Celebrating Lives and Deaths of the Popes

November 30, 2008

Unknown to me until reading this article, in Houston, there is a museum dedicated to funeral history. One of its Exhibits is Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes, featuring a Popemobile.

Based on the museum’s claim of being the “only” exhibit of papal artifacts outside the Vatican, it seems to be a permanent installation. While I have seen some similar items, at Vatican Splendors, which is in St. Paul through January 11, the National Museum of Funeral History’s exhibit is focused on the papal funeral experience.

If I was anywhere near Houston, I’d go to the exhibit. If anyone reading this gets a chance to go, please report back in the combox. I’d love to know what you think of the exhibit.

Immaculate Conception

November 30, 2008

Q. Where in Scripture does it teach the Immaculate Conception of Mary?

A. The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is not clearly taught in Scripture in a way that would satisfy a skeptic. But, to be honest, neither is the Doctrine of the Trinity. I know, because I spent hours trying to discover it, in order to show a friend who was a Jehovah’s Witness.

What we do find in Scripture are oblique comments that only make sense if the underlying doctrine that gave rise to the comments are known.

For instance, Jesus instructs his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in Matthew 28. This verse is cited when arguing for the Trinity. But does it unequivocally teach the Doctrine of the Trinity? No. But if you can understand that this verse rests upon and takes for granted that the listeners have already been instructed in the Doctrine of the Trinity thus no further explanation is necessary. Why else is name singular unless it denotes a trinitarian God-Father, Son & Holy Spirit?

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:41-42)

Elizabeth declared both Jesus and Mary “blessed”. Sinless perhaps? Some kind of equality there.

But this verse is very soft evidence of the underlying theology of the Immaculate Conception.


A stronger implication of the doctrine is found in the greeting to Mary from the angel in Luke 1:28:

“Hail! Full of Grace!”

The Greek word, chairo means “hail” or “rejoice.” Every other use of this verb hail/chairo in the New Testament, that is followed by a noun, declares the title of the person being saluted. For example, in Matthew 26:49, Judas greets Jesus with “Hail! Master!” Similarly, in Matthew 27:29 soldiers mockingly bow before Jesus saying, “Hail! King of the Jews!” “Master” and “King of the Jews” are being uses as titles of Christ, just like “Jesus Christ.”

So, the phrase, Full Of Grace, which follows the angel’s “Hail!,” is her title. It is “Full of Grace.” This might seem like an odd name, but in OT days God often had people named with strange titles to reveal some truth. For example, in Isaiah 7:3 we find that one of Isaiah’s sons was named “A Remnant Shall Return.”

The title given to Mary is a form of the Greek word, “charitoo,” which means “to endow with grace,” “highly favored.” We see this title, given to Mary by the angel Gabriel as evidence for the truthfulness of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. “Kecharitomene” is the actual Greek word translated in various versions of the Bible as “full of grace,” “O favored one,” etc. This Greek word literally means “having been highly favored” or “having been full of grace” (Luke 1:28).

The phrase, “full of grace,” doesn’t jump out as a reason to consider Mary something unique—one who from conception was without sin!

But, as Origen commented, in the second century, the angel’s greeting was an expression never before used to address someone. Even Mary was puzzled by such an unusual salutation (Luke 1:29).

So, many might be convinced that the Angel was calling Mary by a new name but wasn’t it merely a new name to express the honor of her upcoming state of blessedness as the mother of the Messiah?

No, because kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle. This means that Mary was filled with grace in the past and this fullness of grace continues to the present. Therefore this fullness of grace is not new. It will not begin with the Incarnation and is not due to her maternity alone.

So, the angel’s words were a declaration of existing fact, not a prophecy of a future event. Rather than the title “You are about to be full of grace” kecharitomene would mean “You have been and still are full of grace”.

The Angel’s greeting reveals the unstated and universally accepted fact that Mary had been given the fullness of God’s grace in her past before the angel’s announcement—way in her past, from the time of her conception. Mary was created by God without the defect of Original Sin. She was created in the Fullness of Grace, The Fullness of Humanity just as Adam and Eve had been created.

Whereas, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Mary obeyed God throughout her whole life. And, if you were God, entirely HOLY and you could create your mother in which to dwell in the incarnation would you choose a sinful woman or an immaculate one?

Blessed Ludwik Roch Gietyngier

November 30, 2008

blessed-ludwik-roch-gietyngier-nov-30Blessed Ludwik Roch Gietyngier

Zarka, Poland, 16 August 1904 – Dachau, Germany, 30 November 1941

Blessed Ludwik Gietyngier Roch, a diocesan priest, was born in Zarka, Poland, August 16, 1904 and died in Dachau, Germany, November 30, 1941. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw (Poland) on June 13, 1999 with 107 Polish martyrs.

Roman Martyrology: Close to Monaco of Bavaria in Germany in the prison camp at Dachau, blessed Gientyngier Louis Rocco, a priest and martyr who, during the occupation of Poland in time of war, because of criminal activities perpetrated by the enemies of the faith was subjected to torture and gave up his spirit to God.

Source: Santi e Beati

Celebrate Advent, Question Christmas

November 29, 2008


This year may be the best one in a long time for all Christians to re-examine Christmas and take Advent to heart.  A bad economy and a Walmart stampede which gave new meaning to “Black Friday,” offer us good occassion to reflect on the inanity of the American “Christmas” Season.

For years I have been deeply disturbed by the grand materialistic orgy that is the gringo Xmas.  The Lord who came to us in humble human vesture, in utter simplicity and taught us to find our serenity in the goods of heaven rather than the goods of this world has become hopelessly lost in a sea of Santa’s hocking gadgets which rob us of time and mental energy to reflect upon and deepen our spiritual lives. Read the rest of this entry »

The Priests – Ave Maria Novena – Day Nine

November 29, 2008

This concludes our novena of Ave Maria recordings.

Keep the readers and writers of TBC in your prayers.

Beatification of José Olalla Valdés today

November 29, 2008


Blessed José Olalla Valdés

Havana, Cuba, February 12, 1820-March 7, 1889, Camagüey, Cuba

The Venerable Servant of God José Olalla Valdés was born in Havana, the island of Cuba, on February 12 of 1820. The child of unknown parents, he was entrusted to the orphanage of St. Joseph (Havana), where on March 15, 1820 he received the baptism. He lived and was educated at the House of Cuna and the House of Charity, becoming a serious and responsible boy, and at the age of 13-14 years made his entry into the Hospital of St John of God in the hospital community Saints Philip and James, in Havana.

