Monday, January 27, 2020

Saint January 28 : St. Thomas Aquinas the Dominican Patron of Catholic Universities, Colleges, and schools

1225, Roccasecca, in Lazio, Italy
7 March 1274, Fossanuova Abbey, Italy
July 18, 1323, Avignon, France
Major Shrine:
Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, France
Patron of:
Catholic universities, colleges, and schools
Today, January 28, we celebrate the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church, patron saint of universities and students, and the greatest teacher of the medieval Catholic Church. Alternately referred to as the Angelic Doctor and the Universal Doctor, the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas greatly influenced not only Church doctrine, but schools of theological and philosophical thought. Candidates for the priesthood are instructed to model themselves after this holy man, and Pope Benedict XV declared that his teachings were the teachings of the Church, herself. By universal consent, this holy man is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation.
Thomas was born in Aquino, Italy (the name “Aquinas” is not his surname, but translates as “of Aquino”), the son of the Count of Aquino. At the ago of five years old, his father placed him in the care of the monks at the Benedictine Monastery at Monte Casino. He was immediately observed to excel at the scholastic life, and his teachers were astounded not only by his eagerness to learn and aptitude for difficult concepts, but also by the virtuous manner in which he lived his life. As he grew older, he was sent to Naples to continue his studies, where he first encountered the philosophy of Aristotle.
His father, who had hoped he would enter the Benedictine Order upon reaching the age of consent was dismayed to learn that Thomas had other plans. Renouncing all his worldly ties and possessions, Thomas entered the Dominican Order in Naples. His family, for their part, did all in their power to convince him otherwise, first kidnapping him, and later sending him all manners of temptation (including “impure women”) to lead him astray. However, Thomas remained constant in his pursuits of the Lord, and maintained perfect chastity throughout his life (which is why he is referred to as the “Angelic Doctor.”)
Upon ordination, Thomas left Naples and traveled to Paris and Cologne, Germany, where he studied under the tutelage of Albert the Great. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but his brilliance as a student was evident in his writings. While he pursued his philosophical and theological writings, Thomas held two tenures as professor at the University of Paris. During that time, he resided at the court of Pope Urban IV, under whose direction he combated all forms of heresy and adversaries of the Church. Thomas similarly directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, traveling between them as frequently as needed. He received his doctorate at the age of 31.
While a gifted preacher, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (which fill twenty volumes) are considered his greatest contribution to the Catholic Church. His writings reconcile the unity of faith and reason, of those things revealed by God, and those things discovered through natural human knowledge. The breadth and depth of his theory encompass the entirety of the natural order, as a cherished and divine gift granted to us by God. Pope John Paul II affirmed the importance of this tradition, saying: "The whole living tradition of the Church teaches us this: faith seeks understanding, and understanding seeks faith. Both the need to understand and the need to believe are deeply rooted in man's heart. It is for this reason that the Church herself was the point of departure for the creation of universities.” Similarly, Pope Benedict XVI asserted, “With his charism as a philosopher and theologian, he [Thomas] offered an effective model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in the encounter and dialogue with one another. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he [Thomas] argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them.” Prior to his death, Saint Thomas Aquinas undertook to deal with the entirety of Catholic theology. His most acclaimed work, the Summa Theologiae, although incomplete summarizes the theological underpinnings of our faith in a scientific and rational manner. Saint Thomas ceased writing this work following a supernatural encounter with the Lord while celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. During Mass, he is said to have heard the voice of Jesus asking him what he most desired. Thomas is said to have replied, “Only you, Lord,” following which he experienced something which he never revealed. Following that experience, he stopped writing, explaining, “I cannot go on… All I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” Saint Thomas fell ill (likely from overwork) at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova, and died peacefully while providing commentary on the Song of Songs. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369.
Prayer for Guidance
O creator past all telling, you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom the hierarchies of angels, disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens, and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe. You we call the true fount of wisdom and the noble origin of all things. Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born, The twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin. You make eloquent the tongues of children. Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember; make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak. Guide my going in and going forward, lead home my going forth. You are true God and true man, and live for ever and ever. Amen.
Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Novena to St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Students - Powerful Prayers to Share!

