Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two New Doctors of the Church

On October 7 Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will proclaim St. Hildegard von Bingen and St. John of Avila to be Doctors of the Church, which is like a canonization of their teachings.
ROME, SEPT. 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See announced today that Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the Solemn Mass for the opening of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, during which the Holy Father will proclaim two new Doctors of the Church: Saint John of Avila and Saint Hildegard of Bingen.

Joining the ranks of Saint Therese of Avila, Saint Catherine of Sienna, and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, German mystic Saint Hildegard of Bingen, canonized this past May, will be the fourth woman in Church history to be declared Doctor of the Church. Born circa 1098 in County Palatine of the Rhine (a region in modern-day Germany), she was a Benedictine abbess known for her visions, which she began to receive at the age of three. Hildegard was also known for her contribution to medieval music, having composed dozens of original pieces throughout her lifetime. She died Sept. 17, 1179.

Saint John of Avila, canonized in 1970 by Pope Pius VI, was born May 10, 1500, to a wealthy Catholic family of Jewish descent in Almodòvar del Campo, Spain. He was known for his preaching and for his reform of clerical life in his native country. Included among his followers were Saint Francis Borgia, and fellow Doctors of the Church, Saints John of God and Teresa of Avila. He died in Seville on May 10, 1569.
A doctor of the Church is one whose writings have proved to be of particular value to the life of the Church, especially in the area of theology and Doctrine. For a saint to be named "doctor of the Church" these three conditions must be present: eminens doctrina (eminent learning), insignis vitae sanctitas (high degree of sanctity), and Ecclesiae declaration (proclamation by the Church). (Read entire post.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Homilies on Our Lady

From Fr. Angelo at Downside Abbey in Cornwall.



More HERE.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Monsieur Vincent


He is a saint who reminds us of what it is to be a Catholic. Orthodoxy and true belief cannot get one very far if not accompanied by love, kindness, patience, humility, and effective intervention on behalf of the poor. St. Vincent de Paul renounced his early clerical ambition in order to become a servant of the indigent. His manner was characterized by courtesy and wisdom, tempered by shrewd insight, which made his counsel sought by bishops and kings. St. Vincent was a friend of both St. Francis de Sales and King Louis XIII. The humble priest intervened in matters of great import for Church and state, as is told here:
The great political and religious conflict known as the Thirty Years War was now raging. Vincent, on hearing of the wretchedness of the people of Lorraine, collected alms for them in Paris. He sent missionaries to other countries affected by the war. Recalling his own sorrows as a slave in Tunisia, he raised enough money to ransom some twelve hundred Christian slaves in Africa. He had influence with the powerful Cardinals Richelieu and De Retz, directors of French foreign policy; and was sent for by King Louis XIII, to minister to him as he lay dying. The king's widow, Anne of Austria, now Queen Regent, had him made a member of the Council of Conscience of the five-year-old prince, the future Louis XIV. Vincent continued to be in favor at court, and during the civil war of the Fronde, tried to persuade the Queen Regent to give up her unpopular minister, Cardinal Mazarin, to help pacify and unify the people.
It was St. Vincent who later appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, encouraging her to join his order. It was on his feast in 1830, formerly kept on July 19, that St. Catherine had the first of the amazing apparitions at the Rue de Bac, which were to have such immense significance to France and to the world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

St. Joseph of Cupertino

He was a child of poverty who became a great saint amid many persecutions from his own brethren, as the following biographical account relates:
Ill fortune seemed to have set its seal on Joseph before he was born. His father, a carpenter by trade, was a good enough man in his way, but he was a poor hand at dealing with money; what little he earned seemed to slip at once through his fingers. At the very moment when his son came into the world his house was in the hands of bailiffs, and his effects were being sold up. Joseph was born in a shed at the back of the house, where his mother had hid herself out of very shame. With such a beginning Joseph had very poor prospects. As a child, utterly underfed and sickly, he was a very miserable specimen of humanity. He seemed to catch every disease that came his way; many a time he was at death's door, and, to tell the truth, if he had died it would have been a great relief to those responsible for him. Even his mother wearied of him. She, too, was good in her way, but she was hard by nature, and circumstances had made her harder; Joseph was ever in fault, and for every offense she punished him without mercy, according to her notions of a mother's duty. When he was little more than seven years old he developed a running ulcer which would not heal; and his mother was the more embittered against him, for now she supposed that even if the boy grew up he would probably be always to the family nothing but a burden. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pope Benedict in Lebanon

Muslim women welcome the Pope in Lebanon
The full texts. To quote Our Holy Father:
You have a special place in my heart and in the whole Church, because the Church is always young! The Church trusts you. She counts on you! Be young in the Church! Be young with the Church! The Church needs your enthusiasm and your creativity! Youth is the time when we aspire to great ideals, when we study and train for our future work. All this is important and it takes time. Seek beauty and strive for goodness! Bear witness to the grandeur and the dignity of your body which "is for the Lord" (1 Cor 6:13b). Be thoughtful, upright and pure of heart! In the words of Blessed John Paul II, I say to you: "Do not be afraid! Open the doors of your minds and hearts to Christ!" An encounter with Jesus "gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction" (Deus Caritas Est, 1). In Christ you will find the strength and courage to advance along the paths of life, and to overcome difficulties and suffering. In him you will find the source of joy. Christ says to you: "Salàmi ō-tīkum" This is the true revolution brought by Christ: that of love.

The frustrations of the present moment must not lead you to take refuge in parallel worlds like those, for example, of the various narcotics or the bleak world of pornography. As for social networks, they are interesting but they can quite easily lead to addiction and confusion between the real and the virtual. Look for relationships of genuine, uplifting friendship. Find ways to give meaning and depth to your lives; fight superficiality and mindless consumption! You face another temptation, too: that of money, the tyrannical idol which blinds to the point of stifling the person at the heart. The examples being held up all around you are not always the best. Many people have forgotten Christ’s warning that one cannot serve both God and mammon (cf. Lk 16:13). Seek out good teachers, spiritual masters, who will be able to guide you along the path to maturity, leaving behind all that is illusory, garish and deceptive. (Read entire article.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gaze Upon Christ

From Fr. Mark Kirby:
I have known souls whose concentration on sin is more intense than their concentration on the Face of Christ and on the merciful love of His Heart. These souls are never at peace. They are forever examining themselves, and searching for evidence of sin and imperfection where they should be searching for evidence of the grace of Christ and His readiness to raise up the fallen, heal the broken-hearted, and bind up their wounds.

It is more effective, and more fruitful, to love virtue than to live, at every moment, in the fear of vice. By this I do not mean that one should not fear vice and hate sin; I mean, rather, that to focus on such things is unhealthy for the soul and breeds a spirituality of pessimism and gloom. (Read entire post.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails