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November 4, 1998
SECTION ONE vol 9, no. 216
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
For the first time ever, an apparition is approved in the first stage while still on-going at Betania
Because of the fruits, Bishop Pio Ricardo Bello who had just been appointed head of the Diocese of Los Teques in Venezuela and who had known the Betania visionary Maria Esperanza de Bianchini for well over forty years, surprised everyone with an official letter of approval of the Betania Apparitions at the Diocesan level on November 21, 1987. It was the first time an apparition had been approved while the visions were still happening. He based his findings on all the evidence he had poured over. He would be rewarded for his faith and belief on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception four years later when the Sacred Host would bleed in the hands of Maria's Spiritual Director after consecrating the Host at Holy Mass in front of thousands. For the chapter, Approval of the Apparitions and the Universal Meaning of the Messages, click on THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS.
The New Lourdes: Betania - Refuge of Reconciliation
Approval of the Apparitions and the Universal Meaning of the Messages
These testimonies were instrumental in the apparition being approved one
day before Maria Esperanza de Bianchini's 59th birthday on November 22, 1987. The new bishop of
Los Teques, Bishop Pio Ricardo Bello, who first met Maria in 1944, was the
perfect instrument in God's plan. Though admitting to having an "interior
attitude of doubt and skepticism," prayer and his expertise as a professor
at the Catholic University in Caracas in theological and psychological
training benefited him in deciphering over 381 written declarations and
interviewing over 200 principles over a 500 hour span, which included a
special trip to Rome to consult with the Holy See. Finally, convinced of
the authenticity of the Apparition, he officially issued the Church's
approval on November 21, 1987 with the following statement:
"In consequence, after studying with determination the Apparitions of Our
Blessed Virgin Mary in Finca Betania, and after assiduously asking Our Lord
for Spiritual discernment, I declare that to my judgment these Apparitions
are authentic and have a supernatural character. I therefore officially
approve that the site where the same have occurred be considered as sacred,
that the same be kept as a place for pilgrimages and as a place for prayer,
meditation and worship and where liturgical acts can be carried out
especially the Mass and the administration of the Sacraments, always
following the laws of the Church and the norms of the Diocesan Pastoral
Bishop Pio Bello stated to us in a private audience that, "Ricardo is
actually my mother's maiden name and therefore I am not really Bishop Pio
Bello Ricardo but rather Bishop Pio Ricardo Bello." He goes on in his
Pastoral Letter to clarify the Church's position concerning private
"…when the Church intervenes regarding "Private" revelations,
it does so for the time being to determine the arrangement of the same with
"public" revelation. Consequently, if it finds that "private" revelation
contradicts "public" revelation, it declares it false, since God cannot
contradict Himself. If it finds agreement between the two, it allows
"private" revelations to be accepted…"
His Pastoral Letter is of some length, and it is not possible to copy it
in its entirety in this article. However, for those who wish to read it,
you may write the Bishop care of: Monsignor Pio Bellow, Curia Diocesana,
Calle Junin. 19 Los Teques, State of Miranda, VENEZUELA. It is
recommended you include a donation of two to five dollars and be sure to
request the English translation.
Our Blessed Mother's messages in Betania incorporate the messages of
LaSalette, Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Fatima, San Giovanni, Beauraing, Banneaux,
Garabandal, San Damiano, Akita, El Escorial in Spain, Medjugorje, San
Nicholas, Naju, Hrushiv, Ecuador, Ireland, and here in the United States
and Canada, as well as what the Vicar of Christ is exhorting; that is that
the messages are becoming ever more urgent. As a loving Mother she begs
and pleads and Maria, as a true mystic, knows only too well the seriousness
of her supplication.
A few months before the approval Our Lady delivered a very powerful
message on August 11, 1987: "Man is actually abusing the received graces
and is going towards perdition; if a change does not come and improve his
living he will succumb under the fire, war and death."
Earlier in 1973, Maria received the following on March 23 regarding the
end times and the Reign of the Sacred Heart: "It is the difficult hour for
all humanity and it is necessary to detain the misunderstanding between
brothers; the nations must be united. My Jesus' love will be the door that
will open hearts to give passage to a beautiful age that must resuscitate
the nations to a glorious teaching of unity. Take advantage of time
because the hour is coming in which my Son will present Himself before all
as Judge and Savior; you must be in the necessary conditions to live
together with Him that Great Day; do not believe this is far."
On April 27 of the same year, Our Lady imparted, "The Great Day in which
my Son will come is approaching. Pray very much so the horrible clash that
is coming and that could end with so many innocents (being hurt) can be
detained." This confirms the recent messages of many visionaries and
locutionists here in the United States that God's Justice is near.
Our Lady also followed up with the message Pope John Paul II has been
expounding when she stated to Maria: "When you are asked what Messages have
been given to you, answer textually: Our Mother has come as Mary, Virgin
and Mother - Reconciler of Nations, and her Message is to commit oneself to
a better service to the Catholic Church. And we have to do this service
reconciling ourselves more and more, all the Christians, since
reconcilement encourages human rights, social justice, renovation, and
charisma. And furthermore, Reconcilement supposes Truth, Love, Reparation
and Liberty of Conscience, to live in consonance with the doctrine that
Jesus Christ bequeathed us." This is the essence of the Holy Father''
most recent encyclical, Veritatis Splendor. She relayed to Maria in
1988: "Sons and daughters, I beg you to take advantage of the days, hours,
minutes, seconds to prepare yourselves. Evangelization is the
representation of the New Golden Age of a New World, where Peace and the
ways of Love will take all to reach rectitude and the knowledge of God's
sons and daughters. All are God's sons and daughters. His Nation. I keep
you in My Heart. Love, love with no limits."
In the next installment we will treat Our Lady's words in which she urges all her
children to Take Refuge in My Immaculate Heart.
"This Chastisement is My Mercy."
Those are the powerful words from Our Lord in message 264 and prefaced in message 263 by His Blessed Mother as imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady prepares us for her Divine Son's Coming, reminding us the time is very, very near and Jesus confirms everything she has conveyed by expounding on the fact that the sorrows we will experience are all part of the cleansing - His Mercy at work in preparing us for the Age of the Divine Will and He reemphasizes the importance of the Lord's Prayer, particularly the passage "Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." For messages number 263 and 264, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Two Hundred Sixty-three and Two Hundred Sixty-four
Message Two Hundred Sixty-three, December 10, 1992
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, how I love and cherish all of my little ones.
Yes, my little ones, I, the Mother of God, Queen of Peace, am most happy when I see the faith of those who honor me on my Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
My little ones, the sublime privilege granted me, the lowly handmaid of the Lord, will be accepted by all who will persevere until the end, for this privilege is an integral part of the Divine Will.
The Age, the Moment of the Divine Will is soon to reign upon the earth. It shall come after my Immaculate Heart triumphs, for at all times did my will conform to the Divine Will.
I ask each of my little ones to beseech the Triune Divinity to permit the Triumph of my Immaculate Heart now. Mercy shall come, but first It shall come as Divine Justice from which It cannot be separated.
In these days of preparation, constantly pray to the Infant Savior, the Christ Child, that you might become as humble, little children.
Little children are incapable of doing anything. Rather, their faith, trust and love is total in the Divine Hand of the Almighty Father. This is absolutely necessary for all who would be saved, all who would persevere. Therefore, pray for detachment and abandonment in all earthly things. Surrender your own will to God's, abandoning the false gods of man's sin-filled world.
I shall not be with you in this extraordinary way for much longer, and I urgently plead for your response. Give me your heart, my little ones, that I might swiftly place it in my Son's Most Sacred Heart.
Return to all virtue. Become holy and live as my Divine Son lived.
The great seals are broken. The Hand of Justice strikes.
Therefore, pray! Pray! Pray! I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Two Hundred Sixty-four, December 13, 1992
(Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother's Immaculate Heart, I desire to speak to all of My little souls, even those who do not know Me.
On this Lord's Day, you light yet another candle, the candle of rejoicing because you know I am near.
Now I say to all: I am on the threshold and My Coming is imminent. As swiftly as the candle flame consumes the wax, so shall My appearance be among mankind. But behold your Advent wreath and see that yet there must be a period of great sorrow upon the earth. This Chastisement is My Mercy. It is to call back all My children. It is meant to bring upon the world humble and contrite hearts aflame with love for Me.
Then shall come Divine Justice. Heed My Words, which My Mother has been speaking to you. Never before has such Justice come to all the world. It is the Great Purification, for My Creation must be and shall be one with the Divine Will. My beloved holy Mother comes to announce Me. Just as I, your God, descended from Heaven to earth through Her Immaculate Virginal Womb, so it is proper that She, the first and ever-resplendent Tabernacle of the Most High should gather My flock to Me in Her Maternal, Pure Heart.
Therefore, wait and watch with steadfast faith and absolute hope, filled with love for Me, Who Am Love.
My children, when I dwelled among you I taught you to pray. I called upon the Heavenly Father. This holy, perfect prayer said as I gave it to you is the key to that which is to come upon the earth.
But woe! Triple woe to all who seek to change My prayer, who by their ego, their pride-filled intellect seek to alter My perfect prayer, placing man's ego above the Divine Will.
Woe! For then shall the moment of Divine Justice come. The angels stand ready with fiery censers to burn clean the threshing floor of the earth.
Seek the Divine Will. Pray the Lord's prayer and you will rise to great holiness. In this way you will understand My Holy Mother's words and live Her Messages.
I, Jesus Christ, allow My Mother to speak to many, and to others she appears. This shall soon come to an end. Therefore, lift up your eyes and behold your celestial home where I call each of you and say with Me: "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven!"
I give you My Blessing. I am your Strength to persevere. Be ever vigilant and by a life of loving sacrifice you shall know Me and love Me, your God.
Pray much! Pray always!
Biblically speaking, Noah was way ahead of his time and so are the kids!
Today we bring you two short vignettes on biblical events structured around misconceptions of what really happened or what the words really meant in one entitled "The Bible According to Kids" and the other regarding the Genesis account of Noah and his ark from a modern perspective for application today. For these two vignettes, click on A NOVEMBER CORNUCOPIA OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS
Today's biblicologys come from EJB and NH via e-mail and should prompt us to go back and check the Good Book because the light-hearted bit below in no way resembles the Word, but it is clever. The first - "The Bible According to Kids" gives us a new take on looking at things from an innocent, naieve perspective. The second looks at the story of Noah's Ark from a unique viewpoint in providing all the basics necessary for knowledge in "All I ever need to know I learned from Noah's Ark."
The Bible According to Kids
The statements below were written by young students and are genuine,
authentic and not retouched or corrected:
In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating
the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark.
Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears.
Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a
Jezebel like Delilah.
Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.
Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made
unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.
The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert.
Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten
The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
The fifth commandment is to humor thy father and mother.
The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.*
(*Clinton uses this one in his legal defense)
Moses died before he ever reached Canada.
Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to
stand still and he obeyed him.
David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar.
He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in
Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna
When the three wise guys from the East side arrived, they found
Jesus in his Ranger.
Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head.
Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others
before they do one to you.
He also explained, "A man doth not live by sweat alone."
It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get
the tombstone off the entrance.
The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.
The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.
St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which
is another name for marriage.
A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
All I ever need to know I learned from Noah's Ark
Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
Stay fit. When you're 600 years old,
someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
Don't listen to critics ... do what has to be done.
Build on higher ground.
For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Two heads are better than one.
Speed isn't always an advantage.
The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
If you can't fight or flee ... float!
Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.
When the doo-doo gets really deep, don't sit there and complain ...
Stay below deck during the storm.
Remember that the ark was built by amateurs,
and the Titanic was built by professionals.
If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat
than the storm outside.
Don't miss the boat.
No matter how bleak it looks, there's always a rainbow on
the other side.
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the Feast of the Bishop Saint Charles Borromeo while tomorrow we return to Ordinary Time with the Thirty-first Thursday. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes on St. Charles, click on LITURGY
Wednesday, November 4, 1998
First Reading: Philippians 2: 12-18
Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 14: 25-33
Feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Born into the influential de Medici family in 1538 at the height of the Protestant Revolution, Saint Charles Borromeo went on to become one of Holy Mother Church's staunchest defenders and one of the authors of the last session of the Council of Trent. He is venerated today as the Patron Saint of Seminarians and Catechists for Charles was always interested in the formation of seminarians and the need for all youth to understand their faith. He spoke from first-hand experience for a vocation was planted early in Charles' life and he was given the Clerical Tonsure at only 12 years old, then sent to the Benedictine Abbey of Saints Gratian and Felinus in Arona, Italy to complete his studies before receiving his doctorate in canon and civil law at the early age of 21 from the prestigious University of Pavia in 1559. Three years later he was ordained a priest and immediately called to Rome by Pope Pius IV who was the brother of Charles' mother Margaret de Medici. There he helped oversee the last stages of the Council of Trent, drawing up documents and guidelines for the liturgy of the faith. Almost immediately Charles was appointed Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan by his uncle Pope Pius IV. Before taking possession of the Diocese, he finished overseeing the catechism, breviary and missal called for by the Council of Trent. He remained in Rome until Pius IV died in 1565 and then, with permission from the new pontiff Pope Saint Pius V, returned to Milan to serve as Head of that See for the next 18 years. In 1566 he instituted in the Diocese of Trent a model See for that episcopate had been without a residen bishop for over 80 years. This became the model for all dioceses throughout Italy and beyond. He went to great lengths to install guidelines to enhance devotion and reverence, while improving morals and manners of the clergy and laity alike for both branches of the Church had fallen into a rut and apathy and amoralism ruled. Charles streamlined Diocesan operations and established seminaries so the clergy would not only be well-educated, but properly formed. To help implement this, he invited the Jesuits back into his Diocese for they had been banished in the past. He then founded the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the religious instruction of children everywhere. CCD remains today the benchmark for educating the youth to the faith throughout the world. As if Charles wasn't busy enough, he increased the aid to the poor, earmarking more Diocesan funds to assist the needy as well as establishing hospitals and hospices to tend to those who had fallen victim to the plague in 1576. So enraptured was he with the Christ's Gospel of the poor that he gave away all he had, wearing only an old patched cloak instead of the rich robes of a Cardinal. He also lent episcopal encouragement and guidance to the English missionaries by sending learned men to the English college at Douay in bringing the Bible up to date, in particular the Old Testament in the proper translation of the Latin Vulgate into English. Today the Douay-Rheims Version remains the benchmark for all Biblical translations though, unfortunately, newer versions have swayed from the true meanings of the words conveyed in the Douay-Rheims Version. Charles held eleven diocesan synods and six provincial councils during his tenure as well as founding an order of secular priests in 1578 - the Oblates of St. Charles, as they are known today, though when he founded the society it was the Oblates of St. Augustine. In addition to all this, he spoke tirelessly and ceaselessly against the dangers of Protestantism and encouraged lapsed Catholics to return to the fold. Naturally, when one is striving to do God's Will, satan will do all he can to confuse and mess up the good works by attacking the subject. This happened to Charles and he aroused much enmity in the Milan Senate over his wide-wielding power throughout the city and region. Though the Spanish dominated Lombardy, Charles fended off all efforts to allow the Spanish Inquisition in Milan. At the same time Protestantism was making great inroads in England where the Catholic Restoration which Mary Tudor had installed was being eroded by Queen Elizabeth; in France and the Netherlands religious wars were breaking out. Meanwhile in Milan St. Charles ruled with a velvet glove, kind and loving, but firm on maintaining all the Catholic Church teaches. Still, his enemies pressed on. Often times attempts were made to imprison the Archbishop of Milan, but each time he was exonerated by the Holy Father and King Philip II. There was even an attempted assassination on his life by a fanatic Humiliati priest Jerome Donati Farina because Charles had insisted that the Humiliati Order be reformed. Despite political machinations within the Milan government, Charles held his ground, excommunicating those who refused to obey and was subsequently upheld by higher authorities. When the plague broke out in 1576 Charles commandeered the clergy and religious to care for the afflicted. Because of the long two-year epidemic and the many who had died, the Diocese ran up a tremendous debt that took centuries to make up. In 1583 Charles, as an apostolic visitor in Switzerland - heart of the Reformation - preached feverishly against Protestantism and the spread of of witchcraft and sorcery. Though Charles had great power and influence, he used it humbly as a servant of the Church instilling a great reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and a love for all Holy Mother Church taught in his life-long mission to reform his beloved Church of the evils and abuses that had ravaged the clergy for so many years and spawned the Protestant Revolution. Charles was often seen in public procession, clutching his Crucifix with a noose around his neck as a sign of public penance, emphasizing the fact to all that all men are sinners and only through the One, True Church Jesus Christ founded can we be saved. Though he was only 46, the burdens of his duties and the aftermath of the plague took its toll on this dynamic saint who had personally attempted to feed over 60,000 people daily. Thus, Charles passed on to his Heavenly reward on November 4, 1584 in Milan.
Thursday, November 5, 1998
First Reading: Philippians 3: 3-8
Psalms: Psalm 105: 2-7
Gospel Reading: Luke 15: 1-10
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
Today's Prayer is taken from the Ambrosian Missal for the Preface celebrating the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo:
Today we wish to praise You as we recall our saintly bishop Charles, who glorified You by his eminent virtues. You gave him to the Church as a solicitous shepherd who was a shining light in the darkness of the world and, inflamed with ardent charity, was for Your flock a mirror of life and a model of justice. He led to You the people entrusted to his care and in moments of difficulty he was able to sustain his people with dedicated love.
October 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I call you to come closer to my Immaculate Heart. I call you to renew in your families the fervor of the first days when I called you to fasting, prayer and conversion. Little children, you accepted my messages with open hearts, although you did not know what prayer was. Today, I call you to open yourselves completely to me so that I may transform you and lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus, so that He can fill you with His love. Only in this way, little children, will you find true peace - the peace that only God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
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November 4, 1998 volume 9, no. 216 DAILY CATHOLIC