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July 6, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 130
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
Pope to release Apostolic Letter Dies Domini tomorrow on keeping holy the Sabbath
The Holy Father is scheduled to release an important document tomorrow dealing with the growing secularism of Sunday. In his Apostolic Letter he urges all to return to the family values of years ago when Sunday was special, reserved for the Lord as His Day...a day of rest. Because we won't have the full English text for a few days, we are deferring THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS until later this week when the document is available and we can bring it you.
The scales of Church loyalty shift from Europe to the New World
In the fourth installment as part of our retro marathon week II of the early chapters of our megaseries, we focus today on the time of upheaval and grace when the balance of Catholicism shifted heavily toward the new world through the missionary efforts of many. It was a time when the renaissance was in full swing and free thinkers began questioning the Church, causing massive defection. For the fourth installment entitled The 16th Century: a method to her messages, dealing with the events and apparitions leading up to Guadalupe, click on today's THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS
The fourth chapter of the Age of Marian Apparitions finds us in the turbulent 16th Century. Over the next two
issues we will deal with this period in history. This issue we give you an overview of the 12 reported apparitions
in the 1500's, three fourths of which were in South and Central America for the first time ever. Next issue we will
spotlight the main apparition of the 16th Century: Guadalupe and discover how the 16th Century became a
century of checks and balance - for while Holy Mother Church was losing millions, millions of more converts
were being gained in the New World largely through the apparitions of the Mother of God, in particular at
Guadalupe in 1531. No matter the age, Our Lady has been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" It is
only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that
the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God.
This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the
ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her
words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!
The 16th Century: a method to her messages
In all of the previous apparitions in the first three chapters and in all that would follow right up to today, Our Lady appeared for a specific purpose, conveying a necessary message to whomever she appeared; a message that was meant to be spread to those who needed it. With almost every appearance she left a sign to be taken seriously. Many have been. But alas, there are far too many that have not been taken seriously enough. The times she has appeared the most have been when her children were in trouble, just as God sent great
prophets in the Old Testament during the times of the greatest travail for His people. Today, we have Sacred
Scripture and we have the wonderful Roman Catholic Teaching backed up by Dogma. We even have the new
Catechism of the Catholic Church to guide us. Yet we still haven't learned. That's why, like a patient and loving
Mother, the Queen of Heaven keeps coming back...over and over...until we get it right.
God's children have had more than enough chances as we'll see down the road in subsequent chapters on the
pivotal 16th Century when the Protestant Reformation split the Church in the Old World while in the New World
millions of converts were being added to Holy Mother Church through the fruits of one apparition - Our Lady of
Guadalupe to Blessed Juan Diego down through the 17th and 18th Centuries when the Enlightenment and corruption threatened the faithful.
The 19th Century, when persecution forced many Catholics, ushered in more frequent apparitions of Blessed
Mary beginning in 1830 when she appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure, requesting that the Miraculous Medal be struck. In into exile and Our Lady warned the world at Rue de Bac, LaSalette and Lourdes of the dangers ahead. At Lourdes the Blessed Mother announced her title "I am the Immaculate Conception."
Finally the 20th Century has seen an unprecedented number of appearances that have been registered - even
more as we wind down to the next millennium especially here in our western hemisphere.
It was the western hemisphere that Our Lady turned her attention in the turbulent 16th Century, a century where
the masses in Europe would abandon the one, true Church to follow their own wills and set up new
watered-down sects under the guise of new enlightenment in what would come to be called the "Reformation."
Of the 12 reported apparitions in the 1500's, 7 were in South and Central America, with the most famous and
most results-oriented being at Guadalupe in 1531. In the next issue we will deal with this unique apparition in
its entirety and the effects of her message. For this issue we will highlight the other eleven sites the Blessed
The year 1506 was the Blessed Virgin's first appearance in the new world, this at Miquey near the city of Santa
Domingo in the Caribbean. Ten years earlier this island had been founded by Bartholomew Columbus as the land of Hispaniola [today known as the Dominican Republic]. Whether this discoverer was a relative of
Christopher Columbus and what relationship we do not, as of this writing, know for sure. However, we do know Our Lady appeared at Miquey as Our Lady of Altagracia. It was a fitting beginning to her countless appearances in the New World over the next five centuries.
In 1519, the Virgin Mary returned to France 100 years after her appearance to Dean Reginald in Orleans. This time Our Lady appeared to Jean de la Baume at Mont Vardaille.
It was twelve years later of the occasion at Guadalupe which, as we mentioned, we will cover in detail in the next
issue. Now on to the other apparitions of the 16th Century.
Four years after Guadalupe the Blessed Mother appeared in Peru as Our Lady of the Rosary in 1535 and in
1544 in Chile as "Our Lady of Andacollo". Six years later in Lisbon, Portugal visionary Sebastian Baraddas was graced with a visit by Our Lady.
The Mother of God returned to South America in the mid 1550's with an appearance in Columbia as "Our Lady
of Chiquinquira" in 1555 and one year later as "Our Lady of Copacabana" in Bolivia. Our Lady made her third and fourth visits to Russia in 1559 at Kazan bestowing a Miraculous Icon on eight year-old Matrona and 21 years later at Ziron to visionary Ambrose urging Capuchin vocations. The Blessed Virgin returned to South America, this time in Ecuador in the late 1500's with two appearances; the first in 1586 where she appeared as "Our Lady of Quinche" and again in 1594 in Quito, Ecuador where she saved the Ecuadorian Indians from famine. This was her last known apparition in the 16th Century, a century marked by tremendous Heavenly intervention in South and Central America in the face of great persecution and human sacrifice and a growing defection of the faithful in Europe.
One apparition stands out, one officially approved by the Church which was responsible then for nearly seven
million conversions throughout Mexico and which today holds tremendous significance in the battle over
abortion. This we shall see in the next installment when we treat the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to
visionary Blessed Juan Diego exclusively.
TOMORROW: the end of sacrifice signals the importance of sacrifice: Our Lady of Guadalupe
An ideal role model for teens today
If any saint could be epitomized as an ideal role model for teenagers today it would be Saint Maria Goretti, virgin and martyr, who so embraced chastity that she willingly died rather than violating her purity. Not only did she give her life to Our Lord totally but followed Christ's request to the tee - forgiving her assailant before she died. The fruits of her martyrdom resulted in his conversion, reconciliation with her mother, and his presence for her canonization. For her story as well as the readings, liturgy and meditations for Ordinary time today and tomorrow, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, July 6, 1998
Monday July 6:
Fourteenth Monday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr
Green or Red vestments
First Reading: Hosea 2: 16-18, 21-22
Psalms: Psalm 145: 2-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 18-26
FEAST OF SAINT MARIA GORETTI, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Considered the first saint of the 20th Century, Saint Maria Teresa Goretti was born into a poor family in
Nettuno, Italy in 1890. At a very early age she showed tremendous maternal instincts, caring for her four younger
brothers as well as the neighbors young children while the parents worked in the fields during the day. Her
mother had been forced to work the fields since her husband and Maria's father died in 1900. Too poor to afford
education, Maria dedicated herself to doing God's Will and went about her work joyously. One of the older boys
who worked on the farm, a nineteen year old, lusted after Maria who was only twelve years old in 1902.
Regardless he attempted to rape her when no one else was around, but Maria resisted, crying out: "No! No! Do
not touch me, Alessandro! It is a sin. You will go to hell!" Her refusal so enraged Alessandro that in a fit of
passion he pulled out his field knife and plunged it into her fourteen times and then fled. Bleeding to death,
Maria was rushed to the hospital where she lay dying for two more painful days. On receiving the Final
Sacrament, the priest asked her if she would forgive her murderer and she lovingly proclaimed, "Yes, I forgive
him for the love of Jesus, and I want him to be with me in Heaven. May God forgive him!" Shortly after that she
breathed her last death with her lips to the crucifix, clutching the Miraculous Medal. Her assailant Alessandro was quickly arrested and served 26 years in prison. It was during his 8th year in prison that he experienced a conversion experience from a dream of Maria Goretti presenting him with flowers. When he was released from prison in 1928 he went immediately to Maria's mother and begged forgiveness and then accompanied her to Christmas Mass where they received Holy Communion together. He became a Franciscan tertiary and spent his remaining life with the Capuchins. The most fascinating aspect of all this was that both Alessandro and Maria's mother were present for the canonization ceremonies in Rome when Pope Pius XII officially proclaimed Maria Teresa Goretti a saint in 1970. She is one of the greatest role models for young people today in a society that exalts the world, the flesh and the devil.
Tuesday, July 7, 1998
First Reading: Hosea 8: 4-7, 11-13
Psalms: Psalm 115: 3-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 32-38
Jesus is the ultimate Confector of all sacraments, but He can't do it alone.
In his third part on Meekness of Heart in his weekly column, Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. pinpoints that the priest is absolutely necessary in confecting the Sacrament of the Eucharist at Holy Mass and that whatever the celebrant's disposition, the sacrament is still valid if the intent is in alignment with what Christ intended. Though Jesus is God, He still needs His priests to carry out the mission He entrusted to them. But too many have allowed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to become nothing more than a "meal" in the sense that the sacrificial aspect has been downplayed as Father laments. For Father's column, click on the third part of his treatise in HEARTS TO HEART TALK
Learn from Me for I am Meek and Humble of Heart part three
What has a very great bearing on the confection of every Sacrament is the
intention of the minister. This is certainly true as far as the Eucharist
is concerned. Canon Law does not enter into this, but moral theology does.
It is essential for the priest as he celebrates Mass to have the intention
of doing what the Church does. The fact that he himself may not personally
believe in the transubstantiation, does not take away the validity of the
confection; the confection takes place as long as he has at least the
virtual intention of doing what he is mandated to do by the Church. A
virtual intention is one grade lower from an actual intention wherein the
latter is one in which the minister is fully aware of the intention he is
making and makes it clearly and deliberately; the former is an intention
which the minister has in mind and will, but one in which there is a degree
of distraction. Now, it follows that if the priest who is the celebrant
does not have the intention of doing what the Church does, but has a
private or personal intention of his own opposed to that of the Church, his
confecting is not valid. In the case of the Eucharist, it means that
transubstantiation does not take place.
We know that Christ is the principal Confector of all of the Sacraments;
nonetheless, He cannot do it alone. He needs to do it through a human
being. In some cases one who is ordained, in other cases one who is not
ordained. In order for the Eucharistic Sacrifice to take place validly,
Christ must work through a validly ordained minister with the least
requirement - that of doing together with Christ that which the Church
mandates (Manuale Theologie Moralis - DM Primer nos. 62-69 inc.). Without
this intention, though the matter and form be present (bread, wine, and the
words of consecration) the confection of Eucharist does not take place.
Now for the ugly part; the above has all been part of the beautiful. The
meek and humble Jesus is being met these days with new Judases, with new
Pilates, with new executioners. There have risen within the ranks of
Christ's priests those who are attacking Him, those doing serious harm to
many of the faithful. They are those who have been ordained and who
celebrate but with a bent on doing not what the Church wants, but choose to
fulfill their own concept of what they believe the Mass should be. Whether
they were given the incentive to act this way within their seminary
training or whether they have been bitten by the New Age serpent, I cannot
They do not consider the Mass as an act of sacrificial worship, but a
celebration, a celebration of life, even a celebration of Christ's
resurrection. They are promoting the Body of Christ, but not the
Sacrificial Body. They have replaced the Sacrificial Body with the
Mystical Body and are rejoicing over the fact that we are all members of
that Body, of which we are, but not without destroying for themselves and
for others the essential truth, the teaching of the Church that the Mass is
primarily a sacrificial act, the unbloody sacrifice of the Cross.
Next installment: Further erosion of the Sacrificial nature of the Mass.
June 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I desire to thank you for living my messages. I bless you all with my motherly blessing and I bring you all before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
The prayer below is taken from today's Opening Prayer of the Mass in honor of Saint Maria Goretti:
Father, Source of innocence and Lover of chastity, You gave St. Maria Goretti the privilege of offering her life in witness to Christ. As You gave her the crown of martyrdom, let her prayers keep us faithful to Your teaching.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"Conjugal fidelity and love for one wife only bring happiness and security."
Proverbs 5: 20
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July 6, 1998 volume 9, no. 130 DAILY CATHOLIC