Death of Saint Wenceslaus, Duke and patron saint of Bohemia. For more on this saint, see TODAY'S LITURGY
Cardinal Pedro de Luna of Aragon chosen as the antipope Benedict XIII during the reign of the legitimate Supreme Pontiff Pope Boniface IX.
Birth of the master painter and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarrotti.
Death of the first Filipino martyrs Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companion Martyrs in Nagasaki, Japan. For more, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Death of Pope John Paul I, 263rd successor of Peter. Cardinal Albino Luciano had been elected on August 26th of 1978 to succeed Pope Paul VI and was known during his brief 33 day reign as the "smiling Pope." He was the first pope in the long line of pontiffs to choose a double name out of respect for his two predecessors. He also declined to have a coronation ceremony. Some suspect he was poisoned by interests who feared him, but reports reveal he died of a heart attack while reading in bed.
The papal message was conveyed in a telegram signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, and directed to Cardinals Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo and Luis Aponte Martinez of San Juan. In his message the Pope asked public leaders to provide "effective aid and solicitude to the victims, with charity, in a spirit of Christian solidarity.
After sending his encouragement, he received the members of the 11th chapter general of the Missionaries of St. Charles. He urged them to pursue their missionary work with immigrants, and pointed to the "difficult and complex" conditions of a world in which many immigrants find themselves rejected by their new neighbors.
The Missionaries of St. Charles-- better known as the Scalabrinians, because the order was founded by Blessed Jean-Baptiste Scalabrini, who was beatified in 1997-- have worked in the missions since their beginning in 1887. The 750 members of the order today work in 25 different countries. Their work is devoted particularly to migrants.
Pope John Paul observed that the order's founder recognized migration as "a law of nature," and fought to ease "the sufferings and crises caused by immigration," by offering "concrete and appropriate remedies." He exhorted the Scalabrinians to continue that work, bearing witness to the Church's concern for all migrants.
The center told the Vatican in a letter that it should delay the ceremony in view of the Holy Father's oft-stated desire for reconciliation with Jews. "We urge him to postpone this beatification until after the completion of an exhaustive study of Stepinac's wartime record based on full access to Vatican archives," wrote Shimon Samuels, the center's director for international relations.
Although Cardinal Stepinac roundly condemned the racial policies of a short-lived Croatian nationalist regime, he has been repeatedly accused of pro-Nazi sympathies because he had originally welcomed the effort to oust a government which Croatians saw as oppressive. In the August-September issue of Catholic World Report, reporters Josip Stilinovic and Robin Harris charge that the propaganda campaign against Stepinac began when he refused a request from a subsequent Communist government to set up a Croation Catholic Church, independent of Rome.
The Holy Father is scheduled to beatify the former archbishop of Zagreb in the Croatian town of Marija Bistrica on October 3. Stepinac was cited by the cause for his beatification as martyr for the faith who was persecuted by Yugoslavia's Communist government.
The conference posed the question of whether the language of the Bible can be used to address the problems created by the "Babel" of contemporary public discourse. The meeting discussed the problems created by modern means of communication, including television and the Internet. Among the prominent participants was the Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli and the Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls.
The Pope cited his own 1988 apostolic letter On the Dignity of Women, and said that cloistered women religious have an opportunity to live out the feminine principle in its fullness. At a time when the world is going through a period of confusion and change, he cited the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, saying that "women full of the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to help humanity, and cannot decline to do so."
The Holy Father's remarks are especially significant in light of the ever increasing rebellion within the Church by women who are not cooperating with the Church as reported by Religion Today.
Roman Catholic communion services led by women are becoming more widespread. The practice had taken place in small groups and private homes as it was debated whether such ceremonies were actually Christian Eucharists, The Washington Post said. A recent hardening by the Vatican against the possibility of women priests has drawn more women to the gatherings, which are now held in public places such as Protestant churches and a women's shelter. The women, mostly in their 40s and 50s, do not accept the Church hierarchy's position that only ordained men can ask Christ to be present in the Eucharist.