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

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Showing posts with label Christian Heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Heroes. Show all posts

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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


Saint Matthias the Apostle


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


Monday, September 04, 2017

Saint Teresa of Calcutta



Agnes Bojaxhiu, was born in the city of Skopje, on August 26, 1910. No one could have known then that a truly remarkable woman was born to this century, a woman who would lead the way in the revolution of love in a world grown weary of it. This is a world which has become gluttonous for the impure, the immodest and the immoral, where the Sacred has given way to the 'gods' of prosperity and power in a consumer age.

None could have predicted the enormous impact this one woman had on the world, where Presidents would tremble at her words, where Queens would honour her with titles and awards and a nation which would grant her the title of Peacemaker...in a world torn apart by war. Mother Teresa herself took no note of the titles, benefits or other worldly accruements which came her way, she instead embraced the lowly, the impoverished and the diseased, not only did she embrace them, she lived with them as one of them, for to Mother Teresa they were the face of Christ in the poorest of disguises. Where many would spit upon the face of the diseased, Mother Teresa kissed them, where others threw money at the beggars to appease their conscience, Mother Teresa became a beggar, for there is no shame in being born poor, the shame lay with the hoarders of wealth. To the abandoned, Mother Teresa was their refuge, to the forgotten, Mother Theresa remembered them, to the diseased ravaged Mother Theresa was their step to dignity. To the wealthy Mother Teresa was their bane, to the powerful Mother Teresa was their conscience, to the despots Mother Teresa was to be feared. Though to the poor Mother Teresa was their face of....love. Many would try to emulate her, but there will only ever be one Mother Teresa, but what drove this remarkable woman? Where did her strength come from?

Before she took the name of Mother Teresa, she was first known as Sister Mary Teresa, after her favourite Saint, Terese of Lisieux and lived among the Religious community of the Sisters of Loreto. Here she lived for many happy years as she taught the children of the more wealthy and prominent families in India at St. Mary’s School for girls. This was a happy time for Sister Teresa a time of fulfilling God's Will by teaching the children of the future and Sister Teresa adored the girls and the community in which she lived, she showed no inclination to leave as she embraced her life and lived it with real joy and exuberance. This part of her life must not be underestimated for it is true that Sister Teresa felt complete as she taught the girls whom she had come to love and was loved in return by them. What then drove Sister Teresa to leave the community that she loved with every fibre of her being? How could she leave those in whom she had embraced for what and to where? Dare she give up the security of what she had known and walk out to the unknown?

One can only imagine the inner turmoil that Sister Teresa felt when upon leaving on a spiritual retreat, this remarkable Sister felt 'the call within a call', and then in absolute obedience she acted upon Jesus calling her to be with Him in the service of the poorest of the poor. But this action like many more cost Sister Teresa, and she mourned deeply for the life she was to leave behind, she would miss her beloved students, her fellow Religious Sisters and Priests...the pain of loss was real and deep.

So upon gaining her Superiors permission Sister Teresa left her beloved convent, where her future had been secure into the maelstrom of noise, smells, filth, tears, rage and violence which was the streets of Calcutta. All Sister Teresa had was the 'Divine inspirations' from her beloved Spouse Jesus to "Come be My light," but though Teresa took these words seriously, how could she, one woman alone succeed amidst such squalor? These thoughts tormented the young Sister Theresa as she tried to cope with such a change in her circumstances, where there was no longer a schedule of religious life to follow. How was she to begin such a massive order when all around her everyone was destitute and diseased, the thoughts swirled in her mind...how? How? How?

To these questions came....silence! How Teresa must have longed for the security she had left behind, where everything was clean and orderly. Here she was in an inhospitable landscape to serve the poor, who were diseased, smelly, ungrateful, unhappy, and suspicious of this woman who was dressed in a blue and white Sari, and called herself Mother Teresa. Just as Mother Teresa had her doubts so too did the people she had come to serve, who was this woman in the sari? What was her 'real' motive? Was this woman mad? Did she not realise that there were murderers in the streets who would think nothing of killing a 'Religious' for they had no respect for anyone. Then finally many thought, this religious wont last long she will go back to her comforts as they looked upon her with disdain mixed with...hope? Just like Mother Teresa many thought what can one woman do?

