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April 28, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 82

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE


Today's Prayer is the ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY composed by Saint Louis de Montfort. For the full consecration, click on ACT OF CONSECRATION in today's special PRAYER & DEVOTION page.


      O Immaculate Heart of Mary, I, who have been a ungrateful sinner, today renew and reaffirm, to your holy and glorious person, the vows of my baptism. I reject Satan, his evil works, and his empty promises forever, and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, incarnate Wisdom and my Savior, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

      In the presence of God the Father, to whom you, Mary, are the most favored daughter; in the presence of God the Son, the Word incarnate, to whom you are Mother; in the presence of the Holy Spirit, to whom you are spouse, and before the entire heavenly court, all the holy angels and saints, I consecrate myself to your Immaculate Heart, O Mary. I intend that the consecration I make today will continue for all time and for eternity.

      I entrust and consecrate to you, O Immaculate Heart of Mary, my Queen and my Mother, my body and soul and all my goods, interior and exterior, spiritual and natural. I thereby consecrate to you the value of all my good thoughts, words, and actions, past, present, and future, leaving to you the entire right to dispose of me, and all that belongs to me without exception, according to your holy will, for the greater glory of God in time and eternity.

      I consecrate to your all-pure person, O Mary, my eyes, my mouth, my heart, all my sense, my whole person. I am totally yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours.

      Heavenly Mother Mary, refuge of sinners, I come to your sweet, most lovable heart, to offer myself to you; to consecrate my entire life, all that has gone before and will follow this day, to your Immaculate Heart. In this consecration of my total person, I offer you my body and soul, with all their miseries and weaknesses; my heart, with all its affections and desires; my prayers, works, joys, and sorrows. I offer you all temptations that come to me, so that my every thought and desire may be purified through your holy intercession.

      My Queen, my Mother, I offer you in consecration all pleasures and sufferings that come into my life, both physical and spiritual. I offer you especially my death, with all that will accompany it in my last agony. Accept all this, my Mother, and take all into your Immaculate Heart as I give to you irrevocably all that I am and all that I have, together with all property and possessions. I offer you my family and all who are near and dear to me. Take them all into your Immaculate Heart and keep everyone I your Son, Jesus Christ.

      Keep me ever faithful to God and to the Holy Catholic Church, loyal and obedient to the Holy Father, the Pope. I desire to pray the Rosary properly, meditating on its mysteries. I desire to participate in the Sacrifice of your incarnate Son, perpetuated at Holy Mass, and to receive Him frequently in Holy Communion. I attach special importance to the First Saturday of the month in reparation to your Immaculate Heart, and I will work for the conversion of sinners. I will strive to live constantly the spirit of eucharistic reparation.

      O Queen of the angels, my Queen and my Mother, I humbly prostrate myself before you as I approach you with my guardian angel. I desire to join all the holy angels, and especially my guardian, in venerating you always as Queen of heaven and earth. Command my guardian angel to keep me always in your love and in the union of grace with your divine Son, and the entire Blessed Trinity dwelling in my soul. Send forth your angels to assist me in spreading devotion to your Immaculate heart so that through your intercession there may be peace in the world and in the Church, and the Kingdom of Christ may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
provided by Catholic World News Service



      GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - The auxiliary bishop of Guatemala City was killed on Sunday, just two days after he presented a report detailing human rights violations during the country's 36-year civil war.

      Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedra was the head of the archdiocesan human rights office and released the report, "Never Again in Guatemala," at the cathedral on Friday. Sunday night, the 75-year-old bishop was dragged from his bed and killed by blows to his head with a cement block, police said. Investigators said they have not determined a motive, but Church sources said the timing is suspicious.

      The report was critical of the Guatemalan army and paramilitary groups under its control, blaming them for nearly 80 percent of the 150,000 deaths and 50,000 disappearances during the war. In one of Latin America's longest civil conflicts, leftist rebels fought the Guatemalan government, demanding land reform and greater democracy. A peace accord was signed in 1996. Bishop Gerardi is the first bishop slain in Guatemala, and his death is the first killing of such a high-ranking church official in Central America since the peace accords.


      VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - Communist Chinese officials denied passports for two bishops who had been invited by Pope John Paul II to attend the ongoing Synod on Asia, the Italian ANSA news agency reported on Monday.

      ANSA quoted Bishop Mathias Duan Yinming in Beijing as saying that he and Bishop Joseph Xu Zhixuan had been refused permission by the government religious affairs office. He said the officials blamed the refusal on the Vatican's lack of diplomatic relations with Communist China, a situation caused by the Vatican's diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and because the Vatican did not ask permission from the Communist-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

      Bishops Duan and Xu are members of the Patriotic Association, which eschews ties with the Universal Church and certain Catholic doctrines including the primacy of the pope. Most Catholics in China worship in underground churches with bishops and priests who maintain loyalty and fealty to the Church and the Pope.

      The Vatican said it was still waiting for clarity on whether the two bishops would attend the synod. "The Holy See ... is awaiting a precise indication from the Chinese authorities," chief Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement. The month-long synod discussing the role of the Church in Asia began on April 19. Bishop Duan is 90 years old and was consecrated as a bishop in 1949. Bishop Xu is 82 years old and was consecrated as a bishop by Bishop Duan.


      MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) - During a press conference held at the end of the Mexican Bishops' Conference ordinary assembly on Thursday, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City denounced a massive sterilization campaign launched by the government among the Indian population in the southern state of Chiapas, "taking advantage of the tension and violence that currently reigns in the region."

      According to Cardinal Rivera, in the recent weeks several health workers have begun to convince large groups of poor women in the Indian region of Chiapas to be sterilized. The cardinal said these actions were "the climax of a process started in early 1997, when the Mexican government launched a national campaign to reduce the poor population through the massive distribution of contraception methods, preservatives, and recently free sterilization surgeries." Chiapas has been gripped by violence since 1994 when Zapatista rebels, mainly drawn from Indian villages, took up arms against the government.

      "It is regrettable that in the context of Chiapas, where so many things are dramatically needed, the government has a sterilization campaign as its official response to the native people," the cardinal said. "It is easier to sterilize native people than to propose a development and educational program," he said, adding: "The government must launch new developments and peace strategies instead of fighting the poor as if they were the disease and not the reason for government."


      SARAJEVO (CWNews.com) - Bosnian Serbs attacked ethnic Croatians attempting to return to their home villages to attend Mass in the third day of such attacks on Saturday, UN officials said.

      The Mass was to have been held in Serb-controlled Plehane, but organizers canceled the liturgy after their caravan was attacked. UN spokesman Liam McDowall said the Croats were confronted by roadblocks manned by Serbs armed with sticks, clubs, and stones. Plehane is close to Derventa where Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo was attacked by a mob on Thursday when he tried to celebrate a Mass there. In Drvar, 80 miles to the west, about 1,500 ethnic Croats rioted the next day over the Serbs' attack on the cardinal.

      The violence is a setback for plans to return refugees to their homes from which they were displaced during the 1992-95 war. UN officials said the violence was orchestrated by Serbian and Croatian hardliners who are afraid their power bases will erode if other ethnic groups are allowed to return.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .


     Today is the Feast of both Saint Peter Chanel, the first martyr in Oceania, and Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort religious founder who fostered devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For the liturgy, readings, meditations and vignettes on these saints as well as preparation for tomorrow's feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

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

      First Reading: Acts 7: 51-60; 8: 1
      Psalms: Psalm 31: 3-4, 6-8, 17, 21
      Gospel Reading: John 6: 30-35


     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.


      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

      First Reading: Acts 7: 51-60; 8: 1
      Psalms: Psalm 31: 3-4, 6-8, 17, 21
      Gospel Reading: John 6: 30-35


      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.

April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message for

     Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer, to open yourselves to God as a flower opens itself to the rays of the morning sun. Little children, do not be afraid. I am with you and I intercede before God for each of you so that your heart receives the gift of conversion. Only in this way, little children, will you comprehend the importance of grace in these times and God will become nearer to you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

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Apri1 28, 1998 volume 9, no. 82   DAILY CATHOLIC