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Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

 

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 Maxmilian Kolbe

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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!

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Saint John Vianney, Priest

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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!

St. Patrick’s Day, Click for more info.

HP_St_Patrick_09

 

http://rcdop.org

 

March 17th

prayer card

Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick, dear saint of our isle
On us, thy poor children, bestow a sweet smile
And now thou art high in the mansions above
On Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.

(Father F. W. Faber)

Readings, and the Gospel | Saint Patrick’s Day Customs | Traditional Irish Foods | Sweet Treats for School

Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, was born near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387. When he was about sixteen, Patrick was taken captive by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to a chieftain. For six years he was a shepherd in the valley of the Braid and on the slopes of Slemish.

He relates in his “Confessions” that during his captivity while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day. “The love of God”, he wrote, “and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the Spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and I felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the Spirit was then fervent within me.”

Patrick’s captivity became a preparation for his future apostolate. He acquired a perfect knowledge of the Celtic tongue in which he would one day announce the glad tidings of Redemption. His master, Milchu, was a Druid high priest, and this allowed Patrick to become familiar with all of the details of Druidism.

After six years, on the advice of an angel, Patrick fled from his master. He traveled until he found a ship ready to set sail. In a few days he was in Britain, but now his heart was set on devoting himself to the service of God in the sacred ministry. He went to France where he joined Saint Germain, bishop of Auxerre, and put himself under the bishop’s guidance and was ordained to the priesthood. Saint Germain was sent by the pope to Britain to combat the Pelagian heresy, and took Patrick with him to be one of his missionary companions in Rome.

Pope Saint Celestine I, who had called the Council of Ephesus to address the Nestorian and Pelagian heresies, sent Patrick as a missionary to Ireland on the recommendation of St. Germain. On his journey from Rome, Patrick was consecrated bishop by St. Masimus at Turin, then returned to St. Germain in Auxerre to prepare for the missionary journey to Ireland.

His arrival in Ireland (ca. 433) was greeted with opposition from Druid chieftans. He returned to Dalaradia where he had been a slave to pay the price of ransom to his former master, and to bring him to Christ but as he approached he saw the castle burning in the distance. The word of Patrick’s miraculous powers had preceded him, and the frenzied Milchu gathered his treasures into his mansion, set it on fire, and cast himself into the flames. An ancient record adds: “His pride could not endure the thought of being vanquished by his former slave.”

The druids and magicians fought to maintain their control over the Irish, but Patrick’s prayer and faith triumphed. On Easter Day 433, after winning the Irish Chieftains over to Christianity, Saint Patrick is said to have plucked a shamrock to explain by its triple leaf and single stem the Blessed Trinity. This trefoil, called “Patrick’s Cross,” became the symbol both of the saint and of Ireland itself.

Saint Patrick’s Breast-Plate

Saint Patrick’s prayer, popularly known as “Saint Patrick’s Breast-Plate” (or “Lorica”), is believed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over paganism.

Click HERE for the complete hymn with music from the Adoremus Hymnal.

Following is a literal translation of the old Irish text:

I bind to myself to-day
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself to-day
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.

I bind to myself to-day
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself to-day
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself to-day
God’s power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seduction of vices,
Against the lust of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke to-day all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me to-day
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself to-day
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity.
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
——

St. Patrick’s Farewell Blessing

St. Patrick spent seven years in Munster where he founded monastic cells and churches, performed ordinations, healed the sick, and, according to legend, resuscitated the dead. This is his farewell and blessing, as recorded in the bishop’s Life:

“A blessing on the Munster people
Men, youths, and women;
A blessing on the land
That yields them fruit.

“A blessing on every treasure
That shall be produced on their plains,
Without any one being in want of help,
God’s blessing be on Münster.

“A blessing be on their peaks,
On their bare flagstones,
A blessing on their glens,
A blessing on their ridges.

“Like the sand of the sea under ships,
Be the number of their hearths;
On slopes, on plains,
On mountains, on hills, a blessing.”

Saint Patrick continued until his death to visit and watch over the churches which he had founded. It is recorded in his Life that he consecrated no fewer than 350 bishops.

He died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 493.

Readings, and the Gospel

Collect
O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick

to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland,
grant, through his mertits and intercession,
that those who glory in the name of Christian
may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all.
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. +Amen.

First reading: Peter 4:7b-11
Keep a calm and sober mind. Above all, never let your love for each other grow insincere, since love covers over many a sin. Welcome each other into your houses without grumbling. Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God’s orders; so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to Him belong all glory and power for ever and ever. +Amen.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, He asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when He had ceased speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

Saint Patrick’s Day Customs

Wearin’ o’ the Green.
During “penal times” when Catholics in Ireland were persecuted, and frequently had to hide, it was a crime to wear the color green, which symbolized Irish independence and defiance of their oppressors. But Irish-Americans today make a point of wearing something green on Saint Patrick’s Day to signify pride in their Irish heritage. Parades and parties are commonly held on Saint Patrick’s Day. Though these usually bear no resemblance to a religious celebration, they often feature traditional Irish music and dancing — even people with no Irish ancestors wear green and join the festivities.

Sadly, there are still divisions in Ireland, and ancient hostilities between Irish Catholic “greensmen” and Protestant “orangemen” have persisted even into our own time and although the disputes are far more political than religious, this is a particularly sad example of the divisions that have existed among Christians for centuries.

Many brave souls have tried hard to bring peace and unity to the country and we can join in their prayers for peace.

Traditional Irish Foods

Besides potatoes, Irish-Americans customarily eat corned beef and cabbage, “Irish stew”, and soda bread or oatmeal bread on Saint Patrick’s Day. Recipes we use follow.

Irish Oatmeal Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix together:

3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Beat together:

1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. butter

Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Pour in a greased loaf pan, and bake about 1 hour and a quarter. Remove loaf to rack, and brush generously with butter.

Soda Bread

Beat together

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix together:

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vinegar
and add to sugar and egg mixture

Stir in:

4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 tsp. caraway seed

Knead a few times and form into a round loaf. Placed into 9-10″ well-greased cast iron skillet. Cut cross in top. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in skillet at 350 degrees F for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.

Joanna Bogle, a British Catholic journalist, gives this recipe for boiled bacon and cabbage in her 1988 book, Feasts and Seasons.

Boiled Bacon and Cabbage
To serve four (multiply as needed):

1 1/2 lbs. boiling bacon or ham
Cabbage

Wash the bacon and if it is very salty, steep it in cold water for a few hours. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer, allowing 25 minutes to each pound and 25 minutes extra at the end of cooking. When cooked, remove the bacon, and cook the cabbage in the same water, chopped up. Remove the rind from the bacon. Sprinkle bacon with bread crumbs an place under the grill for a few minutes to brown. Slice the bacon and serve hot with the freshly cooked cabbage. Hot parsley sauce can be served with the bacon, if desired.

