Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feast of Saint John the Apostle (Goffine's Devout Instructions)


December 27

JOHN, the brother of Saint James the Greater, was a son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Galilee, and of Salome, a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matthew 4:21). He was the youngest of the apostles, and, with Peter and James, was the most trusted of the disciples of Jesus, by Whom he was most tenderly loved, on which account he is called the Disciple of Love. Of this Jesus gave the most convincing evidence when, at the Last Supper, He allowed that disciple to lean upon His breast, and when, from the cross, He committed to the care of John His own Mother. After the ascension John preached the Gospel in Palestine; afterwards went to Asia Minor, fixed his residence in Ephesus, and established many churches there. He was, with the other apostles, taken prisoner and scourged by the Jews, and in the year 95, under the Emperor Domitian, before the Latin Gate, at Rome, was thrown into a vessel of boiling oil. Having endured this torture without injury, he was then banished to the island of Patmos, where, by command of the Lord, he wrote the Apocalypse, or Revelation, concerning the fortunes of the Church. On returning from hIs banishment he again governed the churches of Asia Minor as chief pastor, as he had done before, and, at the age of nearly one hundred years, died at Ephesus a peaceful and natural death.

The Introit of the Mass reads: "In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth, and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him with a robe of glory. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High." Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Amen. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Mercifully illustrate Thy Church, O Lord, that, enlightened by the doctrines of Thy blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, she may arrive at gifts everlasting. Through Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 15:1-6

He that feareth God will do good: and he that possesseth justice shall lay hold on her, and she will meet him as an honorable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin. With the bread of life and understanding, she shall feed him and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink; and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved; and she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded; and she shall exalt him among his neighbors, and in the midst of the Church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory. She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and our Lord God shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

On Purity

"He that loves wisdom," saith the Holy Ghost, "will obtain it, for it will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins" (Wisdom 1:4). Saint John was from his childhood an angel of purity, on which account he was particularly beloved by Jesus, and endowed by the Holy Ghost with such wisdom and knowledge that, as Saint Augustine has remarked, he begins his gospel in a manner more lofty and sublime than the other three evangelists. For while they walk with the God-man upon earth, speaking comparatively little of His divinity, Saint John, as if despising the world, soars beyond the vault of heaven, above the hosts of angels, and comes to Him by Whom all things are made, saying, "In the beginning was the Word." At the Last Supper he was permitted to lean on the bosom of Jesus, but what he there drank in secretly he imparted openly. Apply thyself, therefore, to purity of heart, and thou shalt be like Saint John, a beloved disciple of Jesus, and shalt be filled with heavenly wisdom.

Gospel: John 21:19-24

At that time Jesus said to Peter: Follow Me. Peter turning about, saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on His breast at supper, and said: Lord, who is he that shall betray Thee? Him therefore when Peter had seen, he saith to Jesus: Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith to him: So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? follow thou Me. This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say to him: He should not die; but, So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
Goffine's Devout Instructions


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Saint Francis Xavier


Priest and Missionary


Saint Francis Xavier (also known as Apostle to the Far East) was born in 1506 Castle of Xavier, near Sanguesa, Navarre, Spain. He was a nobleman from the Basque region. He studied and taught philosophy at the University of Paris, and planned a career as a professor. He was a friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola who convinced him to use his talents to spread the Gospel. Francis is one of the founding Jesuits, and the first Jesuit missionary.

In Goa, India, while waiting to take ship, he preached in the street, worked with the sick, and taught children their catechism. He would walk through the streets ringing a bell to call the children to their studies. It is said that he converted the entire city.

Francis was a tremendously successful missionary for ten years in India, the East Indies, and Japan, baptizing more than 40,000. His journey finds him dining with headhunters, washing sores of lepers in Venice, teaching catechism to Indian children, and baptizing 10,000 in a single month. He tolerated the most appalling conditions on long sea voyages, enduring extremes of heat and cold. Wherever he went, he would seek out and help the poor and forgotten. He traveled thousands of miles, mostly on his bare feet, and he saw the greater part of the Far East.

Saint Francis Xavier died of a fever contracted on a mission journey on December 2, 1552 at Sancian, China. His body is at the former Jesuit church in Goa, and his right arm at the church of Gesu in Rome, Italy.

