MONDAY
October 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 209


LITURGY for Monday and Tuesday, October 23-24, 2000

Monday, October 23, 2000

    Monday October 23:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint John of Capistrano, Priest and Religious Missionary

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 2: 1-10
      Psalms: Psalm 100: 2-5
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 13-21

Feast of Saint John of Capistrano, Priest and Religious Missionary

        Born in Capistrano, Italy near Abruzzi in 1386, Saint John of Capistrano he entered law school at Perugia where he was appointed governor there in 1412 at the age of 26. Married, he became enmeshed in the war between Perugia and Malatesta and was captured. While in prison, he had a life-changing conversion through a purported vision of Saint Francis of Assisi who invited John to join him in his Order. When John was finally released , was able to obtain a dispensation to enter the Friars Minor, despite the fact he was married. In 1420 he was ordained and began to preach throughout Italy, bringing in thousands to hear him wherever he spoke. His life would be one of preaching the true faith in the midst of great schism and defending Holy Mother Church and Europe from the threatening Turkish infidels. He would become known as the "Apostle of Europe" for his prayers, devotion and staunch defense of the faith not only saved Europe, but saved the Franciscan Order as well and strengthened the Church during dire times. Along with Saint Bernardine of Siena John endeavored to heal the split within the order, drawing up plans that were approved by the general chapter in 1430 at Assissi. That same year John, who was commissary general of the Franciscans, was instrumental in getting his dear friend St. Bernardine appointed Vicar General of the Observants. Almost immediately after that he journied to France where, in cooperation with Saint Colette, helped reform the Poor Clares. John was also a great aid to the pontiffs. Pope Eugene IV appointed John inquisitor in the proceedings against the Fraticelli vs. the Franciscans and John also ruled over the charges leveled against the Gesuats. In 1439, Eugene IV sent him on a papal diplomatic mission as papal legate to Milan and Burgundy to successfully make a stand against the antipope Felix V. Six years later the Holy Father, so pleased with John's diplomacy and firmness in backing Holy Mother Church, sent him to France to meet with the king as the papal legate to France. Rulers were so impressed with John that in 1451, the Emperor Frederick strongly recommended that the new pontiff Pope Nicholas V send John as commissary and inquisitor general to fend off the Hussites. Along with twelve Franciscans John again was successful. John preached throughout Europe, specifically Bavaria, Poland and Saxony, effecting countless conversions and tremendous revivals of faith. When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453 John concentrated all his energies and faith into denouncing the infidels, forming a crusade against the Turks. Though he was unsuccessful in Austria and Bavaria, he teamed up with Hungarian leader Janos Hunyady to rally the Hungarians to resist the Turkish invasions. After capturing Constantinople, the Turks set their goal in capturing Belgrade in Serbia, at that time gateway to the west. Rallying the people against the infidels, John led the left wing of the Christian army to triumph at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. His victory stalled the Turkish invasion which in turn saved all of Europe. To commemorate the significance of this event Pope Callistus III instituted the Feast of the Transfiguration. That same year both he and Hunyady contracted the bubonic plague from the filthy conditions of the battlefield, and both subsequently were claimed by the Black Death, Hunyady one week before John who died on October 23, 1456 at Villach, Austria. John was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII in 1690. This faithful Franciscan is most remembered here in the United States for the mission of the same name located in southern Orange County, California along the Pacific coast where, for decades, the swallows always return to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano on the feast of St. Joseph.

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

    Tuesday October 24:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Anthony of Claret, Bishop and Religious Founder

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 2: 12-22
      Psalms: Psalm 85: 9-14
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 35-38

Feast of Saint Anthony Claret, Bishop and Religious Founder

        This humble son of a weaver Saint Anthony Mary Claret founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1850. He was born in Salent, Spain, part of the Diocese of Vich in Catalonia on December 23, 1807. It was the same year Napoleon invaded Spain. Having entered the diocesan seminary there at the age of 22, he was ordained in 1835 and immediately assigned pastor of his home parish. But the lure to Rome and to become a Jesuit got the best of him and he entered the Jesuits Novitiate in Rome in 1837. But God had other plans for Anthony as he became very ill, forcing him to leave the novitiate and return to Salent where he devoted the next ten years to preaching missions and retreats throughout Catalonia, as well as writing publications for he wrote more than 150 books, chief among them his well-known work The Right Way. As so often is the case, his success brooded jealousy and envy within the ranks of the clergy, and they were successful in getting him sent to the Canary Islands in 1848. There, under Bishop Codina, he preached feverishly and, after almost two years later, returned back to Vich to found the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary known throughout the world today as the Claretians dedicated to preaching missions. Though there were still ill feelings with fellow priests who resented his success, the Holy Father recognized his accomplishments and that same year Pope Pius IX appointed Anthony the Archbishop of Santiago in Cuba. In his efforts to preach against slavery, reform the diocese and because some in his own diocese plotted from afar, an assassination attempt was made on his life in 1856. Narrowly escaping, Anthony was recalled to Spain where he was appointed personal confessor to Queen Isabella II in 1857 while maintaining his duties of overseeing his fledgling order of priests. This new appointment also enabled him to be in a better position to appoint good bishops and other assignments throughout the various dioceses of Spain. In order to achieve total autonomy and work toward recognizing Religious Orders throughout Spain, he resigned his episcopate in 1858 while setting up a center of ecclesiastical studies in liturature, arts and the sciences at the Escorial in Madrid as rector of the seminary there. He specifically promoted Catholic publications and a devotion to Saint Michael the Archangel some 20 years before Pope Leo XIII's famous vision and subsequent decree of the protective prayer to St. Michael. In 1868 a revolution broke out and Isabella II fled to France while Anthony was in Rome helping prepare for the First Vatican Council (1869-70). When the Council concluded, Anthony discarded the idea of going back to Spain where persecution was mounting greatly and opted instead to join the deposed Spanish queen in Prades, France. However the Spanish ambassador, spurred on by those who had life-long vendettas against this holy man, insisted on his arrest and so Anthony fled to the Cistercian monastery near Narbonne, where under house arrest, he died on October 24, 1870. This leading light in the Catholic revival of Spain was honored years later when his remains were returned to the Diocese of Vichs and his fruits are proliferated today through the active missionaries who compose the Claretian Fathers. Pope Pius XII canonized St. Anthony Mary Claret in 1950.

October 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 209
DAILY LITURGY



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