Saturday, July 31, 2010

St. Ignatius of Loyola: Brief Biography, Favorite Quotes, Prayers, and Works

 
Today is the memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, priest.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, was born in 1491 in the Basque Country of Northern Spain to parents of distinguished families in that area. He was the youngest of 13 children and was called was called Iñigo. At the age of 15, he served as a page in the court of a local nobleman and later embraced a military career and became a valiant soldier.

Wounded in battle by a cannonball, which broke one leg and injured the other, he was taken prisoner by the French, who set his leg and eventually allowed him to go home to Loyola. He spent his time recuperating at the home of his brother. Confined to his sick bed , he was given pious books to read, which he grudgingly accepted. To his surprise, he enjoyed them and began to dream of becoming a "knight for Christ", pursuing the ideals of St. Francis and St. Dominic. He eventually promised to devote his life to being a knight for St. Peter if he recovered, which he did after nine months of convalescence.

Ignatius noticed that after doing good deeds for the Lord, he felt peaceful -- which he termed as a "consolation", but when he thought of being a successful soldier or of impressing a beautiful woman where he had initially felt enthused, he later felt dry. Through this process of discernment, Ignatius was able to recognize that God was leading him to follow a path of service. Out of this experience he wrote his famous "Spiritual Exercises".

After traveling and studying in different schools, he finished in Paris, where he received his degree at the age of 43. Many initially hated St. Ignatius because of his humble and austere lifestyle. Despite this, he attracted many followers at the university, including St. Francis Xavier, and soon started his order, The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. He travelled to Europe and the Holy Land, then settled in Rome to direct the Jesuits. His health suffered in later years, and he was nearly blind at death. He died at the age of 65.

Favorite Quotes:

"If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity."

"Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly."

~ Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Prayers of St. Ignatius of Loyola

More Prayers


Litany In Honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Works of St. Ignatius Online:

Letter on Obedience, by Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Spiritual Exercises

Friday, July 30, 2010

Video News Report: MP3 players filled with Catholic content for troops and wounded soldiers

"Oscar's Cuba": film about a pro-life prisoner of conscience

 This documentary tells the story of "Cuba's forgotten hero", Dr. Oscar Biscet.

Saint of the Day: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor

Today is the optional memorial of St. Peter of Chrysologus, "the man of golden speech", who earned the title of Doctor of the Church for his eloquent sermons. Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. Made Archbishop of Ravenna by miraculous intervention of St. Peter in 433, he rooted out all remaining traces of paganism, as well as a number of abuses among the Christians. In his sermons he strongly urged frequent Communion, saying, “the Body of the Lord should be the daily food of our souls.” He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with diligence and care. He died about the year 450 in his native city of Imola.

My Favorite Quotes from St. Peter Chrysologus

"He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful."

"Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water [mixed with wine] has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body, to fulfill the psalmist's prophecy: How excellent is my chalice, warming my spirit."

"Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ."

Learn more about St. Peter here and here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Movie: There be Dragons Trailer Debut (Includes News Report and Trailer)

The movie "There be Dragons" is about to debut in movie theaters around the world. With the release of the trailer, everything is ready for its debut in the spring of 2011. I can't wait to see this!



TRAILER:

Video: What's a Catholic to do?

 In the face of scandals like the homosexual agenda at a Manhattan parish, what's a faithful Catholic to do?

Senators urge Obama to restrict abortion funding

.- Responding to a new report that the 2010 health care law lacks restrictions that prohibit states from using federal funding to pay for abortions in the new high risk insurance pools, 13 Republican senators have written to the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to urge regulatory action.

“We request your immediate assistance to ensure that federal dollars will not be used to pay for elective abortions,” the Senators’ July 28 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius read. They asked Sebelius to identify specific actions to be taken and to set a timeline for them by July 30.

Read the entire story here.

I wish this story would have mentioned the names of the thirteen Republican Senators. We need to know who to thank and who to vote for in the upcoming elections. I'm glad someone has the courage to take action on this.

UN Committee Attacks Motherhood, Demands New “Rights” for Women

  NEW YORK, July 29 (C-FAM)  A United Nations (UN) treaty committee notorious for its promotion of abortion and ideological positions not supported by UN treaties, concludes its session this week after launching attacks on motherhood and traditional gender roles, while calling for an ever-expanded array of new sexual and reproductive “rights.”  The session was especially notable for the statement by the Russian Federation, which reported that decreasing abortion rates were helping to decrease the overall maternal mortality rates in that country.

     The committee, which monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), is composed of 23 “independent” experts and is reviewing eight nations during their 46th session.

Read the entire story.

What So-Called Pro-Choicers Cannot Watch From Start To Finish

Video: Sex, Lies and Videotape - Part II

 The Archdiocese of New York's answer to the gay goings-on at St. Francis Xavier parish stretches belief.

Video: The Dignity of Women

Saint of the Day: St. Martha, Virgin


Today is the memorial of St. Martha, Virgin.

Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus at Bethany, a village not far from Jerusalem. They are mentioned in several episodes in the Gospels.

On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples were their guests (Luke 10:38-42), Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him while her sister Martha busied herself with preparing food and waiting on the guests, and when Martha complained, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part.

When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died, Jesus came to Bethany. Martha, upon being told that He was approaching, went out to meet Him, while Mary sat still in the house until He sent for her. It was to Martha that Jesus said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." (John 11:1-44)

Again, about a week before the crucifixion, as Jesus reclined at table, Mary poured a flask of expensive perfume over Jesus' feet. Mary was criticized for wasting what might have been sold to raise money for the poor, and again Jesus spoke on her behalf. (John 12:1-8)

On the basis of these incidents, many Christian writers have seen Mary as representing Contemplation (prayer and devotion), and Martha as representing Action (good works, helping others); or love of God and love of neighbor respectively.

Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travelers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit.

No one of you should say, "Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!" Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says, "Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me."

~ from a sermon by Saint Augustine

Patronage: Butlers; cooks; dietitians; domestic servants; homemakers; hotel-keepers; housemaids; housewives; innkeepers; laundry workers; maids; manservants; servants; servers; single laywomen; travellers.

Prayer

O God, heavenly Father, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for his sake; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HBO to air abortion documentary "12th and Delaware"

On Monday, August 2, HBO will air the documentary 12th and Delaware about an abortion clinic and pregnancy care center located directly across the street from each other in Fort Pierce, Florida:



For details, see HBO.com.

H/T: Reflections of a Paralytic

Vatican City Insists on Modest Dress


Tourists and Romans clad in scanty summer clothing were being told to cover up before entering the Vatican City on Tuesday. Long-standing rules on modest dress, previously applicable only to those visiting St Peter's Basilica, appear to have been extended throughout the tiny walled state. Swiss Guard officers manning the official customs point between Rome and the Vatican City began pulling aside members of the public dressed in 'inappropriate' clothing early in the morning. Men in shorts and women with exposed knees or uncovered shoulders were all stopped by the officers, who asked them if they knew "how things worked here". Bewildered locals, accustomed to treating the Vatican much like any other part of Rome, initially assumed a new bureaucratic procedure was in force. Prescriptions, letters and shopping permits were hastily produced as evidence of plans to use the Vatican's pharmacy, post office and shop.

Only to be told the real reason was their clothing. "This is the Vatican City and for reasons of respect, you are not allowed in with uncovered shoulders or wearing shorts," was the standard explanation. Some retreated without protest, while a number of the women made impromptu purchases from one of the many stands selling shawls and scarves near the Vatican gates. A cheap, quick solution to cover the bare legs of men in shorts was harder to come by, although some duly trudged off to the nearby shopping district of Cola di Rienzo to buy a pair of trousers. However, a number of visitors, especially the more elderly, refused to budge.


Read the full story.

Lino Rulli of "The Catholic Guy" broadcasts from Vatican Radio

Farewell to a Swiss Guard who served three popes: his last interview

Joseph Schmidt died in Rome July 28, 2010. This is his last interview.

US Senate fails to push thru “gag” DISCLOSE bill

The U.S. Senate Democrat majority failed to push through a federal bill that would “gag” the free flow of candidate information, S.3628.  Passage was opposed by Kansans for Life and National Right to Life.


Pushed through without hearings, and almost certainly unconstitutional, this misnamed “DISCLOSE” bill was NOT a public citizen-serving election reform, but a roundly criticized vehicle to favor certain establishment interest groups and shut down real information voters needed.

Read the entire story here.

From Harvard to Religious Life

 Mary Ann Mark, a 2010 Harvard graduate, is joining the order featured recently on Oprah -- the Dominicans from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

She's a charming, poised, very happy young woman -- and she clearly has a deep and prayerful sense of religious life, and her own calling.




H/T:  Deacon Greg

Quote: What does it mean to be a Catholic?



“Being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.”

~ Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, in a letter to Congressman Patrick Kennedy

Video: The Great Equalizer

Thank God for the Internet! Thank God for the faithful laity!

Reflection: What does it mean to be Catholic? (Video)

Saint of the Day: St. Victor I, Pope

Today's saint of the day is St. Victor, Pope.

Victor, an African by birth, governed the Church in the time of the Emperor Severus. He confirmed the decree of Pius I, which ordered Easter to be celebrated on a Sunday. Later on, Councils were held in many places in order to bring this rule into practice, and finally the first Council of Nicea commanded that the feast of Easter should be always kept after the fourteenth day of the moon, lest the Christians should seem to imitate the Jews. Victor ordained that, in case of necessity, baptism could be given with any water, provided it was natural. He expelled from the Church the Byzantine, Theodosius the currier, who taught that Christ was only man. He wrote on the question of Easter, and some other small works. In two ordinations which he held in the month of December, he made four priests, seven deacons, and twelve bishops for different places. He was crowned with martyrdom, and buried in the Vatican on the fifth of the Calends of August, after having sat nine years, one month, and twenty-eight days. He died in the year 199 A.D.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The 5th World Prayer Congress for Life

