Monday, February 13, 2012


Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes | Bishop Jacques, Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Auxiliary Bishop of Nanterre,new Bishop of Tarbes, Lourdes
On Saturday, 11 February, thousands of Lourdes pilgrims braved sub-zero temperatures to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. The day marks the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette in 1858.

Among the pilgrims were many pilgrimage directors from the UK who were in Lourdes to finalise details of this years' pilgrimages.

Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes was principal celebrant at the International Mass in the St Pius X Basilica.

After the Mass, the Bishop prayed the Angelus at the Grotto. It was then announced that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacques, who has reached the retirement age, and appointed Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Auxiliary Bishop of Nanterre, as the new Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. He will be received as Bishop in the St Pius X Basilica during Mass on Sunday, 25 March, 2012.

For more on Lourdes see:


ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT By Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012Four years ago on this day, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed the nation to publicly apologise to the Indigenous people of Australia for the past injustices and wrongs done to them. Today about 200 people gathered at Birrarung Marr to commemorate this momentous occasion thanks to a new initiative of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne (ACMM) office.

View gallery

Launched last week at the ACMM office, the ‘I Feel Proud Today’ campaign aims to commemorate the anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations made by Kevin Rudd in Parliament on 13 February 2008.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012ACMM executive office Vicki Clarke said, “The campaign aims to ensure that our shared story will never be forgotten.”

“The ‘I feel proud today’ campaign is about keeping the National Apology alive in the minds and hearts of the Australian People.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012“This day is about commemorating our shared history and about bringing people back to how they felt when the National Apology was being read out, and how they felt about being witness to such a significant moment in our modern history.

“By commemorating this day, Australians can continue to reflect on that moment in time where we united as one, determined to mend relationships with our Indigenous people.

“The National Apology was so important for the healing of this Nation; it has helped many people to move on but we need to keep touching people’s hearts and spirit, to ensure this truly sacred moment is never forgotten.”

Both at the launch last week and during this morning’s commemoration, Ian Hamm, Executive Officer of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria spoke of his experience of being separated from his parents and family as children and the significance of the National Apology for him.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012“The importance of that day for the people of this country cannot be underestimated,” said Ian.

“I don’t think there are the words to capture what those words [I’m sorry] meant to us as a nation. For a single moment in time, by and large Australia was in one place with a deeper commitment that often doesn’t happen.

“It’s a day and moment in time that we should never forget. It brought everyone in this country together and was also the beginning of another journey toward healing, particularly for the Aboriginal community and Stolen Generation. We can never recreate it, but we can remember it every year.”

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012As people watched on, they wore badges with the words ‘I Feel Proud Today’ on them.

Five thousand badges and resource kits have also been distributed to schools and organisations throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia to help commemorate the day.

Both the launch and today’s event were organised with the support of Link-Up, Connecting Home, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Reconciliation Victoria, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, Archdiocese of Melbourne Social Justice office, Catholic Social Services Victoria, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, Brotherhood of St Laurence and the City of Melbourne.

Vicki said, “The organisations, communities and individuals represented want to acknowledge the importance of the Apology, and its part in the journey towards healing and recognition.”

“There is a legacy of pain for many but this day is a day for all Australians to be proud of
the steps that have been taken towards healing and unity.

“This campaign is only beginning and I’ve got no doubt it will only get bigger and better as the years go on. We will never forget this day and what it means to our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and to all Australians.”

View story and gallery from last week's campaign launch at ACMM office.

Photos by Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal


VATICAN, February 10, 2012 (CISA) –Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to preach the annual Lenten Retreat for the Roman Curia.
The African cardinal, who received his red hat from Pope Benedict in November 2010, has been deeply involved in efforts to secure a lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to CWS, he has been Archbishop of Kinshasa, the capital city, since 2008, having previously served 20 years as Archbishop of Kisangani.
Cardinal Monsengwo is the 2nd African cardinal asked by Pope Benedict to lead the annual Lenten exercises.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, preached the retreat in 2009.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
Three attacks since 2011 at St. Joseph's PU College, Anekal. The religious are accused of not having displayed the national flag on Republic Day, but the president has always denied this. Silence of police and authorities. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Their aim is to terrorize the Christian community."

