Thursday, August 25, 2011


At 10.30 am today, in the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father Benedict XVI met with the faithful and pilgrims gathered for the General Audience on Wednesday. In his speech in Italian, the pope retraced with the present the most significant moments of his recent visit to Madrid on the occasion of the XXVI World Youth Day. Then he addressed a greeting in several languages ​​to groups of pilgrims. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
  • The audience concluded with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.
    At the end of the audience in the courtyard, the Holy Father appeared in the square outside the Palace Apostolic and also greeted the faithful gathered there.


    Dear brothers and sisters,

    Today I would like to go back briefly to the thought and heart to the extraordinary days in Madrid for the XXVI World Youth Day. It 'was, and you know, an ecclesial event exciting, about two million young people from all continents have experienced with joy, a tremendous experience of fellowship, meeting with the Lord, sharing and growth in faith: a real cascade of light. I thank God for this precious gift that gives hope for the future of the Church: young people with firm and sincere desire to root their lives in Christ, stand firm in faith, walk together in the Church. Thanks to all who worked generously for this day: the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, its auxiliaries, the other bishops of Spain and other parts of the world, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, priests, religious and laity. I renew my gratitude to the Spanish authorities, institutions and associations, volunteers and all those who have the support of prayer. I can not forget the warm welcome I received from their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, as well as from all over the country.

    In short course I can not describe the moments that we lived so intense. I think the irrepressible enthusiasm with which young people I have received on the first day in the Plaza de Cibeles, their words full of expectations, their strong desire to orient themselves to the deeper truth and to take root in it, the truth that God has given us to know Christ. In the imposing Monastery of El Escorial, rich in history, spirituality and culture, I met the young religious and young academics. At first, the young religious, I recalled the beauty of their vocation faithfully lived, and the importance of their service to their apostolic and prophetic witness. It remains for me the impression of their enthusiasm, a faith of young and full of courage for the future, a willingness to serve humanity well. I mentioned to the teachers to be experts in formation of new generations, guiding the search for truth not only with words but also with life, knowing that the Truth is Christ himself. Encounter with Christ, we find the truth. In the evening, in celebration of the Via Crucis, a multitude of diverse youth relived with intense scenes of the Passion and death of Christ: the cross of Christ gives a lot more than what is required, gives everything, because it leads us to God

    The next day, the Holy Mass in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, with the seminarians: young people who want to make it take root in Christ have a tomorrow, as his ministers. I hope to increase vocations to the priesthood! Among those present was more than someone who had heard the call of the Lord in their previous World Youth Days and I am sure that even the Lord in Madrid has knocked on the door of the hearts of many young people to follow him generously in priestly ministry or in life religious. A visit to a center for youth with disabilities showed me great respect and love for every person who feeds me and gave me the opportunity to thank the thousands of volunteers who silently witness the Gospel of love and life. The prayer vigil in the evening and the great Eucharistic celebration of the final day were two very intense moments: the evening a crowd of young people in the party, not at all intimidated by the rain and wind, has remained silent adoration of Christ present in ' Eucharist, to praise Him, thank Him, ask for help and light, and then, on Sunday, young people have expressed their exuberance and joy of celebrating the Lord in the Word and the Eucharist, to fit more and more in Him and strengthen their faith and Christian life. In an atmosphere of enthusiasm I encountered that I thanked the volunteers for their generosity and the farewell ceremony I have left the country, bearing in our hearts these days as a great gift.

    Dear friends, the Madrid meeting was a wonderful manifestation of faith for Spain and for the world first of all. For the multitude of young people from every corner of the earth, was a special occasion for reflection, dialogue, exchange positive experiences and, above all, pray together and renew their commitment to root their lives in Christ, a faithful friend. I am sure that they returned to their homes and return with a firm resolve to be leaven in the dough, bringing the hope born of faith. For my part, I continue to accompany you with prayer, so that they remain faithful to their commitments. To the maternal intercession of Mary, I entrust the fruits of this day.

    And now I wish to announce the themes of the next World Youth Days. That next year, which will take place in individual dioceses, will have as its motto: "Always be joyful in the Lord!", Taken from the Letter to the Philippians (4:4), while the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, The motto will be the mandate of Jesus: "Go and make disciples of all nations!" (Cf. Mt 28:19). Even now I entrust to the prayers of all the preparation of these very important events. Thank you.

    [01202-01.01] [Original text: Italian]


    Je salue de langue française cordialement les Pèlerins! Au cours de mon Voyage Apostolique à Madrid, j'ai rencontre avec joie et des centaines de milliers espérance de jeunes du monde entier venus. J'ai fait de leur enthousiasme the expérience et de leur désir de s'orienter vers la verite plus the deep, cold que Dieu nous de connaître woman dans le Christ. Tous ces jeunes Puissent fideles à leur engagement demeurer leur vie en enraciner of him! Bon à tous pèlerinage!

    I warmly greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today. Having just returned from Madrid, I affectionately greet the young people present, Especially Those Who Were with me for the unforgettable celebration of World Youth Day welcome Also I Those present from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United States. May God bless all of you and Remain with you for ever!

    Von Herzen Grüße und ich to deutschsprachigen Besucher Pilger. Gerne möchte ich euch lassen teilhaben an den Tiefen des Eindrücken Weltjugendtags in Madrid. Für die jungen Teilnehmer war es eine besondere Gelegenheit, innezuhalten, sich vor allem ihre Freundschaft und auszutauschen mit Jesus zu festigen. Wir wollen und für Menschen mit den jungen Beten, dass sie immer den Ruf Jesu Christi und ihm besser verstehen und treu mutig folgen. Wünsche ich auch das uns allen und der Herr Schenke uns dazu seinen Segen.

    Salud with afecto a los de lengua española Peregrinos, en los grupos provenientes Particular de España, Honduras, Chile, Argentina, Mexico City y otros países Latinoamericanos. Call to give todos gracias Señor por mi apostolic visit to Madrid Mundial para la Jornada de la Juventud. A la vez que agradezco de corazón hecho posible at home who have desarrollo de esta Iniciativa El Magnifico, ruego, por intercession Santísima de María, que en los Jóvenes que han participado she, "edificados arraigados y en Christ, firmes en la fe," lleven mundo entero La Alegria to the Gospel, with a palabra y vida de obras de Caridad colmado. Muchas gracias.

    Saúde de todos os Peregrinos language Portuguese, in detail os grupos vindos do Brasil de Portugal! A Jornada Mundial da Juventude em Madrid renovou nos Jovens to Chamade Serem to ferment or grow que faz ground, raising ao mundo que a esperança da fe was born. Location generosos or give um testemunho de vida christ, specially the view by Proxima Jornada em no Rio de Janeiro. Que Deus vos abençoe!

    Witam pielgrzymów Polskich. Razem z Wami dziś chcę dziękować Bogu za Czas, który wraz z przeżyłem młodzieżą Calega z świata w Madrycie. Byl to the wzajemnego umocnienia szczególny Czas Laski w wierze. FOEN, ze w zaowocuje sercach młodych Ludza pragnieniem zycia zakorzenionego w Chrystusie the wypełnionego Jégo Milosc. Tego wam the życzę. Niece Bedz pochwalony Chrystus Jezus!

    [I extend my welcome to Polish pilgrims. With you now I want to thank God for the time I lived together for young people around the world in Madrid. It 'been a time of grace and mutual witness of faith. I am confident that bear fruit in the hearts of the young the desire for a life rooted in Christ and filled with his love. I hope you too. Praised be Jesus Christ!]

