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February 12-14, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 30
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
This weekend we observe Fifth Friday and Fifth Saturday in Ordinary Time plus Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, as well as the SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME leading into the Sixth Monday of Ordinary Time. Sunday, Valentines Day, is also the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND.
Friday, February 12, 1999
First Reading: Genesis 3: 1-9
Psalms: Psalm 32: 1-2, 5-7
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 31-37
Saturday, February 13, 1999
Saturday February 13:
Fifth Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Green or White vestments
First Reading: Genesis 3: 9-24
Psalms: Psalm 90: 1-6, 12-13
Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 1-10
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue, volume 7). He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."
SUNDAY, February 14, 1999
First Reading: Sirach 15: 15-20
Psalms: Psalm 119: 1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 6-10
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 17-37
February 14 is normally the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs, but it is superseded this year by the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slav People
The Apostles to the Slavs - Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers born in Thessalonica, Greece. Methodius was 12 years older than Cyril but it was Cyril who became a priest first. Shortly after Cyril's ordination, Methodius, who had been governor of a Slav province, became a monk. It was in 862 when the prince of Moravia called for missionaries who could speak the Slavic language to preach to his subjects. Cyril and Methodius were selected and they adapted well, translating Sacred Scripture into the native language and establishing a Slavic alphabet which, to this day, is still called Cyrillic in honor of the saint. Even in those days there were jealousies within the Church and many in the Latin rite criticized the two saints for their method of inculturation. Yet the papacy has always defended these two pillars of the Church from Pope Adrian II to Pope John Paul II who pronounced in his apostolic letter Slavorum Apostoli that the fruits of these two co-patrons of Eastern Europe were an outstanding contribution to the common Christian foundation of Europe. St. Cyril died in Rome on February 14, 869 and his remains are buried below the basilica of St. Clement. St. Methodius survived his brother by 16 years, and drew strength from God in single-handedly fending off the Latin rite opposition, especially the German bishops who were successful in getting Pope John VIII to suspend Methodius' influence and the use of the Slavic language in the Liturgy for a time. However, when Methodius died in 885, his funeral was celebrated in both the Greek and Latin rites as well as the Slavic Liturgy.
Monday, February 15, 1999
First Reading: Genesis 4: 1-15, 25
Psalms: Psalm 50: 1, 8, 14, 16-17, 20-21
Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 11-13
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
This weekend prayer honors Saint Valentine, the Priest and Martyr whose feast is now celebrated secularly even though he used to be commemorated in the liturgy on this day. The prayer is taken from My Daily Prayer Devotions by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood:
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who celebrate the Heavenly birthday of Blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by the virtue of his intercession, be delivered from all threatening evils. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
"Faith that has deep roots remains firm despite all ridicule."
Those words come from the Blessed Virgin Mary in her 392nd Message to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on August 18, 1993 in which Our Lady encourages us to all keep the faith and shows us how by taking refuge in her Divine Son's Sacred Heart and coming to Him in the Blessed Sacrament, our Source for and of all life. She follows this up with the same theme three days later on the Feast of Pope Saint Pius X with a special emphasis on reverence for Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass whereby we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist - our True Refuge no matter the physical or material perils of these times. For the messages 391 and 392, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Ninety-one and Three Hundred-Ninety-two
Message Three Hundred-Ninety-one, August 18, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I give you my Son's Peace, that you may possess Him always.
This is why I have come: To call all of my little ones to my Divine Son. And I have given to you the means to take sure refuge in His Most Sacred Heart. Little children, always lift up your minds and hearts to God. Look upon Him Who is God and fear nothing. He is God! Why do you become anxious, afraid, concerned over so many things? He alone is all Power. He alone is the Victor. If you seek only earthly goals and riches, you do not behold Him, but the temporary gods of your sin-filled world.
Behold, with what joy I come to give unto you again my Divine Son. If you only possessed strong faith!
Faith believes even when it cannot understand or comprehend. Faith that has deep roots remains firm despite all ridicule.
I ask you each day to read and meditate upon one part, even if it is only one verse of Sacred Scripture. Here God reveals the power of pure faith, absolute trust and unyielding Love.
