Friday, December 28, 2007

Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents

28 December; sometimes known as Childermas

The children slaughtered by Herod when he tried to kill the infant Christ.

babies; children's choir; choir boys; foundlings

These innocent children were slain for Christ.

They follow the spotless Lamb,

and proclaim for ever :

Glory to you, Lord.

The Weekday Missal Collins (1979)

Sunday Gospel - Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 2,13-15.19-23.

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead."
He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee.
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazorean."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Saint for the day - SAINT JOHN Apostle and Evangelist

Also known as
Apostle of Charity; Beloved Apostle; Beloved Disciple; Giovanni Evangelista; John the Divine; John the Evangelist

27 December (Roman Catholic); 8 May (Greek Orthodox); 6 May (before the Latin gate)

Son of Zebedee and Salome. Fisherman. Brother of Saint James the Great, and called one of the Sons of Thunder. Disciple of Saint John the Baptist. Friend of Saint Peter the Apostle. Called by Jesus during the first year of His ministry, and traveled everywhere with Him, becoming so close as to be known as the beloved disciple. Took part in the Last Supper. The only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion, standing at the foot of the cross. Made guardian of Our Lady by Jesus, he took her into his home. Upon hearing of the Resurrection, he was the first to reach the tomb; when he met the risen Lord at the lake of Tiberias, he was the first to recognize Him.

During the era of the new Church, he worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. During Jesus' ministry, he tried to block a Samaritan from their group, but Jesus explained the open nature of the new Way, and he worked on that principle to found churches in Asia Minor and baptizing converts in Samaria. Imprisoned with Peter for preaching after Pentecost. Wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation. Survived all his fellow apostles.

Traditional stories:
Emperor Dometian had him brought to Rome, beaten, poisoned, and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but he stepped out unharmed and was banished to Patmos instead.

When John was en route to preach in Asia, his ship was wrecked in a storm; all but John were cast ashore. John was assumed dead, but 2 weeks later the waves cast him ashore alive at the feet of his disciple Prochoros.

When John denounced idol worship as demonic, followers of Artemis stoned him; the rocks turned and hit the throwers.

He prayed in a temple of Artemis; fire from heaven killed 200 men who worshipped the idol. When the remaining group begged for mercy, he raised the 200 from the dead; they all converted and were baptized.

Drove out a demon who had lived in a pagan temple for 249 years.

Aboard ship, he purified vessels of sea water for drinking.

Ceonops, a magician, pretended to bring three dead people come to life; the "people" were actually demons who mimicked people so the magician could turn people away from Christ. Through prayer, John caused the magician to drown and the demons to vanish.

Once a year his grave gave off a fragrant dust that cured the sick.


c.101 at Ephesus (modern Turkey); a church was built over his tomb, which was later converted to a mosque

Name Meaning
God is gracious; gift of God

against poison; art dealers; Asia Minor; authors; bookbinders; booksellers; burns; diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; compositors; editors; archdiocese of Eger, Hungary; engravers; friendships; lithographers; diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Morra, Nederlands; painters; papermakers; poisoning; printers; publishers; Sundern, Germany; tanners; Taos, New Mexico; theologians; typesetters; Umbria, Italy; writers; Wroclaw, Poland

book; cauldron in allusion to his being a martyr in will but not in deed; chalice with a serpent in allusion to the cup of sorrow foretold by Jesus; chalice; eagle in his role as evangelist; serpent

canonical Gospel According to Saint John

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

St. Stephen the Martyr

Also known as
Stephen the Deacon

26 December

First Christian Martyr. Deacon. Preacher. All we know of him is related in the Acts of the Apostles. While preaching the Gospel in the streets, angry Jews who believed his message to be blasphemy dragged him outside the city, and stoned him to death. In the crowd, on the side of the mob, was a man who would later be known as Saint Paul.


stoned to death c.33


Name Meaning

Acoma Indian Pueblo; casket makers; Cetona, Italy; coffin makers; deacons; headaches; horses; Kessel, Germany; masons; diocese of Owensboro Kentucky; Passau, Germany; Prato, Italy; stone masons

deacon carrying a pile of rocks; deacon with rocks gathered in his vestments; deacon with rocks on his head; deacon with rocks or a book at hand; stones; palm of martyrdom

Friday, December 21, 2007

4th Sunday of Advent - December 23, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 1,18-24.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Formerly a feast observed 18 December. It originated in Spain, when the feast of the Annunciation (25 March) was transferFed to 18 December because of the regulation forbidding feasts in Lent, and remained on this date after the Annunciation was again celebrated on its original date. It impressed on the faithful the sentiments of the Blessed Virgin as the time of her delivery approached.

Can We Celebrate Christmas? -1

“Don’t celebrate Christmas. It has a pagan background!” Iglesia Ni Cristo, Dating Daan, Jehovas Witnesses and Seventh day Adventists are not ready to celebrate Christmas with the whole world as they believe the birthday of Jesus is not written in the Bible and some practices related to this celebration, has its pagan background! In order to realize the foolishness of their stand we have to analyze some facts (historical and biblical, commonsense and reason) related to the celebration of Christmas on 25th December.

