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September 18-20, 1998
SECTION THREE vol 9, no. 183
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
Outside of the feast of the martyred bishop Saint Januarius, this weekend is strictly the liturgy of Ordinary Time as we observe the TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME followed by Monday's feast of SAINT MATTHEW. For the liturgies, readings and meditations for this weekend, click on LITURGY
Friday, September 18, 1998
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 12-20
Psalms: Psalm 17: 1, 6-8, 15
Gospel Reading: Luke 8: 1-3
Saturday, September 19, 1998
Saturday September 19: 24th Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr and Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Green or white vestments
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 35-37, 42-49
Psalms: Psalm 56: 10-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 8: 4-15
Feast of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr
Though very little is really known about Saint Januarius, he is more regularly known as San Gennaro and no one can pinpoint the date of his birth. We do know, from the biography of Saint Paulinus of Nola that Januarius, along with Saint Martin of Tours appeared to Paulinus in a vision as the author describes what Paulinus saw, "Paulinus began to ask in a clear voice where his brethren were. One of the priests, thinking that he was referring to his brother bishops who had just celebrated the Eucharist with him in his bedroom, responded: 'Your brethren are all here with you.' But he answered: 'I am speaking of Januarius and Martin [of Tours], my brothers in the episcopate, who a little while ago were speaking to me and promising me that soon I would join them'." Januarius was martyred in 305 by the Emperor Diocletian along with six companion martyrs at Pozzuoli which is near Naples, Italy. Since the 6th Century Januarius has been a special patron saint of the Napolitan city south of Rome. Miraculous events have contributed to his popularity for his blood has been preserved in a reliquary in Naples. Ever since the 13th Century there is scientific and historical proof that the dried blood is liquified four times a year, first on his feast day of September 19, on the octave of his feast, December 16 and the first Saturday in May. This phenomenon has been so great that several Holy Fathers over the centuries have put an indulgence on veneration of Januarius' relic.
Observance of Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue). He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."
SUNDAY, September 20, 1998
First Reading: Amos 8: 4-7
Psalms: Psalm 113: 1-2, 4-8
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2: 1-8
Gospel Reading: Luke 16: 1-13
Though it is superceded by the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 20 is the feast of Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and companion Martyrs:
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companion Martyrs
One of the newest feasts in the Church, our current Holy Father Pope John Paul II officially canonized Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and Saint Paul Chong Hasang along with 111 companions as martyrs while on official visit to Korea in 1984. Like the feast, the conversion of Korea is also relatively new, with evangelization there not being undertaken until the beginning of the 1600's. It was first begun by a group of lay Catholics who were on fire for their faith. Petitioning various countries to send priests to minister to the people, France answered the call, secretly stealing into the country for Christianity was not tolerated on this far eastern island north of Japan. Between 1839 and 1867 113 were killed for their faith, including 103 members of the Christian community which included three bishops and seven priests, all French who were members of the Foreign Mission Society of Paris. St. Andrew was one of the first Koreans ordained a priest in 1845. He had been a dedicated student both in Korea and at Macao where he learned the Latin language. Secretly slipping back into Korea, he ministered to the people tirelessly, bringing them the Sacraments for nearly two years until the Korean tribesmen attacked him and beheaded him at the edge of a river as the sun was setting on September 16, 1846. The Christians snuck down later that evening and retrieved his body, carrying him up into the mountains for a proper and safe burial. Though little is known of Andrew, he did write two epistles or letters, one to the Vicar Apostolic bishop who had ordained him and the other to the faithful pleading for them to keep the faith. One of those who heeded his wise words was St. Paul Chong Hasang, a Catholic layman who was martyred for his faith less than a week later on September 22, 1846. Like the early Christians, the deaths of these Korean and French martyrs sowed the seeds of a flourishing Church in Korea for decades to come.