 I received this invitation via email today and can't tell you how much I would love to attend this. But without the financial resources now, it is not possible, so I'm sharing it with all of you, in the event that you would like to attend.
I would like to cordially invite you to the 5th World Prayer Congress for Life which will take place in Rome, Italy from October 5 – 10, 2010.
What is the best way to respond to the constant threat of the culture of death?   In “Evangelium Vitae”, Pope John Paul II writes: "a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world."  This congress responds concretely by offering the tools needed for this battle. A range of spiritual leaders will teach and lead us in the most effective ways of waging this battle to defend the sanctity of human life and love.
World Prayer Congress for Life in the heart of Catholicism, the “Eternal City”, ROME, Italy from October 5 – 10, 2010. Our congress features 5 Heads of the Catholic Curia, as well as many internationally renowned experts. We are also checking on the possibility of a private audience with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The Congress is sponsored by Human Life International of Austria, the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) and other organizations.

For the complete conference program and other information, please see: www.pro-life-congress.com or www.hli.at/rom_neu_2010/english/engl_frameset.htm

National Pro-Life Leaders to Confront "Catholic" Hospital with Abortionist on Staff

I blogged about this in an earlier post: Why is an abortionist working at a Catholic hospital?  Now pro-life leaders are taking action.

LifeGuard will hold a press conference on Thursday, July 29, to divulge the details of the ongoing relationship between Catholic hospital Mercy Regional Medical Center and abortion provider Grossman.

"A Catholic Hospital that grants full privileges to a Doctor who brutally murders babies every week is NOT a Catholic Hospital," stated Joe Scheidler, National Director of the Pro-Life Action League. "Mercy Regional can no longer ignore this issue. We hope to send a clear message -- we want Dr. Grossman out of there."

Speakers will include Joe Scheidler, National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, Father Fessio, founder of Ignatius Press, Walter Hoye, Founder of the California Civil Rights Foundation, Gualberto Garcia-Jones of Personhood Colorado, and Dan Anguis, LifeGuard Director. These national leaders will explain the serious breach of directive 45 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services, which states in part, "Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers."

Press Conference Details:


WHAT:
LifeGuard Press Conference and Protest of Mercy Regional Medical Center

WHO:
Joe Scheidler, Father Fessio, Walter Hoye, Gualberto Garcia-Jones, and Dan Anguis

WHERE:
1010 Three Springs Blvd. in Durango, Colorado, outside of the entrance to Mercy Regional Medical Center.

WHEN:
Thursday, July 29, at 2:00pm

"Catholic parents who come to Mercy Regional have a right to expect that their child will be received by the hands of a physician who holds all life sacred -- not the hands that earlier that week held the instruments of abortion to destroy the life of some other innocent baby," continued Scheidler. "The presence of an abortion provider on the staff of a Catholic hospital is contrary to Catholic social teaching and Catholic moral values. We plead with Mercy to exhort abortionist Grossman to give up his abortion career or resign from the hospital staff." 


Since its inception in 2006, LifeGuard has been dedicated to education for individuals and the public on human reproduction, adoption, the effects of abortion, strengthening the institution of marriage through Creighton Model Fertility Care (Natural Family Planning) and promoting civil rights for all people. Our mission has and will always be educating the public and offering help to those in need, through the best means possible. Life should be protected and honored at all stages and we are here to see that this happens. www.lifeguardlaplata.org

KS Healing Arts Board Files Disciplinary Petition Against Tiller Late-term Abortion Cohort

Wichita, KS - The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts has filed an 11-count petition recommending that abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus be disciplined for negligence and violations of the Healing Arts Act for late-term abortion referrals she made to George Tiller in 2003.


The petition was based on a complaint first filed by Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger in October, 2006, and amended in February, 2007. Sullenger was notified of the petition in a letter from the KSBHA dated July 21, 2010. The letter indicated that the petition had been filed on April 16 of this year and that an evidentiary hearing will soon be scheduled. Neuhaus could face revocation of her medical license.

Sullenger discovered that Tiller used only Neuhaus as the legally-mandated second referring physician for all his post-viability abortions, an arrangement that created a symbiotic financial relationship that appeared to violate the law that prohibited legal or financial affiliation between the abortionist and the second concurring physician.

In 2008, Attorney General Paul Morrison agreed and filed 19 criminal charges against Tiller for violating the unaffiliated physician requirement of the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions. Tiller went to trial on those charges in March, 2009, and was acquitted by a jury of six.

However, in a surprising twist, just minutes after the verdict, the KSBHA announced that it had filed an 11-count disciplinary petition against Tiller based on the same allegations at issue in the criminal trial. In a press statement, the KSBHA told the public that the trial's outcome would not affect the KSBHA's plans to discipline Tiller since the Board operated under a different burden of proof than criminal courts.

