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August 5, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 146
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Today is Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome as well as the Eighteenth Thursday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow we celebrate the glorious TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD on the First Friday of August. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes for these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, August 5, 1999
Thursday August 5:
Eighteenth Thursday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary's Major in Rome
Green or White vestments
First Reading: Numbers 20: 1-13
Psalms: Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16: 13-23
DEDICATION OF BASILICA OF SAINT MARY MAJOR IN ROME
Many believe that Saint Mary Major Basilica was derived from an apparition in which Our Lady appeared,
designating a place where she desired a basilica in her honor be built in the early centuries. Legend has it that
on the evening of August 5th somewhere around the year 358 in the midst of the hot Roman summer the site
was miraculously outlined in snow the next morning when the citizens awoke. Thus she became known as "Our
Lady of the Snows". There are conflicting reports as to the date. Some annals contend it was August 15th, which
would later become the Feast of the Assumption. Regardless it was August and for it to snow during the most
sizzling month of the year when most Romans abandon their city for the cooler mountains, was truly a miracle.
Pope Saint Liberius realized this immediately and laid the foundations for the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Pope Saint Sixtus III designated August 5th as the official date for commemorating this feast around the year 435. Above the portals of this Basilica are the words "Plebus Dei" which means "Dedicated to the People of God." From the seventh century on the Basilica was also known as "Blessed Mary at the Crib", because many believed that within this Basilica nestled in the narrow streets of Rome was the true manger from Bethlehem miraculously transported. This has never been proven and many believe it exists there mystically in the Tabernacle where her Divine Son resides Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. In 1586,
another Sixtus, Pope Sixtus V entered this feast into the Roman Calendar.
Friday, August 6, 1999
Friday August 6:
FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD
First Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14
Psalms: Psalm 97: 1-2, 5-6, 9
Second Reading: 2 Peter 1: 16-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 17: 1-9
FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD
One of the manifestations of Jesus Christ's deity was the glorification of His appearance before His
Resurrection. As the accounts of Matthew 17: 1-8; Mark 9: 1-8; and Luke 9: 28-36 describe while praying with
His chosen Apostles Peter, James and John on the mountain, Jesus' "face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow." Then He was transfigured before them, and Moses and Elias or Elijah joined Him. The Apostles intuitively knew there was no need for fear as Peter remarked to his Master, "Lord, it is good for us to be here." It was truly prophetic for Peter showed his personality in this passage as he meandered on about erecting three altars to the three in the Transfiguration. It gives us a glimpse of the thinking behind the one who would be chosen to lead Christ's Church for Peter, along with the other two Apostles who heard the Father confirm Jesus' mission with the words, "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him." After that, as if in a trance, the Evangelists tell only that the three Apostles fell on their faces - so in awe of this vision that the next thing they knew Jesus Himself was touching them, the Transfiguration over, beckoning them to "Arise, and be not afraid." Jesus knew no one else would understand what had just transpired and so counseled the three to tell no one of this event until AFTER the Resurrection when they would clearly understand that "Truly He was the Son of God" (Matthew 27: 54). Jesus also felt it was important for them to witness this event in order that when they later would see Him suffer, it would sustain them in knowing that He was truly God and would rise. As we know it was these same three Apostles who accompanied Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemani where they showed their frailties by falling asleep. Also, it was the impulsive Peter who seemed to forget the Transfiguration vision while he cowered in the courtyard denying Our Lord. The etymology of Transfiguration is derived from the Latin trans which means "change" and figura meaning "figure" which Jesus did indeed do, His countenance changed before the Apostles' very eyes as did His figure which became very agile providing proof that a glorified body can move rapidly from one place to another like the speed of light or sound. This was confirmed in Luke 24: 31, 34, 36 when the Evangelist places Jesus on the road to Emmaus and then "vanished from their sight", then immediately he was inside the upper room "stood in their midst." The doors were locked, yet besides agility, Christ possessed "subtility" which allows a body to go
where it pleases without any resistance to material matter. Thus He was able to pass through walls as light
streams through glass.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
In honor of today's Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, we present the Opening Prayer for today's Mass:
Lord, pardon the sins of Your people. May the prayers of Mary, the Mother of Your Son, help to save us, for by ourselves we cannot please You.
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date 496 years ago, the notorious pontiff Pope Alexander IV was invited to dine with his treacherous cousin and cohort of many transgressions Cesare Borgia. Joining them was Cardinal Adriano Castellesi. Legend has it a jealous family member of the Borgias poisoned the three of them but some historians point to the evidence that Alexander's bitter enemy Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere orchestrated the dastardly deed. Rovere and Alexander fueded for years and after Alexander's death, which would occur two weeks later on August 18, 1503 as a direct result of the poison, Rovere would reap the spoils, becoming Pope Julius II that same year after a one-month reign by Alexander's immediate successor Pope Pius III. 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 5:
Death of Saint Oswald, King of Northumbria who was murdered at the age of 37 by Penda a rival king of Mercia. Oswald was known for his generosity to the poor.
Pope Clement V becomes the 198th successor of Peter. Some Vatican archives show this French pontiff was elected June 5, 1305 - others November 14, 1305, and still others on this day August 5, 1305. Regardless, Clement was the first pope to be submitted to the Captivity of Avignon due to the influence of Philip the Fair of France. During his nine year reign he called the 15th Ecumenical Council and founded the University of Oxford.
Christopher Columbus lands on the shores of South America, becoming the first European to set foot on the continent and bringing the faith to South America.
Pope Alexander IV is invited to dine with his cousin Cesare Borgia and Cardinal Adriano Castellesi by a family member who poisons the three. Cesare survived, but the cardinal and the Pope both died, the latter two weeks later on August 18.
Pope Pius IX issues his thirtieth encyclical commemorating his twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope entitled Saepe Venerabiles Fratres.
Pope Leo XIII releases his 67th encyclical in the twentieth year of his pontificate on civil marriage law entitled Quam religiosa.
SIMPLY SHEEN: The cure that soothes!
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".
"In the strains of life, nothing is as soothing and as strengthening as the comforting power of prayer."
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Famous tenor Andrea Bocelli to record special hymn for Jubilee 2000 after private audience and Mass with the Pope
For a celebration as great as Jubilee 2000, a special hymn has been written by Jean-Paul Lécot of Lourdes fame, and to really put the exclamation mark on the melody the Holy Father has made a personal request to famous Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli to record the hymn so all may hear it in various languages. No doubt the Italian version by the beloved and awe-inspiring voice of Bocelli will be just as popular. The Pope asked Bocelli and he accepted during a private audience and Papal Mass in the Chapel at Castelgondolfo where he sung Panis Angelicus. Surely the angels had to be enthralled! For more, click on Bocelli will do it!
ANDREA BOCELLI TO RECORD JUBILEE HYMN
Emotional Private Meeting with Pope in Castelgandolfo
CASTEL GANDOLFO, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Not only has famous blind Italian tenor
Andrea Bocelli conquered the international record market, he has also
won John Paul II's affection and admiration. Last Friday, Bocelli
performed the official Jubilee hymn for the Holy Father at his summer
residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The Jubilee hymn, composed by Jean-Paul Lécot, responsible for music at
the Lourdes Shrine, will be translated and recorded in at least five
languages. In addition to the CD version, there will be a video. Persons
who accompanied Bocelli said the Pope was very pleased with the tenor's
interpretation of the hymn, and expressed his affection by patting his
"There are things one cannot get used to ... a meeting with the Pope is
always intensely moving," Andrea Bocelli said after his visit with the
The singer said their meeting "was in a small chapel in the Castel
Gandolfo residence. It was at 7:30 a.m. We left my home at 3 a.m.; I had
just returned from Tel Aviv, but I am used to this kind of exhaustion.
The Pope, a few nuns, and perhaps a Cardinal were in the chapel;
unfortunately, I could not see the colors. I went with Caterina Caselli
and my pianist. I was immediately asked to sing during the Pope's Mass.
I sang the 'Panis Angelicus' a cappella."
Although this was a real surprise for those attending Mass, the tenor
said simply: "They had something more important to attend. With the Pope
celebrating, I was in the background."
"As we left Mass, we gave him the CD, and he said a few words to me,"
the tenor explained. Bocelli had already met the Pope on three previous
occasions. One of them was the Paris World Youth Day. "Every time, he
has given me the same impression; it is as if he lives in another
dimension, oriented more toward heaven than earth."
"In his presence, I always feel a sense of abstraction, as if I was not
totally present physically. I do not know how to explain it," Bocelli
said, who describes himself as a "believer of conviction" although not
Pope prevails people to pray for those souls who are in the existence of Purgatory
Continuing the trend of the Holy Father's dissertations on the after-life and following up on his talks on Heaven and hell the past two weeks in his Wednesday Audiences, the Pope addressed Purgatory yesterday, reinforcing that it is not necessarily a place but rather a "condition of life." He entreated those in the audience to pray for the poor souls in Purgatory and do good deeds in reparation for their souls, all part of our duties as members of the Communion of Saints. For more, click on Pondering on Purgatory.
POPE GIVES GOOD NEWS OF PURGATORY
VATICAN (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II told his Wednesday
general audience that purgatory is the state we enter after
we die to be purged of every trace of sin before entering
Following up on his last two general audiences in which
dealt with heaven and hell, the Holy Father said that
anyone who had led a less than perfect life but was still
destined for Heaven would spend time in Purgatory. "Before
we enter into God's Kingdom, every trace of sin within us
must be eliminated, every imperfection in our soul must be
corrected. This is exactly what takes place in Purgatory,"
Repeating his theme in the two previous talks, the Pope
said Purgatory was a not a physical place either. He said,
"(Purgatory) does not indicate a place, but a condition of
life. Those who, after death, live in this state of
purification are already immersed in the love of Christ,
which lifts them out of the residue of imperfection." He
then encouraged Christians to pray and do good works on
behalf of those in Purgatory.
EWTN to carry audio of the Exposition of Catholic Communications live from Miami on the net
Not everyone can make it to Miami, Florida for the annual Exposition of Catholic Communications, including this editor of the west coast headquartered DAILY CATHOLIC. Therefore, we are delighted to share with readers that all can keep up on the happenings and talks at the expo this weekend by tuning into EWTN or WEWN if you are fortunate to be able to receive Mother Angelica's Catholic programming, or if not, you have the opportunity to tune in the audio at www.etwn.com/audiovideo/. For more, click on Live coverage.
EXPOSITION OF CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS LIVE ON RADIO
WASHINGTON, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Catholic radio station WEWN, radio branch of
Mother Angelica's EWTN television network, is preparing a special live
program from Miami, to be broadcast August 6-8, when hundred of Catholic
media groups will be present at an exposition sponsored by the
Archdiocese of that city.
WEWN will offer several live programs from the Exposition of Catholic
Communications in Miami, with special reports and interviews with
participants. The Exposition of Catholic Communications (ECC) 1999 will
bring together information services and products of Catholic
communications from the entire American continent to make them known in
the U.S. market.
The event will take place in Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel in Miami.
Together with demonstrations, there will be a series of conferences on
the role of communications at the service of evangelization. The
broadcasts will also be available on the Internet in streaming audio:
UN admits to silent, deadly form of ethnic cleansing through devious means of contraception methods that produce abortions
The devil is in the details and those in alignment with the demon have admitted as much including the Serbian butcher Slobodan Milosevic and the culture of death advocates of the UN and their camouflaged "aid to the Kosovars" campaign which is not to help them, but to reduce their numbers through the silent form of ethnic cleansing - abortion and other contraception methods they are shipping to this troubled region of the world. For more, click on Culture of death.
U.N. POPULATION FUND SUPPORTS MILOSEVIC'S ETHNIC CLEANSING
Birth Control Campaigns Among Kosovo Inhabitants
WASHINGTON, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Today the Population Research Institute
(PRI) released additional evidence confirming the partnership between
the UNFPA and the Yugoslavian government to target and reduce the
Kosovar population. Officials in the Serbian government, including
Milosevic himself, have openly admitted their intent to reduce the
Kosovar ethnic population.
"The state must find a way ... to limit or forbid the enormous birthrate
in Kosovo," Rada Trajkovic, Serbian Minister for Family Affairs, said in
a recent report on Yugoslavian demographics.
At the same time, Stirling Scruggs, head of UNFPA's external
communications, confirmed that UNFPA was invited by Milosevic's regime
to specifically target the Kosovar population. "We were invited into
Kosovo by the Yugoslavian government to conduct a needs assessment and
follow up later with regular programs," Scruggs stated in the
July-August 1999 edition of "PRI Review."
Steven Mosher, president of PRI, said, "The UNFPA is in complicity with
Milosevic's 'stealth' ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kosovar
population. The UNFPA has admitted that it is working hand-in-glove with
the Milosevic regime, which the world knows has recently attempted the
forceful extermination of its Kosovar minority. Thanks to the UNFPA,
Milosevic will now achieve his aim of reducing the ethnic Albanian
population of Kosovo by other means. The targeting of Kosovar women and
families will continue, aided by U.S. tax dollars, as the UNFPA engages
in what might be called 'silent ethnic cleansing.' "
The UNFPA, on the other hand, has denied any involvement with
Milosevic's campaign to reduce the numbers of ethnic Albanians in
Kosovo. In a press release dated July 29, 1999, it attacked the PRI for
providing information it described as "false," and spoke of its
commitment to "reproductive health."
Steve Mosher was quick to reply. "Anyone who thinks the UNFPA is
concerned with 'reproductive health' should think again. The UNFPA is
not interested in healthy reproductive systems, but in ones that have
been disabled by abortion, sterilization, and contraception. The
organization's very name betrays its purpose. We are talking about the
U.N. Population Fund here, not the U.N. Reproductive Health Fund."
The UNFPA's "regular programs" include abortion-inducing "morning after"
pills, originally shipped into the region for alleged rape victims,
along with shipments of crude manual vacuum aspirators, which PRI has
confirmed will be used for abortions by trained NGOs. ZE99080306
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
"And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."
Matthew 16: 18-19
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
August 5, 1999 volume 10, no. 146 DAILY CATHOLIC