WEDNESDAY    January 26, 2000   vol. 11, no. 18   SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • New January 25th Medjugorje Message
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Special Prayers for Saint Timothy and Saint Titus
  • Daily WORD
  • Events this day in Church History
  • SIMPLY SHEEN WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Announcement due today of eligible saints to be this year
  • Cardinal Etchegaray closes Ecumenical Week at St. Paul's
  • Cardinal Ratzinger convenes special Plenary Conference for curia members of the Congregaton for the Faith

  • January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.

      "Dear children! I call you, little children, to pray without ceasing. If you pray, you are closer to God and He will lead you on the way of peace and salvation. That is why I call you today to give peace to others. Only in God is there true peace. Open your hearts and become those who give a gift of peace and others will discover peace in you and through you and in this way you will witness God's peace and love which He gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

    For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

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       Today is the Feast of the early Bishops Saint Timothy and Saint Titus while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the virgin Saint Angela Merici. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2000

        First Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 or Titus 1: 1-5
        Psalms: Psalm 89: 4-5, 27-30
        Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20

    Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, Bishops and Disciples of the early Church

          The disciple Saint Timothy was a prized pupil of Saint Paul. Timothy's father had been Greek, his mother Eunice Jewish. Both converted to Christianity and Eunice tutored Timothy in the faith. On Paul's first missionary journey Timothy was converted and baptized, accompanying the Apostle on his second and third journeys. As the Acts of the Apostles affirms, Paul sent Timothy to minister to the Greeks in Macedonia, Thessalonica, and Corinth. From all reports Timothy became a bishop in Ephesus and there he died a natural death.

          The other bishop whose feast we celebrate today - Saint Titus was converted with Timothy, but unlike Timothy, was pagan born and not tutored by his parents in the faith. Titus was invited to join Paul and Saint Barnabas to the Council of Jerusalem with the other Apostles. Paul, as is confirmed in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, had great trust in Titus and appointed him bishop of the Church in Crete. There he died at an old age, also a peaceful death. Both, along with Saint John, were a few of the only ones not martyred for their faith. Titus holds a special place in the hearts of Croatians.

    Thursday, January 27, 2000

        First Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 18-19, 24-29
        Psalms: Psalm 132: 1-5, 11-14
        Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 21-25

    Feast of Saint Angela Merici, Virgin, Religious Educator and Foundress

         Born in Lombardy near Desenzano on March 21, 1470, Saint Angela Merici became an orphan at the tender age of ten and was turned over to her uncle who raised her in the village of Salo. At the age of 13 she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, beginning a life of sincere austerity. When her uncle died she decided to dedicate her life to educating the children of the poor, specifically the young girls who would grow into motherhood. Angela, guided by private revelation from Jesus, turned down an offer from Pope Clement VII in 1525 to supervise a group of nursing nuns in order to return to Brescia, Italy to train women there to teach. This was the begining of the Ursuline Order of Nuns, so named because the congregation dedicated their work to God through the intercession and protection of Saint Ursula, a tenth century saint whose feast is October 21. The Ursulines became the first teaching Order in the Church, being officially approved by Pope Paul III four years after Angela's death. Angela, since an early age had been a victim-soul and visionary with both Our Lord and Our Lady guiding her every step. Though the early formation of the congregation was rough at first with many naysayers, she, along with the other candidates of the Order, were encouraged by Saint Charles Borromeo (November 4) who made it a point to introduce the nuns throughout the villages of Italy. Unanimously chosen as the Ursulines' first Mother Superior, Angela guided the Order until her death on January 27, 1540 at the Mother House in Brescia. She was 70 years-old when she was called home to God. Her holiness and example led to more vocations and additional convents in France, Germany and Canada in 1636. It was the Ursulines who founded the first school in the United States in New Orleans in 1727 and the rest, as they say, is history. Pope Pius VII canonized her in 1807.

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      Look upon our infirmities, almighty God, and since the burden of our misdeeds is heavy upon us, grant that the glorious intercession of Blessed Timothy, Thy Martyr and Bishop, may be our protection.


       O God, Who did adorn Blessed Titus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, with apostolic virtues, grant that we, through his merits and intercession, may live righteous and godly lives in this world, and may come worthily to our Heavenly home.

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    "And other seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other seed fell upon good ground, and yielded fruit that grew up, made increase and produced, one thirty, another sixty, and another a hundred-fold." 'Then He said,' "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

    Mark 4: 7-9

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    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

      On this date 1 year ago the Holy Father stopped off in St. Louis, Missouri for a day after three days in Mexico to close the Synod of the Americas. He was accepting the invitation of his friend Archbishop Justin Rigali. It was his only stop in the U.S. and the Pope took advantage to reinforce the necessity of promoting and upholding the culture of the Sanctity of Life. He was received warmly at every venue during the 24 hours he was in the gateway city before overflow crowds. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for January 26:

    • 97 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Timothy, Bishop and disciple. For more on this saint, see DAILY LITURGY.

