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September 8, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 175
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
Today is the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary while tomorrow we honor the feast of Saint Peter Claver, Priest, Religious and Missionary. For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes for both days, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Tuesday, September 8, 1998
First Reading: Micah 5: 1-4 or Romans 8: 28-30
Psalms: Psalm 13: 6 and Isaiah 61: 9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1: 1-16, 18-23
Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This feast of the Birth of Mary is one of the first links between the Old Testament and the New Testament and
the origins of the feast date back to the fifth century when a basilica was built on the site where the pool of
Bethesda was as told in John 5: 1-9. The scholars of those days deducted that it was also the site of where Our
Lady's parents Saint Joachim and Saint Anne lived and Mary was born. Since Mary was the temple in which
God chose her to become the Mother of the Savior, the Church felt it important to honor her feast. Though it
started in the east, by the seventh century Rome was celebrating it in the universal Church instituted by Pope
Sergius I in the early 700's. In the 13th century the feast became a Solemnity with a day of fasting the day before.
Though there were various dates over the centuries on which different countries and cultures celebrated her
birth, the Church officially attributed the Blessed Mother's birth to September 8 - nine months after the Feast of
Mary's Immaculate Conception.
Wednesday, September 9, 1998
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 7: 25-31
Psalms: Psalm 45: 11-12, 14-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 6: 20-26
Feast of Saint Peter Claver, Priest, Religious and Missionary
Known as the patron of the missionary work done among African-Americans, Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit, was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1580. After receiving a degree from the University of Barcelona, Peter was assigned to Palma in Mallorca where he met Saint Alfonso Rodriguez, a Jesuit Lay Brother who convinced him to go to South America. Thus in April 1610, Peter arrived in Cartagena, Columbia and five years later was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus with throngs of natives he had converted in attendance. Peter knew the greatest problem facing him was the increasing African slave trade and that Cartagena was a major clearing house slave market. Though Pope Paul III and Pope Pius IV had condemned this inhuman practice, it continued unabated. Working under fellow Jesuit Father Alfonso de Sandoval, Peter devoted his life of 40 more years ministering to these chained children of God who had been shipped against their will to a foreign country. Calling himself the "slave of the slaves", Peter would meet each slave ship as it arrived in port and comfort them, feeding, clothing them and caring for their health; many had scurvy and other terrible diseases. He became their apostle, father, physician and friend. He also realized one man could not do it all and thus enlisted the help of numerous catechists and interpreters. In addition he formed several charitable societies among the Spanish people in Cartagena and elsewhere to assist in the ministry and care of the blacks. Throughout his lifetime he baptized an estimated 300,000 slaves. In 1650 Peter caught the plague that was ravaging the city and never fully recovered, being forced to give up the ministry and contact with the people he so dearly loved. The deadly plague took him as a victim on September 8, 1654 and only a few were with him when he died, but the angels were abundant as they whisked him to his Heavenly home. On earth he was honored with a massive state funeral as thousands paid their respects to this selfless saint who clearly exemplified his Savior Jesus Christ. In 1888 Pope Leo XIII canonized Peter along with his earlier companion Alfonso Rodriguez who had guided Peter to the ministry he performed for 40 years in the new world.
Events Today in Church History
For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES: TIME CAPSULES
Historical Events in Church Annals for September 8:
Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Death of Pope Saint Sergius I, 84th successor of Peter who served 14 years. He had been nominated after two antipopes. Sergius strove to extinguish the schism which had arisen in Rome iself, and succeeded in terminating the one spread by the heretic Aquileia. It was St. Sergius who introduced into the liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the use of the Agnus Dei.
Death of the antipope Clement III during the reign of the real authorized pontiff Pope Paschal II. Clement was one of many antipopes during this era. Clement opposed the policies of the great Hildebrand who became Pope Saint Gregory VII. Clement tried to be a thorn in the side of many official pontiffs but the Church survived despite his interference.
Birth of Richard the Lionhearted who would go on to become King of England and lead a Crusade.
The lacksadaisical Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Hohenstauffen finally sets sail on the Fifth Crusade but his inaction cost the Christian forces dearly and because of his indifference and disobedience he would eventually be excommunicated and be a thorn in the Holy See's side.
Saint Joan of Arc is wounded in battle at Paris in her attempt to recapture the city and retreated to remount a campaign the following spring that would end in her capture.
