Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Saint October 30 : St. Alphonsus Rodriguez a Jesuit Confessor and Lay-Brother who Died in 1617

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

July 25, 1532, Segovia
October 31, 1617
6 September, 1887
Major Shrine:

Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From that time he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to the porter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.
SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

What is Halloween? Dress Like a Saint and SHARE - 5 Things about this Christian Feast of All Saints.... #Halloween

#BreakingNews Jewish, Muslim and Christian Leaders sign joint document Condemning Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide but Defending Life

Abrahamic religions: no to euthanasia, assisted suicide, yes to palliative care
Representatives of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions condemn euthanasia and assisted suicide, and encourage palliative care everywhere and for everyone
By Robin Gomes

“We oppose any form of euthanasia – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life – as well as physician-assisted suicide – that is  the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide – because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions.”

Representatives of the Abrahamic religions made the statement in a position paper that they signed and released in the Vatican on Monday regarding end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia, assisted suicide and palliative care.

The term, Abrahamic monotheistic religions, derives from the Old Testament biblical figure Abraham who is recognized by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

Euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide - morally and religiously wrong
They categorically condemned any pressure upon dying patients to end their lives by active and deliberate actions.

They wrote, “Care for the dying, is both part of our stewardship of the Divine gift of life when a cure is no longer possible, as well as our human and ethical responsibility toward the dying (and often) suffering patient.”

“Holistic and respectful care of the person,” they said, “must recognize the uniquely human, spiritual and religious dimension of dying as a fundamental objective.”

The person behind the declaration is Rabbi Avraham Steinberg of Israel who proposed the idea to Pope Francis, who in turn entrusted it to the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life.  Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Academy, involved and coordinated a mixed inter-faith group to draft the declaration.

After the release of the position paper, the 30 signatories were received in audience by Pope Francis in the Vatican.  Among them were some cardinals, rabbis, including David Rosen and Syamsul Anwar of Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah.

Palliative care for all
The Abrahamic religions encouraged and expressed support for qualified palliative care everywhere and for everyone.  “Even when efforts to continue staving off death seems unreasonably burdensome,” they wrote, “we are morally and religiously duty-bound to provide comfort, effective pain and symptoms relief, companionship, care and spiritual assistance to the dying patient and to her/his family.”

While calling for laws and policies that protect the rights and the dignity of the dying patient to avoid euthanasia and promote palliative care, they committed themselves to involve other religions and all people of goodwill.

Archbishop Paglia stressed the importance of the ecumenical and interreligious dimension of the joint initiative.  He said it allowed them to discover areas of convergence and bring fruits of communion in order to render a service to all people in whom "we all see sons and daughters of God".   

Full Text Source: VaticanNews.va - Image Source; Screen Shot TV2000

Pope Francis issues Motu Proprio - No more Vatican Secret Archive - now it is changed to the Vatican Apostolic Archive - Full Text


Historical experience teaches us that every human institution, created with the best protection and with vigorous and well-founded hopes for progress, fatally touched by time, precisely to remain faithful to itself and to the ideal aims of its nature, feels the need, not to change its features, but to transpose its inspirational values into different eras and cultures and to make those updates that become convenient and sometimes necessary.
Even the Vatican Secret Archives, for which the Roman Pontiffs have always reserved solicitude and care on account of the immense and important documentary heritage that it preserves, so precious for the Catholic Church as well as for universal culture, cannot escape such inevitable conditioning, in its now more than four centuries-long history.
The Pontifical Archive, which arose from the documentary nucleus of the Apostolic Chamber and of the Apostolic Library itself (the so-called Bibliotheca secreta) between the first and second decade of the 17th century, began to be called the Secret (Archivum Secretum Vaticanum) only around the middle of that cen. It was accommodated in suitable rooms in the Apostolic Palace, grew over time to a remarkable extent and was immediately opened to requests for documents that came to the Roman Pontiff, to the cardinal Camerlengo and then to the cardinal Archivist and Librarian from all over Europe and the world. While it is true that the official opening of the Archive to researchers from every country was only in 1881, it is also true that between the 17th and 19th centuries many scholarly works could be published with the help of faithful or authentic documentary copies that historians obtained from the custodians and prefects of the Vatican Secret Archive. So much so that the famous German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who also drew from it, wrote in 1702 that it could be considered in a certain way the Central Archive of Europe (quod quodam modo totius Europae commune Archivum censeri debet).
This long service rendered to the Church, to culture and to scholars from all over the world has always earned the Vatican Secret Archives esteem and gratitude, all the more so since Leo XIII's death today, both because of the progressive “opening” of documentation made available for consultation (which from 2 March 2020, by my provision, will extend until the end of the pontificate of Pius XII), and because of the increase in the number of researchers who are admitted daily to the Archives and helped in every way in their research.
This worthy ecclesial and cultural service, greatly appreciated, responds well to the intentions of all my predecessors, who according to the times and possibilities have favoured historical research in this vast Archive, equipping it, according to the suggestions of cardinal archivists or prefects pro tempore, with staff, resources and also with new technologies. In this way the structure of the Archive itself has gradually grown in view of its ever more demanding service to the Church and to the world of culture, always remaining faithful to the teachings and directives of the Popes.
However, there is one aspect that I think could still be useful to update, reaffirming the ecclesial and cultural aims of the mission of the Archives. This aspect concerns the very name of the institute: Vatican Secret Archive.
Born, as mentioned, from the Bibliotheca secreta del Romano Pontefice, that is, from the part of codes and scriptures more particularly owned and under the direct jurisdiction of the Pope, the Archive was entitled first simply Archivum novum, then Archivum Apostolicum, then Archivum Secretum (the first attestations of the term date back to about 1646).
The term Secretum, which has become the institution’s proper name and which has prevailed in recent centuries, was justified because it indicated that the new Archive, created at the behest of my predecessor Paul V around 1610-1612, was none other than the Pope's private, separate, reserved archive. This is how all the Popes always intended to define it, and this is how scholars still define it today, without any difficulty. This definition, moreover, was widespread, with similar meaning, in the courts of kings and princes, whose archives were defined indeed as secret.
As long as there was still an awareness of the close link between the Latin language and the languages that derive from it, there was no need to explain or even justify this title of Archivum Secretum. With the progressive semantic changes that have however occurred in modern languages and in the cultures and social sensibilities of different nations, to a greater or lesser extent, the term Secretum in relation to the Vatican Archive began to be misunderstood, to be coloured with ambiguous, even negative nuances. Having lost the true meaning of the term secretum and instinctively associating its value with the concept expressed by the modern word “secret”, in some areas and environments, even those of a certain cultural importance, this term has taken on the prejudicial meaning of secret, as in not to be revealed and reserved for a few. This is entirely the opposite of what the Vatican Secret Archive has always been and intends to be, which – as my holy predecessor Paul VI said – preserves “echoes and vestiges” of the passage of the Lord in history (Teachings of Paul VI, I, 1963, p. 614). And the Church “is not afraid of history but, rather, she loves it, and would like to love it more and better, as God loves it!” (Address to the Officials of the Vatican Secret Archives, 4 March 2019L'Osservatore Romano, 4-5 March 2019, p. 6).
Requested in recent years by some esteemed prelates, as well as by my closest collaborators, and having also listened to the opinion of the Superiors of the same Vatican Secret Archive, with this my Motu proprio I decide that:
From now on the present Vatican Secret Archive, without prejudice to its identity, its structure and its mission, should be called the Vatican Apostolic Archive.
Reaffirming its active desire to serve the Church and culture, the new name highlights the close link between the Roman See and the Archive, an indispensable instrument of the Petrine ministry, and at the same time underlines its immediate dependence on the Roman Pontiff, as is already the case in parallel for the name of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
I order that this Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu proprio be promulgated by publication in the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, coming into immediate force upon publication, so as to be immediately incorporated into the official documents of the Holy See, and that, subsequently, it be inserted into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 22 October 2019, seventh of our Pontificate.


Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Image source: Google Images

#BreakingNews Violence continues in Iraq with the Death Toll at 260 since Protests began in October - Please Pray

Kerbala police shoot protesters: at least 13 dead and 865 wounded
The demonstrators challenged the night curfew and poured into the streets and squares. In response, security forces (and masked men) opened fire. On social media, videos of violence. A child in tears screams: "My father was killed". Since October 1, over 260 dead and 3600 wounded.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The provisional toll of a series of violence during the night in Kerbala, a holy city for Shiites, is at least 13 dead and 865 injured, about 100 km south-west of the capital Baghdad.

According to local medical and security sources, the police and military opened fire on protesters, in the streets - as in many other centers in the country - to protest against corruption and unemployment and to demand the resignation of the current government.

According to some unconfirmed sources, masked men belonging to an unidentified group opened fire.

In these hours, amateur videos circulated by protesters on social media talk of a “massacre". One video shows a child in tears asking "where is my father", while another desperately screams "my father was killed".

The city is home to the sanctuaries of Imams Husain and Abbas and yesterday had already recorded heavy clashes between citizens and police. The protesters ignored the order imposed by mayor Nassif al-Khattab to stay in the houses from 6 pm until the following morning and poured into the streets and squares.

In response, the military used tear gas and bullets to disperse the crowd.

Yesterday Iraqis took to the streets in various parts of the country, especially in the majority Shi'ite cities of the south, for the fourth day in a row, after two weeks of relative calm. Already at the weekend there were dozens of deaths and injuries, in an escalation that arouses fear and concern.

The Chaldean patriarch visited a hospital in the capital to bring comfort to the young patients, most of them Muslims. He also renewed the call for calm and moderation "in a context that is becoming ever more delicate".

Since the first of October over 260 deaths and more than 3600 people have been injured.

In an attempt to avert further violence and stem the protests of high school and university students, the army imposed a nighttime curfew also in Baghdad.
Source: AsiaNews.it - Image Source: Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 480

Reading 1ROM 8:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R.(3a) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and 'the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'"

Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."

Saint October 29 : St. Narcissus of Jerusalem a Bishop who blessed Miraculous Oil and Died 215 AD

St. Narcissus
BISHOP - Born:  99
Died: 215

St Narcissus was born towards the close of the first century, and was almost fourscore years old when he was placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem, being the thirtieth bishop of that see. Eusebius assures us that the Christians of Jerusalem preserved in his time the remembrance of several miracles which God had wrought by this holy bishop, one of which he relates as follows. One year, on Easter-eve, the deacons were unprovided with oil for the lamps in the church, necessary at the solemn divine office that day. Narcissus ordered those who had care of the lamps to bring him some water from the neighbouring wells. This being done, he pronounced a devout prayer over the water; then bade them pour it into the lamps, which they did, and it was immediately converted into oil, to the great surprise of the faithful. Some of this miraculous oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history. The veneration of all good men for this holy bishop could not shelter him from the malice of the wicked. Three incorrigible sinners, fearing his inflexible severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, laid to his charge a detestable crime, which Eusebius does not specify. They confirmed their atrocious calumny by dreadful oaths and imprecations; one wishing he might perish by fire, another that he might be struck with a leprosy, and the third that he might lose his sight, if what they alleged was not the truth. Notwithstanding these protestations, their accusation did not find credit; and some time after the divine vengeance pursued the calumniators. The first was burnt in his house, with his whole family, by an accidental fire in the night; the second was struck with a universal leprosy; and the third, terrified by these examples, confessed the conspiracy and slander, and by the abundance of tears which he continually shed for his sins, lost his sight before his death.
Narcissus, notwithstanding the slander had made no impression on the people to his disadvantage, could not stand the shock of the bold calumny, or rather made it an excuse for leaving Jerusalem and spending some time in solitude, which had long been his wish. He spent several years undiscovered in his retreat, where he enjoyed all the happiness and advantage which a close conversation with God can bestow. That his church might not remain destitute of a pastor, the neighbouring bishops of the province after some time placed in it Pius, and after him Germanion, who dying in a short time was succeeded by Gordius. Whilst this last held the see, Narcissus appeared again, like one from the dead. The whole body of the faithful, transported at the recovery of their holy pastor, whose innocence had been most authentically vindicated, conjured him to reassume the administration of the diocese. He acquiesced; but afterwards, bending under the weight of extreme old age, made St. Alexander his coadjutor. St. Narcissus continued to serve his flock, and even other churches, by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord, as St. Alexander testifies in his letter to the Arsinoites in Egypt, where he says that Narcissus was at that time, about one hundred and sixteen years old. The Roman Martyrology honours his memory on the 29th of October.
If we truly respect the church as the immaculate spouse of our Lord, we will incessantly pray for its exaltation and increase, and beseech the Almighty to give it pastors according to his own heart, like those who appeared in the infancy of Christianity. And, that no obstacle on our part may prevent the happy effects of their zeal, we should study to regulate our conduct by the holy maxims which they inculcate; we should regard them as the ministers of Christ; we should listen to them with docility and attention; we should make their faith the rule of ours, and shut our ears against the language of profane novelty. SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia