Friday, May 25, 2012

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRIDAY MAY 25, 2012

John 21: 15 - 19
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16 A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go."
19 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."



VATICAN : PERSON ARRESTED IN LEAK DOCUMENT SCANDAL AND OTHER NEWS


 ARREST OF VATILEAKS INDIVIDUAL -Director of the Vatican Press Office Father Federico Lombardi said that "the investigations initiated by the Gendarmerie" on the dissemination of confidential Vatican documents” have identified a person in illegal possession "of such material." The individual involved, whose identity was not revealed, is being held for further questioning.

The action was taken on the instructions of the Commission of Cardinals under the direction of the Promoter of Justice.

The Cardinalatial commission was established by Pope Benedict in the wake of recent leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media. (REPORT/IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)



POPE RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER OF CZECH REPUBLIC
Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning, Friday 25 May, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Petr Necas, prime minister of the Czech Republic. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"During the cordial discussions mention was first made of His Holiness' apostolic trip to the Czech Republic in 2009, after which attention turned to certain themes of mutual interest.
"On the subject of a draft bill on ecclesiastical property, currently being examined by the Chamber of Deputies, the hope was expressed that the legislative process would come to an equitable conclusion, so as effectively to respect the contribution the Catholic Church makes to the entire country.
"The two sides affirmed their desire to regulate relations between Church and State by means of an Agreement, and expressed their intention of maintaining regular and constructive dialogue at various institutional levels".


COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT OF THE IOR
Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy See Press Office published a communique concerning the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), the text of which is given below:
"On 24 May members the Supervisory Board of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) met for their regular meeting. One of the topics on the agenda was, once again, the matter regarding the governance of the Institute. Over time this area had generated increasing worries among the members of the board and, despite repeated efforts to communicate these concerns to Prof. Gotti Tedeschi, president of the IOR, the situation deteriorated further.
"Following discussion of the issues, the board members voted unanimously in favour of a motion expressing no confidence in the president for not having carried out various responsibilities of primary importance regarding his office. On this basis, the following statement was issued:
"'During the regular meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), at 2 p.m. on 24 May 2012 this board adopted a motion of no confidence in President Gotti Tedeschi and recommended the cessation of his mandate as president and member of the board.
"'The board members are saddened by the events which led to this vote of no confidence, but believe that this action is important in order to maintain the vitality of the institute.
"'The board is now looking ahead to the search for a new and distinguished president who can assist the IOR to regain effective and wider relations between the institute and the financial community, based on the shared respect of accepted international banking standards'.
"On Friday the Commission of Cardinals will assess the consequences of the motion taken by the board and decide on the most appropriate steps to be taken in the future".

INDULGENCES FOR THE SEVENTH WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES
Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - The Apostolic Penitentiary today issued a decree granting Indulgences to faithful for the seventh World Meeting of Families, due to be held in Milan, Italy, from 30 May to 3 June.
The decree explains that, in order to help the faithful in their spiritual preparations for the event, Benedict XVI grants Indulgences so that, "truly penitent and stimulated by charity, they may dedicate themselves to the sanctification of the family, following the model of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph".
Plenary Indulgence is granted under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) "to faithful who, completely detached from any form of sin, devoutly participate in one of the celebrations to be held during the World Meeting of Families, and in its solemn conclusion".
Faithful who are unable to participate in the event may nonetheless obtain Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions if, "spiritually bonded to the faithful gathered in Milan, they recite the Our Father, the Creed and other devout prayers calling on Divine Mercy to grant the aforementioned ends, particularly when the words of the Pontiff are transmitted by radio and television".
Partial Indulgence is granted to the faithful "whenever, during that period, they pray with a contrite heart for the good of families".
The decree, signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, mentions the theme of the forthcoming meeting - "The Family: Work and Celebration" - and notes that the event will serve to examine how to reconcile the needs of the family with those of work and rest, especially on Sunday, "day of the Lord and day of man, day of the family and of the community".

AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, accompanied by Archbishop Joseph William Tobin C.SS.R., secretary of the congregation.
This evening he is scheduled to received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Abeokuta, Nigeria, as archbishop of Lagos (area 3,345, population 5,421,000, Catholics 2,488,000, priests 278, religious 432), Nigeria. He succeeds Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Gert Melville, professor of mediaeval history at the University of Dresden, Germany, as a member of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

AMERICA : MIRACLE BABY BORN AT 9 OUNCES HEALTHY

A MIRACLE BABY born weighing only 9 ounces is doing well. Kenna Moore was born 16 weeks pre-mature. She is the 4th smallest baby in the world to survive. She spent 4 months in the ICU of Charlotte, North Carolina's Presbyterian Hospital. She now weighs 3 1/2 pounds. She is due to be sent home soon. This defies the prognoses of the Doctors. (image source: google.com/growingyourbaby.com)

EUROPE : NEW FILM ELEFANTE BLANCO AT CANNES

A new film called "Elefante Blanco" has been well received at Cannes. It was made by Argentine director Pablo Trapero. It chronicles the actions of 2 priests named Father Julian (Ricardo Darín) and Father Nicolas (Jérémie Renier). They find a 'white elephant' in Buenos Aires. The two work tirelessly for the poor and rejected.


Martina Gusman plays a social worker who helps them.This film is dedicated to Father Carlo Mugica who was assasinated in Argentina in 1974 by the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina.

AUSTRALIA : YEAR OF GRACE OFFICIAL FREE RESOURCES

evan_bannerARCHDIOCESE OF PERTH REPORT:
Article: B Spinks; Video: F D’souza, The Faith Centre
A Year of Grace is a challenge to spend time getting to know and love Christ so that we can make his face shine to those around us, Archbishop Costelloe SDB said in an online message released today to coincide with A Year of Grace launch on Pentecost Sunday, 27 May at St Mary’s Cathedral at 5pm.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: www.thefaith.org.au

A Year of Grace is, at its heart, a call and an invitation to be and become more and more a disciple of Jesus, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said.
It is a call to really come to know him more deeply and to love him more completely – in other words to put him at the heart of our lives where he really belongs,” he said.
Knowing and loving Jesus will in turn lead us to serve him more faithfully, he said.
“When we know him, and love him and serve him, we really will be his disciples and we really will make his face shine before the people of our own time,” he said.
Sadly, the members of the Church are not always successful in this mission due our own weakness and sinfulness and the frequency of getting caught up in the various issues and challenges facing the Church, the Archbishop said.
“This is why Pope John Paul II has said very directly that we, as the Church, need to get our priorities right,” he said.
“The witness of Christ that we are called to give, he says, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated the face of Christ,” he said.
This Year of Grace is an opportunity to put Christ at the centre of our own lives, and to get to know and love him personally so we can offer him to others, he said.
“If we want to be in a position to respond to all the challenges we face, then the very best thing we can do is start afresh from Christ and make Christ the centre of our lives, of our initiatives, of our hopes and dreams for our Church, for our society and for our world,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
It was this question posed by Bl John Paul II in the year 2000, which prompted the Catholic Bishops of Australia to promulgate A Year of Grace: “Is it not the Church’s task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make his face shine also before the generations of the new millennium?”
The Church is still challenged by this question today, the Perth Archbishop said.
In John Paul II’s thinking, the Archbishop said, the Church is a people, a community, who are called by God to make the face of Christ shine for the people of our own time and place.
Archbishop Costelloe extended the following invitation and practical advice for A Year of Grace.
He offered many simple ways in which we can meet Christ and have a real relationship with him:
  • Come to know Christ once again by meeting him in the pages of the Gospels,
  • Open yourselves to him by finding him in the celebration of the Eucharist,
  • Encounter him by entering into moments of prayer and meditation,
  • Rediscover him by tracing the pattern of his presence and his love in your life,
  • Spend time with him in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament,
  • Share your discovery and your experience of him with others.
“If we all do this Christ will shape our minds and hearts so that we can recognize him and meet him in others and serve him in them,” he said.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: http://tinyurl.com/bnfbwga