Patronage 

African missions; diocese of Agartala, India; diocese of Ahmedabad, India; diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; black missions; archdiocese of Bombay, India; Borneo; archdiocese of Cape Town, South Africa; China; diocese of Dinajpur, Bangladesh; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Freising, Germany; Goa India; diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin; India; archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana; Japan; diocese of Joiliet, Illinois; diocese of Kabankalan, Philippines; diocese of Malindi, Kenya; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; missions, black; missions, foreign; missions, parish; Navarre, Spain; navigators; New Zealand; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith 

Representation 

crucifix; preacher carrying a flaming heart; bell; globe; vessel; young bearded Jesuit in the company of Saint Ignatius Loyola; young bearded Jesuit with a torch, flame, cross and lily 

Quotations:

"It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man's progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken." -- Saint Francis Xavier 

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. The country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God's Law. 

I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 

I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; then the Apostles' Creed, the Our Father, and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians. 

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. 

I wish the university students would work as hard at converting these people as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them. 

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God's will and his choice. 

They would cry out with all their heart: "Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do?" Send me anywhere you like - even to India!" -- Saint Francis Xavier from his letters to Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saint Chromatius of Aquileia



Saint Chromatius was born in the 4th century at Aquileia, Italy. His father died when he was an infant and he was raised by his mother and large family of older brothers and sisters. He was ordained as a priest around 387 A.D.

He attended the Synod of Aquileia and worked for the strong denunciation of the Arian heresy. The denunciation resulted from the synod. Saint Chromatius was consecrated as Bishop of Aquileia in 388.

Saint Chromatius was an active correspondent with Saint Ambrose of Milan, and was a friend of both Saint Jerome and Saint John Chrysostom. Saint Jerome dedicated several works to him. Chromatius was influential in the translation of early Christian works into Latin for wider use. He financed Saint Jerome’s translation of the Bible, and Rufinus’ translation of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History.

Saint Chromatius wrote several respected scripture commentaries, seventeen of which survive. Saint Chromatius supported Saint John Chrysostom and wrote on his behalf against the unjust accusations of Emperor Arcadius.

Saint Chromatius died at Aquileia, Italy of natural causes in December 407.

*       *       *       *       *       *        *

The following is from a discourse on the Gospel of Saint Matthew by Saint Chromatius of Aquileia:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. The Lord called his disciples to salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom the hearts of men, rendered insipid by the devil. Now he calls them the light of the world as well, because they have been enlightened by him, the true and everlasting light, and have themselves become a light in the darkness. 

Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world. For by manifesting the light of truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men. 

Moreover, we too have been enlightened by them. We have been made light out of darkness as the Apostle says: For once you, were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. He says another time: For you are not sons of the light and of darkness, but you are all sons of light and of the day. Saint John also rightly asserts in his letter: God is light, and whoever abides in God is in the light just as God himself is in the light. Therefore, because we rejoice in having been freed from the darkness of error, we should always walk in the light as children of light. This is why the Apostle says: Among them you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. 

If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit, but instead he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved. 

Consequently, that brilliant lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandment and spiritual grace, to which David referred: Your law, is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Solomon also says this about it: For the command of the law is a lamp. 

Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lamp stand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the light of truth itself and all believers may be enlightened." 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Did Cardinal Newman Deal with the Haters? « Campus Notes

The following excerpts are from The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) Blog:
  • If you’re writing about religion on the internet today, it’s impossible to avoid the haters who wish to mangle, distort, and intentionally misconstrue each and every syllable you publish and likely even attack you personally. Brandon Vogt of Ignitum Today writes that we can all take a lesson from Blessed Cardinal Newman on how to deal with attacks like those:
Read more by clicking below:
How Did Cardinal Newman Deal with the Haters? « Campus Notes

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saint Saturninus of Toulouse



Saint Saturninus of Toulouse ( also known as Sernin; Saturnin) was a third century missionary from Rome to Gaul, the Pyrenees ( mountain range in southwestern Europe, forming a natural boundary between France and Spain), and the Iberian peninsula (peninsula in southwestern Europe, divided into Spain and Portugal, together with Gibraltar).

He made many converts including the farmer now known as Saint Honestus who joined him in the missions. Saint Saturninus and two companions were imprisoned at Carcassone by the prefect Rufinus, but they were freed by an angel. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, where he performed miraculous healings. He converted and baptized Saint Firminus who was later bishop of Amiens.