As we all know, the birth of Jesus is written in the Bible; not its day and date. We celebrate Christmas on 25th of December not because that particular ‘date’ is important, but the event that we remember on that date, which divided the history in to two, is very essential for our salvation. The Bible doesn’t say exact date of Christ’s birth as December 25, and even the calendar that we use today was not in existence at that time! Just like any other feasts in the Catholic Church, (Good Friday, Easter Sunday etc…) we commemorate biblical events in deferent days of the liturgical calendar, not because that ‘dates and days’ have something to do with our salvation, but those events that we commemorate, are essential mysteries for our salvation.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Saint for the day - St. John of the Cross

Also known as
Doctor of Mystical Theology

14 December; formerly 24 November

Born in poverty. Cared for the poor in the hospital in Medina. Lay Carmelite brother in 1563 at age 21, though he lived stricter than their Rule. Studied at Salamanca. Carmelite priest, ordained in 1567 at age 25. Persuaded by Saint Teresa of Avila to begin the Discalced or barefoot reform within the Carmelite Order, he took the name John of the Cross. Master of novices. Spiritual director and confessor at Saint Teresa's convent. His reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was ordered to return to Medina. He refused, and was imprisoned at Toledo, Spain, escaping after nine months. Vicar-general of Andalusia. His reforms revitalized the Order. Great contemplative and spiritual writer. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on 24 August 1926.

24 June 1542 at Fontiveros, Spain

14 December 1591 at Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain; relics at Segovia

Name Meaning
God is gracious; gift of God

25 January 1675 by Pope Clement X

27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII

contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets; Ta' Xbiex, Malta

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,2-11.

When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him
with this question, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?"
Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."
As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written: 'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.'
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Lucy of Syracuse

Also known as
Lucia of Syracuse; Lucia de Syracuse

13 December

Rich, young Christian of Greek ancestry. Raised in a pious family, she vowed her life to Christ. Her Roman father died when she was young. Her mother, Eutychia, arranged a marriage for her. For three years she managed to keep the marriage on hold. To change the mother's mind about the girl's new faith, Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha, and her mother's long haemorrhagic illness was cured. Her mother agreed with Lucy's desire to live for God, and Lucy became known as a patron of those with maladies like her mother's.

Her rejected pagan bridegroom, Paschasius, denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily. The governor sentenced her to forced prostitution, but when guards went to fetch her, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was surrounded by bundles of wood which were set afire; they went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed to death with a dagger. Her name is listed in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass.

Legend says her eyesight was restored before her death. This and the meaning of her name led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, etc.

c.283 at Syracuse, Sicily

stabbed in the throat c.304 at Syracuse, Sicily; her relics are honoured in churches throughout Europe


Name Meaning
light; bringer of light (= Lucy)

against hemorraghes; authors; Begijnendijk, Flemish Brabant, Belgium; blind people; blindness; cutlers; dysentery; epidemics; eye disease; eye problems; glaziers; hemorraghes; laborers; martyrs; Mtarfa, Malta; peasants; Perugia, Italy; saddlers; salesmen; sore eyes; sore throats; stained glass workers; Syracuse, Sicily; throat infections; Villa Santa Lucia, Latium, Italy; writers

cord; eyes; eyes on a dish; lamp; swords; woman hitched to a yoke of oxen; woman in the company of Saint Agatha, Saint Agnes of Rome, Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Thecla; woman kneeling before the tomb of Saint Agatha

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Also known as
Holy Mary of Guadalupe; Virgin of Guadalupe; Maria de Guadalupe

12 December

Guadalupe is, strictly speaking, the name of a picture, but the name was extended to the church containing the picture and to the town that grew up around the church. It makes the shrine, it occasions the devotion, it illustrates Our Lady. It is taken as representing the Immaculate Conception, being the lone figure of the woman with the sun, moon, and star accompaniments of the great apocalyptic sign with a supporting angel under the crescent. The word is Spanish Arabic, but in Mexico it may represent certain Aztec sounds.

Its tradition is long-standing and constant, and in sources both oral and written, Indian and Spanish, the account is unwavering. The Blessed Virgin appeared on Saturday 9 December 1531 to a 55 year old neophyte named Juan Diego, who was hurrying down Tepeyac hill to hear Mass in Mexico City. She sent him to Bishop Zumárraga to have a temple built where she stood. She was at the same place that evening and Sunday evening to get the bishop's answer. The bishop did not immediately believed the messenger, had him cross-examined and watched, and he finally told him to ask the lady who said she was the mother of the true God for a sign. The neophyte agreed readily to ask for sign desired, and the bishop released him.

Juan was occupied all Monday with Bernardino, an uncle, who was dying of fever. Indian medicine had failed, and Bernardino seemed at death's door. At daybreak on Tuesday 12 December 1531, Juan ran to nearby Saint James's convent for a priest. To avoid the apparition and the untimely message to the bishop, he slipped round where the well chapel now stands. But the Blessed Virgin crossed down to meet him and said, "What road is this thou takest son?" A tender dialogue ensued. She reassured Juan about his uncle, to whom she also briefly appeared and instantly cured. Calling herself Holy Mary of Guadalupe she told Juan to return to the bishop. He asked the sign for the sign he required. Mary told him to go to the rocks and gather roses. Juan knew it was neither the time nor the place for roses, but he went and found them. Gathering many into the lap of his tilma, a long cloak or wrapper used by Mexican Indians, he came back. The Holy Mother rearranged the roses, and told him to keep them untouched and unseen until he reached the bishop. When he met with Zumárraga, Juan offered the sign to the bishop. As he unfolded his cloak the roses, fresh and wet with dew, fell out. Juan was startled to see the bishop and his attendants kneeling before him. The life size figure of the Virgin Mother, just as Juan had described her, was glowing on the tilma. The picture was venerated, guarded in the bishop's chapel, and soon after carried in procession to the preliminary shrine.

The coarsely woven material of the tilme which bears the picture is as thin and open as poor sacking. It is made of vegetable fibre, probably maguey. It consists of two strips, about seventy inches long by eighteen wide, held together by weak stitching. The seam is visible up the middle of the figure, turning aside from the face. Painters have not understood the laying on of the colours. They have deposed that the "canvas" was not only unfit but unprepared, and they have marvelled at apparent oil, water, distemper, etc. colouring in the same figure. They are left in equal admiration by the flower-like tints and the abundant gold. They and other artists find the proportions perfect for a maiden of fifteen. The figure and the attitude are of one advancing. There is flight and rest in the eager supporting angel. The chief colours are deep gold in the rays and stars, blue green in the mantle, and rose in the flowered tunic.

Sworn evidence was given at various commissions of inquiry corroborating the traditional account of the miraculous origin and influence of the picture. Some wills connected with Juan Diego and his contemporaries were accepted as documentary evidence. Vouchers were given for the existence of Bishop Zumárraga's letter to his Franciscan brethren in Spain concerning the apparitions. His successor, Montufar, instituted a canonical inquiry, in 1556, on a sermon in which the pastors and people were abused for crowding to the new shrine. In 1568 the renowned historian Bernal Díaz, a companion of Cortez, refers incidentally to Guadalupe and its daily miracles. The lay viceroy, Enríquez, while not opposing the devotion, wrote in 1575 to Philip II asking him to prevent the third archbishop from erecting a parish and monastery at the shrine. Inaugural pilgrimages were usually made to it by viceroys and other chief magistrates. Processes, national and ecclesiastical, were laboriously formulated and attested for presentation at Rome in 1663, 1666, 1723, 1750.

The clergy, secular and regular, has been remarkably faithful to the devotion towards Our Lady of Guadalupe, the bishops especially fostering it, even to the extent of making a protestation of faith in the miracle a matter of occasional obligation. Pope Benedict XIV decreed that Our Lady of Guadalupe should be the national patron, and made 12 December a holiday of obligation with an octave, and ordered a special Mass and Office. Pope Leo XIII approved a complete historical second Nocturne, ordered the picture to be crowned in his name, and composed a poetical inscription for it. Pope Pius X permitted Mexican priests to say the Mass of Holy Mary of Guadalupe on the twelfth day of every month, and granted indulgences which may be gained in any part of the world for prayer before a copy of the picture.

The place, called Guadalupe Hidalgo since 1822, is three miles northeast of Mexico City. Pilgrimages have been made to this shrine almost without interruption since 1531-1532. A shrine at the foot of Tepeyac Hill served for ninety years, and still forms part of the parochial sacristy. In 1622 a rich shrine was erected, and in 1709 a newer one even richer one. There are also a parish church, a convent and church for Capuchin nuns, a well chapel, and a hill chapel all constructed in the 18th century. About 1750 the shrine got the title of collegiate, a canonry and choir service being established. It was aggregated to Saint John Lateran in 1754. In 1904 it was created a basilica, with the presiding ecclesiastic being called abbot. The shrine has been renovated in Byzantine style which presents an illustration of Guadalupan history.

- taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia article by G Lee, copyright 1911, Nihil Obstat, 1 February 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor; Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York; edited and rewritten

Americas; Central America; diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado; diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas; diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Estremadura, Spain; diocese of Gallup, New Mexico; Hondarribia, Spain; Mexico; diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New Mexico; New World; diocese of Orange, California; diocese of Phoenix, Arizona; Pojoaque Indian Pueblo; diocese of Ponce, Puerto Rico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; diocese of Sacramento, California; diocese of San Bernardino, California; diocese of Sioux City, Iowa; Spain; Victoria, Aragua, Venezuela

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Nicholas of Myra

Also known as
Klaus; Mikulas; Nicholas of Bari; Nicolaas; Nicolas; Niklas; Santa Claus
6 December
Priest. Abbot. Bishop of Myra, Lycia (modern Turkey). Generous to the poor, and special protector of the innocent and wronged. Many stories grew up around him prior to his becoming Santa Claus. Some examples:

Upon hearing that a local man had fallen on such hard times that he was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, Nicholas went by night to the house and threw three bags of gold in through the window, saving the girls from an evil life. These three bags, gold generously given in time of trouble, became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker's shop.

He raised to life three young boys who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine to hide the crime. These stories led to his patronage of children in general, and of barrel-makers besides.

Induced some thieves to return their plunder. This explains his protection against theft and robbery, and his patronage of them - he's not helping them steal, but to repent and change. In the past, thieves have been known as Saint Nicholas' clerks or Knights of Saint Nicholas.

During a voyage to the Holy Lands, a fierce storm blew up, threatening the ship. He prayed over it, and the storm calmed - hence the patronage of sailors and those like dockworkers who work on the sea.
c.346 at Myra; relics believed to be at Bari, Italy
against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; Apulia, Italy; bakers; Bari, Italy; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; Cas Concos, Spain; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; Duronia, Italy; fishermen; Fossalto, Italy; Greece; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Unionl grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; Lecco, Italy; Limerick, Ireland; Liptovský Mikulás, Slovakia; longshoremen; Lorraine; maidens; mariners; Mazzano Romano, Italy; Mentana, Italy; merchants; Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Slovenia; murderers; Naples, Italy; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; Portsmouth, England; prisoners; Russia; sailors; Sassari, Italy; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; Sicily; Is-Siggiewi, Malta; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; University of Paris; unmarried girls; watermen
anchor; bishop calming a storm; bishop holding three bags of gold; bishop holding three balls; bishop with three children; bishop with three children in a tub at his feet; purse; ship; three bags of gold; three balls; three golden balls on a book

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Church and the Bible - 8

In what language was the Bible written?

