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Monday, August 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 17:22-27.


Monday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

8 August 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

1 unclean stdas0075

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 17:22-27.

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
Yes, he said. When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Biblehub

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Monday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

8 August 2016

Saints of the day

St. Dominic,

Priest (1170-1221)

COELLO_Claudio_St_Dominic

ST DOMINIC
Priest
(1170-1221)

        St. Dominic was born in Spain, in 1170. As a student, he sold his books to feed the poor in a famine, and offered himself in ransom for a slave.

        At the age of twenty-five he became superior of the Canons Regular of Osma, and accompanied his Bishop to France. There his heart was well-nigh broken by the ravages of the Albigenian heresy, and his life was henceforth devoted to the conversion of heretics and the defence of the Faith. For this end he established his threefold religious Order.

        The convent for nuns was founded first, to rescue young girls from heresy and crime. Then a company of apostolic men gathered around him, and became the Order of Friar Preachers. Lastly came the Tertiaries, persons of both sexes living in the world.

  God blessed the new Order, and France, Italy, Spain, and England welcomed the Preaching Friars. Our Lady took them under her special protection, and whispered to St. Dominic as he preached. It was in 1208, while St. Dominic knelt in the little chapel of Notre Dame de la Prouille, and implored the great Mother of God to save the Church, that Our Lady appeared to him, gave him the Rosary, and bade him go forth and preach. Beads in hand, he revived the courage of the Catholic troops, led them to victory against overwhelming numbers, and finally crushed the heresy.

        His nights were spent in prayer; and, though pure as a virgin, thrice before morning broke he scourged himself to blood. His words rescued countless souls, and three times raised the dead to life.

        At length, on the 6th of August, 1221, at the age of fifty-one, he gave up his soul to God.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Monday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

8 August 2016

Saints of the day

St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop,

Virgin

Beata_Maria_Elena_MacKillop-Maria_della_Croce

St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop,

Virgin

Mary of the Cross MacKillop was born on January 15, 1842 in Melbourne, Australia. Conditions in the mid-nineteenth century were still appallingly primitive. Poverty was rife especially in country areas, religious discrimination was widespread, the plight of the aboriginal people was deplorable, unemployment was common-place and communication was difficult in the extreme. Travel over any distance was for the fearless and tough. Many of the first settlers were of convict origin with little education and many were descendants of Irish Catholics much discriminated against because of their religion and place of origin. The Church had few priests to serve its people who were scattered around rural areas and, as a rule, experiencing poverty. Mary was the first of eight children of Scottish immigrants, Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald. These Catholic parents imbued their children with a great love of their faith. The family was poor, the father often without work because he dabbled in business and politics. Mary, in her teens, was called upon to assist the family finances by finding employment. At a young age, Mary had increasingly felt the call to live as a religious sister but she still had the obligation to care for her family. While working as a governess in Penola, she met Father Julian Tenison Woods who was parish priest of a large part of South East, South Australia. At that period of Australian history, schools, medical care and any form of social services were lacking, especially for the poor. The Catholic rural poor were especially disadvantaged. Blessed Mary’s dream of a free education for such children corresponded with the dream of Father Woods. He became her mentor and spiritual director and encouraged her vocation. Together, they developed a plan for a congregation of sisters who would work wherever there was a need but especially in rural areas. They would live in small convents or in whatever style of dwelling that the local people had. It was a courageous plan. In January 1866 the plan was put into action. Mary and her two sisters began teaching in Penola, South Australia, in a stable refurbished by her brother. With the encouragement and mentoring of Father Woods, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart was born. On the advice of Father Woods, Mary moved to the main South Australian city of Adelaide. On August 15, 1867 Mary and her companions professed the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Mary took the name Sister Mary of the Cross. She was joined by other young women, who responded to needsin rural areaswhere they provided, without payment, elementary teaching in religion and secular subjects to poor children who, otherwise had no hope of education. Soon afterwards Mary’s charitable heart opened to the destitute and elderly who were friendless and abandoned in a harsh society without any social welfare. By 1869 there were sixty sisters working in schools, orphanages and refuges for women. Father Woods and Blessed Mary envisaged the sisters being governed centrally by one superior and being free to go wherever there was a need anywhere in the colonies. In a short time, therefore, the sisters could be found in the other colonies and in New Zealand. A complex set of circumstances led to the Bishop of Adelaide, who was once her friend and benefactor, excommunicating Mary in 1871 for supposed disobedience. Mary accepted the excommunication and the dismissal of many of her sisters with serenity and peace. The Bishop revoked the sentence before his death less than six months later. Mary returned to her work and the majority of the sisters, who had been sent away, returned to the Institute. They were dark days. Mary was advised to go to Rome to seek the help of Pope Pius IX. Crucial for the institute was the concept of central government, which would enable her to send the sisters anywhere there was a need, rather than be confined to a particular diocese. While in Rome, Mary did not receive final approval for the institute—this came in 1888—but she did receive encouragement from many and especially from her three meetings with Pope PiusIX. She returned to Australia with support for central government. Back in Australia, further problems arose and Mary was ordered to leave Adelaide for Sydney where, in 1885 she was deposed as Mother General. It was not until 1899 that the sisters were free to elect her as their Mother General, an office she held until her death. She accepted these harsh changes and still retained respect for the bishops and priesthood and encouraged her sisters to do the same. Mary was untiring in her zeal for the poor. One of her favourite sayings was, “Never see a need without doing something about it.” Her devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Joseph impelled her to love God and His people. Her attention to the will of God enabled her to accept the joys as well as the difficulties that beset her so frequently. She wrote, “The will of God is to me a very dear book and I never tire of reading it.” Throughout her life Mary suffered from ill health and was often confined to bed with severe and debilitating headaches. But she used her illness to come closer to God. While visiting New Zealand when she was sixty years old she suffered a stroke. Her right side was impaired but she learned to write with her left hand and continued in the office of Superior General and even made several visitations to faraway convents. By 1905 deterioration was becoming evident and for the next years she suffered heroically and kept a cheerful, pleasant outlook on life, always speaking of God’s Will. In 1909 her condition worsened and she died peacefully on August 8, 1909. Her last days were ones of sadness for those who were gathered around her. Cardinal Moran said when he left her, “I have this day attended the death-bed of a saint… Her death will bring many blessings.” One thousand sisters then in the Institute mourned her death. Mary’s remains were removed to the Memorial Chapel at the Motherhouse in North Sydney, NSW, Australia. Three popes, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have prayed at her tomb as have thousands of pilgrims annually from all over the world. The lasting memory many sisters had of Mary was her kindness. It was not just the kindness reflected in all the works for which she had been responsible, nor the kindness of an isolated, aloof person but the kindness which St Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthians: Love is patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence and is not resentful. Love… elights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, to endure whatever comes(1 Cor.13: 4-7). During hisvisit to Sydney for World Youth Day in July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of Mary MacKillop, said “I know that herperseverance in the face of adversity, her plea for justice on behalf of those unfairly treated and her practical example of holiness have become a source of inspiration for all Australians”. The Holy Father spoke again, quoting Mary MacKillop, “Believe in the whisperings of God to your heart. Believe in him. Believe in the power of the Spirit of love”. Mary was so immersed in the presence of her God that she was well placed to hear His whisperings throughout her life.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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

Mark 16:15-20

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


Saturday, August 6th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 9:28b-36.


The Transfiguration of the Lord – Feast – Year C

6 August 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

1 1The_Transfiguration_1179-51

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9:28b-36.

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Biblehub

_________________________________________

The Transfiguration of the Lord – Feast – Year C

6 August 2016

The Transfiguration of the Lord – Feast

Lotto_Lorenzo_Transfiguration_1510_2

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
Feast

        Our divine Redeemer, being in Galilee about a year before His sacred Passion, took with him St. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, Sts. James and John, and led them to a retired mountain. Tradition assures us that this was Mount Thabor, which is exceedingly high and beautiful, and was anciently covered with green trees and shrubs, and was very fruitful. It rises something like a sugar-loaf, in a vast plain in the middle of Galilee. This was the place in which the Man-God appeared in His glory.

