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TUESDAY      December 22, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 246

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO

No one is immune to the Black Death as the deadly bubonic plague sweeps across Europe during the pontificate of Clement VI

     In our eighty-fifth installment of this on-going megaseries, we continue with the Popes in exile at Avignon, arriving at a dark time in Church and European history - the Black Death, a devastating bubonic plague that claimed half of the European population during the papacy of Pope Clement VI who atoned for his lavish lifestyle early in his papacy by his charitable acts toward the victims of this plague from the poor to the Jews whom he protected when persecuted. The great mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden, one of his staunchest critics, claimed that his heroic acts during this terrible, tragic time in Europe helped save his soul. For the eighty-fifth installment titled The Black Death and Pope Clement VI's pontificate: Dark, forboding times for Europe and the Church , click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.
Installment Eighty-five

The Black Death and Pope Clement VI's pontificate: Dark, forboding times for Europe and the Church

"All who, with sincere heart, seek My Mercy shall find It, for It is Infinite!"

      Those wonderful words from the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus in the 326th Message were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY in 1993, the same day Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska, Messenger of Mercy was beatified by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square. In His Message Our Lord reassures all that His Mercy is infinite and for all, but we must want it and be willing to seek it. It is a confirmation of His words in Sacred Scripture, "Knock, and it shall be opened to you." His Blessed Mother Mary conveys the same thing in her 327th Message, urging souls to drink from the Font of Divine Mercy by being humble and obedient and praying to be united with God's Holy Will. For the powerful messages 326 and 327, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages Three Hundred-Twenty-six and Three Hundred-Twenty-seven

Message Three Hundred-Twenty-six, April 18, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

Message Three Hundred-Twenty-seven, April 19, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)


      Today and tomorrow we commemorate the Final Tuesday and Wednesday of Late Advent. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Tuesday, December 22, 1998

Wednesday, December 23, 1998

Feast of Saint John Kanti

      This Polish-born priest, also known as John of Cantiusstudied at the University of Cracow before his ordination, then returned to teach Sacred Scripture. Because of his fame as a preacher and great teacher a coup was formed to oust him from his tenure at the University. Nevertheless, his chief interest was souls and therefore he forgave his accusers and tended to the spiritual care of the poor in Cracow until he died on this date in 1473. Pope Clement XII proclaimed him Patron of Poland and Lithuania in 1737 and Pope Clement XIII canonized John in 1767.


      This is the Seventh Day of Las Posadas, the Seventh Day of the Christmas Novena when we honor "the King" and the final week of Advent Prayers.. For the special Novena Prayer for this day during this time of preparation during Advent, click on ADVENT


PRAYER for December 22: Fourth Tuesday of Advent


The earliest ecclesiastical novena of which the Church has on record is the Christmas novena, which commemorates the nine months during which the Christ-child was carried in the womb of His Mother and coincides with the 16th century Mexican tradition of Las Posadas. This Christmas Novena carries an Indulgence of 7 years once on any day as taken from the "Blessed Be God" Prayer Book, 1959.


Events Today in Church History

     On this date in 401 Pope Saint Innocent I became the 40th successor of Peter. His pontificate was notable for he was the Supreme Pontiff who established the Roman rite, establishing Latin as the official language of the Church. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for December 22:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- Fulfilling the predictions of Vatican insiders, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Monday formally approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Padre Pio, and announced that the renowned Capuchin monk and stigmatist will be canonized on May 2, 1999.

      The Congregation promulgated 16 decrees, in the presence of Pope John Paul II and numerous Vatican officials. The decrees also included a formal approval of a miracle attributed to Blessed Josephine Bakhita, who lived as a slave in Sudan, and will now be canonized sometime in 1999.

      The decrees announced on Monday pave the way for the canonization of 10 other new saints, and beatification of 3 other candidates in addition to Padre Pio. The Congregation also announced findings of "heroic virtue" in the lives of 30 Brazilian martyrs, 2 bishops, 3 priests, 1 monk, and 3 nuns-- all of whom will now be eligible for beatification upon the approval of a miracle attributed to their intercession.

