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July 9-18, 1999
SECTION FOUR vol 10, no. 132
Tuesday, July 13, 1998
Tuesday July 13:
Fifteenth Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Henry, Married man and ruler
Green or white vestments
First Reading: Exodus 2: 1-15
Psalms: Psalm 69: 3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 20-24
FEAST OF SAINT HENRY, HUSBAND AND RULER
A zealous reformer and evangelist, the Holy Roman Emperor Saint Henry dedicated his entire life to cultivating a deep love for Holy Mother Church and religious life. Born in 973, Henry married Saint Cunegundes, daughter of Sigefride and Hadeswige who had instilled in their daughter the same virtues Henry possessed. Together they strove to fulfill God's will from their positions of power. Because of their joint vow of chastity they never consummated their marriages, remaining pure virgins. Henry was a great advocate of private revelation for he was blessed with many visions and locutions. Just after the turn of the first millennium, he had a vision of his guardian Saint Wolfgang while in prayer one day. Wolfgang was pointing to the words "after six." Not sure what it meant, Henry interpreted it to mean he would die in six years and rededicated his life of prayer. After six years the meaning became evident when he was elected emperor of Germany upon the death of Otto III in 1006. In 1007 he was crowned at Magonza. Dedicating his rule to God, he brought peace to Bavaria, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia and Burgundy by defeating the pagan Slavs with only a small force. Many accounts of people seeing Henry's forces being led by the angels and saints have been passed down. He then turned his attention to Rome, rescuing Pope Benedict VIII from exile and deposing the antipope Gregory in 1012 while reinstating Benedict as the rightful successor of Peter. Benedict crowned Henry emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Whenever Henry entered a city he stopped first at a Church to pay his homage to the real King of kings - Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Once during Holy Mass, Henry was rewarded for his holiness by being blessed to see Jesus Himself celebrate Mass in St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Numerous saints filled the empty church as Henry knelt in prayer with Saint Lawrence and Saint Vincent assisting as deacon and sub-deacon respectively. After the Gospel, Our Lady dispatched an angel to Henry for him to kiss the holy book. Upon doing so, the angel touched him gently on his thigh, proclaiming: "Accept this sign of God's love for your chastity and justice." From that point on Henry became lame but knew it was God's will as well as a special gift and accepted it totally as a victim soul. Just before Henry died in 1024 he summoned Cunegundes' parents and, with his holy wife at his side gave her back to them proclaiming, "a virgin still, as a virgin he had received her from Christ." With that his own pure soul was taken up to Heaven. He was burried in Bamberg where he had established a diocese. Cunegundas went on to found a monastery of nuns in the diocese of Paderborn, turning it over to the Order of St. Benedict and became a consecrated religious herself after Henry's death. She died in 1040 and was buried next to Henry. They are considered the patron saints of married couples and hold for us the shining example of purity and fidelity to the duties of our state of life no matter what God has called us to do.
Wednesday, July 14, 1998
First Reading: Exodus 3: 1-6, 9-12
Psalms: Psalm 103: 1-4, 6-8
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 25-27
FEAST OF BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA, VIRGIN
The first Native American to be selected for canonization, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York in 1656; ten years after Jesuit martyrs Saint Isaac Jogues and Saint Jean de Lalande were slain in the same village. Her father was a ferocious, pagan Mohawk chief while her mother was from the Algonquin tribe and had been baptized by the Jesuit missionaries at Three Rivers in Quebec and taken by force from her village by the Iroquois and forced to marry her Mohawk husband. At the age of four, Kateri's family contracted smallpox which took the lives of her parents, prompting her mother's sisters and brothers to adopt the child. Though Kateri survived, her face was permanently disfigured and eyesight impaired. Yet she offered everything up joyously for she had lived. This joyous optimism translated to her converting to the faith on Easter Sunday in 1676. Her conversion prompted a rebellion by some in the tribe who not only ridiculed her and ostracized her, but retaliated against the Jesuits and were seeking Kateri out when one of the priests secretly alerted Kateri and she fled to a Christian colony just outside Montreal. After trekking over 200 miles through the wilderness, she finally reached her destination in 1677 where she studied under the Jesuit missionaries and an older, wise woman by the name of Anastasia. Through their guidance and example, Kateri grew in her faith, leading a life of great austerity and tremendous charity towards others, spending countless hours day and night before the Blessed Sacrament at the small chapel in the colony. At the age of 23 she made a vow of chastity to be a virgin for Jesus. But that chaste life was cut short a year later when she fell seriously ill from one of the many diseases of those times. Just before she passed onto her eternal reward on July 14, 1680, she exclaimed, "Jesus! Mary! I love you!" The death of this Lily of the Mohawks resulted in a fruitful religious revival amongst the Indian tribes who held her up as a saint even back then. In 1943 Pope Pius XII declared her Venerable and thirty seven years later she was elevated to Beatification status by Pope John Paul II. Many suspect it will not be long before she is declared a saint, following the lead of the Native Americans in Caughnawaga, Canada where she died.
