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Sunday, May 10th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:9-17.


Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year B

10 May 2015

 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:9-17.

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year B

10 May 2015

 Commentary of the day

Saint Augustine 1 330px-Augustinus_1

Saint Augustine (354-430),

Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermons on St. John, no. 65

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Live on in my love.”

The Lord Jesus affirms that he is giving his disciples a new commandment: that of mutual love… Did this commandment not already exist in the Old Law, since it is written: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18)? So why does the Lord call “new” a commandment that was so obviously old? Is it a new commandment because, in stripping us of the old man, he clothes us with the new one (Eph 2:24)? Certainly, the person who listens to this commandment, or rather, who obeys it, is not renewed by just any love but by the love that the Lord carefully distinguishes from purely natural love, when he says, “as I have loved you.” … Christ gave us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. This is the love that renews us, that makes us into new persons, heirs to the new covenant, singers of the “new song” (Ps 96:1).

Dearly beloved, this love renewed even the righteous ones of past times, the patriarchs and the prophets, just as it later renewed the holy apostles. It is the love that now renews the pagan nations. This love raises up and gathers together a new people from the entire human race scattered over the whole earth, the body of the new Spouse of the Son of God.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year B

10 May 2015

 Saint of the day

St. Jozef Damian De Veuster, Priest (1840-1889)

1 Beato_Damiano_de_Veuster_H

Saint Jozef Damien De Veuster
Priest
(1840-1889)

        St. Jozef Damien De Veuster, ss.cc, was born at Tremelo, Belgium, on 3 January 1840 (see also p. 8). Jozef (“Jef”) began his novitiate with the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (“Picpus Fathers”) at the beginning of 1859 and took the name Damien. He would pray every day before a picture of St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionaries, to be sent on a mission. In 1863 his brother, who was to leave for a mission in the Hawaiian Islands, fell ill. Since preparations for the voyage had already been made, Damien obtained permission from the Superior General to take his brother’s place. He landed in Honolulu on 19 March 1864. He was ordained to the priesthood on the following 21 May.

At that time, the Hawaiian Government decided on the harsh measure of quarantine aimed at preventing the spread of leprosy: the deportation to the neighbouring Island of Molokai of all those infected by what was then thought to be an incurable disease. The entire mission was concerned about the abandoned lepers and Bishop Louis Maigret, a Picpus father, felt sure they needed priests. He did not want to send anyone “in the name of obedience” because he was aware such an assignment was a potential death sentence. Of the four brothers who volunteered, Damien was the first to leave on 10 May 1873 for Kalaupapa.

At his own request and that of the lepers, he remained on Molokai. Having contracted leprosy himself, he died on 15 April 1889, at the age of 49, after serving 16 years among the lepers. He was buried in the local cemetery under the same Pandanus tree where he had first slept upon his arrival in Molokai. His remains were exhumed in 1936 at the request of the Belgian Government and translated to a crypt of the Church of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts at Louvain. Damien is universally known for having freely shared the life of the lepers in quarantine on the Kalaupapa Peninsula of Molokai. His departure for the “cursed isle”, the announcement of his illness (leprosy) in 1884 and his subsequent death deeply impressed his contemporaries of all denominations.

Damien was above all a Catholic missionary. Fr Damien is known today as a hero of charity because he identified so closely with the victims of leprosy.

        He respected the religious convictions of others; he accepted them as people and received with joy their collaboration and their help. With a heart wide open to the most abject and wretched, he showed no difference in his approach and in his care of the lepers. In his parish ministry or in his works of charity he found a place for everyone.

Among his best friends were Meyer, a Lutheran, the superintendent of the leper colony, Clifford, an Anglican, and Moritz, a painter, a free-thinker who was the doctor on Molokai and Dr Masanao Goto, a Japanese Buddhist and leprologist.

        He continues to inspire thousands of believers and non-believers who wish to imitate him and to discover the source of his heroism. People of all creeds and all philosophical systems recognized in him the Servant of God which he always revealed himself to be, and respect his passion for the salvation of souls.

John Paul II beatified Damien de Veuster in Brussels on June 4, 1995; Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 11, 2009 at Rome. His feastday is celebrated on May 10.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year B

10 May 2015

Bl. Ivan Merz (1896-1928) 1 BL IVAN untitled

BLESSED IVAN MERZ
(1896-1928)

        Ivan Merz was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia, on 16 December 1896, and was baptized on 2 February 1897. He attended elementary and middle school in Banja Luka and, after a brief period of education at the military academy of Wiener Noustadt, he enrolled in 1915 at the University of Vienna, with the dream of teaching young people in Bosnia; thus, he would be following the example of his professor, Ljubomir Marakovic, who helped Ivan to discover the richness of the Catholic faith.

In March 1916, Ivan was enlisted in the army and shipped to the Italian battle front, where he spent the greater part of two years beginning in 1917. The war experience and its horrors marked a turning point in Ivan’s young life and contributed greatly to his spiritual growth, prompting him to abandon his future into God’s hands and to strive with all his might towards the goal of Christian perfection.

On 5 February 1918, he wrote in his diary: “Never forget God! Always desire to be united with Him. Begin each day in the first place with meditation and prayer, possibly close to the Blessed Sacrament or during Mass. During this time, plans for the day are made, one’s defects are put under examination and grace is implored for the strength to overcome all weakness. It would be something terrible if this war had no meaning for me!… I must begin a life regenerated in the spirit of this new understanding of Catholicism. The Lord alone can help me, as man can do nothing on his own”. At this time, Ivan also made a private vow of perpetual chastity.

After the war, he continued his studies at Vienna (1919-20), and then in Paris (1920-22). In 1923 he obtained a degree in philosophy. His thesis was entitled “The influence of the Liturgy on the French authors”. He then became a professor of language and French literature and was exemplary in his dedication to the students and to his responsibilities as a teacher.

