- Wednesday, 01 October 2014 10:19
This Saturday, October 4, Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, a Byzantine Greek Catholic woman, born in New Jersey of Slovak immigrant parents, will be the first person beatified in the USA. The beatification will be transmitted live on EWTN and online.
This Saturday, the fourth native-born American woman will be beatified. From the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J, EWTN is pleased to bring you “The Beatification of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovic”.
The Most Reverend Kurt Burnette of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, and Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson will concelebrate. “The Beatification of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovic” airs 9:40 a.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 4 — exclusively on EWTN.
- Wednesday, 01 October 2014 06:16
The Holy Apostle Ananias of the Seventy, baptizer of Saint Paul and the first bishop of Damascus. Saint Ananias is not a name Christians have on their lips. But they should. He is key in teaching what true faith in Jesus Christ meant. Today is the Byzantine Church’s observance for the saint yet the Latins celebrate him on January 25 –the same day as Saint Paul’s conversion, according to the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology
The Lord ordered him to restore the sight of Saul, the former persecutor of Christians, then baptize him (Acts 9:10-19, 22:12). Saul became the great preacher and Apostle Paul –our first theologian. It is said that Saint Ananias boldly and openly confessed Christianity before the Jews and the pagans, despite the danger to his life and to the nascent community of Christian faith.
From Damascus Ananias went to preach at Eleutheropolis where he healed many people of their infirmities. Lucian, the prefect of the city, tried to persuade Ananias to offer sacrifice to idols. Because of Ananias’ staunch and solid confession of Jesus Christ, Lucian ordered that he be tortured. Harsh torments did not sway the witness of Truth. Then the torturers led him out beyond the city, where they stoned him. The saint prayed for those who put him to death. The relics first rested in Damascus before being transferred to Constantinople.
- Monday, 29 September 2014 06:15
The feast of the Archangel Michael brings to table a certain wrinkle in the spiritual life that we don’t frequently acknowledge, or truly address as real. Recognizing the place evil has in the lives of many people due to the lure of sin and division, and noting that the true desire of man’s heart is really for God, Saint John Paul II in his ministry as a priest asked the faithful pray to Saint Michael the Archangel for divine assistance in the long and difficult work of spiritual warfare. He wanted us to make room in our devotional life for the intention when he said,
May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, “Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” (Eph 6 10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church.”
“St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.” Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world. (Pope John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 24 April 1994)”
Michael, whose name means “who is like unto God” (Quis ut Deus?), does indeed protect us.
Will you take up the challenge and call to holiness of John Paul?
- Sunday, 28 September 2014 09:23
Shortly after the elected of Francis to the Throne of Peter, he approved of the miracle that would lead to his beatification. His first miracle, if you are interested, concerned a case in 2003 where a Chilean baby boy’s heart started beating despite doctors’ failed 30-minute efforts to resuscitate him. The boy’s parents prayed to Del Portillo for his intercession from God to save their child. From all reports the child lives a normal life, going to school and playing soccer.
In the car last evening I was listening to various news services and NPR had a story –none of the other international services did– of the beatification of Del Portillo. But the real story seemed not the beatification of a man known for holiness but his connection to Opus Dei famously derided in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. I fail to see what one thing really has to do with another.
Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s original vision for Opus Dei has nothing to do with the political monikers of being liberal or conservative. Many will frame the group in these terms out ignorance. Opus Dei –a Latin concept meaning “The Work of God”– is about encouraging Catholics to know their ordinary, everyday work and life as a path to holiness. In other words, we are all called in whatever our work is, to the universal call to holiness; a strong emphasis of the Second Vatican Council and many saints. Religion is NOT just for 47 minutes on a Sunday morning where you put your money in the parking meter.
So, what ought to be admired about Opus Dei is the group’s emphasis and witness on the dignity of the laity. This same emphasis is also seen in two other ecclesial movements in the Church: Communion and Liberation and Focolare. But, The Work of God since its founding in 1928 has a significant challenge to the ultra-clerical attitudes of our Church while raising up the beauty of being a lay Christian and building up the Mystical Body of the Church.
Blessed Alvaro Del Portillo’s style was humble and faithful to the charism he was given by God to fulfill in history. His reputable for holiness is well-regarded and and substantiated. Del Portillo worked with Saint Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei for more than 40 years, and later his successor as the group’s leader until 1994.
Opus Dei is a lay organization in the Church with more than 90K members; only 2,073 are priests.
Blessed Alvaro, pray for us.
- Friday, 26 September 2014 12:25
With the Church we pray:
May you be magnified, O Lord, by the revered memory of your saints Cosmas and Damian,for with providence beyond words, you have conferred on them everlasting glory and on us, your unfailing help.
Mother Church commemorates twin brothers, Saints Cosmas and Damian born in Arabia. Eminent for their practice of medicine and reputation for giving free medical care; hence being known as the “moneyless ones.” The practice of charity and service to their neighbor exemplified that it is possible to live the gospel, especially Matthew 25. They attracted many converts to the faith. The holy brothers were arrested and beheaded during the Diocletian persecution in 303.
Saints Cosmas and Damian are patron saints of physicians and pharmacists. By the 6th century, their names were placed in the canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).
Church history keeps their memory alive by the fact that we observe a feast day for them and that the faithful erected church on the site of their burial place — later enlarged by the emperor Justinian; likewise a famous basilica was erected in their honor in Constantinople. Recall that Saint Francis of Assisi rebuilt the dilapidated San Damiano chapel outside Assisi.