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5 Days until the Holy Father opens the Holy Door ushering in the Jubilee Year 2000 on Christmas Eve at St. Peter's Basilica

Watch this historic event on EWTN live at 5 p.m. ET!

December 20, 1999

  • 5 Days until the Holy Father opens the Holy Door ushering in the Jubilee Year 2000
  • Pat Ludwa traces Catholic Traditions of Christmas
  • Cardinal Pio Taofinu'u featured
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  • Total number of visits to the DAILY CATHOLIC thus far in 1999 (as of December 16):       5,050,592
  • Total number of visits since this daily publication went on line November 1, 1997:                6,938,032
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Click on your choice of articles below
December 20, 1999
vol. 10, no. 241

in Late Advent


with a Catholic slant


Final preparations being made to make Holy Door open-friendly

    Under the watchful eye of the President for the Protection of the Historical and Artistic Monuments of the Holy See Cardinal Virgilio Noe, Vatican workers began preparation for the readiness of the Holy Door being opened this Friday evening. To accomplish this they first had to tear down the brick wall surrounding and sealing it from the last time it was sealed in 1983. Each brick, representing a donation, was carefully extracted and earmarked to be sent to the donors as mementos of their generosity. The precise preparation is being done to preserve the past and ease the present by making the door open-friendly when Pope John Paul II will push both the right and left side of the door with the palm of his hand to officially usher in Jubilee Year 2000 on Christmas Eve. For more, click on Holy Door preparations

Prefect confirms imminent beatifications in 2000 of Pope Pius IX and John XXIII, doubts process for Mother Teresa or Pius XII will be completed next year

   The President of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed that Pope Pius IX, the Supreme Pontiff who declared the Dogma of the Assumption and then suffered the ignominy of being imprisoned in the Vatican after King Emmanuel took over the Papal States, and Pope John XXIII, who shocked everyone by calling the Second Vatican Council, will both be beatified in 2000. He was not as positive about Mother Teresa or Pope Pius XII for their process is not yet complete and isn't expected to be closed in time. More will be known today when the Holy See announces who will be beatified and canonized in the Jubilee Year. For more, click on Beatifications in 2000.

Mexico's Cardinal Rivera backs Juan Diego for beatification refuting former Abbot of Guadalupe

    Speaking out strongly on behalf of Guadalupe visionary Juan Diego and the fruits of his life, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City - whose jurisdiction covers the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe - made his statements last weekend during celebrations of the Feast and refuted the claims by the former Abbot of the Shrine who denigrated Juan Diego as a fictitious character. The cardinal has been at the forefront of those lobbying for the Holy Father to beatify this sixteenth century Aztec Indian hermit because Mexico owes its Catholic heritage to the fruits of this apparition in 1531. The cardinal also asserted how the Virgin of Guadalupe remains as much a major evangelizer today as she did over four centuries ago. For more, click on Lobbying for Juan Diego.

Emerald Isle not as shining like past glories in regard the Faith for attendance at Mass slipping badly

    Whatever happened to the tremendous faith and reverence for Catholicism in Ireland, a country which provided so many vocations the world over? That is the question many are asking in light of recent statistics that show a drastic drop in attendance at Sunday Mass. It happened in Holland and other countries that have relaxed mores and morals and allowed abortion and, sadly, it is happening in this land that has been so solidly Catholic since Saint Patrick evangelized the isle. It can also be attributed to the family unit breaking up. For more, click on Irish eyes ain't smiling.

    For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


  • More pertinent viewpoints in our editorial CATHOLIC PewPOINT

  • Seventy-fifth installment on the treasures of the great Deposit of Faith in APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

  • Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on events that occurred on December 21st

  • DAILY LITURGY for Late Advent Weekdays and tomorrow's shared optional Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church on Tuesday.

  • More gems from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in SIMPLY SHEEN

  • And more in our 242nd issue for 1999!

