Friday, August 21, 2020

Holy Mass Readings and Video : Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary - #Eucharist



Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 424

Reading 1 EZ 43- 1 -7
The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.

Responsorial Psalm
R. (see 10b)  The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.


Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father in heaven;
you have but one master, the Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel  MATTHEW 23-1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Prayer to make Spiritual Communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint August 22 : Queenship of Mary Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus - #Queenship Feast

“When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” (St. John Damascene)
August 22, we celebrate the Coronation and Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. For centuries, we have called upon the intercession of Our Blessed Mother under a multitude of regal and holy titles: Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Virgins, Queen of the Rosary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Pope Benedict XVI noted that Mary is Queen of Heaven because of her humble and unconditional acceptance in the divine will when he said: ”God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.”
We have looked to Our holy Mother, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the Theotokos, to the Mother of Our Saviour, and have never been disappointed. Because of Her eminence, she is indeed entitled to the highest honors that can be bestowed upon any creature. Saint Gregory Nazianzen called Her Mother of the King of the entire universe, and the Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the entire world.
Pope Pius XII established the feast of Mary’s Queenship in 1954, but recognition of Our Lady as Our Queen has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her Queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship.
In the fourth century Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church fathers and doctors (among them, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm, Saint Peter Chrysologus, and Saint Amadeus of Lausanne) continued to use the title. Now familiar hymns such as “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” and “Queen of Heaven” became popular as early as the eleventh century. The feast of Mary’s Queenship is a logical follow-up to the Assumption, now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection, and because of her intercessory power. In support of these four reasons that Our Lady deserves the title of Our Queen, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon her four titles. Of these four titles, two closely parallel those of Jesus, and two are unique unto the role of Mary.
First, Mary is Queen by her “divine relationship” with Jesus. That is, as Jesus was, is, and every shall be king, so, too, shall Mary ever be queen. But her relationship with Jesus supercedes that of normal earthly queen mothers, as she did not birth a man who would become king, she birthed an eternal king who predated the world.
Second, Mary is Queen by right of conquest, just as Jesus was King by the same right. Mary shared in her Son’s struggle and victory over Satan—and in doing so, shared in our redemption.
Third, Mary is Queen by grace. She is, as the Archangel Gabriel announced, “full of grace,” surpassed in grace only by Jesus. And fourth, Mary is Queen by the singular choice of the Lord. He chose her, appointed her, and elevated her through the birth of His Son.
In his Encyclical Letter of October 11, 1954, “On the Royal Dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institution of Her Feast,” Pope Pius XII said “Constituted by the Lord as Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all the choirs of Angels and the ranks of the Saints in heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and obtains what She seeks.” (For the text of the complete Encyclical, see here.) He added that "nothing is excluded from her dominion." As Mediatrix of all graces, who shared in earning all graces, she is forever working on our behalf. United with her Son, Our Blessed Mother can obtain by her intercession anything that the all-powerful God can do by His own inherent power.
Today, and every day, let us kneel at Mary's feet and confidently pray, placing our needs and concerns into the hands of our Mother, Mary the Queen of angels and saints, Queen of heaven and earth!
Father,
you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Lomman, Abbot, "The Praises of Mary”:
O Mary, when our eyes close in our last sleep, and open to behold thy Son, the Just Judge, and the Angel opens the Book, and the Enemy accuses us; in that terrible hour, come to our aid. Be with us. When death came to Joseph, you and your Son were with him: Thy Son to judge, thou to console. O Happy Joseph! When death comes for us, be near us. O Mary, when we are held captive in the place of atonement; plead for us, and visit us, that we may find consolation in thy presence. Stretch forth thy hand to help us; deliver us from our bondage. We are thy children: Thou art our Mother. As little children we come to thee; we know no fear. O Mary, He changed water into wine for thee, even as He said: My hour has not yet come. Now He will not refuse thee, when you plead for us thy children. O Mary, come quickly to our aid. Do not let us stray from the Fold. The wolf is waiting to destroy us. There shall be neither night nor day to thy praises. Adoration to the Father Who created thee! Adoration to they Son, Who took flesh from thee! Adoration to the Holy Spirit, Thy Divine Spouse! Three in One, One in Three. Equal in all things. To Him be glory for ever. For ever. For ever. Amen.
The Saints on Mary's Queenship:
"No one has access to the Almighty as His mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen forever." (Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman) "Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?" (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)
"She has surpassed the riches of the virgins, the confessors, the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs, and the angels, for she herself is the first-fruit of the virgins, the mirror of confessors, the rose of martyrs, the ruler of apostles, the oracle of prophets, the daughter of patriarchs, the queen of angels." (Saint Bonaventure)
"Such is the will of God that we should have everything through Mary." (Saint Alphonsus Liguori)
“Believe me, there is no more powerful means to obtain God’s grace than to employ the intercessions of the Holy Virgin.” (Saint Philip Neri) "Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs." (Saint Louis Marie de Montfort)
“To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern.” (Saint John Marie Vianney)
"Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart." (Saint Maximilian Kolbe)
Text shared from 365Rosaries Blog