It will not be out of place to say here that the Bible wasn’t written originally in English as so many seem to believe, judging from their arguments. Some believe that the Scriptures were written first in English and then set forth in the barbarous languages of Latin, Greek or Hebrew for the sake of inquisitive scholars and critics. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. The Hebrew text of the Old Testament was translated into Greek, before the time of Christ by 70 translators.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Francis Xavier

Also known as
Apostle to the Far East

3 December

Nobleman from the Basque reqion. Studied and taught philosophy at the University of Paris, and planned a career as a professor. Friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola who convinced him to use his talents to spread the Gospel. One of the founding Jesuits, and the first Jesuit missionary. Priest.

In Goa, while waiting to take ship, India, he preached in the street, worked with the sick, and taught children their catechism. He would walk through the streets ringing a bell to call the children to their studies. Said to have converted the entire city.

He scolded his patron, King John of Portugal, over the slave trade: "You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country's riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise."

Tremendously successful missionary for ten years in India, the East Indies, and Japan, baptizing more than 40,000. His epic finds him dining with head hunters, washing sores of lepers in Venice, teaching catechism to Indian children, baptizing 10,000 in a single month. He tolerated the most appalling conditions on long sea voyages, enduring extremes of heat and cold. Wherever he went he would seek out and help the poor and forgotten. He traveled thousands of miles, most on his bare feet, and he saw the greater part of the Far East. Had the gift of tongues. Miracle worker. Raised people from the dead. Calmed storms. Prophet. Healer.

1506 at Javier, Spanish Navarre

2 December 1552 at Sancian, China of a fever contracted on a mission journey

25 October 1619 by Pope Paul V

12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

African missions; diocese of Agartala, India; diocese of Ahmedabad, India; diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; black missions; archdiocese of Bombay, India; Borneo; archdiocese of Cape Town, South Africa; China; diocese of Dinajpur, Bangladesh; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Freising, Germany; Goa India; diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin; India; archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana; Japan; diocese of Joiliet, Illinois; diocese of Kabankalan, Philippines; diocese of Malindi, Kenya; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; missions, black; missions, foreign; missions, parish; Navarre, Spain; navigators; New Zealand; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith

crucifix; preacher carrying a flaming heart; bell; globe; vessel; young bearded Jesuit in the company of Saint Ignatius Loyola; young bearded Jesuit with a torch, flame, cross and lily

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunday Gospel -

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 24,37-44.

For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Saint for the day - St. Andrew

Pope Benedict XVI
General audience of 14/06/06 (©Libreria editrice Vaticana)

Saint Andrew, apostle of the Greek world

The first striking characteristic of Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, is his name: it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored… In Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion, some Greeks had come to the holy city… to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast. Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus… Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn12, 23-24). What do these words mean in this context? Jesus wants to say: Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place, but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity. The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat. My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness: in the Resurrection the "dead grain of wheat" - a symbol of myself crucified - will become the bread of life for the world; it will be a light for peoples and cultures…
In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of his Pasch.

Some very ancient traditions see in Andrew… the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost. They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world. Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission; Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world. So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers - a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the Sees of Rome and Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Saturninus

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Saint Clement, the third pope to rule the Roman Church after Saint Peter, reigned toward the end of the first century. He wrote the famous epistle to the Corinthians to strengthen and encourage peace and unity among them.

Christian Prayer : The Liturgy of the Hours; Daughters of St. Paul * St. Paul Editions * 1976

All-powerful and ever-living God,
we praise your power and glory
revealed to us in the lives of all your saints.
give us joy on this feast of Saint Clement,
the priest and martyr
who bore witness with his blood to the love he proclaimed
and the gospel he preached.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Sunday Gospel - November 25, 2007 (Feast of Christ the King)

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 23,35-43.

The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine
they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church

This is the only Church Jesus founded on earth upon the ‘rock’; Peter. All other churches are man made by misinterpreting the Bible. This is the Church who made the Bible! Acceptance of Peter’s primacy, the clear teaching of the Bible, is the only way to avoid confusions and contradictions in Christianity. This is the only Church with true apostolic succession, which has its members allover the world; the surest way of your salvation! Let us go to the Church, Jesus founded; where he truly lives in the Holy Eucharist!

Source: Know The Truth Magazine

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Presentation of the Virgin Mary

Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated. The corresponding feast originated in the Orient, probably in Syria, the home of the apocrypha. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century. It appears in the constitution of Manuel Comnenos (1166) as a fully recognized festival during which the law courts did not sit. In the West it was introduced by a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Chancellor of the King of Cyprus, who spent some time at Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI. It was celebrated in the presence of the cardinals (1372) with an office accommodated from the office chanted by the Greeks. In 1373 it was adopted in the royal chapel at Paris, 1418 at Metz, 1420 at Cologne. Pius II granted (1460) the feast with a vigil to the Duke of Saxony. It was taken up by many dioceses, but at the end of the Middle Ages, it was still missing in many calendars. At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to September 30. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (September 1, 1585). It is now celebrated November 21.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunday Gospel - November 19, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21,5-19.

