Tag Archives: Jesus

word: apotheosis


apotheosis 

Definition: (noun) Exaltation to divine rank or stature.
Synonyms: deification, exaltation
Usage: How strange was this miracle of fame, I pondered, this strange apotheosis by which a mere private name becomes a public symbol. Discuss.

Saint of the Day for Sunday, July 13th, 2014: St. Henry


facebook, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems)


facebook, poetic thought by George-B

To like or not to like:
That is today’s question:
Facebook plays with my feelings of liking and disliking,
but you know that,
it’s all over the news…the betrayal of trust of confidence,
of the most basic relationship…among people:
Fairness, not taking advantage of each other,
as a tool to make yourself rich (and make another poor)
But then you knew there is nothing sincere about facebook, that some made into faithbook: big mistake, big, big mistake)

need: to return ethics to the world!

Saint of the Day July 3, 2014: St. Thomas


Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day June 30 2014: Martyrs of the See of Rome


Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day, June 28, 2014: St. Peter, First Pope


Saint of the Day

 

Image of St. Peter, First Pope

St. Peter, First Pope

Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, and founder, with St. Paul, of the see of Rome. emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...Peter was a native of Bethsaida, near Lake Tiberias, the

son of John, and worked, like … continue reading

 

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Saint of the Day June 25, 2014: St. William of Vercelli


Saint of the Day

Image of St. William of Vercelli

St. William of Vercelli

William of Vercelli, Saint 1085-1142. founder, born in Vercelli Italy he was brought up as an orphan became a hermit on Monte Vergine, Italy after a pilgrimage to Compostella and attracted so many … continue reading

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Saint of the Day, June 22, 2014: St. Thomas More


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the … continue reading

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Saint of the Day, june 21,2014: St. Aloysius Gonzaga


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius was born in Castiglione, Italy. The first words St. Aloysius spoke were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He was destined for the military by his father (who was in service to Philip … continue reading

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Saint of the Day June 18, 2014: St. Gregory Barbarigo


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Gregory Barbarigo

St. Gregory Barbarigo

St. Gregory Barbarigo was born in 1625, of a very old and distinguished Venetian family. A brilliant student, he embraced a diplomatic career and accompanied the Venetian Ambassador, Contarini, to … continue reading

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word: pervade


pervade

Definition: (verb) Spread or diffuse through.
Synonyms: imbue, permeate, riddle, penetrate
Usage: Yet amid all these varieties and incongruities, there is a common meaning or spirit which pervades his writings. Discuss.

word: acumen


acumen 

Definition: (noun) Shrewdness shown by keen insight.
Synonyms: insightfulness
Usage: His sharp business acumen meant he quickly rose to the top. Discuss.

devocional Music: Adoramus Te Christe – G. Palestrina – St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican (time to brush up on your Latin!)


Adoramus Te Christe – G. Palestrina – St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican

Libertyville High School Choir performing at St. Peters Basilica – Spring Break Tour, March 2011
Dr. Jeffrey Brown, conductor

Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi:
Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi:

Quia per sanctam crucem tuam
Redemisti mundum.
Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi,
Adoramus Te Christe

 

Saint of the Day, June 8, 2014: St. William of York


Saint of the Day

Image of St. William of York

St. William of York

St. William of York, Bishop (Feast day is June 8th). William of York was the son of Count Herbert, treasurer to Henry I. His mother Emma, was the half-sister of King William. Young William became … continue reading

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article: The Holy Grail


The Holy Grail

In Christian mythology, the Holy Grail is the dish, cup, bowl, or chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. According to many versions of the story, Joseph of Arimathea used the Grail to catch drops of Jesus’ blood at the Crucifixion and then took the object to Britain, where he founded a line of guardians to protect it. The quest for the Holy Grail also makes up an important part of the Arthurian cycle. Which knight is most closely associated with the Grail? More… Discuss

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Saint of the Day – May 25: St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi


Saint of the Day

May 25 Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God … Read More

May
25
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Fabulous Musical Moments: AMÁLIA canta ” AVÉ MARIA FADISTA ” de Gabriel de Oliveira e Música: Vianinha


AMÁLIA canta ” AVÉ MARIA FADISTA ” de Gabriel de Oliveira e Música: Vianinha

Amália Rodrigues

Avé Maria Fadista

Letra: Gabriel de Oliveira
Música: Francisco Viana ( Vianinha )

Portuguese

Avé Maria Fadista

Avé Maria sagrada
Cheia de graça divina
Oração tão pequenina
De uma beleza elevada.

