Sunday, November 15, 2020

Magnificent Hymn to St. Margaret of Scotland sung by Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Composed by Vaughan Williams

 

Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was born on the 12th of October 1872 and died on the 26th August 1958 and he was an English composer. Williams composed this magnificent Hymn for St. Margaret of Scotland. This version is sung by the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. It is from the album Earth & Sky: Vaughan Williams Choral Premières which was released on: 2018-09-14 with the conductor William Vann. Saint Margaret of Scotland, was also known as Margaret of Wessex. She was an English princess and a Scottish queen. Margaret was called "The Pearl of Scotland". She was born in exile in the Kingdom of Hungary, she was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the uncrowned Anglo-Saxon King of England. She was born in 1045, Mecseknádasd, Hungary and died on November 16, 1093, in Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Her husband was Malcolm III of Scotland (m. 1070–1093) and they had eight children together.

Powerful Prayers to St. Gertrude the Great - Novena with Litany and Famous Prayer for Souls in Purgatory

Antiphon: Lord Jesus! in union with that love which drew Thee down upon earth, and caused Thee to fulfill the work of our Redemption, I offer Thee this prayer.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
Pray for us.*
All ye holy Choirs of Angels,*
All ye Saints and Elect of God,*
Saint Gertrude,*
Thou chaste virgin,*
Thou beloved daughter of the Heavenly Father,*
Thou chosen bride of Jesus Christ,*
Thou temple of the Holy Ghost,*
Thou joy of the Holy Trinity,*
Thou fragrant flower in the hand of Jesus Christ,*
Thou ever-blooming spring flower,*
Thou rose without thorns,*
Thou chaste dove without the stain of sin,*
Thou earthly seraph,*
Thou living sanctuary,*
Thou strong protection of all who venerate thee,*

Jesus Christ, Spouse of Saint Gertrude,
Have mercy on us.**
Through her humility,**
Through her charity,**
Through her untiring patience,**
Through the ardent love she bore Thee,**
Through the delight with which Thou didst dwell in her heart,**
Through the love Thou hast for her,**
Through the love with which Thou hast chosen her from eternity,**
Through the love with which Thou didst so sweetly attract her to Thyself,**
Through the love with which Thou so delightfully didst unite her to Thyself,**
Through the love with which Thou so complacently dwelt in her heart,**
Through the love with which Thou didst end her life with a happy death,**
Through the love with which Thou hast conferred on her eternal life,**
Through the love with which Thou lovest and rejoicest all the Blessed,**
Jesus Christ,**


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O holy virgin Saint Gertrude:
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus, by the love Thou didst bear to the virginal heart of Saint Gertrude, and by which Thou hast promised that no sinner, who would honor and love her, should die a sudden and unprovided death: grant me, I beseech Thee, this grace, and let me so love Thee, and repent of my sins, that with faith and confidence I may expect a happy death.

O God, Who in the heart of the holy virgin Gertrude didst provide for Thyself a pleasing abode: through her merits, do Thou cleanse from our hearts every stain of sin, and grant that we may enjoy fellowship with her for evermore. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.





______________________




Novena to St. Gertrude
O blessed St. Gertrude! permit us to choose thee as a perfect model of those virtues which God requires, especially from all religious, that assisted by thy prayers, we may correspond with the grace of our vocation. O seraphic spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thou didst early select that adorable sanctuary for thy dwelling and refuge. There thy angelic soul was purified, and raised by sublime contemplation to an intimate union with thy Divine Spouse. In that furnace of Eternal Love, where thy heart was consumed, and all thy sacrifices rewarded, thou didst enjoy a foretaste of Paradise, and such sweet consolations as seemed rather the portion of the blessed in Heaven, than the elect on Earth! O favorite of Heaven! well didst thou feel how sweet it is to serve God, despising the World! O teach us, what thou didst so perfectly practice, that holy poverty of spirit, that perfect obedience, and that ardent devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which sanctified thee on Earth, and now glorifies thee in Heaven. Present us now, dear saint, and our earnest petition to Jesus, and ask Him to unite us in life and death to His Adorable Heart. Who with the Father, liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen

Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great
for the Souls in Purgatory (said to release 1000 souls)
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen

Saint November 16 : St. Margaret of Scotland the Patron of death of Children, Queens, Scotland, Widows