Operation Rescue was convinced that Tiller was preparing for retirement and would soon close to avoid Board discipline. Tiller associate LeRoy Carhart confirmed at a banquet earlier this year that Tiller had in fact announced his impending retirement to his staff just two weeks before his death.

After Tiller was shot and killed in May, 2009, the KSBHA informed Sullenger that the case against Tiller was closed. Operation Rescue was among the first to denounce Tiller's murder.

The Neuhaus complaint is based on the same eleven patient files that were the basis for the Tiller disciplinary petition. Patients range in age from 10-18 years old with gestational ages between 25 and 29 weeks. All eleven patients were referred to Tiller for post-viability abortions based on mental health concerns between July and November, 2003.

Information about the patients' abortions was gathered from files produced under subpoena at the request of former Attorney General Phill Kline, who fought a 3-year legal battle with the Kansas Supreme Court over access to the incriminating abortion records. Identities of the women are protected and were never sought.
Neuhaus came under Board discipline in 1999 and again in 2001 for medical abuses, which included violations of consent laws, shoddy record-keeping, and lack of proper patient care. The KSBHA declared at that time that Neuhaus was a "danger to the public" and limited her ability to practice medicine.

In the current petition, Neuhaus is accused of the following in each of the eleven counts against her:

· Failure to perform adequate patient interview
· Failure to obtain adequate patient history
· Failure to adequately evaluate the "behavioral or functional impact" of the patient's condition and symptoms
· Failure to meet the standard of care to the degree of constituting ordinary negligence
· Failure to keep adequate medical records

"This petition is verification that we were correct about our allegations that Neuhaus and Tiller were operating outside the law. It is also evidence that the efforts to work peacefully within the legal system that have been employed by us for over two decades are effective at exposing abortion abuses and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The system isn't perfect, but it does work," said Sullenger.

"We wish that this petition had been filed years ago, when our complaint was first made, but are thankful for the Board's willingness to pursue this matter against an abortionist who has been illegally operating for years in a manner that has endangered the lives of women and cost the lives of viable babies that the laws of Kansas were enacted to protect."

Read KSBHA letter to Sullenger

Read the KSBHA petition against Neuhaus

~ Via Operation Rescue and Christian Newswire.

I have one comment on this: It's about time justice was served! This butcher has been murdering babies and maiming women for years and is finally getting her just due on this earth. Let's pray that this will spark her conversion.

Saint of the Day: St. Pantaleon, Patron of Bachelors and Physicians


St. Pantaleon was born in Nicomedia, near the Black Sea in Asia. He was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and a Christian mother, Saint Eubula, who instructed him in the faith, but died while he was still a child.

Pantaleon studied medicine with such great success that he was appointed as one of the court physicians to the Emperor Galerius Maximianus. The bad influence of the pagan court caused him to fall away from his Faith. A holy and zealous priest named Hermolaos helped him realize the error of his sinful ways by pointing out the example of his virtuous mother. Pantaleon returned to the Faith once more and imitated Our Lord's charity by distributing his goods among the poor and caring for the poor and the sick without charge.

When the Emperor Diocletian began his persecution, Pantaleon was accused of being a Christian. He was given the choice of denying his faith or being put to death, but no torture could force Pantaleon to deny his Faith. Pantaleon, openly confessed his Faith, and to prove that Christ is the true God, he healed a paralytic. However, the emperor viewed the miracle as a display of magic.

According to legend, Pantaleon's flesh was first burned with torches, but Christ was present with him, giving him the strength to withstand the torture. After this, when a bath of liquid lead was prepared, the fire went out and the lead became cold. He was now thrown into the sea, but the stone with which he was loaded floated. He was thrown to the wild beasts but these fawned upon him and could not be forced away until he had blessed them. He was bound on the wheel, but the ropes snapped, and the wheel broke. An attempt was made to behead him, but the sword bent, and the executioners were converted. Pantaleon implored heaven to forgive them, for which reason he also received the name of Panteleimon ("mercy for everyone" or "all-compassionate"). It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him. St. Pantaleon died around 305 A.D. He is the patron of physicians and belongs to the "Fourteen Holy Helpers." In the East, St. Pantaleon is called the "Great Marytr and Wonder-worker.

Patronage: bachelors; consumption; doctors; midwives; physicians; torture victims; tuberculosis; protection of domestic animals.

Image:
Conversion of St Pantaleon 1587-88
Oil on canvas, 277 x 160 cm
San Pantaleone, Venice

The Garden is the World

Video: The Bomb

One small little invention has totally altered the social and cultural fabric. It was THE BOMB that destroyed the West. Michael Voris discusses how contraception has turned our country into a killing field:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Take this Quick Movie Quiz

Take a look at the three video clips below and then select your two favorites.

Toy Story 3 -- Rated G



Karate Kid (2010) - Rated PG



Predators -- Rated R



Now that was pretty easy, wasn't it?


So why is Hollywood puzzled as family films top the charts? 


They just don't get it, do they?

