DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN-MON     May 22-25, 1998     vol. 9, no. 100


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

Friday, May 22, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 18: 9-18
      Psalms: Psalm 47: 2-8
      Gospel Reading: John 16: 20-23

Saturday, May 23, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 18: 23-28
      Psalms: Psalm 47: 2-3, 8-10
      Gospel Reading: John 16: 23-28

SUNDAY, May 24, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 7: 55-60
      Psalms: Psalm 97: 1-2, 6-7, 9
      Second Reading: Rev/Apoc 22: 12-14, 16-17, 20
      Gospel Reading: John 17: 20-26

    or...     For some strange reason, in the dioceses and Archdioceses in the West (Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada and Hawaii) the Solemnity of the Ascension is not celebrated on Thursday but transfered to today - the Seventh Sunday of Easter.


          This mystery, honored 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, celebrates the Triumph of Jesus Ascension into Heaven. It gave new hope not only to all the Apostles and disciples, but for every person to follow for all generations, for all have ingrained in their hearts and minds Jesus' Own words, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28: 19-20). At His beckoning, we are invited, rather commanded, to follow Jesus through the authority He placed here on earth - Holy Mother Church. The Church, through the dogmas, doctrines and teachings, combined with tradition, Sacraments, and Sacred Scripture carries on this edict Christ set down just before elevating into the Heavenly clouds and returning to the Father. Just like her Founder, the Church realizes that for all those faithful to Christ's One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church the only way to be reunited with Him in Heavenly bliss is through the Cross. Jesus has shown us that the way of humiliation and suffering is the only true freeway to Heaven. This feast was not officially recognized by the Church until the Fourth Century. Up to that time, the Ascension had traditionally been part of the paschal mystery tied in with the Resurrection. Because of the denial by Celsus in the second century as a pagan myth, the Church finally decided to emphasize this feast, acknowledging that all souls who were saved but denied Heaven before Christ's Death and Resurrection, were brought into the Heavenly Glory with Jesus. His Ascension is the example for all of us that, by doing God's Will, we, too, can look forward to being assumed into Heaven by the grace of God.

Monday, May 25, 1998     MEMORIAL DAY

    Monday, May 25:
    Seventh Monday of Easter   and
    Feast of Saint Bede the Venerable  and
    Feast of Saint Gregory VII, Pope   and
    Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, Virgin and Religious.

    White vestments

      First Reading: Acts 19: 1-8
      Psalms: Psalm 68: 2-7, 33
      Gospel Reading: John 16: 29-33


          This English saint -Saint Bede the Venerable - was a Benedictine monk in England and a learned man who specialized in English history and wrote an account of Christianity in Britain from the earliest times up to his time. He was dubbed "the Venerable" because of his wisdom and learning acumen. He was named a Doctor of the Church in 1899 by Pope Leo XIII. He is said to be the first to date events using A.D. (anno Domini.


         Born in Tuscany as Hildebrand, the great Pope Saint Gregory VII was the 157th successor of Peter and a strong pontiff who excommunicated the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and lifted it only after Henry came on bended knee wearing a rough hewn habit of public penance in the bitter cold of northern Italy to seek a pardon at Canossa. Gregory called a Council and issued a Dictatus Papae in which he decreed only the Pope is universal; no one can judge him; he alone can dispense from vows. Gregory was beatified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584 and canonized in 1606 by Pope Paul V.


          This Firenzen-born saint Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi was born into an influential Florentine family who wanted her to marry, but she resisted their urgings and joined a Carmelite Convent in Florence, taking the name of "Mary Magdalen". Though bedridden for most of her life after her profession as a nun, she was gifted with prophecy and the ability to perform miraculous healings. Her private revelations were recorded by fellow sisters and published after her death. She was canonized in 1669 by Pope Clement IX.

Tuesday, May 26, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 20: 17-27
      Psalms: Psalm 68: 10-11, 20-21
      Gospel Reading: John 17: 1-11


         Having a profound effect in the turbulent sixteenth century, Saint Philip Neri was born and reared in Florence, Italy on July 22, 1515. He received his education from the Dominicans of San Marco. Later, while emersed in secular commerce his travels took him to the famed Benedictine Monastery Monte Cassino where he drank in the spirituality set down by Saint Benedict...all this during the time England and much of Europe were bolting from Holy Mother Church. At the age of 18 Philip's business led him to Rome where three years later he met Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and enrolled at Sapienza University. Through the guidance of other holy men such as Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Francis de Sales, Philip realized his vocation was not in the secular world. Thus he dropped out of the university to become a lay apostle, preaching in the streets and markets to the Roman populace all he had garnered from the conglomeration of religious orders he had been exposed to. Soon his fame spread and he became a confidant of the popes of the times. He founded the lay Confraternity of the Most Blessed Trinity in an effort to help pilgrims coming to Rome as well as promoting 40 hour Adoration, but realized he could be even more effective if he became a priest. Ordained in 1551 at the age of 36 he sought to form another religious organization called the Congregation of the Oratory which many of his followers joined. For a time however Pope Paul IV would not allow Philip to hear confessions because of false rumors and information forwarded to the Holy Father. Though this pained Philip greatly, he was totally obedient and his patience paid off in 1564 when he was totally absolved by Pope Pius IV and the Congregation was approved. It received papal approval by Pope Gregory XIII through encouragement by his predecessor Pope Saint Pius V. Philip was given the church of St. Mary of Vallicella as headquarters for the Congregation. Philip was one of the most popular and well beloved men in all of Rome and the people flocked to hear him and to call him their confessor. Philip spent countless hours, forsaking sleep, to hear confessions which, along with the Holy Eucharist and spiritual conferences to reinforce the teachings of the Church and love for all Christ bequeathed His children, he made the paramount mission of his Oratorians. He became known as the "Apostle of Rome" and was credited with miracles and prophecy. In 1593, because of ill health he resigned as superior general of the Oratorians but continued to minister to the people and counsel the popes, in this case Pope Clement VIII, by intervening to stop a potential dangerous conflict between Rome and France through his insistence that the French king Henry IV be absolved. Two years later Philip died peacefully on May 26 at the age of 80 having served His Lord well and venerated for the last half of his life by the people as a saint. This formality of canonization was accomplished in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

May 22-25, 1998       volume 9, no. 100


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