Sweet Treats for School

Shamrock or Snake Cookies
Use either your favorite sugar cookie recipe, or a prepared cookie dough roll. If you make your own dough, color it green with food coloring. If you use ready-made dough, it may be easier to add green color with icing or colored sugar.

For Shamrocks:
Either use a clover shaped cookie cutter, or, lacking that slice round dough into 1/4″ thick slices, pressing three circles together to form a clover, adding a pinch of dough rolled into a “stem). Sprinkle with green sugar before baking, or decorate with icing.

For Snakes:
You can make these about any size. Roll the dough into a long snake-like roll, then roll the “snake” in green sugar. Form into a snaky coil with the “head” sticking up in the middle and form the “tail” into a point. Place on a prepared cookie sheet. Add “eyes” made of bits of chocolate chip or currants.

Saint Patrick’s Day cupcakes
Prepare batter from a white or yellow cake mix, or your own recipe. Sprinkle a few drops of green cake-coloring on top of the batter and cut through the batter with a rubber spatula a few times to give a “marble” effect. Spoon the batter into muffin pans lined with cupcake papers (each about 2/3 full), and bake in 350 degree oven about 15 minutes, or until done. Cool cupcakes on racks.

Prepare butter cream icing (or use canned white icing). Add about three drops green cake coloring and one drop yellow, and mix thoroughly, to give a leafy green.

For “grass”: Add about 1/4 teaspoon of green food coloring and about 1 teaspoon water to 1 cup of shredded or flaked sweetened coconut, stirring until coconut is evenly colored.

Ice the cooled cakes with the green icing, and sprinkle them with the coconut “grass”.

Decorate:
Adorn the cakes with “gummy worms” to represent the snakes St. Patrick drove out of Ireland, or with gumdrop shamrocks, or with small marzipan potatoes.

If you can’t find ready-made shamrocks, you can roll out any green gumdrops on sugared waxed paper to about 1/4″ thick, and cut out shamrock shapes with a small sharp knife.

Potatoes: Buy canned, sweetened almond paste, shape into ovals about 1 1/2″ long, poke “eyes” with a toothpick or match stick, and brush them with food coloring thinned with a little water (caramel coloring, or mix a brown color by adding a drop of green and yellow to about 4 drops of red food coloring).

Roll the potatoes in powdered cocoa mixed with sugar, and put them on waxed paper to dry.

Through me many peoples were born again in God

“I give thanks to my God tirelessly who kept me faithful in the day of trial, so that today I offer sacrifice to him confidently, the living sacrifice of my life to Christ, my Lord, who preserved me in all my troubles. I can say therefore: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling that you should cooperate with me with such divine power? Today, among heathen peoples, I praise and proclaim your name in all places, not only when things go well but also in times of stress. Whether I receive good or ill, I return thanks equally to God, who taught me always to trust him unreservedly. His answer to my prayer inspired me in these latter days to undertake this holy and wonderful work in spite of my ignorance, and to imitate in some way those who, as the Lord foretold, would preach his Good News as a witness to all nations before the end of the world.

How did I come by this wisdom which was not my own, I who neither knew what was in store for me, nor what it was to relish God? What was the source of the gift I got later, the great and beneficial gift of knowing and loving God, even if it meant leaving my homeland and my relatives?

I came to the Irish heathens to preach the Good News and to put up with insults from unbelievers. I heard my mission abused, I endured many persecutions even to the extent of chains; I gave up my free-born status for the good of others. Should I be worthy I am ready to give even my life, promptly and gladly, for his name; and it is there that I wish to spend it until I die, if the Lord should graciously allow me.

I am very much in debt to God; who gave me so much grace that through me many people were born again in God and afterwards confirmed, and that clergy were ordained for them everywhere. All this was for a people newly come to belief whom the Lord took from the very ends of the earth as he promised long ago, through his prophets: ‘To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and will say, “How false are the idols our fathers made for themselves, how useless they are.” ‘And again: ‘I have made you a light for the nations so that you may be a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.’

I wish to wait there for the promise of one who never breaks his word, as he promises in the gospel: ‘They will come from the east and the west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,’ just as we believe the faithful will come from every part of the world.”

A reading from the Confession of St Patrick (Conf 34,36,37,38,39)


The Snakes of St Patrick
Resurrection Miracles Performed by St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
ST PATRICK, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, APOSTLE OF IRELAND—A.D. 464
St Patrick’s Confession (The Words of the Real Patrick)
St. Patrick

St Patrick kicked out of school
St. Patrick
Apostle to the Irish (Who is the REAL St. Patrick ?)
Patrick: Deliverer of the Emerald Isle
Breastplate of St Patrick [Poem/Prayer]
Confessions of St. Patrick (In his own words)
Feast of Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland
St. Patrick(Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)
St Patrick’s ‘day’ moved to March 15th (in 2008)
St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

St. Patrick (Erin Go Bragh!)
History of St. Patrick’s Day
Patrick: The Good, the Bad, and the Misinformed
The Lorica of St. Patrick
Orthodox Feast of +Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland
St. Patrick
St. Patrick’s Breast Plate
Orthodox Feast of St Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland, March 17
The Lorica of St. Patrick
To Truly Honor Saint Patrick, Bishop and Confessor
Apostle to the Irish: The Real Saint Patrick
St. Patrick
Saint Patrick [Apostle of Ireland]
Was St. Patrick Catholic?….Of Course!! [Happy St. Pat’s Day]


 

Information: St. Patrick

Feast Day: March 17

Born: between 387 and 390 at Scotland

Died: between 461 and 464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland

Patron of: Ireland, Nigeria, Montserrat, New York, Boston, Engineers, against snakes


 

Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

St. Patrick

Feast Day: March 17
Born: 385 :: Died: 461

St. Patrick was born in Scotland to Roman parents. When he was sixteen, he was kidnapped by pirates and taken on a ship to Ireland. There he was sold as a slave. His owner sent him to look after his flocks of sheep on the mountains. Patrick had very little food and clothing yet he took good care of the animals in rain, snow and ice.

Patrick was so lonely on the hillside that he turned often in prayer to Jesus and his Mother Mary. His life was hard but Patrick’s trust in God grew stronger all the time. Six years later, he had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain. He saw this as a sign and escaped from Ireland.

In Britain he studied to become a priest. Then Patrick had a strong feeling that he had to go back to Ireland to bring that pagan land of non-believers to Christ. At last his wish came true. He became a priest and then a bishop. Pope St. Celestine I asked Patrick to go as a missionary and preach first in England then in Ireland. How happy he was to bring the Good News of the true God to the people who once held him a slave.

Patrick suffered much in Ireland and there was always the danger that he would be killed, yet the saint kept on preaching about Jesus. He traveled from one village to another where tribe after tribe became Christian. He hardly ever rested, he made sacrifices and did hard penance for these people whom he loved so dearly. Before he died, within the thirty-three years he worked in Ireland, the whole nation was Christian.

He was one of the most successful missionaries in the world but his great success in no way made St. Patrick proud. He called himself a poor sinner and gave all praise to God. Patrick died in 461.

