Monday, April 30, 2012

Brief Blogging Break


Due to my studies, I will be taking a brief blogging break, but will return soon. Y'all come back now! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

St. Zita of Lucca


Today's saint of the day is Saint Zita, the patron saint of domestic servants.  


Zita was born in Tuscany, Italy in the village of Monsagrati to a poor, but deeply devotional family. To help support the family, she became a maid of a wealthy family, Fatinelli, in the nearby Tuscan city of Lucca, serving them loyally for 48 years. 


Zita considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God.  She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and spent time in prayer while they slept. She started each day with Holy Mass before she began performing her duties. 

Zita visited the sick and those in prison, giving them hope and spreading the gospel message. She became well known in the Lucca area for all her works of charity and her sweet, joyful disposition.

Zita had a great love for the poor and donated her own food or that of her master to the poor. At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness.

On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants made sure the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened. When they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.

On another occasion, Zita had given away the family's supply of beans to the townsfolk during a severe famine. Upon suspecting this, the Fatinelli family went to the cupboard to find it full - the beans hand been miraculously replaced. 

Another recorded event was just as dramatic, if not more so. On Christmas Eve, Zita had given away a prized and treasured family cloak to a shivering man at the doorway of St. Fredaino, the local church. While the elder Fatinelli was in the midst of a fit of fury, an elderly man came to the door and returned the heirloom. When townsfolk heard of the event, they decided that the man must have been an angel. From that point on, the doorway of the St. Fredaino church in Lucca has been called the "Angel Portal".

With the passage of the years Zita’s fellow servants and the Fatinellis came to realize that she was a genuine saint. The family made her mistress of the household and eventually governess of the Fatinelli children.

St. Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house on April 27, 1272. It is said that a star appeared above the attic where she slept at the moment of her death. Zita was canonized in 1696.

To this day, families bake a loaf a bread to celebrate St. Zita's feast day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Bully" : A movie review by Fr. Barron

Military chaplain being considered for medal of honor and sainthood

A video on Fr. Kaupan (pronounced cape-en)via Rome Reports:

 

 (Romereports.com) From the wheat fields of Kansas to a prisoner of war during the Korean Conflict in 1951, this is the story of military chaplain Father Emil Kapaun. He is currently being considered to receive the Medal of Honor as well as a being candidate for sainthood by the Catholic Church. He is the subject of a documentary called “The Miracle of Father Kapaun”. It follows the life of this Catholic martyr, with interviews from many of the men who served alongside the chaplain in the war. They tell how he refused to leave injured soldiers which led to his capture and eventual death in a prison camp. Through many personal letters written to his family, one is given an idea of what it was like to serve as a clergyman on the battlefield. In the last letter he is believed to ever have written he notes that “we do have a few laughs in spite of the evils of war”. The Vatican is now looking at possibly beatifying Kapaun, while the Pentagon may award him the country's highest military honor: the medal of honor.

Bishop Jenky deserves appreciation, not condemnation from Notre Dame faculty



Charles E. Rice is a professor emeritus of law at the University of Notre Dame, and the author of several books on faith and the right to life.


On April 14, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., of Peoria, Illinois, delivered a courageous homily at Mass during “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.”  Bishop Jenky said, “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down.  Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”

Forty-nine members of the Notre Dame faculty denounced Bishop Jenky in a Letter to the University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Richard C. Notebaert.  The Letter called on them to “definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement.”  The signers, said the letter, “feel” that Bishop Jenky should resign from the University’s Board of Fellows.

The faculty Letter claims that Bishop Jenky “described President Obama as ‘seem[ing] intent on following a similar path’ to Hitler and Stalin.”  They accuse Bishop Jenky of “ ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment.”  The astonishingly simplistic and defamatory character of those accusations can be appreciated only by looking at what Bishop Jenky actually said:
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama—with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Read the full story. 


Our Lady of Good Counsel


Today is the optional memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

On the Feast of Saint Mark, the Evangelist, April 25 1467, the people of Genazzano, Italy witnessed a marvelous sight. A cloud descended upon an ancient church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the cloud disappeared, an image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was revealed which had not been there before. The image, on a paper-thin sheet, was suspended miraculously.

Soon after the image's appearance many miracles were attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Because of this, Pope Paul II ordered an investigation and the results have been preserved.

It was later discovered that the very same image had been seen in a church dedicated to the Annunciation in Scutari, Albania. The image in this church was said to have arrived there in a miraculous manner. Now, the image had been transported from Albania miraculously to avoid sacrilege from Moslem invasion.

A commission of inquiry determined that a portrait from the church was indeed missing. An empty space the same size as the portrait was displayed for all to see.

Many miracles continue to be attributed to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pope Saint Pius V, for example, credited victory in the Battle of Lepanto to Her intercession.

Several Popes have approved the miraculous image. In 1682 Pope Innocent XI had the portrait crowned with gold. On July 2 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and was the first to wear it. In 1884 a special Mass and Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel was approved by Pope Leo XIII.

For more than 500 years the image has continued to attract countless pilgrims.

Although much of the church was destroyed during World War II, the image has remained intact - and continues to be suspended miraculously.

Our Lady of Good Counsel is the patron saint of those seeking enlightenment. 


Prayer

O Mary of Good Counsel, inflame the hearts of all who are devoted to you, so that all of them have shelter in you, O great Mother of God. O most worthy Lady, let everyone choose you as teacher and wise counselor of their souls, since you are, as Saint Augustine says, the counsel of the Apostles and counsel of all peoples. Amen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

St. Mark, Evangelist


Today is the feast of St. Mark, Evangelist.

The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is also called John Mark. St. Mark and his mother, Mary, were highly regarded in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there. It was to her house that St. Peter fled following his miraculous escape from prison.

 St. Mark is believed to be the young man who ran away when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51-52), and the "John whose other name was Mark" (Acts 12:25).

 St. Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, accompanied Saint Paul on his first missionary journey and later went with him to Rome. He was a disciple of Saint Peter whose teaching was the basis for Mark's gospel. Mark is said to be the founder of the church of Alexandria.

 St. Mark is the patron saint of attorneys and notaries.

 "Go out into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." ~Mark 16:15

 Prayer 
 Lord, help me to follow in the footsteps of St. Mark and to fall in love with You completely, desiring only Your will in my life. Help me to hear your voice and to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do all that You ask of me. Amen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beatification of Blessed Mother Maria Ines is Pope's gift to Mexico

Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, praised the life of Mother Maria Ines Teresa, calling her beatification a gift from Pope Benedict to Mexico.

 “Today’s beatification is another gift the Holy Father Benedict XVI is making to the Church and to the entire Mexican people. One month ago the Pope came to this noble land, and he was happy to be among you,” Cardinal Amato said.

 “With this visit he wanted to reach out to all Mexicans, at home and abroad, to support them and thank them for their fidelity to the Catholic faith and for their love for Christ the King and the Church.”

 Cardinal Amato beatified the 20th century nun on Saturday, April 21 in the presence of 12,000 people who filled the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

 During the ceremony, a relic of Mother Maria Ines was carried in procession by Francisco Javier Carrillo Guzman, the twelve year-old boy who experienced the miracle that led to her beatification.

 Born in Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit in 1904, Mother Maria went on to found the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionaries of Christ for the Universal Church. She died in 1981 but not before she had the chance to meet the late Blessed John Paul II a few months prior.

Read the full story.

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest, Religious, and Martyr


Known as Mark Rey and the "Poor Man's Lawyer," Fidelis was born in 1577 at Sigmaringen, Prussia. His studies took him to the University of Freiburg and eventually to the position of tutor for Wilhelm von Stotzingen. Fidelis traveled with Wilhelm extensively throughout France and Italy before returning to Freiburg and earning a doctorate in canon and civil law. He became a prominent lawyer. However, he felt that this career endangered the salvation of his soul and he abandoned law.

 He joined the Capuchin Friars Minor, changed his name to Fidelis, and gave away his worldly wealth to the poor. As a Franciscan priest, he served his friary as guardian, and worked in epidemics, especially healing soldiers. He had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Trusting in her intercession, he often begged God for the grace of sacrificing his life in vindication of the Catholic faith.



 Fidelis was tireless in his efforts to convert heretics and wrote several pamphlets against Calvinism and Zwinglianism. He was eventually appointed to undertake a mission in the country of the Grisons and to bring that district back to the Catholic faith. He met with terrible opposition, including many cries of, "Death to the Capuchins!" Despite this opposition however, he was extremely successful in bringing many people back to the Catholic faith. It was for this reason that he was bludgeoned to death while saying Mass at Sevins. His body was carried outside the Church where the heretics offered to save his life, if only he would renounce his religious beliefs. He replied, "I came to extirpate heresy, not embrace it." He died on April 24, 1622. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.


Saint Quote

"It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future." ~ St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beauty of God's Creation: Lyrid Meteor Shower w/ Aurora Borealis

Here's a look at the Lyrid Meteor shower with a bonus Aurora Borealis, April 22, 2012. Photographed by Kameron Barge on Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park Montana. Music Produced by Inevitable Thought.


Pope Benedict Denounces Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Organ Harvesting



April 23, 2012. (Romereports.com) Benedict XVI sent a message to those taking part in the VII World Congress on Pastoral Care of Tourism, which is being held in Cancun, Mexico from April 23rd to the 27th.

The Pope talked about the positive side of tourism, but he also denounced the negative aspects that can arise from this industry, such as sex tourism, human trafficking, the buying and selling of organs and the exploitation of minors.

 Benedict XVI also said that tourism, along with vacation and leisure time, creates an ideal space to meet people from different cultures, while taking time for both the physical and spiritual renovation.

Read the full transcript of the Holy Father's Message.

Related Article: HOLY FATHER DENOUNCES HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ORGAN HARVESTING

Male Cross-Dressers Demand Access to Women’s Restrooms and Showers in Kansas


I just received the following press release from Liberty Counsel Action and am posting it here for your information:


Washington, DC – Kansas has become the latest battleground over granting special rights to homosexuals and cross-dressers. Human Relations Commissions and/or homosexual activist groups in Lawrence, Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, and Pittsburg have asked their respective city councils to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to protected classes. Lawrence passed the ordinance. The Hutchinson City Council will vote on such a proposal May 1, 2012.

“The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 laid the foundation for future civil rights laws,” said Mathew Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “Homosexual activists are attempting to hijack the civil rights train by claiming that homosexual behavior deserves the same special protection granted to racial and gender minorities.”

While all rational Americans are against discrimination, elevating “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” (a modern version of “I think, therefore I am”) to a protected civil right creates more bias. According to the FAQ Sheet by the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, employers would be prevented from considering sexual orientation and gender identity when hiring. Dress codes would be based on the employees’ gender “expression,” not gender at birth.

