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September 14, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 174
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Today is the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross while tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these two memorable feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Tuesday, September 14, 1999
First Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9
Psalms: Psalm 78: 1-2, 34-38
Second Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11
Gospel Reading: John 3: 13-17
FEAST OF THE TRIUMPH OF THE HOLY CROSS
In the Latin Roman Rite this feast is celebrated on September 14th each year to celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, died. Historians record that the true cross was unearthed by the Empress Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great in the year 326. With Constantine as emperor his mother had the funds and the visa so-to-speak to conduct an extensive expedition for the true cross for it was the sign of the cross in the sky that enabled her son to be victorious - "In hoc signo vinces." Though she was nearly 80 years old her mission was to uncover Christ's cross so that all the world could give it the reverence and veneration it deserved. On arriving in Jerusalem there was no visible sign of any evidence because the heathens had constructed pagan temples over anything Christian to show their disdain. This was the signal to Helena where to look and so she sought out where stones had been piled high, leading her to many discoveries including the sepulchre where Jesus was buried, finding the tools of torture as well after she had the pagan temples destroyed. In the process her expedition nearby uncovered three crosses with the nail holes still visible and, after more digging, discovered the crude rough iron nails that had pierced the hands and feet of our Savior, as well as the two thieves. Helena grappled with which of the three was the true cross and sought out the holy bishop Saint Macarius, who suggested to Helena that the three crosses be taken to a very influential lady who lay very ill in the city. His reasoning and faith was that God would reveal which was the true cross when it touched and healed the sick woman. Helena did just this as Macarius prayed for the miracle they sought. God answered their prayers when the third cross was placed near the woman after the first two had failed. Almost immediately the woman regained full health. Helena was so overcome with joy and gratitude that she ordered a church be built on the spot where she discovered the cross and placed the major portion of the cross in an elegant silver casing inside the church for protection, entrusting it to St. Macarius. Because this pine wood cross was shredding some, Helena took a healthy piece back with her back to Rome, placing it in another church she had delegated to be built there which was renamed Of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem or the Church of Santa Croce in Rome where it is still preserved today. Helena died peacefully in her son Constantine's arms on August 18, 326. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Macarius' successor, stated that pieces of the true cross were spreading throughout the world which later confirmed what St. Paulinus of Nola wrote: though pieces of the sacred wood were slivered off the main cross almost daily and given to the devout, the cross seemed never to diminish in size. Today these relics are indeed on every continent and we have personally seen many times crosses that contain a sliver of the true cross. As a relic the sliver of the cross is often carried beneath a covered canopy in procession. When it is presented for exposition it is customary to genuflect in veneration, and kissing the relic is a total indication of respect and veneration.
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
First Reading: 1 Timothy 3: 14-16
Psalms: Psalm 111: 1-6
Gospel Reading: John 19: 25-27 or Luke 7: 33-35
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
This feast commemorates the seven sorrows (Seven Dolors) of the Blessed Mother of God which are documented in Sacred Scripture beginning with the prophecy of Simeon (cf. Luke 2:34), the flight into Egypt (cf. Matthew 2:13), losing the child Jesus in Jerusalem (cf. Luke 2: 46), meeting her Divine Son on the way to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the Pieta, and laying Jesus in the Sepulchre (cf. Luke 23: 49-56). This feast was first introduced by Saint Anselm and various Benedictines in the 11th Century which took on steam in the following century but did not get promoted universally until the 14th and 15th centuries when the Cistercians and Servites emphasized its importance and relevance in Church liturgy and in devotion to Mary's role in the Church. In 1482 Pope Sixtus IV, who also instituted the feast of Mary's spouse Saint Joseph on March 19, established it in the Roman Missal as the feast of Our Lady of Compassion. In 1727 Pope Benedict XIII declared it as the feast of the Seven Dolors of Mary to be celebrated on the Friday prior to Palm Sunday, though the Servites had been celebrating it on the Sunday after the feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross in September since 1668. In 1814 Pope Pius VII made it a universal feast in the Roman Calendar and Pope Saint Pius X established the date in 1913 as the fixed date, giving it the title of "Our Lady of Sorrows." It was fitting this holy saint set the date for this feast where he did because it further emphasized Mary's importance and vital role in co-redemption as well as reminding Catholics everywhere of Mary's suffering during the Passion and Death of her Divine Son whose cross is venerated the day before. Two icons bring home this fact, first the magnificent Pieta sculptured by the master Michelangelo and which resides behind glass at the back right side of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the moving hymn "Stabat Mater" employed during Lent and during the Stations of the Cross to reflect Our Lady's grief and tribulations. She is often depicted with seven swords piercing her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart as described by Simeon in Luke 2: 34, "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." The Marian Saint Bernard wrote "Truly...He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known; she died in spirit through a love unlike any other since His." The Preface for this feast sums it up best: "On Calvary, the cruel sword of suffering pierced the heart of the Virgin Mary while the Savior of the world, nailed to the cross, freed the sons of Adam from the ancient condemnation and by His Precious Blood He opened the gates of the Kingdom. In suffering death for our sins, Christ willed especially to associate His Mother with the redemptive passion so that she could obtain for her children more copious fruits of that sacrifice."
