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January 21, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 14
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Today is the feast of the virgin and martyr Saint Agnes and tomorrow, besides being the Second Friday in Ordinary Time, it is also the feast of Saint Vincent, deacon and martyr. For the readings, liturgies and meditations for these two days, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Thursday, January 21, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 7: 25-28; 8: 1-6
Psalms: Psalm 40: 7-10, 17
Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 7-12
Feast of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Martyred for her faith at the early age of twelve, Saint Agnes was one of the
youngest-known named martyrs in the Communion of Saints. She was born into a wealthy Roman aristocratic family and was remarkable for her beauty as a child. But the true beauty was interior and as a youth she vowed to live a life of purity and chastity, consecrating herself as a virgin. Even though she was not yet a teen, Roman suitors courted her trying to seduce her but she refused all advances. Word reached the Roman Emperor Diocletian who was relentless in his persecution of Christians. Rather than killing her right away, Diocletian's men sought to discredit her by making her a prostitute and that would further discredit Christianity and dissuade others from becoming Christians. Naturally Agnes rejected all advances and refused to give in to the sins of the flesh. This further infuriated Diocletian and his cohorts who dragged her before the governor. He ordered
that she be thrown into the fire. God preserved her beauty inside and out by allowing her to emerge unscathed. The governor then ordered that she be beheaded in a public display but even this the executioner botched, stabbing her in the throat where she died professing her undying loyalty to her One, True God in 304. She was buried on the Via Nomentana where a cemetary stands in her name. Over the centuries Agnes, which means "chaste" in Greek, has become the standard for chastity, purity and virginal innocence and she is always depicted with a lamb - the Lamb of God - in Latin: Agnus Dei.
Friday, January 22, 1999
Friday January 22:
Second Friday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
Green or Red vestments
First Reading: Hebrews 8: 6-13
Psalms: Psalm 85: 8, 10-14
Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 13-19
Feast of Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
Like the saints whose feasts preceded him in January, St. Vincent, not to be confused with St.
Vincent de Paul, was born in Spain in the 3rd Century. and became archdeacon in Saragoza where Our Lady first appeared in 40 AD. He was a great orator and did more than his share of preaching since his bishop, Valerian had a speech impediment. The Romans caught wind of his evangelizing and reported to Diocletian who ordered Dacian the president of that region to silence the saint. Dacian chose the horrendous torture tactic of the rack, stretching Vincent's body asunder. Yet no form of torture could steal Vincent's joy at suffering for Christ. When the rack failed, Dacian tore his flesh with hooks then bound him to a seat of burning iron. When that failed, lard and salt were rubbed into his open wounds. Yet through it all he kept his eyes focused joyfully toward Heaven. Finally, in desperation, Dacian had him thrown into a dungeon locking his feet in a tight stock. But again God intervened, sending His angels to unloose the shackle and inform this brave saint that his reward would be great. Dacian never had the satisfaction of torturing Vincent again for this persevering saint died peacefully before being sentenced again. His bravery and the wonders of his stamina effected many conversions after his death. Upon his death, faithful carried away pieces of his cloths soaked with his blood. His relics are preserved today in an Augustinian monastery in Lisbon. It's a reminder to us all that no matter the opposition, if we keep our eyes and heart focused on the same Goal Vincent strove for, nothing can harm our soul. It is also important to realize the importance of relics which, sadly has been relegated to minor importance today. We should remember that they can intercede for us in Heaven for they are linked to us through the Communion of Saints.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is in honor of Saint Agnes taken from the Opening Prayer for today's Mass:
Almighty, eternal God, You choose what the world considers weak to put the worldly power to shame. May we, who celebrate the birth of Saint Agnes into eternal joy, be loyal to the faith she professed.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Special telecasting on satelite and cable planned for Holy Father's visit to Mexico and St. Louis
There will be plenty of coverage of the papal visit this week and next but it won't be on the networks or even cable. You'll have to look to the satelites, but thanks to Mother Angelica and the internet viewers will not want. Besides EWTN's regular coverage, the new Spanish EWTN will launch its Spanish sister tomorrow, coinciding with the Pope's visit. At the same time in Brazil the Holy Father will communicate with millions more via closed circuit hookup. For his St. Louis visit, the Archdiocese there is planning full-time coverage at their website with feeds from Dignital Broadcast Network. For more, click on Papal Visit to Mexico.
