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Friday, March 20th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 7:1-2.10.25-30.


Friday of the Fourth week of Lent

20 March 2015

“I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 7:1-2.10.25-30. 

Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but (as it were) in secret.
So some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Messiah?
But we know where he is from. When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.

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Friday of the Fourth week of Lent

20 March 2015

Commentary of the day

Origen (c.185-253),

priest and theologian

1 Origen3

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Commentary on Saint John, 19,12

“No one laid a finger on him because his hour had not yet come.”

To seek Jesus is often something good, for it is the same as to seek the Word, the truth and wisdom. But you will say that the words “to seek Jesus” are sometimes said about those who want to harm him. For example: “They tried to seize him, but no one laid a finger on him because his hour had not yet come.” … He knows from whom he distances himself and with whom he remains without being found yet, so that if someone seeks him, that person will find him at the favorable time. The apostle Paul said to those who did not yet possess Jesus in this way and who did not contemplate him: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who shall go up into heaven?’ (that is to bring Christ down), or ‘Who shall go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). What is it he does say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” (Rom 6:6-8)

When in his love for humankind the Savior said: “You will look for me,” (Jn 8:21) he let us glimpse the things pertaining to the reign of God, so that those who look for him do not do so outside of themselves saying: “’Here, he is here’, or ‘he is there’.” The Gospel tells them: “The reign of God is already in your midst.” (Lk 17:21) So long as we keep the seed of truth that has been placed in our soul, and his commandments, the Word will not distance himself from us. But if evil spreads in us to corrupt us, Jesus will tell us: “I am going away. You will look for me but you will die in your sins.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Friday of the Fourth week of Lent

20 March 2015

Saints of the day

St. Joseph Bilczewski,

Bishop (1860-1923)

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Saint Joseph Bilczewski
Bishop
(1860-1923)

        Saint Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski was born April 26, 1860 in Wilamowice near Kęty, inthe present day Diocese of Bielsko Żywiec, then part of the Diocese of Krakow. Having finished elementary school at Wilamowic and Kęty, he attended high school at Wadowice receiving his diploma in 1880. On July 6, 1884 he was ordained a priest in Krakow by Cardinal Albino Dunajewski. In 1886 he received a Doctorate in Theology from the University of Vienna. Following advanced studies in Rome and Paris he passed the qualifying exam at the Jaghellonic University of Krakow. The following year he became professor of Dogmatic Theology at the John Casimir University of Leopoli. He also served as Dean of Theology for a period of time prior to becoming Rector of the University. During his tenure at the University, he was appreciated as a professor by his students and also enjoyed the friendship and respect of his colleagues. He arduously dedicated himself to scientific work and, despite his young age, acquired notoriety as a learned man. His extraordinary intellectual and relational abilities were recognized by Francis Joseph, the Emperor of Austria, who presented Monsignor Joseph to the Holy Father as a candidate for the vacant Metropolitan See of Leopoli. The Holy Father, Leo XIII responded positively to the Emperor’s proposal and on December 17, 1900 he named the forty year old Monsignor Joseph Bilczewski, Archbishop of Leopoli of the Latin Rite.

        Given the complex social, economic, ethnic and religious situation, care for the large diocese required of the Bishop a deep commitment and called for great moral effort, strong confidence in God, and a faith enlivened by a continual contact with God.

        Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski became known for his abundant goodness of heart, understanding, humility, piety, commitment to hard work and pastoral zeal which sprung from his immense love for God and neighbor.

        Upon taking possession of the Archdiocese of Leopoli he spelled out very clearly his pastoral plan which can be summed up in the words “totally sacrifice oneself for the Holy Church”. Among other things he pointed out the need for the development of devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and frequent reception of Holy Communion.