        Whilst Jesus prayed, he suffered that glory which was always due to his sacred humility, and of which, for our sake, He deprived it, to diffuse a ray over His whole body. His face was altered and shone as the sun, and his garments became white as snow. Moses and Elias were seen by the three apostles in his company on this occasion, and were heard discoursing with him of the death which he was to suffer in Jerusalem.

The three apostles were wonderfully delighted with this glorious vision, and St. Peter cried out to Christ, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents: one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias” Whilst St. Peter was speaking, there came, on a sudden, a bright shining cloud from heaven, an emblem of the presence of God’s majesty, and from out of this cloud was heard a voice which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” The apostles that were present, upon hearing this voice, were seized with a sudden fear, and fell upon the ground; but Jesus, going to them, touched them, and bade them to rise. They aimmediately did so, and saw no one but Jesus standing in his ordinary state.

        This vision happened in the night. As they went down the mountain early the next morning, Jesus bade them not to tell any one what they had seen till he should be risen from the dead.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

_____________________________________

The Transfiguration of the Lord – Feast – Year C

6 August 2016

Saint of the day 

St. Hormisdas,

Pope († 523)

Sant_Ormisda

SAINT HORMISDAS
Pope

(† 523)

        St. Hormisdas was bishop of Rome after Symmachus from July 26th, 514, to August 6th, 523, Anastasius and Justin being successively emperors of the East and Theodoric ruling the West as king of Italy. Hormisdas was a native of Frusino in Campania. Pope Silverius is said to have been his son.

  The memorable event of his pontificate was the restoration of communion between Rome and Constantinople, which had been interrupted since 484, in connexion with the Eutychian heresy.

        Hormisdas died early in 523, having held the see 9 years and 11 days. He, as well as all the popes during the schism with the East, except the too conciliatory Anastasius, has had his firmness acknowledged by canonization, his day in the Roman Calendar being August 6th. His extant writings consist of letters.

        Hormisdas had great administrative and diplomatic abilities, was singularly uncompromising and firm of purpose, and one of the most strenuous and successful assertors of the supremacy of the Roman see.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

______________________________________

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

Mark 16:15-20

*********************************************

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


Thursday, July 28th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:47-53.


Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,

which collects fish of every kind. “

a lot of fishes wjpas0625

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:47-53.

Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Do you understand all these things? They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Biblehub

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380),

Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, co-patron of Europe
Dialogues, ch.39 (©Classics of Western spirituality)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life” (Jn 3,36)

[Saint Catherine heard God say:] Know that on the final judgment day the Word my Son will come in my divine majesty to reprove the world with divine power. It will not be like when he was born in poverty, coming from the Virgin’s womb into the stable among the animals, and then dying between two thieves. At that time I had my power in him to allow him to suffer pains and tortures as a man-not that my divine nature was cut off from his human nature, but I let him suffer as a man to atone for your sins. Not so will he come in this end time. Then he will come in power to reprove these people in person.

For the just it will be a cause for reverent fear and great rejoicing. Not that his face will change-for he is one with my divine nature and therefore unchangeable, and even in his human nature his face is unchangeable since it has taken on the glory of his resurrection. But it will seem so to the eyes of the damned. For they will see him with their terribly darkened vision.

A sick eye sees nothing but darkness when it looks into such lightsomeness – and it is no fault of the light that it seems so different to the two; the fault is in the sick eye. So the damned see my Son in darkness, confusion, and hatred, not through any fault of my divine Majesty with which he comes to judge the world, but through their own fault.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Pedro Poveda Castroverde,

Priest & Martyr (1874-1936)

San_Pedro_Poveda_Castroverde_B

Saint Pedro Poveda Castroverde
Priest and Martyr, Founder of the Teresian Association
(1874-1936)

        Pedro Poveda was born on 3 December 1874 in Linares, Spain, to a solidly Christian family. From early childhood he felt called to become a priest, and in 1889 he entered the diocesan seminary in Jaén. Because of financial difficulties, he transferred to the Diocese of Guadix, Grenada, where the Bishop had offered him a scholarship. He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1897.

        After ordination Fr Poveda taught in the seminary and served the diocese in many other ways. In 1900 he completed a licentiate in theology at Seville and later began an apostolate among the “cave-dwellers”, those who lived in dugouts in the hills outside of Guadix. Here he built a school for children and workshops for adults that provided professional training and Christian formation. He was misunderstood, however, and had to leave this special ministry.

        So Fr Poveda headed for the solitude of Covadonga, in the mountains of northern Spain, where, in 1906, he was appointed canon of the Basilica of Covadonga in Asturias, where the Blessed Virgin is venerated under this title.

In Covadonga, he devoted much time to prayer and reflected particularly on the problem of education in Spain. He understood that the Lord was inviting him to open new paths in the Church and in the society of his time. He began to published articles and pamphlets on the question of the professional formation of teachers and was also in contact with other persons who felt the need for the presence and action of Christians in society.

        The opposition between faith and science was becoming more and more evident in the culture of his day, which carried with it a de-Christianization of the public education system. Fr Poveda, after his apostolic experience in Guadix and his years of reflection and prayer in Covadonga, understood better the need to provide Christian formation for teachers who work in the State school system. He believed that a solid faith and professional qualifications were both needed to keep the Gospel message alive.

In 1911 he opened the St Teresa of Avila Academy as a residence for students and the starting point of the Teresian Association, dedicated to the spiritual and pastoral formation of teachers. The following year he joined the Apostolic Union of Secular Priests and started new pedagogical centres and some periodicals.

        To further his work Fr Poveda moved to Jaén, where he taught in the seminary, served as spiritual director of Los Operarios Catechetical Centre, and worked at the Teacher Training College. In 1914 he opened Spain’s first university residence for women in Madrid.

        Meanwhile, the Teresian Association continued to develop, spreading to various groups and areas, and leading to its ecclesiastical and civil approval in Jaén. Fr Poveda offered the Teresian Association as a new path of Christian life and evangelization created with and for lay persons, forming them to be witnesses of the Gospel, according to his expression:  “To believe firmly and to keep silent is not possible”. He wanted the adherents to be ready to give their lives for the faith and in fact, expressed the same desire himself.

        In 1921 Fr Poveda moved to Madrid and was appoined a chaplain of the Royal Palace. A year later he was named a member of the Central Board against illiteracy, but most of his time was devoted to the Teresian Association, which received papal approval in 1924. Although he did not direct the Association, as its founder he worked to consolidate and promote the various dimensions of its mission as it spread to Chile and later to Italy (1934).

        It was during the religious persecution in Spain that Fr Poveda would be called to the martyrdom he so desired. At dawn on 28 July 1936, when told by his persecutors to identify himself, he said, “I am a priest of Christ”. He died a martyr for the faith, and was beatified on 10 October 1993 and canonized on 3 May by Pope John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

_________________________________________

Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception (1910-1946)

Beata_Alfonsa_dellImmacolata_Concezione-dIndia

Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception
(1910-1946)

        Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was born in Kudamalur, the Arpookara region, in the diocese of Changanacherry, India, on the 19th of August 1910, of the ancient and noble family of Muttathupadathu.

        From her birth, the life of the Saint was marked by the cross, which would be progressively revealed to her as the royal way to conform herself to Christ. Her mother, Maria Puthukari, gave birth to her prematurely, in her eight month of pregnancy, as a result of a fright she received when, during the sleep, a snake wrapped itself around her waist. Eight days later, the 28 of August, the child was baptised according to the Syro-Malabar rite by the Fr. Joseph Chackalayil, and she received the name Annakutty, a diminutive of Anne. She was the last of five children.

        Her mother died three months later. Annakutty passed her early infancy in the home of her grandparents in Elumparambil. There she lived a particularly happy time because of her human and Christian formation, during which the first seeds of a vocation flowered. Her grand-mother, a pious and charitable woman, communicated the joy of the faith, love for prayer and a surge of charity towards the poor to her. At five years of age the child already knew how to lead, with a totally childish enthusiasm, the evening prayer of the family gathered, in accordance with the Syro-Malabar custom, in the “prayer room”.

        Annakutty received the Eucharistic bread for the first time on the 11 of November 1917. She used to say to her friends: “Do you know why I am so particularly happy today? It is because I have Jesus in my heart!“. In a letter to her spiritual father, on the 30 of November 1943, she confided the following: “Already from the age of seven I was no longer mine. I was totally dedicated to my divine Spouse. Your reverence knows it well“.