Places of public accommodation, including restaurants, hospitals, stores, and theaters, would be required to allow men wearing women’s clothing to use the women’s restroom. The FAQ Sheet says that if a female has a moral objection, the establishment should “encourage [her] to wait until the [male] has left the restroom.”

If the Hutchinson City measure passes, places of worship that rent out to the general public would be required to rent out their building for homosexual marriages or drag queen parties.

The FAQ Sheet further states that “[i]ndividuals who are nonetheless uncomfortable with sharing locker or shower facilities with a transgender person should be accommodated by allowing those individuals to shower or change at a time when they will be able to use the facility in private.”

The issue has now also made it to the Kansas Legislature. A House-passed measure and Senate bill would require all nondiscrimination policies to match the state law, known as the “Kansas Acts Against Discrimination” (KAAD). KAAD does not include homosexual special rights.

Mathew Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action, said, “If ‘gender identity’ laws become commonplace, then any person who speaks against deviant sexual practices will be vilified, their rights will be thwarted, and their freedom of religion and of conscience will be crushed.”

St. George

Today's saint of the day is St. George. St George is honored in the Catholic Church as one of the most illustrious martyrs of Christ. The Greeks have long distinguished him by the title of The Great Martyr, and keep his festival a holiday of obligation. However, very little is known about the life and martyrdom of any of the Early Christian martyrs and Saint George is no exception. It is certain that he lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. He is reputed to have come from Cappadocia, and reached the rank of Tribune in the Roman army.

 Several stories have been attached to Saint George, the best known of which is the Golden Legend. In it, a dragon lived in a lake near Silena, Libya. Whole armies had gone up against this fierce creature, and had gone down in painful defeat. The monster ate two sheep each day; when mutton was scarce, lots were drawn in local villages, and maidens were substituted for sheep. Into this country came Saint George. Hearing the story on a day when a princess was to be eaten, he crossed himself, rode to battle against the serpent, and killed it with a single blow with his lance. George then held forth with a magnificent sermon, and converted the locals. Given a large reward by the king, George distributed it to the poor, then rode away.

Due to his chivalrous behavior (protecting women, fighting evil, dependence on faith and might of arms, generosity to the poor), devotion to Saint George became popular in the Europe after the 10th century. In the 15th century his feast day was as popular and important as Christmas. Many of his areas of patronage have to do with life as a knight on horseback. The celebrated Knights of the Garter are actually Knights of the Order of Saint George. The shrine built for his relics at Lydda, Palestine was a popular point of pilgrimage for centuries. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He was tortured and beheaded c.304 at Lydda, Palestine.

Patronage: Aragon; agricultural workers; archers; armourers; Beirut; Lebanon; Boy Scouts; butchers; Canada; Cappadocia; Catalonia; cavalry; chivalry; Constantinople; Crusaders; England; equestrians; farmers; Ferrara Italy; field hands; field workers; Genoa, Italy; Georgia; Germany; Gozo; Greece; herpes; horsemen; horses; husbandmen; Istanbul; knights; lepers; leprosy; Lithuania; Malta; Moscow; Order of the Garter; Palestine; Palestinian Christians; plague; Portugal; riders; saddle makers; saddlers; skin diseases; skin rashes; soldiers; syphilis; Teutonic Knights; Venice. 

He is also the patron of England and of Scouting.

Symbols: Armor; buckler; dragon.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

St. Anselm of Canterbury


Today is the optional memorial of St. Anselm, bishop and doctor of the Church. St. Anselm (1033-1109) was born in Aosta, Italy, and died in Canterbury, England. St. Anselm's services to the Church are principally the following: First, as Archbishop of Canterbury he defended the rights and liberties of the Church against the encroachments of the English kings, who plundered the Church's lands, impeded the Archbishop's communications with the Holy See, and claimed the right to invest prelates with ring and crosier, symbols of the Church's spiritual jurisdiction. Second, as a philosopher and theologian he developed a method of reasoning which prepared the way for the great thinkers of the Middle Ages. Third, he had a great devotion to Our Lady and was the first to establish the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the West.

 You can find my favorite quotes, prayers, and writings of St. Anselm here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

US bishops oppose budget cuts to poverty assistance


Washington D.C., Apr 20, 2012 / 02:04 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops voiced concerns that proposed budget cuts for the 2013 fiscal year could adversely impact the most vulnerable members of society.

In an April 16 letter, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, who chairs the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged leaders of the House Agriculture Committee to resist “unacceptable cuts to hunger and nutrition programs.”

He said that reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern federal food stamp program, “are unjustified and wrong.”

The bishop argued that the program “helps feed millions of households,” most of which include a child, senior or disabled individual.

In a time of “economic turmoil and growing poverty,” Congress should not cut an “effective and efficient anti-hunger program that helps people live in dignity,” he said.

“If savings need to be achieved, cuts to agricultural subsidies and direct payments should be considered before cutting anti-hunger programs that help feed poor and vulnerable people.”

The letter was sent several weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).


Read the full story.

Pontifical Council for the Family publishes 'encyclopedia on the family'




April 20, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican department which deals with the family, has published a volume of official Vatican documents that were previously published separately from 2000 to 2011. The collection of texts is called an 'Enchiridion,' which basically serves as a a type of encyclopedia on the family.


The Pontifical Council for the Family, organized the data by subjects. It includes theology, anthropology of the family, education, marriage preparation, children's rights and natural death.

A total of 5,000 copies were published for the first edition, which will then be presented at the World Meeting of Families in Milan. The gathering will run from May 30th to June 3, 2012 and it will be closed by Benedict XVI.

Seven Years of Pope Benedict

The oldest orchestra in the world gives the Pope the gift of music



April 20, 2012. (Romereports.com) For his 85th birthday,the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig (Germany), which is the oldest in the world, has offered a concert to the Pope at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.

The program included the spectacular Symphony No. 2, 'Hymn of Praise' by Felix Mendelssohn. Also accompanying the Orchestra was the Gewandhaus and MDR Radiophonic chorus. The concert included the solo voices of Luba Orgonasova, Bernarda Fink and Steve Davislim, under the direction of Riccardo Chailly.

St. Agnes of Montepulciano

Today is the historical feast of St. Agnes of Montepulciano, a nun of the Order of Preachers.

This holy virgin was born in 1268 in a little village near Montepulciano, Italy, of the wealthy family of De Segni. Her birth was announced by great lights surrounding the house where she was born, and from her babyhood she was one specially marked out for dedication to God.

As a child, she often spent hours reciting the Our Father and Hail Mary on her knees in some private corner of a chamber. She was such a pious child that when she was nine years old her parents placed her in a Franciscan convent known as Sackins, so called because their habits or scapulars were made of sackcloth. Agnes was a model of all virtues to this austere community. She was also well-known for her gifts of miracles and prophecy.

At the age of fifteen, she entered the Dominican Order at Proceno, in the county of Orvieto, and was appointed abbess by Pope Nicholas IV. She slept on the ground, with a stone under her head, and for fifteen years fasted on bread and water. At the age of thirty, however, because of poor health, her spiritual director instructed her to eat other foods.

The people of Montepulciano wanted so much for her to return to them that they destroyed a house of ill repute and in its place built a convent for Agnes. In her hometown, she established in this house nuns of the order of St. Dominic. Agnes continued to be a great example of piety, humility, and charity to all for the remainder of her life. Through a long illness she showed great patience and grace, offering her sufferings up to God for the redemption of souls.

Agnes died at Monte Pulciano on the 20th of April 1317 at the age of 43. Her body was removed to the Dominicans' church of Orvieto in 1435, where it remains. She was solemnly canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

St. Leo IX

Historically today is the feast of St. Leo IX, a cousin of the emperor Conrad the Salie, born in Alsace, and baptized Bruno. He was made bishop of Toul in 1026 and constrained to accept the papal office in 1048. He took his spiritual adviser, Hildebrand, the future Gregory VII, to Rome and began the reform of the Roman curia. Leo combated simony, condemned Berengarius, and strove to prevent the schism between the Eastern and the Western churches then being engineered by the emperor Michael Coerularius. While at Benevento, a city belonging to the Holy See, he was taken prisoner by the Normans. He was released, but shortly after died before the high altar in St. Peter's.

St. Leo IX

Before becoming Pope, St. Leo IX was known as Bruno. He was bitten by a poisonous reptile when a boy, but St. Benedict appeared to Bruno and cured him. In 1026, Bruno, then a deacon, commanded troops in Italy under the Emperor. The Bishop of Toul died during this time, and upon Bruno's return, he was made Bishop of Toul, where he remained for twenty years. After the death of Pope Damasus II in 1048, Bruno was elected to succeed him. As Pope, he denounced simony and began many needed reforms, traveling extensively to ensure their enforcement. For this reason he was given the title Peregrinus Apostolicus, Apostolic Pilgrim. St. Leo condemned the doctrines of Berengarius, who denied Transubstantiation. He increased the papal territory, though he was criticized by St. Peter Damian when he went to battle to defend it. He opposed the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius; this began the complete separation of Rome from the Eastern Church. Within 40 days of St. Leo's death, there were 70 cures through his intercession.

~ Excerpted from Saints Calendar and Daily Planner by Tan Books

Dick Clark dies at 82


Dick Clark has died at the age of 82.  I watched the "World's Oldest Teenager" on American Bandstand as a youth while my older sister used me as a dancing partner to practice her rock 'n roll moves and later as an adult. I also watched him on “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” the American Music Awards and on many rockin’ New Year’s Eves.  I liked his  good-natured and upbeat personality.

R.I.P. Dick Clark.

What memories does he bring back for you?

Perhaps these videos will help.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vatican announces reforms of US nuns' group

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life," the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women's religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican announced April 18. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts.

The LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, represents about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.

The announcement from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came in an eight-page "doctrinal assessment," based on an investigation that Bishop Blair began on behalf of the Vatican in April 2008. That investigation led the doctrinal congregation to conclude, in January 2011, that "the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregation in other parts of the world."

Read the full story.

Why Children of Rape Victims Should Not Be Aborted

Ana Benderas shares why she thinks that children of rape victims should not be killed by abortion as they have done nothing to deserve the death penalty.

Fr. Barron: Being Born Again

Regina Coeli

Blessed Marie-Ann Blondin

April 18 commemorates the feast of Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin, a Canadian woman whose life was a story of obedience in the face of personal setbacks.

Esther Blondin was born in 1809 to a pious, French-Canadian farm family in southern Quebec. When she was old enough, she began to work as a domestic servant for a merchant and later for the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. While she worked for the sisters, she learned to read and write.