When Saturninus began his work in Toulouse, the local pagan priests stopped receiving oracles from their “gods”. The devils were struck dumb by the presence of the saint as he passed that way. One day in 257, when the priests were hopelessly frustrated, Saturninus passed by in the street. The priests blamed the bishop, and ordered the crowd of heathens to seize him and force him to offer sacrifice to their gods. The idols fell to pieces in front of the bishop. The crowds abused him, then tied his feet to a wild bull which was to be sacrificed, and then drove the bull out of the temple. He was dragged to death.

The martyrdom of this saint probably happened in the reign of Valerian, around 257 A.D.  

Quotation:

 "I adore one only God, and to him I am ready to offer a sacrifice of praise. Your gods are devils, and are more delighted with the sacrifice of your souls than with those of your bullocks. How can I fear them who, as you acknowledge, tremble before a Christian?" -- Saint Saturninus



Saturday, November 03, 2012

Blessed Jacopone of Todi



Blessed Jacopone of Todi (also known as Crazy Jim; Iacopone da Todi; Jacomo da Todi; Jacopo Benedetti; Jacopo Benedicti; Jacopone Benedetti da Todi; Jacopone of Todi; James da Todi) was an Italian noble from the Benedetti family of Todi born around 1230 A.D. 

He was a successful lawyer at Bologna, and he married Vanna di Guidone in 1267. Vanna considered Jacomo too worldly, and did penance for him. 

In 1268, Jacomo insisted she attend a public tournament against her wishes. The stands in which she sat collapsed, and Vanna was killed. The shock of this event, and his discovery of her penance for him, caused a radical change in Jacomo. He gave his possessions to the poor, dressed in rags, and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. His former associates called him Jacopone, Crazy Jim, a name which he embraced. 

After ten years of this penance and abuse, Jacomo tried to join the Franciscans, but his reputation as Crazy Jim preceded him, and he was refused. To prove his sanity and intentions, he wrote a beautiful poem about the vanities of the world which swayed the Franciscans, and he joined the Order in 1278. He refused to be ordained, and spent time writing popular hymns in the vernacular. 

Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had the support of two cardinals and Pope Celestine V. 

The two cardinals, however, opposed Celestine's successor, Pope Boniface VIII, and due to the wrangling in the Vatican, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned at the age of 68. Jacopone acknowledged his error, but was not released until five years later, when Blessed Benedict XI became pope. He accepted his imprisonment as penance. 

He spent his last three years giving himself completely to spirituality, weeping "because Love is not loved," and writing hymns, including the famous Latin hymn, Stabat Mater. 

Blessed Jacopone of Todi died December 25, 1306 at Collazzone, Italy as a priest intoned the Gloria from midnight Mass. His relics are at Saint Fortunato Church, Montecristo, Italy.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Stabat Mater 

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last. 

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass'd. 

Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One! 

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son. 

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold? 

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold? 

Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent. 

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent. 

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord. 

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord. 

Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified. 

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died. 

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me,
All the days that I may live. 

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give. 

Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine. 

Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine. 

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd
In His very blood away. 

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day. 

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defense,
Be Thy cross my victory. 

While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee. 

Amen. 

-- Blessed Jacopone da Todi

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux On All Saints Day




Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.

Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.

When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.

Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pope canonizes 7 new saints, including 2 from North America : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Pope Benedict XVI presided at the canonization of 7 new saints—including St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marianne Cope—at a Mass celebrated for a congregation of 80,000 people in St. Peter’s Square on October 21.
  • Along with St. Kateri, the first Native American saint; and St. Marianne, who worked with lepers at Molokai, the Pope also canonized:
  • St. Jacques Berthiue (1838-1896), a French Jesuit martyr;
  • St. Pedro Calungsod (1654-1672), a Filipino lay catechist and martyr;
  • St. Giovanni Battista Piamarta (1841-1913), an Italian priest;
  • St. Maria del Carmen (1848-1911), born Maria Salles y Baranguera, a Spanish religious; and
  • St. Anna Schaeffer (1882-1925), a German laywoman.
Read more by clicking below:
Pope canonizes 7 new saints, including 2 from North America : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saint John of Capistrano



Saint John of Capistrano (also known as Giovanni da Capestrano; John Capistran) was born in 1386 at Capistrano, Italy. His father had formerly been a German knight, and died when John was still young. He was the reforming governor of Perugia under King Landislas of Naples. When war broke out between Perugia and Malatesta in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but instead his opponents ignored the truce, and John became a prisoner of war.

