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December 28, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 249
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
December 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
Dear children! In this Christmas joy I desire to bless you with my blessing. In a special way, little children, I give you the blessing of little Jesus. May He fill you with His peace. Today, little children, you do not have peace and yet you yearn for it. That is why, with my Son Jesus, on this day I call you to pray, pray, pray, because without prayer you do not have joy or peace or a future. Yearn for peace and seek it, for God is true peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents when King Herod, in search of eliminating the threat of the boy-king Jesus Christ ordered the slaughter of all first-born males under two-years old, forcing the Holy Family to flee into Egypt. Tomorrow is the Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and story of the Holy Innocents, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, December 28, 1998
First Reading: 1 John 2: 3-11
Psalms: Psalm 96: 1-3, 5-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 2: 22-35
Feast of the martyred Holy Innocents
This feast commemorates the slaughter of the holy innocent male babies who were killed in King Herod's lust to find and destroy the Child Jesus as related in Matthew 2: 13-18. Ever since the 5th Century this feast has been observed as stated by Saint Peter Chrysologus. It became a solemn feast in 1568, declared so by Pope Saint Pius V. Though legend has it that thousands were slaughtered, the actual figure was closer to only 20 infants; yet even one is too many. Though Saint Stephen is considered the first martyr of the Church, in truth these innocents were really the first martyrs for unwillingly or not, they were the first victims to die for Christ. They are the original martyrs who St. John writes about in Apocalypse/Revelation 7: 14 and 17 when one of the elders says, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb...and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." The holy innocents today are the innocent babies of the 20th Century who have been aborted by their own mothers. Like the first holy innocents who were a figment of a threat to Herod, these modern day innocents also are slaughtered because they are a threat to the worldly ways of those who seek the culture of death over the Culture of Life.
Tuesday, December 29, 1998
Tuesday December 29:
Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas and
Optional Feast of Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
First Reading: 1 John 2: 3-11
Psalms: Psalm 96: 1-3, 5-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 2: 22-35
Optional Feast of Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
Born in London, England around 1118, Saint Thomas Becket became a priest and bishop, studying law in Rome, Bologna and France and serving as chancelor under England's King Henry II. However his relationship with the king deteriorated when Thomas showed more allegiance to Rome than England regarding Church property and authority. Thomas' rival Bishop Foliot, bishop of London fueled the fires by plotting against him. This forced Becket to flee to France where he took up refuge there until returning six years later at the request of Pope Alexander III who needed the support of both the French king and Henry against the antipope Paschal III who had aligned with the emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Thomas returned, hoping to reconcile with the king and to bring to justice those who had been plotting against him and the Church, but his mission was cut short when Foliot schemed with Henry to silence Thomas in the cathedral. Friends of Thomas' knew something was afoot and wanted to barricade Thomas inside the cathedral for his own safety, but Thomas exclaimed, "I am ready to die for the name of Jesus in defense of the Church." When they entered at sunset on December 29, 1170 four of Henry's knights with Foliot lurking in the shadows, shouted out "Where be the traitor? Where be Thomas Becket?" Thomas boldly presented himself proclaiming, "Here I am. No traitor I be, but rather a priest of God ready to shed my blood for Him." With that the dastardly deed was done on the sanctuary steps of the cathedral leading to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Benedict. His death caused Alexander III to excommunicate Henry II and Foliot. But the king repented two years later and, thus Thomas' death reconciled the king of England with Holy Mother Church as well as reconciliation with France and established the church at Canterbury as Rome's. A year after Henry's public apology Alexander canonized Thomas as a great martyr of the Church.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
In commemoration of the Holy Innocents, today's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for today's Mass:
Father, the Holy Innocents offered You praise by their death they suffered for Christ. May our lives bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips.
"I do solemnly tell you that the great trial breaks upon your world. But you are blind to it ."
Those words of Motherly concern above from the Blessed Virgin Mary in Message #328 and followed up in Message #329 were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in the last part of the month of April 1993. Our Lady links the trials and satan's deceit to the growing lack of reverence for her Divine Son Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. That is the only refuge we have once her visits are over, which are fast coming to a close. For the messages 328 and 329, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Twenty-eight and Three Hundred-Twenty-nine
Message Three Hundred-Twenty-eight, April 22, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, how I bless you. Say to all of my children: I love you with the Infinite Love of my Divine Son. God has sent me all these years to be among you to tell you of His Love, to call you back to the Truth, and to prepare you for these end times.
Now many signs are being fulfilled, yet still the evil one succeeds in deceiving many of my children. They do not realize they have lost their reverence for God. They do not know my Divine Son's True Presence in the Holy Eucharist. O! If they would open their hearts then would their faith be enlivened by the in-pouring of the Holy Spirit and all reverence would be given unto God from the heart and on bended knee, which is a supreme act of humility.
My children, I do solemnly tell you that the great trial breaks upon your world. But you are blind to it. O! Awaken now to my Motherly pleas. Hear my words and be converted in your heart. Then shall God freely offer you Divine Knowledge that you might understand more fully all of my words.
