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


Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

 

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

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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.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From biblehub

DAILY MASS – Saturday 6 February 2016 

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Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Zeno of Verona

330px-Verona_Italy_San_Zeno_DSC07766

Statue of Saint Zeno from the Basilica of San Zeno

Saint Zeno of Verona (? – c.380), Bishop
Sermon ‘De spe, fide et caritate’, 9; PL 11, 278

“His heart was moved with pity for them”

O charity, how good, how bountiful you are! They possess nothing who do not possess you. You it was who could make of God a man. You caused him to humble himself and forsake, for a while, his great majesty. You held him captive for nine months in the Virgin’s womb. You healed Eve in Mary, renewed Adam in Christ. For the salvation of this fallen world you prepared the cross…

O love, to clothe that which was naked you were pleased to become naked. Hunger is as a lavish feast for you if some poor, starving person should eat your bread. Your fortune consists in bequeathing all you possess to works of mercy. You alone have no cause to be besought. You hasten to give succor to the oppressed even at your own expense, whatever the distress into which they have been cast. You are eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, a trusty shield for widows and orphans… You so love your enemies that none can perceive in you any distinction between these and your friends.

O love, it is you who unite the mysteries of heaven with the things of this world and the mysteries of this world with the things of heaven. You are the guardian of what is of God. It is you who, in the Father, govern and ordain all things; who are the obedience of the Son; who rejoice in the Holy Spirit. Because you are one in each of the three Persons, you cannot be divided… Flowing from the spring of the Father, you pour out yourself wholly in the Son without leaving the Father. With good reason it is said that “God is love” (1Jn 4,16) since you alone are the one who directs the power of the Trinity.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2016

Saints of the day

St. Paul Miki & his companions,

Martyrs (+ 1597) – Memorial

San_Paolo_Miki_e_compagni_M

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 2001-2016

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Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2016

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 2001-2016

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Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

6 February 2016

Saints of the day

Bl. Alfonso Maria Fusco, (1839-1910)

1 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 2001-2016

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“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15-20

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

Matthew 28:20.

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