St. Margaret of Scotland
QUEEN OF SCOTLAND

Born:
1045, Castle Réka, Mecseknádasd, in the region of Southern Transdanubia, Hungary
Died:
16 November 1093, St Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, Midlothian, Scotland
Canonized:
1251 by Pope Innocent IV
Major Shrine:
Dunfermline Abbey
Patron of:
death of children, large families, learning, queens, Scotland, widows

c. 1045 - 1093

Margaret, despite her appellation, was born a Saxon in 1046 and raised in Hungary. She came to England in 1066 when her uncle, King Edward the Confessor, died and Margaret's brother, Edgar Atheling, decided to make a claim to the English throne. The English nobles preferred Harold of Wessex over Edgar, but later that year Duke William of Normandy made it all rather a moot point by invading England and establishing himself as King. Many members of the English nobility sought refuge in the court of King Malcolm III Canmore of Scotland, who had himself been an exile in England during the reign of Macbeth. Among the English refugees were Margaret and Edgar. While King Malcom was hospitable to all his new guests, he was rather more hospitable to Margaret, marrying her in 1070 to make her Queen of Scotland.
Margaret impressed not only Malcolm but many other members of the Scottish Court both for her knowledge of continental customs gained in the court of Hungary, and also for her piety. She became highly influential, both indirectly by her influence on Malcolm as well as through direct activities on her part. Prominent among these activities was religious reform. Margaret instigated reforms within the Scottish church, as well as development of closer ties to the larger Roman Church in order to avoid a schism between the Celtic Church and Rome. Further, Margaret was a patroness both of the childless, Scottish Christian hermits, and also the Benedictine Order. Although Benedictine monks were prominent throughout western continental Europe, there were previously no Benedictine monasteries known to exist in Scotland. Margaret therefore invited English Benedictine monks to establish monasteries in her kingdom.
On the more secular side, Margaret introduced continental fashions, manners, and ceremony to the Scottish court. The popularization of continental fashions had the side-effect of introducing foreign merchants to Scotland, increasing economic ties and communication between Scotland and the continent. Margaret was also a patroness of the arts and education. Further, Malcolm sought Maragret's advice on matters of state, and together with other English exiles Margaret was influential in introducing English-style feudalism and parliament to Scotland.
Margaret was also active in works of charity. Margaret frequently visited and cared for the sick, and on a larger scale had hostels constructed for the poor. She was also in the habit, particularly during Advent and Lent, of holding feasts for as many as 300 commoners in the royal castle.
King Malcolm, meanwhile, was engaged in a contest with William the Conqueror over Northumbria and Cambria. After an unsuccessful 1070 invasion by Malcom into Northumbria followed by an unsuccessful 1072 invasion by William into Scotland, Malcom paid William homage, resulting in temporary peace. William further made assurance of this peace by demanding Malcolm's eldest son Donald (by Malcolm's previous wife Ingibjorg) as a hostage. Time passed, William the Conqueror died, and The Conqueror's son William Rufus took the throne of England. Hostilities again arose between Scotland and England, and in the ensuing unpleasantness Malcolm was killed along with Edward, the eldest son of Malcom and Margaret.
Margaret had already been ill when Malcolm and Edward went off to battle. Her surviving children tried to hide the fact of their deaths, for fear of worsening her condition. But Margaret learnt the truth, and whether due to her illness or a broken heart, Margaret died four days after her husband and son, on November 16, 1093.
The death of both King and Queen led, unfortunately, to yet another unpleasant disagreement, this time over who should take their places on the throne. The most likely candidate was Malcom's eldest son Donald, the one who had been taken hostage by William the Conqueror. This was also the favorite candidate of William Rufus, for during his stay in England Donald had developed a favorable view of the Normans. However, Donald's claim to the throne was contested by Malcom's brother, Donald Bane, together with Malcom and Margaret's son Edmund. Donald Bane was opposed to having a Norman sympathizer on the throne of Scotland, and claimed the throne for himself. Both Donald MacMalcom and Donald B�n held the throne briefly, and lost it violently, before Edgar, son of Malcom and Margaret, came to the throne. He was succeeded by his brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander smoothed over relations with England by marrying the daughter of King Henry I and arranging for Henry to marry Alexander's sister Matilda. Edgar and David carried on their mother's reputation for sanctity, both in their service to the poor and their patronage of religious orders, and David was later canonized. Quite a celebrated family when you consider that Margaret's uncle is also known as Saint Edward the Confessor.
Margaret herself was declared a saint in 1250, particularly for her work for religious reform and her charitable works. She herself was considered to be an exemplar of the just ruler, and also influenced her husband and children to be just and holy rulers. She was further declared Patroness of Scotland in 1673.
Feast Day: June 10 (celebrated November 16 in Scotland)
Image Artist : Cecilia Lawrence - Source: Google Images
Margaret and Malcolm had eight children – 
six sons and two daughters:
Edward (c. 1071 – 13 November 1093), killed along with his father Malcolm III in the Battle of Alnwick 
Edmund of Scotland (c.1071 – post 1097) 
Ethelred of Scotland, Abbot of Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross, Scotland 
Edgar of Scotland (c.1074 – 11 January 1107), King of Scotland, reigned 1097–1107 
Alexander I of Scotland (c.1078 – 23 April 1124), King of Scotland, reigned 1107–24 
Edith of Scotland (c. 1080 – 1 May 1118), also named "Matilda", married King Henry I of England, Queen Consort of England 
Mary of Scotland (1082–1116), married Eustace III of Boulogne 
David I of Scotland (c.1084 – 24 May 1153), King of Scotland, reigned 1124–53
Novena Prayer to St Margaret of Scotland. 
Almighty God, we thank you for all of your gifts to us. We thank you for the gift of our faith, for our families and for the example and prayers of St. Margaret of Scotland. Through her intercession we approach you now, asking that we may grow in our love for you and in service of our neighbour. With confidence and through the intercession of St Margaret, we ask you to hear our prayers and grant us the graces that we need. (In silence we ask St Margaret to carry our prayers to the Father.) Let us pray. O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. 
Amen. 
Our Father…..Hail Mary….Glory be….. 
St Margaret of Scotland. Pray for us

