THURSDAY     February 10, 2000    vol. 11, no. 29    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF FAITH - Installment 107: One God in Three Persons - part one
  • Events this day in Church History
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • Be an angel! Help the mission of the Daily CATHOLIC continue its evangelization apostolate!

    WORLD NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

  • Pope John XXIII and Pope Pius IX to be beatified on September 3rd this year

  • Appreciation of the The Church and Divine Revelation

       Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith, concentrating today on the second part of the Church and Divine Revelation as outlined in My Catholic Faith. For the 107th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 107: THE CHURCH AND DIVINE REVELATION part two

          We accept the Bible as the Word of God on the authority of the Catholic Church. By God's command, the Catholic Church proclaimed the truths of Divine Revelation, as contained in both Holy Scripture and Tradition.

          Before His Ascension, Our Lord said to the Apostles:"All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28: 18-20).

          It was the Catholic Church that in the fourth century declared which books were inspired by God and which were not. For fifteen hundred years the Catholic Church was the sole guardian of the Bible.

          The Bible was not always as it is now, a compact book, bound neatly. For several centuries the Bible was in separated fragments, scattered over Christendom. At the same time other books under the name of Scripture were circulated among the faithful.

          It is the Church that assures us that the translation from the original languages is faithful. The Bible needs an interpreter because it is frequently very difficult to understand. The Catholic Church alone was empowered by God to interpret the Bible. No one is allowed to interpret it contrary to the teachings of the Church.

          The Protestant denominations who favor private interpretation have divided and subdivided for the same reason. No two of them interpret the Bible in the same manner. If we are really to interpret the Bible privately, we must know the original languages in which the books were written. How many can have that knowledge?

          God intended our rule of faith to be the Living Voice of the teaching Church. The Apostles and their successors have always taught mankind, especially by preaching. Thus, the Church fulfills the command of Jesus Christ, and will fulfill it to the end of the world, as He promised. If Our Lord wanted the Bible to be our rule of faith, why did He not write a book, instead of founding a Church?

          We can know the true meaning of the doctrines contained in Divine Revelation from the Catholic Church, which has been authorized by Jesus Christ to explain His doctrines, and which is preserved from error in its teachings by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost. "But even if we or an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema" (Galatians 1:8).

      Tomorrow: One God in Three Persons

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    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

       On this day 61 years ago Pope Pius XI, just three months shy of his 82nd birthday, passed on to his Heavenly reward. This 259th successor of Peter served the Church as Vicar of Christ for 17 years bridging two world wars. Ten years before his death he successfully concluded the Lateran Concordat with Benito Mussolini which in effect provided separate sovereignty for Vatican City State. He also canonized Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and Saint Bernadette Soubirous and proclaimed as Doctors of the Church such notables as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Albert the Great, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and Saint Peter Canisius. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for February 10:

    • 304 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Soteris of Rome, Virgin and Martyr who was so beautiful that when she spurned Roman offers of marriage, her suitors set out to persecute her. Undaunted, she donned rags dissing the way of vanity. Yet even in the garments of the poor she was a radiant beauty and this infuriated her captors who scarred her face terribly. Still she would not relent and expressed more joy. Finally she was beheaded during the persecution of Roman emperor Diocletian.

    • 547 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Scholastica, Virgin and Founder of the Benedictine Nuns, and brother of Saint Benedict. For more, see DAILY LITURGY

    • 580 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Baldegundis, Benedictine Abbess of one of the oldest convents in France.

    • 830 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Erluph, Bishop of Werden. This Scotch-born missionary evangelized in Germany and received his martyrdom at the hands of the pagan Vandals.

    • 1157 A.D.
    • Death of Saint William of Malval, a hermit who could not operate within the parameters of community life. His exemplification of holiness attracted many to join him in an austere life of fasting and penance and thus began the Hermits of St. William, also called the Gulielmites which evolved some seventy years later into the Order of Bare-Footed Friars and, over the centuries consolidated into the group known as the Augustinian Hermits.

    • 1939 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Pius XI, 259th successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 17 years between World War I and World War II. On February 11, 1929 he concluded with Benito Mussolini a Concordat between the Church and the Italian State. He also celebrated the Holy Year on the 19th Centenary of the Redemption in 1933. It was Pius who commissioned Marconi to construct Vatican Radio.

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       Today is the Feast of Saint Scholastica, sister of Saint Benedict while tomorrow the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of Prayer for the Sick. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Thursday, February 10, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Kings 11: 4-13
        Responsorial: Psalm 106: 3-4, 35-37, 40
        Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 24-30

    Feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin
          The foundress of the Benedictine Nuns - Saint Scholastica, whose feast has always been celebrated on February 10th, was Saint Benedict's twin sister. Both were born in 480 near Umbria and Sabina in Norcia, Italy. Close from birth, both dedicated themselves to God from an early age. When Benedict went off to become a monk, Scholastica became a nun. When Benedict built Subiaco, Scholastica was at a monastery nearby also establishing convents for Benedictine nuns. She later followed her brother to Montecassino where she entered a monastery at Piumarola, Italy. It was there she died in 547 at the age of 67 with Benedict by her side. After a short visit with his sister, Benedict had intended to leave, but the weather was so fierce he had to stay. It was then he realized she was dying and that God had prevented him from going back to his monastery for this reason. He prayed with her by her bedside for three straight days. On the third day she succumbed and Benedict writes that he saw her soul rise to Heaven in the form of a pure, white dove.

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    "And she besought Him to cast the devil out of her daughter. But He said to her, 'Let the children first have their fill, for it is not fair to take the children's bread and to cast it to the dogs.' But she answered and said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; for even the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.' And He said to her, 'Because of this answer, go they way; the devil has gone out of thy daughter.'"

    Mark 7: 26-29

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    Surrendering morality will be our downfall!

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "At present two currents manifest themselves in our American way of life: one is in the direction of a great development of moral character both in individuals and in the nation; the other is toward the surrender of morality and responsibility through a socialist state in which there will be no morality but state-morality, no conscience but state-conscience. Of the two the first is by far the stronger, though neither politics nor economics has seen it."

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      In preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes next Friday, we present a special Nine Day Novena from the Treasurey of Novenas that begins today. See NOVENA

    Nine Day Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Bernadette


          Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary came down from Heaven eighteen times and showed herself at Lourdes to Bernadette Soubirous a little girl of fourteen years of age. On February 11, while gathering wood, Bernadette heard a whistle of wind. With astonished eyes she saw a niche in the upper part of a rock filled with golden light, and there in the midst of it stood a Lady of great beauty.

          Her robe glowed with the whiteness of snow in the sunshine and swept in majestic folds to the ground. Her head and shoulders were framed by a white veil, which feel the full length of her robe. A blue sash encircled her waist, and its two ends, wide and unornamented, reached down in front almost to her feet. Each of her feet bore a rose of purest gold. A rosary, whose beads were white and whose cross and chain were of gold, hung from her right arm. Her hands were open, and her arms outstretched slightly in front.

          In her apparitions our Lady appealed for penance and prayers for sinners. On March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, the Blessed Mother declared her name to Bernadette and to the world. On that day Bernadette made this request: "My Lady, would you be so kind as to tell me who you are?"

          This is how Bernadette describes what happened in that last apparition: "Three times I asked the Apparition her name. At the third instance, she stretched out her hands, which until then she held joined, raised them, and she said: 'I am the Immaculate Conception.'" Then having completed her great message to the world, the Lady smiled on Bernadette and withdrew without further word of farewell.

          Less than four years before these apparitions, on December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that Mary in the first instant of her conception was preserved free from all stain of original sin through the merits of her Divine Son. At Lourdes the Virgin Mary had come to confirm the infallible utterance of God's Vicar on earth and declared herself not only immaculately conceived, but "the Immaculate Conception."

