Sunday, April 28, 2019

Saint April 29 : St. Catherine of Siena - Doctor of the #Church - Patron of Television, Nurses and Europe


St. Catherine of Siena
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, DOMINICAN MYSTIC, AND PAPAL ADVISER
Born:

25 March 1347 at Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Died:
29 April 1380
Canonized:
July 1461 by Pope Pius II
Patron of:
against fire, bodily ills, Europe, firefighters, illness, Italy, miscarriages, nurses, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation, sick people, sickness, television
 St. Catherine was born at Sienna, in 1347. Her father, James Benincasa, by trade a dyer, was a virtuous man; and though blessed with temporal prosperity, always chiefly solicitous to leave to his children a solid inheritance of virtue, by his example, and by deeply instilling into them lessons of piety. Her mother, Lapa, had a particular affection for this daughter  above her other children; and the accomplishments of mind and body with which she was adorned made her the darling and delight of all that knew her, and procured her the name of Euphrosyna. She was favored by God with extraordinary graces as soon as she was capable of knowing him. She withdrew very young to a solitude a little out of the town, to imitate the lives of the fathers of the desert. Returning after some time to her father's house, she continued to be guided by the same spirit. In her childhood she consecrated her virginity to God by a private vow. Her love of mortification and prayer, and her sentiments of virtue, were such as are not usually found in so tender an age. But God was pleased to put her resolution to a great trial. At twelve years of age, her parents thought of engaging her in a married state. Catherine found them deaf to her entreaties that she might live single; and therefore redoubled her prayers, watching, and austerities, knowing her protection must be from God alone. Her parents, regarding her inclination to solitude as unsuitable to the life for which they designed her, endeavored to divert her from it, and began to thwart her devotions, depriving her in this view of the little chamber or cell they had till then allowed her. They loaded her with the most distracting employments, and laid on her all the drudgery of the house, as if she had been a person hired into the family for that purpose. The hardest labor, humiliations, contempt, and the insults of her sisters, were to the saint a subject of joy; and such was her ardent love of crosses, that she embraced them in all shapes with a holy eagerness, and received all railleries with an admirable sweetness and heroic patience. If any thing grieved her, it was the loss of her dear solitude. But the Holy Ghost, that interior faithful master, to whom she listened, taught her to make herself another solitude in her heart; where, amidst all her occupations, she considered herself always as alone with God; to whose presence she kept herself no less attentive than if she had no exterior employment to distract her. In that admirable Treatise of God's Providence, which she wrote, she saith, "that our Lord had taught her to build in her soul a private closet, strongly vaulted with the divine providence, and to keep herself always close and retired there; he assured her that by this means she should find peace and perpetual repose in her soul, which no storm or tribulation could disturb or interrupt." Her sisters and other friends persuaded her to join with them in the diversions of the world, alleging, that virtue is not an enemy to neatness in dress, or to cheerfulness; under which soft names they endeavored to recommend the dangerous liberties of worldly pastimes and vanities. Catherine was accordingly prevailed upon by her sister to dress in a manner something more genteel; but she soon repented of her compliance, and wept for it during the remainder of her life, as the greatest infidelity she had ever been guilty of to her heavenly spouse. The death of her eldest sister, Bonaventura, soon after confirmed her in those sentiments. Her father, edified at her patience and virtue, at length approved and seconded her devotion, and all her pious desires. She liberally assisted the poor, served the sick, and comforted the afflicted and prisoners. Her chief subsistence was on boiled herbs, without either sauce or bread, which last she seldom tasted. She wore a very rough hair-cloth, and a large iron girdle armed with sharp points, lay on the ground, and watched much. Humility, obedience, and a denial of her own will, even in her penitential austerities, gave them their true value. She began this course of life when under fifteen years of age. She was moreover visited with many painful distempers, which she underwent with incredible patience; she had also suffered much from the use of hot baths prescribed her by physicians. Amidst her pains, it was her constant prayer that they might serve for the expiation of her offences, and the purifying her heart. She long desired, and in 1365, the eighteenth year of her age, (but two years later, according to some writers,) she received the habit of the third order of St. Dominic, in a nunnery contiguous to the Dominicans' convent. From that time her cell became her paradise, prayer her element, and her mortifications had no longer any restraint. For three years she never spoke to any one but to God and her confessor. Her days and nights were employed in the delightful exercises of contemplation: the fruits whereof were supernatural lights, a most ardent love of God, and zeal for the conversion of sinners. The old serpent, seeing her angelical life, set all his engines at work to assault her virtue. He first filled her imagination with the most filthy representations, and assailed her heart with the basest and most humbling temptations. Afterwards, he spread in her soul such a cloud and darkness that it was the severest trial imaginable. She saw herself a hundred times on the brink of the precipice, but was always supported by an invisible hand. Her arms were fervent prayer, humility, resignation, and confidence in God. By these she persevered victorious, and was at last delivered from those trials which had only served to purify her heart. Our Saviour visiting her after this bitter conflict, she said to him: "Where west thou, my divine Spouse, while I lay in such an abandoned, frightful condition." "I was with thee," he seemed to reply. "What!" said she, "amidst the filthy abominations with which my soul was infested!" He answered: "They were displeasing and most painful to thee. This conflict therefore was thy merit, and the victory over them was owing to my presence." Her ghostly enemy also solicited her to pride, omitting neither violence nor stratagem to seduce her into this vice; but invincible humility was a buckler to cover her from all his fiery darts. God recompensed her charity to the poor by many miracles, often multiplying provisions in her hands, and enabling her to carry loads of corn, oil, and other necessaries to the poor, which her natural strength could not otherwise have borne. The greatest miracle seemed her patience in bearing the murmurs, and even the reproaches, of these ungrateful and importunate people. Catherine dressed, and served an old woman named Tocca. infected to that degree with a leprosy, that the magistrates had ordered her to be removed out of the city, and separated from all others. This poor wretch nevertheless made no other return to the tender charity of the saint, but continual bitter complaints and reproaches; which, instead of wearying out her constancy, only moved the saint to show her still greater marks of sweetness and humility. Another, whose infectious cancer the saint for a long time sucked and dressed, published against her the most infamous calumnies; in which she was seconded by a sister of the convent. Catherine bore in silence the violent persecution they brought upon her, and continued her affectionate services till, by her patience and prayers, she had obtained of God the conversion of both these enemies, which was followed by a retraction of their slanders.


The ardent charity of this holy virgin made her indefatigable in laboring for the conversion of sinners, offering for that end  continual tears, prayers, fasts, and other austerities, and thinking nothing difficult or above her strength. All her discourses, actions, and her very silence, powerfully induced men to the love of virtue, so that no one, according to pope Pius II., ever approached her who went not away better. Nannes, a powerful turbulent citizen, being brought to our saint to be reclaimed, all she could say to him to bring him to a right sense of his duty was of no effect; upon which she made a sudden pause in her discourse, to offer up her prayers for him: they were heard that very instant, and an entire change was wrought in the man, to which his tears and other tokens bore evidence. He accordingly reconciled himself to all his enemies, and embraced a most penitential life. When he afterwards fell into many temporal calamities, the saint rejoiced at his spiritual advantage under them, saying, God purged his heart from the poison with which it was infected by its inveterate attachment to creatures. Nannes gave to the saint a stately house which he possessed within two miles of the city. This, by the pope's authority, she converted into a nunnery. We omit the miraculous conversion of James Tholomei and his sisters, of Nicholas Tuldo, and many others; particularly of two famous assassins going to die with blasphemies in their mouths, and in transports of rage and despair, who were suddenly converted in their last moments, on the saint's praying for them, confessed their crimes to a priest with great signs of repentance, and appeared thoroughly resigned to the punishment about to be inflicted on them. A pestilence laying waste the country in 1374, Catherine devoted herself to serve the infected, and obtained of God the cure of several; amongst others, of two holy Dominicans, Raymund of Capua, and Bartholomew of Sienna. The most hardened sinners could not withstand the force of her exhortations to a change of life. Thousands flocked from places at a distance in the country to hear or only to see her, and were brought over by her words or example to the true dispositions of sincere repentance. She undertook a journey to Monte Pulciano to consecrate to God two of her nieces, who there took the religious veil of Saint Dominic: and another journey to Pisa, by order of her superiors, at the earnest suit of the citizens. She there restored health to many in body, but to a far greater number in soul. Raymund of Capua and two other Dominicans were commissioned by pope Gregory XI., then residing at Avignon, to hear the confessions at Sienna, of those who were induced by the saint to enter upon a change of life; these priests were occupied, day and night, in hearing the confessions of many who had never confessed before; besides those of others who had acquitted themselves but superficially of that duty. While she was at Pisa, in 1375, the people of Florence and Perugia, with a great part of Tuscany, and even of the Ecclesiastical State, entered into a league against the holy see. The news of this disturbance was delivered to Catherine by Raymund of Capua, and her heart was pierced with the most bitter sorrow on account of those evils, which she had foretold three years before they came to their height. The two furious factions of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, who had so disturbed and divided the state of Florence, then a powerful commonwealth, united at last against the pope, to strip the holy see of the lands it possessed in Italy. The disturbance was begun in June, 1373, and a numerous army was set on foot: the word Libertas, written on the banner of the league, was the signal. Perugia, Bologna, Viterbo, Ancona, and other strongholds, soon declared for them. The inhabitants of Arezzo, Lucca. Sienna, and other places, were kept within the bounds of duty by the prayers, letters, and exhortations of St. Catherine, and generously contemned the threats of the Florentines. Pope Gregory XI., residing at Avignon, wrote to the city of Florence, but without success. He therefore sent the cardinal Robert of Geneva, his legate, with an army, and laid the diocese of Florence under an interdict. Internal divisions, murders, and all other domestic miseries amongst the Florentines, joined with the conspiracy of the neighboring states, concurred to open their eyes, and made them sue for pardon. The magistrates sent to Sienna to beg St. Catherine would become their mediatrix. She could not resist their pressing entreaties. Before she arrived at Florence, she was met by the priors or chiefs of the magistrates; and the city left the management of the whole affair to her discretion, with a promise that she should be followed to Avignon by their ambassadors, who should sign and ratify the conditions of reconciliation between the parties at variance, and confirm every thing she had done. The saint arrived at Avignon on the 18th of June, 1376, and was received by the pope and cardinals with great marks of distinction His holiness, after a conference with her, in admiration of her prudence and sanctity, said to her: "I desire nothing but peace. I put the affair entirely into your hands; only I recommend to you the honor of the church." But the Florentines sought not peace sincerely, and they continued to carry on secret intrigues to draw all Italy from its obedience to the holy see. Their ambassadors arrived very late at Avignon, and spoke with so great insolence, that they showed peace was far from being the subject of their errand. God suffered the conclusion of this work to be deferred in punishment of the sins of the Florentines. by which means St. Catherine sanctified herself still more by suffering longer amidst a seditious people.