The driving force that drove Mother Teresa was her love of God and the sufferings of Christ which she recognised in the poorest of the poor, but Mother Teresa was a teacher, she was not a nursing Religious. So in all practicalities Mother Teresa took a course on nursing, after which she returned to the streets of Calcutta, more resolute in heart, more steady in her mission and more in love than ever with her Lord and Saviour. But was her love returned? For in the heart of this devout nun lay such a barren landscape of no consolation that it tore at her heart ripping it to shreds as she endured the 'dark night of the soul'. Though Mother Teresa spent many hours in prayer, it felt as if her prayers were going into the air unheard and unloved, her every effort unappreciated by the one she so loved with all her heart and soul…why? Why such silence?

What Mother Teresa was experiencing was an aridity of soul that only a few Saints have passed through, let us not gloss over the enormity of the desolation that Mother Teresa felt within her soul as she worked and gave assistance to the poor and desolate. For the love that Mother Teresa gave to those who needed it, she herself felt her love was not returned, through the long nights of despair where her soul was deluged with doubts...not one word from her Divine Spouse....total and gut wrenching...silence.

Mother Teresa worked from sun rise to long into the night as she helped those around her, there were no clinical conditions as found in western countries. Here Mother Teresa picked up the elderly who had been abandoned in garbage dumps, and would sit and pick out the maggots that had infested the skin, the skin of those unwashed and unloved. She held dying babies in her arms who never had the chance to learn to smile, they too were abandoned to their fate, unloved and unwanted. Everywhere Mother Teresa looked was the ugliness of life at its most desperate and at the end of a long and arduous day where she had kissed and prayed for the dying, comforted the sick who would not last the night and held the children who did not recognise what it is to be cuddled. Mother Teresa turned to prayer to find no solace as her mind took in the sights and the affliction of all around her. How could this woman continue?

What kept Mother Teresa going was her love for God, for she loved God not for what He could give her, but how she could serve Him. Mother Teresa lived out the true meaning of love in all its rawness, for love is not about gaining but in giving. True love is to empty oneself for the love of others and not count the cost, it is to give when the well is dry, it is to share while your own soul feels it's own bareness. It is to give the very essence of yourself without holding back, it is to love with a passion that defies all logic, it is to love unto madness.

Mother Teresa was mad, yes! Mad with love for God, for who He is, despite her lack of 'feelings' Mother Teresa knew God, she saw her wounded Love in the face of the impoverished, in the eyes of the dying, in the unheard screams of the unborn, she saw her Beloved in everyone.

While her own spirit was undergoing its annihilation, she continued to love the unloved, irrespective of her own agonies, her own pain and her own loneliness. She would become the voice of the voiceless, the empowerment of the powerless, the conscience of the immoral and the indictment of the pro choice movement! Where others turned away, Mother Teresa embraced the ugliness that is life for many, where others compromised the truth, Mother Teresa stood firm, where some conditioned their love, Mother Teresa gave her love without need of a receipt. This woman of God would not turn away from the weak and the weary, the sorrowful and the diseased, the people who make us all uncomfortable, Mother Teresa was not a bystander of life, but instead leapt into life with all its ugliness, rawness and humiliations. For at the core of Mother Teresa's life was the words uttered by Christ Crucified.....'I THIRST'.

It is in Mother Teresa we see what we are all capable of and fail to do, one can no longer say, they cannot help the whole world....Mother Teresa showed us how. We can no longer hide our lack of caring, Mother Teresa showed us how to care. We can no longer stay silent on issues integral to our Faith where the unborn are murdered daily, where prisoners are executed in civilized countries...where children die of hunger and thirst as we water our gardens and throw away our left overs. Mother Teresa spoke up, she stood firm, she condemned the slaughter of the innocents, spoke out against the death sentence and she fed and gave water to the hungry and the thirsty.

Presidents listened to her, Princesses tried to emulate her, Queen's honoured her and the poor loved her. In Mother Teresa we see the Power of Love which had no limits...as eternity echoes with the words...."I Thirst"...

Mother Teresa died in 1997.

Blessed Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Some Quotes

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world."

"Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Priest who died on the Titanic could be on path to sainthood :: EWTN News


The following excerpts are from EWTN News:

When the Titanic began to sink on April 15, 1912, Father Thomas Byles had two opportunities to board a lifeboat. But he forewent those opportunities, according to passengers aboard the sinking ocean liner, in order to hear confessions and offer consolation and prayers with those who were trapped aboard.

Now, a priest at the former church of Fr. Byles in England is asking that his beatification cause be opened.