Free Movie : Francis of Assisi - Stars Dolores Hart as St. Clare

Francis of Assisi (1961) 105 min - Biography | Drama | History - 12 July 1961 (USA) Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young maiden who gives herself to God and gives up marriage. Director: Michael Curtiz Writers: Ludwig von Wohl (novel), Eugene Vale (screenplay), Stars: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman

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Wow Amazing New Movie Starring Jim Caviezel and Eduardo Verastegui tells True Story of Rescue from Trafficking - Watch Trailer


The Sound of Freedom is a new movie with famous actors Jim Caviezel and Eduardo Verastegui. It recounts a true story in the fight against child trafficking. Also, the movie documents the stories of real people who fight child trafficking.  It shows the reality of investigations and raids, and freedom of children from global sex trafficking.  It is also produced by Eduardo Verástegui who plays the part of “Paul”.  Directed by Alejandro Monteverde and filmed in Cartagena, Colombia the Sound of Freedom.

Other Stars in the Film:
Many stars helped make this film including Mira Sorvino, Eduardo Verástegui, and Jim Caviezel and  are joined by Manny Perez, Bill Camp, Kurt Fuller, Gerardo Taracena, José Zúñiga, Scott Haze, Gary Basaraba and more.


Jim Caviezel told the Desert News that his role in The Sound of Freedom is “..the second most important film I have ever done”.  This role only surpassed in the actor’s opinion by his role in “The Passion of the Christ”.  He went on to say “It’s going to affect the saving of a lot of children..”


Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes who is connected to the fight to end child trafficking in ways many people are unaware of.  KUTV News reported in 2015 that Sean Reyes had been involved in a raid in Columbia shortly before the article was written.  In just 2 days Reyes along with Ballard were able to liberate over 100 children from child trafficking.  Some of these children were as young as 10 years old.  The raid took place on the Rosario Islands in October 2014.  In addition to being a translator for the raid, Reyes also ended up playing the part of a man looking for children.  He is quoted as saying:

“I was absolutely crawling out of my skin. It is so difficult to stay in character and not beat these guys in the head.” – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Attorney General Reyes has helped set the example for doing more than talk, he has gone into the field.  He, along with other child trafficking fighters, understands that to end child trafficking it takes more than talk, it takes action.  Children are living in confinement and suffering right now. 

The Sound of Freedom recognizes brave efforts to fight child trafficking, it helps draw attention to the subject.  Raising awareness on the problem of child trafficking helps bring this issue to the forefront of minds. 
Edited from https://liberatechildren.org/blog/sound-of-freedom

RIP to 17 Religious Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth who Died During the COVID-19 Outbreak in New Jersey


