(Also Vaclav, Vaceslav.)
Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.
His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for his virtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September. Text from The Catholic Encyclopedia
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with members of the World Jewish Congress on Monday evening.
An article published on Tuesday by the Vatican newspaper, the 'Osservatore Romano', highlighted how the Holy Father spoke about a series of issues pertaining to inter faith relations and the current migration crisis on the European continent.
“Europe often forgets that it has been enriched by migrants,” – Pope Francis said – “Europe is closing itself up. Europe is lacking creativity. Europe has a falling birth rate, and problems of high unemployment.”
Pope Francis also spoke about migrants integrating into their new surroundings, which he called “important.”
“The people who committed the terrorist attacks in Belgium were not properly integrated,” he said.
Pope Francis also reiterated a good Christian could not be an anti-Semite, and said Christians and Jews must speak out against brutality in the world.
“We need more friendliness and kindness, and we should not be afraid to speak out against brutality,” – the Holy Father said – “We should go on a joint journey together to make the world more secure. We need to speak out for peace.”
The World Jewish Congress includes the heads of Jewish communities in Europe and the Americas, and in light of the upcoming Rosh Hashana holiday, Pope Francis wished the Jewish world a happy new year.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said silence and prayer is the way to overcome our darkest moments, rather than resorting to pills or alcoholic drinks to escape from our woes. His comments came during his homily at the morning Mass celebrated on Tuesday at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from the day’s first reading where Job was living through a spiritual desolation and was giving vent to his sorrows before God, the Pope’s homily focused on these dark moments of spiritual desolation that all of us experience at some point and explained how we can overcome them. He said although Job was in deep trouble and had lost everything he did not curse God and his outburst was that of “a son in front of his father.”
All of us sooner or later experience a spiritual darkness
“Spiritual desolation is something that happens to all of us: it can be stronger or weaker … but that feeling of spiritual darkness, of hopelessness, mistrust, lacking the desire to live, without seeing the end of the tunnel, with so much agitation in one’s heart and in one’s ideas… Spiritual desolation makes us feel as though our souls are crushed, we can’t succeed, we can’t succeed and we also don’t want to live: ‘Death is better!’ This was Job’s outburst. It was better to die than live like this. We need to understand that when our soul is in this state of generalized sadness we can barely breathe: This happens to all of us… whether strong or not ….. to all of us. (We need to) understand what goes on in our hearts.”
Pope Francis went on to pose the question: “What should we do when we experience these dark moments, be it for a family tragedy, an illness, something that weighs us down?.” Noting that some people would think of taking a pill to sleep and remove them from their problems or drinking one, two, three or four glasses” he warned that these methods “do not help.” Instead, today’s liturgy shows us how to cope with this spiritual desolation, “when we are lukewarm, depressed and without hope.”
The Pope said the way out from this situation is to pray, to pray loudly, just as Job did, day and night until God listens.
“It is a prayer to knock at the door but with strength! ‘Lord, my soul is surfeited with troubles. My life draws near to Hell. I am numbered among those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength.’ How many times have we felt like this, without strength? And here is the prayer. Our Lord himself taught us how to pray in these dreadful moments. ‘Lord, you have plunged me into the bottom of the pit. Upon me, your wrath lies heavy. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ This is the prayer and this is how we should pray in our darkest, most dreadful, bleakest and most crushed moments that are really crushing us. This is genuine prayer. And it’s also giving vent just like Job did with his sons. Like a son.”
Silence, closeness and prayer is how to help those who are suffering
The importance of silence, being close and using prayer was stressed by Pope Francis who said that was the correct way for friends to behave when faced with those who are undergoing dark moments, warning words and speeches in these situations can do harm.
“First of all, we must recognize in ourselves these moments of spiritual desolation, when we are in the dark, without hope and asking ourselves why. Secondly, we must pray to the Lord like today’s reading from Psalm 87 teaches us to pray during our dark moments. ‘Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ Thirdly, when I draw close to a person who is suffering, whether from illness, or whatever other type of suffering and who is experiencing a sense of desolation, we must be silent: but a silence with much love, closeness and caresses. And we must not make speeches that don’t help in the end and even can do harm.”
The Pope concluded his homily by asking the Lord to grant us these three graces: the grace to recognize spiritual desolation, the grace to pray when we are afflicted by this feeling of spiritual desolation and also the grace to know how to be close to people who are suffering terrible moments of sadness and spiritual desolation.”
Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest Lectionary: 456
Reading 1JB 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said:
Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”
Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light? Wherefore did the knees receive me? or why did I suck at the breasts?
For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest With kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins Or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver.
There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest.
Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, Rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Those whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!
Responsorial PsalmPS 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord. O LORD, my God, by day I cry out; at night I clamor in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my call for help. R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. For my soul is surfeited with troubles and my life draws near to the nether world. I am numbered with those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength. R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. My couch is among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom you remember no longer and who are cut off from your care. R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the dark abyss. Upon me your wrath lies heavy, and with all your billows you overwhelm me. R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.