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January 22-24, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 15
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
Friday is both the Second Friday in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Saint Vincent, deacon and martyr; Saturday we observe the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday. Sunday is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time which is a misnomer for the following week is anything but ordinary with four consecutive feasts beginning Monday with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
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.
Saturday, January 23, 1999
Saturday January 23:
Second Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Green or White vestments
First Reading: Hebrews 9: 2-3, 11-14
Psalms: Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 20-21
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue, volume 7). He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."
SUNDAY, January 24, 1999
First Reading: Isaiah 8: 23; 9: 1-3
Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 10-13, 17
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4: 12-23
Today's feast of Saint Francis de Sales is superseded by the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Nevertheless, January 24th is the traditional feast of this Bishop, Religious Founder and Doctor of the Church.
Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop, Religious Founder and Doctor of the Church
Born in Savoy, France on August 21, 1567, nearly 50 years after the Protestant Reformation, Saint Francis de Sales would go on to play a major role in beginning the swing of the pendulum back to Holy Mother Church. Spurning the luxury of a barrister, this learned graduate of the University of Padua opted to become a priest where, guided by the Holy Spirit, his words and actions helped convert over 70,000 Calvinists back to the One, True Faith. He was so successful Pope Clement VIII elevated him to the See of the Bishopric of Geneva in 1602 at the age of 35. Accused by some of being too gentle, he offered the rationalization, "I would rather account to God for too great gentleness than for too great severity." This gentleness helped convince the widow of the Baron of Chantal, none other than Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, to whom Francis was Spiritual Director, to help him found the Order of Visitation Nuns (the Visitandines) in 1610. The fruits of their labors in this holy endeavor soon spread throughout Europe and eventually the world. Vowed to poverty, Francis refused all provisions and honors, including politely declining the See of Paris to remain head of the Geneva Diocese. He devoted much to writing including his two brilliant works Introduction to the Devout Life which he penned in 1609 as a guide for the nuns to-be, and seven years later wrote Treatise on the Love of God which simply points out that sanctity is achievable in everyone's life. Both books have gone on to become spiritual must-reading for religious and laity alike. Francis fell ill in the winter of 1622 in Lyons, France and passed on to his Heavenly reward three days after Christmas on December 28, 1622 at the age of 55. Later the next year he was the first person to be beatified in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He was canonized 43 years later by Pope Alexander VII and declared a "Doctor of the Church" by Pope Pius IX in 1877. St. Francis de Sales holds a special place in the hearts of all editors, journalists, writers and authors as their patron saint which was made official on January 24, 1923 when Pope Pius XI proclaimed him the designated patron saint of the Catholic press.
Monday, January 25, 1999
First Reading: Acts 22: 3-16
Psalms: Psalm 117: 1-2 and Mark 16: 15
Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 15-18
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
So important was the Conversion of the Apostle Paul in the development of the Church that she has set aside a special day to honor this miraculous conversion. Detailed in Acts 9: 1-30 and retold from Paul's point of view in Acts 22:1-21, the story of the Christian persecutor Saul to the zealous and holy instrument of evangelization Paul shows the strength of God's power in our lives and how He canchange anything. One thing Paul always was was sincere. Though a Roman citizen by privilege, he was first and foremost a Jew. Even as a Jew he sincerely felt his cause on behalf of the Jewish Law was just in persecuting Christians. He believed God belonged only to the Jews. The first martyr Saint Stephen was slain at Saul's command. His power and zealousness to put this Christian "fad" down drove him to more frenzied heights. It was his personal mission to round up all the Jews in Damascus who professed their
belief in the man Who had been crucified. God works in strange and mystical ways. On Saul's journey to
Damascus he was struck by a bolt from Heaven as he heard Our Lord say, "Saul, Saul, why doest
thou persecute Me?" Because Saul was an honest and sincere man, though misguided in his zeal,
God saw in him a tremendous instrument for all that He wanted to accomplish. Once Saul realized the
error of his ways, his admission opened the floodgates for powerful interior graces and an infusion of the
Holy Spirit which, as we know, Paul used wisely in his mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and play a vital role in bringing the "baby" Church from its weaning period into infancy and ultimately the
conversion of the world. The lesson here is to remember how important the grace of God is in our lives
and that we should cherish this gift always...never taking it for granted, and striving to nourish it daily
through using the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit to strengthen grace in our souls.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Holy Father takes term "Tell it to the judge" literally as he challenges Church jurists on moral law
The Holy Father pulled no punches when he addressed a private audience of Church jurists who sit on the Marriage Tribunal dealing with annulments. He spoke directly to them about the growing acceptance of same-sex unions and cautioned them to beware of this growing cancer. regarding the controversy over same-sex unions. "It's wrong. End of discussion!" is basically what he said in strongly condemning what he termed these "deviations from natural law" which is "an obstacle of human dignity." For more, click on No gay unions
HOMOSEXUAL UNION CANNOT BE MARRIAGE, POPE SAYS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- As he received a group of Church jurists in a
private audience on Thursday, Pope John Paul II spoke out in opposition to
the legalization of homosexual "marriage."
