LITURGY FOR THE DAY: TUESDAY April 28, 1998


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Tuesday, April 28, 1998

Tuesday, April 28:
Tuesday in the Third Week of Easter and
Feast of Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Religious Missionary Martyr and Feast of Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, Priest, Writer and Religious Founder

SAINT PETER CHANEL, PRIEST & RELIGIOUS MISSIONARY MARTYR

     Considered the first martyr of Oceania, Saint Peter Chanel was born in Belley, France in 1803 where he was raised as a shepherd boy. While in the fields tending the sheep he heard God's call to shepherd men and became a priest in 1827 where he became a parish priest near Geneva, Switzerland. Nine years later in the year Pope Gregory XVI approved the new Marist Order of Priests - Society of Mary, Peter was assigned to Polynesia as part of the Marists' missionary efforts in Oceania. There he worked tirelessly for Jesus and Mary in spreading the faith. A year later he and a companion sailed to the island of Futana, just west of Tahiti where they began evangelizing and baptizing. When the pagan chief discovered that his own son wanted to be baptized by Peter, he went ballistic and dispatched a band of warriors to massacre the missionary and his companion on April 28, 1841. Shortly after this dastardly deed, the people rebelled against the chief for the saintly priest's murder and the entire population of Futana became Catholic, once again fulfilling Tertian's words, "The blood of marytrs is truly the seed of the Faith." Fr. Peter Chanel was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII as the first Marist martyr.

SAINT LOUIS MARY GRIGNON DE MONTFORT, PRIEST, WRITER, & RELIGIOUS FOUNDER

      Though not officially recognized in the United States as a feast day, we nevertheless celebrate the feast of Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort on April 28. It is an official feast day in Canada. This Dominican, following in the footsteps of his founder Saint Dominic became a great writer, preacher and prophet for the end times. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Holy Rosary are the substance of his works, including the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with 33 days of special preparation of prayers and fasting before this Consecration which is professed on the feast of the Purification (February 2), the feast of the Annunciation (March 25), St. Louis de Montfort's feastday (April 28), the feast of the Visitation (May 31), the Solemnities of the Assumption (August 15) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8). Other works of this devoted saint are "How to say your Rosary," "True Devotion to Mary,", "God Alone," "Friends of the Cross," "Reign of Jesus through Mary," "The Secret of Mary," and, of course, "Preparation for Total Consecration." These works are available through Montfort Publications, Queen of All Hearts Confraternity, Bay Shore, NY 11706.

      St. Louis de Montfort was a devoted Dominican Tertiary who was an extraordinary preacher of the Rosary and prophecied many things about Mary's role in our times and of the Second Coming in which he predicted Mary would have a special role saying: "In the Second Coming of the Lord, Mary will be made known in a special way by the Holy Spirit so that through her, Jesus may be better known and served...Mary will shine forth higher than ever in these latter days to bring back poor sinners who have strayed from the Family of God." Well before Fatima, he prophecied that Mary's Heart would triumph and of her role as Co-Redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix of all graces. Pope John Paul II has called de Montfort "one of the great doctors of Marian Spirituality." This saint, totally devoted to Mary, founded the Congregations of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (the Montfort Fathers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, an order of nuns devoted to Our Lady and the Holy Spirit. Born during the reign of Pope Clement X in 1673, St. Louis de Montfort died peacefully in 1716 during the papacy of Pope Clement XI.

Wednesday, April 29, 1998

SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, VIRGIN AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

      One of the great Doctors of the Church, Saint Catherine, born in 1347 in Sienna, was blessed with apparitions of Our Lord when she was only seven years old. Jesus requested of Catherine, "Please give Me your heart." Catherine willingly did so and in return, He gave her His Most Sacred Heart for God had a special mission for this special saint He raised up for the Church. At 15 she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic. Though courted by many young and noble bachelors, Catherine remembered what Christ had asked her and turned down numerous offers of marriage to become a bride of Christ with the Dominicans. Catherine did not know what exactly her mission was, but prepared for it through penance and prayer, devoting herself to the poor. She knew in her heart the Pope belonged in Rome, the seat of Christianity. Therefore, she made a pilgrimage to Avignon in Southern France to persuade the Pontiff Pope Gregory XI to return from exile to Rome where he belonged. Heeding the advice of this simple nun, he did as she requested for he knew intuitively that it was God's Will for God had sent Catherine as a light in the darkness during this dark time in Church history. Dissension followed Gregory's decision to return and those who followed their own will tried to elect a false pope and keep him in Avignon, but again Catherine intervened and lovingly, wisely counseled those in power to accept Gregory as the true pope and desist from promoting anyone else. They, too, understood this was God's Will and they obeyed, lifting all barriers and allowing Gregory to return the papacy to Rome. Both Gregory and his successor Pope Urban VI asked her counsel often, knowing it was of the Holy Spirit. Catherine died at the same age as Christ, 33 years old, receiving not only Jesus' Heart but His wounds as well as she was bestowed with the stigmata. The world mourned this great saint in 1380 for she had touched and brought many nations and princes back to the true faith through her simple, but firm faith. She also prophecied the schisms that would come in the following centuries. In 1970, Pope Paul VI officially proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church.