Prayer of St. Patrick:
Christ shield me this day:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.


 

Thursday

March 17, 2016

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation. Amen.

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today: “St. Patrick’s Day. Google St. Patrick.”


 

CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Thursday, March 17

Liturgical Color: Violet

Today is the optional memorial
of St. Patrick, bishop. St. Patrick
evangelized Ireland, converting
the whole country. Because of
his work, monasteries were
opened in Ireland that would
protect the European faith during
the Dark Ages.

 


 

Catholic Culture

Lent: March 17th

Optional Memorial of St. Patrick, bishop and confessor (Solemnity Aus, Ire, Feast New Zeal, Scot, Wales)

MASS READINGS

March 17, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland, grant, through his merits and intercession, that those who glory in the name of Christian may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all. 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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Recipes (21)

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Activities (4)

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Prayers (7)

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Library (8)

  • Commemoration of the Feast of St. Patrick | St. Patrick

  • Knock | Zsolt Aradi

  • Lessons From Our Lady of Knock | Paul E. Duggan

  • Our Lady in Old Irish Folklore and Hymns | James F. Cassidy

  • The Conversion of Ireland | Warren H. Carroll

  • The Deer’s Cry | St. Patrick

  • The Irish Madonna of Hungary | Zsolt Aradi

  • The Irish Soldiers of Mexico | Michael HoganOld Calendar: St. PatrickStational ChurchAlthough a small country, Ireland has played a large role in saving and bringing Christianity throughout the world. During the early Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries preserved Western writings while Europe remained in darkness. But as the Catholic country remained solidly Catholic, the Irish spread the faith to all corners of the world. To learn more on this subject, read Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization.I am greatly God’s debtor, because he granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth, just as he once promised through his prophets: “To you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited naught hut lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.”And again: “I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of the earth.”Patron: Ireland; against snakes; against ophidiophobia; archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts; diocese of Burlington, Vermont; engineers; excluded people; fear of snakes; diocese of Fort Worth, Texas; diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; archdiocese of New York; Nigeria; diocese of Norwich, Connecticut; ophidiophobics; diocese of Portland, Maine; diocese of Sacramento, California; snake bites.Things to Do:

  • The Station at Rome is in the church of St. Apollinaris, who was a disciple of St. Peter, and afterwards bishop of Ravenna. He was martyred. The church was founded in the early Middle Ages, probably in the 7th century.

  • Symbols: A bishop trampling on snakes; bishop driving snakes away; shamrock; snakes; cross; harp; demons; baptismal font.

  • We have a few works attributed to St. Patrick, one being his autobiography called Confessions. It is a short summary of the events in his life, written in true humility. Below is a short excerpt:

  • St. Patrick

    Not many facts are known about the life of St. Patrick. We know that he was born around 415 AD, and was a Roman Briton. When he was about 16, while he was tending his sheep some Irish raiders captured him and made him a slave. He eventually was able to escape and return to Britain. There he heard the call to return and bring Christianity to Ireland. He was ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop and came back to Ireland around 435 AD. Many legends are associated around St. Patrick: how he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and the use of the shamrock to teach the mystery of the Trinity. Whether or not the legends are true, St. Patrick succeeded in bringing Catholicism to Ireland, and in time, the whole country converted from their pagan gods to the one true God.

  • This day is not all about leprechauns, shamrocks and green beer. This is a day to honor and pray to St. Patrick. He was an influential saint who, 1,500 years ago, brought Christianity to the little country of Ireland. He was born about 385 in the British Isles, was carried off while still very young during a raid on Roman Britain by the Irish and sold as a slave. At the end of six years he contrived to escape to Europe, became a monk and was ordained; he then returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel. During the thirty years that his missionary labors continued he covered the Island with churches and monasteries; in 444 he founded the metropolitan see of Armagh. St. Patrick died in 461. After fifteen centuries he remains for all Irishmen the great bishop whom they venerate as their father in the Faith.

Saint Scholastica (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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Activities (4)

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Prayers (2)

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Library (2)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

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!

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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The Passion of Saint John the Baptist

Feast of Herod

Giotto di Bondone

1315-25
Peruzzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Full View

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Memorial: The Passion of St. John the Baptist

From: 1 Thessalonians 3:7-13

Paul Rejoices over the Good Reports Brought by Timothy (Continuation)


[7] For this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been com-
forted about you through your faith; [8] for now we live, if you stand fast in the
Lord. [9] For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which
we feel for your sake before our God, [10] praying earnestly night and day that
we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?He Prays for the Thessalonians


[11] Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to
you; [12] and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another
and to all men, as we do to you, [13] so that he may establish your hearts unbla-
mable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus
with all his saints.*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

6-8. St Paul discreetly allows the Thessalonians to see how zealous he is for
their souls: far from being indifferent to their state of spiritual health, he sees it
as a matter of life or death. Concern for the solid faith of those entrusted to him
is his very life. Timothy has reported that the Thessalonians were “standing fast
in the Lord” and that makes him very happy.

9. The fact that the Thessalonians are steadfast in the faith in spite of persecu-
tion is not due only to their own merits; the credit must go mainly to the grace
of God; and so St Paul thanks the Lord for the help he has given them.

“For all the joy we feel…before our God”: that is, in the presence of God. Prayer
provides the outlet the Christian needs for expressing his feelings and desires; it
is an intimate conversation with God which he can have at any time: “While we
carry out as perfectly as we can (with all our mistakes and limitations) the tasks
allotted to us by our situation and duties, our soul longs to escape. It is drawn
towards God like iron drawn by a magnet. One begins to love Jesus, in a more
effective way, with the sweet and gentle surprise of his encounter” (St. J. Escri-
va, “Friends of God”, 296).

10. St Paul’s first stay in Thessalonica was a very short one, because unrest
caused by Jews forced him to leave in a hurry (cf. Acts 17:5-10). That meant
that he was unable to give any advanced religious instruction to the believers
— which is why he wants to see them again.

He does not confine himself to wishing he could see them; he uses his super-
natural resources (including prayer) to obtain what he wants, for prayer should
precede and accompany preaching. Otherwise there is no reason to expect
apostolic work to bear fruit. Although faith is born of preaching (cf. Rom 10:17),
preaching alone cannot produce faith; St Thomas teaches that it is necessary
for grace to act on the heart of the listener (cf. “Commentary on Rom”, 10, 2).

11. Earlier St Paul referred to the obstacles Satan put in the way of his return
to Thessalonica (cf. 2:18). That is why he now prays the Lord to “direct his way”
— prayer being the best resource he has.

“May our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct [singular verb] our
way”: it is interesting to note that the verb is singular even though it has two sub-
jects. It would be wrong to dismiss this as insignificant, for it hints at the myste-
ry of the three Persons in the one God.

12-13. Love is a supernatural virtue which inclines us to love God (for his own
sake) above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Given
that charity is a virtue which God infuses into the soul, it is something we must
not only practise but also ask God to increase in us.

