Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Saint of the Day for Friday, November 21st, 2014: St. Gelasius


Image of St. Gelasius

St. Gelasius

St. Gelasius I, Pope (Feast day – November 21) Gelasius was born in Rome, in the fifth century, the son of an African named Valerius. Later, ordained a priest, he was elected Pope on March 1st, … continue reading

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today’s holidady: Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first celebrated by the Greeks in about the 8th century and was not adopted by the Roman Catholic Church until the later Middle Ages; no one is quite sure when this festival was first introduced. As related in the apocryphal Book of James, it commemorates the presentation of the three-year-old Mary in the Temple to consecrate her to the service of God. More… Discuss

this Pressed: Pope Francis: People and not money create development §RV— Vatican – news (@news_va_en)


Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 20th, 2014: St. Edmund Rich


Pope to G20 Summit: “Many lives are at stake behind your political discussions”


Pope to G20 Summit: Many lives are at stake behind your political discussions

quotation: Don’t put money before everything else -Pope Francis


 

 

“Don’t put money before everything else”  -Pope Francis



 

Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman


Just a month after the Pope concluded the Synod on the Family, the Vatican is hosting an inter-religious conference on the importance of marriage. It’s a way to engage in a deeper conversation about the compatibility between a man and a woman.  
HELEN ALVARÉ
HUMANUM Vatican Conference 
“People talk about the failure of this relationship, they talk a lot about sex, but they don’t really talk about its absolutely fundamental essence.”
The conference is titled ‘Humanum.’ From November 17th to the 19th, it will bring in more than 350 people representing 14 religions. Among the 40 speakers is Pope Francis. It will be a platform to look at how marriage ties into a healthy society, anthropology, and religion. 
HELEN ALVARÉ
HUMANUM Vatican Conference 
“Some of the major aspects of marriage. It’s beauty. It’s difficulties. It’s openness to children, it’s importance to civil society.” “What is God trying to tell us about God, about ourselves, about the meaning of our lives that humanity comes in two sexes that are drawn to one another. Deeper conversation about marriage.”
While the highs of marriage will be touched on, organizers say, the conference will also look at the realistic challenges that often rise between a husband and wife. Even further, it will delve into the increasingly blurred lines between genders.  
 Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman


Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman (click to access video here)

 

November 14, 2014: Orthodox leader asks Pope to help find kidnapped bishops in Syria – from The Vatican-ROME REPORTS in English


Orthodox leader asks Pope to help find kidnapped bishops in Syria

today’s holiday/Feast of Saint: Feast of St. Frances Cabrini


Feast of St. Frances Cabrini

The first American citizen to be proclaimed a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, Francesca Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) was born in Italy. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1880 and went on to establish orphanages, schools, and hospitals in many American cities, as well as in Europe and South America. She was canonized on July 7, 1946. Her feast day is commemorated in many places, but particularly at Mother Cabrini High School in New York City, in whose chapel she is buried, and at every establishment of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. More… Discuss
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Saint of the Day for Monday, October 20th, 2014: St. Paul of the Cross


Image of St. Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa, January 3, 1694. His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety. He was inspired from on high to found a congregation; … continue reading

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Opus Dei


Opus Dei

Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic lay order founded in 1928 in Spain, where it gained support from the government of Francisco Franco after the Spanish Civil War. Roughly one-third of its more than 85,000 members are celibate and live communally. Opus Dei seeks to promote traditional Catholic values and teachings and opposes liberalism and immorality. It also emphasizes preaching to government officials, intellectuals, and business executives. Why has Opus Dei been controversial among some Catholics? More… Discuss

quotation: The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it. Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)


The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936) Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Pope John Paul I Elevated to Papacy (1978)


Pope John Paul I Elevated to Papacy (1978)

Born Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I was the first pope to choose a double name, a decision that honored his two immediate predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Refusing to have the traditional papal coronation, he instead opted for a simplified ceremony. His 33-day papacy was one of the shortest reigns in papal history, resulting in the most recent “Year of Three Popes.” Though several conspiracy theories emerged after Pope John Paul I’s sudden death, what most likely killed him? More… Discuss

today’s Saint, July 31: Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola


Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) founded the Society of Jesus, the Roman Catholic religious order whose members are known as Jesuits. The Feast of St. Ignatius is celebrated by Jesuits everywhere, but particularly in the Basque region of Spain where he was born. The largest Basque community in North America, located in Boise, Idaho, holds its annual St. Ignatius Loyola Picnic on the last weekend in July—an event often referred to as the Basque Festival. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Hilaire Belloc (1870)