During that time, Esther decided to enter the congregation as a novice. However, her health forced her to abandon the pursuit. Nevertheless, the literacy she had obtained opened doors for her and she became a teacher, and eventually a director at a parochial school.

She was aware of the high levels of illiteracy in the area, and when she was 39 years old, she sought to found an order that taught both boys and girls in the same school. The year was 1848 and her idea was radical, as schools taught boys and girls separately.

Eventually, the pioneering woman received the requisite permission, and the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne was founded. Esther was the superior and took the name Marie-Anne. Though she was the founder and superior, Sister Marie-Anne faced much oppression from the congregation’s chaplain. He eventually had her removed from her position, and she was prohibited from holding any administrative roles for the rest of her life.

She spent her last 32 years without complaining, working in the order’s laundry and ironing room. Despite her demotion, her order continued to grow and spread across Canada and the United States.

Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin died in 1890. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BBC News on Fr. Emil Kaupan: Recognition finally for a warrior priest's heroics


The BBC has written a wonderful story and produced a video on our dear, heroic priest and saint soon to be, Fr. Emil Kaupan, whom I have previously written about. This is a great read!


Other Related Posts on Catholic Fire:

Another Miracle for Fr. Kaupan? 


Fr. Kapaun nominated for Kansas honor


TV Program featuring miracle attributed to Fr. Kapaun tonight on ABC


The Miracle of Fr. Kaupan


 Father Emil Kaupan on Keeping The Commandments


 A Miracle in Colwich, Kansas?


Father Emil Kapaun’s cause for sainthood to be officially opened this month


Servant of God Father Emil Kaupan


Father Kaupan's Official Website


Attention Catholics: How to vote in the 2012 elections

Blessed. Kateri Tekakwitha


Today is the memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin.

Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks" and and the “Geneviève of New France,” Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior and a Catholic Algonquin woman whom he had saved from captivity at the hands of the Iroquois. She was four years old when her parents and younger brother died of smallpox. The disease also attacked Kateri, scarring her face and impairing her eyesight.

Kateri was adopted by her two aunts and an uncle. She converted as a teenager. When she was baptized at the age of twenty, she experienced great hostility from her tribe.

Although she had to suffer greatly for her Faith, she remained firm in it. To escape persecution and death threats, Kateri joined the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada. Here she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged. Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified. At 23, she took a vow of virginity, a heroic and unprecedented act for a Native American woman, who was expected to marry.

She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of twenty-four. Devotion to Kateri is responsible for establishing Native American ministries in Catholic Churches all over the United States and Canada. Kateri was declared venerable by the Catholic Church in 1943 and she was Beatified in 1980. Work is currently underway to have her Canonized by the Church. Hundreds of thousands have visited shrines to Kateri erected at both St. Francis Xavierand Caughnawaga and at her birth place at Auriesville, New York. Pilgrimages at these sites continue today.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be declared a Blessed. She was beatified in 1980 and is scheduled to be canonized on October 21, 2012.

Patronage: Ecologists; ecology; environment; environmentalism; environmentalists; exiles; loss of parents; people in exile; people ridiculed for their piety; World Youth Day.

Symbols: lily (a symbol of her purity); a cross (a symbol of her love of Jesus Christ); or a turtle (a symbol of her clan).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Benedict XVI asks for prayers as his seventh anniversary as Pope approaches



April 16, 2012. (Romereports.com) As he looked on St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI asked for everyone's prayers, as his seventh anniversary as Pope approaches. During the Regina Coeli prayer, he asked people to keep that date, April 19th, in mind.

“Thursday, will be the seventh anniversary of my election as the Successor of Peter. I ask you to pray for me, may the Lord give me strength to carry out the mission he has entrusted to me.”, said Benedict XVI

However, the Pope made no reference to his 85th birthday, celebrated on April 16th.

Benedict XVI explained that Christianity is not just about commemorating the past, nor is it a mystical experience. Rather, the Pope said it's an active encounter with the risen Christ.

Benedict XVI
“It is an encounter with the risen Lord who lives in the dimension of God, beyond time and space. He makes himself truly present among the community and speaks to us in the Scriptures.”

The first Sunday after Easter, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Divine Mercy, to which John Paul II was very devoted to.

Benedict XVI
“Welcome the gift of peace that the risen Jesus offers us. We must fill our hearts with His mercy.”

As thousands of people looked on in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI called on them to be true witness of the Christian faith, especially the peace it can bring to every day life.

Pope celebrates birthday, enjoys traditional dances from his native Bavaria




April 16, 2012. (Romereports.com) For the Pope's 85th birthday, a delegation from his native Bavaria visited the Vatican to make Benedict XVI feel a bit more at home.

Along with his brother Georg, the Pope enjoyed a series of dances that a group of children performed at the Vatican's Clementine Hall.

As a gift, his fellow countrymen gave him a crucifix and a basket full of typical items from his native Germany.

St. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes


Today is the feast of St. Bernadette Soubirous, the renowned visionary of Lourdes.

Born in Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844, Bernadette was the first child of Francois and Louise Soubirous, a poor peasant family. A severe asthma sufferer, Bernadette was such a poor student that she was unable to make her First Holy Communion until she was 14. She had many trials to contend with as a child -- poverty, health problems, which caused her to be behind in school, many responsibilities as the oldest child of six siblings, moving from one poor place to another, and a father who escaped from his financial problems by drowning them in alcohol.

Her education was entrusted to the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction. - a teaching and nursing order whose mother-house is at Nevers, in central France. The Sisters soon discovered that although Bernadette had a quiet, modest demeanor, she had a lively sense of humor and a pleasing personality.

It was to this simple 14-year-old girl that Our Lady chose to appear in what is known as the apparitions at Lourdes. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette 18 times in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes, called “de Massabielle”.

On March 25, the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1858, she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Because the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had been officially proclaimed less than four years earlier, and Bernadette could not have even known of its existence, when Bernadette repeated the words, it gave credibility to her apparitions. It was confirmation from heaven that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was indeed true.

At age 22, Bernadette entered the convent of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers. Although she had many trials there, she happily performed the menial tasks assigned to her, working initially in the kitchen, then later as an assistant in the infirmary. In September, 1878, at the age of 34, Bernadette made her perpetual vows. After suffering heroically and secretly for years from tuberculosis of the bone in the right knee, which caused excrucixiating pain, she died a holy death on April 15, 1879.

St. Bernadette is the patron of: the poor, the sick, people ridiculed for their piety, and Lourdes, France.

~ © 2010 Jean M. Heimann

Saint Quote:

"Whatever trials the Lord sends you, whatever sacrifices He asks of you, whatever duties He imposes on you, always have this response of love and faithfulness on your lips and in your heart: 'Hear is your servant, O my God, ready to undertake all, to give all, to sacrifice all, as long as Your will may be accomplished in me and on all the the earth'."

~ St. Bernadette Soubirous, From the private notes of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, A Holy Life, by Patricia A. McEachern, Ph.D.

      Patronage
  • against bodily ills
  • against illness
  • against poverty
  • against sickness
  • Lourdes, France
  • people ridiculed for their piety
  • poor people
  • shepherdesses
  • shepherds
  • sick people

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday


On this Divine Mercy Sunday we recall the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: "Mercy consists in bringing a thing out of non-being into being." We see this transpire concretely in the life of the early Church. The community of believers "was of one heart and mind" and they had everything in common."  They were filled with awe; they were witnesses of wondrous signs; they dedicated themselves to the good of the other; they were selfless and generous.  They lived with the faith that "conquers the world." That is what the Apostle Thomas is looking for in the Lord's open side. "The secret of Christ's heart is revealed to us in the clefts of his body." (Saint Bernard)

~ Via the Magnificat

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pope St. Martin I

The saint of the day is Pope St. Martin I.

Martin I lay too sick to fight on a couch in front of the altar when the soldiers burst into the Lateran basilica. He had come to the church when he heard the soldiers had landed. But the thought of kidnapping a sick pope from the house of God didn't stop the soldiers from grabbing him and hustling him down to their ship.

Elected pope in 649, Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn't have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn't support Monothelism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus' will at all.

Monothelism was condemned at a council convened by Martin I. The council affirmed, once again, that since Jesus had two natures, human and divine, he had two wills, human and divine. The council then went further and condemned Constans edict to avoid discussion stating, "The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the good with the evil."

In his anger at this slap in the face, the emperor sent his soldiers to Rome to bring the pope to him. When Martin I arrived in Constantinople after a long voyage he was immediately put into prison. There he spent three months in a filthy, freezing cell while he suffered from dysentery. He was not allowed to wash and given the most disgusting food. After he was condemned for treason without being allowed to speak in his defense he was imprisoned for another three months.

From there he was exiled to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land as well as the roughness of the land and its people. But hardest to take was the fact that the pope found himself friendless. His letters tell how his own church had deserted him and his friends had forgotten him. They wouldn't even send him oil or corn to live off of.

He died two years later in exile in the year 656, a martyr who stood up for the right of the Church to establish doctrine even in the face of imperial power.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Brief Blogging Break



I will be taking a brief blogging break due to my studies, but will return within a few days. God bless you, dear readers! Enjoy this glorious Easter Season!




Sunday, April 08, 2012

He is Risen! Alleluia!



May God bless you with His eternal love and fill your heart with hope and joy this Easter and always!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Holy Saturday Meditation



On Holy Saturday, the Church waits at the Lord's tomb in prayer, meditating on His Passion and Death and on His descent into Hell, awaiting His Resurrection.

"Here we are, Your Church the Body from Your Body and from Your Blood. We are here, we are keeping watch. We are by Your sepulcher."
~ Pope John Paul II

"Holy Saturday is the day of the 'death of God,' the day which expresses the unparalleled experience of our age, anticipating the fact that God is simply absent, that the grave hides him, that he no longer awakes, no longer speaks, so that one no longer needs to gainsay him but can simply overlook him…Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness; in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment. Where no voice can reach us any longer, there is he. Hell is thereby overcome, or, to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer. Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it."
~ Pope Benedict XVI

What is Holy Saturday?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Divine Mercy Novena begins today



The Crucifixion: A Medical Perspective

Good Friday Meditation

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Holy Thursday Meditation

Fr. Barron: Why Catholics Leave the Church

The Easter Triduum


Today begins the holiest and most important time of the Church year -- the Easter Triduum. It commemorates the heart of our faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Sacred Triduum begins with Holy Thursday, which marks the end of the forty days of Lent and the beginning of the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday.