        In his spare time he studied philosophy and theology and deepened his knowledge of the documents of the Magisterium of the Church.

        Ivan was especially noted for his interest in young people and concern for their growth in faith and holiness. He started the “League of Young Croatian Catholics” and the “Croatian League of Eagles” within the Croatian Catholic Action Movement. Their motto was: “Sacrifice Eucharist Apostolate”.

        For Ivan, the purpose of this organization was to form a group of front-line apostles whose goal was holiness. This scope of this goal also flowed over into liturgical renewal, of which Ivan was one of the first promoters in Croatia.

As a Catholic intellectual, Ivan was able to guide young people and adults to Christ and His Church through his writings and organized gatherings. He also sought to teach them love and obedience to the Vicar of Christ and the Church of Rome.

        In the face of any misunderstandings and difficulties, Ivan always had an admirable patience and calm, the fruit of his continual union with God in prayer. Those who knew him well described him as a person who had his “mind and heart immersed in the supernatural”. Convinced that the most effective way to save souls was through efficacious suffering, he offered to God all his physical and moral sufferings, particularly for the intention of the success of his apostolic endeavours.

Shortly before his death, he offered his life for the youth of Croatia. In short, the young man believed that his vocation was very simply “the Catholic faith”.

        Ivan Merz died on 10 May 1928 in Zagreb. He was 32 years old. He was beatified by John Paul II at Banja Luka on June 22, 2003.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Saturday, May 9th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:18-21.


Saturday of the Fifth week of Easter

9 May 2015

 ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ 1 Christ_Pantocrator_mosaic_from_Hagia_Sophia_2744_x_2900_pixels_3_1_MB

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:18-21.

Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

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Saturday of the Fifth week of Easter

9 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Origen (c.185-253),

1 Origen3
Origen (c.185-253),

priest and theologian,  
Exhortation to Martyrdom, 41-42

“If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you.”

If, in passing from being non-believers to faith, we “passed from death to life” (Jn 5:24), let us not be surprised that the world hates us. For all who have not passed from death to life but who remain in death, cannot love those who have passed from the dark dwelling place of death… to the “edifice built of living stones” (cf. 1 Pet 2:5), where the light of life reigns…

Behold, for us Christians the time has come to boast, for it is written: “We even boast of our afflictions! We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope. And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 5:3-5)…

“As we have shared much in the suffering of Christ, so through Christ do we share abundantly in his consolation.” (2 Cor 1:5) So let us welcome the sufferings of Christ with great fervor. May they be granted us in abundance, if we want to be abundantly consoled, since all “who are sorrowing will be consoled.” (Mt 5:4) … Those who share in the sufferings will also share in the consolation, in proportion with the sufferings which let them have a part with Christ. Learn this from the apostle, who said with confidence: “Our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the consolation.” (2 Cor 1:7)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Fifth week of Easter

9 May 2015

Saint of the day

 St. Pachomius

n/a

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Friday, May 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:12-17.


Friday of the Fifth week of Easter

8 May 2015

  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

GS2

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:12-17.

Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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Friday of the Fifth week of Easter

8 May 2015

Commentary of the day

 Benedict XVI
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Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013
Encyclical “ Spe salvi ”, § 38-39 (© Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“Love one another as I love you”

The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society… The Latin word con-solatio, “consolation”, expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude. Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme…

To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself. Yet once again the question arises: are we capable of this?… In the history of humanity, it was the Christian faith that had the particular merit of bringing forth within man a new and deeper capacity for these kinds of suffering that are decisive for his humanity. The Christian faith has shown us that truth, justice and love are not simply ideals, but enormously weighty realities. It has shown us that God —Truth and Love in person—desired to suffer for us and with us.
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fifth week of Easter

8 May 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Teresa Demjanovich 1 270px-Sister-miriam-teresa

 Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, S.C.
(March 26, 1901–May 8, 1927)

 Sr. Miriam Teresa was an American Ruthenian Catholic Sister of Charity, who has been beatified by the Catholic Church. The ceremony for this was the first to take place in the United States.

She was born Teresa Demjanovich in Bayonne, New Jersey, on March 26, 1901, the youngest of seven children, of Alexander Demjanovich and Johanna Suchy), Ruthenian immigrants to the United States from what is now eastern Slovakia. She received Baptism, Confirmation, and her First Holy Communion in the Byzantine Ruthenian rite of her parents.

Teresa felt called to the religious life from a very young age. She delayed her entrance to care for her mother who fell ill. Her family encouragedher to pursue a college education, she attended the College of St. Elizabeth graduating with highest honors in 1923. She pursued her desire to enter the discalced Carmel, but was discouraged by superiors because of health concerns. She then considered a teaching order and For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, she made a novena and, at its conclusion on December 8, she decided she was called to enter the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth. She never received an official transfer of rite, and therefore remained a Byzantine Rite Catholic while serving as a Religious Sister in a Roman Rite congregation.

As a postulant and novice, Demjanovich taught at the Academy of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station during 1925-1926. In June 1926, her spiritual director, Father Benedict Bradley, O.S.B., asked her to write the conferences for the novitiate. She wrote 26 conferences which, after her death, were published in a book, Greater Perfection.

In November 1926, Demjanovich became ill. After a tonsillectomy, she returned to the convent, but was soon diagnosed with myocarditis and acute appendicitis. Doctors did not think she was strong enough for an operation and her condition worsened. Demjanovich’s profession of permanent religious vows was made “in articulo mortis” (danger of death) on 2 April 1927. She was operated on for appendicitis on 6 May 1927 and died on 8 May 1927.

Favors and cures attributed to her intercession are continually being reported. On December 17, 2013, Pope Francis approved the attribution of a miraculous healing to the intercession of Demjanovich, opening the way to her beatification. Demjanovich was beatified at a ceremony on October 4, 2014, held at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image from Vincentian Encyclopedia


Thursday, May 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:9-11.


Thursday of the Fifth week of Easter

7 May 2015

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.”

1 YOKE lwjas0279

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:9-11.

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

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Thursday of the Fifth week of Easter

7 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

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Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997),

founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity
Something Beautiful for God

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you”

Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. It’s like a thread of love that captures souls. “God loves a joyful giver” (2Cor 9,7). People who give with joy go one step further. There is no better way of expressing our gratitude to God or others than to receive everything with joy. Hearts burning with love are necessarily joyful hearts. Never allow sadness to overcome you to such an extent as to make you forget the joy of the risen Christ.

We all experience the ardent longing for heaven where God is. Now, it is within the power of all of us to be in heaven with him even now, to be happy with him at this moment. But this present happiness with him means: loving as he loves, helping as he helps, giving as he gives, serving as he serves, rescuing as he rescues, living with him every hour of the day and touching his very self behind the appearance of human affliction.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Thursday of the Fifth week of Easter

7 May 2015

St. Rosa Venerini (1656-1728) 1 St ROSA untitled

SAINT ROSA VENERINI
(1656 – 1728)

Origins

        Rosa Venerini was born in Viterbo, on February 9, 1656. Her father, Goffredo, originally from Castelleone di Suasa (Ancona), after having completed his doctorate in medicine at Rome, moved to Viterbo where he practiced the medical profession brilliantly in the Grand Hospital. From his marriage to Marzia Zampichetti, of an ancient family of Viterbo, four children were born: Domenico, Maria Maddalena, Rosa and Orazio.

Rosa was naturally gifted with intelligence and an uncommon human sensibility. The education that she received in her family allowed her to develop her many talents of mind and heart, forming her in steadfast Christian principles. According to her first biographer, Father Girolamo Andreucci, S.I., she made a vow to consecrate her life to God at the age of seven. During the early years of her youth, she lived through a conflict between the attractions of the world and the promise made to God. Rosa overcame this crisis with trusting prayer and mortification.

        At age twenty, Rosa raised questions about her own future. The women of her time could choose only two orientations for their live: marriage or the cloister. Rosa esteemed both, but she felt called to realize another project for the good of the Church and the society of her time. Urged on by prophetic interior occurrences, she committed much time in suffering and searching before reaching a resolution that was completely innovative.

        In the autumn of 1676, on the advice of her father, Rosa entered the Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine, with the prospect of fulfilling her vow. With her Aunt Anna Cecilia beside her, she learned to listen to God in silence and in meditation. She remained in the monastery for only a few months because the sudden death of her father forced her to return to her suffering mother.

        In the years immediately following, Rosa had to bear the burden of serious events for her family: her brother Domenico died at only twenty-seven years of age; a few months later her mother died, unable to bear the sorrow.

In the meantime, Maria Maddalena married. There remained at home only Orazio and Rosa, by now twenty-four years old. Challenged by the desire to do something great for God, in May of 1684, the Saint began to gather the girls and women of the area in her own home to recite the rosary. The way in which the girls and women prayed, and above all, their conversation before and after the prayer, opened the mind and heart of Rosa to a sad reality: the woman of the common people was a slave of cultural, moral and spiritual poverty. She then understood that the Lord was calling her to a higher mission which she gradually identified in the urgent need to dedicate herself to the instruction and Christian formation of young women, not with sporadic encounters, but with a school understood in the real and true sense of the word.

On August 30, 1685, with the approval of the Bishop of Viterbo, Cardinal Urbano Sacchetti and the collaboration of two friends, Gerolama Coluzzelli and Porzia Bacci, Rosa left her father’s home to begin her first school, according to an innovative plan that had matured in prayer and her search for the will of God. The first objective of the Foundress was to give the girls of the common people a complete Christian formation and prepare them for life in society. Without great pretense, Rosa opened the first “Public School for Girls in Italy”. The origins were humble but the significance was prophetic: the human promotion and spiritual uplifting of woman was a reality that did not take long to receive the recognition of the religious and civil authorities.

Expansion of the Work

The initial stages were not easy. The three Maestre (teachers) had to face the resistance of clergy who considered the teaching of the catechism as their private office. But the harshest suspicion came from conformists who were scandalized by the boldness of this woman of the upper middle class of Viterbo who had taken to heart the education of ignorant girls. Rosa faced everything for the love of God and with her characteristic strength, continuing on the path that she had undertaken, by now sure that she was truly following the plan of God. The fruits proved her to be right. The same pastors recognized the moral improvement that the work of education generated among the girls and mothers.

  The validity of this initiative was acknowledged and its fame went beyond the confines of the Diocese. Cardinal Mark Antonio Barbarigo, Bishop of Montefiascone, understood the genius of the Viterbo project and he called the Saint to his diocese. The Foundress, always ready to sacrifice herself for the glory of God, responded to the invitation. From 1692 to 1694, she opened ten schools in Montefiascone and the villages surrounding Lake Bolsena. The cardinal provided the material means and Rosa made the families aware, trained the teachers, and organized the schools. When she had to return to Viterbo to attend to the strengthening of her first school, Rosa entrusted the schools and the teachers to the direction of a young woman, St. Lucia Filippini, in whom she has seen particular gifts of mind, heart and spirit.

After the openings in Viterbo and Montefiascone, other schools were started in Lazio. Rosa reached Rome in 1706, but the first experience in Rome was a real failure which marked her deeply and caused her to wait six long years before regaining the trust of the authorities. On December 8, 1713, with the help of Abate Degli Atti, a great friend of the Venerini family, Rosa was able to open one of her schools in the center of Rome at the foot of the Campidoglio.

        On October 24, 1716, they received a visit from Pope Clement XI, accompanied by eight Cardinals, who wanted to attend the lessons. Amazed and pleased, at the end of the morning he addressed these words to the Foundress: “Signora Rosa, you are doing that which we cannot do. We thank you very much because with these schools you will sanctify Rome “.

From that moment on, Governors and Cardinals asked for schools for their areas. The duties of the Foundress became intense, consisting of travels and hard work interwoven with joys and sacrifices for the formation of new communities. Wherever a new school sprang up, in a short time a moral improvement could be noted in the youth.

        Rosa Venerini died a saintly death in the community of St. Mark’s in Rome on the evening of May 7, 1728. She had opened more than forty schools. Her remains were entombed in the nearby Church of the Gesù, so loved by her. In 1952, on the occasion of her Beatification, they were transferred to the chapel of the Generalate in Rome. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 15, 2006 at Rome.

Her Spirituality

During her entire life, Rosa moved in the ocean of the Will of God. She said, “I feel so nailed to the Will of God that nothing else matters, neither death nor life. I want what He wants; I want to serve Him as much as pleases Him and no more”.

        After her first contacts with the Dominican Fathers at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Oak Tree, near Viterbo, she definitely followed the austere and balanced spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola under the direction of the Jesuits, especially Father Ignatius Martinelli.

        The crises of adolescence, the perplexity of youth, the search for a new way, the institution of the schools and the communities, the rapport with the Church and the world-all were oriented to the Divine Will.

Prayer was the breath of her day. Rosa did not impose on herself or her Daughters long vocal prayers, but recommended that the life of the Maestre, in the practice of the precious education ministry, be a continuous speaking with God, of God and for God.

        Intimate communion with the Lord was nourished by mental prayer, which the Saint considered “essential nourishment of the soul”. In meditation, Rosa listened to the Teacher who taught along the roads of Palestine and in a particular way from the height of the Cross. With her gaze upon the crucifix, Rosa always felt more strongly her passion for the salvation of souls. For this reason, she celebrated and lived daily the Eucharist in a mystical way. In her imagination, the Saint saw the world as a great circle; she placed herself in the center of it and contemplated Jesus, the immaculate victim, who offered Himself from every part of the world to the Father through the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

        She called this means of elevating herself to God “The Greatest Circle”. With incessant prayer, she participated spiritually in all the Masses being celebrated in every part of the world. She united with love the sufferings, hard work and joys of her own life to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, concerned that His Precious Blood would not be shed in vain.

The Charism

        We can summarize the charism of Rosa Venerini in a few words. She lived consumed by two great passions: passion for God and passion for the salvation of souls. When she understood that the girls and women of her time needed to be educated and instructed in the truths of the faith and of morality, she spared nothing of time, hard work, struggle, and difficulties of every kind, as long as it responded to the call of God. She knew that the proclamation of the Good News could be received if people were first liberated from the darkness of ignorance and error. Moreover, she intuited that professional training could give woman a human promotion and affirmation in society. This project required an educating Community and Rosa, without pretense and well before its time in history, offered to the Church the model of the Apostolic Religious Community.

        Rosa did not practice her educational mission only in the school but took every occasion to announce the love of God. She comforted and cured the sick, raised the spirits of the discouraged, consoled the afflicted, called sinners back to a new life, exhorted to fidelity consecrated souls not observing their call, helped the poor and freed people from every form of moral slavery.

        “Educate to save” became the motto that urged the Maestre Pie Venerini to continue the Work of the Lord intended by their Foundress and radiate the charism of Rosa to the world: to free from ignorance and evil so that the project of God which every person carries within can be visible.

        This is the magnificent inheritance that Rosa Venerini left her Daughters. Wherever the Maestre Pie Venerini strive to live and transmit the apostolic concern of their Mother, in Italy as in other lands, they give preference to the poor.

        After having made its contribution to the Italian immigrants to the USA from 1909 and in Switzerland from 1971 to 1985, the Congregation extended its apostolic activity to other lands: India, Brazil, Cameroon, Romania, Albania, Chile, Venezuela and Nigeria.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Wednesday, May 6th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:1-8.


 

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Easter

6 May 2015

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:1-8.

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

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Wednesday of the Fifth week of Easter

6 May 2015

Commentary of the day

John Tauler

1 300px-St-Pierre-le-Jeune_protestant-Tauler_(2)
 John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican
Sermon 7

Pruned so as to bear fruit

        The vinegrower goes to his vineyard to cut the wild shoots. If he didn’t do this and left them on the good branches, his vine would only produce sour, bad wine. This is what a nobleman or a noblewoman must do: they must prune themselves of all that is out of order, uproot entirely all their ways of being and inclinations, whether they be those of joy or suffering, that is to say, they must cut off their bad faults. This will not break either head or arm or leg!

But hold back your knife until you have seen what you have to cut. If the vinegrower didn’t know the art of pruning, he would cut everything, both the good branch, which will soon give raisins, and the bad branch, and he would ruin the vineyard. That is what certain people do. They don’t know their job. They leave the vices, the bad inclinations, which are deeply rooted in nature, and they prune and trim poor nature itself. Nature in itself is good and noble: what do want to cut away from it? When the time comes for the fruit, that is to say, for divine life, you won’t have anything left but nature in ruins.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Fifth week of Easter

6 May 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Anna Rosa Gattorno (1831-1900)

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BLESSED ANNA ROSA GATTORNO
(1831-1900)

        “My love, what can I do to make the whole world love you? … Make use once again of this wretched instrument to renew the faith and the conversion of sinners”.

        This generous outburst, uttered at the feet of her ‘Supreme Good’ – who drew her ever closer to him – constituted the deepest yearning of Anna Rosa Gattorno’s heart, leading her to offer her life totally in a continuous sacrifice for the glory and pleasure of the Father.
She was born in Genoa on 14 October 1831 into a deeply Christian, well-to-do family of good name. She was baptized the same day in the parish of S. Donato and received the names Rosa, Maria, Benedetta.
        In her father Francesco and her mother Adelaide Campanella, like their other five children, she found the first models for her moral and Christian life. When she was 12 years old, she was confirmed at S. Maria delle Vigne by Cardinal Archbishop Tadini.
    As a young girl she was educated at home, as was the custom in rich families at that time. With her serene and loveable character, open to piety and charity, she was nonetheless firm and knew how to react to the confrontations of the political and anticlerical climate of the time, which did not spare even some members of the Gattorno family.
        At the age of  21 Rosa married her cousin Gerolamo Custo (5 November 1852), and moved to Marseilles. Unforeseen financial difficulties very soon upset the happiness of the new family which was forced to return to Genoa in a state of poverty. More serious misfortunes were looming: their first child, Carlotta, after a sudden illness was left deaf and dumb for life; Gerolamo’s attempt to find fortune abroad ended with his return, aggravated by a fatal illness; the happiness of the other two children was deeply disturbed by her husband’s disappearance which left her a widow less than six years after their marriage (9 March 1858) and, a few months later, by the loss of her youngest little son.
        The succession of so many sad events in her life marked a radical change which she called her “conversion” to the total gift of herself to the Lord, to his love and to love of neighbour. Purified by her trials and strengthened in spirit, she understood the true meaning of pain and was confirmed in the certainty of her new vocation.
Under the guidance of her confessor, Fr. Giuseppe Firpo, she made private perpetual vows of chastity and obedience on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 1858; followed by vows of poverty (1861) in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, as a Franciscan tertiary. Since 1855, she had also obtained the benefit of daily communion, which was uncommon in those days. She remained constantly anchored to this source of grace and, encouraged by ever growing intimacy with the Lord, she found support, missionary fervour, strength and zeal in service to her brothers and sisters.
        In 1862, she received the gift of hidden stigmata, perceived most intensely on Fridays.
As a faithful wife and exemplary mother, never depriving her children of anything – always following and loving them tenderly – with greater availability she learned to share in the sufferings of others, giving herself in apostolic charity: “I dedicated myself with greater zeal to pious works and to visiting hospitals and the poor sick at home, helping them by meeting their needs as much as I could and serving them in all things”.
        The Catholic associations in Genoa competed for her, so that although she loved silence and concealment, her genuinely evangelising way of life was remarked by all.
Progressing on this path, she was made president of the “Pious Union of the New Ursulines Daughters of Holy Mary Immaculate”, founded by Frassinetti, and was entrusted with the revision of the Rule destined for the Union at the express wish of Archbishop Charvaz.
        On that precise occasion (February 1864), redoubling her prayers to Christ Crucified, she received the inspiration for a new Rule, her own specific Foundation.
        Fearful of being forced to abandon her children she prayed, made acts of penance and asked advice. Fra Francis of Camporosso, a lay Capuchin, who is hom a saint,  to whom she also expressed her apprehension before the serious troubles that were imminent, supported and encouraged her, as did her confessor and the Archbishop of Genoa.
     However, feeling her maternal duties more and more acutely, she sought authoritative confirmation in the words of Pius IX, with the secret hope of being relieved. The Pontiff, at an audience on 3 January 1866, instead enjoined her to start her foundation immediately, adding: “This Institute will spread in all the parts of the world as swiftly as the flight of the dove. God will take care of your children: you must think of God and his work” She therefore accepted to do the Lord’s will, and as she then wrote in her Memoirs: “I generously offered them to God and repeated to him Abraham’s words: ‘Here I am, ready to do your divine will’…. Having offered myself for his Work, I received immense consolations…”.
    Overcoming the resistance of her relatives and, to the disappointment of her Bishop, leaving the associations in Genoa, she founded her new religious family in Piacenza, and named it definitively “Daughters of St. Anne, mother of Mary Immaculate” (8 December 1866). She was clothed on 26 July 1867 and on 8 April 1870 made her religious profession, together with 12 sisters.
        Fr. Tornatore, a priest of the Congregation of the Mission, collaborated with her in the Institute’s development. Expressly requested, he wrote the Rule and was then considered Co-Founder of the Institute.
  Entrusting herself totally to divine Providence and motivated from the start by a courageous charitable impulse, Rosa Gattorno began with a spirit of motherly dedication to consolidate God’s Work as the Pope had called it and as she too, chosen to cooperate in it, would always call it, attentively caring for any form of suffering and moral or material poverty, with the one intention of serving Jesus in his painful and injured members and of “evangelising first and foremost with life”.
        Various works came into being for the poor and the sick with any form of illness, for lonely, elderly or abandoned persons, the little and the defenceless, adolescents, and young girls “at risk” for whom she arranged appropriate instruction and subsequent integration in the working world. In addition, she soon opened schools for the people and for the education of the children of the poor, and other works of human and evangelical advancement in accordance with the greatest needs of the time and with an effective presence in ecclesial and civil life. “Servants of the poor and ministers of mercy” she called her daughters, and she urged them to accept, as a sign of the Lord’s favour to serve their brethren with love and humility: “Be humble … only think that you are the lowliest and the most wretched of all creatures who render service to the Church… and have the grace to belong to her”.
        Less than 10 years after its foundation, the Institute obtained the Decree of Praise (1876), and its definitive approval in 1879. For the Rule, it had to wait until 1892.
Highly esteemed and appreciated by all, she also worked in Piacenza with Bishop Scalabrini, who has now been beatified, and in particular in the institute for deaf-mutes which he founded.
        However Mother Rosa Gattorno was not spared humiliations, difficulties and tribulations of all kinds. Despite this, the Institute spread rapidly, in Italy and abroad, thus achieving the Foundress’ ardent missionary desire: “Oh my Love! How I feel myself burning with the desire to make you known and loved by all! I would like to attract all the world, to give to all, to appease all … I would like to go everywhere and shout out for everybody to come and love you”. To be “Jesus’ voice” and to bring all people the message of the love that saves was and always remained her heart’s deepest desire. In 1878, she was already sending the first Daughters of St. Anne to Bolivia, then to Brazil, Chile, Peru, Eritrea, France and Spain. In Rome, where her work began in 1873, she organised boys’ and girls’ schools for the poor, nursery schools, assistance for the new-born babies of workers in the tobacco factory, houses for former prostitutes, serving women, nurses for home care, etc. There she also had the Generalate built, with its adjacent church.
        In all, at her death there were 368 houses in which 3,500 sisters were carrying out their mission.
The secret of her journey of holiness, of the dynamism of her charity and of the strength of mind with which she could face all obstacles with firm faith and guide the Institute with full dedication, courage and far-sightedness for 34 years, was her continuous union with God and total, trusting abandonment in him: “Although I am in the midst of such a torrent of things to do, I am never without the union with my Good”; her attention and docility to the impulses of the Spirit; her deep and loving participation in Christ’s Passion; her ceaseless prayers for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of all mankind.
        She had a deep sense of belonging to Church and was ever humble, devout and obedient to the directives of the Pope and the hierarchy.
        With her fondness of St. Anne, she had a special love for Mary, to whom she entirely entrusted herself, in order to belong totally to God and totally to her brethren.
A pure and simple instrument in the hands of the “superfine Craftsman”, conformed to the Poor Christ and with him, a victim of love, she fulfilled in her life the desire she inculcated in her daughters: “To live for God, to die for him and to spend life for love”.
        She lived like this until February 1900, when she caught a dangerous form of influenza and rapidly deteriorated: her health, sorely tried by her acts of penance, frequent exhausting journeys and an enormous mass of correspondence, worries and serious disappointments, no longer resisted. On 4 May she received the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and two days later, on 6 May, at 9.00 a.m., having ended her earthly pilgrimage, she died a holy death in the Generalate.
The fame of holiness which had surrounded her during her life, spread after her death and grew unimpeded all over the world.
        As an expression of a rare plan of God, in her three-fold experience of wife and mother, widow and then religious and Foundress, in her mission of service to humanity and to extending the kingdom Rosa Gattorno brought great honour to the “feminine genius”. Although she was ever faithful to God’s call and a genuine teacher of Christian and ecclesial life, she remained essentially a mother: of her own children, whom she constantly followed, of the Sisters, whom she deeply loved, and of all the needy, the suffering and the unhappy, in whose faces she contemplated the face of Christ, poor, wounded and crucified.
  Her charism has spread in the Church with the birth of other forms of evangelical life: Sisters of Contemplative Life; a Religious Association of Priests; the Secular Institute and the Ecclesial Movement for the Laity, which are active in the Church in almost all the parts of the world.

        She was beatified by John Paul II on April 9, 2000 at Rome.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Tuesday, May 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 14:27-31a.


Tuesday of the Fifth week of Easter

5 May 2015

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 14:27-31a. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up, let us go.

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Tuesday of the Fifth week of Easter

5 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint John-Paul II

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Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Message for the World Day of Peace 2002, § 14-15 (trans. © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you”

Prayer for peace is not an afterthought to the work of peace. It is of the very essence of building the peace of order, justice, and freedom. To pray for peace is to open the human heart to the inroads of God’s power to renew all things. With the life-giving force of his grace, God can create openings for peace where only obstacles and closures are apparent… To pray for peace is to pray for justice…

To pray for peace is to pray for justice, for a right-ordering of relations within and among nations and peoples. It is to pray for freedom, especially for the religious freedom that is a basic human and civil right of every individual. To pray for peace is to seek God’s forgiveness, and to implore the courage to forgive those who have trespassed against us.

No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what in this Message I wish to say to believers and non-believers alike, to all men and women of good will who are concerned for the good of the human family and for its future. No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what I wish to say to those responsible for the future of the human community, entreating them to be guided in their weighty and difficult decisions by the light of man’s true good, always with a view to the common good. No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: I shall not tire of repeating this warning to those who, for one reason or another, nourish feelings of hatred, a desire for revenge or the will to destroy.

…May a more intense prayer rise from the hearts of all believers for the victims of terrorism, for their families so tragically stricken, for all the peoples who continue to be hurt and convulsed by terrorism and war. May the light of our prayer extend even to those who gravely offend God and man by these pitiless acts, that they may look into their hearts, see the evil of what they do, abandon all violent intentions, and seek forgiveness. In these troubled times, may the whole human family find true and lasting peace, born of the marriage of justice and mercy!

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Fifth week of Easter

5 May 2015

Saint of the day

St. Antoninus, Bishop (1389-1459)

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SAINT ANTONINUS
Bishop
(1389-1459)

        Antoninus, or Little Antony, as he was called from his small stature, was born at Florence in 1389. After a childhood of singular holiness, he begged to be admitted into the Dominican house at Fiesole; but the Superior, to test his sincerity and perseverance, told him he must first learn by heart the book of the Decretals, containing several hundred pages. This apparently impossible task was accomplished within twelve months; and Antoninus received the coveted habit in his sixteenth year.

While still very young, he filled several important posts of his Order, and was consulted on questions of difficulty by the most learned men of his day; being known, for his wonderful prudence, as “the Counsellor.” He wrote several works on theology and history, and sat as Papal Theologian at the Council of Florence.

   In 1446 he was compelled to accept the archbishopric of that city; and in this dignity earned for himself the title of “the Father of the Poor,” for all he had was at their disposal. St. Antoninus never refused an alms which was asked in the name of God. When he had no money, he gave his clothes, shoes, or furniture. One day, being sent by the Florentines to the Pope, as he approached Rome a beggar came up to him almost naked, and asked him for an alms for Christ’s sake. Outdoing St. Martin, Antoninus gave him his whole cloak. When he entered the city, another was given him; by whom he knew not. His household consisted of only six persons; his palace contained no plate or costly furniture, and was often nearly destitute of the necessaries of life. His one mule was frequently sold for the relief of the poor, when it would be bought back for him by some wealthy citizen.

        He died embracing the crucifix, May 5th, 1459, often repeating the words, “To serve God is to reign.”

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Monday, May 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 14:21-26.


Monday of the Fifth week of Easter

4 May 2015

Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 14:21-26.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, (then) what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.

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Monday of the Fifth week of Easter

4 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint John of the Cross

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Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591),

Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book 2, ch. 22

(trans. ©Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.)

“The word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me”

The chief reason in the Old Law that the inquiries made of God were licit, and the prophets and priests appropriately desired visions and revelations from him, was that at that time faith was not yet perfectly grounded, nor was the Gospel law established… But in this era of grace, now… there is no reason for inquiring of him in this way, or expecting him to answer as before. In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word—and he has no more to say. This is the meaning of that passage where Saint Paul says to the Hebrews…: “God formerly spoke to our fathers through the prophets in many ways and manners, now, finally, in these days he has spoken to us all at once in his Son” (Heb. 1,1-2)…

Those who now desire to question God or receive some vision or revelation are guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him by not fixing their eyes entirely on Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty. God could answer as follows: “If I have already told you all things in my Word, my Son, and if I have no other word, what answer or revelation can I now make that would surpass this? Fasten your eyes on him alone because in him I have spoken and revealed all and in him you will discover even more than you ask for and desire… On that day when I descended with my Spirit on Mount Tabor proclaiming: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: hear him” (Mt 17,5), I gave up these methods of answering and teaching… Hear him because I have no more faith to reveal or truths to manifest. If I spoke before it was to promise Christ. If they questioned me, their inquiries were related to their petitions and longings for Christ in whom they were to obtain every good, as is now explained in all the doctrine of the evangelists and apostles.

Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Monday of the Fifth week of Easter

4 May 2015

Saint of the day

The English Martyrs

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The English Marytrs

        Today the Church celebrates English Men and Women martyred for the Catholic Faith 1535-1680 and beatified or canonised by the Holy See.

        On this day in 1535 there died at Tyburn three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs, Catholic and Protestant, of the English reformation. Of these martyrs, forty two have been canonised and a further two hundred and forty two declared blessed, but the number of those who died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or suffered harsh persecution for their faith in the course of a century and a half cannot now be reckoned.

They came from every walk of life; there are among them rich and poor, married and single, women and men.

        They are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith, and courage in the face of persecution.

Liturgy Office England & Wales

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Sunday, May 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 15:1-8.


Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year B

3 May 2015

 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:1-8.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year B

3 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Bernard (1091-1153)

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 Saint Bernard (1091-1153),

Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church
Sermon 58 on the Song of Songs

Bearing fruit in abundance

I must warn each of you about his vine: for who has never cut back everything that is superfluous in himself to the point of thinking that there is nothing more to cut? Believe me, what has been cut, grows back; the vices that have been chased away return, and we see tendencies that had gone to sleep waking up again. It is therefore not enough to cut one’s vine once; rather, we have to do it again and often, and if possible, even without ceasing. For if you are sincere, you ceaselessly find in yourself something to cut… Virtue cannot grow among the vices; for virtue to develop, we must prevent the vices from increasing. So suppress what is superfluous; then the necessary will be able to spring up.

For us, Brothers, it is always the time for cutting; it is always necessary. For I am sure that we have already left winter behind us, we have left behind the fear without love, which introduces us all to wisdom, but which doesn’t let anyone grow in perfection. When love comes, it chases away that fear just as the summer chases away the winter… So may the winter rains stop, that is say, the tears of anguish that arise because of the memory of your sins and the fear of judgment… If “the winter is over” and “the rain has topped” (Song 2:11)…, the sweetness of the spring of spiritual grace shows us that the time has come to cut our vine. What else is there for us to do other than to become entirely committed to this work?

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year B

3 May 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Tommaso Acerbis († 1631)

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BLESSED TOMMASO ACERBIS
Friars Minor Capuchin

(1563-1631)

        Bl. Tommaso Acerbis, from Olera (Italy) was born in 1563 and died in Austria in 1631.

        He has been beatified by Pope Francis on September 21st, 2013.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday, May 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 14:7-14.


Saturday of the Fourth week of Easter

2 May 2015

If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.

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

Jesus said to his disciples:  “If you know me, then you will also know my Father.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  
Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.

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Saturday of the Fourth week of Easter

2 May 2015

Saint Bernard (1091-1153)

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Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church
Homily on the Aqueduct, 10-11

“If you know me, then you will also know my Father”

      The one who said: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me,” also said: “I came from God and now I am here.” (Jn 8:42)… The Word became flesh and henceforth dwells among us (Jn 1:14). He definitely dwells in our hearts through faith, he dwells in our memory, he dwells in our thoughts, and he goes all the way down even into our imagination. For what idea could the human person have of God before, except maybe that of an idol which his own heart had made? That is because God was incomprehensible and inaccessible, invisible and utterly elusive to all thought. But now God wanted us to be able to understand him, he wanted us to be able to see him, he wanted us to be able to grasp him in thought.

      You ask how? Without doubt by lying in a manger, by resting on the Virgin’s bosom, by preaching on the mountain, by spending the night in prayer; no less by being nailed to the cross, by becoming pallid in death, free among the dead and ruling over hell; finally by rising on the third day, by showing the apostles the marks of the nails, the signs of his triumph, and to finish, by returning before their eyes to the secrets of heaven.

Among all those events, is there even one which would not give rise to a true, fervent, holy thought in us? Whichever one I think of from among them, I think of God, and in all of that, he is my God. To meditate on these events is wisdom itself… In the heights, Mary drew in abundance from this same sweetness in order to pour it out again on us.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Fourth week of Easter

2 May 2015

Saint of the day

St. Athanasius, Bishop & Doctor of the Church (+ 373)

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SAINT ATHANASIUS
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
(+ 373)

        Athanasius was born in Egypt towards the end of the third century, and was from his youth pious, learned, and deeply versed in the sacred writings, as befitted one whom God had chosen to be the champion and defender of his Church against the Arian heresy.

Though only a deacon he was chosen by his bishop to go with him to the Council of Nicæa, in 325, and attracted the attention of all by the learning and ability with which he defended the faith. A few months later, he became Patriarch of Alexandria, and for forty-six years he bore, often well-nigh alone, the whole brunt of the Arian assault.

On the refusal of the Saint to restore Arius to Catholic communion, the emperor ordered the Patriarch of Constantinople to do so. The wretched heresiarch took an oath that he had always believed as the Church believes; and the patriarch, after vainly using every effort to move the emperor, had recourse to fasting and prayer, that God would avert from the Church the frightful sacrilege. The day came for the solemn entrance of Arius into the great church of Sancta Sophia. The heresiarch and his party set out glad and in triumph. But before he reached the church, death smote him swiftly and awfully, and the dreaded sacrilege was averted.

St. Athanasius stood unmoved against four Roman emperors; was banished five times; was the butt of every insult, calumny, and wrong the Arians could devise, and lived in constant peril of death. Though firm as adamant in defence of the Faith, he was meek and humble, pleasant and winning in converse, beloved by his flock, unwearied in labors, in prayer, in mortifications, and in zeal for souls.  

In the year 373 his stormy life closed in peace, rather that his people would have it so than that his enemies were weary of persecuting him. He left to the Church the whole and ancient Faith, defended and explained in writings rich in thought and learning, clear, keen, and stately in expression.

        He is honored as one of the greatest of the Doctors of the Church.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Friday, May 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 14:1-6.


Friday of the Fourth week of Easter

1 May 2015

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 14:1-6. 

Jesus said to his disciples: «Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
Where (I) am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

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Friday of the Fourth week of Easter

1 May 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397)

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 Saint Ambrose (c.340-397)

Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
On Good and Evil, 12, 52-55; CSEL 32, 747-750 (copyright Friends of Henry Ashworth )

“The way, the truth, and the life”

Let us advance boldly towards our Redeemer Jesus; let us boldly join the assembly of the saints, the gathering of the righteous. For we shall go towards those who are our brothers and sisters, towards those who have instructed us in the faith… The Lord will be the light of all, and that “true light which enlightens everyone” (Jn 1:9) will shine for all. We shall go to where the Lord Jesus has prepared dwelling places for his servants, so that where he is, we might also be, for that is his will… And he tells us what he wants: “I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” (Jn 14:3)…

He showed us the place and the way when he said: “You know the place where I am going, and you know the way.” The place is with the Father; the way is Christ, as he said himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Let us set out on this way, let us attach ourselves to the truth, let us follow the life. The way is what leads us, the truth is what strengthens us, the life is what gives itself of its own accord. And so that we might really understand what he wants, he adds further on: “Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” (Jn 17:24)

We will follow you, Lord Jesus. But in order for us to follow you, call us, because without you no one will ascend towards you. For you are the way, the truth, the life. You are also our help, our trust, our reward. Welcome those who belong to you, you who are the way; strengthen them, you who are the truth; give them life, you who are the life.

Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Fourth week of Easter

1 May 2015

Saint of the day

St. Joseph the Worker

1 ST JOSEPH WORKER San_Giuseppe_G

Saint Joseph the Worker

        Every day St. Joseph had to provide for the family’s needs with hard manual work. Thus the Church rightly points to him as the patron of workers.

        Today’s is also a wonderful occasion to reflect on the importance of work in the life of the human person, the family and the community.

   The human being is the subject and the primary agent of work, and in the light of this truth, we can clearly perceive the fundamental connection between the person, work and society. Human activity – the Second Vatican Council recalls – proceeds from the human person and is ordered to the person. According to God’s design and will, it must serve the true good of humanity and allow “man as an individual and as a member of society to cultivate and carry out his integral vocation” (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 35).

In order to fulfil this mission, a “tested spirituality of human work” must be cultivated that is firmly rooted in the “Gospel of work” and believers are called to proclaim and to witness to the Christian meaning of work in their many activities and occupations (cf. Laborem exercens, n. 26).

May St. Joseph, such a great and humble saint be an example that inspires Christian workers, who should call on him in every circumstance. Today I wish to entrust to the provident guardian of the Holy Family of Nazareth the young people who are training for their future profession, the unemployed, and those who are suffering from the hardship of the shortage of employment, families and the whole world of work, with the expectations and challenges, the problems and prospects that characterize it.

(John Paul II – General audience, Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Wednesday, 19 March 2003)

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


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