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"I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment" (Jesus to St. Margaret Mary). @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ########################################################### April 2017 - Overview for the Month::: The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The entire month falls during the Easter season. The liturgical color is white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################ The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of April 2017::::: Young People: That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.@@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################# Feasts for April ::::: The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of April are: 2. Fifth Sunday of Lent,Sunday 4. St. Isidore,Opt. Mem. 5. Vincent Ferrer,Opt. Mem. 7. John Baptist de la Salle,Opt. Mem. 9. Palm Sunday,Sunday 13. Holy Thursday,Triduum 14. Good Friday,Triduum 15. Holy Saturday,Triduum 16. Easter Sunday,Solemnity 17. Easter Monday,Solemnity 18. Easter Tuesday,Solemnity 19. Easter Wednesday,Solemnity 20. Easter Thursday,Solemnity 21. Easter Friday,Solemnity 22. Easter Saturday,Solemnity 23. Divine Mercy Sunday,Solemnity 24. St. Fidelis,Opt. Mem. 25. St. Mark,Feast 28. Peter Chanel (NZ, Feast); Louis Mary de Montfort; Gianna Molla, mother (Italy),Opt. Mem. 29. Catherine of Siena,Memorial 30. Third Sunday of Easter,Sunday @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ######################################################### April 2017:::Highlights of the Month:::: After our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord we will spend the month of April celebrating. As Spring breaks forth even nature will join us as buds and blooms begin to surface and we spend this month basking in the joy of the Resurrection. We continue throughout the entire month our cry, "Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen." The Feast of Divine Mercy offers us the opportunity to begin again as though we were newly baptized. The unfathomable mercy of God is made manifest today if we but accept His most gracious offer. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. This truly is "the day that the Lord has made." From Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father. The saints that we will focus on this month — those who have already shared in the rewards of the Resurrection — are St. Isidore (April 4), St. Vincent Ferrer (April 5), St. John Baptist de la Salle (April 7), St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (April 24), St. Mark (April 25), Our Lady of Good Counsel (April 26), St. Louis Mary de Montfort and St. Peter Chanel (April 28) and St. Catherine of Siena (April 29). The feasts of St. Francis of Paola (April 2), St. Bernadette (April 16), St. George and St. Adalbert (April 23) and St. Pius V (April 30) fall on Sunday so are superseded the Sunday liturgy. The feasts of St. Stanislaus (April 11) and St. Martin I (April 13) are superseded by the Holy Week liturgies. The feast of St. Anselm (April 21) is superseded by the Easter Week liturgy. @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################## April 2017:::A Time of New Life::::::: April boasts the most solemn and sublime event of human history: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the Paschal mystery. Though the way to the Resurrection was the Via Crucis, the Sacrificial Lamb of God is now and forever Christ our Light, the Eternal high priest of the New Covenant. And his sorrowful mother, the Stabat Mater of Good Friday, is now the jubilant Mother of the Regina Caeli. We the members of Christ’s Mystical Body exalt in the mystery by which we were redeemed. If in Baptism we were buried with Christ, so also will we share in his resurrection. By his death we were reborn; “by his stripes we were healed.” (Is 53:5) Easter, the epicenter of time, is the event that links time and eternity. It is indeed “the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Ps 118:24) @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ########################################################## April 2017:::Focus of the Liturgy ::::: The Gospel readings for the Sundays in April are taken from St. John, St. Luke and St. Matthew and are from Year A, Cycle 1. April 2nd - 5th Sunday of Lent This Gospel tells the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life. April 9th - Palm Sunday The Gospel is the reading of the Passion of Our Lord. April 16th - Easter Sunday This Gospel recounts Mary Magdalen and the apostles visit to the empty tomb of Christ on Easter. April 23rd - Divine Mercy Sunday The Gospel relates the story of doubting Thomas. April 30th - 3rd Sunday of Easter The Gospel relates the story of the disciples encountering Jesus on the road to Emmaus. @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ########################################################### March 2017 - Overview for the Month::: The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################ The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of March 2017:: Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church. @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################# Feasts for March:::: The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are: 3. Katharine Drexel (USA), Opt. Mem. 4. Casimir of Poland, Opt. Mem. 5. First Sunday of Lent, Sunday 7. Perpetua and Felicity, Memorial 8. John of God, Opt. Mem. 9. Frances of Rome, Opt. Mem. 12. Second Sunday of Lent, Sunday 17. Patrick, Opt. Mem. 18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem. 19. Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday 20. Joseph, husband of Mary, Solemnity 23. Turibio de Mogrovejo, Opt. Mem. 25. Annunciation of the Lord, Sunday 26. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################# Highlights of the Month , March 2017::: As we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance. The Solemnity of St. Joseph (normally on March 19) is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed upon the foster father of Jesus. And if you are Irish (who isn't), St. Patrick's feast is another cause for a joyful celebration. The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25. The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are St. Katharine Drexel (March 3), St. Casimir (March 4), Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7), St. John of God (March 8), St. Frances of Rome (March 9), St. Patrick (March 17), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18), and St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23). The feast of St. Joseph (March 19), is superseded by the Sunday liturgy and will be celebrated on March 20. @@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################# A Time of Penance and Promise, March 2017::: Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb! During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection. The feast of the Annunciation, normally celebrated on March 25, has been transferred to April 4 since it falls on Good Friday. Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march. As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march@@@@@@@ From the Catholic Culture ############################################################# ############################################################ "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13: 34-35. ############################################################ How Should We Prepare for Communion in the Home? What preparations should be made when a family member is homebound and holy Communion is brought to the home? What should be done about the room and surroundings? Start with the most important thing: creating an atmosphere conducive to prayer and reverence. Sometime before you expect the priest or eucharistic minister to come, turn off the TV and radio. Give the sick person time to pray and prepare for reception of Communion. Those who care for the sick may want to pray with them. The caregivers are allowed to receive Communion with the sick under the usual norms for Communion. When Communion is to be brought to the home, the ritual Pastoral Care of the Sick directs that those with the sick prepare a table covered with a linen cloth as the place where the minister will put the Eucharist until the time of Communion itself. There should be lighted candles on the table and, where customary, a vessel of holy water. I would add that it is wise also to put a spoon and glass of drinking water on the table, in case the sick person has difficulty swallowing the host. If the sick person is well enough to assist, he or she is encouraged to join with the caregivers in choosing some of the prayers and readings for the Liturgy of the Word. It is appropriate for one of the caregivers to meet the minister at the door of the home and lead the minister to the sickroom. Should the sick person want to go to Confession, the caregivers should withdraw until the Sacrament of Reconciliation has been completed. Then the caregivers and family members present should join in the Liturgy of the Word, making the proper responses to the prayers and readings. And it would be good afterward to give the sick person a bit of time to make a thanksgiving. From: St. Anthony Messenger Press @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

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Tuesday, April 18th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 20:11-18.


Tuesday of Easter week

18 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers

and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 20:11-18.

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of Easter week

18 April 2017

Easter Tuesday

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

         First Witness to the Resurrection, nowhere in scripture is Mary identified as a public sinner or a prostitute. Instead, all four Gospels show her as the primary witness to the most central events of Christian faith. She traveled with Jesus in the Galilean discipleship and, with Joanna and Susanna, supported Jesus’ mission from her own financial resources (Luke 8:1-3).  
        In the synoptic Gospels, Mary leads the group of women who witness Jesus’ death and burial, the empty tomb, and his Resurrection.  We have Mary of Magdala to thank for having this part of The Gospel record in The Bible. It would not exist without her witness.

Christus resurrexit!-

Christ is risen!

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of Easter week

18 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Apollonius,

Martyr

(+ c. 186)

SAINT APOLLONIUS
Martyr
(+ c. 186)

        Marcus Aurelius had persecuted the Christians, but his son Commodus, who in 180 succeeded him, showed himself favorable to them out of regard to his Empress Marcia, who was an admirer of the Faith.

        During this calm the number of the faithful was exceedingly increased, and many persons of the first rank, among them Apollonius, a Roman senator, enlisted themselves under the banner of the cross. He was a person very well versed both in philosophy and the Holy Scripture.

        In the midst of the peace which the Church enjoyed, he was publicly accused of Christianity by one of his own slaves. The slave was immediately condemned to have his legs broken, and to be put to death, in consequence of an edict of Marcus Aurelius, who, without repealing the former laws against convicted Christians, ordered by it that their accusers should be put to death.

        The slave being executed, the same judge sent an order to St. Apollonius to renounce his religion as he valued his life and fortune. The Saint courageously rejected such ignominious terms of safety, wherefore Perennis referred him to the judgment of the Roman senate, to give an account of his faith to that body.

        Persisting in his refusal to comply with the condition, the Saint was condemned by a decree of the Senate, and beheaded about the year 186.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of Easter week

18 April 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Marie-Anne Blondin

Bl. Marie-Anne Blondin
Religious (1809 – 1890)

Esther Blondin, in religion “Sister Marie Anne”, was born in Terrebonne (Quebec, Canada) on April 18, 1809, in a family of deeply Christian farmers. From her mother she inherited a piety centered on Divine Providence and the Eucharist and, from her father, a deep faith and a strong patience in suffering. Esther and her family were victims of illiteracy so common in French Canadian milieux of the nineteenth century. Still an illiterate at the age of 22, Esther worked as a domestic in the Convent of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, that had been recently opened in her own village. A year later, she registered as a boarder in order to learn to read and write. She then became a novice in the Congregation but had to leave, due to ill health.

In 1833, Esther became a teacher in the parochial school of Vaudreuil. Little by little, she found out that one of the causes of this illiteracy was due to a certain Church ruling that forbade that girls be taught by men and that boys be taught by women. Unable to finance two schools, many parish priests chose to have none. In 1848, under an irresistible call of the Spirit, Esther presented to her Bishop, Ignace Bourget, a plan she long cherished: that of founding a religious congregation “for the education of poor country children, both girls and boys in the same schools”. A rather new project for the time! It even seemed quite rash and contrary to the established order. Since the State was in favor of such schools, Bishop Bourget authorized a modest attempt so as to avoid a greater evil.

The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne was founded in Vaudreuil on September 8, 1850. Esther, now named “Mother Marie Anne”, became its first superior. The rapid growth of this young Community soon required larger quarters. During the Summer of 1853, Bishop Ignace Bourget transferred the Motherhouse to Saint Jacques de l’Achigan. The new chaplain, Father Louis Adolphe Marechal, interfered in an abusive way in the private life of the Community. During the Foundress’ absence, Father changed the pupils’ boarding fees. Should he be away for a while, he asked that the Sisters await his return to go to confession. After a year of this existing conflict between the chaplain and the Foundress, the latter being anxious to protect the rights of her Community, Bishop Bourget asked Mother Marie Anne, on August 18, 1854, “to resign”. He called for elections and warned Mother Marie Anne “not to accept the superiorship, even if her sisters wanted to reelect her”. Even though she could be reelected, according to the Rule of the Community, Mother Marie Anne obeyed her Bishop whom she considered God’s instrument. And she wrote: “As for me, my Lord, I bless Divine Providence a thousand times for the maternal care she shows me in making me walk the way of tribulations and crosses”.

Mother Marie Anne, having been named Directress at Saint Genevieve Convent, became the target of attacks from the Motherhouse authorities, influenced by the dictatorship of Father Marechal. Under the pretext of poor administration, Mother Marie Anne was recalled to the Motherhouse in 1858, with the Bishop’s warning: “take means so that she will not be a nuisance to anyone.” From this new destitution and until her death on January 2, 1890, Mother Marie Anne was kept away from administrative responsibilities. She was even kept away from the General Council deliberations when the 1872 and 1878 elections reelected her. Assigned to mostly hidden work in the laundry and ironing room, she led a life of total self-denial and thus ensured the growth of the Congregation. Behold the paradox of an influence which some wanted to nullify! In the Motherhouse basement laundry room in Lachine, where she spent her days, many generations of novices received from the Foundress a true example of obedience and humility, imbued with authentic relationships which ensure true fraternal charity. To a novice who asked her one day why she, the Foundress, was kept aside in such lowly work, she simply replied with kindness : “The deeper a tree sinks its roots into the soil, the greater are its chances of growing and producing fruit”.

The attitude of Mother Marie Anne, who was a victim of so many injustices, allows us to bring out the evangelical sense she gave to events in her life. Just as Jesus Christ, who passionately worked for the Glory of His Father, so too Mother Marie Anne sought only God’s Glory in all she did. “The greater Glory of God” was the aim she herself gave her Community. “To make God known to the young who have not the happiness of knowing Him” was for her a privileged way of working for the Glory of God. Deprived of her most legitimate rights, and robbed of all her personal letters with her bishop, she offered no resistance and she expected, from the infinite goodness of God, the solution to the matter. She was convinced that “He will know well, in his Wisdom, how to discern the false from the true and to reward each one according to his deeds”.

Prevented from being called “Mother” by those in authority, Mother Marie Anne did not jealously hold on to her title of Foundress; rather she chose annihilation, just like Jesus, “her crucified Love”, so that her Community might live. However, she did not renounce her mission of spiritual mother of her Community. She offered herself to God in order “to expiate all the sins which were committed in the Community”; and she daily prayed Saint Anne “to bestow on her spiritual daughters the virtues so necessary for Christian educators”.

Like any prophet invested with a mission of salvation, Mother Marie Anne lived persecution by forgiving without restriction, convinced that “there is more happiness in forgiving than in revenge”. This evangelical forgiveness, guarantee of “the peace of soul which she held most precious”, was ultimately proven on her death bed when she asked her superior to call for Father Marechal “for the edification of the Sisters”.

As she felt the end approaching, Mother Marie Anne left to her daughters her spiritual testament in these words which are a resume of her whole life : “May Holy Eucharist and perfect abandonment to God’s Will be your heaven on earth”. She then peacefully passed away at the Motherhouse of Lachine, on January 2, 1890, “happy to go to the Good God” she had served all her life.

The Vatican, VA

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of Easter week

18 April 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Savina Petrilli

Bl. Savina Petrilli
Religious (1851 – 1923)

At the age of ten, Savina Petrilli, of Siena, Italy, read a biography of Saint Catherine of Siena that instilled in her a lasting devotion to this saint. Savina thereafter aspired to imitate Catherine’s devotion to the Eucharist, the Passion of Christ, and the Church. Following her First Holy Communion at the age of twelve, Savina became a frequent communicant. As a teenager, she was a very active member of a Marian sodality, the Children of Mary.

At the age of eighteen, she had the opportunity to meet (Blessed) Pope Pius IX, who, upon learning that she was a native of Siena, commented that she should walk in Saint Catherine’s footsteps. Savina saw in this remark a sign from heaven that inspired her to found a new religious congregation. She confided her plan to her dying sister Emilia, who in turn promised to assist in its accomplishment by her prayers in heaven. Savina’s congregation received papal approbation in 1877 with the title, the Sisters of the Poor, devoted to the care of the needy. Mother Savina died of cancer on April 18, 1923.

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

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“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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HERE I AM, LORD;

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Monday, April 17th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 28:8-15.


Monday of Easter week

17 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,

and there they will see me.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 28:8-15.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened.
They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy (him) and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day).

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Monday of Easter week

17 April 2017

Easter Monday

The Octave of Easter
Monday in the Octave of Easter

          Easter, the most important feast of the Church year, has an “octave”, that is, it is celebrated for eight days — through the following Sunday or “”Low Sunday”, the Octave of Easter Day.

Sequence

This is beautiful sequence written in 1048. Sublime, poetic, and beautiful, this hymn is considered extremely precious by the Church.   She only makes use of it once a year, during the greatest feast of the liturgical year!  
        How beautiful it is, to see that the same things were believed at the beginning of the second millenium! This hymn is almost a thousand years old, yet our Faith is the same today as it was then.
        How marvellous is the Catholic Faith, which doesn’t change with the times, but always remains the same – “Jesus Christ yesterday, today, and tomorrow”. The essentials of our Faith must never change, as there is no change with God or Jesus Christ. God is the Unchanging One.

 

May you praise the Paschal Victim,  immolated for Christians.
The Lamb redeemed the sheep:   Christ, the innocent one,  has reconciled sinners to the Father.
A wonderful duel to behold,   as death and life struggle:
The Prince of life dead,  now reigns alive. Tell us, Mary Magdalen,   what did you see in the way? I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ, and I saw the glory of the Resurrected one: The Angelic witnesses,   the winding cloth, and His garments. The risen Christ is my hope: He will go before His own into Galilee. We know Christ to have risen   truly from the dead: And thou, victorious King,   have mercy on us.
Amen. Alleluia.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday of Easter week

17 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Anicetus,

Pope and Martyr

(+ 173)

SAINT ANICETUS
Pope, Martyr
(+ 173)

        St. Anicetus succeeded St. Pius, and sat about eight years, from 165 to 173. If he did not shed his blood for the Faith, he at least purchased the title of martyr by great sufferings and dangers. He received a visit from St. Polycarp, and tolerated the custom of the Asiatics in celebrating Easter on the 14th day of the first moon after the vernal equinox, with the Jews. His vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the heretics Valentine and Marcion, who sought to corrupt the faith in the capital of the world.

        The first thirty-six bishops at Rome, down to Liberius, and, this one excepted, all the popes to Symmachus, the fifty-second, in 498, are honored among the Saints; and out of two hundred and forty-eight popes, from St. Peter to Clement XIII. seventy-eight are named in the Roman Martyrology. In the primitive ages, the spirit of fervor and perfect sanctity, which is nowadays so rarely to be found, was conspicuous in most of the faithful, and especially in their pastors. The whole tenor of their lives breathed it in such a manner as to render them the miracles of the world, angels on earth, living copies of their divine Redeemer, the odor of whose virtues and holy law and religion they spread on every side.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday of Easter week

17 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Stephen Harding

St. Stephen Harding
Co-founder of Cistercian Order (ca. 1050 – 1134)

Stephen Harding was born in Dorset, England. He was a speaker of English, Norman French, and Latin. He was placed in the abbey of Sherbourne at a young age, but eventually put aside the cowl and became a travelling scholar. He eventually moved to the abbey of Molesme in Burgundy, under the abbot Saint Robert of Molesme (c. 1027 – 1111).

When Robert left Molesme to avoid its corruption and laxity, Stephen and Saint Alberic went with him. They began a reform of the benedictine life now known as the Cistercian Order (often called Trappists). Unlike Alberic, Stephen was not ordered to return, and he remained in solitude with Robert. When twenty-one monks deserted Molesme to join Robert, Harding, and Alberic, the three leaders formed a new monastery at Citeaux.

Robert was initially abbot at Citeaux, returning to Molesme after a year. Alberic then took over, serving as abbot until his death in 1108. Stephen Harding, the youngest of the three men, became the third abbot of Citeaux. As abbot, Stephen Harding guided the new monastery over a period of great growth. Bernard of Clairvaux came to visit in 1112 and brought with him his followers. Between 1112 and 1119, a dozen new Cistercian houses were founded to contain the monks coming to the new movement. In 1119, Stephen wrote the Carta Caritatis, (‘Charter of Love’) an important document for the Cistercian Order, establishing its unifying principles.

Stephen served the house at Citeaux for twenty-five years. While no single person is considered the founder of the Cistercian Order, the shape of Cistercian belief and its rapid growth in the 12th century was due to the leadership of Stephen Harding. In 1133, he resigned the head of the order, due to age and disability. He died the following year.

Catholic Online

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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Sunday, April 16th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 20:1-9.


Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity

16 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 20:1-9.

On  the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity

16 April 2017

Easter Sunday

– Solemnity

Easter Sunday  

ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD

         “We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus.” The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross:  

Christ is risen from the dead! 
Dying, he conquered death;
To the dead, he has given life.

I. THE HISTORICAL AND TRANSCENDENT EVENT

  The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about A.D. 56 St. Paul could already write to the Corinthians: “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. . .” The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus.

The empty tomb

        “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ’s body from the tomb could be explained otherwise. Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter. The disciple “whom Jesus loved” affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered “the linen cloths lying there”, “he saw and believed”. This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb’s condition that the absence of Jesus’ body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus.

The appearances of the Risen One

        Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One. Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves. They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

        Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles – and Peter in particular – in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. the faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary “witnesses to his Resurrection”, but they are not the only ones – Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles.

        Given all these testimonies, Christ’s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples’ faith was drastically put to the test by their master’s Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold. The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized (“looking sad”) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an “idle tale”. When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”

        Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. “In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.” Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord’s last appearance in Galilee “some doubted.” Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.

 The condition of Christ’s risen humanity

        By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion. Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ’s humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm. For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.

        Christ’s Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus’ daughter, the young man of Naim, Lazarus. These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus’ power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again. Christ’s Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus’ Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can say that Christ is “the man of heaven”.

The Resurrection as transcendent event

O truly blessed Night, sings the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil, which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead! But no one was an eyewitness to Christ’s Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, his passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles’ encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history. This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to the world, but to his disciples, “to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.”

II. THE RESURRECTION – A WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY

        Christ’s Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. the Father’s power “raised up” Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son’s humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as “Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead”. St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God’s power through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus’ dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship.

        As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise. Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: “I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” “We believe that Jesus died and rose again.”

        The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person of Christ who remained united to his soul and body, even when these were separated from each other by death: “By the unity of the divine nature, which remains present in each of the two components of man, these are reunited. For as death is produced by the separation of the human components, so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two.”

III. THE MEANING AND SAVING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

        “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

        Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfilment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life. The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures” indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.

        The truth of Jesus’ divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he.” The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly “I AM”, the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: “What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'” Christ’s Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God’s Son, and is its fulfilment in accordance with God’s eternal plan.   

        The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ’s brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: “Go and tell my brethren.” We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.   Finally, Christ’s Resurrection – and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfilment. In Christ, Christians “have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come” and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may “live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, n° 638-655

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

___________________________

Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity

16 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Engratia,

Virgin and Martyr and Eighteen Martyrs of Saragossa

(+ 304)

EIGHTEEN MARTYRS OF SARAGOSSA
and ST. ENCRATIS, or ENGRATIA
Virgin, Martyr
(+ 304)

        St. Optatus and seventeen other holy men received the crown of martyrdom on the same day, at Saragossa, under the cruel Governor Dacian, in the persecution of Diocletian, in 304. Two others, Caius and Crementius, died of their torments after a second conflict.

        The Church also celebrates on this day the triumph of St. Encratis, or Engratia, Virgin. She was a native of Portugal. Her father had promised her in marriage to a man of quality in Roussillon; but fearing the dangers and despising the vanities of the world, and resolving to preserve her virginity, in order to appear more agreeable to her heavenly Spouse and serve Him without hindrance, she stole from her father’s house and fled privately to Saragossa, where the persecution was hottest, under the eyes of Dacian. She even reproached him with his barbarities, upon which he ordered her to be long tormented in the most inhuman manner: her sides were torn with iron hooks, and one of her breasts was cut off, so that the inner parts of her chest were exposed to view, and part of her liver was pulled out. In this condition she was sent back to prison, being still alive, and died by the mortifying of her wounds, in 304.

        The relics of all these martyrs were found at Saragossa in 1389.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

___________________________

Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity

16 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Bernadette Soubirous

(of Lourdes)

St. Bernadette Soubirous (of Lourdes)
Religious and Visionary (1844-1879)

Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844, the daughter of Francis and Louise Soubirous. Hard times had fallen on France and the family lived in extreme poverty. Bernadette was a sickly child. She contracted cholera as a toddler and suffered severe asthma for the rest of her life. Bernadette attended the day school conducted by the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction from Nevers. By the time of the events at the grotto, her family’s financial and social status had declined to the point where they lived in a one-room basement, formerly used as a jail, called le cachot. On February 11, 1858, she was granted a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cave on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. She was placed in considerable jeopardy when she reported the vision, and crowds gathered when she had futher visits from the Virgin, from February 18 of that year through March 4.The civil authorities tried to frighten Bernadette into recanting her accounts, but she remained faithful to the vision. On February 25, Our Lady revealed a spring hidden below mud and debris in the cave and the waters were discovered to be of a miraculous nature, capable of healing the sick and lame.

On March 25, Bernadette announced that in the vision Our Lady stated that she was the Immaculate Conception, which served as proof to the local priest of the veracity of her account. Our Lady asked that a church should be erected on the site, and for prayer and penance. Many authorities tried to shut down the spring and delay the construction of the chapel, but the influence and fame of the visions reached Empress Eugenie of France, wife of Napoleon Ill, and construction went forward. Crowds gathered, free of harassment from the anticlerical and antireligious officials. Disliking the attention she was attracting, Bernadette went to the hospice school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nevers where she finally learned to read and write. Although she considered joining the Carmelites, her health precluded her entering any of the strict contemplative orders. On 29 July 1866, with 42 other candidates, she took the religious habit of a postulant and joined the Sisters of Charity at their motherhouse at Nevers.

There she became a member of the community, and faced some rather harsh treatment from the mistress of novices. This oppression ended when it was discovered that she suffered from a painful, incurable illness. On her deathbed, as she suffered from severe pain and in keeping with the Virgin Mary’s admonition of “Penance, Penance, Penance,” Bernadette proclaimed that “all this is good for Heaven!” Her final words were, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner-” She died in Nevers on April 16,1879. Lourdes became one of the major pilgrimage destinations in the world, and the spring has produced 27,000 gallons of water each week since emerging during Bernadette’s visions. She was not involved in the building of the shrine, as she remained hidden in her monastic enclosure at Nevers. Bernadette was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Saturday, April 15th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 28:1-10.


Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

15 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

His appearance was like lightning

and his clothing was white as snow.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 28:1-10.

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

_______________________________

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

15 April 2017

Holy Saturday –

Easter Vigil,

solemnity – Year A

Holy Saturday

The women saw  how his body was laid; and they prepared spices and ointments;  and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.  Luke 23:55,56

        Holy Saturday (in Latin, Sabbatum Sanctum ), the ‘day of the entombed Christ,’ is the Lord’s day of rest, for on that day Christ’s body lay in His tomb.  
        We recall the Apostle’s Creed which says “He descended unto the dead.”   It is a day of suspense between two worlds, that of darkness, sin and death, and that of the Resurrection and the restoration of the Light of the World.   For this reason no divine services are held until the Easter Vigil at night.  
        This day between Good Friday and Easter Day makes present to us the end of one world and the complete newness of the era of salvation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

************

The Easter Vigil

Very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had preparedand they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  Luke 24:1,3

        The night vigil of Easter signifies Christ’s passage from the dead to the living by the the liturgy which begins in darkness (sin, death) and is enlightened by the fire and the candle representing Lumen Christithe Light of Christjust as the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the community of believers, is led from spiritual darkness to the light of His truth.
        Christ’s baptism, which our own baptism imitates, is represented during the liturgy by the blessing of the water of baptism by immersing (`burying’) the candle representing His Body into the font.  
        During the liturgy we recall God’s sparing of the Hebrews whose doors were marked with the blood of the lamb; we are sprinkled with the blessed water by which we were cleansed from original sin through Christ’s sacrifice, and we repeat our baptismal vows, renouncing Satan and all his works. We rejoice at Christ’s bodily resurrection from the darkness of the tomb; and we pray for our passage from death into eternal life, from sin into grace, from the weariness and infirmity of old age to the freshness and vigor of youth, from the anguish of the Cross to peace and unity with God, and from this sinful world unto the Father in heaven.  

The Water
        The Easter Vigil includes a blessing of water. The water is a sign of purification and of baptism. Holy water, that is, water that has been ceremonially blessed is a sacramental. Sacramentals are “sacred signs which bear a resemblace to the sacraments[by which the faithful are] given access to the stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Christthe fountain from which all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power.”    [Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 60. Second Vatican Council Documents]
        Some other common sacramentals are blessed palm (and the ashes used on Ash Wednesday made from them), candles, medals, priestly blessings and other prayers.  Water blessed during the Easter Vigil is used for baptisms and other blessings. This water does not last the whole year, so there is a special blessing for holy water used at other times of the year, also. Traditionally the blessing of holy water includes an exorcism, or protection against evil, and the addition of salt, a spiritual symbol of wisdom which preserves our faith. 
       Catholic churches have basins or `fonts’ containing holy water near the entrance so that believers can dip their fingers in it before making the sign of the cross as they enter the House of God as a symbol of purification. This simple gesture reminds believers of their consecration to Christ in baptism, and visibly indicates their acceptance of the Catholic faith.

The Light of Christ (Lumen Christi)
        The Paschal candle represents Christ, the Light of the World: “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me walketh not in darkness” [John 8:12]. The pure beeswax of which the candle is made represents the sinless Christ who was formed in the womb of his Mother. The wick signifies his humanity, the flame, his divine nature, both soul and body. Five grains of incense inserted into the candle in the form of a cross recall the aromatic spices with which his Sacred Body was prepared for the tomb, and of the five wounds in his hands, feet, and side. 
        During the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night the priest or deacon carries the candle in procession into the dark church. A new fire, symbolizing our eternal life in Christ, is kindled which lights the candle. The candle, representing Christ himself, is blessed by the priest who then inscribes in it a cross, the first letters and last of the Greek alphabet, (Alpha and Omega `the beginning and the end’) and the current year, as he chants the prayer below; then affixes the five grains of incense.  The Easter candle is the largest and most beautiful in the Church. It is a reminder of the Risen Redeemer “who shining in light left the tomb.” It is lighted each day during Mass throughout the Paschal season until Ascension Thursday.

Christ yesterday and today,
the Beginning and the End,
the Alpha and Omega.
His are the times and ages:
To Him be glory and dominion
Through all ages of eternity.
Amen

Women for Faith and Family

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

______________________

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

15 April 2017

The Easter Vigil

Saint Francisxavier Samsen

______________________

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

15 April 2017

The Easter Vigil

DAILY GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS

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Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

15 April 2017

Saint of the day

St. Paternus,

Bishop

(5th century)

SAINT PATERNUS
Bishop
(c. 482 – c. 550)

        St. Paternus was born at Poitiers, about the year 482. His father, Patranus, with the consent of his wife, went into Ireland, where he ended his days in holy solitude. Paternus, fired by his example, embraced a monastic life in the abbey of Marnes. After some time, burning with a desire of attaining to the perfection of Christian virtue, he passed over to Wales, and in Cardiganshire founded a monastery called Llan-patern-vaur, or the church of the great Paternus.

        He made a visit to his father in Ireland, but being called back to his monastery of Marnes, he soon after retired with St. Scubilion, a monk of that house, and embraced an austere anchoretical life in the forests of Scicy, in the diocese of Coutances, near the sea, having first obtained leave of the bishop and of the lord of the place. This desert, which was then of great extent, but which has been since gradually gained upon by the sea, was anciently in great request among the Druids. St. Paternus converted to the faith the idolaters of that and many neighboring parts, as far as Bayeux, and prevailed upon them to demolish a pagan temple in this desert, which was held in great veneration by the ancient Gauls.

        In his old age he was consecrated Bishop of Avranches by Germanus, Bishop of Rouen. Some false brethren having created a division of opinion among the bishops of the province with respect to St. Paternus, he preferred retiring rather than to afford any ground for dissension, and, after governing his diocese for thirteen years, he withdrew to a solitude in France, and there ended his days about the year 550.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Friday, April 14th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 18:1-40.19:1-42.


Good Friday

14 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,

he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 18:1-40.19:1-42.

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.” He said to them, “I AM.” Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”
So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him,
and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm.
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.
Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”
When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed.
Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring (against) this man?”
They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.” The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone,”
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered (him), “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!”
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,
and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.'”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says): “They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots.” This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe.
For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.”
And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

___________________________________

Good Friday

14 April 2017

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

          On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Adoration of the Cross, in the chanting of the ‘Reproaches’, in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.  
        The Church — stripped of its ornaments, the altar bare, and with the door of the empty tabernacle standing open — is as if in mourning. In the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions described this day as a “day of mourning, not a day of festive joy”, and this day was called the “Pasch (passage) of the Crucifixion”.  
        The liturgical observance of this day of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Presanctified because Communion (in the species of bread), which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday, is given to the people .

        Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil, as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant.  The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord’s triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing.
        The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ’s humiliation and suffering during his Passion.

 
        We can see that the parts of the Good Friday service correspond to the divisions of Mass: 
1. the Liturgy of the Word — reading of the Passion. 
2. the intercessory prayers for the Church and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian. 
3. Veneration of the Cross 
4. Communion, or the ‘Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.’

Father,
look with love upon your people,
the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us
when he delivered himself to evil men 
and suffered the agony of the cross,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever

Women for Faith and Family

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

______________________________

Good Friday

14 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Peter Gonzales,

Dominican Priest

(1190-1246)

Saint Peter Gonzalez
Dominican Priest
(1190-1246)

        Peter Gonzales, also known as St. Elmo or St. Telmo, was born to a Castilian family of nobility. He was educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, named canon of the local cathedral, famous for his penances and mortifications, joined the Dominican Order, preached and made chaplain of the court of King St. Ferdinand III.

        He converted and influenced the soldiers of his country, evangelized, and died on Easter Sunday. Peter evangelized throughout his country and all along the coast.

        He had a special fondness for sailors. He used to visit them aboard their ships, preaching the Gospel and praying for their needs.

From Catholic Online

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

___________________________________

Good Friday

14 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Benezet

(1165-1184)

Image: n/a

SAINT BENEZET, or Little Bennet
(1165-1184)

        St. Benezet kept his mother’s sheep in the country, and as a mere child was devoted to practices of piety. As many persons were drowned in crossing the Rhone, Benezet was inspired by God to build a bridge over that rapid river at Avignon. He obtained the approbation of the bishop, proved his mission by miracles, and began the work in 1177, which he directed during seven years.

        He died when the difficulty of the undertaking was over, in 1184.

        This is attested by public monuments drawn up at that time and still preserved at Avignon, where the story is in everybody’s month. His body was buried upon the bridge itself, which was not completely finished till four years after his decease, the structure whereof was attended with miracles from the first laying of the foundations till it was completed in 1188.

        Other miracles wrought after this at his tomb induced the city to build a chapel upon the  bridge, in which his body lay nearly five hundred years. But in 1669 a greater part of the bridge falling down through the impetuosity of the waters, the coffin was taken up, and being opened in 1670 in presence of the grand vicar, during the vacancy of the archiepiscopal see, the body was found entire, without the least sign of corruption; even the bowels were perfectly sound, and the color of the eyes lively and sprightly, though, through the dampness of the situation, the iron bars about the coffin were much damaged with rust.

        The body was found in the same condition by the Archbishop of Avignon in 1674, when, accompanied by the Bishop of Orange and a great concourse of nobility, he performed the translation of it, with great pomp, into the Church of the Celestines, this Order having obtained of Louis XIV. the honor of being intrusted with the custody of his relics till such time as the bridge and chapel should be rebuilt.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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Thursday, April 13th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 13:1-15.


Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

13 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed

your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 13:1-15.

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

13 April 2017

Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

HOLY THURSDAY

          Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, saving only the Easter Vigil. It celebrates both the institution by Christ Himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the “priesthood of all believers”) for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, He is the self-offered Passover Victim, and every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The Last Supper was also Christ’s farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again.

        On Holy Thursday morning there is a special Mass in Cathedral Churches, celebrated by the bishop and as many priests of the diocese as can attend, because it is a solemn observance of Christ’s institution of the priesthood at the Last Supper. At this “Chrism Mass” the bishop also blesses the Oil of Chrism used for Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the sick or dying. The bishop may wash the feet of twelve of the priests, to symbolize Christ’s washing the feet of His Apostles, the first priests.

        The evening Holy Thursday Liturgy, marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred “Triduum” (“three days”) of Holy Week, which culminates in the Easter Vigil, and concludes at Vespers on the evening of Easter day (see Paschale Solemnitatis, §§ 38-40).
        The Mass begins in the evening, because Passover began at sundown; it commemorates Our Lord’s institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. It also shows both the worth God ascribes to the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water (a symbol of baptism) in the Mandatum, washing, commemorating Jesus’ washing the feet of His apostles, as well as in the priest’s stripping and washing of the altar. Cleansing, in fact, gave this day of Holy Week the name Maundy Thursday.

        On Holy Thursday the ringing of bells ceases, the altar is stripped after vespers, and the night office is celebrated under the name of Tenebrae.  
        The action of the Church on this night also witnesses to the Church’s esteem for Christ’s Body present in the consecrated Host in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, carried in solemn procession to the flower-bedecked Altar of Repose, where it will remain “entombed” until the communion service on Good Friday.
        No Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection.  And finally, there is the continued Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the people during the night, just as the disciples stayed with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal by Judas.

Father, 
for your glory and your salvation  you appointed Jesus Christ eternal High Priest. 
May the people he gained for you by his blood 
come to share in the power of his cross and resurrection 
by celebrating his memorial in this eucharist, 
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.

Women for Faith and Family

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________

Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

13 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Hermenegild,

Martyr

(† 586)

SAINT HERMENEGILD
Martyr
(† 586)

        Leovigild, King of the Visigoths, had two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, who reigned conjointly with him. All three were Arians, but Hermenegild married a. zealous Catholic, the daughter of Sigebert, King of France, and by her holy example was converted to the faith.

        His father, on hearing the news, denounced him as a traitor, and marched to seize his person. Hermenegild tried to rally the Catholics of Spain in his defence, but they were too weak to make any stand, and, after a two years fruitless struggle, he surrendered on the assurance of a free pardon. When safely in the royal camp, the king had him loaded with fetters and cast into a foul dungeon at Seville.

        Tortures and bribes were in turn employed to shake his faith, but Hermenegild wrote to his father that he held the crown as nothing, and preferred to lose sceptre and life rather than betray the truth of God.

        At length, on Easter night, an Arian bishop entered his cell, and promised him his father’s pardon if he would but receive Communion at his hands. Hermenegild indignantly rejected the offer, and knelt with joy for his depth-stroke. The same night a light streaming from his cell told the Christians who were watching near that the martyr had won his crown, and was keeping his Easter with the Saints in glory.

        Leovigild on his death-bed, though still an Arian, bade Recared seek out St. Leander, whom he had himself cruelly persecuted, and, following Hermenegild’s example, be received by him into the Church. Recared did so, and on his father’s death labored so earnestly for the extirpation of Arianism that he brought over the whole nation of the Visigoths to the Church. “Nor is it to be wondered,” says St. Gregory, “that he came thus to be a preacher of the true faith, seeing that he was brother of a martyr, whose merits did help him to bring so many into the lap of God’s Church.”

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

13 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Martin I,

Pope and Martyr

(† 656)

SAINT MARTIN
Pope and Martyr
(† 656)

        St. Martin, who occupied the Roman See from A. D. 649 to 656, incurred the enmity of the Byzantine court by his energetic opposition to the Monothelite heresy, and the Exarch Olympius went so far as to endeavor to procure the assassination of the Pope as he stood at the altar in the Church of St. Mary Major; but the would-be murderer was miraculously struck blind, and his master refused to have any further hand in the matter.

        His successor had no such scruples: he seized Martin, and conveyed him on board a vessel bound for Constantinople. After a three months’ voyage the island of Naxos was reached, where the Pope was kept in confinement for a year, and finally in 654 brought in chains to the imperial city.

        He was then banished to the Tannic Chersonese, where he lingered on for four months, in sickness and starvation, till God released him by death in 656.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 12th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 26:14-25.


Wednesday of Holy Week

12 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“He who has dipped his hand into the dish

with me is the one who will betray me. “

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 26:14-25.

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Wednesday of Holy Week

12 April 2017

Saint of the day

St. Julius I,

Pope

(+ 352)

SAINT JULIUS
Pope
(+ 352)

        St. Julius was a Roman, and chosen Pope on the 6th of February in 337.

        The Arian bishops in the East sent to him three deputies to accuse St. Athanasius, the zealous Patriarch of Alexandria. These accusations, as the order of justice required, Julius imparted to Athanasius, who thereupon sent his deputies to Rome; when, upon an impartial hearing, the advocates of the heretics were confounded and silenced upon every article of their accusation.

The Arians then demanded a council, and the Pope assembled one in Rome in 341. The Arians instead of appearing held a pretended council at Antioch in 341, in which they presumed to appoint one Gregory, an impious Arian, Bishop of Alexandria, detained the Pope’s legates beyond the time mentioned for their appearance; and then wrote to his Holiness, alleging a pretended impossibility of their appearing, on account of the Persian war and other impediments. The Pope easily saw through these pretences, and in a council at Rome examined the cause of St. Athanasius, declared him innocent of the things laid to his charge by the Arians, and confirmed him in his see.

He also acquitted Marcellus of Ancyra, upon his orthodox profession of faith.

   He drew up and sent by Count Gabian to the Oriental Eusebian bishops, who had first demanded a council and then refused to appear in it, an excellent letter, which is looked upon as one of the finest monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity.

        Finding the Eusebians still obstinate, he moved Constans, Emperor of the West, to demand the concurrence of his brother Constantius in the assembling of a general council at Sardica in Illyricum.  This was opened in May 347, and declared St. Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra orthodox and innocent, deposed certain Arian bishops, and framed twenty-one canons of discipline.

        St. Julius reigned fifteen years, two months, and six days, dying on the 12th of April, 352.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

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love one another as I love you.”

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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Tuesday, April 11th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 13:21-33.36-38.


Tuesday of Holy Week

11 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 13:21-33.36-38.

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, «Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.»
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and (took it and) handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.
After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
(Now) none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or to give something to the poor.
So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
(If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered (him), “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.”
Peter said to him, “Master, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of Holy Week

11 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Gemma Galgani

 

St. Gemma Galgani
(1878-1903)

Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. She made her First Communion on June 17, 1887. As a pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St. Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers and her fellow pupils. Although quiet and reserved, she always had a smile for everyone. Although a good student, she had to quit school due to chronic ill health before completing the course of study.

Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favored with many mystical experiences and special graces. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered these heartaches in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.

Gemma had an immense love for the poor, and helped them in any way she could. After her father’s death, the nineteen year old Gemma became the mother of her seven brothers and sisters. When some were old enough to share this responsibility, she lived briefly with a married aunt. At this time, two young men proposed marriage to her. Gemma however, wanted silence and retirement, and more that ever, she desired to pray and speak only to God.

Gemma returned home and almost immediately became very ill with meningitis. Throughout this illness, her one regret was the trouble she caused her relatives who took care of her. Feeling herself tempted by the devil, Gemma prayed for help to the Venerable Passionist, Gabriel Possenti. (Gabriel was later canonized) Through his intercession, Gemma was miraculously cured.

Gemma wished to become a nun, but her poor health prevented her from being accepted. She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.

Gemma predicted that the Passionists would establish a monastery at Lucca; this came to pass two years after her death. Today, Gemma’s mortal remains are still treasured at the Passionist monastery in Lucca.

On June 8, 1899, Gemma had an interior warning that some unusual grace was to be granted to her. She had pain in her hands, feet and heart and blood was coming from the places where she had pain. These were the marks of the stigmata. Each Thursday evening, Gemma would fall into rapture and the marks would appear. The stigmata remained until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when the bleeding would stop, the wounds would close, and only white marks would remain in place of the deep gashes. Gemma’s stigmata would continue to appear until the last three years of her life, when her confessor forbade her to accept them. Through her prayers, this phenomenon ceased, but the whitish marks remained on her skin until her death.

Through the help of her confessor, Gemma went to live with a family named Giannini, where she was allowed more freedom than at home for her spiritual life. She had many ecstacies and her words spoken during these raptures, were recorded by her confessor and a relative of her adoptive family. At the end of her ecstacies, she returned to normal and went quietly and serenely about the family life. Gemma often saw her guardian angel, with whom she was on familiar terms. She often sent her guardian angel on errands, usually to deliver a letter or oral message to her confessor in Rome.

During the apostolic investigations into her life, all witnesses testified that there was no artfulness in Gemma’s manner. Most of her severe penances and sacrifices were hidden from most who knew her.

In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. She died quietly in the company of the parish priest, on April 11 at age twenty-five. He said, “She died with a smile which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead.” She was beatified in 1933 and canonized on May 2, 1940, only thirty-seven years after her deat

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Tuesday of Holy Week

11 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Stanislas,

Bishop and Martyr

(1030-1079)

SAINT STANISLAS
Bishop and Martyr
(1030-1079)

        Stanislas was born in answer to prayer when his parents were advanced in age. Out of gratitude they educated him for the Church, he was ordained and became a holy priest in time he was elected Bishop of Cracow.

        Boleslas II. was then King of Poland-a prince of good disposition, but spoilt by a long course of victory and success. After many acts of lust and cruelty, he outraged the whole kingdom by carrying off the wife of one of his nobles. Against this public scandal the chaste and gentle bishop alone raised his voice. Having commended the matter to God, he went down to the palace and openly rebuked the king for his crime against God and his subjects, and threatened to excommunicate him if he persisted in his sin.

        To slander the Saint’s character, Boleslas suborned the nephews of one Paul, lately dead, to swear that their uncle had never been paid for land bought by the bishop for the Church. The Saint stood fearlessly before the king’s tribunal, though all his witnesses forsook him, and guaranteed to bring the dead man to witness for him within three days. On the third day, after many prayers and tears, he raised Paul to life, and led him in his grave-clothes before the king. Boleslas made a show for a while of a better life. Soon, however, he relapsed into the most scandalous excesses, and the bishop, finding all remonstrance useless, pronounced the sentence of excommunication.

        In defiance of the censure, on April 11, 1079, the king went down to a chapel where the bishop himself was saying Mass, and sent in three companies of soldiers to dispatch him at the altar. Each in turn came out, saying they had been scared by a light from heaven. Then the king rushed in and slew the Saint at the altar with his own hand.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Tuesday of Holy Week

11 April 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Elena Guerra

Bl. Elena Guerra
Founder of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit

(1835-1914)

Born to wealthy, pious, aristocratic family, in Lucca Italy. She was one of six children; only three survived to adulthood. From an early age Helen was devoted to the Holy Spirit. She worked with the Vincentians, caring for the poor and the sick, studying Latin and the writings of the Church Fathers. At age 22 she fell victim to an illness that kept her bed-ridden for eight years, during which time she continued her studies. In 1866 she founded the Society of Mary, Daughters of Saint Agnes in Lucca, Italy and became its first member; the community later became the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit (Sisters of Saint Zita; Zitine Sisters) which cared for and saw to the religious education of girls. Saint Gemma Galgani was one of her students, and the Oblates continue their work today with houses in Italy, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Lebanon and Iran.

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***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

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###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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Monday, April 10th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 12:1-11.


Monday of Holy Week

10 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed

the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 12:1-11. 

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said,
Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?
He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
(The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

______________________________________

Monday of Holy Week

10 April 2017

Saint of the day

St. Magdalena of Canossa,

Virgin and Foundress

(1774-1835)

Saint Magdalena of Canossa
Virgin, foundress of the Canossian Family of Daughters and Sons of Charity
(1774-1835) 

        Magdalena of Canossa, was a woman who believed in the love of the Lord Jesus and, sent by the Holy Spirit among those most in need, she served them with a Mother’s heart and an Apostle’s zeal.

        Born in Verona on 1st March 1774, of a noble and wealthy family, she was the third of six children.

        By way of painful events such as her father’s death, her mother’s second marriage, illness, misunderstanding, the Lord guided her towards unforeseen paths on which Magdalene tentatively set out.

A CALL

        Drawn by the love of God, at the age of seventeen she planned to consecrate her life to God and twice tried her vocation at a Carmel.

        However, the Holy Spirit urged her to follow a new path: to allow herself to be loved by Jesus Crucified, to belong to Him alone, in order to dedicate herself exclusively to those in greatest need.
        She returned to her family and, being compelled by sad events and the tragic political circumstances at the end of the 18th century, she nurtured her true vocation in the depth of her heart and went on with life at Canossa Palace, shouldering the burden of running her family’s large estate.

A GIFT

        With complete dedication Magdalene carried out her daily tasks and widened her circle of friends while at the same time remaining open to the mysterious action of the Holy Spirit who gradually moulded her heart and enabled her to share in the love of the Father for mankind revealed by Jesus’ complete and supreme offering of Himself on the Cross, and by the example of Mary, the Sorrowful Virgin Mother.

        Moved by that love, Magdalene responded to the cry of the poor, hungry for food, instruction, understanding and the Word of God. She discovered them in the suburbs of Verona, where the echoes of the French Revolution, the occupation by various foreign powers and the Verona uprising had left evident signs of devastation and human suffering.

A PROJECT

        Magdalene sought and found her first companions called to follow Christ, poor, chaste, obedient and who were to be sent out as witnesses of His unconditional Love towards all people.
        In 1808, Magdalene overcame her family’s opposition and left Canossa Palace once and for all to begin in the poorest district of Verona what she knew in her heart to be the Will of God: to serve the neediest persons with the heart of Christ.

A PROPHECY

        Charity is like a blazing fire! Magdalene opened her heart to the Holy Spirit who guided her to the poor in other cities: Venice, Milan, Bergamo, Trent … In only a few decades the number of her houses increased, her religious family grew in the service of the Kingdom of God.

        The Love of the Crucified and Risen Lord burnt in Magdalene’s heart who, together with her companions, became a witness of that same love in five specific areas:
        Charity schools, providing an all-round formation geared to pupils status in life. Catechesis, given to all classes of people, with special attention to those most ignorant of the Faith. Support given to women patients in hospital.

Residential seminars, to train young teachers for rural areas and valuable helpers for parish priests in their pastoral activities.

Yearly courses of Spiritual Exercises for Ladies of the nobility, with the aim of deepening their spiritual life and involving them in various charitable works.

Later on, this last activity was offered to all those who had a desire for it.

Contemporary to Magdalene and her apostolic work, flourished other witnesses of Charity: Leopoldina Naudet, Antonio Rosmini, Antonio Provolo, Carlo Steeb, Gaspare Bertoni, Teodora Campostrini, T. Eustochio Verzeri, Elisabetta Renzi, Cavanis brothers, Pietro Leonardi, all of whom founded Religious Institutes.

A FAMILY

         The Institute of the Daughters of Charity, between 1819 and 1820, received its ecclesiastical approval in the various dioceses where the communities were present.

        His Holiness Pope Leo XII approved the Rule of the Institute with the Brief Si Nobis, of 23rd December 1828.

        Towards the end of her life, after unsuccessful attempts with A. Rosmini and A. Provolo, Magdalene was able to start the male branch of the Institute which she had planned to set up from the very beginning.

On 23th May 1831 in Venice, she began the first Oratory of the Sons of Charity for the Christian formation of boys and men. She entrusted it to the Venetian priest Don Francesco Luzzo, helped by two laymen from Bergamo: Giuseppe Carsana and Benedetto Belloni.

        Magdalene’s active and fruitful life ended when she was 61 years of age. She died in Verona surrounded by her Daughters on 10th April 1835. It was the Friday of Passion Week.

A MISSION

        Above all make Jesus Christ known! This heartfelt concern of Magdalene’s was the great inheritance that the Daughters and Sons of Charity are called to live, a life of complete availability to God and service towards others, willing to go to the most distant countries for the sake of this holy work. (MAGDALENE, Ep. II/I, p. 266).

        The Daughters of Charity traveled for the Far East in 1860. Today there are about 4000 sisters throughout the world, grouped into 24 provinces.

        The Sons of Charity number about 200. They work in various cities in Italy, Latin America and the Philippines.

        Canossian Religious, called to a missionary vocation, “ad gentes”, make themselves receptive to those basic Christian values, “the seeds of the Word”, present in every culture while giving witness to and proclaiming what the “have seen, heard, contemplated…”: the Love of the Father who, in Christ, reaches out to every person so that they may have life. Through this giving and receiving, the charism is enriched and bears fruit for God’s Kingdom.

        The charism which the Holy Spirit brought to life in Magdalene did not exhaust itself in the vitality of the two Institutes.

        Consequently, various groups of lay people have found in Magdalene and in her ideals, their special way of living the faith, of witnessing charity, in all walks of Christian life.

        She was beatified by Pius XII on December 7, 1941 and canonized by John Paul II on October 2, 1988 at Rome.

A SONG OF THANKSGIVING

        The Church draws our attention, especially that of her Sons and Daughters, to Magdalene, a Witness of the constant and freely given love of God.

        We give thanks to Him for the gift of this Mother and Sister of ours and through her intercession we ask that we may love Him, as she did, above all other things, and make Him known to our fellow men by living our specific vocation.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Sunday, April 9th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 26:14-75.27:1-66.


Passion (Palm) Sunday

9 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me;

yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 26:14-75.27:1-66.

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.”
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’;
but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death,
but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward
who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.'”
The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.'”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him,
saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.
When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.”
Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.”
After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites,
and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.”
Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called (Jesus) Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, (Jesus) Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?”
For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”
But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.
And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull),
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left.

Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads
and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, (and) come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.
From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.
And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split,
tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”
There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.
Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it (in) clean linen
and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.
The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate
and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’
Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours; go secure it as best you can.”
So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

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“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Passion (Palm) Sunday – Year A

9 April 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord”,

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion –

At the procession with palms

    Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem manifested the coming of the kingdom that the King-Messiah was going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection. It is with the celebration of that entry on Palm Sunday that the Church’s liturgy solemnly opens Holy Week.

    How will Jerusalem welcome her Messiah? 
    Although Jesus had always refused popular attempts to make him king, he chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city of “his father David”. 
    Acclaimed as son of David, as the one who brings salvation (Hosanna means “Save!” or “Give salvation!”), the “King of glory” enters his City “riding on an ass”. 
    Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth.   And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God’s poor, who acclaim him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds.
        Their acclamation, “Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord”, is taken up by the Church in the Sanctus of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord’s Passover.

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Gospel according to Saint Matthew 21:1-11

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, ‘The master has need of them.’ Then he will send them at once.” This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: Say to daughter Zion, “Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them. The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

9 April 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Lindalva Justo de Oliveira,

(1953-1993)

Blessed Lindalva Justo de Oliveira
Martyr, Religious Sister of the Society of the
Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
(1953-1993)

        Lindalva Justo de Oliveira was born on 20 October 1953 at Sitio Malhada da Areia, in a very poor area of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Lindalva’s father, João Justo da Fé, a farmer, was a widower. His second marriage was to Maria Lúcia de Oliveira. Little Lindalva was the sixth of 13 children born to the couple. Lindalva was baptized on 7 January 1954.

        Her family was not well-off, but rich in the Christian faith. João moved his family to Açu so his children could attend school, and after many sacrifices he was able to buy a house where the family still resides today.

        Besides following her mother’s good example, Lindalva demonstrated a natural inclination toward the poorer children and spent much time with them.

        At age 12, Lindalva received First Holy Communion, and during her school years she was always happy to help the less fortunate. Later, while living with her brother, Djalma, and his family in Natal, she received an administrative assistant’s diploma in 1979.

        From 1978 to 1988 she held various jobs in retail sales and as a cashier at a petrol station, sending some of her salary home to help her mother. Lindalva found time to visit the local home for the elderly every day after work.

        In 1982, as she lovingly assisted her father in the last months of his terminal illness, she reflected seriously on her life and decided to serve the poor. She then enrolled in a nursing course, but also enjoyed those things typical of young people: building friendships, guitar lessons and cultural studies.

In 1986 she participated in the vocational initiatives of the Daughters of Charity. After she received the Sacrament of Confirmation in 1987, Lindalva applied for admission to the Daughters. On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February 1988, she entered the postulancy and edified her companions with her joy and genuine concern for the poor.

        Her character was marked by a sweet disposition but also by truth. In a letter to her alcoholic brother, Antonio, she wrote: “Think about it and reward yourself. I pray for you very much and I will continue to pray and if necessary I will do penance so that you are able to fulfil yourself as a person. Follow Jesus, who fought until death for the life of sinners and gave his own life, not as God but as man, for the forgiveness of sins. We must seek refuge in him; only in him is life worth living”. A year later her brother quit drinking.

        On 29 January 1991 Sr Lindalva was assigned 40 elderly male patients in the municipal nursing home in Salvador da Bahia. She undertook the more humble tasks and sought out those who suffered the most and cared for their spiritual and material well-being by encouraging their reception of the sacraments. Sr Lindalva would sing and pray with them, and she even took her driving test so she could take them out for rides.

        During January of 1993, a certain Augusto da Silva Peixoto, a 46-year-old man with an irascible character, managed to be admitted to the facility through the recommendation of another even though he had no right to be there. Sr Lindalva treated him with the same courtesy and respect as the other patients, yet he became enamoured of her.

        She prudently distanced herself from him and was cautious in his regard. Nonetheless, he explicitly declared his lustful intentions towards her. A simple solution would have been for Sr Lindalva to leave, but her love for the elderly caused her to declare, “I prefer to shed my blood than to leave this place”.

        By 30 March Augusto’s advances became so insistent and frightening that she sought the help of a health-care official to restrain this unruly patient. Although he promised to improve his attitude and behaviour, he harboured hatred and vengeance that developed into a murderous plan.

        On 9 April 1993, Good Friday, Sr Lindalva took part in the parish Way of the Cross at 4: 30 in the morning. By 7 a.m. she was back at work to prepare and serve breakfast as she did every day. As she served coffee from behind a table, Augusto approached and thrust a fishmonger’s knife above her collar-bone.

Sinking to the ground, she cried “God protect me” several times. Patients ran for cover. Enveloped in an insane rapture while holding up her body, Augusto stabbed her 44 times shouting, “I should have done this sooner!”.

        He then suddenly became calm, sat down on a bench, wiped the knife on his trousers, threw it on the table and exclaimed: “She did not want me!”, and turning to the doctor, said, “You can call the police, I will not run away; I did what had to be done”.

        The next day, Holy Saturday, Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, O.P., Primate of Brazil, celebrated the 39-year-old Sister’s funeral and commented: “A few years were enough for Sr Lindalva to crown her Religious life with martyrdom”.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

9 April 2017

Saints of the day

St. Waldetrudis

(+ c. 688)

Saint Waldetrudis
(+ c. 688)

        Also known as Waltrude or Waudru, Waltrudis was the daughter of Saints Walbert and Bertilia and sister of St. Aldegunus of Maubeuge. Marrying St. Vincent Madelgarius, she became the mother of saints Landericus, Madalberta, Adeltrudis, and Dentelin.

        When her husband chose to become a  monk about 643 in the monastery of Hautrnont, France, he had founded, she established a convent at Chateaulieu, around which grew up the town of Mons, Belgium.

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

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“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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