I solemnly tell you that in these end times you must be faithful to your religion. You must be in all things humble, obedient children. God's laws are unchangeable. Only men by their free will can go against His perfect Laws.
Therefore, I solemnly say to all: If you would move the Father to permit my Immaculate Heart to triumph, come together all who are called, and live in faith-filled Eucharistic communities. You will begin to overcome all weakness of your human nature, living now already the Reign of the Sacred Heart.
Go to Mass. Go to Confession. Receive my Divine Son in the Holy Eucharist. Drink from the Font of Divine Mercy. Do not concern yourself with anything of the world until you have made God the core, the center of your being. I love you. I bless each of you. Be not unbelieving, but believe and in God's Mercy He shall sustain you in every trial.
Please pray. O! Pray together in silence and in voices raised in prayer, praise and petition. This is necessary, lest the enemy divide and conquer you.
Peace to all of my little ones. Pray! Pray! Pray!
Message Three Hundred-Ninety-two, August 21, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Feast of Pope Saint Pius X)
Beloved Hidden Flower, receive now my Divine Son's Peace, for He sees your heart and knows its upright desires.
Please say to all of my children: Now does the darkness intensify. Now does the evil one stalk every soul to bring doubt, confusion, lack of faith and lukewarmness. The enemy strikes at the hearts of many of my beloved priest-sons, causing them to fear those holy signs of God given unto them to renew in them the zeal of faith. Woe! Woe to all who, knowing the Truth, work to deny It, who work to destroy It. Woe to all who willingly revoke God's laws and rationalize their own actions as better than God, the Almighty, the Triune Divinity.
O! Little children, how your Heavenly Mother weeps because her children do not listen; they wish to be bound to earth and all earthly allurements.
O! I beseech all of you! Will to lift up your hearts. Will to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Will only that which God wills and you shall receive all that you need, and so much more.
Place God first above all else. Place yourselves as humble, obedient children who have no will of their own, only God's will.
Show my Divine Son all reverence. Remember Mass is a True Sacrifice. My Divine Son is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Come, then, and be holy children by means of prayers which lead you closer to the Refuge of my Divine Son's Heart.
Seek this Refuge now while Mercy rains down. Do not be lax. Do not grow cold, weary or despair. For I solemnly tell you the Hour of Great Justice comes more swiftly than the archer's arrow. O! Pray with me, that I may intercede for all of you and gather all to my Son's Sacred Heart.
Pray that my Immaculate Heart may triumph now - for this is Mercy!
Heed my motherly words and be humble. Then you shall not be afraid, nor tremble. I love and bless you. O! Pray! The Year of Tears continues. The Hour of Great Sorrow comes.
I love you. Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
Events this weekend in Church History
Friday is the 950th anniversary of the election of Pope Saint Leo IX as the 152nd successor of Peter and the man who was forced to excommunicate the Eastern Patriarch Michael Cerularius because he was in schism. The Eastern Orthodox Church remains to this day in schism and our present Holy Father is doing all he can to bring unity between the Eastern and Latin Churches without compromising Church Doctrine, Dogma, Teaching and Traditions that have been handed down. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 12:
Death of the Saint Melitius of Antioch, Bishop of Sebastea who was forced to flee because of the Arian persecution. During his bishophric he was accused of siding with the Arians for they had elected him Archbishop of Antioch. But he was exonerated by Pope Damasus through the support of Saint Basil. He was honored at his death by Saint Gregory of Nyssa who delivered his eulogy.
Death of Saint Antony Kauleas, Patriarch of Constantinople who presided over the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople which condemned Photius. He was also an abbot prior to being appointed Patriarch. He tried to reunite the East and the West.
The election of Pope Saint Leo IX, 152nd successor of Peter who would rule the Church for eight years. He would be freely elected by the clergy and people of Rome and would enter bare-foot as a sign of humility. It would be Leo who would have no choice but to excommunicate Eastern emperor Michael Cerularius, the man held responsible for the schism of the Greek Church from the Latin Church which still exists today.
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 13:
Death of the martyrs Saint Fusca and her nurse Saint Maura who both had a sword jammed through their heart during the terrible persecution of the Roman emperor Decius in Ravenna.