    Від щирого серця вітаю прочан з України, які саме сьогодні святкують двадцяту річницю незалежності своєї держави, історія та культура якої у незгладимий спосіб позначені християнськими цінностями. Дорогі друзі, бажаю, щоб ця важлива річниця пробудила у вас та ваших співгромадян живе прагнення завжди діяти на користь справедливості, миру та спільного добра. Слава Ісусу Христу!
    [a cordial greeting to the pilgrims of Ukraine, who today resemble the twentieth anniversary of independence of their country, whose history and culture are indelibly marked by Christian values. Dear friends, I hope that this significant event will inspire in you and your countrymen in the earnest desire of always working for justice, peace and the common good. Praised be Jesus Christ!]

    Radosna pozdravljam the blagoslivljam hodočasnike sve Hrvatske! Neka nas OVAJ susret učvrsti Vasu vjeru kako bist oduševljeno svjedočili kršćansku the ljubili bližnje nadu. Hvaljen the ISUS Marija!
    [With joy I greet and bless all the pilgrims Croats. Our meeting will strengthen your faith so that you can enthusiastically testify to the Christian hope and love others. Praised be Jesus and Mary!]

    radost zdravím poutníky S z České republiky. Draz přátelé, prosme Boha aby Světové Dny mládeže, které v if konaly Madridu, přinesly bohaté plody pro dobro vůle všechy shores. Chvála Kristu.
    [I extend an affectionate greeting to the pilgrims coming from the Czech Republic Dear friends, we ask God that the recent World Youth Day held in Madrid bear abundant fruit in the hearts of all men of good will. Praised be Jesus Christ].

    láskou S pozdravujem slovenských pútnikov Zohor zo, Kosice, Kútov to Nitry. Bratia to Sestry, pondelok sme v v liturgy is pripomenuli Pannu Mariu Kráľovnú. S dôverou knows obracajme na tuto Nasu láskavú Matku Našice potrebách st. Rad žehnám vasic drahých the vas. Pochválený bud Ježiš Kristus!
    [I affectionately greet the pilgrims from Zohor Slovakia, Košice, Nitra and Kúty. Brothers and sisters, on Monday we remembered in the liturgy of Mary Queen. Turn with confidence to this, our good Mother in our needs. Gladly bless you and your loved ones. Praised be Jesus Christ!]

    And finally, I greet with affection the Italian-speaking pilgrims, as well as pairs of newlyweds. All invited to devote more time to Christian formation, to be faithful disciples of Christ, way, truth and life.
    And now let us sing the Pater Noster in Latin.
    Thank you and good day to you all.

    At the end of the audience in the courtyard, the Holy Father appeared in the square outside the palace and spoke the following words:

    Dear friends, hello!
    Have a good day, joy, happy holidays and a good return to work. The Lord be with you so that you can feel his presence and the light that comes from faith. To all my best wishes! The Lord bless you always! Now I impart my Apostolic Blessing.


    Caption: People crowd around a case containing a relic and wax effigy of Blessed John Paul II at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Aug. 25. The relic, a vial of blood taken from the Polish pope before he died in 2005, will tour Mexico on what was being called a pilgrimage for peace. (CNS/Keith Dannemiller)
    People crowd around a case containing a relic and wax effigy of Blessed John Paul II at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Aug. 25. The relic, a vial of blood taken from the Polish pope before he died in 2005, will tour Mexico on what was being called a pilgrimage for peace. (CNS/Keith Dannemiller)
    CNS REPORT -- Julian Salvador and his wife, Paola Rivera, hold fond memories of Blessed John Paul II. The couple saw him during his inaugural visit to Mexico City in 1979.

    "It was the most beautiful thing and incomparable to anything I've ever experienced," Rivera recalled.

    Holding onto memories and candles, they prayed the rosary Aug. 24 outside the papal nuncio's office in Mexico City. Inside was blood drawn from Blessed John Paul shortly before his death. It was there to be venerated and taken to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe following day.

    Later, it will be taken to all of the country's dioceses as part of a pilgrimage of peace.

    Peace in Mexico was on the minds of Salvador and Rivera as they prayed with approximately 100 others on a cool evening.

    "(We're) praying that it quiets down, that there's peace. It's important that it (peace) returns to this country," Salvador said.

    "We're praying for a miracle," his wife added.

    Salvador and Rivera came to pray for peace in a country where drug violence has claimed more than 40,000 lives since December 2006. The church has confronted the challenges of ministering to populations in violent pockets of Mexico and fending off allegations that cartel kingpins -- who are often described as religious -- have laundered money through collection plates.

    Census data shows the number of Mexicans declaring themselves Catholic has declined, reaching 84 percent in 2010.

    That the Mexican bishops' conference would request relics of Blessed John Paul's blood be sent to Mexico at such a troubled time failed to surprise some church observers, especially given the late pontiff's enormous popularity and feeling of kinship with the faithful in what had been a country -- like his own -- where Catholics were persecuted for their faith during the last century.

    "John Paul II is a Mexican hero," said commentator and church observer Bernardo Barranco. "No other person in public, political or social life of the country has had the impact that John Paul had during his five visits to Mexico.

    "He's a key person in the contemporary life of this country," he added.

    Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City mentioned the same thing during Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where many celebrating the service waved paper flags with Blessed John Paul's image and chanted, "Viva!"

    "He was our Mexican pope," the cardinal said. "We feel very privileged to have (these relics) here."

    Cardinal Rivera focused his homily on promoting peace through strengthening families, saying it was an important topic for Blessed John Paul.

    "The main base and the cradle of peace is the family," he said.

    Blessed John Paul made Mexico a priority during his papacy, Cardinal Rivera said. The last of his five visits, in 2002, resulted in the canonization of St. Juan Diego, the first indigenous saint of the Americas.

    The visits began under less favorable circumstances as Mexico and the Vatican were officially estranged and anti-clerical laws -- so strict that priests and nuns were forbidden to wear habits -- were still on the books.

    Blessed John drew an estimated 20 million visitors during his first visit and paved the way for the restoration of church relations with the Mexican state in 1992.

    Those outside the nunciature and at the Mass expressed their feelings about venerating the relics.

    "This is a country deeply rooted in faith," said retiree Patricia Ayala.

    "This is about faith, about hope," said banker Ernesto Rowe as he used his phone to take photos of a replica of Blessed John Paul and the glass container of blood. "Maybe we don't demonstrate (our faith,) but it's there."


    ASIA NEWS REPORT: Mehek Masih was taken from her home in broad daylight and under the threat of a gun. Muslim man intends to "purify her" making her "Muslim and my mistress." Archbishop Saldanha cases of this type are "frequent," the law does not protect minorities. One of the many "crosses" that Pakistani Christians have to endure.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) - A group of Muslims have kidnapped a 14 year old Christian girl from her home under the threat of a gun and in front of witnesses. The incident occurred on August 17 last in Shisharwali, residential area of the city of Gujranwala, Punjab. According to reports from the Pakistan Christian Post (PCP), Mohammad Tayeb Butt along with four other Muslims raided the house of Rashid Masih in broad daylight, pointed the gun to the head of his daughter Mehek forcing her to climb aboard a white car .

    Two young Christians, Imran Masih and Mehboob Masih, tried to rescue the girl, but Mohammad Tayeb pointed the gun at them and threatened to shoot. "She is a Choori" the Muslim shouted, at Mehek, using derogatory and insulting Punjab slang, to define a Christian (for example, when Muslim restaurant owners or street food vendors reject minority religious customers, ed) . He also added that the Choori Mehek will be purified "convert to Islam and become my mistress."

    Sources report that the local Christian activists from the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) have tried to report the incident to the police. But the agents did not want to open an investigation - as is often the case - at the expense of an influential Muslim personality.

    Interviewed by AsiaNews, the Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore and former president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference Mgr. Lawrence John Saldanha stresses that such cases are "common in Pakistan," and families "can do little or nothing" to save the victims from their captors. He adds: "The Muslim family has an advantage, because the law favors them."

    Added to the tragedy of the kidnapping, the prelate continues, are "the future difficulties that the unfortunate young girl will suffer in the Muslim family." These are "sad and tragic" episodes for the Christian community and represent, concludes Mgr. Saldanha, "one of the many crosses that the small minorities (even the Hindus) without hope must bear in Pakistan." (DS)


    Berlin's new archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki
    © CBA
    Berlin's new archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki

    High Mass for the new Archbishop of Berlin report: Berlin - Some 50 senior representatives from the church and politics come on Saturday for the inauguration of the new Archbishop of Berlin Rainer Maria Woelki. Among the approximately 40 bishops, the chairman of European Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Peter Erdo (Esztergom-Budapest), as the archdiocese announced in Berlin on Thursday. The High Mass begins at 10 clock at St. Hedwig's Cathedral. It is transmitted on a giant screen outside the cathedral, on also live on the Internet. The former suffragan bishop of Cologne is the successor to Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky, who died on the 30th of June. Among the guests are the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jean-Claude Perisset, and the chairman of the German Bishops Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch expected. Announced are the Cardinals Joachim Meisner (Cologne) and Reinhard Marx (Munich-Freising) and Protestant bishops and Orthodox churches.The policy is represented among others by the Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse and Berlin's Lower House president Walter Momper and Mayor, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer (both SPD). After the service, all participants are invited to a "round-the-cathedral".


    Agenzia Fides REPORT - "In the healthcare facilities that we contacted this morning, foreign workers, in particular Filipinos, are doing the whole job alone: recording, taking care and feeding patients, everything is in their hands. The Libyans did not go to work", sources of the Apostolic Vicariate from Tripoli tell Fides. "But there are also volunteers who help treat the wounded - our interlocutor continues -. These people are doing their best under difficult conditions, also because stocks of drugs and other medical products are being depleted", continues the interlocutor.
    With regards to the situation in Tripoli, the sources of the Vicariate inform that "most of the population is locked up in the house, because everyone is afraid to go out. However, electricity is back, but everyone remains to await developments".
    According to agency sources, the men who have remained loyal to Gaddafi are concentrated in two districts of Tripoli, while the rest of the city is in the hands of the Transitional National Council (TNC) fighters. The situation is however still far from being considered stabilized, as demonstrated by the kidnapping of 4 Italian journalists, who are believed to be in the hands of a pro Gaddafi group. (L.M.)


    CATH NEWS REPORT: Maureen Elliott was the youngest child in a Catholic family of three children. She grew up attending Catholic schools on Sydney’s North Shore. In Form 1 at Our Lady of Dolours, Chatswood – where she had received a scholarship – she and three of her friends would meet after school calling themselves ‘Our Lady’s Helpers’. They would make sacrifices and say prayers, reports Catholic Mission Australia.

    As a teenager Maureen recalls walking into church one Sunday at Haymarket in Sydney when a strange thought popped into her head: she could become a nun. She laughed out loud. It seemed preposterous. But then she thought about it and concluded … why not? She realised she didn’t have an excuse.

    Her mother was horrified and begged her not to enter the convent. Initially she told her mother that she wouldn’t enter, to keep the peace, but the calling continued to burn inside her.

    In primary school she was taught by the Brigidine Sisters, and during high school with the Mercy Sisters, came into contact with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. In the end it was the FMM sisters that appealed to her with their down-to-earth attitudes, missionary spirit, and Eucharistic adoration.

    She then attended teacher training at the Catholic College of Education at North Sydney and was then a secondary school teacher in science, maths and religion in Sydney and Canberra for seven years.

    During school holidays, she initially worked in retail and after school in her father’s accountancy business, but at 18 she went to Mittagong, NSW, for her postulancy (six months) and novitiate (two years).

    In 1974 her dreams came true when she was asked to go to Papua New Guinea.

    There she worked at Benedicts Teachers’ College, a Christian Brothers college, in Wewak. Here she trained primary-school teachers.


    St. Louis IX of France


    Feast: August 25


    Feast Day:August 25
    Born:25 April 1214 at Poissy, France
    Died:25 August 1270 at Tunis, Algeria
    Canonized:1297 by Pope Boniface VIII
    Patron of:Secular Franciscan Order, France, French monarchy; hairdressers; passementiers (lacemakers)

    King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, born at Poissy, 25 April, 1215; died near Tunis, 25 August, 1270.

    He was eleven years of age when the death of Louis VIII made him king, and nineteen when he married Marguerite of Provence by whom he had eleven children. The regency of Blanche of Castile (1226-1234) was marked by the victorious struggle of the Crown against Raymond VII in Languedoc, against Pierre Mauclerc in Brittany, against Philip Hurepel in the Ile de France, and by indecisive combats against Henry III of England. In this period of disturbances the queen was powerfully supported by the legate Frangipani. Accredited to Louis VIII by Honorius III as early as 1225, Frangipani won over to the French cause the sympathies of Gregory IX, who was inclined to listen to Henry III, and through his intervention it was decreed that all the chapters of the dioceses should pay to Blanche of Castile tithes for the southern crusade. It was the legate who received the submission of Raymond VII, Count of Languedoc, at Paris, in front of Notre-Dame, and this submission put an end to the Albigensian war and prepared the union of the southern provinces to France by the Treaty of Paris (April 1229). The influence of Blanche de Castile over the government extended far beyond St. Louis's minority. Even later, in public business and when ambassadors were officially received, she appeared at his side. She died in 1253. In the first years of the king's personal government, the Crown had to combat a fresh rebellion against feudalism, led by the Count de la Marche, in league with Henry III. St. Louis's victory over this coalition at Taillebourg, 1242, was followed by the Peace of Bordeaux which annexed to the French realm a part of Saintonge.

    It was one of St. Louis's chief characteristics to carry on abreast his administration as national sovereign and the performance of his duties towards Christendom; and taking advantage of the respite which the Peace of Bordeaux afforded, he turned his thoughts towards a crusade. Stricken down with a fierce malady in 1244, he resolved to take the cross when news came that Turcomans had defeated the Christians and the Moslems and invaded Jerusalem. (On the two crusades of St. Louis [1248-1249 and 1270] see CRUSADES.) Between the two crusades he opened negotiations with Henry III, which he thought would prevent new conflicts between France and England. The Treaty of Paris (28 May, 1258) which St. Louis concluded with the King of England after five years' parley, has been very much discussed. By this treaty St. Louis gave Henry III all the fiefs and domains belonging to the King of France in the Dioceses of Limoges, Cahors, and Perigueux; and in the event of Alphonsus of Poitiers dying without issue, Saintonge and Agenais would escheat to Henry III. On the other hand Henry III renounced his claims to Normandy, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, Poitou, and promised to do homage for the Duchy of Guyenne. It was generally considered and Joinville voiced the opinion of the people, that St. Louis made too many territorial concessions to Henry III; and many historians held that if, on the contrary, St. Louis had carried the war against Henry III further, the Hundred Years War would have been averted. But St. Louis considered that by making the Duchy of Guyenne a fief of the Crown of France he was gaining a moral advantage; and it is an undoubted fact that the Treaty of Paris, was as displeasing to the English as it was to the French. In 1263, St. Louis was chosen as arbitrator in a difference which separated Henry III and the English barons: by the Dit d'Amiens (24 January, 1264) he declared himself for Henry III against the barons, and annulled the Provisions of Oxford, by which the barons had attempted to restrict the authority of the king. It was also in the period between the two crusades that St. Louis, by the Treaty of Corbeil, imposed upon the King of Aragon the abandonment of his claims to all the fiefs in Languedoc excepting Montpellier, and the surrender of his rights to Provence (11 May, 1258). Treaties and arbitrations prove St. Louis to have been above all a lover of peace, a king who desired not only to put an end to conflicts, but also to remove the causes for fresh wars, and this spirit of peace rested upon the Christian conception.

    St. Louis's relations with the Church of France and the papal Court have excited widely divergent interpretations and opinions. However, all historians agree that St. Louis and the successive popes united to protect the clergy of France from the encroachments or molestations of the barons and royal officers. It is equally recognized that during the absence of St. Louis at the crusade, Blanche of Castile protected the clergy in 1251 from the plunder and ill-treatment of a mysterious old maurauder called the "Hungarian Master" who was followed by a mob of armed men—called the "Pastoureaux." The "Hungarian Master" who was said to be in league with the Moslems died in an engagement near Villaneuve and the entire band pursued in every direction was dispersed and annihilated. But did St. Louis take measures also to defend the independence of the clergy against the papacy? A number of historians once claimed he did. They attributed to St. Louis a certain "pragmatic sanction" of March 1269, prohibiting irregular collations of ecclesiastical benefices, prohibiting simony, and interdicting the tributes which the papal Court received from the French clergy. The Gallicans of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries often made use of this measure against the Holy See; the truth is that it was a forgery fabricated in the fourteenth century by juris-consults desirous of giving to the Pragmatic Sanction of Charles VII a precedent worthy of respect. This so-called pragmatic of Louis IX is presented as a royal decree for the reformation of the Church; never would St. Louis thus have taken upon himself the right to proceed authoritatively with this reformation. When in 1246, a great number of barons from the north and the west leagued against the clergy whom they accused of amassing too great wealth and of encroaching upon their rights, Innocent IV called upon Louis to dissolve this league; how the king acted in the matter is not definitely known. On 2 May, 1247, when the Bishops of Soissons and of Troyes, the archdeacon of Tours, and the provost of the cathedral of Rouen, despatched to the pope a remonstrance against his taxations, his preferment of Italians in the distribution of benefices, against the conflicts between papal jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the ordinaries, Marshal Ferri Paste seconded their complaints in the name of St. Louis. Shortly after, these complaints were reiterated and detailed in a lengthy memorandum, the text of which has been preserved by Mathieu Paris, the historian. It is not known whether St. Louis affixed his signature to it, but in any case, this document was simply a request asking for the suppression of the abuses, with no pretensions to laying down principles of public right, as was claimed by the Pragmatic Sanction.

    Documents prove that St. Louis did not lend an ear to the grievances of his clergy against the emissaries of Urban IV and Clement IV; he even allowed Clement IV to generalize a custom in 1265 according to which the benefices the titularies of which died while sojourning in Rome, should be disposed of by the pope. Docile to the decrees of the Lateran Council (1215), according to which kings were not to tax the churches of their realm without authority from the pope, St. Louis claimed and obtained from successive popes, in view of the crusade, the right to levy quite heavy taxes from the clergy. It is again this fundamental idea of the crusade, ever present in St. Louis's thoughts that prompted his attitude generally in the struggle between the empire and the pope. While the Emperor Frederick II and the successive popes sought and contended for France's support, St. Louis's attitude was at once decided and reserved. On the one hand he did not accept for his brother Robert of Artois, the imperial crown offered him by Gregory IX in 1240. In his correspondence with Frederick he continued to treat him as a sovereign, even after Frederick had been excommunicated and declared dispossessed of his realms by Innocent IV at the Council of Lyons, 17 July, 1245. But on the other hand, in 1251, the king compelled Frederick to release the French archbishops taken prisoners by the Pisans, the emperor's auxiliaries, when on their way in a Genoese fleet to attend a general council at Rome. In 1245, he conferred at length, at Cluny, with Innocent IV who had taken refuge in Lyons in December, 1244, to escape the threats of the emperor, and it was at this meeting that the papal dispensation for the marriage of Charles Anuou, brother of Louis IX, to Beatrix, heiress of Provençe was granted and it was then that Louis IX and Blanche of Castile promised Innocent IV their support. Finally, when in 1247 Frederick II took steps to capture Innocent IV at Lyons, the measures Louis took to defend the pope were one of the reasons which caused the emperor to withdraw. St. Louis looked upon every act of hostility from either power as an obstacle to accomplishing the crusade. In the quarrel over investitures, the king kept on friendly terms with both, not allowing the emperor to harass the pope and never exciting the pope against the emperor. In 1262 when Urban offered St. Louis, the Kingdom of Sicily, a fief of the Apostolic See, for one of his sons, St. Louis refused it, through consideration for the Swabian dynasty then reigning; but when Charles of Anjou accepted Urban IV's offer and went to conquer the Kingdom of Sicily, St. Louis allowed the bravest knights of France to join the expedition which destroyed the power of the Hohenstaufens in Sicily. The king hoped, doubtless, that the possession of Sicily by Charles of Anjou would be advantageous to the crusade.

    St. Louis led an exemplary life, bearing constantly in mind his mother's words: "I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin." His biographers have told us of the long hours he spent in prayer, fasting, and penance, without the knowlege of his subjects. The French king was a great lover of justice. French fancy still pictures him delivering judgements under the oak of Vincennes. It was during his reign that the "court of the king" (curia regis) was organized into a regular court of justice, having competent experts, and judicial commissions acting at regular periods. These commissions were called parlements and the history of the "Dit d'Amiens" proves that entire Christendom willingly looked upon him as an international judiciary. It is an error, however, to represent him as a great legislator; the document known as "Etablissements de St. Louis" was not a code drawn up by order of the king, but merely a collection of customs, written out before 1273 by a jurist who set forth in this book the customs of Orlians, Anjou, and Maine, to which he added a few ordinances of St. Louis. St. Louis was a patron of architecture. The Sainte Chappelle, an architectural gem, was constructed in his reign, and it was under his patronage that Robert of Sorbonne founded the "Collège de la Sorbonne," which became the seat of the theological faculty of Paris. He was renowned for his charity. The peace and blessings of the realm come to us through the poor he would say. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of the lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He founded many hospitals and houses: the House of the Felles-Dieu for reformed prostitutes; the Quinze-Vingt for 300 blind men (1254), hospitals at Pontoise, Vernon, Compihgne.

    The Enseignements (written instructions) which he left to his son Philip and to his daughter Isabel, the discourses preserved by the witnesses at judicial investigations preparatory to his canonization and Joinville's anecdotes show St. Louis to have been a man of sound common sense, posssessing indefatigable energy, graciously kind and of playful humour, and constantly guarding against the temptation to be imperious. The caricature made of him by the envoy of the Count of Gueldre: "worthless devotee, hypocritical king" was very far from the truth. On the contrary, St. Louis, through his personal qualities as well as his saintliness, increased for many centuries the prestige of the French monarchy (see FRANCE). St. Louis's canonization was proclaimed at Orvieto in 1297, by Boniface VIII. Of the inquiries in view of canonization, carried on from 1273 till 1297, we have only fragmentary reports published by Delaborde ("Memoires de la societe de l'histoire de Paris et de l'Ilea de France," XXIII, 1896) and a series of extracts compiled by Guillaume de St. Pathus, Queen Marguerite's confessor, under the title of "Vie Monseigneur Saint Loys" (Paris,1899). source: EWTN

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    TODAY'S GOSPEL: AUG. 25: Matthew 24: 42- 51

    Matthew 24: 42 - 51
    42Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
    43But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into.
    44Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
    45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
    46Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
    47Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
    48But if that wicked servant says to himself, `My master is delayed,'
    49and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken,
    50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know,
    51and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.