February 3, 1998   vol 9, no. 24    


Blessing of the Throats Day

     Today is that traditional feast where the faithful receive a special blessing - the blessing of throats as the priests and deacons, with crossed candles bless the throats of all young and old. Today is also a triple-option day in the liturgy with the celebrant given the choice wearing red chasuble and stole to commemorate the martyrdom of Saint Blase, the joyful feast of the Apostle of the North Saint Ansgar with white vestments, or celebrate the Mass of Ordinary Time in green. For these feasts and tomorrow's readings of Ordinary Time, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

TUESDAY, February 3, 1998

Saint Blase, Bishop and Martyr

     The traditional "Blessing of Throats" commemorates the feast of Saint Blase who lived in the fourth century. A philosopher and physcian, St. Blase was turned his back on the worldly pleasures and devoted his life to God as a physician of souls. His virtues and preaching drew people from everywhere. This bothered Agricolaus the Governor of Cappadocia, which is today Turkey and Iraq. The Roman governor seized Blase and ordered his incarceration. On his way to prison, Blase was stopped by a distraught mother who pleaded for him to help her daughter who was dying of a throat disease. Blase, touched by her sorrow and faith, prayed and through these intercessory prayers the little girl was healed. Other reports say he healed a young boy choking on a fish bone. St. Blase is often depicted with two candles, used by priests on this day to bless throats. There are a plethora of stories of how many have been cured of throat diseases by praying to St. Blase to intercede. He was beheaded by the heathens in 316 and his remains are buried in the church bearing his name in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Unfortunately, the church was damaged by the Serbs in 1993 and is presently being restored.

Saint Ansgar, Bishop, Religious and Missionary

     Dubbed the "Apostle of the North," Saint Ansgar was born into a noble family in 801 in Amiens in what was then Frankish territory. God called and Ansgar became a Benedictine monk at the Picardy monastery of Old Corbie. He became the master of the monastic school there before King Harold heard of his prowess as a preacher and evangelizer and requested the saint to accompany him back to Denmark under the protection of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. His zeal and missionary success in Denmark prompted King Bjorn of Sweden to invite him into the land of the Vikings. While there he was made the first archbishop of Hamburg and later appointed by Pope Gregory IV as the first papal legate to the Scandinavian countries. During his fourteen years in Sweden he converted countless pagans and Holy Mother Church was making great inroads until the heathen Vikings invaded in 845 and destroyed the city of Hamburg and much of Sweden. Ansgar was forced to flee to Bremen in what is today Germany where he was appointed the first archbishop there in 848. Pope Nicholas I did not forget Ansgar or Hamburg, uniting the see of Hamburg with Bremen in 854 when Ansgar again returned to Denmark and Sweden resuming his missionary activities. His coup de gras was converting the King of Jutland, King Erik who was impressed with Ansgar's fluent preaching, great austerity and the holiness he exhibited to all. Though Ansgar had always wanted to be a martyr, he died at the age of 64 of natural causes on February 3, 865 in Bremen. Shortly after that the Vikings again overwhelmed Scandinavia and destroyed almost all remnants of Christianity as the entire lands resorted to paganism since there were no more "Ansgars" to keep the faith burning in the hearts and souls of the peoples. The lack of the Church to maintain her roots in Scandinavia was one reason protestantism took such a firm hold in these countries during the Protestant Revolution of the sixteenth century.

WEDNESDAY, February 4, 1998

"My healing - I think it's a witness to the power of the Rosary"

      Those were Mother Angelica's words regarding her miraculous healing which we continue to discuss in today's commentary. Yesterday we spoke of the "how" and today we deal with the "why" it happened to this special victim-soul nun who had born the crippling pain willingly for four decades. Without usurping God's reasons, we venture to share with the reader ideas on why Mother has been miraculous cured NOW. For today's commentary entitled, "Mother Angelica's miraculous healing is part of God's master plan and we're all a part of it!" click on TODAY'S CATHOLIC PewPOINT

Mother Angelica's miraculous healing is part of God's master plan and we're all a part of it!

      In yesterday's PewPOINT column we detailed the "how" of Mother Angelica's miraculous healing last Wednesday night in her office at EWTN in Irondale, Alabama. As promised, today we speculate on the "why" this miraculous healing took place and why God chose Mother. Oh, we don't presuppose to know the exact "why" for that is left only to God, but we can look at the state of things today, all that Jesus has said in Sacred Scripture and much that His Blessed Mother has imparted in private revelation, the work Mother has accomplished, and her stature as a luminary in the Church worldwide to better understand the human reasoning why.

