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January 7, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 4
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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
Thursday January 7:
Weekday in the Days of Christmas and
Feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest and Religious
First Reading: 1 John 4: 19-21; 5: 1-4
Psalms: Psalm 72: 1-2, 14-15, 17
Gospel Reading: Luke 4: 14-22
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
First Reading: 1 John 5: 5-13
Psalms: Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20
Gospel Reading: Luke 5: 12-16
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
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.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Congo fatalities reach 500 in senseless massacre of innocent victims on New Year's Day
All hell has literally broken loose in the Congo with the news that 500 innocent citizens were slaughtered in the village of Makobola in the eastern side of the Congo. The dastardly barbarian killers are believed to be the Banyamulenge ethnic Tutsis who struck back blindly in retaliation for an attack on them. Why they chose innocent men, women and children of all ages rather than target the culprit Mai-Mai tribes who attacked them is still a question mark, but one thing is for sure, those 500 victims cannot answer and the Congo is in dire straits with priests and nuns there forced into hiding even though they need to be with the people to shepherd in these terrible times. For more, click on Congo massacre.
500 REPORTED DEAD IN CONGO MASSACRE
ROME (CWNews.com) - 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
Ambitious two-week Polish pilgrimage in June preliminarily planned for Pope
The Polish cardinals have released a preliminary itinerary for the Holy Father's papal trip to Poland scheduled for June 5th through the 17th this year. The schedule calls for Pope John Paul II to visit 19 to 20 cities throughout his beloved homeland and will include visits to many of his childhood haunts as well as praying at Holocaust sites and celebrating the millennial occasion of the Diocese of Wadowice where Karol Wojtoyla was born and grew up. For more, click on Polish Pilgrimage.
POPE JOHN PAUL II WILL VISIT 20 CITIES IN HIS NEXT PASTORAL
VISIT TO POLAND
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
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.
Conjecture arises on when the Pope will canonize Blessed Juan Diego as ticket scams in Mexico for the Papal Mass crop up
It's only inevitable that some will exploit others even if the occasion is one that evokes high reverence. Such is the case with the announcement that unauthorized tickets are being sold for the Papal Mass even though the event is free and should not be considered a "box-office" event but rather a solemn, holy occasion. Meanwhile, it's inevitable that the venerable visionary of Guadalupe Blessed Juan Diego will be canonized; the question is "when?" That is left to conjecture though documents dating back to the time Juan lived give impetus that it will be soon. Whether it will be during the Holy Father's papal visit to officially close the Synod of the Americas in Mexico City is still not determined. For more, click on Mexico papal visit
MEXICANS WARNED OF PAPAL TICKET SALE SCAM AS THEY
AWAIT FUTURE CANONIZATION OF BLESSED JUAN DIEGO
(CWNews.com) - 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
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
Holy Father adds nine new bishops to the ranks of the successors of the apostles
Pope John Paul II joyfully embraced all nine new bishops after ordaining them at St. Peter's Basilica yesterday. This annual tradition on the traditional feast of the Epiphany brings to 277 the number the Holy Father has personally ordained. The new members include three papal nuncios, two curia members as well as one from Vietnam, one from India, and one from the Sudan - three countries where Catholics are being harassed and persecuted. For more, click on ordinations.
POPE ORDAINS 9 BISHOPS IN EPIPHANY CEREMONY
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- 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
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.
SITE OF THE DAY
While Saint Peter Nolasco originally founded the Mercedarian Order, also known as Our Lady of Ransom, today's saint Saint Raymond of Penyafort played a significant role in its development and is often considered the co-founder. Therefore, in honor of his feast today we recommend THE MERCEDARIANS which is the official site of the Order.
WORD OF THE DAY
"For we walk by faith and not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5: 7
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 7, 1999 volume 10, no. 4 DAILY CATHOLIC