AFRICA : KENYA : MATERCARE HOSPITAL OFFICIAL OPEN

CISA NEWS REPORT:
CISA
ISIOLO, May 22, 2012 (CISA) -President Emilio Mwai Kibaki officially opened the Isiolo MaterCare Referral Hospital, built by the Isiolo Catholic Diocese in conjunction with MaterCare International, on Saturday May 19.
In his speech, the President praised the Catholic Church for the role it has played and continues to play in helping the government provide healthcare services to Kenyan citizens through the establishment of health centers and clinics.
Furthermore, he praised Mater Care International for their generous contribution towards the health sector and maternal mortality in the region. He stated that the government is fully developing the maternal and reproductive healthcare sector in order for the country to be able to achieve its Millennium Development Goals.
The president also demanded for an investigation into the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) that is plagued with scandals and allegations of corruption and misuse of funds. He promised that the government will deal with individuals who are found misappropriating funds. “We must never compromise the health of our citizens because of greed and schemes meant to put money in the pockets of people who have no capacity to deliver health services to the people,” Kibaki said.
Bishop Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC, of Isiolo Diocese dearly thanked the Matercare International and its founder and executive director Dr Robert Walley and for tirelessly sourcing for funds to construct the hospital as a tribute to Blessed John Paul II and the late Bishop Luigi Locati. “We pray that the Lord continues to bless you and the benefactors especially the well wishers from Canada and the Italian Episcopal Conference for your generosity,” he said.
“The Chinese have a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. My memory goes several years ago when we begun this noble journey to realize this noble project. The patron Saint of Matercare Gianna Buretta Mola a mother, a daughter, a wife and a doctor died while giving birth. This moved the health professionals to dedicate their talents to the care of mothers and babies both born and unborn through the initiatives of services, training, research and advocacy which are intended to reduce the tragically high rates of maternal mortality, morbidity and abortion. We thus believe that never again should a mother die giving birth,” emphasized bishop Mukobo.
The bishop appreciated the government’s vision to make Isiolo a resort city. “In line with the Social Pillar of the vision 2030 whose aim is to have a just and cohesive society, enjoying equitable social development in a clean and secure environment, it is our wish Your Excellency, that security be given a first priority in Isiolo, as well as in the entire nation since there can be no real development without lasting peace and there can be no lasting peace without justice” he added.
Bishop Mukobo concluded with an appeal to all the residents of Isiolo to reconcile and remain in harmony especially during this election mood period.
Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o, in a speech read on his behalf by Prof George Saitoti said that only 28 per cent of Isiolo County’s mothers deliver babies at hospitals or with a medical doctors’ assistance.
MaterCare International is an international group of Catholic obstetricians and gynecologists that has adopted a preferential option for mothers and babies. Its mission is to carry out the work of Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life) by improving the lives and health of mothers and babies both born and unborn, through new initiatives of service, training, research, and advocacy designed to reduce the tragic levels of abortion world-wide and maternal and prenatal mortality and morbidity in developing countries.

ASIA : VIETNAM : 4 CATHOLIC ACTIVISTS SENTENCED

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by J. B. An Dang
The young people received sentences ranging from 18 to 42 months in prison, followed by a period of probation. Thousands of people attended the trial outside the court, brandishing slogans of protest. Families announce the appeal. Vietnamese bishops: the arbitrary application of the law results in aberrations.