French nuns win Gregorian Chant recording contract (includes video)



Benedictine nuns at a French abbey that traces its heritage back to the 6th century have won a recording contract with Decca Records.

The sisters of Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, outside Avignon, will record Gregorian chant for Decca. Their album Voice: Chant from Avignon, is scheduled for release in November 2010. “We never sought this, it came looking for us,” says the abbess.

Related:

~ Via Catholic Culture News.

Video: The Drift

It takes almost nothing to begin to drift away from the faith. Michael Voris does an excellent job of explaining this.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen returns to silver screen (includes trailer)


A documentary on the life of Archbishop Fulton Sheen is being shown in pre-release screenings across the country, as part of an effort to raise awareness of the late archbishop, whose cause for sainthood is currently underway.

The hour-long documentary, entitled, “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All,” offers both entertainment and a powerful message of evangelization as it follows the life of the famous archbishop (1895-1979). The video includes the testimonies of dozens of individuals who were touched by the life of the archbishop. It also shows footage from his popular television program, “Life is Worth Living".

Read the entire article.



“Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All” will be released on DVD to the general public during the 2010 holiday season.

"The Choice" by Elizabeth Schmeidler

 A beautiful pro-life video embracing adoption, thanking birth mothers for choosing life:

Sts. Joachim and Anne, My Family Memories, a Prayer, and a Video



Today is the memorial of St. Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares) and St. Anne (whose name in Hebrew means grace), the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. Tradition has it they first lived in Galilee and later settled in Jerusalem where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born and raised.

Joachim and Anne were a rich and pious couple who had been married for a long time, but found themselves childless. The couple prayed fervently for a child and promised to dedicate their first born to the service of God. An angel appeared to Anne and told her, "The Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world". Joachim also received the same message from the angel. Anne gave birth to a daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary), who was conceived without sin. As a child, Mary was taken to the temple and her parents suffered great sorrow but at the same time joy for fulfilling the vows they had made to the Lord.

We know very little about the lives of Joachim and Anne, but we do know that they must have been outstanding people to have been entrusted with raising the Mother of God.

St. Anne is the patron saint of the province of Quebec, where the well-known shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, (the site of many miracles) is located. She is patroness of women in labor and those who have difficulty conceiving; she is represented holding the Blessed Virgin Mary in her lap, who again carries on her arm the Both Joachim and Anne are the patron saints of grandparents.

Devotion to St. Anne dates back to the sixth century in the Church of Constantinople and the eighth century in Rome. St. Joachim was honored very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin's birthday.

My memories of celebrating today's feast as a child are very vivid. My home parish held a novena to St. Anne nine days prior to her feast day and I remember going to church every evening with mom to the devotions. I was always in awe of how my mom and the other women in our small French community were so devoted to St. Anne. When mom asked which of us kids wished to accompany her, I always volunteered -- it was a special treat and a privilege to participate in this summer evening novena praying the beautiful devotions in the quiet, candle lit church that smelled of incense and sweet perfume. It was so meditative and mystical --at times I could almost feel St. Anne's holy presence in the contemplative setting. I also remember feeling a sense of joy and accomplishment when it was over -- as if I had helped mom in achieving something special for our family and for the Lord.

PRAYER TO ST JOACHIM AND ST ANNE

Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your intercession.

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Video Report: The pope is writing a book about the infancy of Jesus

Benedict XVI is preparing the third volume of his work on Jesus. He's writing it at Castel Gandolfo, where he enjoys his summer vacation.

Saint of the Day: St. Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof


Today is the optional memorial of Saint Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof, priest.

Saint Sharbel was born in 1828 in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.

At the age of twenty-three, he left his family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and perpetual profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.

For the next seven years, Sharbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. He then spent the next twenty-three years of his life in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.

Sharbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Sharbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. He celebrated Mass close to noon so as to devote the morning to preparation, and the rest of the day to thanksgiving. In all things, Sharbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.

Visit this site dedicated to St. Charbel and read another biography.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Saint of the Day: St. Bridget of Sweden


St. Bridget of Sweden, Widow, Third Order Franciscan (1303 – 1373)

Bridget was born in Finista in Sweden. From childhood, the Lord granted her special graces, visions and an extraordinary understanding of divine mysteries. At age seven, she had a vision of the crucified Jesus in all the suffering and sorrow of his Passion, which enkindled within her a deep devotion for our Savior.

The daughter of a provincial governor and judge, at age 13, Bridget married Ulf Gudmarsson, a prince, who was then eighteen; they lived happily together for twenty-eight years and had eight children, among them St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget convinced her husband, by her own example, to live a life of piety and to strive for holiness.

At age 32, Bridget became the lady in waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur and King Magnus II of Sweden. She was known for her charitable acts, especially caring for the sick, but the royalty appeared more content to admire her piety rather than to follow her example.

After her youngest son died in 1340, she and her husband went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. On the return trip, Ulf became quite ill, and they returned home soon afterwards. Upon their return, Ulf' entered the Cistercian monastery and died there at the age of 46. Bridget was a widow at age 41. She continued to live in the world, but became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, spending much of her time in prayer and penance.