The magnificent work of art of the Psalmist "David" by the master Michelangelo is revealed to the public for the first time. It had been commissioned by Pope Alexander VI and was first displayed during the reign of Pope Julius II who is the Pope who clashed with Michelangelo while he was working on the Sistine Chapel.
Pope Leo XIII issues his 44th encyclical Magnae Dei Matris on the Holy Rosary.
Pope Leo XIII releases his 47th encyclical Laetitiae sanctae also on the Rosary which commended devotion to the Rosary.
Pope Leo XIII follows up with another encyclical, his 53rd, on the Rosary Iucunda semper expectatione.
Pope Leo XIII ushers his 67th encyclical Depuis le jour aimed at the French bishops on education of the clergy.
Pope Saint Pius X issues the landmark encyclical, his 11th, Pascendi dominici gregis on the doctrines of the Modernists, warning all of this threat.
Pope Pius XI issues his 12th encyclical of his regime Rerum Orientalium on promoting Oriental studies.
Pope Pius XII issues his 23th encyclical Sempiternus Rex Christus on the Council of Chalcedon.
Pope Pius XII releases his 27th encyclical Fulgens corona in which he proclaimed a Marian Year to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the proclaiming of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
Pope Pius XII issues his 40th encyclical Miranda prorsus - another landmark encyclical in which the Holy Father broaches the subject of television, radio and films.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Use arms to embrace in love as Mother Teresa did, not arms for war Pope entreats
The Holy Father returned to the Vatican last weekend specifically to honor the memory of Mother Teresa who died a year ago this past Saturday. He implored all, especially world leaders to put aside differences and work as one for world peace using arms of embraceable love for all rather than arms of destruction that do nothing but harm. He emphasized that would be the greatest way to honor Mother Teresa by carrying out what she did in deed. He made his remarks to the Italian Catholic Action group. For more, click on Honoring Mother Teresa.
HONOR MOTHER TERESA BY WORKING FOR PEACE
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II marked the
anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa by calling upon all of the
world's leaders to follow her example and take decisive steps to
promote world peace.
Meeting in St. Peter's Square with representatives of the Italian
Catholic Action group on Saturday evening, September 5, the Holy
Father lent his support to the cause of disarmament, and said that
the best way to show respect for Mother Teresa would be to take
concrete steps to safeguard human life and human rights.
"To heads of state, rich and poor alike, I say: Do not trust the power
of arms!" the Pope warned. "Take decisive and loyal action with a
view to disarmament, so that resources can be turned to the truly
great purposes of civilization-- to fight together against hunger and
disease, until every man can live and die like a man."
Speaking of Mother Teresa, the Pope said, "What a marvelous work
this little woman, from a humble family, was able to accomplish
through the power of faith in God and love for her neighbor." He
pointed out that the Albanian-born nun based her legendary love for
the poor on the love of God, and that her entire life's work was "a gift
from God to the poorest of the poor." Her life was also "a particular
gift to the Church and to the world," he added.
Don't ask the Holy Father what is his sign!
Pope John Paul II stayed at the Vatican Sunday to deliver his weekly Angelus address, earmarking the dangers of astrology and new age which has become the trend in Italy and elsewhere. He warned of the dangers of horoscopes and entreated all to dismiss the mysteries of the occult in favor of the "Mystery of Love" - God, specifically the Holy Spirit for there are the true, authentic answers all seek. For more, click on Angeles Address.
TRUST GOD, NOT ASTROLOGY, POPE INSISTS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- During his Sunday Angelus audience on
September 6, Pope John Paul II called for a renewed faith in God, and
criticized the widespread reliance on horoscopes and astrology, which
are particularly popular in Italy.
The faithful Christian should trust in God to guide him through daily
life, and recognize "the mystery of love" which sustains him, the
Pontiff said. The way to understand the mysteries of life is through
prayer, he said, since through prayer we can enter into a greater
appreciation for God's providence.
Dismissing horoscopes and "magical visions" as fraudulent, the Pope
concluded that by invoking the counsel of the Holy Spirit, believers
can plumb the true depths of life's mysteries, and recognize the
"mystery of God's love" which guides their lives.
Number of slaughtered victims at Catholic Mission in Congo drastically revised from 200 to over 600 casualities
The casualty list from the massacre at a Catholic Mission run by the Order of the Sons of the Resurrection has risen drastically from a first reported 37 killed, including a priest, three nuns and several seminarians, on August 24 to a revised total of 633 souls who were slaughtered by Congo rebels who had been ordered to leave the country by the president who they had helped put in office. Why they attacked the mission is still under investigation. For more, click on Mission massacre.
CONGO MASSACRE MUCH WORSE THAN EARLIER ESTIMATES
ROME (CWNews.com) - More than 600 people were killed in a
massacre at a Catholic mission in the Democratic Republic
of Congo last month, up from an earlier estimate of 37, an
Italian missionary news service reported on Friday.
The Misna news agency originally reported that on August
24, at least 37 people -- including a priest, three nuns,
seminary students, and refugees -- were killed as they
huddled in the mission by rebels. Last week, the agency
reported that the death toll had risen to 200 and on
Friday, they raised the mark to 633.
The rebel Congo Democratic movement which is fighting to
oust President Laurent Kabila denied responsibility for the
attack, blaming bandit gangs.
Fightin' Irish alum fightin' mad over appointment of pro-abort Bill Bradley to teach under the Golden Dome
Former Democratic Senator Bill Bradley who grew up with a friend of the editor's in Crystal City, Missouri is no friend of Catholics and that is the message furious Notre Dame alumni are trying to convey after hearing that the administration had hired the strongly pro-abort politician and former NBA player to teach on campus this fall. Joining the alumni group was the Pro-Life Action League and other pro-life groups who are outraged that a Catholic institution would do such a thing. Since they had gotten nowhere through proper channels they paid for a plane to buzz the stadium during Notre Dame's upset victory over Michigan Saturday afternoon with banners bringing to light the problems. For more, click on Golden Dome tarnished
NOTRE DAME ALUMNI PROTEST PRO-ABORTION EX-SENATOR
SOUTH BEND, Indiana (CWNews.com) - Pro-life groups and
University of Notre Dame alumni joined together on Saturday
to protest the hiring of a pro-abortion, former New Jersey
Senator to teach at the Catholic university this semester.
The groups, including the Pro-Life Action League, said
university officials had been unresponsive to requests that
the administration cancel plans for former Democrat Sen.
Bill Bradley to teach a class. Bradley had a nearly 100
percent pro-abortion record during 18 years in Congress,
and has not changed his views since then, PLAL said. The
protesters planned to send their message by air on
Saturday, hiring two airplanes to tow banners -- reading
"N.D. drop Sen. Bill Bradley" and "Sen. Bill Bradley backed
abortion" -- over the opening game of the football season at
the university's stadium.
"Notre Dame failed to get the message by phone or letter,"
said Joseph Scheidler, executive director of PLAL, and an
alumnus and former instructor at Notre Dame, "so we are
sending it by air -- literally." The protesters said there
is widespread criticism of the plan to have Bradley teach
among faculty. "Bradley's appointment is indefensible,"
said Prof. Charles Rice, of the Notre Dame Law School. "It
sends a message to the students that it is acceptable and
even commendable for a legislator to support abortion."
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
Yesterday, Labor Day we began the Nine Day Novena for Life sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. 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
Day One and Two
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 1 - Monday, September 7, 1998 - Vigil of the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Labor Day - Pray for the Suffering Women of the World
Labor day usually brings to mind images of factory workers, farmers or heavy equipment operators. Yet we also use labor to describe the first work which brought each one of us to birth: those first hours of maternal sacrifice which brought us into the world. It's too easy to forget that and all the other sacrifices which the vocation of motherhood entails. Pray for the mothers "in labor" today. Those who give birth. Those who work two jobs to support a child. Those who "go without" so their child's needs are met. Those whose patient endurance is a sign of God's love upon the cross. Scripture Reading: Luke 7: 11-15
Day 2 - Tuesday, September 8, 1998 - Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Birth of the Virgin Mary - Pray for Mothers who will Give Birth Today
"At first I as scared," Sarah told me. "I was scared, excited and filled with the most incredible expectation. It was like those words we hear at Mass: we wait in joyful hope. I thought of all those women who feel the first kick, the stirrings of life deep within them. I prayed for them, that they would love their child, cherish their little baby and know that in being a mother they are involved in something so much bigger than themselves. They have been chosen by God to be custodians of the mystery of life. At first I was scared, and then I just cried ... with joy." Scripture Reading: Matthew 1: 18-23
Tomorrow: Day 3 of the Novena for Life
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
September 8, 1998 volume 9, no. 175 DAILY CATHOLIC