"It is an incongruous claim to attribute the conjugal reality to a union
between persons of the same sex," the Holy Father said. He was speaking
January 21 to the judges who serve on the Roman Rota, the body whose
primary duty is to weigh annulment petitions.
"Some insistent public campaigns seek to confer the dignity of conjugal
relations" on same-sex unions, the Pope observed. But since such unions are
"deviations from natural law," he continued, they cannot be justified on the
grounds of human freedom. Rather, the Pontiff argued, the invocation of
freedom is a "pretext," because the reality of homosexual unions is "an
obstacle to human dignity." In fact, he said, real freedom entails "adapting
one's personal choices and will to God, and thus becoming ever more like
Remarking on the "objective impossibility" of making homosexual activities
fruitful in transmitting human life, the Pope added that such unions also lack
the "interpersonal complementarity" that is present in unions between a
man and woman-- unions which are based on psychological as well as
The Pope recognized a general "deterioration of the natural and religious
sense of marriage," but cautioned that this trend should not lead to
discouragement or resignation. Instead, he called on Catholics and "all those
people dedicated to true human progress" to promote energetically the
understanding of "the authentic concept of conjugal love between two
persons who are equal in dignity but distinct and complementary in their
sexuality." Such love, he said, includes a sincere desire for the other's
welfare, and a "concrete commitment to bring it about," which is manifest in
acts of the will. Marital love, he said, cannot be seen as a "vague sentiment"
or even "a strong psychological or physical attraction." Such feelings, he said,
are subject to "the instability of the human soul," and therefore "subject to
ready, if not fatal, weakness."
Noting that marriage is sometimes "identified or at least confused" with "the
formal rite and exterior that accompanies it," the Pope emphasized that
marriage consists "essentially, necessarily, and uniquely in the mutual
consent expressed by those who marry each other." That consent assumes
that the couple will make their commitment in a juridical act, and express
their loving commitment in a mutual gift of self, he said. In order to prepare
couples of that marital commitment, the Pope said that the Church has a
"grave responsibility" to help young couples understand their obligations,
and to ensure that the partners have "the necessary psychological maturity"
to make an intelligent commitment.
Investigation turns up nothing despite constant barrage of miracles surrounding victim soul Audrey Santo
One has to wonder what the investigators were looking at concerning the investigation surrounding the phenomena of young teen Audrey Santo who has been in a coma for several years and who, with her Mom, offers everything to God. We say this because the bishop of Worcester issued a non-statement by saying what we hear all too often: though they can find nothing wrong, there is no proof of anything supernatural so everything remains in Limbo so to speak as far as the Church doing any further investigating. We wonder if they examined the countless souls who have been healed or spiritually converted because of Audrey. For more, click on Audrey Santo.
DIOCESE ISSUES REPORT ON INVESTIGATION OF AUDREY SANTO
WORCESTER, Massachusetts (CWNews.com) - The bishop of
Worcester, Massachusetts, issued the report on Wednesday of
a commission he had asked to investigate claims of
supernatural activity related to a severely impaired
Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, in introducing the report, said
that the commission had found nothing that would negatively
impact the Catholic faithful, but cautioned that further
investigations must be performed. "The most striking
evidence of the presence of God in the Santo home is seen
in the dedication of the family to Audrey," he said. "Their
constant respect for her dignity as a child of God is a
poignant reminder that God touches our lives through the
love and devotion of others."
The report, which followed a year-long study, said that the
mysterious manifestations of oils and other substances in
the home are in and of themselves not evidence of the
legitimacy of claims that Audrey is a miraculous
intercessor with God. And the investigators cautioned
against the faithful praying "to" Audrey rather than
praying "for" her. "Our faith teaches us to pray to God and
to pray for the intercession of the saints," the report
said. "Therefore, the distribution of a 'Prayer to Audrey'
should cease immediately."
The commission said additional study of the matter is
needed, including study of the composition of the oils, as
well as determining Audrey's ability to recognize and
respond to stimuli. "In the case of Audrey herself, more
study is needed from medical and other professionals
regarding her level of awareness and her ability to
communicate with the people around her," Bishop Reilly
said. "This is critical to the basis of the claim of her
ability to intercede with God."
Audrey has been bed-ridden and unable to speak or care for
herself since nearly drowning when she was 5-years-old
eleven years ago. Miraculous occurrences in her home,
including religious statues and icons weeping oil and
consecrated hosts bleeding, prompted people to begin asking
her to pray for them in order to effect miraculous cures and
Pope and porn don't mix; Judge shuts down St. Louis pornographer
The Archdiocese of St. Louis scored a major victory for the side of decency and right when a US District Judge agreed with their contention that promoting the Pope's visit on a porn site was not only in the best interest but violated the Archdiocese's domain name rights which they had smartly registered to bar just this kind of thing from cropping up. The Judge has ordered the site shut down and they are forbidden to use any domains referring to the Holy Father's visit. For more, click on Sleeze shot down.
JUDGE RULES AGAINST PORNOGRAPHER'S POPE WEB SITE
ST. LOUIS (CWNews.com) - A federal judge on Wednesday made
a temporary restraining order permanent and prohibited an
online pornographer from setting up a web site that
provides news coverage of next week's papal visit to St.
Louis along with pornographic material.
US District Judge Stephen Limbaugh ruled that Internet
Entertainment Group had violated the trademark held by the
Archdiocese of St. Louis when it registered a domain name
for the site that included a reference to Pope John Paul
II's January 26-27 visit. The sites, as originally posted
earlier this month before being removed at a court order,
included links to papal speeches, a biography, and an event
list as well as a history of alleged sexual scandals and
The archdiocese had maintained that the sites violated
their trademark on references to the visit and could have
been confusing to the public. Limbaugh ruled today the
archdiocese owns the trademarks to the pope's visit and
barred Internet Entertainment Group from using any
variation of "Papal Visit 1999," "Pastoral Visit," "1999
Papal Visit Commemorative Official Commemorative Items" or
"Papal Visit 1999, St. Louis." He also ordered the
company's papal web site domain names canceled.
Speculation over canonization of Mother Drexel increases with Pope's visit to her vineyard of souls - St. Louis
Having cleared the hurdle of scrutiny by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints the way has been paved for the possibility that Pope John Paul II will announce the pending canonization of Blessed Mother Catherine Drexel, a Philadelphia woman who labored long and hard in the heartland, giving of her time, talents and treasures. She would be the second American-born saint to be canonized, something long overdue according to many because of America's standing as the third ranked nation in the world with the most Catholics, behind Brazil and Mexico. For more, click on Saint Drexel?.
MOTHER CATHERINE DREXEL COULD BE THE SECOND AMERICAN CANONIZED
SAINT BORN IN THE UNITED STATES
ROME, 21 (NE) In the upcoming visit of Pope John Paul II to
the city of Saint Louis, Missouri, he will probably announce the
canonization of the blessed Catherine Drexel, founder of the
Sisters of the Holy Sacrament. Mother Drexel founded the
Sacramentines toward the end of the XIX century, having
evangelization, education and human promotion of afro-american
and native North Americans as its charisma. Mother Drexel would
be the second American canonized Saint born in the United
States, a nation that counts more than sixty million Catholics.
The Holy See's recognition of a miracle attributed to Mother
Drexel has leveled the road to the her canonization. In 1974 a
14 year old teenager named Robert Gutherman had lost his hearing
in the right ear due to a strange and serious infection that
caused bone degenerating of his auditory system. Even the most
powerful antibiotics were powerless against the illness. The
doctors were not able to sooth Robert's pain either. Some
sacramentine nuns, friends of the Gutherman family, encouraged
Robert's parents to pray to Mother Drexel for her to intercede
before God for the sick boy. On that night, in spite of his
pain, the youngster joined his family in prayer. On the next
morning the pain had disappeared and Robert had recovered his
hearing. The doctor that assisted him examined Roberts ear with
incredulity. "I cannot believe what I am seeing. The body is
curing itself. Is this possible?," wrote the doctor later.
The cause of Mother Caterina was introduced in 1964, nine
years after her death. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1988.
But a new miracle was required for canonization. After a long
process, in which the medical staff of the Vatican Congregation
examined the case, Robert's recuperation was declared to be a
Probably the most notable miracle was Catherine Drexel's
life. She was born in 1858, in the heart of one of the richest
and most notable families of Philadelphia. Catherine ever since
she was little girl helped the poor, especially blacks recently
liberated from slavery. Her testimony was a constant and
uncomfortable testimony for the people of the frivolous society
of Philadelphia. The premature death of her parents had left her
with an immense fortune, that added up to what would be about
250 million dollars at the present time. Catherine soon
understood that charity should always be accompanied by a
Christian formation and human promotion.
Her opportunity to contribute in a more concrete task came
when two missionaries among the Indians of Dakota requested the
financing of schools for the natives. Catherine lent her help
and committed herself to going to Rome in search for
missionaries. In an interview with Pope Leo XIII the young
Drexel requested for the Holy Father's help. The wise Pontiff,
that had perceived Catherine's spiritual longing, answered:
"Well, my daughter, why don't you become a missionary?"
Pope Leo XIII's words were engraved in Catherine's heart. In
1889, with 30 years of age, Catherine Drexel decided to enter
into the religious life. Her decision constituted a "scandal"
among the high society of the main cities of the eastern coast,
attached to their vertiginous material growth, but indifferent
to the wide sectors of needy people that were formed on the
periphery of the cities. When she made her profession, Catherine
added a private vote: "being mother and handmaid of colored
people and Indians."
In 1891 she founded a new congregation, the nuns of the
Sacred Sacrament, in order to serve her "poorer children." A
skillful employment of the money of her inheritance allowed the
building of eleven schools for Indians in rural regions. But her
greatest commitment was her work with Americans of African
origin. She inaugurated 100 schools in the country and ghettos
of the southern cities. Mother Drexel founded Xavier University
in New Orleans, the first catholic university for colored people
in the United States.
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.
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January 22-24, 1999 volume 10, no. 15 DAILY CATHOLIC