At this time, Bridget’s visions became more frequent and intense and she began to wonder if they were from the devil; however, God assured her that they were not, but that she was to become His bride and His mouthpiece.

It was His voice in her visions that dictated to her to found a new religious order, even specifying the details of the Rule for that order. She then founded The Order of the Most Holy Savior, or Bridgettines, which consisted of a double monastery for both men and women at Vadstena. King Magnus and his queen generously supported the monastery. Any surplus of money they received was given to the poor and used to provide books for study. Through Bridget, Christ reprimanded the popes for not returning to Rome from Avignon; but even calling Clement VI (1342-52) “a destroyer of souls, worse than Lucifer, more unjust than Pilate, and more merciless than Judas” failed to change his mind. She also delivered several messages to Pope Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI.

Directed by God to go the Holy Land in 1371, Bridget set out on pilgrimage with her daughter, Catherine, two of her sons, and other pilgrims. Her son Charles died in Naples on the way there, and they were nearly shipwrecked, but once they made it there, Bridget was blessed with extraordinary graces. In the Holy Land, she received detailed visions of episodes in the life of Jesus in the places where they were said to have occurred. She also admonished the people of Cyprus and Naples for their immoral ways, with little effect. She arrived back in Rome early already ill and died on July 23, 1373, at the age of seventy – one. Her remains were taken back to the monastery at Sweden. She was canonized in 1391 Pope Boniface IX.

Patron: Europe; Sweden; widows. 


Revelations:

St Bridget’s works that can be found online include:

The Revelations of Saint Birgitta, Book 1 

Medieval Sourcebook: St. Bridget: Revelation to the Popes, 14th Century

Prayers and Promises:

Fifteen Prayers and Twenty-One Promises to St. Bridget

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Video: The Horse You Back

A Saint for Oklahoma?

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma city has concluded the diocesan phase of the canonization cause of Father Stanley Rother (1935-81), a missionary slain in Guatemala. Father Rother translated the Bible into the Tzutuhil language and built a hospital.

“When the Servant of God, Father Stanley Rother, was brutally attacked, beaten, and shot dead, the natives of Santiago Atitlan and the Catholic people of Oklahoma were shocked and saddened,” Archbishop Eusebius Beltran preached in a July 20 homily. “But immediately the Tzutihil people enshrined his heart in the parish church because they believed Father Rother was a holy man. They believed he was a saint with God who would now be their intercessor … From that time on, people began to pray and popular devotion arose. In Okarche, Holy Trinity Church and cemetery have become pilgrim stops for people from Oklahoma and beyond.”

Sources:

News Source: Catholic Culture

The Friends of Jesus: A New Book for Children by the Pope

The Friends of Jesus is the title of a new book for children by Benedict XVI in which he recounts the story of the twelve Apostles and St. Paul.

The book, forty-eight pages long and illustrated by the Italian artist Franco Vignazia, has been published by the publishing house "Piccola Casa Editrice". It brings together a number of passages from the Pope's catecheses in his Wednesday general audiences, according to the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper.

The prologue is by the Spanish priest Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.

"One upon a time there was a small group of men who, one day two thousand years ago, met a young man who walked the roads of Galilee. Each had his own job and family but, in an instant, their lives changed. They were called Andrew and John, Peter, Matthew, Thomas, etc. They were twelve and we know them today as the 'Apostles'. ... In Jerusalem at that time everyone knew that they were Jesus' 'friends'. ... Later they were joined by St. Paul ... who from being a persecutor of Christians became the greatest witness to Jesus", writes Fr. Carron.

Fr. Carron likewise explains that in this work Benedict XVI "takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus' first companions were, how they met Him and were conquered by Him to the point that they never abandoned Him".

Source: VIS

Family prayer for cancer

Georgia Voters Say 'YES' to Personhood Amendment


 July 21 - Throughout the state yesterday, voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the "right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death" and that right should be protected by law.

In all 46 counties where the amendment was presented, it passed overwhelmingly by an amazing 75 % ! Georgia is the first state in the nation where voters have said "Yes" to the Personhood question.

Georgia Right to life chapters began work this spring in requesting that their local county parties place this non-binding "party" question on their local party ballots. Both Democrat and Republican parties were approached. Butts county was the only county to succeed in getting both parties to cooperate and approve the measure (Republicans 79% and the Democrats 72%). "There is no question that the people of Georgia would pass a Personhood Amendment" IF given the chance!", says Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life. "The ball is now in the Legislature's hands to allow the people a voice on the most pressing human rights issue of the 21st century . . . deny them at your own peril."

In 2011, GRTL will use the results of the ballot to lobby the Georgia Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the 2012 general election ballot.

Source: Georgia Right to Life

"Toy Story 3" also wins at the Vatican

 I loved "Toy Story 3"! It's my favorite film this summer and probably my favorite Pixar production. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Saint of the Day: St. Mary Magdalene



Today is the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene. 

The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most mystical of feasts, and it is said that of all the songs of the saints, that of Mary Magdalene is the sweetest and strongest because her love was so great. That love was praised by Jesus Himself who said that because much was forgiven her, she loved much.

Where she is buried, no one knows. Legend has her dying in Provence, France, in a cavern where she spent her last days, and her body resting in the chapel of St. Maximin in the Maritime Alps. Another has her buried in Ephesus where she went with St. John after the Resurrection. This latter view is more likely, and St. Willibald, the English pilgrim to the Holy Land in the eighth century, was shown her tomb there.

She was the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus, His most devoted and loving follower. She had stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross on that brutal Good Friday afternoon and had been by the side of Mary during these difficult hours. On Easter morning, she went with the other women to the tomb and it was there, in the garden near the tomb, that Jesus appeared to her. It was she who brought the news of the Resurrection to the Apostles, and Peter and John raced to the tomb to see what had happened.

She was from Magadala, a small fishing town on the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Tiberias. She was known to be a "great sinner," who heard Jesus speak of the mercy and forgiveness of God and changed her life completely. She was a model of penitence. Her matter-of-fact witness to the Resurrection moved Peter and John to go and see for themselves: "I have seen the Lord and these things he said to me." Jesus had chosen her to bring the news to them and she simply told them what had happened.

She has always been the example of great love and great forgiveness, one of those close to Jesus who grasped the truth of God's love for human beings and spent her life bearing witness to that love.

~Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Apothecaries; Casamicciola, Italy; contemplative life; contemplatives; converts; druggists; glove makers; hairdressers; hairstylists; penitent sinners; penitent women; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women.

Symbols: Rich rainment; box of ointment; skull; book; vase of sweet spices; crucifix; open book; boat.

Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene,
woman of many sins, who by conversion
became the beloved of Jesus,
thank you for your witness
that Jesus forgives
through the miracle of love
You, who already possess eternal happiness
in His glorious presence,
please intercede for me, so that someday
I may share in the same everlasting joy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do you love Carmel, too?

Fr. Peyton's cause for sainthood proceeds to Rome



The Archdiocese of Baltimore on July 20 included the diocesan phase of the canonization cause of Father Patrick Peyton (1909-1992), the “Rosary priest” famous for the adage, “The family that prays together stays together.” In compiling the 16,000-page report, investigators interviewed 80 witnesses, including Dolores Hope and actor Joseph Campanella.

Source(s):

Story Source:

Photo Source: Da Mihi Animas

Lila Rose exposes Planned Parenthood Lies In Indiana



NDIANAPOLIS, July 20--The youth-led pro-life group Live Action released a new undercover video today showing staff at an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood clinic using manipulative and medically inaccurate counseling to convince a young woman to have an abortion. This is the third undercover video Live Action has released showing abusive counseling practices at Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

When the woman, purportedly 10-weeks pregnant, asks the clinician, named "Sarah," when her baby's heart begins to beat, Sarah replies, "It's around I think the 8th or the 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat." The heart actually begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day after conception, according to Moore and Persaud's well-known textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. The Planned Parenthood clinician also insists, "It's not a baby, it's a fetus," which, she claims, is "not like a person."

 Read Full Release

Director of hit movie on Spanish priest says film is causing conversions



The director of “The Last Summit,” the documentary about the life of the Spanish priest and mountaineer, Pablo Dominguez, gave an interview to CNA’s sister news agency, ACI Prensa, in which he reflected on the reasons for the success of his movie. He confirmed that negotiations are under way for the film to be screened in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.

For Cotelo, the overwhelming response of the film's numerous viewers –many of whom are reporting how the movie caused them to have a conversion- “owes itself to the magnetism God has on any person.”

“If Fr. Pablo’s story is attractive,” the filmmaker said, “it's because the love of his life also is. The protagonist in Fr. Pablo’s story, and of the movie, is God. Among all the famous actors and actresses in the world, there isn’t a protagonist more attractive and attracting than God.”

Get the full story.

Saint of the Day: St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor

Today is the optional memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, the first Capuchin Franciscan to be honored as a Doctor. 

St. Lawrence was born at Brindisi, in the kingdom of Naples, Italy, on July 22, 1559 and named Caesar de Rossi. He took the name Lawrence when he became a Capuchin Franciscan at the age of 16.

While still a deacon, St. Lawrence of Brindisi became known for his powerful preaching and after his ordination startled the whole of northern Italy with his amazing sermons. Because he could speak Hebrew, he worked for the conversion of the Jews living in Rome.

In 1596, he became a high-ranking superior in the order, and five years later was sent to Germany with Blessed Benedict of Urbino. They founded several priories throughout Europe. Lawrence also helped to raise an army to combat the Turks in Hungary, where he won a battle against them by leading the troops into battle with only a crucifix to protect himself.

In 1602, St. Lawrence became the master general of his order. He worked, preached and wrote to spread the Good News. He went on important peace missions to Munich, Germany, and Madrid, Spain. The rulers of those places listened to him and the missions were successful. But St. Lawrence became very ill. He had been tired out by the hard traveling and the strain of his tasks. He died on his birthday, July 22, in 1619. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII in 1881. He was honored as "apostolic doctor" by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

St. Lawrence, like his spiritual father St. Francis of Assisi, had an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God. He was the first to write on all aspects of theology that concern the Blessed Virgin.

In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lawrence equals the greatest saints. He had the gift of contemplation and often fell into ecstasy when he celebrated Holy Mass. He had a great devotion to the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin.

His written works include a commentary on Genesis, several treatises against Luther, and nine volumes of sermons.

Quote

"God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned.

~ St. Lawrence of Brindisi 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benedict XVI seventh-oldest pope in history (video)

Saint of the Day: St. Apollinaris


Today is the optional memorial of St. Apollinaris, an illustrious second century bishop and a great apologist for his time. Born in Antioch, Turkey, he became the first bishop of Ravenna, in Italy, where he shepherded his flock for twenty-six years.
He addressed a defense, of the Christian religion to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who, shortly before, had obtained a signal victory over the Quadi, a people inhabiting the country now called Moravia. One of his legions, the twelfth, was composed chiefly of Christians. When the army was perishing for want of water, the soldiers of this legion fell upon their knees and invoked the assistance of God. The result was sudden, for a copious rain fell, and, aided by the storm, they conquered the Germans. The emperor gave this legion the name "Thundering Legion" and mitigated his persecution. 
It was to protect his flock against persecution that St. Apollinaris, who was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, addressed his apology to the Emperor to implore his protection and to remind him of the favor he had received from God through the prayers of the Christians. A prolific writer, Apollinaris continued defending the faith against the heresies of his time. Unfortunately, most of his work has been lost over the centuries. 

Apollinaris was known for his great preaching, conversion of pagans (for which he was severely beaten and exiled numerous times), and his miracles. On one occasion, he was cut with knives, had scalding water poured over his wounds, was beaten in the mouth with stones and then put on board a ship and sent to Greece. In Greece the same course of preachings, and miracles, and beatings continued. In fact, after a cruel beating by Greek pagans, he was sent back to Italy.
When Emperor Vespasian issued a decree of banishment against the Christians, Apollinaris was kept concealed for some time, but as he was leaving, passing through the gates of the city, he was attacked and savagely beaten.  He lived for seven days, foretelling that the persecutions would increase, but that the Church would ultimately triumph. 
His shrine, located in the Benedictine Abbey of Classe in Ravenna, once a popular pilgrimage destination, was credited with many miracles.

St. Elijah, the Prophet: The Father of Carmel


Today my Oblate Community -- the Community of St. John -- commemorates St. Elijah.


Saint Elijah (9th century B.C.): Scripture presents the Prophet Elijah as a man of God, walking continually in God's presence and fiercely defending the worship of the one true God. He stood up for God's rights in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel. Later on Mount Horeb he was granted an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady on Mount Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning also to Elijah as their model. 

St. Elijah is the patron of the Carmelites.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Be Part of Pro-Life History This Week!

In this video, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announces what will take place this week as the pro-life movement launches the nation's first Freedom Rides for the Unborn. On July 23 and 24, there will be events in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA to proclaim the message that the pro-life movement is all about freedom. There will be a ride from Birmingham to Atlanta in a special Freedom Rides bus, and people will join in a caravan with their own vehicles. The ride will culminate in a prayer service at the tomb of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Video: Do The Right Thing

Never doubt that abortion is Demonic!

What are your favorite Catholic Websites?

 Our Sunday Visitor is conducting an online survey:
The number of Catholic-oriented websites out there has exploded, and keeping track of the ones that are truly useful gets harder as they proliferate.

OSV Newsweekly is pulling together a "best of the (Catholic) web" for its annual Catholic Internet Guide.

Tell us your favorites in four main categories we've chosen (spirituality, news and resources, opinion and community building) and if your pick makes the cut we'll give you credit (either by full name or initials; your choice) and a free copy of the guide. If the sites you submit are hidden treasures (until now!), even better.

For fun, you'll also have an opportunity to submit your favorite Catholic YouTube videos and mobile device apps.


Here's the link to the survey. Don't miss your chance for fame! And to help out your fellow Catholic web-pilgrims!
If you would like to vote for Catholic Fire, I would be very honored.  Thank you and God bless you!

Vatican a victim of cyber attack

CWN reports that the Vatican was the target of a cyber attack on July 17. Those who typed “Vatican” into Google’s search engine were directed to the web site pedofilio.com. Google apologized for the problem, which was fixed by the following day, and the incident remains under investigation.

Sick and pitiful, the person who did this needs our prayers.

Related:

Vatican Targeted in Cyber Attack on Google

Google search for Vatican directed to 'paedophile site' 

Vatican-Google Hacker Should Be Ashamed