During his captivity, he came to the decision to change vocations. He had married just before the war, but the marriage was never consummated, and with his bride's permission, it was annulled. John joined the Franciscans at Perugia on October 1416. He was a student with Saint James of the Marches, and a disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena. John was a noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420, and he was an itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands. He established communities of Franciscan renewal, and was reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. He was a prolific writer, writing mainly against the heresies of his day.

After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. At the age of 70, he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456, and he died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslims.

Saint John of Capistrano died of natural causes in 1456 at Villach, Hungary.


Friday, October 19, 2012

CNS STORY: Kateri and Jake: American Indians are joined in sainthood cause

The following excerpts are from Catholic News Service:
  • Jake Finkbonner knows what it's like to have kids tease him because of the way he looks, but one of his heroes also grew up being teased.
  • The 12-year-old boy said Kateri Tekakwitha, who was to become an official saint Oct. 21, was "an inspiration because I remember reading that many of the children in her tribe teased her because of her faith, but she continued to praise God and she made her own rosary."
  • "One of the things she always tried to do was spread her faith, even though her uncle and aunt didn't really approve of it," he said.
  • Kateri was raised by her Mohawk father's family after her parents died in a smallpox epidemic; Kateri survived, but with a scarred face and damaged vision.
  • Jake and his parents -- Donny and Elsa -- his two little sisters, all four of his grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles traveled to Rome for Kateri's canonization.
Read more by clicking below:
CNS STORY: Kateri and Jake: American Indians are joined in sainthood cause

Monday, October 15, 2012

Beatification soon for Pope Paul VI, Vatican journalist reports : News Headlines - Catholic Culture


The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Pope Paul VI could be beatified before the end of 2013, according to the leading Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli.
  • Theologians commissioned by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved the cause of the late Pontiff, Tornielli reports. The entire Congregation will vote on the case at a meeting in December, and with their approval Pope Benedict could declare the “heroic virtue” of Pope Paul VI at a consistory at Christmas time.
Read more by clicking below:
Beatification soon for Pope Paul VI, Vatican journalist reports : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church



October 15

Saint Teresa of Avila (also known as Theresa of Avila; The Roving Nun; Teresa of Jesus; Teresa de Avila) was born in 1515 A.D. as Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada at Avila, at Castile, Spain. Teresa was a Spanish noble, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Doña Beatriz. She grew up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at "hermit" in the garden. 

She was crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home. She was cured of her affliction after prayer to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at the age of 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.

Not long after taking her vows, Teresa became seriously ill, and the inadequate medical help she received aggravated her condition. She never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions holy and true.

Teresa considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. She founded several houses, often receiving fierce resistance from local authorities. Teresa was a mystical writer, and most of her works are preserved until today. Pope Paul VI proclaimed Teresa a Doctor of the Church on September 27, 1970. She has the distinction of being the first woman saint to be declared a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Teresa of Avila died of natural causes on October 4, 1582 at Alba de Tormes in the arms of her secretary and close friend Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew. Her body is incorrupt, and her relics preserved at Alba. Her heart shows signs of Transverberation (piercing of the heart), and is displayed, too.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Pope opens synod on new evangelization, declares 2 new doctors of the Church : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Opening the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict emphasized that “the Church exists to evangelize” and formally proclaimed St. John of Avila (1500-69) and St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) doctors of the Church.
Read more by clicking below:
Pope opens synod on new evangelization, declares 2 new doctors of the Church : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Friday, September 21, 2012

Relic of St. Francis Xavier in Australia : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • As part of the Year of Grace initiative that began in Australian dioceses on Pentecost Sunday, the right arm of St. Francis Xavier has been transported to Australia and will be venerated by the faithful in nearly two dozen dioceses between September 16 and December 3, his feast day.
Read more by clicking below:
Relic of St. Francis Xavier in Australia : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Monday, September 03, 2012

Franciscan who translated Bible into Chinese to be beatified : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • The Franciscan missionary who supervised the first translation of the entire Bible into Chinese will be beatified on September 29 in his native Sicily.
  • Born in 1907, Father Gabriele Maria Allegra entered the Franciscan seminary at the age of 11, was ordained to the priesthood in 1930, and left for the missions in China the following year.
Read more by clicking the link below:
Franciscan who translated Bible into Chinese to be beatified : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feast of Saint James the Greater, Apostle (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)



July 25


James, by birth a Galilean, a son of Zebedee and Salome, was brother to Saint John the apostle, with whom he was called by Jesus to follow Him. He was present at the transfiguration on Mount Thabor, at the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead, and other like miracles, and at the bloody sweat in the Garden. After the sending of the Holy Ghost he preached the doctrines of Jesus in Judea, Samaria, and in Jerusalem, where Herod caused him to be beheaded in the year 44. His body was brought to Compostella, in Spain, where it is venerated by vast numbers of the faithful, who make pilgrimages to his grave. Saint James was the first of the apostles who shed his blood for Christ.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows:
“To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Be Thou, O Lord, the sanctifier and guardian of Thy people, that, defended by the protection of Thy apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct, and serve Thee with secure minds. Through our Lord, etc.

Epistle: I Corinthians 4:9-15

Brethren: I think that God hath set forth us apostles the last, as it were men appointed to death; we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honorable, but we without honor. Even unto this hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have, no fixed abode, and we labor working with our own hands; we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the off-scouring of all even until now. I write not these things to confound you, but I admonish you as my dearest children; for if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus by the Gospel I have begotten you.
Gospel: Matthew 20:20-23

At that time: There came to Jesus the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking; something of Him.
Who said to her: What wilt thou?
She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom.
But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice, that I shall drink?
They say to Him: We can.
He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on My right or left hand is not Mine to give to you but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father.
Explanation

From this gospel we learn that if we wish to become partakers with Christ of the kingdom of heaven we must drink with Him of the chalice of pain and suffering.
Prayer to Saint James

O heroic apostle, who first of all didst, after the example of Jesus, drink of the chalice of suffering, but now, in the kingdom of His Father, livest upon the holy mountain of Sion, obtain for me, I beseech thee, from Jesus the grace not to shrink from the chalice of suffering and tribulation, but patiently to accept whatever the hand of God may present to me, whether agreeable or disagreeable, and thereby to become worthy one day to be inebriated with the streams of heavenly joy.
Goffine's Devout Instructions

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beatification soon for Popes Paul VI, John Paul I? : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpt is from Catholic World News:
  • Pope Benedict XVI could beatify two of his predecessors during the coming Year of Faith, according to the former prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
  • Cardinal José Saraiva Martins told the Italian daily Corriere delle Alpi that the causes of both Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul I are “moving ahead,” and miracles attributed to the intercession of both Pontiffs are currently under investigation.

Click below to read more:

Beatification soon for Popes Paul VI, John Paul I? : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)


June 29

PETER, formerly called Simon, was a son of Jonas, of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and It brother of Andrew, by whom he was brought to Christ, Who at once changed his name and called him Peter. When, soon after, Jesus said to both of them on the Sea of Tiberias, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men,” they both left their nets and followed Him. From this time forward Jesus was constantly giving him particular proofs of His love. From the ship of Peter He taught the thronging multitude, and to him He promised that on him; as upon a rock, He would build His Church, against which the gates of hell should not prevail. Our Lord took Peter with Him at the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead; at His own transfiguration on Mount Thabor; at the beginning of His passion in the Garden of Gethsemani. To him He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven; for him He specially prayed that his faith might not fail; and him He commanded to strengthen his brethren. After His resurrection He appeared particularly to Peter, and three times commanded him to feed His flock. But Peter had, above all the other apostles, made himself worthy of this pre-eminence by his living faith, his humility, his love, and his zeal for the honor of Jesus; for he it was who, before the other apostles, made the confession, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” He showed his humility when, at the miraculous draught of fishes, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Out of love he desired to remain always with Christ on Mount Thabor to prevent Him from suffering; and out of love he declared himself ready with Christ to live or die; nay, he even declared most confidently that, though all should be scandalized in Christ, yet he would not be. When Jesus was taken prisoner, Peter showed himself to be most courageous by cutting off the ear of one of his Master’s enemies, and by following Him to the house of Caiphas. Three times, indeed, did he, as no one else did, deny his Lord out of fear; but the look of forgiving love which Jesus cast upon him forced from him tears of the deepest contrition, and three times afterwards, accordingly, he made that coufession, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.”

After he had received the Holy Ghost, full of courage, he confessed Christ crucified, and preached Him in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Ionia, and Bithynia. At Jerusalem he was once already condemned to death, but was set free by an angel. In the year 54 he went to Rome, whence, after a nine years’ residence, he was banished, with many other Christians. Upon returning thither again he was confined in the Mamertine prison, and finally, on June 29, in the year A.D. 67, under the Emperor Nero, he was crucified; his head, by his own desire, hung downwards, because he thought himself unworthy to die like Christ.

