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Monday, March 9th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 4:24-30.


Monday of the Third week of Lent

9 March 2015

“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 4:24-30. 

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: «Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

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Monday of the Third week of Lent

9 March 2015

Saint of the day

St. Frances of Rome, religious (1384-1440)

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SAINT FRANCES OF ROME
Religious
(1384-1440)

        Frances was born at Rome in 1384. Her parents were, of high rank . They overruled her desire to become a nun, and at twelve years of age married her to Rorenzo Ponziano, a Roman noble. During the forty years or their married life they never had a disagreement. While spending her days in retirement and prayer, she attended promptly to every household duty, saying, “A married woman must leave God at the altar to find Him in her domestic cares;” and she once found the verse of a psalm in which she had been four times thus interrupted completed for her in letters of gold. Her ordinary food was dry bread. Secretly she would exchange with beggars good food for their hard crusts; her drink was water, and her cup a human skull.

        During the invasion of Rome, in 1413, Ponziano was banished, his estates confiscated, his house destroyed, and his eldest son taken as a hostage. Frances saw in these losses only the finger of God, and blessed His holy name. When peace was restored Ponziano recovered his estate, and Frances founded the Oblates.

After her husband’s death, barefoot and with a cord about her neck she begged admission to the community, and was soon elected Superioress. She lived always in the presence of God, and amongst many visions was given constant sight of her angel guardian, who shed such brightness around him that the Saint could read her midnight Office by this light alone. He shielded her in the hour of temptation, and directed her in every good act. But when she was betrayed into some defect, he faded from her sight; and when some light words were spoken before her, he covered his face in shame.

        She died on the day she had foretold, March 9, 1440.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Thursday, March 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 16:19-31.


Thursday of the Second week of Lent

5 March 2015

Father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them,

they will repent.’

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 16:19-31.
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

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Thursday of the Second week of Lent

5 March 2015

Saint of the day

Sts. Adrian and Eubulus, Martyrs (+ 309)

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SAINTS ADRIAN and EUBULUS
Martyrs

(+ 309)

        In the seventh year of Diocletian’s persecution, continued by Galerius Maximianus, when Firmilian, the most bloody governor of Palestine, had stained Cæsarea with the blood of many illustrious martyrs, Adrian and Eubulus came out of the country called Magantia to Cæsarea, in order to visit the holy confessors there.

At the gates of the city they were asked, as others were, whither they were going, and upon what errand. They ingenuously confessed the truth, and were brought before the president, who ordered them to be tortured and their sides to be torn with iron hooks, and then condemned them to be exposed to wild beasts.

Two days after, when the pagans at Cæsarea celebrated the festival of the public Genius, Adrian was exposed to a lion, and not being despatched by that beast, but only mangled, was at length killed by the sword.

Eubulus was treated in the same manner two days later. The judge offered him his liberty if he would sacrifice to idols; but the Saint preferred a glorious death, and was the last that suffered in this persecution at Cæsarea, which had now continued twelve years, under three successive governors, Flavian, Urban, and Firmilian.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Friday, February 27th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:20-26.


DAILY ROSARY, DAILY MASS, SUNDAY MASS AND STATIONS OF THE CROSS

MOVE TO

https://francisxaviersamsenpage8.wordpress.com

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Friday of the First week of Lent

27 February 2015

“Leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother,

and then come and offer your gift.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:20-26. 

Jesus said to his disciples:  “I tell you,  unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

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Friday of the First week of Lent

27 February 2015

Saint of the day

St. Leander, Bishop (c. 540-596)

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SAINT LEANDER
Bishop
(c. 540-596)

        St. Leander was born of an illustrious family at Carthagena in Spain. He was the eldest of five brothers, several of whom are numbered among the Saints. He entered into a monastery very young, where he lived many years and attained to an eminent degree of virtue and sacred learning.

        These qualities occasioned his being promoted to the see of Seville; but his change of condition made little or no alteration in his method of life, though it brought on him a great increase of care and solicitude.

Spain at that time was in possession of the Visigoths. These Goths, being infected with Arianism, established this heresy wherever they came; so that when St. Leander was made bishop it had reigned in Spain a hundred years. This was his great affliction; however, by his prayers to God, and by his most zealous and unwearied endeavors, he became the happy instrument of the conversion of that nation to the Catholic faith. Having converted, among others, Hermenegild, the king’s eldest son and heir apparent, Leander was banished by King Leovigild. This pious prince was put to death by his unnatural father, the year following, for refusing to receive Communion from the hands of an Arian bishop. But, touched with remorse not long after, the king recalled our Saint; and falling sick and finding himself past hopes of recovery, he sent for St. Leander, and recommended to him his son Recared. This son, by listening to St. Leander, soon became a Catholic, and finally converted the whole nation of the Visigoths. He was no less successful with respect to the Suevi, a people of Spain, whom his father Leovigild had perverted.