Many Religious Sisters of Charity have died during the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, July 29 the total number of nuns from the order to have died since the outbreak began in New Jersey in March was 17.
Sister Margaret Ellen’s death in Cedar Grove on Wednesday represented the 17th sister from the order to die since New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak began in March. The Sisters of Charity obituaries do not list causes of death. Most of them died in two long-term care centers, the types of facilities that have seen almost half of the state’s total COVID-19 deaths. The remaining three died in hospitals. The sisters ranged in age from 79 to 103. Many were teachers who educated children in Catholic schools across North Jersey. One was Sister Francis Raftery, a former St. Elizabeth University president. 
 “We thank God for these sisters who touched the lives of so many, each in her own way and with her own special gifts,” 
a message on the order’s site reads. 
The roughly 220-member Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth is based in Convent Station. The bells of Holy Family Chapel tolled as each departed sister was “brought home,” according to the convent’s Facebook page.
 Eight of the sisters died at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Rehab Center in Cedar Grove, where township officials say nearly 30 residents have died from COVID-19.
 In lieu of flowers, the Sisters of Charity ask mourners to contribute to the Sisters of Charity Development Fund, P.O. Box 476, Convent Station NJ 07961.
Edited from https://www.njherald.com/

US Bishops' Chairman Praises Trump Administration for Ethical Scrutiny of Fetal Research- Full Text


Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Applauds Trump Administration for Ethical Scrutiny of Fetal Tissue Research
AUGUST 20, 2020 BY PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
WASHINGTON - Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, applauded the Trump Administration following the release of the National Institutes of Health Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board report in which the Board recommended withholding federal funding from 13 out of 14 research proposals involving the use of fetal tissue.

“We applaud the Administration for moving NIH in a direction that shows greater consideration for medical ethics in research, and greater respect for innocent human life. It is neither ethical nor necessary to further violate the bodies of aborted babies by commodifying them for use in medical research. The victims of abortion deserve the same respect as every other human person. We are grateful that the Administration is following through on its commitment to end federal funding of research using aborted fetal tissue.”
Source:  USCCB 

#BreakingNews Body of Missing Priest Found after Boat Capsized in Detroit River - RIP Fr. Stephen Rooney


There was a search for Fr. Stephen Rooney after a boat capsized in Detroit River; however, sadly, his lifeless  body was found in Lake Erie on Thursday, August 20, 2020.  The Roman Catholic Priest Fr. Stephen Rooney, was pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Trenton.

Fr. Rooney was an Irish immigrant who served several parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit for three decades. He had been missing since Sunday, August 16, 2020.

Since then, divers from various agencies searched the water, and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters flew overhead, looking for Fr. Rooney.

The body of Robert Chiles, 52, of Grosse Ile, the driver of the 39-foot boat, was found Tuesday evening by a tow boat operator not far from the capsized vessel.

Robert T. Chiles, President, of the Construction Equipment Group died at age 52. He was driving the 39-foot Nor-Tech Center Console on the Detroit River when it capsized with 14 people aboard.
Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron said:

"Father was a beloved pastor and my deepest condolences go out to the parish community in this time of grief. I offer my condolences, as well, to the Chiles family," the archbishop said. "We are ardently praying for the eternal repose of this priest and his parishioner. We turn to our merciful Savior in prayer for those who mourn them, with great confidence in his promise to bring us to his Kingdom.
Source: https://www.stjosephtrenton.com/ and Detroit Free Press

FULL TEXT Announcement from ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH
Dear St. Joseph Families,
It is with great sadness that we share that Father Stephen Rooney, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Trenton is missing along with long- time parishioner Robert Chiles after a boat capsized yesterday evening in the Detroit River, off Stoney Island. Several others were rescued from the water by a Good Samaritan nearby.
Let us unite in prayer for the missing, for the rescued, and for first responders searching the waters today. Bishop Battersby will have a Vigil Service for Father Rooney and Rob at 7 pm tonight, August 17, outdoors in the City and Parish parking lots.
At this, we ask for privacy for the families of those involved. We will share more information here as it becomes available.
At my lowest: GOD IS MY HOPE. At my weakest: GOD IS MY STRENGTH. ​At my saddest: GOD IS MY COMFORTER.

