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Monday, March 23, 2020
CO-FOUNDRESS OF THE BRIGITTINES, DAUGHTER OF ST. BRIGID OF SWEDEN
1331 at Sweden
24 March 1381
1484 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Innocent VIII
against abortion, against miscarriages
The fourth child of St. Bridget and her husband, Ulf Gudmarsson, born 1331 or 1332; died 24 March, 1381. At the time of her death St. Catherine was head of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother; hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called. At the age of seven she was sent to the abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated and soon showed, like her mother, a desire for a life of self-mortification and devotion to spiritual things. At the command of her father, when about thirteen or fourteen years, she married a noble of German descent, Eggart von Kürnen. She at once persuaded her husband, who was a very religious man, to join her in a vow of chastity. Both lived in a state of virginity and devoted themselves to the exercise of Christian perfection and active charity. In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, where St. Bridget went in 1349. Soon after her arrival in that city Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden. She now lived constantly with her mother, took an active part in St. Bridget's fruitful labours, and zealously imitated her mother's ascetic life. Although the distinguished and beautiful young widow was surrounded by suitors, she steadily refused all offers of marriage. In 1372 St. Catherine and her brother, Birger, accompanied their mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; after their return to Rome St. Catherine was with her mother in the latter's last illness and death.
In 1374, in obedience to St. Bridget's wish, Catherine brought back her mother's body to Sweden for burial at Wadstena, of which foundation she now became the head. It was the motherhouse of the Brigittine Order, also called the Order of St. Saviour. Catherine managed the convent with great skill and made the life there one in harmony with the principles laid down by its founder. The following hear she went again to Rome in order to promote the canonization of St. Bridget, and to obtain a new papal confirmation of the order. She secured another confirmation both from Gregory XI (1377) and from Urban VI (1379) but was unable to gain at the time the canonization of her mother, as the confusion caused by the Schism delayed the process. When this sorrowful division appeared she showed herself, like St. Catherine of Siena, a steadfast adherent of the part of the Roman Pope, Urban VI, in whose favour she testified before a judicial commission. Catherine stayed five years in Italy and then returned home, bearing a special letter of commendation from the pope. Not long after her arrival in Sweden she was taken ill and died. In 1484 Innocent VIII gave permission for her veneration as a saint and her feast was assigned to 22 March in the Roman martyrology. Catherine wrote a devotional work entitled "Consolation of the Soul" (Sielinna Troëst), largely composed of citations from the Scriptures and from early religious books; no copy is known to exist. Generally she is represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths sought to ensnare her.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Prayer for Avoiding Miscarriages or Abortion
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Prayer for Avoiding Miscarriages or Abortion
Dear Saint Catherine, you know the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for us that miscarriage may be avoided and a healthy baby may be brought forth; who will become a true child of God.
Also pray for all mothers, that they may not resort to abortion but will bring new life into our world. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank and praise You for the gift of all human life.
I am most grateful for new life in the womb – the unborn child forming.
Through the prayers of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the intercession of Saint Catherine of Sweden, I beg You to watch over and protect little ones inside the womb.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pope Francis at Mass says "In these days, it's necessary to pray more." and Prays for those facing Economic Problems due to the Pandemic
Pope Francis prays for families facing financial problems
During Mass on Monday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis prays for families facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, and says prayer requires faith, perseverance and courage.
By Vatican News
“Let us pray today for those persons who are beginning to experience economic problems because of the pandemic, because they cannot work.” This was Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the morning Mass he celebrated on Monday at the Casa Santa Marta. “All of this affects the family. We pray for those people who have this problem.”
During his homily, he spoke of the faith, perseverance and courage necessary to pray well.
Unless you see signs…
Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of the healing of the functionary’s son in Cana in Galilee (John 4:43-54). After asking Jesus to cure his son, “the Lord reproves him a bit – everyone – but him as well…. Instead of staying silent, the functionary continues, saying ‘Lord, come down before my child dies’ ”. He then receives the assurance from the Lord that his child would live, the Pope said.
Faith is the first requirement for “true prayer”, Pope Francis said.
“Many times prayer is only oral from the mouth…but it doesn't come from the faith in the heart, or it's a weak faith.”
The Pope then gave another example of the father whose child was possessed who asked the Lord to increase his faith, after Jesus tells him that everything is possible to those who have faith (Mark 9:23) .
“Faith and prayer; to pray with faith…. I pray either with faith or out of habit. Let's be attentive when we pray not to fall into routine, without the awareness that the Lord is here, that I'm speaking with the Lord and He is able to resolve problems.”
The second requirement, the Pope said, is perseverance. Jesus himself teaches us this, he said.
“Some people ask and then the grace doesn't come. They don't have this perseverance because deep down they don't need it or they don’t have faith”.
He then cited the parables in which Jesus teaches us perseverance: the person who woke up his neighbor in the middle of the night for bread, and the widow before the unjust judge.
“Faith and perseverance go together because if you have faith you're sure that the Lord will give you what you are asking. If the Lord makes you wait, knock and knock and knock. In the end the Lord gives the grace.”
If the Lord makes us wait, the Pope said, He does so “for our good”. “He takes prayer seriously”, Pope Francis said.
God wants us to pray courageously. This is the third requirement, the Pope said.
“ ‘Is courage necessary to pray?’, someone might think. To remain before the Lord: yes, it’s necessary. It’s almost, almost, I don’t want to say a heresy, but almost as if we're threatening the Lord. Moses’s courage before God when God wanted to destroy the people…. Abraham’s courage when he negotiates the salvation of Sodom. ‘What if there are 30? What if there are 20?’ Courage. This virtue of courage is very much needed, not only for apostolic works, but also for prayer.”
Faith, perseverance and courage
The Pope then concluded his homily reflecting on what we are all experiencing in these days.
“Faith, perseverance and courage. In these days, it's necessary to pray more. Imagine if we were to pray like this. With faith – that the Lord can intervene; with perseverance and with courage. The Lord never deludes. He makes us wait. He takes His time. But he never deludes. Faith, perseverance and courage.”
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Reading 1IS 65:17-21
Thus says the LORD:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.