DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     July 31-August 2, 1998     vol. 9, no. 149


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

Friday, July 31, 1998

    Friday July 31:
    Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest and Religious Founder

    White vestments

      First Reading: Jeremiah 26: 1-9
      Psalms: Psalm 69: 5, 8-10, 14
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 54-58


          The founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, was born in Guipuzcoa, Spain in 1491, the youngest of eleven children. Saint Ignatius Lopez of Loyola did not realize what great mission God had in store for him until, while recovering from a battle injury at Pamplona in 1521, he began reading "The Life of Christ" by Ludolph of Saxony. It was during this time that two people came into his life that would alter the course of history and his life forever. First, the heresy of the monk Martin Luther who Ignatius realized had to be thwarted; and secondly, through prayer for direction, Our Lady appeared to him in a vision requesting he make a pilgrimage to Montserrat where the famous Madonna statue resided at the Benedictine Abbey. Shortly after she imparted the the idea of his now famous and simple Spiritual Exercises which he made a first draft of in 1522. His life would reflect the course of the Jesuits which he was about to found. After a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he returned to study Latin at the University of Alcala in Spain but was imprisoned on the false charges of being an illuminist. He fled to Salamanca where again he was prosecuted through a kangaroo court and jailed. Freed seven years later, he journed to Paris where he completed his studies. Then in 1534, four years after the Diet of Augsburg, Ignatius gathered six companions including his friend Saint Francis Xavier in the chapel at Montmartre to form the Society of Jesus, vowing poverty and chastity, and offering themselves to the Holy Father as he wished to use them. Though they had intended to go to the Holy Land to preach the Gospel, political circumstances prevented this journey. It was to be providential as Ignatius was ordained in 1538 and two years later the Jesuits were approved by Pope Paul III in his papal bull Regimini Militantes Ecclesiae. Raised to be a soldier, Ignatius truly became a "soldier of Christ" as did his Order of which he became the first Superior General in 1551, a year after the definitive Constitution of the Jesuits had been approved by Pope Jules III. During a general meeting of the Society in 1556, Ignatius, at the age of 65, passed away peacefully. From the beginning the Jesuits had dedicated their ministry to defending the Pope and fighting the heresies that threatened Holy Mother Church. While Martin Luther was effecting millions of defectors from Holy Mother Church, God raised up a man who would conversely convert millions more through his Society's commitment of imparting thorough knowledge of the One, True Faith.

Saturday, August 1, 1998

    Saturday August 1:
    Feast of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop, Religious Founder and Doctor of the Church

    White vestments

      First Reading: Jeremiah 26: 11-16, 24
      Psalms: Psalm 69: 14-16, 30-31, 33-34
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 14: 1-12


          Continuing in this month rampant with Religious Founders, we celebrate the life of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who founded the Redemptorists in 1732 in Tuscany near Naples, Italy where he had been born in 1696. Alphonsus lived a long, productive life, dying at the ripe old age of 91. During this time he became known as the patron of moral theologians and confessors, which was posthumously bestowed on him by the Church in 1839 upon his canonization by Pope Gregory XVI and in 1871 Pope Pius IX proclaimed Alphonsus a Doctor of the Church. Alphonsus, a learned man with a law degree, spurned the world and was ordained a priest in 1726 at the age of 30. At first he had designs on becoming an Oratorian but decided against it in favor of remaining a diocesan priest. As Providence would have it, while training missionaries at the local college seminary, Alphonsus met Father Tom Falcoia who was sponsoring an order of nuns. Fr. Falcoia would later become the bishop. While preaching a retreat to Fr. Falcoia's nuns, one of the nuns confided in Fr. Alphonsus a vision she had had about the order. After much prayer Alphonsus discerned this message was from Heaven and, with Fr. Falcoia's consent, set about to fulfill the message which concerned changing the rule and habit. It was the beginning of the Redemptoristines. Pleased with Alphonsus' direction, Bishop Falcoia asked him to begin an order of priests in the same vein. Thus began the Redemptorists or Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer which was approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1749 despite early dissension and opposition from jealous ecclesiatics. Throughout his lifetime Alphonsus was a master moral theologian, publishing many of his works and inspiring many. In 1762, against his wishes because he would have to relinquish control as Superior General of his congregation, he was consecrated Bishop of Benevento. There he served Holy Mother Church until, at the age of 79 he retired to a village near Naples where he suffered mental, physical and spiritual pangs because of the dissensions within his beloved congregation he had founded. Saddened, but full of trust in God, he handed it all over to Our Lord and died peacefully in 1787.


      First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1: 2, 2: 21-23
      Psalms: Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9
      Second Reading: Colossians3: 1-5, 9-11
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 13-21

Monday, August 3, 1998

      First Reading: Jeremiah 28: 1-17
      Psalms: Psalm 119: 29, 43, 68, 79-80, 95, 102
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 14: 13-21

July 31-August 2, 1998       volume 9, no. 149


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