Saturday, May 19, 2012

VATICAN : POPE : HEART OF CHRISTIAN - TRUE GIVING


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: The Ecclesial Movement of Cultural Engagement, the Federation of Christian Organizations for International Voluntary Service and the Movement of Christian Workers are a group of Italian based lay associations founded between 1932 and 1972. Their mission is to spread the Gospel through voluntary work which includes aiding those in need both in Italy and in other countries throughout the world, as well as defending human rights, promoting social justice and education.

Speaking to the three Associations gathered on the occasion of their respective anniversaries, Pope Benedict underlined that fact that their establishment can be attributed to the inspiration of Pope Paul the VI who as a priest and then Pope had been a vocal supporter of ecclesial associations such as these.

The Holy Father stressed the importance of the laity to the church in both the private and public sphere of society, adding that their selfless contribution was vital in the promotion of cultural action, human dignity and aiding those in need.

The Pope also told those present volunteering in whatever field it may be, was an irreplaceable resource and the true meaning of being Christian.

True giving, said Pope Benedict, is not something laid down by law or an economic acquisition.

In fact, the Holy Father explained it is the economy, and politics that is in need of people capable of mutual giving

AUSTRALIA : NATIONAL YEAR OF GRACE

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
18 May 2012



Bishop Peter here........"Grace-line"
A national Year of Grace will begin on Sunday week but it is not a "Year" during which we have to rush around, preparing and trying to accomplish a bucket load of goals.
It is more a time to just take a break, in fact small, regular breaks - for grace.
We are being encouraged to start afresh, to experience anew the gift of the Holy Spirit.
"We Catholics are prone to wrongly imagining that we need to do lots and lots of good things before God will recognise us, and before we will receive His gifts," Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Bishop Peter Comensoli says.
"This is not really the case. God is always present, always there for us, offering the gift of His loving self.
"So all we need to do is to receive this overflowing gift of grace, to recognise His loving presence in that gift, and thereby respond to him in thanksgiving."
During the Year of Grace, which will run from Pentecost Sunday this year to Pentecost 2013, there will be many helpful resources on the national website (www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au)
As well as on the Archdiocese website and xt3.com
There will also be regular updates and "Grace Notes" in your local parish. You can also text your name to our special "Graceline" on 0407 621 609 to receive regular updates throughout the year.

ASIA : CHINA : ACTIVIST CHEN LEAVES FOR USA

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
It was announced by the dissident this morning. "I do not have a passport. I do not know when I will leave. I think I'll go to New York." Thus the events that began on April 26 with the daring escape of the blind activist, come to an end.


Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The blind dissident Chen Guangcheng is at the airport in Beijing and is waiting to leave for the United States. He announced as much this morning. "I'm at the airport. I do not have a passport. I don't know when I will be leaving. I think I'm going to New York"- he told AFP.

According to Chen, the Chinese authorities will give his passport directly to U.S. officials to fill out a visa for the U.S. before handing it over to him.

Chen, known worldwide for his battles against forced abortions and illegal expropriation of land, and his family were informed Saturday to "pack your bags and be ready to leave China" for the United States. The same activist reported the news to ChinaAid's president, Bob Fu, on Saturday.

This morning, a photographer who was outside the hospital where Chen was hospitalized reported seeing a motorcade leaving the building.

Chen Guangcheng's case exploded last April 26, when the dissident succeeded in escaping from the illegal house arrest that had been imposed on him by the regime after four years in prison. Chen took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, sparking a diplomatic battle between Beijing and Washington, engaged in the annual bilateral economic talks. After two days, the dissident left the embassy with the reassurance of being able to leave the country and was hospitalized.

AFRICA : BURUNDI : APPREHENSION OF FATE OF JOURNALIST

CISA NEWS REPORT -The journalists’ fraternity in the Eastern Africa Region has expressed apprehension over the fate of Burundi journalist Hassan Ruvakuki ahead of a court verdict due on May 20, 2012 following a prolonged trial.
Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) which brings together journalists unions and associations from 10 countries in the region has called for the immediate release of the journalist saying his arrest and trial was “politically motivated and an affront to press freedom”.
“We have followed the case closely and are convinced that the journalist’s arrest and trial is political. We urge the Burundi authorities to head our appeal and that of the entire international community to terminate the case against the journalist and release him immediately,” Said EAJA Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
The Provincial High Court in Cankuzo Province more than 100 kilometers from the capital, Bujumbura, which has been presiding over the journalist’s trial, is due to deliver its verdict on May 20, amid fear that it may sentence the journalist to a life in prison.
The journalist was arrested in November 2011 shortly after a visit to neighboring Tanzania where he interviewed a leader of a rebel group. The Burundian government accused him of complicity with “terrorists” and denies the existence of any rebels.
The journalist, who was working with a local radio station, Bonesha FM and was also a correspondent for Radio France International (RFI), was presented in court on May 10, 2012 for the final hearing during which the prosecution made a spirited argument for a life sentence for the scribe and others facing similar charges.
The death penalty has been abolished in Burundi which leaves the life sentence as the harshest punishment that can be meted out by the Burundian courts.
The Union of Burundi Journalist (UBJ), an affiliate of EAJA, today reported that the trial of the journalist and the pending court verdict had led to “a cloud of fear and uncertainty within the local journalists’ fraternity.”
UBJ President Alexandre Niyungeko said the case against the journalist amounted to “persecution of journalists and an attempt to intimidate the media into silence.”
This latest case of arrest and prosecution of a journalist doing his work casts a negative shadow on Burundi as a consistent violator of press freedom given that this happened less than a year after it arrested and detained another journalist Jean Claude Kavumbagu for eight months from 2010 to mid 2011, when he was released after an international campaign.
SOURCE: CISA NEWS AFRICA

AMERICA : DOMINICAN REPUBLIC : PRAYER VIGIL FOR ELECTIONS

Agenzia Fides REPORT – The Episcopal Conference of the Dominican Republic has exhorted all citizens to vote according to conscience at the Presidential elections next Sunday, 20 May. The Bishops also asked them to pray that, after the elections, “the will of the people, expressed in the ballot-boxes, be respected by all the political parties and their candidates.” In the same communication, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Bishops also invited the Catholic faithful to take part in a day of prayer and reflection which will take place Saturday 19, the day before the elections.
The Bishops, after recalling their Appeal of 27 February on the duty to exercise the right to vote, ask the help of the Lord for the election of the new President and invite the priests and those responsible in centres of worship to organize the Day of Prayer well for this intention. The communication concludes, “invoking peace for that day, harmonious relationships and respect for the liberty of conscience, so that after the elections, the will of the people may be respected by all parties and candidates”. Invoking the blessing of Our Lady of Altagrazia, the Bishops invoke the protection of the Lord for the Dominican people. (CE) (Agenzia Fides,16/5/2012)

EUROPE : INAUGURATION OF ST. AUGUSTINE'S SHRINE

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT;
Kent: Inauguration of St Augustine's Shrine | Archbishop Peter Smith, Southwark,official shrine of St Augustine

St Augustine's Church, Ramsgate
Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark will formally inaugurate the official shrine of St Augustine at Pugin’s personal church in Ramsgate in Kent this Sunday, to mark the beginning of St Augustine’s week – a week of Catholic history and culture.

The inauguration will take place at St Augustine’s Church at 6.30pm on Sunday, 20 May, during Vespers and Benediction. During this week of major celebration there will a number of historical and cultural events including talks and lectures inside the church as well as walks, visits and processions.

The last shrine of Augustine was destroyed in the 16th century. A shrine to St Augustine existed on the Isle of Thanet before the Reformation and so this new place of pilgrimage recovers an ancient tradition. St Augustine’s is a Catholic church already dedicated to the saint and stands closer than any other to the place of Augustine’s landing, his first preaching and his momentous encounter with King Ethelbert of Kent in 597AD.

The official decree for the foundation of the new shrine was made on 1 March. This is fittingly Pugin’s birthday and recently the day of popular bicentenary celebrations in his honour. This day links the erection of the shrine with the church’s founder who is buried within. The cult of St Augustine is fully in tune with the heart and mind of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852). He states in his letters that he selected the Ramsgate site because ‘blessed Austin landed nearby’ and he personally chose the dedication name and wanted the church to be a memorial to the founding identity of Christian England and its early saints.

There already exists a strong local interest and devotion to the saint. His feast day each year in celebrated in Ramsgate but this will be the first time in 500 years that Augustine will be honoured in an official shrine. It is hoped that the celebrations will encourage more pilgrims to journey to Thanet from all over England and beyond to learn about the conversion of the English and the beginnings of Christianity in this land.

St Augustine’s already attracts a huge number of Christians from other churches and communities who are interested in learning about common roots in the faith of Christ. Many secular visitors come to enjoy the architecture, the art and the atmosphere of the place. Local schools have a visiting programme and come to learn about the saints and about Pugin. The church is adorned with a collection of images of St Augustine in the finest stone and stained glass including a ‘Hardman Powell’ series of windows above Pugin’s tomb relating the story of Augustine’s mission and especially the moment of setting foot on a land explicitly demarcated as ‘Thanet’.

Fr Marcus Holden, parish priest and custodian of St Augustine’s commented: "We are delighted that this year’s St Augustine’s week will start with the inauguration of his Shrine. We hope that we will attract more visitors to come and enjoy visiting Pugin’s favourite church. We are still trying to rescue the church as a great work of architecture and there is still much to do, but the shrine gives the church a fitting spiritual significance and will help us to continue to restore the site.”

The church is presently being restored and brought back to its former glory and major celebrations are planned this year surrounding the feast day of St Augustine. The shrine will highlight the close bond between Rome and England as St Augustine was sent on his mission directly by Pope Gregory the Great.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE: SAT. MAY 19, 2012


John 16: 23 - 28
23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.
24 Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father.
26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.
28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA DAY 2 FOR PENTECOST


NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR PENTECOST DAY 2
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)
Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!
The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."
Prayer
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)




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TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 19 : ST. CELESTINE V

St. Celestine V
POPE
Feast: May 19


Information:
Feast Day:May 19
Born:1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
Died:19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Canonized:1313
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.

Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.

A spirit of retirement, or a love of holy solitude and its exercises, and an habitual interior recollection, are essential to piety and a true Christian life. Some, by a particular call of God, dedicate themselves to his service in a state of perfect solitude, in which the first motive may be self-defence of preservation. In the world, snares are laid everywhere for us, and its lusts often endeavor to court and betray us, and the torrent of its example, or the violence of its persecutions, to drive and force us into death. Whoever, therefore, prudently fears that he is not a match for so potent an enemy, may, nay sometimes ought, to retire from the world. This is not to decline the service of God or man, but sin and danger: it is not to prefer ease and security before industry and labor, but before a rash presumption and a fatal overthrow. But entire solitude is a safer state only to those who are animated with such a love and esteem for all its exercises as give an assurance of their constant fervor in them; also who seriously cultivate interior solitude of mind, and will never suffer it to gad abroad after the objects of worldly affairs, vanities, or pleasures: lastly, whose souls are free from envy, emulation, ambition, desire of esteem, and all other busy and turbulent passions, which cannot fail by desires and hankerings to discompose the mind, and muddy the pure stream, and adulterate the relish of a retired life. The soul must be reduced to its native purity and simplicity, before it will be able to taste the blessings of true liberty, of regular devotion, and elevated meditation.

Secondly: An indication that God designs certain persons for retirement, is the discovery of talents fitted for this state rather than for any public station. For there are active and contemplative gifts. Those who are destined by heaven to a retired life, in it become most eminently serviceable to the world, by proving excellent examples of innocence, and the perfect spirit of every Christian virtue, and by their prayers and continual pure homages of praise and thanksgivings to God, from which others may reap far more valuable benefits than from the labors of the learned or the bountiful alms of the rich. Thus the world never loses a member, but enjoys Its service in its proper place, and the most effectual manner, says an ingenious Protestant writer; who adds, that such a one retires not from the world to avoid its service, but its fooleries.

Thirdly: The same author observes, that the main end of retirement ought always to be to dedicate ourselves entirely to God by the exercises of compunction and holy contemplation. This may be easily demonstrated both from reason and religion, and from the examples of so many illustrious saints. Retirement is recommended by particular motives to persons who, after going through the station of a public life, are at liberty to embrace it in order to fit themselves for eternity.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcelestinev.asp#ixzz1vJN97PlQ

TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 19 : ST. CRISPIN OF VITERBO

St. Crispin of Viterbo
FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER
Feast: May 19


Information:
Feast Day:May 19
Born:13 November 1668, Viterbo
Died: 19 May 1750, Rome
Canonized:20 June 1982 by Pope John Paul II
Friar Minor Capuchin; b. at Viterbo in 1668; d. at Rome, 19 May, 1750. When he was five years old, his pious mother took him to a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, a short distance from Viterbo, where she consecrated him to the Mother of God and placed him under her special protection. The child grew beyond his years in virtue and science of the saints; so that the townsfold of Viterbo were wont to call him il Santarello, the little saint. As Crispin one day saw the Capuchin novices walking in procession, God inspired him with the desire to embrace the religious life. He was shortly afterwards received into the Franciscan Order as a simple lay brother. Having been employed for some time as cook in the convent at Viterbo, he was sent to Tolfa, a town not far distant from Civita Becchia, to fulfil the same office. Thence he was sent to Rome and finally to Albano. Here Crispin was visited by the men of the world, by bishops and cardinals, and even by the pope himself, who always took delight in conversing with the humble lay brother. It was Crispin's constant endeavour to imitate the virtues of his patron, St. Felix of Cantalice, whom he had chosen as his model of perfection at the beginning of his religious life. Like St. Felix, he used to call himself the ass or beat of burden of the Capuchins, and, having on one occasion been asked by a stranger why he went bare-headed, Crispin answered jocosely, that "an ass does not wear a hat." Enfeebled by old age and by his numerous austerities, he was sent to Rome by his superiors, there to end his holy life. His body, which even at the present time is still in a remarkable state of preservation, rests under one of the side altars in the church of the Capuchin Fathers in Rome. Blessed Crispin was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius VII in 1806. His feat is celebrated only by the Capuchins.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcrispinofviterbo.asp#ixzz1vJMxOsyF