Saint August 21 : Our Lady of Knock of Ireland who appeared in 1879 - with Novena Prayers to Our Lady

The apparition in County Mayo in Ireland of Our Lady of Knock is reported to have occurred on the evening of August 21, 1879, the vigil of the octave of the feast of the Assumption. Those who witnessed the miracle ranged in age from five years old to seventy-five.
The apparition was described as follows: “Our Lady was wearing a large, brilliant crown and clothed in white garments. On her right was Saint Joseph, his head inclined toward her and on her left Saint John the Evangelist. To the left of Saint John was an altar on which stood a cross and a lamb.” Standing only a few feet off the ground, the Blessed Virgin wore a white cloak and was described by witnesses as being incredibly beautiful. She wore a bright golden crown, and appeared to be praying with her eyes looking toward heaven with her arms bend in front of her with her palms facing inward.
Fifteen parishioners stood to witness the apparition for two hours as they recited the rosary. Although it was daylight when the apparition began, the weather turned for the worse and it began to rain heavily. The area around the apparition appeared unaffected, however, as the ground remained dry as long as the vision lasted. She did not speak, but the gable of the church where the manifestation was made was covered with a cloud of light.
Saint Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, also wore white robes and stood on the Virgin’s right. He inclined his head respectfully toward the Blessed Virgin. Saint John the Evangelist wore a mitre, and appeared to be preaching as he held a book in his left hand.
Since then thousands of people have gone to Knock to pray to Our Lady. Their prayerful, penitential and reverential spirit has been commended again and again by visitors from other lands. No sign of commercialism detracts from the purely religious atmosphere of that hallowed spot. People from all walks of life kneel in humble supplication before the shrine of Our Lady, fully confident that she has sanctified that spot by her apparition.
Organized pilgrimages from various dioceses are conducted frequently to the shrine of Our Lady of Knock. The rosary comprises the main portion of the devotion; the shrine is therefore appropriately called the Rosary Shrine. The “Knock Shrine Annual” relates many interesting stories of cures and conversions effected at the shrine.
*from The Woman in Orbit - Text from Roman - Catholic Saints
Prayers from the Knock Shrine Website
Prayer to Our Lady of Knock 
Our Lady of Knock , Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find”. Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to Heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now and at the end of my death. Amen.
 Novena to Our Lady of Knock (to be said for 9 days)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Give praise to the Father Almighty, To His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, To the Spirit who lives in our hearts, both now and forever. Amen. Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress, and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.” Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Grant us peace. ST. JOSEPH, Chosen by God to be The Husband of Mary, The Protector of the Holy Family, The Guardian of the Church. Protect all families In their work and recreation And Guard us on our journey through life. (Repeat – Lamb of God, etc.) ST. JOHN, Beloved Disciple of the Lord, Faithful priest. Teacher of the Word of God. Help us to hunger for the Word. To be loyal to the Mass And to love one another. (Repeat – Lamb of God, etc.) Our Lady of Knock Pray for Us Refuge of Sinners Pray for Us Queen Assumed into Heaven Pray for Us Queen of the Rosary Pray for Us Mother of Nazareth Pray for Us Queen of Virgins Pray for Us Help of Christians Pray for Us Health of the Sick Pray for Us Queen of Peace Pray for Us Our Lady, Queen and Mother Pray for Us Our Lady, Mother of the Church Pray for Us (Here mention your own special intentions) With the Angels and Saints let us pray: Give praise to the Father Almighty, To His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, To the Spirit who lives in our hearts, Both now and forever. Amen. Instruction: The Rosary or Mass and Holy Communion is recommended each day.

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, August 21, 2020 - Virtual Church


FIRST READING   

A reading from the book of the Prophet  Ezekiel             37:1-14
Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people.

The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord. He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”‘ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”‘ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.

Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead”. So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”

Responsorial Psalm         Ps 106
Response                             O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; For his love has no end.