Some 1,500 people died when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912. Believed at the time to be “unsinkable,” the ship lacked adequate lifeboats for all the passengers on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

Fr. Byles was traveling on the Titanic to preside at his brother’s wedding in New York. The 42-year-old British priest had been ordained in Rome 10 years prior and had served as a parish priest at Saint Helen’s Church in Essex since 1905.

Miss Agnes McCoy, a third class passenger and survivor of the Titanic, said Fr. Byles had been on the ship, hearing confessions, praying with passengers and giving his blessing as the vessel sank.


Read more by clicking below:
Priest who died on the Titanic could be on path to sainthood :: EWTN News



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Feast of Saint Joseph



Feast of Saint Joseph

March 19

SAINT JOSEPH was descended from the kingly line of David, and was a kinsman of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Matthew 1:1-16) The Gospel gives him the praise of being just (Matthew 1:19), that is, a man distinguished for all virtues. And surely, as he was chosen from all other men by God to be the foster-father of His Son, he undoubtedly excelled, in virtues and sanctity, all saints then living. Of his youth nothing certain is known to us, and of his later life we know only what the Gospel relates. He was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55), and lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Luke 2:4). Being espoused to Mary, he was inclined, upon learning that she was with child, to put her away privately, not wishing to expose her to public reproach; but being instructed by an angel, he took her to himself, in obedience to the command of God, went with her to Bethlehem, and afterwards, with Mary and the new-born child, fled, without timidity, to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13) At the command of the angel he returned thence, and again dwelt in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23). From this place they went every year to the feast at Jerusalem, where it happened that Jesus, then twelve years old, remained behind them in the temple, and was anxiously sought for by them. More than this is not told us. At the time of the marriage at Cana it would seem that he was no longer living, since there is no mention made of him. Though little is said of him, that little is rich in profitable instruction. How worthy to be admired and imitated is his example, his chastity, his tenderness towards Mary, his forbearing to pronounce a judgment in regard to her condition when he could not explain it, his quick and unreserved obedience towards God and the commands of authority, his love for Jesus, and his care for both the mother and the child. On account of his sanctity God has specially distinguished him by miracles, and the Church honors him in a particular manner. In the Litany of the Saints he is named among the patriarchs, and the feast of his patronage is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. Venerate, therefore, Saint Joseph; choose him for your protector in life and in death, and make yourself worthy of his protection by following his example.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows:

"The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus, planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. 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. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be assisted by the merits of the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, that what of ourselves we are unable to obtain may be given to us by his intercession. Who livest and reignest with You and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen.

Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6

He was beloved of God and men: whose memory is in benediction. He made him 1ike the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him His glory. He sanctified him in his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. For He heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud. And He gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction.

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-21

When Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put per away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost; and she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.

Instruction

To encourage us to veneration for Saint Joseph, Saint Teresa wrote:

"I do not remember to have asked Saint Joseph for anything which he did not grant me. The great favors which God has granted me through him, and the many dangers of soul and body from which he has freed me, truly deserve admiration. It seems that God has granted to other saints the grace of assisting, in particular needs, those who invoke their intercession; but this glorious saint assists in all needs. The Lord seems thereby to indicate that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so now He grants him whatever he asks for. The same thing has been experienced by persons whom I have advised to recommend themselves to him."
---------------------------------------------------------------

"I would gladly advise everyone," says Saint Alphonsus, "to have a great devotion towards this saint, since I have experienced what graces he can obtain from God. For several years I have asked him, on his feast, for some par ticular grace, and every time my petition has been granted. As we all have to die, we should have a particular devotion towards Saint Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death; for all Catholic Christians consider him to be an intercessor for the dying, and that he assists, at the hour of death, those who venerate him; and this for three reasons:

1. Because Jesus loves him, not only as a friend, but as a father, on which account his intercession is more powerful than that of any other saint.
2. Because Saint Joseph obtained special power against the evil spirits who tempt us at the hour of death.
3. The assistance which Jesus and Mary gave to Joseph at the hour of his own death procured for him the right to obtain a holy and easy death for his dependants. If in their dying hour they invoke his aid, not only will he assist them, but he will obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary."
Ought not these words of a great saint encourage you to venerate Saint Joseph every day? Should not the hope of dying one day under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move you to devotion to the foster-father of Jesus?

Prayer to Saint Joseph

O most chaste Joseph, who, by thy purity and other exalted virtues, wast worthy to be chosen for the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, I beseech thee, by the great graces of which thou wast made partaker, that thou wouldst, by thy intercession, obtain for all parents grace to rear their children piously; for all married persons who are distressed and afflicted through poverty and tribulations consolation and encouragement; for all unmarried persons who have devoted tbeir chastity to God the grace of perseverance; and, finally, for all the dyjng the grace to come, after a happy death, to thy foster- child, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.