Nosso Senhor é convosco,
Bendita sois vós, Maria.
Nasceu vosso Filho, um dia,
Num palheiro humilde e tosco.

Entre as mulheres bendita,
Bendito é o fruto, a luz,
Do vosso ventre, Jesus,
Louvor e graça infinita.

Santa Maria das Dores,
Mãe de Deus, se for pecado,
Tocar e cantar o fado,
Rogai por nós pecadores.

Nenhum fadista tem sorte,
Rogai por nós Virgem Mãe.
Agora, sempre e também
Na hora da nossa morte’

English

Hail Mary Fadista*

Sacred Hail Mary 1
Full of grace
This is a tiny prayer
Of great beauty.

The Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou, Mary.
Your Son was born one day
In a humble and rough haystack.

Blessed among the women,
Blessed is the fruit, the light,
Of thy womb, Jesus,
Praise and infinite grace.

Our Lady of Sorrows,
Mother of God, if it is sin
Playing and singing fado2,
Pray for us sinners.

No singer is lucky,
Pray for us Virgin Mother
Now, always and also
At the hour of our death.

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Bernardine of Siena – Feastday May 20


Saint of the Day

May 20 Saint of the Day

St. Bernardine of Siena
May 20: In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest … Read More

May
20
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Saint of the Day: St. Matthias


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Matthias

St. Matthias

How does one qualify to be an apostle? The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. With all the questions, doubts, and dangers facing them, … continue reading

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Saint of the Day May 12: Sts. Nereus & Achilleus


Saint of the Day

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Peter of Tarantaise May 8: Cistercian Archbishop


May 8 Saint of the DaySt. Peter of Tarantaise
May 8: Cistercian archbishop. Peter was born near Vienne, in Dauphine, … Read More

May
8
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Saint of the Day St. Rose Venerini May 7: Blessed Rose


Saint of the Day

May 7 Saint of the Day

St. Rose Venerini
May 7: Blessed Rose was born at Viterbo in 1656, the daughter of … Read More

May
7
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Image of Bl. Edward Jones

Bl. Edward Jones

Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, Martyrs Edward Jones from Wales and Anthony Middleton from Yorkshire were both educated at the Douai College in Rheims. They became priests and were sent … continue reading

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Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 3rd, 2014: ST. JAMES THE LESSER


Image of St. James the Lesser

St. James the Lesser

St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas. His mother Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin, and for that reason, … continue reading

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ST.OF THE DAY: ST. ATHANASIUS May 2:


SAINT OF THE DAY

May 2 Saint of the Day

ST. ATHANASIUS
May 2: St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at … Read More

May
2
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Saint of the Day for Wednesday, April 30th, 2014:


Saint of the Day for Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

St. Pius V, PopeImage of St. Pius V, Pope

Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then … continue reading

 

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POPE: IF YOU HAVE PEACE, THERES NO ROOM FOR GOSSIP, ENVY OR DEFAMATION View Video


POPE: IF YOU HAVE PEACE, THERES NO ROOM FOR GOSSIP, ENVY OR DEFAMATION   View Video

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ST. OF THE DAY: In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day – April 28)


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 28 Saint of the Day

ST. PETER CHANEL
April 28: In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day – April 28) … Read More

April
28
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Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus–Beethoven Oratorio: Christ on the Mount of Olives–Hallelujah



Oratorio, “Christ on the Mount of Olives

Ludwig Van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

Beethoven wrote but one oratorio, “Christus am Oelberge” (“Christ on the Mount of Olives”). It was begun in 1800 and finished during the following year. The text is by Huber, and was written, with Beethoven’s assistance, in fourteen days. The first performance of the work is entirely took place at Vienna, April 5, 1803, at the Theater an der Wien.

The closing number, a chorus of angels (“Hallelujah, God‘s almighty Son”), is introduced with a short but massive symphony leading to a jubilant burst of “Hallelujah,” which finally resolves itself into a glorious fugue. In all sacred music it is difficult to find a choral number which can surpass it in majesty or power.


Lyrics for the Hallelujah

Hallelujah unto God’s Almighty Son Praise the Lord, ye bright angelic choirs
In holy songs of Joy.
Man, proclaim his grace and glory,
Hallelujah unto God’s Almighty Son
Praise the Lord in holy songs of joy.



FROM THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

Resurrection

By the word Resurrection, however, we are not merely to understand that Christ was raised from the dead, which happened to many others, but that He rose by His own power and virtue, a singular prerogative peculiar to Him alone. For it is incompatible with nature and was never given to man to raise himself by his own power, from death to life. This was reserved for the almighty power of God, as we learn from these words of the Apostle: Although he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. This divine power, having never been separated, either from His body in the grave, or from His soul in hell, there existed a divine force both within the body, by which it could be again united to the soul, and within the soul, by which it could again return to the body. Thus He was able by His own power to return to life and rise from the dead.


Ascension

Filled with the Spirit of God, and contemplating the blessed and glorious Ascension of our Lord, the Prophet David exhorts all to celebrate that splendid triumph with the greatest joy and gladness: Clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with he voice of joy…. God is ascended with jubilee. 

This, then, the faithful must believe without hesitation, that Jesus Christ, having fully accomplished the work of Redemption, ascended as man, body and soul, into heaven; for as God He never forsook heaven, filling as He does all places with His Divinity. 

He ascended by His own power, not being taken up by the power of another, as was Elias, who was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot; or, as the Prophet Habacuc, or Philip, the deacon, who were borne through the air by the divine power, and traversed great distances.

Neither did He ascend into heaven solely by the exercise of His supreme power as God, but also by virtue of the power which He possessed as man. Although human power alone was insufficient to accomplish this, yet the virtue with which the blessed soul of Christ was endowed was capable of moving the body as it pleased, and His body, now glorified, readily obeyed the behest of the soul that moved it. Hence, we believe that Christ ascended into heaven as God and man by His own power.


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SAINT OF THE DAY April 22: ST. ABDIESUS April 22


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 22 Saint of the Day

ST. ABDIESUS
April 22: Also called Hebed Jesus, a deacon in the Christian community of … Read More

April
22

 

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King’s College Cambridge Easter #12 Rise, Heart, Thy Lord is Risen, Vaughan Williams


King’s College Cambridge Easter #12 Rise, Heart, Thy Lord is Risen, Vaughan Williams

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MAKE MUSIC PAST OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: Messiah-Part III: Worthy is the Lamb-


Messiah-Part III: Worthy is the Lamb-George Frideric Handel-bekhit

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 5 : 12-13)

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Paschal Troparion ‘Christ is risen” in different languages part 2


Paschal TroparionChrist is risen” in different languages part 2

It is probably the most known and beautiful Orthodox Christian hymn. It is sung at the Feast of Feasts – the Holy Pascha (Easter) that’s the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this part the troparion is chanted by various choirs in different melodies in such languages:
French – Christ est ressuscité

Ukrainian:
Христос воскрес із мертвих,
смертю смерть подолав,
і тим, що в гробах,
життя дарував

Swedish – Kristus är uppstånden

Filipino (Tagalog):
Si Kristo ay nabuhay mula sa mga patay,
Sa pamamagitan ng kanyang kamatayan,
nilupig niya ang kamatayan,
At ang mga nasa himlayan
Ay binigyan niya ng buhay

Spanish (espanol) – ¡Cristo ha resucitado!

Greek:
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν,
θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας,
καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι,
ζωὴν χαρισάμενος

Old Church Slavonic (the version of Old Believers) – Christos woskresie!
Swahili – Kristo Amefufukka
Arabic – المسيح قام
Romanian – Hristos a înviat
Afrikaans (Paasfees) – Christus het opgestaan

Finnish (Pääsiäinen):
Kristus nousi kuolleista,
kuolemallaan kuoleman voitti
ja haudoissa oleville elämän antoi 

Latin – Christus resurrexit
German – Christus ist auferstanden
Albanian (Pashka) – Krishti u ngjall!
English
Church Slavonic – Христос воскресе
Catalan – Crist ha ressuscitat
Romanian
Church Slavonic – Hristos voskrese
Hungarian

Dutch:
Christus is opgestaan uit de doden,
door Zijn dood vertreedt Hij de dood
en schenkt het Leven
aan hen in het graf

Greek:
Christos anesti ek nekrón,
thanáto thánaton patísas,
ké tís en tís mnímasi,
zoín charisámenos

Armenian – Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց՜ 
K’ristos haryav i mereloc’.
Mahvamb zmah koxeac’
yev merelyac’
kyank pargevec’av

Czech:
Vstal z mrtvých Kristus,
smrtí smrt překonal
a jsoucím ve hrobech,
život daroval

Coptic – Pikhristos Aftonf

Italian:
Cristo è risorto dai morti,
Con la morte ha vinto la morte,
E a quelli nelle tombe
Ha donato la vita

English
Georgian – ქრისტე აღსდგა
Kriste aghsdga mkvdretit,
sikvdilita sikvdilisa damtrgunveli,
da saplavebis shinata
tskhovrebis mimnichebeli

Church Slavonic:
Христос воскресе из мертвих, 
смертију смерт поправ 
и сушчим во гробјех живот даровав

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Pope Francis leads the Way of the Cross at Rome\’s Colosseum


A worker and a businessman carried the Cross, as well as the sick, children and the homeless.

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Pope Francis: Jesus asked us to always be at the service of others


Pope Francis: Jesus asked us to always be at the service of others

On Holy Thursday Mass, he tenderly washed the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people. Pope Francis celebrated one of the most important ceremonies of the year surrounded by the sick. His Holy Thursday Mass took place at the St. Mary of Providence Center, for the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation.

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Saint of the Day: ST. APOLLONIUS THE APOLOGIST (April 18)


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 18 Saint of the Day

ST. APOLLONIUS THE APOLOGIST
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered … Read More

April
18
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SAINT OF THE DAY April 14: ST. LYDWINE


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 14 Saint of the Day

ST. LYDWINE
April 14: St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness Lydwine of Schiedam was … Read More

April
14
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Vatican Radio: Fifth Sermon for Lent: St Gregory the Great on understanding scripture


Fifth Sermon for Lent: St Gregory the Great on understanding scripture


(Vatican Radio) Below please find the complete text of the fifth sermon for Lent delievered by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCAP, Preacher to the Papal Household delivered Friday April 11, 2014:

In our attempt to place ourselves under the teaching of the Fathers to give a new impetus and depth to our faith, we cannot omit a reflection on their way of reading the Word of God. It will be Pope St. Gregory the Great who will guide us to the “spiritual understanding” of the Scriptures and a renewed love for them. 
The same thing happened to Scripture in the modern world that happened to the person of Jesus. The quest for the exclusively historical and literal sense of the Bible, based on the same presuppositions that dominated during the last two centuries, led to results similar to those in the quest for a historical Jesus opposed to the Christ of faith. Jesus was reduced to being an extraordinary man, a great religious reformer, but nothing more. >>>>>>>>>>More

[Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/11/fifth_sermon_for_lent:_st_gregory_the_great_on_understanding_scripture/en1-789841
of the Vatican Radio website ]
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TODAY’S SAINTS: ST. MARGUERITE D’YOUVILLE April 11 (Foundress of the Sisters of Charity, the Grey Nuns of Canada)


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 11 Saint of the Day

ST. MARGUERITE D’YOUVILLE
April 11: Foundress of the Sisters of Charity, the Grey Nuns of Canada. … Read More

April
11

 

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SAINT OF THE DAY April 8: ST. JULIE BILLIART (1751-1816)


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 8 Saint of the Day

ST. JULIE BILLIART
April 8: St. Julie (Julia) Billiart was born in 1751 and died in 1816. As … Read More

April
8
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SAINT OF THE DAY April 6: ST. WILLIAM OF ESKILSOE


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 6 Saint of the Day

ST. WILLIAM OF ESKILSOE
April 6: Missionary. Born at Saint-Germain, France, circa 1125, he served … Read More

April
6
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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: SPIRITUAL BAPTIST LIBERATION DAY


Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day

This national holiday, instituted in 1996, honors an African-American religious sect once outlawed in Trinidad and Tobago. The Spiritual Baptists originally came to the islands as former American slaves. Their style of worship combines African and Baptist beliefs and practices, and services include bell ringing and shouting. In 1917, the government forbade the group from practicing their religion; this law was overturned in 1951. Their national holiday honors the Spiritual Baptists’ long struggle against religious persecution. It is observed with speeches and religious services. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S SAINT: ST. JOSEEPH – Feastday: March 19 Patron of the Universal Church


Image of St. Joseph

St. Joseph

Feastday: March 19

Patron of the Universal Church

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scriptureand that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). He wasn’t rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph’s genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesusgreets him as “son of David,” a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited inEgypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazarethout of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22)

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God’s commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus’ birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus’ public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believeJoseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died withJesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 forJoseph the Worker.

There is much we wish we could know about Joseph – where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died. But Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was — “a righteous man” (Matthew 1:18).

In His Footsteps:Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of FamilyServices about becoming a foster parent.

Prayer:Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen

March
19

 

 

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ST. JOSEPH’S DAY


St. Joseph’s Day

In Valencia, Spain, the feast of the foster-father of Jesus is a week-long festival called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). On St. Joseph’s Eve, March 18,fallas (huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood andpapier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities) parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with the spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire. The festival is said to reflect the happy and satirical nature of the ValenciansMore…Discuss

 

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Johnny Cash – I Won’t Have To Cross Jordan Alone (Johnny Cash Hymns From The Heart 1962)



Johnny Cash Hymns From The Heart 1962

I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone Lyrics

Johnny Cash

When I come to the river at the ending of day
When the last winds of sorrow have blown
There’ll be somebody waiting to show me the way I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan alone Jesus died all my sins to atone
In the darkness I see he’ll be waiting for me I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
[ piano ]
Often times I’m weary and troubled and sad
When it seems that my friends have all flon
There is one thought that cheers me and makes my heart glad
I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan…
[ guitar ]
Though the billows of trouble and sorrow may sweep
Christ the Saviour will care for his own
Till the end of my journey my soul he will keep and I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan…
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FABULOUS COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Marian Anderson “Ave Maria” by Schubert



Marian Anderson “Ave Maria” by Schubert
With Leopold Stokowski, 1944
Latin Text
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

English Translation
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Polycarp


St. Polycarp

St. Polycarp

Feastday: February 23

Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.Feastday: February 23
But being part of the second generation of Church leaders had challenges that the first generation could not teach about. What did you do when those eyewitnesses were gone? How do you carry on the correct teachings of Jesus? How do you answer new questions that never came up before?

With the apostles gone, heresies sprang up pretending to be true teaching, persecution was strong, and controversies arose over how to celebrate liturgy that Jesus never laid down rules for.

Polycarp, as a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, found there was only one answer — to be true to the life of Jesus and imitate that life. Saint Ignatius of Antioch told Polycarp “your mind is grounded in God as on an immovable rock.”

When faced with heresy, he showed the “candid face” that Ignatius admired and that imitated Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. Marcion, the leader of the Marcionites who followed a dualistic heresy, confronted Polycarp and demanded respect by saying, “Recognize us, Polycarp.” Polycarp responded, “I recognize you, yes, I recognize the son of Satan.”

On the other hand when faced with Christian disagreements he was all forgiveness and respect. One of the controversies of the timecame over the celebration of Easter. The East, where Polycarp was from, celebrated the Passover as the Passion of Christ followed by a Eucharist on the following day. The West celebrated Easter on the Sunday of the week following Passover. When Polycarp went to Rome to discuss the difference with Pope Anicetus, they could not agree on this issue. But they found no difference in their Christian beliefs. And Anicetus asked Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own papal chapel.

Polycarp faced persecution the way Christ did. His own church admired him for following the “gospel model” — not chasing after martyrdom as some did, but avoiding it until it was God’s will as Jesus did. They considered it “a sign of love to desire not to save oneself alone, but to save also all the Christian brothers and sisters.”

One day, during a bloody martyrdom when Christians were attacked by wild animals in the arena, the crowd became so mad that they demanded more blood by crying, “Down with the atheists; let Polycarp be found.” (They considered Christians “atheists” because they didn’t believe in their pantheon of gods.) Since Polycarp was not only known as a leader but as someone holy “even before his grey hair appeared”, this was a horrible demand.

Polycarp was calm but others persuaded him to leave the city and hide at a nearby farm. He spent his time inprayer for people he knew and for the Church. During his prayer he saw a vision of his pillow turned to fire and announced to his friends that the dream meant he would be burned alive.

As the search closed in, he moved to another farm, but the police discovered he was there by torturing two boys. He had a little warning since he was upstairs in the house but he decided to stay, saying, “God’s will be done.”

Then he went downstairs, talked to his captors and fed them a meal. All he asked of them was that they give him an hour to pray. He spent two hours praying for everyone he had every known and for the Church, “remembering all who had at any time come his way — small folk and great folk, distinguished and undistinguished, and the wholeCatholic Church throughout the world.” Many of his captors started to wonder why they were arresting this holy, eighty-six-year-old bishop.

But that didn’t stop them from taking him into the arena on the Sabbath. As he entered the arena, the crowd roared like the animals they cheered. Those around Polycarp heard a voice from heaven above the crowd, “Be brave, Polycarp, and act like a man.”

The proconsul begged the eighty-six-year-old bishop to give in because of his age. “Say ‘Away with the atheists’” the proconsul urged. Polycarp calmly turned to the face the crowd, looked straight at them, and said, “Away with the atheists.” The proconsul continued to plead with him. When he asked Polycarp to swear by Caesar to save himself, Polycarp answered, “If you imagine that I will swear by Caesar, you do not know who I am. Let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian.” Finally, when all else failed the proconsul reminded Polycarp that he would be thrown to the wild animals unless he changed his mind. Polycarp answered, “Change of mind from better to worse is not a change allowed to us.”

Because of Polycarp’s lack of fear, the proconsul told him he would be burned alive but Polycarp knew that the fire that burned for an hour was better than eternal fire.

When he was tied up to be burned, Polycarp prayed, “Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed SonJesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creationand of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen.”

The fire was lit as Polycarp said Amen and then the eyewitnesses who reported said they saw a miracle. The fire burst up in an arch around Polycarp, the flames surrounding him like sails, and instead of being burned he seemed to glow like bread baking, or gold being melted in a furnace. When the captors saw he wasn’t being burned, they stabbed him. The blood that flowed put the fire out.

The proconsul wouldn’t let the Christians have the body because he was afraid they would worship Polycarp. The witnesses reported this with scorn for the lack of understanding of Christian faith: “They did not know that we can never abandon the innocent Christ who suffered on behalf of sinners for the salvation of those in this world.” After the body was burned, they stole the bones in order to celebrate the memory of his martyrdom and prepare others for persecution. The date was about February 23, 156.

In His Footsteps:

When faced with challenges to your Christian life, try a version of Polycarp’s prayer of martyrdom: “Lord GodAlmighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen.”

Prayer:

Saint Polycarp, sometimes Christ seems so far away from us. Centuries have passed since he and the apostles walk the earth. Help us to see that he is close to us always and that we can keep him near by imitating his life as you did.Amen

 

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Margaret of Cortona Feastday – February 22


St. Margaret of CortonaFeastday: February 22
1247 – 1297
Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father’s house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta. Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others. In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle (“Poor Ones”). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ. Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728. Her feast day is February 22nd.

 

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ARTICLE: JULIAN OF NORWICH


Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich was an English mystic who began reporting visions of Jesus during a serious illness. After recovering in 1373, she wrote accounts of her experience. Her Revelations of Divine Love is remarkable for its clarity, beauty, and profundity and is believed to be the first book written in English by a woman. Though Julian lived in a time of plagues and peasant revolts, her theology was optimistic and focused on God‘s compassionate love. What was her most controversial belief?More… Discuss

 

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Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 18th, 2014


Image of St. Simon

St. Simon

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, we read of St. Simon or Simeon who is described as one of our Lord’s brethren or kinsmen. His father was Cleophas, St. Joseph’s brother, and his mother, according to some … continue reading

 

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