Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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



St. Margaret of Scotland
QUEEN OF SCOTLAND
Feast: November 16
Information:
Feast Day:
November 16
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 c�lid�, 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 B�n, together with Malcom and Margaret's son Edmund. Donald B�n 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)

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. Gertrude the Great : #Benedictine : Patron of #Nuns, #Travellers, West Indies


St. Gertrude the Great
BENEDICTINE AND MYSTIC WRITER
Feast: November 16
Information:
Feast Day:
November 16
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

#BreakingNews Cardinal Daniel DiNardo Elected as President of US Bishops is #ProLife

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, leader of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, was elected to a three-year term as president of the US bishops’ Conference. The bishops also elected Cardinal Jose Gomez of Los Angeles as vice president. DiNardo had served as the vice president and as the chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities .
He wrote letters to Congress urging lawmakers to support legislation to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion and protect medical workers’ conscience rights. DiNardo complained the HHS rule. “Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families, their employees or those most in need,” DiNardo continued. “To force such an unacceptable choice would be as much a threat to universal access to health care as it is to freedom of conscience.” 
According to the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette: 
Cardinal DiNardo was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up attending St. Anne Church in Castle Shannon in Pittsburgh’s South Hills.
He graduated from Duquesne University and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1977. He served as a seminary professor and administrator both in Pittsburgh and in Rome, and his work as pastor included the 1994 founding of SS. John and Paul Church in Franklin Park in the growing North Hills.
He became a bishop in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1997 and later moved to Galveston-Houston, an archdiocese of 1.3 million Catholics, becoming archbishop in 2006 and a cardinal in 2007.

#PopeFrancis "hear when the Lord knocks at our door" #Homily

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday warned Christians against the danger of becoming ‘lukewarm’ or losing sight of the Lord. His words came during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
Taking his cue from the readings of the day, Pope Francis repeated the scathing admonition of the Book of Revelations against those Christians of the Church of Laodicea “who are neither hot nor cold: I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Beware of the calm which deceives: God is not there
The Lord, Francis said, warns against that calm “without substance” of the lukewarm, calling it “a calm which deceives”.
“But what does a lukewarm person think? The Lord says it here: He thinks he is rich. ‘I have grown rich and have need of nothing. I am calm.’ That calm which deceives. If, in the heart of the Church, of a family, of a community, of a person there is an ever-present calm, God is not there.”
To the lukewarm, the Pope said not to fall asleep in the false belief of needing nothing.
The Lord shows that the lukewarm are naked; their richness comes not from God
Jesus, the Holy Father warned, defines those who believe themselves rich as unhappy and miserable. However, “he did it out of love”, so that they might discover a different richness, that which only the Lord may bestow.
“Not that richness of the soul which you think you possess because you are good, because you do everything well, all is calm. There is another richness – that which comes from God, which always carries its cross, always carries some restlessness of the soul. And I urge you to buy white clothes in which to dress, so that your shameful nakedness is not seen. The lukewarm are not aware they are naked.”
The lukewarm, Pope Francis said, “lose the capacity to contemplate, the capacity to see the great and beautiful things of God”. For this the Lord seeks to awaken us, to help us convert. But, he continued, the Lord is “present in another way: He is there to invite us: ‘Behold, I knock at the door.’” Here the Pope underlines the importance of being able to “hear when the Lord knocks at our door… because He wants to gives us something good.”
Know how to discern when the Lord knocks at our door
Pope Francis went on to say there are Christians who “are not aware when the Lord knocks. For them every noise is the same.” We must “understand well” when the Lord knocks, when He wants to bring us His consolation. The Lord, Francis added, is before us also to invite us to invite Him, which is exactly what happens with Zacchaeus, as the day’s Gospel recounts: “That curiosity of Zacchaeus, who was small, was a seed from the Holy Spirit.”
“The initiative is from the Spirit towards the Lord. He raises His eyes and says: ‘But come; invite me into your house.” The Lord is there… He is always there with love: whether to correct us, to invite us to supper, or to be invited by us. He is there to tell us: ‘Awake’… ‘Open’… ‘Come down’. It is always He. Do I know how to distinguish in my heart when the Lord tells me to awake, to open, or to come down? May the Holy Spirit give us the grace to know how to discern these calls.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday November 15, 2016


Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 498


Reading 1RV 3:1-6, 14-22

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:

“‘The one who has the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars says this: “I know your works,
that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent.
If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief,
and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.
However, you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments;
they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.

“‘The victor will thus be dressed in white,
and I will never erase his name from the book of life
but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father
and of his angels.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

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

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God’s creation, says this:
“I know your works;
I know that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either cold or hot.
So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’
and yet do not realize that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich,
and white garments to put on
so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed,
and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise.
Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him,
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Responsorial PsalmPS 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5

R. (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.

Alleluia1 JN 4:10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us, and sent his Son
as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”