Monday, June 3, 2019

Saint June 4 : St. Francis Caracciolo the Founder of Minor Clerks Regular : Patron of Cooks


FOUNDER Born:
October 13, 1563, Villa Santa Maria, Province of Chieti, Region of Abruzzo, Kingdom of Naplesa
Died:
June 4, 1608, Agnone, Province of Isernia, Region of Molise, Kingdom of Italy
Canonized:
May 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major Shrine:
Church of Santa Maria di Monteverginella, Naples
Patron of:
of the city of Naples, Italy and of Italian cooks
St. Francis Caracciolo as a boy was one of those children whom the world "sets down as unnatural." No doubt we ourselves also had we seen the little Ascanio, by which name he was baptized, eschewing games and "the things of a child," to make constant visits to the Blessed Sacrament and give food and other reliefs to the poor, would have thought it all very "odd," did we not reflect that the "supernatural" does strange things at times and manifests itself in old and young alike, regardless of what people may say or even do! Ascanius, or as we must call him by his name in religion, Francis, Caracciolo, was born at Villa Santa Maria in that quarter of Italy known as the Abruzzi, the very name of which always recalls mental pictures of wild and lonely scenery and picturesque groups of Salvator Rosa-esque brigands! The family of the Saint was noble, being a junior branch of the ancient house. While still a youth, he was attacked by one of the several skin complaints collectively described as "leprosy" in those days, but which in the case of the subject of this memoir was made the means of still further withdrawing him from things of earth and towards those of Heaven. He was cured in consequence, it is said, of a vow to devote his life to the service of God, and with this end in view he went, at the age of about twenty-two, to study for the priesthood at Naples. In the intervals of reading, he busied himself with works of devotion and charity, making long visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and consoling the inmates of hospitals and prisons. He had a special liking for neglected churches, seeking to make up by his attendance and prayers for the absence of worshippers in these uncared-for sanctuaries. After his Ordination in 1587, he joined a pious confraternity, known as the "The White Robes of Justice." This Society, like that of the better-known Misericorde, attended condemned criminals and prepared them to die well. All this time, Francis seems to have had in mind the founding of a new religious Order, and next year the matter came to a head. It happened that the same idea had also occurred to another devout man, Giovanni Agostino Adorno, who unburdened his mind on the subject in a letter addressed to another member of the Caracciolo family, named Fabricius Ascanio. The letter was delivered by a very natural error to our Saint, who saw in the occurrence a clear indication of the divine will. Joining in at once with John Adorno and Fabricius Caracciolo, our Saint and they retired for a while to the desert of Camaldoli, where the holy trio drew up the Rule of what was to be the Minor Clerks Regular. Francis then went to Rome to obtain the approval of the Pope for the new Foundation. Sixtus V was at that time in the midst of his strenuous pontificate, clearing the Papal States of the swarms of brigands which had long made that part of Italy one of the most insecure places in Europe, and in beautifying Rome with those stately public buildings which still reflect the glory of the Sistine rule. The Holy Father with quite unwonted alacrity approved the Congregation on 1st July of the same year (1588).

The new Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular thus established was one of considerable severity. The Clerks bound themselves to distribute various practices of penance among themselves daily, so that while one fasted, another took the discipline, a third wore the hair-shirt and so on. The rest not so engaged were meanwhile watching in turn before the Blessed Sacrament. In addition to the three usual vows, a fourth was added-not to aspire after dignities (de non ambiendis dignitatibus).

 At his solemn profession at Naples, 9th April, 1589, Fr. Caracciolo took the name of Francis, from his great devotion to the holy Founder of the Seraphic Order. Fr. Adorno dying two years later, Fr. Francis, entirely against his own wish, was chosen Superior of the Congregation. He showed himself a model in all that related to the Rule, but quite surpassed all his brethren in the matter of prayer and austerity. He meditated several hours daily on the sufferings of Our Lord, and spent most of the night before the Blessed Sacrament. This he did, among other reasons, to make up as far as he could for the coldness and ingratitude of men, and often, too, the culpable negligence of indifferent ecclesiastics which so frequently caused the churches to be practically abandoned day after day. When kneeling before the altar, the face of Fr. Francis appeared to be lighted up with celestial glory, while he ejaculated from time to time a favourite sentence from the Scripture: "the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up!" (Ps. lxviii. 10.)
The first house of the Clerks was one at Naples, known as St. Mary Major's, which had been made over to them by Sixtus V, but the expansion of the Congregation soon made it imperative to found others elsewhere. Spain early extended its welcome to the newest arrivals in the monastic field, and St. Francis undertook no fewer than three journeys to that most Catholic country under the special protection first of Philip II and afterwards of his son, Philip III. On one of these voyages, the ship that bore the holy Founder and his fortunes was nearly wrecked, but the vessel was saved by the prayer of our Saint. Of course, there was the opposition of the good to be met and overcome, but the spiritual methods and perseverance of Francis were rewarded by the establishment of three branches-the House of the Holy Ghost at Madrid (20th January, 1599), that of Our Lady of the Annunciation at Valla, closed (9th September, 1601), and St. Joseph at Alcala (1601). This last was opened in the University for the purpose of study and the requirements of the usual academic courses, and many of the aspirants to the Order in Spain spent some years there as part of their preparation for Holy Orders. Before this the Clerks obtained in Rome the Church of St. Leonard afterwards exchanged for that of St. Agnes in the Piazza Navona, the famous Church built on the traditional site of the martyrdom of St. Agnes. It was entirely rebuilt in 1642, at the expense of the Pamfili family, and among the many monuments of artistic or historic interest is the tomb of the Princess Mary Talbot Doria-Pamfili, who died 1857. She was the beautiful daughter of the Sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, and one of the Maids of Honour to Queen Victoria at her Coronation in 1838.

In spite of the general knowledge as to the "fourth vow" of the Congregation against accepting or even seeking ecclesiastical honours, many desired to see the Founder exalted to what they considered a wider field of usefulness, and Pope Paul V, who greatly admired the heroic virtues and practical wisdom of Francis, wished to make him a bishop, but desisted at the earnest entreaty of the Saint. Besides his work for the Congregation, Francis unceasingly interested himself in the salvation of souls generally. He was much sought after as a confessor while his exhortations brought to repentance numerous public sinners, and he fortified the wavering and the despondent by personal encouragement and the recommendation of the two great Catholic devotions, those to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady. He had the gift of discerning hearts and of prophecy, and his own approaching death was made known to him one day, when, according to custom, he was praying before the altar of the Church of St. Lauretana. He was at that time in negotiation with the Oratorian Fathers with reference to taking over their house at Agnone in the Abruzzi for the use of his Congregation, and he lost no time in going to that place. Arrived there, he was shortly after seized with fever, and having received all the last rites, he died surrounded by the Oratorian Community of the place on the Vigil of Corpus Christi, 4th June, 1608. His body was removed to the Church of St. Mary Major, Naples, where it remained till it was transferred to the Church of Montivergonella which had been made over to the Clerks Regular, 1893, apparently in exchange for the other seized during the occupation of Naples by the French Revolutionary Army.

The Saint was proclaimed patron of the City of Naples in 1838, but the devotion to him which was once so marked a feature of the spiritual life of the place is said now to be much less in evidence. In addition to the Rule which he drew up in conjunction with his two holy coadjutors, St. Francis Caracciolo also left a devotional treatise on the Passion, this work, apart from the inherent value of the subject, is precious as containing the holy reflections and aspirations of one of the outstanding notabilities of the Church in the last period of the Counter-Reformation—the lover of souls—who did so much to heal by his zeal and piety the wounds which heresy and iniquity had inflicted upon the Mystical Body of the Lord.Source : https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.147060/2015.147060.The-Livies-Of-The-Fathers-Martyrs-And-Other-Principal-Saints-Vol-v_djvu.txt

Wow Catholic Priest - Ordained after his wife Died turns 100 with 7 Children and 4 Sons who are Priests


Don Probo Vaccarini was ordained priest at the age of 69 after the death of his wife. He and his wife had 7 children and his four sons all became priests too.
The  Catholic priest, Don Probo Vaccarini, celebrated his 100th birthday on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in Rimini, Italy. As a widower and with the encouragement of his family he earned a second degree in theology and received at the age of 69 ordination to the priesthood. Since then he has worked as a pastor, in San Martino in Venti, a small rural community near the Adriatic Sea. The online portal "Newsrimini" (Sunday) reported that he celebrated a solemn Mass with Bishop Francesco Lambiasi in the Cathedral of Rimini.

Born on June 4, 1919, Vaccarini had initially taken the profession of surveyor after his participation in the Russian campaign in the Second World War. From his marriage with his wife Anna Maria three daughters and four sons were born; all the male sons also entered the priesthood.
Following the death of his wife, Vaccarini, the devotee of the Italian popular saint, Padre Pio, became increasingly involved in the Church. Encouraged by his sons, he was ordained a priest himself in May 1988.

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#BreakingNews Christians are undergoing a Genocide as Revealed in New report by BBC

A May 3, 2019 BBC report explains "Christian persecution 'at near genocide levels.'" They refer to an interim study ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and conducted by Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro. For example in Afghanistan, "Christianity is not permitted to exist."
The BBC report shows that one in three people in the globe suffer from religious persecution, with Christians being "the most persecuted religious group". .
"Religion 'is at risk of disappearing' in some parts of the world," it demonstrated, and "In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN."Christian persecution, however, evidently occurs in Muslim majority nations.  Open Doors' World Watch List 2019,  surveys the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted stated, "Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians." "This means, for millions of Christians—particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families—openly following Jesus can have painful consequences," also meaning death. The report by Bishop Truro noted that in some countries especially Nigeria "Those worst affected included Christian women and girls 'abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.'"

The following are a key findings from the report by Bishop of Truro's :

1) "The persecution of Christians is perhaps at its most virulent in the region of the birthplace of Christianity—the Middle East & North Africa."

2) "The eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of 'the sword' or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of  extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines." 

3)"There is mass violence which regularly expresses itself through the bombing of churches, as has been the case in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

4)"An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols. The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the Church's structure and leadership."

5)"Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped-out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region."
Edited from BBC News
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Powerful Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost with Consecration Prayers - 3


HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA DAY 3 FOR PENTECOST
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.
The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.
Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html
 

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New Book by Pope Francis entitled "Ave Maria" on the Hail Mary prayer with co-author Marco Pozza

A new book has been published with Pope Francis and Chaplain Marco Pozza with two parts:  an interview with Pope Francis analyzing the Hail Mary prayer sentence-by-sentence. The second explains the experience of the book's co-author, Marco Pozza, as chaplain of a prison in Padua. The idea was born when he asked the pope to help him understand prayer more deeply and not just recite it from memory. Prison Chaplain (Padua) “I wrote a letter to Pope Francis, I put it in the post box. I have no special contacts, I only knew Paolo Ruffini. I mailed the letter and in it I simply explained to him,'look I need help here'”. With this book, he hopes to bring Catholics closer to Mary. In this way, they too can have a better understanding of the Marian tradition the pope talks about so much. Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said,
"The book was conceived as a commentary on the different lines of the 'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed you are among all women...' On each of these phrases, the dialogue with Fr. Marco shares his feelings and what inspires him". 
 Edited from Rome Reports

US Bishops' Conference release on Shooting in Virginia Beach calling for Gun Legislation - Full Text


U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS' DOMESTIC JUSTICE CHAIRMAN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING SHOOTING IN VIRGINIA BEACH

June 1, 2019
WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issued the following statement in response to the tragic shooting at the municipal building in Virginia Beach.
The full statement follows:
“This past Friday afternoon, an horrific act of gun violence took place at the municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There are reports of at least twelve fatalities, and numerous critical injuries. This shooting reminds us yet again that something is fundamentally broken in our society and culture when ordinary workplaces can become scenes of violence and contempt for human life. As Americans we must deeply examine why these horrific occurrences of gun violence continue to take place in our communities, in order to root out the causes of such evils. Action is needed to attempt to reduce the frequency of these abhorrent acts through legislation and training. I call on Catholics around the country to pray for the dead and injured, as well as for healing in the community.
May Jesus, whose victory over death we celebrate during this Easter Season, bring consolation and healing at this time of great sorrow.”

Novena to St. Charles Lwanga and Martyrs of #Uganda in Africa to Share

Novena in Honour of Saint Charles Lwanga & the Martyrs of Uganda

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen


OUR FATHER
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be
Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done,
on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our
daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

HAIL MARY
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

GLORY BE
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


O Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, through your passion and death, we adore and thank Thee.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of Martyrs, Obtain for us sanctification through our sufferings.
Holy Martyrs, followers of the suffering Christ, obtain for us the grace to imitate Him.
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.
St. Matthias Mulumba, ideal Chief and follower of Christ meek and humble, obtain for us a Christian gentleness.
St. Dionysius Sebuggwawo, zealous for the Christian Faith and renowned for your modesty, obtain for us the virture of modesty.
St. Andrew Kaggwa, model Catechist and teacher, obtain for us a love of the teaching of Christ.
St. Kizito, child resplendent in purity and Christian joy, obtain for us the gift of joy in our Lord.
St. Gyaviira, shining example of how to forgive and forget injuries, obtain for us the grace to forgive those who injure us.
St. Mukasa, fervent catechumen rewarded with the Baptism of your blood, obtain for us perseverance unto the death.
St. Adolfus Ludigo, conspicuous by your following of our Lord's spirit of service to others; obtain for us a love of unselfish service.
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, humble servant preferring a devout life to wordly honours; obtain for us to love piety more than earthly things.
St. Ambrosius Kibuuka, young man full of joy and love of your neighbour; obtain for us fraternal charity.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka, who for the sake of Christ detested vain superstitious practices; obtain for us holy hatred of superstitious practices.
St. John Muzeeyi, prudent councilor, renowned for the practice of works of mercy; obtain for us a love of those works of mercy.
Blessed Jildo Irwa and Blessed Daudi Okello who gave up your lives for the spread of the Catholic Faith; obtain for us the zeal of spreading the Catholic Faith.
St. Pontaianus Ngondwe, faithful soldier, longing for the martyr's crown; obtain for us the grace to be always faithful to our duty.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury; obtain for us a spirit of responsibility.
St. Mbaaga, who preferred death to the persuasions of your parents; obtain for us to follow generously divine grace.
St. Gonzaga Gonza, full of sympathy for prisoners, and all who were in trouble; obtain for us the spirit of mercy.
St. Noe Mawaggali, humble worker and lover of evangelical poverty; obtain for us love of evangelical poverty.
St. Luke Baanabakintu, who ardently desired to imitate the suffering Christ by Martyrdom; obtain for us a love of our motherland.
St. Bruno Serunkuuma, soldier who gave an example of repentance and temperance; obtain for us the virture to repentance and temperance.
St. Mugagga, young man renowned for your heroic chastity; obtain for us perserverance in chastity.
Holy Martyrs, firm in your fidelity to the true Church of Christ; help us to be always faithful to the true Church of Christ.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, Matthias Mulumba, Blessed Jildo Irwa, Blessed Daudi Okello and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech you, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen


St. Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda, we come to you asking your prayers of intercession on behalf of all who suffer from the unjust exercise of authority. May you who were so cruelly persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ intercede for all who are oppressed, that they might be comforted by the Divine Mercy and empowered by the gift and grace of fortitude. May justice be the goal of all people and may all who are called by the name Christian join together in works of redemption directed at the sins and the structures of sin that afflict our communities. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video - Monday, June 3, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide


Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 297

Reading 1ACTS 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"
They answered him,
"We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
He said, "How were you baptized?"
They replied, "With the baptism of John."
Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus."
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R.(33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2COL 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
"Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world." 

Saint June 3 : St. Clotilde : Patron of Brides , Adopted Children and #Widows


QUEEN




Born:
475, Lyon, France
Died:
545, Tours, France
Patron of:
brides, adopted children, parents, exiles, widows
Was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to Gondebald, the tyrannical king of Burgundy, who put him, his wife, and the rest of his brothers, except one, to death, in order to usurp their dominions. In this massacre he spared Chilperic's  two fair daughters, then in their infancy. One of them became afterwards a nun; the other, named Clotildis, was brought up in her uncle's court, and by a singular providence, was instructed in the Catholic religion, though she was educated in the midst of Arians. It was her happiness in the true faith, to be inspired from the cradle with a contempt and disgust of a treacherous world, which sentiments she cherished and improved by the most fervent exercises of religion. Though she saw herself surrounded with all the charms of the world, and was from her infancy its idol, yet her heart was proof against its seductions. She was adorned with the assemblage of all virtues; and the reputation of her wit, beauty, meekness, modesty, and piety, made her the adoration of all the neighboring kingdoms, when Clovis I., surnamed the great, the victorious king of the Franks, demanded and obtained her of her uncle in marriage granting her all the conditions she could desire for the free and secure exercise of her religion.1 The marriage was solemnized at Soissons, in 493. Clotildis made herself a little oratory in the royal palace, in which she spent much time in fervent prayer and secret mortifications. Her devotion was tempered with discretion, so that she attended all her business at court, was watchful over her maids, and did every thing with a dignity, order, and piety, which edified and charmed the king and his whole court. Her charity to the poor seemed a sea which could never be drained. She honored her royal husband, studied to sweeten his warlike temper by Christian meekness, conformed herself to his humor in things that were indifferent; and, the better to gain his affections, made those things the subject of her discourse and praises in which  she saw him to take the greatest delight. When she saw herself mistress of his heart, she did not defer the great work of endeavoring to win him to God, and often spoke to him on the vanity of his idols, and on the excellency of the true religion. The king always heard her with pleasure; but the moment of his conversion was not yet come. It was first to cost her many tears, severe trials, and earnest perseverance. After the baptism of their second son, Clodomir, and the infant's recovery from a dangerous indisposition, she pressed the king more boldly to renounce his idols. One day especially, when he had given her great assurances of his affection, and augmented her dowry by a gift of several manors, she said she begged only one favor of his majesty, which was the liberty to discourse with him on the sanctity of her religion, and to put him in mind of his promise of forsaking the worship of idols. But the fear of giving offence to his people made him delay the execution. His miraculous victory over the Alemanni, and his entire conversion in 496, were at length the fruit of our saint's prayers.

Clotildis, having gained to God this great monarch, never ceased to excite him to glorious actions for the divine honor: among other religious foundations he built in Paris, at her request, about the year 511, the great church of SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's. This great prince had a singular devotion to St. Martin, and went sometimes to Tours, to prostrate himself in prayer at his tomb. He sent his royal diadem, which is called, to this day, The Realm, a present to pope Hormisdas, as a token that he dedicated his kingdom to God. His barbarous education and martial temper made it, in certain sallies of his passions, difficult for Clotildis to bridle his inclination to ambition and cruelty, so that he scarce left any princes of his own relations living, except his sons. He died on the 27th of November, in the year 511, of his age the forty-fifth, having reigned thirty years. He was buried in the church of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's, where his tomb still remains. An ancient long epitaph, which was inscribed on it, is preserved by Aimoinus, and copied by Rivet. His eldest son Theodoric, whom he had by a concubine before his marriage, reigned at Rheims over Austrasia, or the eastern parts of France, which comprised the present Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, and several provinces of Germany. Metz was afterwards the capital of this country. As to the three sons of Clotildis, Clodomir reigned at Orleans, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire I., at Soissons. This division produced wars and mutual jealousies, till, in 560, the whole monarchy was reunited under Clotaire, the youngest of these brothers. St. Clotildis lived to see Clodomir defeat and put to death Sigismund, king of Burgundy; but soon after, in 524, himself vanquished and slain by Gondemar, successor to Sigismund; Gondemar overcome and killed by Childebert and Clotaire, and the kingdom of Burgundy united to France. The most sensible affliction of this pious queen was the murder of the two eldest sons of Clodomir, committed in 526, by their uncles Childebert and Clotaire, who seized on the kingdom of Orleans. This tragical disaster contributed more perfectly to wean her heart from the world. She spent the remaining part of her life at Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin, in exercises of prayer, almsdeeds, watching, fasting, and penance, seeming totally to forget that she had been queen, or that her sons sat on the throne. Eternity filled her heart, and employed all her thoughts. She foretold her death thirty days before it happened; having been admonished of it by God at the tomb of St. Martin, the usual place of her tears. In her last illness, she sent for her sons Childebert, king of Paris, and Clotaire, king of Soissons, and exhorted them, in the most pathetic manner, to honor God and keep his commandments; to protect the poor, reign as fathers to their people, live in union together, and love and study always to maintain tranquillity and peace. She scarce ever ceased repeating the psalms with the most tender devotion, and ordered all she had left to be distributed among she poor; though this was very little; for she had always been careful to send her riches before her by their hands. On the thirtieth day of her illness she received the sacraments, made a public confession of her faith, and departed to the Lord on the 3d of June, in 545. She was buried, by her own order, in the church of St. Genevieve, at the feet of that holy shepherdess, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 3d of June. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., and Fortunatus; and among the moderns, Abbe Du Bos and Gilb. le Gendre, Antiquites de la Nation et Monarchie Francoise, & c. Text : Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler
Prayer to St. Clotilde (Angelfire)
Hail, gentle and loving St. Clotilde, sweet illustrious Queen of the Franks, who by thy faith and perseverance in the Lord didst convert thy husband and made France for many centuries a venerable stalwart of the Catholic faith, I implore thy powerful intercession in this my great need.
Assist me, holy St. Clotilde, from thy height of glory in heaven. Thou, who during thy earthly sojourn, didst drink deeply from the Saviour's chalice of sorrows, have pity on my dire distress, especially . . . (Here make your intention).
Grant also that through my sorrows I may, like thee, purify my faith and never lose hope in the mercy of God. Amen.