Thursday, July 15, 1998
Thursday July 15:
Feast of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church
First Reading: Exodus 3: 13-20
Psalms: Psalm 105: 1, 5, 8-9, 24-27
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 28-30
FEAST OF SAINT BONAVENTURE, BISHOP, RELIGIOUS AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Known as the "Seraphic Doctor," Saint Bonaventure, a holy Franciscan was born near Viterbo in Tuscany, Italy in 1221 five years before Saint Francis of Assisi died. As a child Bonaventure had contracted a mortal sickness and Francis came to his deathbead. There little Bonaventure was miraculously cured. So overcome was Francis with thankfulness to God for this wondrous event that he proclaimed "O bona ventura!" - Italian for "goodness goes with you wherever you go." From that moment on the child became Bonaventure. The fruits of Francis' zeal touched Bonaventure so much he entered the Franciscans in 1240 and was assigned to the University of Paris. After graduating and being ordained, he became a professor there where he teamed with the great Saint Thomas Aquinas to defend the Franciscan friars who were being pressured to resign from teaching by the Diocesan priests. Bonaventure had the full support of his friend who he advised - the king - Saint Louis. St. Aquinas was greatly moved by Bonaventure's tact and intelligence and asked him how he had acquired such great learning in so little time. Bonaventure answered simply by pointing to his crucifix. Thomas knew intuitively what he meant. Bonaventure also compiled the biography on the life of St. Francis during this time and once, while writing it, was discovered by Thomas to be in total ecstacy. Thomas remarked to his fellow teachers, "Let us leave a Saint to write of a Saint." Shortly thereafter in 1257 Bonaventure was selected Superior General of the Franciscans at the unusually early age of 35. In this position he promulgated the revision of the Franciscan constitution so that it would be more in line with what Francis intended. Yet he was prudent in keeping a peaceful balance between those who sought to observe the rule in the strictest sense and those who were more relaxed in the interpretation of the rule. He wrote, "look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love." He was offered the position of archbishop of York but respectfully declined in order to give his attention to his order and the people. Eventually, however, Blessed Pope Gregory X convinced him he should become cardinal and head the diocese of Albano. In obedience he complied and the Holy Father commissioned him to prepare everything for the Second Council of Lyons where he also spoke, winning over the Greeks as they came back in union with Rome. It was there a few weeks after the Council that Bonaventure died in 1274 with Blessed Gregory, most of the bishops assembled for the Council, and numerous loyal Franciscans at his bedside.
Friday, July 16, 1998
Friday July 16: Fifteenth Friday in Ordinary time and
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
White or green vestments
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, we present a Novena Prayer that carries an indulgence of 300 days. S. Pen., decreed on October 16, 1936:
O Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel, grant that we may share in all the prayers and penances of your holy cloistered daughters of the Carmelite Order. Bless their labors and pray that they may be a source of spiritual strength to all of us who struggle in the world outside their peaceful walls. O Mary, who entered the world free from stain, obtain for us from God that we may pass out of it free from sin.
First Reading: Exodus 11: 10; 12: 1-14
Psalms: Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-18
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 1-8
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast dates back to the time of the Old Testament for Carmel is the mountain of the renewal of the
Covenant and Divine intervention through Elijah the Prophet around 900 BC as revealed in Isaiah, Jeremiah and 1 Kings. Carmel, which lies on the border between Samaria and Galilee 20 miles from Nazareth, is derived from the Hebrew Karem el which means garden or orchard and vine of God. It has become a symbol of grace and that is why it so so fitting that the rain Elijah [Elias] prayed for came at Carmel as the "little cloud" (3 Kings 18: 44) turned into a mighty rain that wiped out the drought. So also in the New Covenant God sent "a little cloud" in the person of His Blessed Mother Mary to rain upon mankind the graces God bestows as the Mediatrix of all graces. In the 5th Century, Chrysippus of Jerusalem wrote of the Blessed Virgin, "Hail, Cloud of Rain that offers drink to the souls of the Saints." It was around the 12th Century that Carmel first became a place of veneration toward the Mother of God and monks took up sanctuary there living a holy rule. It was the beginning of the Carmelite Order founded in the Holy Land in 1154 by Saint Berthold and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their original name was Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. The original rule was set down by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1209. The Crusades were instrumental in bringing the Carmelites to Europe through the work of Saint Simon Stock whose feast this date the Church formally celebrated. This English monk learned through private revelation of locutions and visions from Our Lady that he was to join an order not known in Britain, yet dedicated to her, and was asked to wait until a few White Friars, as they were called, came to England with the returning Crusaders. Then he was guided to join this Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Because of his holiness and reverence and, because of the Providence of God through Our Lady, Simon was chosen the Prior-General of the Order at Aylesford, England in 1245. But it wasn't to be easy. Many persecutions arose against the Carmelites and always Simon went in filial obedience to Our Lady for consolation and direction. This led him to the famous apparition at the White Friar's convent in Cambridge, England on July 16, 1251 in which Our Lady appeared to him, presenting him with the Brown Scapular as an outward sign of protection, telling Simon, "Here is the privilege that I grant to you and to all the children of Carmel, whoever dies clothed in this habit shall be saved." Many miracles ensued and the Brown Scapular became legendary as miraculous protection for all who wore it and it spread rapidly through the centuries. Though it is not "magical" and one must be in a state of grace to receive the merits inherent in wearing the Scapular, it is another sign of God's infinite Mercy that He is with us always. The granting of the Scapular gave Simon the fortitude to reorganize the Carmelites into mendicant friars similar to the Franciscans which had begun a few decades prior. Simon died at Bordeaux in 1265 while evangelizing and establishing more
Carmelite houses in France. The feast of St. Simon Stock and Our Lady of Carmel were first introduced into the
Church in the late 1370's in commemoration of Pope Honorius III's approval of the Carmelite Rule. Over the next several centuries laxity set in and it wasn't until the 16th Century that Saint Theresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross reformed the Order, setting up two branches for both men and women: the Discalced and Calced. One branch was dedicated to contemplative, devoting themselves in prayers of intercession for the other branch of Carmelites who were active in the world in missionary activities. In 1726 Pope Benedict XIII introduced this feast into the Roman Calendar. The Carmelites' ideal became world-famous through the 1925 canonization of "the Little Flower" - Saint Theresa of Lisieux (1873-1897) by Pope Pius XI. Yes, the "little rain cloud" personified through Our Lady has brought the reign of God to countless millions through the Providence of Carmel.
Saturday, July 17, 1998
Saturday July 17:
Fifteenth Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday (see previous Saturday for vignette)
Green or white vestments
First Reading: Exodus 12: 37-42
Psalms: Psalm 136: 1, 10-12, 13-15, 23-24
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 14-21
SUNDAY, July 18, 1998
First Reading: Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19
Psalms: Psalm 85: 5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Second Reading: Romans 8: 26-27
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 24-43
Monday, July 19, 1998
First Reading: Exodus 14: 5-18
Psalms: Exodus 15: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 38-42
Events this weekend in Church History
While many events in Church annals occurred over this second week of July, one of the more important happened 429 years ago on Wednesday when Pope Saint Pius V released the new Tridentine Missal for all Catholics as a result of the decrees of the eighteen-year Council of Trent which totally reformed the Church and brought it back to the orthodoxy intended. These rubrics and liturgy lasted until 1964 when most of it was thrown out in favor of the new Mass or Novus Ordo which has had more than its share of problems as Cardinal Ratzinger has stated. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history for the second week of July, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 9:
Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama sets sale from Portugal enroute to India around the Cape of Good Hope, carrying with him missionaries to bring the faith to Southeast Asia.
Death of Pietro da Vinci, father of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci who was encouraged to paint by his father, a strong Italian Catholic.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 10:
Death of the seven martyrs who were the sons of Saint Felicitas during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius.
Death of Saint Rufina and Saint Secunda, sisters who died for the faith during the persecution of Roman Emperor Valerian.
Death of Pope Benedict VII, 135th successor of Peter. He was a man of great virtue who tried with all his might to stem the debauchery and the shameful ignorance which pervaded Italy and the Christian world. He was a proponent of instructing all in agriculture as a necessary means for survival and for utilizing God's gifts.
Death of Saint Antony Pechersky, a hermit who is often referred to as St. Anthony of the Caves. He established the first Russian monastery for Russian monks in Russia and is considered the father of Russian monasticism.
Establishment of the Catholic League and approval by Pope Paul V. This was an alliance of Catholic countries in fighting against the persecutions of Catholics, especially in England and Germany, and led by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 11:
Death of Pope Saint Pius I, 10th successor of Peter, as a martyr of the faith during the persecution of Roman Emperor Titus. Pius' rules for the conversion of Jews are considered to be important in Church evangelization.
Death of Saint Benedict, abbot and religious founder who is also known as the father of western monasticism. For more on this founder of the Benedictines, see LITURGY.
Death of Saint Olga, who is also known as Saint Helga. This Russian saint married the prince of Kiev and became ruler of Kiev after his murder which she avenged. She repented of her revenge when she became a Christian in 957 and changed her ways, moving many to convert to Christianity. Her greatest convert was her grandson Vladimir who would go on to evangelize Russia after her death at Kiev.
Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi, through the strong influence and meddling of the Sicilian King Charles of Anjou, becomes the 186th successor of Peter and chooses the name Pope Hadrian V. Though his pontificate lasted only 39 days, he was never actually consecrated. He put ecclesiastical laws in order and suspended Pope Gregory X's norms concerning the conclave, which in future elections would be greatly debated.
Pope Clement VII, despite trying every measure to persuade the king of England, has no choice but to excommunicate Henry VIII and declare his divorce from Catherine of Aragon null and void, upholding the insolubility of the sacrament of matrimony.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 12:
Death of the martyrs Saint Nabor and Saint Felix who died for the faith in Milan during the last years of Roman Emperor Dioceletian's persecution.
Saint Felix IV becomes the 54th successor of Peter on this day. Though the King of the Goths Theodoric played a significant role in getting Felix elected and consecrated, when the king realized Felix' loyalty lay with Holy Mother Church and his flock rather than the monarch's own selfish interests, the king became infuriated and exiled Felix.
Death of Saint John Gaulbert, Abbott. Educated by the Benedictines in Florence, he founded the famous Monastery of Valombrosa and played a big part in reforming religious houses which had strayed in discipline. On his tombstone was the title: "Liberator of Italy."
A man named Corrado becomes Pope Anastasius IV, 168th successor of Peter. He served just under a year and a half, but through his gentleness of character he succeeded in bringing about the pacification of the temporal domains of the Church.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 13:
Death of Saint Eugenius of Carthage, Bishop who was cruely treated by Arians in Tripoli. Though he was sentenced to die a martyr, a last minute order by the King Thrasimund banished him instead to Languedoc. There he died at a monastery on this day.
Death of Pope Leo VII, 126th Successor of Peter who reformed and reorganized monastic life. Leo hd the ancient Cenobite near the Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-walls rebuilt and wrote multiple letters to the French and German bishops condemning witchcraft and fortune telling.
Death of Saint Henry II, Duke of Bavaria. For more, see our saints section in the LITURGY
Birth of Emilio Altieri in Rome. He would go on to become a cardinal and be elected the 239th Successor of Peter on May 11, 1670 as Pope Clement X known for securing the nomination of John Sobieskyas King of Poland for his brilliant defeat of the Turks at the battle of Chaezim.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 14:
Death of Saint Ulrich of Zell, a monk of Cluny who had the gift of miracles, though he was blinded the last years of his life.
Death of Saint Bonaventure, Franciscan scholar who studied with Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Dominic and counseled many Popes. For more, see his story in LITURGY.
The new Tridentine missal containing the reforms of the Church and liturgy enacted at the Council of Trent officially goes into effect in all Roman Catholic churches throughout the world as so decreed by Pope Saint Pius V who stated that the Tridentine Mass would be said in perpetuity.
Death of Saint Francis Solano, Spanish missionary who became known as "the Wonder Worker of the New World" for his efforts for God in Argentina, Paraguay, and Peru, where he died in Peru on this day. He was canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.
Death of Saint Camillus de Lellis, religious founder of the Ministers of the Sick (the Camellians). His confessor was Saint Philip Neri. In 1591 Pope Gregory XIV officially made the Camellians an order and St. Camillus dispatched his ministers to tend to the wounded troops in Hungary and Croatia, thus becoming the first field medical unit. He died in Rome and, along with Saint John of God is considered the patron of the sick. Pope Pius XI declared him Patron Saint of Nurses in this century.
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 15:
Death of Saint James of Nisibis, Bishop whose prayers played a great role in the demise of Arianism at the Council of Niceae.
Saint Swithin's Day. Though this British saint, who was a bishop, died on July 2, 862 the fifteenth of July has remained the day that if it rains on this day it will rain for forty days. This is of course a superstition but very popular in England on the ides of July.
Death of Saint Vladimir I of Kiev, ruthless Russian ruler who, after converting to Christianity, became a gentle ruler who opened the door for Christianity to enter Russia. He built schools, churches and helped promulgate the faith there. He is considered the Patron Saint of Russian Catholics.
10,000 are killed at the capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. .
Saint Joan of Arc is unfairly accused of heresy and handed over to Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais.
Saint Philip Neri receives papal approval from Pope Gregory XIII for his Congregation of the Oratory on this date and given the Church of St. Mary in Vallicela for the Oratorians'
Friday, July 16th through Sunday, July 18th can be found in SECTION FIVE
July 9-18, 1999 volume 10, no. 132 DAILY CATHOLIC