Sources - Barrow, G.W.S. The Kingdom of the Scots. Edward Arnold, London, 1973. 

  • Glover, J.R. The Story of Scotland. Faber and Faber, London, 1960.
  • Mitchison, R. A History of Scotland. Methuen & Co., London, 1970.
  • Thurston, H.J., Attwater, D. Butler's Lives of the Saints. Christian Classics, Inc., Westminster, MD 1938.
  • Text SHARED from Pitt.edu

Saint November 16 : St. Giuseppe Moscati - Medical Physician to the Poor with Novena Prayer

 


Giuseppe Moscati was born on 25 July 1880 in Benevento, seventh of the nine sons of magistrate Francesco Moscati and Rosa De Luca, of the Marquesses of Roseto. He was baptized on July 31, 1880.
In 1881 the Moscati family moved to Ancona and then to Naples, where Giuseppe made his first communion on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of 1888. From 1889 to 1894 Giuseppe completed his secondary studies and then the high school students at the "Vittorio Emanuele". with high marks the high school diploma in 1897, at the age of just 17 years. A few months later, he began his university studies at the medical school of the Neapolitan University.

It is possible that the decision to choose the medical profession was partly influenced by the fact that during the adolescence Giuseppe was confronted, in a direct and personal way, with the drama of human suffering. In 1893, in fact, his brother Alberto, lieutenant of artillery, was brought home after suffering an incurable trauma following a fall from a horse. For years Joseph lavished his caring care on his beloved brother, and then he had to experience the relative impotence of human remedies and the efficacy of religious comforts, which alone can give us true peace and serenity. However, it is a fact that, from an early age, Giuseppe Moscati demonstrates an acute sensitivity to the physical suffering of others; but his gaze does not stop at them: it penetrates to the last recesses of the human heart. He wants to heal or soothe the wounds of the body, but he is, at the same time, deeply convinced that soul and body are one and ardently desires to prepare his suffering brothers for the saving work of the Divine Physician.

On 4 August 1903, Giuseppe Moscati graduated in medicine with full marks and right to the press, thus crowning the "curriculum" of his university studies in a worthy way. Five months after graduation, Dr. Moscati takes part in the public competition held for the office of ordinary assistant in the Riuniti Hospitals of Naples; almost simultaneously he is supporting another competition for extraordinary coadjutor in the same hospitals, based on tests and titles. In the first of the competitions, out of twenty-one ranked, he succeeds second; in the other he succeeds first absolute, and this in such a triumphal way that - as one reads in a qualified judgment - "amazed examiners and comrades".