Free Christian Movie : St. Paul the Apostle

Paul persecutes Christians before being converted and assuming leadership of the Church and struggle against violent opposition to the teachings of Christ and their own personal conflicts.

#BreakingNews 36 Civilians Killed by Terrorist Group in Burkina Faso, West Africa - Bishops call for Dialogue

36 Civilians were killed by a "terrorist group" in Burkina Faso, West Africa, the government has said in a statement.  Burkina Faso held two days of national mourning Wednesday.
 Pope Francis and the Catholic Bishops of Burkina Faso have called for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in an attempt to protect the people and find solutions to the violence.
 The government in Ouagadougou released a statement saying "These repeated attacks on innocent civilians call for real cooperation between defence and security forces."
Armed militants forced their way into a market the village of Alamou in Sanmatenga province on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 and attacked people there before burning the construction to the ground, according to a government statement. There has been a rise in violence in the West African country that has killed hundreds and forced nearly a million people from their homes. 

Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda and the so-called "Islamic State" have carried out a number of attacks against civilian and military targets in Burkina Faso in recent months, including an onslaught on a Canadian mining convoy in November that killed at least 37 people. "These repeated attacks on innocent civilians call for real cooperation between defense and security forces," the government said. President Roch Marc Kabore responded to the onslaught by calling for two days of national mourning.
Edited from combined reports by Deutsche Welle/ and

RIP Fr. Casimir Krzyzanowski, MIC - Death of Devout Polish Marian Priest at age 97

Because of failing health, he spent the last year of his life being cared for in the Nursing Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor across the street from the Marian Scholasticate. Being struck with many physical aliments in the last couple of years he bore them patiently and with the submission to God’s will. He died on his 97th Birthday on January 17, 2020.
During  the last moments of Fr. Krzyzanowski’s earthly life Fr. Casimir asked the Marians to say or sing something in Polish so Fr. Gabriel put St. John Paul II praying the Rosary in Polish on YouTube and then tears started coming down Fr. Casimir’s face for a few minutes. After about two decades of the rosary, Fr. Krzyzanowski peacefully departed for the House of the Father precisely at 6:54 PM…
Father Casimir Krzyzanowski will be remembered for his regular religious observance, and for his deep piety to our Blessed Mother and to our holy Father Founder. For many years together with his brother Seweryn, Fr. Casimir would annually obtain food and clothing to help needy families and orphans in his native Poland. 
May he rest in Peace and may our Founder, Saint Stanislaus – whose sanctity – Fr. Casimir promoted throughout his entire religious life, intercede for him before the throne of our merciful Lord. Edited from Source:

Biography: Fr. Casimir Krzyzanowski, MIC

I was born (actually) on Dec. 17, 1922 (but according to my baptismal certificate: on Jan. 17, 1923) in Lublin, Poland, the son of Adam Krzyzanowski (died in 1942) and of Stanislawa nee Kozlowska (died in 1988). At my baptism, I was given three names: Kazimierz, Jan and Stanislaw. I have one brother (Seweryn, two years older, married, and living in Poland).

After a few years spent in Lubartow, our family returned in 1930 to Lublin and we took residence in a house (bought by my parents) at Rynek Street, 12. In 1938, having completed secondary education, I graduated from the private Vetter High School in Lublin. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, I completed my first year at the J. Zamoyski Lyceum (college) in Lublin, where I specialized in physics and mathematics.

Because of the limited possibilities of higher studies in Lublin under the German occupation, in 1940 I moved with my brother to Warsaw, where after a year of preparatory course, for two years I pursued the electro-technical studies at the Wawelberg Higher School of Machine Construction and Electro-Technology. Having graduated from it with a technician's degree, in the year 1943/1944 I studied at the Electro-technical Faculty of the State Higher Technical School (formerly called Polytechnic University) in Warsaw.

Since the spring of 1943, I was being trained in the underground Polish Army, and I took part as a soldier in the Warsaw Rising against the Germans, from its beginning on Aug. 1, 1944 until its capitulation on Oct. 3, 1944. As a prisoner of war, I was kept first in a transitory camp in Germany, and in November of 1944 I was transferred to a regular prison of war camp (Stalag XVIII A) in Wolfsberg, Austria. Due to a lung disease (pleurisy), I was moved to a camp hospital in January of 1945.

