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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church



Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (also known as Julius Caesar Rossi; Laurence of Brindisi; Lorenzo da Brindisi) was born in 1559 A.D. at Brindisi, Italy as Julius Caesar Rossi. He was a son of Guglielmo de Rossi and Elisabetta Masella. He felt an early call to the religious life, and was educated by the Friars Minor Conventuals of Brindisi. Lawrence's father died when the boy was twelve.

Saint Lawrence joined the Capuchin Friars in 1575 at the age of 16, taking the name Brother Lorenzo. His studies at the University of Padua included theology, the Bible, Bohemian, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Syriac, and Hebrew. He was a brilliant student known for his facility with languages. Lawrence was a priest, and he taught theology. He served as linguist and military chaplain. He became a famous, effective and forceful preacher in any of his several languages. Lawrence became head of his order and founded convents at Vienna, Prague, and Graz.

Lawrence was chaplain of the army of the Holy Roman Empire in 1601. He rallied the German princes to fight a superior Turkish force, and was asked to lead the army into battle at Stuhlweissenburg (modern Albe-Royal) carrying no weapon but a crucifix. The Turks were completely defeated.

Saint Lawrence was the master general of his order from 1602 to 1605 and he was the choice for another term, but turned it down. He was assigned in 1605 to evangelize in Germany, where he had great success. He also convinced King Philip III of Spain to join the German Catholic League. Lawrence was the commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and he was spiritual director of the Bavarian army.


Saint Lawrence of Brindisi died of natural causes on July 22, 1619 at Lisbon, Portugal. He is buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares at Villafranca. In 1956, the Capuchin Order compiled fifteen volumes of his sermons, letters and writings. Pope John XXIII proclaimed Lawrence an Apostolic Doctor of the Church in 1959. 




Monday, June 23, 2014

Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)





SAINT JOHN could not have had any greater panegyrist than Jesus Christ Himself, Who said: "There hath not risen, among them that are born of women [in the natural manner], a greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11). The Lord made him great, even from his mother's womb, by causing his birth to be foretold by an angel, by giving him his name, and by sanctifying him while yet in his mother's womb through the presence of Christ. To escape from the world and its allurements he withdrew to the desert, and there occupied himself only with God and with what concerned his vocation. His food was locusts and wild honey; his clothing a garment of camel's hair, fastened by a leathern girdle; his bed the hard ground. Thus he lived till his thirtieth year, in which, by the command of God, he was to proclaim the coming of the Messias, Whom he himself afterwards baptized and pointed out to men as the Lamb of God. With extraordinary zeal and earnestness he preached the necessity of true penance.

For having reproved Herod for living in adultery he was thrown into prison, and finally, at the instigation of Herodias, was beheaded.

We celebrate the day of his birth rather than that of his death, as is the case on most saints' days, because, while other saints arrive at sanctity only through long and difficult contests, John was already sanctified in his mother's womb.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows:
"The Lord hath called me by my name, from the womb of my mother, and hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow. 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 Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

O God, Who, by the birth of John, made this day worthy to be honored by us, grant to Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and guide the minds of all the faithful in the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord, etc.

Epistle: Isaias 49:1-3, 5-7

Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye peoples from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother He hath been mindful of my name. And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow; in his quiver He hath hidden me. And He said to me: Thou art my servant Israel, for in thee will I glory. And now saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to be His servant, that I may bring back Jacob unto Him, and Israel will not be gathered together, and I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. And He said: It is a small thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold I have given thee to be the light of the gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, His holy One, to the soul that is despised, to the nation that is abhorred, to the servant of rulers: Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up and adore for the Lord's sake, because He is faithful, and for the holy One of Israel, Who hath chosen thee.

Explanation

This prophecy refers, it is true, to Christ, Whom God has made the head, teacher, ruler, and salvation of all nations. The greater part of it, however, may be applied to Saint John, as is evident from his life.

Gospel: Luke 1:57-68

Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed His great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called hIm by his father's name, Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing-table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came upon all their neighbors; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill-country of Judea. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. And Zachary, his father, was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he prophesied, saying: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people.

Explanation

The neighbors and kinsfolk of Elizabeth rejoiced with her at her happiness, and gave her joy. We too, in like manner, should be glad when anything good happens to our neighbor, and thank and praise God therefor.

Prayer

Saint John, blessed forerunner of Jesus Christ, mirror of true penance, burning and shining light, who by thy teaching and example didst show to men the way to Christ, I beseech thee, by thy penitential life, that thou wouldst obtain for me, from Him Whom thou didst point out as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, grace that, fearing God's wrath against the impenitent, I may at last do true penance for my sins, mortify my sinful flesh according to thy example, serve God in purity and sanctity, and finally, in the land of eternal happiness, follow forever the Lamb Who on the altar of the cross was slain for me. Amen.
-- Goffine's Devout Instructions




Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saint Faustina of Divine Mercy


Saint Faustina of Divine Mercy


Saint Faustina brought to the world a Divine Message of Epic proportion, one cannot underestimate the impact this one woman has had upon the twentieth century.