-- Goffine's Devout Instructions


Promulgation of Decrees by Congregation for Causes of Saints



Vatican City, 18 March 2015 (VIS) This morning the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

- a MIRACLE, attributable to the intercession of the married couple Louis Martin, layman and father, born 22 August, 1823 in Bordeaux, France, died 29 July 1894 in Arnieres-sur-Iton, France and Marie-Azelie Guérin Martin, laywoman and mother, born 23 December 1831 in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, France, died 28 August 1877 in Alencon, France.

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Servant of God Francesco Gattola, diocesan priest and founder of the Daughters of the Most Holy Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes, born 19 September 1822 in Naples, Italy, died there 20 January 1899;

- Servant of God Petar Barbaric, Jesuit novice, born 19 May 1874 in Klobuk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, died 15 April 1897 Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina;

- Servant of God Mary Aikenhead, founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity of Ireland, born 19 January 1787 in Cork, Ireland, died 22 July 1858 in Dublin, Ireland;

- Servant of God Elisa Baldo Foresti, widow, founder of the Holy Home of St. Joseph in Gavardo, and cofounder of the Humble Servants of the Lord, born 29 October 1862 in Gavardo, Italy, died 5 July in Brescia, Italy;

- Servant of God Vincenta of the Passion of the Lord (nee Jadwiga Jaroszewska), founder of the Benedictine Samaritan Sisters of the Cross of Christ, born 7 March 1900 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, died 10 November in Warsaw, Poland).

- Servant of God Juana of the Cross (nee Juana Vazquez Gutierrez) professed religious of the Franciscan Nuns of the Third Order Regular and Abbess of the Santa Maria de la Cruz convent in Cubas, born 3 May 1481 in Villa de Azana (today s Numancia de la Sagra), Spain, died 3 May 1534 in Cubas de la Sagra, Spain;

- Servant of God Maria Orsola Bussone, young layperson of the Focolare Movement, born 2 October 1954 in Vallo Torinese, Italy, died 10 July 1970 in Ca' Savio, Italy.


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



Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Relic of St. Teresa of Avila's “pilgrim staff” Arrives in the Vatican



Vatican City, 11 March 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, during his greetings in various languages, the Pope mentioned that this month will mark the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus in Avila, Spain. “May her spiritual vigour stimulate you, dear young people, to bear joyful witness to faith in your life; may her trust in Christ the Saviour sustain you, dear sick people, in the moments of greatest discouragement; and may her tireless apostolate invite you, dear newly-weds, to place Christ at the centre of your marital home”.

Later on Pope Francis received in the Vatican the relic of St. Teresa's famous “pilgrim staff”, as part of on a worldwide tour organised by the Order of Carmelites, to commemorate the anniversary of the Spanish mystic and doctor of the Church. The global pilgrimage, entitled “Way of Light”, began in Avila on 15 October 2014 with the aim of visiting the family of Mount Carmel in 30 countries across five continents, a journey of 117 thousand kilometres and lasting more than 160 days. It will return to Avila on 28 March, in time for the 500th anniversary of the saint's birth.

On the same day, the Teresian jubilee year will be inaugurated with a prayer for world peace. Throughout the year a series of celebrations will be held, including the European Youth Meeting, which is expected to be attended by more than 9,000 young people from across the continent, several pilgrimages and many conferences and exhibitions.


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


Monday, February 23, 2015

Doctors of the Church -- A List (Updated)



The following is an alphabetical list of the 36 "Doctors of the Church" of the Roman Catholic Church.

Before we get to the list, here is the definition of Doctor of the Church from "The Modern Catholic Dictionary" by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.:

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. A title given since the Middle Ages to certain saints whose writing or preaching is outstanding for guiding the faithful in all periods of the Church's history. Originally the Western Fathers of the Church, Gregory the Great, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome, were considered the great doctors of the Church. But the Church has officially added many more names to the original four.

The following are Doctors of the Church
  • Albert the Great
  • Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
  • Ambrose of Milan
  • Anselm of Canterbury
  • Anthony of Padua
  • Athanasius
  • Augustine of Hippo
  • Basil the Great
  • Bede the Venerable
  • Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Bonaventure
  • Catherine of Siena
  • Cyril of Alexandria
  • Cyril of Jerusalem
  • Ephrem of Syria
  • Francis of Sales
  • Gregory Nanzianzen
  • Gregory of Narek
  • Gregory the Great
  • Hilary of Poitiers
  • Hildegard von Bingen
  • Isidore
  • Jerome
  • John Chrystostom
  • John Damascene
  • John of Avila
  • John of the Cross
  • Lawrence of Brindisi
  • Leo the Great
  • Peter Canisius
  • Peter Chrysologus
  • Peter Damian
  • Robert Bellarmine
  • Teresa of Avila
  • Therese of Lisieux
  • Thomas Aquinas


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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Feast of Saint Brigid, Abbess and Patroness of Ireland (From Goffine’s Devout Instructions)

Saint Brigid of Ireland


February 1

Saint Brigid was born about the year 453 at Fochard, in Ulster. When about twenty years old she received the veil from Saint Mel, the nephew and disciple of Saint Patrick. So many sought the religious life under her direction that a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected for her and she was made superior. From this parent stem branched forth other convents in different parts of Ireland, all which acknowledged her as their mother and foundress. Several churches in England and Scotland are dedicated to God under her name, and some also in Germany and in France. After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtups, corporal infirmities admonished our saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. For half a century she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained. The day on which our abbess was to quit this life, 1 February 523, having arrived, she received the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, bnt was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar. In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of Saint Bridget were removed to Down-Patrick, where they were deposited in the same grave with those of Saint Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of Saint Columba were translated afterwards to the cathedral of the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of Saint Bridget is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

The Introit of the Mass:

Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, O God, Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.” 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

Give ear to us, O God our Saviour, that, as we celebrate with joy the solemnity of blessed Bridget Thy virgin, so we may improve in the affection of piety. Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 10:17-18; 11:1-2

Brethren: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved, but he whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise; but the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.




-- Goffine’s Devout Instructions



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saint Francis de Sales



Francis was born into an era which would prove to be troublesome for the Church, for in the sixteenth century the Reformation would bring the Catholic Church into crisis mode, as Martin Luther defied Rome and so was excommunicated in 1520.

Francis was born to a noble couple in the year 1567 in the Savoy region of France. Both his parents, Francois and mother Francoise, were deeply devout and from them Francis also learned to love the Faith which would also lead him to the Priesthood. At first Francis parents tried to persuade their son into a profitable career, and to marry a woman of similar nobility, but after a struggle Francis parents capitulated to their son embracing the Priesthood.

His parents would also provide a good example to the young Francis as he watched them practice the corporal works of mercy and their compassion for the underprivileged in the society around them. So even though Francois and Francoise were of noble birth, still they were not haughty or prideful and treated all with respect and courtesy.

Francis at the age of 13 left home to study with the Jesuits in Paris, where he was instructed by some of the best teachers and was guided as to the Teachings of the Church, this sound teaching would hold Francis in good stead in the foreseeable future. From Paris Francis then completed his studies at Padua where he studied law, to please his father and studied theology in his spare time. Through this difficult time of trying to please both his Father and the call he felt towards the Priesthood, Francis spent much time in prayer about his situation. It was not until Francis was offered the position of Provost of Geneva that his father finally gave up the struggle and allowed Francis to follow his longing to enter the Church.

And though Francis was now able to pursue his dream he found himself beset with doubts and scruples of what he felt were his inadequacies. But upon praying in Church, all of Francis doubts were removed, and in 1593 Francis was ordained into the Priesthood. This was a great honour for Francis parents who attended his first Mass, whereupon they received the Eucharist from the hands of their own son, what a blessing!

And though God had blessed Francis with a high intellect still Francis spoke as one to his parishioners, as he served them with compassion, mercy and love. Father Francis kept his sermons to the point and did not expound on deeply theological issues to the people of his parish, for he was a man of the people and was able to convey his love of God in a simple context without compromising God's Truth.

It was this love of Divine Truth that set Father Francis in conflict with the people of Chablais, where many had embraced the teachings of Calvin. It was here that Francis would prove himself a great son of the Church as he fought Calvin's heresies not by direct attack but by his letters which denounced each and every Calvinistic heresy! Through this non aggressive approach the people of the region began to listen to Fr. Francis and to re think their break with the one True Church. Francis love of the Faith and his diplomatic skills were certainly in evidence when confronting the people of Chablais, who were won over by his obvious piety and sanctity.

