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April 13, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 72
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 1534 Saint Thomas More who had succeeded Cardinal Wolsey as Chancellor of England, refused to take a loyalty oath to King Henry VIII for he maintained rightly that he owed his allegiance to a king much higher than him - the King of Kings - Jesus Christ. For pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for April 13:
This day is called "Black Monday" in England for the entire army of King Edward I is destroyed by an act of God during a freezing hailstorm.
Saint Thomas More, loyal to Holy Mother Church, refuses to take the oath to Henry VIII or go along with the English revolt from Rome.
Pope Clement VIII acknowledges Henry IV as King of France and accepts the Edict of Nantes which grants the Huguenots religious freedom, civil equality and other rights in France.
SIMPLY SHEEN: The Secret of Meditation
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"How different our lives would become if we would take an hour a day not to think about the attributes of God and the moral law, but to make the love of God and the love of neighbor experientially present in our own heart and soul! Man does not want to be with God as much as God wants to be with man. This is the secret of meditation. Try it and be happy."
From the depths of despair to the heights of hope
In Chapter 9: "Whom do you seek?" we see the affection Jesus had for those so dear to Him, beginning with the repentant sinner Mary Magdalene whom He revealed Himself to after His Blessed Mother. We see through this interior vision the Magdalen's undying love for her Master and we see the emotional highs and lows that she experiencing in fearing the worst and encountering the best. These meditative lessons, imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart after Pentecost 1993, are meant to inspire and prompt a greater understanding of the Glorious Mysteries. For part one of Chapter 9, click on "MY LORD AND MY GOD!"
Meditative Lesson 9:
"WHOM DO YOU SEEK?"
Dear Father, how good God is. He knows well how terribly weak I am, and
He sends help to me, whom am so unworthy in so many ways! May the Most
Blessed Trinity be forever praised, adored, and loved! It is late, but in
the prayerful stillness, our Heavenly Mother comes. I have tested the
voice and I begin.
"When she had said this she turned round and beheld Jesus standing there,
and she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why art
thou weeping? Whom dost thou seek?' "
John 20: 14-15
It is barely dawn. The sky to the east is barely light, an anemic shade
of grayish-purple, for the sun is still hidden by clouds which hug the
horizon. But the Passover feast has ended and movement beyond the house is
The door leading from the House of the Last Supper into the narrow street
opens. Three women emerge. Mary of Magdala comes first, and wraps her
mantle about her to ward off the chill dampness. The other women are also
huddled deep in their mantles, and their veils mostly cover their faces.
They are afraid; their heads turn left, right, left as if searching for an
"Don't be afraid. We will come to no harm. His Mother blessed our
mission. We must have faith!" is the Magdalene's advice, as she sets off
down the street, well ahead of the other women. I do not know who they
are, so concealed are they in their mantles, but I am given to understand
that Mary, the mother of James and Judas Thaddeus, and the mother of James
and John accompany Lazarus' sister upon her work of mercy.
The streets are empty, stray dogs, cats, even rats scurry out of Mary's
way. She is fairly flying down the rough streets. It is as if a magnet
pulls at her. The other women call to her to slow down, but she does not
hear them. Or rather, the inner pull to Our Lord's tomb is so great she
cannot slow her pace. She takes side alleys, staying away from the town
proper, and it all becomes a maze to me as I do not know Jerusalem and have
no landmarks to tell me in which direction the Magdalene moves.
Obediently, I follow her.
Soon she has gone past one of the gates, which lead into and out of
Jerusalem. She turns to her right, descending a series of rough stone
stairs badly in need of repair. At the lower level, she turns left. This
is more a path than a street. The surface is dirt, hard-packed from the
feet of many passersby. There is no one about now, only the Magdalene, and
many paces behind are the other Marys. The area becomes greener as the
city wall is left behind. I notice there is more light now. There is a
rosy glow in the east, suggesting sunrise is fast approaching.
At a certain point, Mary, Lazarus' sister, reaches a place where there is
a sturdy row of bushes or shrubs which act as a border along the path. I
do not know the variety, only that they are thick and impenetrable. But
Mary pauses, reaches out, and fumbles with a bold. I see, then, as I come
closer to her, that she stands before a small gate, which separates the
bushes and provides entry into the enclosed area.
Only when she is certain the others know of the entrance does she hurry
on. The path is not as well-packed here, as it moves in and among an
orchard and garden which appears well-tended. Tucked back off the path,
surrounded by flowering trees, I notice a small house. Actually, we would
call it a hut by today's standards. There is no sign of anyone in this
swelling, but again I am given to understand that the keeper of this garden
dwells here. It is his home.
The path goes downhill at a rather step angle, and now Mary is truly
running. The landscape shifts here, for the greenery is not as dense, the
ground seems rockier.
Mary's eyes are fixed intently ahead, and I follow her gaze. There, not
too far in the distance, I behold Our Lord's tomb.
This is Mary's objective. Her only desire and I am allowed to feel within
my own heart how love is the driving force for all her movements. It is a
love for the Master so deep, so pure, holy that I understand how little is
my own love, and how little is the love given Him by all the world. Mary
of Magdala is there to be for Him what the world will not give Him! Love!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part two: "Whom do you seek?"
Today is the dual feast of Easter Weekday and the commemoration of the martyred Pope Saint Martin I, 74th successor of Peter whose drawn-out martyrdom was the result of inhuman treatment by the Byzantine emperor. Tomorrow we return to Easter Weekday for the Second Wednesday of Easter. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on Pope St. Martin I, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Tuesday, April 13, 1999
First Reading: Acts 4: 32-37
Psalms: Psalm 93: 1-2, 5
Gospel Reading: John 3: 7-15
FEAST OF POPE SAINT MARTIN I, MARTYR
Born in Todi in the Umbrian region of Italy , Saint Martin I became the 74th successor of Peter taking the name Pope Martin I on July 5, 649. During his pontificate he established the feast of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. His six-year papacy was wrought with persecution and ultimate imprisonment and suffering that ended in "moral martyrdom." Because of their adherence to the heresy that Jesus was only divine and possessed no human nature, Martin condemned the Eastern bishops at a Council he convened at the Lateran shortly after his elevation to the papal throne. Those bishops who had received the bell, book and candle appealed to the Byzantine Emperor Constans II who retaliated by sending his men to capture Martin and bring him back in chains to Constantinople where we was thrown into prison. The horrible conditions of the jail made Martin very, very ill, so much so that Constans sought to rid himself of the headache and responsibility by condemning him to death, but Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople intervened and rather than having Martin executed, the Roman Pontiff was exiled to the Crimea and the island of Cherso where he suffered terrible hardships and, having never recovered from his illness contracted in the filthy elements of Eastern incarceration, he died on April 13, 655. His martyrdom was a long, drawn-out torture that was complicated because of his illness. He was the last Pope to be martyred.
Wednesday, April 14, 1999
First Reading: Acts 5: 17-26
Psalms: Psalm 34: 2-9
Gospel Reading: John 3: 16-21
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today, in honor of the Feast of Pope Saint Martin I who died in 655, we present the Opening Prayer for the Mass commemorating this martyred Sovereign Pontiff.
Merciful God, our Father, neither hardship, pain, nor the threat of death could weaken the faith of St. Martin. Through our faith, give us courage to endure whatever sufferings the world may inflict upon us.
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
This was the heresy Pope Saint Martin I condemned and which brought retaliation against him and his ultimate martyrdom by the Byzantine emperor Theodore Calliopas. Monothelitism held that Jesus had only one will, the divine which thus denied the humanity of Christ. This is not to be confused with Monotheism which denied the Holy Trinity in stating there was only One Person in God. Martin called the Lateran Council in an effort to call back the Monophysites to the Church who had held that Christ only one nature, His divinity totally engulfing His humanity. This had been condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and Martin was hoping for reconciliation. But in an effort to call them back, the heresy of Monothelitism arose. This infuriated Calliopas and he retaliated by forcefully taking Martin prisoner. It would be twenty-five years after Pope St. Martin's death when the Sixth Ecumenical Council - the Third Council of Constantinople would officially and in finality condemn Monothelitism once and for all. For much more on this, we recommend clicking on New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia Encyclopedia on Monothelitism. (sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor, Publishers; My Catholic Faith, My Mission House; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers).
