SPECIAL DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY ISSUE   FRI-SAT-SUN-MON    April 28-May 1, 2000    vol. 11, no. 84    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 161 - The Holy Spirit part one
  • Events that occurred today in Church History

  • Appreciation of the Holy Spirit

        Today we continue our series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We present the first part of the catechesis on The Holy Spirit as explained in My Catholic Faith. The Holy Spirit is known by many names: the Advocate, the Sanctifier, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, etc. but there is no doubt He proceeds from the Father and the Son in the Dogma of Filioque and He is the fulfillment of what Christ promised: That He would send the Holy Spirit to guide His Church and her people. For part one in the 161st installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 161: The Holy Spirit part one

          "And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2: 1-4).

          The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is God and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus Christ often spoke of the Holy Spirit. One of the most solemn occasions was when He charged the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

          On certain occasions, the Holy Spirit appeared in visible form. When Christ was baptized by Saint John the Baptist, the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended with a mighty rushing wind, and rested over the Apostles in the form of tongues and fire.

          The signs are symbolic of the action of the Holy Ghost. The form of a dove symbolizes the gentleness with which the Holy Spirit works in our souls. The rush of wind represents the sstrengthening of the will. The fire represents zeal, fervor, and the illumination of the mind.

          The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit began to exist later in time than the Father and the Son. He proceeded from them from all eternity; He is to them as warmth is to fire, existing and proceeding at the same time. There can be no fire without warmth; if there were an eternal fire, there would be an eternal warmth. So since there are the eternal Father and Son, there is the eternal Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the eternal, mutual love that the Father and Son bear each other; but instead of being mere feeling, He is a Person, a Being, God.

          The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God. True, God as the Father and the Son are, the Holy Ghost is eternal, all-knowing, almighty. The Third Person is called Holy Spirit, from the Latin word spiritus, a breath. He was breaathed forth by the Father and the Son. Other names used to refer to the Holy Ghost are: Advocate, Paraclete, Consoler, Comforter, Substantial Love, Spirit of Truth, and Sanctifier,etc.

          The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as the source of its life, and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace. Although all Divine works depend on all Three Persons, we attribute the work of santification to God the Holy Ghost, because He is the oneness of love of the Father and the Son, and the sanctification of man by grace reveals that boundless love. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

          After Baptism, we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts and He remains with us as long as we have no mortal sin on our souls. This is the gift of "sanctifying grace." Then we say that the Spirit of God dwells in us. We should therefore treat our body with great reverence, for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is given in a very special manner in the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders.

      Tuesday: The Holy Spirit part two

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      Events that happened during this period in Church History

         Numerous significant events happened during this four-day period throughout Church History. One of those events was the beatification ten years ago on April 29th, 1990 by Pope John Paul II of the first New World visionary - Blessed Juan Diego whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to in 1531. It was through the message at Guadalupe that millions converted to the faith and the slaughter of millions of innocent people ceased...until late in the 20th century when abortion raised its ugly head. The promoters for Blessed Juan's cause believe he will someday be remembered as one of the great saints in the Church. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history during this period, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

      Historical Events in Church Annals for April 28:

      • 1180 A.D.
      • Queen Isabella of Hainaut weds the King of France Philip II who would organize the 3rd Crusade with Richard the Lion-Heart.

      • 1220 A.D.
      • The cornerstone is laid for the Cathedral of Salisbury in England.

      • 1282 A.D.
      • The papal troops of Pope Martin IV are defeated as the Sicilian garrisons reach Romagna.

      • 1462 A.D.
      • A papal bull which guaranteed protection of the old Roman ruins is issued by Pope Pius II, 210th successor of Peter.

      • 1442 A.D.
      • Birth of Edward IV to the Tutor King Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou. Edward would go on to rule as King of England from 1461 until his death in 1483.

      • 1521 A.D.
      • The Spanish Conqueror Hernando Cortez captures the Aztec city of Tenochtitian.