        In the same year of 1917 she began to attend the elementary school of Thonnankuzhy, where she also established a sincere friendship with the Hindu children. When the first school cycle ended in 1920, the time had come to transfer to Muttuchira, to the house of her aunt Anna Murickal, to whom her mother, before she died, had entrusted her as her adoptive mother.

        Her aunt was a severe and demanding woman, at times despotic and violent in demanding obedience from Annakutty in her every minimal disposition or desire. Assiduous in her religious practice, she accompanied her niece, but did not share the young girl’s friendship with the Carmelites of the close-by Monastery or her long periods of prayer at the foot of the altar. She was, in fact, determined to procure an advantageous marriage for Annakutty, obstructing the clear signs of her religious vocation.

        The virtue of the Saint was manifested in accepting this severe and rigid education as a path of humility and patience for the love of Christ, and tenaciously resisted the reiterated attempts at engagement to which the aunt tried to oblige her. Annakutty, in order to get out from under a commitment to marriage, reached the point of voluntarily causing herself a grave burn by putting her foot into a heap of burning embers. “My marriage was arranged when I was thirteen years old. What had I to do to avoid it? I prayed all that night… then an idea came to me. If my body were a little disfigured no one would want me! … O, how I suffered! I offered all for my great intention“.

The proposal to defile her singular beauty did not fully succeed in freeing her from the attentions of suitors. During the following years the Blessed had to defend her vocation, even during the year of probation when an attempt to give her in marriage, with the complicity of the Mistress of Formation herself, was made. “O, the vocation which I received! A gift of my good God!…. God saw the pain of my soul in those days. God distanced the difficulties and established me in this religious state“.

        It was Fr. James Muricken, her confessor, who directed her towards Franciscan spirituality and put her in contact with the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists. Annakutty entered their college in Bharananganam in the diocese of Palai, to attend seventh class, as an intern student, on the 24th of May 1927. The following year, on the 2nd of August 1928, Annakutty began her postulancy, taking the name of Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception in honour of St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast it was that day. She was clothed in the religious habit on the 19th of May 1930, during the first pastoral visit made to Bharananganam by the Bishop, Msgr. James Kalacherry.

The period 1930-1935 was characterised by grave illness and moral suffering. She could teach the children in the school at Vakakkad only during the scholastic year 1932. Then, because of her weakness, she carried out the duties of assistant-teacher and catechist in the parish. She was engaged also as secretary, especially to write official letters because of her beautiful script.

        The canonical novitiate was introduced into the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists in 1934. Though wishing to enter immediately, the Blessed was only admitted on the 12th of August 1935 because of her ill health. About one week after the beginning of her novitiate, she had a haemorrhage from the nose and eyes and a profound organic wasting and purulent wounds on her legs. The illness deteriorated, to such a point that the worst was feared.

        Heaven came to the rescue of the holy novice. During a novena to The Servant of God Fr. Kuriakose Elia Chavara – a Carmelite who today is a Blessed- she was miraculously and instantaneously cured.

        Having restarted her novitiate, she wrote the following proposals in her spiritual diary: “I do not wish to act or speak according to my inclinations. Every time I fail, I will do penance… I want to be careful never to reject anyone. I will only speak sweet words to others. I want to control my eyes with rigour. I will ask pardon of the Lord for every little failure and I will atone for it through penance. No matter what my sufferings may be, I will never complain and if I have to undergo any humiliation, I will seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus“.

        The 12th of August 1936, the feast of St. Clare, the day of her perpetual profession, was a day of inexpressible spiritual joy. She had realised her desire, guarded for a long time in her heart and confided to her sister Elizabeth when she was only 12 years old: “Jesus is my only Spouse, and none other“.

Jesus, however, wished to lead His spouse to perfection through a life of suffering. “I made my perpetual profession on the 12th of August 1936 and came here to Bharanganam on the following 14th. From that time, it seems, I was entrusted with a part of the cross of Christ. There are abundant occasions of suffering… I have a great desire to suffer with joy. It seems that my Spouse wishes to fulfil this desire“.

Painful illnesses followed each other: typhoid fever, double pneumonia, and, the most serious of all, a dramatic nervous shock, the result of a fright on seeing a thief during the night of the 18th of October 1940. Her state of psychic incapacity lasted for about a year, during which she was unable to read or write.

        In every situation, Sister Alphonsa always maintained a great reservation and charitable attitude towards the Sisters, silently undergoing her sufferings. In 1945 she had a violent outbreak of illness. A tumour, which had spread throughout her organs, transformed her final year of life into a continuous agony. Gastroenteritis and liver problems caused violent convulsions and vomiting up to forty times a day: “I feel that the Lord has destined me to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering… I consider a day in which I have not suffered as a day lost to me“.

    With this attitude of a victim for the love of the Lord, happy until the final moment and with a smile of innocence always on her lips, Sister Alphonsa quietly and joyfully brought her earthly journey to a close in the convent of the Franciscan Clarists at Bharananganam at 12.30 on the 28th July 1946, leaving behind the memory of a Sister full of love and a saint.

        Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception Muttathupadathu was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II in Kottayam, India, on the 8th of February 1986. She was canonized on the 12th of October 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. With that Canonisation, the Church in India presents its first Saint to the veneration of the faithful of the whole world. Faithful from every part of the world have come together in a single act of thanksgiving to God in her name and in a sign of the great oriental and western traditions, Roman and Malabar, which Sr. Alphonsa lived and harmonised in her saintly life.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Victor,

Pope and Martyr († 198)

San_Vittore_I_B

Saint Victor I
Pope and Martyr
(† 198)
Third Class

        Pope St. Victor governed the Church in the time of the Emperor Severus. He confuted Theodotus Coriarius and wrote on the question of Easter.

       Crowned with martyrdom, he was buried on Vatican hill on the fifth day before the Calends of August.

The Roman Breviary (1964)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

____________________________________________

Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Innocent I,

Pope and Confessor († 417)

Sant_Innocenzo_ISaint Innocent I
Pope

(† 417)

        Pope St. Innocent, after condemning Pelagius and Caelestius, issued a decree against their heresy.

        His body was buried in the cemetery called “Ad Ursum pileatum” [Bear with the Cap.]

The Roman Breviary (1964)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

_________________________________________

Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2016

Saints of the day

Sts. Nazarius and Celsus,

Martyrs (1st century)

Santi_Nazario_e_CelsoSAINTS NAZARIUS and CELSUS
Martyrs
(1st century) 

        St. Nazarius’ father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left Rome, his native city, and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a disciple of the apostles.

    Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the Faith, together with Celsus, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395.

        In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint’s blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia.

        St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies.

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

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Tuesday, July 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:36-43.


Saint Joachim and Saint Ann, parents of the blessed Virgin Mary – Memorial

26 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

1 wjpas0570

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:36-43.

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

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Daily Mass, Tuesday 26 July 2016  

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Saint Joachim and Saint Ann, parents of the blessed Virgin Mary – Memorial

26 July 2016

Saints of the day

Sts. Joachim & Anne,

Parents of the Bl. Virgin Mary

VIVARINI_Bartolomeo_The_Meeting_Of_Anne_And_Joachim

SAINT JOACHIM and SAINT ANNE
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Memorial

        These names are given to the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin by a tradition dating back to the second century.

 

By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary’s father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though this document is not ahistorical source, nor the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah — Anne — in 1 Kings).

As St. John Damascene wrote: “Joachim and Ann, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.”

Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God’s request with faith, “Let it be done to me as you will.” It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.

Such parents can be examples and models for all parents.

Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.

Catholic Online

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Matthew 28:20.

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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Sunday, July 24th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 11:1-13.


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

24 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“When you pray, say:

Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread”

1 stdas0670

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11:1-13.

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; 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.
What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

24 July 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380),

Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, co-patron of Europe
The Dialogue, 134

“Ask and you will receive”

      Your truth told us to cry out, and we should be answered; to knock, and it would be opened to us; to beg, and it would be given to us. Oh! Eternal Father, your servants do cry out to your mercy; and so, answer us. I know well that mercy belongs to your very being; therefore you cannot deny it or refuse it to those who ask for it. Your servants knock at the door of your truth, because in the truth of your only-begotten Son (Jn 14:6) they know the ineffable love which you have for mankind. Therefore the fire of your love cannot refuse to open to those who knock with perseverance.

