Monday, July 11, 2016

Saint July 12 : St. John Gualbert - Founder of #Vallumbrosan Order

St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini, was born in 985 (or 995), and died at Passignano, 12 July, 1073, on which day his feast is kept; he was canonized in 1193. One of his relatives having been murdered, it became his duty to avenge the deceased. He met the murderer in a narrow lane and was about to slay him, but when the man threw himself upon the ground with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, he pardoned him for the love of Christ. On his way home, he entered the Benedictine Church at San Miniato to pray, and the figure on the crucifix bowed its head to him in recognition of his generosity. This story forms the subject of Burne-Jones's picture "The Merciful Knight", and has been adapted by Shorthouse in "John Inglesant". John Gualbert became a Benedictine at San Miniato, but left that monastery to lead a more perfect life. His attraction was for the cenobitic not eremitic life, so after staying for some time with the monks at Camaldoli, he settled at Vallombrosa, where he founded his monastery.
Mabillon places the foundation a little before 1038. Here it is said he and his first companions lived for some years as hermits, but this is rejected by Martène as inconsistent with his reason for leaving Camaldoli. The chronology of the early days of Vallombrosa has been much disputed. The dates given for the founder's conversion vary between 1004 and 1039, and a recent Vallumbrosan writer places his arrival at Vallombrosa as early as 1008. We reach surer ground with the consecration of the church by Bl. Rotho, Bishop of Paderborn, in 1038, and the donation by Itta, Abbess of the neighbouring monastery of Sant' Ellero, of the site of the new foundation in 1039. The abbess retained the privilege of nominating the superiors, but this right was granted to the monks by Victor II, who confirmed the order in 1056. Two centuries later, in the time of Alexander IV, the nunnery was united to Vallombrosa in spite of the protests of the nuns. The holy lives of the first monks at Vallombrosa attracted considerable attention and brought many requests for new foundations, but there were few postulants, since few could endure the extraordinary austerity of the life. Thus only one other monastery, that of San Salvi at Florence, was founded during this period. But when the founder had mitigated his rule somewhat, three more monasteries were founded and three others reformed and united to the order during his lifetime. In the struggle of the popes against simony the early Vallumbrosans took a considerable part, of which the most famous incident is the ordeal by fire undertaken successfully by St. Peter Igneus in 1068 (see Delarc, op. cit.). Shortly before this the monastery of S. Salvi had been burned and the monks ill-treated by the anti-reform party. These events still further increased the repute of Vallombrosa.
Development of the order
After the founder's death the order spread rapidly. A Bull of Urban II in 1090, which takes Vallombrosa under the protection of the Holy See, enumerates fifteen monasteries besides the motherhouse. Twelve more are mentioned in a Bull of Paschal II in 1115, and twenty-four others in those of Anastasius IV (1153) and Adrian IV (1156). By the time of Innocent III they numbered over sixty. All were situated in Italy, except two monasteries in Sardinia. About 1087 Bl. Andrew of Vallombrosa (d. 1112) founded the monastery of Cornilly in the Diocese of Orléans, and in 1093 the Abbey of Chezal-Benoît, which became later the head of a considerable Benedictine congregation. There is no ground for the legend given by some writers of the order of a great Vallumbrosan Congregation in France with an abbey near Paris, founded by St. Louis. The Vallumbrosan Congregation was reformed in the middle of the fifteenth century by Cassinese Benedictines, and again by Bl. John Leonardi at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1485 certain abbeys with that of San Salvi at Florence at their head, which had formed a separate congregation, were reunited to the motherhouse by Innocent VIII. At the beginning of the sixteenth century an attempt was made by Abbot-General Milanesi to found a house of studies on university lines at Vallombrosa; but in 1527 the monastery was burned by the troops of Charles V. It was rebuilt by Abbot Nicolini in 1637, and in 1634 an observatory was established. From 1662-80 the order was united to the Sylvestrines. In 1808 Napoleon's troops plundered Vallombrosa, and the monastery lay deserted till 1815. It was finally suppressed by the Italian Government in 1866. A few monks remain to look after the church and meteorological station, but the abbey buildings have become a school of forestry founded in 1870 on the German model, the only one of its kind in Italy. Vallombrosa is also a health resort.
The decline of the order may be ascribed to the hard fate of the motherhouse, to commendams, and to the perpetual wars which ravaged Italy. Practically all the surviving monasteries were suppressed during the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The present Vallumbrosan monasteries, besides Vallombrosa itself, are: Passignano, where St. John Gualbert is buried; S. Trinità at Florence, where the abbot-general resides; Sta Prassede, in Rome; Galloro in the Diocese of Albano, with the sanctuary of Bl. Benedict Ricasoli (d. 1107); and the celebrated sanctuary of Montessoro in the Diocese of Leghorn. The modern monastery of Signol near Loriol, Drôme, France, was suppressed by the Ferry laws in 1880. The present abbot-general is Fedele Tarani. The monks now number about 100. The shield of the order shows the founder's arm in a tawny-coloured cowl grasping a golden crutch-shaped crozier on a blue ground. The services rendered by the order have been mostly in the field of asceticism. Besides the Vallumbrosan saints alluded to in other parts of this article there may also be mentioned: Bl. Veridiana, anchoress (1208-42); Bl. Giovanni Dalle Celle (feast, 10 March); the lay brother Melior (1 Aug.). By the middle of the seventeenth century the order had supplied twelve cardinals and more than 30 bishops. F. E. Hugford (1696-1771), born at Florence of English parents, is well known as one of the chief promoters of the art of scagliola (imitation of marble in plaster). Abbot-General Tamburini's works on canon law are well known. Galileo was for a time a novice at Vallombrosa and received part of his education there. Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Novena to Saint Benedict - #Miracle Prayers and #Litany to SHARE -

St. Benedict,  Patriarch of Western Monasticism, and founder of the Benedictine Order , was born in Nursia, Italy, in 480 and died in 547
NOVENA PRAYER - Say for 9 days
Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne Of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom. 
 Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you. I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayer and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it). Help me, great St. Benedict. to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.
(3) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary, (3) Glory Be St. Benedict, pray for us.
THE LITANY OF ST. BENEDICT
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Holy Father, Saint Benedict, Pray for us.
Father most reverend, Pray for us.
Father most renowned, Pray for us.
Father most compassionate, Pray for us.
Man of great fortitude, Pray for us.
Man of venerable life, Pray for us.
Man of the most holy conversation, Pray for us.
True servant of God, Pray for us.
Light of devotion, Pray for us.
Light of prayer, Pray for us.
Light of contemplation, Pray for us.
Star of the world, Pray for us.
Best master of an austere life, Pray for us.
Leader of the holy warfare, Pray for us.
Leader and chief of monks, Pray for us.
Master of those who die to the world, Pray for us.
Protector of those who cry to thee, Pray for us.
Wonderful worker of miracles, Pray for us.
Revealer of the secrets of the human heart, Pray for us.
Master of spiritual discipline, Pray for us.
Companion of the patriarchs, Pray for us.
Equal of the prophets, Pray for us.
Follower of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Teacher of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Father of many pontiffs, Pray for us.
Gem of abbots, Pray for us.
Glory of Confessors, Pray for us.
Imitator of anchorites, Pray for us.
Associate of virgins, Pray for us.
Colleague of all the Saints, Pray for us.
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 takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Intercede for us, O holy father Saint Benedict, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray: O God, Who hast called us from the vanity of the world, and Who dost incite us to the reward of a heavenly vocation under the guidance of our holy patriarch and founder, Saint Benedict, inspire and purify our hearts and pour forth on us Thy grace, whereby we may persevere in Thee. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Wow #PopeFrancis appoints 1st Woman as deputy Spokesman along with American Greg Burke former #FoxNews journalist

ROMEREPORTS report: The Pope interrupted his summer vacation to welcome his two new spokespersons.
"How are you doing?"
"A Spaniard stuck in the Vatican..."

In their first conversation, the Pope mentioned three aspects of their new job:fidelity, loyalty and transparency.

From now on these two become the official voice of the Vatican and its interpreters.

The prefect of the Secretariat for Communication made the announcement at noon, at an informal meeting in the Vatican press office

MSGR. DARÍO VIGANÒ
Prefect, Secretariat for Communication
"As you know, the Pope has appointed Greg Burke director of the Vatican press office. I give you the official document with the news... and appoint Paloma García Ovejero as deputy director of the Vatican press office. Now their position is official."

Among the meeting attendees was also the hitherto spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, who was appointed just 10 years ago.

MSGR. DARÍO VIGANÒ
Prefect, Secretariat for Communication
"You know his experience and his high profile. I know they already distributed the press release. They are now called to continue the work done by Fr. Federico Lombardi, to whom I give a heartfelt thanks for his 10 years of service.”

Greg Burke, the new spokesman for the Pope, is from Saint Louis (Missouri). He is 56 years old and has experience in the media, coming from his studies at Columbia University in New York. He came to Rome originally as a correspondent for TIME and Fox News and is a member of Opus Dei. 

The new deputy spokeswoman is Spanish journalist, Paloma García Ovejero.She is 40 years old and a Vatican correspondent for the Cadena Cope, which is linked to Spanish bishops. She covered the last few years of Benedict XVI's pontificate, up until now with Pope Francis. 

GREG BURKE 
Vatican spokesman 
"I'm honored and moved actually by having the trust of the Pope, okay? There's no doubt about that. Incredibly thankful to Fr. Lombardi, because I've learned a lot in this whole time, really, an old time Jesuit, scholar and gentleman. I think she is somebody everybody knows, both of us come from, I've been out of the  press corps for years, but both of us come from that area, and I think that's good.” 

PALOMA GARCÍA OVEJERO
Vatican deputy spokeswoman
"Two lay people, one American, and the other a Spanish-speaker. I think if you go to the Gospel, the first people who announced the Resurrection were women. It is a logical choice, maybe the name and surname not so much, but it is natural. This is Pope Francis' style, and it is consistent with his words and especially with his vision of the Church."

In practice, Fr. Federico Lombardi will remain spokesman until July 31. His last press conference will be with Pope Francis on the flight back from World Youth Day in Krakow.

#Amazing St. Benedict Medal Protects from Evil - SHARE #StBenedict's #Medal of Powerful Protection!

St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543), the twin brother of St. Scholastica, is Father of Western monasticism. His “Rule of St. Benedict” is the rule for many religious orders. The Benedictine Order is located at Monte Cassino, Italy, about 80 miles South of Rome). He had been living as a hermit in a cave for three years, when a religious community came to him after the death of their abbot and asked Benedict to become their leader. Some of the “monks” didn’t like this and tried to kill him with poisoned food. St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over the food, and became aware they were poisoned, then toppled the cup and told a raven to carry off the bread.
About the Medal The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict according to the Catholic Encyclopedia : FRONT One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). BACK The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus). 
The History of the Jubilee Medal The medal was made  in 1880, to commemorate the fourteenth centenary of St. Benedict’s birth. The Archabbey of Monte Cassino has the exclusive right to strike this medal. The ordinary medal of St. Benedict usually differs from the preceding in the omission of the words “Ejus in obitu etc.”, and in a few minor details. (For the indulgences connected with it see Beringer, “Die Ablässe”, Paderborn, 1906, p. 404-6.) The habitual wearer of the jubilee medal can gain all the indulgences connected with the ordinary medal and, in addition: (1) All the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877) (2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o’clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as (toties quoties), after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals. 
Origins It is doubtful when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten. Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.
Specific Promises associated with the St. Benedict Medal  
1. To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences; 
2. To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits; 
3. To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death; 
4. To serve as an armor against temptation;
 5. To destroy the effects of poison; 
6. To secure a timely and healthy birth for children; 
7. To afford protection against storms and lightning; 
8. To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases. 
 How to wear the medal 1. On a chain around the neck; 2. Attached to one’s rosary; 3. Kept in one’s pocket or purse; 4. Placed in one’s car or home; 5. Placed in the foundation of a building; 6. Placed in the center of a cross. 

Approved Blessing of the Medal of St. Benedict

Medals of Saint Benedict are sacramentals that may be blessed by any priest or deacon -- 

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father +almighty, of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.
Amen.

Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of Saint Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.
May they also with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask though Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.

Permissu superiorum -Nihil obstat and ImprimaturSaint Cloud24 April 1980

Buy a St. Benedict Jubilee Medal from the Benedictine Mission House in theUSA  http://www.benedictinemissionhouse.com/index.php/d-medals-stbenedict/product/9-medal-1-p-10

Wow #Oldest Priest in the World reveals his Secret to Long Life at age 107! SHARE #Priest's Story....

The oldest priest in the world lives in Belgium. He revealed the secret to his long life...a strict daily routine as the recipe for a long life. His name is Father Jacques Clemens, who will celebrates  his 107th July 11. Clemens,  has also celebrated his 80th anniversary as a Catholic priest. He usually gets up every morning at 5.30 a.m. and goes to bed at 9.00 p.m. When Clemens was about to retire at 75, his bishop asked him to remain in service until they found a replacement - and he stopped holding regular  services at his parish in Nalinnes last year.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. July 11, 2016


Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Lectionary: 389

Reading 1IS 1:10-17

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!
What care I for the number of your sacrifices?
says the LORD.
I have had enough of whole-burnt rams
and fat of fatlings;
In the blood of calves, lambs and goats
I find no pleasure.

When you come in to visit me,
who asks these things of you?
Trample my courts no more!
Bring no more worthless offerings;
your incense is loathsome to me.
New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies,
octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest;
they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
When you spread out your hands,
I close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Responsorial PsalmPS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think you that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

AlleluiaMT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:34-11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.