1. Let them say this, the Lord’s redeemed,
whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south.                 Response

2. Some wandered in the desert, in the wilderness,
finding no way to a city they could dwell in
Hungry they were and thirsty;
Their soul was fainting within them.                 Response

3. Then they cried to the Lord in their need
And he rescued them from their distress
And he led them along the right way,
To reach a city they could dwell in.                   Response

4. Let them thank the Lord for his love
For the wonders he does for men.
For he satisfies the thirsty soul;
He fills the hungry with good things.                Response

Gospel  Acclamation        Ps 118: 18
Alleluia, alleluia!
Open my eyes, O Lord, that I am consider the wonders of your law.
Alleluia !

Or                                              Ps 24: 4. 5.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Harden not your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Alleluia !

GOSPEL
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew              22:34-40
You must love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself.

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’
Prayer to make Spiritual Communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint August 21 : St. Pope Pius X the Patron of Pilgrims and 1st Communicants - who Lowered the Age for 1st Communion


(Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto). Born 2 June, 1835, at Riese, Province of Treviso, in Venice. His parents were Giovanni Battista Sarto and Margarita (née Sanson); the former, a postman, died in 1852, but Margarita lived to see her son a cardinal. After finishing his elements, Giuseppe at first received private lessons in Latin from the arch-priest of his town, Don Tito Fusaroni, after which he studied for four years at the gymnasium of Castelfranco Veneto, walking to and fro every day. In 1850 he received the tonsure from the Bishop of Treviso, and was given a scholarship of the Diocese of Treviso in the seminary of Padua, where he finished his classical, philosophical, and theological studies with distinction. He was ordained in 1858, and for nine years was chaplain at Tombolo, having to assume most of the functions of parish priest, as the pastor was old and an invalid. He sought to perfect his knowledge of theology by assiduously studying Saint Thomas and canon law; at the same time he established a night school for adult students, and devoted himself of the ministry of preaching in other towns to which he was called. In 1867 he was named arch-priest of Salzano, a large borough of the Diocese of Treviso, where he restored the church, and provided for the enlargement and maintenance of the hospital by his own means, consistently with his habitual generosity to the poor; he especially distinguished himself by his abnegation during the cholera. He showed great solicitude for the religious instruction of adults. In 1875 he was made a canon of the cathedral of Treviso, and filled several offices, among them those of spiritual director and rector of the seminary, examiner of the clergy, and vicar-general; moreover, he made it possible for the students of the public schools to receive religious instruction. In 1878, on the death of Bishop Zanelli, he was elected vicar-capitular. On 10 November, 1884, he was named Bishop of Mantua, then a very troublesome see, and consecrated on 20 November. His chief care in his new position was for the formation of the clergy at the seminary, where, for several years, he himself taught dogmatic theology, and for another year moral theology. He wished the doctrine and method of St. Thomas to be followed, and to many of the poorer students he gave copies of the "Summa theologica"; at the same time he cultivated the Gregorian Chant in company with the seminarians. The temporal administration of his see imposed great sacrifices upon him. In 1887 he held a diocesan synod. By his attendance at the confessional, he gave the example of pastoral zeal. The Catholic organization of Italy, then known as the "Opera dei Congressi", found in him a zealous propagandist from the time of his ministry at Salzano. At the secret consistory of June, 1893, Leo XIII created him a cardinal under the title of San Bernardo alle Terme; and in the public consistory, three days later, he was preconized Patriarch of Venice, retaining meanwhile the title of Apostolic Administrator of Mantua. Cardinal Sarto was obliged to wait eighteen months before he was able to take possession of his new diocese, because the Italian government refused its exequatur, claiming the right of nomination as it had been exercised by the Emperor of Austria. This matter was discussed with bitterness in the newspapers and in pamphlets; the Government, by way of reprisal, refused its exequatur to the other bishops who were appointed in the meantime, so that the number of vacant sees grew to thirty. Finally, the minister Crispi having returned to power, and the Holy See having