      Open therefore, unlock, and break the hardened hearts of men, whom you created – if not for the sake of those who do not knock, at least on account of your infinite goodness, and through your love of your servants who knock at you for their sakes. Grant the prayer of those, Eternal Father who, as you see, stand at the door of your truth and pray… Open the door of your inestimable love which you have given us through the door of your Word. I know indeed that you open even before we can knock, for it is with the love which yourself have given to your servants that they knock and cry to you, seeking your honor and the salvation of souls. Give them then the bread of life, that is to say, the fruit of the blood of your only-begotten Son.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

________________________________________

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

24 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Sharbel Makhluf,

Priest (1828-1898)

San_Jerbello-Sarbel_Charbel-Giuseppe_Makhluf_F

SAINT SHARBEL MAKHLUF
Priest
(1828-1898)

        Joseph Zaroun  Makhluf was born in a small mountain village of Lebanon. Raised by an uncle who opposed the boy’s youthful piety, he snuck away at age 23 to join the Baladite monastery of Saint Maron at Annaya where he took the name Charbel in memory of a 2nd century martyr. He was ordained in 1858.   

        Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Sharbel lived as a model monk on the bare minimums of everything. He gained a reputation for holiness, and was much sought for counsel and blessing. He had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate during his prayers. He was briefly paralyzed just before his death.

        Several post-mortem miracles were attributed to him, including periods in 1927 and 1950 when a bloody “sweat” flowed from his corpse. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.

        Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the way he lived. He was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 9 October 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

        July 24th is the feast-day for St. Sharbel Makhlouf on the Universal Church. The Maronite Church celebrates him on the 3rd Sunday of July and on December 24th, the day he went to heaven.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

__________________________________________

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

24 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Christina,

Virgin and Martyr († c. 300)

Santa_Cristina_di_Bolsena_F

SAINT CHRISTINA
Virgin and Martyr
(† c. 300)

        St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our Saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain became the persecutor of his daughter; he had her whipped with rods and then thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith.

    Her tormentor then had her body torn by iron hooks, and fastened her to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over his servant and turned the flames upon the lookers-on. Christina was next seized, a heavy stone tied about her neck, and she was thrown into the lake of Bolsena, but she was saved by an angel, and outlived her father, who died of spite.

        Later, this martyr suffered the most inhuman torments under the judge who succeeded her father, and finally was thrown into a burning furnace, where she remained, unhurt, for five days. By the power of Christ she overcame the serpents among which she was thrown; then her tongue was cut out, and afterwards, being pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr’s crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena in Italy, but was long since swallowed up by the waters.

        Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily.

 

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

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Mark 16:15-20

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


Saturday, July 23rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:24-30.


Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

23 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

 

“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

stdas0051 PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:24-30.

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

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Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

23 July 2016

Commentary of the day

Venerable Pius XII,

Pope from 1939 to 1958
Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, 1943

“Let them grow together until harvest”

      Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet (cf Mt 9:11). For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.

      Let every one then abhor sin, which defiles the mystical members of our Redeemer; but if anyone unhappily falls and his obstinacy has not made him unworthy of communion with the faithful, let him be received with great love, and let eager charity see in him a weak member of Jesus Christ. For, as the Bishop of Hippo remarks, it is better “to be cured within the Church’s community than to be cut off from its body as incurable members.” “As long as a member still forms part of the body there is no reason to despair of its cure; once it has been cut off, it can be neither cured nor healed.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

______________________________________

Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

23 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Bridget of Sweden (1304-1373)

Santa_Brigida_di_Svezia_M

SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN
Patron saint of Sweden and co-patron of Europe
(1304-1373)

        St. Bridget was born of the Swedish royal family, in 1304. In obedience to her father, she was married to Prince Ulpho of Sweden, and became the mother of eight children, one of whom, Catherine, is honored as a Saint.

        After some years she and her husband separated by mutual consent. He entered the Cistercian Order, and Bridget founded the Order of St. Saviour, in the Abbey of Wastein, in Sweden.

        In 1344 she became a widow, and thenceforth received a series of the most sublime revelations, all of which she scrupulously submitted to the judgment of her confessor. By the command of Our Lord, Bridget went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and amidst the very scenes of the Passion was further instructed in the sacred mysteries.

        She died in 1373.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

________________________________________

Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

23 July 2016

Saints of the day

Bl. Vasil’ Hopko,

Bishop and martyr († 1976)

Beato_Vasil_Hopko

Blessed Vasiľ Hopko
(1904-1976)
Bishop and martyr

        Vasil’ Hopko was born on April 21, 1904 in Hrabské, a small village in eastern Slovakia. His father died when he was 1 year old, leaving his mother alone to care for the child. Vasil’s mother left for the United States in 1908 to find work, putting Vasil’ under the care of his grandfather. When the boy was 7, he went to live with his uncle, Demeter Petrenko, a Greek-Catholic priest.

       His uncle’s example awakened in Vasil’ a call to the priesthood, and in 1923 he decided to enter the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov. He was ordained a priest on February 3, 1929 and was entrusted with the pastoral care of the Greek-Catholic faithful in Prague. Here, he was involved in many different activities:  work with youth, the elderly, the unemployed and orphans. Fr Vasil’ founded the Movement of Greek-Catholic Students and the Greek-Catholic Youth Union, and contributed to the building of the city’s Greek-Catholic parish, becoming its priest. It was also in Prague that, after 22 years, the young priest met his mother who had returned from the United States.

        In 1936, Fr Vasil’ returned to Slovakia where he served as spiritual father in the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov. In 1941, he was appointed as secretary of the Bishop’s Curia, and he became professor of moral and pastoral theology at the Theological Faculty in Presov in 1943. He also found free moments to write and publish various works and became the first editor of the magazine Blahovistnik (The Gospel Messenger).

        After World War II, the Czechoslovakian Republic fell under a growing Soviet Bolshevik and atheist influence. Foreseeing a systematic “Sovietization” and the resulting totalitarian-atheistic Marxism, Bishop Gojdic of Presov asked the Holy See for an Auxiliary Bishop to help him defend against the attacks on the Greek-Catholic faithful and the Church. Fr Vasil’ became the newly-appointed Auxiliary Bishop and was ordained on May 11, 1947. He helped the Bishop greatly, preparing the people for hard times on the horizon.

        Little by little the Czechoslovakian Communist Party prepared for the violent elimination of the Greek-Catholic Church in its nation. On April 28, 1950, the Communists carried out their work of “liquidation” during the so-called “Council of Presov”, held without the presence of Bishops. Here they declared that the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia no longer existed and that all its priests, faithful and churches were to be transferred over to the Orthodox Church. Bishops Gojdic and Hopko were arrested.

        Following the arrest, Bishop Hopko underwent drastic interrogation and torture so he would deny his faith and confess to fabricated accusations. On October 24, 1951, after more than a year of cruel and diabolic interrogation, he was condemned by the State Court to 15 years in prison and a loss of all civil rights for 10 years. While in prison, in addition to the torture he received, he was given small doses of arsenic which caused a chronic poisoning, which was later verified by an analysis of his bones.

        On May 12, 1964 he was released from prison for health reasons. After years of mistreatment, the Bishop suffered from grave physical ailments and mental depression caused by the constant torture and inhuman treatment. Notwithstanding all this, he continued to contribute actively to the resurgence of the Greek-Catholic Church.

        On June 13, 1968, the renewal of the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia was re-estabilized after 18 years of open persecution. From 1968, Bishop Hopko began living in Presov; on December 20, 1968, Pope Paul VI confirmed his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop for all Greek-Catholic faithful in Czechoslovakia. He carried out this responsibility with great care, encouraging the faithful and ordaining priests.

        Bishop Hopko died on July 23, 1976 in Presov. He made his own the words of Bishop Gojdic:  “For me, it is not important if I die in the Bishop’s Palace or in prison; what matters is entering into Paradise”.

        He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 14, 2003 at Bratislava.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


Sunday, July 17th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 10:38-42.