The saint had another point no less at heart in her journey to Avignon. Pope John XXII., a Frenchman, born at Cahors, bishop, first of Frejus, then of Avignon, lastly of Porto, being made pope in 1314, fixed his residence at Avignon, where John's successors, Benedict XII., Clement VI.. Innocent VI., and Urban V., also resided. The then pope Gregory XI., elected in 1370, continued also there. The Romans complained that their bishops had for seventy-four years past forsaken their church, and threatened a schism. Gregory XI. had made a secret vow to return to Rome; but not finding this design agreeable to his court, he consulted the holy virgin on this subject, who answered: "Fulfil what you have promised to God." The pope, surprised she should  know by revelation what he had never discovered to any person on earth, was immediately determined to carry his good design into execution. The saint soon after left Avignon. We have several letters written by her to him, to press him to hasten his return; and he shortly after followed her, leaving Avignon on the 13th of September, in 1376. He overtook the saint at Genoa, where she made a short stay. At Sienna, she continued her former way of life, serving and often curing the sick, converting the most obstinate sinners, and reconciling the most inveterate enemies, more still by her prayers than by her words. Such was her knowledge of heavenly things, that certain Italian doctors, out of envy, and  with the intent to expose her ignorance, being come to hold a conference with her, departed in confusion and admiration at her interior lights. The same had happened at Avignon, some time before, where three prelates, envying her credit with the pope, put to her the most intricate questions on an interior life, and many other subjects; but admiring her answers to all their difficulties, confessed to the pope they had never seen a soul so enlightened, and so profoundly humble as Catherine. She had many disciples: among others, Stephen, son of Conrad, a senator of Sienna. This nobleman was reduced by enemies to the last extremity. Seeing himself on the brink of ruin, he addressed himself to the saint, who, having first made a thorough convert of him from the world and its vanities, by her prayers miraculously, on a sudden, pacified all his persecutors, and calmed their fury. Stephen, from that time, looked upon as dust all that he had formerly most passionately loved and pursued; and he testified of himself, that by her presence, and much more by her zealous discourses, he always found the divine love vehemently kindled in his breast, and his contempt of all earthly things increased. He became the most fervent among her disciples, made a collection of all her words as oracles, would be her secretary to write her letters, and her companion in her journeys to Avignon, Florence, and Rome; and at length, by her advice, professed himself a Carthusian monk. He assisted  at her death, and wrote her life at the request of several princes; having been witness of her great miracles and virtues, and having experienced often in himself her spirit of prophecy, her knowledge of the consciences of others, and her extraordinary light in spiritual things.
 St. Catherine wrote to pope Gregory XI., at Rome, strongly exhorting him to contribute by all means possible to the general peace of Italy. His holiness commissioned her to go to Florence, still divided and obstinate in its disobedience. She lived some time in that factious place, amidst daily murders and confiscations, in frequent dangers of her own life many ways; in which she always showed herself most undaunted, even when swords were drawn against her. At length she overcame that obstinate people, and brought them to submission, obedience, and peace, though not under Gregory XI., as Baillet mistakes, but his successor, Urban VI., as her contemporary historian informs us. This memorable reconciliation was effected in 1378; after which Catherine hastened to her solitary abode at Sienna, where her occupation, and, we may say, her very nourishment, was holy prayer: in which intercourse with the Almighty, he discovered to her very wonderful mysteries, and bestowed on her a spirit which delivered the truths of salvation in a manner that astonished her hearers. Some of her discourses were collected, and compose the treatise On Providence, under her name. Her whole life seemed one continual miracle; but what the servants of God admired most in her, was the perpetual strict