She was born into a poor Polish family and given the name Helena Kowalska. No one could have then predicted how God would work in this woman's soul. Her family were very devout Catholics and they loved Helena as their favourite daughter, so it was with trepidation that they at first refused Helena her dearest wish to become a religious and devote her life in the service of God, for they could not bear the pain of separation from this most loving of daughters. So in an effort to please her parents and to try and ignore the 'inner calling Helena threw herself into her work as a nanny for a more wealthier family.

But Gods call was much stronger and more insistent, and it was during a social event when their was a dance that Jesus appeared to her and said to her "How long will I put up with you, and how long will you keep putting me off?" Helena knew she could no longer resist this calling nor could she refuse her Lord who she loved above all others, and upon hearing our Lord say to her, "Go immediately to Warsaw; you will enter a convent there." Helena then made sure her affairs were in order and once this was done she confided to her sister her plans to enter the Convent, and with a last goodbye to her sister she embarked on a course that would not only change her life, but would impact and change the world. Upon reaching Warsaw, Helena worked as a servant until she saved the dowry needed to enter the Order of The Sisters of Mercy, a year later, on August 1, 1925, she entered as a postulant. On April 30, 1926, Helena became a novice, taking as her "name in religion," the name "Sister Mary Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament."

Life was not easy for this most obedient of daughter of God, and upon receiving what would be her mission her life became even more difficult, when she started to receive messages and visions of our Lord requesting her to reveal to the world His most Divine Mercy and the Love which Jesus has for each soul. Sister Faustina faced much ridicule and open contempt from some of her fellow Sisters, but even though this pained her deeply she never lost focus on what was essential, Sister Faustina kept her eyes on our Lord and kept her note book in which she wrote down this most astounding and also most important message for the world.

Eventually Sister Faustina's health became fragile, and her Superiors doubted her ill health which quickly detoriated over time, but even when she was under so much pressure and intense suffering Sister Faustina trusted in her Lord and Savior and kept working on the note book which would become 'Divine Mercy in My Soul', Sister Faustina died on October 5, 1938 a most Holy and devoted soul. The task of spreading her message then fell to Father Sopocko, who worked tirelessly on this most Divine and most Intimate of Messages.

Many years later when our late Beloved Pope John Paul was shot in St Peters Square he requested that this book 'Divine Mercy in My Soul' be brought to him, the Holy Father as he recovered from the wound that nearly ended his life reflected much on this Divine Message.

Sister Faustina as St. Faustina was beatified on April 18, 1993 and canonized on April 30, 2000.

I would encourage ALL to read her book and the Revelations found within from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.


Divine Mercy Poster
Divine Mercy Poster by stvsmith2009
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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Decrees For The Causes Of Saints


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he extended the liturgical cult of the following blesseds to the universal Church, inscribing them in the book of Saints:

-Francois de Laval, French bishop of Quebec, Canada (1623-1708).

-Jose de Anchieta, Spanish priest of the Society of Jesus (1534-1597).

-Maria de la Encarnacion (nee Marie Guyart), French (1599-1672).

He also authorised the Congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning the following causes:

MIRACLES

- Servant of God Giovanni Antonio Farina, Italian bishop and founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts (1803-1871).

- Blessed Kuriacose Elias Chavara, Indian professed priest and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (1805-1871).

- Blessed Nicola da Longobardi, (ne Giovanni Battista Clemente Saggio), Italian oblate friar of the Order of the Minims (1650-1709).

- Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nee Rose Eluvathingal), Indian professed religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (1877-1952).

- Servant of God Luigi della Consolata (ne Andrea Bordino), Italian professed religious, Brothers of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1922-1977).

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Servant of God Francisco Simon Rodenas, Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, bishop of Santa Marta (1849-1914).

- Servant of God Adolfo Barberis, Italian priest and founder of the Institute of Sisters of Christian Servanthood (1884-1967).

- Servant of God Marie-Clement (ne Joseph Staub), French professed priest of the Assumptionists and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joan of Arc (1876-1936).

- Servant of God Sebastian Elorza Arizmendi, Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Augustine (1882-1942).

- Servant of God Maria Teresa of the Eucharistic Jesus (nee Dulce Rodrigues dos Santos), Brazilian foundress of the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (1901-1972).

- Servant of God Clara de la Concepcion (nee Juana de la Concepcion Sanchez Garcia), Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Clare (1902-1973).

- Servant of God Maria Magdalena (nee Maria Giuseppina Teresa Marcucci), Italian professed religious of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (1888-1960).

-Servant of God Luigi Rocchi, Italian layperson (1932-1979).


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
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