Through signs and symbols handed down we are reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season

    In his column today, Pat Ludwa shares with us some of the meanings of the symbols and traditions that have been adapted over the years; many that today are considered secular in nature have their roots in Catholic meaning from the Christmas Tree to the candy cane. He shows how Christmas on December 25th evolved as the set date and how Saint Francis of Assisi played an integral role in reminding the people that of the immense blessing of Christmas. Pat also brings us a brief overview of the meaning behind the "Twelve Days of Christmas", which we will detail further in the Christmas issue. All of these things were to remind Christians that Jesus and the legacy He left through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic is the reason for the season, if not every day of the year. For his column today, The signs and symbols of Christmas , click on VIEW FROM THE PEW

Pope laments state of the world today in respect to the absence of God, the vast indifference, and lack of reverence for the sacred

    Today, we bring you the words from His Holiness Pope John Paul II from last Wednesday December 15th at Paul VI Hall where roughly 8,000 gathered in the spacious auditorium to hear the Holy Father rue the loss of the sense of God and the disastrous repercussions of that attitude. He blamed it on "a nihilistic culture which relativizes fundamental values such as those of the family and of respect for life." Quoting from his various encyclicals, conciliar documents, and Scripture, the Pope showed that in the new millennium Christians must make up for the causes and effects of this indifference to God by truly living the Gospel and being shining examples of living what we preach. For the Pope's words on his talk, "Message of Love to Confront the Loss of God in Society" , click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.

Samoa's first native prelate is Cardinal Pio Taofinu'u, S.M., who has headed the See of Samoa-Apia for thirty-one years and tripled the Catholic population in Polynesia

    We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-thirty-fourth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is 83 year-old Cardinal Angel Suquia Goicoechea, Archbishop emeritus of Madrid who retired on July 28, 1994 after eleven years in that post and 28 years as a bishop. He was elevated to the cardinalate during the Consistory of May 25, 1985 by Pope John Paul II. For more on Cardinal Pio Taofinu'u, S.M., click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

Appreciation of the Books of the Old Testament

    Today we continue our search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith with our series on the Bible and Sacred Scripture, presenting an overview of each of the Old Testament books, featuring today the Books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings as well as Chronicles, Ezra, Esther and Job. For the seventy-fourth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

Events Today in Church History

    On this day 953 years ago in 1046, Pope Gregory VI, 148th successor of Peter, was removed as Sovereign Pontiff through the interference of secular powers in the person of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor who usurped spiritual powers at the Synod of Sutri. He had already forced Gregory's predecessor Pope Benedict IX to abdicate. To Gregory is attributed the first papal army, formed to protect him from Henry III and his forces. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Saints can relate to sinners

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

"Saints love sinners - not because they share developed qualities of soul, but because the saint is able to apprehend the possible virtue in the sinner. It was thus that the Son of God Himself became the Son of man: He loved what man might be and, in the words of St. Augustine, 'He became man that man might become like God.'"


    Today we begin the final weekdays of Advent or, as they are called Late Advent. We follow this pattern through the week, with tomorrow also sharing the optional feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profile on St. Peter Canisius, click on DAILY LITURGY.


"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father, and He shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.'"

Luke 1: 30-33

To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.

November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. In this time of grace, may the cross be a sign-post of love and unity for you through which true peace comes. That is why, little children, pray especially at this time that little Jesus, the Creator of peace, may be born in your hearts. Only through prayer will you become my apostles of peace in this world without peace. That is why, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

Finally the long-awaited books "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." and THE HIDDEN WAY are NOW available!

     With the messages completed, you can now order the book that contains ALL the messages. This much-anticipated 224-page book of ALL the messages to the world imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a lasting gift that will inspire you in your faith, and all God asks of us. You can acquire your own handsome, coffee-table top copy of "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." containing all 632 messages or the THE HIDDEN WAY containing 100 inspirational Meditative Lessons from Our Lord and Our Lady on Church Doctrine by clicking on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." or THE HIDDEN WAY or both books at BOOKS
COUNTDOWN TO THE JUBILEE: 5 and counting, hoping and praying...

December 20, 1999       volume 10, no. 241

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