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August 26, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 161
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
August 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Also today I call you to give glory to God the Creator in the colors of nature. He speaks to you also through the smallest flower about His beauty and the depth of love with which He has created you. Little children, may prayer flow from your hearts like fresh water from a spring. May the wheat fields speak to you about the mercy of God towards every creature. That is why, renew prayer of
thanksgiving for everything He gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
The clarion sounds as a wake-up call to Catholics as we provide a summer review of all past articles on the Church today
Like our other feature series, this summer we present installments 1 through 105 of this series which is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event after the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in the Reign of the Sacred Heart, also referred to as the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace. To read any of the over one-hundred previous installments in this long on-going series, click on the Archives ofWHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?
Today is the Twenty-first Thursday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Monica the devoted Mother of Saint Augustine For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette for St. Monica, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, August 25, 1999
First Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3: 7-13
Psalms: Psalm 90: 2-4, 12-14, 17
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24: 42-51
Friday, August 27, 1999
Friday August 25:
Feast of Saint Monica, Wife and Devoted Mother of Saint Augustine
First Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8
Psalms: Psalm Psalm 97: 1-2, 5-6, 10-12
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25: 1-13
FEAST OF SAINT MONICA, WIFE AND DEVOTED MOTHER OF SAINT AUGUSTINE
Born into a Christian family in the village of Tagaste, Northern Africa in 332, Saint Monica learned at an early age the virtues of patience and obedience which she exhibited throughout her lifetime. When she reached
womanhood her parents married her off to a nobleman by the name of Patricius who was a kind husband, but possessed a terrible temper and a wanderlust which Monica tolerated because of her marriage vows. She tried to calm and win him over through her obedience and patience, always praying that he would realize the error of his ways and come to see the only answer was God. Her prayers were answered in 371 when Patricius received Baptism as he lay dying. This patient love and total faith in God's Providence was transfered from Patricius to their son Augustine who was 17 when his father died, leaving Monica a widow. Though Augustine had begun studying as a catechumen his father's genes took hold and her son opted for the world, also being led down the wrong path by Manichean heresy rationalizing that he wasn't responsible for his own free will. Oh, how wrong he was and Monica knew it, but rather than alienating her son she opened her arms to him using the psychology of catching more flies with honey than vinegar. But her loving protection backfired as Augustine fled to Italy to do his own thing. Monica would not see her son for 15 more years when, under the influence of Saint Ambrose, Augustine's heart and mind finally discovered the truth and invited his mother to Ostia, Italy in 387 where, on Easter Sunday at the age of 33, Augustine was finally baptized into the true faith and a mother's patient prayers were finally answered. It had been her dying wish to see him come back to the Church and shortly after she passed on to her heavenly reward in the same year. Little did Monica realize how powerful were her prayers and what a gift her son would give back to Holy Mother Church as a great Doctor who had been tutored by another great Doctor of the Church St. Ambrose. Monica has become the role model for mothers everywhere especially mothers who have wayward children or offspring that have fallen away. Persevering prayer does indeed pay off, not necessarily in our timetable but in God's time. That is where patience and obedience play such a vital role. In 1586 St. Monica was officially added to the Roman Calendar by Pope Sixtus V and her relics were moved from Ostia to the church of St. Augustine where her son's relics rested and once again mother and son were reunited on earth as they were reunited in Heaven on Augustine's death in 430 AD.
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date 89 years ago, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Macedonia. She would change her name when entering religious life, a name that would forever be on the lips of people the world over for she was Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity and the holy woman called the "saint of the gutters" whose cause has been introduced for beatification. This is also the date that Pope John Paul I was elected the 263rd successor of Peter. He would sadly only live for 33 days before mysteriously dying. But there's always a silver lining: His successor was our present Holy Father Pope John Paul II. 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 August 26:
Death of Pope Saint Zephyrinus, 15th successor of Peter. He ruled for 18 years and decreed that young people of 14 years and over should receive Holy Communion at Easter and introduced the use of the paten and of chalices of cut glass. His pontificate was characterized by bitter theological struggles for he was the Pope who excommunicated the historian Tertullian. Though he was not violently killed in the manner many Christians were, he is considered a martyr because of the great suffering he underwent.
Death of Saint Moses the Black, Ethiopian slave who was converted by monks and ordained a priest, becoming one of the most sought after spiritual directors among the desert fathers.
Muslim pirates land at the mouth of the Tiber and sack Rome, pillaging and plundering the venerable St. Peter's Basilica as well as St. Paul's-Outside-the-Walls during the last days of Pope Sergius II.
Saint Joan of Arc, commissioned by King Charles VII enters Paris to win back the beseiged city from the English. She would ultimately fail and be captured a year later.
Pope Alexander IV commissions the Italian master Michelangelo to fashion the famous sculpture of the Blessed Mother cradling her Divine Son Jesus after He had been taken down from the cross. This masterpiece is forever called the "Pieta" and is on display in the back, right side of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome today.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu is born in Skopje, Macedonia. She would go on to join the Sisters of Loretto out of Ireland, be assigned to Calcutta and found her own Order - the Missionaries of Charity dedicated to assisting the lowliest of lowlies. This famous woman was, of course, Mother Teresa and she would become one of the most well-known and beloved religious of all time whose passing last year on September 5, was greatly mourned by the entire world.
Albino Luciani, Cardinal of Venice becomes the 263rd successor of Peter after he is elected on the third ballot on the first day of the conclave and takes the name honoring his two predecessors - Pope John Paul I. He would die on September 28th, 33 days later from a heart attack which many feel was induced by some sort of drug administered to him via a conspiracy. No one truly knows for sure since there was no autopsy but suspicions still exist because he had planned to clean up the Vatican Bank and demote several Curial figures who had virtually run things during the previous regime. John Paul I was known as the smiling Pope and declined to have a coronation ceremony.
SIMPLY SHEEN: Walking in another's shoes!
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".
"The greatest drama in life takes place when the other person is wrong from our point view. Almost every quarrel has its basis in a mutual misunderstanding."
Finally the long-awaited books "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." and THE HIDDEN WAY are NOW available!
With the messages completed, you can now order the book that contains ALL the messages. This much-anticipated 224-page book of ALL the messages to the world imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a lasting gift that will inspire you in your faith, and all God asks of us. You can acquire your own handsome, coffee-table top copy of "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." containing all 632 messages or the THE HIDDEN WAY containing 100 inspirational Meditative Lessons from Our Lord and Our Lady on Church Doctrine by clicking on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." or THE HIDDEN WAY or both books at BOOKS
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Death threats to Bishop Belo of Dili sour preparation for voters going to the poll Sunday as Pope calls for reconciliation in East Timor
As showdown time at the polls approaches, word has been received that Nobel Laureate Bishop Carlos Belo, whom we highlighted as one of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY on Tuesday, has received death threats by Indonesia militant Muslims in the army. There are rumors that the threats are very serious much as Archbishop Romero was martyred two decades ago in San Salvador. The threats are part of Indonesia's muscle trying to convince East Timorese Catholics not to vote for independence or else... The Holy Father is hopeful a peaceful agreement through the democratic process can result in reconciliation. For more, click on Tensions mount in East Timor
TENSIONS RISE AS EAST TIMOR VOTE APPROACHES WHILE
POPE CALLS FOR RECONCILIATION THERE
Bishop Belo Receives Personal Death Threats
NEW YORK, AUG 24 (ZENIT).- In spite of personal death threats and
increasing tension just days before the Aug. 30 vote to decide East Timor's
independence, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo continues to plea for his people's
right to self-determination in a moving Op-Ed article published in today's
edition of the New York Times.
"I pray that the United States and other nations will do whatever possible
to persuade Indonesian forces to allow this choice to be made freely, and,
if independence is the result, to accept it without retaliating with
violence," the Bishop begins.
As the article went to press, it was rumored that brochures are being
distributed in East Timor with personal threats such as "Be careful, or
your white robe will be stained with your blood," reminiscent of similar
tactics prior to the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San
Salvador in 1980.
The article is direct and objective in tone and clear in its finality. "It
is no secret," Belo affirms, "that most East Timorese oppose continued
The 51-year-old Apostolic Administrator of Dili recalls the long history of
strife and violence since civil war broke out in 1975 just as Portugal was
about to abandon what had been their colony for over 400 years. Unlike the
rest of Indonesia, which was colonized by the Dutch and today is
overwhelmingly Muslim, East Timor received from Portugal both its Catholic
faith and Portuguese, which is still the official language of the Church.
