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September 14, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 179
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today we celebrate the glorious feast of THE HOLY CROSS while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. For the readings, liturgy, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, September 14, 1998
First Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9
Psalms: Psalm 78: 1-2, 34-38
Second Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11
Gospel Reading: John 3: 13-17
FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS
In the Latin Roman Rite this feast is celebrated on September 14th each year to celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, died. Historians record that the true cross was unearthed by the Empress Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great in the year 326. With Constantine as emperor his mother had the funds and the visa so-to-speak to conduct an extensive expedition for the true cross for it was the sign of the cross in the sky that enabled her son to be victorious - "In hoc signo vinces." Though she was nearly 80 years old her mission was to uncover Christ's cross so that all the world could give it the reverence and veneration it deserved. On arriving in Jerusalem there was no visible sign of any evidence because the heathens had constructed pagan temples over anything Christian to show their disdain. This was the signal to Helena where to look and so she sought out where stones had been piled high, leading her to many discoveries including the sepulchre where Jesus was buried, finding the tools of torture as well after she had the pagan temples destroyed. In the process her expedition nearby uncovered three crosses with the nail holes still visible and, after more digging, discovered the crude rough iron nails that had pierced the hands and feet of our Savior, as well as the two thieves. Helena grappled with which of the three was the true cross and sought out the holy bishop Saint Macarius, who suggested to Helena that the three crosses be taken to a very influential lady who lay very ill in the city. His reasoning and faith was that God would reveal which was the true cross when it touched and healed the sick woman. Helena did just this as Macarius prayed for the miracle they sought. God answered their prayers when the third cross was placed near the woman after the first two had failed. Almost immediately the woman regained full health. Helena was so overcome with joy and gratitude that she ordered a church be built on the spot where she discovered the cross and placed the major portion of the cross in an elegant silver casing inside the church for protection, entrusting it to St. Macarius. Because this pine wood cross was shredding some, Helena took a healthy piece back with her back to Rome, placing it in another church she had delegated to be built there which was renamed Of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem or the Church of Santa Croce in Rome where it is still preserved today. Helena died peacefully in her son Constantine's arms on August 18, 326. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Macarius' successor, stated that pieces of the true cross were spreading throughout the world which later confirmed what St. Paulinus of Nola wrote: though pieces of the sacred wood were slivered off the main cross almost daily and given to the devout, the cross seemed never to diminish in size. Today these relics are indeed on every continent and we have personally seen many times crosses that contain a sliver of the true cross. As a relic the sliver of the cross is often carried beneath a covered canopy in procession. When it is presented for exposition it is customary to genuflect in veneration, and kissing the relic is a total indication of respect and veneration.
Tuesday, September 15, 1998
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 27-31 or Hebrews 5: 7-9
Psalms: Psalm 100: 1-5
Second Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11
Gospel Reading: John 19: 25-27 or Luke 2: 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."
Events Today in Church History
Historical Events in Church Annals for September 14:
Feast of The Holy Cross
Death of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. For more on this saint, see SEPTEMBER 13
Death of Pope Stephen V, 110th successor of Peter. On hearing of his election this Roman-born pontiff barricaded himself into his house but the doors were broken open by the force of the people who carried him off to be placed on the throne of St. Peter. Stephen forbade trial by fire and by water in the courts, and encouraged arts and crafts.
Death of Saint Catherine of Genoa, who rejected the world, converted her husband from his evil ways as well as countless others and offered all for the holy souls in Purgatory for, as a victim soul, God revealed the plight of the poor souls to her so she could offer all for their salvation.
Death of Pope Hadrian VI as the 218th successor of Peter. This Dutch-born pontiff was elected without Knowledge on the 31st of August 1522 while Bishop of Tortona. He engaged in a deep struggle against those who were harassing the Church and against Protestants and the Turks, but not with a great amount of success. Hadrian VI was the last non-Italian Pope until John Paul II was elected in 1978.
Pope Leo XIII issues his 21st encyclical Pergrata on the Church in Portugal.
Pope John Paul II ushers his 3rd encyclical Laborem exercens on human work.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Why is it so difficult to believe the sincerity of our President?
