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September 15, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 175
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
The DAILY WORD
"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, 'Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'""
Luke 2: 34-35
DAILY LITURGY: FEAST OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, a commemoration of the trials and tribulations the prophet Simeon foretold that Blessed Mary would experience when a sword - seven of them - would pierce her Immaculate Heart because she was the Mother of the Savior. Tomorrow is the Feast of the martyrs Pope Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian, bishop. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
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."
Thursday, September 16, 1999
First Reading: 1 Timothy 3: 12-16
Psalms: Psalm 111: 2, 7-10
Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 36-50
FEAST OF THE MARTYRS POPE SAINT CORNELIUS AND SAINT CYPRIAN, BISHOP
This feast recognizes two martyrs of the Church in the 3rd Century - Pope Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian. The former was the 21st in the line of Peter, being elevated to the papacy in March 251 during the height of the Roman persecutions under the wicked Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, better known as the terrible terror - Roman Emperor Valerian. Though his rule lasted only two years, he is remembered for defending the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance) against the heretic Novatian who bitterly opposed Cornelius, claiming opposite poles in respect to how public sinners and apostates should be reconciled with Holy Mother Church. In 253 Valerian exiled Cornelius to Civitavecchia, which was then the port of Rome, and where he died for his faith in June of the same year.
St. Cyprian was a rhetorician and lawyer prior to his conversion at the age of 25. In 249 he was appointed bishop by Pope Saint Fabian, Cornelius' predecessor who had been martyred by the Roman Emperor Decius. Decius was murdered by Valerian shortly after killing Fabian. Cyprian had been placed in charge of about 150 other bishops as the Metropolitan of Northern Africa by Cornelius and joined with the Pope in his stance that baptism performed by heretics was invalid. After Cornelius' martyrdom Cyprian continued to uphold this viewpoint through the time of two more pontiffs Pope Saint Lucius I and Saint Stephen I; the latter ruling against the thinking of Cornelius and Cyprian. Because Cyprian was so influential with the Christians from his position as Metropolitan Bishop, Valerian targeted him for execution, first exiling him and then ordering that the saint be beheaded on September 14, 258. Rather than discouraging Christians everywhere by this action, it backfired on Valerian for indeed the blood of the martyrs replenished a flourishing Church. Cornelius and Cyprian are listed together in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
As Archbishop of Hanoi Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung reaches out to all Vietnamese with no delineation between north and south
Our ninety-eighth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is 80 year-old Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung, the Archbishop of Hanoi since 1994 who has endeavored to persuade the communist government to grant more leniency to the clergy and the Church in Southeast Asia. He was elevated to the cardinalate during Pope John Paul II's Consistory of November 26, 1994. For more on Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
98. Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung
Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung was born in Binh-Hoa, Vietnam on June 15, 1919 and ordained a priest at the age of 30 on June 6, 1949. He had been weaned on the Faith by French missionaries in Southeast Asia before they vacated Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and the Vietnam War devastated so many and split the nation. Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung was a product of both the growth of the Faith and persecution of Catholics. On April 5, 1963 Pope John XXIII named him Bishop of Bac Ninh, but he wasn't consecrated until the Solemnity of the Assumption - August 15, 1963 - during the first few weeks of the new Pontiff's papacy Pope Paul VI.
With the outbreak of aggression by the communists in Vietnam, Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung was placed under house arrest and could not venture from a confined area, preventing him from reaching or administering to his flock until 1986. Necessity is the mother of invention and so, to keep from going crazy and to do all he could as shepherd of the people, he began writing in poetic fashion the entire life of Jesus Christ as well as the Gospels and Catholic doctrine, and other aspects of the great Deposit of Faith to help the people understand and learn the Faith and slip it past the unaware communist guards. This he did for nearly thirty years
On June 18, 1990 Pope John Paul II named him the Apostolic Administrator of Hanoi and four years later he was elevated to Archbishop of Hanoi on March 23, 1994. Later that same year he received the highest honor by being named to the Holy Father's Consistory of November 26, 1994. He was given the titular church of St. Mary Queen of Peace in Ostia mare and appointed curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". Today the hope is there will be more tolerance from the communist government as well as allowing the Pope to visit but it's doubtful as intimidation continues and Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung continues as Hanoi's Archbishop in what used to be North Vietnam and the hotbed of the Vietcong. But he's adapted well to adversity, always making the best of whatever situation he is in and offering all suffering to Our Lord for His honor and glory.
SIMPLY SHEEN: A whole lotta soul!
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".
"A corpse has chemical elements as well as a live body, but a corpse lacks unity which only the soul can supply. What the soul is to the body, that truth is to knowledge; what the architect and his plan are to a building, that truth is to an education."
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
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September 15, 1999 volume 10, no. 175 DAILY CATHOLIC