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January 4, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 1
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
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. Today we begin famous quotes from this late luminary who 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".
"The mind is like an hourglass through which ideas pass like sands, nothing remaining."
Like Swiss cheese, Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni gets better with age
Today we also debut a new series that we will bring you on a regular basis three times a week. Our first red hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the 77 year-old Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni from Switzerland who was elevated to the conclave by Pope John Paul II in 1994. Since 1950 he has been a member of the Roman Curia. For more on Cardinal Agustoni, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
This new feature that we introduce today will spotlight each member of the Conclave. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, Inside the Vatican and other sources.
Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni
Currently 77 years-old and one of the oldest of the conclave, Gilbert Agustoni was born in Switzerland on July 26, 1922 and ordained a priest at only 24 years-old on April 20, 1946. Two of his brothers also became priests. Four years after diocesan assignments he was summoned to Rome where Cardinal Ottavianim then Assessor for the Congregation for the Holy Office wrote Pope Pius XII requesting special permission for the young priest to work for him. From July 1, 1950 on he has been a steady member of the Roman Curia. Father Agustoni became a Prelate Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota in 1970. He was ordained a bishop and made titular archbishop of Caorle on January 6, 1987 while secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, which he kept until 1992 when he was promoted to pro-prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. On November 26, 1994 Pope John Paul II bestowed the red hat on Archbishop Agustoni and appointed him fulltime Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signatura.
It is doubtful Cardinal Agustoni would be considered as John Paul II's successor because of his age and the fact that he will soon be ineligible, but his service to the Church has been exemplary. Though he is from Switzerland, he does not reside there, permanently being listed among the members of the Roman Curia.
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we proudly present, in honor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the excellent site operated by the SETON HOME STUDY SCHOOL which we strongly recommend.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Holy Father asserts world peace can only be attained through respect for human dignity
On the thirty-second World Day of Peace, coinciding with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Holy Father issued a call for all nations to respect human life by respecting man's dignity as he addressed thousands at St. Peter's on New Year's Day. On the last day of the year the Pope gave thanks for all the blessings God has bestowed on Holy Mother Church. For more, click on New Year's Message
THE CHURCH CELEBRATES THE XXXII WORLD DAY OF PEACE ON JANUARY 1ST
AFTER THE POPE THANKS GOD FOR THE BLESSINGS OF THE CHURCH IN 1998.
VATICAN CITY, 1 (NE) Friday 1st of January of 1999, the
Church celebrated the XXXII World Day of Peace. For this event
Pope John Paul II gave a message exhorting to forge peace
in the world, through the valuation of the transcendent dignity
of man. Already in the first lines the papal message points out
that "when the promotion of the person's dignity is the
conducting principle that inspires us, when the pursuit of the
commonweal is the predominant commitment, then it is when solid
and lasting foundations are put for the construction of peace."
In his message, the Pope added that "the dignity of the human
person is a transcendent value, always recognized as such by
those who sincerely search for the truth." He also stated that,
on the contrary, when this dignity is not recognized and human
rights are ignored or depreciated, "then the seeds of
instability, rebellion and violence are planted." He reminded
that the first of the human rights is the basic right to life
and that "human life is sacred and inviolable from conception to
its natural end." This implies a "positive option, an option for
life." He stated clearly that the "direct and voluntary
elimination of an innocent human being is always gravely
The day before the Pope led the
celebration of vespers and the traditional Te Deum chant with
the occasion of the civil year's end. During the celebration,
the Pope thanked God for all the blessings he has given the
Church in these last 12 months and prayed for the most poor and
needy, so that they can "look this new year with hope." He also
reminded that the year of 1999, dedicated to the Celestial
Father, is the third and last year of preparation for the Great
Jubilee of the year 2000.
He saluted the ecclesiastic authorities of the diocese of Rome
as well as the city's civil authorities that were present in the
ceremony and thanked God for all what He has done for the
diocese. In his words he highlighted the labor of the "City
Mission," specially in its evangelizing work with the Roman
families. He also reminded that in a year the Church will
celebrate a Holy Year, and manifested his wish for a "living
Church, rich in religious fervor, a generous Church that is
sensitive to the necessities of our brethren, specially the most
poor and needy." Referring to the habitants of the Eternal City,
he made vows so that the "city reaches the Jubilee deeply
renewed in all the dimensions of social and spiritual life."
100,000 hosts being readied for papal visit by host St. Louis by nuns in archdiocese
Monasteries throughout the St. Louis Archdiocese are busy kneading and baking hosts in preparation for the Papal Mass in three weeks. At that time diocesan officials are hopeful the weather will cooperate both for the Pope's visit and so that they can plant more than 800 trees in his honor. For more, click on St. Louis prepares to host.
ARCHDIOCESE OF SAINT LOUIS CONTINUES ITS PREPARATION TO RECEIVE
POPE JOHN PAUL II
ST. LOUIS, 31 (NE) The Archdiocese of Saint Louis is going
through an enthusiastic period of preparation for the visit of
Pope John Paul II in January. Many lay and religious Catholics
are working for the success of this encounter with the Vicar of
Christ. Three communities of contemplative nuns are in charge of
the elaboration of the 100,000 hosts that will be consecrated in
the Eucharistic celebration at the Trans World Dome of San Luis.
"We always pray for the priests and the people that will use the
hosts we prepare. These will be for the mass with the Holy
Father, and that makes them more special," said Sister Mary Leo
Hoffman, abbess of the Monastery of Saint Clare. The sisters of
her community, will make 20,000 hosts for the Mass on January
27th. The remaining 80,000 hosts will be produced in other
monasteries in Florissant and Ellisville.
Another sign of the concern of the Catholics in Saint Louis
for the reception of the Pope is the initiative to plant a great
quantity of trees in the places where the Holy Father will pass,
and also in other places of the city. Archbishop Rigali, of
Saint Louis, knows the Pope's predilection for the landscapes of
Poland's forests and mountains. "We cannot bring the mountains,
but we can have the trees," said the Archbishop of Saint Louis.
More than 800 trees have already been planted in the
Archdiocese, number that is expected to increase during January.
The music is also being carefully prepared. Songs from
different composers have been selected for the central
celebration in the Trans World Dome, as well as for the other
meetings and events. A Compact Disc with the most important
songs may be edited before the arrival of the Pope John Paul II.
"It's kind of St. Louis' gift," said John Romeri, archdiocesan
coordinator of music. "These pieces will be a reminder of the
specialness and the holiness of this event."
Six Catholic Clergy injured in attack in India by Hindu extremists
A year that has been marked by an extraordinary amount of clergy killings and persecutions finished on a down note when four priests and two nuns were hurt when their church in Ahmedabad, India was torched by Hindu extremist mobs out of control. For more, click on Hindu attacks.
PRIEST, NUNS HURT IN ATTACK ON INDIAN CHURCH
AHMEDABAD, India (CWNews.com) - Hindu extremist attacks on
Christians in India continued on Wednesday, December 30th as four nuns and
two priests were injured when a mob burned down a Catholic
church in western Gujarat state.
District officials said a mob attacked the church on late
Wednesday, the tenth such attack on Christians since
Christmas Day by groups which Christians believe are
connected to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu
Council, although no group has claimed responsibility. "Six
people were inside lying injured. We took them to the
hospital," said senior district official Bharat Joshi.
In New Delhi, a spokesman for the US embassy said the
ambassador had met Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani to
discuss the matter. A British government official had also
spoken to the Indian government about the matter, a
spokesman said, although neither spokesman said any
concerted efforts had yet been made by Western envoys. The
Asian Age newspaper quoted a Vatican embassy official as
saying that Pope John Paul was "very concerned" about the
violence, but was taking a wait-and-see stance.
Barcelona Cardinal speaks out, urges Moslem to reciprocate with Christian Churches in their countries
Frustrated with Islam demands that more mosques be built in Western Europe, Cardinal Ricard Marķa Carles, archbishop of Barcelona has asked Muslim nations to reciprocate by placing the same amount of Christian churches in their country. How far he will get is not known since Muslim nations forbid Christian churches in their countries. But the bottom line is if they don't reciprocate, then mosques should be forbidden in Catholic countries. For more, click on No churches, no mosques!.
ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA REQUESTS RECIPROCITY TO THE ISLAM IN
THEIR RELATIONS WITH THE CHURCH
BARCELONA, 31 (NE) Cardinal Ricard Marķa Carles, Archbishop
of Barcelona, recently denounced the lack of reciprocity in the
relations of the Church and the Islam. The declaration was
motivated by a petition that a group of the Muslim community
made to the Catalan authorities so that they would receive a
geographically well-centered property in Barcelona with the
purpose of building a mosque. Due to this situation the
Archbishop of Barcelona pointed out that "it would be elementary
that for each mosque opened in Spain, France or Germany they
allow to open a church in the Muslim nations, where it is
absolutely forbidden. The situation is not balanced and should
be reciprocal", said the Spanish Cardinal.
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. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
TWELVE DAYS OFCHRISTMAS
For Day Eleven of the song that was actually a secret Catechism for persecuted Catholics, click on TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Actually, the Twelve Days of Christmas were a secret "catechism" sung by Roman Catholics after the
Reformation in countries such as England where they were not allowed to practice their faith. Thus, to
communicate with fellow Catholics and truly celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ as the Savior in the Catholic
tradition without fear of reprisal, they formed this "carol" which represented "religious reality" in symbols.
This was also used often during the French Revolution.
The "True Love" is God the Father. The Partridge in a pear tree is the Holy Trinity - in particular the Holy Spirit (the Dove) and Jesus Christ Who is known as the "Second Adam". We all know that the fall of man derived around an apple tree. A pear tree ties into this analogy and elevates the redemption.
In each issue we describe each day of Christmas and the hidden Catholic meaning to the song. Many
do not realize that the Twelve Days of Christmas are after Christmas - not before, and cover the time
between Christmas Day and the Feast of Epiphany which had traditionally been celebrated on January 6th.
"On the first day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, a Partridge in a pear tree."
So many have misinterpreted the Twelve Days of Christmas with a secular meaning, but they fail to realize that, in fact, they were a "secret catechism code" sung by persecuted Roman Catholics from the Protestant Reformation through the French Revolution. It was their way of communicating their faith much in the same manner the early Christians did with symbols such as the fish. The first day is a given since Christmas Day is the first day of Christmas and the "Partridge in a pear tree" represents Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the King.
"On the second day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, two turtledoves."
The two turtledoves represent the Old and New Testaments - the Word of God which over the years has been so watered down by "interpretations and political correctness" that often it loses its true meaning and must be properly discerned through the Church's reliance on the Holy Spirit.
"On the third day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, three French hens."
The three French hens represent the Three theological Virtues of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY which enabled Catholics to stay in the state of grace by practicing and promulgating these vital virtues when the sacraments were not readily available.
"On the fourth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, four calling birds."
The four calling birds represent the four Gospels where truly the Word of God through Jesus and His life for all of us to emulate was recorded. Since Catholics were not allowed to keep bibles or preach during those times, they reinforced others through the song to read the Gospels in private and live it.
"On the fifth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, five Golden Rings."
The five golden rings represent both the first Five Books of the Old Testament or the Pentatuch which reminded fellow Catholics of the roots and, after the devotion became more widespread and known, the Five Decades of the Rosary and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"On the sixth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, six geese a-laying."
The six geese a-laying represent the six days God took to create the earth, the universe, and all creatures. It was a way for all Catholics to remind fellow faithful and be reminded that, despite persecution, they were not second-class citizens but rather first-class children of God and rightful heirs to His mansions in the Heavenly regions if they persevered in the One, True Faith. Thus the sixth day represents the sixth day octave of Christmas and Creation.
"On the seventh day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, seven swans a-swimming."
The seven swans a-swimming represent the Seven Sacraments established by Jesus Christ as well as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. With the Sacraments and Gifts Catholics could sustain themselves through the dark times and encourage others at this holy time of the year with this Christmas song, reminding each other of the wondrous glory of God and His munificence on the seventh day of the octave of Christmas.
"On the eighth day of Christmas my True
Love gave to me, eight maids a-milking."
The eight maids a-milking represent the Eight Beatitudes preached by Jesus Christ on His sermon on the mount and which Catholics, no matter how persecuted, could practice good deeds through the Beatitudes and gain great consolation and courage from these.
"On the ninth day of Christmas my True
Love gave to me, nine ladies dancing."
The nine ladies dancing is not about partying but rather the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit as described in Galatians 5: 22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, modedesty and continency." These fruits helped Catholics to practice the virtues and remind fellow Catholics how to stay out of harm's way as far as their souls were concerned.
"On the tenth day of Christmas my True
Love gave to me, ten lords a-leaping."
The ten lords a-leaping symbolize the Law of God - the Ten Commandments. It was not a leap to obey the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Protestants, who were persecuting the Catholics of those times and countries, also believed in the Ten Commandments, but the reference to "lords" was in reference to the rich and powerful for they were the ones who could change the laws that governed persecution and curtailment of the Catholic Faith. Yet it was the "lords" who were lax in obeying God's laws and Catholics wanted to remind their fellow Catholics that no matter how wealthy or spoiled the princes were, faith and perseverance was more important by reminding them of the law of ages.
"On the eleventh day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, eleven pipers piping."
The eleven pipers piping stood for the Eleven Faithful
Apostles who stuck with Jesus when seemingly all others
had abandoned Him. They were referred to as "pipers" for
they indeed were sent out to all corners to spread the Gospel
as Our Lord had commanded and, like the "Pied Piper of
Hamlin" they attracted many to the One, True Faith. It was a
way for Catholics to remind their fellow faithful to keep this
in mind during the hard times for all but Saint John were
persecuted and martyred for the faith. If they remained
faithful to their Faith and to Jesus, they too would one day
enjoy the same rewards of Heavenly bliss.
WORD OF THE DAY
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the priests. And all of you practice humility towards one another; for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
1 Peter 5: 5
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 4, 1999 volume 10, no. 1 DAILY CATHOLIC