      First of all, it's important to realize that for forty years Mother Angelica was a willing victim soul. She still is a victim soul in the sense that she bears all and suffers for the honor and glory of God and in reparation for the sins of so many. But with the miraculous healing a certain burden was lifted - the pain she endured from legs so weak she couldn't stand on them, from an aching back that mandated a firm brace to keep her vertebrae in alignment, not to mention the bulk of these braces. With the blessing of this miraculous healing, Mother realizes there is more God wants of her and He has made it possible through this Heavenly cure for her to be fully fit to tackle whatever the Holy Trinity desires of this dedicated and loyal Poor Clare nun who has built a Roman Catholic television-radio empire that now reaches around the world thanks to A/V on the internet.

     Mother, who many EWTN workers affectionately refer to as a "holy hell-bent-for-leather nun with an Italian flare, wit and temper to match and who will not take no for an answer," has kept her end of the bargain as far as her promise to God is concerned and now God has kept His promise to her. But both Principles are not finished and that is the glorious part. Mother serves as a strong voice of reason for spiritual values, loyalty to the traditions of Holy Mother Church, and obedience by all Catholics - from laity to bishops - to adhere to what is taught. She's not afraid to take on the mighty, as she did recently in standing up to the Cardinal of Los Angeles and the abhorrent policies Roger Mahony is trying to establish in his Archdiocese of Los Angeles, not to mention his behind-the-scenes work to push them into other dioceses and become part of the "American Catholic" mainstream. The only problem is that Mahony's folly flies in the face of most of what Rome has decreed. Other bishops and cardinals kept silent, but not Mother! She has never been afraid of a confrontation when her beloved Church was the target. And God bless her for it! She has stood up time and time again for Christ and His Church and, true to His promise that all we need to do is "Knock and it shall be opened to you." the Holy Spirit has filled her with the right words at the right time. No one will know until we reach our Heavenly destination how many conversions Mother has wrought from her inspirational Mother Angelica Live show, not to mention the many other excellent programs on EWTN. With this kind of track record and the clout she wields, one might think she could lean to the feminist side, be more open to women becoming priests. But those who might even think that, shame on you. For Mother is a loyalist to the core. She expresses no ambition for higher office, no ambition to unseat others, but rather to see others "quit horsing around and get with the program" in regards to following the decrees of the Holy Father. She bristles, as do we, at the suggestion that this was changed or that was changed because of Vatican II. An avid student of the documents, she responds "rubbish" to these claims, knowing that it is a modernist alibi to avert obedience to Rome and forge their own agenda. Mother won't stand still for this and because she won't stand still, quite possibly that is another reason God freed her of her braces so she could move faster in catching these lost sheep and help herd them back into the fold.

      Being a nun is never easy. It is a life of total self-sacrifice, giving oneself up completely to become a "Bride of Christ" - vowing to Him her complete self in body, mind and soul through the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. For Mother it has been tripple-tough, for not only did she give God everything when she made her vows, but she also accepted the excruciating pain God desired her to experience for the reparation of countless souls. Add to this that she was set on fulfilling her vow to God to "build a monastery for His honor and glory" in the South, an area that could not have been easy to negotiate what she had in mind. Add to this, that she became head of her monastery and therefore responsible not just for herself, but for the physical and spiritual welfare of the many postulants, novices and professed sisters. Add to this that with all this responsibility she undertook an even more ambitious one, building a television network out of nothing into a huge conglomerate that has defied all the experts that it could survive. But the millions of viewers have taken Mother's pert advice to put a donation "between the phone and the gas bill" to keep EWTN going. The rewards have been astounding though Mother does not receive one penny, vowed to poverty.

      It is her vows that have kept her going and her faith and love for Jesus and His Blessed Mother, to whom she has an undying devotion. No one promotes the Rosary more than Mother, offering it four times a day on her network. The day and early morning one by Father Michael McDonough, who formerly worked at EWTN and whose devotional Rosary and meditations of the Mysteries rivals any other Rosary meditation anywhere, including the one by Father Mitch Pacwa in the evening which pales in comparison to Fr. Mike's traditional recital. It was the Rosary that Mother was praying the night she made her life-long promise to God that she would build a monastery for Him if she could walk again, and it was the Rosary she and an unnamed Italian lady were praying together when she first felt a heat in her ankles just prior to a total healing of her legs and back. She was quick to point out how important the Rosary is when she affirmed on Jeff Cavins's show Life on the Rock last Thursday night that, "It was during the Rosary that Our Lady came to this lady and that this [the healing] happened. People forget today that the Rosary is powerful for healing; powerful for inner strength. The Rosary is powerful for when you say the Rosary you take Jesus and Mary with you in the Mysteries. The Rosary is your weapon. We've heard it so often we don't hear it anymore. This healing - I think it's a witness to the power of the Rosary."