        A particular form of pastoral action of Archbishop Bilczewski were the pastoral letters and appeals addressed to the priests and the faithful of the Archdiocese. In them he spoke of the problems of faith and morals of the time as well as of the most pressing issues of the social sphere. He also explained devotion to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart in them and the importance of religious and moral formation of children and youth in the family and in school. He taught for the Church and for the Holy Father. Above all, he took great care to cultivate many holy priestly vocations. He saw the priest as first and foremost a teacher of faith and an instrument of Christ, a father for the rich as well as for the poor. Taking the place of Christ on Earth, the priest was to be the minister of the Sacraments and for this reason his whole heart had to be dedicated to the celebration of the Eucharist, in order to be able to nourish the people of God with the body of Christ.

        He often exhorted the priests to adoration of the most Blessed Sacrament. In his pastoral letter devoted to the Eucharist he invited the priests to participate in the priestly associations: The Association for Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Association of Aid to Poor Catholic Churches whose goal was to rejuvenate the zeal of the priests themselves. He also dedicated a great deal of care to the preparation of children and to full participation in the Mass, desiring that every Catechesis would lead children and youth to the Eucharist. Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski promoted the construction of churches and chapels, schools and day-care centers. He developed teaching to help enable the growth in the instruction of the faithful. He materially and spiritually helped the more important works which were springing up in his Archdiocese. His holy life, filled with prayer, work and works of mercy led 18 to his meriting great appreciation and respect on the part of those of various faiths, rites and nationalities present in the Archdiocese. No religious or nationalistic conflicts arose during the tenure of his pastoral work. He was a proponent of unity, harmony and peace. On social issues he always stood on the side of the people and of the poor. He taught that the base of social life had to be justice made perfect by Christian love. During the First World War, when souls were overtaken with hate and a lack of appreciation of the other, he pointed out to the people the infinite love of God, capable of forgiving every type of sin and offense. He reminded them of the need to observe the commandments of God and particularly that of brotherly love. Sensitive to the social questions regarding the family and youth, he courageously proposed solutions to problems based on the love of God and of neighbor. During his 23 years of pastoral service he changed the face of the Archdiocese of Leopoli. Only his death on the 20th of March 1923 could end his vast and far-sighted pastoral action.

        He was prepared for death and accepted it with peace and submission as a sign of God’s will, which he always considered sacred.

        He left this world having enjoyed a universal recognition of holiness. Wanting to rest among those for whom he was always father and protector, in accord with his desires, he was buried in Leopoli in the cemetery of Janów, known as the cemetery of the poor.

        Thanks to the efforts of the Archdiocese of Leopoli the process for his beatification and canonization was initiated. The first step was concluded on December 17, 1997 with the declaration of the life of heroic virtue of Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski by The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. In June 2001, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognized as miraculous the fact of the rapid lasting and unexplainable “quo ad modum” healing through the intercession of Archbishop Bilczewski of the third degree burns of Marcin Gawlik, a nine year old boy, thus opening the way for his beatification.

        The beatification took place in the Diocese of Leopoli on the 26th of June 2001 during Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Visit to the Ukraine.

        He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 23, 2005 at Rome.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fourth week of Lent

20 March 2015

Saints of the day

St. Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus,

Religious

(1842-1912)

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SAINT MARIA JOSEFA OF THE HEART OF JESUS
SANCHO DE GUERRA
Religious
(1842-1912)

I- LIFE AND WORKS

       Saint Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, eldest daughter of Bernabe Sancho, chair-maker, and of Petra de Guerra, housewife, was born in Vitoria (Spain) on September 7, 1842, and was baptized the following day. According to the custom practiced then, she was confirmed two years after, on August 10, 1844. Her father died when she was seven years old, her mother prepared her for the First Communion, that she received at ten years old. At the age of fifteen she was sent to Madrid to some relatives to receive education and a more complete formation. The characteristic traits of her infancy and childhood were: a strong piety to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, a remarkable sensibility towards the poor and the sick and an inclination to solitude.

        She returned to Vitoria at the age of eighteen and manifested to her mother the desire to enter in a monastery, feeling an attraction to the claustered life.

        From adulthood, Blessed Maria Josefa used to repeat: “I wasborn with a religious vocation.” Only that, looking at the circumstances, it shows that she passed various experiences but not without listening to different suggestions of wise churchmen, before finding the definitive form of her vocation. She was, in fact, to be on the point of entering to the Conceptionists contemplative of Aranjuez in 1860, but was prevented by the occurrence of a grave sickness of typhus. Her mother helped her to overcome the disappointment.

        On the succeeding months, it seemed to her understanding that the Lord calls her to a type of religious active life. For this, she decided to enter in the Institute of the Servants of Mary, recently founded in Madrid by Saint Soledad Torres Acosta. With the coming of the time of her profession, she was assailed with grave doubts and uncertainty on her effective call in that Institute. She opened her soul to various confessors and from their advices she felt that she was mistaken on her vocation.

        The meetings with the holy Archbishop Claret and the serene conversations with the same Saint Soledad Torres Acosta, gradually arrived to the decision of leaving the Institute of the Servants of Mary to give life to a new religious family, that had for its aim the exclusive assistance to the sick in the hospitals and in their homes. Sharing this same ideal with three other Servants of Mary, who with the permission of Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, went out together with her with the same purpose.

        The new foundation was made in Bilbao in the spring of 1871, when Maria Josefa was twenty nine years old. Since then, and for the succeeding forty one years, she was superior of the new Institute of the Servants of Jesus. She embarked on difficult trips to visit the different communities until a long sickness confined her in the house of Bilbao. Obliged to stay on bed or in an armchair, she continued to follow the events of the various communities with in and outside Spain through a painstaking and precious correspondence. On her death, on March 20, 1912, which happened after long years of suffering, there were 43 houses founded and the number of her Sisters reached more than one thousand.

        Her holy death caused great impact to Bilbao and in other numerous localities where she was known through the houses of her Institute. In the same way, her funeral had an extraordinary resonance. She was buried in the municipal cemetery of Bilbao. In 1926, her fame of sanctity grew and her mortal remains were transferred to the Mother House of the Institute and have been buried in the chapel until now. 

II- SPIRITUALITY

        The writings and the testimonies of the eye-witnesses put in evidence the central points of the spirituality of Blessed Maria Josefa:

1) Great love to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart.

2) Profound adoration to the mystery of Redemption and intimate participation to the sufferings of Christ and to his Cross.

3) Total dedication to the service of the sick in a context of contemplative spirit.

        Here are some significant expressions taken from her writings:

        “The charity and mutual love constitute even in this life the paradise of the community. Without cross we cannot live wherever we go, because the religious life is a life of sacrifice and of abnegation. The foundation of greatest perfection is the fraternal charity.”(Don Pablo B. Aristegui, Beata Maria Josefa del Cuore di Gesù, Mensajero, Bilbao, 1992, p. 97).

        “Don’t believe sisters that the assistance consists only in giving medicines and food to the sick. There is another type of assistance that must never be forgotten and it is the assistance of the heart that adjusts and enter in sympathy with the person who suffers and go to meet his necessities.” (Ibidem, p. 100).

        “We form in the Divine Heart of Jesus our center to communicate with Him. We can do it with the frequency that we desire without fear of molesting anyone; only with Jesus will be our intimacy.” (Consejos y Maximas de Nuestra Venerada Madre Fundadora. Madrid, Imprenta Juan Bravo, 1994, p. 15). 

III- CHARISM TO SERVE THE SICK

        The particular footprint imprinted by Ma. Josefa to the Institute of the Servants of Jesus reflects her interior experience of a soul consecrated to the charitable service of the neighbor, especially to the sick, in a climate of contemplative spirit. We find her concept well expressed in the Directorio de Asistencias, written by herself, where it is understood and affirmed what the Servant of Jesus provide for the sick, that she accompanies until the door of eternity, a blessing better than that of a missionary who with his preaching call those who are lost to the right path of life.

        “In this manner, as written in the functional manuals of our Institute, designed to procure the corporal health of the neighbor, is elevated to a great height, making our active life more perfect than that of a contemplative, as taught by the angelic teacher St. Thomas who says about the works directed to the salvation of souls derived from contemplation.” (Directorio de Asistencias de la Congregación Religiosas Siervas de Jesús de la Caridad, Vitoria, 1930, p. 9).

        With this spirit, the Servants of Jesus, from the death of their Mother Maria Josefa and until now, have continued their service to the sick, with a generous oblation of life which reminds that of their Foundress.

        Furthermore, in conformity to the progress of times and the necessities of the modern life, from the primary end of the assistance to the sick, the assistance to old persons in residences and the reception and assistance to the children in day care centers, some others were added, such as: provision of food to the indigents, centers for those afflicted with AIDS, day care centers for the aged, pastoral health care and other works of beneficence and charities, above all in the poorest places of Latin America and Asia.

        Today, in actuality, the 1,050 Religious of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus are present in Spain and in other countries such as Italy, France, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Philippines. 

IV- ITINERARY OF THE CAUSE

        Few years after the death of Mother Maria Josefa, the Institute of the Servants of Jesus planned to start the Cause of the Canonization, but because of the adverse circumstances due to the Spanish civil war of 1936 and the Second World War, was able to realize the plan only after almost thirty years.

a) On May 31, 1951, was the start of the Informative Ordinary Process in Bilbao.

b) On January 7, 1972 the Decretum super introductione Causae.

c) On September 7, 1989 was promulgated the Decretum super Virtutibus.

d) On September 27, 1992 she was solemnly beatified in Saint Peter’s Square.

e) On October 1, 2000 she was canonized by John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fourth week of Lent

20 March 2015

Saints of the day

St. Wulfran,

Archbishop (+720)

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SAINT WULFRAN
Archbishop
(+720)

        His father was an officer in the armies of King Dagobert, and the Saint spent some years in the court of King Clotaire III. and of his mother, St. Bathildes, but occupied his heart only, on God, despising worldly greatness as empty and dangerous, and daily advancing in virtue. His estate of Maurilly he bestowed on the Abbey of Fontenelle, or St. Vandrille, in Normandy.

        He was chosen and consecrated Archbishop of Sens in 682, which diocese he governed two years and a half with great zeal and sanctity. A tender compassion for the blindness of the idolaters of Friesland, and the example of the English zealous preachers in those parts, moved him to resign his bishopric, with proper advice, and after a retreat at Fontenelle to enter Friesland in quality of a poor missionary priest.

        He baptized great multitudes, among them a son of King Radbod, and drew the people from the barbarous custom of sacrificing men to idols. On a certain occasion, one Ovon having been selected as a victim of a sacrifice to the heathen gods, St. Wulfran earnestly begged his life of King Radbod; but the people ran tumultuously to the palace, and would not suffer what they called a sacrilege. After many words they consented, but on condition that Wulfran’s God should save Ovon’s life. The Saint betook himself to prayer; the man, after hanging on the gibbet two hours, and being left for dead, fell to the ground by the breaking of the cord; being found alive he was given to the Saint, and became a monk and priest at Fontenelle.

        Wulfran also miraculously rescued two children from being drowned in honor of the idols. Radbod, who had been an  eye-witness to this last miracle, promised to become a Christian; but as he was going to step into the baptismal font he asked where the great number of his ancestors and nobles were in the next world. The Saint replied that hell is the portion of all who die guilty of idolatry; at which the prince refused to be baptized, saying he would go with the greater number. This tyrant sent afterwards to St. Willibrord to treat with him about his conversion, but before the arrival of the Saint was found dead.

        St. Wulfran retired to Fontenelle that he might prepare himself for death, and expired there on the 20th of April, 720.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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