TUESDAY     February 7, 2000    vol. 11, no. 26    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • COLLEGE OF CARDINALS series: Cardinal Thomas Winning
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 104 - Divine Tradition part one
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • Events that happened on this day in Church History
  • Be an angel! Help the DailyCATHOLIC reach as many in the world as possible!

  • As Scotland's unyielding voice of virtue and morality, Cardinal Thomas Winning remains undaunted in upholding the Sanctity of Life

       We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-fifty-fifth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is 74 year-old Cardinal Thomas Joseph Winning, the Scottish-born Archbishop of Glasgow who has served as shepherd there since 1974 and become one of Britain's strongest voices for decency and morals. He was elevated to the cardinalate during the Consistory of November 26, 1994 by Pope John Paul II. For more on Cardinal Winning, see COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

    155.   Cardinal Thomas Joseph Winning

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    Appreciation of Divine Tradition

       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 on the Books of the New Testament with today introducing John the Beloved Apostle's First Epistle. For the 104th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 104:FONT SIZE=+2> DIVINE TRADITION part one

          Before the 15th century when printing was invented, the Bible was reproduced by copying in longhand. We should be very grateful to the monks and nuns of ancient times who labored lovingly, making manuscript copies of old documents that had come down from earliest times. Without this loving care, we would not have our Holy Bible today.

          Not all the truths revealed for us by God are found in the Bible; some are found only in Divine Tradition. The Bible itself states that it does not contain all that God revealed.

          "There are, however, many other things that Jesus did; but if every one of these should be written, not even the world itself, I think, could hold the books that would have to be written" (John 21:25).

          The truths of Divine Revelation which have not been written down in Holy Scripture have come to us by the Tradition of the Church, the unwritten Word of God.

          Saint Paul bade the Thessalonians: "Hold the teachings that you have learned, whether by word or by letter of ours" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

          By Divine Tradition is meant the revealed truths taught by Christ and His Apostles, which were given to the Church only by word of mouth and not through the Bible, though they were put in writing principally by the Fathers of the Church.

          In a wide sense Tradition embraces the whole teaching of the Church, including the Bible, since it is only from the Church that we have the Bible. In a stricter sense Tradition includes only what was handed down orally from the Apostles.

          The Apostles themselves say that there is much that they have delivered to the faithful by word of mouth ( 2 John 12; 1 Cor. 11:2). Among many examples of truths in Tradition, not clearly manifested in Holy Scriptures, are: the exact number of sacraments, the time of institution of some sacraments, the books that make up the Bible, the Baptism of infants, and Sunday observance.


          All the truths of Divine Tradition now have found their way into books. From the first Christian centuries the practices and doctrines of Tradition were preserved by saintly teachers whom we call FATHERS OF THE CHURCH. They were disciples of the Apostles, contemporaries of those disciples, or disciples of the disciples. These holy and learned men instructed the Church in the years of its first growth.

          Chief among the Fathers of the first six centuries (date is of death) are: the Doctors of the Church (see below), and Saints Clement of Rome (99), Ignatius of Antioch (107), Polycarp (155), Justin (165), Ireaneus (202), Cyprian (258), Dionysius (265), Gregory Thaumaturgus (270), Opatus (372), Martin of Tours (397), Gregory of Nyssa (398), Epiphanius (403), Pope Celestine I (432), Vincent of Lerins (450), and Caesarius of Arles (542).


          Besides the writings of the Fathers, the truths of Divine Tradition may be found chiefly in: (a) writings of the Doctors of the Church; (b) decrees of Popes and Church councils; and (c) the liturgy of the Church as found in the Missal and rituals.

          We call "Doctors of the Church" those ecclesiastical writers, noted for learning and holiness of life, who have by Church authority been proclaimed with that title, and whose feasts have been extended to the whole Western Church. Among the Fathers of the Church, these are honored as Doctors: Saints Hilary (368), Athanasius (373), Ephraem (378), Basil the Great (379), Cyril of Jerusalem (386), Gregory Nazianzen (389), Ambrose (397), John Chrysostom (407), Jerome (420), Augustine (430), Cyril of Alexandria (444), Peter Chrysologus (450), Pope Leo the Great (461), and Pope Gregory the Great (604).

          Among the outstanding Doctors of the Church of the Middle Ages are: Saints Peter Damian (1072), Anselm of Canterbury (1109), Bernard (1152), Thomas Aquinas (1274), Bonaventure (1274), Albert the Great (1280).

          Of later Doctors we have: Saints Peter Canisius (1597), John of the Cross (1605), Francis de Sales (1612), Robert Bellarmine (1621), Alphonsus Liguori (1787) in addition to the three women Doctors of the Church Saints Catherine of Siena (1380), Teresa of Avila (1582 ), and the Church's newest Doctor of the Church Saint Therese of Lisieux (1897) who Pope John Paul II proclaimed a few years ago. Some feel someday John Paul II will become a Doctor of the Church after he is proclaimed a saint.

      Tomorrow: Divine Tradition part two

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       Today and tomorrow we commemorate Ordinary Time as well as tomorrow's Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on his feast, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Monday, February 7, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Kings 8: 1-7, 9-13
        Responsorial: Psalm 132: 6-10
        Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 53-56

    Tuesday, February 8, 2000

      Tuesday February 8:
      Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
      Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Religious Founder

      Green or White vestments

        First Reading: 1 Kings 8: 22-23, 27-30
        Responsorial: Psalm 84: 3-5, 10-11
        Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 1-13

    Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Religious Founder
            Known as the patron saint of orphans and abandoned infants, Saint Jerome Emiliani founded the Company of Servants of the Poor which was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Born in 1486 in Venice, Italy he was raised in a noble family and joined the military to fight against Maximilian I. Captured and imprisoned, he asked the Blessed Mother for help and made a vow to dedicate his life to God. Our Lady interceded, freeing him and, true to his word, Jerome plunged into taking care of the sick during the plague and gathering orphans. It was in Somasca, Bergamo where he founded his congregation of clerks regular. It was there in 1537 where he contracted the deadly plague and died with his orphans at his bedside. His feast is celebrated on February 8 as pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI who canonized Jerome in 1867.

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    "And wherever He went, into village or hamlet or town, they laid the sick in the market places, and entreated Him to let them touch but the tassel of His cloak; and as many as touched Him were saved."

    Mark 6: 56

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    Events that happened today in Church History

      On this date 122 years ago in 1878 Pope Pius IX passed away after thirty-two years as the 255th successor of Peter. Elected when he was only 53, he lived until 85, he enjoyed the longest papacy other than Saint Peter himself. During his memorable pontificate that had its peaks and valleys from proclaiming the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception to surrendering the Papal States forever to the king of Italy, effectively ending over a millennium of Papal State rule by the Church. Though that was his low point, it was really a blessing in disguise for it opened up new vistas for recognizing the Church as a spiritual leader with temporal and political matters of the Papal States no longer necessary. During a 72 year period, only three Popes ruled - Pope Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Pope Leo XIII. In fact, only six Pontiffs sat on the Papal Throne in the 19th century, the fewest of any century. 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 7:

    • 319 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Theodore of Heraclea. He was an up-and-coming general in charge of the Roman army of Emperor Licinius but he embraced Christianity rather than the sure thing of a brilliant military career worshipping pagan idols. He even went out of his way to torch pagan temples. For this he was arrested and thrown into a fiery furnace. As the flames seared around him he was gifted with a beautiful vision of his Heavenly reward and with a smile on his face in total peace, he accepted his martyrdom.

    • 550 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Tressan, an Irish missionary priest who was ordained by Saint Remigius and was sent to tend the flocks of France where he served faithfully in the Diocese of Rheims.

    • 590 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Pellagius II, 63rd successor of Peter. His pontificate lasted eleven years. During this time he sought help from Constantinople because of the constant seige threats of the Lombards. He decreed that priests must recite the Divine Office every day. He died on this date a victim of a widespread plague where the victims died yawning and sneezing.

    • 1878 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Pius IX, 255th successor of Peter at the age of 85. His pontificate lasted a phenomenal 32 years, second only to Saint Peter's time of governing the Church. During Pius' papacy he proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, convened the First Vatican Council and declared the Infallibility of the Pope when the Vicar of Christ speaks "ex cathedra." Also, on September 20th, 1870 to avoid further bloodshed, he was forced to agree to allow Rome to become the capital of Italy, surrendering to King Victor Emmanuel the Papal States except for Vatican City, which was shrunk to its present 104-acre site, thus ending over a millennium of the Church ruling the Papal States.

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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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    February 7, 2000     volume 11, no. 26
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