raised the mission of Eritrea to the rank of an Apostolic Prefecture in favour of the Italian Capuchins, the Government withdrew from its position. Its opposition had not been caused by any objection to Sarto personally. At Venice the cardinal found a much better condition of things than he had found at Mantua. There, also, he paid great attention to the seminary, where he obtained the establishment of the faculty of canon law. In 1898 he held the diocesan synod. He promoted the use of the Gregorian Chant, and was a great patron of Lorenzo Perosi; he favoured social works, especially the rural parochial banks; he discerned and energetically opposed the dangers of certain doctrines and the conduct of certain Christian-Democrats. The international Eucharistic Congress of 1897, the centenary of St. Gerard Sagredo (1900), and the blessing of the corner-stone of the new belfry of St. Mark's, also of the commemorative chapel of Mt. Grappa (1901), were events that left a deep impression on him and his people. Meanwhile, Leo XIII having died, the cardinals entered into conclave and after several ballots Giuseppe Sarto was elected on 4 August by a vote of 55 out of a possible 60 votes. His coronation took place on the following Sunday, 9 August, 1903.
In his first Encyclical, wishing to develop his programme to some extent, he said that the motto of his pontificate would be "instaurare omnia in Christo" (Ephesians 1:10). Accordingly, his greatest care always turned to the direct interests of the Church. Before all else his efforts were directed to the promotion of piety among the faithful, and he advised all (Decr. S. Congr. Concil., 20 Dec., 1905) to receive Holy Communion frequently and, if possible, daily, dispensing the sick from the obligation of fasting to the extent of enabling them to receive Holy Communion twice each month, and even oftener (Decr. S. Congr. Rit., 7 Dec., 1906). Finally, by the Decree "Quam Singulari" (15 Aug., 1910), he recommended that the first Communion of children should not be deferred too long after they had reached the age of discretion. It was by his desire that the Eucharistic Congress of 1905 was held at Rome, while he enhanced the solemnity of subsequent Eucharistic congresses by sending to them cardinal legates. The fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was an occasion of which he took advantage to enjoin devotion to Mary (Encyclical "Ad illum diem", 2 February, 1904); and the Marian Congress, together with the coronation of the image of the Immaculate Conception in the choir of St. Peter's, was a worthy culmination of the solemnity. As a simple chaplain, a bishop, and a patriarch, Giuseppe Sarto was a promoter of sacred music; as pope, he published, 22 November, 1903, a Motu Proprio on sacred music in churches, and at the same time ordered the authentic Gregorian Chant to be used everywhere, while he caused the choir books to be printed with the Vatican font of type under the supervision of a special commission. In the Encyclical "Acerbo nimis" (15 April, 1905) he treated of the necessity of catechismal instruction, not only for children, but also for adults, giving detailed rules, especially in relation to suitable schools for the religious instruction of students of the public schools, and even of the universities. He caused a new catechism to be published for the Diocese of Rome. As bishop, his chief care had been for the formation of the clergy, and in harmony with this purpose, an Encyclical to the Italian episcopate (28 July, 1906) enjoined the greatest caution in the ordination of priests, calling the attention of the bishops to the fact that there was frequently manifested among the younger clergy a spirit of independence that was a menace to ecclesiastical discipline. In the interest of Italian seminaries, he order them to be visited by the bishops, and promulgated a new order of studies, which had been in use for several years at the Roman Seminary. On the other hand, as the dioceses of Central and of Southern Italy were so small that their respective seminaries could not prosper, Pius X established the regional seminary which is common to the sees of a given region; and, as a consequence, many small, deficient seminaries were closed. For the more efficient guidance of souls, by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Consistory (20 August, 1910), instructions were given concerning the removal of parish priests, as administrative acts, when such procedure was required by grave circumstances that might not constitute a canonical cause for the removal. At the time of the jubilee in honour of his ordination as a priest, he addressed a letter full of affection and wise council to all the clergy. By a recent Decree (18 Nov., 1910), the clergy have been barred from the temporal administration of social organizations, which was often a cause of grave difficulties.