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Faith and Reason call for a need to negotiate in Kosovo Pope asserts as the Holy See maintains diplomatic relations in hopes of a breakthrough
While the secular media continue to ignore the Vatican's intrinsic efforts to obtain a peaceful settlement in Kosovo, Catholic World News has documented how much the Holy Father has been involved in bringing all parties to the table. While the secular media flails for sources, CWN points to the fact that the Holy See remains the only entity with open diplomatic relations with all countries involved in the Balkans war. For more, click on Vatican persistency and consistency
POPE RENEWS CALL FOR KOSOVO PEACE AS VATICAN CONTINUES ACTIVE DIPLOMACY ON KOSOVO
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- During his Sunday public audience on April 11,
Pope John Paul II again called for a renewal of negotiations over the conflict
After reciting the Regina Coeli with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the Pope
spoke of "the tragic conflicts which are bloodying the Balkan region." He said
that the need for negotiations is made clear "not only on faith, but above all
"My thoughts are constantly turned toward those who are suffering the
harsh consequences of the war," the Holy Father said. "I invite all believers
to intensify their prayers for peace, because sometimes when things seem
almost humanly impossible, God in his mercy grants them to those who ask
The Pope also conveyed his special greetings to the Orthodox Christians of
the world, who were celebrating Easter.
The Holy See is still actively pursuing every
diplomatic means to halt the fighting in the Balkans.
In a statement released on April 11, the Vatican indicated that it has
continued "to maintain contacts with the chancelleries of the countries
involved in the crisis." The statement added that the Vatican Secretariat of
State remains "active" in its efforts to bring about new negotiations, while
the pontifical charity Cor Unum is helping to coordinate relief efforts for the
people of Kosovo.
The latest Vatican initiative was a joint statement issued on April 10 by a
Catholic-Islamic commission-- a body created in1995 by the Pontifical
Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. The statement expressed "particularly
grave concern" over the situation in Kosovo, as well as "strong condemnation
of the harm caused to innocent civilians." The statement reaffirmed the need
for new negotiations, as well as humanitarian aid to the civil population.
Serbs try to strong-arm Croatian Bishop as L'Osservatore Romano berates Serb atrocities
The bitter fued between Croat and Serb escalated over Easter when Auxiliary Bishop Djuro
Gasparovic of Djakovo-Srijem, Croatia was detained at the border after ministering to Croatian Catholics in Serbia for the weekend. Meanwhile in Rome L'Osservatore Romano blamed Serbia for a nationalistic sense of superiority in which the enemy is portrayed as anyone who offers a different culture and religion. The paper warned that this kind of ideology is dangerous and this Nazi-type mentality could spread to other nations in Europe; it is a "cancer" that must be stopped. They also called for Slobodan Milosevic to resign. For more, click on Serbian ideology.
CROATIAN BISHOP DETAINED BY SERBIA FOR MILITARY SERVICE
WHILE VATICAN SHARPLY CRITICIZES SERBIAN NATIONALISM
ZAGREB, Croatia (CWNews.com) - Auxiliary Bishop Djuro
Gasparovic of Djakovo-Srijem, Croatia, is reportedly being
prevented from leaving Serbia in the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia by Yugoslav authorities after a visit to
Croatian Catholics in the country who are part of his
Bishop Gasparovic went to Serbia for Easter celebrations in
various Catholic parishes and was not allowed to return home
after his pastoral visit ended. Yugoslav authorities claim
that Bishop Gasparovic is subject to a general military
mobilization, as he was born in Yugoslavia and still holds
a Yugoslav passport. However, on Monday, military
authorities said the bishop will be released from military
service and allowed to reenter Croatia.
Bishop Gasparovic waited for the clearance in his birth
place Golubinci, where there are no direct NATO strikes,
but will have to travel to Belgrade to obtain clearance.
The bishop's mother said she expects him to return to
Croatia by the middle of the week.
Yugoslavia proclaimed a state of emergency after NATO air
strikes began two weeks ago and forbade everyone subject to
military service from leaving the country. But the
government has traditionally excused all higher clergy from
In a related story, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano
has sharply criticized the government of Yugoslavia, saying that a
"deformed" ideology led to the current conflict over Kosovo.
"These conflicts in the heart of Europe cannot be explained by strategic or
economic interests," the April 10 story said. Rather, the conflict is "the fruit
of a deformed concept of cultural identity, the absurd principle of ethnic
homogeneity, to be realized by exterminating what is different." The Vatican
newspaper said that this ethnic ideology created a mentality in which "the
enemy is the one who embodies a culture, a tradition, or even a religion that
"The cancer which plagues the Balkans must be conquered by political force,
by diplomacy, and by cooperation among peoples," L'Osservatore insisted.
Otherwise the cancer would "metastasize," the paper warned, and
"undermine other peoples, even affecting all of Europe with the disease of
secular nationalisms which seem to have reappeared after 50 years of
The Vatican newspaper also said that the current government of Yugoslavia
can no longer offer any effective leadership. The paper said that years of
international sanctions, and exclusion from the international community had
taken a toll on the country's economic vitality, even before the latest round
Protective zones around death camps should appease Jewish people as they commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day
After a year of controversy, the Polish government has come to a solution regarding the demonstrators on both sides of the controversy over the temporary crosses outside Auschwitz and cleverly made the announcement to appease the Jews just before the Jewish observance of Holocaust Memorial Day today. The Polish parliament voted to establish protective zones where no one could demonstrate and nothing could be constructed around eight former interment death camps in the country where countless Jews, Catholics and others were murdered by the Nazis. Besides the Jewish holiday, the Polish government is also sensitive to the Holy Father's pending visit early this summer in returning to where a papal cross had been erected. The Polish bishops strongly advocate maintaining the Pope's cross while removing the others. For more, click on solidarity solution.
POLAND SETS NEW ZONES AROUND NAZI CAMPS TO END CROSS DISPUTE
WARSAW (CWNews.com) - Poland's parliament on Saturday voted
to set up new protection zones around former Nazi
concentration camps to end ongoing protests involving
hundreds of crosses placed near the Auschwitz camp by
The vote sets up zones around eight former World War II
concentration camps where millions of Jews and others were
killed by Nazis. Last year, Catholic groups began placing
hundreds of crosses in a field near Auschwitz to protest
plans to remove a 12-foot cross commemorating a visit of
Pope John Paul II to the site. Jewish groups in Poland and
Israel criticized the country for what they viewed as the
desecration of a Jewish cemetery.
Under the new law, commercial activity will be limited in
the zones and public gatherings will be banned without a
special permit. The government did not have the legal tools
to remove the crosses quickly and faced the prospect of the
Auschwitz issue coming under a heavy media spotlight during
a lengthy papal visit in June. The removal of the protest
crosses, but not the papal cross, is supported by the
country's Catholic bishops.
Miracle of the Montagnards: Vietnam's fastest growing Catholic population due to evangelization by their own peoples
The fruits of evangelization in Vietnam are bearing themselves with the announcement that the conversion rate in the central region of Vietnam among the tribal people known as Montagnards has increased tremendously. It is an excellent example of how the laity is assisting in the work of evangelization for the area has only three priests but they have trained the Montagnards well, for the latter has been responsible for more conversions among their peoples with 250 native catechists preaching in 120 villages in the lower regions of Kontum. For more, click on miracles among Montagnards .
VIETNAMESE "MONTAGNARDS" COMMUNITIES EMBRACE THE FAITH
ROME, 12 (NE) Central Vietnam's diocese of Kontum is
experiencing a surprising growth in its number of baptized persons.
The last bulletin of Vatican agency "Fides" informed that the
so-called Montagnard people are experiencing a rapid growth in
their commitment to the Church. These people are diverse ethnic
groups cut off from all social and cultural services and once
feared for their wish for autonomy.
Since Easter 1997 more than 15.000 natives have converted and
more than 250 local catechists evangelize near 120 villages in
the southern area of Kontum. The Vatican agency also informed
that there are many converted "Montagnards" that go out on
mission to evangelize other villages.
A community of three priests, teaching and strengthening the
faith of the already instituted Christian communities, basically
assists the work. They also teach modern agricultural techniques
to local people and give a special emphasis to the formation of
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.
March 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! I call you to prayer with the heart. In a special way, little children, I call you to pray for conversion of sinners, for those who pierce my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus with the sword of hatred and daily blasphemies. Let us pray, little children, for all those who do not desire to come to know the love of God, even though they are in the Church. Let us pray that they convert, so that the Church may resurrect in love. Only with love and prayer, little children, can you live this time which is given to you for conversion. Place God in the first place, then the risen Jesus will become your friend. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
The DAILY WORD
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting."
John 3: 14-15
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we bring you a site valuable to all - the entire bible on the internet, both Old and New Testament from the most reliable Catholic source - the Latin Vulgate Bible translated into English as the DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. It is brought to all through the work and efforts of Dan Connolly who maintains the site. If you question any of the newer-version bibles, this is an excellent reference point for it is THEE Catholic scriptural source and 100% free of ICEL interference.
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April 13, 1999 volume 10, no. 72 DAILY CATHOLIC