Sunday, November 25, 2018

Saint November 26 : St. John Berchmans : Patron of #Altar Servers and Young People

Canonized: 1888 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine: Sant'Ignazio
Patron of: altar boys, Oblate novices, young people
Born at Diest in Brabant, 13 March, 1599; died at Rome, 13 August, 1621. His parents watched with the greatest solicitude over the formation of his character. He was naturally kind, gentle, and affectionate towards them, a favourite with his playmates, brave and open, attractive in manner, and with a bright, joyful disposition. Yet he was also, by natural disposition, impetuous and fickle. Still, when John was but seven years of age, M. Emmerick, his parish priest, already remarked with pleasure that the Lord would work wonders in the soul of the child. Many are the details that reveal him to us as he was in the Society of Jesus. He was but nine years of old when his mother was stricken with a long and serious illness. John would pass several hours each day by her bedside, and console her with his affectionate though serious, words. Later, when he lived with some other boys at M. Emmerick's house, he would undertake more than his share of the domestic work, selecting by preference the more difficult occupations. If he was loved by his comrades, he repaid their affection by his kindness, without, however, deviating from the dictates of his conscience. It was noticed even that he availed himself discreetly of his influence over them to correct their negligences and to restrain their frivolous conversation. Eager to learn, and naturally endowed with a bright intellect and a retentive memory, he enhanced the effect of these gifts by devoting to study whatever time he could legitimately take from his ordinary recreation.  What, however, distinguished him most from his companions was his piety. When he was hardly seven years old, he was accustomed to rise early and serve two or three Masses with the greatest fervour. He attended religious instructions and listened to Sunday sermons with the deepest recollection, and made pilgrimages to the sanctuary of Montaigu, a few miles from Diest, reciting the rosary as he went, or absorbed in meditation. As soon as he entered the Jesuit college at Mechlin, he was enrolled in the Society of the Blessed Virgin, and made a resolution to recite her Office daily. He would, moreover, ask the director of the sodality every month to prescribe for him some special acts of devotion to Mary. On Fridays, at nightfall, he would go out barefooted and make the Stations of the Cross in the town. Such fervent, filial piety won for him the grace of a religious vocation. Towards the end of his rhetoric course, he felt a distinct call to the Society of Jesus. His family was decidedly opposed to this, and on 24 September, 1616, he was received into the novitiate at Mechlin. After two years passed in Mechlin he made his simple vows, and was sent to Antwerp to begin the study of philosophy. Remaining there only a few weeks, he set out for Rome, where he was to continue the same study. After the journeying three hundred leagues on foot, carrying a wallet on his back, he arrived at the Roman College, he studied for two years and passed on to the third year class in philosophy in the year 1621. One day early in August of that same year he was selected by the prefect of studies to take part in a philosophical disputation at the Greek College, at that time under the charge of the Dominicans. He opened the discussion with great perspicuity and erudition, but, on returning to his own college, he was seized with a violent fever of which he died, on 13 August, at the age of twenty-two years and five months.
During the second part of his life, John offered the type of the saint who performs ordinary actions with extraordinary perfection. In his purity, obedience, and admirable charity he resembled many religious, but he surpassed them all by his intense love for the rules of his order. The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus lead those who observe them exactly to the highest degree of sanctity, as has been declared by Pope Julius III and his successors. The attainment of that ideal was what John proposed to himself. "If I do not become a saint when I am young", he used to say "I shall never become one". That is why he displayed such wisdom in conforming his will to that of his superiors and to the rules. He would have preferred death to the violation of the least of the rules of his order. "My penance", he would say, "is to live the common life... I will pay the greatest attention to the least inspiration of God." He observed this fidelity in the performance of all his duties till the last day of his life, as is attested by Fathers Bauters, Cepari, Ceccoti, Massucci, and Piccolomini, his spiritual directors. When he died, a large multitude crowded for several days to see him and to invoke his intercession. The same year, Phillip, Duke of Aerschot, had a petition presented to Pope Gregory XV for the taking of information with a view to his beatification. John Berchmans was declared Blessed in 1865, and was canonized in 1888. His statues represent him with hands clasped, holding his crucifix, his book of rules, and his rosary.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis "... Jesus is the king...Let the love of God, the kingdom of God, the love of Jesus take root in your heart..." FULL TEXT + Video


ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, November 25th, 2018

[Multimedia]



Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the universe, which we celebrate today, is set at the end of the liturgical year and recalls that the life of creation does not advance by chance, but proceeds towards a final goal: the definitive manifestation of Christ, Lord of history and of all creation. The conclusion of the story will be its eternal kingdom. Today's Gospel passage (cf. Jn 18,33b-37) tells us about this kingdom, the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of Jesus, telling the humiliating situation in which Jesus was found after being arrested in Gethsemane: bound, insulted , accused and brought before the authorities of Jerusalem. And then, it is presented to the Roman prosecutor, as one who is attentive to political power, to become the king of the Jews. Pilate then makes his inquiry and in a dramatic interrogation asks him twice if he is a king (see verses 33b.37).

