Friday, August 17, 2018

Saint August 18 : St. Helena : Patron of #Converts, #Divorced : Mother of #Constantine




Born: 248, Drepanum, Bithynia, Asia Minor 
Died: 328, Constantinople, Roman 
Major Shrine: The shrine to Saint Helena in St. Peter's Basilica Patron of: archeologists, converts, difficult marriages, divorced people, empresses, Helena, the capital of Montana.
The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his "Oratio de obitu Theodosii", referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine's marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i.e., "by his beginnings," "from the outset") had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign.
In the year 292 Constantius, having become co-Regent of the West, gave himself up to considerations of a political nature and forsook Helena in order to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of Emperor Maximinianus Herculius, his patron, and well-wisher. But her son remained faithful and loyal to her. On the death of Constantius Chlorus, in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred on her the title of Augusta, ordered that all honour should be paid her as the mother of the sovereign, and had coins struck bearing her effigy. Her son's influence caused her to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. This is directly attested by Eusebius (Vita Constantini, III, xlvii): "She (his mother) became under his (Constantine's) influence such a devout servant of God, that one might believe her to have been from her very childhood a disciple of the Redeemer of mankind". It is also clear from the declaration of the contemporary historian of the Church that Helena, from the time of her conversion had an earnestly Christian life and by her influence and liberality favoured the wider spread of Christianity. Tradition links her name with the building of Christian churches in the cities of the West, where the imperial court resided, notably at Rome and Trier, and there is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for we know positively through Eusebius that Helena erected churches on the hallowed spots of Palestine. Despite her advanced age she undertook a journey to Palestine when Constantine, through his victory over Licinius, had become sole master of the Roman Empire, subsequently, therefore, to the year 324. It was in Palestine, as we learn from Eusebius (loc. cit., xlii), that she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. She lavished on that land her bounties and good deeds, she "explored it with remarkable discernment", and "visited it with the care and solicitude of the emperor himself". Then, when she "had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Saviour", she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments. This sojourn in Jerusalem proved the starting-point of the legend first recorded by Rufinus as to the discovery of the Cross of Christ.
Her princely munificence was such that, according to Eusebius, she assisted not only individuals but entire communities. The poor and destitute were the special objects of her charity. She visited the churches everywhere with pious zeal and made them rich donations. It was thus that, in fulfilment of the Saviour's precept, she brought forth abundant fruit in word and deed. If Helena conducted herself in this manner while in the Holy Land, which is indeed testified to by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, we should not doubt that she manifested the same piety and benevolence in those other cities of the empire in which she resided after her conversion. Her memory in Rome is chiefly identified with the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. On the present location of this church formerly stood the Palatium Sessorianum, and near by were the Thermae Helenianae, which baths derived their name from the empress. Here two inscriptions were found composed in honour of Helena. The Sessorium, which was near the site of the Lateran, probably served as Helena's residence when she stayed in Rome; so that it is quite possible for a Christian basilica to have been erected on this spot by Constantine, at her suggestion and in honour of the true Cross. Helena was still living in the year 326, when Constantine ordered the execution of his son Crispus. When, according to Socrates' account (Church History I.17), the emperor in 327 improved Drepanum, his mother's native town, and decreed that it should be called Helenopolis, it is probable that the latter returned from Palestine to her son who was then residing in the Orient. Constantine was with her when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts (Eusebius, Life of Constantine III.46). This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. It is presumed that her remains were transferred in 849 to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims, as recorded by the monk Altmann in his "Translatio". She was revered as a saint, and the veneration spread, early in the ninth century, even to Western countries. Her feast falls on 18 August.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Prayer to St. Helen

Holy and blessed Saint Helen,
With the anguish and devotion with which
You sought the Cross of Christ,
I plead that You give me God’s grace
To suffer in patience and labours of this life,
So that through them and
through Your intercession and protection,
I will be able to seek and carry the Cross,
Which God has placed upon me,
So that I can serve Him in this life
and enjoy His Glory ever after.

Amen.

Remembering Gospel Singer Aretha Franklin who Performed for Pope Francis - RIP at age 76

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 and died on August 16, 2018. She was a famous American singer and pianist. She began to sing as a child at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. Aretha Franklin was born Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara (née Siggers) and Clarence LaVaughn "C. L." Franklin.  Her parents both had children, three in total, from outside their marriage. Aretha's mother died of a heart attack on March 7, 1952. Franklin made her debut with the hymn, "Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me."At the age of 16, Franklin went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in 1968 sang at his funeral. Her debut gospel album, Amazing Grace, sold more than two million copies. Franklin was the mother of four sons. She gave birth to her first child at the age of 12, named Clarence after her father,on January 28, 1955. It is reported that, "The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school."On January 22, 1957, aged 14, Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Franklin's grandmother Rachel and sister raised the children but Franklin would visit them often.  Franklin's third child, whom she had with her then husband, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham. Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore "Ted" White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19. Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969.Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father's church. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982. Franklin's sisters, Erma and Carolyn, brother Cecil and half-brother Vaughn all died before her. She also had a half-sister, Carl Kelley (née Jennings; born 1940) is C. L. Franklin's daughter by Mildred Jennings. In 2017, during an outdoor Detroit show, Franklin told the audience to "keep me in your prayers". Franklin died at her home Riverfront Towers, Detroit, on August 16, 2018, aged 76. The cause was reported to be pancreatic cancer. Aretha won 17 Grammy Awards. Aretha Pope Francis in Philadelphia at the 2015 Festival of Families. Pope Francis came to Aretha after this performance of “Amazing Grace”. She explained; “I met His Holiness backstage. We shook hands and I curtsied,” Franklin said in the statement released by her publicist. “I gave him a boxed set of sermons by my father, theologian Rev. C.L. Franklin. He asked me to pray for him as he had asked others to pray for him during his appearances.” Please a Prayer for the Repose of her Soul....

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday August 17, 2018 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 417 Reading 1EZ 16:1-15, 60, 63
The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.
Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem:
By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan;
your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut;
you were neither washed with water nor anointed,
nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes.
No one looked on you with pity or compassion
to do any of these things for you.
Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome,
the day you were born.

Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood.
I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field.
You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty;
your breasts were formed, your hair had grown,
but you were still stark naked.
Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love.
So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness;
I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you;
you became mine, says the Lord GOD.
Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood,
and anointed you with oil.
I clothed you with an embroidered gown,
put sandals of fine leather on your feet;
I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear.
I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms,
a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose,
pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver;
your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.
Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food.
You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen.
You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was,
because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you,
says the Lord GOD.

But you were captivated by your own beauty,
you used your renown to make yourself a harlot,
and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by,
whose own you became.

Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,
and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you,
that you may remember and be covered with confusion,
and that you may be utterly silenced for shame
when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.

Or:EZ 16:59-63


Thus says the LORD:
I will deal with you according to what you have done,
you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant.
Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,
and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you.
Then you shall remember your conduct and be ashamed
when I take your sisters, those older and younger than you,
and give them to you as daughters,
even though I am not bound by my covenant with you.
For I will re-establish my covenant with you,
that you may know that I am the LORD,
that you may remember and be covered with confusion,
and that you may be utterly silenced for shame
when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial PsalmISAIAH 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (1c) You have turned from your anger.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You have turned from your anger.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You have turned from your anger.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You have turned from your anger.

AlleluiaSEE 1 THES 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but, as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
"Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate."
They said to him, "Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?"
He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery."
His disciples said to him,
"If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry."
He answered, "Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."