St. Leander was no less zealous in the reformation of manners than in restoring the purity of faith; and he planted the seeds of that zeal and fervor which afterwards produced so many martyrs and Saints.

        This holy doctor of Spain died about the year 596, on the 27th of February, as Mabillon proves from his epitaph.

        The Church of Seville has been a metropolitan see ever since the third century. The cathedral is the most magnificent, both as to structure and ornament, of any in all Spain.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Thursday, February 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 7:7-12.


DAILY ROSARY, DAILY MASS, SUNDAY MASS AND STATIONS OF THE CROSS

MOVE TO

https://francisxaviersamsenpage8.wordpress.com

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Thursday of the First week of Lent

26 February 2015

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:7-12. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asks for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”

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Thursday of the First week of Lent

26 February 2015

Saint of the day

St. Porphyry, Bishop (+ 420)

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ST PORPHYRY
Bishop
(+ 420)

        At the age of twenty-five, Porphyry, a rich citizen of Thessalonica, left the world for one of the great religious houses in the desert of Sceté. Here he remained five years, and then, finding himself drawn to a more solitary life, passed into Palestine, where he spent a similar period in the severest penance, till ill health obliged him to moderate his austerities. He then made his home in Jerusalem, and in spite of his ailments visited the Holy Places every day; thinking, says his biographer, so little of his sickness that he seemed to be afflicted in another body, and not his own. About this time God put it into his heart to sell all he had and give to the poor, and then in reward of the sacrifice restored him by a miracle to perfect health.

        In 393 he was ordained priest and intrusted with the care of the relics of the true cross; three years later, in spite of all the resistance his humility could make, he was consecrated Bishop of Gaza. That city was a hotbed of paganism, and Porphyry found in it an ample scope for his apostolic zeal. His labors and the miracles which attended them effected the conversion of many; and an imperial edict for the destruction of the pagan temples, obtained through the influence of St. John Chrysostom, greatly strengthened his hands.

    When St. Porphyry first went to Gaza, he found there one temple more splendid than the rest, in honor of the chief god. When the edict went forth to destroy all traces of heathen worship, St. Porphyry determined to put Satan to special shame where he had received special honor. A Christian church was built upon the site, and its approach was paved with the marbles of the heathen temple. Thus every worshipper of Jesus Christ trod the relics of idolatry and superstition underfoot each time he went to assist at the holy Mass.

        He lived to see his diocese for the most part clear of idolatry, and died in 420.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Wednesday, February 18th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 6:1-6.16-18.


DAILY  ROSARY

Monsignor “Father Frank” Francis T. McFarland prays the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

from St Charles Borromeo Church in Waltham, MA. 

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/sorrowful-mysteries-father-frank-st-charles-Waltham

From CatholicTV

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Stations of the Cross

CLICK BELOW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-9wZm3bo50

From  CCTNtv

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The first day of Lent

Ash Wednesday

18 February 2015

“When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6:1-6.16-18.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

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The first day of Lent

Ash Wednesday

18 February 2015

“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

Why we receive the ashes

Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told

“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins — just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days’ penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.

The Ashes

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Fasting and Abstinence

It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of turning away from sin and back to God, includes some form of penance, without which the Christian is unlikely to remain on the narrow path and be saved (Jer. 18:11, 25:5; Ez. 18:30, 33:11-15; Joel 2:12; Mt. 3:2; Mt. 4:17; Acts 2:38). Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). The general law of penance, therefore, is part of the law of God for man.

The Church for her part has specified certain forms of penance, both to ensure that the Catholic will do something, as required by divine law, while making it easy for Catholics to fulfill the obligation. Thus, the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifies the obligations of Latin Rite Catholics [Eastern Rite Catholics have their own penitential practices as specified by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches].

  • Canon 1250 All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
  • Canon 1251 Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Canon 1252 All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.
  • Canon 1253 It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

The Church, therefore, has two forms of official penitential practices – three if the Eucharistic fast of one hour before Communion is included.

Abstinence The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem to be contrary to the spirit of doing penance.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church’s law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys – candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.