The pope has at heart above all things the purity of the faith. On various occasions, as in the Encyclical regarding the centenary of Saint Gregory the Great, Pius X had pointed out the dangers of certain new theological methods, which, based upon Agnosticism and upon Immanentism, necessarily divest the doctrine of the faith of its teachings of objective, absolute, and immutable truth, and all the more, when those methods are associated with subversive criticism of the Holy Scripture and of the origins of Christianity. Wherefore, in 1907, he caused the publication of the Decree "Lamentabili" (called also the Syllabus of Pius X), in which sixty-five propositions are condemned. The greater number of these propositions concern the Holy Scripture, their inspiration, and the doctrine of Jesus and of the Apostles, while others relate to dogma, the sacraments, and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Soon after that, on 8 Sept., 1907, there appeared the famous Encyclical "Pascendi", which expounds and condemns the system of Modernism. It points out the danger of Modernism in relation to philosophy, apologetics, exegesis, history, liturgy, and discipline, and shows the contradiction between that innovation and the ancient faith; and, finally, it establishes rules by which to combat efficiently the pernicious doctrines in question. Among the means suggested mention should be made of the establishment of an official body of "censors" of books and the creation of a "Committee of Vigilance". Subsequently, by the Motu Proprio "Sacrorum Antistitum", Pius X called attention to the injunctions of the Encyclical and also to the provisions that had already been established under Leo XIII on preaching, and proscribed that all those who exercised the holy ministry or who taught in ecclesiastical institutions, as well as canons, the superiors of the regular clergy, and those serving in ecclesiastical bureaux should take an oath, binding themselves to reject the errors that are denounced in the Encyclical or in the Decree "Lamentabili". Pius X reverted to this vital subject on other occasions, especially in those Encyclicals that were written in commemoration of St. Anselm (21 April, 1909) and of St. Charles Borromeo (23 June, 1910), in the latter of which Reformist Modernism was especially condemned. As the study of the Bible is both the most important and the most dangerous study in theology, Pius X wished to found at Rome a centre for these studies, to give assurance at once of unquestioned orthodoxy and scientific worth; and so, with the assistance of the whole Catholic world, there was established at Rome the Biblical Institute, under the direction of the Jesuits. A need that had been felt for a long time was that of the codification of the Canon Law, and with a view to effecting it, Pius X, on 19 March, 1904, created a special congregation of cardinals, of which Mgr Gasparri, now a cardinal, became the secretary. The most eminent authorities on canon law, throughout the world, are collaborating in the formation of the new code, some of the provisions of which have already been published, as, for example, that modifying the law of the Council of Trent on secret marriages, the new rules for diocesan relations and for episcopal visits ad limina, and the new organization of the Roman Curia (Constitution "Sapienti Consilio", 29 June, 1908). Prior to that time, the Congregations for Relics and Indulgences and of Discipline had been suppressed, while the Secretariate of Briefs had been united to the Secretariate of State. The characteristic of the new rule is the complete separation of the judicial from the administrative; while the functions of the various bureaux have been more precisely determined, and their work more equalized. The offices of the Curia are divided into Tribunals (3), Congregations (11), and Offices (5). With regard to the first, the Tribunal of the Signature (consisting of cardinals only) and that of the Rota were revived; to the Tribunal of the Penitentiary were left only the cases of the internal forum (conscience). The Congregations remained almost as they were at first, with the exceptions that a special section was added to that of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, for indulgences; the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars received the name of Congregation of the Religious, and has to deal only with the affairs of religious congregations, while the affairs of the secular clergy are to be referred to the Congregation of the Consistory or of that of the Council; from the latter were taken the matrimonial cases, which are now sent to the tribunals or to the newly-created Congregation of the Sacraments. The Congregation of the Consistory has increased greatly in importance, since it has to decide questions of competence between the various other Congregations. The Congregation of Propaganda lost much of its territory in Europe and in America, where religious conditions have become regular. At the same time were published the rules and regulations for employees and those for the various bureaux. Another recent Constitution relates to the suburbicarian sees.