Like he has done throughout his political career, Bill Clinton plays to the crowd. It seemed to be the same way Friday at the Annual Prayer Breakfast at the White House when he apologized to the assembly, claiming he is a sinner. That he had right, but just how sincere is this man who seldom has ever told the truth and thrives on stacking one lie upon another? We forgive him and so does God if he truly means it, but regardless just saying "I'm sorry" will not absolve him from the due punishment coming to someone who has abused the trust of the people and the office he holds. For more, click on Clinton
CLINTON'S LATEST APOLOGY: TO RELIGIOUS LEADERS, LEWINSKY
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - On the same day as the US
House releases the Independent Counsel's report on possible
impeachable offenses by President Bill Clinton, the
president apologized to religious leaders at the National
Prayer Breakfast, and for the first time apologized to
Clinton told the assembled priests, ministers, rabbis, and
imams that he acknowledges his sin and has asked for
forgiveness. "I don't think there is a fancy way to say
that I have sinned," he said. "It is important to me that
everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow that I
feel is genuine first and most important my family, also my
friends, my staff, my cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her
family and the American people."
He added that to be forgiven, he needs to do more than
express sorrow. "If my repentance is genuine and sustained,
and if I can maintain both a broken spirit and a strong
heart, then good can come of this for our country as well
as for me and my family," he added.
The gathered religious leaders were split in their reaction
to the president's troubles. "It's time for compassion.
Regardless of what he's done, he's still a child of God,"
said the Rev. Barbara King, founder-minister of the
nondenominational Hillside International Truth Center Inc.
in Atlanta. But Southern Baptist leaders have said they
will call for disciplinary action by the president's
Southern Baptist church in Arkansas against him. "I would
just say the church cannot be silent. That would be
cowardice," R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary, said during a news conference
Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky.
Cardinal Giordano of Naples gets vote of confidence from Pope John Paul II
Speaking to the press for the first time since his arrest by Italian authorities on charges of racketeering, the prelate of Naples Cardinal Michele Giordano assured all he is innocent and had received a welcome vote of confidence and support from the Holy Father. The Vatican has stood behind the beleaguered red-hat throughout the ordeal, calling Italian authorities to task for their treatment of the Cardinal. For more, click on Naples Cardinal.
NAPLES CARDINAL DEFENDS HIS RECORD
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Cardinal Michele Giordano of Naples, the
man at the center of a church-state controversy in Italy, broke a
week-long silence today with a press conference at which he
discussed the search of his office by local police, the investigation
into Mafia activities which prompted that search, and his own future
Cardinal Giordano-- whose financial records were confiscated by local
investigators shortly after his brother was arrested on loan-sharking
charges-- once again denied any wrongdoing. He insisted that he had
loaned his own personal funds to his brother, to help him through a
financial crisis. No archdiocesan funds had been involved, he said.
The cardinal reported that during a private visit with Pope John Paul
last week, he had received assurances of papal support. He also
responded directly to the suggestion of one writer, Indro Montanelli,
that he should resign. "I respect Montanelli as a journalist," he said,
"But on this question I only have to answer to my conscience, to my
people--who I love and admire--and to the Holy Father."
House on right track as they shut out all funds for abortion for foreign aid bill
It's been a long hard battle in fighting for the culture of life, but the House Appropriations Committee took the right step in approving a 16.2 billion dollar bill that denies any funds for abortion. Though the Clinton administration has vowed to fight it, there is a chance they'll be reeling so bad that it could pass in the House and Senate. All we can do is pray. For more, click on Striking down abortion!.
HOUSE FUNDS US AID PROGRAMS, RESTRICTS ABORTION FUNDS
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US House Appropriations
Committee on Thursday approved a $16.2 billion foreign aid
bill without including funding for groups that promote or
The Clinton administration and House Democrats said they
will seek changes to the bill when it reaches the floor of
the House for debate. Among the controversial provisions in
the bill is a ban on US funding for international population
control organizations that lobby foreign governments to
legalize abortion. The measure also bans funding for groups
that use money from other sources to provide abortions,
although it allows the president to waive the restrictions
in some cases.
