Thursday, September 30, 2010

St. Jerome

The fourth century AD , which had its important moment in the 380 with the edict of Emperor Theodosius who ordered that the Christian faith had to be adopted by all peoples of the empire , is full of great figures of saints, Athanasius , Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine , Chrysostom , Basil and Jerome.

The latter was born in Stridonia (Dalmatia ) around the year 340, he studied in Rome where he was baptized. His spirit is encyclopedic , his literary work reveals the philosopher, the orator , the grammarian , the dialectical , able to think and write in Latin, Greek, Hebrew writer, rich , pure and robust at the same time. He was responsible for the Latin translation of the Old and New Testament, which became, with the title of Vulgate, the official Bible of Christianity.

Jerome is a personality very strong : everywhere where you raise enthusiasm or controversy. In Rome lashes the vices and hypocrisies and calls for new forms of religious life , attracting them to some influential women patrician of Rome, who then follow him in the hermit's life in Bethlehem.

The flight of the society of this exile voluntary due to his desire for inner peace, not long lasting , because every now and then reappeared with a new book. The roar of the " Lion of the Desert "will make themselves heard in the East and West. His verbal violence were for everyone. had harsh words Ambrose for Basilio and even to his friend Augustine had to spend several drinks bitter . Proves the correspondence between the two great Doctors of the Church which are preserved almost in its entirety. But I knew soften its excesses character when the controversial he would become director of souls.

When I finished a book, going to visit the nuns who had ascetic life in a monastery not far from yours. The listened, answering their questions. These women smart and live were a filter for your explosions unless timely and he paid them the support and nourishment of a culture spiritual and biblical . This extraordinary man was aware of its limitations and faults. The remedied beating his breast with a stone. But he also realized its merits, so much so that the long list of illustrious men who made a brief but valuable summary ( De viris illustribus ) ends with a chapter devoted to himself. He died at age 72 in 420 in Bethlehem.

References: Catholic.Net

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

St. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael Archangels

St. Michael
When GOD created the angels, these beautiful spirits of light and love lived in the Kingdom of Heaven, when GOD created them he gave them holiness, beauty, and wisdom. GOD wanted to test the angels to see if they loved him before they saw him face to face in Heaven. Outof many angels, one of the most powerful angels was Lucifer, whose name meant "Receiver of Light." Glad with his power, he shouted a yell of disobedience yelling "I shall not serve GOD!" But another Archangel, Michael, shouted a yell of love and obedience yelling "Who is like GOD?!" In a great battle, the Good Angels threw the Evil Angels out of Heaven and into Hell. As a reward for his love and obedience GOD made Michael Prince of the Celestial Courts. Since the beginning of time, St. Michael was the chief of the temple chosen by GOD. In the new testament Michael is the Guardian Angel and protector of the Holy Catholic Church. The name Michael means "Who is like GOD?"

St. Gabriel
According to the prophet Daniel, St. Gabriel was the Archangel that announced the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He appeared to Zacharias, to announce the nativity of St. John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus Christ. The greatest honor of Gabriel consists of being sent by GOD to Mary in Nazareth and announce to her that she was chosen to be the Mother of GOD. The name Gabriel means "The Power of GOD." It is used that way because Gabriel was God's messenger and his messages show us the power and glory of GOD. Some fathers of the Catholic Church say that he was with Jesus when Jesus was agonizing on the cross. He is the angel of the incarnation, consolation, and mercy. In the beginning of time Gabriel was venerated by Christians. Like Gabriel gave us the first word of the Hail Mary, pray to him to help you pray the rosary with a real devotion.

St. Raphael
He is one of the three Archangels that appears in the Bible. He disguised himself as a human, and followed and helped the young man Tobias. On the journey he made a demon leave the body of Sarah, daughter of Rachel, who later married Tobias. And revealed that he was an Archangel to Tobias.Then they went to receive the money of Gabelo and led young Tobias back home safe and alive. When he entered into Tobias' home he healed Tobias' mother in law. (Tobias 5:11) and filled the house with blessings. The name Raphael means "GOD heals." He is Patron Saint of those who travel, doctors and nurses, and the young especially those who have the vocation of becoming a religious. He is called the Angel of love and happiness.

God our Father,
in a wonderful way you guide the work of angels and men.
May those who serve you constantly in heaven
keep our lives safe from all harm on earth.
We ask this through Christ our lord and Savior.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions

DOMINGO Domingo Ibanez , Spanish, Dominican priest . Born in Reginato (San Sebastian ), son of the Province of Spain to his affiliation with the Rosary Province . In Manila teaches at the College of St. Thomas and preach the Gospel in different parts of the Philippines . Went to Japan in 1623, where he worked incognito . Denounced by a Christian apostate is imprisoned and executed. Played an important role as the Vicar Provincial of the mission. It retains some of his letters. Age , 44.

FRANCISCO SHOYEMON , Japanese, cooperator Dominican . Companion of Fr Domingo Ibanez . Arrested in 1633, the Dominican habit in jail. He was killed alongside his spiritual father.

SANTIAGO KYUSHEI Tomonaga DE SANTA MARIA , Japanese, Dominican priest . family noble Christian Kyudetsu studying with the Jesuits in Nagasaki. Expelled from Japan in 1614 as a catechist. In Manila became a priest , a missionary in Taiwan , returns to his homeland in 1632 , in order to help their fellow Christians. He is arrested and tortured, killed, "because religious and propagated the faith " . It is the oldest of the group: 51.

MIGUEL KUROBIOYE , Japanese , lay catechist. Companion of Fr Santa Maria , OP, is imprisoned and tortured, he revealed the hiding place of P. of Santa Maria. Repentant, goes with him to martyrdom , confessing their faith.

LUCAS ALONSO DEI . SPIRIT HOLY , Spanish, Dominican priest . Born in Carracedo (Astorga ) , a Dominican of the Province of Spain , passed the Rosary Province in 1617. Professor at the Colegio de Santo Tomas in Manila , missionary Cagayan in 1623 went to Japan where he worked with great courage and risked their lives for ten years. Arrested in Osaka in 1633 , was tortured and martyred in Nagasaki. Age , 39.

MATEO KOHIOYE DEL ROSARIO , Japanese , born in Arima. Catechist and assistant B. Lucas Alonso, a novice of the Order. Arrested in Osaka in 1633 , rejects any proposal for money and endured horrible torture and remain faithful to Christ until his death. He was 18 .

1634 (October -November)

MAGDALENA DE NAGASAKI , Japanese, tertiary Augustinian and Dominican . Daughter of martyred Christians , is devoted to God and spiritually guided by the Augustinian Recollect and then the Dominican Ansalone . After the arrest of Father Ansalone , she presented to the emergency proclaimed Christian . Tortured in a cruel, firm in her faith , is hung from the gallows where he remained alive for thirteen days.

NAVY OMURA , Japan. In 1626 he joined the Dominican Third Order , being a great help to the missionaries. Arrested in 1634 and submitted to shameful humiliation and finally led to the stake , giving a sublime example of "strong woman . "

JACINTO JORDAN Ansalon , Italian, Dominican priest . Native S. Stefano Quisquina (Agrigento ), son of the Province of Sicily, passed to the Holy Rosary Province . In the Philippines , he worked among the poor and sick . In 1632 he went to Japan , where he worked for two years. Arrested in 1634 , supports strongly torture, and is hung from the gallows. Age , 36 years.

THOMAS HIOJI NISHI DE SAN JACINTO , Japanese, Dominican priest . Son of martyred Christians of Hirado , and pupil of the Jesuits' College . Expelled from their country by persecution, emigrated to Manila in 1614 . Student at the College of St. Thomas , moved to missions Taiwan , returning later to his homeland in full religious persecution. Among great perils for five years. Arrested , tortured and sentenced to death. Age , 44.

1637 (September)

In 1636 the Dominicans in Manila organized an expedition of volunteers to help Christians in Japan. When they reached the island of Okinawa were arrested and kept in prison more than a year before being transferred and sentenced to death by the tribunal of Nagasaki. They are:

ANTONIO GONZALEZ , Spanish, Dominican priest . Natural de León , is a Dominican in the Province of Spain and then passed to the Holy Rosary Province and moved to Manila in 1631 , where he will be professor and rector of St. Thomas , being a man of much prayer and penance. In 1636 a group of missionaries to Japan , where he is promptly arrested and dies in jail after a year , worn out by the tortures . Age, 45 years.

WILLIAM Courtet or TAKE S. SUNDAY, French Dominican priest . Born in Sérignan (Montpellier ) , family noble , he became a Dominican in the Congregation Reformed of San Luis, goes to the Holy Rosary Province and moved to the Philippines, in 1634 , where he is professor at the Colegio de Santo Tomás. In Japan died from torture singing praise to the Virgin of the Rosary , reciting psalms. Age , 47.

MIGUEL DE AOZARAZA , Spanish, Dominican priest . Natural Oñate ( Guipúzcoa ), enter as a Dominican in the province of Spain and then passed to the Holy Rosary Province . In the Philippines working at Mission Bataan ( Luzon) . He refused to give his faith and accepted with joy tremendous suffering. Age , 39.

VICENTE SCHIWOZUKA DE LA CRUZ, Japanese, Dominican priest . family Christian , a pupil of the Jesuits' College and a catechist. In 1614 he was expelled from Japan for being a Christian . In Manila became a priest and worked among the Japanese exiles . Before returning to his homeland with the P. Gonzalez, the Dominican habit in 1636. After a year in prison and tortured him to apostatize , but he soon goes to the classmates road gallows , professing their faith.

LAZARUS OF KYOTO, Japan , secular . He contracted leprosy and was deported with other lepers in the Philippines. In 1636 he joined as a guide and interpreter Fr Gonzalez, not withstanding torture, deny for a few hours but then repented and died for Christ with others.

Lorenzo Ruiz , Filipino, layman. Born in Binondo (Manila ) Chinese father and Filipino mother . Educated by the Dominicans and assistant their , becoming a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. He married and fathered three children. Involved in a dark bloody event , joined the group P. Order to escape. He was arrested and declared himself ready to give life a thousand times by Christ. It is the first martyr of the Philippines.

Miracle proposed for Canonization

Occurred in Manila in 1983 through the group in favor of Cecilia Alegria Policarpio , child of two years, cured completely and permanently cerebral palsy anatomical and functional , with no effective therapy. The miracle was recognized by Pope John Paul II on June 1, 1987 .

The reasons for the pursuers

" The followers of Christ , arriving unexpectedly in Japan, not only came here carrying goods on their ships, but also, without permission, have spread and propagated their wicked law , destroying the good and legitimate, and plotting to overthrow the power in our country. This is the beginning of a great calamity, which all means be avoided . Japan is a country Shinto and Buddhist , which venerates the gods , honor the Buddha and is held in high esteem the way of benevolence '( Confucius).

The followers of the Fathers ( the Christians) have all disobeyed the orders given by the government despising religion ... and destroying the good . Seeing those who should be killed ( martyrs ) are happy and are behind them, spontaneously, and adore them . Such is the supreme ideal of this religion. If it is suppressed immediately endless misfortunes will fall on the state. These Christians are wiped out without delay in all regions of Japan , so you no have place to put your feet or hands. If anyone dares contravene this order , shall be punished with death. " (From the edict of 1614, whose doctrine is picked up substantially in 1633 and 1636).

Monday, September 27, 2010

St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent was born at Pouy in Gascony, in the south of France, in 1580 or 1581, the third child in a family of four sons and two daughters. His family was a solid peasant family capable of making ends meet only through hard work and frugality. His father encouraged and helped him toward the priesthood, to which he was ordained on September 23, 1600, at the age of nineteen or twenty. Among his chief reasons for becoming a priest was his desire to get an office in the Church from which he could obtain enough money to retire early, return home, and provide for his family.
His early hopes for advancement came to nothing (two trips to Rome, promises of a bishopric, money from a will). In 1608, Vincent moved to Paris, where he came under the influence of Father (later Cardinal) Pierre de Bérulle, whom he took as his spiritual director, and Father André Duval, a professor of the Sorbonne, who was to be his "wise man" for the next three decades. This marked a turning point in Vincent's spiritual journey: ambition was receding, and attention to God and vocation were advancing.

Accused of theft by his roommate, Vincent did not defend himself, showing himself to be more like the Lord and less interested in self-advancement and public image — the real thief confessed years later. In 1612, he was named pastor of Saint-Medard in Clichy, a poor rural parish just northwest of Paris. As pastor, he experienced the priesthood in a way unknown to him to that point, and told the bishop he was happier than the bishop himself, and even the pope.

However, in less than a year Bérulle recalled him to Paris to become chaplain to the Gondi family and tutor to their children. In January of 1617, Vincent was on the Gondi estates in Picardy, and heard the confession of a dying man, who told Madame de Gondi that he would have been damned without Vincent's ministry. She urged Vincent to preach a sermon on general confessions, which produced such a response that other priests were called to help hear all the confessions.

Now, very conscious that the poor were not being evangelized or helped, Vincent felt called to a more pastoral ministry. With Bérulle's help, he became the parish priest in Châtillon-les-Dombes in the southeast of France, helping his fellow priests to a more faithful way of life, as well as ministering to and teaching the people. In August 1617, as he was preparing for Sunday Mass, a parishioner brought news of the illness and destitution of an entire family in the parish. He preached on their need, and that afternoon the people responded in overwhelming numbers by carrying them food and supplies. Vincent then called a meeting of interested women, and urged them to put order into their generosity by taking turns. With rules drawn up by Vincent, they established a group which became the first Confraternity of Charity.

By December, 1617, Madame de Gondi prevailed in her request that Vincent return to their family by giving him freedom to preach missions in various towns and villages. In 1619, at the urging of Monsieur de Gondi, King Louis XIII, appointed Vincent chaplain general of the galleys with responsibility for the spiritual well-being of all the galley convicts of France.

During this period Vincent experienced a twofold conversion. First, he was being converted to the poor, who were becoming the center of his life. Second, he was also being converted to his priesthood, seeing it not as a career, but as a personal relationship with Jesus. However, his "conversion" does not seem to rest on one dramatic moment, but rather on a gradual opening to the power of God's grace working in him, and allowing him to see his world more clearly in the light of Christ.

Toward the end of 1618, the bishop of Geneva, Francis de Sales, arrived in Paris, and inspired Vincent with the power of humility and gentleness. Vincent reflected: "How good you must be, my God, if Francis de Sales, your creature, is so gentle and lovable." Vincent's disposition was naturally moody and melancholy, but he now decided that he could not simply say he was made that way and could not change. He went to Soissons to make a retreat, asking God to help him change. His prayer was answered, not immediately, but gradually as he came to understand the direction his priesthood should go and the beauty of serving others.
Vincent continued giving local missions to the people. Madame de Gondi, seeing the effect of these missions, set aside money for a community to preach such missions on a wider scale, and asked Vincent to find a community able and willing to do so. Vincent asked the Jesuits and several other communities, but none were able to accept this additional apostolate. Vincent went to his old mentor, Father Duval, to share his concern and ask for advice. Duval told him that God was clearly calling Vincent himself to do the work of the missions. Vincent accepted the call, and in April, 1625, founded the Congregation of the Mission to evangelize the poor people of the countryside.

The Archbishop of Paris approved the Congregation, giving them the Collège des Bons Enfants for a motherhouse. Members were secular priests who made simple vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability. In 1628, the Congregation gave its first retreat to candidates for the priesthood in preparation for their ordination. This gradually led to additional efforts to help priests in their vocation. In 1633, the motherhouse moved to the former priory of Saint-Lazare, north of the city. Beginning in 1635, additional houses were established, in France, in other European countries, and in Africa. Vincent also served as spiritual director for a growing number of people, one of whom was a widow, Louise de Marillac, in whom Vincent saw leadership potential. The Ladies of Charity, a coalition of noblewomen Vincent had organized to serve poor people, had grown and spread, as had the Confraternities of Charity. Vincent found it impossible to oversee all these groups, so he turned to Louise. Despite frail health, Louise traveled from town to town, visiting, guiding and encouraging the fledging organizations.

Vincent assumed direction of the Hôtel-Dieu, a large hospital in Paris. Both Vincent and Louise realized that greater commitment would be needed to give the necessary care with consistency and love. Young women from rural areas began to appear, ready to assist. In 1633, Louise welcomed several of them into her own home for training, and they became the nucleus of a new type of religious community, the Daughters of Charity. They lived in houses, not convents; their cloister was the city streets; their enclosure was their commitment to God and service. They gave their lives to visiting the sick in the homes, ministering in hospitals, caring for prisoners, orphans, the mentally ill, and the homeless of Paris. They also taught catechism to rural children.

In 1639, Lorraine was devastated by war. Vincent collected money and other forms of aid, sending members of his Congregation to distribute the aid and organize relief, and sending Daughters of Charity to minister to victims and refugees. This ministry continued during the 30 years war, and a brutal civil war called the Fronde.

In June of 1643, Vincent began serving on the Queen's Council of Ecclesiastical Affairs. There he exercised significant influence on the selection of good and worthy bishops, oversaw the renewal of monastic life, dealt with Jansenism, and was able to keep the plight of the people and the poor before the government of France.

Vincent continued his work until his death on September 27, 1660. A witness tells us, "At the moment of his death, he surrendered his beautiful soul into the hands of the Lord, and seated there, he was handsome, more majestic and venerable to look at than ever."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ss. Cosmas and Damian

Saints Cosmas and Damian (c. 300). St. Gregory of Tours, in his book martyrium glory , writes:

" The twin brothers Cosmas and Damian, medical profession, after they became Christians , frightened by the disease only merit of his virtues and the intervention of your prayers ... her crown after various tortures , they gathered in the sky and make in favor of their compatriots many miracles. For, if a patient presents full of faith to pray over his grave, when you get healing.

Many also refer to these saints will be appearing on the sick dreams telling them what to do , and then run it , are cured. On hearing this I refer many things that would be too long to tell , considering that enough has been said " .-

Despite references to martyrdom and breviary , it seems certain that both brothers were martyred and buried in Cyro , not far from the Syrian city of Aleppo. Theodoret , who was Bishop of Cyrus in the V century , refers to the magnificent Basilica Saints both had there.

Since the first half of V century there were two churches in his honor in Constantinople, when they had been engaged in two days of Justinian. The emperor also built them another in Pamphylia.

In Cappadocia, Matalasca , Saint Sabas († 531) became Basilica of Ss. Cosmas and Damian the home of his parents. In Jerusalem and Mesopotamia also had temples. In Edessa were patrons of a hospital built in 457, and Saints said that the two were buried in two different churches in this city monastic .-

In Egypt , the calendar notes that 535 Oxyrhyrico of San Cosme has its own temple . Coptic devotion to both Saints was always very earnest .

In St. George at Thessalonica appear in a mosaic with the word of martyrs and doctors. In Bizon, in Scythia , is also a church deacon Stephen lift them .

But perhaps the most famous of the shrines was the eastern Aegean, in Cilicia , the birthplace of the legend called "Arab" , recorded in two passions, and is that reflected our current liturgical books.

These Saints , who along V and VI century had conquered the East, also entered triumphantly in the West. We have already referred to the testimony of St. Gregory of Tours. We have testimonies of their faith in Cagliari (Sardinia ) , sponsored by San Fulgencio , a fugitive from the barbarians. In Ravenna there own mosaic VI and VII century . The Verona Visigothic sentence included in the calendar of saints celebrated the Church of Spain .-

But where they enjoyed exceptional popularity was in Rome itself , coming to have devoted more than ten churches. Pope Symmachus ( 498-514 ) consecrated a chapel to them on the Esquiline , which subsequently became an abbey . Saint Felix IV, was the year 527, became famous for ecclesiastical use two old buildings, the Basilica of Romulus and the sacrum templum Urbis, the civil file attached to them , located on the Via Sacra , the Forum , dedicated to the two anárgiros physicians .-

So great development reached its worship, especially the influence of the Byzantines, who , in addition to this date of September 26 were assigned by the work of Pope Gregory II the station on Thursday, coinciding with the third week of Lent , when it occurs the exact date of half of this time of penance , which resulted in large attendance of the faithful, who came to the doctors to implore heavenly health of body and soul .-

Case really strange, the text of the Lenten Mass refers preferably to those saints that are mentioned in the collection , secret and postcommunion , playing in liturgical texts with the word salus in the Introit and Offertory for reading and being evangelical narrate the healing of mother- Saint Peter and many other miraculous cures wrought at Capernaum the Lord that day and the release of many possessed. This scene of compassion was a reflection of which was repeated in Rome , in the sanctuary of anárgiros , by the prodigies performed between patients who were entrusted to them .-

One might ask : Why not today these glorious Santos held the wonders of the ancient ages? Perhaps the answer could be put through another question: Why today we do not entrust them with the same faith, faith that the miracles start ? .-

But what should not be shut down is that faith, that the hand of the Lord "has not been made . " And if San Cosme y San Damián continue to be patrons of physicians and pharmacists , we may continue to exercise with a prayer like this , the old Hispanic liturgy :

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Lady of Mercy

She has fallen into my hands a little story of Mercy , and I look forward to dedicate this message today to Our Lady of Mercy, a name and a beautiful invocation of Mary, who appeared to St. Peter Nolasco, the Court held St. Raymond Nonnatus and liberaated many captives. They called the Merced for using the highest charity with their children most in need.

We have to move to Europe at the beginning of the twelfth century . The Mediterranean was infested by pirates and Saracens, Turks , Muslim fanatics who attacked the boat , down the coast , leveling homes and entire villages , robbed , murdered , and , worst of all, Christians were carried to North Africa to be sold as slaves and make them forsake the faith. Given the impotence of the Christian nations , will be the Virgin Mary - the same as always , which is the Help of Christians - who is involved with a hand gently but firmly , and with Mother's heart .

A wealthy merchant of Barcelona asked anxious relatives and friends
- But what are you doing , what with selling all your business and teach this group of guys to do the same ? Why are you getting into these boats Moors with so much danger ?
And Peter Nolasco , without any fear , responds to all:
- Nothing. Do you want to come along to rescue from the Moors to Christians who are slaves? I need more volunteers.

Now the Virgin is involved . It was the night of 1 August 2, 1218 . Peter Nolasco was in prayer, when the first sparks of heavenly light . They begin to see angels and more angels, who are surrounding a beautiful Lady , which loving smiles , and says :
- What are you doing pleasing to God. Do not get discouraged . I will now request that founded a religious order . Your peers , imitating my Son Jesus , will go to the salvation of their brothers , if necessary giving a pledge to ransom. I am with you .
Peter Nolasco did not doubt the presence of Mary, and communicates the vision of Don Jaime King and royal advisor San Raimundo de Peñafort , which speak with the bishop, who is amazed :
- But is it true what they say ? If so , I put on my habit to those brave .
With the protection of Mary and the mission of Bishop. Peter Nolasco and his companions embark on a company can not be beaten .

Soon they were added Raymond Nonnatus, brave as any. He was ordained a priest, and march to the north of Africa to rescue captives. It gives all, is left without a penny, and asks:
- What do I do now ?
Love is ingenious, and gives him a heroic resolution . Unable to rescue more slaves, because they do not have a penny , it has decided to one owner:
- Here I am. I sell myself into slavery. How much is it for me?
The rich will not loose money, and offers with disdain :
- The freedom of another slave.
- Accepted ! ...
And, Raymond become a slave , is given with ardor to preach to the other captives the Christian faith. But its new owners , not to talk more, we close the mouth with a padlock. lasts eight months in captivity and martyrdom.

When you get the money for his ransom , is released and returned to Spain. In Barcelona, makes it a triumphal reception . And Pope Gregory IX called to do Cardenal, but died just beginning the road to Rome.

Nice story, which tells us much today. While there are men , our brothers, the slaves of other men, who are oppressing unfairly , always the Virgen de la Merced will have a word for them.

While there are men , our brothers, who have made themselves captives of a defect either , the Virgin will be for them a maternal heartbeat .

While only one person who suffers, the Virgin will have to play his trade of releasing the pain.

They are captives - fairly or unfairly, for us is the same - many prisoners who , in the prisons of our country , they have decent living conditions of a human person .

They are captives of the society so many ragged children who swarm in our streets , pickpockets at such a young age, no home, no school, no hope of a dignified position among the citizenry.
They are captive so many women , not just freedom from slavery to the thousands who have been subject for centuries, and they expect deliverance.

They are captive so many people at home , when he needed love, and fail the husband or wife and mother fails , turning the house into a prison or a little less .

We are prisoners of ourselves when we do not fully break ties - strong as wire ropes or fine as silk - that prevent us from flying free to God.

Our Lady of Mercy , you see one you already have something to do in the world! There are still many slaves who groan in chains and locked in prisons of darkness. If your children want to release prisoners, serving you from us, here we are , tools in your hands faithful Mother.

References: Catholic.Net

Thursday, September 23, 2010

St. Padre Pio

Pio (Francesco Forgione) was born to Mamma Peppa and Grazio Forgione in the little town called Pietrelcina, in Southern Italy, during the month of flowers, May 25th 1887. He was fifth of eight children. His Mamma Peppa confided he was different from other boys: “he was never impolite or misbehaved”. He had celestial visions and diabolical oppressions from the age of five years and he saw and spoke with Jesus and Our Lady and with his Guardian Angel, but unfortunately this heavenly life was interwoven with hell and with the devil.

In 1903, Discipline and ill health had been woven together to crown the youth of Pio. Doctors diagnosed him as consumptive and were sure he would die. Strong in spirit Pio received the Capuchin Franciscan garb initialling religious life and therefore; Noviciate with its intense study, prayer, austerity, penance and finally vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

In 1909, we find him at Pietrelcina because of his illness, at his mother’s side. Now another intense chapter of extraordinary life opens with mystical afflictions an invisible stigmata and terrible battles with devils that wanted to destroy him began. Yet, “It all happened here”, he said, his whole future was prepared here. On August 10, 1910, he was ordained a Priest in the Cathedral of Benevento.

In 1916, we find him in the church of San Giovanni Rotondo, soon to become his Jerusalem, with the mystical and historical calvary of Gargano, where he was soon recognised as the “saintly friar” by the locals. Here he became a “victim of love”, by the reparation for sin, propitiator and regenerator of the many crowds who flocked to him, to venerate his bleeding wounds of his hands and feet. This very important event occurred in Father Pio’s life on September 20, 1918, while he was praying in front of a Crucifix located in the choir in the little old church, when a strange personage like an angel, gave him the stigmata. Those stigmata have been remained opened and bleeding for fifty years. This was one of the reasons for which doctors, scientists, journalists and common people have gone to San Giovanni Rotondo for years, in order to meet the “Saintly friar “.

In a letter dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio told his experience of crucifixion: “... What I can tell you about my crucifixion? My God! What a confusion and what humiliation I feel when I try to show somebody else what you have done in me your scanty creature! It was the morning of the 20th. (September) and I was in choir, after the celebration of the Holy Mass, when a rest, similar to a sweet sleep surprised me. All the inside and external senses, as well as the same faculties of the soul were in an indescribable quiet. There was a depth silence around me and inside me; a peace overcame me and then it all happened in a flash I felt abandonment with the complete deprivation of everything. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious appearance, similar to the one I had seen on
August 5th, differing only because His hands, feet and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn’t intervened and strengthened my heart, which was about to burst out of my chest! The appearance disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were pierced and were dripping with blood”. You can imagine the torment that I experienced then and that I am almost experiencing every day. The wound of the heart assiduously bleeds, particularly from the evening of Thursday until Saturday. My God, I die of pain, torment and confusion that I feel in the intimate of the soul. I am afraid I’ll bleed to death! I hope that God listens to my moans and withdrawals this operation from me... “

He usually woke up in the early morning (we could say at night) in order to get himself ready for the Holy Mass. In fact, every morning, at 4 a.m. there were always hundreds and sometimes even a thousand people waiting for the door of the church to open. After the Mass he used to spend most time of his day in prayer and confessions. After fifty years of stigmata he died September 23, 1968, thus he closed his mission of the Heart’s desire, with the real cross and the real crucifixion of his body.

Then, for years, from every part of the world, the believers went to this stigmatised priest, to get his powerful intercession from God. Fifty years lived in the prayer, in the humility, in the suffering and in the sacrifice, whether to effect his love, Padre Pio had two initiatives in two directions: the vertical one toward God, with the constitution of the “Groups of prayer”, the horizontal one toward his suffering community, with the construction of a modern hospital: “House Relief of the Suffering.”

In September 1968, thousands of devotees and Padre Pio’s spiritual children were assembled in conference at St. Giovanni Rotondo to commemorate together the 50 anniversary of the stigmata and to celebrate the fourth international conference of the Prayer Groups. Nobody would have imagined that at 2:30 a.m., September 23, 1968 we the earthly life of Father Pio of Pietrelcina would end. His body has remains incorrupted after 40 years of his death.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

St. Maurice

Saint Maurice (also known as Maurice , Moritz or Mauritius) . He was the commander of the Theban Legion martyred and died in the early third century.

The Theban Legion , consisting only of Christians from Egypt , was ordered to leave for Gaul to aid the Emperor Maximian. Although they fought bravely , refused to obey the imperial order to persecute Christians , so they were decimated. Refusing a second time, all members of the Theban Legion were executed. The place where these events allegedly took place , known as Agaunum , is now the headquarters of the Abbey of Saint Maurice in the Swiss canton of Valais.

This is the earliest version of the story of the martyrdom of the Theban Legion , according to the letter Eucherius , archbishop of Lyon (c. 434-450 ) went to the bishop also Salvius . In other versions varies the cause of martyrdom, and the legionnaires were executed for refusing to make sacrifices to Roman gods.

References: Catholic.Net

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

St. Matthew the Evangelist

Any reference to the Apostle St. Matthew, author of the first book of the New Testament, is made with such solemnity and reverence that speaking of him as a man seems almost sacrilegious, so close to the divine is he considered. But when Jesus came upon Matthew, he was a man who could scarcely be viewed with little but contempt by the human eye; the divine insight of Christ, however, saw in this man which he beckoned to his service that spark of greatness invisible to the rest of the world. It is doubtful that Matthew himself was aware of what lay dormant in him that was to place him in the forefront of Christianity.

Matthew was a native of Cana, the scene of the wedding feast at which Jesus performed his first miracle of changing the water to wine. He became a tax collector for the Roman government, a position that has endeared no one to the taxpayer at any time in history, but which in the time of Christ, when the populace was taxed to excess, was deemed second in unpopularity only to the executioner. Jesus was traveling on the Mediterranean Damascus road when he came upon Matthew who was stationed there in his inglorious pursuit. Standing at a lake near the city of Capernaum, Matthew's gaze met the Lord's and Jesus spoke to him, uttering only two words: "Follow me."

Thus, in most unceremonious fashion did the divinity of Christ assert itself and an overwhelmed Matthew took up the cause of Christ without any reply. He was no doubt so overcome with emotion at the majestic power of Jesus that he could not speak, but the communication between them was clear and Matthew felt a resurgence of the spirit within him and came to know the tranquility that emanates from God.

The service of St. Matthew is familiar to all who call themselves Christian. His close association with Jesus tends to obscure the man who shed the ignominious role of tax collector to become the most intellectual of the twelve apostles chosen by the Lord. The awesome task of carrying the word of Christ to a people oppressed for centuries and suspicious of any newcomer was assumed by St. Matthew with a determination that could not be denied, If the fifteenth century civilization could laugh at Columbus who said the world was round, what did they say to Matthew fifteen hundred years earlier when he declared that Jesus was the Son of God. In simple terms, it wasn't easy. Matthew says it in Chapter 10.16 when he quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples: "Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves."

After the crucifixion of Christ and his resurrection, the inspiration of the Master was reaffirmed with renewed vigor at Pentecost when all the apostles were enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Christianity owes its existence to the indomitable will and courage of the apostles, who surmounted great obstacles of disbelief, superstition, distrust and open hostility in spreading the gospel. There was no mass media, only the word of mouth and the weary foot travel from village to village. Christianity is the greatest single achievement in the history of mankind and to St. Matthew and his ten comrades goes the credit for having successfully spread the worship of Jesus Christ.

Matthew's near divinity is augmented by the fact that a book of the New Testament bears his name. For that reason, among others, his name can be mentioned in the same breath as the name Jesus Christ. The Savior summoned him with but two words but for what ensued there were not enough words in all the languages to describe. Matthew is precisely what is prefixed to his name. A saint.

Matthew preached the Gospel for many years after the death of Christ, traveling throughout the Holy Land and finally meeting a martyr's death at the hands of pagans in Ethiopia. His final verse is his epitaph. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Monday, September 20, 2010

St. Eustace

When one realizes that it is done for the Lord , everything looks through the prism of his love.

Young Eustace lived between 98-117 . No doubt , when considering his personality, one realizes that he was the youngest general and appreciated throughout the Roman Empire.

But happy. One day while hunting, achieved something that had long expected : his conversion to Christianity and to escape the false gods that had the Roman Empire.

A deer , which was pursued , turned and turned his face, he saw a cross in the woods and it led him to embrace the life of believers in Christ the Lord.

At the same time , his wife Teopista was visited by an angel and also became a Christian.

The next day, were so happy that they told her the idea of converting his two children, and were baptized.

Ten days later he returned to tell the deer Eustachian pray a lot because the devil was going to attack hard.

Within a week all of his slaves died of fever along with their cattle.

The bandits came and burned the castle and stole all the money. He also attacked him and his entire family . Seeing this, he sailed for Egypt.

Were sold to a slave trader . He worked as a farmer , his wife and caretaker of a lodge and two children as messengers of boutique. Entering as emperor Trajan, the general sought tube. They found him and drove the enemies of the border.

We had to celebrate the victory. And with it the worship of the gods. They refused to take part and , without more, he killed his entire family.

References: Catholic.Net

Saturday, September 18, 2010

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Joseph was born in 1603 in the small Italian town called Cupertino. His parents were extremely poor. The child came into the world in a poor shed attached to the house because the father, a humble carpenter , was unable to pay the fees to be their home and had been arrested .-

At 17, he asked to be admitted to Franciscan but was not admitted . He asked to be received in the Capuchins and was accepted as a lay brother , but after eight months he was expelled because he was extremely distracted. Dropped when carrying dishes to the dining room. You forgot the trades that had been placed . It seemed I was always thinking of other things. As useless as they sent out .-

To be discarded, Joseph sought shelter with a family member who was rich, but he said that this young man " was not good for nothing " , and threw him into the street. He was then forced to return to misery and contempt of his house. Mom felt not the slightest pleasure at returning to such " useless " , and to get rid of him insistently asked a relative who was a Franciscan, to welcome him to the boy as a porter at the convent of the Franciscan Fathers .-

Then succeeded Joseph worked in changing anybody imagined . The parents received as a worker and put him to work in the barn and began performing with remarkable dexterity in all the offices entrusted to him . Soon with his humility and his kindness , his spirit of penance and love of prayer, gained the esteem and appreciation of the religious, and in 1625 , by unanimous vote of all the friars of this community, was admitted Franciscan .-

He began to study to be presented to the priesthood, but it happened that when I went to take exams is to lock everything and was not able to respond. Reached a final exam and the poor Fray José gospel the only sentence he could fully explain it was that which says : " Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. " I was frightened but starting the test , the head of the examiners said , "I will open the Gospel and the first sentence that comes out, will be the one to explain. " And he went out precisely the phrase that the Cupertino only known perfectly: "Blessed be the fruit of thy womb " .-

At last came the final examination in which it decided who would be ordained. And the first ten considered the bishop responded so wonderfully well all the questions, the bishop suspended the examination , saying, What further consideration to others if everyone is so formidably prepared? "and there was making it turn to consider, the Joseph of Cupertino, trembling with fear in case he were to disqualify . And such a catastrophe was spared by chance .-

Ordained in 1628, was devoted to trying to win souls through prayer and penance . He knew he had no special qualities to preach or to teach, but then made up for these shortcomings by offering great penances and many prayers for sinners. Never eat meat or drink any kind of liquor. He fasted on bread and water for many days. He devoted himself with great effort and dedication to the craft of the convent (which was the only thing he was trained) .-

From the day of his ordination his life was an uninterrupted series of ecstasy, miraculous healings and supernatural events to a degree not known in similar amount to any other saint. Enough to hear about God or heaven to become insensitive to what was happening around him. Now he explained that he was so distracted child and with his mouth open. One Sunday , the feast of the Good Shepherd , he found a lamb, is it on his shoulder and think of Jesus the Good Shepherd, went higher and higher into the air with lamb and everything .-

The animals felt a special affection for him . Passing through the countryside , he began to pray and the sheep were gathered around and listened very carefully to their prayers. The swallows fly in large flocks around his head and accompanied him for blocks and blocks .-

We know that the Catholic Church calls a state of ecstasy to lift the soul into the supernatural , during which the person temporarily escapes the influence of the senses, to see what pertains to divinity. San Jose, Cupertino was frequently in ecstasy during Mass, while praying the psalms of the S. Bible. During the 17 years he was in the convent of his fellow community Grotella 70 witnessed this holy ecstasy . The most famous was when 10 workers wanted to carry a heavy cross to a hill and failed . Then Brother Joseph flew through the air with a cross and everything and carried it to the top of Mount .-

Pope Benedict XIV was very rigorous in not accepting a miracle anything that was not really a miracle, carefully studied the life of Joseph of Cupertino and declared: "All these facts can not be explained without a special intervention of God " .-

The last years of his life, Joseph was sent by his superiors to convents far away where no one could talk to him. People found out where it was and ran toward it. Then he was sent to another convent farthest yet. He suffered months of spiritual aridity and dryness ( as Jesus in Gethsemane ) but then on the basis of much prayer and constant meditation , he returned again to the peace of his soul. To those who consulted him spiritual problems always gave a remedy: " Pray , pray never be weary . God is not deaf nor the sky is brass . Everyone who asks receives " .-

He died on September 18, 1663 at the age of 60 years .
May God teach us with these events so wonderful that he always praises
Joseph of Cupertino , Saint
those who are humble and full of grace and blessings .-

References: Catholic.Net

Friday, September 17, 2010

St. Robert Bellarmine

Saint Robert Bellarmine was the first Jesuit priest to develop the theory of the indirect power of the Pope in temporary affairs. He all but eliminated the Divine-Rights-of-Kings untenable principle that had been in existence many years before we worked at the Vatican.

He described and explained the head of hell-Satan and his cohorts. The titles of Gentle Doctor of The Controversies, one of his more notable writings, and the title "Prince of Apologists" are two of the most known names that identify him.

Robert is the Doctor of Church, State and Country Relations. The pope made him a Cardinal and insisted on having him by his side as his personal theologian. The more he stepped down, the more God raised this humble priest up with greater responsibilities at the Vatican.

This brilliant Jesuit lived in an age of great deflection within the church amidst religious controversy. His writings, intelligence, and character served the church at a time that was most needed.

Diplomats, ambassadors, heads of state, government officials and top church decision-makers and ministers can learn much from Robert. He had major responsibilities and used it properly for the development and growth of the church, states and countries. The more authority one exercises, the more divine guidance one needs to serve others in a Christian manner. Plead with St Bellarmine to gain wisdom and discernment leading others and supporting your country. You will definitely receive strength and insight to handle sensitive issues that could affect your church, state and country.

Patriotism is a virtue. It is not only a virtue that displays love for country but also supports the authority and interest of country. Many have died defending our independence, liberty and freedom. We can defend and honor our country and its citizens by upholding everything that makes us free. However, in God's work of salvation, which means freedom from sin, a Christian patriot is one who stands up for any cause which promotes justice, equality and human dignity. That is what St Robert Bellarmine advocated and defended. Saints tell us that there are other battles going on in life. We are Christian protectors and defenders fighting for spiritual values as well as in the armed forces defending our country against oppressors and war. Hopefully, as humankind grows in spiritual perspectives, our struggles are going to be more socially, educationally and mentally rather then physically with forces and arms for war. However, we must be prepared to go to war and fight to defend freedom and destroyers of humanity and offenders of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Teachers, and anyone who assist others in any social or instructional manner, Saint Robert is a model for you too. He started his career in this manner and he guided children through the church's catechism of his day. In fact he is a patron of catechetical studies along with St Cyril of Jerusalem, the Doctor of Catechesis, and St Peter Canisius, another Jesuit, who is the Doctor of the Catechism. Both doctors are etched in stone on the exterior east side of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basilica in Washington DC. The only other Jesuit Doctor of the Church beside Rogert is listed below.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

St. Euphemia

St. Euphemia was the daughter of a respectable man of Chalcedon , near Constantinople. At the time of Diocletian , was captured, tortured and finally thrown to the lions. Usually it is represented with the palm of martyrdom , the wheel and beside it, one or more lions.

Devout Christians recovered his body and took him to Constantinople where the Emperor Constantine had built a church in her honor. His sarcophagus remained there until they reached the iconoclasts , at 800 . According to tradition, a stormy night , the coffin disappeared from Constantinople, and July 13 of 800 reached the coast of Rovinj. He was picked up by a young man who , by dragging it with the help of two horses , took him to the church of San Francisco. The appearance of the sarcophagus was considered miraculous , so that people began to venerate the saint as their patron saint .

The sarcophagus dates from the third century, is of marble, but is not finished. Has about 208 cm . long, 195 cm. high and 95 cm wide. Inside are kept the bones of the saint, wrapped in fine cloth of gold .

Santa Eufemia was martyred in Chalcedon. The exact date of his martyrdom seems to have been on 16 September 303. The Council of Chalcedon was very influential in spreading the cult of this saint data . Since then, his party was gradually extended throughout Christendom , and many churches were dedicated to him .

Was declared protector of Orthodoxy

This festival set in the West in the Martyrology Geronimiano ( cf. Comm. Martyr. Hieron. , pp. 368, 380) in marbling Calendar of Naples ( ed. D. Mallard , Rome 1947, pp. 23, 162), and East, appears on all calendars. The Sinasario Costantinopolitano ( coll, 811-13 ) has a very special miracle , which is recalled in this event : the two professions of faith , the Orthodox and euquiana , were placed on the breast of the saint in his tomb. After a few days , reopened the tomb had been properly sealed, the text was found heretical in the feet of the martyr, while the Orthodox were in their hands.

No shortage of texts on the saint before the council, who can enjoy a higher credit, not only be older but not to be marked by the enthusiastic devotion to the triumph of orthodoxy of Chalcedon threw them to the martyr.

The relics of St. Euphemia are preserved in the Duomo d' Istria Rovinj ( Croazia ).

References: Catholic.Net

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Lady of Sorrow

This excerpt from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Sermo in dom. infra oct. Assumptionis, 14-15: Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc. 5 [1968}, 273-274) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. It speaks of the martyrdom of the Virgin at the foot of the cross--her heart is pierced by a sword as Simeon predicted as her Son's body is pierced by nails and spear.

The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.

Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus - who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours - gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.

Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!

Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.

Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Exaltation of the True Cross

Around the year 320 in Constantinople by the Empress Helena found the True Cross , the cross that killed Jesus Christ, The Empress and her son Constantine were built on the site of the discovery of the Holy Sepulchre Basilica , which kept the relic.

Years later, King Chosroes II of Persia, in 614 invaded and conquered Jerusalem and carried the cross , putting it under the feet of his throne as a sign of his contempt for Christianity. But in 628 the emperor Heraclius managed to beat him and recovered the Cross and took her back to Jerusalem on 14 September that year. This ceremony was performed in which the cross was taken in person by the emperor through the city. Since then, the day was noted in the liturgical calendars as that of the Exaltation of the True Cross.

Christianity is a message of love . Why then exalt the Cross? In addition, the Resurrection , rather than the Cross, gives meaning to our lives.

But that is the Cross , the scandal of the Cross , St. Paul. We would not have introduced the Cross. But God's ways are different. The apostles rejected it. So do we.

The Cross is the fruit of freedom and love of Jesus. It was not necessary. Jesus wanted to show their love and solidarity with human suffering. To share our pain and make it redemptive .

Jesus has not come to abolish the suffering : the suffering will continue with us. Neither has come to explain : to remain a mystery. He came to accompany him with their presence. In the presence of pain and death of Jesus, the Holy One, the Innocent , the Lamb of God , we can not rebel against our suffering or to the suffering of the innocent, but remains a huge mystery.

Jesus, in his youth , it is removed to open up and accept it paradise with the strength of his kindness: "In the fullness of life and took the step path to death because he wanted to . Look, wide , paradise, open by the force of a Lamb " (Hymn of Lauds ).

Throughout his life Jesus did nothing but diminishing: in the Incarnation in Bethlehem, in exile. Persecuted , humiliated and condemned. Only up to go to the Cross. And it is high, as the serpent in the wilderness, that we will see better, to attract and instill hope. Because Jesus does not save us from outside, as if by magic , but by sharing our problems. Jesus is not on the Cross to indoctrinate Olympian , with words, but to share our pain in solidarity.

But the disciple is not better condition than the teacher, says Jesus. He adds: " Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me . " It is easy to follow Jesus in Bethlehem in Tabor. How well we are here! , said Pedro. In Gethsemane he falls asleep, and then denied .

"It goes to heaven today or in twenty years. It is when you are poor and is crucified "(Leon Bloy ). " Come up to my Cross . I have not downloaded it yet " (Lord John of the Cross). Do not be afraid . The Cross is a plus , enriches , not a minus sign. Suffering passes, having been acquired in adulthood , the pain never -fail . Cross two sticks that cross , if we accommodate our will to God , it weighs less. If we kiss the cross of Jesus, Let us kiss ours, his chip .

It is the ambiguity of the pain. He who does not, is immature. He who accepts it is sanctified . Whoever rejects it, was bitter and rebellious .

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Hymn ( Lauds )

Word Cross shines bright
Shine as the most sacred flesh
Of the Jesus born of the Virgin
That the glory of the Father lives and shines .

Adam groaned , suffering and troubled,
Tears poured Eve with Adam ;
their faces shine the glorious cross
Cross that lights up when the Word expires.

Salve cross the mountains and roads,
Soft medicine with the patient ,
royal throne of Christ in families,
cross of our faith, Hail, holy cross !

Mr. Reine crucified
Lifting the cross where he died ;
Our eyes look sick light
Our lips , the river of life.

We adore you, O Cross that we manufacture,
Sinners , hands deicide ;
We adore you, Lord of the ornament ,
Sacrament of our eternal happiness. Amen


. Lord , our God, that you wanted to save men through your Son died on the cross , we ask you , since you have given us on earth to know the mysterious power of the Cross of Christ, that we can achieve in the sky the fruits of redemption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son .-

Hymn ( eve )

The royal banners forward
And the mysterious cross shines on them :
The cross in life suffered death
And that, to suffer death , gave us life.

She held the sacred body
That, being hard hit by the spear ,
blood and water poured in abundance
To wash our sins with them .

It perfectly fulfilled
What David prophesied in verse
When told the people of the earth :
"Our God reigns from a tree. "

Tree full of light, beautiful tree,
tree baked with the royal purple
and for his dignified trunk
feel the touch of pure meat !

Happy cross your arms firm
they hung our price,
balance for the body you were holy
that took away their prey to hell !

To you, you're the only hope
We magnify you , O Cross, and we pray
That increases the grace of the just
And erase the crimes of the wicked.

Receive , O Trinity, source safe
The praise of all spirits ,
And you give us your cross the win
Add us the prize, oh Jesus Christ. Amen

References: Catholic.Net

Monday, September 13, 2010

St. John Chrysostom

Antioch was a capital city subject to the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 344, the year John Chrysostom was born. He was the only son of the chief commander of the Roman Imperial Army based in Syria. His mother was a Christian. Widowed at the age of 20, she never remarried but made the spiritual instruction of her children her highest priority.

Eloquence was the highest art form of the time and so John studied under the most famous orators of the age, He trained under the masters of science and literature and his advanced studies included philosophy and religion. His genius became apparent as he pleaded legal cases before the bar and at twenty, John was already famous.

His interests then turned away from the world of wealth and opportunity that was already his, and he began a serious study of Sacred Scripture.

Rejecting worldly ideas, he spent his time in prayer and silence while adopting austere penitential practices. He became aware that prayer was the great channel of heavenly graces and decided to dedicate himself entirely to God. He struggled to subdue every form of human weakness and personal vanity. To distance himself from earthly attachments, he slept on a hard floor and chose to wear a coarse gray coat.

He was called into church service by St. Meletius, Bishop of Antioch. For for three years studied under his direction and engaged in many religious discussions with his friend St. Basil.

At 30, John went to live in the mountains near Antioch with a community of monks. They devoted all morning to prayer, pious reading, and meditating on Sacred Scripture. Their food was bread with a little salt; some added oil, and for those who were weak, a few herbs. No one ate before sunset. After the meal, conversation was allowed but only on spiritual topics. They always closed their night-prayers with a meditation on the last judgment to remain vigilant.

John lived this life for 5 years. Afterward, he lived another two years as a hermit dwelling in a cave. When dampness brought on ill health, he was forced to return to the Antioch. He was later ordained a priest and became the voice of the residing bishop in 386 at the age of 42. His preaching changed the whole face of the city. Later, he was named Bishop of Constantinople.

St. John Chrysostom was a master orator. After his death in the fifth century, he was surnamed "Chrysostom" or "Golden Mouth". His profound exhortations were delivered power and eloquence. His crystal clear insights to the truth combined with his compelling logic left little room for opposition to his views. Today he is still considered one of the great spiritual orators of all time.

His sermons call those who will listen to a life of virtue, and he does it in a way that draws spontaneous assent. A pastor of a deep humility and love for the Church, the subtle boldness of his exhortations still contain a freshness creating the desire for more.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

Most Holy Name of Mary, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, or simply Holy Name of Mary is a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated on 12 September to honour the name of Mary the mother of Jesus. It has been a universal Roman Rite feast since 1684, when Pope Innocent XI included it in the General Roman Calendar to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

The entry in the Roman Martyrology about the feast speaks of it in the following terms:

The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, and the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.

The feast day began in 1513 as a local celebration in Cuenca, Spain, celebrated on 15 September. In 1587 Pope Sixtus V moved the celebration to 17 September. Pope Gregory XV extended the celebration to the Archdiocese of Toledo in 1622. In 1666 the Discalced Carmelites received the faculty to recite the Office of the Name of Mary four times a year In 1671 the feast was extended to the whole Kingdom of Spain.

Before the Battle of Vienna in 1683, John III Sobieski placed his troops under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the following year, to celebrate the victory, Pope Innocent XI inserted the feast in the General Roman Calendar, assigning to it the Sunday within the octave of the Nativity of Mary (8-15 September). In the reform of Pope Pius X, the liturgy of the Sundays, which previously had been generally replaced by celebrations of saints, was restored to prominence. The celebration of the Holy Name of Mary was therefore moved to 12 September. Later in the same century, the feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, as something of a duplication of the 8 September feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But it did not cease to be a recognized feast of the Roman Rite, being mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 12 September. The 2002typical edition of the Roman Missal restored the celebration to the General Roman Calendar.

References: Wikipedia.Org

Saturday, September 11, 2010

St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre

Jean-Gabriel was born at Le Puech, Lot, France, one of eight children born to Pierre Perboyre and Marie Rigal. He entered the noviciate of the Congregation of the Mission, in the seminary of Montauban, December, 1818. On the feast of the Holy Innocents, 1820, he made the four vows of the Vincentians. He was raised to the priesthood, 23 September 1825, in the chapel of the Sisters of Charity, by Dubourg, Bishop of New Orleans, and on the following day he said his first Mass.

Shortly after, he was sent to the seminary of Saint-Flour to teach dogmatic theology, and two years later, he was appointed superior of the preparatory seminary of Saint-Flour. His success induced his superiors, in 1832, to appoint him subdirector of the novitiate in Paris. He continued in this office until 1835, when he had permission to go to China. He left Le Havre on 21 March, and on 29 August 1835, arrived at Macau, where he spent some time studying the Chinese language.

On 21 December 1835, he began his journey to Ho-Nan, the mission assigned him. In January, 1838, he was transferred to the mission of Hou-Pé. In September, 1839, the persecutions against Christians broke out in Hou-Pé, and Jean-Gabriel was one of the first victims. He was stripped of his garments and clothed with rags, bound, and dragged from tribunal to tribunal. At each trial, he was treated inhumanly. Finally, he was taken to Ou-Tchang-Fou, and after torture, was condemned to death. The sentence was ratified by an imperial edict, and on 11 September 1840, Jean-Gabriel was led to death with seven criminals. He was strangled to death on a cross at Ou-Tchang-Fou, China.

Friday, September 10, 2010

St. Aubert of Avranches

Saint Aubert was bishop of Avranches in the 8th century and is credited with founding Mont Saint Michel.

He lived in France during the reign of Childebert III (695-711) and died in 720. According to legend, in 708 he had a vision in which the Archangel Michael instructed him to build an oratory on the rocky tidal island at the mouth of the Couesnon. Aubert did not pay attention to this vision at first, until in exasperation Michael appeared to him again, this time driving his finger into Aubert's skull and ordering him to complete the task again. Michael is said to have appeared to him a total of three times. After this the oratory was built. It was dedicated in October 16, 709, and Aubert is reputed to have been buried in it.

The relic of Aubert's skull, complete with hole where the archangel's finger pierced it, can still be seen at the Saint-Gervais Basilica in Avranches. It is more generally believed nowadays that the skull is in fact a prehistoric relic showing evidence of trepanation.

References: Wikipedia.Org

Thursday, September 9, 2010

St. Peter Claver

Peter Claver was born into a prosperous farming family in the Spanish village of Verdu, about 54 miles from Barcelona, in 1580, about 70 years after King Ferdinand of Spain had set in motion the brutal colonial slavery culture by authorizing the purchase of 250 African slaves in Lisbon for his territories in New Spain. His parents were devout Catholics and taught Peter from early childhood to let nothing come between him and the love of God. As a student at the University of Barcelona, Claver was noted for his piety as well as high intelligence. He was given permission to enter the Jesuit College at Palma, Majorca in 1602, and after two years of study there, he wrote these words in a notebook which he kept with him throughout his life, "I must dedicate myself to the service of God until death, on the understanding that I am like a slave." He was respected by his instructors for his, "humility and obedience, silence and reserve."

Claver arrived in Cartagena in 1610. By this time the slave trade had been established in the Americas for about 100 years and Cartagena was a chief center for it. Ten thousand slaves poured into the port yearly; crossing the Atlantic from West Africa under conditions so foul and inhuman that an estimated one-third of them died in transit. Although slave-trading was condemned by Pope Paul III and later labeled "supreme villainy" by Pius IX, there were fortunes to be made and it continued to flourish.

Peter Claver's predecessor, Jesuit Father Alfonso de Sandoval, had devoted himself to the service of the slaves for 40 years before Claver arrived to continue the work - declaring himself, "the slave of the slaves forever."

As soon as a slave ship entered the port, Claver headed for the wharf and moved into its filthy and diseased hold to doctor and minister to the ill-treated and miserable human cargo. After the slaves were herded from the ship and penned in nearby yards to be studied by crowds and buyers, Claver plunged in among them with medicines, food, bread, brandy, lemons and tobacco. With the help of interpreters and pictures which he carried with him he gave basic instructions and assured his brothers and sisters in Christ of their human dignity and God's saving love. During the 40 years of his ministry, Claver single handedly catechized and baptized an estimated 300,000 of these slaves. Furthermore, Claver followed up to see that as Christians they were accorded their legal rights.

His apostolate extended beyond his care for slaves. He preached in the city square, gave missions to sailors and traders as well as country missions - returning every spring to visit those he'd baptized and to follow up that they were being treated humanely. During these missions he avoided, whenever possible, the hospitality of the planters and overseers, and would lodge instead in the slave quarters. Through the force of his own extraordinary personality and saintliness, applied over many years, the state of the slaves began to improve.

His work on behalf of the slaves did not prevent him from caring also for the souls of the more well-to-do members of society and for the traders and visitors (including Moslems and English Protestants) to Cartagena, or for condemned criminals, many of whom he prepared for death. He was also a frequent visitor to the city's hospitals. Over time he became a moral force, indeed, the apostle of Cartagena.

Illness finally forced the saint into his room, where he lingered another four years, largely forgotten and neglected. He died on 8 September 1654. The city magistrates, who had generally considered him a nuisance for his constant solicitations on behalf of the slaves, ordered a public funeral, at public expense, and he was buried with great pomp and ceremony. It was only after his death that the true scope of his work began to be realized - which was extensive even before the astronomical number of people he personally baptized is considered. Miracles, prophecies, the gift of reading hearts, and the practice of severe personal penance were all ascribed to him.

He was canonized in 1888, and Pope Leo XIII declared him the worldwide patron of missionary work among black slaves.

Comment: The Holy Spirit's might and power are manifested in the striking decisions and bold actions of Peter Claver. A decision to leave one's homeland never to return reveals a gigantic act of will difficult for the contemporary mind to imagine. Peter's determination to serve forever the most abused, rejected and lowly of all people is stunningly heroic. When we measure our lives against such a man's, we become aware of our own barely used potential and of our need to open ourselves more to the jolting power of Jesus' Spirit. Quote: Peter Claver understood that concrete service like the distributing of medicine, food or brandy to his black brothers and sisters could be as effective a communication of the word of God as mere verbal preaching. As Peter Claver often said, "We must speak to them with our hands before we try to speak to them with our lips."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints: Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus.

John the Baptist is considered especially sanctified even before his birth. His birth to Elizabeth and Zachariah is foretold in the first chapter of Luke, and it is also recorded (Lk 1:41) that Elizabeth felt the infant John "leap in her womb" when Mary approached her soon after the Annunciation.

The birth of Mary was also miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son (the feast of her Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8). The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, though generally believed throughout the Church for many centuries, was formally declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

There is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her parentage, though Joseph's lineage is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, appear in the apocryphal "Gospel of James", a book dating from the 2nd Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for a child.

According to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same one in which the Annunciation took place. By another tradition, the Annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of Saint Anna in Jerusalem, under a 3rd Century oratory known as the "Gate of Mary".

Monday, September 6, 2010

St. Gondulphus of Metz

Gondulphus of Metz is the one concerning whom our information is most reliable. His feast is celebrated on 6 September. As bishop, Gondulphus succeeded Angilram, him who caused Paul the Deacon to write the "Liber de episcopis Mettensibus", and who died probably in 791. At the death of Angilram there was a vacancy in the episcopal See of Metz, which was terminated by the accession of Gondulphus. The "Annales S. Vincentii Mettenses" give the date as 819. But, as it is known, on the other hand, that since the time of Bishop Chrodegang episcopal ordination took place on Sunday, the date of the consecration of Bishop Gondulphus must be set down as 28 (?) December, 816. The old episcopal catalogue of the church of Metz informs us that Gondulphus occupied the see of this church for six years, eight months, and seven days, and that he died on the 7th of the Ides of September, which would be the sixth of that month, in the year 823. He was buried in the monastery of Gorze, where his relics are still honoured on 6 September. It is impossible to quote in this respect any special patronage, and with regard to his episcopal career, apart from the details furnished here, there exists no information.

This is all that is known about this Saint, there is no picture today. Sorry for the inconvenience

References: Newadvnet.Org

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ”Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.”

This luminous messenger of God’s love was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, a city situated at the crossroads of Balkan history. The youngest of the children born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was baptised Gonxha Agnes, received her First Communion at the age of five and a half and was confirmed in November 1916. From the day of her First Holy Communion, a love for souls was within her. Her father’s sudden death when Gonxha was about eight years old left in the family in financial straits. Drane raised her children firmly and lovingly, greatly influencing her daughter’s character and vocation. Gonxha’s religious formation was further assisted by the vibrant Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart in which she was much involved.

At the age of eighteen, moved by a desire to become a missionary, Gonxha left her home in September 1928 to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In December, she departed for India, arriving in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. After making her First Profession of Vows in May 1931, Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta and taught at St. Mary’s School for girls. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made her Final Profession of Vows, becoming, as she said, the “spouse of Jesus” for “all eternity.” From that time on she was called Mother Teresa. She continued teaching at St. Mary’s and in 1944 became the school’s principal. A person of profound prayer and deep love for her religious sisters and her students, Mother Teresa’s twenty years in Loreto were filled with profound happiness. Noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organization, she lived out her consecration to Jesus, in the midst of her companions, with fidelity and joy.

On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On that day, in a way she would never explain, Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls took hold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life. Over the course of the next weeks and months, by means of interior locutions and visions, Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love” who would “radiate His love on souls.” “Come be My light,” He begged her. “I cannot go alone.” He revealed His pain at the neglect of the poor, His sorrow at their ignorance of Him and His longing for their love. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community, Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Nearly two years of testing and discernment passed before Mother Teresa received permission to begin. On August 17, 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved Loreto convent to enter the world of the poor.

After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, Mother Teresa returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. On 21 December she went for the first time to the slums. She visited families, washed the sores of some children, cared for an old man lying sick on the road and nursed a woman dying of hunger and TB. She started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.” After some months, she was joined, one by one, by her former students.

On 7 October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. By the early 1960s, Mother Teresa began to send her Sisters to other parts of India. The Decree of Praise granted to the Congregation by Pope Paul VI in February 1965 encouraged her to open a house in Venezuela. It was soon followed by foundations in Rome and Tanzania and, eventually, on every continent. Starting in 1980 and continuing through the 1990s, Mother Teresa opened houses in almost all of the communist countries, including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba.

In order to respond better to both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity Brothers in 1963, in 1976 the contemplative branch of the Sisters, in 1979 the Contemplative Brothers, and in 1984 the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. Yet her inspiration was not limited to those with religious vocations. She formed the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa and the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, people of many faiths and nationalities with whom she shared her spirit of prayer, simplicity, sacrifice and her apostolate of humble works of love. This spirit later inspired the Lay Missionaries of Charity. In answer to the requests of many priests, in 1981 Mother Teresa also began the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests as a “little way of holiness” for those who desire to share in her charism and spirit.

During the years of rapid growth the world began to turn its eyes towards Mother Teresa and the work she had started. Numerous awards, beginning with the Indian Padmashri Award in 1962 and notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, honoured her work, while an increasingly interested media began to follow her activities. She received both prizes and attention “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.”

The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labour bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God. But there was another heroic side of this great woman that was revealed only after her death. Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interior life marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God, even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for His love. She called her inner experience, “the darkness.” The “painful night” of her soul, which began around the time she started her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an ever more profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst of Jesus, in His painful and burning longing for love, and she shared in the interior desolation of the poor.

During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5 September Mother Teresa’s earthly life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India and her body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. Her tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike. Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity. Her response to Jesus’ plea, “Come be My light,” made her a Missionary of Charity, a “mother to the poor,” a symbol of compassion to the world, and a living witness to the thirsting love of God.

Less than two years after her death, in view of Mother Teresa’s widespread reputation of holiness and the favours being reported, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization. On 20 December 2002 he approved the decrees of her heroic virtues and miracles.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

St. Rosalia

She lived in the twelfth century and died about 1160.

Although data are not known their homeland and life, a legend says that at age 14 she retired to a cave on Mount Coscina and then another of Mount Pellegrino , near Palermo.

In the Middle Ages were devoted to various churches and was considered the protectress and patroness of Palermo.

Her remains were discovered July 15 Pope Urban VIII included it as a saint in the Martyrology .

Is invoked as a lawyer against the plague and earthquakes. The iconography is presented as a hermit or coated with Augustinian habit .

Its main attributes are: a crown of roses, in allusion to her name, and a crucifix and a skull for her asceticism.

References: Catholic.Net