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said,
All that you see here--the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sunday Gospel - November 11, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 20,27-38.

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to him,
saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, 'If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.'
Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second
and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome

Dedication of St. John Lateran

Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.


Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches (St. Mary Major, Sts. Peter and Paul), this anniversary is a feast. The dedication of a church is a feast for all its parishioners. St. John Lateran is, in a sense, the parish church of all Catholics, for it is the pope's parish, the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sunday Gospel - October 4, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19,1-10.

He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over."
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

The Commemoration of all of the Faithful Departed

It is very significant and appropriate that after the Solemnity of All Saints, the Liturgy has us celebrate the Commemoration of all of the Faithful Departed. The "communion of saints", which we profess in the Creed, is a reality that is constructed here below, but is fully made manifest when we will see God "as he is" (I Jn 3: 2).

It is the reality of a family bound together by deep bonds of spiritual solidarity that unites the faithful departed to those who are pilgrims in the world. It is a mysterious but real bond, nourished by prayer and participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

In the Mystical Body of Christ the souls of the faithful meet, overcoming the obstacle of death; they pray for one another, carrying out in charity an intimate exchange of gifts.

In this dimension of faith one understands the practice of offering prayers of suffrage for the dead, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, memorial of Christ's Pasch which opened to believers the passage to eternal life.

Dear friends, may the traditional visit of these days to the tombs of our dear departed be an occasion to fearlessly consider the mystery of death and to cultivate that constant vigilance which prepares us to meet it serenely. The Virgin Mary, Queen of Saints… will help us.

Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 1st November 2005)

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Today the Church, as the liturgy states, has "the joy of celebrating in one feast the merits and the glory of all the Saints" : not only of those whom she has canonized in the course of the centuries, but also of the numberless men and women whose holiness, hidden in this world, is only known to God and shines in his eternal kingdom.

Thinking of these illustrious witnesses of the Gospel, we give thanks to God, "source of all holiness" for having given them to the Church and to the world. With their example, they prove that, as the Council teaches, "All the faithful are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (Lumen gentium, n. 40), tending to the "high standard" of ordinary Christian life (cf. Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, n.31).

Today's feast invites us to lift our eyes to heaven, the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. There the festive community of the saints awaits us. There we will have the company of our dear departed ones for whom we pray in tomorrow's solemn liturgical commemoration.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Drink Problem?

How can the Catholic Church tolerate drinking?

The Church does not tolerate EXCESSIVE drinking anymore than it permits excess in any other thing. Human actions are divided into three categories -- good, bad, and indifferent. Indifferent actions are those which can become good or bad depending upon the use or abuse made of them. For instance, eating is an indifferent act. It becomes good when it is done for the purpose of maintaining health and strength. It becomes sinful, of gluttony, when it is done to excess. So to with gambling, smoking, dancing, and many other indifferent actions.

Drinking can he good if done for reasons of health or innocent recreation. Its abuse, or drunkenness, is always evil and sinful.

Scripture does not condemn drinking as such. In the Bible it has been calculated that there are 117 references to drinking as something good. We have an example of this in St. Paul who RECOMMENDED drinking. Writing to Timothy he says:

"Do not still drink water but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake, and for thy frequent infirmities." (1 Tim. 5:23).

Our Lord Himself was accused by the Pharisees of being a man who was "a glutton and a wine-drinker." (Matt. 11:19). Also our Lord Himself at the marriage feast of Cana changed water into wine. He performed a miracle in order that those there might drink wine. Certainly we cannot accuse our Lord of doing anything which would be sinful. Therefore the drinking of alcoholic beverages is an indifferent act; it becomes evil by abuse and by excess.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Jude Thaddeus

28 October (Roman Church); 19 June (Eastern Church)

Son of Cleophas, who died a martyr, and Mary who stood at the foot of the Cross, and who annointed Christ's body after death. Brother of Saint James the Lesser. Nephew of Mary and Joseph; blood relative of Jesus Christ, and reported to look a lot like him. May have been a fisherman. Apostle.

Writer of canonical letter. Preached in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia with Saint Simon. Healer. Exorcist. Could exorcise pagan idols, which caused the demons to flee and the statues to crumble.

His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and Judas; not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude's help, and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.

beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia; relics at Saint Peter's, Rome, at Rheims, and at Toulouse, France

Name Meaning
sweetness or gentleness of character (Thaddeus)

desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida

axe; bearded man holding an oar; boat; boat hook; book; club; square rule; sword; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sunday Gospel -

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 18,9-14.

He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."


Also known as

26 October

Son of an Hellenic Jew from Bethlehem. Fifth pope, reigning for eight years, and about whom almost nothing is known. Traditionally considered a martyr, but there is no documentation of the event.