The Triduum liturgies teach us the meaning of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.The richness of the rituals and symbols help us to experience the mysteries of Jesus’ final hours, His passion, suffering -- and His rising from the dead. In a special way, during these three days,we come together as God's people to remember the saving act of Jesus, the miracle of His resurrection – and to celebrate our faith and identity as Catholics. Because Christ was willing to die for our sins and was raised from the dead, death is no longer the end of life for us. It is the beginning of a new life in Him.



For more information read:

The Sacred Triduum Invites Us To Be Transformed by Love

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

John Paul II and Divine Mercy, the devotion that guided his pontificate



April 16, 2011 (Romereports.com) John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, during the Sunday of Divine Mercy, it's the same liturgical feast that was celebrated the day the pope passed away.


It's a celebration closely linked to Poland and John Paul's pontificate and the devotion he held for St. Faustina Kowlaska, who began spreading devotion to Divine Mercy.


Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
“John Paul II grew up with the spirituality of St. Faustina Kowalska. Throughout his pontificate he explained the need to invoke the Divine Mercy. John Paul II said the Divine Mercy was the key to his pontificate.”


In fact, John Paul II officially established the devotion to Divine Mercy for the whole Church during the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska.


Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
“In 2000, John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina, which is the first saint of the Jubilee. During her canonization he stated that 'from now on this Sunday will be called Divine Mercy' and from then on the devotion began to spread in a surprising way, especially among the laity.”


Just down the road from the Vatican, in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, is the sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Rome. There, faithful and different travelers gather every day of the year to pray the Litany of Divine Mercy. It's a prayer that is recited at three in the afternoon to ask God for the world's salvation by appealing to the Divine Mercy.

Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
“Three in the afternoon is the hour that Jesus died. This comes from one of the apparitions that Sister Faustina saw, the Lord asked her to meditate everyday at that time of his Passion, which is the aim of this worship.”


To prepare for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI wanted the Litany of the Divine Mercy to be prayed in St. Peter's Square before the ceremony began. In a demonstration of the importance of this devotion in the life of the Blessed John Paul II.

Pope on trip to Mexico and Cuba: "I wanted to support the aspirations of all Cubans to a reconciled and free society"




April 4, 2012. (Romereports.com) Less than a week ago, the Pope came back from his apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba. During Wednesday's general audience, Benedict XVI reflected on his trip, describing it as an unforgettable experience. He also called on both nations to strengthen their faith and trigger positive change.

READ FULL TEXT OF THE CATECHESIS:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My recent Apostolic Journey to Mexico and Cuba sought to confirm the people of those countries, and all the peoples of Latin America, in their faith and in the hope which makes it possible to build a just and harmonious social order. At the liturgies in León, marked by an outpouring of devotion and spiritual joy, I encouraged the Mexican people to let their deep Christian roots inspire their efforts to overcome violence and to work for a better future.

In Cuba, I wished to reaffirm the Church in her public witness to the Gospel and to support the aspirations of all Cubans to a renewed, reconciled and free society. From Santiago de Cuba, I went as a pilgrim to the shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre and then to Havana, where I prayed for a rebirth of faith, openness to God’s love and respect for the truth about our human dignity and freedom revealed in Christ.

In these days, as we prepare to celebrate the saving events of Christ’s Passover from death to life in the sacred Triduum, may we open our hearts to God’s reconciling love revealed on the Cross. Let us allow that love to transform our lives, and enable us to celebrate with joy the mystery of the resurrection.

I offer a cordial welcome to all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including the student groups from England, Ireland and the United States of America. I also greet the participants in the International Gathering of University Students. May your pilgrimage to Rome bear spiritual fruit in a deeper love of Christ and his Church. Upon you and your families I invoke the Lord’s blessings of wisdom, joy and peace. A happy and blessed Easter to all of you!

St. Isidore of Seville, Patron Saint of the Internet


Today is the optional memorial of St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of the Internet and the author of the first encyclopedia.

A Confessor, Doctor of the Church, and Bishop of Seville, Isidore was born in Cartagena, Spain, 560 and died in Seville, Spain in 636. He was younger brother to Saint Fulgentius of Astigi and Saint Florentina and succeeded his brother, Leander, a monk, to the See of Seville in 599.

He began as a poor student, but he turned his problem over to God and became one of the most learned men of his time. During his episcopacy he devoted his time and energy to promoting science and establishing schools and convents. He presided over the synod of Seville, 619, and the synod of Toledo, 633. He was a prolific writer whose literary works included: a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of Goths, and a history of the world beginning with creation.

He is the patron saint of computers, computer technicians, computer programmers, and the Internet. His symbols are bees and a pen.

So, how does Saint Isidore of Seville become the patron saint for the Internet? The Observation Service for Internet, who drew its mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint that best reflects the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users. The saint chosen by The Observation Service for Internet was Saint Isidore. "The saint who wrote the well-known "Etymologies", gave his work a structure similar to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as 'flashes;' it is very modern, despite the fact that it was discovered in the sixth century.

Quotes:

Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading.

If a man wants to be always in God's company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.

All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection. By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection we retain what we have learned.

Reading the Holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man's attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of God.

The conscientious reader will be more concerned to carry out what he has read than merely to acquire knowledge of it. In reading we aim at knowing, but we must put into practice what we have learned in our course of study.

The man who is slow to grasp things but who really tries hard is rewarded, equally he who does not cultivate his God-given intellectual ability is condemned for despising his gifts and sinning by sloth.

Learning unsupported by grace may get into our ears; it never reaches the heart. But when God's grace touches our innermost minds to bring understanding, his word which has been received by the ear sinks deep into the heart.