union of her soul with God. For, though obliged often to converse with different persons on so many different affairs, and transact business of the greatest moment, she was always occupied on God, and absorbed in him. For many years she had accustomed herself to so rigorous an abstinence, that the blessed eucharist might be said to be almost the only nourishment which supported her. Once she fasted from Ash Wednesday till Ascension-day, receiving only the blessed eucharist during that whole time. Many treated her as a hypocrite, and invented all manner of calumnies against her; but she rejoiced at humiliations, and gloried in the cross of Christ as much as she dreaded and abhorred praise and applause. In a vision, our Saviour is said one day to have presented her with two crowns, one of gold and the other of thorns, bidding her choose which of the two she pleased. She answered: "I desire, O Lord, to live here always conformed to your passion, and to find pain and suffering my repose and delight." Then eagerly taking up the crown of thorns, she forcibly pressed it upon her bead. The earnest desire and love of humiliations and crosses was nourished in her soul by assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Redeemer. What, above all things, pierced her heart was scandal, chiefly that of the unhappy great schism which followed the death of Gregory XI. in 1378, when Urban VI. was chosen at Rome, and acknowledged there by all the cardinals, though his election was in the beginning overawed by the Roman people, who demanded an Italian pope. Urban's harsh and austere temper alienated from him the affections of the cardinals, several of whom withdrew; and having declared the late election null, chose Clement VII., with whom they retired out of Italy, and resided at Avignon. Our saint, not content to spend herself in floods of tears, weeping before God for these evils of his church, wrote the strongest and most pathetic letters to those cardinals who had first acknowledged Urban, and afterwards elected another; pressing them to return to their lawful pastor, and acknowledge Urban's title. She wrote also to several countries and princes in his favor, and to Urban himself, exhorting him to bear up cheerfully under the troubles he found himself involved in, and to abate somewhat of a temper that had made him so many enemies, and mollify that rigidness of disposition which had driven the world from him, and still kept a very considerable part of Christendom from acknowledging him. The pope listened to her, sent for her to Rome, followed her directions, and designed to send her, with St. Catherine of Sweden, to Joan, queen of Sicily, who had sided with Clement. Our saint grieved to see this occasion of martyrdom snatched from her, when the journey was laid aside on account of the dangers that were foreseen to attend It. She wrote however to queen Joan: likewise two letters full of holy fire to the king of France, also to the king of Hungary, and others, to exhort them to renounce the schism.
We pass over the ecstasies and other wonderful favors this virgin received from heaven, and the innumerable miracles God wrought by her means. She has loft us, besides the example of her life, six Treatises in form of a dialogue, a Discourse on the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, and three hundred and sixty-four Letters, which show that she had a superior genius, and wrote perfectly well. While she was laboring to extend the obedience of the true pope, Urban VI., her infirmities and pains increasing, she died at Rome on the 29th of April, in 1380, being thirty-three years old. She was buried in the church of the Minerva, where her body is still kept under an altar. Her skull is in the Dominicans' church at Sienna, in which city are shown her house, her instruments of penance, and other relics. She was canonized by pope Pius II. in 1461. Urban VIII. transferred her festival to the 30th of this month.
When we read the lives of the saints, and consider the wonderful graces with which God enriched them, we admire their happiness in being so highly favored by him, and say to ourselves that their labors and sufferings bore no proportion to the sweetness of heavenly peace and love with which their souls were replenished, and the spiritual joy and consolations which were a present superabundant recompense and support. But it was in the victory over their passions, in the fervor of their charity, and in the perfection of their humility, patience, and meekness, that their virtue and their happiness chiefly consisted. Nor are we to imagine that God raised them to these sublime graces without their assiduous application to the practice both of exterior and interior mortification, especially of the latter. Self-denial prepared them for this state of perfect virtue, and supported them in it. What pity is it to hear persons talk of sublime virtue, and to see them pretend to aspire after it, without having studied in earnest to die to themselves. Without this condition, all their fine discourses are mere speculation, and their endeavors fruitless. Source: Alban Butler Lives of the Primitive 

Quote to SHARE by St. John Paul II - "Where, if not in the Divine Mercy, can the world find refuge and the light of hope?" #JP2


"Where, if not in the Divine Mercy, can the world find refuge and the light of hope?" 
Saint Pope John Paul II
(Homily April 18, 1993)

Beatification of 4 Modern Martyrs from Argentina who were assassinated in the 1976 “dirty war”.

Beatification of four modern martyrs to the faith in Argentina
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, presides over the beatification in Argentina of Bishop Enrique Angelelli, Fr Carlos Murias, Fr Gabriel Longueville, and lay catechist Wenceslao Pedernera. All were assassinated in 1976 during Argentina’s “dirty war”.
Vatican News report: By Seàn-Patrick Lovett

The first person to call them “martyrs” was the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, when he celebrated a memorial Mass for them in the Cathedral of La Rioja. Bishop Angelelli “shed his blood” for preaching the Gospel, said the future Pope Francis in his homily, and “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”.

The meaning of martyrdom
On Saturday morning, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, returned to the meaning of martyrdom when he celebrated their Beatification Mass in La Rioja City Park. “Their witness frustrates the claim to live selfishly or to build a model of society that is closed and without reference to moral and spiritual values”, he said. “The Martyrs exhort us…to be heralds of peace, agents of justice, and witnesses of solidarity”.

Who are these modern martyrs?
Bishop Enrique Angelelli was the son of Italian immigrants. His pastoral work, first in Córdoba and later in La Rioja, always focused on the poor and the oppressed.

This was Argentina in the mid-1970’s, the start of what came to be known as the “dirty war”, when right-wing death squads kidnapped, tortured and assassinated anyone suspected of being a political or ideological threat. 30,000 people disappeared, mostly students, trade unionists, journalists, artists, and sometimes priests.

Conventual Franciscan, Fr Carlos de Dios Murias, and French missionary, Fr Gabriel Longueville, worked together in the same rural parish, championing issues of social justice. In July 1976, they were tortured to death and their bodies left mutilated. A week later, a lay catechist, Wenceslao Pedernera, was shot to death in front of his wife and three daughters.

“It’s my turn next”
Bishop Angelelli understood he was on a death squad list and would often say: “It’s my turn next”. On 4 August 1976, he was driving back home after celebrating Mass for the two murdered priests, when his truck was overturned and he was murdered at the side of the road. In 2014 an Argentine Court confirmed that his assassination was a “premeditated act” and the result of “State-sponsored terrorism”.