Since 1904, Moscati has been serving as a coadjutor at the Hospital of the Incurabili, in Naples, and among other things organizes the hospitalization of those affected by rabies and, through a very courageous personal intervention, saves the patients in the hospital of Torre del Greco , during the eruption of Vesuvius in 1906.

In the following years Giuseppe Moscati obtained the suitability, in a competition for exams, at the laboratory service at the infectious diseases hospital "Domenico Cotugno". In 1911 he took part in the public competition for six posts of ordinary help in the Ospedali Riuniti and won him in a sensational way. The appointments are made to ordinary coadjutor, in hospitals and then, following the competition for ordinary doctor, the appointment as director of the room, that is to primary. During the First World War he was director of the military departments in the Riuniti Hospitals. This hospital "curriculum" is flanked by the different stages of the university and science: from the university years until 1908, Moscati is a volunteer assistant in the physiology laboratory; from 1908 onwards he is an ordinary assistant in the Institute of Physiological Chemistry. A study place in the zoological station follows for the competition. Following this, he was nominated as volunteer preparator for the III Medical Clinic, and in charge of the chemical department until 1911. At the same time, he covered the different levels of teaching.

In 1911 he obtained, for titles, the Free Teaching in Physiological Chemistry; has the task of leading scientific and experimental research in the Institute of Biological Chemistry. Since 1911 he has been teaching, without interruption, "Laboratory investigations applied to the clinic" and "Chemistry applied to medicine", with practical exercises and demonstrations. On a private basis, during some school years, he teaches numerous graduates and students in hospital, clinical and anatomy-pathological semeiology and casuistry. For several academic years he completed the substitution in the official courses of Physiological Chemistry and Physiology. In 1922, he obtained the Free Teaching in General Medical Clinic, with dispensation from the lesson or from the practical test to unanimity of votes of the commission.
Famous and sought after in the Neapolitan environment when he is still very young, Professor Moscati soon won a reputation of national and international importance for his original research, the results of which are published by him in various Italian and foreign scientific journals. This pioneering research, which focuses mainly on glycogen and related topics, assures Moscati a place of honor among the medical researchers of the first half of the century.

However, it is not solely or even principally the genius skills and resounding successes of Moscati - its sure innovative methodology in the field of scientific research, its diagnostic out of the ordinary glance - that arouse the wonder of those who approach it. More than anything else is his own personality that leaves a profound impression on those who meet him, his limpid and coherent life, all imbued with faith and charity towards God and men. Moscati is a first-rate scientist; but for him there are no contradictions between faith and science: as a researcher he is at the service of truth and truth is never in contradiction with himself nor, much less, with what the eternal Truth has revealed to us. The acceptance of the Word of God is not, moreover, a simple intellectual, abstract and theoretical act for Moscati: for him faith is, instead, the source of all his life, unconditional acceptance, warm and enthusiastic. of the reality of the personal God and of our relations with him. Moscati sees in his patients the suffering Christ, he loves and serves him in them. It is this impulse of generous love that impels him to give himself without pause for those who suffer, not to wait for the sick to go to him, but to look for them in the poorest and most abandoned districts of the city, to take care of them free of charge, or rather, to help them with his own earnings. And all of them, but in a special way those who live in misery, perceive the divine strength that animates their benefactor. Thus the Moscati becomes the apostle of Jesus: without ever preaching, he announces, with his charity and the way in which he lives his profession as a doctor, the Divine Shepherd and leads to him the oppressed and thirsty men of truth and goodness . As the years progress, the fire of love seems to devour Giuseppe Moscati. The external activity grows constantly, but his hours of prayer are prolonged and his encounters with the sacramental Jesus are progressively internalized.

When, on April 12, 1927, Moscati died suddenly, struck down in full swing, at the age of 46, the news of his death was announced and spread by word of mouth: "The Saint Doctor died". These words, which sum up the whole life of the Moscati, today receive the official seal of the Church.

Prof. Giuseppe Moscati was beatified by St. Paul VI during the Holy Year on November 16, 1975.


