Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Feast August 15 : Assumption of Mary into Heaven the Solemnity remembering when Mary was taken to Heaven - Holy Day of Obligation

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August; also called in old liturgical books Pausatio, Nativitas (for heaven), Mors, Depositio, Dormitio S. Mariae. This feast has a double object: (1) the happy departure of Mary from this life; (2) the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin. (This is a Holy Day of Obligation in the USA- meaning you have to attend Mass)
SEE ALSO: Novena to Our Lady : Official for #Assumption Feast - Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE
The fact of the Assumption
Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death, nothing certain is known. The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. Epiphanius (d. 403) acknowledged that he knew nothing definite about it (Haer., lxxix, 11). The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ's Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus. Common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown; but some argue in favour of Ephesus. The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem. The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious. St. John of Damascus (P.G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem:
St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.
Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous.
The feast of the Assumption
Regarding the origin of the feast we are also uncertain. It is more probably the anniversary of the dedication of some church than the actual anniversary of Our Lady's death. That it originated at the time of the Council of Ephesus, or that St. Damasus introduced it in Rome is only a hypothesis.
According to the life of St. Theodosius (d. 529) it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500, probably in August (Baeumer, Brevier, 185). In Egypt and Arabia, however, it was kept in January, and since the monks of Gaul adopted many usages from the Egyptian monks (Baeumer, Brevier, 163), we find this feast in Gaul in the sixth century, in January [mediante mense undecimo (Greg. Turon., De gloria mart., I, ix)]. The Gallican Liturgy has it on the 18th of January, under the title: Depositio, Assumptio, or Festivitas S. Mariae (cf. the notes of Mabillon on the Gallican Liturgy, P.L., LXXII, 180). This custom was kept up in the Gallican Church to the time of the introduction of the Roman rite. In the Greek Church, it seems, some kept this feast in January, with the monks of Egypt; others in August, with those of Palestine; wherefore the Emperor Maurice (d. 602), if the account of the "Liber Pontificalis" (II, 508) be correct, set the feast for the Greek Empire on 15 August.
In Rome (Batiffol, Brev. Rom., 134) the oldest and only feast of Our Lady was 1 January, the octave of Christ's birth. It was celebrated first at Santa Maria Maggiore, later at Santa Maria ad Martyres. The other feasts are of Byzantine origin. Duchesne thinks (Origines du culte chr., 262) that before the seventh century no other feast was kept at Rome, and that consequently the feast of the Assumption, found in the sacramentaries of Gelasius and Gregory, is a spurious addition made in the eighth or seventh century. Probst, however (Sacramentarien, 264 sqq.), brings forth good arguments to prove that the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, found on the 15th of August in the Gelasianum, is genuine, since it does not mention the corporeal assumption of Mary; that, consequently, the feast was celebrated in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome at least in the sixth century. He proves, furthermore, that the Mass of the Gregorian Sacramentary, such as we have it, is of Gallican origin (since the belief in the bodily assumption of Mary, under the influence of the apocryphal writings, is older in Gaul than in Rome), and that it supplanted the old Gelasian Mass. At the time of Sergius I (700) this feast was one of the principal festivities in Rome; the procession started from the church of St. Hadrian. It was always a double of the first class and a Holy Day of obligation. The octave was added in 847 by Leo IV; in Germany this octave was not observed in several dioceses up to the time of the Reformation. The Church of Milan has not accepted it up to this day (Ordo Ambros., 1906). The octave is privileged in the dioceses of the provinces of Sienna, Fermo, Michoacan, etc.
The Greek Church continues this feast to 23 August, inclusive, and in some monasteries of Mount Athos it is protracted to 29 August (Menaea Graeca, Venice, 1880), or was, at least, formerly. In the dioceses of Bavaria a thirtieth day (a species of month's mind) of the Assumption was celebrated during the Middle Ages, 13 Sept., with the Office of the Assumption (double); today, only the Diocese of Augsburg has retained this old custom.
Some of the Bavarian dioceses and those of Brandenburg, Mainz, Frankfort, etc., on 23 Sept. kept the feast of the "Second Assumption", or the "Fortieth Day of the Assumption" (double) believing, according to the revelations of St. Elizabeth of Schönau (d. 1165) and of St. Bertrand, O.C. (d. 1170), that the B.V. Mary was taken up to heaven on the fortieth day after her death (Grotefend, Calendaria 2, 136). The Brigittines kept the feast of the "Glorification of Mary" (double) 30 Aug., since St. Brigitta of Sweden says (Revel., VI, l) that Mary was taken into heaven fifteen days after her departure (Colvenerius, Cal. Mar., 30 Aug.). In Central America a special feast of the Coronation of Mary in heaven (double major) is celebrated 18 August. The city of Gerace in Calabria keeps three successive days with the rite of a double first class, commemorating: 15th of August, the death of Mary; 16th of August, her Coronation. At Piazza, in Sicily, there is a commemoration of the Assumption of Mary (double second class) the 20th of February, the anniversary of the earthquake of 1743. A similar feast (double major with octave) is kept at Martano, Diocese of Otranto, in Apulia, 19th of November. Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 195
Text Catholic Encyclopedia 

Quote to SHARE by Saint Bernard “One merits more by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass than by ...”