Even if passed by the House in its current form, the bill
must be reconciled in conference committees with a Senate
Costa Rica Archbishop lashes out at manipulation by Scientists of determining sex of child
While most American bishops remained silent, Archbishop Roman Arrieta Villalobos of Costa Rica lashed out strongly against American Scientists for their manipulation of nature and their attempts to determine the sex of a child. He stated uncategorically that only God has the right to determine the destiny of His children and man cannot interfere. All these experiments go against everything taught by the Church. For more, click on Costa Rica Archbishop.
COSTA RICAN ARCHBISHOP REJECTS NEW BABY SEX-SELECTION METHOD
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Roman
Arrieta Villalobos of San Jose on Wednesday strongly
criticized the new baby sex-selection method developed by
American scientists, explaining that "it is not morally
acceptable and breaks the intimate union between marital
love and procreation."
Reports about the new method to select the sex of a child
developed by geneticists in Fairfax, Virginia, have sparked
controversy in the region. Archbishop Arrieta said the
Catholic Church finds the new method "unacceptable,"
because "from the very beginning, it isolates the process
of human conception both from the natural course of
procreation and love."
"Because of our respect for life and for the human person,
Catholics cannot agree to a capricious will to choose the
sex of their child -- by violating both natural and
supernatural laws," the archbishop said. Archbishop Arrieta
also said that the laws of Central American countries
forbids genetic manipulation, "because most of the experts
in the field are aware that such action has ethical and
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
The Nine Day Novena for Life sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops continues with Day Three. The Novena stretches from the Vigil of the feast of the Birth of Mary to September 15 - the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It is appropriate that these liturgical feasts fall during the same time Congress will once again consider the important legislation impacting the lives of unborn children in trying to rescind Clinton's veto of the ban on partial-birth abortion. Below is the daily prayer for the Novena for Life and click on NOVENA FOR LIFE:
God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. (Glory Be).
Holy Mother of God, hear the prayers of the Church for all mothers, especially those wearied by life and overcome by the suffering they bear for their children. (Hail Mary).
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, intercede for them from your place in Heaven, that the mercy of your Divine Son might lighten their burden and give them strength. (Hail Mary, Glory Be).
NOVENA FOR LIFE
A nine day Novena from the Vigil of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and endorsed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Compiled by Father James Moroney Executive Director, NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy
At times, it seems that life is threatened on all sides. This month, as Congress once again considers important legislation impacting the lives of unborn children, join with others across the nation in prayer. For the nine days between September 7 and September 15 we pray for the intercession of Mary, the Mother of our Life, our Faith and our Hope.
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father,
and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.
Holy Mother of God,
hear the prayers of the Church
for all mothers,
especially those wearied by life
and overcome by the suffering
they bear for their children.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
intercede for them
from your place in heaven,
that the mercy of your divine Son
might lighten their burden
and give them strength.
"As we contemplate this Mother, whose heart Ďa sword has pierced' (cf. Lk 2:35), our thoughts go to all the suffering women in the world, suffering either physically or morally. In this suffering a woman's sensitivity plays a role, even though she often succeeds in resisting suffering better than a man. It is difficult to enumerate these sufferings; it is difficult to call them all by name. We may recall her maternal care for her children, especially when they fall sick or fall into bad ways; the death of those most dear to her; the loneliness of mothers forgotten by their grown-up children; the loneliness of widows; the sufferings of women who struggle alone to make a living; and women who have been wronged or exploited. Then there are the sufferings of consciences as a result of sin, which has wounded the woman's human or maternal dignity: the wounds of consciences which do not heal easily. With these sufferings too we must place ourselves at the foot of the Cross."
Pope John Paul II
(Mulieris Dignitatem, 21)
Day 8- Monday, September 14, 1998 - FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS
Each time I pray, I am called to join my prayer with Christ's perfect prayer upon the cross. It is
easy from the vantage of the cross to see the world clearly. To see how easy it is to join the
suffering of the innocent to the suffering of him who is without sin. We should work for an end to
all the forms of violence which threaten life. That is a wonderful good. But it is even more
important to stand with the Virgin Mother and to beg her son to come to our aid.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11
Tomorrow: Day 9 of the Novena for Life
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"Everyday is miserable for the depressed, but a lighthearted man has a continual feast."
Proverbs 15: 15
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
September 14, 1998 volume 9, no. 179 DAILY CATHOLIC