—- Colin B. Donovan, STL

From Catholic Online

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Ash Wednesday

18 February 2015

Saint of the day

St. Flavian, Bishop and Martyr (+ 449)

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SAINT FLAVIAN
Bishop and Martyr
(+ 449)

        FLAVIAN was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 447. His short episcopate of two years was a time of conflict and persecution from the first. Chrysaphius, the emperor’s favorite, tried to extort a large sum of money from him on the occasion of his consecration. His fidelity in refusing this simoniacal betrayal of his trust brought on him the enmity of the most powerful man in the empire.

  A graver trouble soon arose. In 448 Flavian had to condemn the rising heresy of the monk Eutyches, who obstinately denied that Our Lord was in two perfect natures after His Incarnation. Eutyches drew to his cause all the bad elements which so early gathered about the Byzantine court. His intrigues were long baffled by the vigilance of Flavian; but at last he obtained from the emperor the assembly of a council at Ephesus, in August 449, presided over by his friend Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria. Into this “robber council,” as it is called, Eutyches entered, surrounded by soldiers. The Roman legates could not even read the Pope’s letters; and at the first sign of resistance to the condemnation of Flavian, fresh troops entered with drawn swords, and, in spite of the protests of the legates, terrified most of the bishops into acquiescence.

The fury of Dioscorus reached its height when Flavian appealed to the Holy See. Then it was that he so forgot his apostolic office as to lay violent hands on his adversary. St. Flavian was set upon by Dioscorus and others, thrown down, beaten, kicked, and finally carried into banishment. Let us contrast their ends. Flavian clung to the teaching of the Roman Pontiff, and sealed his faith with his blood. Dioscorus excommunicated the Vicar of Christ, and died obstinate and impenitent in the heresy of Eutyches.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Wednesday, February 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:1-6.


DAILY MASS
Fr. Michael Coutts celebrates Daily Mass from St. Basil’s Church in Toronto

CLICK BELOW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEV6KzUdYzw

Produced by National Catholic Broadcasting Council

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DAILY ROSARY

Father Reed prays the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary

at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/luminous-mysteries-boston

From CatholicTV

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Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

4 February 2015

Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,

and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?

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

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,  accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith. He went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching.

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Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

4 February 2015

Saint of the day

St. Jane of Valois,

Queen and Religious (+ 1505)

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SAINT JANE OF VALOIS
Queen and Religious
(+ 1505)

        Born of the blood royal of France, herself a queen, Jane of Valois led a life remarkable for its humiliations even in the annals of the Saints. Her father, Louis XI., who had hoped for a son to succeed him, banished Jane from his palace, and, it is said, even attempted her life. At the age of five the neglected child offered her whole heart to God, and yearned to do some special service in honor of His blessed Mother.

        At the king’s wish, though against her own inclination, she was married to the Duke of Orleans. Towards an indifferent and unworthy husband her conduct was ever most patient and dutiful. Her prayers and tears saved him from a traitor’s death and shortened the captivity which his rebellion had merited. Still nothing could win a heart which was already given to another. When her husband ascended the throne as Louis XII., his first act was to repudiate by false representations one who through twenty-two years of cruel neglect had been his true and loyal wife.

        At the final sentence of separation, the saintly queen exclaimed, “God be praised Who has allowed this, that I may serve Him better . than I have heretofore done.” Retiring to Bourges, she there realized her long-formed desire of founding the Order of the Annunciation, in honor of the Mother of God.

        Under the guidance of St. Francis of Paula, the director of her childhood, St. Jane was enabled to overcome the serious obstacles which even good people raised against the foundation of her new Order. In 1501 the rule of the Annunciation was finally approved by Alexander VI. The chief aim of the institute was to imitate the ten virtues practised by Our Lady in the mystery of the Incarnation, the superioress being called “Ancelle,” handmaid, in honor of Mary’s humility. St. Jane built and endowed the first convent of the Order in 1502.

        She died in heroic sanctity, 1505, and was buried in the royal crown and purple, beneath which lay the habit of her Order.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Tuesday, February 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 5:21-43.


DAILY MASS

Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick celebrates Daily Mass from St. Basil’s Church in Toronto,

CLICK BELOW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfBSTod-fdU

Produced by National Catholic Broadcasting Council

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OR

Father Paul Ring celebrates Catholic Mass on February 3, 2015. 

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/daily-mass/4th-tuesday-ordinary-time

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DAILY ROSARY

Father Frank McFarland prays the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

From the beautiful Bellingham Woods.

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/joyful-mysteries-father-frank-bellingham-woods

From CatholicTV

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Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

3 February 2015

“Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:21-43. 

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. (At that) they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

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Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

3 February 2015

Commentary of the day :

Saint Ambrose

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Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on St. Luke, 6, 57-59 ( SC 45)

“If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured”

It is our faith that touches Christ; it is our faith that sees him. It isn’t our body that touches him; the eyes of our nature cannot seize him. For seeing without perceiving is not seeing; hearing without understanding is not hearing, neither is touching if one doesn’t touch with faith…

If we consider the size of our faith and if we understand the greatness of the Son of God, we realize that, in relation to him, we only touch the fringe; we cannot reach the top of his garment. Therefore, if we too want to be healed by him, let us touch in faith the fringe of Christ. He is aware of all those who touch his clothes, who touch him while he has his back turned. For God doesn’t need eyes to see; he doesn’t have physical senses, but he has in himself the knowledge of all things. Happy then those who are able to touch at least the borders of the Word: for who can seize it entirely?

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

3 February 2015

Saints of the day

St. Blase, Bishop & Martyr (+ 316)

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SAINT BLASE
Bishop and Martyr
(+ 316)

        St. Blase devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God, and from being a healer of bodily ailments to be- come a physician of souls.

        The Bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, having died, our Saint, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was appointed to succeed him. St. Blase at once began to instruct his people as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of this servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills.

        Agricolaus, Governor of Cappadocia and the Lesser Armenia, having begun a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius, our Saint was seized and hurried off to prison. While on his way there, a distracted mother, whose only child was dying of a throat disease, threw herself at the feet of St. Blase and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, the Saint offered up his prayers, and the child was cured; and since that time his aid has often been effectually solicited in cases of a similar disease.

        Refusing to worship the false gods of the heathens, St. Blase was first scourged; his body was then torn with hooks, and finally he was beheaded in the year 316.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

3 February 2015

Saints of the day

Saint Ansgar

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Saint Ansgar (8 September 801 – 3 February 865), also known as Saint Anschar, was an Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen.  The see of Hamburg was designated a mission to bring Christianity to Northern Europe, and Ansgar became known as the “Apostle of the North”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, February 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 2:22-40.


DAILY MASS
Fr. Michael Busch celebrates Daily Mass from St. Basil’s Church in Toronto

Monday 2 February 2015 

CLICK BELOW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzDJccsDJRU

Produced by National Catholic Broadcasting Council

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DAILY ROSARY

Father Frank McFarland prays the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary at the Arnold Arboretum 

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/glorious-mysteries-father-frank-the-arnold-arboretum

From CatholicTV

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The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2015

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.

  She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2:22-40. 

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2015

Presentation of the Lord

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Presentation of the Lord

The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as “The Encounter.” In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as “Candlemas.” The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

“In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

“The specific liturgy of this Candlemas feast, the blessing of candles, is not as widely celebrated as it should be, except of course whenever February 2 falls on a Sunday and thus takes precedence. There are two ways of celebrating the ceremony, either the Procession, which begins at a ‘gathering place’ outside the church, or the Solemn Entrance, celebrated within the church.”

— From Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year

CatholicCulture.org

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The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2015

Commentary of the day :

Blessed Guerric of Igny 

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Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot
1st Sermon for the Purification, 2-3

“A light for revelation to the Gentiles”

Who is there today who, as he holds a lighted candle in his hand, does not immediately think of the old man who today received Jesus in his arms, the Word in the flesh, the light in the wax, and who bore witness that he was the light that shines upon all nations? The old man was himself a burning flame that enlightens and gives witness to the light, he who, in the Holy Spirit with which he was filled, came to receive, O God, your love within your Temple (Ps 47[48],10) and bear witness that you are the love and light of your people…

Rejoice, just old man; look now at what you had once foreseen: darkness has disappeared from the world; the nations walk by your light (Is 60,3). The whole earth is filled with the glory (Is 6,3) of this light which, in the past, you used to hide in your heart and which today illumines your eyes… Embrace the Wisdom of God, O blessed old man, and may your youth be renewed (Ps 102[103],5). Receive the mercy of God in your heart and your old age will know the sweetness of mercy. “He will rest in my bosom”, says Scripture (Wsd 1,12). Even when I give him back to his mother, he will continue to dwell with me; my heart will be filled with his mercy and, even more, the heart of his mother… I give thanks and rejoice for you, full of grace, for you gave birth to the mercy I have received; the candle which you prepared I am holding in my hands…