Overcoming the obstacles that seemed to interpose his vocation, he remained constant in his decision, professing his vows as a religious hospital. In April of 1835 he was transferred to the city of Puerto Príncipe (today Camagüey), the hospital San Giovanni di Dio, where he devoted himself for the rest of his life to the service of the sick, in the style of St John of God; In 54 years he was absent from hospital just one night, and for reasons independent of his will. Nurses aide, at 25 years became “more nurse” and the hospital then, in 1856, he became superior of the community.
Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Anselmo Simon Colomina

November 29, 2008

blessed-alfredo-simon-colomina-nov-29Blessed Alfredo Simon Colomina

Valencia, Spain, March 18, 1877 – El Saler, Spain, November 29, 1936

Anselmo Simón Colomina was born in Valencia on March 18 1877 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1895, where he became a priest. He was rector of the College of San Jose. He was killed at El Saler on November 29, 1936, at the age of 59 years.

Beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 11, 2001, with 231 other Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War (José Aparicio Sanz (1893-1936) e 232 compagni), who are collectively remembered on September 22.

Please note that his name is listed as Anselmo and Alfredo, depending on source.

Source: Santi e Beati, The Holy See


November 28, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 28 NOV 2008 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present a new album of songs inspired by the poetry of John Paul II – Karol Wojtyla. The songs on the album – which is entitled “Amore infinito” (Infinite Love) and has been produced by “Deutsche Grammophon” – were recorded by Placido Domingo.

Participating in today’s press conference were Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Placido Domingo; Msgr. Giuseppe A. Scotti, president of the management board of the Vatican Publishing House; Michael Lang, president of “Deutsche Grammophon”; Fernando Marin, president of “Tredici S.p.A.”, and Adrian Berwick, executive producer of the “Amore infinito” project. Read the rest of this entry »

Dolores O’Riordan – Ave Maria Novena – Day Eight

November 28, 2008

<I><B>Ave Maria</I></B> Novena – Day Eight

Symbolism of WATER

November 28, 2008

That Catholic Show – Water, Water Everywhere

Blessed Luis Campos Górriz

November 28, 2008


Blessed Luis Campos Górriz

Valencia, Spain, June 30, 1905 – Picadero de Paterna, Spain, November 28, 1936

Roman Martyrology: In the village of Picadero de Paterna in Valencia in Spain ever, blessed Luigi Górriz Campos, martyr, in that same religious persecution, tirelessly dedicated to a life of works and charity and crowned with a glorious death.

Luis Campos Gorriz was born in Valencia on June 30 1905. At seven he became a student of San José of the Jesuit fathers in his hometown. In 1921 he enrolled in Philosophy, Literature and Law. At the University of Valencia undertook in an apostolic life in the Marian congregations and student groups. He graduated in 1926 and in 1930 began his career as a lawyer.

On May 25, 1933 he married Carmen rteche Echeturía and in July, 1935 their first daughter was born. Also in that year he moved to Madrid as secretary general of the Association of Catholic propagandists. He was widowed in 1936 and then moved with his family from Valencia to Torrente because of the dangerous climate of the city following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

On November 28, 1936 he was murdered by the rosary in his hand at Picadero de Paterna. The militia determined that he had done work for the Catholics and was among the organizers of the Catholic Congress in Madrid.

On his beatification, March 11, 2001 with Pope John Paul II, Luis Campos Gorriz was included with the group of Jesuit martyrs, as their former pupil.

Aaron Neville – Ave Maria Novena – Day Seven

November 27, 2008

Blessed Bronislaw Kostkowski

November 27, 2008

blessed-bronislaw-kostkowski-nov-27Blessed Bronislaw Kostkowski

Slupsk, Poland, March 11, 1915 – Dachau, Germay, November 27, 1942

Roman Martyrology: In the prison camp at Dachau near Monaco of Bavaria in Germany, blessed Bronislaw Kostowski, martyr, who, during the military occupation of Poland in war, was subjected to a cruel prison torments obtained the palm of martyrdom.
Polish seminarian, who fell victim of Nazi hatred in his Christian faith. Pope John Paul II beatified on June, 13, 1999 with as many as 107 other victims of that persecution.
SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Andrea Bocelli – Ave Maria Novena – Day Six

November 26, 2008

I Am Agnostic

November 26, 2008

Q. I’m an agnostic. I believe, if there is a God, how could he have produced the world and the mess we are all in now?

A. Where could the whole of Creation have come from if not from an intelligent First Cause-Creator?

First take man out of the equation and I think you will agree with me that the world is stunningly beautiful. Snow capped mountains, rugged coastlines washed by crashing waves, tropical islands, all the varied beauty of plants and animals, desert canyons carved by rivers, Grand and otherwise, redwood forests, alpine lakes, mountain meadows in flower, sunsets and sunrises, full moons rising slowly over the mountains –all of these bespeak majestic beauty to me. They are echos of the beauty that resides in and proceeds from the heart of the Creator.

The mess we see all around us is the direct result of people doing what they want to do…doing what they think is good. Our Creator gave us instructions on how to live life to its fullest and happiest. But we do not believe Him and we do it our way. Then we look around at the mess we have made and blame God. He says to us, “Repent and sin no more and come and be enfolded in My loving Arms. And I will give you peace.” Our Creator knows we have not listened to Him. He knows we ignored His instructions but He is just waiting for us to come to Him so He can helps us get our lives back on track. So He can give us Joy and our Joy would be full.

Our Creator is much more gracious than a car manufacturer. Can you imagine going to the dealer and trying to get them to fix a car that you never added or changed the oil, used water instead of gasoline, did not keep the tires full of air. When asked why you did not follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the little book you said , “I didn’t like those instructions, they were too cumbersome and cramped my style. But you need to fix this car because is doesn’t work anymore and it is all your fault because you made it!” How will that car dealer respond?

