Friday, December 20, 2019

Saint December 21 : Saint Peter Canisius, a Jesuit and the Patron of Catholic Press and Germany - #Deutschland

Born at Nimwegen in the Netherlands, 8 May, 1521;
Died in Fribourg, 21 November, 1597.
His father was the wealthy burgomaster, Jacob Canisius; his mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, died shortly after Peter's birth. In 1536 Peter was sent to Cologne, where he studied arts, civil law, and theology at the university; he spent a part of 1539 at the University of Louvain, and in 1540 received the degree of Master of Arts at Cologne. Nicolaus van Esche was his spiritual adviser, and he was on terms of friendship with such staunch Catholics as Georg of Skodborg (the expelled Archbishop of Lund), Johann Gropper (canon of the cathedral), Eberhard Billick (the Carmelite monk), Justus Lanspergius, and other Carthusian monks. Although his father desired him to marry a wealthy young woman, on 25 February, 1540 he pledged himself to celibacy. In 1543 he visited Peter Faber and, having made the "Spiritual Exercises" under his direction, was admitted into the Society of Jesus at Mainz, on 8 May. With the help of Leonhard Kessel and others, Canisius, labouring under great difficulties, founded at Cologne the first German house of the order; at the same time he preached in the city and vicinity, and debated and taught in the university. In 1546 he was admitted to the priesthood, and soon afterwards was sent by the clergy and university to obtain assistance from Emperor Charles V, the nuncio, and the clergy of Liège against the apostate Archbishop, Hermann von Wied, who had attempted to pervert the diocese. In 1547, as the theologian of Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Bishop of Augsburg, he participated in the general ecclesiastical council (which sat first at Trent and then at Bologna), and spoke twice in the congregation of the theologians. After this he spent several months under the direction of Ignatius in Rome. In 1548 he taught rhetoric at Messina, Sicily, preaching in Italian and Latin. At this time Duke William IV of Bavaria requested Paul III to send him some professors from the Society of Jesus for the University of Ingolstadt; Canisius was among those selected.
On 7 September, 1549, he made his solemn profession as Jesuit at Rome, in the presence of the founder of the order. On his journey northward he received, at Bologna, the degree of doctor of theology. On 13 November, accompanied by Fathers Jaius and Salmeron, he reached Ingolstadt, where he taught theology, catechized, and preached. In 1550 he was elected rector of the university, and in 1552 was sent by Ignatius to the new college in Vienna; there he also taught theology in the university, preached at the Cathedral of St. Stephen, and at the court of Ferdinand I, and was confessor at the hospital and prison. During Lent, 1553 he visited many abandoned parishes in Lower Austria, preaching and administering the sacraments. The king's eldest son (later Maximilian II) had appointed to the office of court preacher, Phauser, a married priest, who preached the Lutheran doctrine. Canisius warned Ferdinand I, verbally and in writing, and opposed Phauser in public disputations. . After long negotiations and preparations he was able to open Jesuit colleges at Ingolstadt and Prague. In the same year Ignatius appointed him first provincial superior of Upper Germany (Swabia, Bavaria, Bohemia, Hungary, Lower and Upper Austria). During the winter of 1556-57 he acted as adviser to the King of the Romans at the Diet of Ratisbon and delivered many sermons in the cathedral. By the appointment of the Catholic princes and the order of the pope he took part in the religious discussions at Worms. As champion of the Catholics he repeatedly spoke in opposition to Melanchthon. The fact that the Protestants disagreed among themselves and were obliged to leave the field was due in a great measure to Canisius. He also preached in the cathedral of Worms.
He spoke in keeping with the spirit of the age, explained the justification of man, Christian liberty, the proper way of interpreting the Scriptures, defended the worship of saints, the ceremonies of the Church, religious vows, indulgences. urged obedience to the Church authorities, confession, communion, fasting, and almsgiving; he censured the faults of the clergy, at times perhaps too sharply, as he felt that they were public and that he must avoid demanding reformation from the laity only. Against the influence of evil spirits he recommended the means of defence which had been in use in the Church during the first centuries—lively faith, prayer, ecclesiastical benedictions, and acts of penance.  