~from Book of Maxims by Saint Isidore

Reflection for Wednesday of Holy Week


Today is known as Spy Wednesday because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priest to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces.


Today's Mass Readings

Today's Spiritual Meditation

Jesus carries this betrayal in love so that we too may be able to carry in love all the struggles the Church is now living, all the struggles of humanity. We know that these battles are terrible and sometimes they make us lose hope. Well, no! They should not make us lose hope! The stronger the battle, the more Jesus is present and the more He wants to be glorified in our heart. And Jesus is glorified in our heart to the extent that love triumphs. This is truly what the glory of Christ is: love victorious over betrayal, victorious over all lies.

~ Excerpted from Return to me ... Daily Meditations for Lent By Father Philippe, O.P., Philosopher and Founder of The Community of St. John compiled by the Sisters of St. John

Prayer for Wednesday of Holy Week

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tuesday of Holy Week


"One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side."

~John 13:23



"Suffering is a sign, a sign that we have come so close to Jesus on the Cross that He can kiss us, show that He is in love with us, by giving us an opportunity to share His passion."
~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, April 02, 2012

Holy Week in Two Minutes

Why should I go to Confession?

Monday of Holy Week Reflection


"Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil."
~ John 12: 3



Mass Readings

St. Francis of Paola


The saint of the day for April 2 is St. Francis of Paola.

Francis was born in Paola in Calabria, Italy on March 27, 1416. His parents were remarkable for the holiness of their lives: they were childless for many years, but following prayers for the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi, they had three children; Francis was the oldest.

Francis suffered from a swelling which endangered the sight of one of his eyes. His parents again prayed for the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi, and made a vow that their son should pass an entire year in the "little habit" of St Francis in one of the convents of his order, a not uncommon practice in the Middle Ages. Francis was immediately cured.

From his early years Francis showed signs of extraordinary sanctity. At the age of thirteen, he entered a convent of the Franciscan Order in order to fulfill the vow made by his parents. Here he glorified God by his love of prayer and mortification, his profound humility, and his prompt obedience. At the completion of the year he went with his parents on a pilgrimage to Assisi, Rome, and other places of devotion. Returning to Paula he selected a retired spot on his father's estate, and there lived in solitude; but later on he found a more retired dwelling in a cave on the sea coast. Here he remained alone for about six years giving himself to prayer and mortification.

In 1435 two companions joined him in his retreat, and to accommodate them Francis caused three cells and a chapel to be built. This was the origin of a new order, to which he gave the name of Minims, that is "the least" in the house of God. Pope Sixtus IV sent him to France to help Louis XI on his deathbed. He remained there and founded a house of his Minims at Tours.

The last three mouths of his life he spent in entire solitude, preparing for death. On Maundy Thursday he gathered his community around him and exhorted them especially to have mutual charity amongst themselves and to maintain the rigor of their life and in particular perpetual abstinence. The next day, Good Friday, April 2, 1507, he again called them together and gave them his last instructions and appointed a vicar-general. He then received the last sacraments and asked to have the Passion according to St. John read out to him, and while this was being read, his soul passed away. Leo X canonized him in 1519.

Patronage: against fire, against sterility, Amato, Italy, boatmen, Calabara, Italy, mariners, naval officers, plague epidemics, sailors, travelers, watermen, Fossato Serralta, Italy

Saint Quote:

Fix your minds on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Inflamed with love for us, he came down from heaven to redeem us. For our sake he endured every torment of body and soul and shrank from no bodily pain. He himself gave us an example of perfect patience and love. We, then, are to be patient in adversity.

Take pains to refrain from sharp words. Pardon one another so that later on you will not remember the injury. The recollection of an injury is itself wrong. It adds to our anger, nurtures our sins and hates what is good. It is a rusty arrow and poison for the soul. It puts all virtue to flight.

Be peace-loving. Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal. You are well aware that our sins arouse God's anger. You must change your life, therefore, so that God in his mercy will pardon you. What we conceal from men is known to God. Be converted, then, with a sincere heart. Live your life that you may receive the blessing of the Lord. Then the peace of God our Father will be with you always.

~ from a letter written by Saint Francis of Paola

Vote for Cardinal Dolan in the Time Magazine Poll



Time magazine is conducting a poll to determine who the most influential people are. Timothy Cardinal Dolan is on the list. Let's get him on the cover of Time. VOTE HERE!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord


Today we commemorate Christ's entry into Jerusalem for the completion of the Paschal Mystery. In the old calendar before Vatican II, the Church celebrated Passion Sunday two Sundays before Easter, and then Palm Sunday was the beginning of Holy Week. The Church has combined the two to reinforce the solemnity of Holy Week.

The Palm Sunday procession is formed of Christians who, in the "fullness of faith," make their own the gesture of the Jews and endow it with its full significance. Following the Jews' example we proclaim Christ as a Victor... Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. But by our faith we know, as they did not, all that His triumph stands for. He is the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God. He is the sign of contradiction, acclaimed by some and reviled by others. Sent into this world to wrest us from sin and the power of Satan, He underwent His Passion, the punishment for our sins, but issues forth triumphant from the tomb, the victor over death, making our peace with God and taking us with Him into the kingdom of His Father in heaven.

Mass Readings

Deacon Greg's Homily for Palm Sunday

The Revolutionary Message of Palm Sunday by Fr. Robert Barron