Q. The Supreme Being could care less about our existence and how we handle things.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Gaetana Sterni

November 26, 2008

blessed-gaetana-sterni-nov-26Blessed Gaetana Sterni

Cassola, Vicenza, June 26, 1827-Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, November 26, 1889

Gaetana Sterni lived all her life in Bassano del Grappa, anancient and charming city of the province of Vicenza (Italy). She moved there with her family, at 8 years old, from nearby Cassola, where she was born on June 26, 1827. Her father Giovanni Battista Sterni, administered property for the Moras, a noble Venetian family and lived with his wife Giovanna Chiuppani and their six children. In 1835 he moved with his family to Bassano. In short, however, a series of events dramatically changed the conditions of Gaetana’s family. Indeed, her sister, Margaret, died at 18 and, after pneumonia killed her father, while her brother Francesco, left home and the family’s economic situation became critical. Because of this, Gaetana, grew up, having to share with her mother the many problems of everyday life. With good intelligence, she proved sensitive and mature but also full of life, eager to love and be loved. Her education in the faith was strong and, supported by the testimony and the teachings of her mother, prayer, the frequency for the sacraments. Collecting early in his environment esteem and appreciation for the sunny personality, full of common sense and the strong femininity. As a gracefulness rare appearance and attractiveness, Gaetana was full of charm, and strikes a young farmer, a widower with three children asking to marry her.

After assessing her feelings and taking responsibility for them, overcoming the opposition of her guardian, Gaetana accepted the proposal of Liberal Conte. The young wife was not yet 16, entered the new house and filled it with her life, restoring peace and joy to her husband and three children who love her as a mother. When Gaetana knew she was expecting a child, the happiness of the couple is complete. Read the rest of this entry »

Ivan Rebroff Ave Maria Novena – Day Five

November 25, 2008

Concoctions of the Devil

November 25, 2008

Q. I’ve been reading about the Catholic Church and its stand on “outside the Church there is no salvation” I just read a website from the Society of St. Pius X, South Africa and this is what it said:

Q. Can a good Protestant or a good Pagan save his soul?

SSPX– NO, absolutely not! It is not because he is a good pagan, or a “good” protestant, that he saves his soul, but that he is a Catholic without knowing it. Neither can anyone save his soul in virtue of any other religion but in the Catholic faith alone. All other churches are concoctions of the devil.

A. First let me state that the Society of St. Pius X is currently separated from the Catholic Church and does not speak for the Church. So, what one of their members says does not necessarily reflect on the Catholic Church but we do have much in common.

The situation is much too complex to paint with such a broad brush and dismiss all Protestant churches as “concoctions of the Devil”. However, we do believe:

1. That Jesus Christ founded One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and only one Church to bring salvation to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. We also believe that the Roman Catholic Church is that same church founded by Jesus on Peter.

3. And we do believe that the Devil is our supreme enemy in a spiritual warfare. God wants everyone to be in Heaven with Him and Satan wants everyone in Hell with him. So, there is a constant war for the soul of each human being during earthly life.

Obviously, Our Enemy could further his goal by splitting people off from the One Church with the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth and encourage them to move away from a faith that will save their souls. So, in this sense the division of the Christian faith is a result of the success of Our Enemy but God is able to work in and through these ecclesial communities, as our Holy Father said in July 2007, for the salvation of souls.
From the verses below we see that Jesus wanted one Church and He only
founded One Church. We are to be a part of the One Body of Christ

Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Giacinto Serrano Lopez

November 25, 2008

blessed-jacinto-serrano-lopez-nov-25Puebla de Hijar, Spain, July 30, 1901-November 25, 1936

Martyr of the Spanish Civil War

In the village of Puebla de Híjar near Teruel in Spain, blessed Giacinto López Serrano, a priest of the Order of Preachers and martyr, was shot during the persecution against the Church.

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Charlotte Church – Ave Maria Novena – Day Four

November 24, 2008

Blessed Maria Anna Sala

November 24, 2008


Blessed Maria Anna Sala

Brivio, April 21, 1829 – Milan, November 24, 1891

The Institute of the Marcelline Sisters was founded in Vimercate in 1838 by the Servant of God Luigi Biraghi (1801-1879), a man of wide culture and deep piety, professor and spiritual director in the major seminary of Milan, Doctor dell’Ambrosiana. It was built with the aim of forming a cultured woman adequate theological knowledge, so that it could bring the firmness of faith in society at the time, which was cultured and industrious, but troubled by dangerous new ideologies.

The Institute was named for Saint Marcellina, educator of the holy brothers Ambrogio and Satyr and the clarity and new methods, the firmness of the virtues of the first nuns, it bloomed so exceptionally.
Anna Maria Sala, who was born April 21 1829 at Brivio (Lecco) joined this institute after she had worked towards the eleven years of study at a college in the nascent Vimercate Institution ‘Marcellino’ and carried on her education Mother and spiritual Videmari faithful collaborator of the founder. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep In History Conference 2009 – Mark Your Calendars!

November 24, 2008

Deep In History Conference 2009 – Mark Your Calendars!

Since the Deep in History Conferences began we have journeyed together from the time of the Early Fathers to the beginning of the Catholic Church here in North America. October 23rd 2009 marks a new beginning in our journey to the past as the Deep in History Conference turns to the theme of the History of Catholic Doctrine.
Once again the focus of these weekends is to assist both Catholics and non-Catholics in their understanding what it means to be Deep in History, Deep in Scripture and Deep in Christ. In 2009, we will begin on the “rock” looking to understand the question of Authority: The Pillar and Bulwark. Read the rest of this entry »

Saint Cecilia Yu So-sa

November 23, 2008

saint-cecilia-yu-so-sa-nov-23Saint Cecilia Yu So-sa

Seoul, South Korea, 1761 – Seoul, South Korea, 23 November 1839

Roman Martyrology: In Seoul in Korea, Saint Cecilia Yu So-sa, martyr, who, widowed, owned private property and was arrested because of her faith, was subjected to twelve times to interrogation and beaten until expiration, almost an octogenarian, in prison .

The Second Vatican Council, far from having abolished the worship of saints, has instead stressed the universal call to holiness, this great reality of life-based evangelical style. Over the past decades this rediscovery size imitation of Christ which would be called all Christians of every condition, which led to the recognition and many beatifications and canonizations of many lay faithful, but for many centuries is well known as the only Saints with no clothes Religious were almost exclusively the kings of various European dynasties and some of the early martyrs.