      Historical Events in Church Annals for April 29:

      • 998 A.D.
      • Otto III, the Holy Roman Emperor who had been coronated by the Pope, turns on the Holy See and invades Rome, capturing the palace Castel Sant'Angelo outside the gates of the Vatican. Otto had proclaimed the antipope John XVI as pope because Pope Gregory V would not adhere to Otto's demands.

      • 1109 A.D.
      • Death of Saint Hugh from Cluny, an abbot and close friend of fellow monk Hildebrand who became the great Pope Saint Gregory VII. Along with the latter, Hugh was a great reformer of the Church and, during his life, served nine pontiffs faithfully before dying on this date in his beloved Cluny.

      • 1111 A.D.
      • Death of Saint Robert of Molesmes, one of the founding fathers of the Cistercians along with Saint Alberic and Saint Stephen Harding.

      • 1380 A.D.
      • Death of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. It was through the dauntless efforts of this staunch defender of the faith and traditions that the papacy was returned to Rome after seventy years of exile in Avignon, France. See DAILY LITURGY

      • 1429 A.D.
      • The teen-aged Saint Joan of Arc enters the beseiged city of Orleans, France to lead her country in victory over the English in the 100 year war and preserve the faith of Holy Mother Church in France.

      • 1535 A.D.
      • Like Saint Thomas More, the Prior Father John Houghton is executed by King Henry VIII for refusing to pledge loyalty to the king, remaining ever faithful to the Roman Catholic Church.

      • 1624 A.D.
      • The controversial Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu is appointed chief minister of the Royal Council of France. He would alienate many Catholic countries with his liberalism toward Protestants, often being called the "Cardinal of the Hugenots."

      • 1965 A.D.
      • Pope Paul VI releases his second encyclical Mense maio on the emphasis of prayers for peace during the month of May.

      • 1990 A.D.
      • Pope John Paul II, in confirming a decree of April 9th, beatifies Juan Diego, visionary of Guadalupe whose canonization is imminent.

      Historical Events in Church Annals for April 30:

      • 311 A.D.
      • Roman Emperor Galerius issues the first edict of toleration for Christianity ending three centuries of terrible persecutions.

      • 1250 A.D.
      • Saint Louis IX, King of France, ransoms his crusaders and himself in a deal with the Saracens at Daimetta, allowing the freed troops to go to the Holy Land.

      • 1492 A.D.
      • Christopher Columbus receives his commission for exploration of the New World from Queen Isabella of Spain.

      • 1623 A.D.
      • Birth of Franaois de Montmorency Laval who would go on to become the first Bishop of Canada.

      • 1774 A.D.
      • Pope Clement XIV issues his fourth and final encyclical proclaiming the universal jubilee for 1775 in his Salutis nostra. He would not live to see the Jubilee year, being poisoned in September of 1774.

      • 1841 A.D.
      • The encyclical Quas vestro is published by Pope Gregory XVI on this date. It was aimed at the bishops of Hungary regarding mixed marriages.

      • 1902 A.D.
      • Pope Leo XIII releases his 80th of 84 encyclicals during his long reign, Quod votis addressed to the bishops of Austria on the proposed Catholic University there.

      • 1921 A.D.
      • Nineteen years to the date, Pope Benedict XV issues a similar encyclical In praeclara summorum aimed at professors and students of fine arts in Catholic institutions of learning. It focused on Dante and his works.

      • 1926 A.D.
      • Benedict's successor Pope Pius XI released his eighth encyclical called Rite expiatis which dealt with Saint Francis of Assis.

      Historical Events in Church Annals for May 1:

      • 1169 A.D.
      • The first Normans land on Irish soil, beginning an emigration that would civilize the country and from it the Irish would evolve.

      • 1229 A.D.
      • The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen leaves the Holy Land though Pope Gregory IX had wanted him to stay to secure everything. His disobedience prompted the Holy Father to excommunicate the German king.

      • 1308 A.D.
      • Death of King Albert I of Habsburg of Germany, murdered by his disinherited nephew Charles of Valois.

      • 1316 A.D.
      • Coronation of King Edward Bruce coronated as King of Ireland.

      • 1308 A.D.
      • Death of Saint Peregrine Laziosi, a Servite priest and healer of cancer to which he is the patron saint of cancer victims.

      • 1572 A.D.
      • Death of Pope Saint Pius V, 225th successor of Peter and one of the great pontiffs in Church annals. Pius carried out the decrees of the Council of Trent and decreed the use of the Roman Missal. For more see WEEKEND LITURGY

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       This weekend the Easter Octave continues through the Second Sunday of Easter which is also Divine Mercy Sunday leading into the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker on Monday. Because of Eastertide, several saints will not be celebrated this year in the Church liturgy, but we do not forget them as you'll see in our profiles and vignettes on the saints whose feasts normally fall on April 28, 29 and 30th. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on all of these holy men and women, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Friday, April 28, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 4: 1-12
        Psalms: Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27
        Gospel Reading: John 21: 1-14

    This year Eastertide supersedes the feast of Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort and Saint Peter Chanel normally observed on April 28th as well as honoring Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, a great intercessor for pregnant mothers and one to pray to stop abortions. Below are the profiles of the first two holy men, and the link to the profile of Blessed Gianna from our Top100 feature:

    Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort, priest, religious founder, messenger and writer

          Though not officially recognized in the United States as a feast day, we nevertheless celebrate the feast of Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort on April 28. It is an official feast day in Canada. This Dominican, following in the footsteps of his founder Saint Dominic became a great writer, preacher and prophet for the end times. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Holy Rosary are the substance of his works, including the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with 33 days of special preparation of prayers and fasting before this Consecration which is professed on the feast of the Purification (February 2), the feast of the Annunciation (March 25), St. Louis de Montfort's feastday (April 28), the feast of the Visitation (May 31), the Solemnities of the Assumption (August 15) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8). Other works of this devoted saint are "How to say your Rosary," "True Devotion to Mary,", "God Alone," "Friends of the Cross," "Reign of Jesus through Mary," "The Secret of Mary," and, of course, "Preparation for Total Consecration." These works are available through Montfort Publications, Queen of All Hearts Confraternity, Bay Shore, NY 11706.

          St. Louis de Montfort was a devoted Dominican Tertiary who was an extraordinary preacher of the Rosary and prophecied many things about Mary's role in our times and of the Second Coming in which he predicted Mary would have a special role saying: "In the Second Coming of the Lord, Mary will be made known in a special way by the Holy Spirit so that through her, Jesus may be better known and served...Mary will shine forth higher than ever in these latter days to bring back poor sinners who have strayed from the Family of God." Well before Fatima, he prophecied that Mary's Heart would triumph and of her role as Co-Redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix of all graces. Pope John Paul II has called de Montfort "one of the great doctors of Marian Spirituality." This saint, totally devoted to Mary, founded the Congregations of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (the Montfort Fathers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, an order of nuns devoted to Our Lady and the Holy Spirit. Born during the reign of Pope Clement X in 1673, St. Louis de Montfort died peacefully in 1716 during the papacy of Pope Clement XI.

    Saint Peter Chanel, priest, religious missionary and martyr

         Considered the first martyr of Oceania, Saint Peter Chanel was born in Belley, France in 1803 where he was raised as a shepherd boy. While in the fields tending the sheep he heard God's call to shepherd men and became a priest in 1827 where he became a parish priest near Geneva, Switzerland. Nine years later in the year Pope Gregory XVI approved the new Marist Order of Priests - Society of Mary, Peter was assigned to Polynesia as part of the Marists' missionary efforts in Oceania. There he worked tirelessly for Jesus and Mary in spreading the faith. A year later he and a companion sailed to the island of Futana, just west of Tahiti where they began evangelizing and baptizing. When the pagan chief discovered that his own son wanted to be baptized by Peter, he went ballistic and dispatched a band of warriors to massacre the missionary and his companion on April 28, 1841. Shortly after this dastardly deed, the people rebelled against the chief for the saintly priest's murder and the entire population of Futana became Catholic, once again fulfilling Tertian's words, "The blood of marytrs is truly the seed of the Faith." Fr. Peter Chanel was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII as the first Marist martyr.

    Saturday, April 29, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 4: 13-21
        Psalms: Psalm 118:1, 14-21
        Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 9-15

    This year Eastertide supersedes the feast of one of the first great women Doctors of the Church Saint Catherine of Siena. We share her story below:

    Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

          One of the great Doctors of the Church, Saint Catherine, born in 1347 in Sienna, was blessed with apparitions of Our Lord when she was only seven years old. Jesus requested of Catherine, "Please give Me your heart." Catherine willingly did so and in return, He gave her His Most Sacred Heart for God had a special mission for this special saint He raised up for the Church. At 15 she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic. Though courted by many young and noble bachelors, Catherine remembered what Christ had asked her and turned down numerous offers of marriage to become a bride of Christ with the Dominicans. Catherine did not know what exactly her mission was, but prepared for it through penance and prayer, devoting herself to the poor. She knew in her heart the Pope belonged in Rome, the seat of Christianity. Therefore, she made a pilgrimage to Avignon in Southern France to persuade the Pontiff Pope Gregory XI to return from exile to Rome where he belonged. Heeding the advice of this simple nun, he did as she requested for he knew intuitively that it was God's Will for God had sent Catherine as a light in the darkness during this dark time in Church history. Dissension followed Gregory's decision to return and those who followed their own will tried to elect a false pope and keep him in Avignon, but again Catherine intervened and lovingly, wisely counseled those in power to accept Gregory as the true pope and desist from promoting anyone else. They, too, understood this was God's Will and they obeyed, lifting all barriers and allowing Gregory to return the papacy to Rome. Both Gregory and his successor Pope Urban VI asked her counsel often, knowing it was of the Holy Spirit. Catherine died at the same age as Christ, 33 years old, receiving not only Jesus' Heart but His wounds as well as she was bestowed with the stigmata. The world mourned this great saint in 1380 for she had touched and brought many nations and princes back to the true faith through her simple, but firm faith. She also prophecied the schisms that would come in the following centuries. In 1970, Pope Paul VI officially proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church.

    SUNDAY, April 30, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 4: 32-35
        Psalms: Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24
        Second Reading: 1 John 5: 1-6
        Gospel Reading: John 20: 19-31

         The Second Sunday of Easter is also DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. For more on this and the person who today will become Saint Faustina Kowalska, see APOSTLE OF DIVINE MERCY

    Though his feast is superseded by the Second Sunday of Easter, April 30th is the traditional feast of Pope Saint Pius V. Below is his profile:

    Saint Pius V, Pope and Religious

          A Dominican who followed in the tradition of St. Catherine of Siena nearly two centuries later was Cardinal Michael Ghislieri who went on to become the great Pope Saint Pius V. Another of the great saints who God rose up in the "Century of Saints," Pius V was one of the most influential in Church history as he brought about renewal in the Church, carrying out many of the reforms that would reinstate the holiness and status of Holy Mother Church. Amidst the ruin of the Protestant Reformation, the corruption within the Church, and the threat of Turkish invasion, Pius carried out the teachings of the Council of Trent which had begun in 1545. The fruits of Trent are still evident today for Pius ordered the founding of seminaries for the training of priests, published a new Missal, Breviary, Catechism and initiated the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for the youth to learn the faith. In addition, he established the Tridentine Mass which he proclaimed would be said "in perpetuity." His devotion to the Rosary and spreading the power of Our Lady's special weapon, proved victorious when he summoned all Catholics to throw themselves upon the Mercy of God and pray the Holy Rosary in begging God to save the Church from the Turks. On October 7, 1571 against unsurmountable odds, the Christian forces were miraculously victorious over the Turks in the Gulf of Lepanto off of Greece. The tremendous power of the Rosary was made manifest and that date became the official feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Pius died in 1572.


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    April 28-May 1, 2000     volume 11, no. 84
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