It was mercy to "see" my Son in every moment of His Passion. It was also martyrdom, for I could not be with Him, Who I had borne in by virginal womb, nourished at my virginal breast. My heart was rent asunder when I could not comfort Him in my arms, nor wipe the blood from His body, nor tenderly kiss each wound.
I could only pray!
That is what I ask each of you to do. As I united myself to the Father’s will, mankind’s redemption drew nearer. This also gave me great joy, for this was the reason for my Divine Son’s coming to earth. I, His holy, sinless Mother, wanted only what He wanted: complete obedience to the Divine Will.
My Little Ones there are so many sublime mysteries in my Divine Son’s life that you will know only in Heaven. But I solemnly tell you that you must do as I did—pray! In your prayer which rises from your heart you shut out the evil one and hear only God’s voice.
No matter the trial you shall have strength. You shall have His peace. This is vital for all of you in these end times and it is possible for each of you if only you will pray from your heart and unite that prayer to my Divine Son’s Passion.
In the holy season of Lent be crucified with my Jesus, Who did all for love of you. Then shall the Spirit of God fill you and give you holy wisdom and pure discernment.
Pray with me, your heavenly Mother, for I shall be with you as I was also with my Son - through prayer that united our hearts and souls.
Death of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess and patron saint of travelers and gardeners
Treaty of Edinburgh, where Scotland's independence is recognized by Rome and Pope John XXII
Edward, son of King Edward III of England becomes first to receive title of Royal Duke of Cornwall, as the One Hundred Year breaks out between England and France, preventing Pope Benedict XII from organizing a united crusade against the infidels.
Pope Alexander VI orders a cave in Ireland sealed, the same one St. Patrick had tabbed as one which, through a private revelation, revealed it led to hell. It had become known as "St. Patrick's Purgatory" and attracted many pilgrims expecting to see the torments of hell up close and personal. Why is beyond us.
Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator and explorer discovers the Philippines, establishing that region for Portugal and bringing the faith to this region where it has flourished ever since despite persecutions by the Moors.
King Francis I of France is released from Spanish captivity through the intervention of Pope Clement VII in an effort to gain protection from the ravaging of the Emperor Charles V in a see-saw battle that saw Rome waver in its loyalty between France and Germany in an effort to save Rome and the rest of Italy.
Catholics of New York City celebrate the first St. Patrick's Day at the Crown and Thistle Tavern.
Irish Catholics stage their first St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City on this date, even before the nation is established.
In an article published in the English newspaper The Tablet, Father Gumpel underlines that in regard to the beatification cause of Pope Pius XII "something shameful is going on," due to the numerous and groundless critics that have risen presenting an distorted idea of the role the Pontiff carried out during World War II.
In his examination of the facts relative to this time, Father Gumpel highlights the many testimonies of gratitude shown to the Holy Father upon concluding the war, many of them coming personally from Jews and from their organizations in different parts of the world. "Nevertheless," he says, "their witness is today largely ignored by many who were still children or not yet born at the time of the Holocaust."
Later on, the Jesuit priest, that suffered himself the nazi persecution, recalled that it was Rolf Hochhuth and his anti-Catholic work The Vicar, who began the strange public attacks against Pope Pius XII. He also pointed out once more how this work clearly evidences Hochhuth's lack of historical knowledge and has been criticized by many personalities - including Jewish historians- for its distorted and tendentious presentation of the facts. The relator of the cause makes a brief reference to the great amount of facts and documents that show what the Church did under the orientation of Pope Pius XII.
On the other hand, showing the ignorance of many, Gumpel highlighted the publication - ordered by Pope Paul VI - of all the documents related to the Second World War, known as Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. "The 12 volumes contain 5,100 documents published according to high scientific standards." Trying not to judge the intentions of those who act in this manner, Gumpel simply points out: "People who demand that the Vatican publish the documents regarding this period are ill informed." There is even the existence since 1997 of a 336 page volume, elaborated by one of the investigators, Father Pierre Blet, Pius XII and the Second World War, according to the archives of the Vatican. Blet is one of the most serious historians on that time, publishing his book to make accessible the immense amount of Vatican documentation accumulated in the twelve volumes that cover from 1939 to 1945.
Later on, responding to the strange critic of supposed silence by the Pontiff, Father Gumpel reminds that "the truth is that Pius XII repeatedly and publicly condemned the persecution of innocent people for the sole reason of their race." Accusations against the Pope from Nazi authorities were immediate and many facts confirm this. "Pius XII also avoided more vehement public declarations because experience had taught him not only that they did not save a single Jewish life, but, on the contrary, that they triggered even more violent persecutions of the Jews." The statement of the Dutch Catholic bishops, points out Gumpel, left this clear in the Pope's mind, who even decided not to publish a public protest already written given the consequences that it could have. After the Dutch Bishop's statement, Catholics of Jewish origin were sent to concentration camps, among them the religious Saint Theresa Benedicta, whose lay name was Edith Stein.
"The only effective way of helping the Jews," points out Father Gumpel, "consisted in shielding them secretly from the Nazis. This was the strategy adopted by Pius XII. Pinchas Lapide, after many years of research in Jewish sources, came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church, at Pius XII's instructions, saved between 700,000 and 860,000 Jewish lives."
Vigorously responding to vain scandals and even absurd pressures, Father Gumpel concludes: "The cause of the beatification and canonization of Pope Pius XII, who is rightly venerated by many millions of Catholics, will not be stopped or delayed by the unjustifiable and calumnious attacks against this great and saintly man." The article of Father Gumpel once again evidences the coherence in the luminous life of charity of Pope Pius XII, during this chapter of indefatigable work undertaken by the Supreme Pontiff in the difficult years of World War II.
In a directly related story reported by Catholic World News from the Vatican, it was one year ago-- on March 16, 1998-- the Vatican released a new document on the Holocaust, entitled: “We Remember: a Reflection on the Shoah.” The document was prepared by the Holy See’s Commission on Relations with Judaism.
This week Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the president of the commission which released that document, made reference to the strong reactions from some Jewish organizations, particularly regarding the document’s references to Pope Pius XII. The cardinal observed that there were “strong reactions” to the document’s report that Pope Pius had directly or indirectly saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Nazi era.
"The pontificate of Pius XII must become an object of deeper and more objective study," Cardinal Cassidy said. He was participating in a conference to announce the publication of a new book, Pius XII and the Jews, by Sister Margherita Marchione. Cardinal Cassidy himself wrote the preface to that book.
The cardinal said that Pope Pius XII was unjustly accused remaining silent about the Holocaust. That accusation is not based on an objective study of the facts, he said. Rather, it is the result of an attack on the memory of the wartime pope, which began with the presentation of the dramatic work, The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth, in 1963.
The new book by Sister Marchione offers testimony from Jewish and Catholic leaders who were active during the years of World War II, and have direct knowledge of the work of Pope Pius. The 250-page work (published in English under the title, Yours Is a Precious Witness), also provides carefully documented statistics regarding the number of Jews who became victims of the Holocaust.
The St. John Vianney Theological Seminary will begin to educate all of the archdiocese's growing number of seminarians in Denver for the first time. The seminary will operate as part of the new Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute which will offer pontifical degrees in association with the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome.
Archbishop Chaput said the new institute is "dedicated to forming a new generation of Catholic evangelizers for today's new mission territory -- right here in northern Colorado." At first, the institute will offer STB (baccalaureate in sacred theology) degrees only to seminarians in its initial phase, but will eventually be opened to laymen in the future. The archbishop said he also hopes to offer licentiate and doctorate programs as well.
Solicitor Rosemary Nelson -- who had represented a number of Catholic and nationalist clients -- suffered serious leg injuries when the bomb went off under her car in Lurgan, County Armagh on Monday. Prime Minister Tony Blair said no effort would be spared in hunting down and bringing to justice those responsible. The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews, said the killing was clearly designed to sabotage the peace process at a critical time.
The Church of Ireland (Episcopalian) Bishop of Down and Dromore, Bishop Harold Miller, condemned the bombing as a "cruel and appalling murder." He said he had hoped that the days of such evil deeds were past, and he was deeply saddened that there were still "coldly calculating people in our midst who are prepared to take the life of another human being."
The Royal Ulster Constabulary said no warning had been given and no group had claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Procuring an abortion had once been a "reserved sin" in which the confessor was required to send the penitent person to the bishop to receive absolution because of the grave matter involved. Although the practice was officially ended with the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the cardinal made the announcement in hopes of reconciling lapsed Catholics.
The cardinal said he wanted to give those involved with abortion the opportunity to "make peace with God and their unborn child." He said, "God is ready to give you His forgiveness. Certainly, what happened was and remains terribly wrong, but do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope."
Cardinal Winning's remarks came as he spoke on the second anniversary of a pro-life initiative that offers help to women considering abortion. He announced that the 107th baby born under the program was delivered on Monday and a further 46 women were due to give birth.
Meanwhile, Noticias Eclesia reported in Church News out of Mexico City that Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, warned that no authority can force Catholics to hide their faith nor can impose them "to live in schizophrenia or in duality asking them to behave in one way as citizens and in another as believers."
The Mexican Cardinal urged Catholics to live a committed coherence with their faith in all circumstances of life. All this was stated in the context of the debate generated by the presentation of a bill that would eliminate penalization for abortion.
He insisted that Catholics can not reduce Christian life to the knowledge of the Creed, nor a mere moral or a series of rites. Faith, he continued, is not only a «party dress that one takes out of the wardrobe in order to go to Mass on Sundays», but it must be the light of our lives.