And you, brethren, look at the candle that burns in the hands of Simeon; light your candles with his light… Then, not only will you bear a light in your hands, but you yourselves will be a light for others. A light in your hearts, a light in your lives, a light for your brothers and sisters.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2015

Saints of the day

St. Theophane Venard,

Priest & Martyred (1829-1861)

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SAINT TEOPHANE VENARD
Priest and martyr
(1829-1861)

        St. Theophane was a French missionary, born on November 21, 1829, and originally from the Diocese of Poitiers. He entered into the Foreign Missions and was ordained priest June 5, 1852. He departed for the Far East on September 19, the same year.

        After fifteen months at Hong Kong he arrived at his mission in West Tonkin, where the Christians had recently been tried by a series of persecutions under Minh-Menh, a monster of cruelty. Shortly after Father Venard’s arrival a new royal edict was issued against Christians, and bishops and priests were obliged to seek refuge in caves, dense woods, and elsewhere. Father Venard, whose constitution had always been delicate, suffered almost constantly, but continued to exercise his ministry at night, and, more boldly, in broad day.

On November 30, 1860, he was betrayed and captured. Tried before a mandarin, he refused to apostatize and was sentenced to be beheaded. He remained a captive, chained in a cage for months, from which he wrote to his family beautiful and consoling letters, joyful in anticipation of his crown. His bishop, Mgr Retord, wrote of him at this time: “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”. 

        He was martyred on February 2, 1861.

Theophane Venard was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

2 February 2015

Saints of the day

St. Catherine de Ricci (c.1520-1589)

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SAINT CATHERINE OF RICCI
(1520-1589)

        Alexandrina of Ricci was the daughter of a noble Florentine. At the age of thirteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic in the monastery of Prato, taking in religion the name of Catherine, after her patron and namesake of Siena.

        Her special attraction was to the Passion of Christ, in which she was permitted miraculously to participate. In the Lent of 1541, being then twenty-one years of age, she had a vision of the crucifixion so heart-rending that she was confined to bed for three weeks, and was only restored, on Holy Saturday, by an apparition of St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus risen. During twelve years she passed every Friday in ecstasy, She received the sacred stigmata, the wound in the left side, and the crown of thorns.

        All these favors gave her continual and intense  suffering, and inspired her with a loving sympathy for the yet more bitter tortures of the Holy Souls. In their behalf she offered all her prayers and penances; and her charity toward them became so famous throughout Tuscany that after every death the friends of the deceased hastened to Catherine to secure her prayers.

        St. Catherine offered many prayers, fasts, and penances for a certain great man, and thus obtained his salvation. It was revealed to her that he was in purgatory; and such was her love of Jesus crucified that she offered to suffer all the pains about to be inflicted on that soul. Her prayer was granted. The soul entered heaven, and for forty days Catherine suffered indescribable agonies. Her body was covered with blisters, emitting heat so great that her cell seemed on fire. Her flesh appeared as if roasted, and her tongue like red-hot iron. Amid all she was calm and joyful, saying, “I long to suffer all imaginable pains, that souls may quickly see and praise their Redeemer.” She knew by revelation the arrival of a soul in. purgatory, and the hour of its release.

        She held intercourse with the Saints in glory, and frequently conversed with St. Philip Neri at Rome without ever leaving her convent at Prato.

        She died, amid angels’ songs, in 1589.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Sunday, February 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 1:21-28.


SUNDAY MASS

Catholic Mass celebrated from

The National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,

For Sunday,  February 1, 2015.

CLICK BELOW
http://www.catholictv.com/shows/national-shrine-mass/4th-sunday-ordinary-time

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or

Sunday Mass celebrated at

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame

For Sunday, February 1, 2015. 

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/notre-dame-mass/4th-sunday-ordinary-time

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DAILY ROSARY

Father Robret Reed prays the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary in St Petersburg, Russia.

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/sorrowful-mysteries-russia

From CatholicTV

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

1 February 2015

“What is this? A new teaching with authority.

He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:21-28. 

