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THURSDAY      January 7, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 4

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


      Today is the feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort and the last feast day before Sunday's feast of the Baptism of the Lord which introduces Ordinary Time. St. Raymond, co-founder of the Mercedarians was not only a Catalan monk but a lawyer as well. He evidently lived right, dying at the ripe old age of 100. Tomorrow we celebrate the final Friday in the Weekdays of Christmas. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and story on St. Raymond, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Thursday, January 7, 1998

Feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest and Religious

      Born at Penyafort in Catalonia, Spain in 1175, Saint Raymond was a scholarly genius, evident by the fact he was teaching philosophy in Barcelona at the early age of 20. By the time he was 35 he had resigned to study law at Bologna, Italy where he acquired a doctorate in 1216. Two years later Bishop Berengarius of Barcelona, proud of Raymond's achievements, made him an archdeacon which led to Raymond's vocation as a Dominican. The ensuing years brought fame to Raymond for his preaching throughout Spain as he addressed both Moors and Christians who had been freed from Moorish slavery, an endeavor Raymond played a pivotal role in from preaching the Spanish crusade which ultimately freed the Spanish slaves. Along with Saint Peter Nolasco, Raymond cofounded the Mercedarians in 1223, which was a lay order called the Order of Our Lady of Ransom and whose specific purpose was to raise money to ransom the Christian slaves. Raymond was St. Peter Nolasco's spiritual director. Raymond became spiritual confessor to Pope Gregory IX in 1230. It was there in Rome where Raymond was assigned the task of collecting and codifying papal decrees. His massive work, released in 1150, became the cornerstone for canon law. It was also during this time that he was appointed papal penitentiary which led to his writing Summa casuum and which would have an influential effect on the penial system throughout Europe during the middle ages. In 1235 Raymond was consecrated Archbishop of Tarragona, Spain. It was a position he did not want for he wanted to be with the people and felt as bishop he could not dedicate time to preaching or studies. He became very ill a year later and requested the Holy Father to rescind his appointment as bishop so he could return to his beloved Spain where, after recuperating, resumed his preaching duties. Three years later he was named Master General of the Dominican Order. In this position he wrote a revision of the Dominican constitution, one that would stand until 1924 and then, at the age of 65, resigned his position with the Dominicans. Though it was the end of his official titles with the Dominicans it was not the end of his ministry for he would go on to preach for 35 more years, living to the ripe old age of 99, passing into God's embrace on January 6, 1275 in Barcelona, just shy of becoming a centarian. In those final years Raymond not only founded friaries in Tunis and Murcia, introduced the study of Arabic and Hebrew in Dominican circles to better understand Sacred Scripture and to preach to the non-Christians of the mideast during the Crusades, but also assisted in establishing the Inquisition in Catalonia, Spain. Raymond was canonized in 1601 by Pope Clement VIII.

Friday, January 8, 1998


      Today's Prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for the Mass honoring Saint Raymond of Penyafort:

Lord, You gave St. Raymond the gift of compassion in his ministry to sinners. May his prayers free us from the slavery of sin and help us to love and serve You in liberty.

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      ROME ( - At least 500 people are dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after a New Years Day massacre by rebels, according to the MISNA Catholic news agency on Tuesday.

      MISNA reported that the victims include women, children, and the elderly from the village of Makobola in eastern Congo. Father Giulo Albanese said, "We are receiving little by little the names. Counting has not ended. There are roughly 500 dead. They were killed with machetes, shot. It's something unbelievable." The killings come just one day after government soldiers retook other towns in the region in a major offensive.

      The report said the dead belonged to varying ethnic groups but were all Christians, including the pastor of the local Protestant church. According to MISNA sources, the killers were Banyamulenge ethnic Tutsis and the massacre was a reprisal for an attack the previous day by local Mai-Mai warriors.


      ROME, 6 (NE) According to a message recently made public in the city of Varsovia, capital of Poland, Pope John Paul II will pilgrim through 20 cities of his country of birth from the 5 to the 17 of June this year, in what will be his longer visit to his homeland. With this pilgrimage the Holy Father will have completed his visits to all of the Polish dioceses. According to Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski, of Gdansk, the Pope's pilgrimage will begin in the port of Gdansk and end in Krákow, where the Holy Father will beatify more than a hundred Poles killed during Nazi occupation.

      After a visit to the Polish Parliament in Warsaw, where he will deliver a speech before the National Assembly and other civil authorities, the Pope will go, among other cities, to Lichen, where he will bless the biggest temple of the country, presently in construction; to Elk where he will address the members of the Lithuanian ethnic minority; and the towns of Silesia, Sosnowiec and Gliwice. Pope John Paul II will also visit his native town, Wadowice, and the northern cities of Elblag, Pelplin, Bydgoszcz and Torun, as well as the cities of Siedlce, Drohiczyn, Zamosc and Sandomierz. He will also pilgrim to the suburb of Radzymin, the city of Lowicz and the city of Stary Sacz.

      He is also expected to visit memorials dedicated to both the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the victims of the Soviet gulags, as well as presiding at the conclusion of a Polish bishops' synod, and beatifying 108 martyrs from World War II. Finally, his Polish hosts plan for the Pope to join in the celebrations marking the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Wadowice diocese in which he was born and raised.


      ( - The Archdiocese of Mexico City warned Mexicans on Tuesday not to be taken in by a scam in which con artists are selling tickets to events during Pope John Paul II's visit to the country later this month.

      Local media has reported a brisk business in ticket sales by unidentified individuals for several of the large gatherings where the Holy Father will speak. But the archdiocesan spokesman said such ticket sales are illegal since the events are free. "No-one, absolutely no-one, should pay one centavo (for tickets) to see the Pope," he said.

      Several million are expected to attend the events, including the Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with about 600 bishops and 5,000 priests from across North and South America. The Holy Father will be in Mexico between January 22-26.

      In a related story, Noticias Eclesias reports that the Mexican priest Enrique R. Salazar, promoter of the cause of the Blessed Juan Diego, highlighted that the process of canonization of the Mexican Blessed is in steady progress. Discarding the possibility that Pope John Paul II will canonize Juan Diego during his fourth visit to this country, Father Salazar manifested however that by February the decision might be already taken.

      Father Salazar mentioned as "an important step" in the process of canonization of the Mexican Blessed the fact that a detailed historical document on his life and also of the miracle attributed to him is actually being carefully studied in the Vatican. A fundamental document in the process is the "Nican Mopohua," a well known testimony in náhuatl - aboriginal language of the central part of Mexico- written by the Indian cronist Antonio Valeriano. According to several sources and ecclesiastical traditions, after the apparitions Juan Diego lived for about 17 years serving the Virgin of Guadalupe in the hermitage that preceded the current Basilica, dying at the age of 74.


      VATICAN ( -- Nine new bishops were ordained by Pope John Paul II in a January 6 ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica.

      Tradition calls for the Pope to ordain several bishops on the feast of the Epiphany. Including these and other ceremonies, Pope John Paul has now personally ordained 277 priest to episcopal office.

      In his homily at the ordination Mass, the Pope addressed himself directly to the priests who were about to be ordained, and spoke of the needs of the dioceses they would be serving. He paid particular attention to the people of Rumbek, Sudan, and of Phu Cuong, Vietnam-- dioceses are now headed by the newly ordained Bishops Cesare Mazzolari and Pierre Tran Dinh Tu, respectively.

      Two other bishops ordained at the same ceremony will begin pastoral assignments in diocesan work: Bishop Rafael Cob Garcia as apostolic vicar in Puyo, Ecuador, and Bishop Matthew Moolakkattu, OSB, as an auxiliary for the Syro-Malabar rite in Kottayam, India.

      Two other new bishops have important roles in the Roman Curia. Bishop Diarmuid Martin is secretary to the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, while Bishop Jose Luis Redrado Marchite is secretary to the Pontifical Council for Health-Care Workers. Three other newly ordained bishops will serve as papal nuncios in the Vatican diplomatic corps: Bishop Alessandro d'Errico in Pakistan, Bishop Salvatore Pennacchio in Rwanda, and Bishop Alain Lebeaupin in Ecuador.

      After the ordinations, the Pope recited the Angelus from the window of his apartment in the Apostolic Palace. The thousands of pilgrims who came to St. Peter's Square for the occasion also saw a procession of figures representing the Three Magi.

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.



"For we walk by faith and not by sight."

2 Corinthians 5: 7

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January 7, 1999 volume 10, no. 4   DAILY CATHOLIC