November 11, 1997   vol 8, no.28

SECTION ONE Text of Today's Issue - to print out SECTION TWO, Click here.

A salute to all...VETERANS

    Today, being Veteran's day, we salute not only the veterans of World War I, II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, but also the veterans of the Church - those proven veterans: the saints and leaders of Holy Mother Church. We begin with Saint Martin of Tours, a soldier of Christ and a soldier by trade. Read his story in today's Liturgy of the Day, along with the readings and preparation for tomorrow's Holy Mass celebrating the feast of the martyred bishop Saint Josaphat. Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

Tuesday, November 11 - Feast of Saint Martin of Tours

Tuesday, November 11:
Feast of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

First Reading: Wisdom 2: 23-24; 3: 1-9
Psalms: Psalm 34: 1-2, 16-19
Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 7-10

Born the son of a Roman officer and pagan parents in Hungary around the year 319, Saint Martin of Tours became the epitome of the Good Samaritan throughout his life, beginning at the age of 15. Having been educated at Pavia, Italy, Martin followed his father's footsteps when he enlisted in the Roman army as an imperial guard. On one cold day, the legend relates, he came upon a barely-clothed beggar who was shivering. As people passed him by, ignoring his pleas, Martin felt compassion. Having no money, only his weapons and his long red army-issued cloak, Martin drew his sword and slashed the cloak in half, giving the poor man the cloak to warm him. As he slept that night, Martin had a vision in his dreams of Jesus Christ who was wrapped in the half cloak Martin had bestowed on the beggar. It was a confirmation of Christ's words in Matthew 25:35-40 specifically the last verse, "Amen I say to you, as long as you did for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me." The dream had such a profound effect on Martin that he immediately sought out the Christians for catechumenism. Constantine had passed the Edict of Milan and Christians were now free to openly profess their faith. After six years as a catachumen, Martin was baptized and traded his commission in the army for the minor order of exorcist by Saint Hilary of Poitiers. After Hilary was exiled, Martin went back to his Hungarian homeland, where, through his example he converted his pagan mother. After Hilary was allowed to return to Poitiers in France, Martin left Hungary to rejoin Hilary there as his disciple. Martin was ordained and became a hermit on land that would eventually become the monastery of Liguge - the first ever monastery in France that was reinstated by the Benedictines in 1852 and still exists today. Martin gained the reputation of being a miracle worker after he had brought a catechumen back to life. He became so popular that the people of Tours demanded he become their bishop when the vacancy came. In 371 he was selected Bishop of Tours and dedicated his episcopate to evangelization. Four years later he founded the monastery at Marmoutiers where vocations multiplied, providing many priest-monks for the region and beyond. He was an excellent diplomat and administrator, convincing representatives of the Roman Empire in the west that the Church should have the same guidelines and freedom in France that Constantine afforded Holy Mother Church in Rome. His austere lifestyle was a bone of contention among other bishops and priests who fought his attempts to instill this way of life on them. While at a country parish trying to quell the division among the clergy, he died in 397 at the age of 78. His efforts and the seeds of faith he planted in French soil nourished France for centuries where Tours became the focal point of monastic life. He was one of the most well-beloved bishops of the 4th Century and has always been one of France's favorite saints so much so that in the autumn, when the leaves begin to fall, they call it "St. Martin's summer" for that is the time the people drink the new wine that has been harvested and wine represents the fruit of Christian virtue which Martin personified.

Wednesday, November 12: Feast of Saint Josaphat

Wednesday, November 12:
           Feast of Saint Josaphat,Bishop, Religious, and Martyr

First Reading: Wisdom 6: 2-11
Psalms: Psalm 82: 3-4, 6-8
Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 11-19