PAUL, before his conversion called Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin, a native of Tarsus, in Cilicia, and a pupil of Gamaliel. Full of zeal for the law, he bitterly opposed the Christians. As he was travelling to Damascus to persecute them he was, on the way, converted by Christ. How indefatigably he thenceforward worked in the vineyard of the Lord, and what dangers and persecutions he underwent, no pen can describe. It is almost incredible with what zeal and perseverance he preached Christ, in chains and fetters, under blows and scourges, in hunger and thirst, and untold times at the peril of his life. And yet he was so humble that he counted himself the least of the apostles, and always praised God that He had thought him worthy to suffer for His name. After he had at last fought a good fight, and finished his course – having everywhere zealously preached the Gospel, and still more zealously practised it – he received the crown of justice (II Timothy 4:6). The Emperor Nero caused him to be beheaded on the same day tl1at Peter was crucified.

The Introit of the Mass is in the words spoken by Saint Peter after his delivery from the prison at Jerusalem:
“Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel and hath delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” (Acts 12:11)
“Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.” (Psalms 138:1, 2)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

O God, Who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of Thy apostles Saints Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church, in all things, to follow their doctrines, through whom the true faith was first proclaimed. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Epistle: Acts 12:1-11

In those days: Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to affiict some of the Church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Pasch to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shined in the room, and he striking Peter on the side raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out he followed him, and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel, but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19

At that time Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying: Who do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them; But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Why did Christ ask His disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”

To give them an opportunity to confess their belief in Him as the true Son of God, and upon that open confession to ground a promise of the highest importance.

Why does Christ call Himself the Son of man?

In order that, His Godhead being veiled under the form of man, He might thus test the faith of His disciples, and teach us that He was both true God and true man.

What did Peter mean to say by those words, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God”?

He thereby confesses that Christ is the Son of God, begotten from all eternity, and therefore of the same substance with the Father; that by Him all things were made, and that from Him comes our life in soul and body.

What reward did Peter receive for his confession?

Christ pronounced him blessed that God had given him such grace, conveyed to him the highest authority in His Church, and gave him the pre-eminence above all the apostles.

What is the meaning of the expression “to bind and to loose”?

According to Isaias, it signifies to open and to shut heaven, and here consequently denotes the power, as representative of Jesus Christ, to receive persons into the Church, and to excommunicate them from it; to forgive sins, or to retain them; to impose or to remit punishments for them; to establish laws and prohibitions, to abolish them, to change them, and, in general, to govern and direct in everything, as shall be necessary for the preservation of unity and order in the Church, and for the good of the faithful.

Was the power to bind and to loose given to Peter only?

No, but to the rest of the apostles also; the power of the keys, however, Jesus gave only to Peter.
Peter, therefore, and his successors, possess this supreme power, while the other apostles and their successors, the bishops, possess the authority intrusted to them by Christ, to be exercised by them in unity with the rock, that is, with Peter and his successors.

OF THE POPE

What is the Pope to the Catholic?

The represeutative of Jesus Christ, and the visible head, appoiuted by Him, for the government of His Church.
Did Christ actually appoint such a supreme head?

Yes, and that in the person of Saint Peter.

He gave him the significant name Peter – the rock, distingllished him always above the other apostles, and laid upon him the charge to feed His lambs, that is, the faithful, and His sheep, that is, the bishops themselves; and this power Peter uniformly exercised.

Why did Christ appoint a visible head for the Church?

Because the Church is an outward, visible society, united together not only by inward faith in Christ, but also by outward, visible signs.

Such a visible head is as necessary for the Church as for a body, a family, a society, a state, to prevent disunion, confusion, and the consequent destruction of the whole; this supreme head is the centre of the whole, the final judge, the authoritative teacher.

Who is now this supreme head?

The Bishop of Rome, or the Pope. It is undeniable that Peter occupied the bishop’s see at Rome, and that he died there. Equally indisputable is it that the successor of Saint Peter entered upon possession of his rights, and, together with the episcopal see of Rome, inherited also the office possessed by him. From the first centuries this has ever been acknowledged by the faithful, who have accordingly called the Bishop of Rome Pope – that is, the father of the faithful. And how clearly does history show that Peter and his successors are the rock upon which the Lord has immovably founded His Church! What storms have not broken upon the Church! Persecutions from without and within, heresies and schisms without number, and infidelity in its most hideous form, have raged against the Church, and what has been the consequence? Nations have often fallen away from the Church, single bishops have proved betrayers of their flocks, the sees of the apostles themselves have been subject to the vicissitudes of time. And amid all these storms Rome alone has, for over eighteen hundred years, stood firm. She has come out of every contest victorious, has remained the centre of faith and discipline, and has preserved the unbroken succession of bishops from Peter. Who does not see herein the assistance of Him Who forever fulfils that promise of His, “Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates I of hell shall not prevail against it”? The Pope is, therefore, the visible supreme head of the Church, appointed by Christ for all time; the invisible, all-governing head is Christ Himself.

Prayer

O Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who hast built Thy Church on Saint Peter, as on a rock, Who hast confided to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and constituted him and his successors Thy representatives upon earth, grant us Thy grace, that in all the laws we may obey them as Thyself, that, resting upon the rock of truth, we may be immovable in all storms, and steadfastly persevere in the way of good works.

-- Goffine’s Devout Instructions

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (also known as Aluigi Gonzaga; Luigi Gonzaga) was born in 1568 A.D. at the castle of Castiglione, Italy. His family was of nobility, and Aloysius' father was a compulsive gambler. He was the cousin of Saint Rudolph Acquaviva.

Aloysius had been trained to be a soldier and courtier from the age of four. He suffered from kidney disease, which he considered a blessing as it left him bed-ridden with time for prayer. While still a boy himself, he taught catechism to poor boys. He received his first Communion from Saint Charles Borromeo.

He was educated at the courts of the Medici of Florence and of Philip II of Spain. Upon his return to Italy at the age of 18, he renounced his inheritance in favor of his brother, and entered the Society of Jesus. He made his vows in 1587.

He was the spiritual student of Saint Robert Bellarmine. When the plague and famine struck Italy in 1591, Aloysius devoted himself to the care of the sick, and became ill himself.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga died in 1591 at Rome of plague, fever, and his desire to see God. His relics are entombed under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church, Rome. Devotion to him is widespread, and the practice of receiving communion on six successive Sundays is observed in his honor.

Patronage

AIDS care-givers; AIDS patients; Catholic youth; Jesuit students; relief from pestilence; sore eyes; teenage children; teenagers; young people

Quotes from Saint Aloysius Gonzaga:

  1. There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials.
  2. He who wishes to love God does not truly love Him if he has not an ardent and constant desire to suffer for His sake.
  3. O Holy Mary! My Mother; into thy blessed trust and special custody, and into the bosom of thy mercy, I this day, and every day, and in the hour of my death, commend my soul and body. To thee I commit all my anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by they most holy intercession, and by thy merits, all my actions may be directed and governed by thy will and that of thy Son.
  4. May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honored lady. Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead, but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last, and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over. If charity, as Saint Paul says, means "to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad," then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in his grace and his love for you is showing me the path to true happiness, and assuring me that I shall never lose him.
  5. Take care above all things, most honored lady, not to insult God's boundless loving kindness; you would certainly do this if you mourned as dead one living face to face with God, one whose prayers can bring you in your troubles more powerful aid than they ever could on earth. And our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven; we shall be united with our Savior; there we shall praise him with heart and soul, sing of his mercies for ever, and enjoy eternal happiness. From a letter to his mother



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church



Saint Anthony of Padua (also known as Antonio da Padova, Evangelical Doctor) was born as Ferdinand to a wealthy family in 1195 A.D. at Lisbon, Portugal. He was educated in the cathedral school in Lisbon. His family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but, Anthony felt a religious calling and he joined the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine in 1210 when he was 15.

Two years later, to avoid the distraction of family and friends who visited him frequently, Anthony received permission from his superior to move to the Convent of Santa Croce in Cóimbra where he remained for eight years. There he occupied his time with prayer and study, where he learned a great deal about theology and gained the understanding of Holy Scripture.

When the bodies of Saint Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs in 1220, were brought to be buried in the Church of Santa Croce , Anthony was inspired to leave his order, enter the Friars Minor, and go to Morocco to evangelize, and become a martyr for Christ. After confiding his intentions to some of the Franciscans, he received the Franciscan habit, and took the name Anthony.

When Anthony first started for Morocco, he was stricken with a severe illness which affected him the entire winter. He set sail for Portugal and then Morocco the following spring, but, he was shipwrecked off the coast of Sicily, where he remained for a time until he regained his health. From there he journeyed to a general chapter of the Franciscans at Assisi where he went entirely unnoticed. He applied to the Provincial of Cóimbra for a place where he could live in solitude and penance and enter more fully in the discipline of Franciscan life. The Provincial was in need of a priest for the hermitage of Montepaolo and sent him there to celebrate Mass for the lay brothers.

While Anthony lived at Montepaolo it happened that a number of Franciscan and Dominican friars were sent together to be ordained. When the time for ordination had arrived, it was found that no one had been chosen to preach. The superior turned first to the Dominicans, but everyone declined, saying he was not prepared. They then chose Anthony, whom they thought only able to read the Missal and Breviary, and told him to speak whatever the spirit of God inspired in him. Anthony obeyed, and at first he spoke slowly and timidly, but soon he was enkindled with the Spirit, and he began to explain the most hidden sense of Holy Scripture with such profound learnedness and beautiful doctrine that all were astonished. That moment began Anthony's public career. He was then constantly travelling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology through Italy and France.

Anthony won a reputation as a preacher and teacher of theology, received the praise of Saint Francis, made numerous converts and performed many miracles. He had a vision of the Infant Christ, and he was made provincial of the monastery at Limousin, France in 1226.


Saint Anthony of Padua died of natural cause at Vercelli, Italy in June 1231. His relics are at Padua, Italy. He was declared a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946 by Venerable Pope Pius XII.




Monday, May 28, 2012

ST. JOHN OF AVILA AND ST. HILDEGARD OF BINGEN TO BE PROCLAIMED DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH


Vatican City, 27 May 2012 (VIS) - After celebrating Mass this morning in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Before the Marian prayer the Pope announced that on 7 October, at the start of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he will proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church. "These two great witnesses of the faith lived in very different historical periods and cultural environments", he said. "Hildegard was a Benedictine nun during the height of the German Middle Ages, a true master of theology and a great scholar of the natural sciences and of music. John was a young diocesan priest of the Spanish Renaissance, who participated in the travails of the cultural and spiritual renewal of the Church and society at the dawn of the Modern Age".

The sanctity of their lives and the profundity of their doctrine mean that these two saints "retain all their importance. The grace of the Holy Spirit enabled them to experience profound understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with the world, two factors which represent the perennial goal of the life and activity of the Church".

St. John and St. Hildegard are particularly significant on the eve of the forthcoming Year of Faith, and in light of the new evangelisation to which the Synod of Bishops will be dedicating its attention. "Also in our own day, and through their teaching, the Spirit of the risen Lord continues to make His voice heard and to illuminate the path which leads to the Truth, which is the only thing that can make us free and give full meaning to our lives", the Pope said.

After praying the Regina Coeli he recalled that Mother Saint Louis (nee Marie-Louise Elisabeth de Lamoignon, widow of Mole de Champlatreux), foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis who lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was today proclaimed a blessed in France. She was "an exemplary witness of love for God and for neighbour", the Holy Father said. He also recalled the fact that he is due to travel to Milan on Friday to participate in the seventh World Meeting of Families, and he asked the faithful to pray for the success of that event.

You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bakhita: From Slave to Saint - Trailer

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)

May 14

Of this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

Prayer

O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Acts 1:15-26

In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty): Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father, neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light.

The wise and prudent referred to in this gospel are the proud scribes and Pharisees, who, in their imaginary wisdom, would not receive the incarnate and suffering Son of God, but despised and rejected Him; in general, they represent also all who in their pride would measure everything by their own understanding, and to whom, consequently, the mysteries of faith seem foolishness. The little ones are the apostles, who, although taken from a low condition of life, without a learned education, but rather ignorant, were enlightened by God to know the deepest mysteries, because they had docile and humble hearts, desirous of salvation. Thus God gives grace to the humble, while the proud go away empty.

To those who bear His yoke, and follow Him, Christ promises peace of mind, temporal and eternal happiness; and, indeed, we must confess that as often as we are disquieted and discontented the cause of it is our selfishness and want of submission to the will of God, our pride and vanity. Learn, then, to love to be meek and humble, if you would enjoy peace, here or hereafter.

Prayer to Saint Matthias

O Saint Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.

Goffine’s Devout Instructions


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...