Novena to obtain Graces through St. Guiseppe Moscati, doctor and miracle worker
St. Guiseppe, let us pray for all interns beginning residency this year. May we have courage and humility as we learn to become compassionate physicians.
 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
 Prayer to Saint Guiseppe Moscati
 O Saint Joseph Moscati, doctor with a huge heart, in the exercise of your profession you cured the body and spirit of your patients, turn towards us too who now run to you with faith in your intercession. Give us physical and spiritual health, so that we can serve our brothers with generosity. Alleviate the pain of those that suffer, give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted, and hope to the hopeless. Make that the sick might encounter doctors like you: human and Christian. The youth find in you a model of life, the workers, an example, the old, comfort, and the dying, hope in eternal salvation. Be for all of us a sure guide: teach us to work with serenity, honesty and charity, to be able to complete in a Christian way our everyday tasks.
 Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory Be…
Lord thou great physician, we kneel before thee. Since every good and perfect gift must come from thee, we pray: Give skill to our hands, clear vision to our minds, kindness and sympathy to our hearts. Give us singleness of purpose, strength to lift at least part of the burden of our suffering fellowmen, and a true realization of the rare privilege that is ours. Take from our hearts all guile and worldliness, that with the simple faith of a child, we may rely on thee.

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, November 16, 2020 - Eucharist - In Your Virtual Church



Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 497

Reading 1
RV 1:1-4; 2:1-5
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:

“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”
 

Responsorial Psalm
PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
R. (Rev. 2:17) Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
 

 

Alleluia
JN 8:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
LK 18:35-43
As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Prayer to Make a 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 November 16 : St. Gertrude the Great - a Benedictine and Patron of Nuns, Travellers, West Indies

St. Gertrude the Great
BENEDICTINE AND MYSTIC WRITER

Born:
6 January 1256 at Eisleben, Germany
Died:
November 17, 1302, Helfta, Germany
Canonized:
received equipotent canonization, and a universal feast day declared in 1677 by Pope Clement XII
Patron of:
nuns, travellers, West Indies

Memorial: November 16 - in Germany: November 17 Also known as: Getrude; Gertrud the Great of Helfta, Gertrude the Great
Saint Gertrude is one of the greatest and most wonderful saints in the Church of God. Gertrude was born January 6, 1256, in Eisleben, Thuringia ((part of modern Germany). When she was about 5 years old, she became a student at the Benedictine monastery at Helfta, near Eisleben (southwest of Magdeburg, Germany). The Abbess at the time was Gertrude of Hackerborn a woman who ensured that both spiritual and intellectual life flourished. The child Gertrude was put in the care of Mechthilde (became later a Saint), the sister of the Abbess who was head of the school associated with the monastery. Gertrude studied the Scriptures, the Liturgy, and the writings of the Fathers of the Church.
Her life was crowded with wonders. She has in obedience recorded some of her visions, in which she traces in words of indescribable beauty the intimate converse of her soul with Jesus and Mary. Gertrude had her first vision of Christ at the age of twenty-six. She tells us that she heard Christ say to her, "Do not fear. I will save you and set you free." This was the first in a series of visions that transformed her life. From then on, she spent many hours reading the bible and writing essays on the word of God. When she was asked to write about her experiences, she claimed that it would serve no purpose. When she was told that her words would encourage others, Gertrude agreed to write spiritual autobiography. Gertrude committed to writing many of her mystical experiences in the book commonly called the "Revelations of Saint Gertrude." These Revelations form one of the classics of Catholic writing. And although they would have to be classified as “mystical literature,” their message is clear and obvious, for this book states many of the secrets of Heaven in terms that all can understand. Recorded here are Saint Gertrude's many conversations with Our Lord, wherein He reveals His great desire to grant mercy to souls and to reward the least good act. In the course of their conversations, He reveals wonderful spiritual “shortcuts” that will help everyone in his or her spiritual life. She also composed many prayers, ‘sweeter than the honeycomb’, and many other examples of spiritual liturgically inspired Exercitia spiritualia is a gem still awaiting in-depth analysis.
But Gertrud’s most important legacy is universally acknowledged to be the Legatus memorialis abundantiae divinae pietatis, or Herald of the Memorial of the Abundance of Divine Love. This complex work, usually abbreviated in English to The Herald of Divine Love, is worthy of attention both in itself and as a fascinating test case for the study of medieval women’s theology. Another most important book is “The spiritual exercises”. Through her writings helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart. She meditated on the Passion of Christ which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She had a tender love for Our Lady.
During the long illness of five months from which she would die, she gave not the slightest sign of impatience or sadness; her joy, on the contrary, increased with her pains. When the day of her death arrived, November 17, 1302, she saw the Most Blessed Virgin descend from heaven to assist her, and one of her Sisters perceived her soul going straight to the Heart of Jesus, which opened to receive it. Saint Gertrude died at Helfta monastery of natural causes.
She is properly known as Saint Gertrude for, although never formally canonized, she was equipollently canonized in 1677 by Pope Clement XII when he inserted her name in the Roman Martyrology. Her feast was set for November 16. Pope Benedict XIV gave her the title "the Great" to distinguish her from Abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn and to recognize the depth of her spiritual and theological insight.
When the community was transferred in 1346 to the monastery of New Helfta, the present Trud-Kloster, within the walls of Eisleben, they still retained possession of their old home, where doubtless the bodies of Saint Gertrude and Saint Mechtilde still buried, though their place of sepulture remains unknown.
Saint Gertrud and Saint Mechtilde:
When Gertrude was five years old, she was placed in the care of Mechtilde. She became the first teacher of Gertrude. They became close friends, and Mechtildis (Mechtilde), who had mystical experiences of her own, helped Gertrude with her Book of Special Graces (also called The Revelations of St. Mechtildis), and the two Saints collaborated on a series of prayers. Mechtidle died November 19, 1298 at Helfta monastery of natural causes. Text shared from MaryPages

Pope Francis Says "in order to be like Jesus" - "Hold out your hand to the poor, instead of demanding what you lack."



 HOLY MASS

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica
33th Sunday of Ordinary Time, 15 November 2020

 

The parable we have just listened to has a beginning, a middle and an end, which shed light on the beginning, the middle and the end of our lives.

The beginning. Everything begins with a great good. The master does not keep his wealth to himself, but gives it to his servants; five talents to one, two to another, one to a third, “to each according to his ability” (Mt 25:15). It has been calculated that a single talent was equivalent to the income of some twenty years’ work: it was of enormous value, and would be sufficient for a lifetime. This is the beginning. For us too, everything began with the grace of God – everything always begins with grace, not with our own efforts – with the grace of God, who is a Father and has given us so many good things, entrusting different talents to each of us.

 

 We possess a great wealth that depends not on what we possess but on what we are: the life we have received, the good within us, the indelible beauty God has given us by making us in his image… All these things make each of us precious in his eyes, each one of us is priceless and unique in history! This is how God looks at us, how God feels towards us.

We need to remember this. All too often, when we look at our lives, we see only the things we lack, and we complain about what we lack. We then yield to the temptation to say: “If only…!” If only I had that job, if only I had that home, if only I had money and success, if only I didn’t have this or that problem, if only I had better people around me…! But those illusory words – if only! – prevent us from seeing the good all around us. They make us forget the talents we possess. You may not have that, but you do have this, and the “if only” makes us forget this. Yet God gave those talents to us because he knows each of us and he knows our abilities. He trusts us, despite our weaknesses. God even trusts the servant who will hide his talent, hoping that despite his fears, he too will put to good use what he received. In a word, the Lord asks us to make the most of the present moment, not yearning for the past, but waiting industriously for his return. How ugly is that nostalgia, which is like a black mood poisoning our soul and making us always look backwards, always at others, but never at our own hands or at the opportunities for work that the Lord has given us, never at our own situation… not even at our own poverty.

This brings us to the centre of the parable: the work of the servants, which is service. Service is our work too; it makes our talents bear fruit and it gives meaning to our lives. Those who do not live to serve, serve for little in this life. We must repeat this, and repeat it often: those who do not live to serve, serve for little in this life. We should reflect on this: those who do not live to serve, serve for little in this life. But what kind of service are we speaking of? In the Gospel, good servants are those who take risks. They are not fearful and overcautious, they do not cling to what they possess, but put it to good use. For if goodness is not invested, it is lost, and the grandeur of our lives is not measured by how much we save but by the fruit we bear. How many people spend their lives simply accumulating possessions, concerned only about the good life and not the good they can do. Yet how empty is a life centred on our needs and blind to the needs of others! The reason we have gifts is so that we can be gifts for others. And here, brothers and sisters, we should ask ourselves the question: do I only follow my own needs, or am I able to look to the needs of others, to whoever is in need? Are my hands open, or are they closed?