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
For the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, we bring you a simple ejaculation that says it all:
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
SIMPLY SHEEN: The mirror will always reflect the truth!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"Everyone boasts that he loves to knock at the door of truth, but the sad fact is that if the door opened, many would die of the shock. They much prefer to hear the sound of their knuckles on the portals, rather than to accept responsibilities which truth implies. We do not even want to hear truth about ourselves."
Events Today in Church History
Today is the death of two Popes, one Pope Stephen V 1,108 years ago and the other Pope Hadrian VI, the 218th in the line of Peter who died in 1523 at the height of the Protestant reformation. The former felt unworthy of being Supreme Pontiff, but the people insisted, breaking down his doors where he knelt in prayer and carrying him to the Lateran where he was crowned the 110th successor of Peter. The latter was thrust into the fray from the Netherlands and only served a little over a year. This Dutch Pontiff was the last non-Italian Pope until Pope John Paul II was elected on October 16, 1978. 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 September 14:
Feast of The Holy Cross
Death of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. For more on this saint, see SEPTEMBER 13
Death of Pope Stephen V, 110th successor of Peter. On hearing of his election this Roman-born pontiff barricaded himself into his house but the doors were broken open by the force of the people who carried him off to be placed on the throne of St. Peter. Stephen forbade trial by fire and by water in the courts, and encouraged arts and crafts.
Death of Saint Catherine of Genoa, who rejected the world, converted her husband from his evil ways as well as countless others and offered all for the holy souls in Purgatory for, as a victim soul, God revealed the plight of the poor souls to her so she could offer all for their salvation.
Death of Pope Hadrian VI as the 218th successor of Peter. This Dutch-born pontiff was elected without Knowledge on the 31st of August 1522 while Bishop of Tortona. He engaged in a deep struggle against those who were harassing the Church and against Protestants and the Turks, but not with a great amount of success. Hadrian VI was the last non-Italian Pope until John Paul II was elected in 1978.
Pope Leo XIII issues his 21st encyclical Pergrata on the Church in Portugal.
Pope John Paul II ushers his 3rd encyclical Laborem exercens on human work.
Retroactive articles on Church history available from 33 to 1515 A.D. for review
To allow all readers to catch up on our popular on-going series, we present a review of the period from the time of Christ when He founded the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the time of the Reformation and Pope Leo X, the 217th in the Petrus line early in the sixteenth century. These are installments 1 through 106. Until we are back to full strength we will continue the archives, giving readers the opportunity to catch up To read any of the 105 installments presently available in this long on-going series, click on the Archives of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Pope and Bishop Belo huddle over lunch at Castel Gondolfo as the Holy Father learns firsthand the details of the terrible tragedy in East Timor
As expected, East Timor's spiritual leader Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo traveled from Rome to Castel Gondolfo today to discuss the grave situation in East Timor with the Holy Father over lunch. The news from the international community has been more encouraging with Indonesian President B.J. Habibie admitting he's lost control and allowing UN troops in, but precious time has still been lost at a time when it's a matter of life and death - the death of thousands of innocent Catholics. For more, click on East Timor Summit at Castel Gondolfo
BISHOP BELO BRIEFS POPE ON TIMOR
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, the apostolic
administrator of Dili in East Timor, visited with Pope John Paul II
over luncheon on September 13, to brief him on the eroding
Bishop Belo--who won the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on
behalf of the Timorese people--arrived in Italy on September 13
after having been driven out of his home in Dili by marauding
paramilitary groups. He traveled immediately to the papal summer
residence in Castel Gandalfo for his meeting with the Pontiff.
During his trip to Rome, the Salesian bishop told reporters that he
was "anguished" by the situation in his have land, had been unable to
sleep, and was anxious to return to his people.
Bishop Belo's immediate plans are uncertain. There was some
speculation that he might hold a press conference in Rome on
Tuesday, September 14.