   In 1580, during the papacy of Pope Gregory XIII- author of the Gregorian Calendar, Saint Josaphat was born as John Kuncevic to an Orthodox family in Vladimir, Poland. Though he was born into the Greek Orthodox Church and a Pole, he became a member of the Uniate Ruthenian Church in Vilna, Lithuania. In the 16th and 17th Centuries the Ruthenian followers were divided into three sects - the Catholic or Latin Church in total union with Rome, the Orthodox Greek Church which answered to the Patriarch of Constantinople and Moscow, and the Greek Uniate Church which the Polish people had discarded because of the lengthy liturgy and the ignorant clergy who were allowed to marry. In a word, respect was non-existent for the latter hierarchy. The Roman Catholic Church had become strong in Poland, but had failed to make headway into Lithuania or Russia, but a synod held by the Ruthenian Church in 1595 opted to be reunited with the Church of Rome pending approval by Pope Clement VIII. So excited with this proposition was John that he became a Basilian monk at the age of 24 at Holy Trinity Monastery at Vilna and was given the religious name of Josaphat. Along with a friend and fellow monk Jozef Rutski, he worked long and hard on bringing reform to the Basilians in anticipation of union with Rome. At the age of 37 Josaphat released an extensive thesis in the Slavic language on the natural roots of unity of the Ukranian Church with the Church of Rome. Through his efforts he started a Basilian monastery that was totally in union with the Catholic Church. When his friend Jozef became metropolitan of Kiev, Josaphat became archimandrite of the monastery which was the same as abbot in the Roman Church, before being appointed in 1617 Archbishop of Polotsk on the eastern border of Lithuania next to western Russia. Because of the state of disrepair in his new diocese and the strong opposition to Rome, Josaphat knew in his heart his mission was to reach out to the Ruthenians and convince them the Catholic Church was the true faith. He carried this out through synods, seminars, and catechesis studies. When some priests rebelled, he exacted sanctions on clergy who were not following the true teachings. This naturally caused dissension and resentment and many of the misguided clergy stirred up opposition to Josaphat, spreading fear among the Ruthenians that if the Latin rite were introduced into their land they would lose everything from their culture to their property. This caused the Ruthenians to rally against Josaphat. It turned to outright hatred when, in 1621 the Byzantine Patriarch of Jerusalem traveled to the Ukraine to consecrate a metropolitan and a handful of Orthodox bishops in the Ruthenian Church. This action further eroded support for Josaphat and the plotters, led by antiarchbishop Metetius Smotritsky, sought to seal his fate by stirring fear in the populace at a time when Poland was being threatened by the Turks from the South and Sweden to the north. In addition, Poland was cautious of coming to Josaphat's aid because Josphat, though in total union with Rome, still insisted on keeping the Byzantine rites and customs in the Ukranian Church as opposed to the Latin rite in Poland. To quell the opposition Josaphat decided to go to Vitebsk, Russia which was then known as "White Russia" and where he had first become an auxilary bishop, to meet face to face with his enemies in hopes of a peaceful dialog. However this was thwarted when a priest named Elias harassed Josaphat and was locked up. The people demanded Elias' release and as they assembled taunts of kill Josaphat rose to a fever pitch. As Josaphat held out his hands to quiet the crowd and speak reasonably to the maddening mob, they stormed the platform and began beating him. As the frenzied mob of Ruthenians roared its approval, one man cleared a path and leveled his rifle at Josaphat killing the saint instantly. They then dispatched of his body by hurling it into the Dvina River. Thus this Eastern saint became a martyred victim of the cruel persecution by the Slav-Ruthenian Church in Russia in 1623. Nearly 250 years later Pope Pius IX canonized Josaphat as the first Eastern saint to formally be canonized in such a process. The efforts begun by Josaphat are being carried out today by Pope John Paul II in uniting the Orthodox Churches with Rome and the Uniate Churches such as the Ukranian Rite and Byzantine Rite which are in union with the Pope, yet maintain an eastern culture in their liturgy and language.