The Catholic hierarchy has greatly increased in numbers during these first years of the pontificate of Pius X, in which twenty-eight new dioceses have been created, mostly in the United States Brazil, and the Philippine Islands; also one abbey nullius, 16 vicariates Apostolic, and 15 prefectures Apostolic.
Leo XIII brought the social question within the range of ecclesiastical activity, Pius X, also, wishes the Church to co-operate, or rather to play a leading part in the solution of the social question; his views on this subject were formulated in a syllabus of nineteen propositions, taken from different Encyclicals and other Acts of Leo XIII, and published in a Motu Proprio (18 Dec., 1903), especially for the guidance of Italy, where the social question was a thorny one at the beginning of his pontificate. He sought especially to repress certain tendencies leaning towards Socialism and promoting a spirit of insubordination to ecclesiastical authority. As a result of ever increasing divergences, the "Opera die Congressi", the great association of the Catholics of Italy, was dissolved. At once, however, the Encyclical "Il fermo proposito" (11 June, 1905) brought about the formation of a new organization consisting of three great unions, the Popolare, the Economica, and the Elettorale. The firmness of Pius X obtained the elimination of, at least, the most quarrelsome elements, making it possible now for Catholic social action to prosper, although some friction still remains. The desire of Pius X is for the economical work to be avowedly Catholic, as he expressed it in a memorable letter to Count Medolago-Albani. In France, also, the Sillon, after promising well, had taken a turn that was little reassuring to orthodoxy; and dangers in this connection were made manifest in the Encyclical "Notre charge apostolique" (15 Aug., 1910), in which the Sillonists were ordered to place their organizations under the authority of the bishops.
In its relations with Governments, the pontificate of Pius X has had to carry on painful struggles. In France the pope had inherited quarrels and menaces. The "Nobis nominavit" question was settled through the condescension of the pope; but the matter of the appointment of bishops proposed by the Government, the visit of the president to the King of Italy, with the subsequent note of protestation, and the resignation of two French bishops, which was desired by the Holy See, became pretexts for the Government at Paris to break off diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome. Meanwhile the law of Separation had been already prepared, despoiling the Church of France, and also prescribing for the Church a constitution which, if not openly contrary to her nature, was at least full of danger to her. Pius X, paying no attention to the counsels of short-sighted opportunism, firmly refused his consent to the formation of the associations cultuelles. The separation brought some freedom to the French Church, especially in the matter of the selection of its pastors. Pius X, not looking for reprisals, still recognizes the French right of protectorate over Catholics in the East. Some phrases of the Encyclical "Editæ Sæpe", written on the occasion of the centenary of St. Charles, were misinterpreted by Protestants, especially in Germany, and Pius X made a declaration in refutation of them, without belittling the authority of his high office. At present (Dec., 1910) complications are feared in Spain, as, also, separation and persecution in Portugal; Pius X has already taken opportune measures. The new Government of Turkey has sent an ambassador to the Pope. The relations of the Holy See with the republics of Latin America are good. The delegations to Chile and to the Argentine Republic were raised to the rank of internuntiatures, and an Apostolic Delegate was sent to Central America.
Naturally, the solicitude of Pius X extends to his own habitation, and he has done a great deal of work of restoration in the Vatican, for example, in the quarters of the cardinal-secretary of State, the new palace for employees, the new picture-gallery, the Specola, etc. Finally, we must not forget his generous charity in public misfortunes: during the great earthquakes of Calabria, he asked for the assistance of Catholics throughout the world, with the result that they contributed, at the time of the last earthquake, nearly 7,000,000 francs, which served to supply the wants of those in need, and to build churches, schools, etc. His charity was proportionately no less on the occasion of the eruption of Vesuvius, and of other disasters outside of Italy (Portugal and Ireland). In few years Pius X has secured great, practical, and lasting results in the interest of Catholic doctrine and discipline, and that in the face of great difficulties of all kinds. Even non-Catholics recognize his apostolic spirit, his strength of character, the precision of his decisions, and his pursuit of a clear and explicit programme.Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia