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Wednesday, June 24th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 1:57-66.80.


The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – Solemnity

24 June 2015

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:57-66.80. 

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

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 The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – Solemnity

24 June 2015

Saint of the day

St. María Guadalupe García Zavala, Religious (1878-1963)

1 Beata_Maria_Guadalupe-Anastasia_Guadalupe_Garcia_Zavala

Saint María Guadalupe García Zavala
Religious
(1878-1963)

        María Guadalupe García Zavala was born on April 27, 1878 in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, to Fortino García and Refugio Zavala de García.

        As a child she was known for her piety and made frequent visits to the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, which was located next to the religious goods shop run by her father. Her love for God was particularly demonstrated in her love for the poor. With uncommon transparency and simplicity, María treated everyone with equal love and respect.

  Although as a young woman she planned to marry Gustavo Arreola, she suddenly broke off her engagement when she was 23 years old. The reason: María “understood” that Jesus was calling her to love him with an undivided heart as part of the religious life, “No’ to matrimony, “yes’ to Jesus. She fully believed that she was called to do this by giving assistance to the poor and sick.

        When María confided to her spiritual director, Fr Cipriano Iñiguez, her “sudden change of heart”, he told her that for some time he had the inspiration to found a religious congregation that would provide assistance to the hospitalized. He invited María to join him in this foundation. The new Congregation, which officially began on October 13, 1901, was known as the “Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor”.

“Poor with the poor

        María worked as a nurse, giving assistance to the first patients that were welcomed into “their hospital”. Regardless of the poverty and lack of material goods of the patients, compassion and care for the physical and spiritual well-being of the sick were the primary concerns, and María gave of herself wholeheartedly to carry out this task of love.

        Sr María was named Superior General of the quickly-growing Congregation, and taught the Sisters entrusted to her, mostly by means of her example, the importance of living a genuine and joyful exterior and interior poverty. She was convinced that it was only through loving and living poverty that one could be truly “poor with the poor”. Indeed, Mother María was known for her simplicity, humility and willingness to accept all that came from the hand of God.

Risking life to help those hiding

        From 1911 until 1936, the political-religious situation in Mexico became uneasy and the Catholic Church underwent persecution. Mother María put her own life at risk to help the priests and the Archbishop of Guadalajara to “go into hiding” in the hospital. She did not limit her charity simply to helping the “righteous”, but also gave food and care to the persecutors who lived near the hospital; it was not long before they, too, began defending the sick in the hospital run by the Sisters.

        The last two years of Mother María’s life were lived in extreme suffering because of a grave illness, and on 24 June 1963, she died at the age of 85.

During the lifetime of the foundress, 11 foundations were established in the Republic of Mexico.
        Today, the Congregation has 22 foundations and is present in five different Nations: Mexico, Peru, Iceland, Greece and Italy.

        She was canonized on May 12,  2013 by Pope Francis.

Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – Solemnity

24 June 2015

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John….” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “[Y]et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28).

John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life.

His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His Baptism, he said, was for repentance. But One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John is not worthy even to carry his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30).

John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. John thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic.

The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people (“all Judea”) to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus.

Perhaps John’s idea of the coming of the Kingdom of God was not being perfectly fulfilled in the public ministry of Jesus. For whatever reason, he sent his disciples (when he was in prison) to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus’ answer showed that the Messiah was to be a figure like that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah (chapters 49 through 53). John himself would share in the pattern of messianic suffering, losing his life to the revenge of Herodias.

American Catholic

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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