FRI-SAT-SUN     March 17-19, 2000    vol. 11, no. 55    SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Michael Vincent Boyer's HOW HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD column: Feature on Mel Gibson
  • Events that occurred this weekend in Church History

  • The Brave heart of Mel Gibson - a man of family values and morals

        Today Michael Vincent Boyer, a well-respected Catholic insider expert on what's happening in the entertainment industry, brings the reader the story of someone who is considered a pot o' gold in Hollywood: Movie superstar Mel Gibson. But this Irish-descendant-raised-in-Australia film star's worth is just as valued in real life with his family as Michael illustrates for Mel's heart is brave and true in devotion to family values and his Catholic Faith. For his column, Mel Gibson's greatest ensemble is his family preserved by his strong Catholic values , see HOW HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD

    Michael Vincent Boyer

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    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

       On Sunday about 1,976 years ago in 24 A.D. Saint Joseph, the gentle protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus is said to have passed to his Heavenly reward dying a peaceful death in Nazareth. All are encouraged to pray to this holy, humble and quiet saint for he is the patron saint of a peaceful death, of workers, of priests and seminarians. He is the patron of the Universal Church, the model of righteousness, protector of children, hope of the sick, consolation of the poor, rescuer of sinners, model of single men and married men, guardian of virgins and safeguard of families. Because this year his feast falls on Sunday, in honor of the importance of his feast, it will be celebrated the following day on Monday the 20th For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for March 17:

    • 461 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Patrick, Bishop and Apostle of Ireland. For more see WEEKEND LITURGY

    • 659 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess and patron saint of travelers and gardeners

    • 1328 A.D.
    • Treaty of Edinburgh, where Scotland's independence is recognized by Rome and Pope John XXII

    • 1337 A.D.
    • Edward, son of King Edward III of England becomes first to receive title of Royal Duke of Cornwall, as the One Hundred Year breaks out between England and France, preventing Pope Benedict XII from organizing a united crusade against the infidels.

    • 1497 A.D.
    • Pope Alexander VI orders a cave in Ireland sealed, the same one St. Patrick had tabbed as one which, through a private revelation, revealed it led to hell. It had become known as "St. Patrick's Purgatory" and attracted many pilgrims expecting to see the torments of hell up close and personal. Why is beyond us.

    • 1521 A.D.
    • Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator and explorer discovers the Philippines, establishing that region for Portugal and bringing the faith to this region where it has flourished ever since despite persecutions by the Moors.

    • 1526 A.D.
    • King Francis I of France is released from Spanish captivity through the intervention of Pope Clement VII in an effort to gain protection from the ravaging of the Emperor Charles V in a see-saw battle that saw Rome waver in its loyalty between France and Germany in an effort to save Rome and the rest of Italy.

    • 1756 A.D.
    • Catholics of New York City celebrate the first St. Patrick's Day at the Crown and Thistle Tavern.

    • 1762 A.D.
    • Irish Catholics stage their first St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City on this date, even before the nation is established.

    Historical Events in Church Annals for March 18:

    • 386 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. For more see DAILY LITURGY

    • 417 A.D.
    • The Greek Pope Saint Zosimus becomes the 41st successor of Peter. He would die less than two years later on December 26, 418. He had a strong personality which would fortify him in his insisting on the rights of the Church against foreign interference. Of very strict morals, this holy Sovereign Pontiff would ordain that illegitimate children could not be raised to the priesthood. He would also send apostolic vicars to the Franks.

    • 731 A.D.
    • Pope Saint Gregory III becomes the 90th successor of Peter. This Syrian-born Vicar of Christ would die ten years and ten days later on March 28, 741. He would seek the help of Charles the Hammer, king of the Franks against the Lombards. From this fact would be derived the title of "Most Christian" assumed by the monarchs of France ever since. He also would earmark charitable donations to the Holy See to be termed "Peter's Pence."

    • 971 A.D.
    • Saint Edward, King of England is martyred by an assassin.

    • 1123 A.D.
    • First Lateran Council, the ninth Ecumenical Council to be held, is convened by Pope Calixtus II in Rome.

    • 1227 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Honorius III, 177th successor of Peter. This Roman-born pontiff was elected on July 18, 1216. He defined, in the Liber Censorium the rights of the Popes and specified the ceremonial for their election. With Andrew II of Hungary, he organized the Fifth Crusade. He also received a vision in a dream about Saint Francis and recalled him to Rome to approve the Assisi saint's Order of Friars Minor.