THE HOLY FATHER WILL MEET GROUPS FROM MANY COUNTRIES VIA
SATELLITE ALONG WITH SPECIAL WEBCAST FOR ST. LOUIS VISIT
MEXICO CITY, 20 (NE) The Holy Father will visit physically
only Mexico and the United States, but many encounters via
satellite have been planned with diverse Latin American
countries. The 25th of January, Pope John Paul II will
communicate with the Brazilian Catholic channel Rede Vida,
with a multitude that, taking advantage of the commemoration of
the city's anniversary, will be gathered at Sao Paulo, awaiting
the salutation of the Holy Father. After the transmission of the
salutation, the television will display images of the group
greeting His Holiness. All this will happen as the Pope is in
the "Encounter with the representatives of all generations of
this century" in the Azteca Stadium of Mexico City.
It has been also announced that on the occasion of the Holy
Father's visit, EWTN will launch a new channel in Mexico: EWTN -
Mexico. The news was given by Cardinal Juan Sandoval, Archbishop
of Guadalajara, at a press conference recently held in Mexico.
The Catholic channel will be launched the 22nd of January.
In a related story, Catholic World News reports that the Archdiocese of St. Louis
announced on Tuesday that Pope John Paul II's public
appearances in the city during his visit January 26-27 will
be broadcast on the Internet.
The archdiocese said that the papal events will be seen on
its web site at (http://www.archstl.org) and that a
schedule of events is now available. "This Internet
broadcast will give people around the world opportunities
to see the Pope, hear his speeches and watch as the Holy
Father celebrates Mass in the Trans World Dome," said Steve
Mamanella, community relations Director for the archdiocese.
The audio and video feeds will be supplied by a pool of
local St. Louis television stations and converted for
Internet use by Digital Broadcast Network. DBN will
maintain edited versions of the broadcasts on its web site
Citizens in Chiapas do an end-a-round, petition Pope to replace revolutionary bishop
A battle is brewing in Chiapas and it is not being fought in the jungles for a change, but rather through the ecclesiastical vines of the Vatican. The unhappy Catholics of Chiapas have petitioned the Pope directly hoping to bring it to his attention since he will be in their backyard, so to speak, this week. They accuse Bishop Samuel Ruiz of preaching Marxist doctrine rather than true Catholic doctrine and that has confused the flock. They want the faith straight with no ingredients added. For more, click on Cheated in Chiapas.
MEXICANS ASK POPE TO REMOVE CHIAPAS BISHOP
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (CWNews.com) - A group
of Mexican Catholics in violence-torn Chiapas state on
Tuesday sent a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to
remove their bishop for allegedly supporting Marxist rebels.
A coalition of four groups accused Bishop Samuel Ruiz of
falsifying "Catholic doctrine in favor of a Marxist
socialist revolution." The groups asked the Holy Father to
appoint "a pastor who teaches the authentic Catholic
doctrine." Bishop Ruiz had served as a mediator between the
Zapatista Indian rebels and the government until last year
when he was accused of favoring the rebels in talks.
The Holy Father begins a four-day visit to Mexico on
Friday. An assistant to the bishop, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, said Bishop Ruiz will not have any comment
until the Holy Father has read the letter.
Holy See calls for solutions to end reign of terror in Sierra Leone and Kosovo
The killings and kidnappings in West Africa's Sierra Leone by rebel forces and the suffocating and oppressing reign of terror in Kosovo have the Holy Father greatly concerned as well as the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano who has made a strong plea to "disarm the aggressors" - identified as the Serbians - or the world will have another situation like Bosnia with ethnic cleansing...only worse! For more, click on Aggressors
POPE SEEKS PEACE IN SIERRA LEONE, KOSOVO AS
CARDINAL URGES EUROPE TO "DISARM AGGRESSOR" IN KOSOVO
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has issued an urgent call for
efforts to restore the peace in Kosovo and in Sierra Leone.
At his regular weekly audience on January 20, the Holy Father voiced his
"particular closeness and solidarity" with the Archbishop Joseph Ganda of
Freetown, Sierra Leone, and the missionaries who are being held hostage
there. The Pope prayed "that they might, as soon as possible, be back at
liberty, to return to their ministry of evangelization and charity."
Speaking more generally of "the displays of atrocity and cruelty" which have
been in the news in recent days "in many parts of the world," the Pope urged
all people to pray "for an awakening of conscience in those who guide the
destiny of nations," so that they might "turn their hearts toward the building
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Angelo Sodano
said that the massacre of civilians in Kosovo has made that region the subject
of extreme concern among Vatican diplomats.
Cardinal Sodano, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, said that "those who
have the ability"-- in particular the leaders of the international community--
should "separate the adversaries" in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians seeking
greater autonomy for self-government have been routed by Serbian forces
representing the government of Yugoslavia, which controls Kosovo.
The cardinal said that international leaders should "disarm the aggressor" in
the Kosovo conflict. That phrase echoes a request made by Pope John Paul II
during the height of civil war in Bosnia; he too asked for the European
powers to "disarm the aggressor." (In each case, the "aggressor" could be
identified as Serbian.) That mandate seems clearly to imply that the conflict
is in fact an act of aggression rather than a civil conflict, and that world
leaders should take the necessary steps not merely to stop the conflict and
separate the warring factions but also to make eliminate the ability of "the
aggressor" to undertake similar acts in the future.
However, these efforts by the international community need not consist of
military acts, Cardinal Sodano said. Rather, operations should be aimed at
"restoring the peace." In working toward peace, he said, one important point
is the status of existing treaties. Many treaties have been made, he observed,
but then "openly violated." He argued: "Treaties are violated when the moral
conscience of the contracting parties is obscured." It is impossible, the
cardinal concluded, to "build a human civilization without a solid moral
Vatican awaiting a viable visa for Pope to visit Vietnam
Within the next few months we should all have a better idea if the Holy Father will indeed visit Vietnam in August this year. The only thing holding up the Pope making it official that he will attend the ceremonies marking the 200th anniversary of Our Lady of La Vang at her shrine in southeast Asia is the communist Vietnamese government's refusal to make a decision. Vatican officials are extending the olive branch in hopes of getting an affirmative from them. For more, click on Awaiting a visa to Vietnam .
VATICAN PURSUING PAPAL TRIP TO VIETNAM
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican is actively considering a papal trip
to Vietnam, although the country's Communist government has not yet
authorized such a visit.
According to the Fides new agency, a Vatican delegation will travel to Hanoi
in February or March for discussions on the possibility of a papal trip. The
Vietnamese bishops have already issued an invitation, and the country was
discussed as the possible site for a visit during which the Holy Father would
promulgate an apostolic exhortation summarizing the work of the Synod of
Asian bishops. That Synod convened in Rome during April and May 1998.
One possible time for a trip would be August 1999, when the Pope could
participate in ceremonies marking the 200th anniversary of the apparition
of the Virgin Mary at La Vang, which has now become the country's most
popular Marian shrine and pilgrimage site. The visit would also give the
Pontiff an opportunity to prod the Communist regime toward increasing
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
Continuing with yesterday's theme of preparing for Pro-Life week which kicks off Friday with the Pro-Life March in Washington D.C, we present the HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL web site. It remains the largest pro-life organization in the world dedicated to life in all its stages and garnered a Golden Chalice Award last year.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 14 DAILY CATHOLIC