Death of Saint Polyeuctus, martyr of Melitene who laid down his weapons and despite the fact he was wealthy, gave it all to the poor and converted to Christianity. His officers ordered him to return and renounce Christianity, but when he wouldn't they tortured him along with intimidating his family. Despite these tactics, Polyeuctus remained loyal to Christ and for this he was beheaded. Even after his head was severed the countenance of joy and peace on his face shocked his executioners and encouraged the faithful who witnessed it, including his family.
Death of Saint Stephen of Lyons, Bishop of Lyons who played a major role in the conversion of the Arian Burgundians.
Death of Saint Domnoc O'Neil, an Irish monk who had an affinity to insects much in the same manner as Saint Francis of Assisi had to animals. The story is told that a humongous swarm of bees were always around him and never harmed him even though those around him were always in fear. In fact, he brought the bees back to Ireland from Wales after they buzzed him constantly, refusing to let him leave without them. Despite this, Saint Ambrose is considered the Patron Saint of Beekeepers, not Domnoc even though the church where he is buried near Bremore in County Dublin is called "the Church of the Beekeeper."
Death of Pope Honorius II, 163rd successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 6 years. He renewed friendly relations with nearly all the European courts in view of the fight against the Saracens. During his papacy the famous factions of the Guelphs (for the Pope) and the Ghibellines (for the Emperor) came into being.
Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to be tried by the Roman Inquisition for his beliefs in the science that the earth revolves around the sun. The Inquisition, fearing the spread of rationalism, would condemn Galileo's theories which would remain that way for centuries until proof was submitted that he was right and he was exonerated.
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 14:
Death of Saint Valentine, Bishop of Terni and Martyr who was imprisoned for aiding those going to their martyrdom. He had gathered a large following of faithful who followed his virtuous acts and emulated his courage by submitting as well to martyrdom for their faith. Valentine, said to have sent "love" letters on Christ to his people, converted his jailers in the same manner Saint Paul did. This infuriated the emperor Claudius who had him beaten with heavy and sharp clubs, then beheaded. His cult has survived the test of time and yet, today, he is more well-known in secular circles than ecclesiastical ones.
Death of Saint Abraham, a Syrian hermit who was appointed Bishop of Charres. Through his pastoral care, many in that Mesopotamian region converted to Christianity. He died on this date while visiting the emperor in Constantinople who ordered great pomp and circumstance for his funeral, donning one of Abraham's stoles to show his esteem.
Death of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, another Syrian hermit who spent much of his time in austere penance and prayer. He left his hermitage to plead his innocence against charges of heresy at the Council of Chalcedon. Once exonerated, he returned to his hermitage where scores of followers flocked to him and he formed religious communities for both men and women.
Death of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For more, see LITURGY.
Death of Saint John Garcia, Religious Founder of the Discalced Trinitarians. Known as Padre Juan Baptiste de Concepcion and like other founders before and after him, he had to deal with fierce opposition launched by those who resisted reform. When he died on this date, however, his reform movement had proved quite successful, numbering 34 religious institutions that had enforced his reforms.
Pope Benedict VIII crowns the king of Germany Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor.
Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy monk known as Hildebrand and the 157th successor of Peter, excommunicates the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Henry would repent and show his sincerity by wearing only a rough habit and brave the freezing cold of the mountain regions of Canossa to ask forgiveness in person.
Cardinal Gregario Papareschi is elected Pope Innocent II, 164th successor of Peter. He would hardly be elected when he would be forced to flee Rome because of the rival Pierleoni Family which elected their favorite son Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II on the same day as Innocent's selection. Lothario of Saxony, a bitter enemy of the Pierleoni clan would secsure the city allowing Innocent to return to Rome. Innocent would call the Tenth Ecumenical Council or Lateran II in 1139 which would end the papal schism and enact reforms.
SITE OF THE WEEKEND
Married couples have their mates during this Valentine's Weekend, so therefore we present a special site for Catholic singles at CATHOLIC MATCHMAKERS, a computer-dating service for committed Catholics to share their faith and feelings. As in any venture like this, we cannot vouch for who uses it or the stipulations and fees at the site. You're on your own, but it's better than secular sites. Since we are happily married, we haven't tested it.
Click here to go to SECTION THREE or return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
February 12-14, 1999 volume 10, no. 30 DAILY CATHOLIC