     The Rosary has played a pivotal role throughout history and almost everywhere Our Lady has appeared she reinforces the Rosary, especially at Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje where she said on June 25, 1985, "I urge you to ask everyone to pray the Rosary." She repeated the urgency on July 30, 1987 when the Gospa conveyed, "Prayer is the only way to save the human race." Today Mother echoes Our Lady's call to pray the Rosary for each Hail Mary is a link forming the chain that will bind satan. In addition, each Hail Mary is a rose forming an unfathomable bouquet that Our Lady presents to the Father on our behalf. This special devotion to Our Lady honors her Divine Son and it is the same message imparted to Saint John Bosco over a hundred years ago when he was given the message and vision that we need to be anchored between the pillars of Devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Mother firmly believes this, commenting that her healing is a "message to everyone - a sign for all of us that God can put it back together." She laments that , "We are crippled in our faith, in our hearts in love for Jesus and our love for His Mother, for the Eucharist. But if we trust again, if we can hope again, if our faith can grow again, that broken body will be healed. Say your Rosary. I believe that something wonderful for all of us is around the corner. I also believe that this is a sign for preparation - for an awakening of God's Love and existence." Yes, Mother's miraculous healing is a manifestion that God has a specific master plan, and we are definitely an integreal part of it!

Michael Cain, editor

The Beginning of the Age of Innocent

      Today in our megaseries feature on Church history, we begin a multi-part series on Pope Innocent III, one of the youngest pontiffs in Church annals and a pivotal Pope in the course of Holy Mother Church whose leadership brought the Holy See back into prominence, but more importantly opened the door for two great saints of the Church and their religious orders which thrive today because of Innocent's guidance and authorization. For today's fifty-fifth installment titled, " Pope Innocent III:State of the Church at the end of the Twelfth Century," click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH

Pope Innocent III:State of the Church at the end of the Twelfth Century.

Installment Fifty-five

Mercy begets Mercy if we practice the Corporal Works of Mercy

      Three years ago yesterday the Mother of God imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart a special message on giving of ourselves unselfishly for the more we give the greater rewards we gain through living the corporal works of Mercy as Jesus said, "If you did it for the least of these little ones, you did it for Me." Our Lady shows us the formula for doing this in the seventy first lesson/meditation "Be satisfied with very little that Mercy may increase." Click on THE HIDDEN WAY

Lessons/Meditations from Our Lord and Our Lady to

the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart

Lesson/Meditation #71:


(Imparted on February 2, 1995 to the Hidden Flower by Our Lady)
Feast of the Presentation

      Beloved Hidden Flower of my Immaculate Heart, rejoice always in the Mercy of God and be an intercessor for my Divine Son’s Mercy.

      I will say now to my children that when you perform acts of Mercy for the mortal body, these merciful acts must come from your soul and heart. The soul, your supernatural life is that which must dominate at all times, spurring the weakness of human flesh to achieve great virtue - even heroic virtue.

      Do you realize, my little children, that it is most certainly beautiful before the Throne of Almighty God when, out of your need, you give to those who are even in more need?

      But there is so much more to this corporal work of Mercy. What you fail to realize, little ones, is that every day you perform this blessed corporal act of Mercy. You who are living alone and must prepare your own food—are you not performing a corporal act of Mercy because you are caring for your body as God Wills - for the body is the dwelling place of the soul which must be the Tabernacle for the Blessed Trinity. To those who are married, you repeatedly achieve this corporal work of Mercy when you prepare food for your family - particularly children whose demands and needs are many. Those who live in community are no less able to achieve this corporal work of Mercy.

      But always, dear little children, this corporal work of Mercy should never be done out of gluttony, out of lavishness so that you lose control over your body, and its demands are ever-increasing causing food to become for you a god. You must strive to earn your daily bread, and to accept your portion with praise for God. As you prepare food thank God for all who have labored so it may be upon your table. Pray for those who will receive sustenance from the food, and pray always that God, Who Is Infinite, will procure food for all who have none. Never neglect to thank God, rather than thanking the large paycheck that allows you to pick and choose among the innumerable choices available too you.

      I do solemnly say to all. Be satisfied with very little, for in this way you will never let your body be out of control. I solemnly tell you that it is proper to fast, to mortify your taste, because when you do soy procure Mercy for the countless souls who are truly starving. I repeat again: That time is close when you will find yourself grateful for even a crust of bread and a cup of water, and even then your heart should be filled with love for Almighty God.

      Therefore, on this Feast Day, I beseech all of my children to pray with and from their hearts, and to fully live as my Divine Son taught you to love. When you live in His Will, you feed the hungry for Him, In Him, and Through Him. And He, Who Is God, shall take care of you in all things if you remain a humble, contrite, obedient servant.

      I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!


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February 3, 1998 volume 9, no. 24          DAILY CATHOLIC

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