

Corina Clemence runs romantic Chateau du Guerinet, near Blois a luxury chateau for up to 15 people perfect for a Valentine’s Day getaway. Rent a castle in France http://www.loirechateau.com rent a french chateau

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Throwing A St Patricks Day Party? Consider These Green Decorating Ideas

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up and that means it is the perfect time to start getting ready for this festive occasion. Though it was originally a religious holiday over the years it has become a secular holiday celebrating Irish culture. It is celebrated by Irish communities all over the world.

In order to get in to the spirit of this Irish feast, personalized Irish ornaments are the perfect way to enhance the atmosphere in any place where Saint Patrick’s Day is being celebrated. The place to find personalized Irish ornaments is on the net.

Most Irish Party Decor or Party Favors are themed with the “kiss me i’m irish” sentiments, leprechauns, gold coins and or green. We recently learned however, that blue was originally the color that was associated with Saint Patrick but over the years green took over and shamrocks and green ribbons were worn as early as the 17th century. So green is very prominent when browsing for most things Irish but also St. Patricks Day. We have a lot of green in our personalized Irish ornaments too.

There is a nice selection of Irish Themed, as well as Saint Patrick’s Day ornaments on our website and across the net. These Irish ornaments include an Irish dancer, a variety of different Irish snowmen to choose from, a “Bless Our Irish House” ornament, an Irish cross ornament and more. Once you have chosen the ornament or ornaments that you want to purchase you can of course get names hand-painted on the ornaments making them that much more personal and special. When somebody receives one of these beautiful Irish ornaments on Saint Patrick’s Day and it has been personalized they really feel special and loved. There is nothing like seeing the surprise in a loved one’s eyes when you give them a truly thoughtful and unique gift. Personalized Irish ornaments are exactly that – they are thoughtful and unique gifts which really mark this special day, making it even more memorable.

With, Saint Patrick’s day being joyfully celebrated all over the world, it’s no wonder that people are searching for Irish decor in droves come March. If you choose to add one of our great personalized Irish ornaments to your Irish Themed Party…we are certain they will instigate conversation and set you apart. You can also give them away as party favors, they are certainly affordable enough to be purchased in quantities, plus ours can be bought online and delivered right to your doorstep in as little as one day.

Even if you have to send them away after the fact, these special personalized Irish ornaments will make your family and friends feel like you are close even though you may be many miles away.

We have been concentrating on Saint Patrick’s Day but of course these personalized Irish ornaments are great gifts for lovers of Ireland and Irish culture all year round. Recipients will cherish these gifts and enjoy displaying them in their homes. Everybody likes to give and receive original gifts and personalized Irish ornaments are the perfect solution. How many flowers, plants, boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine can one receive right? Saint Patrick’s Day ornaments are a unique and innovative gift idea that everybody will love. So don’t hesitate, get to a computer and start to browse – you won’t be disappointed. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Ornaments and More has over 3100 unique ornaments – which serve as great gift ideas for many occasions and many persons. Their Personalized Ornaments have given many collectors great joy every holiday season. Visit Ornaments And More to see more of our Personalized Ornament Gift Ideas today!

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Top 5 Highly Recommended Places To Visit During Your St. Lucia Holidays

People plan their holidays with friends and families in summers, as it is a great time of the year when a person can enjoy nature to the fullest. There are many packages offered by the travel companies during this season. You must select the package that suits your budget. As most of the people like to have holidays that are affordable yet fun.

There are many beautiful places in the Caribbean, and Saint Lucia is one of them. It is an exotic and captivating holiday destination in the world. Saint Lucia is well known due to its hotels, tourist trails, resorts, parks, and shopping malls. It possesses so many places that attract tourists towards Saint Lucia. Every year, hundreds and thousands of tourists visit Saint Lucia.

During the peak seasons from December to March, Saint Lucia holidays can be very much expensive. Rents go up to 10 times higher than the off-peak rates, and same is the case with the air fares. Tourists from Europe and North America do not really bother about peak rates or off-peak rates, as they want to get rid of the cold weather of their locations. Tourists should not fail to spot gorgeous sites of Saint Lucia like Castries, Marigot Bay, Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay, Soufrire and Vieux Fort.

The most developed part of the island is Castries, which is the capital of Saint Lucia. The town of Castries has been twice destroyed by fire, and has lost its original architecture. There is an interesting mix of historical architecture, and modern buildings due to rebuilding. Visitors will find plenty of shopping spots in Castries. There are many duty free shops at Pointe Seraphine for tourists. There are street markets in Castries, where local vendors sell crafts, and fruits.

There is a small village of marigot on the south of Castries. It is very well known for sailing, yachting, and for romantic sites. Accommodation is very expensive due to charming surroundings. The greatest attraction is that marigot bay has been featured in many movies as well.

In the north of Castries is Pigeon Island; it is a historical site. It served as a base for the U.S Military during World War 2. National Historic Park of the Pigeon Island is a very famous destination among the tourists. Beyond the history, tourists can enjoy the beaches of the Pigeons Island.

Soufrire is located on the south western coast of Saint Lucia. It is the oldest town in Saint Lucia. If tourists want to have a taste of French colonial architecture then Soufrire is the place to be. The waterfront of this town is very picturesque and draws attention of the tourists. Soufrire has everything, from beautiful beaches to gigantic mountains. For the adventurous travellers, it is the perfect destination.

A visit to Vieux Fort is mandatory for the tourists who are interested in eco-tourism; one of the key attractions of this area is the Maria Islands Nature Reserve. The Reserve is a magnificent place to observe local wildlife, as tourists get an opportunity to see rare species of animals, and reptiles of the Caribbean.

For St Lucia Holidays and other Caribbean holidays visit this Caribbean holiday website.

Patron Christian Saints of Dogs

I have always loved animals-primarily dogs. I have had four dogs in my life and each of
them brought a different strength to my life…not to even mention the unconditional love.
If humans were like dogs, the world would be a much better place.

With that in mind, I began wondering if dogs had guardian angels looking over them.
While I was always sure that they did, I wanted to know if there were any Saints, as
recognized by the Catholic Church that particularly aided dogs. Here is what I found:

St. Francis of Assisi-Patron Saint of Animals:

Born in northern Italy (at Assisi in Umbria) in 1181 and christened Giovanni (John) after
John the Baptist, this saint began life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Pietro
Bernadone. Johns father was French and as such, he nicknamed him Francesco
(Francis), the little Frenchman. As a youth, Francis was extravagant, carefree and
loved by everyone. He was a natural leader and while growing up he became the leader
of a group of young people who spent their nights at wild parties and who were
accustomed to vice.

Francis wanted to be a knight. He got his chance when Assisi declared war on their long
time enemy, Perugia. Most of the troops from Assisi died in the fight; however, Francis
was taken prisoner (because of his wealth) and held for ransom. After a year in the
dungeon in Perugia, Francis ransom was paid and he was set free. Still wanting to be
a knight with all of the glory attached to that title, a call for the knights for the Fourth
Crusade gave him a chance for his dream. He suited up with a suit of armor decorated
with gold, and he boasted that he would return a Prince. But within one days ride from
Assisi, he had a dream in which God told him to return home, and despite the humiliation
from the townspeople, he did return home. But Francis did not change overnight. He did
begin to spend more time in prayer, went off to a cave and wept for his sins. But there
was still a business to run…he could not give himself totally over to God.

But on a pilgrimage to Rome, that all changed. He gave up his rich attire and donned a
beggars garb and began ministering to those suffering from the Black Death.

After the pilgrimage to Rome, at the age of 26, while praying at a chapel in San Damiano
that had fallen into ruin, he heard an image of Christ say to him Repair my fallen
House. Francis took this literally and began the necessary repairs on the little chapel.
However, Francis had no money of his own and so to pay for the restoration, he stole
bolts of cloths from his fathers warehouse. This angered his father so much that he
threw Francis out of the house and disinherited him. This was a turning point and a
freeing moment for Francis and he spent the rest of his life emphasizing poverty,
humility and discipline. Within 15 years, Francis was the leader of 5,000 Friars Minor
(a Monk Order) and a growing Order of Nuns, Poor Clares.

Francis is remembered not so much as a religious organizer but as a charismatic example
and a compassionate soul for the unusual. It is believed that he preached sermons to
birds and entered into a peace treaty with a wolf so that the wolf would no longer
terrorize a town. In 1224, he was granted the Stigmata (the mark of Christs five
wounds) on his own body. He died in 1226 at age 45 and is enshrined in the basilica of
Assisi bearing his name…although he would much have preferred a paupers grave. He is
considered to be the founder of all Franciscan orders.

St. Dwynwen (Dwyn) of Tolentino-Patron Saint of Sick Animals:

Dwyn was a 5th century Welsh maiden from a wealthy
family. Her father was a Welsh Saint and king, Brychan Brycheiniog of Brechon. She
had her love troubles, however. The story is that Dwyn fell madly in love with a Welsh
prince named Maelon Dafodrill. A marriage was planned but it was not to be. As St.
Dwyn distanced herself from Maelon, his bitterness toward her became unbearable.
Heartbroken, Dwyn accepted a heavenly potion offered to her by an Angel appearing to
her in a dream to soothe her heartache. However, the angel failed to tell her the effect of
the potion on Maelon, who was turned into stone (or ice according to other accounts)
once administered to him. Appalled, Dwyn requested and was granted three wishes from
the angel:
That Maelon be restored to life
That all True Lovers that invoke her name either achieve their hearts desires or
recover quickly from disappointment
That she not marry or wish to
Dwyn committed her life to God and founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn
island, just off the Isle of Angeles. Within that Abbess, there is a miraculous spring
(Ffynnon Dwynwen) wherein, from the movement of the fish, the adept can tell the
future. One other interesting fact, the water works wonders with sick animals. Over time
Dwyns name was invoked to heal sick and distressed animals, a tradition that has
survived even today.

The ruins of Llanddwyn chapel, a 16th century Tudor church, can still be seen.
Moreover, her name lives on in the town of Porthddwyn and a church dedicated to her
can be found in Cornwall.