In his homily at the Beatification Mass, Cardinal Becciu added that all four men were killed “because of their active efforts to promote Christian justice”. At the time of their murder, he continued, civil authorities did all they could to obstruct “commitment to social justice and to promoting the dignity of the human person”.

Models of Christian life
The Cardinal called these four Blesseds “models of Christian life”. The example of Bishop Angelelli, he said, “teaches today's pastors to exercise their ministry with burning charity, remaining strong in faith”. The example of the two priests, he added, “exhorts today's priests not to compromise, to remain faithful at all costs”. The father of the family, he concluded, “teaches the laity to distinguish themselves by the transparency of their faith, letting themselves be guided by it”.
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNewsva - Image source: Google Images - Catholic Sun
Bishop Enrique Angelelli Carletti of La Rioja, Argentina, is shown in a 1974 photo taken in Germany with two collaborators from his rural movement ministry, which promoted co-ops for small farmers. 

Divine Mercy Novena - Powerful #DivineMercy Prayers against Evil to Share!


































SHARE – PRAY – DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
JESUS said: I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls".
  NOVENA - Say for 9 days (can be said at anytime)
Day 1. Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people,
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Day 2. Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God’s love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy Radiant as stars,
bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Day 3.Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Day 4. Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. 

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 5. Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion. 

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 6. Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 7. Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.
Amen.
Day 8. Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen
Day 9. Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined,
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

RIP Fr. Paul Reich - Beloved Marianist Priest who brought Hundreds to the Catholic Faith


Father Paul A. Reich, SM,  was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and professed first vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1946, perpetual vows in 1950, ordained in 1957.

Father Reich, who served at St. Joseph as associate pastor for 29 years, died April 4 in Dayton, Ohio, at age 90. A funeral Mass was offered April 12 at Queen of Apostles Chapel in Dayton.

He was son of the late Ambrose and Alma (Thoma) Reich; and proceeded in death by his sister Helen, survived by his brother Joseph and his wife Ann. Father Paul taught and was chaplain at Marianist schools in Mineola, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Hollywood, Florida; and Chester, Pennsylvania. For years he was a very loved assistant pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Community in Eldersburg, Maryland.
Deacon Vito Piazza Sr. of the parish of St. Joseph in Sykesville explained Fr. Reich; "...told me that each and every time you preach, you speak about the love of God and the love of Jesus Christ,” remembered Deacon Piazza, director of St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and Historical Site on Paca Street in Baltimore. “It was simple advice, but extraordinarily profound. It was his credo that I adopted.”


Father Reich,  spent all his ministry at St. Joseph leading the RCIA program that welcomes people into the Catholic Church. Deacon Piazza  estimated that Father Reich was responsible for initiating more than 500 people into the Catholic Church.

Deacon Piazza called Father Reich a “wonderful, gentle confessor” and an “extraordinary teacher.”


After attending college at the University of Dayton, he studied theology and prepared for the priesthood at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Taking his classes in French and Latin, the young seminarian studied with seminarians from other religious orders including Redemptorists and Dominicans. He was ordained in Switzerland on July 14, 1957.

Father Reich told the Review that he remembered thinking during his ordination that he was becoming a person “to be truly of service to other people.”

 Father Reich was a theology, Latin or mathematics teacher at several high schools in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida – often serving as chaplain of athletic teams, according to the 2007 Catholic Review article.

“I’ve never lost the desire to be a priest,” he said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”

“He really lived his vows,” Deacon Piazza said. “He lived out the Marianist charism of welcome.”
Edited from Obituary on legacy.com - and Archbalt.org - Review

Pope Francis says "The wounds of Jesus are a treasure: Mercy comes from there...touch the wounds of Jesus." FULL TEXT on Divine Mercy Sunday + Video



REGINA COELI

St. Peter's Square
Sunday of Divine Mercy, 28 April 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today's Gospel (see Jn 20: 19-31) tells us that on Easter Sunday Jesus appeared to his disciples in the Upper Room in the evening, bringing three gifts: peace, joy, the apostolic mission.

The first words he says are: "Peace be with you" (v. 21). The Risen Lord brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the cross he has achieved the reconciliation between God and humanity and has conquered sin and death. This is peace. His disciples first needed this peace, because, after the capture and death sentence of the Master, they had fallen into bewilderment and fear. Jesus presents himself alive among them and, showing his wounds - Jesus wanted to preserve his wounds -, in the glorious body, he gives peace as the fruit of his victory. But that evening the Apostle Thomas was not present. Informed of this extraordinary event, he, incredulous before the testimony of the other Apostles, claims to verify personally the truth of what they affirm. Eight days later, that is just like today, the apparition is repeated: Jesus comes to meet the incredulity of Thomas, inviting him to touch his wounds. They constitute the source of peace, because they are the sign of the immense love of Jesus who defeated the forces hostile to man, sin, death. He invites him to touch the sores. It is a teaching for us, as if Jesus said to all of us: "If you are not at peace, touch my wounds".

Touch the wounds of Jesus, which are the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, diseases of so many suffering people. Aren't you at peace? Go, go to visit someone who is the symbol of the wound of Jesus. It touches the wound of Jesus. From those wounds comes mercy. This is why today is the Sunday of mercy. A saint said that the body of Jesus crucified is like a lot of mercy, that through the wounds it reaches us all. We all need mercy, we know that. Let us draw near to Jesus and touch his wounds in our suffering brothers. The wounds of Jesus are a treasure: Mercy comes from there. We are brave and touch the wounds of Jesus. With these wounds He stands before the Father, shows them to the Father, as if he were saying: "Father, this is the price, these wounds are what I paid for my brothers". With his wounds, Jesus intercedes before the Father. Give us mercy if we approach, and intercedes for us. Don't forget the wounds of Jesus.

The second gift that the risen Jesus brings to the disciples is joy. The evangelist reports that "the disciples rejoiced to see the Lord" (v. 20). And there is also a verse, in Luke's version, which says they could not believe for joy. We too, when maybe something incredible happened, something nice, we can say: "I can't believe it, this is not true!". Such were the disciples, they could not believe for joy. This is the joy that Jesus brings us. If you are sad, if you are not at peace, look at Jesus crucified, look at Jesus risen, look at his wounds and take that joy.

And then, in addition to peace and joy, Jesus also gives the disciples the gift as a gift. He tells them: "As the Father has sent me, I also send you" (v. 21). The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

On this second Sunday of Easter, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our hearts to peace, joy and mission. But let's not forget the wounds of Jesus, because peace, joy and strength for the mission come from there. We entrust this prayer to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, queen of heaven and earth.

After the Regina Coeli

Dear brothers and sisters,

yesterday in La Rioja, Argentina, they were proclaimed Blessed Enrique Angel Angelelli, diocesan Bishop, Carlos de Dios Murias, conventual Franciscan, Gabriel Longueville, fidei donum priest, and Wenceslao Pedernera, catechist, father of a family. These martyrs of the faith were persecuted because of justice and evangelical charity. Their example and their intercession support in particular those who work for a more just and united society. One of them was French, he went as a missionary to Argentina. The other three, Argentines. We applaud the new blesseds, all of them!

I invite you to join my prayer for the refugees who are in detention centers in Libya, whose situation, already very serious, is made even more dangerous by the ongoing conflict. I appeal for the special evacuation of women, children and the sick as soon as possible through humanitarian corridors.
And we also pray for those who lost their lives or suffered serious damage from the recent floods in South Africa. Even these brothers of ours do not lack our solidarity and the concrete support of the international community.

I greet all of you, Roman faithful and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries, in particular the faithful of Tlalnepantla (Mexico), the youth of Valencia, the students of Tricase, the adolescents of Arcore and those of Carugo; the faithful of Modugno and Genoa. A special greeting to the diocesan pilgrimage of the families of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, as well as to the devotees of the Divine Mercy gathered today in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia.

To our brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches who today, according to the Julian calendar, celebrate Easter, I offer cordial wishes. May the risen Lord give them joy and peace! And applause also for all Eastern Catholics and Orthodox, to say to them: "Happy Easter!".

Finally, I thank all those who have sent me Easter greetings at this time. I exchange them heartily, invoking every good for each and every family.

Good Sunday to all! And please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation