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LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
This weekend we observe Fifth Friday and Fifth Saturday in Ordinary Time plus Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, as well as the SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME leading into the Sixth Monday of Ordinary Time. Sunday, Valentines Day, is also the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For the readings, liturgy, meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
This weekend prayer honors Saint Valentine, the Priest and Martyr whose feast is now celebrated secularly even though he used to be commemorated in the liturgy on this day. The prayer is taken from My Daily Prayer Devotions by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood:
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who celebrate the Heavenly birthday of Blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by the virtue of his intercession, be delivered from all threatening evils. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
THE DAILY WORD
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
John 5: 29
"Faith that has deep roots remains firm despite all ridicule."
Those words come from the Blessed Virgin Mary in her 392nd Message to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on August 18, 1993 in which Our Lady encourages us to all keep the faith and shows us how by taking refuge in her Divine Son's Sacred Heart and coming to Him in the Blessed Sacrament, our Source for and of all life. She follows this up with the same theme three days later on the Feast of Pope Saint Pius X with a special emphasis on reverence for Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass whereby we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist - our True Refuge no matter the physical or material perils of these times. For the messages 391 and 392, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Divorced and remarried Catholics can still remain part of Church family Cardinal Ratzinger assures in new Vatican book
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a 130-page book authorized by the Holy Father that synchronizes everything in one area to better enable priests and Marriage Tribunals to help lay Catholics, who have divorced or remarry outside the Church without a proper annulment, better understand the Church's position and their status. That status is not one of an outcast, but rather very much part of the Church family with the only difference they cannot receive the sacraments. For more, click on Clarifying Church Directives
UN up to no good with inclusion of "Catholic" pro-abort group
Affirming what a Vatican official exposed a few days ago, it was confirmed Thursday that the UN is up to no good. Their hidden agenda has been revealed and it is quite obvious. If they were truly intent on promoting life at their population conference at the Hague in the Netherlands this week, then they would not have included in their program the radical, modernist, pro-abort group "Catholics for a Free Choice" who are no more Catholic than Bill Clinton! For more, click on UNlife UN.
Israel's Archbishop hopes to ease tensions in mid-east while US religious leaders protest Israel's treatment of Palestinian human rights
The Melkite head of the Archdiocese of Akka in Israel, meeting in Rome this week, has called for a unity of feast days and other liturgical rites to ease tensions and misunderstanding between Catholics, Jews and Arabs. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. a formal letter, signed by three US religious leaders including Houston's Bishop Joseph Fiorenza - new president of the NCCB, has been sent to the Israeli ambassador to the US. In it they call for more humane treatment and fairness to Palestinians in East Jerusalem who are being treated as illegal aliens and have had their "green cards" conviscated. For more, click on mideast matters.
Approved Apparition Sites garner headlines with healing and invite to Pope
On the occasion of the 141st anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes, officials there confirmed final findings of another healing from the waters of Lourdes declaring the complete recovery of a man with permanent MS. After 12 years he is completely healed with hint of it recurring, owing all to the miraculous healing power of God. Meanwhile, southwest of Lourdes in Fatima, Portugal the Bishop there officially invited the Holy Father to return to Fatima for the anniversary of the first apparition there eighty-two years ago. It would be the Pope's first visit since his 1991 visit there when he returned to give thanks to the Virgin for interceding for his life ten years prior on the same date. For more, click on Lourdes and Fatima.
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. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
SITE OF THE WEEKEND
Married couples have their mates during this Valentine's Weekend, so therefore we present a special site for Catholic singles at CATHOLIC MATCHMAKERS, a computer-dating service for committed Catholics to share their faith and feelings. As in any venture like this, we cannot vouch for who uses it or the stipulations and fees at the site. You're on your own, but it's better than secular sites. Since we are happily married, we haven't tested it.
The Disparity between light and darkness!