Vatican Veterans

   We also salute the Popes as we continue with our forty seventh installment in our mega-series on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH. This week we feature the gentle-nature and peacemaker Pope Anastasius IV who, as a veteran of Vatican affairs, knew the best policy for peace was to put down the sword and take up prayer and reconciliation. To read how he did it, Click on Pope Anastasius IV: Rome rejoices and reconciles


Installment Forty Seven

Pope Anastasius IV: Rome rejoices and reconciles

   The death of Pope Blessed Eugene III caused the cardinals to once again convene in conclave, this time in Rome, free of the terror of the Roman families. They immediately elected the Roman cardinal priest Corrado as the 168th successor to Peter on July 8, 1153. Though he was one of the oldest, he was also the most experienced, having been appointed to the red hat by Pope Paschal II around 1114 and being an invaluable right-hand man for Pope Honorius II in his dealings with Monte Cassino. In late 1126 he was elevated to cardinal bishop of Santa Sabina, strongly defending Pope Innocent II in his battle against the antipope Anacletus II. While Innocent was in exile, Corrado remained in Rome, performing the duties of the Pope in Innocent's absence and with the latter's blessing. Because of his experience, he continued the same papal responsibilities when Blessed Eugene III had to flee Rome because of the clash between the Frangipani and Pierleoni clans. Therefore, his selection as the next pontiff was a given according to his peers.

   Corrado took the name POPE ANASTASIUS IV, the first Anastasius since 911. Because of his familiarity with Rome, papal affairs, and popularity among the Romans as one of their own, Anastasius enjoyed a peaceful coexistence allowing the Church to gain in prestige throughout the City of Seven Hills and the rest of Italy. The Roman Senate, to celebrate his elevation, insisted on Anastasius being enthroned publicly at the Lateran Palace, an honor afforded to few pontiffs. Thus on July 12, 1253 he was officially crowned before a massive multitude of cheering citizens. This gentle, peace-loving pontiff, beloved by Rome, was instrumental in beginning the restoration of the ancient Pantheon and other buildings in Rome as well as numerous churches and shrines as well as bringing about the pacification of the most of the other temporal domains of the Church. Seeking peace on all fronts, Anastasius was effective in ending long-standing disputes that had divided Rome, Europe and the Holy See. Such examples were his recognizing Saint William of York as archbishop of York on the death of Archbishop Henry Murdac whom Eugene had deposed. Anastasius also ratified an appointment by Frederick Barbarossa in the see of Magdeburg which had been denied by the Pope's predecessors. In fact, recognizing the value of alienship with Barbarossa, Anastasius made several favorable decisions for the German King Barbarossa. Anastasius also was able to penetrate Scandinavia, installing Peter's Pence in both Norwary and Sweden, through the tireless efforts of his papal legate Nicholas Breakspear, the English monk who would become Anastasius' successor when the latter died on December 3, 1154 after less than a year and half on the papal throne. Anastasius was given a royal burial, interred at the Lateran in the porphyry sarcophagus of Saint Helena.

To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.


    We feature a "Soldier of Christ's Prayer" or the "Prayer of the Good Shepherd" today in honor of all veterans, for fighting on the front lines of the Church militant makes veterans of us all and strengthened by the armor of God we can win all battles and reap the ultimate victory of everlasting life. Click on PRAYER & DEVOTIONS for the Prayer of the Good Shepherd.

Mercy for the battle-weary

    Every warrior of war, in the heat of battle cries out for and is in need of Mercy - Divine Mercy. Our Lord hammers the need for and gift of Divine Mercy in the 60th Lesson/Meditation to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in this week's release of THE HIDDEN WAY, entitled THE ESSENCE OF THE FIFTH BEATITUDE: "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy.". Click on THE HIDDEN WAY

Lesson/Meditation #60:

THE ESSENCE OF THE FIFTH BEATITUDE: "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy."

(Imparted on January 26, 1995
to the Hidden Flower by Our Lord)

   Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother’s Immaculate Heart, I am with you as you all trust in Me. Be obedient to all I ask of you and your family. Today, I will speak to all My children these words: "BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY."Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother’s Immaculate Heart, I am with you as you all trust in Me. Be obedient to all I ask of you and your family. Today, I will speak to all My children these words: "BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY."

   This statement is very clear. It is truly the least complex of all the Beatitudes and reflects My love in you and through you. Yet, so confused is the world and its complex laws and social customs that the supernatural quality of Mercy is no longer relevant and you try to grasp it with mere human intellect, but not with your soul’s intellect.

   I Am MERCY. Mercy is love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy. It is that sublime quality which looks upon each of your brothers and sisters and, by virtue of Mercy, allows you to see Me - transcending the human weaknesses.

   Beloved little children of My Sacred Heart, Mercy streams from love, and is an expression not so much of human love as of Divine Love. Mercy is that quality by which I seek to draw all of My children back into one fold, one flock. Mercy forgives, and, in its forgiveness, it seeks to forget the wrong or injury.

   Mercy is that which reflects deeply within the heart and soul and assists one to rise above all human emotions and feelings, where it may act upon the human will and be expressed properly in human speech and action, and through thought which is ever-mindful of the sublime dignity of each person.

   Mercy leans towards a docile, peaceful and ‘sweet’, as you would call it, disposition. O! Little children, it is so much more. Mercy must bear the attribute of detachment from self and from attachment to all worldly things. Mercy, whose eyes are fixed upon Me, sees Me and loves Me, and causes all transitory things to be seen and understood in My Light. One detached from self and unattached to any worldly thing, Mercy is then free to speak, think and act under My Grace.

   Mercy flows freely into your soul in every Sacrament of My Church. It is the glow upon the altar during Holy Mass. Mercy streams from the Crucifix, upon which you gaze and to which you cling. Upon the Cross Divine Mercy became fully manifest and fulfilled as My Most Sacred Heart, already stilled by mortal death, pierced by a lance gave forth the very last drops of Blood and Water for all the world.

   Many years ago I spoke to My well-beloved holy Blessed Faustina. To her I revealed the depth, the Divine Mystery of Divine Mercy. O! It is fully My Will that all of My children not only read and meditate upon the teachings given by Me to Faustina, but to live My Mercy, pray for My Mercy and ceaselessly speak of My Mercy to all.

   Mercy does not cling to itself. It does not isolate itself and, as it were, cause the soul to seek My Mercy only for itself.

   Divine Mercy does the opposite. First it draws the soul to Me, where it is comforted, cleansed and strengthened. The soul, trusting Me implicitly, then begins to resemble Me and it searches for every opportunity to express My Mercy to others. He who knows the quality of Divine Mercy is spurred on by the Holy Spirit to be living Mercy to all.

   Little children, as I foretold to My Blessed Faustina, Divine Mercy foreshadows the end times, and it must come as I Will for it to come before the Justice of the Father.

   But the fullness of My Mercy is dependent upon your will to seek it at every moment, and having received it to give it to others. All who do this according to their state of life shall, upon their death, find that I, Myself, shall greet them to place upon them the garment of Mercy. Thus arrayed, the soul appears before the Triune Divinity and presents itself humbly for judgment. All sins, all failings, faults and weaknesses are veiled before My Eternal Father’s eyes, for He sees the reflection of Divine Mercy which so closely resembles Me, Jesus Christ. Thus the merciful soul receives even more Mercy and enjoys for all eternity the Beatific Vision.

   Now is that time when the fullness of all I gave to Blessed Faustina must be fulfilled. To have fullness of My Mercy then seek to aid in the firm foundation of the cloistered and contemplative Institute of Divine Mercy, for I Will to use these consecrated women as chalices into which Divine Mercy is poured, and through their very life to pour out Mercy upon the world, softening even the most hardened heart. See, therefore, great devotion to My Mercy and live it, pray for it, and aid this new Institute.

   It is that instrument, a visible sign by which you will know you live in the end times, and you will face these times with courage, strength, peace and mercy as I have promised, fearing nothing.

   O! Be merciful, little children, as I am Merciful. Pray to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and delay no longer in being mercy itself in this life of tears and sorrows.

   How happy is he who understands My words. My Mercy shall be his strength now and his shield in Eternity. I love and bless you. Heed what I say, what I ask, for Mercy must come before the Justice!

NEXT WEEK: Lesson/Meditation #61:

Living the Fifth Beatitude: Divine Mercy

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November 11, 1997 volume 8, no. 28         DAILY CATHOLIC

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