DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     November 15, 1999     vol. 10, no. 216


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Monday, November 15, 1999

    Monday November 15: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Albert the Great, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: 1 Machabees 1: 10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-64
      Psalms: Psalm 119: 53, 61, 88, 150, 155, 158
      Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 35-43

Feast of Saint Albert the Great, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church

        The 13th Century-born Saint Albert the Great was a product of the Dominican dominance of that period. Born in the family castle at Lauingen, Bavaria in 1206, Albert was sent to the University of Padua in Italy to study and where he entered the Dominican seminary in 1223. After ordination, Albert began teaching at the Order's priory in Cologne, Germany. From there it was on to teach at Freiburg-im-Breisgau, then Regensberg, followed by Strassburg, and finally the University of Paris. There he received his doctorate at the age of 39. Shortly after he was named regent at the University. Among his students was a young Dominican who hung on his every word. Thank God he did for that young man was none other than Saint Thomas Aquinas one of the most learned holy men in the history of the Church. Albert discerned how great Thomas would be and personally tutored the young priest. Albert was the Dominican Provincial of Germany from 1254 to 1257 when he resigned to draw up, along with Thomas Aquinas, a new study curriculum for the Dominican Order in 1259. A year later, though he declined the honor, he was still appointed bishop of Regensburg. In 1262 he resigned the bishopric in order to go back to teaching at the University in Cologne. He took an avctive role in the Council of Lyons held in 1274. That same year his pupil St. Thomas died and for a few years after Albert was the learned saint's greatest defender, specifically of his great work "Summa Theologica". Albert traveled to Paris in 1278 to staunchly defend Thomas' teachings. There had been a group of theologians at the University of Paris, headed by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris, who, followers of Saint Augustine and Plato, disagreed with the techniques used by Albert and Thomas. The two saints had pioneered the "Scholastic" method and applied the principles of Aristotle in revealing Church Doctrine. Albert wrote numerous works on Sacred Scripture as well as countless thesises on the Blessed Mother, more than anyone to that time in Church annals. Less than a year later at the age of 72 Albert contracted, what many believe was Alzheimer's Disease and his acumen for teaching and writing greatly diminished until on November 15, 1280 God took him home. He was canonized in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. At that same time Pius proclaimed Albert "Albertus Magnus" "the Universal Doctor" - now a Doctor of the Church. Ten years later Pius XI's successor Pope Pius XII proclaimed Albert as the "Patron of Students and Natural Sciences."

Tuesday, November 16, 1998

    Tuesday November 16:
    Thirty-third Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland, Wife, Mother and Queen and
    Feast of Saint Gertrude the Great, Virgin and Religious

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: 2 Maccabees 6: 18-31
      Psalms: Psalm 3: 2-6, 8
      Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 1-10

Feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland, Wife, Mother and Queen

          The saint who would become Queen of Scotland Saint Margaret of Scotland was born in Hungary in 1045 while her family was in exile. There in the court of King Saint Stephen her father Prince Edward d'Outremer (the Exile) and her mother, a German princess named Agatha reared the young girl. At the age of 12, the Danish King Knute who had been on the English throne was deposed and King Edward the Confessor became ruler in England. The family returned to England but Margaret had to flee with her mother and siblings after the fierce Battle of Hastings in 1066. King Malcolm III of Scotland gave them refuge there in northern Britain and at the age of 25 she was married to Malcolm at Dunfermline Castle. Though Malcolm had been a ruthless king, her pious manner and example converted him to a man of great virtue. They sired eight children, two of which became saints: Saint David and Saint Edith who became Queen of England as Matilda. As Queen of Scotland, Margaret showed a great affinity to the poor and homeless by providing hospices as well as constructing churches and monasteries throughout Scotland. She also changed protocol within the court by eliminating many ecclesiastical irregularities which had seeped into the liturgy. In addition she reinstated important Latin customs that had been neglected, specifically the observance of Ash Wednesday to signify the beginning of Lent, as well as keeping Easter duty and maintaining the Sabbath as a day of rest. Margaret died on November 16, 1093 at Edinburgh Castle which was under attack after learning that Malcolm and one of her sons had been killed by rebels who had assaulted Alnwick Castle. Almost immediately following her death her followers venerated Margaret as a saint and she was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1250. In 1673 Pope Clement X proclaimed St. Margaret "Patroness of Scotland."

Feast of Saint Gertrude the Great, Virgin, Religious and Mystic

          In 1256, while St. Albert was the Dominican Provincial of Germany, a young girl was born in Germany who would go on to become a great Benedictine. She was Saint Gertrude, also sometimes called "the Great" as Albert was. In 1261 Gertrude, an orphan, was placed under the direct care of abbess Gertrude of Hackebornthe sister of Saint Mechtilde. Here the younger Gertrude was nourished and became a professed Benedictine nun. In 1282, two years after the death of St. Albert, Sister Gertrude received the first of many revelations of Christ Himself in visions. Through inspiration messages she became a scholar of Sacred Scripture and the writings of great saints and recorded her mystical experiences in her work the "Book of Extraordinary Grace - Revelation of St. Gertrude". Devoutly devoted to the mystery of the Incarnation and the the Holy Eucharist, she received countless messages from Jesus on His Most Sacred Heart which she spread throughout Europe two centuries before Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. Gertrude received a very special prayer that, for some reason, has not been promulgated as it should. It is a very short, but powerful prayer which Jesus imparted to her that would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it was said devoutly. This SPECIAL PRAYER FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY was also extended by Pope Clement X to include those sinners who are living today by which the person praying this prayer could alleviate the indebtedness accrued during their lives. St. Gertrude also wrote many other books, some of which were not discovered until 1536. In addition she penned the mystical experiences of St. Mechtilde called "Liber Specialis Gratiae". St. Gertrude died at the Benedictine monastery of Helfta in Germany on November 17, 1302 at only 46. Though she was never formally canonized, in 1676 Pope Clement X decreed that her feast be celebrated in the universal Church on November 16th.

November 15, 1999       volume 10, no. 216


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