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January 29-31, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 20
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
Because of his feast falling on the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Feast of Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, is not celebrated this year but it doesn't mean we can't remember him and his accomplishments. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are liturgies of Ordinary Time with Saturday being shared by the observation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes on this latter feast and St. John Bosco, click on LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND.
Friday, January 29, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 10: 11-18
Psalms: Psalm 110: 1-4
Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20
Saturday, January 30, 1999
Saturday January 29:
Third Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Green or White vestments
First Reading: Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19
Psalms: Luke 1: 68-75
Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 35-41
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 31, 1999
First Reading: Zephaniah 2: 3; 3:12-13
Psalms: Psalm 146: 6-10 and Matthew 5: 3
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 1-12
Today's feast of Saint John Bosco is superseded by the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Nevertheless, January 30th is the traditional feast of this mystical and charismatic Priest, Religious Educator and Founder.
Saint John Bosco, Mystical and Charismatic Priest, Religious Educator and Founder
Born on the feast of the Assumption just outside Turin, Italy in 1815, Saint John Bosco or Dom Bosco grew to become the "Apostle of the youth." By showing love and care for the young, he was able to shape thousands of lives. Raised by a very pious mother, John, in his own youth, had a dream vision of boys cursing, fighting, punching and cajoling others to do the same. In this dream he was told to show these youths the evils of sin and the beauty of virtue. Our Blessed Mother appeared to him, placing her hands on John. This was a sign he was to be a priest. He paid his own way through school and the seminary, working as a baker, a tailor, a farmer, shoemaker and carpenter. Ordained in 1841, his grandiose dreams to help the young seemed to take a detour when he was assigned to the ghettos of Turin. Undaunted, he worked tirelessly using the talents he had acquired moonlighting throughout his seminary training. Those talents paid off in recruiting a number of priests which led to forming the Religious Society of Salesians, thus named for their patron Saint Francis de Sales whose feast we celebrated a week ago. It was not easy for John. His life was threatened often, but his faith in God pulled his new Order and this dedicated saint through the rough times. In 1859 Pope Pius IX gave general approval for the Salesians. His fame as an educator spread across the continent and over the seas to America. John Bosco became on of the greatest pioneers of modern vocational education. He was totally devoted to the Pope and demanded the same of his brother priests and the youth they taught. When he died on January 31, 1888 at the age of 73 in Turin he he was responsible for over 800 Salesian priests with over sixty Salesian foundations established as well as the Daughters of Our Lady, Help of Christians which he founded in 1872 in order to provide for the poor and neglected young girls. On Easter Sunday in 1934 Pope Pius XI canonized this crusader of vocations.
Monday, February 1, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 11: 32-40
Psalms: Psalm 31: 20-25
Gospel Reading: Mark 5: 1-20
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
This weekend's prayers are taken from the Opening Prayers for the Mass honoring Saint John Bosco whose feast Sunday is superseded by the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Lord, You called John Bosco to be a teacher and father to the young. Fill us with love like his: may we give ourselves completely to Your service and to the salvation of mankind.
"I solemnly tell you that this decade shall not pass away before only a few of My faithful ones preserve Me in the Blessed Sacrament - My Sacrament of Love."
Those alarming words from Our Lord are a plea for His children to return to Him and give Him all reverence in the Blessed Sacrament. He alerts us that the Great Warning is coming soon. Note, He imparted this 372nd message to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on July 9th, 1993. That was six years ago and we have less than a year before this decade passes. His Blessed Mother Mary prefaces her Divine Son's words in her message the day before, "The time of Great Justice shall come when you least expect it!" Both messages are packed with hope, but also sincere warnings of what is to come if God's children do not right their ways and return to Him. For the messages 371 and 372, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Seventy-one and Three Hundred-Seventy-two
Message Three Hundred-Seventy-one, July 8, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am with you and I bless you, your family and my consecrated daughters.
Behold, I am sending you to be a beacon of light, but as my little one, my hidden one, I am sending you much help, for the battle of the evil one against the Triune Divinity is in full progress.
I say now to all my children: Behold the signs which God is still giving you. In your own land the ravages of nature destroy more than you can imagine. This is a warning from God, and in His Mercy He shall give more, for He desires for all to come to my Divine Son through my Immaculate Heart!
O! My little ones how God loves you. But you do not desire to understand His Love. You think of it only in human terms, but He, Who is, does not give you His Love in this measure. Only by your total surrender of will to the Divine Will shall you understand. And in your understanding you will know also that Perfect Love cannot be separated from Perfect Justice.
I solemnly tell you anew: Convert your hearts. The time of Great Justice shall come when you least expect it! Woe, triple woe to all who willingly follow the lies of the evil one! Woe, triple woe to all of my consecrated sons and daughters who are self-righteous, pride-filled people who speak the name of my Divine Son, and deny Him as Judas did. They betray Him over and over by their heresy and blasphemy in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I, the Mother of God call to you in love! O! Hear me for my warnings are a sign of God's Mercy. Return all reverence to my Divine Son and you shall be enlightened in these end times.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Seventy-two, July 9, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus)
(Before the Blessed Sacrament)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am the Lord Thy God. I am truly present - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! Blessed are they who believe and truly reverence Me. Blessed are they who seek Me, but cannot find Me because of the apostasy, schism and heresy in the Church - My Church!
