DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     August 19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 162


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Wednesday, August 19, 1998

    Wednesday August 19: Twentieth Wednesday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint John Eudes, Priest, Religious Founder and Educator

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ezekiel 34: 1-11
      Psalms: Psalm 23: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 20: 1-16


          Known for his tremendous devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, Saint John Eudes was born in 1601 in Normandy, France. The first born of seven children, John was given an excellent Catholic education by his parents who sent him to the Jesuit schools and later the Congregation of the Oratory in Paris. At the youthful age of 24 John was ordained an Oratorian priest and later became the superior general of the Order in Caen. It was a good training ground for this saint who at the age of 42 left the Oratorians so he could begin a new order - the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, dedicated to the Two Hearts with the principal purpose of fostering vocations and establishing reputable seminaries for forming virtuous future priests who would reach out to all - the sick, poor and dying included. A year later John founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity which later became the Institute of the Good Shepherd. Throughout his life, St. John Eudes preached relentlessly in the cities and seminaries. During the time of plague he spent two solid months with very little rest ministering to infirm and dying souls. He became a spiritual physician of the highest degree with total dedication and consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts which became the symbol for his Order, commonly called Eudists. On August 19, 1680 this French saint died at the age of 79, his earthly mission completed.

Thursday, August 20, 1998

    Thursday August 20:
    Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

    White vestments

      First Reading: Ezekiel 36: 23-28
      Psalms: Psalm 51: 12-15, 18-19
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 22: 1-14


          A rebirth of the Cistercian Order can be attributed to a great Cistercian saint born in Burgundy, France in 1090: Saint Bernard. He entered the Cistercian abbey in Citeaux, France in 1113, convincing thirty friends and relatives to join him. Naturally, this influx led to the revival of the Cistercian Order and within three years of becoming a priest, Bernard was sent with twelve others to establish a new monastery at Clairvaux which was to be the daughter house of Citeaux. Bernard was chosen Abbot and as word of his devotion and knowledge grew the people sought him out from the poorest peasants to bishops, kings and Popes. One of them, Pope Blessed Eugene III commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade throughout Europe which also enabled Bernard to found many monasteries in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Sicily and even Syria. Kings beseeched him to serve as a peacemaker whenever possible and Bernard was revered not only for his holy life, but for his great writings. One of the greatest prayers he wrote was the Memorare to Our Lady. He was devoted heart and soul to his Crucified Lord and received many visions and messages through private revelation, one of which was his zeal to help the suffering Christ so that he offered to help Him bear the terrible suffering of the cross. Christ comforted Bernard and inspired him to carry His word and faith to all parts of Europe and the mideast, entreating the saint to defend the true pontiff Pope Innocent II as opposed to the antipope Anaclete II. Bernard died peacefully on August 20, 1153 five weeks after the death of his pontiff Blessed Eugene III. Bernard, also known as "Hammer of heretics", was canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1174 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1830 by Pope Pius VIII.

August 19, 1998       volume 9, no. 162


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