"By 1980," the article denounces, "200,000 or more of East Timor's
population of less than 700,000 may have perished from massacres, disease
and famine." That is a figure that supporters for independence are quick to
point out is proportionately higher than the ethnic cleansing carried out
both in Bosnia and Kosovo in an area roughly the size of Connecticut.
"Over the past six months, hundreds of people have been killed, most of
them young people whose only crime was their desire to be free from
Indonesian rule," Belo continues.
But the attacks continue. "Thousands of people displaced by such violence
have taken refuge in churches throughout East Timor, but even here they are
not safe. In April, scores of people were brutally killed by armed militias
at a church in the town of Liquica. Sadly, this was only the beginning of a
series of assaults. Only the other day, a food convoy organized by a
Timorese nun to feed some of the many displaced people was destroyed.
Houses of villagers were burned, young mothers were threatened, the hands
of young people in one village slashed, all to intimidate people from
voting. In other places, the military has distributed guns to allies to
force people to vote the 'right' way."
As if foretelling an uncertain future, Belo laments that perhaps
"diplomatic intervention may be the only hope there is to avert a new blood
bath in my native land."
While speaking out with passion to defend his countrymen's rights, he is
careful to distinguish his role as Bishop from political favoritism. "All
along," he emphasizes, "I have made clear that the church is there for
everyone and is not to be used by any political faction. Yet I have
concluded that only international pressure on Indonesia's army can end the
This 1996 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first Catholic Bishop ever
to receive such a distinction, offers concrete proposals when he concludes:
"Indonesia's generals, who have longstanding ties to Washington, should be
made to understand that Indonesia will not receive any military assistance
or the loans the country so badly needs unless the army ends its campaign
of violence. And Indonesian authorities must permit the entry of
international peacekeepers. After all the suffering they have endured, the
people of East Timor deserve no less."
Some, at least, seem to have heard his plea. In fact, a recent
congressional delegation on visit to East Timor, consisting of senators Tom
Harkin, Jack Reed and representative Jim McGovern, earnestly recommended
the sending of armed U.N. troops to accompany the unarmed advisors and
observers that the United Nations has already dispatched to supervise next
Nevertheless, according to today's Washington Times, "the State Department
yesterday dismissed the prospect of sending armed U.N. peacekeepers to East
Timor," because, in the words of spokesman James Foley, "As a practical
matter . . . we don't believe that the dispatch of armed U.N. peacekeepers
before Aug. 30 is possible at this point."
Meanwhile CWN reports that, Pope John Paul II in his Wednesday
general audience at the Vatican called for peace and reconciliation in
East Timor and the Indonesian province of Ambon.
The Holy Father said that as the people of East Timor
prepare for a referendum on their future, he prayed they
could achieve a future of peace. Indonesia, the most
populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly
Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following
year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In
January, President B.J. Habibie proposed a referendum, to
be held next week, to allow Timorese to choose either
autonomy within Indonesia or full independence.
On Wednesday, thousands of East Timorese rallied in Dili in
the biggest pro-independence rally ever. Anti-independence
militias, backed by the Indonesian military, have waged a
violent campaign to intimidate voters, killing hundreds and
displacing thousands from their homes.
The Pontiff also appealed for peace on the island of Ambon,
where more than 450 people have died this year in fighting
between Muslim and Christian gangs. "Apart from a firm
condemnation, I express a heartfelt appeal for an end to
the violence that has caused so many victims and so much
damage," the Pope said.
Filipino President bashes Church in defense of stubbornly pushing through his new constitution against the wishes of the majority
The Philippines' Cardinal Jamie Sin is respected throughout the world, but evidently not in his own back yard for Filipino President Joseph Estrada has dismissed the renowned prelate as just a bother and he can't be bothered with meeting with the cardinal, slandering the Church by accusing her of trying to get into politics. The truth is the Church is the moral leader and Cardinal Sin the catalyst for ensuring the laws both moral and civil are kept. For more, click on Filipino Flap.
PHILIPPINES' PRESIDENT, CHURCH CONTINUE SPARRING
MANILA (CWNews.com) - Philippine President Joseph Estrada
and Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila continued to widen their
public rift on Wednesday when Estrada backed off a
suggested meeting to discuss protests over plans to change
the country's constitution.
Estrada had originally suggested a meeting with Cardinal
Sin and former president Corazon Aquino, leaders of the
1986 People Power revolt that ended the reign of dictator
Ferdinand Marcos and current leaders of the constitutional
protests. The cardinal had immediately accepted the offer
on Tuesday, but Estrada on Wednesday rejected the idea of
the cardinal taking part.
"I'd prefer to talk to former president Aquino and former
president (Fidel) Ramos because they have experience in
running government," Estrada told two major Manila radio
stations. "Maybe the religious sector should first attend
to the spiritual needs and moral values of Catholics," he
Estrada has proposed changes to the constitution to remove
provisions which restrict foreign investors in business and
land ownership. Aquino and Cardinal Sin led tens of
thousands of Filipinos in protest rallies last week
denouncing the constitutional changes as an attempt to
lengthen the president's term of office beyond one six-year
Denver Archdiocese reaches new heights with formation courses on the internet
While many dioceses and parishes are falling short in evangelization as the Holy Father has asked in preparation for Jubilee 2000, the Archdiocese of Denver, under the astute shepherding of Archbishop Charles Chaput, is using all the tools available to bring the message to the masses with the announcement of a ten-week formation course for Catholics, primarily in Colorado but, because of the web access, for Catholics the world-over. For more, click on Courses on the net.
ARCHDIOCESE OFFERS ON-LINE COURSE TO PREPARE FOR JUBILEE
DENVER, 25 (NE) As part of preparation plans for the Jubilee of
year 2000, the Archdiocese of Denver has designed a 10 week
course of formation for Catholics from Colorado and across the
"Understanding and living the Great Jubilee" will be the theme
of the Internet-based Jubilee course, offered through the
Archdiocese of Denver's web page (www.archden.org), which also
aims to encourage the use of technology for evangelization.
"Jubilee is an opportunity for us to believe in Jesus Christ
more radically than ever before, and this course will help
people understand that", said a spokesman of the archdiocese
about the online education project.
The course will start September 27 and conclude the first week
of Advent, based on an interactive learning process that
includes online discussions, audio clips and roadmaps to
New Book on Blessed Juan Diego affirms his historicity and authenticity of the apparitions; Canonization could be May 21, 2000
The Mexican postulator for Blessed Juan Diego's cause for canonization presented Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniquez and the Mexican people with a new book on the Guadalupe visionary and the latter cardinal speculated that May 21, 2000, depending on the Holy Father's decision, is the most logical date for his being proclaimed a saint. For more, click on Blessed Juan Diego .
NEW BOOK ON BLESSED JUAN DIEGO PRESENTED IN MEXICO
MEXICO CITY, 25 (NE) Msgr. Oscar Sanchez Barba, Postulator of
Mexican causes of canonization before the Holy See, presented
yesterday the book "The encounter of the Virgin of Guadalupe and
Juan Diego," which, among other things, includes definitive
arguments showing the historicity of the Blessed Indian.
The event counted with the participation of Cardinals Dario
Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the
Clergy, Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, and
Juan Sandoval I˝iguez, Archbishop of Guadalajara.
Msgr. Jose Luis Guerrrero Rosado, co-author of the book,
recalled that "from 1990 to the present date, at least three
direct evidences appeared that ratify that the event of
Guadalupe is not a pious invention of the XVII century, but a
real event that occurred in the XVI century."
Cardinal Juan Sandoval pointed out that the ideal would be that
the canonization would be carried out by May 21 next year, date
that the Vatican dedicates to Mexico. The Cardinal stated
however that that decision depends entirely on Pope John Paul
"Having presented all the conditions, it is necessary to
encourage the canonization of Juan Diego, confidant of the
Virgin, making him known to the people of God and doing the
necessary arrangements before the Holy See so that the steps
still remaining may be speeded up," he affirmed.
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 and Daily Dispatches, Dossiers and Features from ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
The DAILY WORD
"Therefore you also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Matthew 24: 44
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August 26, 1999 volume 10, no. 161 DAILY CATHOLIC