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January 28, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 19
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Today is the Feast of that great Dominican priest and Angelic Doctor of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas. It marks the end of a string of feast days as we return to Ordinary Time with a weekday Mass tomorrow. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on St. Thomas, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, January 28, 1999
Thursday January 26:
Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Priest and Angelic Doctor of the Church
First Reading: Hebrews 10: 19-25
Psalms: Psalm 24: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 21-25
Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Priest and Angelic Doctor of the Church
Few saints were more revered than this learned Dominican who contributed so much to Holy Mother Church in writings and songs. He is best known for the great theology tome "Summa Theologica", which incorporates three parts covering the entire teaching of the Church in regards Faith and Morals. He also penned the awe-inspiring Benediction hymns of "O Salutaris Hostia" and "Tantum Ergo". He was born of noble heritage in Aquino, Italy in 1226 five years after the death of the founder of the Dominicans Saint Dominic. Though Thomas studied at the Dominican University in Naples, his brother kidnapped him on his way from Naples to the Order's University in Paris. This absconding was ordered by Thomas' own mother, so incensed was she that Thomas was considering the priesthood. Thomas was forcefully taken to the family's castle of Rocca-Secca and kept there against his will for two years, often being coerced by his own brothers to abandon his holy vow of chastity. But Pope Innocent IV intervened, ordering Thomas be brought to Rome. From there Thomas, also an expert chemistry scholor, was free to go on to Paris to study. In France he studied under Saint Albert the Great who had joined the Dominicans in 1223. After graduating summa cum laude, Thomas landed teaching dockets at universities in Paris, Rome and Naples. So great was his tutelage that Pope Urban Iv summoned Thomas to personally advise the pontiff in 1261. Thomas stayed on for three years. There in Rome, he composed the Mass and office for the feast of Corpus Christi as well as writing the hymns "Pange Lingua" and "Adoro Te". Though he was an extremely learned man, he was also humble enough to realize his vital need for God. Once, while in prayer, he heard Jesus say to him from the crucifix, "Thomas, thou has written well of Me. What reward dost thou wish?" The holy preacher didn't hesitate in his response, "No other reward, Lord, except Thyself." Besides St. Albert, Thomas was a close confidant to Saint Bonaventure. He became such a counselor to the papacy that Pope Gregory X personally invited him to participate in the General Council of Lyons in 1274, but the Dominican scholar died on his way there at Fossa Nuova near Terracina, Italy on March 7, 1274. He was only 49 when he was called home to Heaven and exactly 49 years later he was canonized by Pope John XXII. Thomas was officially declared a "Doctor of the Church" in 1567 by Pope Saint Pius V and his feast day had always been celebrated on March 7th until after Vatican II when it was changed to January 28th.
Friday, January 29, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 10: 11-18
Psalms: Psalm 110: 1-4
Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is in honor of Saint Thomas Aquinas taken from the Preface of the Dominican Missal for today's Mass:
You raised up in Your Church the blessed Thomas, a Doctor Angelic in the integrity of his life and in the loftiness of his mind. You raised him up to strengthen Your Church with his salutary and solid doctrine, and to enlighten her as a sun; his wisdom, extolled by all, commands the administration of the whole world.
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this day in 814, the great and blessed Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne died. Like another emperor Constantine, Charlemagne played a significant role in the advancement of the Holy Roman Church for it was he who did more than the Popes of his time to advance the hierarchy, disciplines and doctrines of the Church and restore the unity of the liturgy during a tenuous time in the Holy See. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for January 28:
(Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas)
Death of Saint Flavian of Civita Vechhia, a Roman deputy-prefect, and Saint Leonidas and his Egyptian companions who were disciples of Saint Philemon and were all martyred by the Roman emperor Diocletian for refusing to worship the Roman gods.
Death of Saint Cannera. This Irish woman is considered the first holy "women's libber." This mystic anchorite always preached that if Jesus could minister to women as He did in the Gospels, then so could the Church's clergy. She broke down superstitions that women were contaminated and dangerous because of the sins of Eve. Just before she died, she broke all barriers by literally walking across the waters of the famed Shannon River in southern Ireland to reach the monastery of Senan where she convinced the abbot to admit her so she could die in peace.
Death of Saint John of Reome, Benedictine abbot who is considered the pioneer of monastic life in France which laid the seeds for her conversion a few centuries later.
Death of Saint Paulinus of Aquilea, Patriarch of Aquilea who worked closely with Charlemagne in ensuring Catholics were instructed in their faith, especially converts. He played a role in various Church councils and defended the doctrine of filioque which defines that the Holy Spirit descends from the Father and the Son. He was a great composer of hymns and poetry.
Death of Blessed Charlemagne at the age of 71. He freed Rome from the tyranny of Barbarossa and the antipope, restoring the true hierarchy. Pope Leo III crowned him the first Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas day at the turn of the 9th century.
Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy pontiff known as the monk Hildebrand lifts the interdict of excommunication and pardons the German emperor Henry IV who had approached the Pope in penitential garb at Canossa in the northern Italian Alps. It was a great victory for the Church vs. the state over the constant issue of investiture.
Death of Pope Gelasius II, 161st successor of Peter. Born in Gaeta, his pontificate lasted less than one year. Attacked in the Basilica of the Lateran, he was imprisoned by the rebel Cencio Frangipane. When he was freed by Genoese sailors he fled to his native Gaeta. From there, dressed as a pilgrim, he returned to Rome and eventually was forced to move to Cluny where he died on this date.
The ruthless Pope Alexander IV gives his son Cesare Borgia as a hostage to King Charles VIII of France in appeasement for the taking of Naples.
Death of Pope Paul V, 233rd successor of Peter. The papacy of this Roman-born pontiff lasted 16 years. During this time he established relations with Michael Romanoff of Russia and appealed to the civilized nations to intervene and prevent the persecution of Christians in Japan and china. He encouraged Astronomy but did not interfere with the investigation and condemnation of Copernicus.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
NOTE: For articles on the Holy Father's visit to St. Louis, click on PAPAL VISIT
Church hopes new directives of Exorcism will educate faithful and expedite exit of evil one
The mystique surrounding the rite of Exorcism will hopefully be cleared up with the Congregation of Divine Worship's release of the 84-page document De Exorcismus et supplicationibus quibusdam, the first since 1614. The new directives reinforce the definitive existence of the legions of hell as a basic doctrinal belief we must accept. Because the document, signed by the Holy Father, was released only in Latin, it may be some time before it is translated into English. For more, click on Be gone, satan!.
VATICAN RELEASES NEW RITE FOR EXORCISM
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Devil exists. That unpopular reality
is brought into sharp focus by the promulgation of a new rite of
exorcism for the Catholic Church.
De Exorcismus et supplicationibus quibusdam, approved by Pope
John Paul II on October 1, 1998, was formally released by the
Vatican on January 26. The document sets out a new and precise
liturgical form for the rite of exorcism. The 84-page form, introduced
by the Congregation Divine Worship, was published entirely in Latin;
the episcopal conferences of different nations may now prepare their
own versions in the vernacular languages.
This new Vatican document clearly recognizes both the existence of
the Devil and the reality of diabolical possession. In a short
introduction, the document calls attention to the existence of both
"angelic creatures" and others "called demons, who are opposed to
God." Since the influence of the demonic can become apparent in
people, places, or things, the document continues, the Church "has
prayed, and continues to pray, that men will be freed from the
snares of the Devil."
The new rite confirms "the victory of Christ and the power of the
Church over the demons." It points to the rites in the Christian
tradition: the "minor exorcism" of catechumens prior to their baptism
and the major exorcisms conducted according to this ritual. The latter
are designed to "drive out demons, or bring freedom from demonic
influence, through the spiritual authority which Jesus confided in his
The liturgical ritual itself is centered on supplicatory prayers, asking
for God's help, and "imperative" prayers addressed directly to the
Devil, commanding him to depart. The prayers are to be said as the
exorcist lays his hand on the individual, and are part of an overall
ritual which includes specific blessings and sprinklings with holy
water. The ritual also includes the litany of the saints, the reading of
the Psalms and the Gospel, and a proclamation of faith which may be
either the familiar Creed or a simple question-and-answer ("Do you
renounce Satan? I do."). The ritual concludes with the kissing of the
Cross, and the final prayer, proclaiming the triumph of Christ and his
The new ritual for exorcism replaces one which was promulgated as
part of the Roman Ritual of 1614. The Second Vatican Council called
for the revision of that Ritual, which has been accomplished in stages
during the past 30 years; the rite of exorcism was the last of the new
rituals to be introduced.
In introducing the new document to reporters in Rome, Cardinal
Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, the prefect of the Congregation for
Divine Worship, said that the rite has not been greatly changed from
the earlier ritual. He added that while there are "very few cases" in
which the rite is used, the rite of exorcism-- which can only be used
under the guidance of the local bishop, and with the consent of the
person suffering diabolical possession-- remains necessary because
the Devil is a reality. He cautioned that while many Catholics today
no longer profess belief in the Devil, that belief "is not a matter of
opinion which one can accept or reject; it is an element of faith and
The News Service Noticias Eclesiales also reports that during the presentation,
Cardinal Estevez pointed out that "exorcism has its departure point in the faith
of the Church, according to which Satan and other evil spirits
exist and that their main activity consists of deviating men
from the path to salvation."
Regarding the real existence
of the devil and his harmful action in the world, he pointed out
that "the devil is the liar par excellence. Lies have always
been, right from the beginning, his preferred strategy to
deceive men making them believe that happiness is in money,
power, and carnal concupiscence."
Columbian bishops call for all to unify in helping those victims devastated by the terrible temblors there
On the heels of the most damaging and devastating earthquake in Columbian history, the Columbia Bishops Conference, headed by Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, called for everyone to rally behind efforts targeted to relieve the suffering and losses of the tens of thousands injured and nearly 200,000 left homeless after Monday's shocker. Another quake shook the country Wednesday and the entire populace are in great fear of more which hinders the bishops efforts to centralize a plan to aid the victims. For more, click on Columbia calamity.
COLOMBIAN EPISCOPATE REQUESTS SOLIDARITY AFTER EARTHQUAKE
BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo
of Medellin, president of the Colombian Bishops'
Conference, issued an urgent statement on Tuesday calling
for a campaign of solidarity with the victims of the
earthquake that hit the country on Monday.
The earthquake affected the eastern, coffee-producing
region of Armenia, Pereira, and Manizales. According to
official reports, half of the city of Armenia has been
destroyed and at least 300 dead and 1,200 injured have been
reported, but the figures may rise as rescue operation
continue. "In this year devoted to God the Father and
focused on the virtue of Charity, the painful tragedy of
our brothers and sisters in the coffee region is a test to
our Christian fraternity," said Archbishop Giraldo in the
"Once again, the pain of those who have lost their loved
ones and are now homeless is knocking at the doors of our
hearts," the document said, making reference to the
earthquake that devastated the same region in 1995. "It is
Christ who is showing his suffering face in our brethren
and who invites us to break all indifference and attachment
to our goods and give our best to God in the person of the
"We only own before God what we give generously to the ones
in need," he added. Archbishop Giraldo called priests,
religious, and committed laymen to launch a collection that
will take place on Sunday, January 31 at the parishes and on
February 1 in all other Catholic institutions such as
schools, colleges, and hospitals. "The help will be sent
immediately to our fellow bishops of Armenia and Pereira,
as a sign of ecclesial communion," he concluded.
Yet another priest shot to death; this one in the Dominican Republic
This is getting to be a bad, bad habit globally: It seems that every other day or so we must report the martyrdom of another priest or religious in some part of the world. We have a dire shortage as it is and with the loss of each one it further depletes the flock. This time Father Cipriano Ibanez, a Spanish Salesian priest was gunned down by carjackers enroute to celebrate Mass in the Dominican Republic city of Santa Domingo. The CWN report yesterday reported the priest killed in Ecuador was a Salesian where, in actuality, he was a Franciscan priest. They regret the error. For more, click on Another martyr
SPANISH PRIEST KILLED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MADRID (CWNews.com) - Spanish state radio reported on
Wednesday that a Spanish Salesian missionary was murdered
in the Dominican Republic.
Father Cipriano Ibanez, 72, was killed on Tuesday by
robbers who shot him after he refused to give them his car,
according to the report. He was on his way to celebrate Mass
in Santo Domingo.
In Tuesday's story about the murder of
Father Hector Fabio Rojas in Ecuador, he was mistakenly
identified as a Salesian. The slain priest is actually a
member of the Order of Friars Minor, a Franciscan order. We
regret the error.
The only blessing of the riots in Indonesia: East Timor could get their independence!
For over the past two decades the government of Indonesia has stubbornly refused to grant East Timor independence status as the UN has called for since their release from Portugal. Now, because of the problems with student unrest, vehement rioting and religious wars that have thrown Indonesia into economic and cultural chaos, they might be ready to "unload" the nation that has been their biggest headache. It is also a matter of cultures for East Timor is heavily Catholic through the centuries-old influence of the Portuguese while Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country. For more, click on Independence from Indonesia.
INDONESIA RAISES POSSIBILITY OF EAST TIMOR INDEPENDENCE
JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - For the first time since invading
and annexing the former Portuguese colony 23 years ago, the
government of Indonesia raised the possibility of
independence for East Timor on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said at a news conference on
Wednesday, "If they want to have their freedom, they are
welcome." Information Minister Yunus Yosfiah quoted
President B.J. Habibie as saying that Indonesia's highest
legislative body could take up the issue later this year of
East Timor's leaving this southeast Asian nation.
East Timor, which is predominately Catholic, was invaded by
Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, in
1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not
recognized by the United Nations. The region has suffered
bloodshed and human rights abuses since then as
revolutionary groups and government soldiers battled for
control of the region.
The remarks follows weeks of clashes in other parts of
Indonesia between Christians and Muslims that have resulted
in dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries, and enormous
property damage. The worst economics crisis in decades has
exacerbated divisions and suspicions in the country,
igniting riots and violence.
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
Today, in honor of the great Saint Thomas Aquinas, we feature the official site of his Order - DOMINICAN ORDER OF PREACHERS. It is the web site for the religious community founded by Saint Dominic and enhanced by St. Thomas and others and is dedicated to preaching, teaching and fostering devotion to the Rosary.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 28, 1999 volume 10, no. 19 DAILY CATHOLIC