    • 1229 A.D.
    • The German Emperor Frederick II proclaims himself King of Jerusalem despite lack of support from Pope Gregory IX who eventually excommunicated Frederick for his insubordination and meddling.

    • 1314 A.D.
    • King Philip IV of France, paranoid of the growing power of the Knights Templar from the spoils they gained in the Holy Lands, accuses them of heresy in his vendetta against the deceased Pope Boniface VIII and orders the burning of thirty-nine Knights, including Jacques de Molay, the last Master of the Templars.

    • 1556 A.D.
    • The Catholic Queen Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, returns to Edinburgh after a time in exile.

    Historical Events in Church Annals for March 19:

    • @24 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Church, foster father of Jesus, spouse and protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For more, see WEEKEND DAILY LITURGY

    • 1128 A.D.
    • Queen Theresa of Portugal gifts the Castle of Soure to the Knights Templars for their noble efforts in the crusades.

    • 1148 A.D.
    • Crusaders of the Second Crusade make their entrance into Antioch

    • 1227 A.D.
    • Pope Gregory IX succeeds Pope Honorius III as the 178th in the line of Peter. He would go on to be known as the "canonizer" for elevating St. Francis, St. Dominic, and St. Anthony. He was also called the "excommunicator" for taking the bold move of placing Frederick II under interdiction. It was Gregory who instituted the "Holy Inquisition."

    • 1229 A.D.
    • The German Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen enters Jerusalem causing the Archbishop of Caesarea to place an inderdict on the Holy City at Pope Gregory IX's command.

    • 1452 A.D.
    • Frederick III becomes the last Holy Roman Emperor to be coronated in Rome

    • 1532 A.D.
    • Church property in England is confiscated by King Henry VIII in retaliation for Pope Clement VII's censures on him.

    • 1925 A.D.
    • Pope Pius XI elevates Father Angelo G. Roncalli to the episcopacy, naming him titular Archbishop of Areopolis and apostolic visitor to Bulgaria. Archbishop Roncalli would go on to become a cardinal and then the 261st successor of Peter as Pope John XXIII.

    • 1937 A.D.
    • Pope Pius XI publishes his 28th encyclical Divini redemptoris speaking out against atheistic communism.

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        This weekend we observe the Lenten liturgy for the SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT as well as the joyuous Feast of Saint Patrick, Bishop and "Apostle of Ireland" as well as Saturday's Optional Feast of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. This year the Church will celebrate Sunday's normal Solemnity of Saint Joseph on Monday. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on these saints, see

    Friday, March 17, 2000

      Friday March 17:
      Friday in Lent
      Optional Feast of Saint Patrick of Ireland, Bishop and Apostle of Ireland

      Purple vestments

        First Reading: Ezechial 18: 21-28
        Responsorial: Psalm 130: 1-8
        Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 20-26

    Feast of Saint Patrick, Bishop and Apostle of Ireland

         Though the Season of Lent often preempts this patron saint of Ireland, he is credited with bringing the emerald isle to Catholicism. Born of Roman and Scottish origin, Patrick was sold into bondage and brought to Ireland in the early 400's. His experiences prompted him to always turn to God for intercession and it was this faith that motivated him toward becoming an apostle for Christ in this land he grew to love. His piety and wisdom, as well as his genuine love and caring for the Celtic people, produced mass conversions throughout Irish soil. He is often depicted holding the Church in his hands as well as a shamrock which he used to explain the Blessed Trinity as having three leaves but one plant. He is also shown driving out the snakes. Though history does not record reptiles being on the island, it represents bringing the Gospel to Ireland and driving away the evil spirits of paganism. His holy work spawned generation upon generations of priests and nuns and holy, practicing Catholics up to our present century which are responsible for so many conversions the world-over, especially in America.