The saint celebrated today is precisely a secular, lived in Korea straddling the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Unfortunately, as for the first martyrs, it is very difficult to find much information about her, even though they constitute the largest group of saints, Christians have always considered it unnecessary to send many details about their earthly existence, but rather put due emphasis in the extreme testimony of Christian faith until the point of their blood.

Cecilia Yu So-sa was born in Seoul, capital of today’s South Korea, in 1761. Married woman, her children were the Saints Hasang Paul Chong and Jung Hye. Then remained widow, was deprived of all her possessions and imprisoned because of her Christian faith. Twelve times she was brought to trial and many times was subjected to flogging. Eventually she died in Bo-jeong prison on Nov. 23, almost octogenarian.

Cecilia was beatified on July 5,1925 and finally canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1984 with 102 other martyrs whose blood was sprayed in her country, Korea. The group, known as the “Saints Taegon Andrea Kim, Paul Chong Hasang and comrades”, is commonly celebrated on the Latin liturgical calendar Sept. 20.

Author: Fabio Arduino

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Bobby McFerrin – Ave Maria Novena – Day Three

November 22, 2008

Blessed Elia Giuliano Torrido Sanchez

November 22, 2008


Blessed Elias Julian (Julian Torrijo Sanchez)

Martyr of the Spanish Civil War

Torrijo del Campo, Spain, Nov 17, 1900 – Picadero de Paterna, Spain, November 22, 1936

Julian Sanchez was born in Torrijo Torrijo del Campo, near Teruel in Spain, on November 17 1900. He was baptized the following day. Keen to become a Lasallian Brother, he entered nell’Aspirantato of Cambrils on November 13, 1916. He received the habit on February 11, 1917 at Hostalets de Llers and assumed the religious name of Elia Julian. He began his apostolate with children of Santa Coloma Farnese in 1920. Cambrils, Manlleu, San Hipolito de Voltregà, Condal, and the school Our Lady of Caramel in Barcelona were following his fields of apostolate. Because of an illness he had to return to Cambrils.

Here he was surprised by the religious persecution that broke out with the civil war. Along with Brother Bertran Francisco, he was instructed to accompany a group of novices and school Aragonese to their families, but before reaching their destination were intercepted by militants. Identified as religious, they were imprisoned and killed on November 22 1936. Brother Elia was 35.

Lord Jesus whom you want to call,
please call us to work for you and for our brothers.
Help us to overcome the problems and fears, as did our Brother Elian.
And if someone calls us to serve others,
that your love feed his vocation and persevere at his side until the end.
Let us realize our generous dreams
without leave from consumerism and contamination from the ugliness of society. So be it.

Both religious and three other brothers belonging to the Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools were beatified on March 11, 2001 by Pope John Paul II as part of a group of 233 Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.
Author: Fabio Arduino

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

More Yemeni Than Russians?

November 22, 2008


“The fragmentation of Islamic civilization. With birthrates in Muslim societies more than double the European average, Islamic countries are bound to put pressure on Europe and the U.S. in the years ahead. If, as is forecast, the population of Yemen will exceed that of Russia by 2050, there must be either dramatic improvements in the Middle East’s economic performance or substantial emigration from the Arab world to senescent Europe. Yet the subtle colonization of Europe’s cities by Muslims does not necessarily portend the advent of a new and menacing “Eurabia.” In fact, the Muslim Read the rest of this entry »

Pavarotti – Ave Maria Novena – Day Two

November 21, 2008

Ave Maria Novena – Day Two

A Non-Mosaic Torah

November 21, 2008
“From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”  Of course God was not lying to Adam.  The price for sin is blood.  When Paul said, “According to the law almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” he was not presenting new information to the Jews, he was simply emphasizing what they already knew to be true.  Getting there was a long road though.  The first time God purified the world was in Noah’s Flood.  Shortly after Noah’s flood God brought Abram into the world and promised him to make a great nation of him because of his faith.  Three generations later He saved Abraham’s family from starvation by placing one of the children in a position of authority in Egypt, where he had knowledge of the coming famine and the prudence and position to prepare for it.  Four hundred years later the Israelites needed salvation from their gracious hosts of old.  With Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Francesca Siedliska

November 21, 2008

blessed-francesca-siedliska-nov-21Blessed Francesca Siedliska

Roszkowa Wala (Warsaw), 12 November 1842 – Rome, Nov 21,1902

Roman Martyrology: In Rome, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances) de Siedliska, virgin, who left Poland for political reasons, founded the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth to provide the emigrants from his homeland.

To read the biography of the Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Francesca Siedliska the century, one is amazed to cope with the high number of kilometers traveled in numerous trips throughout Europe and the USA, to which she was committed most of her religious life and using public transport, which was certainly not fast and comfortable in thelate nineteenth century.

Francesca Siedliska, was born in the castle of Roszkowa Wala at Warsaw in Poland on November 12, 1842, firstborn of the spouses and Cecilia Adolfo Siedliska of Morawski, descendants from ancient Polish nobility, the area in Poland where she lived, was then under the protection of the Tsar of Russia and twenty years later in 1863, was built into the empire of the Tsar.

Grew with the affection of the parents, however, they were worried over her health and her flourishing cultural formation, and had to give her a religious education. In an environment steeped in religious indifference, the philosophy of the time, Frances began to know God through un’istitutrice very good and cultured, who also taught her to pray, but the sudden death of this istitutrice, deprived her of spiritual support. Subsequently, a maternal relative prepared her for confession first, then her mother became seriously ill and Francesca was anguished and implored the strength of the Madonna on her healing, which occurred shortly afterwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Jorge Aragão – Ave Maria Novena – Day One

November 20, 2008

H/T: Father Joe

This begins our novena of Ave Maria recordings. Check in each day for the next recording.

Keep the readers and writers of TBC in your prayers.

How Can a Good God Allow Deformed Children

November 20, 2008

God is certainly good. He gave humanity free will and they abused their freedom by disobedience to the Law of God. This caused the fall of man and nature. From this disharmony, evil (absence of good) was introduced. Evil is permitted, because without evil being a real possibility people would not have real freedom. Childhood deformity, diseases, and all kinds of disabilities are a result of the disharmony of nature caused by Man’s fall. But, God knows that He can draw greater good from all kinds of suffering in the end.

In His wisdom God may permit a child to be born deformed who with health and strength would fling itself into the pleasures of sin and end up in eternal loss. Would it not be a mercy for some, apparently sane people, to have been born with great defects in order to save them from Hell? People, whether mentally or bodily deformed, do not spend the whole of their lives in misery and suffering. They too can experience joy and love, laughter and compassion. Likewise, we must remember that our souls are eternal, and all will be rectified either in this life or the next.

Again, an intellectually or psychologically damaged child/adult cannot sin, and so what appears to us as a life not worth living will, after a mere 80 years or so, yield to the joy of eternal happiness in Heaven. These days we have convinced ourselves that the merciful thing to do is to snuff out the lives of helpless human beings through abortion/euthanasia. But, in the process we can send ourselves to Hell by committing this grave sin.

We might say, “If God be good, why did He allow His Son to go through excruciating torture?” Sin is the real evil, not suffering. Earthly suffering will only last as long as this life. But, SIN is capable of landing a person in Hell where suffering will be longer than an earthly life. The suffering of Hell will last eternally.

The miseries of this world have driven thousands into the loving arms of God. So, if only for this reason we can discern an indication of God’s goodness in allowing suffering in order to give eternal life in Heaven with Him.

A baby born without eyes grows up. Click HERE

A child born without the ability to walk is overjoyed when carried on Dad’s shoulders in a local race. So Dad begins to enter races carrying his son. Then he moves on to Triatholons. See video HERE. See story HERE

Blessed Frederick Janson? Blessed Frédéric Janssoone !

November 20, 2008

Doing some research on saints and beati who died in the 20th century and I came to a list that included “Blessed Frederick Janson 1838 – 1916”

Not finding ANY info on him.



5 bob to Kellen who solved the mystery:

This page (http://www.magnificat.ca/cal/engl/08-04.htm), second half. It appears “Janson” is an Anglicized “Janssoone”.

Yes, Nan, we would have done better on this one if we were Scandahoovians.

Who knew?

For more info, check out: http://frederic-janssoone.blogspot.com/

…provided you can read French.

Saint Bernward of Hildesheim

November 20, 2008

saint-bernwardo-of-hildesheim-nov-20Saint Bernardw of Hildesheim

Saxony, ca. 960 – Hildesheim (Saxony), November 20, 1022

Roman Martyrology: At Hildesheim in Saxony in Germany, Bernvardo St., Bishop, who defended his flock from attacks, renewed with several synods of clergy discipline and promoted the monastic life.

The Metal BIshop: You can call him so. While studying Scripture and doctrine of the Church, he was also attracted to the art of forging, casting and shaping metal in the forges and shops of Hildesheim, a strong center of commerce in Lower Saxony. The son of aristocrats, he was born when the Saxon Duke Otto became the Emperor Otto I, the most powerful ruler in Europe. After that, he watched Otto I’s son, Otto II, rise to the throne; he died in Rome in 983 after a defeat (by the Saracens), who threatened to overthrow the Empire. And then, as a young priest, was called to court as a master of the new Emperor Otto III, who was still a child. It was a post that carried great weight, motivated by good qualities that Bernardo revealed, and also by his close relationship with the great nobility of Saxony.

In 992 he was appointed bishop of Hildesheim, using for proof of his good, the time that he spent as an educator at court. The test of his good is repeated: to consolidate among its people a faith so strong that really is not, in any part of the territory. Two centuries earlier, in fact, missionaries came to preach among the Saxons; Charlemagne came with the army to Christianize people by combat, en masse, and the memory of so much brutality lasted long. Because of this Bernardo began founding monasteries, centers of evangelization by word and example.

He introduced the first Benedictines. Then using figurative art that speaks to people who can not read the books of faith by its calligraphic Scriptures, with him to guide them. He called painters, sculptors, goldsmiths of the city, and others to get on with his initiatives. But he does not have the authority to order and pay. He is “the occupation” and every day passes shops to monitor and stimulate the artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Eliseo Garcia y Garcia

November 19, 2008


El Manzano, Spain, Aug 25, 1907 – Garraf, Spain, November 19, 1936

He was born in El Manzano (Salamanca) on August 25 1907. Went to Campello (Alicante), where during the period of persecution in the Republic he had to endure many hardships for his relationship with the religious, although this was his profession as Salesian coadjutor. In Gerona in 1932, and remained there for some time before moving to Sant Vicent dels Horts (Barcelona). When the war broke out, he did not want to abandon the children who lived there until he was expelled. A few days after he returned to Sant Vicent to visit Mr. Planas, the militiamen, who were pawns, stopped him.

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Big News: Episcopal Bishop ‘Skip’ Adams: Christianity is NOT a Religion

November 18, 2008


Episcopalian Bishop “Skip” Adams of the Diocese of Central New York also informs the world that morality is an obstacle to God.  With “Bishops” like this, the Episcopal “Church” is showing that it has broken from Christianity in more ways that one…er, six…er, 12:

If this faith of ours is going to be a living one, we have to let go of the idea of Christianity as religion, which I understand to be a system of rules and regulations to get people to behave a certain way that we have deemed acceptable. To say it another way, to make Christian faith primarily about being moral and good. By the way, I believe that this approach has direct import on the struggles we have in being and becoming an Anglican Communion. Stay tuned on that one.

There have been differing moral codes associated with Christianity throughout history. Christian faith, in itself, is not a moral code, however. It is a response in faith to the God revealed in Jesus Christ. It was the theologian Jacque Ellul who said in The Subversion of Christianity, “When I say that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is against morality, I am not trying to say that it replaces one form of morality with another…Revelation is an attack on all morality, as is wonderfully shown by the parables of the kingdom of heaven, that of the prodigal son, that of the talents, that of the eleventh hour laborers, that of the unfaithful steward, and many others (I would add Zacchaeus in the tree). In all the parables the person who serves as an example has not lived a moral life. The one who is rejected is the one who has lived a moral life. Naturally this does not mean that we are counseled to become robbers, murderers, adulterers, etc. On the contrary, the behavior to which we are summoned surpasses morality, all morality, which is shown to be an obstacle to encounter with God.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why Do Catholics Have Priests?

