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TUESDAY      December 21, 1999     SECTION TWO      vol 10, no. 242

To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE


    Today is the observance of the final Tuesday of Late Advent with the optional feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church. Tomorrow we observe the final Wednesday of Late Advent. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and profile on St. Peter Canisius, click on DAILY LITURGY

Tuesday, December 21, 1999

Optional Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church

Wednesday, December 22, 1999

Events Today in Church History

   Today is the anniversary 882 years ago when in 1117 Saint Thomas Becket was born in London, England to the sheriff of the city of Norman parents. After studying at the University of Paris he went on to become a deacon, then archdeacon of Canterbury and finally appointed Archbishop of the same see by Henry of Anjou who became Henry II as king of England. When Henry interferred in investiture matters and skirted Rome, Thomas stayed loyal to the Holy See and when he refused to obey the king over the Pope, Henry dispatched four knights to slay the archbishop in the cathedral on December 29, 1170. 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 December 21:

Giving can heal the hurts of the lonely

      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".

" Most people of the world are unloved. Some do not make themselves loveable because of their selfishness; others do not have enough Christian spirit to love those who do not love. The result is that the world is full of lonely hearts. Here we speak not of love in the romantic or carnal sense, but in the higher sense of generosity, forgiveness, kindness and sacrifice."


"And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe in her womb leapt. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!' "

Matthew 21: 28

Retroactive articles on Church history available from 33 to 1515 A.D. for review

   To allow all readers to catch up on our popular on-going series, we present a review of the period from the time of Christ when He founded the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the time of the Reformation and Pope Leo X, the 217th in the Petrus line early in the sixteenth century. These are installments 1 through 106. Until we are back to full strength we will continue the archives, giving readers the opportunity to catch up To read any of the 105 installments presently available in this long on-going series, click on the Archives of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.

November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    VATICAN ( -- Pope Pius IX will soon be beatified, and Pope John Paul XXIII declared "Venerable." These were among the noteworthy stories on December 20, as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints read a series of 18 new decrees concerning candidates for canonization and beatification.

    Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins read the official decrees in the presence of Pope John Paul II. Eight of the decrees recognized the authenticity of miracles, with two of them clearing the way for canonization: of Blessed Maria Faustina and Joseph Marie de Yermo y Parres.

    Six other miracles, attributed to candidates who have already been declared "Venerable," and will now be beatified. These include Pope Pius IX, Guillaume Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), Emmanuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877-1940), Catherine Cittadini (1801-1857), Anne Eugénie Picco (1867-1921), and Charles Emmanuel Rodriguez Santiago (1918-1963).

    Six other decrees recognize martyrs, who may also now be beatified. All of these candidates were killed in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War--in many cases, by firing squads that gunned down groups of Catholics at a time. The newly proclaimed martyrs are: Charles Emmanuel Rodriguez Santiago (1918- 1963) and five companions; 24 Carmelite nuns; Pascal Fortuno and three companions; Jacinto Serrano Lopez and 17 companions; Aurelio da Vinalesa and 16 companions, Josephine Masia Ferragut; Thomas Sitjar and 11 companions; and Joseph Calasanz Marquez and 31 companions.

    Four more decrees recognize the "heroic virtue" practiced by candidates who will now be known as "Venerable." The first of these is Pope John XXIII, who will now be qualified for beatification as soon as a miracle is formally attributed to his intercession-- an approval which is expected to come soon, since a miracle has already been investigated thoroughly. The others are Sigismond Gorazdowski (1845-1920), a Polish priest; Hélène Silvestri (1839- 1907), an Italian nun; and Maria Concetta Cabrera Armeda (1862-1937), a Mexican mother.

    According to Vatican sources, the beatification of Popes Pius IX and John XXIII is likely to take place on September 3, 2000, in a joint ceremony.


Confessor to Paul VI and John Paul I

    VATICAN CITY, DEC 19 (ZENIT).- Cardinal Paolo Dezza died on Friday in the Jesuit General Directorate in Rome. As soon as he heard the news, John Paul II sent his condolences to Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, and announced that he would personally preside at the funeral service in St. Peter's Basilica.

    The Cardinal turned 98 on December 13; he was the second eldest Cardinal, after Chinese Cardinal Ignatius Kung (Gong) Pin-mei, who lives in exile in the United States.

    Born in Parma, Italy, after being ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus, in 1929 he was assigned to the Pontifical Gregorian University as professor of metaphysics. His students remember the lucidity and clarity of his mind. Among them was Karol Wojtyla, as well as other seminarians who later became Church leaders throughout the world. He was appointed Rector of the University in 1941, a post he held for the next ten years.

    Fr. Dezza knew how to combine the acuteness of his intelligence with disarming simplicity of life. It was not by chance that two Popes -- Paul VI and John Paul I, chose him as confessor. The Cardinal held numerous critical posts in the Society of Jesus, but his great service to his brothers in religion was as delegate (appointed by the Pope) to substitute for the General Superior, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, when the latter was taken ill in October 1981. The Pope asked Fr. Dezza to govern the religious Order while awaiting the General Congregation that re-established the Society's ordinary government. Fr. Dezza led the congregation until the election of the new Superior Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, elected on September 13, 1983, during the Society's 33rd General Congregation.

    The Jesuit director of Vatican Radio's programs, Fr. Federico Lombardi, recalled that "the way Fr, Dezza guided this delicate moment was perhaps his masterwork, thus meriting the profound gratitude of his brothers, and of the one who entrusted him with the task. From then on, Fr. Dezza, who continued to live in the mother house, returned to being the man of great experience and serene human and spiritual advice sought by many persons, often with important posts, who found light, encouragement and singular discretion in him."

    The Holy Father made Fr. Dezza a Cardinal in 1991, in recognition of his highly meritorious service to the Church. Fr. Dezza asked the Pope to allow him to continue as a simple priest, without being ordained a Bishop.

    A piece of Church history goes to heaven with Fr. Dezza. He was close to the life of all the passengers in the Bark of Peter since the 70s. Once, he revealed how he assisted Paul VI at his death. "I went to visit him in the afternoon, as his state of health had deteriorated and I was present at his peaceful and tranquil death. Something incredible happened. At the moment of death, the alarm clock went off. It was a little alarm clock he had had for years and it was a bit damaged. That morning the secretary had fixed it and, without realizing it, set the alarm precisely for the time the Pope died. I gave him the last absolution and saw how he expired serenely."

    "Faithful servant of the Church" were the words used by John Paul II in his telegram of condolence. A servant, "who in the multiple tasks carried out during his long existence was always an authentic witness of the Gospel, a religious of great faith and fervid piety."

    Remembering his "appreciated professor of metaphysical philosophy," the Holy Father underlined that, following St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Cardinal "demonstrated in all circumstances that he was a passionate servant of Christ in the person of his Vicar." ZE99121908


    DILI, East Timor ( - Australian peacekeepers have found the bodies of dozens of victims of massacres by pro-Indonesia militias, as they investigated two separate locations.

    Navy divers recovered about a dozen bodies, many of them dismembered, from Lake Maubara on Monday. A Timorese human rights group estimates that 67 villagers were shot or hacked to death by Indonesian soldiers and militias at a church in the nearby town of Liquica on April 6 to intimidate voters. "We have been asked to search the lake to see if we can find anything else to connect the atrocity to the (Indonesian army) or the militia in the area at the time," said Lt. Commodore Jonathan Peacock, the Australian who commanded the naval detachment.

    Meanwhile, peacekeepers retrieved 14 bodies from a mass grave in Oecussi, an enclave that is cut off from the rest of East Timor. Australian peacekeepers believe the site contains more than 50 victims.

    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 August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence. After the pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on a rampage, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the former Portuguese colony.


    NEW YORK, DEC 20 (ZENIT).- Television evangelist Billy Graham says that he thinks the man of the century might be Pope John Paul II. In an interview with the Associated Press, he stated that John Paul "has brought the greatest impact of any Pope in the last 200 years." He continued by saying, "I admire his courage, determination, intellectual abilities, and his understanding of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox differences, and the attempt at some form of reconciliation."

    Graham is eighty-one years old. Looking back on the past century, he asserted that the 21st century won't be very different from the one that is ending. "Man's heart has not changed. God has not changed," he asserted. "Some of the things I've heard are going to happen technologically are way beyond anything I can think about. I don't think that's going to change society. Society is made up of people, and people are the same the world over." ZE99122020

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.

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December 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 242  DAILY CATHOLIC