Supernatural love, or charity, embraces everyone without exception. “Loving
one person and showing indifference to others”, St John Chrysostom observes,
“is characteristic of purely human affection; but St Paul is telling us that our love
should not be restricted in any way” (”Hom. on 1 Thess, ad loc.”). When a per-
son practices this virtue in an uninhibited way, his holiness gains in strength: he
becomes irreproachable “before our Lord and Father”; “in this does the true merit
of virtue really consist—and not in simply being blameless before men […]. Yes,
I shall say it again: it is charity, it is love, which makes us blameless” (”ibid.”).

“With all his saints”: referring to believers who died in the grace of God.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

————————————————————————–

From: Mark 6:17-29

John the Baptist Beheaded


[17] For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake
of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. [18] For John
said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” [19] And Hero-
dias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, [20] for
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him
safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
[21] But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his
courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. [22] For when Herodias’
daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king
said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” [23] And he
said to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”[24] And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said,
“The head of John the Baptizer.” [25] And she came in immediately with haste
to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John
the Baptizer on a platter.” [26] And the King was exceedingly sorry; but because
of his oath and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. [27] And im-
mediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head.
He went and beheaded him in the prison, [28] and brought his head on a platter,
and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. [29] When his disciples
heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-29. It is interesting that the extensive account of the death of John the Baptist
is inserted here in the Gospel narrative. The reason is St. John the Baptist’s spe-
cial relevance in the history of salvation: he is the Precursor, entrusted with the
task of preparing the way for the Messiah. Besides, John the Baptist had a great
reputation among the people: they believed him to be a prophet (Mark 11:32);
some even thought he was the Messiah (Luke 3:15; John 1:20); and they flocked
to him from many places (Mark 1:5). Jesus Himself said: “Among those born of
women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).
Later, the Apostle St. John will speak of him in the Gospel: “There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6); but the sacred text points out
that, despite this, he was not the light, but rather the witness to the light (John 1:
6-8). More correctly, he was the lamp carrying the light (John 5:35). We are told
here that he was a righteous man and preached to everyone what had to be
preached: he had a word for people at large, for publicans, for soldiers (Luke 3:10-
14); for Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 3:7-12); for King Herod himself (Mark
6:18-20). This humble, upright and austere man paid with his life for the witness
he bore to Jesus the Messiah (John 1:29 and 36-37).

26. Oaths and promises immoral in content should never be made, and, if made,
should never be kept. This is the teaching of the Church, which is summed up
in the “St. Pius X Catechism”, 383, in the following way: “Are we obliged to keep
oaths we have sworn to do unjust and unlawful things? Not only are we not ob-
liged: we sin by making such oaths, for they are prohibited by the Law of God or
of the Church.”

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: August 29th

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

MASS READINGS

August 29, 2019 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. 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: Beheading of St. John the Baptist; St. Sabina, martyr

The Church, having celebrated the earthly birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24, today honors the anniversary of his martyrdom. Besides our Lord and our Lady, St. John the Baptist is the only one whose birth and death are thus celebrated. Today’s Gospel relates the circumstances of his execution. He had the courage to blame Herod to his face for the scandal of his illegal union with his sister-in-law Herodias, whose husband was still alive. Herodias contrived to make Herod imprison him and took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to obtain through her daughter Salome the beheading of the saint.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Sabina. The titular church of St. Sabina of the Aventine is a gem of Christian architecture. It owes its origin to the generosity of a Roman lady of the name of Sabina who gave to the Christian community the house that she possessed in this aristocratic quarter of Rome. The martyrologies also commemorate another St. Sabina who died in Umbria. The identity of name has caused confusion between the two women.


Martyrdom of John the Baptist
In addition to the feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24), the Church, since the fourth century, commemorates the martyrdom of Christ’s precursor. According to the Roman Martyrology, this day marks “the second finding of his most venerable head.” The body of the saint was buried in Samaria. In the year 362 pagans desecrated the grave and burned his remains. Only a small portion of his relics were able to be saved by monks and sent to St. Athanasius at Alexandria. The head of the saint is venerated at various places. That in the Church of St. Sylvester in Rome belongs to a martyr-priest John. Also in the Dominican church at Breslau the Baptist’s head is honored.

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

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: “I am the truth”? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.

Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.

To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.

Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: “You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.” He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”

— Saint Bede the Venerable

Things to Do:


St. Sabina
According to legend, Sabina was born in Vindena, Umbria, and became the wife of a notable person having the name Valentine. She was converted to the faith by her maid Serapia, a Christian virgin. When Serapia died a martyr’s death (her feast occurs on September 3 in the Roman Martyrology), Sabina gave her servant’s holy body an honorable burial. On that account she was cast into prison by Emperor Hadrian and brought before the judge Elpidius. “Are you Sabina, illustrious by family and marriage?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” came the reply, “but I thank my Savior Jesus Christ that through His servant Serapia He has freed me from the power of hell.” Due to her contempt of the gods, she was condemned to death. Christians buried her body in the same grave as her teacher in the faith.

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

Things to Do:

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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Mark 6:17-29

The Passion of Saint John the Baptist (Memorial)

They came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6:29)

Today we celebrate the feast of one of the greatest heroes of our faith: John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, who cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Mark 1:3).

John did not hesitate to speak truth to the powerful, even if it cost him his freedom and his life. But we sometimes forget that he was not a lone ranger preaching in the desert. Scripture tells us several times that John had gathered his own disciples. While in prison, John sent his disciples to Jesus to confirm that he was the Messiah (Matthew 11:2; Luke 7:18). At his death, John’s disciples came to take his body for burial (Mark 6:29). How they must have loved him! It’s likely that they also visited him in prison, encouraging him as he sat in his chains.

This is one of the hidden reasons why John inspires us so much. He didn’t try to do it all on his own. As resilient and full of faith as he was, John knew that he needed help, and he willingly accepted it.

John can be a model for each of us. We all need people to strengthen us in our faith. They can accompany us in simple things like going to Mass or praying a Rosary. They can rejoice with us over our blessings and weep with us in our sufferings. They can visit us in the hospital or comfort us as we approach death. We are not meant to follow Jesus alone, and companions like these can make the journey much easier and much more joyful.

Of course, spiritual friendship is not one-way. Even as someone comforts you, your openness and faith can lift them up. You can support them in their time of need and rejoice with them in times of success.

So think about the people around you. Many of them are on a faith journey with you. How do they support you? How might you support them? A phone call, a lunch, or an invitation to go to Mass together might make all the difference! You can follow in John the Baptist’s footsteps and follow Jesus with companions.

“St. John the Baptist, pray for me to remain faithful to the end.”

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Psalm 90:3-5, 12-14, 17

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Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us PartDaily Marriage Tip for August 29, 2019:

Today we celebrate the martyrdom of John the Baptist, who died witnessing to Christ and the sanctity of marriage. May God give us the same courage in our own day!

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Regnum Christi

August 29, 2019 – Witness to the Truth

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

Mark 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak, he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So, he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your wondrous shining glory, although this is hidden from my eyes. I hope in the peace and everlasting joy of the world to come, for this world is a valley of tears. I love you, even though I am not always able to discern the love in your intentions when you permit me to suffer. You are my God and my all.

Petition: Lord, let me never fear the consequences of speaking the truth.

  1. Speaking Truth to Power: Although Herod was a cruel tyrant, John the Baptist did not hesitate to condemn his adulterous conduct and to denounce his sin publicly. John was moved by the Holy Spirit to give witness and teach the people that no one can legitimately violate God’s commandments, not even a king. John did not fear the consequences of his actions, because he knew that if he were faithful, God would be at his side and never let him down, even if he had to suffer on account of the truth. We, too, need to give courageous witness to our family, friends and to the society at large. When we do, God will be with us and we will have nothing to fear.
  1. It Was Something That You Said: Mark tells us that Herod, although he resented what John said in accusing him of adultery, nonetheless “like[d] to listen to him,” and he was “much perplexed.” In his moral weakness, he persisted in his sin, yet the cries of the prophet to repent did reach his conscience. Herod was in confusion. Something was stirring in his conscience; the Holy Spirit was moving inside him to bring him to true repentance for his sin. God never abandons the sinner but gives him grace to turn back to him. We should never lose hope for one who seems to be lost and wandering in sin. We should always continue to speak the truth with love and pray for a full conversion. God can change the heart of even the worst of sinners. He has forgiven us so much, and he can forgive others as well.
  1. A Conversion Cut Short: The Gospel tells how Herod, in an imprudent promise to Herodias’ daughter, found himself compromised and, for fear of losing face, had to order the beheading of John the Baptist. Here his moral weakness overcame the first stirrings of the grace of conversion. He closed his heart to God’s action due to his lust and vanity, and he committed the terrible crime of murder of an innocent man. How sin can darken the conscience and extinguish God’s grace in the heart of a person given over only to satisfying their passions.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to be faithful to your teachings and to be frank with those I love who need to hear your word. I know that takes prudence, courage and steadfastness. Help me to be true to you. Give me the grace of a good conscience always to speak the truth with rectitude and love for your law.

Resolution: I will pray for the grace to witness to the truth, “in season and out of season,” no matter what the consequences.

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Homily of the Day

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

Today let us celebrate with tender, loving devotion the feast of the martyrdom of the cousin of Our Lord – John the Baptist. John was the forerunner of Jesus. He was the one tasked by God to prepare the way of the Lord. The gospel says that he was a just and holy man. Because he had to speak against evil in high places, against the King, he was imprisoned, suffered, and finally beheaded. He died a horrible death on orders from the king

Like St. John the Baptist, let us prepare the way of the Lord. Let us clear, sweep, wash, denounce, evil starting from our hearts. Let us give all to do God’s work without fear for God is with us. At all times, let us look at Our Lord for courage and strength. He is very near us. He is in us. Let us act courageously, without negligence, nor hesitation; like a faithful servant, like a soldier in the army of our God, without guile, willingly, not reasoning, not justifying; with loving obedience, giving hands, heart, head to our God. Let us do what God requires of us and leave the rest in His Hands.

Take and receive, O Lord, my body, my mind, my will, my liberty. All things I have and own are yours. They belong to you. Let me use them to prepare a way for you.

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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Espanol

All Issues > Volume 35, Issue 5

<< Thursday, August 29, 2019 >> Beheading of St. John the Baptizer
 
1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
View Readings
Psalm 90:3-5, 12-14, 17 Matthew 24:42-51 or Mark 6:17-29
Similar Reflections
 

MISSIONS AND YOU

 
“We shall continue to flourish only if you stand firm in the Lord!” �1 Thessalonians 3:8
 
Do you ever look at the massive culture of death and feel that your prayers don’t have much of an impact? Do you ever feel that your parish or diocese wouldn’t miss you if you weren’t there?

St. Paul would argue that your faithfulness has a tremendous impact on the Church. He told the newly converted Thessalonian Christians that his missionary team could only keep flourishing if they stayed firm in the faith! (1 Thes 3:8) Elsewhere Paul said: “Who is weak that I am not affected by it?” (2 Cor 11:29) Once Paul had an open door to preach the Gospel in Troas (2 Cor 2:12), but was in such a state of anxiety about whether or not the Christians in Corinth would stay firm in their faith that he was unable to minister there (2 Cor 2:13). When Paul learned from Titus that the Corinthians had indeed stayed firm in the faith, he was consoled and resumed his mission (2 Cor 7:6ff).

We are intimately interconnected in the Body of Christ. We are “living stones” (1 Pt 2:5) built into the Church. When we don’t “stand firm” (1 Thes 3:8), others in the Church are impacted. We may seem to be a stone that no one notices, but if we aren’t firm, we weaken other living stones. When we stand firm, we strengthen other Christians. This is why St. Therese of Lisieux is a patroness of missions even though she never left her convent. Therefore, “put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm” (Eph 6:11).

 
Prayer: Father, may I never give in to discouragement (2 Cor 4:1).
Promise: “Happy that servant whom his Master discovers at work on His return!” —Mt 24:46
Praise: St. John the Baptizer was martyred for speaking God’s truth about adultery.

Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Restless Heart: Confessions of Augustine
St. Augustine premiers on the big screen
Augustine on the Need to Know Hebrew and Greek

Pope Benedict points to St. Augustine as source of unity with Orthodox
St. Augustine’s Legacy to the Church
On St. Augustine’s Conversion
On the Writings of St. Augustine
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St. Augustine’s Last Days
On St. Augustine
Pope to Visit Tomb of St. Augustine
Was St. Augustine Catholic? YES!
ST. AUGUSTINE ON GRACE AND PREDESTINATION
Pope: St Monica and St Augustine for youth who go down “wrong roads” and “dead ends”

“A pledge of eternal life”: Augustine on “dew”
You Have to Love A Pope Who Loves St. Augustine
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St. Augustine, August 28
Two Cities: Augustine’s City of God
Archbishop Sheen Today! — St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine of Hippo Two Cities: Augustine’s City of God (Chuck Colson on citizenship)
St Augustine Of Hippo
Saint Augustine
Teaching Of St.Augustine of Hippo


Information: St. Augustine

Feast Day: August 28

Born: November 13, 354, Tagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)

Died: August 28, 430, Hippo Regius, Numidia (now modern-day Annaba, Algeria)

Major Shrine: San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, Pavia, Italy

Patron of: brewers; printers; theologians


Information: St. Moses the Black

Feast Day: August 28

Born: 330; Ethiopian ancestry

Died: 405, Scetes, Egypt

Major Shrine: Paromeos Monastery, Scetes, Egypt

Patron of: Africa


St. Augustine

Feast Day: August 28
Born: 354 :: Died: 430

St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years living a wicked life and in false beliefs. He was one of the most intelligent persons who ever lived.

Augustine was brought up in a Christian atmosphere by his mother. But he became so proud and bad that in the end he could not see or understand holy truths anymore.

His mother Monica prayed daily for her son’s conversion. The marvelous sermons of St. Ambrose made their impact too. Finally, Augustine became convinced that Christianity was the true religion.

Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. Then one day, he heard about two men who had suddenly changed and became good Christians after reading the life of St. Anthony of the Desert.

Augustine felt ashamed. “What are we doing?” he cried to his friend Alipius. “Unlearned people are taking heaven by force. Yet we, with all our knowledge, are so weak that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!”

Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine went into the garden and prayed, “How much longer, Lord? Why don’t I stop committing sins now?” Just then he heard a child singing, “Take up and read!”

Thinking that God wanted him to hear those words, he picked up the Bible and opened it. His eyes fell on St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 13. It was just what Augustine needed. Paul says to stop living bad lives and to live like Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.

He was baptized and ordained a priest and later became a bishop. He was a famous Catholic writer and started the Augustinian order. He became one of the greatest saints who ever lived.

On the wall of his room, he had the following sentence written in large letters: “Here we do not speak evil of anyone.” St. Augustine corrected strong false teachings, lived a simple life and cared for the poor.

He preached very often, and prayed with great feeling right up until his death. “Too late have I loved you,” he once cried to God. But Augustine spent the rest of his life in loving God and leading others to love him, too.


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, August 28

Liturgical Color: Green

Today the Church recalls St.
Augustine, bishop and Doctor of the
Church. Augustine led a wild early life
and then converted to become one of
the Church’s greatest writers and
philosophers. He died in 430 A.D.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: August 28th

Memorial of St. Augustine, bishop, confessor and doctor

MASS READINGS

August 28, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord, that spirit with which you endowed your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for you, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek you, the author of heavenly love. 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. Augustine; St. Hermes, martyr

St. Augustine (354-430) was born at Tagaste, Africa, and died in Hippo. His father, Patricius, was a pagan; his mother, Monica, a devout Christian. He received a good Christian education. As a law student in Carthage, however, he gave himself to all kinds of excesses and finally joined the Manichean sect. He then taught rhetoric at Milan where he was converted by St. Ambrose. Returning to Tagaste, he distributed his goods to the poor, and was ordained a priest. He was made bishop of Hippo at the age of 41 and became a great luminary of the African Church, one of the four great founders of religious orders, and a Doctor of the universal Church.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is also the feast of St. Hermes, a martyr of Rome, probably in Diocletian’s persecution. He was buried in a cemetery on the Salarian Way. He is mentioned in the Depositio Martyrum of the year 354.


St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine Aurelius was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, North Africa. His father was a pagan, his mother, St. Monica. Still unbaptized and burning for knowledge, he came under the influence of the Manicheans, which caused his mother intense sorrow. He left Africa for Rome, deceiving his mother, who was ever anxious to be near him. She prayed and wept. A bishop consoled her by observing that a son of so many tears would never be lost. Yet the evil spirit drove him constantly deeper into moral degeneracy, capitalizing on his leaning toward pride and stubbornness. Grace was playing a waiting game; there still was time, and the greater the depths into which the evil spirit plunged its fledgling, the stronger would be the reaction.

Augustine recognized this vacuum; he saw how the human heart is created with a great abyss; the earthly satisfactions that can be thrown into it are no more than a handful of stones that hardly cover the bottom. And in that moment grace was able to break through: Restless is the heart until it rests in God. The tears of his mother, the sanctity of Milan’s Bishop Ambrose, the book of St. Anthony the hermit, and the sacred Scriptures wrought his conversion, which was sealed by baptism on Easter night 387. Augustine’s mother went to Milan with joy and witnessed her son’s baptism. It was what it should have been, the greatest event of his life, his conversion — metanoia. Grace had conquered. Augustine accompanied his mother to Ostia, where she died. She was eager to die, for now she had given birth to her son for the second time.

In 388 he returned to Tagaste, where he lived a common life with his friends. In 391 he was ordained priest at Hippo, in 394 made coadjutor to bishop Valerius, and then from 396 to 430 bishop of Hippo.

Augustine, numbered among the four great Doctors of the Western Church, possessed one of the most penetrating minds of ancient Christendom. He was the most important Platonist of patristic times, the Church’s most influential theologian, especially with regard to clarifying the dogmas of the Trinity, grace, and the Church. He was a great speaker, a prolific writer, a saint with an inexhaustible spirituality. His Confessions, a book appreciated in every age, describes a notable portion of his life (until 400), his errors, his battles, his profound religious observations. Famous too is his work The City of God, a worthy memorial to his genius, a philosophy of history. Most edifying are his homilies, especially those on the psalms and on the Gospel of St. John.

Augustine’s episcopal life was filled with mighty battles against heretics, over all of whom he triumphed. His most illustrious victory was that over Pelagius, who denied the necessity of grace; from this encounter he earned the surname “Doctor of grace.” As an emblem Christian art accords him a burning heart to symbolize the ardent love of God which permeates all his writings. He is the founder of canonical life in common; therefore Augustinian monks and the Hermits of St. Augustine honor him as their spiritual father.

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

Patron: Brewers; diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan; printers; city of Saint Augustine, Florida; diocese of Saint Augustine, Florida; sore eyes; diocese of Superior, Wisconsin; theologians; diocese of Tucson, Arizona.

Symbols: flaming heart pierced by two arrows; eagle; child with shell and spoon; word Veritas with rays of light from Heaven; chalice; dove; pen and book; scroll; scourge; model of a church; Bible opened to Romans XIII; child; shell.


St. Hermes
St. Hermes was prefect of Rome. Along with Pope Alexander I, he was put to death about the year 116. A cemetery on the Salerian Way bears his name. The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Rome the birthday of St. Hermes, a man of rank, who (as the Acts of the martyr-pope St. Alexander I narrate) was first cast into prison and then beheaded along with many others. He gained the martyr’s crown under the judge Aurelian.” His body rests in the Church of St. Mark, Rome.


Doctors of the Catholic Church

Saint Augustine of Hippo

statue of Saint Augustine of Hippo; created by an unknown Moravian sculptor, date unknown; Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Brno-Zábrdovice, Czech Republic; photographed 28 January 2018 by Ondraness

Also known as

  • Aurelius Augustinus
  • Doctor of Grace

Memorial

Profile

Son of a pagan father who converted on his death bed, and of Saint Monica, a devout Christian. Raised a Christian, he lost his faith in youth and led a wild life. Lived with a Carthaginian woman from the age of 15 through 30. Fathered a son whom he named Adeotadus, which means the gift of God. Taught rhetoric at Carthage and Milan, Italy. After investigating and experimenting with several philosophies, he became a Manichaean for several years; it taught of a great struggle between good and evil, and featured a lax moral code. A summation of his thinking at the time comes from his Confessions: “God, give me chastity and continence – but not just now.”

Augustine finally broke with the Manichaeans and was converted by the prayers of his mother and the help of Saint Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him. On the death of his mother he returned to Africa, sold his property, gave the proceeds to the poor, and founded a monastery. Monk. Priest. Preacher. Bishop of Hippo in 396. Founded religious communities. Fought Manichaeism, Donatism, Pelagianism and other heresies. Oversaw his church and his see during the fall of the Roman Empire to the Vandals. Doctor of the Church. His later thinking can also be summed up in a line from his writings: Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.

Born

Died

Canonized

Patronage

Representation

Additional Information

Readings

God has no need of your money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it. Saint Augustine

The honors of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness and peril of falling? Saint Augustine

Daily advance, then, in this love, both by praying and by well doing, that through the help of Him who enjoined it on you, and whose gift it is, it may be nourished and increased, until, being perfected, it render you perfect. Saint Augustine

What do you possess if you possess not God? Saint Augustine

Unhappy is the soul enslaved by the love of anything that is mortal. Saint Augustine

The love of worldly possessions is a sort of bird line, which entangles the soul, and prevents it flying to God. Saint Augustine

This very moment I may, if I desire, become the friend of God. Saint Augustine

God bestows more consideration on the purity of the intention with which our actions are performed than on the actions themselves. Saint Augustine

I will suggest a means whereby you can praise God all day long, if you wish. Whatever you do, do it well, and you have praised God. Saint Augustine

This is the business of our life. By labor and prayer to advance in the grace of God, till we come to that height of perfection in which, with clean hearts, we may behold God. Saint Augustine

God in his omnipotence could not give more, in His wisdom He knew not how to give more, in His riches He had not more to give, than the Eucharist. Saint Augustine

God does not command impossibilities, but by commanding admonishes you do what you can and to pray for what you cannot, and aids you that you may be able. Saint Augustine

Our life and our death are with our neighbor. Saint Augustine

Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet. Saint Augustine

O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced “the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever.” He was calling me and saying: “I am the way of truth, I am the life.” Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed you fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace. – from the Confessions of Saint Augustine

Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. – from The City of God by Saint Augustine

A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers.” – from Against Faustus the Manichean, by Saint Augustine

There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended. – from Sermons by Saint Augustine

At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps. – from Homilies on John by Saint Augustine

Since we cannot, as yet, understand that He was begotten by the Father before the day-star, let us celebrate His birth of the Virgin in the nocturnal hours. Since we do not comprehend how His name existed before the light of the sun, let us recognize His tabernacle placed in the sun. Since we do not, as yet, gaze upon the Son inseparably united with His Father, let us remember Him as the ‘bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber.’ Since we are not yet ready for the banquet of our Father, let us grow familiar with the manger of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Saint Augustine

He prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us. – Saint Augustine

Question the beauty of the earth, the sea, the air distending and diffusing itself, the sky, question all these realities. All respond: ‘See, we are beautiful.’ These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One who is not subject to change? – Saint Augustine

One and the same Word of God extends throughout the Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since He who was in the beginning God with God has no need for separate syllables; for he is not subject to time. – Saint Augustine

Jesus Christ will be Lord of all, or he will not be Lord at all. – Saint Augustine

If physical things please you, then praise God for them, but turn back your love to Him who created them, lest in the things that please you, you displease Him. If souls please you, love them in God; for in themselves they are changeable, but in Him they are firmly established. Without Him they pass away and perish. In Him, then, let them be loved, and carry along with you to Him as many souls as you can, and say to them, “Let us love Him, let us love Him; He made the world and is not far from it. He did not make all things and then leave them, but they are of Him and in Him. See, there He is wherever truth is loved. He is within the very heart, yet the heart has strayed from Him. Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to Him who made you. Stand with Him and you will stand fast. Rest in Him and you shall be at rest.” – Saint Augustine, from The Confessions

Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation. – Saint Augustine

O Sacrament of Love! O sign of Unity! O bond of Charity! He who would have Life finds here indeed a Life to live in and a Life to live by. – Saint Augustine

If you see that you have not yet suffered tribulations, consider it certain that you have not begun to be a true servant of God; for Saint Paul says plainly that all who chose to live piously in Christ, shall suffer persecutions – Saint Augustine

I speak to you who have just been reborn in baptism, my little children in Christ, you who are the new offspring of the Church, gift of the Father, proof of Mother Church’s fruitfulness. All of you who stand fast in the Lord are a holy seed, a new colony of bees, the very flower of our ministry and fruit of our toil, my joy and my crown. It is the words of the Apostle that I address to you: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh and its desires, so that you may be clothed with the life of him whom you have put on in this sacrament. You have all been clothed with Christ by your baptism in him. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is neither male nor female; you are all one in Christ Jesus. Such is the power of this sacrament: it is a sacrament of new life which begins here and now with the forgiveness of all past sins, and will be brought to completion in the resurrection of the dead. You have been buried with Christ by baptism into death in order that, as Christ has risen from the dead, you also may walk in newness of life. You are walking now by faith, still on pilgrimage in a mortal body away from the Lord; but he to whom your steps are directed is himself the sure and certain way for you: Jesus Christ, who for our sake became man. For all who fear him he has stored up abundant happiness, which he will reveal to those who hope in him, bringing it to completion when we have attained the reality which even now we possess in hope. This is the octave day of your new birth. Today is fulfilled in you the sign of faith that was prefigured in the Old Testament by the circumcision of the flesh on the eighth day after birth. When the Lord rose from the dead, he put off the mortality of the flesh; his risen body was still the same body, but it was no longer subject to death. By his resurrection he consecrated Sunday, or the Lord’s day. Though the third after his passion, this day is the eighth after the Sabbath, and thus also the first day of the week. And so your own hope of resurrection, though not yet realized, is sure and certain, because you have received the sacrament or sign of this reality, and have been given the pledge of the Spirit. If, then, you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on heavenly things, not the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. – from a sermon by Saint Augustine


The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 23:23-26

Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Cleanse first the inside of the cup. (Matthew 23:26)

Ice cream sundaes, quickly consumed, can leave a lovely fluted dish splotched with leftover cherry pits, chocolate sprinkles, and nuts. The dish looks pretty on the outside, but the inside is a sticky mess. That’s like the image Jesus used to get these Pharisees’ attention. We know some Pharisees, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, believed in Jesus and became his disciples. But these Pharisees despised him.

Jesus’ rebuke might sound harsh; it might even make you squirm inside. After all, most of us know his words could just as easily apply to us. But Jesus isn’t trying to shame the Pharisees (or us) into change. He is trying to draw our gaze to the truth: only Jesus can cleanse the “inside of the cup,” our hearts (Matthew 23:26).

No matter how forcefully Jesus’ words strike you, be assured of this: God is not mad at you. He loves you intensely, and he is trying to open your eyes to the leftover mess in your heart. His rebuke is meant as an invitation to turn back to him.

St. Augustine, whose memorial we celebrate today, once told God, “You made me see that there was something to see.” Augustine saw Jesus and his holiness, and that shed light on his own need for God and his potential to be like Jesus. “You called and shouted,” he acknowledged, “and broke through my deafness.”

Jesus was shouting to break through the Pharisees’ deafness. God, who is good and gentle, is also powerful and wise. Don’t be frightened by the power of his voice. He isn’t screaming at you, “Hey you, your cup is filthy!” He’s inviting you closer so that you can hear him calling out, “Here I am! Let me help you.”

Jesus wants to help you. He wants you to be holy just as he is holy. He wants to hold your hand and guide you as you deal with whatever separates you from him. Perhaps he will lead you to look at what is gumming up your sundae dish. Perhaps it will lead to the confessional for a thorough scrubbing. Once everything is cleared away, the Spirit will deepen your faith in Jesus—and give you a deeper experience of his love.

“Jesus, cleanse me from the inside out.”

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17
Psalm 96:10-13


Daily Gospel Commentary

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church

Commentary on the 1st letter of Saint John, VI, 3 ; SC 75 (copyright Augustinian heritage institute)

“Cleanse first the inside “

“Little children, this is how we know we are of the truth, when we love in action and truth, not only in words and speech, and assure our heart in his presence” (1Jn 3:18-19). What does “in his presence” mean? Where he himself sees. Hence, the Lord himself says in the gospel, “Beware of practicing your righteousness in the presence of men, in order to be seen by them; otlierwise you will not have a reward with your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 6:1)… You are before God. Question your heart: see what you have done and what you have been yearning for there—your salvation or the windy praise of men. Look within, for a person cannot judge one whom he cannot see. If we are assuring our heart, let us assure it in his presence.

“Because if our heart thinks badly”—that is, if it accuses us within, because we aren’t acting with the spirit with which we should be acting —“God is greater than our heart, and he knows all things” (v.20). You hide your heart from man: hide it from God if you can. How will you hide it from him to whom it was said by a certain sinner in fear and confession: “Where shall 1 go from your spirit, and where shed! I flee from your face?”… For where does God not exist? “If,” he said, “I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to hell, you are present” (Ps 139[138]:7-8). Where will you go? Where will you flee? Do you want to hear some advice? If you want to flee from him, flee to him. Flee to him by confessing, not from him by hiding, for you cannot hide, but you can confess. Tell him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7), and let there be nursed in you the love that alone leads to life.


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

Daily Marriage Tip for August 28, 2018:

Who usually has the final word in an argument or family decision? If it doesn’t balance out, check if one of you is taking unfair advantage of the other. Somebody may be talking too much.


Regnum Christi

August 28, 2018 – First Things First

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Matthew 23:23-26

 

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love.

Petition: Lord, help me to dedicate my life to weightier matters rather than mere appearances.

  1. Tithed Up in Knots: When God originally commanded his people to tithe, it was so that they would acknowledge him as the source of all the gifts in their lives. It was to be the recognition on their part that all they had was from him, that he is Lord, and that his law is the way to salvation. Yet it became easy for the Israelites to fall into legalism and forget the true purpose of the tithe. They observed the letter of the law and forgot the meaning of the law: acknowledge the sovereignty of God. In the end, all we are and all we have belongs to God. We have to use our talents, wealth and possessions all for him and his kingdom. Is there some area in which I do not acknowledge his sovereignty in my life?
  1. What Really Counts: What are the weightier matters of the law? Jesus speaks of justice and mercy and faith. When we neglect these, we are distorting true religion, for true religion is not a question of formalisms and actions to appease God, but rather of turning our hearts to his word. We need to make our hearts more like his, in charity and mercy toward others. How many times do we miss the most important things and work only at side issues? How often do we try to please God in the wrong way, by supposing we are doing his will when really we are only doing our own will instead? How often do we forget the true essence of devotion to the law of God?
  1. Interior Cleaning: “First clean the inside of the cup…” We should tend to our soul and make sure the intentions behind our actions are holy motivations. We need to check our heart frequently so that we can work with purity of intention. Sometimes we work only to present an appearance to others, to appear virtuous and holy, but inside we are filled with negative judgments, such as lack of charity. Virtue comes from within the heart of a person, where the Spirit dwells and inspires as he wills. We need to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and follow his lead.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know what is in my heart. Purify it and recast it in the image of your divine heart, so that I may love you and love others as you love them. Let me put aside all vanity and desire for appearances that does not give glory to you.

Resolution: I will examine my conscience as to the motives of my actions each day, making sure I am inspired by mercy, justice and faith.


Homily of the Day

In the first reading Paul encourages the Thessalonians to “stand firm and hold to the traditions that we taught you by word or by letter.” May they remain true and faithful to the Good News preached to them.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus denounces the religious leaders of his time for their lack of godliness and sincerity. He accuses them of hypocrisy; of cleansing the outside while being defiled in the inside.

This applies to all of us who call ourselves people of God. We are all sinners, fallen and in great need of God’s grace.

Jesus is calls us out of our conceited selves and reminds us that holiness is not something that we put on for others to see and notice. It is more important to nurture our relationship with God than to receive the empty admiration of others.


One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

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All Issues > Volume 34, Issue 5

<< Tuesday, August 28, 2018 >> St. Augustine
 
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17
View Readings
Psalm 96:10-13 Matthew 23:23-26
Similar Reflections
 

ARE YOU EXPECTING? (SEE AUG. 27)

 
“On the question of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him…” �2 Thessalonians 2:1
 
The Thessalonians had been seduced into becoming agitated and terrified because they thought the world was about to end (2 Thes 2:2). Some Thessalonians even quit their jobs because they thought they had only a few days left on the earth (2 Thes 3:7ff). Also, some of the Corinthians divorced their unbelieving spouses, possibly because they expected the Lord to come and the world to end at any minute (1 Cor 7:12ff). These early Christians were wrong in their reaction to the possibility that the world would end. However, they were not wrong in expecting the world’s end and Christ’s return.

The worst mistake we can make is to ignore the fact that Jesus will come back to earth at a time we least expect (Lk 12:40). “The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and on that day the heavens will vanish with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and all its deeds will be made manifest. Since everything is to be destroyed in this way, what sort of men must you not be! How holy in your conduct and devotion, looking for the coming of the day of God and trying to hasten it!” (2 Pt 3:10-12)

The early Christians had one word on the tips of their tongues. They repeatedly cried out “Maranatha!” (“Come, Lord Jesus!”) (Rv 22:20; 1 Cor 16:22) to which the Lord responds: “Yes, I am coming soon!” (Rv 22:20)

 
Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Promise: “First cleanse the inside of the cup so that its outside may be clean.” —Mt 23:26
Praise: While in his final illness, St. Augustine had the seven penitential psalms (Ps 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) hung on his bedroom wall so he could read them in a spirit of repentance.