After the end of the war and the capitulation of Germany, in May of 1945, I was transported to Italy, to a hospital of the II Polish Corps of Gen. Anders under the British command. Having recovered from my disease, on Aug. 4, 1945 I began my studies at the Military Officer College of the II Polish Corps in Matera, Italy, from which I graduated on March 18, 1946 with the rank of Platoon Commander Officer Cadet.

In May of the same year I started studies in Alessano, Italy, at the Lyceum of the II Polish Corps, majoring in Mathematics and Physics (second year), in order to obtain the maturity diploma that would make it possible for me to resume my university studies abroad (since I did not plan to return to Poland as long as it was under the Communist regime). I was transferred to England for the demobilization purposes in Aug. 15, 1946. I was stationed in Cannon Hall Camp near Barnsley, where in the October of the same year I graduated from the said Lyceum with the maturity diploma. Having been demobilized from the military service, in November of 1946 I was accepted for the second year of the Electro-Technical studies at what was later called Polish University College in London. I took up residence at St. Stanislaus Hospice in London. I also became a member of the Polish Catholic University Association "Veritas."

My vocation to the religious life and the priesthood came to me unexpectedly on Sept. 8, 1947, when I was ready to start the third year of my university studies in London. The Congregation of Marians was the only religious institute that was more known to me at that time (I had gotten some information about it from my friend in London). Hence, when my spiritual director assured me of the authenticity of my vocation, I wrote to the Superior General of the Marians in Rome. On April 9, 1948 I was accepted into the Congregation and assigned to the American Province of St. Stanislaus Kostka.

While waiting for my three-year student visa to the United States, I went to a Jesuit college for late vocations in Isleworth, Middlesex, England, where I stayed until July 12, 1949, mostly brushing up my Latin. I obtained my student visa on July 6, 1949. Soon after I was on my way by ship from England to the U.S.

On July 19, 1949, I arrived in New York, then proceeded to Stockbridge, Mass., where at that time the novitiate was situated. I started my novitiate on Aug. 15, 1949, and a year later I professed my first religious vows. Then I was transferred to Washington, D.C., and for two years (1950-1952), I studied philosophy at the Catholic University of America, at the end receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

Then, I had an interruption in my priestly studies, because I became ill (tuberculosis of the bone). I had to stay for more than six months in the Lakeville State Sanatorium in Middleboro, Mass. In the meantime, my student visa expired and my stay in the U.S. was prolonged unlawfully. Therefore, while I was still in the sanatorium, one day I was formally arrested, but left where I was. The problem soon was solved, because at the request of my superiors, the congressman from the state of Massachusetts interceded for me, and I was granted by the Congress the permanent stay in the U.S. I went back to our scholasticate in Washington where I studied theology — first at the Carmelite Seminary (1953-54) and then at the Catholic University (1954-58). On June 9, 1956, I was ordained priest at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.

In 1958 I was granted the Licentiate in Theology (S.Th.L.), and in the same year I was sent to Rome, where I stayed at our General House and I continued my theological studies at the Dominican University "Angelicum." At their conclusion, I wrote (in Latin) and defended the dissertation entitled: Stanislaus a Jesu Maria Papczynski, O.Imm.Conc. (1631-1701): Magister Studii Perfectionis, and in 1963 I obtained the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.Th.D.).

In the summer of 1961 I returned to the U.S., and on Sept. 11, 1961 I became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. On this occasion, I "Americanized" my baptismal names "Kazimierz Jan" into "Casimir John," because I believed that I was obliged to do so.