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.  In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;  he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

1 February 2015

Commentary of the day :

Saint Bonaventure 

11 BONA 169

Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274), Franciscan, Doctor of the Church
Sermon ‘Christus unus omnium magister’

“A new teaching with authority”

“Only one is your teacher, the Messiah.” (Mt 23,10)… For Christ is “the reflection of the Father’s glory, the exact representation of the Father’s being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” (Heb 1,3) He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn 14,6)… As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge according to faith… That is why Peter teaches in his second letter: “We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place.” (1,19)… For through his coming in the spirit, Christ is the origin of all revelation, and through his coming in the flesh, he is the strengthening of all authority.

He comes first in the spirit as the revealing light of every prophetic vision. According to Daniel: “He reveals deep and hidden things and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with him.” (2,22) This is the light of divine wisdom, which is in Christ. According to John, Christ said: “I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall ever walk in darkness” (8,12), and “While you have the light, keep faith in the light; thus you will become sons of light.” (12,36)… Without this light which is Christ, no one can penetrate the secrets of faith. And that is why we read in the Book of Wisdom: “O God, send forth that Wisdom from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne dispatch her that she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is your pleasure… For what man knows God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?” (9,10-13) No one can come to the certainty of revealed faith except through Christ’s coming in the spirit and the flesh.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image from Catholic Online

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

1 February 2015

Saint of the day

St. Bridgid of Ireland (+ 523)

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SAINT BRIDGID
Abbess, and Patroness of Ireland
(c. 453-523)

        Next to the glorious St. Patrick, St. Bridgid, whom we may consider his spiritual daughter in Christ, has ever been held in singular veneration in Ireland. She was born about the year 453, at Fochard in Ulster. During her infancy, her pious father saw in a vision men clothed in white garments pouring a sacred unguent on her head, thus prefiguring her future sanctity. While yet very young, Bridgid consecrated her life to God, bestowed everything at her disposal on the poor, and was the edification of all who knew her. She was very beautiful, and fearing that efforts might be made to induce her to break the vow by which she had bound herself to God, and to bestow her hand on one of her many suitors, she prayed that she might become ugly and deformed. Her prayer was heard, for her eye became swollen, and her whole countenance so changed that she was allowed to follow her vocation in peace, and marriage with her was no more thought of. When about twenty years old, our Saint made known to St. Mel, the nephew and disciple of St. Patrick, her intention to live only to Jesus Christ, and he consented to receive her sacred vows. On the appointed day the solemn ceremony of her profession was performed after the manner introduced by St. Patrick, the bishop offering up many prayers, and investing Bridgid with a snow-white habit, and a cloak of the same color. While she bowed her head on this occasion to receive the veil, a miracle of a singularly striking and impressive nature occurred: that part of the wooden platform adjoining the altar on which she knelt recovered its original vitality, and put on all its former verdure, retaining it for a long time after. At the same moment Bridgid’s eye was healed, and she became as beautiful and as lovely as ever.

        Encouraged by her example, several other ladies made their vows with her, and in compliance with the wish of the parents of her new associates, the Saint agreed to found a religious residence for herself and them in the vicinity. A convenient site having been fixed upon by the bishop, a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected upon it; and in obedience to the prelate Bridgid assumed the superiority. Her reputation for sanctity became greater every day; and in proportion as it was diffused throughout the country the number of candidates for admission into the new monastery increased. The bishops of Ireland, soon perceiving the important advantages which their respective dioceses would derive from similar foundations, persuaded the young and saintly abbess to visit different parts of the kingdom, and, as an opportunity offered, introduce into each one the establishment of her institute.

        While thus engaged in a portion of the province of Connaught, a deputation arrived from Leinster to solicit the Saint to take up her residence in that territory; but the motives which they urged were human, and such could have no weight with Bridgid. It was only the prospect of the many spiritual advantages that would result from compliance with the request that induced her to accede, as she did, to the wishes of those who had petitioned her. Taking with her a number of her spiritual daughters, our Saint journeyed to Leinster, where they were received with many demonstrations of respect and joy. The site on which Kildare now stands appearing to be well adapted for a religious institute, there the Saint and her companions took up their abode. To the place appropriated for the new foundation some lands were annexed, the fruits of which were assigned to the little establishment. This donation indeed contributed to supply the wants of the community, but still the pious sisterhood principally depended for their maintenance on the liberality of their benefactors. Bridgid contrived, however, out of their small means to relieve the poor of the vicinity very considerably; and when the wants of these indigent persons surpassed her slender finances, she hesitated not to sacrifice for them the movables of the convent. On one occasion our Saint, imitating the burning charity of St. Ambrose and other great servants of God, sold some of the sacred vestments that she might procure the means of relieving their necessities. She was so humble that she sometimes attended the cattle on the land which belonged to her monastery.