If you would persevere come to the Sacraments. Receive my Divine Son worthily, and do not abuse Him - your God and Savior, because of pride which refuses to bend in humility. May the true meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass be kept alive by my faithful little army. It is a Sacrifice, not a meal; not a celebration of social status. O! How I weep because you reject my pleas and persecute my chosen messengers.
Pray! Pray for my Immaculate Heart to triumph now. Then, my little ones, you shall see the Power and Justice of God bring to fulfillment my Divine Son's own prayer. Pray the "Our Father" and be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Do penance. Deny your bodies till they are subject to your soul. Then shall you be no longer of the world.
Pray with me, your Mother. I cry out for your help. Soon I shall no longer be among you. Only a few of my messengers will speak Heaven's words to you.
Therefore, pray! Pray! Pray! I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Twenty-nine, April 24, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
Beloved Hidden Flower, how I love you. My little ones, do not allow the evil one to seduce you. O! I am the Patroness of your country. I am Mother of God, and Mother of the True Church. Just as I did after my Divine Son's Ascension into Heaven, so in holy obedience did I remain on earth, helping the apostles to establish the Gospel Message amidst persecutions.
O! Little children, God desires to give to all men a New Pentecost, whereby, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, you shall stand and bear witness to the Truth. You shall lack nothing. God shall provide for you. My little ones, I have been among you beseeching each of you to convert their hearts by means of prayer, penance, fasting, the Mass and the Sacraments. How weak you are, little children. Even now you groan and complain because the prayers come not from your hearts, but from your lips.
Soon I shall no longer be among you. Then must you come before the Holy Tabernacle and there, in the presence of my Divine Son, God and Savior, prostrate yourselves. Surrender freely and with all your hearts your own will. Do this often, every day if it is possible. Be always with Him, my Divine Son by making many acts of faith, hope and love. Show every reverence for Him. Come and bend your knee, for He is Truly Present and is God. Should you do less?
O! Pray! You do not perceive the darkness, nor recognize the full meaning of my words.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Holy Father announces Birth of Christ as the turning point in history at Papal Midnight Christmas Mass
At a solemn Christmas Midnight Mass in a packed St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father looked ahead toward next Christmas when he will, as he expressed "God willing" open the great Holy Door for Jubilee 2000. He echoed the traditional Christmas message in his homily and concelebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass televised to millions all over the world. Recuperating from the flu, the Pope looked feeble as he used his patented silver crosier crucifix as a solid crutch in walking to and from the great altar down the entire center aisle of the huge basilica. For more, click on Pope's Christmas Homily
WITH TRADITIONAL MIDNIGHT MASS, POPE JOHN PAUL II CELEBRATED THE
BIRTH OF THE LORD JESUS
VATICAN, 25 (NE) "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good
news of a great joy. ... For to you is born this day in the city
of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord." With these words
taken from the Gospel according to Luke, Pope John Paul II
expressed to all Catholics throughout the world the joy for the
great event of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. "Praise becomes
a prayer which rises from the hearts of the throngs who on
Christmas Night continue to welcome the Son of God," said
Peterīs Succesor during his hommmily in the tradtional Christmas
To all the pilgrims gathered together with the Vicar of
Christ in Saint Peterīs Basilica to celebrate the coming of the
Lord, the Holy Father said that "in the Word Who becomes man the
miracle of the Incarnate God is made manifest. The mystery sheds
light on the event of the birth: A baby is adored by the
shepherds in the lowly stable, at Bethlehem. He is `the Savior
of the world, Christ the Lord,' (cf Luke 2:11). Their eyes
see a newborn Child, wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a
manger, and in that sign, thanks to the inner light of
faith, they recognize the Messiah proclaimed by the Prophets."
"This is Emmanuel, God-with-us, Who comes to fill the Earth
with grace. He comes into the world in order to transform
creation. He becomes a man among men, so that in Him and through
Him every human being can be profoundly renewed. By His birth,
He draws us all into the sphere of the divine, granting to those
who in faith open themselves to receiving His gift the
possibility of sharing in His divine life."
"The coming of Christ among us is the center of history,
which thereafter takes on a new dimension. In a way, it is God
Himself Who writes history by entering into it. The event of the
Incarnation thus broadens to embrace the whole of human history,
from creation until the Second Coming. This is why in the
Liturgy all creation sings, voicing its own joy: The floods clap
their hands, all the trees of the world sing for joy, and the
many coastlands are glad."
"Christ is born for us. Come let us adore Him. My thoughts
already turn to Christmas next year when, God willing, I shall
inaugurate the great jubilee with the opening of the holy door.
It will be a truly great holy year, for in a completely unique
way it will celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the event and
mystery of the incarnation in which humanity reached the apex of
its calling. God became man in order to give man a share in His
own divinity." The Holy Father added that, "This is the good news of salvation. This is the
message of Christmas! The Church proclaims it tonight by means
of my words too, for the peoples and nations of the whole Earth
to hear. Christu natus est nobis. Christ is born for us. Venite
adoremum. Come, let us adore Him."