But Francis though gentle by nature was no pushover and once he had denounced the Calvin heresy then demanded alongside the Duke of Savoy that all who preached a different Gospel should be expelled from the region, rather than re-contaminate the good which had been done. Francis being prudent by nature was well aware that one bad apple could once again infect the area with the same heresies as before, the Duke of Savoy agreed and expelled all Calvinistic Ministers from the region.

In 1602 Francis once again returned to Paris a city which was close to his heart, Francis at this time also formed a strong friendship with Henry IV and other members of the nobility, for though Francis truly loved and esteemed the poor, he also did not show favouritism when speaking about the Faith, and so he treated both poor and rich with equality.

Upon the death of Bishop de Granie, Francis then became Bishop of Geneva in the year 1602. He set about restoring all things proper back to the Church and visited many parishes as he also reformed many of the Religious Orders. But Francis personality was such that he could win people over to what is pleasing to God. Through his own diplomatic skills he was able to soothe many a ruffled feather, and by his patient and gentle manner he was able to persuade many to follow the Church and its Teachings without compromise.

Bishop Francis worked so hard it is a wonder if he ever found time to rest, for though he would accomplish many things his greatest love was for prayer and through prayer comes action. Through everything Francis retained a deep love for those less well of and tried to the best of his ability to ease their hardship. This was done in several area's for Bishop Francis also began a course of teaching the Faith to both young and old in order to build up the Faithful and keep the Protestant Reformation from overtaking the one true Church. He did this in such a skilful way that he won the admiration of both rich and poor alike, for Francis though a Bishop of the Church, practiced an austere life and did not grant himself special privileges.

During this time he would come to meet a woman and it was to Jeanne de Chantal that Bishop Francis would come to impact and change the course of her life. Bishop Francis could also count Vincent de Paul amongst his closest friends for all three were truly devoted to the poor and their plight. And it would be with Jeanne de Chantal that he would begin his Order, 'The Institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin' which overtime would become known as the 'Visitation Order'.

Francis de Sales was not only a great man of Faith, he was also a man of great heart, who with conviction, firmness, gentleness and compassion spread the message of the Gospels. To love one another, Bishop Francis lived this creed to the end.

Francis de Sales died in the year 1622.

Saint Francis de Sales was Canonized in the year 1665 by Pope Alexander VII. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1877.

Some Quotes

"Be who you are and be that well."

"Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections."

"Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength."

"When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time."

"Those who love to be feared fear to be loved."




Friday, January 23, 2015

Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints On January 22, 2015



Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

Vatican City, 23 January 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:

MIRACLES

- attributed to the Venerable Servant of God Maria Teresa Casini, Italian foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1864-1937);

MARTYRDOM

- Servants of God Fidela (nee Dolores Oller Angelats) and two companions, Spanish professed nuns of the Institute of Sisters of St. Joseph, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 26 and 29 August 1936;

- Servants of God Pio Heredia Zubia and seventeen companions, of the Trappists of Cantabria and the Cistercian nuns of the Congregation of St. Bernard, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936;

- Servant of God Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa (ne Bakali), South African layperson, killed in hatred of the faith in South Africa on 2 February 1990.

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Servant of God Ladislao Bukowinski, Ukrainian diocesan priest (1904-1974);

- Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz, American diocesan priest, founder of the Sisters of Mary of Banneux and the Brothers of Christ (1930-1992);

- Servant of God Cointa Jauregui Oses, Spanish professed nun of the Company of Mary Our Lady (1875-1954);

- Servant of God Teresa Gardi, Italian layperson of the Third Order of St. Francis (1769-1837);

- Servant of God Luis De Trelles y Nuogerol, Spanish layperson and founder of the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Spain (1819-1891);

- Servant of God Elisabeth Maria (nee Erizabe-to Maria) Satoko Kitahara, Japanese layperson (1929-1958);

- Servant of God Virginia Blanco Tardio, Bolivian layperson (1916-1990).


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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints



Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

MIRACLES

- Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception (nee Adelaide Brando), Italian foundress of the Oblation Sisters of the Holy Sacrament (1856-1906);

- Venerable Servant of God Pio Alberto del Corona, Italian professed priest of the Order of Preachers, bishop of San Miniato and founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit (1837-1912);

- Venerable Servant of God Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, Canadian foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (1840-1881).

The Pontiff also approved the votes of the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal and Bishop Fathers in favour of the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Indian priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa (1651-1711).

Finally, the Holy Father decided that a Consistory will be convoked shortly for the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz and Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, nee Adelaide Brando.


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


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