Monday, September 21, 1998
First Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13
Psalms: Psalm 56: 10-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 8: 4-15
FEAST OF SAINT MATTHEW, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST
One of the greatest evangelists is, of course, Saint Matthew the Apostle, whose account of Christ's teaching and life, the first book of the New Testament, are the most detailed and complete - the most accurate catechism, if you will, for the Christian faithful. As his gospels reveal, He wasn't always Matthew. He was born in Capharnaum with the name Levi the son of Alphaeus who was a tax collector. As was the custom of those times, the father's trade was handed down to the son and so Matthew, too, became a tax collector. As we all know he abandoned being a publican when called by Our Lord to follow him while sitting in the tax-collector's seat in Capharnaum. Matthew's Gospel, written in Aramaic - the "Hebrew tongue" mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, was written to fill a yearning need to reach his fellow Palestinians who included both believers and non-believers. For believers his writings served as a token of his regard and as encouragement for the trials to come, specifically to prevent falling back into the ways of Judaism; for the unbelievers, his gospel was intended to convince them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah in the flesh in Whom all promises of the Old Testament had been fulfilled in a spiritual way as opposed to the more expected material or carnal manner that He would come as a conquering king. Matthew emphasized this, referring to the "Kingdom of God" or the "Kingdom of Heaven" in well over 50 incidences in his gospel. After the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday, Matthew remained in Jerusalem writing, but shortly after the persecution of Harold Agrippa I began in 42, he left Israel to preach in Parthia and Persia first, and then later went to Ethiopia where he received his crown of martyrdom and was reunited with his Master Whom he had written so faithfully, fully and accurately for and about. His relics were discovered and transfered in the 10th Century to Salerno Italy at the coordination of Pope Gregory VII.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
This weekend's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer of the Mass honoring Saint Januarius, followed by another prayer to the martyred bishop:
O God, Who dost make us glad by the yearly festival of Thy Holy Martyrs, Januarius and his Companions; mercifully grant that we who rejoice in their merits, may be inspired by the example of their lives. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Catholic World News Service
Pittsburgh Bishop lays it out on what's Right and Wrong regarding Clinton fiasco!
Finally the American bishops are starting to speak out on the travesties in the White House, beginning with Bishop Donald W. Wuerl, ordinary of the Pittsburgh Diocese. His pastoral letter to the youth of Pittsburgh is being released this weekend and is available in our Miters that Matter section to the right. For a synopsis of the pastoral letter, click on Right and Wrong
PITTSBURGH BISHOP ADDRESSES PRESIDENTIAL MISCONDUCT
PITTSBURGH (CWNews.com) - Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh
told children in his diocese this week that, despite the
best efforts of President Bill Clinton's defenders to say
otherwise, there really is a right and wrong in moral
In a letter entitled "Right and Wrong" addressed to the
youth and published in the September 18 issue of the
official diocesan newspaper, Pittsburgh Catholic, Bishop
Wuerl said that right and wrong is "determined by God's
law, not public opinion polls ... and we have to be
courageous enough to admit our sins and accept correction."
He added, "The message is a clear one. There is right and
wrong. God's law is our norm. Morality and integrity are
very important in our personal lives and the life of this
The bishop wrote that "aside from the political and legal
issues there are serious moral matters" involved in the
investigation of Clinton. "The fact that the moral
dimension of the President's conduct has been so obscured
in the frantic effort to defend him calls for some
clarification, especially for our young people who look to
public figures for an example of how one is to live."
Bishop Wuerl also called on all the faithful to reaffirm
the truths of sexual morality and true love.
"Do not be deceived by the recent polls that show a general
complacency of a large segment of the population with
so-called 'inappropriate' sexual activity," Bishop Wuerl
added. "... When you read or hear that some people view
infidelity, adultery, and fornication as personal choices
that are no one else's business, remember, those actions
are wrong no matter who does them. 'Recreational' sex is
immoral and destructive. It is not a private, personal
activity that affects only two people; it is one that
impacts all of us."
Italian historian clearing the air on the Spanish Inquisition
Why, during the Protestant Reformation, did Spain remain Catholic and loyal to the Church? The Inquisition played a major role, but not the tortuous and ruthless illustration that Catholic-bashing historians painted of the Dominican Cardinal Tomas Torquemada. This was clarified by Italian historian Rino Cammilleri who, just prior to a planned forum at the Vatican on the Inquisition, granted an interview to Vatican Radio on the occasion of the Sesquitennial anniversary of Torquemada's death. For more, click on Inquisition
HISTORIANS REFLECT ON THE INQUISITION
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- As the Vatican prepares to host a
conference on the Inquisition, the Italian historian Rino Cammilleri
gave his own thoughts on the subject in an interview broadcast on
Vatican Radio yesterday. The interview coincided with the 500th
anniversary of the death of the Spanish Dominican Tomas de
Cammilleri said that the world's perception of the Inquisition has
been exaggerated, since the number of those who were executed has
been grossly inflated by anti-Catholic propaganda. He also pointed
out that the Spanish Inquisition had saved that country from the
witchcraft scares which plagued the rest of Europe in that era.
"At the time, at the dawn of modernity, when almost all of northern
Europe-- and particularly Protestant Europe-- was hunting witches,
that phenomenon was non-existent in Spain," Cammilleri noted. He
pointed out that the Dominicans who ran the Inquisition, with their
thorough training in scholastic theology, did not believe the claims of
those who said they had been harmed by witches.