In the cathedral, his confessional and the altar at which he said Mass were surrounded by crowds, and alms were placed on the altar.In 1559 he opened a college in Munich; in 1562 he appeared at Trent as papal theologian. The council was discussing the question whether communion should be administered under both forms to those of the laity who asked for it. Lainez, the general of the Society of Jesus, opposed it unconditionally. Canisius held that the cup might be administered to the Bohemians and to some Catholics whose faith was not very firm. After one month he departed from Trent, but he continued to support the work of the Fathers by urging the bishops to appear at the council, by giving expert opinion regarding the Index and other matters, by reports on the state of public opinion, and on newly-published books. In the spring of 1563 he rendered a specially important service to the Church; the emperor had come to Innsbruck (near Trent), and had summoned thither several scholars, including Canisius, as advisers. Some of these men fomented the displeasure of the emperor with the pope and the cardinals who presided over the council. For months Canisius strove to reconcile him with the Curia. He has been blamed unjustly for communicating to his general and to the pope's representatives some of Ferdinand's plans, which otherwise might have ended contrary to the intention of all concerned in the dissolution of the council and in a new national apostasy. The emperor finally granted all the pope's demands and the council was able to proceed and to end peacefully. All Rome praised Canisius, but soon after he lost favour with Ferdinand and was denounced as disloyal; at this time he also changed his views regarding the giving of the cup to the laity (in which the emperor saw a means of relieving all his difficulties), saying that such a concession would only tend to confuse faithful Catholics and to encourage the disobedience of the recalcitrant. In 1562 the College of Innsbruck was opened by Canisius, and at that time he acted as confessor to the "Queen" Magdalena (declared Venerable in 1906 by Pius X; daughter of Ferdinand I, who lived with her four sisters at Innsbruck), and as spiritual adviser to her sisters. At their request he sent them a confessor from the society, and, when Magdalena presided over the convent, which she had founded at Hall, he sent her complete directions for attaining Christian perfection. In 1563 he preached at many monasteries in Swabia; in 1564 he sent the first missionaries to Lower Bavaria, and recommended the provincial synod of Salzburg not to allow the cup to the laity, as it had authority to do; his advice, however, was not accepted. In this year Canisius opened a college at Dillingen and assumed, in the name of the order, the administration of the university which had been founded there by Cardinal Truchsess. In 1565 he took part in the Second General Congregation of the order in Rome. While in Rome he visited Philip, son of the Protestant philologist Joachim Camerarius, at that time a prisoner of the Inquisition, and instructed and consoled him. Pius IV sent him as his secret nuncio to deliver the decrees of the Council of Trent to Germany; the pope also commissioned him to urge their enforcement, to ask the Catholic princes to defend the Church at the coming diet, and to negotiate for the founding of colleges and seminaries. Canisius negotiated more or less successfully with the Electors of Mainz and Trier, with the bishops of Augsburg, Würzburg, Osnabrück, Münster, and Paderborn, with the Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, and with the City and University of Cologne; he also visited Nimwegen, preaching there and at other places; his mission, however, was interrupted by the death of the pope. Pius V desired its continuation, but Canisius requested to be relieved; he said that it aroused suspicions of espionage, of arrogance, and of interference in politics (for a detailed account of his mission see "Stimmen aus Maria-Laach", LXXI, 58, 164, 301).
In 1581 he founded a sodality of the Blessed Virgin among the citizens and, soon afterwards, sodalities for women and students; in 1582 schools were opened, and he preached in the parish church and in other places until 1589.
 The last years of his life he devoted to the instruction of converts, to making spiritual addresses to the brothers of the order, to writing and re-editing books. The city authorities ordered his body to be buried before the high altar of the principal church, the Church of St. Nicolaus, from which they were translated in 1625 to that of St. Michael, the church of the Jesuit College. ecclesiastical censures, and permission to give extraordinary absolutions and to dispense from the law of fasting. He also wished the Index to be modified that German confessors might be authorized to permit the reading of some books, but in his sermons he warned the faithful to abstain from reading such books without permission. At Cologne he requested the town council to forbid the printing or sale of books hostile to the Faith or immoral, and in the Tyrol had Archduke Ferdinand II suppress such books. He also advised Bishop Urban of Gurk, the court preacher of Ferdinand I, not to read so many Protestant books, but to study instead the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. At Nimwegen he searched the libraries of his friends, and burned all heretical books. In the midst of all these cares Canisius remained essentially a man of prayer; he was an ardent advocate of the Rosary and its sodalities. He was also one of the precursors of the modern devotion of the Sacred Heart. Shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis makes Surprise Visit to High School in Rome and spoke of Patience and of “small sacrifices” - Video

Pope visits Rome high school
Pope Francis on Friday morning pays a surprise visit to the Pilo Albertelli State High School in Rome.
Pope Francis travelled by car to the Pilo Albertelli State High School in Rome, near the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

The Pope was accompanied by the Director of L'Osservatore Romano, Andrea Monda, a former religion teacher at the school; along with the Dean of the Institute. He greeted the teachers, staff, and students who had written the texts of the meditations for the Way of the Cross on Good Friday 2018.

He entered the schoolyard, where he was welcomed by the approximately 800 students of the institute. After a song performed by some students and a greeting from the Headmaster, the Holy Father addressed a few words to the young people, in response to their questions.

He spoke of loneliness, which when lived badly leads to sadness; and of freely-given love, a difficult road, that requires “trimming oneself back”, of patience, of “small sacrifices”.

In response to a question about the coexistence of different cultures and religions, Pope Francis spoke about migration, even in his own country, Argentina, and how it has led to the need to live together in harmony. In addressing non-believers, he stressed the value of witness so as to awaken curiosity about the Gospel and faith.

Responding to a question regarding what makes a “true teacher”, the Pope reminded the young people of the importance of playing and dreaming, which “brings oxygen to the soul”. He then reflected on the relationship between teachers and students – a gift that he himself was able to recall recently when speaking about his spiritual father, Miguel Ángel Fiorito.

When the bell rang, the Pope wished the young people and those present a Merry Christmas and, before leaving, answered one last question from a young person about the contradiction of using war to create peace and security. Citing the tragic situations in some countries, the Pope referenced his video message on the theme of peace, recorded with the Secretary General of the United Nations at the end of their meeting in the Vatican on Friday.

Full Text Source:

Powerful Novena Prayer to Prepare your Heart for Christmas! with Plenary Indulgence

Opening Prayer:
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Day 4 Prayers
O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in your servants,
in the spirit of your holiness,
in the fullness of your power,
in the reality of your virtues,
in the perfection of your ways,
in the communion of your mysteries.
Have dominion over every adverse power,
in your own Spirit,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.(Jean Jaques Olier, SS)

The Holy Nativity.
O most sweet infant Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary in
Bethlehem, wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, laid
in the manger, glorified by angels, and visited by
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
O Jesus born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee;
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Christ is at hand. O come, let us worship him.
Hail Mary...
NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on  any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

Day 1:

Wow Art of Beauty for Home or Parish at Affordable Prices from HolyArt - Rosaries, Statues, Vestments, Chalices, Nativities and More!

Does your Church or home need a religious item? Well, HolyArt, is the Answer for almost all your needs. Founded in 2007 by a challenge, HolyArt has become the largest European platform for the sales of sacred arts and religious items. The company sells a wide variety of quality items from: life-size statues to Nativity Scene figurines, Icons, medals, chalices, sacred furnishings and beautiful vestments, food and wine for Holy Mass, Bibles and a range of products from Monasteries. They have items, such as jewelry, cards, and gift accessories for all special occasions. Stefano Zanni, is the founder of the Holyart, at the Headquarters of Reggio Emilia, he has Holy figures such as; Saint John Bosco and St. Pope John Paul II to inspire. His Holyart brand is the main channel of selling religious articles and products in Italy but they ship to over 100 countries around the globe! 
For the owners of HolyArt this is a mission of new evangelization that reaches people around the world with visible signs of faith to inspire. 
The owner during the inauguration of the new Reggio headquarters  thanked everyone, from family to suppliers and collaborators: 
“HolyArt started its activity from scratch 9 years ago, and in these years we have been lucky enough to always grow in double figures. We have almost 30,000 references in the catalog and this year we will send over 40,000 packages to around 110 countries around the world. These numbers mean that thousands of Christians in the world, in disadvantaged areas like priests and missionaries in Africa, or small communities that live their faith in a situation of semi-clandestinity, or the Christians of nations now secularized like France where it is rare to find a shop that has religious articles, or endless places like China where it is difficult to make one's own belonging to Christ visible, well, all these people thanks to our work have been able to receive the symbols of their faith ”.
Their customer feedback page has hundreds of recommendations from around the globe! 
Here are some examples: 
"Your Customer Service is exceptional! I had no difficulties placing and receiving the order. The package arrived in very good condition and the quality of the medal is wonderful and exceeds the image on the webpage. I couldn’t be happier. The payment amount was clear and displayed in my currency (USD). I received the order faster than my expected delivery date. Again – thank you so much for your concern and outstanding support."
"I received my beautiful rosary within one week - outstanding for overseas shipping! The price was very reasonable and affordable for such a quality rosary, and it well was worth the extra shipping. It was very well packaged and arrived it perfect condition. Thanks for offering beautiful Catholic articles for reasonable prices. Sincerely, Frances"
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So, if you, your parish or someone you know is looking for a quality religious item of beauty and affordability check out Holyart's Extensive Online Catalogue today and place your order! You will not be disappointed. 
You can also Follow HolyArt's Facebook Page for Updates and Sales!

Visit HolyArt today!
Although this video is in Italian you can see their vast amount of products and their Customer Service speaks English and delivers around the Globe accepting different forms of currency.

Pope Francis' joint Video message with General Secretary of UN "Let us recognize ourselves as members of a single humanity, and let us take care of our land which....has been entrusted to us by God." Full Text


It is nice that this meeting of ours takes place in the days that lead us to Christmas. These are days when our eyes are turned to the heavens to entrust to God the people and situations that we most cherish. In this view we recognize ourselves as children of one Father, brothers.

We give thanks for all the good that is in the world, for the many who commit themselves for free, for those who spend their lives in serving, for those who do not give up and build a more humane and more just society. We know: we cannot save ourselves alone.

We cannot, we must not turn away from the other side in the face of injustices, inequalities, the scandal of world hunger, of poverty, of children who die because they have no water, food or the necessary care.

We cannot turn away from the other side in the face of any kind of abuse against children. We must all fight this scourge together.

We cannot close our eyes to the many of our brothers who, due to conflicts and violence, poverty or climate change, leave their countries and often face a sad fate.

We must not remain indifferent to the human dignity trampled on and exploited, to attacks against human life, whether it is yet to be born or that of every person in need of care.

We cannot, we must not turn away when the believers of various faiths are persecuted in different parts of the world.

The use of religion to encourage hatred, violence, oppression, extremism and blind fanaticism, as well as to force exile and marginalization, cries out for God's vengeance.

But the arms race and nuclear rearmament also cries out for God's vengeance. And it is immoral not only the use but also the possession of nuclear weapons, which have such a destructive scope, that even the sole danger of an accident represents a dark threat to humanity.

We do not remain indifferent to the numerous wars that continue to be fought and that see so many innocent people succumb.

Confidence in dialogue between people and between nations, in multilateralism, in the role of international organizations, in diplomacy as a tool for understanding and understanding, is indispensable for building a peaceful world.

Let us recognize ourselves as members of a single humanity, and let us take care of our land which, generation after generation, has been entrusted to us by God in custody because we cultivate it and leave it to our children as a legacy. The commitment to reduce polluting emissions and for an integral ecology is urgent and necessary: ​​let's do something before it's too late!

We listen to the voice of many young people who help us to become aware of what is happening today in the world and ask us to be sowers of peace and builders, together and not alone, of a more human and more just civilization.

Christmas, in its genuine simplicity, reminds us that what really counts in life is love.
Source: - Unofficial Translation - Image Source: Screen Shot - VaticanNews Youtube

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, December 20, 2019 - #Eucharist in Advent

Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 196
 Reading 1 IS 7:10-14
The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
"I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R.(see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.