Anekal (AsiaNews) - "The goal of ultra-nationalist Hindus is to terrorize the Christian minority and to create tension within the community", says Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), denouncing the climate of fear in which Christians live in Anekal, a city of Karnataka. The extremist’s target are the Jesuits and their school, St. Joseph's PU College. Missionaries, teachers and students of the institute have been the victims of three attacks since 2011, at the hands of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists (Abvp), a student organization affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ultra-nationalist party in government. The BJP supports the extremist Hindu groups belonging to the Sangh Parivar like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or the Bajrang Dal, responsible for violence against Dalits and Christians.

The last episode dates back to February 9, when the tahsildar (district official) of Anekal convened a meeting of the Commission for Peace. During the meeting, more than 100 Akbvp activists constantly interrupted the interventions of six Jesuit priests there present, insulting them for not having hoisted the national flag on the National holiday of the republic. Some pictures of the event transmitted by local television, showed the activists hit the headmaster of St Joseph College, Fr. Melvin Mendonca, under the eyes of the tahsildar and police. The attackers then paraded the Jesuit through the city, to the police station. When other priests have tried to point out to tahsildar what was happening, one of the activists shouted: "Try it with your friends in America. Here, we make the rules. "

Accused of not having hoisted the national flag, already on 27 January, Akbvp members had beaten teachers and students of St Joseph College. The principal has always rejected the accusation, explaining that the symbol was displayed on the campus of Jnana Jyoti, headquarters of the institute. 60% of students at the institute are Dalit Hindus, while the remainder are Christians and Muslims.

"After this further attack - saya Sajan George to AsiaNews - the Christian community is scared, insecure and abandoned. The Hindu activists continue to attack, strengthened by their political ally: the BJP government in Karnataka. "


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The police continue the strike and the people of Bahia, state in northeastern Brazil, live in anguish. In just six days there have been 87 murders, the result of criminal acts, and is in a wave of ransacking. Government officials of Bahia and associations of the military police in the Brazilian state met two days ago, with the Church as mediator, to try to resolve the dispute over wages.
In the residence of the Archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia and Primate of Brazil, Mgr. Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, S.C.I., the parties sought to end the strike, but still has not solved the problem. This is the second attempt of negotiations. The first (4 days ago) lasted 10 hours. The spokesman for the archdiocese, Father Manoel Ribeiro, explained that the position of the associations concerning the counterproposal made by the government of Bahia is being debated. The governor of Bahia, Jaques Wagner, believes that negotiations with the military police are progressing and took the opportunity to urge the police not to abandon the people to themselves. But Wagner also said that there will be no amnesty for those responsible for acts of vandalism. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 09/02/2012)


Mark 8: 1 - 10
1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him, and said to them,
2 "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat;
3 and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way."
4 And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?"
5 And he asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven."
6 And he commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
7 And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, he commanded that these also should be set before them.
8 And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
9 And there were about four thousand people.
10 And he sent them away; and immediately he got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanu'tha.


Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast: February 11

Feast Day:February 11
The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations Médicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



Vatican City, 10 February 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received in audience twenty-five members of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel (the sub-Saharan region of Africa which includes countries on the west coast and central part of the continent). The institution came into being following John Paul II's first trip to Africa and was formally established with a Chirograph on 22 February 1984. It is involved in managing and protecting natural resources, the struggle against drought and desertification, rural development and the fight against poverty, through the involvement of local people. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
In his address Benedict XVI recalled how in recent months the Sahel "has been seriously threatened by a significant drop in food supplies and famine, caused by low rainfall and the consequent inexorable advance of the desert. I exhort the international community to concern itself with the extreme poverty of these peoples, whose living conditions are deteriorating. And I encourage and support the efforts made by the ecclesial organisations which operate in this field".
In some of the countries in which the Foundation operates Islam is also present. In this context Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction at the good relations that exist with Muslims, and noted "the importance of bearing witness to the fact that Christ lives, and that His love goes beyond all religions, races and cultures".
In conclusion the Pope highlighted how "Africa is the continent of hope for the Church, ... the continent of the future".

Vatican City, 10 February 2010 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Basilica at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday 18 February Benedict XVI will celebrate an ordinary public consistory for the creation of twenty-two new cardinals during which he will impose the biretta, consign the ring and assign them their title or diaconate, according to a communique released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
At the end of the ceremony, the Holy Father will celebrate an ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the following Blesseds: Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; Maria Anna Cope (nee Barbara), German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A.; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman, and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman.
That same afternoon, from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m. in various rooms of the Apostolic Palace, the new cardinals will receive all those who wish to pay them a courtesy visit. A list of these locations follows:
Atrium of the Paul VI Hall: Cardinals Joao Braz de Aviz, Edwin Frederick O'Brien, George Alencherry, Lucian Muresan, Julien Ries and Prosper Grech, O.S.A.
Paul VI Hall: Cardinals Francesco Coccopalmerio, Thomas Christopher Collins, Dominik Jaroslav Duka O.P., Willem Jacobus Eijk, Giuseppe Betori, Timothy Michael Dolan, Rainer Maria Woelki and John Tong Hon.
Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace: Cardinals Fernando Filoni, Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Giuseppe Bertello.
Galleria Lapidaria of the Apostolic Palace: Cardinals Santos Abril y Castello and Antonio Maria Veglio.
Sala Ducale of the Apostolic Palace: Cardinals Domenico Calcagno and Giuseppe Versaldi.
Also in St. Peter's Basilica, at 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 19 February, Solemnity of the Cathedra of St. Peter, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals.

Vatican City, 10 February 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Eight prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Jerome Edward Listecki of Milwaukee, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying and former Auxiliary Bishop Richard John Sklba.
- Bishop David Laurin Ricken of Green Bay, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Robert Joseph Banks.
- Bishop William Patrick Callahan O.F.M. Conv. of La Crosse.
- Bishop Robert Charles Morlino of Madison.
- Bishop Peter F. Christensen of Superior.

Vatican City, 10 February 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Marco Perez Caicedo, auxiliary of Guayaquil, Ecuador, as bishop of Babahoyo (area 6,531, population 788,000, Catholics 583,000, priests 42, religious 49), Ecuador.
- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio to Thailand and Cambodia, and apostolic delegate to Myanmar and Laos, as apostolic nuncio to Brazil.
- Bishop Paolo Mietto C.S.I., apostolic vicar emeritus of Napo, Ecuador, as apostolic administrator of San Miguel de Sucumbios, Ecuador.



CAM-Coat-of-arms_300Archbishop Hart announced today that Monsignor Greg Bennet has been appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. This follows the recent announcement that Pope Benedict has appointed Bishop Les Tomlinson Bishop of Sandhurst. The Archbishop also announced that Very Reverend Dr Terence Curtin PP, Greythorn has been appointed Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Region from 28 February 2012. The Archbishop said Father Curtin will officiate at Confirmations in the Eastern Region, attend the regular Curia meetings and be a point of reference for the parishes of the Region.

To read Archbishop's announcement click here.


CISA REPORT: UJUMBURA, February 10, 2012 (CISA) -Anglican leaders from across the continent of Africa have made an emotional appeal to Muslim faith leaders to stand with them in opposition to “tragic violence that is destroying our communities”.
The appeal was issued at the end of a three-day meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa in Burundi where conflict between the two faiths was high on the agenda.
The statement read: “The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa…has noted with much sadness the increasing deterioration between Muslim and Christian communities in different parts of the world, specifically our Provinces of Sudan, Nigeria, and the Diocese of Egypt.
“As a council, coming from communities diverse in religion and culture, the present circumstances have forced us to ask whether the violence we see and experience is driven by religious intolerance from our brothers of different religions with whom we have lived together for generations, in some cases centuries, or whether in fact it is a result of a much greater problem of exploitation of ignorance and religious beliefs for political gain.
“Whatever the cause, the subsequent violence is devastating. In most cases, this societal decline has resulted in bloodshed, loss of life, livelihoods, poor living standards, and has bred bitterness and hopelessness.”
Highlighting conflict in Sudan, South Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria the statement, signed on behalf of CAPA by the outgoing Chairman Archbishop Ian Earnest, called for an end to violence that “destabilise whole communities”.
“As CAPA, we reach out to Muslim faith leaders of these affected communities to stand with us in solidarity opposed to the tragic violence that is destroying our communities in Africa. We call upon individual Christians and Muslims in Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria, especially the youth, to join hands united against religious extremism and respectful of religious and cultural differences.”
Celebrating the initiative by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar to make peace by creating “Bayt al-’ila” or a “Family home” from Muslim and Christian leaders to deal with the sectarian strife in Egypt, CAPA also urged governments of affected countries to grant Christians and other religious groups, equal rights and freedom to enjoy the benefits of full citizenship.
“We also call on our respective governments to introduce appropriate measures to guarantee freedom of citizens to live and practice their religions by providing security to their lives and property.”


UCAN REPORT; Concrete steps must be taken to combat sex addiction on the internet reporter, Lahore
February 13, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Priest urges Christians to fight porn
Young people connected to the internet
A priest this weekend urged Christian leaders to pluck up courage and educate young people about the dangers of pornography addiction during an ecumenical seminar in Lahore.
“Christian leaders are suspicious of the internet and are afraid to discuss pornography with youths,” said Capuchin Father Morris Jalal executive director of Pakistan’s only Catholic television service.
He was speaking at seminar discussing the influence modern media has on young people organized by the Theological Institute for the Laity and the Presbyterian Church.
Many speakers at the seminar agreed there is a high degree of “media illiteracy” among Christian leaders and that they should be less wary of modern communication in order to organize programs to help youths overcome porn addiction.
For the past two years Pakistan has topped the rankings when it comes to searching the term “sex” and other sexually explicit terminology, according to Google statistics.
The government confirmed earlier this month it blocked 13,000 obscene websites on the internet following directives issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
Fr Jalal also said many young people admitted looking at porn in a survey he carried out in his own Kot Lakhpat parish recently.
“About fifty percent use the internet daily for more than an hour. I asked some of them if they watched porn movies on the internet and they confessed to having watched them a few times,” he said.
“They would not admit to being addicts, but at least they were willing to discuss it”, he said.
Daughter of St. Paul Sister Athen Angeles, who heads a youth group in Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocese, wanted a ban on porn sites.
“This gives us a chance to train up cyber priests in the minor seminary,” she said.
Catholic rectors prohibit seminarians from using cell phones in minor and major seminaries. Major seminarians however are permitted to use the internet only to help them complete study assignments.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, said that the Catholic values that every presidential candidate must have are love, justice, freedom, respect for people and for the people in general. All this is condensed in the Constitution. The Cardinal answered the journalists’ questions on the eve of the primary elections, which in Venezuela will be held on Sunday, February 12, while the presidential elections are to be held on 7 October. "Another very important value is truth, the truth and work for the good of the Venezuelan people and not for a particular political party, excluding the other", he added.
"It is not only now that the Bishops speak of national life - said the Cardinal -. We have a duty as pastors, to promote peace. Compliance with all the dignity and the common good, the need to create opportunities for all and respect for private property, are values that should always be defended".
If these values were actually applied, the Cardinal said, "we would have a much better country than we have now ... This is what we lack, to address problems early: never before have there been many problems such as corruption and lack of housing". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 10/02/2012)


Mass to mark sinking of Costa Concordia  | Bishop Guglielmo Borghetti of Pitigliano,Giglio, Costa Concordia

Happier days - Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants on visit to the ship a few months ago
Bishop Guglielmo Borghetti of Pitigliano, will celebrate Mass on the island of Giglio to remember those killed on the cruise liner Costa Concordia.
The Mass will be celebrated in the church of St Lawrence on Monday February 13, exactly one month after the tragedy.

Locals and families of those killed or injured on the ship are expected to attend. The Catholic maritime charity Apostleship of the Sea provided assistance to passengers and crew through its cruise chaplain on board. The AoS also assisted victims coming ashore in the nearby port of Savona.

Martin Foley, national director of the Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain said: "The sinking of the Coast Concordia was a terrible tragedy. It's important that we remember those who died and also their families."

Each year the Apostleship of the Sea deploys chaplains on many cruise lines to support the pastoral and practical welfare of crew and passengers.

Last year more than 700 cruise chaplains provided 15,000 days of cruise chaplaincy across the world.
Source: AoS


St. Scholastica
Feast: February 10

Feast Day:February 10
480, Nursia, Italy
Patron of:convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain
This saint was sister to the great St. Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned; but after her brother removed to Mount Cassino she chose her retreat at Plombariola, in that neighbourhood, where she founded and governed a nunnery about five miles distant to the south from St. Benedict's monastery. St. Bertharius, who was Abbot of Cassino three hundred years after, says that she instructed in virtue several of her own sex. And whereas St. Gregory informs us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, his sister must have been their abbess under his rule and direction. She visited her holy brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went out with some of his monks to meet her at a house at some small distance. They spent these visits in the praises of God, and in conferring together on spiritual matters. St. Gregory relates a remarkable circumstance of the I last of these visits. Scholastica having passed the day as usual in singing psalms and pious discourse, they sat down in the evening to take their refection. After it was over, Scholastica, perhaps foreknowing it would be their last interview in this world, or at least desirous of some further spiritual improvement, was very urgent with her brother to delay his return till the next day, that they might entertain themselves till morning upon the happiness of the other life. St. Benedict, unwilling to transgress his rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery, so desired her not to insist upon such a breach of monastic discipline. Scholastica finding him resolved on going home, laying her hands joined upon the table, and her head upon them, with many tears, begged of Almighty God to interpose in her behalf. Her prayer was scarce ended when there happened such a storm of rain, thunder, and lightning, that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could set a foot out of doors. He complained to his sister, saying, "God forgive you, sister; what have you done?" She answered, "I asked you a favour, and you refused it me; I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me." St. Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request, and they spent the night in conferences on pious subjects, chiefly on the felicity of the blessed, to which both most ardently aspired, and which she was shortly to enjoy. The next morning they parted, and three days after St. Scholastica died in her solitude. St. Benedict was then alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he saw the soul of his sister ascending thither in the shape of a dove. Filled with joy at her happy passage, he gave thanks for it to God, and declared her death to his brethren, some of whom he sent to bring her corpse to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself. She must have died about the year 543. Her relics are said to have been translated into France, together with those of St. Bennet, in the seventh century, according to the relation given by the monk Adrevald.1 They are said to have been deposited at Mans, and kept in the collegiate church of St. Peter in that city, in a rich silver shrine. In 1562 this shrine was preserved from being plundered by the Huguenots as is related by Chatelain. Her principal festival at Mans is kept a holyday on the 11th of July, the day of the translation of her relics. She was honored in some places with an office of three lessons, in the time of St. Louis, as appears from a calendar of Longchamp written in his reign.

Louis of Granada, treating on the perfection of the love of God, mentions the miraculous storm obtained by St. Scholastica to show with what excess of goodness God is always ready to hear the petitions and desires of his servants. This pious soul must have received strong pledges and most sensible tokens of his love, seeing she depended on receiving so readily what she asked of him. No child could address himself with so great confidence to his most tender parent. The love which God bears us, and his readiness to succour and comfort us, if we humbly confess and lay before him our wants, infinitely surpasses all that can be found in creatures. Nor can we be surprised that he so easily heard the prayer of this holy virgin, since at the command of Joshua he stopped the heavens, God obeying the voice of man! He hears the most secret desires of those that fear and love him, and does their will: if he sometimes seems deaf to their cries, it is to grant their main desire by doing what is most expedient for them, as St. Austin frequently observes. The short prayer by which St. Scholastica gained this remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved. It was enough for her to cast her eyes interiorly upon him with whom she was closely and inseparably united in mind and affections, to move him so suddenly to change the course of the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire. By placing herself, as a docile scholar, continually at the feet of the Divine Majesty, who filled all the powers of her soul with the sweetness of his heavenly communications, she learned that sublime science of perfection in which she became a mistress to so many other chaste souls by this divine exercise. Her life in her retirement, to that happy moment which closed her mortal pilgrimage, was a continued uniform contemplation, by which all her powers were united to and transformed into God.



Mark 7: 31 - 37
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap'olis.
32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him.
33 And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue;
34 and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened."
35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
36 And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."