As for the "Black Legend" which characterized the Spanish
Inquisition as a "death machine," the historian observed that
Protestant groups rebelling against the Spanish regime of that day
took pains to exaggerate the effects.
The Spanish Inquisition was undertaken at a time when the country
faced the real threat of civil war, Cammilleri continued. Having
recently unified the nation, the Catholic rulers were confronted with
two powerful minority groups, Muslims and Jews, whose loyalty to
the regime was questionable. Since converts to Catholicism were
considered reliable subjects, the regime called upon the Church to
investigate false conversions, thus giving rise to the Spanish
The role of Tomas de Torquemada in the Inquisition was also
discussed in the Vatican Radio interview. Torquemada, the personal
confessor to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, was asked to
reorganize the Inquisition in 1483. He would later be presented to
history-- as in Verdi's opera Don Carlos-- as a bloody executioner.
But in fact he was a man of modest habits, scrupulously fair to the
process of the Inquisition.
When a Vatican Radio interviewer questioned whether it was
possible to reconcile Torquemada's use of force with the message of
the Gospel, the Jesuit historian Mario Fois intervened. It is an
anachronism, he said, to speak of "freedom of belief" during that era;
at the time, prior to the Enlightenment, it was taken for granted that
Catholics would adhere to the teachings of the Church. Heretics were
prosecuted, therefore, because they endangered the salvation of
souls. Father Fois emphasized that "the conception of ecclesial and
social community" was totally different in that era. "We must
understand that the mentality and the social sensibility were
completely different from our own," he said.
German priest tabbed to succeed Monsignor Zago as OMI Superior General
A 51-year old German Missionary Oblate recently having served the people of Paraguay was chosen as the Superior General of the Order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a missionary Order of priests founded by Saint Eugene de Mazenod who Pope John Paul II canonized on December 3, 1995 at which the Spiritual Director for the DAILY CATHOLIC and this ministry - Father Al Svobodny, OMI was present in Rome. The new Superior General is Father Heinz-Wilhelm Steckling, OMI who succeeds Monsignor Marcello Zago, OMI who had an excellent rapport with the Holy See during his tenure, serving as Secretary for the Vatican's Pontifical Congregation for Evangelization . For more, click on OMI
OBLATES ELECT NEW LEADER
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Father Heinz-Wilhelm Steckling was
elected yesterday to be the new superior general of the Oblates of
Mary Immaculate. The German priest was elected on the first ballot
by the 113 members of the order's chapter general, meeting in Rome.
Father Steckling was born in 1947 and made his perpetual vows in
1973. After ordination in 1974 he was sent to Paraguay, where he
worked as a missionary among the Guarani Indians, eventually
becoming the provincial for the Oblates in that region. In 1986 he
opened a house for discernment of vocations, and in 1992 was
elected assistant general.
As superior general, Father Steckling succeeds Msgr. Marcello Zago,
who is also the secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for
Evangelization. Msgr. Zago had reached the end of his second term in
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate were founded in 1816 by St. Eugene
de Mazenod, then the Archbishop of Marseilles. Today the order has
4,900 members, working in 68 countries.
French Bishops stand strong against Cohabitation outside marriage
Just as the saintly French Bishop Eugene de Mazenod fought the iniquities of government and measures that went against Catholic teaching back in the early nineteenth century, so also the French bishops today are fighting France's attempt to legalize living together outside of the marriage vows. If a measure called the "civil solidarity pact" were to pass, France would be devastated morally, destroying the very fabric of society the bishops assert and have called on the faithful to fight this and pray for its defeat. For more, click on France at a crossroads.
FRENCH BISHOPS SLAM LAW GRANTING RIGHTS TO UNMARRIED COUPLES
PARIS (CWNews.com) - The French bishops' conference on
Thursday warned that a proposed law granting full legal
rights to unmarried people living together could undermine
the fabric of society.
The so-called "civil solidarity pact" would grant the same
social and tax rights to heterosexual and homosexual
couples that married couples now enjoy. "It is not
necessary to put a new statute on the legislation books
that risks further destroying the idea of being a couple
and a family," the bishops said. They also dismissed
attempts to say the measure would bring the law into line
with modern life in France, saying marriage is fundamental
to society. "It is not a simple contract or private affair
but constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of society
... Marriage should be appreciated as a privileged
alliance between a man and a woman," they said.
About 13,000 mayors of French cities and towns have signed
petitions refusing to officiate the "solidarity pacts" as
provided in the law, forcing a change to require the pact
to take place in court clerks' offices. The mayors said
they feared they would be forced to officiate at "gay
marriages." The bishops warned that legalized same-sex
marriage is a possible goal of some of the law's promoters.
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.
September 18-20, 1998 volume 9, no. 183 DAILY CATHOLIC