Monday thru Friday at
See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"
February 5-7, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 25
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
The FIRST FRIDAY of February is the Feast of the early Virgin and Martyr Saint Agatha, while on FIRST SATURDAY we commemorate the martyrdoms of Saint Paul Miki and his companions in Japan. Sunday is the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time leading into a Monday weekday shared by the Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest and religious founder. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes on these saints, click on LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND.
Friday, February 5, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 13: 1-8
Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 3, 5, 8-9
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 14-29
Feast of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
The virgin martyr Saint Agatha was born in Sicily into a rich and noble family. Her parents consecrated her to the Trinity before she was born as a result of the promise from God that she would indeed be born despite incredible odds. As she grew into the flower of her teens, the beauty of her soul was somewhat overshadowed by her physical attractiveness which drew raves throughout Sicily; so much so that Quintanus, governor of Sicily under the Emperor Decius, enforced laws against the Christians as a pretext for seducing this beautiful flower of God. Praying for purity and the fortitude to withstand his advances, she prevailed, much to Quintanus' wrath who ordered vile mutilations on this faithful virgin who bore all for the love of her one true Love - Jesus Christ. Having cut off her breasts, they were miraculously healed when Our Lord sent Saint Peter to heal her. So incensed was Quintanus that he stripped her and subjected her to cruel humiliation, rolling her naked through the streets and over broken shards before her Spouse heard her pleas and called her Home. In testimony to her purity, it is believed that her body is still incorrupt and her intercessory prayer has proved victorious for many young women subjected to sexual harassment. She was truly a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Saturday, February 6, 1999
Saturday February 6:
Feast of Saint Paul Miki and his Missionary Companion Martyrs
First Reading: Hebrews 13: 15-17, 20-21
Psalms: Psalm 23: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 30-34
Feast of Saint Paul Miki and his Missionary Companion Martyrs
Like His Savior Jesus Christ, Japanese-born Saint Paul Miki, a Jesuit catechist, was crucified at the age of 33 with 25 other Catholics near Nagasaki, Japan at the hands of ruthless Samurai warriors. Along with two other catechists, six Franciscan priests from Spain, Mexico and India, and 17 lay Catholics from Japan, St. Paul Miki had sought to convert the people of Japan. Fearing the pagan influence and Samurai power would be harmed, some of the Samurai leaders riled up their fellow tribesman and captured the 26 missionaries on February 5, 1897, stringing them up on crude crosses by ropes and chains. As if this wasn't harsh enough, they were then murdered by the quick slash of the sword or the thrust of a sharp lance. Pope Gregory XVI canonized all 26 in 1862 and their martyrdom is commemorated on February 6th.
SUNDAY, February 7, 1999
First Reading: Isaiah 58: 7-10
Psalms: Psalm 112: 4-9
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 13-16
Monday, February 8, 1999
Monday February 8:
Fifth Monday in Ordinary Time
Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest, Religious Founder
Green or white vestments
First Reading: Genesis 1: 1-19
Psalms: Psalm 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 31, 35
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 53-56
Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Religious Founder
Known as the patron saint of orphans and abandoned infants, Saint Jerome Emiliani founded the Company of Servants of the Poor which was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Born in 1486 in Venice, Italy he was raised in a noble family and joined the military to fight against Maximilian I. Captured and imprisoned, he asked the Blessed Mother for help and made a vow to dedicate his life to God. Our Lady interceded, freeing him and, true to his word, Jerome plunged into taking care of the sick during the plague and gathering orphans. It was in Somasca, Bergamo where he founded his congregation of clerks regular. It was there in 1537 where he contracted the deadly plague and died with his orphans at his bedside. His feast is celebrated on February 8 as pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI who canonized Jerome in 1867.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
This weekend's prayers are taken from the Opening Prayers for the Mass commemorating the martyr Saint Agatha and the Saturday Mass honoring Saint Paul Miki and his Companion martyrs:
Lord, let Your forgiveness be won for us by the pleading of Saint Agatha, who found favor with You by her chastity and by her courage in suffering death for the Gospel.
God our Father, source of strength for all Your saints, You led Paul Miki and his companions through the suffering of the cross to the joy of eternal life. May their prayers give us the courage to be loyal until death in professing our faith.
"Convert your heart now lest you be swept away in the total spiritual darkness satan wants you to believe does not exist."
Those words come from the Blessed Virgin Mary in her 381st Message to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on July 29th, 1993 in which Our Lady urges all to live their faith to its fullest. She follows this up in Message 382 on July 31st with the plea to not be deceived by signs that come from the evil one, masked in spiritual signs and wonders that do not prompt one to reject vices and return to her Divine Son Jesus but rather feed the curiosity of those wanting to know more without amending their lives. She warns of the consequences that will befall those who choose this fated course. For the messages 381 and 382, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Eighty-one and Three Hundred-Eighty-two
Message Three Hundred-Eighty-one, July 28, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I love you. I am with you. O! How my heart rejoices when my children come running to me with open arms. How sorrowful is my heart which calls out with all motherly love to my children, who refuse my plea.
O! Little children, I beseech each one of you to lead a life of great faith. Your faith must be lived at every moment. It is not something you think about on Sunday, and then with deep sighs of impatience. O! Faith is and must be as bright as a shining star. Faith keeps the eyes of your soul focused upon my Divine Son, upon His Most Sacred Passion. It lifts you up to embrace with Him His Holy Cross, that united to Him the act of Redemption is completed.
Little children, today your world continually mocks God. It derides faith and thus many are afraid to live their faith at every moment. You must not fear. Proclaim your faith. At all times call upon God and He will help you. Learn to love the Passion of my Divine Son, for in doing so you learn the infinite value of suffering for and with Divine Love.
I call all to prayer. I beseech all to live holy lives, for all are called to holiness. My dear children, do not wait for still more signs. I solemnly tell you those which are coming are more terrible than you can imagine. Convert your heart now lest you be swept away in the total spiritual darkness satan wants you to believe does not exist.
Pray! Pray with me, your Mother. I am here to help you. Love, honor and adore my Divine Son! Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Eighty-two, July 31, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola)
Beloved Hidden Flower, how I love all my children. How my heart weeps because of the coldness, the stubbornness of my children.
Everywhere God continues to grant signs. Many of my children have permitted the evil one to further seduce them, making them hunger for signs but unwilling to change their lives and convert their hearts. Thus they are not beneath my Immaculate Heart. They are not part of my little army.
O! Little children, I do solemnly tell you that unless you return all reverence to my Divine Son, unless you become a devout, holy Eucharistic people you shall perish in the chaos that is here and which shall worsen.
Remember my words of many months ago. The angel of light has already marked the foreheads of all who shall remain faithful until the end. This is my Divine Son's Cross and by it you shall know all who God has chosen and who have given Him their Fiat. By this sign you shall live together as the first Christians lived. You shall know all who bear the mark of the beast, for the Sign of the Cross shall be visible only to those who wear it, distinguishing them from all who have the evil one's mark.
Therefore, I call you anew to a life of holiness by the proper devotion and reverence due my Divine Son. Preserve His True Presence by preserving the True Sacrifice of the Mass. I love and bless you.
Thank you for responding to my Call!
Events this weekend in Church History
Sunday is the 121st anniversary of the death of Pope Pius IX, the Sovereign Pontiff best known for declaring the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and for proclaiming the Infallibility of the Bishop of Rome when he speaks from the Chair of Peter - ex cathedra on faith and morals. The sad point of his pontificate came in 1870 when the Papal States were dissolved and Rome became the capitol of Italy. The Holy Father confined himself to the lone remaining Papal State - the Vatican State, refusing to recognize publicly the inevitable change in politics. 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 5:
Death of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr. For more on this early saint, see DAILY LITURGY .
Death of Saint Abraham of Arbela, Bishop of that see who was martyred in Iraq by the shah of Persia Shapur II in what was then Assyria.
Death of Saint Avitus of Vienne, Bishop of Vienne. He was the son of Saint Isychius a former Roman senator who preceded his son as Bishop. Avitus converted the monarch of Burgundy King Sigismund. He also was effective in fending off the heresies of Arianism and deleting the pagan customs of the Franks through his preaching and effective letters.
Death of Saint Fingen, Irish saint fwho was abbot of Metz whose specialty was restoring run-down monasteries and abbeys throughout Ireland. When a controversy arose regarding administration of the abbeys by foreign monks, he was able to convince Pope John XVII to decree that Irish abbeys could only be administered by Irish monks.
Death of Saint Adelaide, Abbess of the Abbey at Bellich in Germany. She was a stickler insisting her nuns knew Latin in order that when they prayed they would know what they were praying and offer more edification in their chanting. She did not confine her care just to the contemplative sisters but reached out to the villagers, ministering to them when they were in the greatest need of help during a great famine.
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 6:
Death of Saint Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr who was thrown into jail for her faith. Not only did she convert two women who had infiltrated the prison to convert her to apostasy in Caesarea, but on her way to be executed she was taunted by the Caesarean lawyer Theophilus who taunted her about her faith, baiting her to send him a basket of "golden apples and roses" when she reached the promised land she spoke of. To his utter surprise an agnel appeared to her a few seconds later with a basket that she presented the incredulous Theopilus. He was so moved that he renounced apostasy and was converted on the spot and he, too, was put to death with St. Dorothy on this date. She is considered the patron saint of gardeners.
Death of the Martyrs Saint Silvanus, Phoenicia, Luke, and Mucius who were all tortured and sentenced to death because of their faith after an interminable time in a dank dungeon with little to eat or drink at the order of the cruel emperor Maximian.
Election of Pope Saint Julius I, 35th successor of Peter. His pontificate would last 15 years in which wh would order that the Eastern Church should celebrate Christmas on December 25th instead of uniting it with the Epiphany. He would go on to be considered the founder of the Holy Archives of the Holy See since he would order that all official acts be preserved.
Death of Saint Gerald of Ostia, Bishop of Ostia. He had succeeded Saint Peter Damian as Prior at Cluny before Pope Alexander II made him papal legate to France, Spain and Germany. It was in the latter where the German emperor Henry V, incensed over the investiture issue and Alexander's steadfast refusal to budge, had Gerald arrested for a while, trying to use the holy legate as a bargaining chip with the pontiff. It didn't work and so Gerald was finally released and appointed to the See of Ostia.
Deaths of Saint Paul Miki and his Companion Martyrs near Nagasaki, Japan by fierce pagan Samurai warriors. For more on this, see DAILY LITURGY.
Cardinal Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, Archbishop of Milan is chosen the 259th successor of Peter taking the name Pope Pius XI on this date. His pontificate would last 17 years. In the seventh year of his pontificate he would conclude a Concordat with Benito Mussolini between the Church and the Italian State. He also would commission Marconi to construct Vatican Radio.
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 7:
Death of Saint Theodore of Heraclea. He was an up-and-coming general in charge of the Roman army of Emperor Licinius but he embraced Christianity rather than the sure thing of a brilliant military career worshipping pagan idols. He even went out of his way to torch pagan temples. For this he was arrested and thrown into a fiery furnace. As the flames seared around him he was gifted with a beautiful vision of his Heavenly reward and with a smile on his face in total peace, he accepted his martyrdom.
Death of Saint Tressan, an Irish missionary priest who was ordained by Saint Remigius and was sent to tend the flocks of France where he served faithfully in the Diocese of Rheims.
Death of Pope Pellagius II, 63rd successor of Peter. His pontificate lasted eleven years. During this time he sought help from Constantinople because of the constant seige threats of the Lombards. He decreed that priests must recite the Divine Office every day. He died on this date a victim of a widespread plague where the victims died yawning and sneezing.
Death of Pope Pius IX, 255th successor of Peter at the age of 85. His pontificate lasted a phenomenal 32 years, second only to Saint Peter's time of governing the Church. During Pius' papacy he proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, convened the First Vatican Council and declared the Infallibility of the Pope when the Vicar of Christ speaks "ex cathedra." Also, on September 20th, 1870 to avoid further bloodshed, he was forced to agree to allow Rome to become the capital of Italy, surrendering to King Victor Emmanuel the Papal States except for Vatican City, which was shrunk to its present 104-acre site, thus ending over a millennium of the Church ruling the Papal States.
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 5-7, 1999 volume 10, no. 25 DAILY CATHOLIC