Saturday 4 February 1612 at Umbria, Italy Canonized:
29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV
CAPUCHIN, PRIESTIn the world named Eufranio Desiderio; born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, 1612. From his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him. Whilst yet a boy he used to take the discipline on Fridays in company with the confraternity of St. Saviour. He was educated by his uncle, who had planned a suitable marriage for him, but in his sixteenth year he fell sick of a fever, and on his recovery, without consulting his relative, he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order. He made his novitiate in the convent of the Carcerelle near Assisi. As a religious he was remarkable for his great abstinence. "Brother Ass", he would say to his body, "there is no need to feed thee as a noble horse would be fed: thou must be content to be a poor ass." In 1599, the year before his Jubilee year, he fasted the whole year by way of preparation for gaining the indulgence. In 1587 he was sent by the Superior General of his order to Constantinople to minister to the Christians held captive there. Arrived there he and his companions lodged in a derelict house of Benedictine monks. The poverty in which the friars lived attracted the attention of the Turks, who went in numbers to see the new missionaries. He was very solicitous in ministering to the captive Christians in the galleys. Every day he went into the city to preach, and he was at length thrown into prison and only released at the intervention of the Venetian agent. Urged on by zeal he at last sought to enter the palace to preach before the Sultan, but he was seized and condemned to death. For three days he hung on the gallows, held up by two hooks driven through his right hand and foot; then he was miraculously released by an angel. Returning to Italy, he took with him a Greek archbishop who had apostatized, and who was reconciled to the Church on their arrival in Rome. Joseph now took up the work of home missions in his native province, sometimes preaching six or seven times a day. In the Jubilee year of 1600 he preached the Lent at Otricoli, a town through which crowds of pilgrims passed on their way to Rome. Many of them being very poor, Joseph supplied them with food; he also washed their clothes and cut their hair. At Todi he cultivated with his own hands a garden, the produce of which was for the poor. His feast is kept on 4 February throughout the Franciscan Order. He was canonized by Benedict XIV. Text Catholic Encyclopedia
I thought I lived in a country where differing opinions were welcomed; maybe compromise can't be met, but the ability to voice a contrary view has always been a constitutional right protected by the 1st Amendment.
I have never had this much interest in the workings of my government before. It's like not being able to look away from a serious car accident and wondering if it could have been avoided while hoping that everyone involved will be ok. Maybe that's part of the issue for me: Do I have a sense of guilt about the current state of our Constitutional Republic?
I'll tell you what I've done over the last several years, and you decide whether I should acknowledge this sense of guilt.
1. I made a conscious decision early on with my husband that our children would not enter into the public indoctrination system (my very strong opinion should be clear here -- I don't think what happens in public schools should be called education, especially with the emphasis on agenda based information, "teaching to the test", and the ratcheting up of questionable sexual rhetoric-- only three of myriad examples.)
2. After many years of watching Catholic Schools bow to the Federal Blue Ribbon Program for validation of their curriculum, I bailed and took my children home. While I loved that we were in an environment where God was taught, I didn't want the Federal Government to have any level of influence on the way my Catholic teaching was imparted to my children. Buh-bye.
3. I Marched for Life -- and **GASP** brought my children with me! That's right. Every year, peacefully -- no riots, no breaking windows, no setting fires, no vulgar hats/costumes. Nope. None of that. Just smiles, rosaries and a walk past the Supreme Court. A couple of years back, a counter protest was removed by the police because they were impeding the progress of the March and causing disruption...(there were 500,000+ of us who were peaceful in our civil protest, while about 8-10 of those who opposed our views caused a situation that resulted in arrests...hmmm.)
4. I taught my children History, Science, Composition, Literature, Grammar, Religion, Math, Latin, Handwriting, Art, etc. I infused our belief system throughout the curriculum and always encouraged discussion and debate. I taught my children to evaluate, to research, and to care about what was being presented to them. I taught my children to think, to critique and to trust but verify. I am the primary educator of my children in both faith and academics before any outside source (CCC 2221-2230). I taught my children to think. And, of course, my husband supported and encouraged this effort.
5. I was blessed to be able to enroll my children in a private Catholic School that supports what we valued most in education -- that ability to think in an environment that teaches both faith and personal character. Obedience is expected, but creativity is not stifled. They are not seen to be in opposition. Obedience opens the door to true freedom. This is Catholic teaching: "By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth" (CCC 1740).
6. I have contacted State Representative, Congressmen and Senators, members of the Board of Education, Federal officials, signed petitions. I have prayed for our government, our society, our religious freedom, our Church, other religions, our family and friends, etc. I have prayed with my family outside of abortion clinics. I didn't scream my issues but wrote letters expressing my concerns clearly and cogently. I spoke with respect to people who disagreed with me in the interest of having an intelligent conversation where both sides could share their opinions with dignity. (Notice: no fires, axes, pepper spray necessary.)
7. I voted consistently for people that I believed would represent my values and convictions. I didn't get much satisfaction in that regard for more than a decade or so. (I made no threats, but made sure to up my activity in #6.)
8. I could go on and on. But, I won't because this is sounding braggadocious, which is NOT what I wish to emphasize at all. I know many people who have done these things, as well. I am not alone in my efforts.
The point of this is that I can't think of what else I could have done. So I continue to discern: Have I done everything I can to help? Am I helping now?
Do any of you find yourself thinking the same way?
It's a terrible place to be. I have made every effort to be a faithful, patriotic American, a good Catholic wife and mother; to wait out the administrations that didn't fully align with what I believed. And in a way that was representative of the rich history of our country, I accepted that leadership until such time as it would change.
And, what am I met with when the tables are turned and the outcome of this election wasn't what others wanted or even expected?
...and on, and on, and on...
It's disturbing, but not surprising based on how our culture has been churning around us. The culture of death has done nothing if not gain incredible support over the last four decades.
The result: no one who voted for this change is permitted to enjoy their victory because bullies (from the anti-bullying camp) have decided that they won't allow it. They speak peace and tolerance, but exude none toward people who disagree with them. This is a sign of how we have devolved as a society. It's a statement about what our culture represents today.
And, this is not reflective of me, or anyone I know, at all. Yet here I stand, with many of my friends, even after peaceful and respectful efforts to express discontent with the way things in our country had been progressing. Where do our values fit in this culture?
Anarchists don't represent me. Hollywood doesn't represent me. Feminists don't represent me. Whiny college students don't represent me. Democrats don't represent me. Republicans don't represent me.
Who represents me?
Who represents you?
We are in a situation that is leaving innumerable people uncomfortable and various others violently disruptive.
This administration has only just begun. I will be watching for productivity, accountability, honesty and transparency. I'll be waiting for the dignity of society to be restored. I will hope that people will wake up and see that the lapse in reason that motivates them to destroy property, hurt people, and create chaos in an expression of distress for not getting their way. The mob mentality does no good and only serves to make our country appear unstable and impotent as a leader in the world. That is not who we are, is it?
I will be watching more news than ever before discussing politics and varying political opinions more than ever before, and testing all of it against the teachings of my faith. And, I will be praying for the world and for this administration.
Today, February 3, we also celebrate the feast of Saint Blaise, the patron saint of the sick. The life of Saint Blaise is one of Holy Legend, filled with miraculous healings. Today, the Church continues to celebrate the life and intercession of Saint Blaise, in the ritual blessing of throats during Mass. We look to Saint Blaise in times of illness and for healing… But we need remember, as did this holy bishop, that it is not he, nor the ministry of the Church that heals or saves us-- because on their own, neither he nor the Church has such power. It is only through the faith in the power of the Lord whose grace provides comfort to the sick, through the Holy Spirit, that we are able to be blessed and cured. Our health is testimony to the healing love of God, the sacrifice (which all our human suffering is joined to) of Christ, and the graces of the Holy Spirit generously poured forth into our lives! O glorious St. Blaise, who by your martyrdom left to the Church a precious witness to the Faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within ourselves this divine gift, and to defend — without concern for human respect — both by word and example, the truth of that same Faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in these our times. You miraculously restored a little child who was at the point of death because of an affliction of the throat. Grant us your mighty protection in similar misfortunes. And, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification, together with faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which keep us from offending almighty God. Amen.
Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 327
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you. Thus we may say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 3, 5, 8B-9ABC
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? R. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; Though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust. R. The Lord is my light and my salvation. For he will hide me in his abode in the day of trouble; He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent, he will set me high upon a rock. R. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Your presence, O LORD, I seek. Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper: cast me not off. R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart, and yield a harvest through perseverance. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; That is why mighty powers are at work in him." Others were saying, "He is Elijah"; still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets." But when Herod learned of it, he said, "It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up." Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. His own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore many things to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" Her mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist." The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request, "I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.