      The pending beatification of Padre Pio had been widely rumored in the Italian press, especially last week. Because of the worldwide veneration of the monk, who died in September 1968 after drawing hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to his monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo, the date for his beatification was announced well in advance. Rome is bracing for the arrival of an immense crowd for his beatification.

      Coincidentally, the last crowd to overfill St. Peter's Square for beatification ceremonies came on May 17, 1992, for the beatification of Blessed Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, and of Blessed Josephine Bakhita. Although the Congregation made no mention of Msgr. Escriva in the latest decrees, Blessed Josephine was cleared for canonization-- with no date yet set for the ceremony.

Holy Father voices his great displeasure with American attacks on Iraq during Sunday Angelus, lambasts war!

     Recovered from his flu sufficiently to address the throngs in St. Peter's, the Pope used his regular Sunday Angelus talk to speak out strongly against the three-day attacks on Iraq by U.S. and British military forces. He reiterated that war solves nothing and the only ones who suffer are the innocent civilians, pawns in the great political, military game of their countries' leaders. He urged more efforts be placed in "dialog and diplomacy" with a respect for all human life. He also encouraged all to celebrate Christmas as a sacred feast, not just a secular holiday. For more, click on Sunday Angelus.


      VATICAN ( -- In his Angelus address on Sunday, December 20, Pope John Paul II spoke out against the British- American bombing of Iraq, admitted to bitter disappointment at the failure of international organizations to maintain the peace, and voiced his "profound sorrow" for the suffering of the Iraqi people.

      The Pope told a large crowd of pilgrims that his hopes in international organizations and in the rule of international law have been frequently disappointed. But he continued to pray "that human solidarity and respect for international order will prevail."

      "War has never been and never will be an adequate means for resolving problems among nations," the Pontiff said. He had been warning about the mounting risks in Iraq for a month, he pointed out, and at his November 15 audience he asked international leaders not to lose confidence in "the way of dialog and diplomacy."

      The Vatican had condemned the American announcement of missile strikes on Iraq, saying that the move constituted "aggression."

      Pope John Paul-- for whom the Sunday audience was his first public appearance after a brief bout with the flu-- also noted that as Christmas approaches, it is important to maintain a spiritual outlook, so that the celebration is not merely one of a "folklorish feast," but a recognition of the "profound truth" of the Incarnation.


      CHICAGO, 20 (NE) "So much of our energy has gone into maintaining the present system that we have not imagined something quite different. The work of imagining has begun in earnest now," said recently Cardinal Francis E. George, Archbishop of Chicago, facing the difficult situation in relation to the funding of catholic schools of the archdiocese. The funds obtained by the Archdiocese, which maintain the Catholic educative system, are becoming insufficient to sustain the education of the 131.000 students that actually benefit from this system.

      Seeking to solve this difficult situation, Cardinal George has presented to the archdiocese a 1-year program in order to investigate all the possible means to raise funding -private, governmental or other- that will allow Catholic schools in the archdiocese to continue running. "The ongoing education of the 131,000 students now in Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties, as well as the other students in Catholic schools statewide, is a public concern," said Cardinal George. According to recent statistics received by the archdiocese, if the Catholic school system ceased to exist in Cook and Lake counties, government would be forced to absorb the education of 131,000 students at a cost to taxpayers of slightly under $1 billion.

For more News articles, go to SECTION TWO

November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! Today I call you to prepare yourselves for the coming of Jesus. In a special way, prepare your hearts. May holy Confession be the first act of conversion for you and then, dear children, decide for holiness. May your conversion and decision for holiness begin today and not tomorrow. Little children, I call you all to the way of salvation and I desire to show you the way to Heaven. That is why, little children, be mine and decide with me for holiness. Little children, accept prayer with seriousness and pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call. For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

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December 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 247   DAILY CATHOLIC