    Saturday, March 18, 2000

      Saturday March 18:
      Saturday in Lent
      Optional Feast of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

      Purple vestments

        First Reading: Deuteronomy 26: 16-19
        Responsorial: Psalm 119: 1-2, 4-5, 7-8
        Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 43-48

    Feast of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

          Born in Jerusalem in 315, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem was ordained by Saint Maximus and was charged to teach the catechumens until he succeeded Maximus as bishop of Jerusalem in 349. However, after eight years the Arian heresy reared its ugly head and the Arian bishop of Caesarea Acacius claimed ecclesiastical charge over Jerusalem and had Cyril not only expelled, but condemned by an Arian synod on the false charges of selling Church possessions. Cyril was forced to retreat to Tarsus where he bided his time until 357 when the Council of Selucia reinstated him. But Acacius retaliated by convincing the Roman Emperor Constantius II by having him expelled again. However, when Constantius died two years later his successor Julian the Apostate recalled Cyril. This roller coaster continued in 367 when the new emperor Valens expelled all ecclesiastics who Julian had reinstated. Nine years later Cyril finally returned to Jerusalem but was still under investigation. In an effort to clear his name and the situation the Council of Antioch dispatched Saint Gregory of Nyssa to Palestine to do a thorough investigation. Gregory's findings, which unearthed the corruption within the Arian administration in Jerusalem, totally exonerated Cyril of any wrong doing and upheld him as an orthodox bishop who had been loyal to the faith throughout his life. In 381 Cyril and Gregory took an active role in the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople which officially recognized Cyril's authenticity as bishop of Jerusalem. At that same council the Nicene Creed was made official and Cyril concurred with everything within its text. A life-long opponent of Arianism, which denied Christ's divinity and the Holy Spirit, Cyril signed a document which condemned those who held to any kind of Arian thoughts, especially the peoples of Macedonia. After 35 years as a bishop, Cyril died peacefully in 386. Nearly fifteen centuries later Cyril was finally recognized as a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1882, largely because of the authenticity, clarity and truth of his 24 catechetical lessons that had been passed down through the ages.

    SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT, March 19, 2000

        First Reading: Genesis 22: 1-2, 9-13, 15-18
        Responsorial: Psalm 116: 10, 15-19
        Second Reading: Romans 8: 31-34
        Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 2-10

    Monday, March 20, 2000

      Monday March 20:

      White vestments

        First Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 4-5, 12-14, 16
        Responsorial: Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29
        Second Reading: Romans 4: 13, 16-18, 22
        Gospel Reading: Matthew 1: 16, 18-21, 24 or Luke 2: 41-51


          So much has been said about this very special, holy, pure and quiet saint...and yet, so little is really known about Saint Joseph. No one can pinpoint the exact year he died, but we do know he died a happy, peaceful death richly deserved because of his obedience to the Will of God in being the earthly guardian of God's Own Son and the Immaculate Mother Mary through whom He chose to fulfill the Act of Redemption. Saint Joseph is the saint most often invoked for the grace of a happy death and the assurance that Jesus is spiritually present at that time with every dying soul. While Mary was the heart of the Holy Family, Joseph was the head, yet always submitting to a higher Power in all things...from accepting Mary's virgin birth as truly from God to rallying the family in the cold of the night to flee from Herod's wrath into a land he knew nothing about, only that God would not abandon him or those he was charged to protect. Every virtue can be attributed to this saint who bridged the Old Law, born into the royal family of David's lineage, and the New Law and guided to maturity his foster Son Jesus Christ, our Savior. Because of his role in protecting the Holy Family he has been designated Protector of Holy Mother Church as well. Yet, it is surprising to discover that this pivotal saint was not really recognized until the fourth century and then that veneration was in the Eastern Church because of the apocryphal History of Joseph. In the Western Church only in the ninth century was there first any mention of Joseph and that was in Irish circles. It wasn't until the fifteenth century that Joseph began receiving widespread veneration in the West when his feast was introduced into the Roman Calendar in the year 1479. It took two great saints to promote his cause for universal appeal - that of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Francis de Sales, both doctors of the Church. This recognition finally came in 1870 when Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the Universal Church. More honors were extended to Joseph in 1889 when Pope Leo XIII made Joseph the model for all fathers in his encyclical Quanquam pluries in which he confirmed "that his pre-eminent sanctity places him next to the Blessed Virgin among the saints." Other recent Popes have also extended special titles on Joseph, among them "Protector of the worker" by Pope Benedict XV, "Patron of Social Justice" by Pope Pius XI and an additional feast day was added in 1955 by Pope Pius XII - May 1 to observe the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.

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    March 17-19, 2000     volume 11, no. 55
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