- Saturday, 23 February 2013 10:09
Saint Polycarp‘s rich writings point to one thing: a sharp focus on Jesus Christ as the only thing we ought to be concerned with today. Nothing else really matters….
Polycarp (AD 69-155) was a bishop of Smyrna and martyr of the Church. He was a disciple of the Beloved Disciple John who ordained him a bishop. Polycarp’s life and work are attested to by Irenaeus, Tertullian and Jerome. He is called an Apostolic Father along with Saint Clement of Rome and Saint Ignatius of Antioch.
Saint Polycarp’s witness is key in knowing the early Church’s life and how we work in building up the Kingdom today. The saint was instrumental in bring others to Christ.
This excerpt tells us of his call to greater conversion in the Lord.
“… if we do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing; but remembering the words which the Lord spake as He taught; Judge not that ye be not judged. Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to you. Have mercy that ye may receive mercy. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again; and again Blessed are the poor and they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians
- Thursday, 07 February 2013 19:29
Pope Pius IX (13 May 1792-7 February 1878), in history known as Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning Roman Pontiff in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until death, nearly 32 years.
The future pope was the archbishop of his hometown of Spoleto and later of Imola. Personal attributes related show him to be known for his charitable work among the poor, care for educating his people and the formation of clergy; he had a keen intellect, prayerful, was friendly and engaging. He was an advocate of making administrative changes in the Papal States. He was a cardinal in pectore in 1839 and later revealed in 1840.
Following the death of Gregory XVI, Ferretti was elected pope in 1846 with neither diplomatic nor curial experience, a source of great tension for some.
Pope Pius convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and granted the Marian title of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorist priests which now hangs in their church on the Via Merulana. He was the “Marian Pope.”
Pius IX was also the last pope to rule as the Sovereign of the Papal States, which fell to Italian nationalists by 1870 and were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.
Thereafter, Pius became the first “Prisoner of the Vatican.” Pius is also the origin of the collection taken annual called the “Peter’s Pence.”
Pope Pius IX was beatified in 2000.
- Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:26
O God, who for the salvation of souls willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales become all things to all, graciously grant that, following his example, we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbor.
We honor the gentle giant, pastor of souls, spiritual father of many, author, and Doctor of the Church, Francis de Sales
(1567-1622). A brilliant student, he was ordained a priest despite his father’s desires. Francis was a provost of an Oratorian community and later bishop of Geneva and founder. His writings and approach to religious inspired many new forms of religious life.
His Introduction to the Devout Life
, first published in 1609, is well known and cherished, reliable, honest, accessible, humane, and a Christian classic. His doctrine is called celestial in that it points a perfect way for ordinary people
to enter into communion with God without having to flee the world. You don’t have to be a monk of nun to have a spiritual life!
Saint Francis is the patron saint of journalists, writers, and now social communications for the Church.
- Sunday, 06 January 2013 14:32
We honor the witness of the Magi, Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. The Seekers from the East following the signature of God to the star burning brightly over the Light of the World. Saint John
Chrysostom taught, “If the Magi had come in search of an earthly king, they
would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come
such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor
offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly king, though they found in him
no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star
alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God.”
As you know Pope Benedict ordained 4 priests to the Order of Bishops today at the Sacrifice of the Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany. The Pope, per usual, hits the ball out of the park. He speaks eloquently about the ministry of the bishop for the Church. I read the following homily with astonishment. I am in awe of the profound nature of the vocation; I am sad to know so many called to this office by the Spirit and the Church live it with such lack of faith, hope, and charity, with a lack of mercy and the good of the people put in his charge. On this feast we pray for all the pastors of the Church, including the bishops. Let’s look with mercy as the Lord has shown us mercy. Pay close attention to Pope.
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- Saturday, 05 January 2013 12:02
O God, who called the Bishop Saint John Neumann, renowned for his charity and pastoral service, to shepherd your people in America, grant by his intercession that, as we foster the Christian education of youth and are strengthened by the witness of brotherly love, we may constantly increase the family of your Church.
Our challenge today is to imitate what is celebrated in the person of this saintly American bishop.