Papal Ascension

c.107; buried in the Vatican near Saint Peter


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

25 October; formerly 4 May

Following the dispute between the Pope and King Henry VIII in the 16th century, faith questions in the British Isles became entangled with political questions, with both often being settled by torture and murder of loyal Catholics. In 1970, the Vatican selected 40 martyrs, men and women, lay and religious, to represent the full group of perhaps 300 known to have died for their faith and allegiance to the Church between 1535 and 1679. They each have their own day of memorial, but are remembered as a group on 25 October. They are

Augustine Webster
John Houghton
Robert Lawrence
Richard Reynolds

Augustinian friar
John Stone

Alexander Briant
Edmund Arrowsmith
Edmund Campion
David Lewis
Henry Morse
Henry Walpole
Nicholas Owen
Philip Evans
Robert Southwell
Thomas Garnet

Alban Roe
Ambrose Barlow
John Roberts
Friars Obervant
John Jones

John Wall

Secular Clergy
Cuthbert Mayne
Edmund Gennings
Eustace White, 1591
John Almond
John Boste
John Kemble
John Lloyd
John Pain
John Plesington
John Southworth
Luke Kirby
Polydore Plasden, 1591
Ralph Sherwin

John Rigby
Philip Howard
Richard Gwyn
Swithun Wells, schoolmaster, 1591

Anne Line
Margaret Clitherow
Margaret Ward

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Saint for the day - Anthony Mary Claret

Also known as
Antonio María Claret y Clará

24 October; formerly 23 October

Weaver. Seminary student with Blessed Francis Coll. Ordained on 13 June 1835. Missionary in Catalonia and the Canary Islands. Directed retreats. Founded the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians). Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba on 20 May 1850. Founded the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate. Following his work in the Caribbean, Blessed Pope Pius IX ordered him back to Spain. Confessor to Queen Isabella II, and was exiled with her. Had the gifts of prophecy and miracles. Reported to have preached 10,000 sermons, published 200 works. Spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

23 December 1807 at Sallent, Catalonia, Spain

24 October 1870 in a Cistercian monastery at Fontfroide, Narbonne, France

1899 by Pope Leo XIII

25 February 1934

7 May 1950 by Venerable Pope Pius XII

Name Meaning

Catholic press; Claretians; Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; weavers

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Never Divorce!

Your Church makes no exceptions when it comes to divorce. How then do you explain the exception Christ Himself permitted in the case of adultery in St. Matthew 19:9?

The text St. Matthew 19:9 reads as follows:

"But I say to you, 'That whosoever shall put away his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery'." St. Matt. 19:9 (cf. St. Matt. 5:32)
Jewish law at the time of our Lord did not permit absolute divorce. It did, however, permit separation for the cause of adultery. However, another school of teachers among the Rabbis taught that even this was not cause for separation, or "limited divorce."

Christ is settling this dispute by permitting separation for the cause of adultery, but does not allow remarriage in such a case. The text would read as follows:

"But I say to you, 'That whosoever shall put away his wife -- and this separation is not permitted except for the cause of fornication -- makes her to commit adultery'."
The Law of God expressed by Christ is clear and definite in the New Testament, and since it is the word of God, neither the Church nor anyone else is at liberty to change this law. What is the law?

"And He said to them, 'Whosoever puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her, and if the wife puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." St. Mark 10:11,12

Sometimes separation is permitted for a good reason. In such cases the Bishop may permit divorce also if this is necessary to secure legal protection for the innocent party and the children. However, this is always with the understanding that no second marriage can be considered valid after this separation.

"But to those who are married, not I, but the Lord, commands that the wife is not to depart from her husband, and if she departs, that she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And let not a husband put away his wife." 1 Cor. 7:10, 11

Saint for the day - St. JOHN of Capistrano

Also known as
Giovanni da Capestrano; John Capistran

23 October; formerly 28 March

Son of a former German knight, his father died when John was still young. Studied law at the University of Perugia. Lawyer in Naples, Italy. Reforming governor of Perugia under King Landislas of Naples. When war broke out between Perugia and Malatesta in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but instead his opponents ignored the truce, John became a prisoner of war.

During his imprisonment he came to the decision to change vocations. He had married just before the war, but the marriage was never consummated, and with his bride's permission, it was annulled. Franciscan at Perugia on 4 October 1416. Fellow student with Saint James of the Marches. Disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena. Noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420. Itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands. Established communities of Franciscan renewal. Reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. Wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.

After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. At age 70 he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslems.

1386 at Capistrano, Italy

23 October 1456 at Villach, Hungary of natural causes

Name Meaning
God is gracious; gift of God

19 December 1650 by Pope Innocent X

16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII

judges; jurists; military chaplains; military ordinariate of the Philippines

man with a crucifix and lance, treading a turban underfoot; Franciscan with cross on his breast and carrying banner of the cross; Franciscan preaching, angels with rosaries and IHS above him; Franciscan pointing to a crucifix which he holds

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saint for the day - MARY SALOME

Also known as
Irene (Greek equivalent to Salome)

22 October

Wife of Zebedee. Mother of Saint John the Apostle, and Saint James the Greater. May have been a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. One of the "three Marys," the holy women who ministered to Jesus during his earthly ministry, and may have accompanied him on his travels. Witnessed Christ's death on the cross, his entombment, and his resurrection. Mark mentions Salome as one of the women who came to anoint the body of Jesus on the morning of the Resurrection.

One gospels story that shows Jesus and Salome has her asking Jesus what places her sons will have in His Kingdom. Jesus responds that it is the Father who assigns places in the Kingdom and that James and John will have to follow His own example of humility and sacrifice to earn places there.

Legend says that after the Resurrection she went to Veroli, Italy and spent the rest of her life there spreading the Good News.


Name Meaning
peace and prosperity (= Salome)

Veroli Italy

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sunday Gospel - October 21, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 18,1-8.

Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said,

There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being.

And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.'

