Sunday, May 7, 2017

Saint May 8 : St. Peter of Tarantaise - Archbishop - Died 1174

St. Peter of Tarantaise ARCHBISHOP Feast: May 8
Feast Day: May 8
Born: 1102, Saint-Maurice-l'Exil near Vienne, a town ot the Rhône-Alpes
Died: 1174, Bellevaux Abbey
Major Shrine: 1191 by Pope Celestine III
He was a native of Dauphine. A strong inclination to learning, assisted by a good genius and a happy memory, carried him very successfully through his studies. At twenty years of age he took the Cistercian habit at Bonnevaux, a monastery that had been lately filled by a colony sent by St. Bernard from Clairvaux. They employed a great part of the day in hewing wood, and tilling the ground in the forest, in perpetual silence and interior prayer. They ate but once a day, and their fare was herbs or roots, mostly turnips of a coarse sort. Four hours in the twenty-four was the usual allowance for sleep; so that, rising at midnight, they continued in the church till it was morning, and returned no more to rest: which was the primitive custom of that order. Peter practiced the greatest austerities with fervor and alacrity: he was most exactly obedient, obliging to all, humble, and modest. His pious parents, after the birth of four children, lived in perpetual continency, and the practice of rigorous abstinence, prayed much, and gave large alms: their house they seemed to turn into a hospital, so great was the number of poor and strangers they constantly entertained, whom they furnished with good beds, while they themselves often lay on straw. The father and his two other sons at length followed Peter to Bonnevaux and the mother and daughter embraced the same order in a neighboring nunnery. The year after Peter had taken the monastic habit, his example was followed by Amedeus, nearly related to the emperor Conrad III., and sixteen other persons of worth and distinction. Amedeus, indeed, having there made his solemn profession with the rest, by the advice of persons of great virtue and discretion, spent some time at Cluni, the better to superintend his son's education, in the school established there for the education of youth: but he returned after some time to Bonnevaux; and made it his request, at his readmission, that he might be enjoined the lowest offices in the house. To this the abbot, for his greater advancement in humility and penance, consented. The earl of Albion, his uncle, coming one day to see him, found him in a sweat, cleaning the monks' dirty shoes, and, at the same time, so attentive to his prayers, as not to perceive him. The earl remembering in what state he had seen him in the world, was so struck and so much edified at this spectacle, that he ever after retained the deep impression which it made on his mind, and published it at court. Amedeus built four monasteries of his order: among which was that of Tamies, or Stomedium, in the desert mountains of the diocese of Tarentaise, of which he procured his intimate friend St. Peter, not then quite thirty years of age, to be appointed the first abbot, in 1128. Amedeus worked himself with his spade and mattock in building some of these monasteries, and died at Bonnevaux, in the odor of sanctity, in 1140. His son Amedeus, for whose education in piety he had always the greatest concern, after having spent part of his youth in the court of his kinsman the emperor, became a Cistercian monk under St. Bernard, at Clairvaux, and died bishop of Lausanne. The monastery of Tamies seemed a house of terrestrial angels; so constantly were its inhabitants occupied in the employment of angels, paying to God an uninterrupted homage of praise, adoration, and love. St. Peter, by the help of Amedeus III., count of Savoy, founded in it a hospital to receive all the poor sick persons of the country, and all strangers; and would be himself its servant to attend them. In 1142, the count of Savoy procured his election to the archbishopric of Tarentaise, and he was compelled by St. Bernard and the general chapter of his order, though much against his own inclinations, to accept of that charge. Indeed, that diocese stood extremely in need of such an apostolic pastor, having been usurped by a powerful ambitious wolf, named Idrael, whose deposition left it in the most desolate condition. The parish-churches and tithes were sacrilegiously held by laymen; and the clergy, who ought to have stemmed the torrent of iniquity, contributed but too often to promote irregularity by their own wicked example. The sight of these evils drew tears from the eyes of the saint, with which he night and day implored the divine mercy upon the souls intrusted to his care. He directed all his fasts, his prayers, and labors, for the good of his flock: being persuaded that the sanctification of the people committed to his charge was an essential condition for securing his own salvation. He altered nothing in the simplicity of a monastic life, and looked on the episcopal character as a laborious employment rather than a dignity. His clothes were plain, and his food coarse; for he ate nothing but brown bread, herbs, and pulse, of which the poor had always their share. He made the constant visitation of his diocese his employ; he everywhere exhorted and instructed his whole charge with unwearied zeal and invincible patience, and besides, he provided the several parishes of his diocese with able and virtuous pastors. When he came to his bishopric, he found the chapter of his cathedral full of irregularities, and the service of God performed in a very careless manner; but he soon made that church a pattern of good order and devotion. He recovered the tithes and other revenues of the church that had been usurped by certain powerful laymen; made many excellent foundations for the education of youth, and the relief of the poor; repaired several churches, and restored everywhere devotion and the decent service of God. The author of his life, who was the constant companion of his labors, and the witness of the greatest part of his actions after he was made bishop, assures us he wrought many miracles in several places, chiefly in curing the sick, and multiplying provisions for the poor in times of great distress; so that he was regarded as a new Thaumaturgus. The confusion his humility suffered from the honors he received, joined to his love of solitude, made him resolve to retire from the world; and accordingly, in 1155, after he had borne the weight of the episcopal character thirteen years, having settled his diocese in good order, he disappeared on a sudden; and made his way to a retired monastery of Cistercians in Germany, where he was not known. In the mean time, his family and diocese mourned for the loss of their tender father. Strict inquiry was made in all the neighboring provinces, especially in the monasteries, but in vain; till, after some time, divine providence discovered him by the following accident. A young man, who had been brought up under his care, came to the monastery in which he lay concealed, and upon observing the monks as they were going out of the church to their work, he knew his bishop, and made him known to the whole community. The religious no sooner understood who he was, but they all fell at his feet, begged his blessing, and expressed much concern for not having known him before. The saint was inconsolable at being discovered, and was meditating a new escape, but he was so carefully watched, that it was not in his power; so that he was forced to go back to his diocese, where he was received with the greatest demonstrations of joy. He applied himself to his functions with greater vigor than ever. The poor were always the object of his peculiar care. He was twice discovered to have given away, with the hazard of his own life, in extreme cold weather in winter, the waistcoat which he had on his back. For three months before the harvest he distributed general alms among all the inhabitants of the mountains, provisions being always very scarce there at that season. He founded hospitals on the Alps, for the entertainment of poor travellers; because, before that time, many perished for the want of such a succor. To preserve in his heart the spirit of devotion and penance, he continued to practise, as much as possible, all the austerities and other rules of his order, only commuting manual labor for the spiritual functions of his charge. By his conversation with the God of peace, he imbibed an eminent spirit of that virtue, and learned, by humility and charity, to be truly the man of peace; having also a singular talent for extinguishing the most implacable and inveterate enemies. He often reconciled sovereign princes when they were at variance, and prevented several bloody wars. The emperor Frederic I. set up Octavian, a schismatical pope, under the name of Victor, against Alexander III. St. Peter was almost the only subject of the empire who had the courage openly to oppose his unjust attempt, and he boldly defended the cause of justice in presence of the tyrant, and in many councils. The emperor, who banished others that spoke in favor of that cause, stood in awe of his sanctity: and Peter, by his mild counsels, frequently softened his fierceness, and checked the boisterous sallies of his fury, while, like a roaring lion, he spread terror on every side. The saint preached in Alsace, Burgundy, Lorraine, and in many parts of Italy; and confounded the obstinate by numberless miraculous cures of the sick, performed by the imposition of his hands and prayer. He was ordered by the pope to go into France and Normandy, to endeavor a reconciliation between the kings of England and France, who had made peace in 1169, but quarrelled again the next year. Though then very old, he preached wherever he went. Louis VII. sent certain gentlemen of his court to meet him at a great distance, and received him with the greatest marks of honor and respect; but honors and crowds were of all things the most troublesome to the saint. The man of God restored the use of sight to one blind in the presence of the count of Flanders, and many other noblemen, who were at that time with the king of France: who, being also himself an eye-witness, examined carefully all the circumstances, and declared the miracle to be evident and incontestable. The saint went from Paris to Chaumont, on the confines of Normandy, where Henry II., king of England, met him: and when he arrived in sight of the holy man, alighted from his horse, and coming Up, fell at his feet. The people stole the cloak or hood of St. Peter, and were going to cut it in pieces to divide the scraps, being persuaded that they would perform miracles. But the king took the whole cloak for himself, saying: I have myself seen miraculous cures performed by his girdle, which I already possess." In his presence, the saint restored the use of speech to a girl that was dumb. On Ash-Wednesday, in 1171, St. Peter being at the Cistercian abbey of Mortemer, in the diocese of Rouen, the king of England came thither with his whole court, and received ashes from his hands. The archbishop prevailed on the two kings to put an end to their differences by a treaty of peace, and to procure councils to be assembled in their dominions, in which Alexander's title should be solemnly recognised. The holy man hereupon returned to his church, but was some time after sent again by the pope to the king of England, to endeavor to compose the difference between him and his son: but his journey had not the desired effect. He fell sick on his return, and died the death of the just, at Bellevaux, a monastery of his order, in the diocese of Besancon, in 1174, being seventy-three years old. He was canonized by pope Celestine III., in 1191. See his life written nine years after his death by Geoffrey, some time his companion, and afterwards abbot of Hautecombe, by the order of pope Lucius III. See also Le Nain, t. 2, p. 83.Source Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

#PopeFrancis "..I recommend: let us pray the Rosary for peace" FULL TEXT + Video at Regina Caeli on Good Shepherd Sunday

Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In this Sunday’s Gospel (Cf. John 10:1-10), called “of the Good Shepherd,” Jesus presents Himself with two images that complement one another: the image of the shepherd and the image of the door of the sheepfold. The flock, which we all are, has as its habitation a sheepfold that serves as refuge, where the sheep dwell and rest after the exhaustion of the way. And the sheepfold is an enclosure with a door, where there is a guardian. Different persons approach the flock: there is one that enters the enclosure passing by the door and one that “climbs in by another way” (v. 1).  The former is the shepherd; the latter is a stranger, who does not love the sheep, he wants to enter for other reasons. Jesus identifies Himself with the former and manifests a relation of familiarity with the sheep, expressed through His voice, with which He calls them and which they recognize and follow (Cf. v.3). He calls them to lead them out to grassy pastures, where they find good nourishment.
The second image with which Jesus presents Himself is that of the “door of the sheep” (v. 7). In fact, He says: “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved” (v. 9), that is, he will have life, and have it abundantly (Cf. v. 10). Christ, the Good Shepherd, became the door of humanity’s salvation because He offered His life for His sheep.
Jesus, Good Shepherd and Door of the sheep, is a leader whose authority is expressed in service, a leader that to command gives His life and does not ask others to sacrifice it. We can trust such a leader, as the sheep that hear the voice of their shepherd, because they know that with him they go to good and abundant pastures. A signal suffices, a call and they follow, obey, set out on the way guided by the voice of him they sense as a friendly presence, strong and gentle at the same time, who directs, protects, consoles and medicates.
So is Christ for us. There is a dimension of the Christian experience that, perhaps, we leave somewhat in the shade: the spiritual and affective dimension, our feeling of being connected by a special bond to the Lord as the sheep to their shepherd. Sometimes we rationalize the faith too much and we risk losing the perception of the tone of that voice, of the voice of Jesus, Good Shepherd, who stimulates and fascinates. As happened to the two disciples of Emmaus, whose heart burned while the Risen One was speaking along the way. It is the wonderful experience of feeling oneself loved by Jesus. Ask yourselves the question: Do I feel loved by Jesus?” For Him, we are never strangers, but friends and brothers. Yet, it is not always easy to distinguish the voice of the good shepherd. Be careful. There is always the risk of being distracted by the din of so many other voices. Today we are invited not to allow ourselves to be diverted by the false wisdom of this world, but to follow Jesus, the Risen One, as the only sure guide that gives meaning to our life.
On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations – on particular for priestly vocations, so that the Lord will send us good Pastors — we invoke the Virgin Mary: may she accompany the ten new priests that I ordained a short while ago. I have asked four of them of the Diocese of Rome to come to give the blessing together with me. May Our Lady support with her help all those called by Him, so that they are prompt and generous in following His voice.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Proclaimed Blesseds yesterday at Gerona, Spain, were Antonio Arribas Hortiguela and six companions, Religious of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. These faithful and heroic disciples of Jesus were killed out of hatred for the faith at a time of religious persecution. May their martyrdom, accepted out of love for God and fidelity to their vocation, awaken in the Church the desire to witness with fortitude the Gospel of Charity.
I greet you all, Roman faithful and pilgrims, in particular those from Warsaw, Aalen (Germany), Liebenau (Austria), from Chennai (India) and from Texas, as well as the teachers and students of the “Corderius College” of Amersfoort (Low Countries).
I greet the “Meter” Association, which for over 20 years has opposed every form of abuse on minors. Thank you. Thank you so much for your commitment in the Church and in society, and go on with courage!
I greet the participants in the national gathering of the Police Arms, the delegation of the Police Autonomous Syndicate, the faithful of Pomezia and Palestrina, the Holy Sepulcher Association of Foligno, the Valsolda Philharmonic and the youngsters of Modica. [The Valsolda Philharmonic played and the Pope added: “Good!”
Tomorrow we will address our Supplication to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii. In this month of May we pray the Rosary in particular for peace, I recommend: let us pray the Rosary for peace, as requested by the Virgin of Fatima, where I will go on pilgrimage in a few days, on the occasion of the centenary of the first apparition.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#PopeFrancis "“Please, I ask you in the name of Christ and of the Church to be merciful, always..." Ordination Mass FULL Video + Text

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis ordained ten men to the sacred priesthood on Sunday morning, the Fourth Sunday of Easter and “Good Shepherd Sunday” after the Gospel reading of the day, which is also celebrated as the day of prayer for vocations.
The Holy Father delivered the standard, prepared “template” homily found in the Roman Ritual for priestly ordinations, with three significant extemporaneous deviations from the text.
The first, was a reminder that the priesthood is not a “career” in the usual sense, and ought not be lived as a path to advancement within the Church. “These men have been elected by the Lord Jesus not to make their own way, but to do this [priestly] service.”
Pope Francis also broke with the prepared text to say, “Do not give homilies that are too intellectual or elaborate,” he said. “[Be] simple, as Our Lord spoke, who reached hearts.”
Pope Francis went on to say, “A presbyter who has perhaps studied much theology and has achieved one or two or three advanced degrees, but has not learned to carry the Cross of Christ, is useless: he will be a good academic, a good professor, but not a priest.”
The Holy Father also broke from the prepared text to say, “Please, I ask you in the name of Christ and of the Church to be merciful, always: do not saddle the faithful with burdens they cannot carry (nor ought you so burden yourselves). Jesus reproved the doctors of the law for this, and called them hypocrites.”
A concrete work of mercy to which Pope Francis called the ordinands was that of visiting the sick. “One of the tasks,” he said, “perhaps a nuisance, even painful – is to go to visit the sick. Do it, all of you. Yes, it is well that the lay faithful should do it, and deacons, but do not forget to touch the flesh of the suffering Christ in the sick: this sanctifies you, it brings you closer to Christ.”
The Holy Father concluded his homily with an appeal to joy.
“Be joyful, never sad,” he said. “With the joy of Christ’s service, even in the midst of suffering, misunderstanding, [even] one’s own sins. Have the example of the Good Shepherd ever before your eyes,” the Pope continued, “He did not come to be served, but to serve.”
“Please,” Pope Francis said at the last, “do not be ‘lords’, do not be ‘State Clerics’, but shepherds, pastors of the People of God.”  

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. May 7, 2017 - Readings + Video - 4th of Easter - A

Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 49

Reading 1ACTS 2:14A, 36-41

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
"Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified."

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
"What are we to do, my brothers?"
Peter said to them,
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call."
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
"Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial PsalmPS 23: 1-3A, 3B4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Alleluia.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Alleluia.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Alleluia.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 PT 2:20B-25

If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."