        The renown of Bridgid’s unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to Kildare; the fame of her piety attracted thither many persons anxious to solicit her prayers or to profit by her holy example. In course of time the number of these so much increased that it became necessary to provide accommodation for them in the neighborhood of the new monastery, and thus was laid the foundation and origin of the town of Kildare.

The spiritual exigencies of her community, and of those numerous strangers who resorted to the vicinity, having suggested to our Saint the expediency of having the locality erected into an episcopal see, she represented it to the prelates, to whom the consideration of it rightly belonged. Deeming the proposal just and useful, Conlath, a recluse of eminent sanctity, illustrious by the great things which God had granted to his prayers, was, at Bridgid’s desire, chosen the first bishop of the newly erected diocese. In process of time it became the ecclesiastical metropolis of the province to which it belonged, probably in consequence of the general desire to honor the place in which St. Bridgid had so long dwelt.

        After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our Saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. It was now half a century since, by her holy vows, she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained; her holy institute having widely diffused itself throughout the Green Isle, and greatly advanced the cause of religion in the various districts in which it was established. Like a river of peace, its progress was steady and silent; it fertilized every region fortunate enough to receive its waters, and caused it to put forth spiritual flowers and fruits with all the sweet perfume of evangelical fragrance. The remembrance of the glory she had procured to the Most High, as well as the services rendered to dear souls ransomed by the precious blood of her divine Spouse, cheered and consoled Bridgid in the infirmities inseparable from old age. Her last illness was soothed by the presence of Nennidh, a priest of eminent sanctity, over whose youth she had watched with pious solicitude, and who was indebted to her prayers and instructions for his great proficiency in sublime perfection. The day on which our abbess was to terminate her course, February 1, 523, having arrived, she received from the hands of this saintly priest the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the divine Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar.

        In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St. Bridgid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence; and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious St. Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of St. Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral cf the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of St. Bridgid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Friday, January 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 4:26-34.


DAILY MASS
Father Raymond Collins celebrates Mass during Catholic Schools Week with students from Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Mission Grammar School on January 30, 2015 in the Chapel of the Holy Cross at The CatholicTV Network headquarters. 

CLICK BELOW
http://www.catholictv.com/shows/daily-mass/3rd-friday-ordinary-time

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DAILY ROSARY

Father Robert Reed prays the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary on a fall day

in

New England at the Blue Hills Reservation

CLICK BELOW

http://www.catholictv.com/shows/the-rosary/blue-hills-joyful

From CatholicTV

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Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2015

It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,

is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:26-34. 

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”
He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

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Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2015

Commentary of the day :

Saint Gregory the Great 

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 Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on Matthew, ch.13

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,

it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12,24)

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'” (Mt 13,31). This small seed is for us the symbol of Jesus Christ, who, sowed into the garden where he was buried, rose from it shortly after, through his resurrection, as a big tree.

One could say that when he died he was like a small seed: a small seed because of the humiliation of his flesh, but a big tree because of the glorification of his majesty. He was like a small seed when he appeared completely disfigured before our eyes; but like a large tree when he rose again like “the most handsome of men” (Ps 44[45],3).

The branches of this mysterious tree are the holy preachers of the Gospel, of whom one of the Psalms indicates the reach: “Their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world “ (Ps 19,5; cf Rom 10,18). The birds rest on these branches while the souls of the just, who have been raised up above earth’s attractions on the wings of holiness, find in the words of these preachers of the Gospel the consolation they need in the sorrows and difficulties of this life.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2015

Saints of the day

St. Bathildes, Queen (c. 634-680)

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SAINT BATHILDES
Queen.
(c. 634-680)

        St. Bathildes was an Englishwoman, who was carried over whilst yet young into France, and there sold for a slave, at a very low price, to Erkenwald, mayor of the palace under King Clovis II. When she grew up, her master was so much taken with her prudence and virtue that he placed her in charge of his household.

The renown of her virtues spread through all France, and King Clovis II. took her for his royal consort. This unexpected elevation produced no alteration in a heart perfectly grounded in humility and the other virtues; she seemed to become even more humble than before. Her new station furnished her the means of being truly a mother to the poor; the king gave her the sanction of his royal authority for the protection of the Church, the care of the poor, and the furtherance of all religious undertakings.

        The death of her husband left her regent of the kingdom. She at once forbade the enslavement of Christians, did all in her power to promote piety, and filled France with hospitals and religious houses.

