วัดนักบุญฟรังซีสเซเวียร์ สามเสน

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


THANK YOU

 National Catholic Broadcasting Council.

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DAILY MASS

with
Fr. Gilles Mongeau celebrates Daily Mass from St. Basil’s Church in Toronto

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CatholicTV

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DAILY ROSARY

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Father Robert Reed prays the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

On a fall day in the Blue Hills of New England.

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2015

 “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

PUVIS_~1

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.

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2015

Saints of the day

St. Paul Miki & his companions, Martyrs (+ 1597) – Memorial

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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.

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“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 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2015

Saints of the day

St. Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr (+ 304)

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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 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2015

Saints of the day

Bl. Alfonso Maria Fusco, Priest (1839-1910)

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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 2001-2015

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