For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'"

The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.

Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?

I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Luke the Apostle

18 October

Born to pagan Greek parents, and possibly a slave. One of the earliest converts. Physician, studying in Antioch and Tarsus. Probably travelled as a ship's doctor; many charitable societies of physicians are named for him. Legend has that he was also a painter who may have done portraits of Jesus and Mary, but none have ever been correctly or definitively attributed to him; this story, and the inspiration his Gospel has always given artists, led to his patronage of them. He met Saint Paul at Troas, and evangelized Greece and Rome with him, being there for the shipwreck and other perils of the voyage to Rome, and stayed in Rome for Paul's two years of in prison. Wrote the Gospel According to Luke, much of which was based on the teachings and writings of Paul, interviews with early Christians, and his own experiences. Wrote a history of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles. Martyr.

at Antioch

c.74 in Greece; some stories say he was martyred, others not; relics at Padua, Italy

Name Meaning
bringer of light (= luke)

artists; bachelors; bookbinders; brewers; butchers; Capena, Italy; doctors; glass makers; glassworkers; gold workers; goldsmiths; Hermersdorf, Germany; lacemakers; lace workers; notaries; painters; physicians; sculptors; stained glass workers;

physicians; bishop; book; brush (refers to the tradition that he was a painters); man accompanied by a winged ox; ox; painting an icon of Blessed Virgin Mary; palette (refers to the tradition that he was a painters); winged calf; winged ox

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Saint for the day - Margaret Mary Alacoque

Also known as
Margarita Mary Alacoque; Margherita Mary Alacoque; Marguerite Mary Alacoque

17 October

Healed from a crippling disorder by a vision of the Blessed Virgin, which prompted her to give her life to God. After receiving a vision of Christ fresh from the Scourging, she was moved to join the Order of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671.

Received a revelation from our Lord in 1675, which included 12 promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whose crown of thorns represent his sacrifices. The devotion encountered violent opposition, especially in Jansenist areas, but has become widespread and popular.

22 July 1647 at L'Hautecourt, Burgundy, France

17 October 1690 of natural causes; body incorrupt

18 September 1864

13 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV

against polio; devotees of the Sacred Heart; loss of parents; polio patients

woman wearing the habit of the Order of the Visitation and holding a flaming heart; woman wearing the habit of the Order of the Visitation and kneeling before Jesus who exposes His heart to her

Saint for the day -IGNATIUS of Antioch

Also known as
Theophoros; God-Bearer

17 October; formerly 1 February

Convert from paganism to Christianity. Succeeded Peter as bishop of Antioch, Syria. Served during persecution of Domitian. During the persecution of Trajan, he was ordered taken to Rome to be killed by wild animals. On the way, a journey which took months, he wrote a series of encouraging letters to the churches under his care. First writer to use the term the Catholic Church. Apostolic Father. Martyr. His name occurs in the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass. Legend says he
was the infant that Jesus took into his arms in Mark 9.

c.50 in Syria

thrown to wild animals c.107 at Rome; relics at Saint Peter's, Rome

Church in eastern Mediterranean; Church in North Africa; throat diseases

chains; bishop surrounded by lions; lions

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Real Body -- Real Blood?

Do Catholics really believe they are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Communion?

Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist on the night before He died, i.e., on the first Holy Thursday, when He changed bread and wine into His Body and Blood; and then commanded His Apostles to do what He had done in commemoration of Him.

"And while they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke, and gave it to His disciples, and said, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' . . . And taking a cup, He gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, 'All of you drink of this; for this is my blood of the new covenant'." St. Matt. 26:26, 28
Our Lord meant literally to change the bread and wine into His body and blood instead of leaving us a mere symbol or memorial of His passion.
We know this from the words of His promise to do this in St. John's gospel, Chapter 6. The important words of this chapter are: (a) John 6:52, "The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
(b) John 6:54, ". . . unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of man, ye shall not have life in you."
(c) John 6:56, "For my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed."
These and other texts must be taken literally because the entire context demands it; and because any other interpretation would involve us in absurd consequences. The words' "Eat my flesh and drink my blood" in a figurative interpretation would mean to "persecute or hate bitterly." In this sense, it would mean that our Lord would promise those who hate Him, eternal life and glorious resurrection.

The grammatical construction of the phrases, "This is My Body," and "This is My Blood," does not admit of a figurative or symbolic meaning. When the verb "to be" is used, the antecedent must always be identical with the consequent, i.e., "This" must be identical with "My Body." Therefore, there must have been a change of substance.

The Apostles understood Christ to speak literally.

"The cup of benediction which we bless, is it not the sharing of the blood of Christ, And the bread that we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?" 1 Cor. 10:16

"Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of blessing which we bless, unworthily, will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord." I Cor. 10:27
This has been the continuous belief of Christianity until the time of the Reformation.

My Patron Saint (Saint for the day) - St. Gerard Majella

16 October

Son of a tailor who died when the boy was 12, leaving the family in poverty. Gerard tried to join the Capuchins, but his health prevented it He was accepted as a Redemptorist lay brother serving his congregation as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. Wonder worker.

When falsely accused by a pregnant woman of being the father of her child, he retreated to silence; she later recanted and cleared him, and thus began his association as patron of all aspects of pregnancy. Reputed to bilocate and read consciences. His last will consisted of the following small note on the door of his cell: "Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills."