Hanoi (AsiaNews) - A Vietnamese court has sentenced four Catholic activists of Vinh, under Article 88 of the Penal Code for distributing "anti-government leaflets" and conducting "propaganda against the state" (see AsiaNews 24/05/2012 Vietnamese Catholic activists on trial for "propaganda against the state"). The young people - college students or recent graduates - appeared yesterday before the judges of the province of Nghe An, in the north of the country. According to prosecutors, they were active in the Redemptorist News information network and volunteers of a Pro-Life movement, which is fighting for the protection of human life. Their claims of innocence during the trial and the protests of thousands of Christians activists camped outside the courthouse awaiting the verdict proved to no avail.

Local witnesses reported that Duong Van Dau received a sentence of 42 months in prison, followed by 18 months' probation, Tran Huu Duc 39 months in prison and one year of probation; Chu Manh Son 36 months in prison and one year of probation, and finally Hoang Phong, sentenced to 18 months.

In spite of months of preventive detention awaiting trial, the four activists have received support and solidarity from the Vietnamese Catholics, public opinion - which appreciates the work done for the benefit of society and the poor - and the international community. Thousands of faithful from Thai Ha and Hanoi camped outside the court, trying to gain access as per the authorities' promise of open proceedings in court.

In fact, only close relatives were allowed to attend the hearing, the majority, including Fr. Anthony Nguyen Van Nien and Fr. Francis Xavier Hoang SI Huong, Cau Ram parish, were forced to remain outside reciting rosaries and brandishing placards reading "My brother is innocent" and "We protest against the arbitrary and illegal arrests of innocent people."

The police finally decided to allow them entrance inside the outer courtyard of the court, because the protests staged outside were attracting the attention of passersby and onlookers. Immediately after the trial ended, the families of the condemned announced their intention to appeal, noting that the punishment is not comparable to the alleged "offense" committed.

In recent days, the Justice and Peace Committee of the Vietnamese bishops' conference has also intervened in the court system of the country, stressing that "if the application of the law remains arbitrary and does not the rule of law closely" it ends up causing "many aberrations, which eventually push people beyond the limits ". The bishops denounced the "arbitrary arrests", which violates both the Penal Code as well as the international conventions signed by Vietnam.

SOURCE: ASIA NEWS

NOVENA TO HOLY SPIRIT DAY 8 FOR PENTECOST


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.

DAY 8 OF NOVENA
Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!
The Gift of Wisdom
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. 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 25 ; ST. BEDE

St. Bede
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, HISTORIAN
Feast: May 25


Information:
Feast Day:May 25
Born: 672 at Wearmouth, England
Died: 25 May 735
Canonized: 1899 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:Durham Cathedral
Patron of:lectors ;english writers and historians; Jarrow
Historian and Doctor of the Church, born 672 or 673; died 735. In the last chapter of his great work on the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" Bede has told us something of his own life, and it is, practically speaking, all that we know. His words, written in 731, when death was not far off, not only show a simplicity and piety characteristic of the man, but they throw a light on the composition of the work through which he is best remembered by the world at large. He writes:

Thus much concerning the ecclesiastical history of Britain, and especially of the race of the English, I, Baeda, a servant of Christ and a priest of the monastery of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, which is at Wearmouth and at Jarrow (in Northumberland), have with the Lord's help composed so far as I could gather it either from ancient documents or from the traditions of the elders, or from my own knowledge. I was born in the territory of the said monastery, and at the age of seven I was, by the care of my relations, given to the most reverend Abbot Benedict [St. Benedict Biscop], and afterwards to Ceolfrid, to be educated. From that time I have spent the whole of my life within that monastery, devoting all my pains to the study of the Scriptures, and amid the observance of monastic discipline and the daily charge of singing in the Church, it has been ever my delight to learn or teach or write. In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate, in my thirtieth to the priesthood, both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John [St. John of Beverley], and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid. From the time of my admission to the priesthood to my present fifty-ninth year, I have endeavored for my own use and that of my brethren, to make brief notes upon the holy Scripture, either out of the works of the venerable Fathers or in conformity with their meaning and interpretation.

After this Bede inserts a list or Indiculus, of his previous writings and finally concludes his great work with the following words:

And I pray thee, loving Jesus, that as Thou hast graciously given me to drink in with delight the words of Thy knowledge, so Thou wouldst mercifully grant me to attain one day to Thee, the fountain of all wisdom and to appear forever before Thy face.

It is plain from Bede's letter to Bishop Egbert that the historian occasionally visited his friends for a few days, away from his own monastery of Jarrow, but with such rare exceptions his life seems to have been one peaceful round of study and prayer passed in the midst of his own community. How much he was beloved by them is made manifest by the touching account of the saint's last sickness and death left us by Cuthbert, one of his disciples. Their studious pursuits were not given up on account of his illness and they read aloud by his bedside, but constantly the reading was interrupted by their tears. "I can with truth declare", writes Cuthbert of his beloved master, "that I never saw with my eyes or heard with my ears anyone return thanks so unceasingly to the living God." Even on the day of his death (the vigil of the Ascension, 735) the saint was still busy dictating a translation of the Gospel of St. John. In the evening the boy Wilbert, who was writing it, said to him: "There is still one sentence, dear master, which is not written down." And when this had been supplied, and the boy had told him it was finished, "Thou hast spoken truth", Bede answered, "it is finished. Take my head in thy hands for it much delights me to sit opposite any holy place where I used to pray, that so sitting I may call upon my Father." And thus upon the floor of his cell singing, "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost" and the rest, he peacefully breathed his last breath.

The title Venerabilis seems to have been associated with the name of Bede within two generations after his death. There is of course no early authority for the legend repeated by Fuller of the "dunce-monk" who in composing an epitaph on Bede was at a loss to complete the line: Hac sunt in fossa Bedae . . . . ossa and who next morning found that the angels had filled the gap with the word venerabilis. The title is used by Alcuin, Amalarius and seemingly Paul the Deacon, and the important Council of Aachen in 835 describes him as venerabilis et modernis temporibus doctor admirabilis Beda. This decree was specially referred to in the petition which Cardinal Wiseman and the English bishops addressed to the Holy See in 1859 praying that Bede might be declared a Doctor of the Church. The question had already been debated even before the time of Benedict XIV, but it was only on 13 November, 1899, that Leo XIII decreed that the feast of Venerable Bede with the title of Doctor Ecclesiae should be celebrated throughout the Church each year on 27 May. A local cultus of St. Bede had been maintained at York and in the North of England throughout the Middle Ages, but his feast was not so generally observed in the South, where the Sarum Rite was followed.

Bede's influence both upon English and foreign scholarship was very great, and it would probably have been greater still but for the devastation inflicted upon the Northern monasteries by the inroads of the Danes less than a century after his death. In numberless ways, but especially in his moderation, gentleness, and breadth of view, Bede stands out from his contemporaries. In point of scholarship he was undoubtedly the most learned man of his time. A very remarkable trait, noticed by Plummer (I, p. xxiii), is his sense of literary property, an extraordinary thing in that age. He himself scrupulously noted in his writings the passages he had borrowed from others and he even begs the copyists of his works to preserve the references, a recommendation to which they, alas, have paid but little attention. High, however, as was the general level of Bede's culture, he repeatedly makes it clear that all his studies were subordinated to the interpretation of Scripture. In his "De Schematibus" he says in so many words: "Holy Scripture is above all other books not only by its authority because it is Divine, or by its utility because it leads to eternal life, but also by its antiquity and its literary form" (positione dicendi). It is perhaps the highest tribute to Bede's genius that with so uncompromising and evidently sincere a conviction of the inferiority of human learning, he should have acquired so much real culture. Though Latin was to him a still living tongue, and though he does not seem to have consciously looked back to the Augustan Age of Roman Literature as preserving purer models of literary style than the time of Fortunatus or St. Augustine, still whether through native genius or through contact with the classics, he is remarkable for the relative purity of his language, as also for his lucidity and sobriety, more especially in matters of historical criticism. In all these respects he presents a marked contrast to St. Aldhelm who approaches more nearly to the Celtic type.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbede.asp#ixzz1vtN2rpR5

TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 25 : ST. MADELINE SOPHIE BARAT

St. Madeline Sophie Barat
FOUNDRESS
Feast: May 25


Information:
Feast Day:May 25
Born:12 December 1779, Joigny, France
Died:25 May 1865, Paris, France
Canonized:24 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, born at Joigny, Burgundy, 12 December, 1779; died in Paris, 24 May, 1865. She was the youngest child of Jacques Barat, a vine-dresser and cooper, and his wife, Madeleine Foufé, and received baptism the morning after her birth, her brother Louis, aged eleven, being chosen godfather. It was to this brother that she owed the exceptional education which fitted her for her life-work. Whilst her mother found her an apt pupil in practical matters, Louis saw her singular endowments of mind and heart; and when, at the age of twenty-two, he returned as professor to the seminary at Joigny, he taught his sister Latin, Greek, history, natural science, Spanish, and Italian. Soon she took delight in reading the classics in the original, and surpassed her brother's pupils at the seminary.

After the Reign of Terror, Louis called Sophie to Paris, to train her for the religious life, for which she longed. When he had joined the Fathers of the Faith, a band of fervent priests, united in the hope of becoming members of the Society of Jesus on its restoration, he one day spoke of his sister to Father Varin, to whom had been bequeathed by the saintly Léonor de Tournély the plan of founding a society of women wholly devoted to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to prayer and sacrifice, and destined to do for girls what the restored Society of Jesus would do for boys. Father Varin had vainly sought a fitting instrument to begin this work; he now found one in this modest, retiring girl of twenty. He unfolded the project, which seemed to satisfy all her aspirations, and she bowed before his authoritative declaration that this was for her the will of God. With three companions she made her first consecration, 21 November, 1800, the date which marks the foundation of the Society of the Sacred Heart. In September, 1801, the first convent was opened at Amiens, and thither Sophie went to help in the work of teaching. It was impossible yet to assume the name "Society of the Sacred Heart", lest a political significance be attached to it; its members were known as Dames de la Foi or de l'Instruction Chrétienne. Father Varin allowed Sophie to make her vows, 7 June, 1802, with Genevieve Deshayes.

The community and school were increasing, and a poor school had just been added, when it became evident to Father Varin that Mademoiselle Loquet, who had hitherto acted as superior, lacked the qualities requisite for the office, and Sophie, although the youngest, was named superior (1802). Her first act was to kneel and kiss the feet of each of her sisters. Such was ever the spirit of her government, November, 1804, found her at Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut, near Grenoble, receiving a community of Visitation nuns into her institute, One of them, Philippine Duchesne, was later to introduce the society into America. Grenoble was the first of some eighty foundations which Mother Barat was to make, not only in France but in North America (1818), Italy (1828), Switzerland (1830), Belgium (1834), Algiers (1841). England (1842), Ireland(1842), Spain (1846), Holland (1848), Germany (1851), South America (1853) Austria (1853), Poland (1857).

Mother Barat was elected superior-general in January, 1806, but a majority of one vote only, for the influence of an ambitious priest, chaplain at Amiens, wellnigh wrecked the nascent institute. Prolonged prayer, silent suffering, tact, respect, charity, were only means she used to oppose his designs. With Father Varin, now a Jesuit, she elaborated constitutions and rules grafted on the stock of the Institute of St. Ignatius. These rules were received with joy in all the houses, Amiens alone excepted; but Mother Barat's wisdom and humility soon won submission even here. In 1818 she sent Mother Duchesne, with four companions, to the New World; her strong and holy hand was ever ready to support and guide this first missioner of the Society. She called all the superiors together in council at Paris in 1820, to provide a uniform course of studies for their schools. these studies were to be solid and serious, to fit the pupils to become intelligent wives and devoted mother; to give that cultivation of mind. that formation of character, which go to make up a true women; all was to stamped and sealed with strong religious principles and devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Foundations multiplied, and Mother Barat, seeing the necessity of a stronger guarantee of unity, sought it in union with Rome. The solemn approbation was obtained much sooner than usual, owing to a memoir drawn up by the foundress and presented to Leo XII in May, 1826. The decree of approbation was promulgated in December. The society being now fully organized and sealed by Rome's approval, for forty years Mother Barat journeyed from convent to convent, wrote many thousand letters, and assembled general congregations, so as to preserve its original spirit. The Paris school gained European repute; Rome counted three establishments, asked for and blessed by three successive pontiffs. At Lyons Mother Barat founded the Congregation of the Children of Mary for former pupils and other ladies. in he same year (1832), she began at Turin the work of retreats for ladies of the world, an apostleship since widely and profitably imitated. Numerous foundations brought Mother Bart onto personal contact with all classes. We find her crossing and recrossing France, Switzerland, Italy, often on the eve of revolutions; now the centre of a society of émigrés whose intellectual gifts, high social position, and moral worth are seldom found united; now sought out by cardinals and Roman princesses during her vicits to her Roman houses; at another time, speaking on matters educational with Madame de Genlis; or again, exercising that supernatural ascendency which aroused the admiration of such men as Bishop Fraysinous, Doctor Récamier, and Duc de Rohan.
These exterior labours were far from absorbing all Mother Barat's time or energies; they coexisted with a life of ever-increasing holiness and continual prayer; for the real secret of her influence lay in her habitual seclusion from the outside world, in the strong religious formation of her daughters which this seclusion made possible, and in the enlightened, profound, ans supernatural views on education which she communicated to the religious engaged in her schools. She worked by and through them all, and thus reached out to the ends of the earth. In spite of herself she attracted and charmed all who approached her. New foundations she always entrusted to other hands; for, like all great rulers, she had the twofold gift of intuition in the choice of persons fitted for office, and trust of those in responsible posts. Allowing them much freedom of action in details, guiding them only by her counsels and usually form afar. Prelates who now and them ventured to attribute to her the successes of the society, saw that instead of pleasing, they distressed her exceedingly.

Beloved by her daughters, venerated by princes and pontiffs, yet ever lowly of heart, Mother Barat died at the mother-house in Paris, on Ascension Day, 1865, as she had foretold, after four days' illness. She was buried at Conflans, the house of novitiate, where her body was found intact in 1893. In 1879 she was declared Venerable, and the process of beatification introduced. [Note: Mother Barat was canonized in 1925.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmadelinesophiebarat.asp#ixzz1vtMnjQtX

TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 25 : ST. MARY DE PAZZI

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi
DISCALCED CARMELITE MYSTIC AND HEALER
Feast: May 25


Information:
Feast Day:May 25
Born: April 2, 1566, Florence, Italy
Died:May 25, 1607, Florence, Italy
Canonized: April 28, 1669, Rome by Pope Clement X
Patron of: Naples (co-patron)
Carmelite Virgin, born 2 April, 1566; died 25 May, 1607. Of outward events there were very few in the saint's life. She came of two noble families, her father being Camillo Geri de' Pazzi and her mother a Buondelmonti. She was baptized, and named Caterina, in the great baptistery. Her childhood much resembled that of some other women saints who have become great mystics, in an early love of prayer and penance, great charity to the poor, an apostolic spirit of teaching religious truths, and a charm and sweetness of nature that made her a general favourite. But above all other spiritual characteristics was Caterina's intense attraction towards the Blessed Sacrament, her longing to receive It, and her delight in touching and being near those who were speaking of It, or who had just been to Communion. She made her own First Communion at the age of ten, and shortly afterwards vowed her virginity to God. At fourteen she was sent to school at the convent of Cavalaresse, where she lived in so mortified and fervent a manner as to make the sisters prophesy that she would become a great saint; and, on leaving it, she told her parents of her resolve to enter the religious state. They were truly spiritual people; and, after a little difficulty in persuading them to relinquish their only daughter, she finally entered in December, 1582, the Carmelite convent of Santa Maria degl' Angeli, founded by four Florentine ladies in 1450 and renowned for its strict observance. Her chief reason for choosing this convent was the rule there followed of daily Communion.

Caterina was clothed in 1583, when she took the name of Maria Maddalena; and on 29 May, 1584, being then so ill that they feared she would not recover, she was professed. After her profession, she was subject to an extraordinary daily ecstasy for forty consecutive days, at the end of which time she appeared at the point of death. She recovered, however, miraculously; and henceforth, in spite of constant bad health, was able to fill with energy the various offices to which she was appointed. She became, in turn, mistress ofexterns--i.e. of girls coming to the convent on trial--teacher and mistress of the juniors, novice mistress (which post she held for six years), and finally, in 1604, superior. For five years (1585-90) God allowed her to be tried by terrible inward desolation and temptations, and by external diabolic attacks; but the courageous severity and deep humility of the means that she took for overcoming these only served to make her virtues shine more brilliantly in the eyes of her community.

From the time of her clothing with the religious habit till her death the saint's life was one series of raptures and ecstasies, of which only the most notable characteristics can be named in a short notice.

* First, these raptures sometimes seized upon her whole being with such force as to compel her to rapid motion (e.g. towards some sacred object).

* Secondly, she was frequently able, whilst in ecstasy, to carry on work belonging to her office--e.g., embroidery, painting, etc.--with perfect composure and efficiency.

* Thirdly--and this is the point of chief importance--it was whilst in her states of rapture that St. Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi gave utterance to those wonderful maxims of Divine Love, and those counsels of perfection for souls, especially in the religious state, which a modern editor of a selection of them declares to be "more frequently quoted by spiritual writers than those even of St. Teresa". These utterances have been preserved to us by the saint's companions, who (unknown to her) took them down from her lips as she poured them forth. She spoke sometimes as of herself, and sometimes as themouthpiece of one or other of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity. These maxims of the saint are sometimes described as her "Works", although she wrote down none of them herself.

This ecstatic life in no wise interfered with the saint's usefulness in her community. She was noted for her strong common-sense, as well as for the high standard and strictness of her government, and was most dearly loved to the end of her life by all for the spirit of intense charity that accompanied her somewhat severe code of discipline. As novice-mistress she was renowned for a miraculous gift of reading her subjects' hearts--which gift, indeed, was not entirely confined to her community. Many miracles, both of this and of other kinds, she performed for the benefit either of her own convent or of outsiders. She often saw things far off, and is said once to have supernaturally beheld St. Catherine de' Ricci in her convent at Prato, reading a letter that she had sent her and writing the answer; but the two saints never met in a natural manner. To St. Mary Magdalen's numerous penances, and to the ardent love of suffering that made her genuinely wish to live long in order to suffer with Christ, we can here merely refer; but it must not be forgotten that she was one of the strongest upholders of the value of suffering for the love of God and the salvation of our fellow-creatures, that ever lived. Her death was fully in accordance with her life in this respect, for she died after an illness of nearly threeyears' duration and of indescribable painfulness, borne with heroic joy to the end. Innumerable miracles followed the saint's death, and the process for her beatification was begun in 1610 under Paul V, and finished under Urban VIII in 1626. She was not, however, canonized till sixty-two years after her death, when Clement IX raised her to the altars in 28 April, 1669. Her feast is kept on 27 May.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmarymagdalendepazzi.asp#ixzz1vtMclWS2