St. Roch- Patron Saint of Dog Lovers:

St. Roch was a French Saint born in 1293. He enjoyed a wealthy and privileged youth as
the son of the governor of Montpellier. However, he was orphaned at 20 and decided to
give all his property to the poor and handed over the city government to his uncle. He
then began a pilgrimage to Rome disguised as a mendicant pilgrim where he nursed the
victims of the Plague/Black Death, where he was often successful in miraculous results
with these victims.

Roch became infected with the Plague himself at Piacenza and stopped his ministry as he
knew he would be contagious to others. He went into the forest to die alone but was
befriended by a dog (and later the master) who would bring him food snatched from his
masters (Gothard) table. Roch finally recovered, thanks to the nutrition and
companionship offered by the dog and his master and he decided to return to Montpellier.
Because of his illness, no one recognized him and he was thrown into a dungeon as he
was thought to be a spy. There Roch died at the age of 32 after 5 years in the prison in
1327. Once dead, he was finally recognized by a family member by an X-Shaped
birthmark on his breast and his family grieved over his horrible death. He was given a
public funeral and numerous miracles attested his sanctity.

In 1414, during the Council of Constance, the black plague was rampant, The Fathers of
the Council ordered public prayers and processions in honor of St. Roch and immediately
the plague ceased. St. Rochs relics were carried to Venice in 1485 where they are still
venerated. The letters VSR (Viva Saint Roch) were once inscribed over most
doorways in Europe as protection against pestilence.

St. Anthony the Great-Patron Saint of Domestic Animals:

Anthony was born in Memphis, Egypt in 251 to wealthy parents. When he was 20 years
old, his parents died and left him to care for his unmarried sister. After hearing the words
of Jesus instructing him to sell what you have and give to them poor as your reward
would be treasures in heaven, he gave up his wealth to the poor and needy. He also
placed his sister in the care of a group of Christian Virgins, similar to a nunnery. He left
Memphis for the desert living in a tomb and doing battle with the devil. The devil
afflicted him with boredom, laziness and phantoms of women which he overcame by the
power of prayer. He wore sackcloth and never washed his body or his feet and spent
his time in intense prayer. He attracted admirers from the local villages who would bring
him food and water. Once again the devil played havoc with Anthony and rendered him
unconscious after beating him mercilessly. When the local villagers found him in this
condition, they carried him to a church to provide a haven for recovery.

Once recovered, he returned to his hermit-like life, living in an old abandoned fort for
some 20 years. He communicated to the outside through a crevice in the fort in which
food and water could be passed. He did not allow anyone to enter his cell- those who
sought his counsel listened from the outside. The devil again began to torture Anthony,
only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, lions, snakes and scorpions.
But Anthony would laugh at them, invoke the name of God and the phantoms would turn
to smoke.

Eventually, he did emerge from the fort with the help of villagers tearing a wall down.
While all expected him to be wasted away or insane from his isolation, he emerged
healthy, serene and enlightened. He was hailed as a hero and his fame began to spread.
Anthony returned to his fort after confirming the followers in Fayyum in the Christian
faith. He wanted to be in isolation again, but people kept seeking his counsel, including
Emperor Constantine. Anthony did write Emperor Constantine a letter blessing him, and
praying for the peace and safety of the church and empire. Anthony realized that all of
the visitors were keeping him away from his worship, so he traveled into the inner
wilderness of the eastern Desert of Egypt. When he found a spring of water and palm
trees, he decided to settle there. On occasion, he would go to the outskirts of the desert
by the Nile to visit his brethren and then return to his inner sanctuary. At his
recommendation, all his followers took up mat-weaving and brush making so that idle
hands would not be the devils playmate. On this spot now stands the Monastery of
Anthony the Great.

When Anthony determined that his day of departure had come, he gave away his
belongings and stretched out on the ground and gave up his spirit. He instructed two of
his brethren to bury him secretly, and to this day, the grave-site is unknown. The year
was 356 and he was 105 years old. Many miracles are attributed to this religious father.

In Christian Iconography, Anthony is portrayed by the smallest bell in the carillon and
the smallest pig in a litter….referred to as Tantony.

His biography can be found in the book entitled Life of Saint Anthony the Great written
by St. Athanasius. Many stories are also told of him in various collections of sayings on
the Desert Fathers.

These four saints are those who protect dogs, healthy and afflicted. It is good to know
that these giving creatures are cared for in a heavenly way. I hope you enjoyed this
information!

References:

1) Saints Preserve Us! (Book)
Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers
Copyright 1993
2) St. Francis of Assisi (Article)
Terry Matz for Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org)
Copyright 1996-2000
3) St. Roch (Article)
Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org)
No author cited
4) St. Dwynwen (Article)
www.geocities.com
No author cited
5) St. Anthony the Great
Wikipedia (http://www.en.wikipedia.org)
No author cited
Lynda M. Long (with References Identified)

My name is Lynda Long and I recently left the corporate business world as a CPA after 31 years for a more peaceful existence. Since February 2006, I have concentrated on spending time with the people and things that bring me joy. Visit me at my website: http://www.2girls-creditcard.com !

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