“One merits more by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass than by distributing all of his goods to the poor and traveling all over the world on pilgrimage.” 
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

#BreakingNews Russian Orthodox Priest Suspended for Rough Baptism caught on Video - Watch

A Russian Orthodox priest has been suspended from the clergy for one year after video emerged of him performing a very rough baptism.The baby's mother filed a complaint with the police. Footage of the August 10 incident is from the Marienburg Intercessional Church in the Leningrad region city of Gatchina, 40 kilometers south of St. Petersburg in Russia.  The video shows a priest identified as Father Foty using some force as he attempts to immerse a 1-year-old boy’s head in a baptismal font. After pushing the kicking and screaming infant’s head under water a first time, Father Foty can be seen fending off attempts by the protesting mother to take the child away from him as he tries to immerse its head again.
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The Diocese issued an official apology
 A statement by the Moscow Patriarchate stated that the priest's behavior was unacceptable. Source -

Catholic Archbishop Fisher and Rabbi join Pro-Lifers " defend the sanctity of life" against new abortion laws

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has appeared alongside fellow religious leaders at a NSW parliamentary inquiry into proposed abortion laws which passed the lower house last week.

Joining him on 14 August were Bishop Daniels, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Australia and Rabbi Nochum Schapiro, president of the Rabbinical Council of Australia.

Also appearing before the inquiry to speak against the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 were the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies, the Rev Joseph Azize of the Maronite Eparchy of Australia and pro-life groups including Right to Life NSW, the Australian Family Association, and Women and Babies Support (WOMBS) International.

Archbishop Fisher, who also lodged a 16-page formal submission to the inquiry co-signed by all the NSW Catholic bishops, said he believed the bill should be rejected outright, and if that was not possible that it should at least be substantially improved, for example to protect medical professionals with a conscientious objection.

“The reason [abortion] is in the Criminal Act is because it goes to the heart of the very origins of human life as well as providing protection for the mother,” he said.


The archbishop argued that the way the bill was introduced and rushed through the assembly, and inquiry by the council curtailed with almost no opportunity for community engagement, “will only add to cynicism about government today”.

“It has made it very difficult for this state’s 1.8 million Catholics to make their views known to their elected representatives,” he said before raising concerns including the bill’s allowance for unlimited abortion up to 22 weeks and late-term abortion, including sex-selection abortion, up to birth.

“This bill trivialises human life and provides unsupported pregnant women, who often feel they have ‘no other option’ than abortion, with no alternatives, no support,” he said.

“Surely we can do better by the women and babies of this state.”

Thousands of people have lodged submissions to the upper house committee since last Friday, with the archbishop noting that the parliament’s lodgement webpage crashed shortly before the 5pm deadline on 13 August.

The bill allows terminations up to 22 weeks, and after that if two doctors considering all the “circumstances” agree an abortion should occur.

Archbishop Fisher has called all who support the sanctity of human life to a rally at Macquarie Street, Martin Place from 6pm on 20 August, saying it is “critical” to continue to pray and put pressure on upper house MPs to defend life and reject the bill.

“This bill has been rushed through with minimal time for public scrutiny,” he said in a social media message. “I encourage you to voice your opposition. Together we can act to defend the sanctity of life and prevent abortion being made legal up to birth in our state.”

The committee is due to report its findings on 20 August. The bill will then be debated in the upper house before a vote.
FULL TEXT Source: The Catholicweekly of Australia 

Easy Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe the Patron of Drug Addicts - #Kolbe Miracle Prayer

Say once a day for 9 days
Especially on the Feast of St. Maximilian.
 O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of Saint Maximilian Kolbe whose life illustrated such love, we beseech Thee to grant us our petitions. (Mention your intentions here) Through the Militia Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us an example of unselfish love for all men -- a love that was inspired by true devotion to Mary. Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellow man in imitation of Thy humble servant, Saint Maximilian. Amen.
 Recite 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be each day.

Religious Freedom seminar in Australia by Professor of Law at Notre Dame University, Gerard V. Bradley

Freedom of Religion seminar offers food for thought on its importance in today’s society
Friday 9 August 2019
Media and Communications Office

A thought-provoking seminar was held by ACU this week, featuring Professor of Law at Notre Dame University, Gerard V. Bradley as the keynote speaker.

The seminar began with a comprehensive talk containing ten theses on ‘what religious freedom is and what it is isn’t’ and raised a number of thought-provoking points about the relationship ‘truth’ has in one’s understanding of religious freedom as opposed to ‘conscience’ which is what religion can be referred to more widely in today’s world context.

‘Everybody's entitled to freedom of thought, speech, conscience, and of religion,’ said Professor Bradley.

‘Religious liberty is about religion as a distinct irreducible phenomenon, distinct and unique and something that’s a part of the human experience,’ he said. ‘Religion is a relationship with a greater-than-human source of meaning and value.’

In relation to today’s world, Professor Bradley spoke about religious freedom being ‘grounded in the truth about religion but not in religious truth.’

‘Religious liberty is not grounded in either being right or being wrong about what or who exactly is God. Religions include truths or proposition which may be true or could be false stipulations of authority.’

He theorized that ‘Contemporary conscience is often thought of in the ‘magical’ sense’ and that ‘anyone with a rational nature can enjoy the good on religion. It doesn’t depend upon the possession of a special skill. But everyone can be or choose not to be religious.’

In another forum as part of the series of talks, Professor Bradley concentrated on Catholic Social teaching on religious freedom, tolerance and social justice, highlighting religious freedom as the linchpin of civil liberty, rather than tolerance. The natural right of everyone to religious freedom is an example of social justice obligations, he said.

‘That separation of Church and state and the religious liberty that the separation makes possible are really Christian inventions.’

Later, panelists Rocco Mimmo (Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty), Dr Berndadette Tobin (Plunkett Centre for Ethics, ACU) and Dr Sharon Rodrick (Institute for Civil Society) joined Professor Bradley in a panel discussion regarding the topic of Religious freedom as freedom from coercion.

In these discussions, they covered material like what is acceptable to express freely as a person with religion in their professional lives.

The forum concluded with an open discussion regarding political correctness in interfaith dialogue and its influence in wider topics like biology.
FULL TEXT + Image source:

US Bishops' Chair Urges Rescission of New Rule that Undermines our Asylum System

Chair of USCCB Committee on Migration Urges Rescission of New Rule that Undermines our Asylum System and Puts Vulnerable Individuals and Families at Risk August 12, 2019

WASHINGTON— Recently, the Trump Administration issued an “interim final rule” that would nearly eviscerate our current asylum system. A 30-day period was given to submit comments to the government about the rule. The move would allow the Administration to block most individuals arriving at our southern border from gaining access to asylum in the U.S. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops submitted comments on August 9th and called the rule “unlawful, unjust, and unwise.”
Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“We have grave concerns about the Administration’s interim final rule, issued on July 16, 2019, that greatly limits U.S. asylum eligibility at the southern border,” said Bishop Vásquez. “The rule would turn our back on the vast majority of asylum seekers, requiring them to apply for protection in almost any other country through which they transit, leaving access to U.S. asylum exceptionally rare. Not only do we believe that this rule is unlawful, but it also jeopardizes the safety of vulnerable individuals and families fleeing persecution and threatens family unity. Further, the rule undermines our nation’s tradition of being a global leader providing and being a catalyst for others to provide humanitarian protection to those in need. We remind the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security that how we respond to asylum seekers arriving at our border is a test of our moral character and strongly urge the Administration to rescind this rule.”
Please find a copy of the comments here.
Full Text Release from USCCB

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. August 14, 2019 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
Lectionary: 415

Reading 1DT 34:1-12

Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,
the headland of Pisgah which faces Jericho,
and the LORD showed him all the land—
Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali,
the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
the Negeb, the circuit of the Jordan
with the lowlands at Jericho, city of palms,
and as far as Zoar.
The LORD then said to him,
"This is the land
which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
that I would give to their descendants.
I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over."
So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the LORD,
died as the LORD had said; and he was buried in the ravine
opposite Beth-peor in the land of Moab,
but to this day no one knows the place of his burial.
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died,
yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.
For thirty days the children of Israel wept for Moses
in the plains of Moab, till they had completed
the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom,
since Moses had laid his hands upon him;
and so the children of Israel gave him their obedience,
thus carrying out the LORD's command to Moses.

Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses,
whom the LORD knew face to face.
He had no equal in all the signs and wonders
the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land,
and for the might and the terrifying power
that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 66:1-3A, 5 AND 8, 16-17

R.(see 20a and 10b) Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God: "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
Bless our God, you peoples;
loudly sound his praise.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!

Alleluia2 COR 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that  every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."