It is significant that fully four times those servants who invested their talents, who took a risk, are called “faithful” (vv. 21, 23). For the Gospel, faithfulness is never risk-free. “But, father, does being a Christian mean taking risks?” – “Yes, dearly beloved, take a risk. If you do not take risks, you will end up like the third [servant]: burying your abilities, your spiritual and material riches, everything”. Taking risks: there is no faithfulness without risk. Fidelity to God means handing over our life, letting our carefully laid plans be disrupted by our need to serve. “But I have my plans, and if I have to serve…”. Let your plans be upset, go and serve. It is sad when Christians play a defensive game, content only to observe rules and obey commandments. Those “moderate” Christians who never go beyond boundaries, never, because they are afraid of risk. And those, allow me this image, those who take care of themselves to avoid risk begin in their lives a process of mummification of their souls, and they end up as mummies. Following rules is not enough; fidelity to Jesus is not just about not making mistakes, this is quite wrong. That is what the lazy servant in the parable thought: for lack of initiative and creativity, he yielded to needless fear and buried the talent he had received. The master actually calls him “wicked” (v. 26). And yet he did nothing wrong! But he did nothing good either. He preferred to sin by omission rather than to risk making a mistake. He was not faithful to God, who spends freely, and he made his offence even worse by returning the gift he had received. “You gave me this, and I give it to you”, nothing more. The Lord, for his part, asks us to be generous, to conquer fear with the courage of love, to overcome the passivity that becomes complicity. Today, in these times of uncertainty, in these times of instability, let us not waste our lives thinking only of ourselves, indifferent to others, or deluding ourselves into thinking: “peace and security!” (1 Thess 5:3). Saint Paul invites us to look reality in the face and to avoid the infection of indifference.

How then do we serve, as God would have us serve? The master tells the faithless servant: “You ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest” (v. 27). Who are the “bankers” who can provide us with long-term interest? They are the poor. Do not forget: the poor are at the heart of the Gospel; we cannot understand the Gospel without the poor. The poor are like Jesus himself, who, though rich, emptied himself, made himself poor, even taking sin upon himself: the worst kind of poverty. The poor guarantee us an eternal income. Even now they help us become rich in love. For the worst kind of poverty needing to be combatted is our poverty of love. The worst kind of poverty needing to be combatted is our poverty of love. The Book of Proverbs praises the woman who is rich in love, whose value is greater than that of pearls. We are told to imitate that woman who “opens her hand to the poor” (Prov 31:20): that is the great richness of this woman. Hold out your hand to the poor, instead of demanding what you lack. In this way, you will multiply the talents you have received.

The season of Christmas is approaching, the holiday season. How often do we hear people ask: “What can I buy? What more can I have? I must go shopping”. Let us use different words: “What can I give to others?”, in order to be like Jesus, who gave of himself and was born in the manger”.

We now come to the end of the parable. Some will be wealthy, while others, who had plenty and wasted their lives, will be poor (cf. v. 29). At the end of our lives, then, the truth will be revealed. The pretence of this world will fade, with its notion that success, power and money give life meaning, whereas love – the love we have given – will be revealed as true riches. Those things will fall, yet love will emerge. A great Father of the Church wrote: “As for this life, when death comes and the theatre is deserted, when all remove their masks of wealth or of poverty and depart hence, judged only by their works, they will be seen for what they are: some truly rich, others poor” (SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Homilies on the Poor Man Lazarus, II, 3). If we do not want to live life poorly, let us ask for the grace to see Jesus in the poor, to serve Jesus in the poor.

I would like to thank all those faithful servants of God who quietly live in this way, serving others. I think, for example, of Father Roberto Malgesini. This priest was not interested in theories; he simply saw Jesus in the poor and found meaning in life in serving them. He dried their tears with his gentleness, in the name of God who consoles. The beginning of his day was prayer, to receive God’s gifts; the centre of his day was charity, to make the love he had received bear fruit; the end was his clear witness to the Gospel. This man realized that he had to stretch out his hand to all those poor people he met daily, for he saw Jesus in each of them. Brothers and sisters, let us ask for the grace to be Christians not in word, but in deed. To bear fruit, as Jesus desires. May this truly be so.

Pope Francis Says "Today is the Day of the Poor, where the Church tells us Christians: “Extend a hand to the poor. Reach out a hand to the poor"



ANGELUS
Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 15 November 2020

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good afternoon!

