Monday thru Friday at
See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"
December 20, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 241
To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Today we begin the final weekdays of Advent or, as they are called Late Advent. We follow this pattern through the week, with tomorrow also sharing the optional feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profile on St. Peter Canisius, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Monday, December 20, 1999
First Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-14
Psalms: Psalm 24: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 26-38
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man
shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner
from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be)
Tuesday, December 21, 1999
Tuesday December 21:
Tuesday in Late Advent and the optional
Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
First Reading: Songs 2: 8-14 or Zepheniah 3: 14-18
Psalms: Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 39-45
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to
give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be)
Optional Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
This Dutch-born Jesuit priest played a key role in the landmark Council of Trent and played a vital role in debating the Protestant heresies throughout Europe, especially in his native Netherlands and Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Poland. He was a great eloquent preacher sought by prince and pauper alike. He served as mediator between Holy Roman Emperors and Popes. He also founded the University of Fribourg in 1580. One of his most famous works was "Manuel of Catholics" and is referred to as the "Second Apostle of Germany," giving way to the great Saint Boniface as the "First Apostle of Germany." Because of Peter's efforts, the counter-reformation was a resounding success in Bavaria. In 1591 he suffered a stroke which hindered his speaking engagements, but he continued his writings with the help of a scribe as he dictated to him. Six years later, at the age of 76 this noble man died at Fribourg. Pope Pius XI canonized him in 1925, at the same time declaring him a distinguished Doctor of the Church.
The DAILY WORD
"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father, and He shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.'"
Luke 1: 30-33
SIMPLY SHEEN: Saints can relate to sinners
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".
"Saints love sinners - not because they share developed qualities of soul, but because the saint is able to apprehend the possible virtue in the sinner. It was thus that the Son of God Himself became the Son of man: He loved what man might be and, in the words of St. Augustine, 'He became man that man might become like God.'"
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
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Final preparations being made to make Holy Door open-friendly
Under the watchful eye of the President for the Protection of the Historical and Artistic Monuments of the Holy See Cardinal Virgilio Noe, Vatican workers began preparation for the readiness of the Holy Door being opened this Friday evening. To accomplish this they first had to tear down the brick wall surrounding and sealing it from the last time it was sealed in 1983. Each brick, representing a donation, was carefully extracted and earmarked to be sent to the donors as mementos of their generosity. The precise preparation is being done to preserve the past and ease the present by making the door open-friendly when Pope John Paul II will push both the right and left side of the door with the palm of his hand to officially usher in Jubilee Year 2000 on Christmas Eve. For more, click on Holy Door preparations
VATICAN HOLY DOOR PREPARED FOR OPENING
Thought-Provoking Gesture in Preparation for Jubilee
VATICAN CITY, DEC 17 (ZENIT).- At 4:45 p.m. this past Wednesday dry hammering
broke the silence in St. Peter's Basilica. At that time, a Vatican
worker began to knock down the wall sealing the inside of the Holy Door.
This action is connected to the "recognitio" rite, which was presided by
Cardinal Virgilio Noe, Archpriest of the Basilica, and Bishop Piero
Marini, master of papal liturgical celebrations.
The opening of the Holy Door is always preceded by actions intended to
facilitate the Pope's task on Christmas Eve. First a metal box was
removed, which was placed in this spot during the 1983-1984 Jubilee.
Then the bricks were removed that sealed the wall. The Holy Father will
now be able to open the door by pushing both sides with his hands.
The wall the Vatican workers knocked down yesterday had 3,800 very
special bricks. Each one had the name of its owner -- the person who
bought it by making a donation at the closing of the last Jubilee. These
bricks have now gone to their respective owners, whose names had been
inscribed in a register with their corresponding address.
The "recognitio" ceremony began with a procession led by Cardinal Noe.
After reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah and reciting a Psalm and
the Our Father, an additional 15 minutes of energetic hammering were
necessary to extract the metal box which had been sealed in the wall 16
years ago. While the procession moved away after the final ceremony,
some one hundred pilgrims in the Basilica came forward to pick up pieces
of the wall as mementos.
In the Basilica's sacristy, Cardinal Noe examined the box's contents. It
took ten minutes to open by using a blowtorch. Inside was a picture of
the Virgin, a series of gold and silver coins minted during the 5th year
of John Paul II's pontificate, the register of the names of brick
proprietors, the Bull closing the extraordinary Jubilee of 1983-1984,
and four gold bricks, exactly like the terracotta ones of the wall.
Similar "recognitio" ceremonies of the Holy Door are being held in the
major Roman basilicas between today and December 21.
The crossing of the Holy Door, a symbol of the Jubilee, evokes the step
that every Christian must take from sin to grace: John Paul II reminds
the faithful of this in the Bull of convocation of the Holy Year 2000.
He also states that to cross the threshold of the Holy Door means to
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Prefect confirms imminent beatifications in 2000 of Pope Pius IX and John XXIII, doubts process for Mother Teresa or Pius XII will be completed next year
The President of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed that Pope Pius IX, the Supreme Pontiff who declared the Dogma of the Assumption and then suffered the ignominy of being imprisoned in the Vatican after King Emmanuel took over the Papal States, and Pope John XXIII, who shocked everyone by calling the Second Vatican Council, will both be beatified in 2000. He was not as positive about Mother Teresa or Pope Pius XII for their process is not yet complete and isn't expected to be closed in time. More will be known today when the Holy See announces who will be beatified and canonized in the Jubilee Year. For more, click on Beatifications in 2000.
PIUS IX AND JOHN XXIII WILL BE PROCLAIMED BLESSED DURING JUBILEE
Mother Teresa of Calcutta's Process Will Not Conclude in 2000
VATICAN CITY, DEC 17 (ZENIT).- Friday morning Archbishop Jose Saraiva
Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presented
to the international press what can easily be called an encyclopedia of
the Saints and Blessed of the last 400 years.
With the Latin title, "Index ac status causarum," the volume gives a
list of all the causes analyzed by this Vatican organization since 1588,
the year it was established by Sixtus V, until the present.
Bishop Edward Novak, secretary of the Congregation for Saints, gave some
significant figures from the book. "There have been 1,742 Blessed and
591 Saints proclaimed by the Congregation between 1609 and 1999. John
Paul II has proclaimed 1,235 Blessed and Saints, becoming the Pontiff
who by far has made the most proclamations." The numbers are high, in
part, because among the Blessed and Saints proclaimed by this
pontificate there were several large groups of martyrs beatified
together, such as 205 Mexicans, 25 Spaniards, 108 Poles, 127 Vietnamese
and 103 Koreans.
Pius XII's Beatification
Responding to questions from reporters, Archbishop Saraiva Martins said
that "there is no delay whatsoever in Pius XII's cause for
beatification. Those who read the historic facts without ideological
prejudices can see the wisdom of Pope Pacelli's actions. For us there is
With reference to the Holocaust, the Portuguese Archbishop explained
that "if Pius XII had behaved another way, today he would be accused of
having caused many more victims, especially among the Jewish people."
The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints proceeded to
quote several publications in which, beginning 1939, Goebbels and the
Allies point to Pius XII and the Church as the great opponents of
Although he did not give a specific date, Archbishop Saraiva Martins
spoke at length in favor of the causes of beatification of Pope Pius IX
and Pope John XXIII. However, he excluded Mother Teresa of Calcutta's
beatification in the year 2000.
There is a significant number of causes coming to conclusion at present.
Archbishop Saraiva Martins did not exclude the possibility that there
might be additions to the three scheduled beatification (March 5, April
9, September 3) and two canonization (May 21 and October 1) ceremonies
in the papal Jubilee calendar.
Mexico's Cardinal Rivera backs Juan Diego for beatification refuting former Abbot of Guadalupe
Speaking out strongly on behalf of Guadalupe visionary Juan Diego and the fruits of his life, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City - whose jurisdiction covers the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe - made his statements last weekend during celebrations of the Feast and refuted the claims by the former Abbot of the Shrine who denigrated Juan Diego as a fictitious character. The cardinal has been at the forefront of those lobbying for the Holy Father to beatify this sixteenth century Aztec Indian hermit because Mexico owes its Catholic heritage to the fruits of this apparition in 1531. The cardinal also asserted how the Virgin of Guadalupe remains as much a major evangelizer today as she did over four centuries ago. For more, click on Lobbying for Juan Diego.
VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE BEST EVANGELIZER OF MEXICO
Cardinal Rivera Confirms Juan Diego's Historicity
MEXICO CITY, DEC 17 (ZENIT).- The best evangelizer of Mexico is the
Virgin of Guadalupe. This is not something of past centuries, but a
daily contemporary event, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop
Primate of Mexico said, when addressing the "John Paul II and Virgin of
Guadalupe" International Congress, which was held in the Archdiocese of
Mexico City from December 9-12.
No theologian, pastor, religious or enlightened soul has found the
formula for inculturation of the Gospel and synthesis of theology as
Saint Mary of Guadalupe did in her apparition to Juan Diego, the
Cardinal said. "The picture of the 'Morenita' is still imprinted on the
serape and some aspects of its composition and conservation are an
inexplicable challenge to human science."
Cardinal Rivera recalled the Popes who have recognized the cult and
devotion to the Mexican Virgin of Tepeyac: Gregory XIII, Benedict XIV,
Leo XIII and John Paul II. "The words of the Supreme Pontiffs over the
centuries on the Guadalupe Event have been spoken on the foundation of
historical investigation, with fully attested scientific methodology.
This was affirmed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, after
studying the Spanish, Indian, and mixed historical sources, and
scientifically proving and guaranteeing the correct theological
interpretation of the Guadalupe message."
Referring to the controversial statements of Fr. William Schulenburg,
former Abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe, who denies the historical
existence of Juan Diego, the Indian to whom the Virgin appeared, and is
opposed to his canonization, Cardinal Rivera warned that there will
always be persons who deny transcendental events for man's salvation.
"Over the centuries many have denied Christ's historicity or his
humanity or divinity," noted the Cardinal, but God continues to use the
same method of manifestation throughout history: simplicity.
Cardinal Rivera recalled to the words of Cardinal Darío Castrillón
Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, during his September
visit to Mexico: "I would say that in the Universal Church no one can
reasonably doubt that Blessed Juan Diego has been an emissary of the
Most Holy Mary in order to know her and love her, and in her, her Divine
Emerald Isle not as shining like past glories in regard the Faith for attendance at Mass slipping badly
Whatever happened to the tremendous faith and reverence for Catholicism in Ireland, a country which provided so many vocations the world over? That is the question many are asking in light of recent statistics that show a drastic drop in attendance at Sunday Mass. It happened in Holland and other countries that have relaxed mores and morals and allowed abortion and, sadly, it is happening in this land that has been so solidly Catholic since Saint Patrick evangelized the isle. It can also be attributed to the family unit breaking up. For more, click on Irish eyes ain't smiling.
SURVEY SAYS IRISH CHURCH ATTENDANCE AT LOWEST LEVEL
DUBLIN (CWNews.com) - Church attendance in Ireland has
dropped to its lowest level ever, according to a new survey.
The poll by Irish Marketing Surveys found that only half
the population of the Irish Republic attended church
weekly, a drop of 13 percent in the past year. Ten percent
of those questioned said they went to church once a month,
five percent went on holydays and 13 percent never went to
church at all.
A spokesman for the Archbishop of Dublin said the findings
were disappointing. He blamed the fall in religious
practice on the recent spate of sex scandals which have
rocked the Church in Ireland.
Spokesman Ronan Mullen also said Ireland's new-found
economic prosperity was leading to a loss of faith. But
Mullen added: "We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the
majority of Irish Catholics still practice their faith."
The survey found that 94 percent of the population of the
Irish Republic describe themselves as Catholic, two percent
as Protestant and 3 percent as members of other faiths,
atheists or agnostics.
Church attendance in Ireland has been falling steadily
since the 1960s, when more than 90 percent of the
population attended weekly Mass.
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 the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at 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.
- Total number of visits to the DAILY CATHOLIC thus far in 1999 (as of December 16): 5,050,592
- Total number of visits since this daily publication went on line November 1, 1997: 6,938,032
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
December 20, 1999 volume 10, no. 241 DAILY CATHOLIC