November 18, 2008

That Catholic Show – You Are A Priest Forever

Blessed Carolina Kozka

November 18, 2008

blessed-carolina-kozka-nov-18 Blessed Karolina Kozka

August 2, 1898, Wal-Ruda – November 18, 1914, Wal-Ruda forest

She was born on August 2, 1898 at Wal-Ruda (Tarnów, Poland), in a poor peasant family. As a young woman was accompanied by her spiritual father, Ladislao Mendrala, who inserted religion in the life of the parish of the village. She was a catechist for her brothers and children of neighboring houses. She was also dedicated to helping elderly and sick. In May 1914 she received confirmation and six months later, on November 18, 1914, during the First World War, in the area that saw eastern Prussia invade Russia and Poland with a rather mixed result, Carolina was attacked by a Russian soldier and dragged into the forest of Wal-Ruda by force. The young are opposed to sexual violence and for this she was killed: she was 16. Her body was found just sixteen days later, on December 4 and buried in the cemetery of the parish. Her martyrdom caused much sensation among the inhabitants of the region and on June 18 ,1916, near the Church of Zabaware, a monument in her memory was blessed. At the location of the crime in the woods, a cross was placed. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 10 1987, in Tarnów in Poland.

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

VOTE FOR PETERS 2008! Get The Man A Scholarship!

November 17, 2008

One of out favorite bloggers here at The Black Cordelias is Thomas Peters of American Papist fame. He is in the running for a$10 scholarship and is, as of this writing, in second place.

I’m in serious running to receive a $10,000 scholarship for blogging as a student. Voting for me here (“Thomas Peters”) only takes a few seconds, and I would deeply appreciate you spreading the word amongst your friends, facebook, readers, email lists, etc.

If this cause goes viral among the Catholic online community, I could have real shot at winning, which would mean more time blogging as opposed to, well, trying to pay the electric bill. Reading in the dark is no fun. Think of it as a little good deed for today. Thank you!

I have no friends in the Chicago political machine, so the best I can do is ask our humble readership to cast a vote (it takes 2 seconds, one need not register!) for the kid.

In Umbris Sancti Petri On Chesteron’s “Cosmic Patriotism”

November 17, 2008

Chesterton’s “Cosmic Patriotism”

5 bob to In Umbris Sancti Petri

Blessed Josafat Kocylovskyj

November 17, 2008

blessed-josafat-kocylovskyj-nov-171 Blessed Josafat Kocylovskyj

Pakosivka (Poland), March 3, 1876 – Capaivca, Kiev, November 17, 1947

Roman Martyrology: In the city of Capaivca the territory of Ukraine in Kiev, blessed Kocylovskyj Josaphat, bishop of Przemysl and martyr who, during the oppression of their homeland under an atheist regime, made his soul to God to be faithful disciples of Christ.

Blessed Josafat was born on March 3. 1876 in the village of Pakosivka (Poland), completed his theological studies in Rome and on October 9, 1907 he was ordained a priest.

He became vice-chancellor and professor of theology at the seminary of Stanislaviv currently Ivano-Frankivsk. On October 2, 1911 entered the Basilian where issued monastic vows, taking the name of Josafat, September 23, 1917 he was ordained bishop dell’Eparchia of Peremysl. In September 1945 he was arrested for the first time by the Communist authorities in Poland, but later released in 1946.

On February 11, 1946 thedeportation of Ukrainians living in Poland was ordered; Josafat Kocylovskyj was arrested a second time, imprisoned and deported to Kiev in Ukraine, where he became seriously ill with pneumonia. Later, he was transferred to the Capaivca labor camps (Kiev region), where he underwent continuous pressure to move to the Russian Orthodox Church. He died in the same camp as a result of cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 71 years, on November 17, 1947.

He was beatified On June 27, 2001, in Lvov (Lviv) by Pope John Paul II during his apostolic pilgrimage in Ukraine, along with 24 other Ukrainian martyrs who were victims of communist persecution occurred from 1935 to 1973.

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Mass as a Memorial

November 16, 2008

Q. I’d like to comment on your “anamnesis” article, if I may. The word may indeed always be used in a “sacrificial” context, but this in no way makes communion / the Lord’s Supper –a SACRIFICE. The reason for the “sacrificial” context is simply because Jesus wanted us to “remember” Him by looking BACK to His work /sacrifice on the cross. OF COURSE it has sacrificial overtones!But what do you do with verses like

Hebrews 10:18“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

The penalty for sin has already been paid in full. The sacrifices offered today are of our total selves, our obedience, our praise and thanksgiving. THAT type of “sacrifice” is acceptable. But there is no more sacrifice to offer for
SIN (as the RCC views the Eucharist).

A. You make a good point and if one is confined to scripture alone it cannot be proven one way or the other. However, historically the mass WAS referred to as a sacrifice in the very earliest writings before the Bible was even canonized. Therefore, the same Church that called the mass a sacrifice decided which books would be canonized and closed the canon of Scripture. If one accepts the canon of scripture how can one exclude the Faith as practiced by the very same Church that defined the canon?

But of course the sacrifice of the mass is not another sacrifice, as clearly stated by John Chrysostom in 403AD. Our masses are Re-Presentations of that ONE Sacrifice.That Once and for all sacrifice.

The Didache

“Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]” (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

Pope Clement I

“Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its sacrifices. (Letter to the Corinthians 44:4–5 [A.D. 80]).



Ignatius of Antioch

“Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice—even as there is also but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow servitors, the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God” (Letter to the Philadelphians 4 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

“God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 41 [A.D. 155]).

“He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, ‘This is my body.’ The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, he confessed to be his blood. He taught the new sacrifice of the new covenant, of which Malachi, one of the twelve [minor] prophets, had signified beforehand: ‘You do not do my will, says the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is my name among the Gentiles, says the Lord Almighty’ [Mal. 1:10–11]. By these words he makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to him, and indeed, a pure one, for his name is glorified among the Gentiles” (Against Heresies 4:17:5 [A.D. 189]).


“Accept therewith our hallowing too, as we say, ‘Holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth is full of your glory.’ Heaven is full, and full is the earth, with your magnificent glory, Lord of virtues. Full also is this sacrifice, with your strength and your communion; for to you we offer this living sacrifice, this unbloody oblation” (Prayer of the Eucharistic Sacrifice 13:12–16 [A.D. 350]).