On this next to the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Gospel presents us the well-known Parable of the Talents (cf. Mt 25:14-30). It is part of Jesus' discourse on the end times, which immediately precedes His passion, death and resurrection. The parable describes a rich gentleman who has to go away and, foreseeing a long absence, entrusts his property to three of his servants: to the first he entrusts five talents; to the second, two; to the third, one. Jesus specifies that the distribution is made “each according to his ability” (v. 15). The Lord does so with all of us: He knows us well; He knows we are not all equal and does not wish to favour anyone to the detriment of the others, but entrusts an amount to each one according to his or her abilities.

During the master's absence, the first two servants are very busy, to the point of doubling the amount entrusted to them. It is not so with the third servant, who hides the talent in a hole: to avoid risks, he leaves it there, safe from thieves, but without making it bear fruit. The moment comes for the master’s return, who calls the servants to settle accounts. The first two present the good fruit of their efforts; they have worked and the master praises them, compensates them and invites them to partake in his feast, in his joy. The third, however, realizing he is at fault, immediately begins to justify himself, saying: “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours” (vv. 24-25). He defends his laziness by accusing his master of being “hard”. This is an attitude that we have too: we defend ourselves, many times, by accusing others. But they are not at fault: the fault is ours; the flaw is ours. And this servant accuses others, he accuses the master in order to justify himself. We too, many times, do the same. So the master rebukes him: he calls the servant “wicked and slothful” (v. 26); he has the talent taken from him and has him cast out of his house.

This parable applies to everyone but, as always, to Christians in particular. Today too, it is very topical: today is the Day of the Poor, where the Church tells us Christians: “Extend a hand to the poor. Reach out a hand to the poor. You are not alone in life: there are people who need you. Do not be selfish; reach out a hand to the poor. We have all received from God a “patrimony” as human beings, a human richness, whatever it may be.  And as disciples of Christ we have also received the faith, the Gospel, the Holy Spirit, the Sacraments, and so many other things. These gifts need to be used to do good, to do good in this life, in service to God and to our brothers and sisters. And today the Church tells you, she tells us: “Use what God has given you and look at the poor. Look: there are so many of them; even in our cities, in the centre of our city, there are many. Do good!”

At times, we think that to be Christian means not to do harm. And not doing harm is good. But not doing good is not good. We must do good, to come out of ourselves and look, look at those who have more need. There is so much hunger, even in the heart of our cities; and many times we enter into that logic of indifference: the poor person is there, and we look the other way.  Reach out your hand to the poor person: it is Christ. Some say: “But these priests, these bishops who talk about the poor, the poor.... We want them to talk to us about eternal life!”. Look, brother and sister, the poor are at the centre of the Gospel; it is Jesus who taught us to speak to the poor; it is Jesus who came for the poor. Reach out your hand to the poor. You have received many things, and you let your brother, your sister die of hunger?

Dear brothers and sisters, may each one say in his or her heart what Jesus tells us today; repeat in your heart: “Reach out your hand to the poor”. And Jesus tells us something else: “You know, I am the poor person. I am the poor”.

The Virgin Mary received a great gift: Jesus Himself, but she did not keep Him to herself; she gave Him to the world, to His people. Let us learn from her to reach out a hand to the poor.


After reciting the Angelus the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters! I am close in prayer to the population of the Philippines, who are suffering because of the destruction and above all the flooding caused by a strong typhoon. I express my solidarity to the poorest families who have been subjected to these calamities, and my support to those who are trying to aid them.

My thought also goes to the Ivory Coast, which is celebrating today the national Day of Peace, in a context of social and political tensions which, unfortunately have caused many victims. I join in prayer to obtain the gift of national harmony from the Lord, and I exhort all sons and daughters of that dear country to cooperate responsibly for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. I encourage in particular the different political actors to re-establish a climate of mutual trust and dialogue, in the quest for just solutions that protect and promote the common good.

Yesterday, in a hospital facility in Romania, where various patients stricken with the coronavirus were admitted, a fire broke out which claimed several victims. I express my closeness and pray for them. Let us pray for them.

I greet all of you, faithful of Rome and pilgrims from various countries. Do not forget, today, that that voice of the Church rings in our heart: “Reach out your hand to the poor. Because, you know, the poor person is Christ”. I am delighted, in particular, for the presence of the Hösel children's choir (Germany). Thank you for your songs!

I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch! Arrivederci!