Showing posts from September, 2010

Spectacular Virtual Tour of the Tomb of St. Peter on Vatican Website

Video: Life is the Only Choice

~ by David MacDonald H/T: Esther

Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor

' Saint Jerome and the Angel' by Simon Vouet, 1625 Today is the memorial of St. Jerome, translator of the Bible into its official Latin version (the Vulgate), brilliant scholar, monk, traveler, teacher, letter writer, and consultant to Popes and Bishops. He is one of the most important figures in the history of the Church. St. Jerome was born in Dalmatia around 340-345 AD to a wealthy Christian family. At the age of 20, he was sent to study in Rome, where he became fluent in Latin and Greek and developed a love for the classical writers. Here he acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to control his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. He traveled throughout western Europe with a friend but that ceased when he had a conversion experience in Trier and decided to become a monk. He joined a community in Aquileia in 370, where he met some who would become his close friends and others his enemies. When the communit

Over 25,000 people at the Beatification of Chiara Badano

25,000 people from 71 countries including, Australia, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, Syria and Russia filled the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome for the beatification of Chiara Luce Badano, the first of the Focolare movement raised to the altar.

Pope's general audience on Saint Matilda of Hackeborn

A new papal catechesis on the life of women saints. "Today we focus on the life of Saint Matilda of Hackeborn, one of several important thirteenth-century figures of the convent of Helfta in Saxony", said the Pope. Via The Vatican Information Service: MATILDA OF HACKEBORN: LITURGY AND SPIRITUALITY VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2010 (VIS) - St. Matilda of Hackeborn (1241/1242 - 1298), one of the outstanding figures of the German convent of Helfta, was the subject of the Holy Father's catechesis during his general audience, which took place this morning in St. Peter's Square.   Matilda was daughter of the barons of Hackeborn. At an early age she entered the convent of Helfta where her sister, St. Gertrude, was abbess for forty years. Gertrude gave "a particular imprint to the spirituality of the convent, causing it to flourish as a centre of mysticism and culture, a place of scientific and theological education". The nuns of Helfta enjoyed "a high level o

Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

The three Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture and all three have important roles in the history of salvation. Michael's name means "who is like God? " Three books of the Bible speak of St. Michael: Daniel, Revelation and the Letter of Jude. In the book of Revelation or the Apocalypse, chapter 12:7-9, we read of a great war that went on in heaven. Michael and his angels battled with Satan. Michael became the champion of loyalty to God. We can ask St. Michael to make us strong in our love for Jesus and in our practice of the Catholic religion. Patron : Against temptations; against powers of evil; artists; bakers; bankers; battle; boatmen; cemeteries; coopers; endangered children; dying; Emergency Medical Technicians; fencing; grocers; hatmakers; holy death; knights; mariners; mountaineers; paramedics; paratroopers; police officers; radiologists; sailors; the sick; security forces; soldiers; against storms at sea; sword

Ten Years Later, RU 486 Abortion Drug Killed One Million Children, Hurt Women

Washington, DC -- This weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the Clinton administration approving the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of unborn children and hurt women. The drug has killed at least eight women in the United States and dozens around the world. Read the entire story.

Optional Memorial of St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs

Today is the optional memorial of St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs . Saint Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized martyr of the Phillipines , and was canonized along with 15 companions - nine Japanese, four Spaniards, one Frenchman and one Italian - all of whom were on mission in Nagasaki, Japan, to evangelize and minister to the Japanese Christian community who were suffering the persecutions of the Japanese feudal Lords. Thirteen of the martyrs were Dominicans and three were Dominican Tertiaries Lorenzo Ruiz was born in about 1600 to a Chinese Christian Father and a Tagala Christian mother in Manila, Phillipines. He was a devoted and active Catholic, involved in a Rosary Confraternity and became a husband and father of three. In 1637 he was falsely accused of murder and forced to leave his country. The Domincan fathers who knew Lorenzo arranged to have him take a ship to Japan. Soon after arriving in Japan, Lorenzo was captured for being Cath

R.I.P. Fr. Thomas Dubay

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul

Today is the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul , priest. Born to a poor family in Pouy in the soutwest of France in 1581, Vincent was an intellectually gifted youth who began his theological studies at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 20. On a voyage to the Holy Land, Vincent's ship was boarded by pirates and he was captured and sold into slavery in Africa, where he was held for two years before he converted his master to Christianity and was freed. He returned to France and was appointed to a parish near Paris, from where he began to initiate and organize missions for the poor, destitute, forgotten, sick, uneducated, and unemployed. He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission and the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and sent priests to Africa to minister to and ransom slaves. He vigorously opposed Jansenism and helped reform orders of priests and religious, famously preaching retreats around France. The humble St. Vincent often spoke on hu

Our Lady of Ransom

Today, in many parts of the world, the Catholic Church commemorates the feast of Our Lady of Ransom , also known as Our Lady of Mercy or Nuestra Señora de la Merced. The Blessed Virgin appeared in 1218 in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymund of Penafort, and James, king of Aragon, asking them to found a religious order dedicated to freeing Christian captives from the barbarous Saracens or Moors, who at that time held a great part of Spain. On August 10, 1218, King James established the royal, military and religious Order of our Lady of Ransom (first known as the Order of St. Eulalia, now known as the Mercedarian Order ), with the members granted the privilege of wearing his own arms on their breast. Most of the members were knights, and while the clerics recited the divine office in the commanderies, they guarded the coasts and delivered prisoners. This pious work spread everywhere and produced heroes of charity who collected alms for the ransom of Christians, and oft

St. Pio of Pietrelcina: Priest, Mystic, and Stigmatist

Today is the memorial of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968). St. Pio is one of my favorite saints. Miracles happened everyday of his life. He was a priest, a mystic, and a stigmatist who possessed many rare and mysterious gifts. He was bi-locational, that is, he appeared in two places at one time. He was able to communicate with others through mental telepathy. When he thought of them, they began to smell the scent of violets, which they associated with him. In the Confessional, he was able to tell people their sins in detail, even those which they did not confess to him. Through the simple means of touch, he was able to heal others. God had blessed him with an abundance of gifts that he used wisely to build up the body of Christ and to convert sinners. Padre Pio was born in 1887 in the small village of Pietrelcina in southern Italy, the son of a shepherd. His baptized name was Francesco (Francis) Forgione. He joined the Capuchin friars at the age of 16 and was ordained as a pries

40 Days for Life Launches in Record 238 Locations around the World

A record 238 locations in the US, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark are participating 40 Days for Life campaigns of prayer and fasting from today, September 22, through to October 31. 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, 40 days of peaceful vigil in front of abortion clinics, and 40 days of community outreach. This unified effort has seen more than 350,000 people joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion. Read the story here.

National Life Chain Sunday 2010 to Bring Prayer to U.S. and Canadian Sidewalks in 1500 Cities on October 3

See  for Time and Locations The annual Life Chain, a pro-life prayer and witness event, will take place this year in cities across the United States and Canada on Sunday October 3. Life Chain involves an hour of silent prayer and public witness and will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. It is a peaceful, prayerful public witness on sidewalks along major streets in towns and cities, in which participants pray for our nation and for an end to abortion. Participants hold signs reading "Abortion Kills Children," "Abortion Hurts Women," "Jesus Forgives and Heals" and "Adoption: The Loving Option" before passers-by and motorists. Above all else, National Life Chain Sunday 2010 urges the corporate church across the U.S., Canada, and beyond to end its abandonment of preborn humanity. Toward that urgency, Life Chain asks clergy to please lead their people, young and old, to their local sidewalks on Sunday afternoon, October 3, to ear

Official Trailer: God's Doorman: St. André of Montreal

January 6th, 1937. It was as if a world leader had died. But it was only the humble, simple Brother from Montreal. Forty-five years later, he is beatified in Rome. Not even 30 years more, on October 17th, 2010, he is canonized. This makes him the first male Canadian-born saint and the first saint of the Congregation of Holy Cross. But Brother André would be the first to laugh about this chain of events. He would say, "I am a man, just like one of you." Salt + Light Television brings audiences the beauty and inspiration of Brother André Bessette's story, through the documentary God's Doorman: St. André of Montreal. Br. André's life and ministry of compassion still speak to us today. Produced by Mary Rose Bacani and Sébastien Lacroix, this high-definition production features beautiful scenes and interviews from Montreal, Rome, and parts of the United States where Brother André's spirit still lives.

Saint of the Day: St. Thomas of Villanova, "Father of the Poor"

Thomas García was the son of a miller who was born in the village of Villanova de los Infantes, Castille, Spain in 1486. He studied theology at the University of Alcalá, where he later taught arts, logic, and philosophy.  Thomas was offered the chair of philosophy at the prestigious University of Salamaca, but declined it, but, instead, entered the Augustinian Order. Ordained to the priesthood in 1520, he celebrated his first Mass on Christmas day. Thomas served as prior of the Augustinian houses in Salamaca, Burgos, and Valladolid, and was later elected provincial of Andalusia and Castile. As provincial, he sent the first Augustinian missionaries to the New World to evangelize what is now modern Mexico. Thomas' many gifts, particularly his scholarship, powerful oratory, skills as a mediator and administrator, and his love and compassion for others, brought him to the attention of Emperor Charles V, who appointed him court chaplain and later archbishop of Valencia in 1544. T

Documentary on Archbishop Sheen to get New York screening

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- His television heyday was more than a half-century ago, but Archbishop Fulton Sheen continues to impress Catholics and serve as a source of admiration and inspiration. One way it will be demonstrated is with the screening of a new biography, "Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All," Oct. 4 in New York at St. Malachy's Church, the "actor's chapel" in Manhattan's theater district. Read more.

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. St. Matthew was born at Capernaum. He was working as a tax collector when Jesus called him to be one of the twelve apostles. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew. His gospel, with its familiar references to the messianic prophecies, throws light on the continuity between the covenants. Moreover, his vocation is one of the most popular episodes in the life of Jesus, because of the personality of the one called the tax collector and the revelation of redeeming love that concludes and crowns the story. Matthew's position as tax collector equated with collaboration with the enemy by those from whom he collected taxes. Jesus' contemporaries were surprised to see Christ with a traitor, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners." "Mark and Luke call Matthew by his Jewish name Levi and Mark says that he was "the son of Alphaeus" (Mark 2:14). He may have been the brother of Ja

Husband sacrifices life to save wife and child

Here's a beautiful and deeply moving story out of Canada: Brian Wood, a 33-year-old resident of Vancouver, B.C., was killed in an auto collision on September 3, when the driver of an oncoming SUV lost control of the vehicle and crossed the road into his lane. His wife, Erin Wood, said that Brian acted just in time to save her, and their unborn child expected to be born in November, by sacrificing himself. Evidence from the crash, which also killed two passengers in the other vehicle's back seat, supported Ms. Wood's description of her late husband's final act: unable to avoid the errant SUV, Brian Wood slammed the brakes and swerved his side of the car toward the oncoming vehicle, ensuring his certain death but protecting his wife, pregnant with their first child. “I think it's pretty obvious … that if it would have been a head-on crash, we both would have been killed instantly, along with our baby,” Erin Wood told NBC's Today Show on September 13. “He d

The Big News of Pope Benedict's visit to England that everyone missed

The Pope saved the most important news of his visit to the United Kingdom for the end. Most people didn't even hear or see it. But I imagine Thomas More and John Henry Newman were smiling… Read more here.

Cardinal Newman's second miracle is being examined in Mexico

The postulator of the cause for the canonization of John Henry Newman has said that he is already studying the second miracle, which is necessary if the Pope is to declare the cardinal a saint.

Video: The 'Cheeky' Pope

Benedict XVI's busy Fall schedule

Papal visit 2010: key quotes from religious and political figures

Despite the predicted protests, the Pope's visit to Britain brought a uniformly positive response from politicians, other faith leaders and the thousands of Catholics who turned out to see him. Below is a selection of their reactions: The Queen said: "Your Holiness, in recent times you have said that religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified. "Today, in this country, we stand united in that conviction. We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society. Read the entire story .

Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon and the Korean Martyrs

Today is the memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, St. Paul Chong, martyr, and companions. During the persecutions of 1839, 1846, 1866, and 1867, one hundred and three Christians in Korea gave their lives as martyrs. The martyrs included clergy, but were, for the most part, members of the laity. They consecrated the rich beginnings of the Church in Korea with their blood. Among them were Fr. Andrew Kim of Taegon, the first Korean priest and pastor, and Paul Chong of Hasang, a lay apostle. St. Andrew Kim Taegon was born into a noble Korean family. He traveled to China to become a Catholic priest and he was ordained in Macao. When he returned to Korea, as the first native priest, he was arrested, tortured, and eventually beheaded. Paul Chong Hasang was a seminarian, aged 45. As a layman, he was one of the great founders of the Catholic Church in Korea. He was persecuted before he could be ordained. Reflection: "We have received baptism, entrance into the Ch

The Papal Beatification of John Henry Newman

Optional Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor

Today is the optional memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine . The third of ten children, Robert was born at Montepulciano, Italy, in October 4, 1542. His mother, Cinzia Cervini, a niece of Pope Marcellus II, was dedicated to almsgiving, prayer, meditation, fasting, and mortification of the body. In 1560 Robert Bellarmine entered the Society of Jesus, finishing his studies at Louvain, Belgium. He easily ranks among its greatest men, illustrious for learning as well as for piety, humility, and simplicity of heart. He defended the Apostolic See against the anti-clericals in Venice and against the political tenets of James I of England. His most famous work is The Controversies, a collection of the lectures he delivered at the Roman College. In it, he set out the teaching of the Fathers, the Councils and the Church Law to victoriously defend the dogmas of the Church which were being attacked by heretics. He was made a Cardinal in 1599, but after a disagreement with the Pope was sent as bi

Video: Queen Elizabeth greets the Pope in Holyrood Palace

Fr. Robert Barron to launch national Catholic television show on WGN America

Fr. Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Chicago will begin broadcasting a weekly national television show on WGN America to reach Catholics and others searching for Christ. He will be the first priest since Archbishop Fulton Sheen to have a regular, national program on a commercial television network. Fr. Barron, a professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, runs the global media ministry called “Word on Fire.” His WGN America show will be titled “Word on Fire with Father Barron.” It will premier at 8:30 a.m. Central Time on Sunday, Oct. 3. It will also run on WGN Chicago at 9:30 a.m. “Now is the time to reach out to Catholics and others who are searching for meaning in their lives or who have left the Church because they are disillusioned,” Fr. Barron said. “In each episode, our mission will be to encourage believers and bring the transformative power of the Gospel to the culture.” Read the entire story.

Memorial of Sts. Cornelius, pope and martyr and Cyprian, bishop and martyr

Today is the memorial of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian . These two contemporaries, martyred in 253 and 258 respectively, were linked by one particular issue: what to do with those Christians who lapsed through fear in time of persecution, and then wished to return? An influential Roman priest, Novatian, maintained that they could not be forgiven (along with murderers, adulterers and those in second marriages). Cornelius and Cyprian strongly took the opposite view. A Roman priest, Cornelius was elected Pope in 251 to succeed Fabian, at the time of the persecution of the Christians by the Emperor Decius. Novatian denied the Church’s authority to forgive serious sins, such as abandoning the faith during a time of danger. Novatian even had himself consecrated as a rival bishop of Rome, thereby becoming an anti-pope. Pope Cornelius, backed by St. Cyprian and Saint Dionysius, upheld the Church’s teaching, and allowed sinners to do penance and return to the Church. In 253, St. Cornelius was e

Official Trailer: There Be Dragons

Roland Joffe, director of the movies The Mission and The Killing Fields, has released a teaser trailer to his new film, Let There Be Dragons, which encapsulates the early life of Saint Josemaria Escriva. The film will debut in Spring 2011. This is a new teaser trailer which I like better than the the first one.  I blogged about this film in August, but it now has an official website and you can now follow it on Twitte r now. Official Facebook Page: Previous Post: Movie: There be Dragons Trailer Debut (Includes News Report and Trailer)

Video: Supreme Hypocrisy

Michael Vorris answers the question: What do most Catholics and most atheists have in common?

Amazing Talent: Jackie Evancho ~ Ave Maria

Ten-year-old Jackie Evancho sings the Ave Maria in the finals of America's Got Talent. What an awesome performance!

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows . This feast dates back to the 12th century. It was especially promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so much so that in the 14th and 15th centuries it was widely celebrated throughout the Catholic Church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the title of "Our Lady of Compassion." Pope Benedict XIII added it to the Roman Calendar in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In 1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The title "Our Lady of Sorrows" focuses on Mary's intense suffering during the passion and death of Christ. "The Seven Dolors," the title by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords that pierced the Heart of Mary. The feast is like an octave for the birthday of Our Lady on September 8th. — Excerpted from Our Lady of Sorrows by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, September 2004) This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross . This feast is also called the Triumph of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas. The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, beginning with the miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- the same day that two churches built at the site of Calvary by Constantine were dedicated. In the Western Church, the feast came into prominence in the seventh century, after Emperor Heraclius of Constantinople recaptured the cross of Christ from the Persians and returned it to Jerusalem. On this feast day, we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The Cross -- because of what it represents -- is the most potent and universal symbol of the Christian faith. We revere the instrument by which Jesus Christ, Our Lord, saved us. Once an object of scorn, the c

Video: Reflection on Cardinal Newman's Beatification

St. John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor

Today is the memorial of St. John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407), a famous and controversial fourth century bishop and doctor of the Church.   Born in Antioch, he studied law as a young man, but then went off to the mountains and became a hermit for several years. In 381, he became a deacon and was later ordained as a priest and served in his native city of Antioch. It was there that his powerful and eloquent oratory earned him the title "Chrysostom" (golden-mouthed). His homilies ranged from the Gospels to personal conversion to the moral reformation of society. He delivered 88 sermons alone on the Gospel of St. John. He was offered the position of Bishop of Constantinople (the imperial capital), which he initially declined, but finally accepted in 398 John. John tried to avoid politics as he exercised his pastoral duties, but often became involved in controversy. His sermons were frequently critical of the rich and powerful, which made him numerous enemies. He also prevente

Fr. Barron comments on Stephen Hawking & more tired atheism

Amazing Talent: Jackie Evancho - Pie Jesu

In this performance on America's Got Talent, ten-year-old Jackie Evancho flawlessly sings Andrew Lloyd Webber's arrangement of "Pie Jesu". What an absolutely angelic voice!

Catholic Weekend Movie

Here is one of my favorite Catholic movies. This is a must-see: Maximilian Schell stars as the "flying friar", St. Joseph of Cupertino, in this heartwarming and amazing true story of the humble Franciscan friar who literally rose to sainthood. In the impoverished village of 17th-century Cupertino, Italy, Joseph's peasant mother (Lea Padovani) convinces the reluctant abbot (Harold Goldblatt) to accept her uneducated son into the monastery. With the support of the kindly local bishop (Akim Tamiroff) who sees in him a great deal more than others, and by a series of miraculous incidents, the simple but deeply pious Joseph is ordained a priest. Yet some in the monastery, including the sceptical Don Raspi (Ricardo Montalban), are convinced that it is the devil, not God, who is responsible for Joseph's amazing powers—and it will take a miracle to change their minds. A profound and humorous film for all ages! ~ Via Ignatius Press.

Saint of the Day: St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Today's saint of the day is St. Nicholas of Tolentino. Nicholas was born in 1245 in Sant’Angelo in the diocese of Fermo. His middle-aged parents named him in thanksgiving to St. Nicholas of Myra, to whose shrine they had made a pilgrimage after being childless for several years. Nicholas showed early signs of piety - at age seven he hid away in a nearby cave and prayed there like the hermits whom he had observed in the mountains. He became an Augustinian friar at age 18 and was ordained at the age of 25. Nicholas had visions of angels reciting "to Tolentino" and took this as a sign to move to that city in 1274, where he lived the rest of his life. Tolentino was torn by civil war and Nicholas set about restoring peace and unity to the city by preaching in the streets, which converted many souls. His ministry was so effective that it was viewed as miraculous, but he was careful not to take credit for anything. He always told those he helped, "Say nothing of thi

News Report: C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters Triumphs on Broadway

"Screwtape Letter," a classic by the famous Christian writer CS Lewis triumphs, is now not only a literary work but also a Broadway play.

Saint of the Day: St. Peter Claver

Today is the memorial of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to the service of black slaves. Born in Spain, the son of a farmer, Peter Claver entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1615 in Cartagena, South America, where he had made his higher studies. Cartagena was the center of the infamous slave trade, where many thousands of African slaves were landed after crossing the ocean amid inhuman conditions, and then penned like animals in yards. Their terrible plight, corporal and spiritual, tore at the heart of the young Jesuit and he determined to devote himself to the alleviation of their misery. At his profession he had vowed "to be a slave of the slaves forever," and he now began to carry out this vow. Though his main concern was the salvation of the slaves, he realized that their bodily misery needed attention first. "We must speak to them with our hands," he said, "before we can speak to them with our lips." His love

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