Cyril of Jerusalem

“Then, having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth his Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before him, that he may make the bread the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ, for whatsoever the Holy Spirit has touched is surely sanctified and changed. Then, upon the completion of the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim we call upon God for the common peace of the churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and offer this sacrifice for all who are in need” (Catechetical Lectures 23:7–8 [A.D. 350]).

Ambrose of Milan

“We saw the prince of priests coming to us, we saw and heard him offering his blood for us. We follow, inasmuch as we are able, being priests, and we offer the sacrifice on behalf of the people. Even if we are of but little merit, still, in the sacrifice, we are honorable. Even if Christ is not now seen as the one who offers the sacrifice, nevertheless it is he himself that is offered in sacrifice here on Earth when the body of Christ is offered. Indeed, to offer himself he is made visible in us, he whose word makes holy the sacrifice that is offered” (Commentaries on Twelve Psalms of David 38:25 [A.D. 389]).

John Chrysostom

“When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven?” (The Priesthood 3:4:177 [A.D. 387]).

“Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the sacrificial victim who is placed thereon!” (Homilies on Romans 8:8 [A.D. 391]).

“‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not communion of the blood of Christ?’ Very trustworthy and awesomely does he [Paul] say it. For what he is saying is this: What is in the cup is that which flowed from his side, and we partake of it. He called it a cup of blessing because when we hold it in our hands that is how we praise him in song, wondering and astonished at his indescribable gift, blessing him because of his having poured out this very gift so that we might not remain in error; and not only for his having poured it out, but also for his sharing it with all of us. ‘If therefore you desire blood,’ he [the Lord] says, ‘do not redden the platform of idols with the slaughter of dumb beasts, but my altar of sacrifice with my blood.’ What is more awesome than this? What, pray tell, more tenderly loving?” (Homilies on First Corinthians 24:1(3) [A.D. 392]).

“In ancient times, because men were very imperfect, God did not scorn to receive the blood which they were offering . . . to draw them away from those idols; and this very thing again was because of his indescribable, tender affection. But now he has transferred the priestly action to what is most awesome and magnificent. He has changed the sacrifice itself, and instead of the butchering of dumb beasts, he commands the offering up of himself” (ibid., 24:2).

“What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one body. And just as he is one body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one sacrifice” (Homilies on Hebrews 17:3(6) [A.D. 403]).

Fulgentius of Ruspe

“Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that the only-begotten God the Word himself became flesh [and] offered himself in an odor of sweetness as a sacrifice and victim to God on our behalf; to whom . . . in the time of the Old Testament animals were sacrificed by the patriarchs and prophets and priests; and to whom now, I mean in the time of the New Testament . . . the holy Catholic Church does not cease in faith and love to offer throughout all the lands of the world a sacrifice of bread and wine. In those former sacrifices what would be given us in the future was signified figuratively, but in this sacrifice which has now been given us is shown plainly. In those former sacrifices it was fore-announced that the Son of God would be killed for the impious, but in the present sacrifice it is announced that he has been killed for the impious” (The Rule of Faith 62 [A.D. 524]).For more see Catholic Answers at catholic.com

Saint Margaret of Scotland

November 16, 2008


Saint Margaret of Scotland

Hungary, about 1046 – Edinburgh, Scotland, November 16,1093

Daughter of Edward, the English king in exile to escape all’usurpatore Canuto, Margaret was born in Hungary around 1046. Her mother, Agatha, was descended from the holy Hungarian king Stephen. When she was nine years her father returned to the throne, but soon had to flee again, this time to Scotland. And here 24 years Margaret was the wife of King Malcolm III, who had six sons and two daughters. The Roman Missal describes her as a “model mother and queen for goodness and wisdom.” It is said that the king did not know to read and had a great respect for his educated wife and kissed the books of prayer that he saw her read with devotion. Charitable toward the poor, orphans, the sick, she assisted them personally and invited Malcolm III to do the same. Already gravely ill when she received the news of the deaths of her husband and eldest son in the battle of Alnwick: she was said to offer this suffering as repair of their sins.

The Saint for today was in fact Queen of Scots, and Queen fortunate enough, made this unusual, because other crowned, it almost always sanctified through disgrace, humiliation and unhappiness.There are many real Margarets whose blood is entered on the Christian calendar: Margaret daughter of the King of Lorraine, Benedictine of the XIII century, Margaret daughter of the King of Hungary, Dominican of the same century; Margherita daughter of the King of Bavaria, widow of the fourteenth century, Margherita Lorena, bred daughter of the King as Renato d’Anjou, to which could be added Margherita of the Dukes of Savoy and Margaret of Auditors Colonna.That we remember today was born in 1046, niece of Edmond II, Iron Hips and the daughter of Edward, refugee in a foreign land to escape from Canute, usurper of the throne of England. Read the rest of this entry »

Am I Alone In Thinking…

November 15, 2008

…that if a movie were made of the life of Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, Al Pacino would be a shoe-in to play the role? (Think “Godfather III“)

Yea, I probably am.

Father Zakaria Speaks On “Islamophobia”

November 15, 2008

“I am not “Islamophobic,” I am Islamorealistic.”

So true.

5 bob to Jihad Watch

SOG Fulton J. Sheen – Words Of A Prophet

November 15, 2008


Words of a prophet…


“The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not; whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not; whether blood will have to be shed we know not; whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.”
~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

5 bob to RECONecting to the Truth.

Gay Political Extortion Crushes LDS Prop 8 Supporter

November 15, 2008


Diana West comments on a despicable scene taking place in Hollywood.   The gay community has now targeted a popular restaurant for harassment and boycott because the own exercised her right to participate in the political process according to her conscience.  They have threatened her with the destruction of her business unless she support publicly now gay marriage.  All for her $100 donation to support Prop. 8.

The mainstream media have so far failed to get across the intensity of the ordeal that supporters of Prop 8 may now be subject to–something I realized on coming across this extraordinary blog account of a meeting at the legendary restaurant El Coyote in Hollywood, not far from where I grew up in Laurel Canyon. The meeting was between the elderly Mormon owner, who donated $100 to support Prop 8, and Prop 8 opponents, who are threatening a boycott, and it is as soul- grinding as something out of Soviet show trial history. Peacelovelunges.com–billed as “the blog of ex-Mormon, reformed porn star and Hollywood fitness trainer Sam Page”–reports:

In a dramatic, closed door meeting, the owner of a renowned Mexican eatery in Hollywood expressed regret in her decision to donate $100 to the “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign, but her remarks before a group of about 60 members of Los Angeles’ LGBT community fell short of an outright personal apology.