    • 347 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Paula, Roman Patrician widow who provided provisions for Saint Jerome, Saint Epiphanius and Saint Paulinus of Antioch. Before becoming a Jeronomite abbess, she distributed all her riches for the building of hospitals, monasteries, convents and churches in the city of Bethlehem.

    • 648 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Conan, Irish saint and bishop who ministered to the people of Scotland and the Isle of Man where he was the first bishop of Sodor on the island.

    • 681 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Thordgith, a mystic and victim soul who was the novice mistress of the convent founded by Saiint Ethelburga at Barking Abbey.

    • 1108 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Alberic, monastery founder and second abbot of the Cistercian Monastery at Citeaux in France.

    • 1188 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Austin, Bishop, abbot and missionary. He penned the accounts of Saint Olaf a fellow Norwegian, and evangelized England as well as Greenland and Iceland.

    • 1270 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Margaret of Hungary, the austere and holy Queen of Hungary who died in Budapest on this date at only 28 years-old. This devoted woman, who had a tremendous devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometimes saying 1000 Hail Mary's a day, was an example to all through her humble observance of penances and austere lifestyle. She was related to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Hedwig and King Saint Stephen.

    • 1999 A.D.
    • Archbishop Justin Rigali welcomes his close friend Pope John Paul II to St. Louis, Missouri on this date, the Pope's first visit ever to the Gateway City. During his 24 hour stay the Holy Father made an impassioned plea to the state's governor to grant a stay of execution for a prisoner on death row who was scheduled to be put to death. It was a strong statement for the Sanctity of Life which the Pope emphasized to overflowing crowds in this midwest metropolis on the Mississippi. It was his final stop after closing the Synod of the Americas in Mexico City for three days just prior to his arrival in St. Louis enroute for Rome.

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    The patriarchal nature of man

       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".

    "Every child born of woman has two fathers: his earthly father, without whom he could not have life, and his Heavenly Father, without Whom he could not possess a personality, a soul, an irreplaceable 'I.' The mother is the essential partner through whom both fathers work."

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

      Head of Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce today eleven decrees on candidates eligible for beatification and canonization this year

         The Vatican has leaked information that Pope John XXIII will definitely be approved tomorrow for beatification this year since the necessary miracle has been confirmed. In addition to him, ten others will be announced and many are holding their collective breath that one of them will be the canonization of Blessed Sister Faustina. continued inside


        VATICAN ( -- On January 27, 11 new decrees regarding candidates for canonization and beatification will be read in the presence of Pope John Paul II.

        The Italian daily Il Messaggero has revealed-- and Vatican sources have confirmed-- that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved a new series of decrees, including the official recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope John XXIII.

        In the last series of decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which were officially read on December 20, Pope John XXIII was recognized for his "heroic virtue"-- and thus qualified for the title "Venerable." The recognition of a miracle in his case-- the healing of Sister Catherine Capitani in 1966-- clears the way for his beatification, which is expected to take place later this year.

        The new decrees also recognize three Asian martyrs: a Thai priest who was killed in 1944, and two catechists-- one Vietnamese, one Filipino-- who died in the 17th century. Il Messaggero also reported that the new decrees would pave the way toward the beatification of Blessed Catherine Marie Drexel, who died in New Orleans in 1955 and was beatified in 1988; and for the beatification of Father Francis-Xavier Seelos, who also died in New Orleans, in 1867. The Italian paper said that another decree would set the stage for the beatification of Mother Marie Elizabeth Hesselblad, who revived the Order of St. Brigitte and established the community of religious to pray for Christian unity-- in particular, unity between Lutherans and Catholics in the Scandinavian countries.

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    Ecumenical Liturgy Presided by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray

        VATICAN CITY, JAN 25 (ZENIT).- Today, once again, Rome was the scene of a significant ecumenical event in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, with the celebration of Vespers presided by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. The liturgy marked the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, seeking the reunion of the planet's 2 billion baptized Christians into one flock.

        The ceremony took place at 5:30 p.m., and was attended by invited Christian and non-Christian communities of Rome. This initiative was personally promoted by John Paul II. Last Sunday, when referring to this event, the Holy Father expressed his desire "to support every effort" that helps to make the aspiration for unity among Christians more "authentic and effective."

        The rite this afternoon included the celebration of the Vespers for the feast of St. Paul's conversion, Gregorian chant, a brief biblical reading from the New Testament and Cardinal Etchegaray's homily. The Cardinal is president of the Vatican Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

        The Cardinal gave extraordinary encouragement to Christians on the road towards unity. "Everything is possible when we lean on Christ and only on Christ, on the crucified Christ, as the road toward unity inevitably passes by the foot of the Cross, or rather, goes through the pierced heart of the Savior."

        Etchegaray narrated a significant legend told to him by an Orthodox priest. "After Easter, when Christ was at the point of going up to heaven, he looked down on earth and saw it submerged in darkness, with the exception of a few small lights that illuminated the city of Jerusalem. In the process of his Ascension, he came across the angel Gabriel, who was accustomed to going on terrestrial missions. The divine messenger asked him: 'What are those little lights?' 'They are the apostles seated around my mother. My plan is that, once I return to heaven, I will send them the Holy Spirit so that these little fires become a great fire that inflames the whole earth with love.' The angel replied intrepidly: 'And, what will you do if the plan doesn't work?' After a moment of silence, the Lord replied: 'I don't have any other plans!' "

        The Cardinal explain that this is God's only plan: "A plan that gives full power to the Holy Spirit who unites all Christians in one same love before united them in one faith." This is an "exacting adventure for the Church to become fully what it is, the living Body of Jesus Christ, diversified yet one, finally reconciled in truth and in the freedom of Love. Then ecumenism will be filled with hope and will start on the inexhaustible road of love in the heart of an uprooted, errant, blind and violent humanity that, in spite of everything, thirsts for unity."

        The Cardinal ended his homily with a prayer written by Lutheran Bishop Nathan Soderblom from Upsala, a pioneer of unity when the ecumenical movement first got underway: "Lord, be before us to guide us, be behind us to push us, be beneath us carry us, be above us to bless us, be around us to protect us, be in us so that in body and soul we serve you for the glory of your Name." ZE00012506

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    Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opened by Cardinal Ratzinger on Feast of St. Paul's conversion

       Headed by the Prefect of the all important Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a Plenary Assembly got underway yesterday that will extend through Monday in which the body of curial bishops will tackle pertinent issues in the Church as well as the growing trend to desensitize mankind by "neutering" human beings where man and woman's particular God-given roles are blurred and even disgarded as old-fashioned and outmoded. continued inside.

    Opening in Rome of Plenary Assembly of Vatican Congregation

        VATICAN CITY, JAN 25 (ZENIT).- The trend in international circles to refer to human beings as though they were neuter, ignoring the complementarity of the sexes, poses serious threats to the Catholic faith. This will be one of the three major areas of discussion of the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which opened today.

        This is an important meeting, because the members of this Vatican Congregation, presided by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, live spread throughout and can only meet periodically to discuss the dynamics, contents, and methodology of the Congregation itself.

        The complex society in which the Church must act today poses serious challenges to the proclamation of the Gospel. Consequently, the first part of the assembly will study a long report on the Congregation's activity. The 262-page document analyzes the work of the doctrinal, disciplinary, and matrimonial offices; collaboration established in the writing of certain particularly important documents, such as drafts of papal documents, instructions and decrees; promotion of symposiums, such as last year's on the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and on the interpretation of the Bible in the Church; and the examination of dogmatic and moral questions in books and magazines written in contemporary theological and pastoral realms. The text also reflects the Congregation's collaboration in the documents of the other organizations of the Roman Curia in so far as doctrine is concerned.

        In statements to Vatican Radio, Bishop Tarcisio Bertone, CDF secretary, said that, after studying the Congregation's activity over the past year, the discussion of the theologians and pastors who have gathered in Rome will focus on three topics. "A fundamental argument today is the one referring to the unique and universal character of the saving action of Christ and the Church, in the realm of dialogue with the great religions and in the ambit of the so-called theology of religions or plurality of religions."

        The second topic will center around "the painful and negative chapter of the life of the Church," in other words, "the most grave offences against the faith, the sacraments, and the Christian moral plan, that have been submitted for evaluation and judgment." Bishop Bertone explained that "because it is also a tribunal, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has the task of intervening in certain painful and negative cases of the life of the Church."

        Finally, the third topic to be addressed by this Congregation that safeguards the orthodoxy of the Christian message is what he called "human race feminism." "In other words, the problem that arises today, even in international forums, that regards gender as neither masculine nor feminine and, therefore, does not keep in mind the complementary nature of the sexes, but posits a neutral gender, in which everyone can identify with whatever is preferred. Suffice it to recall here certain proposed legislations, presented even in Italy, in which each one can choose the type of his/her life according to his/her sexual orientation and not according to God's original creative plan."

        The Congregation's assembly will conclude its sessions with a Papal audience on January 28. ZE00012508

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    January 26, 2000     volume 11, no. 18
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