In 1963, instead of letting me go back to my Province, I was retained by Fr. General and his Council in Rome and appointed to the office of Assistant Postulator General of the Congregation (1963-1973). In this capacity I helped in conducting the Beatification Process of our Father Founder, and particularly researching the required documentation (also in Portugal), and then writing and composing the so-called Positio on the life and virtues of Fr. Papczynski, and on the fame of his sanctity (1964-73; 1976-77), under the direction of an official of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Positio was published in Rome in 1977 and subjected to the evaluation by the historians and theologians — experts of the Holy See (later I had to answer their objections in the so-called Informatio, consequently annexed to the Positio). On the basis of these elaborations, the Holy See in 1992 issued the decree acknowledging the heroic virtues of Fr. Papczynski.

While working on the Beatification Cause of the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Stanislaus, I wrote explanatory texts to a series of 89 pictures that illustrate his life (they were painted in Poland). Thus, a book-album was composed and published in 1966 in London with the financial aid of our Province under the title: Pod sztandarem Niepokalanej, which in 1969 appeared in its English translation, published in Stockbridge under the title: Under the Banner of Mary Immaculate.

In the years 1963-69 I served as Local Secretary of the Roman House. In 1968 I was appointed a member of the Committee for the elaboration of the new edition of our Constitutions/Directory. In 1969 and 1970 for several weeks I offered pastoral assistance in our parish in Germany. Almost from the beginning during my stay in Rome until my return to the Province in 2005, I was chaplain in one or the other neighboring convents of religious Sisters.

In May of 1973, the 300th anniversary of the foundation of our Congregation was celebrated at the Catholic University of Lublin. On this occasion I delivered a paper on the rise and the development of our Congregation during the life of our Founder. In in 1975 this paper was published in Rome as a part of the book entitled:
Marianie 1673-1973.

In the first anniversary issue of the Marian Helpers Bulletin (now called Marian Helper magazine), my article appeared on the foundation and history of our Congregation entitled: "It All Started Three Hundred Years Ago," while for the second anniversary issue of the Bulletin I wrote an article presenting the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Casimir Wyszynski O.Imm.Conc. entitled "A Marian True To His Name."

In September of 1973, I returned to the U.S., where I was engaged in pastoral work, I had lectures on the history and spirituality of our Congregation for the novices, and I offered assistance in our houses of Brookeville, Md., and in Washington, DC. In the years 1975-78 I was Superior of the provincial house in Stockbridge, Mass.

Then I was called back to Rome, where I served the Congregation in various capacities: as Secretary General (1978-87, 1993-99), as III General Councilor (1981-93), as Procurator General (1987-99), as Assistant to the Postulator General (1989-92), and since 1987 as a member of the Historical Commission of the Marians (later called Institute of History and Spirituality of the Marians). Beginning in 1994, almost every year I make a special trip from Rome to the U.S. to give lectures on the history and spirituality of our Congregation to our novices.

In the years 1996-2001, I prepared the critical edition of the ascetical, historical and rhetorical writings of Fr. Papczynski written in Latin. On the basis of this edition, these writings began to be translated in the modern languages used in the Congregation, and I was given the task to verify the Polish translations (I did it until 2006).

In 2001-2002, I prepared an Italian edition of the Album Mortuorum for our Roman House. In the years 2001-2003 I worked on the updating and publication of our Constitutions and Directory, and in 2002-2003 I revised and verified their Italian and English translation (this last one in cooperation with Fr. Mark Garrow, MIC, who was Superior General at that time). In 2004 I translated the Marian Ritual into English. In 2004-2005, I verified and corrected (with the help of our Marian Censor) the English translation of Templum Dei Mysticum (Mystical Temple of God) that was then published by our Province. In 1999, I underwent a serious stomach operation in a Roman clinic.

On April 20, 2005, on the order of my Provincial (approved reluctantly by my Roman Superiors), I returned to my American Province and was assigned to the Washington House, mainly because it gave me an easy access to the Veterans Medical Center where, as a veteran, I receive a solicitous and gratuitous medical care. Also, it is easier now for me to have classes with our novices.

Presently my main work consists in translating Fr. Papczynski's Inspectio Cordis (An Insight with the eyes of Heart), 476 pages, into English (with Fr. Larry Dunn, verifying the correctness of my English). Also, occasionally I continue to help our General Curia and the Polish Province in various literary projects, requiring the knowledge of Latin, Italian, Polish and English, and also of the life and writings of Fr. Papczynski. Presently, especially I offer assistance to those projects that are connected with and provoked by the forthcoming beatification our Father Founder.

Full Text Biography Source:

4 French Members of NGO of SOS Christians Missing in Iraq since January 20 - Please Pray

ASIA/IRAQ - Monday, 27 January 2020

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Four men working in Iraq for SOS Chretiens d'Orient (SOS Eastern Christians), a French Christian charity, have been missing since Monday 20 January in Baghdad. The missing workers were in Baghdad to renew their visas and register the association with Iraqi authorities. For security reasons and to protect the men’s safety, their names have not been made public. In a press release issued on social networks on Friday 24 January, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient reported that it had lost contact with its four employees since the previous Tuesday, and that it had reported the disappearance of the four to French and Iraqi authorities.
The French NGO stresses that the four missing employees are experienced people, all in good health and with a good knowledge of the crisis areas in which they operate, and who have always carried out their initiatives in full compliance with safety standards continuously updated to respond to new emerging pitfalls in that region.
SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has its headquarters in Paris, and presents itself as an organization dedicated to supporting the Christian communities of the East, also through the financing of social and educational projects. Currently, the organization is present with "permanent missions" operating in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. The founders of the association, formed in 2013, are Charles de Meyer (who was in the past assistant to French right-wing MP Jacques Bompard) and Benjamin Blanchard, former collaborator of the Front National Marie-Christine Arnautu MEP. The director of the Organization's initiatives, François-Xavier Gicquel, was also an old Front National militant. According to data reported in 2019 by Le Figaro étudiant, since the beginning of its activities the Association has sent about 1500 employees and volunteers to carry out their projects in the Middle East. In February 2017, the organization was recognized as a "national defense partner" by the French Ministry of Defense. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 27/1/2020)

BREAKING Death Toll from Corona Virus at 81 People and 2,761 Infections and it has Spread to 10 Countries

Coronavirus, Beijing confirms 81 dead and 2,761 infections
Almost half of the infections occurred in the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the epidemic.  Hong Kong, where there are eight cases, has imposed a ban on access to those who have visited the area in the past 14 days.  Thailand is among the Asian countries with the highest number of infected people.  The virus has already reached Oceania, America and Europe.

Wuhan (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The updated toll of the pulmonary epidemic that broke out in Wuhan (Hubei province) is 81 dead and 2,761 cases of infection and is now spreading to various regions of China, Asia and the world.  The Beijing government announced this morning that it has extended the holidays for the lunar New Year: the largest companies in the country have closed or ordered staff to work from home, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The total number of confirmed cases in China has increased by around 30%.  Almost half of the infections occurred in the Hubei province.  Health officials say the death toll from the flu-like virus in the province has risen to 76 from 56;  five other deaths are reported elsewhere in China: the southern province of the island of Hainan reported the first death today.

Hong Kong, where there are eight cases of contagion, has imposed a ban on access to those who have visited Hubei in the past 14 days.  The ban does not cover residents.  A limited number of cases have been confirmed in more than 10 countries, linked to people from Wuhan, but no deaths are reported outside of China.

Among the Asian territories with the highest number of infected people are Thailand (eight cases);  Macau (five);  Japan, Malaysia and Singapore (four);  South Korea and Taiwan (three);  Vietnam (two);  Nepal (one).  But the virus has already reached Oceania (five cases of infection in Australia), America (as many in the United States) and Europe (three in France).
Full Text Source: Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, January 27, 2020 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 317
Reading 12 SM 5:1-7, 10
All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you, ‘You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.’”
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king,
and he reigned for forty years:
seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah,
and thirty-three years in Jerusalem
over all Israel and Judah.
Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem
against the Jebusites who inhabited the region.
David was told, “You cannot enter here:
the blind and the lame will drive you away!”
which was their way of saying, “David cannot enter here.”
But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.
David grew steadily more powerful,
for the LORD of hosts was with him.

Responsorial Psalm89:20, 21-22, 25-26

R.    (25a)  My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
“On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth.”
R.    My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
I will set his hand upon the sea,
his right hand upon the rivers.”
R.    My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.

Alleluia2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
“By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”