Bishop of Baucau and UN ambassadors confirm what was suspected, East Timor in ruins and tens of thousands feared dead or starving in the mountains
Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Baucau, himself bearing deep wounds from a machete cut that he miraculously escaped from further harm, met with five UN ambassadors and confirmed to them that it will take a long, long time to rebuild. Shocking accounts of mass mountains of bodies piled high by pro-Indonesian militia spiraling out of control with the Indonesian army either looking the other way or assisting the marauders have been documented by various eye witnesses, making this one of the most gruesome mass genocides since Auschwitz. From all reports, it is even worse in East Timor than it ever was in Kosovo or parts of Africa where turmoil has tormented so many. For more, click on East Timor in ruins.
EAST TIMOR'S SOCIETY STRICKEN AT CORE
Bishop of Baucau Says "It Will Take Years to Return to Normal" as President Habibie agrees "Too Many People Have Died"
ROME, SEP 12 (ZENIT).- Five U.N. ambassadors visited East Timor and
witnessed the atrocities committed in this small Asian country by
pro-Indonesia militias. They met with Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of
Baucau who was wounded by a machete. "It will take years before we return
to normal," the Bishop said.
The "Sidney Morning Herald" reported the account of Isa Bradridge. She saw
"thousands of bodies" piled in a large space at the headquarters of the
Dili police. The estimates of victims made by humanitarian organizations
vary between 60,000 and 70,000 persons.
A river of people are fleeing the country. Two to three thousand persons
cross the border to West Timor every hour. According to the Red Cross, some
65,000 have left the country. Many observers agree that no matter what
measures are taken, it is too late. Indonesia has achieved its objective of
striking the core of East Timor's society -- the Catholic Church. The
Bishop of Bacau was very blunt: it will take years to reconstruct the country.
Last June, before he was killed in Suai, Fr. Barreto, director of Caritas,
said: "It is Christ's doctrine to love others as we love ourselves, and
also to forgive our enemy." Fr. Barreto spoke during a television interview
on "Sat 2000," the Italian Bishops' T.V. channel, and he emphasized that
the Catholic community would respond to the challenge of the Unionist
militiamen with the testimony of the Gospel.
Fr. Barreto came to Rome to attend a meeting of Caritas International. At
that time he said that for "East Timor reconciliation is the confrontation
of two sides: two groups within one people. One group that desires autonomy
and the other -- the majority of the population, which desires independence."
Already at that time, Fr. Barreto had no hesitation in denouncing the plan
of violence initiated by Jakarta. "In the presence of the U.N., the
Indonesian military do everything possible to intimidate the people of
Timor, so that the final solution is favorable to Indonesia. They use
threats, killings and give arms to the people. But the two Bishops multiply
their efforts to reconcile the people, enabling them to forgive one
another, and to begin a new life."
Meanwhile, in Jakarta Indonesian president Yusuf Habibie announced
yesterday that the Jakarta government accepts the immediate deployment of
an international force in East Timor, under the command of the United
Nations, "for the purpose of reestablishing peace in the territory,
protecting the population, and guaranteeing the referendum's results" that
opened the way to independence. Habibie defended the role of the Indonesian
Army in spite of the "difficulties of a complex situation," and he
specified that Ali Alatas, the Foreign Minister, would arrive in New York
today to attend to "details of the operation" at the U.N.
Surrounded by the majority of his cabinet, Habibie explained that, "Too
many people have died, and lost their homes and security. We cannot delay
any longer and must put an end to this suffering immediately."
Shortly after the presidential message, Xanana Gusmao, leader of Timor's
resistance, who sought refuge in the British Embassy in Jakarta, expressed
"surprise" over this much desired decision, which he welcomed with
"satisfaction, but much caution." He took advantage of the occasion to
launch a general warning: "There is no time to lose, it is imperative that
the international community begin immediately a program of humanitarian aid
to save the population, which is in a desperate state." On the verge of
tears, Xanana addressed his people and expressed his admiration for their
"resistance, determination and infinite courage." He asked them to keep up
their "unlimited faith in the future of our newborn nation."
International observers estimate that, since the overwhelming victory of
those favoring independence (78.5%) in the referendum on self-determination
held on August 30, more than 200,000 persons have been deported to camps in
the western part of Timor, and more than 100,000 have fled to the
mountains. In addition, hundreds of people are on the verge of "dehydration."
The Church on trial in Rwanda framed Archbishop Misago asserts
"I'm innocent, but through me, the Rwandan government is targeting the Catholic Church" asserted Archbishop Augustin Misago, prelate of Rwanda who is on trial for genocide charges by the Rwandan government who is doing all it can to discredit the Church to stop the phenomenal spread of Catholicism in Africa's most Catholic country. Like in East Timor, Rwanda fears the power and influence of the Church and feels if they can discredit the Church, then the people will abandon her in droves. They're guessing wrong. Just look at history. For more, click on Kangaroo Court in Kigali .
RWANDA BISHOP SAYS TRIAL REALLY ATTACK ON CHURCH
KIGALI, Rwanda (CWNews.com) - Rwandan Archbishop Augustin
Misago, on trial in his country for genocide and crimes
against humanity in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi
minority, told Associated Press news agency this week that
his trial is an attempt to discredit the Catholic Church.
In a jailhouse interview, the archbishop rejected charges
that he sent 82 children to their deaths at the hands of
militias, and said he is a scapegoat for the current
regime's revenge on the Church for its alleged silence
during the genocide of up to 1 million people. "I'm
innocent," he said. "But through me, the Rwandan government
is targeting the Catholic Church."
When the archbishop's trial begins with a major phase on
Tuesday including preliminary defense motions, the Church's
actions are expected to be a focus of the prosecution. The
Rwandan government appeared to welcome such scrutiny as it
waited for contrition from the Church for what it believes
to be her failure to stop the killing.
The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has described
that case against Archbishop Misago as a government
campaign to hold the Catholic Church solely responsible for
the genocide. Rwanda was Africa's most Catholic country with
more than 62 percent of the country's pre-genocide
population of 7.8 million belonging to the Church, which
wielded enormous influence in the country.
Cardinal John O'Connor in great spirits during first public appearance since surgery for a brain tumor
With one-liners that rivaled Henny Youngman, the Archbishop of New
York Cardinal John O'Connor quipped with the congregation at St. Patrick's Cathedral for a special
anniversary Mass commemorating Catholic Workers who had died. It was more like a wake than a funeral, for the
Cardinal joked about how his illness prompted the increase in flowers purchased in the city to be sent to him. He
also revealed that the Pope had written him and he wrote back, enclosing various articles that included speculation on various successors to the Archbishop. Our pick: Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Conv. who is definitely cardinal material. For more, click on Cardinal O'Connor.
CARDINAL O'CONNOR: "THIS HAS BEEN A TRULY MARVELOUS FUNERAL"
NEW YORK, SEP 13, 1999 (ZENIT).- During the special mass celebrated every
year in St. Patrick's Cathedral to commemorate Catholic workers on Labor
Day weekend, Card. John O'Connor greeted the overflowing crowd of
worshippers with a typical New York mixture of humor and seriousness. It
was his first public event since having a small tumor on the brain removed
during a 10-day stay at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
"They came in great numbers -- nurses, physicians, various attendants --
after these days of examination, and their faces were wreathed with
smiles," he recalled. "They said, 'We have good news for you.' What's that?
'Nothing wrong with you but your head.' I said a lot of New Yorkers have
known that for a long time."
In a more serious tone he told of how he learned to exercise the virtue of
trust by confiding in his doctors and putting himself in the hands of God.
"I said to myself: 'They have given me their trust. Now they need mine.
It's only as I trust God and I trust them that this will be all right.'"
The Cardinal thanked everyone who had sent him cards and flowers, or prayed
for his recovery. "I am told we are making a lot of money for the
Archdiocese selling flowers," he joked.
He revealed that he had received "a beautiful letter" from Pope John Paul
II and remarked lightheartedly that he had sent the Pope recent newspaper
clippings which list names of his potential successors. "He hasn't yet told
me I'll be succeeded, if or when," O'Connor said. "But I'll pass on to him
Thanking all those present who had come to wish him well he concluded:
"This has been a truly marvelous funeral. I've enjoyed every bit of it."
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 and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
Finally the long-awaited books
"I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." and THE HIDDEN WAY
are NOW available!
With the messages completed, you can now order the book that contains ALL the messages. This much-anticipated 224-page book of ALL the messages to the world imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a lasting gift that will inspire you in your faith, and all God asks of us. You can acquire your own handsome, coffee-table top copy of "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." containing all 632 messages or the THE HIDDEN WAY containing 100 inspirational Meditative Lessons from Our Lord and Our Lady on Church Doctrine by clicking on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." or THE HIDDEN WAY or both books at BOOKS
For more details, see DAILY SHIPLOGS
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September 14, 1999 volume 10, no. 174 DAILY CATHOLIC