And Jesus responds first that his kingdom "is not of this world" (verse 36). Then he says: «You say it: I am king» (v.37). It is evident from his whole life that Jesus has no political ambitions. We recall that after the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthusiastic about the miracle, wanted to proclaim him king, to overthrow Roman power and restore the kingdom of Israel. But for Jesus the kingdom is something else, and certainly not achieved with the revolt, violence and force of arms. Therefore he had withdrawn alone on the mountain to pray (cf. Jn 6: 5-15). Now, responding to Pilate, he points out that his disciples did not fight to defend him. He says: "If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have fought because I was not handed over to the Jews" (v.36).

Jesus wants to make it clear that above the political power there is another much greater one, which is not achieved by human means. He came to earth to exercise this power, which is love, bearing witness to the truth (see verse 37). This is the divine truth that is ultimately the essential message of the Gospel: "God is love" (1 Jn 4: 8) and wants to establish in the world his kingdom of love, justice and peace. And this is the kingdom of which Jesus is the king, and which extends to the end of time. History teaches us that the kingdoms founded on the power of arms and on the prevarication are fragile and sooner or later collapse. But the kingdom of God is founded on his love and is rooted in the hearts - the kingdom of God is rooted in the hearts -, giving to those who welcome peace, freedom and fullness of life. We all want peace, we all want freedom and we want fullness. How do you do? Let the love of God, the kingdom of God, the love of Jesus take root in your heart and you will have peace, you will have freedom and you will have fullness.

Jesus today asks us to let him become our king. A king who with his word, his example and his life immolated on the cross has saved us from death, and indicates - this king - the way to the lost man, gives new light to our existence marked by doubt, by fear and from the tests of every day. But we must not forget that the kingdom of Jesus is not of this world. He will be able to give a new meaning to our life, sometimes put to the test even by our mistakes and our sins, only on condition that we do not follow the logic of the world and its "kings".

May the Virgin Mary help us to welcome Jesus as the king of our life and to spread his kingdom, bearing witness to the truth that is love.



After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday Ukraine commemorated the anniversary of the Holodomor, a terrible famine caused by the Soviet regime that caused millions of victims. The image is painful. The wound of the past is a call for all because such tragedies are never repeated again. We pray for that dear country and for the much desired peace.

I greet all of you pilgrims who have come from Italy and from different countries: families, parish groups, associations. In particular, I greet the numerous choirs that came for their Third International Conference at the Vatican, and I thank them for their presence and for their precious service to the liturgy and evangelization. Thank you very much!

I greet the participants in the Congress on fertility, promoted by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart on the 50th anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae vitae of Saint Paul VI; as well as university law students of the Roma Tre University, and the faithful of Pozzuoli, Bacoli and Bellizzi. I greet the members of the Ranchibile Institute of Palermo. And congratulations, because you have been brave! Come with this rain! You are brave! Bravi!

And I wish everyone a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

#Novena to St. Catherine of Alexandria - SHARE #Prayer to #Patron of #Philosophers, Nurses, Librarians, Unmarried

Recite for 9 Days:
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be, each day of the Novena
(1 of the 14 Holy Helpers)
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights
Preparatory Prayer

ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Catherine
O GOD, Who didst distinguish Thy holy Virgin and Martyr Catherine by the gift of great wisdom and virtue, and a victorious combat with the enemies of the Faith; grant us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession, constancy in the Faith and the wisdom of the Saints, that we may devote all the powers of our mind and heart to Thy service. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Catherine
ST. CATHERINE, glorious Virgin and Martyr, resplendent in the luster of wisdom and purity; thy wisdom refuted the adversaries of Divine truth and covered them with confusion; thy immaculate purity made thee a spouse of Christ, so that after thy glorious Martyrdom Angels carried thy body to Mount Sinai. Implore for me progress in the science of the Saints and the virtue of holy purity, that vanquishing the enemies of my soul, I may be victorious in my last combat and after death be conducted by the angels into the eternal beatitude of Heaven. Amen.
Prayer
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena. Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen. SOURCE:
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M. TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

Saint November 25 : St. Catherine of Alexandria : Patron of Educators, Librarians, Mechanics, Nurses, philosophers, secretaries, unmarried

VIRGIN, MARTYR
Feast: November 25
Information:
Feast Day:
November 25
Born:
287, Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
305, Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights

A virgin and martyr whose feast is celebrated in the Latin Church and in the various Oriental churches on 25 November, and who for almost six centuries was the object of a very popular devotion. Of noble birth and learned in the sciences, when only eighteen years old, Catherine presented herself to the Emperor Maximinus who was violently persecuting the Christians, upbraided him for his cruelty and endeavoured to prove how iniquitous was the worship of false gods. Astounded at the young girl's audacity, but incompetent to vie with her in point of learning the tyrant detained her in his palace and summoned numerous scholars whom he commanded to use all their skill in specious reasoning that thereby Catherine might be led to apostatize. But she emerged from the debate victorious. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death. Furious at being baffled, Maximinus had Catherine scourged and then imprisoned. Meanwhile the empress, eager to see so extraordinary a young woman, went with Porphyry, the head of the troops, to visit her in her dungeon, when they in turn yielded to Catherine's exhortations, believed, were baptized, and immediately won the martyr's crown. Soon afterwards the saint, who far from forsaking her Faith, effected so many conversions, was condemned to die on the wheel, but, at her touch, this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed. The emperor, enraged beyond control, then had her beheaded and angels carried her body to Mount Sinai where later a church and monastery were built in her honour. So far the Acts of St. Catherine.
 Unfortunately we have not these acts in their original form, but transformed and distorted by fantastic and diffuse descriptions which are entirely due to the imagination of the narrators who cared less to state authentic facts than to charm their readers by recitals of the marvellous. The importance attached throughout the Middle Ages to the legend of this martyr accounts for the eagerness and care with which in modern times the ancient Greek, Latin and Arabic texts containing it have been perused and studied, and concerning which critics have long since expressed their opinion, one which, in all likelihood, they will never have to retract. Several centuries ago when devotion to the saints was stimulated by the reading of extraordinary hagiographical narrations, the historical value of which no one was qualified to question, St. Catherine was invested by Catholic peoples with a halo of charming poetry and miraculous power.
Ranked with St. Margaret and St. Barbara as one of the fourteen most helpful saints in heaven, she was unceasingly praised by preachers and sung by poets. It is a well-known fact that Bossuet dedicated to her one of his most beautiful panegyrics and that Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honour: "Vox Sonora nostri chori", etc. In many places her feast was celebrated with the utmost solemnity, servile work being suppressed and the devotions being attended by great numbers of people. In several dioceses of France it was observed as a Holy Day of obligation up to the beginning of the seventeenth century, the splendour of its ceremonial eclipsing that of the feasts of some of the Apostles. Numberless chapels were placed under her patronage and her statue was found in nearly all churches, representing her according to medieval iconography with a wheel, her instrument of torture. Whilst, owing to several circumstances in his life, St. Nicholas of Myra, was considered the patron of young bachelors and students, St. Catherine became the patroness of young maidens and female students. Looked upon as the holiest and most illustrious of the virgins of Christ, it was but natural that she, of all others, should be worthy to watch over the virgins of the cloister and the young women of the world.
The spiked wheel having become emblematic of the saint, wheelwrights and mechanics placed themselves under her patronage. Finally, as according to tradition, she not only remained a virgin by governing her passions and conquered her executioners by wearying their patience, but triumphed in science by closing the mouths of sophists, her intercession was implored by theologians, apologists, pulpit orators, and philosophers. Before studying, writing, or preaching, they besought her to illumine their minds, guide their pens, and impart eloquence to their words. This devotion to St. Catherine which assumed such vast proportions in Europe after the Crusades, received additional eclat in France in the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it was rumoured that she had appeared to Joan of Arc and, together with St. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser.
Although contemporary hagiographers look upon the authenticity of the various texts containing the legend of St. Catherine as more than doubtful, it is not therefore meant to cast even the shadow of a doubt around the existence of the saint. But the conclusion reached when these texts have been carefully studied is that, if the principal facts forming the outline are to be accepted as true, the multitude of details by which these facts are almost obscured, most of the wonderful narratives with which they are embellished, and the long discourses that are put into the mouth of St. Catherine, are to be rejected as inventions, pure and simple.
An example will illustrate. Although all these texts mention the miraculous translations of the saint's body to Mount Sinai, the itineraries of the ancient pilgrims who visited Sinai do not contain the slightest allusion to it. Even in the eighteenth century Dom Deforis, the Benedictine who prepared an edition of Bossuet's works, declared the tradition followed by this orator in his panegyric on the saint, to be in a great measure false, and it was just at this time that the feast of St. Catherine disappeared from the Breviary of Paris. Since then devotion to the virgin of Alexandria has lost all its former popularity. SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

Sunday Mass Online : Readings + Video : Sun. November 25, 2017 - #Eucharist - Christ the King #Solemnity




The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Lectionary: 161

Reading 1DN 7:13-14

As the visions during the night continued, I saw
one like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
when he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial PsalmPS 93:1, 1-2, 5

R. (1a) The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.

Reading 2RV 1:5-8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. 
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God,
"the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."

AlleluiaMK 11:9, 10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


GospelJN 18:33B-37

Pilate said to Jesus,
"Are you the King of the Jews?" 
Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?" 
Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? 
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. 
What have you done?" 
Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. 
But as it is, my kingdom is not here." 
So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" 
Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. 
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth. 
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."