I solemnly tell you that this decade shall not pass away before only a few of My faithful ones preserve Me in the Blessed Sacrament - My Sacrament of Love.
In Mercy do I call all of My children to come to Me. Do not remain on the surface, lukewarm and proud. Rather, be as humble, little children and I, your God and Savior shall give to you all knowledge which you need. I shall be your Food, your Light.
I am your Refuge. I am calling you. Will you ignore My pleas, and the pleas of My Holy Mother?
The Justice is at hand. Chastisement abounds and will increase unless you return to Me as little children, and acknowledge Me as King of Kings. The moment comes when the Father shall permit each of you to see your soul as He sees it. Then shall unity come; but also the great battle.
Prepare now. Love, honor, worship and reverence Me. I am God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. I suffer each day at your abominations. Heed My words. Cease your godless ways and the Reign of My Sacred Heart shall come.
I love you. I bless you. Come! Come now!
Events this weekend in Church History
Sunday is the 1, 685th anniversary of the election of Pope Saint Sylvester I, the first Supreme Pontiff to benefit from the Edict of Milan in which Constantine the Great granted freedom to Christians and made Christianity the state religion. During this time the emperor was of greater importance than the Popes and Sylvester was overshadowed by Constantine, but he did exert his ecclesiastical powers by forging through the Creed at the Council of Nicaea - the first ecumenical council - even though he never attended in person, preferring to remain in Rome both because of the distance and to avoid being considered just "another bishop" rather than the exalted Bishop of the Universal Church. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for January 29:
Death of Saint Gaudentius, Bishop of Novara, Italy and martyred for Christ at Bergell.
Death of Saint Anastasius, a Persian soldier who was strangled and decapitated on the shores of the Euphrates River because he would not renounce his faith but rather converted all the prisoners and prison guards; so much so that even torture could not turn the flood of converts to this mystical, holy man. Miracles attributed to his intercession were said to have occurred abundantly after his death.
Death of Brithwold, Benedictine Bishop of Ramsbury and Sarum. He possessed mystical gifts, receiving visions and messages from above.
Pope Sixtus V issues his decree "Immense aeterni" reforming the Roman Curia.
Death of Saint Vincent Pallotti,priest and teacher of theology in Rome who was canonized during the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI.
Pope Pius IX establishes the American College in Rome.
Historical Events in Church Annals for January 30:
Death of Saint Agrippinus, ninth successor of Saint Mark as bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Whether he was martyred or died a natural death is not documented.
Death of Saint Martina of Rome. Orphaned at an early age, she remained a virgin all her life. Though tempted and forced to give up her virginity to a Roman courter, she steadfastly refused. The spurned suitor became incensed and betrayed her by turning her into the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus who had her beheaded and thrown to the lions in the colisseum.
Death of Saint Savina of Milan, a virgin who tended to the imprisoned Christians and following through with burial of their bodies after they had been martyred. She was killed herself by Diocletian's soldiers while praying at the grave of Saint Felix.
Death of Saint Aldegund, who is the patron saint of breast cancer patients since she also died of this disease. She founded the abbey of Maubeuge in France and became its first abbess.
Death of Saint Bathildis, Saxon queen who married King Clovis and was privileged to have Saint Eligius to give her spiritual direction. Her early upbringing prompted her to lower taxation on the poor so the families could also raise families. She also ruled that no Christians or French citizen could be sold into slavery. Many believe she was the first crusader toward abolishing slavery. When Clovis died she gave up the castle in favor of life as a Benedictine nun where she lived out her life as a simple, humble religious at Chelles Abbey outside of Paris.
Death of Saint Hyacinth Mariscotti, who strayed often but, in sickness, rediscovered the Church and her vocation as a Franciscan Tertiary. Learning from her mistakes she became an excellent novice mistress because she was able to relate with the temptations the novices were experiencing.
Historical Events in Church Annals for January 31:
Election of Pope Saint Sylvester I as 33rd successor of Peter. His pontificate would last 21 years and he would be the first Pope to wear the papal tiara. He would celebrate the first Ecumenical Council, overseeing the Council of Nicaea from Rome, yet would play a significant role in defining the "Credo" that would be said henceforth at all Masses. He would also institute Sunday as a holyday in memory of the Resurrection and would create the "Iron Cross" with a nail from the true Holy Cross of Christ.
Death of Saint Aidan, Irish missionary to Wales who founded numerous monasteries and churches and had many miracles attributed to him. Before he died he promised to protect three of his monasteries at Ferns, Drumlane and Rossinver and to seal this bequeathed his staff, a bell and a reliquary to the respective religious institutions. To this day the monasteries and willed gifts remain intact.
Death of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchini, a Barnabite priest who was known and loved for his mystical gifts iincluding prophecies. In 1805 it is documented that when Mt. Vesuvius was preparing to erupt once more, he blessed the first river of lava that flowed down and it froze, stopping further eruptions. He is ofent called the "Apostle of Naples" because of his work with the poor, the desolate and juvenile delinquent teen boys and girls.
Death of Blessed Mary Christina, royal daughter of King Victor Emmanuel who married the monarch of the two Sicilies King Ferdinand II. She was only 23 when she died.
Death of Saint John Bosco, Founder of the Salesians. For more on this saint, see THIS WEEKEND'S LITURGY.
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January 29-31, 1999 volume 10, no. 20 DAILY CATHOLIC