DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     April 30 - May 2, 1999     vol. 10, no. 85

DAILY LITURGY

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Friday, April 30, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 13: 26-33
      Psalms: Psalm 2: 6-11
      Gospel Reading: John 14: 1-6

Saint Pius V, Pope and Religious

          A Dominican who followed in the tradition of St. Catherine of Siena nearly two centuries later was Cardinal Michael Ghislieri who went on to become the great Pope Saint Pius V. Another of the great saints who God rose up in the "Century of Saints," Pius V was one of the most influential in Church history as he brought about renewal in the Church, carrying out many of the reforms that would reinstate the holiness and status of Holy Mother Church. Amidst the ruin of the Protestant Reformation, the corruption within the Church, and the threat of Turkish invasion, Pius carried out the teachings of the Council of Trent which had begun in 1545. The fruits of Trent are still evident today for Pius ordered the founding of seminaries for the training of priests, published a new Missal, Breviary, Catechism and initiated the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for the youth to learn the faith. In addition, he established the Tridentine Mass which he proclaimed would be said "in perpetuity." His devotion to the Rosary and spreading the power of Our Lady's special weapon, proved victorious when he summoned all Catholics to throw themselves upon the Mercy of God and pray the Holy Rosary in begging God to save the Church from the Turks. On October 7, 1571 against unsurmountable odds, the Christian forces were miraculously victorious over the Turks in the Gulf of Lepanto off of Greece. The tremendous power of the Rosary was made manifest and that date became the official feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Pius died in 1572.

Saturday, May 1, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 13: 44-52
      Psalms: Psalm 98: 1-4
      Gospel Reading: John 14: 7-14

SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKER, PATRON OF THE CHURCH

          So much has been said about this very special, holy, pure and quiet saint...and yet, so little is really known about Saint Joseph. No one can pinpoint the exact year he died, but we do know he died a happy, peaceful death richly deserved because of his obedience to the Will of God in being the earthly guardian of God's Own Son and the Immaculate Mother He chose to fulfill the Act of Redemption. Saint Joseph is the saint most often invoked for the grace of a happy death and the assurance that Jesus is spiritually present at that time with every dying soul. While Mary was the heart of the Holy Family, Joseph was the head, yet always submitting to a higher Power in all things...from accepting Mary's virgin birth as truly from God to rallying the family in the cold of the night to flee from Herod's wrath into a land he knew nothing about, only that God would not abandon him nor those he was charged to watch over. Every virtue can be attributed to this saint who bridged the Old Law, born into the royal family of David's lineage, and the New Law and guided to maturity Jesus Christ, our Savior. Because of his role in protecting the Holy Family he has been designated Protector of Holy Mother Church as well. He is the patron saint of workers for he lifted the work ethics to a new level and taught these values to the Son of God.

SUNDAY, May 2, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 6: 1-7
      Psalms: Psalm 33: 1-2, 3-5, 18-19
      Second Reading: 1 Peter 2: 4-9
      Gospel Reading: John 14: 1-12

Though it is superseded by the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2nd is the traditional feast of Saint Athanasius:

Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

          Born in Egypt early in the fourth century, Saint Athanasius was chosen to defend His Church against the Arian heresy at an early age, being sent to champion the cause of Holy Mother Church at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. His dedication and writings attracted the attention of all and he quickly was made Patriarch of Alexandria and almost single-handedly fended off the Arian heresy for well over forty years before succumbing peacefully in 373. Though he had been persecuted by the Arians for many, many years, his prayers, writings, preaching and actions won many over to the true teaching through the humility and persistence of this staunch Defender and Doctor of the Church. Despite the sacriligeous acts of the heretic Arius who had forced the emperor to have him reinstated in the Church, God smote the heretic down in the presence of countless witnesses as Arius attempted to enter the church of St. Sophia. Through Athanasius' prayers, the sacrilege was averted and the horrible death Arius met in challenging the authority of God's Church prompted countless Arians to be converted back to Catholicism.

Monday, May 3, 1999

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8
      Psalms: Psalm 19: 2-5
      Gospel Reading: John 14: 6-14

SAINTS PHILIP AND SAINT JAMES, APOSTLES

          These two saints were both Apostles hand chosen by Jesus. Sacred Scripture records that when Saint Philip first met Jesus, he went to Nathaniel - "We have found Him of Whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph." Nathaniel's famous reply: "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip, Nathaniel, James and all the other Apostles and disciples would soon discover the answer: YES! After Our Lord ascended, Philip preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and was horribly crucified there in 80 AD. Saint James, known as James the Less to distinguish himself from James the Greater was a cousin of Jesus and a brother of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. James was also known as James the Just to depict the austere, chaste life he led of penance and prayer. He was one of the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection. Like Philip, he preached the Gospel but was also appointed Bishop of Jerusalem and sat beside Saint Peter and Saint Paul during the Council of Jerusalem. Later, after Paul had escaped the wrath of the Jews by appealing to Caesar the angry Jews turned on James and stoned him, driving him to a tower where he was thrown off and struck his head, dying instantly of a massive concussion. The sword he holds represents his martyrdom, while the cross Philip clutches represents his death.

April 30 - May 2, 1999       volume 10, no. 85
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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