Hilaire Belloc (1870)

Belloc was an important English author in the early 20th century. A highly versatile writer, he is best remembered for his light verse, particularly for children, and for his lucid and graceful essays. He wrote from the Roman Catholic viewpoint, and his views on Protestantism and Islam, which he called major heresies and threats to the “Church Universal,” made him a somewhat controversial figure. What was Belloc’s rather tongue-in-cheek response to the question of why he wrote so prolifically? More… Discuss

make music part of your life series: Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)


[youtube.com/watch?v=wOJdsMcmpDw]

Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)

Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), perhaps more than any other composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rahmaninov, represents a puzzling case in point as for the cultural and spiritual seismic shift that took place between the 1870s/’80s and the 1920s. He comes from a world already shaken by the French Revolution and all subsequent revolutions up to 1848, yet still sufficiently alive so to remember the old ways: fairy tales and folk legends, style, distinction, Monarchy, Catholicism. This last quarter of the 19th century was at the same time the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who indeed fought like a lion in order to ward off the meanwhile 360° onslaught, open and hidden, against the old order and the Catholic Church. However, Janáček, like so many of his generation, was drawn into those false promises of a “new era”, whether pan-Slavic, pantheist, or plain modernist. Still he kept the memories of the old world of his childhood days. His musical oeuvre, especially his folkloristic works, so painfully as well as articulately shows what had been lost – lost forever …

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava
Ondrej Lenárd, conductor

Recorded at Bratislava on January 29/30, 1990

Taken from the CD: “Janáček: Sinfonietta / Lachian Dances / Taras Bulba”, released by NAXOS. Order that CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Jan%C3%A1cek-Si…
or from your local CD-shop.
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See also the connected blog: http://thecontemplativeobserver.wordp….

St. Anthony of Padua Feastday: June 13


St. Anthony of Padua

Feastday: June 13

Birth: 1195 /Death: 1231
Image of St. Anthony of Padua

 Saint Anthony was canonized (declared a saint)
less than one year after his death.
There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs — St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus — who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as liberals and naturalists are trying to say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. St. Anthony wanted to profess the Catholic Faith with his mind and his heart, at every moment.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the “finder of lost articles.” Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

this day in the yesteryear: Edict of Worms Declares Martin Luther an Outlaw and Heretic (1521)


Edict of Worms Declares Martin Luther an Outlaw and Heretic (1521)

The Diet of Worms was an assembly opened by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to deal with the question of Martin Luther’s recalcitrant behavior. Luther was asked to retract his teachings condemned by the pope, but he refused. Various theologians argued with him for a week, but he would not change his position. On May 25, Luther was formally declared an outlaw in the Edict of Worms, and the lines of the Reformation were thereby hardened. Who hid Luther to protect him from the edict’s enforcers? More… Discuss

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Pope Francis, the Eucharist, and the Culture of Mate | First Thoughts | First Things


mate2In the midst of political, religious, national, and personal battles, there is one thing that unites all Argentines: Mate.

Mate (pronounced máh-teh), despite what you may have heard, is not an herbal green tea. That makes it sound sissy. It is a tea-like drink made from a green-colored yerba (herb), but it is much more robust than tea. For Argentines,

via Pope Francis, the Eucharist, and the Culture of Mate | First Thoughts | First Things.

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TODAY’S SAINT – MAY 16: St. Simon Stock


St. Simon Stock

Image of St. Simon Stock

Facts

Feastday: May 16

Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars. In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock’s lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.” The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock. His feast day is May 16th.

May
16
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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Pope Innocent XI (1611)


Pope Innocent XI (1611)

In 1676, Benedetto Odescalchi was elected pope despite the strong opposition of Louis XIV of France, with whom he had a long, bitter quarrel over Gallicanism—a French Roman Catholic tradition of resistance to papal authority. He took the name Innocent XI. As Pope, Innocent lived very parsimoniously and sought to curb nepotism among the cardinals. He closed all of the theaters in Rome—deemed centers of vice and immorality—and brought a temporary halt to the flourishing tradition of what? More… Discuss

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


[youtube.com/watch?v=YHUvEeVpW0c&list=UUxshhzR907v2w6DjICyAgLQ]

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

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Tale of two Easters: Holy Land Catholics, Orthodox to celebrate as one


Tale of two Easters: Holy Land Catholics, Orthodox to celebrate as one


Christian pilgrims carry palm branches during the traditional Palm Sunday procession last year on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. (CNS/Debbie Hill)

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Ghassan Rafidi, 53, remembers enjoying celebrating Easter twice as a child in his village of Jifna. 

“We had two times to celebrate and two vacations. My father’s family gave us gifts on the Greek Orthodox date, and my mother’s family on the Catholic,” said Rafidi, the son of a Catholic mother and a Greek Orthodox father. 

But today the Christian community has shrunk, and it is important that the celebrations be united, he said. Employers honor vacation on only one of the celebrations, putting pressure on families to decide which to celebrate, he said. 

“The Muslims always ask us how many Jesuses do we have,” he said. 

There are many families like Rafidi’s, both in Israel and the Palestinian territories, with members belonging to the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant churches.

For the past 15 years, Catholic parishes throughout the Palestinian territories and many in Israel have been celebrating Easter on the Greek Orthodox date. Now, following a directive from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, within two years all Eastern Catholics and the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land will officially adopt the Greek Orthodox Julian calendar date.

The Latin Patriarchate calls the move a “decisive step toward ecumenism.” The official directive will take place after completion of the decree and approval by the Vatican.

“The main reason for the unification of the Easter celebration is for members of the same family, village and parish to be able to have one celebration, and one calendar, and to show the unity and enjoy the unity. We want to give a good example of unity to our non-Christian neighbors,” said the Latin Patriarchate chancellor, Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali.

The Latin-rite diocese of the Holy Land includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Cyprus. Parishes in Jerusalem and the Bethlehem, West Bank, area will be exempt this year because of the Status Quo, the 1852 agreement that preserved the division of ownership and responsibilities of various Christian holy sites. The parish in Tel Aviv has also received an exemption for this year since there are many foreign workers who are members of the parish.

The Greek Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and did not adopt the Gregorian calendar, which was implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to correct a miscalculation in the rotation of the earth. 

Next year, Easter falls on the same day according to both calendars, so the change by decree will only be adopted in 2015.

The spirit of the holiday is lost if it is celebrated on separate dates, said Father Raed Abusahlia of Holy Family Parish in Ramallah, West Bank. Easter in the Eastern church is all of Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday, and includes special prayers during the week, he said.

“The liturgy is very beautiful if done together as a family. It can’t be spiritual if it is only part of the family,” he said. During the week following Easter there are traditional holiday family visits as well, he added.

Father Ilario Antoniazzi of St. Anthony Parish in Rameh, Israel, has been celebrating Easter with the Greek Orthodox for 15 years; he said the date is not important. 

“The most important thing is to be together on the feast, to give a good example of our love and to show that we are united in our love,” he said.

In the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, the change did not come easily for some parishioners, said Father Agapios Abu Saada of St. Elijah Melkite Catholic Cathedral, who has been pivotal in pushing for unifying the celebration.

“My experience in seeking solidarity … was not a smooth one,” he said. “The decision was not unified even within the same congregation.” 

He said those initially opposed to the idea were swayed by the joint religious processions during Holy Week.

“Unifying the feast is a vivid Christian testimony in a multicultural and multireligious society,” he said. “Christians in the Holy Land are a minority that keeps dividing itself to inner minorities within the minority, creating diverse subcommunities … which deteriorate the goal of Christians as one unrestricted community living in a multicultural and multireligious society.”

Father Abusahlia said some of his parishioners are “a little bit disturbed” because the Greek Orthodox Easter comes so late this year: May 5. 

“In the past years, we celebrated it together or with a difference of one week, so they didn’t feel it. Now it is very late, with a difference of 35 days. But we will celebrate together, it is good and important,” said he said.

The change also involves celebrating Lent and the period between Easter and Pentecost, said Bishop Shomali.

“Christmas is just Christmas and Epiphany, but when we unify the calendar (on Easter) we are unifying 90 days of the year. It is important,” he said.

He said he would be happy to see the unified celebration adopted universally by all Christians.

“The solution is to fix one Sunday in April as the date,” he said.

Bishop Shomali said although the Catholics did not ask the Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, he expects they will do so to unite Christians for that feast.

END

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Apr 13 – Homily: St. Martin I, Suffering in Faith


[youtube.com/watch?v=aw8Sw4BiHaU]
Apr 13 – Homily: St. Martin I, Suffering in Faith
Fr. Elias on the life of St. Martin I the last Pope to be martyred in 655. He suffered greatly and even complained but in a fruitful way.
Ave Maria! 
Mass: St. Martin I – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday 2nd Week of Easter
1st: act 6:1-7
Resp: psa 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
Gsp: joh 6:16-21
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=34919

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  • The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. Wikipedia

 

 

 

  • AddressPiazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, 00100 Roma, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

  • Phone+39 06 6988 6800

 

 

 

 

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  • Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
    Basilica in Rome, Italy

 

  • The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, commonly known as St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica, St. John Lateran’s Basilica, and just The Lateran Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome … Wikipedia

 

 

 

  • AddressPiazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, Roma, Italy

 

 

 

 

  • Phone+39 06 6988 6433

 

 

 

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ARTICLE: GREGORIAN CHANT


Gregorian Chant

Named for Pope Gregory I, who is credited with recodifying chant and liturgy in the 6th century CE, Gregorian chant is the monophonic, unaccompanied liturgical music of the Catholic Church. It is thought to have its roots in Jewish cantillation and in the Byzantine chant of the Greek Orthodox Church. Though the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) curtailed the use of chant in church services, recordings of Gregorian chants were topping pop music charts as recently as when? More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: ST. JOHN OF GOD


Feastday: March 8
John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.
1495 – 1550
From the time he was eight to the day he died, John followed every impulse of his heart. The challenge for him was to rush to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit gave him, not his own human temptations. But unlike many who act impulsively, when John made a decision, no matter how quickly, he stuck with it, no matter what the hardship.

At eight years old, John heard a visiting priest speak of adventures that were waiting in the age of 1503 with new worlds being opened up. That very night he ran away from home to travel with thepriest and never saw his parents again. They begged their way from village to village until John fell sick. The man who nursed him back to health, the manager of a large estate, adopted John.John worked as a shepherd in the mountains until he was 27. Feeling pressure to marry the manager’s daughter, whom he loved as a sister, John took off to join the Spanish army in the waragainst France. As a soldier, he was hardly a model of holiness, taking part in the gambling, drinking, and pillaging that his comrades enjoyed. One day, he was thrown from a stolen horse near French lines. Frightened that he would be captured or killed, he reviewed his life and vowed impulsively to make a change.

When he returned he kept his spur of the moment vow, made a confession, and immediately changed his life. His comrades didn’tmind so much that John was repenting but hated that he wanted them to give up their pleasures too. So they used his impulsivenature to trick him into leaving his post on the pretext of helping someone in need. He was rescued from hanging at the last minute and thrown out of the army after being beaten and stripped. He begged his way back to his foster-home where he worked as a shepherd until he heard of a new war with Moslems invading Europe. Off he went but after the war was over, he decided to try to find his real parents. To his grief he discovered both had died in his absence.

As a shepherd he had plenty of time to contemplate what God might want of his life. When he decided at 38 that he should go to Africa to ransom Christian captives, he quit immediately and set off for the port of Gibraltar. He was on the dock waiting for his ship when he saw a family obviously upset and grieving. When he discovered they were a noble family being exiled to Africa after political intrigues, he abandoned his original plan and volunteered to be their servant. The family fell sick when they reached their exile and John kept them alive not only by nursing them but by earning money to feed them. His job building fortifications was grueling, inhuman work and the workers were beaten and mistreated by people who called themselves Catholics. Seeing Christians act this way so disturbed John that it shook his faith. A priest advised him not to blame the Church for their actions and to leave for Spain at once. John did go back home — but only after he learned that his newly adopted family had received pardons.

In Spain he spent his days unloading ship cargoes and his nights visiting churches and reading spiritual books. Reading gave him so much pleasure that he decided that he should share this joy with others. He quit his job and became a book peddler, traveling from town to town selling religious books and holy cards. A vision at age 41 brought him to Granada where he sold books from a little shop. (For this reason he is patron saint of booksellers and printers.)

After hearing a sermon from the famous John of Avila on repentance, he was so overcome by the thought of his sins that the whole town thought the little bookseller had gone from simple eccentricity to madness. After the sermon John rushed back to his shop, tore up any secular books he had, gave away all his religious books and all his money. Clothes torn and weeping, he was the target of insults, jokes, and even stones and mud from the townspeople and their children.

Friends took the distraught John to the Royal Hospital where he was interned with the lunatics. John suffered the standard treatment of the time — being tied down and daily whipping. John of Avila came to visit him there and told him his penance had gone on long enough — forty days, the same amount as the Lord’s suffering the desert — and had John moved to a better part of the hospital.

John of God could never see suffering without trying to do something about it. And now that he was free to move, although still a patient, he immediately got up and began to help the other sick people around him. The hospital was glad to have his unpaid nursing help and were not happy to release him when one day he walked in to announce he was going to start his own hospital.

John may have been positive that God wanted him to start a hospital for the poor who got bad treatment, if any, from the other hospitals, but everyone else still thought of him as a madman. It didn’t help that he decided to try to finance his plan by selling wood in the square. At night he took what little money he earned and brought food and comfort to the poor living in abandoned buildings and under bridges. Thus his first hospital was the streets of Granada.

Within an hour after seeing a sign in a window saying “House to let for lodging of the poor” he had rented the house in order to move his nursing indoors. Of course he rented it without money for furnishings, medicine, or help. After he begged money for beds, he went out in the streets again and carried his ill patients back on the same shoulders that had carried stones, wood, and books. Once there he cleaned them, dressed their wounds, and mended their clothes at night while he prayed. He used his old experience as a peddler to beg alms, crying through the streets in his peddler’s voice, “Do good to yourselves! For the love of God, Brothers, do good!” Instead of selling goods, he took anything given — scraps of good, clothing, a coin here and there.

Throughout his life he was criticized by people who didn’t like the fact that his impulsive love embraced anyone in need without asking for credentials or character witnesses. When he was able to move his hospital to an old Carmelite monastery, he opened a homeless shelter in the monastery hall. Immediately critics tried to close him down saying he was pampering troublemakers. His answer to this criticism always was that he knew of only one bad character in the hospital and that was himself. His urge to act immediately when he saw need got him into trouble more than a few times. Once, when he encountered a group of starving people, he rushed into a house,stole a pot of food, and gave it to them. He was almost arrested for that charity! Another time, on finding a group of children in rags, he marched them into a clothing shop and bought them all new clothes. Since he had no money, he paid for it all on credit!

Yet his impulsive wish to help saved many people in one emergency. The alarm went out that the Royal Hospital was on fire. When he dropped everything to run there, he found that the crowd was just standing around watching the hospital — and its patients — go up in flames. He rushed into the blazing building and carried or led the patients out. When all the patients were rescued, he started throwing blankets, sheets, and mattresses out the windows — how well he knew from his own hard work how important these things were. At that point a cannon was brought to destroy the burning part of the building in order to save the rest. John stopped them, ran up the roof, and separated the burning portion with an axe. He succeeded but fell through the burning roof. All thought they had lost their hero until John of God appeared miraculously out of smoke. (For this reason, John of God is patron saint of firefighters.)

John was ill himself when he heard that a flood was bringing precious driftwood near the town. He jumped out of bed to gather the wood from the raging river. Then when one of his companions fell into the river, John without thought for his illness or safety jumped in after him. He failed to save the boy and caught pneumonia. He died on March 8, his fifty-fifth birthday, of the same impulsive love that had guided his whole life.

John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.

 

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Some photos: Saint Valentine’s Day with #PopeFrancis


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TODAY’S SAINT: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 11th, 2014


Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Image of St. Paschal

St. Paschal

Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He studied at the Lateran, was named head of St. Stephen’s monastery, which housed pilgrims to Rome, and was elected Pope to succeed Pope Stephen IV (V) on … http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=809

 

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ARTICLE: SUMMA THEOLOGICA


Summa Theologica

Summa Theologica was the first Christian attempt at a comprehensive theological system. Written by Thomas Aquinas—a 13th-century philosopher and a principal saint of the Catholic Church—it is a compendium of all the main teachings of the Church for the “instruction of beginners.” It addresses a range of topics including God, the creation of the world, morality, and the life of Christ. Though incomplete,Summa Theologica is Aquinas’s most important work. About how many pages is it? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: BLOODY SUNDAY: THE BOGSIDE MASSACRE (1972)


Bloody Sunday: The Bogside Massacre (1972)

 

 

 

Mural of victim of Bloody Sunday

Mural of victim of Bloody Sunday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In 1968, civil rights protests by Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland sparked violent conflicts with Protestants, resulting in the occupation of the province by British troops. The Bogside Massacre greatly worsened the situation. On “Bloody Sunday”—January 30, 1972—British troops shot 26 unarmed civil rights protesters. Thirteen victims—seven of whom were teenagers—died almost immediately, and a fourteenth later succumbed to his injuries. What did the first inquiry into the massacre find? More… Discuss

 

 

 

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NEWS: PAPAL BLOOD PURLOINED


Papal Blood Purloined

Is nothing sacred? To thieves in Abruzzo, Italy, apparently so. Over the weekend, they broke into a church in the remote village east of Rome and made off with a gold reliquary containing the blood of the late Pope John Paul II and a crucifix. The motive for the theft is not yet known, but it could be financial; the former pope is set to be sainted in May, after which, the value of the stolen relic will increase. More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Gilbert Chesterton about Justice


The things that happen here do not seem to mean anything; they mean something somewhere else. Somewhere else retribution will come on the real offender. Here it often seems to fall on the wrong person.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936) Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: MERCURIUS BECOMES POPE JOHN II (533 CE)


Mercurius becomes Pope John II (533 CE)

Though Catholics today are accustomed to the pope taking a new name once elected, Mercurius was the first to do so. As his birth name honored the pagan god Mercury, he chose to become John II upon elevation to the papacy. Though he died just two years later, he served at a time when sacred artifacts were regularly being sold and simony—the purchase or sale of church offices or preferment—was rampant in the selection of church officials. What other scandals did John face in his brief tenure? More… Discuss

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: HULDRYCH ZWINGLI (1484)


Huldrych Zwingli (1484)

Zwingli was a Swiss theologian who championed the Reformation in Switzerland. Inspired by his studies rather than a crisis of faith, he challenged the ritualism, decadence, and hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and his stance on the sacrament of communion brought him into conflict with both Martin Luther and the Church. After a Zurich council approved many of his proposals, organs were destroyed, priests were allowed to wed, and the liturgy was simplified. In what 1531 battle was Zwingli killed? More…Discuss

 

Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing



Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing
Messaggio di Natale e Benedizione Urbi et Orbi
Message de Noël et Bènediction Urbi et Orbi
Mensaje navideño y Bendiciòn Urbi et Orbi

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: COUNCIL OF TRENT CONVENED (1545)


Council of Trent Convened (1545)

The Council of Trent made sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church over 18 years, eliminating many abuses criticized in the Protestant Reformation. Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento, Italy—28 years after Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses—the council fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, defined the nature of original sin, and confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation. How many years was it until the next ecumenical councilMore… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782) Leonid Kogan plays “La Campanella”


Niccolò Paganini (1782)

An Italian violinist and composer whose virtuosity is the stuff of legend, Paganini was playing with an orchestra by the age of nine. By the time he reached adulthood, the renowned violinist had also earned a reputation as a shameless womanizer and inveterate gambler. The latter vice once even cost him his prized violin. Nevertheless, he had a profound influence on the evolution of violin technique. Why did the Catholic Church deny him burial in consecrated ground for years following his death? More… Discuss

Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)


Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), perhaps more than any other composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rahmaninov, represents a puzzling case in point as for the cultural and spiritual seismic shift that took place between the 1870s/’80s and the 1920s. He comes from a world already shaken by the French Revolution and all subsequent revolutions up to 1848, yet still sufficiently alive so to remember the old ways: fairy tales and folk legends, style, distinction, Monarchy, Catholicism. This last quarter of the 19th century was at the same time the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who indeed fought like a lion in order to ward off the meanwhile 360° onslaught, open and hidden, against the old order and the Catholic Church. However, Janáček, like so many of his generation, was drawn into those false promises of a “new era”, whether pan-Slavic, pantheist, or plain modernist. Still he kept the memories of the old world of his childhood days. His musical oeuvre, especially his folkloristic works, so painfully as well as articulately shows what had been lost – lost forever …

 

Quotation: Gilbert Chesterton


The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936) Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: POPE PIUS VII (1742)


Pope Pius VII (1742)

Pius VII became pope in 1800, at a time of turmoil for the Catholic Church. A decade earlier, during the early stages of the French Revolution, the National Assembly tried to subordinate the Church to the state. In 1801, Pius and Napoleon negotiated an end to the breach, but relations remained strained. In one notable incident, Napoleon took his crown from the pope’s hands during a ceremony and crowned himself. What unusual headgear did Pius VII allegedly wear during his own coronation and why? More…

 

Sacraments


Sacraments

A sacrament is a religious symbol or rite that is believed to transfer spiritual power to the participant. Today, sacraments are primarily associated with Christianity, which holds that they consist of visible signs of invisible grace and derive from practices instituted by Jesus. Christian churches, however, are divided with regard to the number and operation of sacraments. In most Protestant churches, only baptism and communion are recognized. What are the 7 sacraments of Roman Catholicism? More… Discuss

Giordano Bruno


Giordano Bruno

Bruno was a 16th-century Italian philosopher who theorized that the universe is infinite. He entered a Dominican convent as a teen but abandoned the order after being accused of heresy and began traveling Europe lecturing and teaching. His cosmological theories anticipated modern conceptions of the universe but led to his excommunication by the Roman Catholic, Calvinist, and Lutheran churches. Arrested by the Inquisition in 1593, he was burned at the stake after a trial lasting how many years? More… Discuss

Institutions subjugate man and kill his soul and beliefs, under the pretense of salvation or starvation as they see politically advantageous. Reason and faith have nothing to do with it. 

“E pur si muove!”

Maximilian Kolbe


Maximilian Kolbe

Kolbe was a Polish priest who in 1941 was starved and killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz after volunteering to take the place of a condemned stranger. Ordained in 1918, he founded the City of Mary Immaculate religious center and was the director of Poland‘s chief Catholic publishing complex. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1939 and again in 1941 on charges of aiding Jews and the Polish underground. He was canonized in 1982 and declared a martyr of charity. Who was the man whose life Kolbe saved? More… Discuss

This Day in History: French National Assembly Adopts Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)


French National Assembly Adopts Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was an act passed during the French Revolution that subordinated the Roman Catholic Church to the state. Under the act, citizens would elect clergymen and the state would pay their wages. When the National Assembly ordered the clergy to take an oath supporting the Civil Constitution, many refused. The resulting schism within the French church caused many Catholics to turn against the Revolution. What effect did the constitution have on monastic orders? More… Discuss

On Human Society, and Change


You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936) Discuss

Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith Chesterton), 1874–1936, English author. Conservative, even reactionary, in his thinking, Chesterton was a convert (1922) to Roman Catholicism and its champion. He has been called the “prince of paradox” because his dogma is often hidden beneath a light, energetic, and whimsical style. A prolific writer, Chesterton wrote studies of Browning (1903) and Dickens (1906); several novels including The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) and The Man Who Was Thursday (1908); a noted series of crime stories featuring Father Brown as detective; many poems, collected in 1927; and his famous essays, collected in Tremendous Trifles (1909), Come to Think of It (1930), and other volumes. He was the editor of G. K.’s Weekly, an organ of the Distributist League, which advocated the small-holding system. An amusing artist, he illustrated books by Hilaire Belloc Belloc, Hilaire (Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc) , 1870–1953, English author, b. France. He became a British subject in 1902, and from 1906 to 1910 was a Liberal member of Parliament for South Salford.
(….. Click the link for more information. , his friend and collaborator.)
Source: http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Chesterton%2c+G.+K.

My Take on this subject:  Democracy is the privilege, that most people don’t have an opportunity to understand, or to experience and therefore to recognize…It’s the rara avis that everybody talks about, but only few ever took a glimpse at and those were sworn to secrecy.  

Blessed Pope John Paul II: Beatification Mass – May 1, 2011



John Paul II has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.[4] It is widely held that he was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Conversely, he denounced the excesses of capitalism.[10][11] John Paul II is widely said to have significantly improved the Catholic Church‘s relations with Judaism,[3][9][12] Islam,[13][14] the Eastern Orthodox Church,[3] and the Anglican Communion.[3][15] Though criticised by progressives[3][9][16] for upholding the Church’s teachings against artificial contraception and the ordination of women, he was also criticized by traditionalists for his support of the Church’s Second Vatican Council and its reform of the Liturgy as well as his ecumenical efforts.[3][17][18] Since his death, he has been criticized for failing to act on accusations of sexual child abuse by priests, including those against founder of Legion of Christ Marcial Maciel.[19] 

Read more about The Blessed Pope John Paul II at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II

I am so happy for this event together with millions of people around the world!

Sainte Bernardette


Bernadette of Lourdes – encyclopedia article about Bernadette of Lourdes.

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Bernadette+of+Lourdes