As soon as her son Clotaire was of an age to govern, she withdrew from the world and entered the convent of Chelles. Here she seemed entirely to forget her worldly dignity, and was to be distinguished from the rest of the community only by her extreme humility, her obedience to her spiritual superiors, and her devotion to the sick, whom she comforted and served with wonderful charity.

        As she neared her end, God visited her with a severe illness, which she bore with Christian patience until, on the 30th of January, 680, she yielded up her soul in devout prayer.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

30 January 2015

Saints of the day

Bl. Columba Marmion, Abbot (1858-1923)

1 COLUMBA untitled

Bl. Columba Marmion Third Abbot of Maredsous (1858-1923)

   Bl. Columba Marmion was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 April 1858 to an Irish father (William Marmion) and a French mother (Herminie Cordier). Given the name Joseph Aloysius at birth, he entered the Dublin diocesan seminary in 1874 and completed his theological studies at the College of the Propagation of the Faith in Rome. He was ordained a priest at St Agatha of the Goths on 16 June 1881.
   He dreamed of becoming a missionary monk in Australia, but was won over by the liturgical atmosphere of the newly founded Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium, which he visited on his return to Ireland in 1881. His Bishop asked him to wait and appointed him curate in Dundrum, then professor at the major seminary in Clonliffe (1882-86). As the chaplain at a convent of Redemptorist nuns and at a women’s prison, he learned to guide souls, to hear confessions, to counsel and to help the dying.
   In 1886 he received his Bishop’s permission to become a monk. He voluntarily renounced a promising ecclesiastical career and was welcomed at Maredsous by Abbot Placidus Wolter. His novitiate, under the iron rule of Dom Benoît D’Hondt and among a group of young novices (when he was almost 30), proved all the more difficult because he had to change habits, culture and language. But saying that he had entered the monastery to learn obedience, he let himself be moulded by monastic discipline, community life and choral prayer until his solemn profession on 10 February 1891.
   He received his first “obedience” or mission when he was assigned to the small group of monks sent to found the Abbey of Mont César in Louvain. Although it distressed him, he gave his all to it for the sake of obedience. There he was entrusted with the task of Prior beside Abbot de Kerchove, and served as spiritual director and professor to all the young monks studying philosophy or theology in Louvain.
   He started to devote more time to preaching retreats in Belgium and in the United Kingdom, and gave spiritual direction to many communities, particularly those of Carmelite nuns. He become the confessor of Mons. Joseph Mercier, the future Cardinal, and the two formed a lasting friendship.
   During this period, Maredsous Abbey was governed by Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne, its second Abbot, who in 1893 would become, at the request of Leo XIII, the first Primate of the Benedictine Confederation. His frequent stays in Rome required that he be replaced as Abbot of Maredsous, and it is Dom Columba Marmion who was elected the third Abbot of Maredsous on 28 September 1909, receiving the abbatial blessing on 3 October. He was placed at the head of a community of more than 100 monks, with a humanities college, a trade school and a farm to run. He also had to maintain a well-established reputation for research on the sources of the faith and to continue editing various publications, including the Revue Bénédictine.
His ongoing care of the community did not stop Dom Marmion from preaching retreats or giving regular spiritual direction. He was asked to help the Anglican monks of Caldey when they wished to convert to Catholicism. His greatest ordeal was the First World War. His decision to send the young monks to Ireland so that they could complete their education in peace led to additional work, dangerous trips and many anxieties. It also caused misunderstandings and conflicts between the two generations within this community shaken by the war. German lay brothers, who had been present since the monastery’s foundation by Beuron Abbey, had to be sent home (despite the Benedictine vow of stability) at the outbreak of hostilities. After the war was over, a small group of monks was urgently dispatched to the Monastery of the Dormition in Jerusalem to replace the German monks expelled by the British authorities. Finally, the Belgian monasteries were separated from the Beuron Congregation, and in 1920 the Belgian Congregation of the Annunciation was set up with Maredsous, Mont César and St. André of Zevenkerken.
   His sole comfort during this period was preaching and giving spiritual direction. His secretary, Dom Raymond Thibaut, prepared his spiritual conferences for publication: Christ the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919) and Christ the Ideal of the Monk (1922). He was already considered an outstanding Abbot (Queen Elisabeth of Belgium consulted with him at length) and a great spiritual author.
   He died during a flu epidemic on 30 January 1923. He was beatified by John Paul II on the 3rd of September 2000.

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©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


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