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

17 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Lord, do you not care that my sister

has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

1 Christ_in_the_House_of_Mary_and_Martha

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10:38-42.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

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The Sunday Mass – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 17, 2016)

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The Sunday Mass – July 17, 2016

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

17 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Alexius,

Confessor (+404)

Sant_Alessio_D

SAINT ALEXIUS
Confessor

(+404)

        St. Alexius was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for virtue, birth, and wealth. On his wedding-night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly quitted Rome, and journeying to Edessa, in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thenceforth to live on alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city.

        It came to pass that the servants of St. Alexius, whom his father sent in search of him, arrived at Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, “I thank thee, O Lord, Who hast called me and granted that I should receive for Thy name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfil in me the work Thou hast begun.”

After seventeen years, when his sanctity was miraculously manifested by the Blessed Virgin’s image, he once more sought obscurity by flight. On his way to Tarsus contrary winds drove his ship to Rome. There no one recognized in the wan and tattered mendicant the heir of Rome’s noblest house; not even his sorrowing parents, who had vainly sent throughout the world in search of him. From his father’s charity he begged a mean corner of his palace as a shelter, and the leavings of his table as food.

        Thus he spent seventeen years, bearing patiently the mockery and ill-usage of his own slaves, and witnessing daily the inconsolable grief of his spouse and parents. At last, when death had ended this cruel martyrdom, they learned too late, from a writing in his own hand, who it was that they had unknowingly sheltered. God bore testimony to His servant’s sanctity by many miracles.

        He died early in the fifth century.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

________________________________________

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

17 July 2016

Saints of the day

Bl. Pavol Gojdič,

(1888+1960)

Beato_Paolo-Pietro-Gojdic_A

BLESSED PAVOL GOJDIČ
Basilian Bishop and Martyr
(1888-1960)

        Pavol Gojdič was born on July 17th, 1888 at Ruské Pekľany near Prešov, into the family of the Greek-Catholic priest Štefan Gojdič; his mother’s name was Anna Gerberyová. He received the name of Peter in baptism.

        He attended the elementary school at Cigeľka, Bardejov and Prešov, finishing his primary studies at Prešov, which he concluded with his maturity exam in 1907. Obeying God’s call to the priesthood he began his study of theology at Prešov. Since he obtained excellent results, he was sent a year later to continue his studies in Budapest. Here too he tried to lead a profound spiritual life. While still a seminarian he was directed by his spiritual director on these lines: „Life is not difficult, but it is a serious matter”- words that were to guide him throughout his life. Having finished his studies on August 27th 1911 he was ordained priest at Prešov by Bishop Dr. Ján Valyi. After his ordination he worked for a short period as assistant parish priest with his father. After a year he was appointed prefect of the eparchial seminary and at the same time taught religion in a higher secondary school. Later he was put in charge of protocol and the archives in the diocesan curia. He was also entrusted with the spiritual care of the faithful in Sabinov as assistant parish priest. In 1919 he became director of the episcopal office.

        To everyone’s surprise on July 20th, 1922 he joined the Order of St. Basil the Great at Černecia Hora near Mukačevo, where, taking the habit on 27.1.1923 he took the name Pavol. He took this decision as a sign of modesty, humility, and a desire to lead an ascetic life in order to better serve God. But God willed otherwise and had ordered him to a higher office as bishop. On September 14th, 1926 he was nominated Apostolic administrator of the eparchy of Prešov. During his installation as Apostolic Administrator he announced the programme of his apostolate: „With the help of God I want to be a father to orphans, a support for the poor and consoler to the afflicted”.

     The first official act of Pavol Gojdič in his office as newly appointed administrator of the eparchy of Prešov was to address a pastoral letter on the occasion of the 1100° anniversary of the birth of St. Cyril, apostle of the Slavs. Thus he begins his activity in the spirit of the apostle of the Slavs, always faithful to Rome, as they were. He was a Slav and was very fond of his oriental rite.

        A short time later, on March 7th, 1927 he was nominated bishop with the title of Harpaš (Church of Harpaš – in Asia Minor). The episcopal consecration took place in the basilica of San Clemente, Rome, on March 25th, 1927, the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady.

        After his episcopal ordination he visited the basilica of St Peter in Rome, where he prayed on the tomb of the Apostle. On March 29th 1927, together with Bishop Nyaradi, he was received in a private audience by the Holy Father Pius XI. The pope gave Bishop Pavol a gold cross saying: „This cross is only a faint symbol of the heavy crosses that God will send you, my son, in your work as bishop”.

For his episcopal programme he chose as a motto the following words: „God is love, let us love Him!” As bishop he was engaged in the promotion of spiritual life of both clergy and faithful. He insisted on the proper celebration of the liturgy and of church feasts. Following new conditions he erected new parishes, for instance, in Prague, Bratislava, Levoča and elsewhere. Thanks to his hard work the orphanage at Prešov was built, and entrusted to the local sisters. His activity in the scholastic field was outstanding, as is proved by the foundation of the Greek-Catholic school in Prešov in the year 1936. He supported also the teaching academy, the seminary, colleges etc. He was interested in every aspect of spiritual reading, which resulted in the launching of the review Blahovistnik (Messenger of the Gospel), Da prijdet carstvije Tvoje (Thy Kingdom Come) and various prayers etc., published by the PETRA publishing house. For his kindness, caring and charitable relationship with the people he was described as „a man with a heart of gold”.

An important characteristic of the bishop was also his strong affection for the Eucharistic Saviour, which he continually strengthened through his visits to the Blessed Eucharist in the chapel at his residence. Another characteristic, not less evident, of his spiritual life, was his devotion to the Sacred Heart. Already as a Seminarian in Budapest he had consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart and this he confirmed every morninng with the words „All the prayers, sacrifices and crosses I offer to make up for the sins of the whole world!”. One must not forget that the bishop had great devotion to the Mother of God and as as a marian devotee held in his residential chapel a picture of the Virgin of Klokočov, in front of which he prayed every day and to whose protection he entrusted himself and the whole eparchy.

        On April 13, 1939 he was appointed apostolic administrator in Slovakia of the Apostolic Administration of Mukačevo. In the difficult situation of the Slovak State he became a „thorn in the flesh” for the representatives of the government of the time and so offered his resignation from the post – in fact the present Holy Father appreciated his work and not only refused his resignation but also made him residential bishop of Prešov. And so on August 8th, 1940 he was solemnly enthroned at Prešov and then on January 15, 1946 confirmed in his jurisdiction over the Greek-Catholics in the whole of Czecho-Slovakia.

        The progress in religious and spiritual life in the eparchy that followed the personal example and fervour of Bishop Pavol was interrupted by the events of war, and especially with the coming to power of the communistcs in 1948. Their ideological programme made itself felt above all against the Greek-Catholic Church. Bishop P. P. Gojdič resisted any initiative to submit the Greek-Catholics to Russian orthodoxy assisted by the communist party and the power of the State, even though he knew he was risking persecution and arrest; maybe even death. Gradually he was isolated from the clergy and the faithful.

Even though put under severe pressure to renounce the Catholic faith and break unity with the Pope, he refused every attractive offer and exclaimed: „I am already 62 and sacrifice all my goods and residence, but I will not deny my faith in any way because I want to save my soul. Do not even come to me.”

        During the events sadly known of Sobor of Prešov, April 28, 1950, when the State outlawed the Greek-Catholic Church and forbade her activity, bishop Pavol Gojdič was arrested and interned. Thus began his via crucis in many prisons of what was Czecho-Slovakia, which ended with his death.

        In the days from the 11 to the 15 of January 1951 in a trial set up against the so called high treason bishops (Vojtaššák, Buzalka, and Gojdič) he was given a life sentence; fined two hundred thousand crowns and deprived of all his civic rights. Transfers from one prison to another followed. Bishop P. P. Gojdič suffered physical and psychological punishments, humiliations; he was forced to do the most difficult and degrading jobs. Howewer he never complained and never asked to be relieved. He made use of every available time to pray, and celebrated the sacred liturgy in secret. Following the amnesty in 1953, given by State President A. Zapotocký, his life sentence was changed to 25 years detention. He was then 66 and his state of health deteriorated continuously. Yet all further requests for amnesty were refused.

        Bishop Pavol Gojdič could only leave prison at the cost of his faithfulness to the Church and to the Holy Father. Various offers were made to him, as is proved by an event that he himself recounts: In the prison of Ruzyň he was received in an office, where he had been brought from his cell, by a high official in uniform. This informed him that from that office he would go straight to Prešov, on condition that he was willing to become patriarch of the Ortodox church in Czecho-Slovakia. The bishop refused this offer excusing himself and explaining that this would be a very grave sin against God, a betrayal of the Holy Father, of his conscience and of his faithful, most of whom were then suffering persecution.

        Even in the most difficult situation he abandoned himself to the will of God, as can be seen from these words of his: „I do not really know whether it is a gain to exchange the crown of martyrdom with two or three years of life in freedom. But I leave the good Lord to decide”. On the occasion of his 70° birthday even the Holy Father Pius XII sent him a telegram in prison. In it he assured him he would not forget his heroic son. For the bishop this was one of his best days in prison.

        A great desire of bishop Gojdič was to die comforted by the sacraments on his birthday. Both desires were fulfilled.

        Father Alojz Vrána was transferred to the room of the prison hospital of Leopoldov (Slovakia), where the bishop passed his last days, and could hear his confession. The chalice of suffering of bishop Pavol was about to overflow. An eye witness of the last instants of his life was his fellow prisoner – the nurse František Ondruška, who has given a unique testimony. He confirmed that the desire of the bishop had been fulfilled – he died on July 17th, 1960 that is on the day of his 72nd birthday. He died in the hospital of the prison of Leopoldov as a result of illness resulting from the ill treatment he had suffered. Afterwards he was buried without ceremony in the prison cemetery in a nameless tomb, with the prison number 681.

        As a result of the easing of the political situation in Czecho-Slovakia in 1968, the state autorities after many delays gave permission for exhuming the mortal remains of bishop P. P. Gojdič. This happened in the cemetery of Leopoldov on October 29, 1968 and was followed by the transfer of the remains to Prešov. By a decision of the autorities set up after the soviet occupation these were transferred to the crypt of Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Prešov. From May 15, 1990 they are to be found in a sarcofagus in the chapel of the cathedral.

        Bishop Pavol Gojdič was legally rehabilitated on September 27, 1990. Subsequently he was decorated posthumously with the Order of T. G. Masaryk – II class, and with the Cross of Pribina – 1st class.

        The Holy Father, John Paul II during his historic visit in Slovakia, while visiting Prešov, prayed at the tomb of this bishop-martyr in the chapel of the cathedral.
He beatified him on November 4, 2001.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Saturday, July 16th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 12:14-21.


Saturday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

16 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“He will not contend or cry out,

nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.”

1 OUR FATHER 375px-Bloch-SermonOnTheMount

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 12:14-21.

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many (people) followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

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Fr. Pat Fitzpatrick C.S.Sp. celebrates Daily Mass from Loretto Abbey in Toronto

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Daily Mass, Saturday 16 July 2016

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Saturday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

16 July 2016

Commentary of the day

Tertullian (c.155-220),

theologian
Against Marcion, II, 27, PL II, 316-317

“Behold, my servant… He will not contend or cry out”

      God would have been unable to have any communication with us if he had not taken on himself the same emotions and affections as our own. And so he tempered the strength of his majesty, which our weak capacities would no doubt have been incapable of enduring. Such a humbling of himself was degrading for him but necessary for us, and that is why this humbling was worthy of God, for nothing is so worthy of God as human salvation…

      God’s apparent loss is our gain; what some might consider disgraceful of my God is in fact the sacrament of our salvation. God acted thus towards us so that we might learn to act as God does. God dealt on equal terms with us so that we might be able to deal on equal terms with God. God became small so that we might become very great.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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

Mark 16:15-20

*********************************************

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


Wednesday, July 13th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 11:25-27.


Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father

except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Christ_Pantocrator_mosaic_from_Hagia_Sophia_2744_x_2900_pixels_3_1_MB

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:25-27. 

At that time Jesus exclaimed, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

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Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Teresa de Los Andes

Santa_Teresa_di_Gesu_delle_Ande-Giovanna_Fernandez_Solar-A

Saint  Teresa de Los Andes
Carmelite  Nun (1900-1920)

Discalced Carmelite mystic and the first Chilean to be canonized. She was baptized Juanita Fernandez Solar and born in Santiago, Chile on July 13, 1900 into an upper class family. Devoted to Christ from a very young age, she read the autobiography of the French Carmelite nun Thérèse of Lisieux. The experience had a profound effect on Juanita’s already pious character, coming to the realization she wanted to live for God alone. Her further inspiration for this self-transformation was her upcoming First Communion, which led her to this commitment in an effort to be worthy of what she was to receive. She entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Los Andes on May 7, 1919. There she was given the religious name of Teresa of Jesus. In her journal she wrote; “I am God’s, He created me and is my beginning and my end.” Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. Within a few months of her admission to the Order, however, she contracted typhus, which was diagnosed as fatal. She was still three months short of her twentieth birthday, and had yet six months to complete her canonical novitiate, so as to be normally able to make her religious vows; nevertheless she was allowed to profess vows in periculo mortis (danger of death). She thereby died as a professed nun of the Order on April 12, 1920, which fell during Holy Week that year.

Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit each year the shrine where her remains are venerated in the Shrine of Saint Teresa of Los Andes in the township of Los Andes, 60 miles (100 km.) from Santiago. Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Santiago on April 3, 1987. Her brother Luis was present at her beatification; he was the last direct relative of hers still alive then. Six years later, she was canonized by this same pope.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Clelia Barbieri

Santa_Clelia_Barbieri

Saint Clelia Barbieri
Foundress of the Congregation of the “Suore Minime dell’Addolorata”
(1847-1870)

        Clelia Barbieri was born to Giacinta Nannetti and Giuseppe Barbieri, on February 13th, 1847 in a village called “Budrie” of S. Giovanni in Persiceto in the outskirts of Bologna, Italy and in the Archdiocese of Bologna.

        Her parents were of different origins: Giuseppe Barbieri came from perhaps the poorest family of “Budrie” while Giacinta from the most important family in town: he worked as servant for Giacinta’s uncle, the district’s medical doctor, while she was the daughter of the well-to-do Pietro Nannetti.
        After her much-contested wedding, the wealthy Giacinta accepted the poverty of a laborer’s life and moved from a comfortable home to the humble cottage of her father-in-law, Sante Barbieri; nevertheless forming a family built on the rock of faith and a totally Christian life.

        In line with her mother’s expressed wish, she was baptized Clelia, Rachele, Maria on the very day of her birth.

        The mother taught Clelia to love God early in her life placing in her heart the desire for sanctity. One day Clelia asked her, “Mother, how can I become a saint?” In the meantime Clelia also learned the art of sewing, spinning and weaving kemp which was the most important work of the district.

        In 1855, during a cholera epidemic the then eight-year-old Clelia lost her father and through the generosity of her uncle, the doctor, she, her mother and younger sister Ernestina moved into a more comfortable house near the parish church.

        For Clelia the days became more saintly and dedicated. Anyone who wanted to see her could always find her either at home weaving and sewing or in church praying.

        Although it was usual at that time to receive First Communion almost at adulthood, Clelia due to her unusual catechistic preparation and spirituality, made hers on June 17th, 1858, at only eleven years of age.

        This was a decisive day for Clelia’s future since it was then that she had her first mystic experience: exceptional contrition and repentance for her own sins and those of the world.

        She underwent anguish and suffering for the sins that crucified Christ and so sorrowed Our Lady.
        From the day of her First Communion, the crucifix and Our Lady of Sorrows inspired her saintly soul.

        At the same time she had a first inspiration as to her future which she perceived as based on prayer and good works.

        In adoration before the Holy Tabernacle she was motionless, rapt in prayer, while at home she was the companion and model for the other working girls. Far more mature than her years, she found in her work the first contact with the girls of “Budrie” where working hemp fibers was the main occupation and where all were engaged in this hard work.

        Clelia brought something particularly personal to her little world: she worked with joy and love, praying and thinking of God at all times and even speaking of Him to her companions.

        While Clelia was not Martha, Completely devoted to the cares of the world, yet she dedicated herself lovingly to the service of those most loved by Our Lord, the very poor, to the extent that her delicate hands were marked early in her short life with the hard labors she undertook.

        While Clelia was not Mary who abandoned, excluded and neglected everything to prostrate herself in love and devotion, yet Clelia had no other thought, no other love than that for Our Lord whom she carried in her heart and soul as she walked with Him through life as if already in his world.

She lived in charity, completely dedicated to loving her fellowmen without restraint. She forgot and even ignored her body. She was happy to belong to the Lord and her happiness rested, in fact, in thinking only of Him. Something, however, compelled her to turn towards her fellowmen, the poorest and most tried, who often waited in vain for some small sign of love and brotherhood.

        A fervent faith burned inside her, and she felt that she “must go” to give herself to all of God’s poor. She loved that solitude which would permit her to reach God more fully, but she left the protection of her home and went forth inspired by her all-consuming love for mankind.

        At this time in history, there existed in the Church a group called “The Christian Catechism Workers” who were mainly men whose aim it was to combat the prevalent religious negligence of the times. At “Budrie” the group was led by an elderly schoolteacher.

Clelia aspired and then became one of the Christian Catechism Workers.

        Then, at “Budrie” with her acceptance, the catechism group was reborn and attracted others with her very same dedication and faith.

        At first, Clelia was admitted as an assistant teacher and was the least important member, but soon her surprising talents and preparation evidenced themselves so that the senior members placed themselves under her leadership.

        Having rejected several flattering marriage proposals, the group of young ladies which had sprung up from the Catechism group, elected Clelia as their leader and conceived the idea of a community devoted to an apostolic and contemplative way of life. This was to be a life of service which would spring from the Eucharist with daily Holy Communion and would ennoble itself with the teaching of catechism to the farmers and laborers of the area.

The idea could not become a reality immediately due to the political situation at the time of Italy’s unification (1866-67).

        However, it was finally realized on May 1st, 1868 when with the bureaucratic and local problems solved, Clelia and her young friends moved into the so-called “teacher’s house” where the Workers for Christian Catechism had formerly met. This was the humble beginning of Clelia Barbieri’s religious family which later was to be named the religious community of the “Suore Minime dell’Addolorata”.

        “Minime” because of Clelia’s devotion to the saint, Minimo Romito di Paola, S. Francesco, patron and provident protector of the young community; “dell’Addolorata” because this title of Our Lady of Sorrows was the most loved of all of Our Lady’s titles by Clelia Barbieri.

        After moving into “the teacher’s house”, a series of extraordinary events in the form of assistance to the young community occurred which were undoubtedly the work of Divine Providence and without which the group could never have survived. The small group was inspired by Clelia’s physical and moral sufferings in her darkest hours and in the absurd humiliations she endured at the hands of those who should have been more understanding.

        However, her faith and devotion in prayer were always extraordinary.

        In the small “Budrie” community there was faith, a desire for God and a missionary zeal full of creativity and imagination by no means based on any organization support which was virtually nonexistent.

        Clelia was the moving spirit.

        The small initial group grew as well as the number of poor, sick and young boys and girls needing catechism and religious instruction.

Slowly, the people began to see Clelia as a leader and teacher of the faith. They started calling her “Mother” although she was only twenty-two years old.

        They called her with this title until her death which came about very shortly.

        The dormant tuberculosis she had always carried, suddenly flared up only two years after she had founded the order.

        Clelia died prophesizing to the sister at her bedside, “I’m leaving, but I’ll never abandon you. When in that alfalfa field next to the church there will be a new community house, I will no longer be with you … You will grow in number, and you will expand over plains and mountains to work in the vineyard of the Lord. The day will come when here at ‘Budrie’ many will arrive with carriages and horses …”

        And she added, “I’m going to Heaven and all those who will die in our community will enjoy eternal life”.

   She died on July 13th, 1870 with the happiness of one going to meet her Spouse and beloved Lord.

        Clelia’s death prophecy has been fulfilled.

        The religious order Suore Minime dell’Addolorata has expanded and continues to grow. It extends throughout Italy, in India and in Tanzania. Today, the sisters following in Clelia’s footsteps, humbly continue their useful work of assistance to all in need and now number three hundred spread over thirty-five community houses.

        Being only twenty-three at the time of her death, Clelia Barbieri is the youngest founder of a religious community in the history of the Church.

        She was canonized at Rome on April 9, 1989 by John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Henry II,

the Pious (973-1024)

Sant_Enrico_II_Va

SAINT HENRY II, the PIUS
Emperor
(973-1024)

        Henry, Duke of Bavaria, saw in a vision his guardian, St. Wolfgang, pointing to the words “after six.” This moved him to prepare for death, and for six years he continued to watch and pray, when, at the end of the sixth year, he found the warning verified in his election as emperor. Thus trained in the fear of God, he ascended the throne with but one thought-to reign for His greater glory.

        The pagan Slavs were then despoiling the empire. Henry attacked them with a small force; but angels and Saints were seen leading his troops, and the heathen fled in despair. Poland and Bohemia, Moravia and Burgundy, were in turn annexed to his kingdom, Pannonia and Hungary won to the Church. With the Faith secured in Germany, Henry passed into Italy, drove out the Antipope Gregory, brought Benedict VIII back to Rome, and was crowned in St. Peter’s by that Pontiff, in 1014.

        It was Henry’s custom, on arriving in any town, to spend his first night in watching in some church dedicated to our blessed Lady. As he was thus praying in St. Mary Major’s, the first night of his arrival in Rome, he “saw the Sovereign and Eternal Priest Christ Jesus” enter to say Mass. Sts. Laurence and Vincent assisted as deacon and sub-deacon. Saints innumerable filled the church, and angels sang in the choir. After the Gospel, an angel was sent by Our Lady to give Henry the book to kiss. Touching him lightly on the thigh, as the angel did to Jacob, he said, “Accept this sign of God’s love for your chastity and justice;” and from that time the emperor always was lame.

        Like holy David, Henry employed the fruits of his conquests in the service of the temple. The forests and mines of the empire, the best that his treasury could produce, were consecrated to the sanctuary. Stately cathedrals, noble monasteries, churches innumerable, enlightened and sanctified the once heathen lands.

        In 1022 Henry lay on his bed of death. He gave back to her parents his wife, St. Cunegunda, “a virgin still, as a virgin he had received her from Christ,” and surrendered his own pure soul to God.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Saints of the day

St. Eugenius,

Bishop of Carthage (+505)

Image: N/A

SAINT EUGENIUS
Bishop
(+ 505)

        The episcopal see of Carthage had remained vacant twenty-four years, when, in 481, Huneric permitted the Catholics on certain conditions to choose one who should fill it. The people, impatient to enjoy the comfort of a pastor, pitched upon Eugenius, a citizen of Carthage, eminent for his learning, zeal, piety, and prudence.

His charities to the distressed were excessive, and he refused himself everything that he might give all to the poor. His virtue gained him the respect and esteem even of the, Arians; but at length envy and blind zeal got the ascendant in their breasts, and the king sent him an order never to sit on the episcopal throne, preach to the people, or admit into his chapel any Vandals, among whom several were Catholics. The Saint boldly answered that the laws of God commanded him not to shut the door of his church to any that desired to serve him in it.

        Huneric, enraged at this answer, persecuted the Catholics in various ways. Many nuns were so cruelly tortured that they died on the rack. Great numbers of bishops, priests, deacons, and eminent Catholic laymen were banished to a desert filled with scorpions and venomous serpents. The people followed their bishops and priests with lighted tapers in their hands, and mothers carried their little babes in their arms and laid them at the feet of the confessors, all crying out with tears, “Going yourselves to your crowns, to whom do you leave us? Who will baptize our children? Who will impart to us the benefit of penance, and discharge us from the bonds of sin by the favor of reconciliation and pardon? Who will bury us with solemn supplications at our death? By whom will the Divine Sacrifice be made? “

        The Bishop Eugenius was spared in the first storm, but afterwards was carried into the uninhabited desert country in the province of Tripolis, and committed to the guard of Antony, an inhuman Arian bishop, who treated him with the utmost barbarity. Gontamund, who succeeded Huneric, recalled our Saint to Carthage, opened the Catholic churches, and allowed all the exiled priests to return.

        After reigning twelve years, Gontamund died, and his brother Thrasimund was called to the crown. Under this prince St. Eugenius was again banished, and died in exile, on the 13th of July, 505, in a monastery which he built and governed, near Albi.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

13 July 2016

Saints of the day

Bl. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago (1918-1963)

Image: N/A

BLESSED CARLOS MANUEL CECILIO RODRÍGUEZ SANTIAGO
(1918 – 1963)

        Carlos Manuel Rodríguez was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico on November 22, 1918. His parents Manuel Baudilio Rodríguez and Herminia Santiago, both came from large families with strong Christian roots.

   Carlos Manuel was baptized at the Sweet Name of Jesus Church in Caguas on May 4, 1919. He was the second of five brothers and sisters. Two of his sisters married, while another is a Carmelite nun. His only brother is a Benedictine priest, and was the first Puerto Rican to become the abbot of a monastery.

        ‘Chali’ as a six years old, experienced a terrible loss: a terrible fire destroyed both his father’s small store and the family home. Having lost virtually all of their earthly goods, the young family moved in with Carlos Manuel’s maternal grandparents. Carlos Manuel was thereby strongly influenced by his grandmother, Alejandrina Esterás, a deeply devout and holy woman.

        Carlos Manuel’s father, Manuel Baudilio, endured the loss good-naturedly. Hope and faith never left him until his death in 1940. Doña Herminia not being in a house of her own, imposed upon herself and her children a strong sense of respect, to a point of inhibition. This contributed to the reserved and timid personality of her children. Nonetheless, Herminia had the virtue of a serene happiness that was brightened up by her faith. Her relationship with the Lord was nourished by daily Eucharistic encounters.

        So it was that – at a young age and in the heart of his own family – Carlos received his first lessons in Catholic faith and life. At the age of six he began his schooling at the Catholic School of Caguas, where he remained until completing eighth grade. It was there that he would come into contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame. He cultivated a special friendship with them during his entire life. Under their tutelage – as well as that of the Redemptorist Fathers – he received his initial religious and humanistic education.  

        His reception of Christ for the first time in the Holy Eucharist would mark the beginning of a love that would last a lifetime. He became an altar boy, and began to experience the riches of the faith through the sacred liturgy of the Church. It is likely that it was at this time that he felt the initial call to live a life entirely dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.   

        When he graduated from eighth grade in 1932, he was first in his class and won a medal for his Religion. He then went on to study at the public Gautier Benítez High School in Caguas. But shortly after, he experienced the first symptoms of what would later become a severe gastrointestinal disorder: ulcerative colitis. This illness would cause him much suffering and inconvenience for the rest of his life. Nevertheless it never undermined his commitment to Christ and His Church.

        Carlos Manuel began his third year of high school (1934-35) at the Perpetual Help Academy in San Juan. There he renewed his contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Redemptorist Fathers. His health, however, rendered him unable to continue studying there. Thus back in Caguas, he worked for some time, finally earning his High School diploma, in both the commercial and scientific areas, by May 1939.

        He continued working as an office clerk until 1946, when he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Río Piedras. However, despite excellent grades and his love for studies, illness prevented him from completing his second year. The end of formal education, however, did not mark the end of his education. As his friends at the UPR – who began to call him ‘Charlie’ would later recall – his studies really never ended. He was a voracious reader, and his interests were wide-ranging, including the arts, science, philosophy, religion and music. In fact, although he only took piano lessons for a year, he continued to learn on his own, to the point where he was able to not only play the piano, but also the church organ. The sacred music he loved so much!

Nature was another of his great loves. As a child, he would spend summer vacations in the countryside. He often made day trips to the river or to the beach with his siblings. As an adult, he organized leisurely hikes with his family through the countryside. They would travel light – with modest provisions for food – and yet a great desire to commune with God’s creation.

        Carlos Manuel worked as an office clerk in Caguas, Gurabo and at the Agriculture Experiment Station, which was part of the UPR.  There he also translated documents from English to Spanish. He spent almost his entire modest salary to promote knowledge and love of Christ. He did this especially promoting a greater understanding of the significance of the Sacred Liturgy. Using articles on liturgical subjects which he himself translated and edited, Carlos Manuel began publishing Liturgy and Christian Culture, publications to which he dedicated innumerable hours.

   Increasingly convinced that “the liturgy is the life of the Church,” (through proclamation of the Word, the Eucharist and the “mysteries of Christ” or sacraments), he organized along with Father McWilliams in Caguas a Liturgy Circle. Later on, in 1948, he assembles along with Father McGlone the parroquial chorus Te Deum Laudamus.

        In Río Piedras, where brother Pepe and sister Haydée were already UPR faculty members, Carlos was able to achieve his ardent desire to make Christ known, among professors and students. As his disciples grew in number he moved into nearby Catholic University Center and organized another Liturgy Circle (later called the Círculo de Cultura Cristiana).

He continued his publications and also organized his notable Christian Life Days for the benefit of University students who sought to understand and enjoy the liturgical seasons. He participated in panels on various topics, and distinguished himself for his insistent emphasis on the importance of liturgical life, as well as the paschal meaning of life and death in Christ.

        Carlos Manuel organized discussion groups in various towns, and participated in societies such as the Brotherhood of Christian Doctrine, the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus. He also taught Catechism to high school students whose teaching aids he supplied from his own income.  

        He zealously promoted and stood for liturgical renewal, among bishops, clergy and laymen: active participation of laity, the use of the vernacular and – most especially – the observance of his much loved Paschal Vigil, which to Charlie’s delight was restored to its proper time near midnight by Pope Pius XII in 1952. Of note, all of Carlos Manuel’s proactive lay apostolic activity took place prior to the Second Vatican Council, thus a veritable preconciliar apostle towards approval of the Sacrosanctum concillium, at its onset. 

  Many a good number of people testify to their growth of a living faith thanks to his teachings, in conjunction with the integrity of his life and exemplary service. Others testify that Carlos Manuel’s zeal for Christ awakened in them their vocation to religious life. Those who sought him out in order to clarify their doubts — or seek to strengthen their faith -would never be disappointed.  

        To approach Carlos Manuel and to getting to know him was as if to approach a light that illuminated one’s perspective of life and its meaning. His glance and smile revealed the certain joy of Easter. An enormous spiritual strength transcended his fragile physical constitution. The firm conviction of his faith allowed him to overcome his natural shyness, and he spoke with assurance resembling Saint Peter’s on Pentecost. Despite his failing health for so many years, no complaints ever clouded the joy with which he faced life. He reminded us that the Christian must be joyful because he or she lives the joy and hope that Christ gave with His Resurrection: VIVIMOS PARA ESA NOCHE – he would say.  

        His physical strength declined gradually, but his spirit never failed. He lived each moment quietly overcoming his pain with the profound joy of one who knows himself to be resurrected.  Following an aggressive “life saving: surgery in 1963 he turned out to have advanced terminal rectal cancer. Near the end, he experienced the “dark night of faith”, thinking himself abandoned by God, a known mystical experience. Yet, before dying, he rediscovered the Word he had lost, and which had given sense to his entire life. His passage to eternal life took place on July 13, 1963. He was 44. “The 13th is a good day,” he had said a few days before his death, without any of us having a notion of what that meant. Now we know.

        Charlie’s Beatification Process was indeed a swift one! Initiated in 1992, the positio on heroic virtues, lead to his status as Venerable as of July 7, 1997. The miracle for his beatification (cure of non-Hodgkins malignant lymphoma back in 1981) was approved on December 20, 1999 by HH John Paul II. Thus, a record-making eight-year span, a first for lay actors!
        He was beatified on April 29, 2001 by John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Tuesday, July 12th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 11:20-24.


Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

12 July 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

 

“But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for

the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

JESUS MASTER TEACHER

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:20-24.


Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

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Fr. Jack Lynch celebrates Daily Mass from Loretto Abbey in Toronto

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Daily Mass, Tuesday 12 July 2016

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Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

12 July 2016

Saint of the day

 

 

 

St. John Gualbert, Abbot (99-1073)

SAINT JOHN GUALBERT
Abbot
(999-1073)

        St. John Gualbert was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord’s holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, “I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ’s name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin.” Grace triumphed.

     A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order.

        Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. “Now,” he said, “you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! “

        He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, on July 11th, 1073.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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From

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THANK YOU

___________________________________

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

Mark 16:15-20

*********************************************

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

****************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################


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