In this weekend's editorial we commemorate the birthday of one of the greatest, most honest executive chiefs America has ever had - Abraham Lincoln while decrying and lamenting the fact we now have the most deceitful, amoral leader America has ever known. We have stated many times in these pages our sentiments on the behavior of Bill Clinton, the same opinions shared by the Church and her founder Jesus Christ. If Clinton won't heed the advice of God or the Pope, maybe he had better listen to his predecessor of a century and a half ago who had many things to say about what is right in the eyes of God. We wonder if he knew then how prophetic his words were. For this weekend's commentary "A house divided against itself cannot stand" , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT.
When it comes to rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, blame it on Caesar!
In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto shows us how we all too often assume something when it really isn't that way at all. Appearances aren't always what they might seem to be and we need to look beyond the obvious and give people the benefit of the doubt in the spirit of Our Lord's words in Matthew 7: 1-2, "Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, yuou shall be judged; and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you." For Sister's column, Appearances can be deceiving part one, click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
SIMPLY SHEEN: Rest for the rest rests in the quiet of the heart and soul
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. Today we begin famous quotes from this late luminary who 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". On Fridays we bring you more than just a quote; we bring you a brief homily on a subject that is pertinent today. That subject today ties in with the great Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is celebrated on Friday and commemorated on Monday - Presidents' Day - and who Bishop Sheen points out was an exemplary role model for those seeking spiritual revigoration through humility and meditation. For words of wisdom from Bishop Sheen, click on Simply Sheen.
Cardinal Carter's anthem "O Canada" was dedicated to educating others on the faith
We continue with this new series that debuted three weeks ago, bringing you on a regular basis three times a week the Princes of the Church. Our eighteenth red hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the Archbishop emeritus of Toronto - Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter who retired from active ministry in 1990. For more on Cardinal Carter, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
Events this weekend in Church History
Friday is the 950th anniversary of the election of Pope Saint Leo IX as the 152nd successor of Peter and the man who was forced to excommunicate the Eastern Patriarch Michael Cerularius because he was in schism. The Eastern Orthodox Church remains to this day in schism and our present Holy Father is doing all he can to bring unity between the Eastern and Latin Churches without compromising Church Doctrine, Dogma, Teaching and Traditions that have been handed down. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
Origins of St. Valentine's Day
There are many myths about the origin of St. Valentine's Day, but there are also facts substantiating that it was established as a Church feast to counteract a Roman pagan feast. When Saint Valentine was jailed by Claudius, the children of the martyred parents, relatives and friends sent him notes of love and encouragement. Other historians report that Valentine willingly married young Christian couples even though the Roman authorities forbid it, but Valentine believed it was important to perpetuate life through the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony and procreation as God intended so Christianity could spread from the seeds of the martyrs. Another claim on its roots was that many pastors and bishops demanded it to counter the Roman pagan feast on February 15th of the goddess Februata Juno. On that day the emphasis was on the heathen practice of boys picking the names of girls through a drawing with the outcome being they could do anything lewd and obscene they wished on that feast. Thus the Church unofficially, at first, established St. Valentine's Day to emphasize the virtue of marital love and courtship. From the fourth century on the Church acknowledged St. Valentine's Day on February 14th and in the middle ages, the custom of sending cards or "Valentines" began from the medieval belief that birds, returning from the winter refuge, began pairing on that day. St. Valentine was a Roman priest and a physician who assisted Saint Marius (another Roman saint who was displaced by ordinary time) in ministering to the physical and spiritual and assisting the many martyrs persecuted under the reign of the vindictive Roman emperor Claudius II, who incarcerated Valentine and made every cruel effort to get the saint to forsake his faith. Valentine would have none of it and thus Claudius ordered the loyal priest be beaten with heavy clubs and beheaded. He was executed on February 14th, 270 and buried on the Flaminian Way, where seventy years later Pope Julius I decreed a basilica be built in his honor. Research by Church historians uncovered the fact Valentine was also the bishop of Terni, sixty miles from Rome, but held his priestly duties above any exalted office in order to better reach the people. The gate leading to the church that was completed in 350 was called Porta Valentini. Most of his relics reside in the Church of Saint Praxedes.