23 April 1725 at Muro, Italy

16 October 1755 at Caposele, Italy of tuberculosis

29 January 1893 by Pope Leo XIII

11 December 1904 by Pope Saint Pius X

childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; good confessions; lay brothers; motherhood; mothers; Muro, Italy; pregnant women; pro-life movement; unborn children

Saint for the day - St. Hedwig

Also known as
Eduviges; Eduvijes; Hedwig of Silesia; Hedwig Queen of Poland; Jadwiga

16 October

Daughter of the Duke of Croatia. Aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Married Prince Henry I of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at age 12. Mother of seven. Cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Widow. Upon her husband's death, she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz.

1174 in Bavaria

October 1243 at Trebnitz

1266 by Pope Clement IV

Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; diocese of Görlitz, Germany; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widows

Monday, October 15, 2007

Unpardonable Sin?

Are there sins that God cannot pardon? Does not Christ speak of this sin against the Holy Ghost in Matthew 12:31-32?

There is no sin which God cannot and will not pardon. This is evident from the text in 1 Timothy where we read:

"This is good and agreeable in the sight of God our Savior, who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Tim. 2:3, 4
St. Matthew, in Chapter 12, is speaking of the Pharisees who attributed the miracle of the curing of the blind and dumb to the devil. We read this in verse 24 of the same chapter:

"But the Pharisees, hearing this, said, 'This man does not cast out devils except by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.'"

The unpardonable sin, then, for the Pharisees and for all people is the willful rejection of the grace of God. Willful rejection means that the sinner refuses to repent despite all the graces God bestows upon him. He will not receive God's pardon because he will not ask for it and will not do what is necessary to obtain it. As long as he remains in this condition, of course he cannot be pardoned.

Saint for the day -St. Teresa of Avila

Also known as
Teresa de Avila; Teresa of Jesus; Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada; The Roving Nun; Theresa of Avila

15 October; 27 August (Transverberation of her Heart)

Spanish noble, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Doña Beatriz. She grew up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at "hermit" in the garden. Crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home, she was cured after prayer to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.

Soon after taking her vows, Teresa became gravely ill, and her condition was aggravated by the inadquate medical help she received; she never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions to be holy and true.

She considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. Founded several houses, often against fierce opposition from local authorities. Mystical writer. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 27 September 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

28 March 1515 as Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada at Avila, Castile, Spain

4 October 1582 at Alba de Tormes in the arms of her secretary and close friend Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew; body incorrupt; relics preserved at Alba; her heart shows signs of Transverberation (piercing of the heart), and is displayed, too

24 April 1614 by Pope Paul V

12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

bodily ills; headaches; lacemakers; laceworkers; loss of parents; people in need of grace; people in religious orders; people ridiculed for their piety; Pozega, Croatia; sick people; sickness; Spain

nun wearing the habit of a Discalced Carmelite; Carmelite nun with her heart pierced by an arrow held by an angel; Carmelite nun holding a pierced heart, book and crucifix; Carmelite nun with book and quill; Carmelite nun receiving a message from a dove

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sunday Gospel - October 12, 2007

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17,11-19.

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met (him). They stood at a distance from him
and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"
And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"
Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

Feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar

After the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, his apostles began to spread the message he left throughout Israel and shortly thereafter, through the Roman empire. One of these apostles, James the Greater, reportedly traveled as far west as Spain to the village of Saragossa in northeast Spain. While James was there, circa 40 AD, he became disheartened because of the failure of his mission. Tradition holds that while he was deep in prayer, Jesus' Blessed Mother appeared to him and gave him a small wooden statue of herself and a column of jasper wood and instructed him to build a church in her honor, saying: "This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and altar of the temple that you shall build."

Another version holds that James, praying with his disciples along the banks of the Ebro River, suddenly heard angels singing "Ave Maria" and saw the Blessed Virgin appear standing on a pillar of marble. The Virgin, who still lived among men, asked James to build a chapel there, and promised "to remain at that site until the end of time, so that the grace of God will work omens and marvels through my intercession for those who, in their hour of need, invoked my name."

Our Lady then disappeared, leaving behind the pillar. James and the eight other witnesses dedicated all their effforts to building the church Our Lady had requested. Before the church was finished, James needed to return to Judea. He then ordained one of his disciples to serve as priest, consecrated the chapel, and dedicated it to Santa María del Pilar, or Holy Mary of the Pillar. This was the first church dedicated to honor the Blessed Mother.

After James returned to Jerusalem, he was executed by Herod Agrippa on about 44 AD, the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. Several of his disciples took his body and returned it for final burial in Spain. The local queen, observing several of the miracles performed by James' disciples, converted to Christianity and permitted James' body to be buried in a local field.

Eight centuries later, a cathedral in honor of St. James was erected on the site of his gravesite, rediscovered by a local hermit. The hermit found the burial site after noticing an unusual star formation. The site for the cathedral was thus called Compostela (starry field), and it is a major pilgrimage site to this day.

Pope Clement XII fixed the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar on October 12, a date that we know today as El Día de La Raza, as it commemorates Columbus' first sighting of American land. In 1984, Pope John Paul II recognized Our Lady of the Pillar as the patron saint of all Hispanic peoples.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Deliver your prayer to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

Deliver your Prayer to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
Message: Have your prayers delivered directly
to, and read within, one of the
holiest place on Earth, the Saint
Peter's Church in Vatican City. You
may create your own prayer or choose
from the list of traditional and
wholesome prayers.

Please visit this link: