Friday, August 22, 2014

Saint August 23 : St. Rose of Lima : Patron of Gardeners and Latin America

  

Information:
Feast Day:
August 23
Born:
April 20, 1586, Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
Died:
August 24, 1617, Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
Canonized:
April 2, 1671, Rome by Pope Clement X
Major Shrine:
convent of Santo Domingo in Lima, Peru
Patron of:
embroiderers; gardeners; India; Latin America; people ridiculed for their piety; Peru; Philippines; Santa Rosa, California; against vanity; Lima; Peruvian Police Force
Rose of Lima has a special claim on our interest for she has the honor of being the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Church. Only a little more than half a century before her birth, the fabulous land of Peru had been discovered and seized for Spain by the explorer Francisco Pizarro. In 1533 this enterprising conquistador subdued the native population and took over as his capital the   inland city of Cuzco, with its strange Inca temples, palaces, and great fortress. Two years later the seat of government was transferred to Lima, a city on the coast, which came to be called the "royal city of kings," because of its architectural splendors. Dominican friars and the representatives of other religious orders were in the vanguard of a great migration from Spain and Portugal that meant a long, dangerous journey across the Atlantic, across the Isthmus of Panama, and down the western coast of South America. To implant Christianity in the new empire was a major aim; while the civilian population, European and native, were working the mines and raising products for export, the friars and priests were intensely active. They taught, preached, learned the native languages, tried to win the love and confidence of the Indians, and soon were engaged in building churches, hospitals, and schools.
The child who became St. Rose of Lima was born on April 20 1586, of a Spaniard, Gaspar de Flores, and Maria d'Olivia, a woman who had Inca blood in her veins. The infant, one of ten children born to the couple, was baptized Isabel, after an aunt, Isabel de Herrara, who acted as godmother. This ceremony took place at home, for the baby was extremely weak. Several weeks later the tiny infant was carried to the nearby church of San Sebastian for baptism by the priest, Don Antonio Polanco. By the time she was confirmed by Archbishop Toribio of Lima, the name Isabel had been replaced by Rose, and this was the name now bestowed on her. Rose had a fresh, lovely complexion, and she was worried by the thought that this name had been given as a tribute to her beauty. So sensitive was her conscience that she had genuine scruples over bearing the name, and on one occasion, after hearing someone praise her comeliness, she rubbed pepper into her face to mar it; another time, she put lime on her hands, inducing acute suffering. This was her way-a way conditioned by the time and place-of fighting a temptation to vanity. Such self-imposed cruelties, as we have seen in the lives of some of the other saints, have not been uncommon, particularly among those of a mystical bent.
Rose seems to have taken for her model St. Catherine of Siena, and, like the earlier saint, she experienced so ardent a love of God whenever she was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament that exaltation completely filled her soul. Yet Rose was not without a practical side. Her father had been well-to-do, but when he lost money in mining ventures, the family's fortunes reached a very low ebb. Rose helped out by selling her fine needlework; she also raised beautiful flowers and these too were taken to market. One of her brothers, Ferdinand, was sympathetic and understanding toward this sister who was so markedly "different." As she grew to maturity, her parents were anxious to have Rose marry, and indeed there were several worthy aspirants for her hand. Rose did not wish marriage, and, to end the arguments and offers, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, donned the habit, and took a vow of perpetual virginity.
For many years Rose lived virtually as a recluse. There was a little hut in the family garden, and this she used as an oratory. She often wore on her head a circlet of silver studded on the inside with sharp points, in memory of the Lord's crown of thorns. Other forms of penitence which she inflicted on her body were floggings, administered three times daily, the wearing of a hair shirt, and the dragging of a heavy, wooden cross about the garden. She rubbed her lips with gall and often chewed bitter herbs to deaden the sense of taste. Both eating and sleeping were reduced to a minimum. Naturally her health was affected, but the physical disorders which resulted from this regime-stomach ailments, asthma, rheumatism, and fevers-were suffered uncomplainingly. This manner of life offended her family, who preferred their daughter to follow the more conventional and accepted ways of holiness. Finally, when Rose began to tell of visions, revelations, visitations, and voices they deplored her penitential practices   more than ever. She endured their disapproval and grew in spiritual fortitude.
In spite of the rigors of her ascetic life, Rose was not wholly detached from happenings around her, and her awareness of the suffering of others often led her to protest against some of the practices of the Spanish overlords. In the new world, the discovery of unbelievable mineral resources was doing little to enrich or ennoble the lives of the Peruvian natives. The gold and silver from this land of El Dorado was being shipped back to strengthen the empire and embellish the palaces and cathedrals of Old Spain, but at its source there was vice, exploitation, and corruption. The natives were oppressed and impoverished, in spite of the missionaries' efforts to alleviate their miseries and to exercise a restraining hand on the governing class. Rose was cognizant of the evils, and spoke out against them fearlessly. Sometimes she brought sick and hungry persons into her own home that she might better care for them.
For fifteen years Rose bore the disapproval and persecution of those close to her, as well as the more severe trial of desolation of soul. At length an examination by priests and physicians was indicated, and this resulted in the judgment that her experiences were indeed supernatural. Rose's last years were passed in the home of a government official, Don Gonzalo de Massa. During an illness towards the end of her life, she was able to pray, "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Thy love in my heart." This remarkable woman died on August 25, 1617, at the age of thirty-one.
Not until after her death was it known how widely her beneficent influence had extended, and how deeply venerated she was by the common people of Lima. When her body was borne down the street to the cathedral, a great cry of mourning arose from the crowd. For several days it was impossible to perform the ritual of burial on account of the great press of sorrowing citizens around her bier. She was finally laid to rest in the Dominican convent at Lima. Later, when miracles and cures were being attributed to her intervention, the body was transferred to the church of San Domingo. There it reposes today in a special chapel. Rose of Lima was declared patroness of South America and the Philippines; she was canonized by Pope Clement in 1671, August 30 being appointed her feast-day. This holy woman is highly honored in all Spanish-American countries. The emblems associated with her are an anchor, a crown of roses, and a city. SOURCE : EWTN


Pope Francis Phones Parents of Journalist Killed by Isis - James Foley

Pope Francis calls the family of journalist James Foley
22/08/
(Vatican Radio) In the midst of their irreplaceable loss, the parents of slain journalist James Foley who was killed this week by the Islamic State group in Syria, were called by Pope Francis who consoled them for their loss and assured them of his prayers.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi confirmed the pope made a private call on Thursday in English to Diane and John Foley who, according to Amercian Jesuit James Martin were said to have been "moved and grateful" for the Pope’s gesture. James Foley was born and raised into a Catholic family in Rochester  in the U.S. state of the New Hampshire. This week they were being comforted Fr Paul Gousse, of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary who spoke of the Holy Father’s phone call.
“Having the Pope himself call the family to express his sympathy and condolences I think is huge for them", he said.
The 40 year old journalist was working in Syria when he was abducted two years ago. He was a man on mission to as he put it  “expose the untold stories” in areas of conflict.
Another area of conflict he was drawn to was Libya in 2011 where he was also kidnapped.
Writing in the newspaper of his old Alma Mater, the Jesuit run Marquette University, following his release, he recounted how he began praying the Rosary during his imprisonment, adding “ it helped to keep my mind focused.”
Speaking following their son’s death Diane and John Foley talked about their faith and said they were proud that James had done God’s work.
"We know Jimmy's free." "He's finally free. And we know he's in God's hands...and we know he's in heaven."
A Mass in remembrance of James Foley is scheduled to be held on Sunday in his hometown of Rochester New Hampshire.(Lydia O'Kane)

Today's Mass and Readings : Friday August 22, 2014

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 423

Reading 1EZ 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and led me out in the Spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm PS 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say,
those whom he has redeemed from the hand of the foe
And gathered from the lands,
from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
They went astray in the desert wilderness;
the way to an inhabited city they did not find.
Hungry and thirsty,
their life was wasting away within them.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them.
And he led them by a direct way
to reach an inhabited city.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men,
Because he satisfied the longing soul
and filled the hungry soul with good things.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.

Gospel MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Novena to the Queenship of Mary - SHARE this Prayer

Novena to the Queenship of Mary
Come, let us adore Christ the King who has crowned His Mother as Queen of the Universe!
Glory to the Father...
Virgin Mary, most noble Queen of the world, plead for peace and salvation in our behalf, for you have brought forth Christ the Lord, the Savior of us all.
Hail Mary...
Hail, Mother of Christ, companion in His sufferings, Queen of the whole world!
Hail Mary....
You are kind and lovable in your splendor, holy Mother of God!  Show me your face.  Let your words sound in my ears, for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.  Turn to us in your beauty and loveliness!  Come forth in majesty and reign!
Hail Mary...
"Behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed, because he who is mighty has done great things for me." (Luke 1:48)

SALVE REGINA
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you we cry, the children of Eve;
to you we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this land of exile.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
lead us home at last
and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus:
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

HYMN
O Queen of all the virgin choir,
Enthroned above the starry sky,
Who with thy bosom's milk didst feed
Thine own Creator, Lord most high.
What man had lost in hapless Eve
Thy sacred womb to man restores;
Thou to the wretched here beneath
Have opened Heav'n's eternal doors.
O hail, resplendent Hall of light,
Hail, Gate sublime of Heav'n's high King!
Through thee redeemed to endless life,
Thy praises let all the nations sing!
O Jesus, born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to Thee,
Praise to the Father Infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.
V. The Virgin Mary has been raised to the heavens.
R. She reigns with Christ forever.

PRAYER
Grant, we beg of you, O Lord, that we who celebrate the feastday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen, may merit, under her loving protection, to attain peace on this earth and glory in heaven.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.