Tag Archives: saint

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

The Calling of Saint Matthew

Caravaggio

1599-1600
Oil on canvas, 322 x 340 cm
Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: September 21st

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

MASS READINGS

September 21, 2019 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist ; Other Titles: Levi

At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist. He was the first to put down in writing our Lord’s teaching and the account of His life. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke.


St. Matthew
No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew working for the Roman enemy by robbing his own people and making a large personal profit. Publicans were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with others Jews.

One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: “Follow me.” This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ. His original name, “Levi,” in Hebrew signifies “Adhesion” while his new name in Christ, Matthew, means “Gift of God.” The only other outstanding mention of Matthew in the Gospels is the dinner party for Christ and His companions to which he invited his fellow tax-collectors. The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a publican, but Jesus explained that he had come “not to call the just, but sinners.”

St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist, with his Gospel being the first in the New Testament. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke and was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.

Not much else is known about Matthew. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt and Ethiopia and further places East. Some legends say he lived until his nineties, dying a peaceful death, others say he died a martyr’s death.

In the traditional symbolization of the evangelists, based on Ezech. 1:5-10 and Rev. 4:6-7, the image of the winged man is accorded to Matthew because his Gospel begins with the human genealogy of Christ.

Patron: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stock brokers; tax collectors; Salerno, Italy.

Symbols: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.

Things to Do:

  • Do something for the needy: money for missions, donations of clothing or toys, canned goods drive, etc.
  • Take time to read St. Matthew’s Gospel, keeping in mind that St. Matthew depicts the humanity of Christ and emphasizes His physical sufferings. He makes frequent reference to the fulfillment of prophecies because he wrote to Jews and to Jewish Christians.
  • Discuss St. Matthew’s call from Christ “Follow me” with your children and how we are all called to belong to the family of God.
  • Pray for people who work for financial institutions.
  • Make Silver Dollar Pancakes, you can use this recipe on Catholic Cuisine’s website or one of the suggestions we offer under recipes.

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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast)

He got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)

When we read today’s Gospel passage, we might assume that after Matthew left his customs post to follow Jesus, he instantly became a saint. Of course, Matthew was one of the Twelve and spent three years with Jesus, so he did have a special advantage. But his transformation didn’t happen overnight; it was a process that unfolded over time.

In a way, we are all “Matthews.” Each of us is a recipient of the Lord’s great mercy. And having received that mercy, we’ve all made the decision to get up and follow Jesus (Matthew 9:9). We are also like Matthew in another way: we have the same potential to let God’s mercy change us so that we become saints.

Think about Matthew’s path to sainthood. He must have struggled, at least initially, to leave his comfortable life to become a disciple. Some of Jesus’ teachings must have challenged him, to say the least—especially his words about money, simplicity, and obedience to God. We do know that, along with the other disciples, Matthew abandoned Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But Matthew came back to his senses, and over time (and through the power of the Holy Spirit), he let God mold him into the saint and evangelist we honor today.

Following Jesus will sometimes call you out of your comfort zone, as it did Matthew. You will encounter difficulties and challenges to your faith that make you feel as if you are going backward instead of forward. But that doesn’t mean you can’t become a saint! The Holy Spirit is faithful. If you stick with him, he will form you day after day. So keep spending time with the Lord in prayer and listening to his voice. Keep examining your conscience at the end of each day and asking God to forgive you for the ways you have fallen short. Imitate Matthew, and never give up!

It’s not easy, but it is possible to become a saint. You’ve already said yes to Jesus’ call to follow him. Now trust that he will complete the work he has already begun in you.

“St. Matthew, pray for me as I walk the path toward sainthood.”

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19:2-5

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

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“Again, Herodias Seeks the Head of John in a Basin” ~ The exile and death of Saint John Chrysostom

Saint John Chrysostom exiled by the Empress Eudoxia
by Benjamin Constant, late 19th century.

Today, September 14, is the 1,611th anniversary of the death of Saint John Chrysostom, the great patriarch of Constantinople. St. John perished while on his way to a more distant exile on the shores of the Black Sea in AD 407.

Though an outstanding orator and one of the greatest theologians of the early Church, John became embroiled in the religious and political factions in Constantinople. He was particularly known for railing against the excesses of the imperial court, drawing the ire of the Empress Eudoxia, wife of Arcadius, who felt that John’s invectives against immodest and gaudy female dress were directed particularly at her. The animosity between the empress and St. John waxed hot and cold over the span of several years, coming to a head in AD 403. Hermias Sozomen, in his History, describes the events that immediately precipitated his banishment as follows:

Not long after these occurrences, the silver statue of the empress which is still to be seen to the south of the church opposite the grand council-chamber, was placed upon a column of porphyry on a high platform, and the event was celebrated there with applause and popular spectacles of dances and mimes, as was then customary on the erection of the statues of the emperors. In a public discourse to the people John charged that these proceedings reflected dishonor on the Church. This remark recalled former grievances to the recollection of the empress, and irritated her so exceedingly at the insult that she determined to convene another council. He did not yield, but added fuel to her indignation by still more openly declaiming against her in the church; and it was at this period that he pronounced the memorable discourse commencing with the words, “Herodias is again enraged; again she dances; again she seeks to have the head of John in a basin.” [Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen, Book VIII, Chapter 20]

A council was then convened in the suburbs of Constantinople which deposed John as patriarch on various technicalities and ordered him banished. Chaos ensued in the city as the partisans of the empress, backed by soldiers, attacked those of John and expelled them from the churches. The situation soon devolved into riot, as described by Sozomen:

A messenger having conveyed to him a mandate from the emperor enjoining his immediate departure, John obeyed, and escaped from the city, unnoticed by those who had been appointed to guard him. He made no other censure than that, in being sent into banishment without a legal trial or any of the forms of the law, he was treated more severely than murderers, sorcerers, and adulterers. He was conveyed in a little bark to Bithynia, and thence immediately continued his journey. Some of his enemies were apprehensive lest the people, on hearing of his departure, should pursue him, and bring him back by force, and therefore commanded the gates of the church to be closed.When the people who were in the public places of the city heard of what had occurred, great confusion ensued; for some ran to the seashore as if they would follow him, and others fled hither and there, and were in great terror since the wrath of the emperor was expected to visit them for creating so much disturbance and tumult. Those who were within the church barred the exits still further by rushing together upon them, and by pressing upon one another. With difficulty they forced the doors open by the use of great violence; one party shattered them with stones, another was pulling them toward themselves, and was thus forcing the crowd backward into the building. Meanwhile the church was suddenly consumed on all sides with fire. The flames extended in all directions, and the grand house of the senatorial council, adjacent to the church on the south, was doomed. [Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen, Book VIII, Chapter 22]

This structure was the “Great Church” of Constantinople as built by Constantius II on the site which would later be occupied by Hagia Sophia.

The exile of John was considered a great injustice, particularly in the West. Pope Innocent I was “extremely indignant” and “condemned the whole proceedings”. He attempted to secure John’s return to his bishopric, but without success. In his history, Sozomen includes two letters from Innocent—one to John, and one to the clergy of Constantinople—which he includes “precisely as I found them, translated from the Latin into Greek.” [Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen, Book VIII, Chapter 25]

Innocent’s efforts, however, came to naught and created acrimony between the eastern and western courts. Meanwhile, the enemies of John were able to have even stricter sanctions imposed upon him which lead to his death. Sozomen describes:

[Pope Innocent] sent five bishops and two presbyters of the Roman church, with the bishops who had been delegated as ambassadors to him from the East, to the emperors Honorius and Arcadius, to request the convocation of a council, and solicit them to name time and place. The enemies of John at Constantinople framed a charge as though these things were done to insult the Eastern emperor, and caused the ambassadors to be ignominiously dismissed as if they had invaded a foreign government.John was at the same time condemned by an imperial edict to a remoter place of banishment, and soldiers were sent to conduct him to Pityus; the soldiers were soon on hand, and effected the removal. It is said that during this journey, Basiliscus, the martyr, appeared to him at Comani, in Armenia, and apprised him of the day of his death. Being attacked with pain in the head, and being unable to bear the heat of the sun, he could not prosecute his journey, but closed his life in that town. [Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen, Book VIII, Chapter 28]

The entire seventh book of Sozomen’s Ecclesiastical History deals to a large extent with Saint John and his tumultuous reign as patriarch in Constantinople. We are fortunate that many of his homilies have survived antiquity—enough for him to be considered a Doctor of the Church. Reading them, one is able to get a good sense of why he was given the epithet “Chrysostom” which means: Golden-Mouthed. I have posted snippets from a few of them previously on this blog at the following links:

-> “Where God wills, the order of nature yields” ~ St. John Chrysostom on Christmas
-> Parenting advice from Saint John Chrysostom, late 4th century AD


September 13 – Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church

Saint John Chrysostom’s Story

The ambiguity and intrigue surrounding John, the great preacher (his name means “golden-mouthed”) from Antioch, are characteristic of the life of any great man in a capital city. Brought to Constantinople after a dozen years of priestly service in Syria, John found himself the reluctant victim of an imperial ruse to make him bishop in the greatest city of the empire. Ascetic, unimposing but dignified, and troubled by stomach ailments from his desert days as a monk, John became a bishop under the cloud of imperial politics.

If his body was weak, his tongue was powerful. The content of his sermons, his exegesis of Scripture, were never without a point. Sometimes the point stung the high and mighty. Some sermons lasted up to two hours.

His lifestyle at the imperial court was not appreciated by many courtiers. He offered a modest table to episcopal sycophants hanging around for imperial and ecclesiastical favors. John deplored the court protocol that accorded him precedence before the highest state officials. He would not be a kept man.

His zeal led him to decisive action. Bishops who bribed their way into office were deposed. Many of his sermons called for concrete steps to share wealth with the poor. The rich did not appreciate hearing from John that private property existed because of Adam’s fall from grace any more than married men liked to hear that they were bound to marital fidelity just as much as their wives were. When it came to justice and charity, John acknowledged no double standards.

Aloof, energetic, outspoken, especially when he became excited in the pulpit, John was a sure target for criticism and personal trouble. He was accused of gorging himself secretly on rich wines and fine foods. His faithfulness as spiritual director to the rich widow, Olympia, provoked much gossip attempting to prove him a hypocrite where wealth and chastity were concerned. His actions taken against unworthy bishops in Asia Minor were viewed by other ecclesiastics as a greedy, uncanonical extension of his authority.

Theophilus, archbishop of Alexandria, and Empress Eudoxia were determined to discredit John. Theophilus feared the growth in importance of the Bishop of Constantinople and took occasion to charge John with fostering heresy. Theophilus and other angered bishops were supported by Eudoxia. The empress resented his sermons contrasting gospel values with the excesses of imperial court life. Whether intended or not, sermons mentioning the lurid Jezebel and impious Herodias were associated with the empress, who finally did manage to have John exiled. He died in exile in 407.


Reflection

John Chrysostom’s preaching, by word and example, exemplifies the role of the prophet to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. For his honesty and courage, he paid the price of a turbulent ministry as bishop, personal vilification, and exile.


Saint John Chrysostom is the Patron Saint of:

Orators
Preachers
Speakers


franciscanmedia.org

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Saint Scholastica ( twin-sister of St. Benedict)

Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 543) is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Born in Italy, according to a ninth century tradition, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia. Her feast day is 10 February.

Saint Scholastica – Wikipedia

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholastica

The Feeding of the Multitude

Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry
ca. 800
1411-1416

To: All

Saint Scholastica Franciscan Media

<em>Death of Saint Scholastica</em> | detail | Johann Baptist Wenzel BerglImage: Death of Saint Scholastica | detail | Johann Baptist Wenzel Bergl

Saint Scholastica

Franciscan Media

Image: Death of Saint Scholastica | detail | Johann Baptist Wenzel Bergl

Saint Scholastica

Saint of the Day for February 10

(c. 480 – February 10, 542)

Saint Scholastica’s Story

Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict, established religious communities within a few miles from each other.

Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies.

Little is known of Scholastica’s early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery.

The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Benedict was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters.

According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day.

He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey.

Benedict cried out, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.”

Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.

Reflection

Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with him through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to be together as brother and sister in order better to fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.

Saint Scholastica is the Patron Saint of:

Nuns


Saintly Siblings [Catholic Caucus]
The Divine Office: Saint Scholastica
OF A MIRACLE WROUGHT BY HIS SISTER SCHOLASTICA
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica (Twins)
A Patron Saint for Nuns [St. Scholastica]
St. Scholastica, Virgin and Religious Founder


Information: St. Scholastica

Feast Day: February 10

Born: 480, Nursia, Italy

Died: 543

Patron of: convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Saturday, February 10

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. Scholastica, virgin.
She was the twin sister of St. Benedict and both
dedicated their lives to God. At her death in
543 A.D., Benedict had a vision of her soul in
the form of a dove leaving her body and
entering heaven.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: February 10th

Memorial of St. Scholastica, virgin

MASS READINGS

February 10, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

As we celebrate anew the Memorial of the Virgin Saint Scholastica, we pray, O Lord, that, following her example, we may serve you with pure love and happily receive what comes from loving you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the Patriarch of Western monasticism. She was born in Umbria, Italy, about 480. Under Benedict’s direction, Scholastica founded a community of nuns near the great Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino. Inspired by Benedict’s teaching, his sister devoted her whole life to seeking and serving God. She died in 547 and tradition holds that at her death her soul ascended to heaven in the form of a dove.

St. Scholastica
St. Scholastica, like her brother, dedicated herself to God from early youth. Information on the virgin Scholastica is very scanty. In his Second Book of Dialogues (Ch. 33 and 34) Pope St. Gregory has described for us the last meeting between brother and sister:

“His sister Scholastica, who had been consecrated to God in early childhood, used to visit with him once a year. On these occasions he would go to meet her in a house belonging to the monastery a short distance from the entrance. For this particular visit he joined her there with a few of his disciples and they spent the whole day singing God’s praises and conversing about the spiritual life.

“When darkness was setting in they took their meal together and continued their conversation at table until it was quite late. Then the holy nun said to him, ‘Please do not leave me tonight, brother. Let us keep on talking about the joys of heaven till morning.’ ‘What are you saying, sister?’ he replied. ‘You know that I cannot stay away from the monastery.’ The sky was so clear at the time, there was not a cloud in sight.

“At her brother’s refusal Scholastica folded her hands on the table and rested her head upon them in earnest prayer. When she looked up again, there was a sudden burst of lightning and thunder accompanied by such a downpour that Benedict and his companions were unable to set foot outside the door. By shedding a flood of tears while she prayed, this holy nun had darkened the cloudless sky with a heavy rain. The storm began as soon as her prayer was over. In fact, the two coincided so closely that the thunder was already resounding as she raised her head from the table. The very instant she ended her prayer the rain poured down.

“Realizing that he could not return to the abbey in this terrible storm, Benedict complained bitterly. ‘God forgive you, sister!’ he said. ‘What have you done?’ Scholastica simply answered, ‘When I appealed to you, you would not listen to me. So I turned to my God and He heard my prayer. Leave now if you can. Leave me here and go back to your monastery.’

“This, of course, he could not do. He had no choice now but to stay, in spite of his unwillingness. They spent the entire night together and both of them derived great profit from the holy thoughts they exchanged about the interior life. The next morning Scholastica returned to her convent and Benedict to his monastery.

“Three days later as he stood in his room looking up toward the sky, he beheld his sister’s soul leaving her body and entering the heavenly court in the form of a dove. Overjoyed at her eternal glory, he gave thanks to God in hymns of praise. Then, after informing his brethren of her death, he sent some of them to bring her body to the abbey and bury it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. The bodies of these two were now to share a common resting place, just as in life their souls had always been one in God.”

Her tomb is at Monte Cassino.

— Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against rain; convulsive children; nuns; storms.

Symbols: Nun with crozier and crucifix; nun with dove flying from her mouth.

Things to Do:

  • Tell your children about the “holy twins”: St. Scholastica and the tender love she had for her brother St. Benedict. Ask them how they can help one another to become saints.

  • Make an altar hanging or window transparency in the shape of a dove to honor St. Scholastica.

  • If you are traveling to Italy try to visit St. Benedict’s Abbey of Monte Cassino. Here is a YouTube video with more pictures. If not, make a virtual visit.

  • Learn how to prayerfully read Sacred Scripture in this article, Lectio Divina: Daily Information for a New Life by Fr. Adam Ryan, O.S.B.


The Word Among Us

Meditation: 1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34

Saint Scholastica, Virgin (Memorial)

The kingdom will return to David’s house. . . . and they will kill me. (1 Kings 12:26, 27)

We know that God can do amazing things. Yet often, when God promises something, and we see it gradually coming about, we begin to doubt or grow anxious. Like Peter walking on water, we forget to keep our eyes on Jesus. We focus on the immediacy of the wind and the waves instead of waiting in trust.

Jeroboam finds himself in a situation like this in today’s first reading. At the end of the previous chapter, God had promised to make him like David and establish a dynasty for him over the nation of Israel. What a shock for this official of King Solomon: God had chosen him to succeed his master! After he flees to Egypt and Solomon dies, Jeroboam does, in fact, find himself back in Israel and enthroned as king, just as God had promised.

But here is where the trouble begins. The Temple is in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is controlled by Solomon’s son Rehoboam. Jeroboam begins to fear that the people’s connection to the Temple will cause them to abandon him. He decides to take matters into his own hands instead of trusting that God will fulfill his promise to give him the kingdom. And the results are disastrous.

Consider the promises that you have received from the Lord—certainly the promise of forgiveness and the promise of heaven. You may also be trusting him for help with your marriage or family relationships or a job situation. In all of these situations, God has a long-term plan for your good, but it requires you to wait on him. Waiting can be scary, and you might start to doubt. You might be tempted to try to get things to happen your way. But take your time. Act when you need to, but in the meantime, keep asking the Lord for his wisdom and guidance.

Jeroboam didn’t ask God to help him overcome his fear. Don’t make the same mistake! God stands ready to reassure you of his faithfulness so that you can continue trusting him to bring his promises to their glorious fulfillment. Go to him, and let him renew you in your journey of trust and hope.

“Lord, give me the faith and courage to wait on you for all the wonderful things you have promised.”

Psalm 106:6-7, 19-22
Mark 8:1-10


Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for February 10, 2018:

Midpoint of National Marriage Week: tell your spouse three things you appreciate about him or her.


Regnum Christi

February 10, 2018 – Goodness in Abundance

09 Feb 2018

Memorial of Saint Scholastic, Virgin

Mark 8:1-10

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied. He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over — seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, how quickly I lose faith and begin to trust more in things that I can touch and see than in your promises and strength. But I do believe in you, that you are the Bread of Life, and that only you can satisfy the deepest longings of my heart. As you are my Creator, you know what I need and provide for me each day. As you are my Redeemer, you lead me along the pathway of the cross and forgiveness. I want to follow you more closely.

Petition: Lord, strengthen my faith, so that I can be magnanimous like you.

  1. “I feel sorry for all these people.” Jesus shows compassion for the crowd, even for their temporal needs. He knows how earthly they can be, seeking only to satisfy their need for bread and water. In another passage he says, “Why worry about what you are to eat, or drink, or what you are to wear? … All these things the pagans seek” (Matthew 6:25-33) –– “pagans,” that is, those with no faith or trust in the heavenly Father. Our Lord does not worry about food and clothing for himself, although he does seek to provide them for others. But his charity doesn’t end there. He sincerely desires their greatest good, and for this reason gives them much more than a passing meal. Together with bread and water, he gives them the gift of faith. After all, man does not live on bread alone” (Luke 4:4).

  2. “Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this? The apostles ask a very human question, revealing the poverty of their faith in Jesus. Such a question, without faith, would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since the task seems impossible, why try at all? How often does this way of thinking rein us in from doing great things for God and expecting great things from him? How often do we resign ourselves to defeat, content to mourn and lament seemingly hopeless situations, as if God were not almighty and willing to help us? We need the faith of the Blessed Virgin, who believed the impossible and became the mother of all who believe.

  3. “They ate as much as they wanted and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over.” Jesus offers the fullness of life and love, an abundance of goodness and grace, to all who follow him. His ways are the ways of life. He allows us to suffer want in this life so that we will tap into the true source of abundance through faith, hope and love. Those who seek themselves by seeking purely material goods — which are limited by definition — will always be in want and will always feel the threat of losing what they have. Those who seek Christ and his grace — which is unlimited by definition — will never fear when they lose their earthly goods. That is why Jesus says that to anyone who has (faith, hope, love, grace, the gifts of the spiritual life), more will be given, and from the one who has not (none of these spiritual gifts), even what he seems to have (material possessions which are here today and gone tomorrow, always decaying and coming to an end) will be taken away (Luke 8:18).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, give me the gift of compassion, so that I may serve others with your heart. Give me the gifts of faith, hope and love so that I will understand that your goodness knows no bounds or limits, and that you wish to pour out your grace on all until our cups are overflowing.

Resolution: I will be magnanimous in my charity towards others today.


One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 34, Issue 2

<< Saturday, February 10, 2018 >>

St. Scholastica

1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34

View Readings

Psalm 106:6-7, 19-22

Mark 8:1-10

Similar Reflections

THE SIN OF MAKING UP A RELIGION

“This was a sin on the part of the house of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the earth.” —1 Kings 13:34

One of the worst sins that can be committed is to make up our own religion. Jeroboam committed this sin, and we too are tempted to do this in many ways. How many people decide to reject certain teachings of the Lord and His Church? Isn’t that making up one’s own religion in part? How many Catholics ignore the Pope? Are they making a church without a pope, or are they making themselves to be popes? Isn’t this making up another religion?

Many Christians keep their religion to themselves. They have made their religion a private matter. However, Jesus did not make His religion a private matter. He commanded us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), proclaim His good news from the housetops (Mt 10:27), and not to be ashamed of the gospel (Rm 1:16). Isn’t a private religion a made-up religion?

Let’s not make up religions; rather, let’s make up with God. Let’s repent of trying to make God and religion in our own image and likeness. Let us submit to God’s religion, His kingdom, and His will.

Prayer: Father, teach me sweet submission.

Promise: “The people in the crowd ate until they had their fill; then they gathered up seven wicker baskets of leftovers. Those who had eaten numbered about four thousand.” —Mk 8:8-9

Praise: St. Scholastica desired unity with her twin brother, St. Benedict, so deeply that she “prayed up a thunderstorm” so that he would have to spend more time visiting with her.


Jesus loves all the children!

St. Nicholas of Myra

St. Nicholas’ face.

St. Nicholas Center ::: How to Celebrate

 

Saint Nicholas Day – Wikipedia

Celebrations‎: ‎placing shoes in the foyer before …
Significance‎: ‎Feast day of ‎Saint Nicholas
Date‎: ‎6 December (‎Western Christianity‎); 19 D…
Also called‎: ‎Feast of ‎Saint Nicholas

 

Catholic Culture


Daily Readings for:December 06, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Biskkupsky Chelbicek

o    Bisschopswijn

o    Black Forest ‘Good Works’ Cake

o    Ciastka Miodowe

o    Dried Fruit Bread

o    Dutch Treat

o    Hazelnut Macaroons

o    Honey Cake

o    Kris Kringle Cookies

o    Letter banket

o    Mulled Bishop’s Wyn

o    Mulled Bishopwyn

o    Nikolaussteifel

o    Pepernoten

o    Pfeffernuesse

o    Rozijnen Koekjes

o    Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) Cookies

o    Ship Cake

o    Speculaas or Speculatius I

o    Speculaas or Speculatius II

o    Speculaas or Speculatius III

o    Speculaas or Speculatius IV

o    Speculaas or Speculatius V

o    Sprits

o    St. Nicholas Breads

o    St. Nicholas Dainties

o    St. Nicholas Day Initial Cookies

o    St. Nicholas Pudding

o    St. Nicholas Soup

o    Stuffed Pork Shoulder Roast

o    Tarte Normande Saint-Nicolas

o    Speculaas or Speculatius VI

o    Speculaas or Speculatius VII

ACTIVITIES

o    Celebrating for the Feast of St. Nicholas

o    Feast of St. Nicholas

o    Life and Legend of St. Nicholas

o    Santa Claus

o    Santa Claus

o    St. Nicholas Customs

o    St. Nicholas Day Ideas

o    St. Nicholas Day Party

o    St. Nicholas Eve

o    St. Nicholas Puppet Show

o    St. Nicholas’ Visit

o    Visit of St. Nicholas

o    St. Nicholas Festivities

PRAYERS

o    Advent Wreath Prayers I

o    Advent Wreath Prayers II

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Advent (2nd Plan)

o    December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

o    Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

o    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

o    Christmas Anticipation Prayer

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Advent (1st Plan)

o    Novena to the Immaculate Conception

o    Traditional Collect for St. Nicholas of Myra, Bishop and Confessor

LIBRARY

o    A Giver of Gifts | Fr. William Saunders

  • Advent: December 6th
  • Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop

Old Calendar: St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor

St. Nicholas was born in Lycia, Asia Minor, and died as Bishop of Myra in 352. He performed many miracles and exercised a special power over flames. He practiced both the spiritual and temporal works of mercy, and fasted twice a week. When he heard that a father who had fallen into poverty was about to expose his three daughters to a life of sin, Nicholas took a bag of gold and secretly flung it through the window into the room of the sleeping father. In this way, the three girls were dowered and saved from mortal sin and hell.

Jesse Tree ~ Jacob

St. Nicholas of Myra
Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, is undoubtedly one of the most popular saints honored in the Western world. In the United States, his memory has survived in the unique personality of Saint Claus — the jolly, rotund, white-bearded gentleman who captivates children with promises of gifts on Christmas Eve. Considered primarily as the patron saint of children, Nicholas is also invoked by sailors, merchants, bakers, travelers and pawnbrokers, and with Saint Andrew is honored as the co-patron of Russia.

In spite of his widespread fame, Saint Nicholas, from the historian’s point of view, is hardly more than a name. He was born in the last years of the third century in Asia Minor. His uncle, the archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him and appointed him abbot of a nearby monastery. At the death of the archbishop, Nicholas was chosen to fill the vacancy, and he served in this position until his death. About the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, he was imprisoned for preaching Christianity but was released during the reign of Emperor Constantine.

Popular legends have involved Saint Nicholas in a number of charming stories, one of which relates Nicholas’ charity toward the poor. A man of Patara had lost his fortune, and finding himself unable to support his three maiden daughters, was planning to turn them into the streets as prostitutes. Nicholas heard of the man’s intentions and secretly threw three bags of gold through a window into the home, thus providing dowries for the daughters. The three bags of gold mentioned in this story are said to be the origin of the three gold balls that form the emblem of pawnbrokers.

After Nicholas’ death on December 6 in or around 345, his body was buried in the cathedral at Myra. It remained there until 1087, when seamen of Bari, an Italian coastal town, seized the relics of the saint and transferred them to their own city. Veneration for Nicholas had already spread throughout Europe as well as Asia, but this occurrence led to a renewal of devotion in the West. Countless miracles were attributed to the saint’s intercession. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.

The story of Saint Nicholas came to America in distorted fashion. The Dutch Protestants carried a popularized version of the saint’s life to New Amsterdam, portraying Nicholas as nothing more than a Nordic magician and wonder-worker. Our present-day conception of Santa Claus has grown from this version. Catholics should think of Nicholas as a saint, a confessor of the faith and the bishop of Myra — not merely as a jolly man from the North Pole who brings happiness to small children. Many countries and locations honor St. Nicholas as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, and many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium.

Excerpted in part from Lives of the Saints for every day of the Year, Volume III © 1959, by The Catholic Press, Inc.

Patron: against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily.

Symbols: Three children in a trough or tub; three golden balls on a book; six golden balls; three golden apples; three loaves; three purses or bags of gold; anchor; ship; Trinity symbol on a cope; angel; small church; three balls;
Often Portrayed As: Bishop with three children in a tub at his feet; Bishop calming a storm; bishop holding three balls; bishop holding three bags of gold; bishop with three children.

Things to Do:

  • Today is a good day to teach your children the difference between Santa Claus and St. Nicholas. This story of the origin of Santa Claus will help you. Also learn all you can about St. Nicholas.
  • Choose some of the recommended activities — a puppet show, a party, a visit from “St. Nicholas.” Make sure to include in all the activities the story of St. Nicholas, virtues to imitate, and his significance in the Advent season. Read how different countries Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas.
  • To enhance your feasting, purchase a copy of the CD by the Anonymous 4 Legends of St. Nicholas. This is medieval music, all in honor of St. Nicholas, done by four female vocalists.
  • There are numerous recipes to enhance this feast, anything from a soup to dessert, so have fun in the kitchen trying different ones.
  • St. Nicholas did his charitable works secretly. Suggest that your children do one hidden act of kindness in imitation of the saint.
  • From the Netherlands we have the most popular recipe, speculaas (or St. Nicholas Cookies; Speculaus; Speculatius; Kris Kringle Cookies; Dutch spice cookies). You can find tips for using special speculaas cookie molds by Gene Wilson. Try these sites for St. Nicholas Cookie cutters or molds: House on the Hill, HOBI Picture Cookie Molds, Rycraft, and St. Nicholas Center. You could also use Nativity Cookie Cutters, like these from Cookie Craft

 


You Better Watch Out—St. Nicholas is Coming to Town
The Real St. Nicholas
The Real St. Nicholas – Not Fat and Not Very Jolly Either
In Service Bold as a Lion (Meet the REAL Saint Nicholas)
Who Was St. Nicholas? The True Story Of Santa Claus

Better than Santa Claus, Meet St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real St. Nicholas – How Did a Cantankerous but Holy Bishop Become Jolly Ole St. Nick?
The “Claus” Clause [in honor of St. Nick’s feast day]
The Santa Question
The “Claus” Clause
Celebrating Nikolaus in Germany
Church celebrates feast of St. Nicholas, the ‘original’ Santa Claus
Who is St. Nicholas?
Finally a mass in the church of Saint Nicholas in Myra (+ life of St. Nicholas)
An “Anglican World” Christmas Special: St. Nicholas, a Saint For Today

Saint Nicholas of Myra, By Ilya Repin
How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus: One Theory
An Orthodox priest at Bari; the story of St. Nicholas’ bones
Turkish Town Exchanges St. Nick for Santa (Former Myra, hometown of St. Nicholas)
The Real St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas belongs in any reclamation of Christmas
Don’t forget: St. Nicholas’ Day is tomorrow [today] (get your shoes out!)
The Russian legend of St. Nicolas and St. Cassian(Soloviev’s Application)
Life of Saint Nicholas the Bishop, from The Golden Legend compiled by Jacobus de Voragine
Yes, There Really is a St. Nicholas !

 

 

Saint John Paul II, Pope

Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope

Saint Pope John Paul II
October 22   

Optional Memorial

May 18, 1920 – Karol Józef Wojtyla born in Wadowice, Poland.
April 2, 2005 – Pope John Paul II dies
Pope John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV on May 1, 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday (the usual required period of five years after death before introducing the cause for sainthood was waived by Pope Benedict); and his feast day was declared to be October 22, the anniversary of his assuming the papacy in 1978.

Only three years later, Pope John Paul II was canonized — along with Pope John XXIII — on April 27, 2014, also Divine Mercy Sunday. On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis had announced the simultaneous canonization of the two popes , which is unprecedented in the history of the Church. Another historic first: two popes, Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, were both present at the canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s basilica.  Pope John Paul II was canonized, on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, along with Pope John XXIII, by Pope Francis, with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI present.

Saint Pope John Paul II’s feast day is on the anniversary of his inauguration to the papacy, October 22, 1978. His feast day is on the liturgical calendar in the dioceses of Rome and Poland.

It also made provision for countries or dioceses to seek special permission from the Holy See to include his feast on local liturgical calendars. (See complete decree below.)

Collect
O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that the Saint John Paul the Second
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns. +Amen

For more information on the Optional Memorial visit the USCCB website – http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/saint-john-paul-ii.cfm

Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Calendar of the Beatification of the Servant of God John Paul II on the Vatican website click here.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree on April 11, 2011, concerning the liturgical observances connected with the Blessed John Paul II, to be beatified May 1. The Congregation also provided readings and a special collect (opening prayer) for liturgical use.

Decree on the Liturgical Observance of the Cult of Blessed John Paul II, Pope

An exceptional character, recognized by the Catholic Church spread throughout the world, marks the beatification of Venerable John Paul II, of happy memory, which will take place May 1, 2011, in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, presided over by the Holy Father Benedict XVI. Given this extraordinariness, and following numerous requests regarding the cult of the new blessed, according to the places and forms established by law, this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is communicating in a timely manner what has been decided in this respect.

Mass of Thanksgiving
It has been decided that during the year following the beatification of John Paul II, namely until May 1, 2012, it will be possible to celebrate a Holy Mass of Thanksgiving to God in certain places and on certain days. The responsibility to establish the day or days, as well as the place or places of the gathering of the People of God, is the competence of the diocesan bishop for his diocese. Considering the local needs and pastoral conveniences, it is granted that a holy Mass be celebrated in honor of the new blessed on a Sunday during the year, and on a day between Nos. 10-13 of the table of liturgical days.

For religious families, it is the competence of the superior general to indicate the days and places [for the Thanksgiving Mass] for the entire religious family.

The appropriate collect [opening prayer] is to be prayed in honor of the blessed (see below) at the Mass, with the possibility of singing the Gloria: The other prayers, such as the Preface, and Antiphons and the readings, are to be taken from the Common of Pastors, for a Pope. If it is celebrated on a Sunday, the readings can be adapted from the Common of Pastors for the first reading, with the related responsorial psalm, and for the Gospel.

Inserting the New Blessed Into Local Liturgical Calendars

It is established that the Oct. 22 celebration of the memorial of Blessed John Paul II, Pope, be inserted into the calendar of the Diocese of Rome and of the dioceses of Poland, and that it be celebrated every year.

The proper liturgical texts for the Mass are the collect and the second reading of the office of readings, with the related responsorial psalm (see below). The other texts are drawn from the Common of Pastors, for a Pope.

With regard to other local calendars, the request to place an optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II may be presented to this congregation by a conference of bishops for its territory, by the diocesan bishop for his diocese or by a superior general for a religious family.

Dedication of a Church to God in Honor of the New Blessed

An indult of the Apostolic See is needed to dedicate a church in honor of Blessed John Paul II (cf. Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae, Praenotanda, No. 4), except when his liturgical memorial has been inserted in the local calendar: in this case the indult is not need, and in the church named for the blessed, the memorial is raised to a liturgical feast (cf. Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum, Notificatio de cultu Beatorum, May 21, 1999, No. 9).

Anything whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

The Text of the Collect

The opening prayer for the Mass in honor of the forthcoming blessed is published below. The other prayers — the preface, the antiphons and the readings — are from the Common of Pastors, for a Pope. The first reading is Isaiah 52:7-10; the responsorial psalm is 96/95:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10); the alleluia is John 10:14; the Gospel is John 21:15-17. Common of Pastors, for a Pope

Collect
O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that Blessed John Paul II
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind,
Who lives and reigns…

[Latin]
Deus, dives in misericórdia,
qui beátum Ioánnem Paulum, papam,
univérsae Ecclésiae tuae praeésse voluísti,
praesta, quaésumus, ut, eius institútis edócti,
corda nostra salutíferae grátiae Christi,
uníus redemptóris hóminis, fidénter aperiámus.
Qui tecum.…

Blessed John Paul II Added To U.S. Liturgical Calendar; Feast Day Set For October 22.

October 19, 2012

U.S. Bishops voted to ask Vatican to add pope to U.S. calendar last November Vatican stresses John Paul’s zeal for families, youth, the sick Notes his promotion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, New Canon Law Code

WASHINGTON—The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has approved insertion of the optional memorial of Saint John Paul II in the proper calendar of the dioceses of the United States. It also has provided the proper liturgical texts for observance of the Memorial in the Mass and Divine Office. Liturgical prayers and readings for the feast can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/pope-john-paul-ii/memorial-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.cfm

The U.S. bishops last November voted overwhelmingly to request the addition of the popular pope, who reigned for 27 years, into the U.S. liturgical calendar.

The Office of Readings includes an excerpt from Pope John Paul’s homily at his inauguration as pope in 1978, when he stressed “Do not be afraid, Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ.” The message became one of the signature statements of his papacy.

The biographical piece in the Divine Office highlights the pope’s pastoral visits around the world, his participation in the Second Vatican Council, and his zeal for families, young people and the sick. It also noted his promotion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the new Code of Canon Law.

Keywords: John Paul II, Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, Divine Office, liturgy, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Code of Canon Law, Second Vatican Council

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:
Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
O: 202-541-3200
M: 301-325-7935

***

USCCB News Release

11-072
April 12, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bishops’ Website Honors Legacy of Pope John Paul II

Memorial video captures key moments, messages during U.S. visits

WASHINGTON (April 12, 2011)—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a new website to honor the legacy of the late Pope John Paul II. The site (http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/john-paul-ii/) features a 17-minute “John Paul II Memorial Video,” which recaptures touching moments and key messages during the late pope’s visits to the United States. Other contents on the site include a biography and a timeline, as well as major writings, backgrounders, canonizations and beatifications, and more.

Several essays by USCCB experts also explore Pope John Paul’s influence and legacy in areas as diverse as East-West relations, his interaction with mass media, ethical use of technology, or the social mission of the Church. New essays will be posted leading up to his beatification.

“Pope John Paul II touched the lives of many people across the globe, in particular Americans during his seven visits to the United States.  The bishops’ conference created the web site to assist people in realizing the magnitude of his work, and the video to illustrate his remarkable relationship with the American people,” said Helen Osman, Secretary of Communications at the USCCB.

The globetrotting, prolific author and long-reigning pope will be beatified May 1 at the Vatican, in a ceremony presided over by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.

April 11, 2011

Vatican announces Masses, Oct. 22 feast day for Blessed John Paul –By Cindy Wooden (click title for the full story)

The feast day of Saint John Paul II will be marked Oct. 22 each year in Rome and the dioceses of Poland.

When the Vatican made the announcement April 11, it also said Catholics throughout the world will have a year to celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving for his beatification. While thanksgiving Masses for a beatification — like the observance of a feast day — usually are limited to places where the person lived or worked, “the exceptional character of the beatification of the Venerable John Paul II, recognized by the entire Catholic Church spread throughout the world,” led to a general permission for the thanksgiving Mass, said a decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Beatification of Servant of God John Paul II

On Friday, January 7, 2011, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints published the decree for the beatification of the late great Servant of God John Paul II.

Full text of the decree (Source: http://www.radiovaticana.org/EN1/Articolo.asp?c=454138)

Beatification: Sign of the depth of faith and invitation to a fully Christian life

The proclamation of a Saint or of a Blessed by the Church is the fruit of putting together various aspects regarding a specific Person. First, it is an act which says something important in the life of the Church herself. It is linked to a “cult”, i.e. to the memory of the person, to his full acknowledgment of him in the awareness of the ecclesial community, of the country, of the Universal Church in various countries, continents and cultures. Another aspect is the awareness that the “presentation on the altars” will be an important sign of the depth of the faith, of the diffusion of faith in the path of life of that person, and that this sign will become an invitation, a stimulus for us all towards a Christian life ever more profound and full. Finally, the sine qua non condition is the holiness of the person’s life, verified during the precise and formal canonical proceedings. All this provides the material for the decision of the Successor of Peter, of the Pope in view of the proclamation of a Blessed or of a Saint, of the cult in the context of the ecclesial community and of its liturgy.

John Paul II’s pontificate was an eloquent and clear sign, not only for Catholics, but also for world public opinion, for people of all colour and creed. The world’s reaction to his lifestyle, to the development of his apostolic mission, to the way he bore his suffering, to the decision to continue his Petrine mission to the end as willed by divine Providence, and finally, the reaction to his death, the popularity of the acclamation “Saint right now!” which someone made on the day of his funerals, all this has its solid foundation in the experience of having met with the person who was the Pope. The faithful have felt, have experienced that he is “God’s man”, who really sees the concrete steps and the mechanisms of contemporary world “in God”, in God’s perspective, with the eyes of a mystic who looks up to God only. He was clearly a man of prayer: so much so that it is from the dynamism of his personal union with God, from the permanent listening to what God wants to say in a concrete situation, that the whole of “Pope John Paul II’s activity” flowed. Those who were closest to him have been able to see that, prior to his meetings with his guests, with Heads of State, with Church high officials or ordinary citizens, John Paul II would recollect himself in prayer according to the intentions of the guests and of the meeting that was to come.

1 – Karol Wojtyla’s contribution to Vatican II Council

After Vatican II, during the pontificates of Paul VI and of John Paul II, the manner of presentation, and thus of self-presentation of the papacy, has become quite expressive. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the pontificate of John Paul II, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs published in 2004 a book entitled Go forth in the whole world. Giancarlo Zizola, a “vaticanist”, remarked on the fact that “the papacy has conquered its citizenship in the realm of public visibility, breaking away from the siege of worship marginalisation where it had been kept by decree of secular society, in the name of a militant vision of the liberal tenet of Separation of Church and State” (p. 17). A German historian, Jesuit Klaus Schatz, speaking of Paul VI and of John Paul II, underlined the meaning of the “papacy on the way” – thus in conformity with Vatican II – more in the manner of a missionary movement than as a static pole of unity. Schatz refers to the manner of interpreting the papal mission as a challenge to “confirm the brothers in the faith” (Lk 22, 32), in a way tied to structural authority, but with a strong spiritual and charismatic hint, in link with the personal credibility and rooted in God himself.

Let us pause a moment to consider Vatican II. The young archbishop of Cracow was one of the most active Council Fathers. He made a significant contribution to the “Scheme XIII” which was to become the Pastoral Constitution of the Council Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the Modern World, and to the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium. Thanks to his studies abroad, bishop Wojtyla had a concrete experience of evangelisation and of the mission of the Church, in Western Europe or in other continents, but above all of totalitarian atheism in Poland and in the other countries of the “Soviet Block”. He brought all this experience to the Council debates, which were certainly not like drawing-room conversations, extremely courteous but void of contents. Here was a substantial and decisive effort to insert the Gospel’s dynamism into the conciliar enthusiasm rooted on the conviction that Christianity is capable of furnishing a “soul” to the development of modernity and to the reality of the social and cultural world.

All this was to be of use in preparing for the future responsibilities of the Successor of Peter. As John Paul II said, he already had in his mind his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, and brought it to Rome from Cracow. All he had to do in Rome was to write down all these ideas. In this encyclical, there is a wide invitation to humankind to rediscover the reality of Redemption in Christ:

Man (…) remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”. (…) man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the Redemption man becomes newly “expressed” and, in a way, is newly created. (…) The man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being-he must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. (n° 10)

This union of Christ with man is in itself a mystery. From the mystery is born “the new man”, called to become a partaker of God’s life, and newly created in Christ for the fullness of grace and truth. (…) Man is transformed inwardly by this power as the source of a new life that does not disappear and pass away but lasts to eternal life. (…) This life, which the Father has promised and offered to each man in Jesus Christ (…) is in a way the fulfilment of the “destiny” that God has prepared for him from eternity. This “divine destiny” is advancing, in spite of all the enigmas, the unsolved riddles, the twists and turns of “human destiny” in the world of time. Indeed, while all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to the frontier of death and the goal of the destruction of the human body, beyond that goal we see Christ. “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me… shall never die”. (n° 18)

2 – “Totus Tuus”, trust in Mary Mother of God

The life of John Paul II was totally devoted to the service of the Lord, by the intercession of the Mother. His motto was “Totus Tuus”, whether for the good of the Church or for that of man who is the way for the Church (Redemptor Hominis, n° 14). This is the “raison d’être” of the international Apostolic Voyages, the daily meetings with people, with those in charge of ecclesial communities, with cardinals and bishops, with the Heads of other Churches and Christian communities, the Heads of other religions, and with the laity. This is equally true of the written documents of the Pope, the diplomatic relations of the Holy See with the States and International Organisations. The deep conviction of the value of Vatican II – not only on the necessity but also about the possibility, by the Church, to bring the Gospel of Christ and build on it the experience of the Church as a vibrant and energising inspiration of the vision and mechanisms of the modern world – this has always been the Pope’s conviction.

In 1989 the “Berlin Wall” fell, but on the international level, one could feel the destructive force of the commercial mechanisms and of the particular economic and ideological interests, ever more anonymous, bringing injustice and marginalisation to all peoples – even of certain social groups in well developed countries –, and in particular, one could perceive how human life has been devalued. In his many International Apostolic Voyages in the various continents, the Pope voiced the Gospel of Christ and the Church’s preoccupation. He wrote it in a more systematic way in the encyclicals: Laborem Exercens, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Centesimus Annus; and also Evangelium Vitae, Veritatis Splendor, Fides et Ratio; and the encyclicals dealing directly with life and the apostolate of the Church, like Dominum et Vivificantem, Redemptoris Missio, Ut Unum Sint, Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

3 – The Iraq war and the “peace offensive”

Sometimes, as in the case of the efforts to avoid war between the United States and Iraq, there is a real “peace offensive” not only in order to save people’s lives, but also to bring to a halt the growth of hatred and of the insane ideas about civilisation clashes, or about the new phenomenon of world scale terrorism. Thus, the New Year address to the diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, and the unforgettable February 2002 with the series of meetings of the Pope with diplomats of “first category”: J. Fischer (7th Feb.); Tarek Aziz (14th Feb.); Kofi Annan (18th Feb.); Tony Blair (22nd Feb.); José Maria Aznar and the envoy of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran (27th Feb.); and finally, because of the humanly unbearable situation, the decision to send Cardinal Etchegaray on a special mission to Baghdad (15th Feb.) and Cardinal Pio Laghi to Washington (3rd – 9th March). The “February of the Pope” came to a conclusion with the meeting of Cardinal J.L. Tauran with the 74 ambassadors and diplomats from the entire world; as the Secretary for the Relations with the States, the “Minister for Foreign Affairs” of the Pope, Cardinal Tauran made an appeal in order to avoid war, and called to mind all that the Pope had said in his “peace offensive”.

4 – Year 2000 Jubilee: a historical reality to remember the coming of Jesus of Nazareth

The current task of John Paul II was centred on the pastoral and life of the Church: the Bishops’ Ad limina visits from the entire world, the Wednesday audiences and the Sunday meetings with the faithful for the Angelus, the pastoral visits of Roman parishes. All was done to promote the proclamation of Christ, to bring closer to our knowledge His Person and the fact that “the words that Christ has said when he was about to leave the Apostles tell us about the mystery of man’s history, of one and all, the mystery of humankind’s history. Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is an immersion in the living God, “in the One who is, who was and who will be”. Baptism is the start of the encounter, of unity, of communion, and of this earthly life is but a prologue and an introduction; fulfilment and fullness belong to eternity. “This world’s figure is fading away.” We must therefore find ourselves “in the world of God”, in order to reach the goal, to come to the fullness of life and of man’s vocation” (Cracow, 10th June 1979).

“This was precisely one of the things that John Paul II wanted most: to explain clearly that we look to Christ who comes; of course, to the One who came, but even more to the One who comes, and that, in this perspective, our faith keeps us oriented towards the future. In this way, we are really capable of presenting the message of faith, in a new manner, in the perspective of Christ who comes,” (Benedict XVI, Light of the World).

The Great Jubilee of Redemption, in the Year 2000, was not for John Paul II a “pretext” for pastoral action, but first and foremost a historical reality reminding us of the coming of Jesus of Nazareth and everything that this historical event has brought, viz. Redemption, the Testimony of the Love of God unto the Cross and Resurrection, the life of the early Church, the path of salvation accomplished by the Saviour by which He has introduced his Church as a sign and an instrument of internal unity with God, as well as that of the human family. The Year 2000 Jubilee reminds us of the Holy Land, the land of Jesus, and of Rome, the place of apostolate of the Successor of Peter, the bond of authenticity of the message and of the unity of the ecclesial community. This message has been reformulated in the Apostolic Letters Tertio Millenio Adveniente and Novo Millennio Ineunte. But, for the Pope, what mattered most was the personal thanksgiving and that of the entire Church to our Lord Jesus and the encounter in faith with the One who has loved to the end, who has saved us and remains a sign so sorely needed in a world that is becoming increasingly deaf, while trying to organise its life as if God did not exist, thus erring without identity and without meaning.

5 – Attention to the Youth and the meaning of WYD

John Paul II used to evaluate the results of the international Apostolic Voyages with his collaborators, to identify what was well done, and to see to the changes for the coming voyages. After the voyage in Poland in 1991, the Pope noticed that, during the Mass in Warsaw, in the farthest parts, the young people came and went away, drank beer or coca-cola, and came back. “It was not like this during the previous voyages, he noted, there has been a change in the society’s mentality. It is not worth looking at the “first places”. The VIP are always seated in the same manner, but the “margins” are important and worth our attention.” It is worth noting that the Pope did not use the word “crowd”: he has always seen and paid attention to “people”. He was very attentive to the role of the laity in the life and mission of the Church. It is quite meaningful that, when he was still University chaplain in Cracow, he exploited a brief period of “political thaw” in 1957 to organise – in collaboration with the archbishop of Wroclaw, Boleslaw Kominek – a symposium in the city for more than 100 university students from all Poland (for the first time since decades!) precisely on the theme “The role of lay people in the Church” (and that was years before Vatican II!). Later, during the summer vacations, he organised spiritual exercises at the place of the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union in Bado ?laskie for a slightly smaller group of the participants of the symposium of Wroclaw, precisely to promote the “formation of the laity”.

With the creation of the World Youth Days, the Pope gave his support to various forms of activity of the lay people in the life and mission of the Church, thus paving the way to the very meaningful initiatives, some years later, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI: the holding in September 2010 in Korea, of an important Congress for the lay Catholics of Asia; the meetings of African bishops who are ever more encouraging the lay people to hold positions of responsibility in the sectors of evangelisation, social activity and in the Church’s educational sphere; the significant presence of lay Catholics in the continental Mission of Latin America.

Reviewing his pontificate, Benedict XVI makes a note of the generation changes on a world scale, and comes to the same conclusion as his predecessor, namely that “times have changed”. Meanwhile a new generation has come, with new problems. The generation of the late sixties, with its own peculiarities, has come and gone. Even the following generation, more pragmatic, is ageing. Today, one must ask: “How can we cope with a world that threatens itself, and in which progress becomes a danger? Should we not start all over again from God?” (Light of the World). So Benedict XVI makes an appeal “that a new generation of Catholics may rise, people inwardly renewed who would commit themselves in politics without any inferiority complex” (an idea oft repeated by the Pope, namely in the Message for the 46th Social Week of Italian Catholics, 12th October 2010). He goes on to call for a new generation of good intellectuals and scientists, attentive to the fact “that a scientific perspective that ignores the ethical and religious dimension of life becomes dangerously narrow, just as a religion would, if it were to refuse a legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world” (London, St. Mary’s College, 17th September 2010); the Pope calls for a “new generation of committed Christian laypeople capable of seeking, with competency and moral rigor, solutions of sustainable development” (7th September 2008).

6 – The simplicity of John Paul II’s prayer

When we recall what John Paul II has accomplished, the “big events” are mixed with the remembrance of simple moments of prayer, which have been a source of surprise even to his collaborators. I’ll mention only two, coming from two different periods of his life. In the seventies, I was students’ chaplain at the Catholic University in Lublin. At the beginning of the academic year, the then Cardinal of Cracow came to take part in the Eucharist at the university church, in the official inauguration of the big Hall, and for lunch. After that, the Cardinal was ready to return to Cracow. The Rector of the University, Fr. Krapiec, accompanied him to the car, but stopped to chat with another guest, so much so that they were late to arrive at the car. But lo! The Cardinal had “disappeared”! The ten seconds they waited seemed like ten centuries. The Rector, accustomed to having everything under control, did not know where the Cardinal could have gone to. He asked me: “Where is Wojtyla? The Cardinal has disappeared! Where is he?” With a slight mocking smile, I took some time before answering him, just to tease him a bit. Then I told him: “He has probably gone to the church.” There we went, and sure enough, we found the Cardinal, kneeling in prayer in front of the Way of the Cross.

The other recollection was in 1999, during his seventh Apostolic Voyage in Poland. It lasted for 13 days, with 22 stops in the programme, from the North to the South of the country. A programme well beyond the physical capabilities of the Pope. One of those days, there was to be – according to the programme – the blessing of the Sanctuary of Lichen, the Eucharist in Bydgoszcz, then a meeting with the university people, the liturgy of the Sacred Heart, in link with the beatification of Fr. Frelichowski in another city, in Torun, then back to Lichen for the overnight stay. A more than busy day! Thus, after dinner, the papal suite went to bed immediately. But the Pope just locked himself in the chapel for a long, a very long moment of prayer. There remained only three of us: Bishop Chrapek, in charge of the visit planning for the episcopate; myself, as “assistant”, and the famous Camillo Cibin, head of the Vatican security. At last the Pope came out of the chapel to go to his bedroom. Cibin said to me: “Father Andrea, bring me a chair. But one that is hard, made of wood, not a sofa, two cups of coffee, strong coffee, and an apple.” All this was to help him wait all night at the door of the Pope’s bedroom, which was not totally closed, to ascertain if the Pope – not only tired but also advanced in years – was breathing normally or if he had any need of assistance. The personal holiness of the Pope was something over and above the esteem he enjoyed among his closest collaborators, and that was quite significant.

7 – The Will of John Paul II

John Paul II was conscious of the fact that we are experiencing a very trying moment in history, that the Successor of Peter has the duty to confirm in the faith, but he was equally conscious of the fact that the most important aspect was to depend on God. The will he wrote in 1979, and which he modified every year, during the spiritual exercises, gives us a powerful testimony of this. From the 24th February to the 1st March, he wrote:

“24.II – 1.III.1980. During these spiritual exercises, I reflected on the truth of Christ’s Priesthood in view of the Passage which is, for each of us, the hour of our own death. For us, parting from this world – to be reborn in the next, the world to come, eloquent sign (he adds the word decisive above it), is the Resurrection of Christ. (…) The times we live in have become unspeakably difficult and worrying. The life of the Church has also become difficult and tense, a characteristic trial of these times – for the faithful and for the pastors. In some countries (like the one which I read about during the spiritual exercises), the Church finds herself in a time of persecution equal to that of the first centuries, maybe more, according to the degree of cruelty and hatred. Sanguis martyrum – semen christianorum. Furthermore, so many innocent people have disappeared, even in this country where we are living…

Once again I wish to entrust myself totally to the Lord’s grace. He will decide when and how I am to end my earthly life and my pastoral ministry. In life as in death, Totus Tuus, through the Immaculate. By already accepting this death, I hope that Christ give me the grace for this last passage, that is (my) Pasch. I equally hope that he renders it useful for this more important cause I try to serve: the salvation of human beings, the protection of the human family, in all nations and among all peoples (among these I am thinking in particular of my own earthly country), useful for those who, in a special way, have been entrusted to me, in the Church, for the glory of the same God.”

On the 5th March 1982, he added: “The attempt on my life, on 13.V.1981, has confirmed, in a certain way, the accuracy of the words written during the 1980 spiritual exercises (24.II – 1.III). I feel even more deeply that I am completely in the Hands of God – and I remain constantly available to my Lord, entrusting myself to Him in His Immaculate Mother (Totus Tuus).”

Then, on the 17th Marche of the Jubilee Year 2000, number 3: “As for every year, during the spiritual exercises, I read my will of the 6.III.1979. I continue to maintain the provisions contained in it. What has been added, at that time and during the following spiritual exercises, constitutes a reflection of the difficult and tense general situation which has marked the eighties. Since the autumn of 1989, this situation has changed. The last decade of the past century was free of the previous tensions; this does not mean there were no new problems or difficulties. In a special way, may the Divine Providence be praised for this, in that the so-called “cold war” period has ended without violent nuclear conflict, a threat which weighed on the world during the previous period” (words underlined by the Pope himself).

8 – An essential aspect of the new Blessed: “God is the foundation of all our efforts”

This is again an essential aspect, if one wishes to understand more deeply the personality of the Church’s new Blessed, Karol Wojtyla – John Paul II. The foundation of all the efforts of our life is in God. We are covered by divine love, by the results of Redemption and Salvation. But we must help people to become deeply rooted in God himself; we must do everything possible to create personal and social attitudes rooted in the reality of God. This requires patience, time and the ability to see everything through the eyes of God.

The last, brief pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in Poland, more specifically in his “small country”, in Cracow, Wadovice and the Way of the Cross (of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska), showed a determination, but also a spiritual acuity “in the process of maturation in time” so that all humankind, especially the ecclesial and Christian community, can understand more fully some of the fundamental aspects of faith. Since the beginning of his pontificate, in 1978, John Paul II often spoke in his homilies of the mercy of God. This became the theme of his second encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, in 1980. He was aware that modern culture and its language do not have a place for mercy, treating it as something strange; they try to inscribe everything in the categories of justice and law. But this does not suffice, for it is not what the reality of God is about.

9 – Entrusting the world to Divine Mercy

Later on, the Pope took some steps to finalise the process of Beatification of Sr. Faustina Kowalska, and the canonisation (2000). The whole ecclesial community was brought to feel the closeness of the person so intimately linked to the message of Mercy; this facilitated the development of the topic for John Paul II, showing the reality of Divine Mercy in the many contexts around the world, in various continents, of humanity today.

Finally, in August 2002, in Lagiewniki, where Sr. Faustina lived and died, John Paul II entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, to the unlimited trust in God the Merciful, to the One who has been a source of inspiration, but also of strength for his service as Successor of Peter. “It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, who leads us on the ways of Divine Mercy. By convicting the world “concerning sin, righteousness and condemnation” (Jn 16, 8), he reveals at the same time the fullness of salvation in Christ. This convicting concerning sin is doubly related to the Cross of Christ. On the one hand, the Holy Spirit enables us, through the Cross of Christ, to recognize sin, any sin, in the dimension of evil which it contains and hides. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit enables us, again through the Cross of Christ, to see sin in the light of the mysterium pietatis, i.e. of the forgiving and merciful love of God (cf. Dominum et vivificantem, 32). Thus, the “convicting concerning sin” also becomes a conviction that sin can be forgiven, and that man can recover the dignity of a beloved son of God. The Cross is in fact the most profound humbling of God before man. The Cross is like a touch of eternal love on the most painful wounds of man’s earthly existence” (Dives in Misericordia, 8). This truth will always be brought to mind by the cornerstone of this Sanctuary, extracted from Mount Calvary, in a certain way under the Cross on which Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. (…) How much the world is in need of the mercy of God today! In every continent, from the depths of human suffering, a cry for mercy seems to rise. In those places where hatred and the thirst for revenge are overwhelming, where war brings suffering and the death of innocents, one needs the grace of mercy to pacify the minds and the hearts and make peace spring forth. In those places where there is less respect for life and human dignity, one needs the merciful love of God, in whose light we see the ineffable value of every single human being. Mercy is needed to ensure that every injustice may find its solution in the splendour of truth. So today, in this Sanctuary, I solemnly wish to entrust the world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the burning desire that the message of God’s merciful love, proclaimed here through Saint Faustina, may reach all the inhabitants of the earth and fill their hearts with hope. May this message spread from this place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here has to come out “the spark that will prepare the world for his final coming” (Homily in Lagiewniki, 17th August 2002).

Thus did the last months in the life of Pope John Paul II, marked by suffering, bring his Pontificate to its fulfilment.

On June 23, 2005, The Diocese of Rome, in charge of promoting the beatification of late Pope John Paul II, released an official prayer to implore favors through the intercession of the Pontiff.

The English version of the prayer (on Catholic News Agency web site) follows:

“O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him.

“Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

“Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.”

The formal beatification process will start June 28, 2005

Related article: Blessed John Paul II — A Beacon in a Dark World – by Colleen Carroll Campbell


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Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: October 22nd

Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II

MASS READINGS

October 22, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the blessed John Paul the Second should preside as Pope over your universal Church, grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching, we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, the sole Redeemer of mankind. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Library (2)

Old Calendar: St. Mary Salome (Hist)

The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has approved the insertion of the optional memorial of St. John Paul II in the proper calendar of the dioceses of the United States for today.

Karol Jozef Wojtyla was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and resumed various pastoral and academic tasks. He became first auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, Archbishop of Krakow and took part in the Second Vatican Council. On 16 October 1978 he was elected pope and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits which he has left as a heritage to the Church are above all his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. In Rome on 2 April 2005, the eve of the Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he departed peacefully in the Lord.

Historically today is the feast of St. Mary Salome, the mother of James the Greater and John the Evangelist, the “sons of Zebedee.” She was among the women who stayed by while Jesus was on the cross, according to Gospels she is among the women who discovered the empty tomb.


St. John Paul II
Karol Jozef Wojtyla, elected Pope on 16 October 1978, was born in Wadowice, Poland, on 18 May 1920.

He was the third of three children born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska, who died in 1929. His elder brother Edmund, a physician, died in 1932, and his father, Karol, a non-commissioned officer in the army, died in 1941.

He was nine years old when he received his First Communion and eighteen when he received the Sacrament of Confirmation. After completing high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in the Jagellonian University of Krakow in 1938.

When the occupying Nazi forces closed the University in 1939, Karol worked (1940-1944) in a quarry and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn a living and to avoid deportation to Germany.

Feeling called to the priesthood, he began his studies in 1942 in the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by the Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha. During that time, he was one of the organizers of the “Rhapsodic Theatre”, which was also clandestine.

After the war, Karol continued his studies in the major seminary, newly reopened, and in the school of theology at the Jagellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on 1 November 1946. Father Wojtyla was then sent by Cardinal Sapieha to Rome, where he attained a doctorate in theology (1948). He wrote his dissertation on faith as understood in the works of Saint John of the Cross. While a student in Rome, he spent his vacations exercising pastoral ministry among Polish emigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948, Father Wojtyla returned to Poland and was appointed a curate in the parish church of Niegowi?, near Krakow, and later at Saint Florian in the city. He was a university chaplain until 1951, when he again undertook studies in philosophy and theology. In 1953, Father Wojtyla presented a dissertation at the Jagellonian University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler. Later he became professor of moral theology and ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the theology faculty of Lublin.

On 4 July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Father Wojtyla auxiliary bishop of Krakow, with the titular see of Ombi. Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak ordained him in Wawel Cathedral (Krakow) on 28 September 1958.

On 13 January 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Wojtyla as Archbishop of Krakow and subsequently, on 26 June 1967, created him a Cardinal.

Bishop Wojtyla took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962- 1965) and made a significant contribution to the drafting of the Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He also took part in the five assemblies of the Synod of Bishops prior to the start of his Pontificate.

On 16 October 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope and on 22 October he began his ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.

Pope John Paul II made 146 pastoral visits in Italy and, as the Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 322 Roman parishes. His international apostolic journeys numbered 104 and were expressions of the constant pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter for all the Churches.

His principal documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters. He also wrote five books: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October 1994); Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (November 1996); Roman Triptych, meditations in poetry (March 2003); Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way (May 2004) and Memory and Identity (February 2005).

Pope John Paul II celebrated 147 beatifications, during which he proclaimed 1,338 blesseds, and 51 canonizations, for a total of 482 saints. He called 9 consistories, in which he created 231 Cardinals (plus one in pectore). He also presided at 6 plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals.

From 1978, Pope John Paul II convoked 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops: 6 ordinary general sessions (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), 1 extraordinary general session (1985) and 8 special sessions (1980, 1991,1994,1995,1997,1998 (2) and 1999).

On 13 May 1981, an attempt was made on Pope John Paul II’s life in Saint Peter’s Square. Saved by the maternal hand of the Mother of God, following a lengthy stay in the hospital, he forgave the attempted assassin and, aware of having received a great gift, intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity.

Pope John Paul II also demonstrated his pastoral concern by erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions, and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and the Oriental Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual experiences. He also attracted young people by beginning the celebration of World Youth Day.

No other Pope met as many people as Pope John Paul II. More than 17.6 million pilgrims attended his Wednesday General Audiences (which numbered over 1,160). This does not include any of the other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8 million pilgrims in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000 alone). He met millions of the faithful in the course of his pastoral visits in Italy and throughout the world. He also received numerous government officials in audience, including 38 official visits and 738 audiences and meetings with Heads of State, as well as 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

Pope John Paul II died in the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday, 2 April 2005, the vigil of Sunday in albis or Divine Mercy Sunday, which he had instituted. On 8 April, his solemn funeral was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square and he was buried in the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on 1 May 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate successor and for many years his valued collaborator as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Excerpted from the Vatican Website


St. Mary Salome
Saint Mary Salome was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of the apostles John and James the Greater. Known as the “Sons of Thunder”, these two great men were among the first to be chosen by Jesus to follow Him. Mary Salome, their mother, would be one of the “three Marys” to follow Jesus and minister to Him and His disciples. Thought to be the financial source for their travels, Mary Salome, along with Mary Magdalene and others, would give all they had to further the works of Jesus and His followers.
Mary Salome was a witness to the crucifixion, entombment and was mentioned by St Mark as one of the women who went to anoint the Lord’s body, finding Him to be resurrected. In the Gospel, Mary Salome asks what place her sons will have in the Kingdom. Jesus tells her that it is the Father who decides and that they will have to follow His example and earn their place in paradise. Legend says that after Pentecost, Mary Salome would travel to Veroli, Italy where she would preach the Gospel for the rest of her life. She would become the patron saint of this historic city.

Many women of this day and age can relate to a women of such faith as Mary Salome. She watched her sons drop what they were doing, leave the family business and follow a man they knew little about. At first, this must have been frightening. But, just as many mothers have watched their sons leave, maybe to go off to war, great faith carried her through and even led her to take up the same cause as her sons. May we all have the faith and love of Mary Salome.

This Wednesday, October 22nd, we celebrate the feast day of St Mary Salome, mother of the apostles John and James.

Excerpted from the Papa Benedetto XVI website

Saint Luke, Evangelist

Franciscan Media

 

<em>The Apostle Luke</em> | Andrey MironovImage: The Apostle Luke | Andrey Mironov

Saint Luke

Saint of the Day for October 18

(d. c. 84)

 

 

Saint Luke’s Story

Luke wrote one of the major portions of the New Testament, a two-volume work comprising the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be a native of Antioch, and Paul calls him “our beloved physician.” His Gospel was probably written between 70 and 85 A.D.

Luke appears in Acts during Paul’s second journey, remains at Philippi for several years until Paul returns from his third journey, accompanies Paul to Jerusalem, and remains near him when he is imprisoned in Caesarea. During these two years, Luke had time to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. He accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion.

Luke’s unique character may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles:
1) The Gospel of Mercy
2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation
3) The Gospel of the Poor
4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation
5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit
6) The Gospel of Joy


Reflection

Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. His Gospel and Acts of the Apostles reveal his expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources. There is a warmth to Luke’s writing that sets it apart from that of the other synoptic Gospels, and yet it beautifully complements those works. The treasure of the Scriptures is a true gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.


Saint Luke is the Patron Saint of:

Artists/Painters
Brewers
Butchers
Notaries
Physicians/Surgeons


For more on Saint Luke, click here!

Saint Luke, physician who chronicled Christ’s life, to be celebrated October 18
Christmas – Gospel According to Saint Luke
Life of St. Luke the Evangelist
American’s donation lets pope peruse oldest copy of St. Luke’s Gospel
Orthodox Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist
The Life Of The Holy Apostle And Evangelist Luke
It Could Be St. Luke’s Body, After All.
Happy St. Luke’s!
Body of St Luke Gains Credibility

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Memorial of St. Bartholomew, Apostle to the gentiles in Armenia and Western India
St. Paul’s Church, Tarsus, Turkey

Alleluia Ping Please FReepmail me/annalex to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

4 posted on 8/24/2021, 5:58:52 AM by Cronos ( One cannot desire freedom from the Cross, especially when one is especially chosen for the cross)

St. BartholomewSt. Bartholomew St. ThaddeusSt. ThaddeusPre-301
According to the Holy Tradition of the Armenian Church, the first seeds of Christianity were sown on the Armenian land at the time of the apostles. In the 1st century, both external and internal conditions were favourable for preaching Christianity in Armenia. Christianity also spread to the countries close to Armenia: Cappadocia, Osrohene, and Adiabene. Armenia’s commercial, political, and cultural relations with those countries made the advance of Christianity easier. Christianity was first introduced in Lesser Armenia and then expanded to Greater Armenia.

A series of historical testimonies in Armenian, Syriac, Greek and Latin, confirm the fact that the Apostles Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew preached Christianity in Armenia, thus becoming the founders of the Armenian Church. An important prerequisite for the propagation of Christianity was the existence of a Jewish Diaspora in Armenia. It is known that the first preachers of Christianity usually began their activity in those communities. The Apostle St. Thaddeus, arriving in Edessa, resided at the house of a Jewish nobleman Tubia. At that time, Jewish communities existed in the principal cities of Armenia, in Tigranokert, Artashat, Vagharshapat, and Zarehavan.

After the Ascension of Christ, St. Thaddeus arrived in Edessa in 44 A.D. and cured King Abgar of Osrohene from leprosy. After preaching throughout lesser Armenia, he ordained Bishop Addeh to serve in his absence as locum tenens of the Church and left for Greater Armenia to preach the Word of God. According to the Holy Tradition, Bishop Addeh was a royal robe maker by trade, and the maker of mitres to the Edessan court. After St. Thaddeus departed, King Abgar’s son, who ascended the throne after his father’s death, re-established paganism. He demanded that Bishop Addeh make him a mitre. Bishop Addeh refused, and soon after was martyred. He is remembered as St. Addeh.

St. Thaddeus continued his preaching in Greater Armenia, and converted many followers, including Princess Sandukht, the daughter of King Sanatruk of Shavarshan, in the province of Artaz.

When the king learned of his daughter’s conversion, he used every means possible to convince her to return to paganism. Exhausting all efforts, the king finally offered his daughter a choice between Christianity and death or paganism and her crown. Remaining steadfast in her faith, she chose death, and became the first woman saint of the Armenian Church. In addition to her martyrdom, St. Sandukht is also remembered for her efforts in converting others.

By the order of King Sanatruk St. Thaddeus, along with his converts, was martyred soon after the princess in 66 A.D., for preaching Christianity. Before he was killed, St. Thaddeus secretly buried the remains of St. Sandukht. A monk named Giragos discovered the remains of St. Thaddeus and St. Sandukht near a field of Shavarshan, sometime in the 4th or early 5th century.

St. Bartholomew arrived in Armenia after preaching in Persia, during the 29th year of King Sanatruk’s reign. Here he converted the king’s sister Voguhy and many nobles. He also was martyred by King Sanatruk’s orders in 68 A.D., in the city of Arebanos, which was situated between the Lakes Van and Urmia.

Near the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd centuries, members of the Voskyan and Sukiasian families continued the preaching of St. Thaddeus. A portion of the history about the martyrdom of these Saints has been preserved until today. The author of the historic account is the historian Tatian (2nd century), who was well acquainted with all the stories of the apostles and the first Christian preachers. His references on the preachers and martyrs in Armenia are of great value.

Official Adoption

5 posted on 8/24/2021, 6:01:18 AM by Cronos ( One cannot desire freedom from the Cross, especially when one is especially chosen for the cross)

To: Cronos
Saint Bartholomew Monastery – ruined in Turkey


In the early 20th century


In Ruins in 2009

Saint Bartholomew Monastery (Armenian: Սուրբ Բարդուղիմեոսի վանք, Surb Barduğimeosi vank’ ; Western Armenian: Surp Part’uğimeosi vank’ ) was a medieval Armenian monastery in the historic province of Vaspurakan. The monastery was built on the traditional site of martyrdom of Bartholomew the Apostle, who is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the first century. Along with Thaddeus the Apostle, Bartholomew is considered the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It was a prominent pilgrimage site prior to the Armenian genocide. Today, it is heavily ruined and the dome entirely gone.

According to tradition the monastery was founded by the Arsacid King Sanatruk in the first century on the tomb of Bartholomew the Apostle, who healed him from leprosy.

The monastery was abandoned in 1915 during the Armenian genocide although a last mass was allowed by Levon Tutundjian [de Vartavan] to be given by a priest, in the presence of his soldiers, on August 14, 1916, a day before the Assumption of Mary. Tutundjian, who was attached to the French Mission in the Caucasus, and his troops spent part of the summer 1916 in the monastery sleeping in the monks’ cells.

The whole structure is now very heavily ruined and the dome is entirely gone. The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute states that it was blown up by the Turkish military.

Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew

Jusepe de Ribera

1644
Oil on canvas
202 cm × 153 cm (80 in × 60 in)
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

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Readings at Mass
Franciscan Media
<em>Sant Bertolomeu</em> | Bernat JiménezImage: Sant Bertolomeu | Bernat Jiménez
Saint Bartholomew
Saint of the Day for August 24
(b. 1st century)
Saint Bartholomew’s Story
In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the apostles. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip. Jesus paid him a great compliment: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48b). Whatever amazing revelation this involved, it brought Nathanael to exclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49b). But Jesus countered with, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50b).
Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (see John 21:1-14). They had been fishing all night without success. In the morning, they saw someone standing on the shore though no one knew it was Jesus. He told them to cast their net again, and they made so great a catch that they could not haul the net in. Then John cried out to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When they brought the boat to shore, they found a fire burning, with some fish laid on it and some bread. Jesus asked them to bring some of the fish they had caught, and invited them to come and eat their meal. John relates that although they knew it was Jesus, none of the apostles presumed to inquire who he was. This, John notes, was the third time Jesus appeared to the apostles.

Reflection
Bartholomew or Nathanael? We are confronted again with the fact that we know almost nothing about most of the apostles. Yet the unknown ones were also foundation stones, the 12 pillars of the new Israel whose 12 tribes now encompass the whole earth. Their personalities were secondary—without thereby being demeaned—to their great office of bearing tradition from their firsthand experience, speaking in the name of Jesus, putting the Word Made Flesh into human words for the enlightenment of the world. Their holiness was not an introverted contemplation of their status before God. It was a gift that they had to share with others. The Good News was that all are called to the holiness of being Christ’s members, by the gracious gift of God.
The simple fact is that humanity is totally meaningless unless God is its total concern. Then humanity, made holy with God’s own holiness, becomes the most precious creation of God.

Saint Bartholomew is the Patron Saint of:
Plasterers
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The Golden Legend: The Life of Saint Bartholomew
The Apostle Bartholomew, His Words Present a Double Aspect of Jesus’ Identity
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW,APOSTLE
Feast of St. Bartholomew
Martyrdom of the Holy and Glorious Apostle, Bartholomew
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Red
Double of the Second Class
A WITNESS OF THE SON OF GOD, one of the princes who announced his glory to the nations, lights up this day with his apostolic flame. While his brethren of the sacred College followed the human race into all the lands whither the migration of nations had led it, Bartholomew appeared as the herald of the Lord, at the very starting point, the mountains of Armenia whence the sons of Noe spread over the earth. There had the figurative Ark rested; humanity, everywhere else a wanderer, was there seated in stillness, remembering the dove with its olive branch, and awaiting the consummation of the alliance signified by the rainbow which had there for the first time glittered in the clouds. Behold, blessed tidings awake in those valleys the echoes of ancient traditions: tidings of peace, making the universal deluge of sin subside before the Wood of salvation. The serenity announced by the dove of old was now far outdone. Love was to take the place of punishment. The ambassador of heaven showed God to the sons of Adam, as the most beautiful of their own brethren. The noble heights whence formerly flowed the rivers of Paradise were about to see the renewal of the covenant annulled in Eden, and the celebration, amid the joy of heaven and earth, of the divine nuptials so long expected, the union of the Word with regenerated humanity.
Personally, what was this Apostle whose ministry borrowed such solemnity from the scene of his apostolic labors? Under the name, or surname of Bartholomew, the only mark of recognition given him by the first three Gospels, are we to see, as many have thought, that Nathaniel, whose presentation to Jesus by Philip forms so sweet a scene of St. John’s Gospel?—a man full of uprightness, innocence and simplicity who was worthy to have had the dove for his precursor, and for whom the Man-God had choice graces and caresses from the very beginning.
Be this as it may, the lot which fell to our Saint among the twelve, points to the special confidence of the divine Heart; the heroism of the terrible martyrdom which sealed his apostolate reveals his fidelity; the dignity preserved by the nation he grated on Christ, in all the countries where it has been transplanted, witnesses to the excellence of the sap first infused into its branches. When, two centuries and a half later, Gregory the Illuminator so successfully cultivated the soil of Armenia, he did but quicken the seed sown by the Apostle, which the trials never wanting to that generous land had retarded for a time but could not stifle.
How strangely sad that evil men, nurtured in this turmoil of endless invasions, should have been able to rouse and perpetuate a mistrust of Rome among a race whom wars and tortures and dispersion could not tear from the love of Christ our Savior! Yet, thanks be to God! the movement towards return, more than once begun and then abandoned, seems now to be steadily advancing; the chosen sons of this illustrious nation are laboring perseveringly for so desirable a union by dispelling the prejudices of her people; by revealing to our lands the treasures of her literature so truly Christian, and the magnificences of her liturgy; and above all by praying and devoting themselves to the monastic state under the standard of the Father of Western Monks. Together with these holders of the true national tradition, let us pray to Bartholomew their Apostle; to the disciple Thaddeus who also shared in the first evangelization; to Ripsima the heroic virgin, who from the Roman territory led her thirty-five companions to the conquest of a new land; and to all the martyrs whose blood cemented the building upon the only foundation set by our Lord. Like these great forerunners, may the leader of the second apostolate, Gregory the Illuminator, who wished to see Peter in the person of St. Sylvester, and receive the blessing of the Roman Pontiff—may the holy kings the patriarchs and doctors of Armenia, become once more her chosen guides, and lead her back entirely and irrevocably to the one Fold of the one Shepherd!
We learn from Eusebius and from St. Jerome that before going to Armenia, his final destination, St. Bartholomew evangelized the Indies, where Pantænus a century later found a copy of St. Matthew’s Gospel in Hebrew characters, left there by him. St. Denis records a profound saying of the glorious Apostle, which he thus quotes and comments: “The blessed Bartholomew says of Theology, that it is at once abundant and succinct; of the Gospel, that it is vast in extent and at the same time concise; thus excellently giving us to understand that the beneficent Cause of all beings reveals or manifests himself by many words or by few, or even without any words at all, as being beyond and above all language or thought. For he is above all by his superior essence; and they alone reach him in his truth, without the veils wherewith he surrounds himself, who, passing beyond matter and spirit and rising above the summit of the holiest heights, leave behind them all reflections and echoes of God, all the language of heaven, to enter into the darkness wherein he dwelleth, as the Scripture says, who is above all.”
The city of Rome celebrates the feast of St. Bartholomew tomorrow, as do also the Greeks who commemorate on the 25th of August a translation of the Apostle’s relics. It is owing, in fact, to the various translations of his holy body and to the difficulty of ascertaining the date of his martyrdom that different days have been adopted for his feast by different churches both in the East and in the West. The 24th of this month, consecrated by the use of most of the Latin churches, is the day assigned in the most ancient martyrologies, including that of St. Jerome. In the 13th century, Innocent III, having been consulted as to the divergence, answered that local custom was to be observed.
The Church gives us the following notice of the Apostle of Armenia.
Bartholomæus Apostolus, Galilæus, cum in Indiam citeriorem, quæ ei in orbis terrarum sortitione ad prædicandum Jesu Christi Evangelium obvenerat, progressus esset, adventum Domini Jesu juxta sancti Matthæi Evangelium illis gentibus prædicavit. Sed cum in ea provincia plurimos ad Jesum Christum convertisset multos labores calamitatesque perpessus, venit in majorem Armeniam.
The Apostle Bartholomew was a native of Galilee. It fell to his lot to preach the Gospel in hither India; and he announced to those nations the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. But after converting many souls to Jesus Christ in that province and undergoing much labor and suffering he went into Eastern Armenia.
Ibi Polymium regem et conjugem ejus, ac præterea duodecim civitates ad christianam fidem perduxit. Quæ res in eum magnam invidiam concitavit illius gentis sacerdotum. Nam usque adeo Astyagem Polymii regis fratrem in Apostolum incenderunt, ut is vivo Bartholomæo pellem crudeliter detrahi jusserit, ac caput abscindi: quo in martyrio animam Deo reddidit.
Here he converted to the Christian faith the king Polymius and his queen and twelve cities. This caused the pagan priests of that nation to be exceedingly jealous of him, and they stirred up Astyages the brother of king Polymius against the Apostle, so that he commanded him to be flayed alive and finally beheaded. In this cruel martyrdom he gave up his soul to God.
Ejus corpus Albani, quæ est urbs majoris Armeniæ, ubi is passus fuerat, sepultum est: quod postea ad Liparam insulam delatum, inde Beneventum translatum est: postremo Romam ab Othone tertio imperatore portatum, in Tiberis insula, in ecclesia ejus nomine Deo dicata, collocatum fuit. Agitur autem Romæ dies festus octavo Kalendas Septembris, et per octo consequentes dies illa basilica magna populi frequentia celebratur.
His body was buried at Albanapolis, the town of Eastern Armenia where he was martyred; but it was afterwards taken to the island of Lispari, and thence to Beneventum. Finally it was translated to Rome by the Emperor Otho III and placed on the island of Tiber in a Church dedicated to God under his invocation. His feast is kept at Rome on the 8th of the Kalends of September and during the eight following days that Basilica is much frequented by the faithful.
On this day of thy feast, O holy Apostle, the Church prays in her Collect for the Mass, for grace to love what thou didst believe and to preach what thou didst teach. Not that the Bride of the Son of God could ever fail either in faith or love; but she knows only too well that, though her Head is ever in the light, and her heart ever united to the Spouse in the Holy Spirit who sanctifies her, nevertheless her several members, the particular churches of which she is composed, may detach themselves from their center of life and wander away in darkness. O thou who didst choose our West as the place of thy rest; thou whose precious relics Rome glories in possessing, bring back to Peter the nations thou didst evangelize; fulfill the now reviving hopes of universal union; second the efforts made by the Vicar of the Man-God to gather again under the shepherd’s crook those scattered flocks whose pastures have become parched by schism. May thine own Armenia be the first to complete a return which she began long ago: may she trust the Mother-Church and no more follow the sowers of discord. All being reunited, may we together enjoy the treasures of our concordant traditions, and go to God, even at the cost of being despoiled of all things, by the course so grand and yet so simple taught us by thy example and by thy sublime theology.

Saint Clare, Virgin & St. Philomena

 

 

Information: St. Clare of AssisiFeast Day: August 11

Born: July 16, 1194, Assisi, Italy

Died: August 11, 1253, Assisi, Italy

Canonized: September 26, 1255, Rome by Pope Alexander IV

Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Clare, Assisi

Patron of: clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embrodiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television

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Information: St. PhilomenaFeast Day: August 11

Major Shrine: Church of Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano del Cardinale

Patron of: Children, youth, babies, infants, lost causes, sterility, virgins, Children of Mary, The Universal Living Rosary Association

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Day by Day — Saints for All, Saint Clare of Assisi, 08-11-18

Franciscan Media

<em>Saint Clare</em> | Monastery of Saint Clare, Cincinnati, OHImage: Saint Clare | original painting for the Poor Clares in Cincinnati, OH

Saint Clare of Assisi

Saint of the Day for August 11

(July 16, 1194August 11, 1253)

 

Saint Clare of Assisi’s Story

One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, Clare was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, Clare escaped from her father’s home one night, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed her long tresses to Francis’ scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. Clare clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair, and remained adamant.

Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity, and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. At age 21, Francis obliged Clare under obedience to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.



The Poor Ladies went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat, and observed almost complete silence. Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: “Our bodies are not made of brass.” The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade Clare to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: “I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.”

Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of Clare’s life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick and washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals, and bishops often came to consult her—Clare herself never left the walls of San Damiano.

Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. Clare was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.

A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. Clare had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. “Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.” To her sisters she said, “Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.” The Saracens fled.


Reflection

The 41 years of Clare’s religious life are scenarios of sanctity: an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life as Francis taught her; courageous resistance to the ever-present pressure to dilute the ideal; a passion for poverty and humility; an ardent life of prayer; and a generous concern for her sisters.


Saint Clare is the Patron Saint of:

Eye disorders
Television


Click here for Fr. Don Miller’s thoughts on Saint Clare!

St. Francis of Assisi (and) St. Clare of Assisi [Catholic Caucus]
SAINT CLARE, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE POOR CLARES 1193-1253
Permission has been granted… [Poor Clares in San Antonio] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Clare’s Advice Defended Assisi Against An Attack By the Mohammedans (My Title)
Boomer Contemplating Faith: touching story as only an encounter with Poor Clares could inspire
St Clare of Assisi (1193-1253)
Saint Clare of Assisi

Saint John Vianney, Priest

Day by Day — Saints for All, Saint John Vianney, 08-04-18

The Devil vs. St. Jean Vianney (and the martyrdom of Fr. Hamel)
Priest for Times of Terror: The Curé d’Ars
Fighting Evil Like the Cure of Ars
The Devil’s Most Effective Foe

On a Saint Who Taught and Guided Holy Priests
Pope Benedict to declare St. Jean Vianney Patron of all Priests
Praying People into the Confessional (the example of St. John Vianney)

The divine depository in our hands (so you want to go to heaven?) [Catholic Caucus]

Revitalizing Your Priesthood (The Grace of Ars — about St. John Vianney)
A Seed of Glory and Eternal Life in the Holy Priest’s Flesh [Death of St. John Vianney, Curé d’Ars]
The Priesthood and the Mass
Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars » Follow one Master only
Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars » The World is Everything – God, Nothing!

Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars » We are wretched creatures
Bishop Olmsted on the Devil and John Vianney
St. John Mary Vianney, the Curé d’Ars
Saint John MarIe Baptist Vianney, Cure of Ars (1786-1859)

Novena In Honor Of Saint John Marie Vianney
Curé d’Ars: Model Priest [Year of the Priest]
Pope: There’s an Answer to Empty Confessionals [Catholic Caucus]
St. John Vianney’s Pastoral Plan
Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars » Lost Works

Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars » Have You Religion in Your Heart?
Sermons of St. John Vianney – Cure of Ars: The Dreadful State of the Lukewarm Soul (Catholic Caucus)
Play about life of St. John Vianney to tour U.S. in 2009
Aug 4, St. John Marie Vianney – Patron of Parish Priests
Centuries Old Relic (heart of St. John Vianney) Comes To U.S.

Sainted priest’s heart – Thousands await chance to see incorrupt relic
Saint’s heart to go on display
Excerpts from the Sermons of the Cure of Ars
St. John Vianney’s Pastoral Plan
Relics of Curé of Ars Make Stop in Papal Chapel

HOMILY by St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars CHARITY
St John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests(1786-1859)[Cure of Ars]
News from the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney Fall 2002, Volume 1 – Number 1
The Cure Of Ars: Jean-Marie Vianney
“Oh, how great is a priest!” [The Curé d’Ars regarding bishops/priests)

[Catholic Caucus] Saint John Mary Vianney, Confessor

Franciscan Media

Stained glass window of Curé d'Ars | Luant, France | photo by François GoglinsImage: Stained glass window of Curé d’Ars | Luant, France | photo by François Goglins

Saint John Vianney

Saint of the Day for August 4

(May 8, 1786August 4, 1859)

 

Saint John Vianney’s Story

A man with vision overcomes obstacles and performs deeds that seem impossible. John Vianney was a man with vision: He wanted to become a priest. But he had to overcome his meager formal schooling, which inadequately prepared him for seminary studies.

His failure to comprehend Latin lectures forced him to discontinue. But his vision of being a priest urged him to seek private tutoring. After a lengthy battle with the books, John was ordained.

Situations calling for “impossible” deeds followed him everywhere. As pastor of the parish at Ars, John encountered people who were indifferent and quite comfortable with their style of living. His vision led him through severe fasts and short nights of sleep.

With Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lardet, he established La Providence, a home for girls. Only a man of vision could have such trust that God would provide for the spiritual and material needs of all those who came to make La Providence their home.

His work as a confessor is John Vianney’s most remarkable accomplishment. In the winter months he was to spend 11 to 12 hours daily reconciling people with God. In the summer months this time was increased to 16 hours. Unless a man was dedicated to his vision of a priestly vocation, he could not have endured this giving of self day after day.

Many people look forward to retirement and taking it easy, doing the things they always wanted to do but never had the time. But John Vianney had no thoughts of retirement. As his fame spread, more hours were consumed in serving God’s people. Even the few hours he would allow himself for sleep were disturbed frequently by the devil.

Who, but a man with vision, could keep going with ever-increasing strength? In 1929, Pope Pius XI named him the patron of parish priests worldwide.


Reflection

Indifference toward religion, coupled with a love for material comfort, seem to be common signs of our times. A person from another planet observing us would not likely judge us to be pilgrim people, on our way to somewhere else. John Vianney on the other hand, was a man on a journey, with his goal before him at all times.


Saint John Vianney is the Patron Saint of:

Priests


For more on Saint John Vianney, click here!

Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

July 26 – Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saints Joachim and Anne’s Story

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith, and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.


Reflection

This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience, and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.


Saints Joachim and Anne are the Patron Saints of:

Grandparents

Saint Anne is the Patron Saint of:

Mothers
Women in Labor


franciscanmedia.org


 

Meeting of Saints Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate

Ambrosius Benson (1495 – 1550)

Prado, Madrid

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https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/saints/joachim-627

St. Joachim
Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If we were to obey the warning of St. Peter Damian, we should consider it a blameable and needless curiosity to inquire about those things that the Evangelists did not deem it advisable to relate, and, in particular, about the parents of the Blessed Virgin (Serm. iii de Nativ. B.M.V.). Tradition nevertheless, grounded on very old testimonies, very early hailed Saints Joachim and Anne as the father and mother of the Mother of God.

True, this tradition seems to rest ultimately on the so-called “Gospel of James”, the “Gospel of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary”, and the Pseudo-Matthew, or “Book of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Childhood of the Saviour”; and this origin is likely to rouse well-founded suspicions. It should be borne in mind, however, that the apocryphal character of these writings, that is to say, their rejection from the canon, and their ungenuineness do not imply that no heed whatever should be taken of some of their assertions; side by side, indeed, with unwarranted and legendary facts, they contain some historical data borrowed from reliable traditions or documents; and difficult though it is to distinguish in them the wheat from the tares, it would be unwise and uncritical indiscriminately to reject the whole. Some commentators, who believe that the genealogy given by St. Luke is that of the Blessed Virgin, find the mention of Joachim in Heli (Luke, iii, 23; Eliachim, i.e. Jeho-achim), and explain that Joseph had, in the eyes of the law, become by his marriage the son of Joachim.

That such is the purpose and the meaning of the Evangelist is very doubtful, and so is the identification proposed between the two names Heli and Joachim. Neither can it be asserted with certainty, in spite of the authority of the Bollandists, that Joachim was Heli’s son and Joseph’s brother; nor, as is sometimes affirmed, from sources of very doubtful value, that he had large possessions in herds and flocks. Much more interesting are the beautiful lines in which the “Gospel of James” describes how, in their old age, Joachim and Anne received the reward of their prayers to obtain issue.

Tradition has it that the parents of the Blessed Virgin, who, apparently, first lived in Galilee, came later on to settle in Jerusalem; there the Blessed Virgin was born and reared; there also they died and were buried. A church, known at various epochs as St. Mary, St. Mary ubi nata est, St. Mary in Probatica, Holy Probatica, St. Anne, was built during the fourth century, possibly by St. Helena, on the site of the house of St. Joachim and St. Anne, and their tombs were there honoured until the close of the ninth century, when the church was converted into a Moslem school. The crypt which formerly contained the holy tombs was rediscovered on 18 March, 1889.

St. Joachim was honoured very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin’s birthday; the Latins were slow to admit it to their calendar, where it found place sometimes on 16 Sept. and sometimes on 9 Dec. Assigned by Julius II to 20 March, the solemnity was suppressed some fifty years later, restored by Gregory XV (1622), fixed by Clement XII (1738) on the Sunday after the Assumption, and finally raised to the rank of double of the second class by Leo XIII (1 Aug., 1879).

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https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/saints/anne-469

St. Anne
Of St. Anne we have no certain knowledge. She is not mentioned in the New Testament, and we must depend on apocryphal literature, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back only to the second century.

In this document we are told that Anne, wife of Joachim, was advanced in years and that her prayers for a child had not been answered. Once as she prayed beneath a laurel tree near her home in Galilee, an angel appeared and said to her, “Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” Anne replied, “As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life “ And thus Anne became the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The devotion of St. Anne was known in the East in the fifth century, but it was not diffused in the West until the thirteenth. A shrine at Douai, in northern France, was one of the early centers of the devotion. In 1382 her feast was extended to the whole Western Church, and she became very popular, especially in France. Her two most famous shrines are at St. Anne d’Auray in Brittany and at St. Anne-de Beaupre in the province of Quebec.

She is patroness of housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners. Her emblem is a door. St. Anne has been frequently represented in art, and the lovely face depicted by Leonardo da Vinci comes first to mind in this connection. The name Anne derives from the Hebrew Hannah, meaning “grace.”

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Catholic Culture 

Ordinary Time: July 26th

Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary

MASS READINGS

July 26, 2019 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

It was in the home of Joachim and Ann where the Virgin Mary received her training to be the Mother of God. Thus, devotion to Ann and Joachim is an extension of the affection Christians have always professed toward our Blessed Mother. We, too, owe a debt of gratitude to our parents for their help in our Christian formation.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Ann; St. Joachim’s feast in this rite is celebrated on August 16.

 


Sts. Joachim and Ann
Who does not know about the great shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Canada, where miracles abound, where cured cripples leave their crutches, and where people come from thousands of miles to pray to the grandmother of Jesus? At one time, July 26 was the feast of St. Anne only, but with the new calendar the two feasts of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been joined and are celebrated today. Our information about Mary’s parents comes from an apocryphal Christian writing, the Protoevangelium Jacobi (or Gospel of James), written about the year 170. According to this story, Joachim was a prominent and respected man who had no children, and he and his wife, Anne, looked upon this as a punishment from God. In answer to their prayers, Mary was born and was dedicated to God at a very early age.

From this early Christian writing have come several of the feast days of Mary, particularly the Immaculate Conception, the Nativity of Mary, and her Assumption into Heaven. Very early also came feast days in honor of SS. Joachim and Anne, and in the Middle Ages numerous churches, chapels, and confraternities were dedicated to St. Anne. The couple early became models of Christian marriage, and their meeting at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem has been a favorite subject of Christian artists.

Anne is often shown in paintings with Jesus and Mary and is considered a subject that attracts attention, since Anne is the grandmother of Jesus. Her two great shrines — that of Ste. Anne d’Auray in Britanny, France, and that of Ste. Anne de Beaupre near Quebec in Canada — are very popular. We know little else about the lives of Mary’s parents, but considering the person of Mary, they must have been two very remarkable people to have been given such a daughter and to have played so important a part in the work of the Redemption.

There is a church of St. Anne in Jerusalem and it is believed to be built on the site of the home of SS. Joachim and Anne, when they lived in Jerusalem.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

 


The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne
On Easter AD 792, Charlemagne discovered the relics of Saint Anne with the help of a deaf handicapped boy. It’s a wonderful tale for this feast day of Saint Anne.

Below is the account, preserved in the correspondence of Pope Saint Leo III, concerning the mysterious discovery of the relics of Saint Anne in the presence of the Emperor Charlemagne.

Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem. When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France. The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten.

The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived [Easter Sunday, 792 A.D.], the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step.

His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him. The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently in spired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps.

A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this pas sage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen.
They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the pas sage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance.

As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood be fore the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue.

“It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy.

The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture.

Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen. He remained a long time in prayer. The priests and the people, awed by the graces given them in such abundance and by the choice of their countryside for such a heavenly manifestation, for three days spoke but rarely, and then in whispers.

The emperor had an exact and detailed account of the miraculous finding drawn up by a notary and sent to Pope Saint Leo III, with an accompanying letter from himself. These documents and the pope’s reply are preserved to this day. Many papal bulls have attested, over and over again, to the genuineness of Saint Anne’s relics at Apt.

Excerpted from Canterbury Tales

Patron:
Anne: against poverty; barren; broommakers; cabinetmakers; carpenters; childless couples; equestrians; grandmothers; grandparents; homemakers; housewives; lace makers; lace workers; lost articles; miners; mothers; old-clothes dealers; pregnancy; pregnant women; horse riders; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility; turners; women in labour; Brittany; Canada; France; Quebec; archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan; diocese of Norwich, Connecticut; Santa Ana Indian Pueblo; Taos, New Mexico.

Joachim: fathers, grandfathers, grandparents.

Symbols:
Anne: Book, symbol of her careful instruction of Mary; flowering rod; crown; nest of young birds; door; Golden Gate of Jerusalem; book; infant Virgin in crib; Shield has silver border masoned in black, with silver lily on a blue field referring to the girlhood of the Virgin.
Often Portrayed As: Woman holding Mary or Jesus in her arms or lap; Woman at her betrothal to Joachim; Mother teaching Mary to read the Bible; Woman greeting Saint Joachim at Golden Gate; Woman with a book in her hand.

Joachim: Basket containing doves; model of Golden Gate of Jerusalem.
Often Portrayed As: Man bringing a lamb to the altar and being turned away by the priest; greeting and/or kissing Saint Anne at the Golden Gate; elderly man carrying a basket of doves and a staff; elderly man with the child Mary.

Things to Do:

  • See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant. 
  • Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feastday. See the suggested recipes in the left column.This feast falls right in the middle of summer season, so keep in mind the variety of wonderful summer fruits and make something special with them, particularly fruit pies or tarts. A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year mentions that “[i]n both France and French Canada what would commonly be served on this occasion is a fruit tart: such exquisite desserts are traditional at all patronal festivals (as well as other special occasions), especially those falling in the summer, when such a luscious assortment of fruits is available.” She includes two recipes, plum tart and apple tart. From Ignatius Press another cookbook called Cooking With the Saints includes recipes for St. Anne’s Cream (Crème Sainte-Anne) and Anna Torte (Gateau Sainte-Anne).

    One could also try to find “Bible foods” that St. Anne or the Blessed Virgin Mary would have cooked in their time. (But usually those aren’t very festive!) This site gives some ideas on Biblical foods.

     

  • As Joachim and Ann are the grandparents of Jesus, today has traditionally been a day to honor one’s grandparents.
27 posted on 7/26/2019, 11:03:07 PM by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 13:18-23

Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

The seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it. (Matthew 13:23)

What is your opinion of the sower in this parable? Do you think he cares about where his seeds land? Perhaps you picture him randomly dropping seeds here and there without a thought. Some seeds land on the path. So be it. Some land on the rocky ground and don’t take root. So be it. And some are lucky enough to land on rich soil, where they will thrive. So be it.

But if God is the farmer who is planting that seed, why would he decide to scatter his seeds on soil that won’t bear fruit? What farmer would be so careless?

God is not being careless; he just knows that we can change. He knows we aren’t stuck with being one type of “soil” our whole lives. He knows that any kind of soil can be tilled, reclaimed, and eventually bear fruit. So he scatters his seed on hearts that are hard and full of weeds.

So what are some “rocks” and “thorns” that may be in the soil of our hearts? Commenting on this passage, Pope Francis suggested that rocky ground might be the superficial heart that doesn’t have much soil. When we have “rocks of laziness,” he said, we don’t go deep enough with the Lord because we fail to persevere. The thorns are vices such as idolizing wealth and living only for ourselves and our possessions. According to Pope Francis, “If we cultivate these thorns, we choke God’s growth within us.”

Francis went on to encourage us. When we bring our “rocks” and “thorns” to God in Confession and prayer, “Jesus, the Good Sower, will be glad to . . . purify our hearts” (Angelus Address, July 16, 2017).

Spend some time today asking God to show you the “rocks” and “thorns” in your life. What might be preventing you from fully hearing and understanding God’s word (Matthew 13:23)? What might be keeping you from flourishing and bearing fruit for him? Believe that God wants your heart to be rich soil. If you ask him, he will pull out the weeds. And not only that—he will rain down his grace on you so that you can continue to bear fruit for him!

“Lord, thank you for sending me your word and the grace to hear and understand it!”

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:8-11

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Daily Gospel CommentarySaint Pio of Pietralcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)
Capuchin

Letter 3: 579; CE 54

Bearing fruit, free from worldly anxiety

Advance with simplicity on the pathways of God, and do not worry. Hate your defects, yes, but quietly, without excitement, nor anxiety. We must be patient with them and benefit from them by means of a holy humility. For if you lack patience, your imperfections, instead of disappearing, will only grow. Because there is nothing that strengthens our defects so much as anxiety and an obsession to get rid of them.

Saint Sharbel Makhlūf, Priest

Saint Charbel Makhlouf, O.L.M., was a Maronite monk and priest from Lebanon. During his life he obtained a wide reputation for holiness and he has been canonized by the Catholic Church

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&q=st.+charbel+makhlouf&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj66vfyxfDXAhWPYt8KHahjAFoQvwUIJCgA&biw=1536&bih=725

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 Saint Charbel Makhlouf | unknownImage: