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พี่น้องคริสตชน วัด นักบุญฟรังซีสเซเวียร์ สามเสน ขอต้อนรับพี่น้องทุกท่านด้วยความรัก # "จงรักกันและกัน" # Parishioners of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Bangkok, THAILAND, pleased to welcome you. # LOVE ONE ANOTHER #

"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 ########################################################### "Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward." Mark 9:41 ########################################################### January 2017 - Overview for the Month::::::: The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first nine days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white. The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time. The liturgical color changes to green — a symbol of the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################## The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of January 2017 ::::Evangelization: That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity. :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################## Feasts for January 2017::::The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of January are: 1. Mary, Mother of God, Solemnity 2. Basil the Great; Gregory Nazianzen, Memorial 3. Most Holy Name of Jesus, Opt. Mem. 4. Elizabeth Ann Seton (USA and CAN), Memorial 5. John Neumann, Memorial 6. Andre Bessette, Opt. Mem. 7. Raymond of Penafort, Opt. Mem. 8. Epiphany of the Lord, Solemnity 9. Baptism of the Lord, Feast 13. Hilary; Kentigern (Scotland), Opt. Mem. 15. Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 17. Anthony, Memorial 20. Fabian; Sebastian, Opt. Mem. 21. Agnes, Memorial 22. Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 23. Vincent of Saragossa, Opt. Mem. 24. Francis de Sales; Our Lady of Peace, Memorial 25. Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Feast 26. Timothy and Titus, Memorial 27. Angela Merici, Opt. Mem. 28. Thomas Aquinas, Memorial 29. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 31. John Bosco, Memorial :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################### Focus of the Liturgy : January 2017:::: The Gospels for the Sundays in January are taken from St. Luke, St. Matthew and St. John and are from Year A, Cycle 1 of the readings. January 1st - Mary Mother of God And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. January 8th - Epiphany of the Lord This Gospel is about the Wise Kings visit to the Christ Child. January 15th - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time This Gospel is about John the Baptist proclaiming "Behold the Lamb of God". January 22th - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time In this Gospel, Jesus calls Peter and Andrew to be fishers of men. January 29th - 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time In this Gospel Jesus teaches the Beatitudes. :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################### Highlights of the Month: January 2017::::: In the first part of January we continue to rejoice and celebrate Christ's coming at Bethlehem and in our hearts. We have the wonderful feasts of Mary, Mother of God, where we honor Mary's highest title, and then we follow the Magi to the crib as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on Epiphany. Finally we reach the culmination of this season with the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist. With a touch of sadness we take down our decorations and enter into the liturgical period known as Ordinary Time where we will devote ourselves to the mystery of Christ in its entirety. This is a time of growth and an opportunity to allow the dignity of Sunday to shine forth prolonging the joy of Easter and Pentecost. Besides those previously mentioned the month's major feasts include: St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen (January 2), Holy Name of Jesus (January 3), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (January 4), St. John Neumann (January 5), St. Andre Bessette (January 6), St. Raymond of Penafort (January 7), St. Anthony, abbot (January 17), Sts. Fabian and Sebastian (January 20), St. Agnes (January 21), St. Vincent of Saragossa (January 23), St. Francis de Sales (January 24), the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), Sts. Timothy and Titus (January 26), St. Angela Merici (January 27), St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28), and St. John Bosco (January 31). :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################### The Winter Seasons: January 2017 :::::The opening days of January may be cold and nature bleak, but the domestic church still glows warm with the peace and joy of Christmas. We dedicate the New Year to Mary on the January 1st Solemnity honoring her as Mother of God; and on January 8, the Solemnity of Epiphany, we rejoice with her, as her Son is adored by the three Wise Men. Herald John, who ushered in the Advent season, is present once again to close Christmastide on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (The First Luminous Mystery), and to open the Season of Ordinary Time. He points to Jesus, the Lamb of God who unites time and eternity in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and even January’s diminishing darkness seems to echo St. John’s prayer: “He must increase and I must decrease.” In this liturgical season the Church eagerly follows Our Lord as he gathers his apostles and announces his mission. At Cana’s wedding feast (The Second Luminous Mystery) he performs his first public miracle at the request of his Mother, and his disciples saw his glory and believed in him. We, his present-day disciples pray for a like faith as we contemplate the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb and the unique role of the Blessed Mother in the plan of salvation. May we wholeheartedly obey her words of counsel: “Do whatever he tells you.” :::: ::: From CatholicCulture.org ########################################################### 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 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ "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. ############################################################

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Wednesday, February 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:14-23.


Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

What comes out of a person, that is what defiles.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:14-23.

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.
From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Josephine Bakhita

(1869-1947)

bakhita

JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
(1869-1947)

        Mother Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and died in Schio (Vicenza)  in 1947.

This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God’s grace, with the Daughters of Charity.

Mother “Moretta”

        In Schio (Vicenza), where she spent many years of her life, everyone still calls her “our Black Mother”. The process for the cause of Canonization began 12 years after her death and on December 1st, 1978 the Church proclaimed the Decree of the heroic practice ofall virtues.

        Divine Providence which “cares for the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air”, guided the Sudanese slave through innumerable and unspeakable sufferings to human freedom and to the freedom of faith and finally to the consecration of her whole life to God for the coming of his Kingdom.

In Slavery

        Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. The fright and the terrible experiences she went through made her forget the name she was given by her parents. Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.

        Sold and resold in the markets of El Obeid and of Khartoum, she experienced the humiliations and sufferings of slavery, both physical and moral.

Towards freedom

        In the Capital of Sudan, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani . For the first time since the day she was kidnapped, she realized with pleasant surprise, that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated in a loving and cordial way. In the Consul’s residence, Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled by nostalgia for her own family, whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.

        Political situations forced the Consul to leave for Italy. Bakhita asked and obtained permission to go with him and with a friend of his, a certain Mr. Augusto Michieli.

In Italy

        On arrival in Genoa, Mr. Legnani, pressured by the request of Mr. Michieli’s wife, consented to leave Bakhita with them. She followed the new “family”, which settled in Zianigo (near Mirano Veneto). When their daughter Mimmina was born, Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.

        The acquisition and management of a big hotel in Suakin, on the Red Sea, forced Mrs. Michieli to move to Suakin to help her husband. Meanwhile, on the advice of their administrator, Illuminato Checchini, Mimmina and Bakhita were entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. It was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage…”

Daughter of God

        After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation and was given the new name, Josephine. It was January 9, 1890. She did not know how to express her joy that day. Her big and expressive eyes sparkled, revealing deep emotions. From then on, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”

        With each new day, she became more aware of who this God was, whom she now knew and loved, who had led her to Him through mysterious ways, holding her by the hand.

When Mrs. Michieli returned from Africa to take back her daughter and Bakhita, the latter, with unusual firmness and courage, expressed her desire to remain with the Canossian Sisters and to serve that God who had shown her so many proofs of His love.

        The young African, who by then had come of age, enjoyed the freedom of choice which the Italian law ensured.

Daughter of St. Magdalene

        Bakhita remained in the catechumenate where she experienced the call to be a religious, and to give herself to the Lord in the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

        On December 8, 1896 Josephine Bakhita was consecrated forever to God whom she called with the sweet expression “the Master!”

        For another 50 years, this humble Daughter of Charity, a true witness of the love of God, lived in the community in Schio, engaged in various services: cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door.

         When she was on duty at the door, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who daily attended the Canossian schools and caress them. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection and rhythm of the music of her country, was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering and encouraging for those who knocked at the door of the Institute.

Witness of love

        Her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of all the citizens. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known.

        “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”

        As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness. Mother Bakhita continued to witness to faith, goodness and Christian hope. To those who visited her and asked how she was, she would respond with a smile: “As the Master desires.”

Final test

        During her agony, she re-lived the terrible days of her slavery and more then once she begged the nurse who assisted her: “Please, loosen the chains… they are heavy!”

        It was Mary Most Holy who freed her from all pain. Her last words were: “Our Lady! Our Lady!”, and her final smile testifiedto her encounter with the Mother of the Lord.

        Mother Bakhita breathed her last on February 8, 1947 at the Canossian Convent, Schio, surrounded by the Sisters. A crowd quickly gathered at the Convent to have a last look at their «Mother Moretta» and to ask for her protection from heaven.  The fame of her sanctity has spread to all the continents and many are those who receive graces through her intercession.

        She was canonized by Pope John-Paul II on October 1, 2000.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Jerome Emiliani

(1486-1537)

san_girolamo_emiliani-miani

SAINT JEROME EMILIANI
(1486-1537)

        St. Jerome Emiliani was a member of one of the patrician families of Venice, and, like many other Saints, in early life a soldier. He was appointed governor of a fortress among the mountains of Treviso, and whilst bravely defending his post, was made prisoner by the enemy. In the misery of his dungeon he invoked the great Mother of God, and promised, if she would set him free, to lead a new and a better life. Our Lady appeared, broke his fetters, and led him forth through the midst of his enemies. At Treviso he hung up his chains at her altar, dedicated himself to her service, and on reaching his home at Venice devoted himself to a life of active charity.

        His special love was for the deserted orphan children whom, in the times of the plague and famine, he found wandering in the streets. He took them home, clothed and fed them, and taught them the Christian truths. From Venice he passed to Padua and Verona, and in a few years had founded orphanages through Northern Italy. Some pious clerics and laymen, who had been his fellow-workers, fixed their abode in one of these establishments, and devoted themselves to the cause of education. The Saint drew up for them a rule of life and thus was founded the Congregation, which still exists, of the Clerks Regular of Somascha.

        St. Jerome died February 8, 1537, of the plague which he had caught in visiting the sick.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. John of Matha,

Priest

(1169-1213)

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SAINT JOHN OF MATHA
Priest and Founder of the Order of the Holy Trinity
(1169-1213)

        The life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacrifice for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and other worldly advantages.

        At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signified, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance.

        The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries.

        The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, over- i powered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud.” Suddenly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis.

        Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three.

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.

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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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Tuesday, February 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:1-13.


 

Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

7 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’

Jesus with authority stdas0149

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:1-13.

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’
Yet you say, ‘If a person says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘ (meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

7 February 2017

Saint of the day

Bl. Rosalie Rendu,

(1786-1856)

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Blessed Rosalie Rendu
Daughter of Charity
(1786-1856)

        Jeanne Marie Rendu was born 9 September 1786 at Confort, a district of Gex in the Jura Mountains. She was the eldest of four girls. Her parents, simple living mountain people and small property owners, enjoyed a certain affluence and true respect throughout the area. Jeanne Marie was baptized the day she was born in the parish church of Lancrans. Her Godfather by proxy was Jacques Emery, a family friend and future Superior General of the Sulpicians in Paris. 

        Jeanne Marie Rendu was three years old when the Revolution broke out in France. From 1790 it was compulsory for the clergy to take an oath of support for the civil Constitution. Numerous priests, faithful to the Church, refused to take this oath. They were chased from their parishes, some were put to death and others had to hide to escape their pursuers. 

The Rendu family home became a refuge for these priests. The Bishop of Annecy found asylum under the assumed name of Pierre. Jeanne Marie was fascinated by this hired hand who was treated better than the others. One night, she discovered that he was celebrating Mass. She was offended that she had not been told the truth. 

        Later, in a discussion with her mother, she blurted out: “Be careful or I will tell that Pierre is not really Pierre.” In order to avoid any indiscretion on the part of her daughter, Madame Rendu told her the truth of the situation. 

        It was in this atmosphere of solid faith, always exposed to the dangers of denunciation, that Jeanne Marie was educated. She would make her first communion one night by candlelight in the basement of her home. This exceptional environment forged her character. 

        The death of her father, 12 May 1796, and that of her youngest sister, at four months of age, on 19 July of the same year, shook the entire family. Jeanne Marie, aware of her responsibility as the eldest, helped her mother, especially in caring for her younger sisters. 

        In the days following the Terror, people calmed down little by little and life resumed its normality. Madame Rendu, concerned about the education of her eldest daughter, sent her to the Ursuline Sisters in Gex. Jeanne Marie stayed two years in this boarding school. During her walks in town, she discovered the hospital where the Daughters of Charity cared for the sick. She had only one desire, to go and join them. Her mother gave her consent that Jeanne Marie, in spite of her young age, might spend some time at this hospital. God’s call, which she had sensed for many years, made itself clear: she would become a Daughter of Charity. 

        In 1802, Armande Jacquinot, from the village of Lancrans, confided to her friend that she was preparing to leave for Paris to enter the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Jeanne Marie leaped at the opportunity and begged her mother to allow her to leave. Having consulted with Fr. de Varicourt, the senior priest at Gex, Madame Rendu, happy, but very emotional at her daughter’s vocation, consented to her request. 

        On 25 May 1802, Jeanne Marie arrived at the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, rue du Vieux Colombier in Paris. She was nearly 17 years old! The reopening of the Seminary, (novitiate suppressed by the Revolutionaries) took place in December 1800. On their arrival, the travelers were welcomed by 50 young women in formation. 

        Jeanne Marie was very anxious to give her very best in this new life. Her health was weakened by the sustained mental effort this demanded and by a lack of physical exercise. On the advice of her physician and that of her Godfather, Fr. Emery, Jeanne Marie was sent to the house of the Daughters of Charity in the Mouffetard District for the service of the poor. She would remain there 54 years! 

        The thirst for action, devotion and service that burned within Jeanne Marie could not have found a better place to be quenched than this district of Paris. At the time, it was the most impoverished district of the quickly expanding capital: poverty in all its forms, psychological and spiritual. There disease, unhealthy slums, and destitution were the daily lot of the people who were trying to survive. 

        Jeanne Marie, who received the name Sr. Rosalie, made her “apprenticeship” accompanying Sisters visiting the sick and the poor. Between times, she taught catechism and reading to little girls accepted at the free school. In 1807, Sr. Rosalie, surrounded by the Sisters of her Community, made vows for the first time to serve God and the poor. She made these vows with great emotion and joy. 

        In 1815 Sr. Rosalie became Superior of the Community at rue des Francs Bourgeois. Two years later the Community would move to rue de l’Epée de Bois for reasons of space and convenience. All her qualities of devotedness, natural authority, humility, compassion and her organizational abilities would be revealed. “Her poor,” as she would call them, became more and more numerous during this troubled time. The ravages of a triumphant economic liberalism accentuated the destitution of those most rejected. She sent her Sisters into all the hidden recesses of St. Médard Parish in order to bring supplies, clothing, care and a comforting word. 

        To assist all the suffering, Sr. Rosalie opened a free clinic, a pharmacy, a school, an orphanage, a child‑care center, a youth club for young workers and a home for the elderly without resources. Soon a whole network of charitable services would be established to counter poverty. 

Her example encouraged her Sisters. She often told them: “Be a milestone where all those who are tired have the right to lay down their load.” She was so simple, and lived so poorly, as to let the presence of God shine through her. 

        Her faith, solid as a rock and clear as a spring, revealed Jesus Christ in all circumstances. She daily experienced this conviction of St. Vincent: “You will go and visit the poor ten times a day, and ten times a day you will find God there … you go into their poor homes, but you find God there.” Her prayer life was intense, as a Sister affirmed, “… she continually lived in the presence of God. Even if she had a difficult mission to fulfill, we were always assured of seeing her go to the chapel or finding her on her knees in her office.” 

She was attentive to assuring that her companions had time for prayer, but sometimes there was a need to “leave God for God” as Vincent de Paul taught his Daughters. Once, while accompanying a Sister on a charitable visit, she said to her: “Sister, let’s begin our meditation!” She suggested the plan, the outline, in a few simple, clear words and entered into prayer. 

Like a monk in the cloister, Sr. Rosalie walked with her God. She would speak to God of this family in distress as the father no longer had any work, of this elderly person who risked dying alone in an attic: “Never have I prayed so well as in the streets,” she would say. 

One of her companions remarked that, “the poor themselves noted her way of praying and acting.” “Humble in her authority, Sr. Rosalie would correct us with great sensitivity and had the gift of consoling. Her advice, spoken justly and given with all her affection, penetrated souls.” 

She was very attentive to the manner of receiving the poor. Her spirit of faith saw in them our “lords and masters.” “The poor will insult you. The ruder they are; the more dignified you must be,” she said. “Remember, Our Lord hides behind those rags.” 

     Superiors sent her postulants and young Sisters to be formed. They put in her house, for a period of time, Sisters who were somewhat difficult or fragile. To one of her Sisters in crisis, she gave this advice one day, which is the secret of her life: “If you want someone to love you, you must be the first to love; and if you have nothing to give, give yourself.” As the number of Sisters increased, the charity office became a house of charity, with a clinic and a school. She saw in that the Providence of God. 

        Her reputation quickly grew in all the districts of the capital and also beyond to the towns in the region. Sr. Rosalie knew how to surround herself with many efficient and dedicated collaborators. The donations flowed in quickly as the rich were unable to resist this persuasive woman. Even the former royalty did not forget her in their generosity: The Ladies of Charity helped in the home visits. Bishops, priests, the Ambassador of Spain (Donoso Cortéz), Carlo X, General Cavaignac, and the most distinguished men of state and culture, even the Emperor Napoleon III with his wife, were often seen in her parlor. Students of law, medicine, science, technology, engineering, teacher‑training, and all the other important schools came seeking from Sr. Rosalie information and recommendations. Or, before performing a good work, they asked her at which door they should knock. Among these, Blessed Frederick Ozanam, co‑founder of the “Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul,” and the Venerable Jean Léon Le Prevost, future founder of the Religious of St. Vincent de Paul, knew well the road to her office. They came, with their other friends, to Sr. Rosalie seeking advice for undertaking their projects. She was the center of a charitable movement that characterized Paris and France in the first half of the 19th century. Sr. Rosalie’s experience was priceless for these young people. She directed their apostolate, guided their coming and going in the suburbs, and gave them addresses of families in need, choosing them with care. 

        She also formed a relationship with the Superioress of Bon Saveur in Caen and requested that she too welcome those in need. She was particularly attentive to priests and religious suffering from psychiatric difficulties. Her correspondence is short but touching, considerate, patient and respectful towards all. 

        Hardships were not lacking in the Mouffetard District. Epidemics of cholera followed one after another. Lack of hygiene and poverty fostered its virulence. Most particularly in 1832 and 1846, the dedication shown and risks taken by Sr. Rosalie and her Sisters were beyond imagination. She herself was seen picking up dead bodies in the streets. During the uprisings of July 1830 and February 1848, barricades and bloody battles were the marks of the opposition of the working class stirred up against the powerful. Archbishop Affre, Archbishop of Paris, was killed trying to intervene between the fighting factions. Sr. Rosalie was deeply grieved. She herself climbed the barricades to try and help the wounded fighters irrespective of the side they were fighting on. 

        Without any fear, she risked her life in these confrontations. Her courage and sense of freedom commanded the admiration of all. 

        When order was reestablished, she tried to save a number of these people she knew and who were victims of fierce repression. She was helped a great deal by the mayor of the district, Dr. Ulysse Trélat, a true republican, who was also very popular. 

        In 1852, Napoleon III decided to give her the Cross of the Legion of Honor. She was ready to refuse this individual honor but Fr. Etienne, Superior General of the Priests of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, made her accept it. 

        Always in fragile health, Sr. Rosalie never took a moment of rest, always managing to overcome fatigue and fevers. However, age, increasing infirmity, and the amount of work needing to be done eventually broke her strong resistance and equally strong will. During the last two years of her life she became progressively blind. She died on 7 February 1856 after a brief acute illness. 

        Emotions ran high in the district and at all levels of society in both Paris and the countryside. After the funeral rite at St. Médard Church, her parish, a large and emotional crowd followed her remains to the Montparnasse Cemetery. They came to show their respect for the works she had accomplished and show their affection for this “out of the ordinary” Sister. 

        Numerous newspaper articles witnessed to the admiration and even veneration that Sr. Rosalie received. Newspapers from all sides echoed the sentiments of the people. 

L’Univers,the principal Catholic newspaper of the time, edited by Louis Veuillot, wrote as early as 8 February: “Our readers understand the significance of the sadness that has come upon the poor of Paris. They join their sufferings with the tears and prayers of the unfortunate.” 

        Il Consitutionnel,the newspaper of the anticlerical left, did not hesitate to announce the death of this Daughter of Charity: “The unfortunate people of the 12th district have just experienced a regrettable loss. Sr. Rosalie, Superior of the Community at rue de l’Epée de Bois died yesterday after a long illness. For many years this respectable woman was the salvation of the numerous needy in this district.” 

        The official newspaper of the Empire, le Moniteur, praised the kindly actions of this Sister: “Funeral honors were given to Sr. Rosalie with unusual splendor. For more than fifty years this holy woman was a friend to others in a district where there are many unfortunate people to care for and all these grateful people accompanied her remains to the church and to the cemetery. A guard of honor was part of the cortege.” 

        Numerous visitors flocked to the Montparnasse Cemetery. They went to meditate at the tomb of the one who was their salvation. But it was difficult to find the gravesite reserved for the Daughters of Charity. The body was then moved to a more accessible site, close to the entrance of the cemetery. On the simple tomb surmounted by a large Cross are engraved these words: “To Sister Rosalie, from her grateful friends, the rich and the poor.” Anonymous hands brought flowers and continue to bring flowers to this gravesite: a lasting yet discreet homage to this humble Daughter of St. Vincent de Paul.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday, February 6th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:53-56.


Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land

at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.

th BOAT 111111111111111

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:53-56.

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

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Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Paul Miki & his companions,

Martyrs (+ 1597) –

Memorial

miki-untitled

SAINTS PAUL MIKI & HIS COMPANIONS
Martyrs
(+ 1597)

        The initial growth of Christianity after Francis Xavier’s 1549 arrival in Japan led to opposition from Japanese leaders who feared that the introduction of Christianity was the first step in Spain’s effort to conquer their country, just as the Spanish had already conquered the Philippines. The Taiko Toyotomi Hideyoshi, ruler of Japan, banished all foreign ministers in 1587, but about fifteen Franciscans come to Japan from the Philippines in 1593. So, in 1596 Hideyoshi ordered the arrest of all missionaries. Police arrested six Franciscans, three Jesuits, fifteen Japanese tertiaries and two Japanese converts. They were condemned to be executed by crucifixion. They were tortured and crucified on 5 February 1597 at Tateyama (Hill of Wheat), Nagasaki.

        Among the Jesuits was Paul Miki, still a Jesuit scholastic [Jesuit in training]. He was born about 1565 in Japan. He entered the Society of Jesus and was a successful preacher. From the cross he preached to the people inviting them to conversion. Miki was also the first Japanese religious to be martyred.

        Finally soldiers pierced each prisoner’s chest with a lance. The hill on which they died became known as “Martyrs’ Hill.”

        They were all canonized as the Martyrs of Japan in 1862 by Pope Pius IX

_______________________

“The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ.
I thank God it is for this reason that I die.
I believe that I am telling the truth before I die.
I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again:
Ask Christ to help you become happy. I obey Christ.
After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them.
I ask God to have pity on all,
and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”

 

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_____________________________

Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Dorothy,

Virgin and Martyr

(+ 304)

santa_dorotea_e_teofilo_e

SAINTE DOROTHY
Virgin and Martyr
(+ 304)

        St. Dorothy was a young virgin, celebrated at Cæsarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue. Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution, and when the Governor Sapricius came to Cæsarea he called her before him, and sent this child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her.

        She was stretched upon the rack, and offered marriage if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused. But she replied that “Christ was her only Spouse, and death her desire.” She was then placed in charge of two women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her; but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs, and led them back to Christ. When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore, and asked her the cause of her joy. “Because,” she said, “I have brought back two souls to Christ, and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the angels.” Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron. “Blessed be Thou,” she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded,-“blessed be Thou, O Thou Lover of souls! Who dost call me to Paradise, and invitest me to Thy nuptial chamber.”

        St. Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter, and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him “apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse.” The Saint promised to grant his request, and, just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses. She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse. St. Dorothy had gone to heaven, and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the Saint when the child entered his room. He saw that the child was an angel in disguise, and the fruit and flowers of no earthly growth. He was converted to the faith, and then shared in the martyrdom of St. Dorothy.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_____________________________

Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Alfonso Maria Fusco,

(1839-1910)

beato_alfonso_maria_fusco

Blessed Alfonso Maria Fusco
Priest
(1839-1910)

        Alfonso Maria Fusco, the oldest of five childre, was born on March 23, 1839, in Angri, in the province of Salerno, in the Diocese of Nocera-Sarno. His parents, Aniello Fusco and Josephine Schiavone, were both of peasant stock but were raised from their infancy with strong Christian principles and with a holy fear of God.

        They were married in the Collegiata of St. John the Baptist on January 31, 1834, and for four long years the cradle they had lovingly prepared remained painfully empty. In Pagani, only a short distance from Angri, the relics of St. Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori were preserved. It was to his tomb that Aniello and Josephine went in 1838 to pray. While they were there, the Redemptorist Francesco Saverio Pecorelli told them: “You will have a son; you will name him Alfonso; he will become a priest and will live the life of Blessed Alfonso”.

        The little boy quickly revealed a mild, gentle, lovable character, responsive to prayer and to the poor. His teachers in his father’s house were learned and holy priests who instructed him and prepared him for his first meeting with Jesus. When he was seven, he received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

        He told his parents when he was eleven that he wanted to become a priest, and on November 5, 1850, “freely and with the sole desire to serve God and the Church”, as he himself declared many years later, he entered the episcopal Seminary of Nocera dei Pagani. On May 29, 1863, he was ordained by the Archbishop of Salerno, Monsignor Anthony Salomone, amid the joy of his family and the enthusiasm of the people.

Quickly he distinguished himself among the clergy of the Collegiata of St. John the Baptist in Angri for his zeal, his regular attendance at liturgical services and for his diligence in the administration of the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation where he revealed his paternal understanding of his penitents. He devoted himself to the evangelization of the people through his simple and incisive style of preaching.

        The daily life of Father Alfonso was that of a zealous priest, but he carried in his heart an old dream. In his last years at the seminary, one night he had dreamt that Jesus the Nazarene was calling him to found an institute of Sisters and an orphanage for boys and girls as soon as he was ordained.

        It was a meeting with Maddalena Caputo of Angri, a strong-willed woman aspiring to enter religious life, which impelled Father Alfonso to move more quickly in the foundation of the Institute. On September 25, 1878, Miss Caputo and three other young women met at night in the dilapidated Scarcella house in the Ardinghi district of Angri. The young women wanted to dedicate themselves to their own sanctification through a life of poverty, of union with God, and of charity in the care and instruction of poor orphans.

The Congregation of the Baptistine Sisters of the Nazarene was thus begun; the seed had fallen into the good earth of the hearts of these four zealous and generous women. Privations, struggles, opposition, and trials were their lot, and the Lord made that seed grow abundantly. The Scarcella House was quickly named the Little House of Providence.

        Other postulants and the first orphans began to arrive, and with them the first problems. The Lord, who allows those whom He loves much to suffer much, did not spare the Founder and his daughters. Father Alfonso accepted these trials, at times very difficult ones, demonstrating an absolute conformity to the will of God, an heroic obedience to his superiors, and an unbounded trust in Divine Providence.

        The unjustified attempt by the Diocesan Bishop Saverio Vitagliano to remove Father Alfonso as director of the Institute based on false accusations; the refusal by his own daughters to open the door for him of the house on Via Germanico in Rome because of their desire for a division; the words of Cardinal Respighi, the Vicar of Rome: “You have founded this community of good sisters who are doing their best. Now withdraw!” were for him moments of great suffering. He was seen praying in anguish, like Jesus in the Garden, in the small chapel in the Mother House in Angri and in the church of St. Joachim in Rome.

        Father Alfonso did not leave many writings. He loved to speak with the witness of his life. The short statements, rich in evangelical wisdom, which we find in his writings, and the testimony of those who knew him are flashes which illuminate his simple life, his great love for the Eucharist and for the Passion of Jesus and his filial devotion to the Sorrowful Mother. He would often repeat to his Sisters: “Let us become saints, following Jesus closely… Daughters, if you live in poverty, in chastity and in obedience, you will shine like the stars up in the heavens”.

        He directed the Institute wisely and prudently. Like a loving father, he watched over the Sisters and the orphans. He showed an almost maternal tenderness for all, especially for the most needy of the orphans. For them there was always space in the Little House of Providence, even when there was a scarcity of food or absolutely nothing. Then Father Alfonso would reassure his worried daughters saying: “Don’t worry, my daughters. I am going to Jesus now and He will worry about us!” And Jesus answered quickly and with great generosity. To him who believes, everything is possible!

        At a time when an education was the privilege of the few, denied to the poor and to women, Father Alfonso did not mind sacrificing to give the children a peaceful life, an education and a trade for the older ones so that once they were grown up, they could live as honest citizens and as committed Christians. He wanted the Sisters to begin their studies as soon as possible so that they could teach the poor and, through their instruction and evangelization, prepare the way for Jesus especially in the hearts of the children and of youth.

        His tenacious will, totally anchored in Divine Providence, the wise and prudent collaboration of Maddalena Caputo, known as Sr. Crocifissa, who was the first superior of the growing Institute, the ongoing spur of the love of God and neighbor, contributed to the extraordinary development of the work in a very short time. The growing requests for assistance for an ever greater number of orphans and children urged Fr. Alfonso to open new houses, first in Campania, and then in other regions of Italy.

    During the night of February 5, 1910, he felt unwell. He requested and then received the sacraments on the morning of February 6; after having blessed with trembling hands his own daughters weeping around his bed, he exclaimed: “Lord, I thank you, I have been a useless servant”. Then, turning to the Sisters: “From heaven I will not forget you. I will pray for you always”. And he then slept peacefully in the Lord.

        News of his death spread quickly and for that entire Sunday, there was a procession of people crying and saying: “The father of the poor is dead; the saint is dead!”

        His witness has been an inspiration of life and a means of grace, especially for his Sisters spread today throughout four continents. On February 12, 1976, Pope Paul VI recognized his heroic virtues; on October 7, 2001, Pope John Paul II, proclaiming him blessed, offers him as an example to priests, and a model for everyone of an educator and protector especially to the poor and the needy.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

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

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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

Sunday, February 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:13-16.


Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

5 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it

is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

lamp pppas0534

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:13-16.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

Image: From Bible Hub

__________________________________________

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

5 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Agatha,

Virgin & Martyr (+ 251) –

Memorial

sant_agata_z

SAINT AGATHA
Virgin and Martyr
(+ 251)

        St. Agatha was born in Sicily, of rich and noble parents-a child of benediction from the first, for she was promised to her parents before her birth, and consecrated from her earliest infancy to God. In the midst of dangers and temptations she served Christ in purity of body and soul, and she died for the love of chastity. Quintanus, who governed Sicily under the Emperor Decius, had heard the rumor of her beauty and wealth, and he made the laws against the Christians a pretext for summoning her from Palermo to Catania, where he was at the time. “O Jesus Christ!” she cried, as she set out on this dreaded journey, “all that I am is Thine; preserve me against the tyrant.”

And Our Lord did indeed preserve one who had given herself so utterly to Him. He kept her pure and undefiled while she was imprisoned for a whole month under charge of an evil woman. He gave her strength to reply to the offer of her life and safety, if she would but consent to sin, “Christ alone is my life and my salvation.” When Quintanus turned from passion to cruelty, and cut off her breasts, Our Lord sent the Prince of His apostles to heal her. And when, after she had been rolled naked upon potsherds, she asked that her torments might be ended, her Spouse heard her prayer and took her to Himself.

        St. Agatha gave herself without reserve to Jesus Christ; she followed Him in virginal purity, and then looked to Him for protection. And down to this day Christ has shown His tender regard for the very body of St. Agatha. Again and again, during the eruptions of Mount Etna, the people of Catania have exposed her veil for public veneration, and found safety by this means; and in modern times, on opening the tomb in which her body lies waiting for the resurrection, they beheld the skin still entire, and felt the sweet fragrance which issued from this temple of the Holy Spirit.

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

©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.

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

 

Saturday, February 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:30-34.


Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

4 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,

for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

1 fishermen lwjas0358

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:30-34.

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

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Image: From Bible Hub

_________________________________

Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

4 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. John de Britto,

martyr

(+1693)

san_giovanni_de_britto

SAINT JOHN DE BRITTO
Martyr
(+ 1693)

        Don Pedro II. of Portugal, when a child, had among his little pages a modest boy of rich and princely parents. Much had John de Britto—for so was he called—to bear from his careless-living companions, to whom his holy life was a reproach. A terrible illness made him turn for aid to St. Francis Xavier, a Saint so well loved by the Portuguese; and when, in answer to his prayers, he recovered, his mother vested him for a year in the dress worn in those days by the Jesuit Fathers. From that time John’s heart burned to follow the example of the Apostle of the Indies. He gained his wish.

        On December 17, 1662, he entered the novitiate of the Society at Lisbon; and eleven years later, in spite of the most determined opposition of his family and of the court, he left all to go to convert the Hindus of Madura. When Blessed John’s mother knew that her son was going to the Indies, she used all her influence to prevent him leaving his own country, and persuaded the Papal Nuncio to interfere. “God, Who called me from the world into religious life, now calls me from Portugal to India,” was the reply of the future martyr. “Not to answer the vocation as I ought, would be to provoke the justice of God. As long as I live, I shall never cease striving to gain a passage to India.”

        For fourteen years he toiled, preaching, converting, baptizing multitudes, at the cost of privations, hardships, and persecutions. At last, after being seized, tortured, and nearly massacred by the heathens, he was banished from the country. Forced to return to Portugal, John once more broke through every obstacle, and went back again to his labor of love.

        Like St. John the Baptist, he died a victim to the anger of a guilty woman, whom a convert king had put aside, and, like the Precursor, he was beheaded after a painful imprisonment.

 John de Britto was canonized by Ven. Pope Pius XII on 1947.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_________________________________

Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

4 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Jane of Valois,

Queen and Religious

(+ 1505)

santa_giovanna_di_valois

SAINT JANE OF VALOIS
Queen and Religious
(+ 1505)

        Born of the blood royal of France, herself a queen, Jane of Valois led a life remarkable for its humiliations even in the annals of the Saints. Her father, Louis XI., who had hoped for a son to succeed him, banished Jane from his palace, and, it is said, even attempted her life. At the age of five the neglected child offered her whole heart to God, and yearned to do some special service in honor of His blessed Mother.

        At the king’s wish, though against her own inclination, she was married to the Duke of Orleans. Towards an indifferent and unworthy husband her conduct was ever most patient and dutiful. Her prayers and tears saved him from a traitor’s death and shortened the captivity which his rebellion had merited. Still nothing could win a heart which was already given to another. When her husband ascended the throne as Louis XII., his first act was to repudiate by false representations one who through twenty-two years of cruel neglect had been his true and loyal wife.

        At the final sentence of separation, the saintly queen exclaimed, “God be praised Who has allowed this, that I may serve Him better . than I have heretofore done.” Retiring to Bourges, she there realized her long-formed desire of founding the Order of the Annunciation, in honor of the Mother of God.

        Under the guidance of St. Francis of Paula, the director of her childhood, St. Jane was enabled to overcome the serious obstacles which even good people raised against the foundation of her new Order. In 1501 the rule of the Annunciation was finally approved by Alexander VI. The chief aim of the institute was to imitate the ten virtues practised by Our Lady in the mystery of the Incarnation, the superioress being called “Ancelle,” handmaid, in honor of Mary’s humility. St. Jane built and endowed the first convent of the Order in 1502.

        She died in heroic sanctity, 1505, and was buried in the royal crown and purple, beneath which lay the habit of her Order.

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

©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.

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

Friday, February 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:14-29.


Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary

3 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”

“I want you to give me at once on

a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

DANCING lwjas0169

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:14-29.

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

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary

3 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Blase,

Bishop & Martyr

(+ 316)

san_biagio_f

SAINT BLASE
Bishop and Martyr
(+ 316)

        St. Blase devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God, and from being a healer of bodily ailments to be- come a physician of souls.

The Bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, having died, our Saint, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was appointed to succeed him. St. Blase at once began to instruct his people as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of this servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills.

        Agricolaus, Governor of Cappadocia and the Lesser Armenia, having begun a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius, our Saint was seized and hurried off to prison. While on his way there, a distracted mother, whose only child was dying of a throat disease, threw herself at the feet of St. Blase and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, the Saint offered up his prayers, and the child was cured; and since that time his aid has often been effectually solicited in cases of a similar disease.

        Refusing to worship the false gods of the heathens, St. Blase was first scourged; his body was then torn with hooks, and finally he was beheaded in the year 316.

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

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Thursday, February 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 2:22-40.


Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Master, you may let your servant go in peace,

according to your word,for my eyes have seen your salvation,

lord-let-me-die-pppas0189

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2:22-40.

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,”
and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

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Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2017

The Presentation of the Lord –

Feast

NAME JESUS stdas0065

The Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple
(Feast)

The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as “The Encounter.” In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as “Candlemas.” The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

“In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

Until 1969, the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, which is of Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, and closed the Christmas Cycle, forty days after the Lord’s birth. This feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The faithful:

  • participate in the processions commemorating the Lord’s entry into the Temple in Jerusalem and His encounter with God, whose house He had come to for the first time. Then with Simeon and Anna they welcome the Christ child as Messiah. Simeon and Anna were two venerable elderly people dedicated to prayer and fasting and so their strong religious spirit rendered them able to recognize the Messiah. Such processions were later identified with the blessing of candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, ‘the light to enlighten the Gentiles’ (Lk 2, 32);
  • are sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the humility of Our Lady and hence, 2 February has long been regarded as a feast for those in humble service.
  • pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord as a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. As this Feast is recognizes Christ who is the light of the world through a procession with blessed candles, so those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_________________________________

Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Theophane Venard,

Priest & Martyred

(1829-1861)

san_giovanni_teofane_venard_a

SAINT TEOPHANE VENARD
Priest and martyr
(1829-1861)

        St. Theophane was a French missionary, born on November 21, 1829, and originally from the Diocese of Poitiers. He entered into the Foreign Missions and was ordained priest June 5, 1852. He departed for the Far East on September 19, the same year.

        After fifteen months at Hong Kong he arrived at his mission in West Tonkin, where the Christians had recently been tried by a series of persecutions under Minh-Menh, a monster of cruelty. Shortly after Father Venard’s arrival a new royal edict was issued against Christians, and bishops and priests were obliged to seek refuge in caves, dense woods, and elsewhere. Father Venard, whose constitution had always been delicate, suffered almost constantly, but continued to exercise his ministry at night, and, more boldly, in broad day.

On November 30, 1860, he was betrayed and captured. Tried before a mandarin, he refused to apostatize and was sentenced to be beheaded. He remained a captive, chained in a cage for months, from which he wrote to his family beautiful and consoling letters, joyful in anticipation of his crown. His bishop, Mgr Retord, wrote of him at this time: “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”. 

        He was martyred on February 2, 1861.

        Theophane Venard was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Catherine de Ricci

(c.1520-1589)

santa_caterina_de_ricci

SAINT CATHERINE OF RICCI
(1520-1589)

        Alexandrina of Ricci was the daughter of a noble Florentine. At the age of thirteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic in the monastery of Prato, taking in religion the name of Catherine, after her patron and namesake of Siena.

        Her special attraction was to the Passion of Christ, in which she was permitted miraculously to participate. In the Lent of 1541, being then twenty-one years of age, she had a vision of the crucifixion so heart-rending that she was confined to bed for three weeks, and was only restored, on Holy Saturday, by an apparition of St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus risen. During twelve years she passed every Friday in ecstasy, She received the sacred stigmata, the wound in the left side, and the crown of thorns.

        All these favors gave her continual and intense  suffering, and inspired her with a loving sympathy for the yet more bitter tortures of the Holy Souls. In their behalf she offered all her prayers and penances; and her charity toward them became so famous throughout Tuscany that after every death the friends of the deceased hastened to Catherine to secure her prayers.

        St. Catherine offered many prayers, fasts, and penances for a certain great man, and thus obtained his salvation. It was revealed to her that he was in purgatory; and such was her love of Jesus crucified that she offered to suffer all the pains about to be inflicted on that soul. Her prayer was granted. The soul entered heaven, and for forty days Catherine suffered indescribable agonies. Her body was covered with blisters, emitting heat so great that her cell seemed on fire. Her flesh appeared as if roasted, and her tongue like red-hot iron. Amid all she was calm and joyful, saying, “I long to suffer all imaginable pains, that souls may quickly see and praise their Redeemer.” She knew by revelation the arrival of a soul in. purgatory, and the hour of its release.

        She held intercourse with the Saints in glory, and frequently conversed with St. Philip Neri at Rome without ever leaving her convent at Prato.

        She died, amid angels’ songs, in 1589.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

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

 

 

Wednesday, February 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:1-6.


Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

1 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in

his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”

Jes_teaching_C-366

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:1-6.

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,  accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

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Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

1 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Bridgid of Ireland

(+ 523)

santa_brigida_dirlanda-di_cell_dara-i

SAINT BRIDGID
Abbess, and Patroness of Ireland
(c. 453-523)

        Next to the glorious St. Patrick, St. Bridgid, whom we may consider his spiritual daughter in Christ, has ever been held in singular veneration in Ireland. She was born about the year 453, at Fochard in Ulster. During her infancy, her pious father saw in a vision men clothed in white garments pouring a sacred unguent on her head, thus prefiguring her future sanctity. While yet very young, Bridgid consecrated her life to God, bestowed everything at her disposal on the poor, and was the edification of all who knew her. She was very beautiful, and fearing that efforts might be made to induce her to break the vow by which she had bound herself to God, and to bestow her hand on one of her many suitors, she prayed that she might become ugly and deformed. Her prayer was heard, for her eye became swollen, and her whole countenance so changed that she was allowed to follow her vocation in peace, and marriage with her was no more thought of. When about twenty years old, our Saint made known to St. Mel, the nephew and disciple of St. Patrick, her intention to live only to Jesus Christ, and he consented to receive her sacred vows. On the appointed day the solemn ceremony of her profession was performed after the manner introduced by St. Patrick, the bishop offering up many prayers, and investing Bridgid with a snow-white habit, and a cloak of the same color. While she bowed her head on this occasion to receive the veil, a miracle of a singularly striking and impressive nature occurred: that part of the wooden platform adjoining the altar on which she knelt recovered its original vitality, and put on all its former verdure, retaining it for a long time after. At the same moment Bridgid’s eye was healed, and she became as beautiful and as lovely as ever.

        Encouraged by her example, several other ladies made their vows with her, and in compliance with the wish of the parents of her new associates, the Saint agreed to found a religious residence for herself and them in the vicinity. A convenient site having been fixed upon by the bishop, a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected upon it; and in obedience to the prelate Bridgid assumed the superiority. Her reputation for sanctity became greater every day; and in proportion as it was diffused throughout the country the number of candidates for admission into the new monastery increased. The bishops of Ireland, soon perceiving the important advantages which their respective dioceses would derive from similar foundations, persuaded the young and saintly abbess to visit different parts of the kingdom, and, as an opportunity offered, introduce into each one the establishment of her institute.

        While thus engaged in a portion of the province of Connaught, a deputation arrived from Leinster to solicit the Saint to take up her residence in that territory; but the motives which they urged were human, and such could have no weight with Bridgid. It was only the prospect of the many spiritual advantages that would result from compliance with the request that induced her to accede, as she did, to the wishes of those who had petitioned her. Taking with her a number of her spiritual daughters, our Saint journeyed to Leinster, where they were received with many demonstrations of respect and joy. The site on which Kildare now stands appearing to be well adapted for a religious institute, there the Saint and her companions took up their abode. To the place appropriated for the new foundation some lands were annexed, the fruits of which were assigned to the little establishment. This donation indeed contributed to supply the wants of the community, but still the pious sisterhood principally depended for their maintenance on the liberality of their benefactors. Bridgid contrived, however, out of their small means to relieve the poor of the vicinity very considerably; and when the wants of these indigent persons surpassed her slender finances, she hesitated not to sacrifice for them the movables of the convent. On one occasion our Saint, imitating the burning charity of St. Ambrose and other great servants of God, sold some of the sacred vestments that she might procure the means of relieving their necessities. She was so humble that she sometimes attended the cattle on the land which belonged to her monastery.

        The renown of Bridgid’s unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to Kildare; the fame of her piety attracted thither many persons anxious to solicit her prayers or to profit by her holy example. In course of time the number of these so much increased that it became necessary to provide accommodation for them in the neighborhood of the new monastery, and thus was laid the foundation and origin of the town of Kildare.

        The spiritual exigencies of her community, and of those numerous strangers who resorted to the vicinity, having suggested to our Saint the expediency of having the locality erected into an episcopal see, she represented it to the prelates, to whom the consideration of it rightly belonged. Deeming the proposal just and useful, Conlath, a recluse of eminent sanctity, illustrious by the great things which God had granted to his prayers, was, at Bridgid’s desire, chosen the first bishop of the newly erected diocese. In process of time it became the ecclesiastical metropolis of the province to which it belonged, probably in consequence of the general desire to honor the place in which St. Bridgid had so long dwelt.

        After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our Saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. It was now half a century since, by her holy vows, she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained; her holy institute having widely diffused itself throughout the Green Isle, and greatly advanced the cause of religion in the various districts in which it was established. Like a river of peace, its progress was steady and silent; it fertilized every region fortunate enough to receive its waters, and caused it to put forth spiritual flowers and fruits with all the sweet perfume of evangelical fragrance. The remembrance of the glory she had procured to the Most High, as well as the services rendered to dear souls ransomed by the precious blood of her divine Spouse, cheered and consoled Bridgid in the infirmities inseparable from old age. Her last illness was soothed by the presence of Nennidh, a priest of eminent sanctity, over whose youth she had watched with pious solicitude, and who was indebted to her prayers and instructions for his great proficiency in sublime perfection. The day on which our abbess was to terminate her course, February 1, 523, having arrived, she received from the hands of this saintly priest the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the divine Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar.

        In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St. Bridgid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence; and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious St. Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of St. Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral cf the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of St. Bridgid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday, January 31st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 5:21-43.


Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

31 January 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”

women touching Jesus mages

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:21-43.

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. (At that) they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

31 January 2017

Saints of the day

St. John Bosco,

Priest (1815-1888) –

Memorial

san_giovanni_bosco_q

SAINT JOHN BOSCO
Priest
(1815-1888)

        Born in the diocese of Turin in 1815, and brought up in poverty, John Bosco devoted his life to the education of working youth.

        He founded religious congregations -the Salesian Order, and the Congregation of the Helpers of Mary -to carry on his ideals.

        He fell asleep in the Lord on January 30, 1888 at the age of seventy-two.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

____________________________________

Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

31 January 2017

Saints of the day

St. Marcella,

Widow

(325-410)

saintm8a

SAINT MARCELLA
Widow
(325-410)

        St. Marcella, whom St. Jerome called the glory of the Roman women, became a widow in the seventh month after her marriage. Having determined to consecrate the remainder of her days to the service of God, she rejected the hand of Cerealis, the consul, uncle of Gallus Caesar, and resolved to imitate the lives of the ascetics of the East. She abstained from wine and flesh-meat, employed all her time in pious reading, prayer, and visiting the churches, and never spoke with any man alone. Her example was followed by many who put themselves under her direction, and Rome was in a short time filled with monasteries.

        When the Goths under Alaric plundered Rome in 410, our Saint suffered severely at the hands of the barbarian, who cruelly scourged her in order to make her reveal the treasures which she had long before distributed in charity. She trembled only, however, for the innocence of her dear spiritual daughter, Principia, and falling at the feet of the cruel soldiers, she begged with many tears that they would offer no insult to that pure virgin. God moved them to compassion, and they conducted our Saint and her pupil to the Church of St. Paul, to which Alaric had granted the right of sanctuary, with that of St. Peter.

        St. Marcella, who survived this but a short time, closed her eyes by a happy death, in the arms of St. Principia, about the end of August, 410.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday, January 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 5:1-20.


Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about

two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.

SWINE th

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:1-20.

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.”
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But he would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

 

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Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2017

Saints of the day

St. Bathildes,

Queen

(c. 634-680)

santa_batilde_b

SAINT BATHILDES
Queen.
(c. 634-680)

        St. Bathildes was an Englishwoman, who was carried over whilst yet young into France, and there sold for a slave, at a very low price, to Erkenwald, mayor of the palace under King Clovis II. When she grew up, her master was so much taken with her prudence and virtue that he placed her in charge of his household.

The renown of her virtues spread through all France, and King Clovis II. took her for his royal consort. This unexpected elevation produced no alteration in a heart perfectly grounded in humility and the other virtues; she seemed to become even more humble than before. Her new station furnished her the means of being truly a mother to the poor; the king gave her the sanction of his royal authority for the protection of the Church, the care of the poor, and the furtherance of all religious undertakings.

        The death of her husband left her regent of the kingdom. She at once forbade the enslavement of Christians, did all in her power to promote piety, and filled France with hospitals and religious houses.

        As soon as her son Clotaire was of an age to govern, she withdrew from the world and entered the convent of Chelles. Here she seemed entirely to forget her worldly dignity, and was to be distinguished from the rest of the community only by her extreme humility, her obedience to her spiritual superiors, and her devotion to the sick, whom she comforted and served with wonderful charity.

        As she neared her end, God visited her with a severe illness, which she bore with Christian patience until, on the 30th of January, 680, she yielded up her soul in devout prayer.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Columba Marmion,

(1858-1923)

beato_columba_giuseppe_marmion_d

Bl. Columba Marmion

Third Abbot of Maredsous

(1858-1923)

   Bl. Columba Marmion was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 April 1858 to an Irish father (William Marmion) and a French mother (Herminie Cordier). Given the name Joseph Aloysius at birth, he entered the Dublin diocesan seminary in 1874 and completed his theological studies at the College of the Propagation of the Faith in Rome. He was ordained a priest at St Agatha of the Goths on 16 June 1881.
   He dreamed of becoming a missionary monk in Australia, but was won over by the liturgical atmosphere of the newly founded Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium, which he visited on his return to Ireland in 1881. His Bishop asked him to wait and appointed him curate in Dundrum, then professor at the major seminary in Clonliffe (1882-86). As the chaplain at a convent of Redemptorist nuns and at a women’s prison, he learned to guide souls, to hear confessions, to counsel and to help the dying.
In 1886 he received his Bishop’s permission to become a monk. He voluntarily renounced a promising ecclesiastical career and was welcomed at Maredsous by Abbot Placidus Wolter. His novitiate, under the iron rule of Dom Benoît D’Hondt and among a group of young novices (when he was almost 30), proved all the more difficult because he had to change habits, culture and language. But saying that he had entered the monastery to learn obedience, he let himself be moulded by monastic discipline, community life and choral prayer until his solemn profession on 10 February 1891.
   He received his first “obedience” or mission when he was assigned to the small group of monks sent to found the Abbey of Mont César in Louvain. Although it distressed him, he gave his all to it for the sake of obedience. There he was entrusted with the task of Prior beside Abbot de Kerchove, and served as spiritual director and professor to all the young monks studying philosophy or theology in Louvain.
   He started to devote more time to preaching retreats in Belgium and in the United Kingdom, and gave spiritual direction to many communities, particularly those of Carmelite nuns. He become the confessor of Mons. Joseph Mercier, the future Cardinal, and the two formed a lasting friendship.
   During this period, Maredsous Abbey was governed by Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne, its second Abbot, who in 1893 would become, at the request of Leo XIII, the first Primate of the Benedictine Confederation. His frequent stays in Rome required that he be replaced as Abbot of Maredsous, and it is Dom Columba Marmion who was elected the third Abbot of Maredsous on 28 September 1909, receiving the abbatial blessing on 3 October. He was placed at the head of a community of more than 100 monks, with a humanities college, a trade school and a farm to run. He also had to maintain a well-established reputation for research on the sources of the faith and to continue editing various publications, including the Revue Bénédictine.
   His ongoing care of the community did not stop Dom Marmion from preaching retreats or giving regular spiritual direction. He was asked to help the Anglican monks of Caldey when they wished to convert to Catholicism. His greatest ordeal was the First World War. His decision to send the young monks to Ireland so that they could complete their education in peace led to additional work, dangerous trips and many anxieties. It also caused misunderstandings and conflicts between the two generations within this community shaken by the war. German lay brothers, who had been present since the monastery’s foundation by Beuron Abbey, had to be sent home (despite the Benedictine vow of stability) at the outbreak of hostilities. After the war was over, a small group of monks was urgently dispatched to the Monastery of the Dormition in Jerusalem to replace the German monks expelled by the British authorities. Finally, the Belgian monasteries were separated from the Beuron Congregation, and in 1920 the Belgian Congregation of the Annunciation was set up with Maredsous, Mont César and St. André of Zevenkerken.
   His sole comfort during this period was preaching and giving spiritual direction. His secretary, Dom Raymond Thibaut, prepared his spiritual conferences for publication: Christ the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919) and Christ the Ideal of the Monk (1922). He was already considered an outstanding Abbot (Queen Elisabeth of Belgium consulted with him at length) and a great spiritual author.
   He died during a flu epidemic on 30 January 1923. He was beatified by John Paul II on the 3rd of September 2000.

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