          On October 30, 1867, Bernadette made her religious profession in the Convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers, France. In January, 1873, Bernadette became ill. On April 16, about three in the afternoon, Bernadette prayed: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a poor sinner!" She made a Sign of the Cross, took the glass that was handed to her, twice swallowed a few drops of water, and then bending her head gently gave up her soul to her Creator.

          Bernadette died, worn out with physical suffering, on April 16, 1879, at the age of thirty-six. Now her incorrupt body can be seen as she lay in death in the side chapel of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity at Nevers, where she lived and died as Sister Marie Bernard. Thirty years after her death her body was found in a perfect state of preservation, undoubtedly a token of love of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. She was beatified in 1925, and on December 8, 1933, she was canonized by Pope Pius XI.


      • "You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it." (Psalm 65:10)
      • "I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever; My eyes and My heart also shall be there always." (2 Chronicles 7:16)
      • "I found delight in the children of men." (Proverbs 8:31)


          Mary, Mother of God, I firmly believe in the doctrine of Holy Mother Church concerning your Immaculate Conception: namely, that you were, in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

          Alone of all the children of Adam, you were gifted with the fullness of sanctifying grace that made you the object of a very special love on the part of God. How wonderful were the workings of Divine power to make you a fitting dwelling for the Redeemer of the world! With no tendency to evil, but with a deep yearning for the highest virtue, you glorified God more than all His other creatures. At the very instant of your conception your mind was filled with the light of God, and your will was entirely conformed to the Divine Will. You were always intimately united with God.

          I thank God with you for these wonderful blessings. Help me to imitate your holiness to some degree. Your holiness was not the result of the privilege of your Immaculate Conception and sanctifying grace alone, but followed from your gift of yourself to God and your constant cooperation with His graces. Help me to be generous with God by turning to good account the graces that He ever bestows on me, and by rising promptly when I fall, with renewed confidence in His Mercy.

          Ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy.

          By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, from which you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession.

          Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for your favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory.

          Through your loving compassion shown to thousands of pilgrims who come to your shrine at Lourdes, and through your special love for your devoted client Bernadette, I ask for this grace if it be the Will of God:

      (Mention your request).

          Our Lady of Lourdes, aid me through your prayer with your Divine Son, to be a true child of yours, as Bernadette was, and to grow daily into your likeness.


          Saint Bernadette, little shepherdess of Lourdes, favored with eighteen apparitions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and with the privilege of lovingly conversing with her, now that you are eternally enjoying the entrancing beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God, do not forsake me, your devoted client, who am still in this valley of tears.

          Intercede for me that I, too, may walk the simple path of faith. Help me to imitate your example, at our heavenly Queen's request, by saying the Rosary daily and by doing penance for sinners.

          Teach me to imitate your wonderful devotedness to God and our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, so that, like you, I may be blessed with the grace of lasting faithfulness and enjoy the happiness in heaven of the eternal vision of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


          God of infinite mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, the sinless Mother of God. May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

      Vatican makes it official: Popes John XXIII and Pius IX to become blessed on Feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in September

         Confirming what everyone had surmised, the Holy See announced yesterday that Pope John XXIII, the former Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli and Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti who went on to become Pope Pius IX will both be beatified on September 3, 2000 in St. Peter's Square on the Feast of one of the Church's great - Pope Saint Gregory the Great who established the Gregorian era and from it the beautiful tones of Gregorian Chant. continued inside


        VATICAN ( -- The Vatican has confirmed that Popes Pius IX and John XXIII will be beatified on September 3.

        The February 9 edition of L'Osservatore Romano confirmed the widespread reports that the two popes will be beatified at a ceremony in the Vatican on that September date.

        The confirmation was contained in a homily delivered by Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and delivered on the 122th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius IX. The homily was reprinted in the official Vatican newspaper, after being delivered during a Mass in the basilica of St. Lawrence, where Pius IX is buried.

        Archbishop Martins mentioned in his homily that Pope John XXIII had great admiration for Pope Pius IX, and indeed had looked forward to his predecessor's beatification.


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    February 10, 2000     volume 11, no. 29
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