Thanks to a devoted Austrian priest the world can hear a Silent Night at Christmas
The year was 1818 and a young Austrian priest, with an ear for music and a heart for the sublime, penned the beloved Christmas hymn "Silent Night" which for the past 180 years has remained a stalwart Christmas carol for millions upon millions at this time of year. We present the story of how this most loved and popular of Christmas carols came to be. For more, click on Silent Night.
180 YEARS OF "SILENT NIGHT": A CHRISTMAS CAROL THAT HAS UNITED
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH
OF THE SON OF GOD
ROME, 24 (NE) "Silent Night, Holy Night". These are the first
verses of a simple but fascinating song repeated throughout the
years in the different places where Christmas is celebrated.
Translated to many languages, they are words that have
accompanied these celebrations uniting different races and
languages in a common worship to God. Words whose melody has
evoked in the hearts of those who listen to them the mystery of
the Incarnation of the Son of God in the virginal womb of Holy
Nevertheless, only a few actually know the origin of one of
the most traditional Christmas carols. The finding of an
original script dated 1816 allowed to clarify the story of the
song and its author, and Austrian priest born in December 1792.
His name was Joseph Mohr, and was born in a humble family. As a
child, he lost his father. His natural inclination to music was
soon discovered by the cathedral choirmaster, who helped him to
receive an education. By 1810 the young Joseph was studying and
preparing himself for priesthood, being ordained five years
He was moved to Mariapfarr, his father's village, a place
surrounded by woods and fresh air, where it is believed he wrote
the poem that would later be famous as a Christmas carol.
Because of his health, he was moved again to another town,
Oberndorf, 13 miles of Salzburg, where he met Franz Xaver
Gruber, a musician who would become his friend. As the Christmas
of 1818 came closer, Joseph searched for the verses of his
Christmas poem, and together with Gruber made some arrangements
to the poem and thus was born the traditional Christmas carol.
That same Christmas, precisely 180 years ago, the organ of
the temple broke down, which forced the priest to use
alternative songs for the Mid Night celebration. At the time, it
would have been very difficult for a song in German, accompanied
by a guitar, to be sung at the temple, at least in such a solemn
ceremony. The situation allowed the song to be heard publicly
for the first time. It happened on Christmas of 1818, in a
Church dedicated to St. Nikolas in Oberndorf. Father Mohr would
be called to the Father's presence on 1848, dying in poverty
after a life consecrated to his priesthood, and leaving behind
to the world a song that has illuminated with joy and hope
millions of homes which celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Another priest shot to death, this time in Sardinia
In a year when an alarming number of priests and religious have been murdered, another priest was killed in Nuoro, Sardinia when Father Graziano Muntoni was shot in the chest just before celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Many believe the killer's motive was revenge for the 57-year-old priest's crusade against crime in the region while he was a politician before being ordained eight years ago. For more, click on Another martyr.
ITALIAN PRIEST SLAIN IN SARDINIA
NUORO, Sardinia (CWNews.com) - An Italian parish priest was
shot and killed on Thursday as he was preparing for Mass.
Father Graziano Muntoni, 57, was shot in the chest as he
walked down an alley in the small town of Orgosolo on his
way to his church for morning Mass, according to media
reports. Before becoming a priest in 1990, Father Muntoni
had served as a politician of the Christian Democrat party
Italian state RAI television quoted investigators as saying
Father Muntoni may have been the victim of retribution for
his campaign against crime, especially Sardinian kidnap
Ireland's "Dr. Death" meets death as he succumbs to cancer
Many on the emerald isle are hopefull the issue of euthanasia has died and abortion weakened with the death of Ireland's leading advocate of euthanasia. Patrick Leahy, a physician from Dublin had long been a thorn in the Church's side, outwardly prescribing contraceptives and disdaining the Sanctity of Life by advocating assisted suicide and abortion in this strong Catholic country. Whether he died of natural causes or induced by self-euthanasia is still not known. For more, click on Irish Dr. Death.
IRISH EUTHANASIA ACTIVIST DIES OF CANCER
DUBLIN (CWNews.com) - Ireland's leading euthanasia activist
died last week of bladder cancer, according to the Irish
Times newspaper on Wednesday.
Dr. Patrick Leahy originally rose to prominence in the
1970s by publicly prescribing contraceptives in violation
of the law and Church teaching. He was also a public
supporter of the legalization of abortion. Contraceptives
have since been legalized, but abortion remains illegal in
the majority Catholic country.
Later, Leahy became the lead campaigner for euthanasia and
assisted suicide and made headlines last year when he
announced he would travel to Thailand to commit suicide,
but changed his plans when he learned that the practice is
also illegal in that country. Leahy also claimed to have
killed 50 people in assisted suicides and euthanasias.
Leahy's family said he died in his sleep at home in Dublin
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
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December 28, 1998 volume 9, no. 249 DAILY CATHOLIC