Just the spectacle of an American citizen expressing regret for her political conviction to avert economic harm is gruesome already. But it goes on: Read the rest of this entry »

Saint Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembé

November 15, 2008


Saint Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembé

Died in Nakivubo, Uganda, November 15, 1885

Roman Martyrology: At Mengo in Uganda, St Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembé, martyr, who, head of the royal court, having received baptism, converted many young people to Christ and defended the boys from court vices of king Mwenga, and at twenty-five year, was beheaded by order of the angry king, becoming the first victim of his persecution.

His beatification in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, together with twenty-one other martyrs of Ugandan origin, was a sensation, perhaps because then, certainly more than now, the glory of the altars was linked to certain canons of race, language and culture. In fact, they were first sub-Saharans to be recognized as martyrs and, as such, venerated by the Catholic Church. Read the rest of this entry »

Joyful Catholics: A Question For Senator Obama

November 14, 2008

 There is nothing I can add to this.

A question for Mr. Obama…


Since 1/3 of all babies currently inside their mothers won’t be born, tell me, Mr. President-elect, of
these 15 sweet little babies, which five should be aborted and discarded like

Mass prayed for the unborn

Blessed Maria Merkert

November 14, 2008


Blessed Maria Luisa Merkert

Nysa, Poland, September 21, 1817-November 14, 1872Nysa, Poland, 21 Sept. 1817-14 Nov. 1872

Before and confused Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth.

Maria Luisa Merkert was born, second, on 21 September 1817 in a bourgeois family of Nysa, in Upper Silesia, at the diocese of Wroclaw. The town, known as the Silesian Rome for its numerous monuments, is now in Poland but in those days was German. The religious atmosphere of the family was a great influenced on the future religious vocation and her sister Maria Matilde. The parish of St. Giacomo, where Maria was christened, was an important reference. The Merkerts were part of the Confraternity of the Holy Sepulcher. The father held various positions and died when Mary was only a year old. It was up to their mother to educate the two, a teacher of real life and faith. She died in 1842 and Maria, who was twenty-five, with her sister Matilda el’amica Frances Werner, guided by the confessor, united with Clara Wolff, a young Franciscan tertiary, committed to helping the sick poor, without care because only at home. The four women formed a sort of association. Clara, the oldest, had a the lively nature, sensitive and volatile and had already given assistance during a cholera epidemic. Francesca, a peer of Maria, had a strong personality even if it was humble and modest.

Surviving over ten years at Blessed, succeeding as Superior General of the congregation. Matilda Merkert was mild in nature and very religious. The pious association began its activities on September 27, without votes and without official approval, but in a few months won the attention and esteem of the authorities. Two years after the priest prepared a first rule that women received consecrating the Heart of Jesus. On 8 May 1846, a Prudnik, Matilda died as a result of an infection contracted during treatment for some patients with typhoid. It was a hard blow, but she went ahead. Following the will of their confessor, Maria and Clara entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in Prague, an organization of French origin, the Czech branch was founded in 1837. They were subsequently formed to give life to the service who felt the need to achieve. The Sisters Borromeo considered but secondary care and home care for the sick On June 30 1850, Matilda left the novitiate. Divided as the destinies of Maria and Clara. The latter, in 1852, going from treating the ill, was involved in an accident and on January 4, 1854, died of her wounds. Maria was left alone, the responsibility of continuing became heavier, who had seemed almost to give up her vocation.

The abandonment of the Sisters Borromeo had caused a certain sensation and disagreements with the confessor. By Francesca Wermer shooting privately work at home visit the sick poor. They went to Prague for training, which was very important for the emerging congregation, so that on November 19 1850, despite opposition and shortage of resources, they assumed the name of “Sisters of St. Bigie Elizabeth” (the color of organic), the Feast of the Holy Thuringia who was chosen as Patron. At Nysa poverty was widespread, Silesia had suffered heavily from the liberal revolutionary storm and was involved in wars and Prussian Austrian, with injuries and the resulting epidemics. Many recoursed to the sisters, sure to be heard and helped. Maria, tireless, was ready to follow everyone. Her companion testified: “Mother Mary bought meat, coffee and bread for the poor and widows, wore it herself to the poor and gave it with kindness of heart that those old crying with joy and everyone used to call her `the dear mother of all’ “. In 1859 the association had sixty religious in eleven houses, even in regions with predominantly Protestants. They now needed official approval to simplify relations with the public.

The Rule, inspired by that of the Third Franciscan Order, was approved by the Bishop of Breslau. On May 5, 1860 took place in the occupation of twenty-six nuns who, in addition to the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, had a fourth vow, to help the sick poor at home. They acquired an appropriate forum for the Institute. Mother Mary was concerned immediately to give it a church that was beautiful and functional. All the responsibilities affect you, in the anticlerical climate caused by the Prussians. It held the first general chapter and Mary was elected Superior General. In subsequent years the current Motherhouse of the Congregation took form. In 1864 there was state recognition, including interest from Queen Augusta. Two years after they were formed, they sent their first missionary nuns to Sweden. The archbishop of Wroclaw, took part in 1870 at the Vatican, to accelerate the papal recognition. Maria reached the moment so desired by so many years. On 7 June 1871 Pope Pius IX granted the decree of praise. Assisting the sick poor, meant for Maria, adhering to the love of Christ, which took all her energy, until death. She was a woman of great prayer, taking the Madonna as her model, and had every need addressed. The work of the sisters said later to be looking after the needs of the elderly, orphans, the educational activities in kindergartens and schools. The founder was always very attentive to the moral and spiritual education of her sisters. In twenty-two years, she prepared about five hundred sisters. At the end of each year the news was gathered approximately ninety houses. The mission of Mother Maria was now complete, she had offered all her life for others. Towards the end of 1872 omens now that her day on earth coming to an end. On November 14 her generous heart ceased to beat, quietly, without any agony. She was fifty-five years old. The piansero all the poor of the city. In its latest circular letter to the sisters she had spoken of a “loving hand of God that moves all our destinies.” The approval of pontifical right of the Sisters of St. Rave Elizabeth was granted by Pope Leo XIII fifteen years after her death. In 1964 the remains of the “Samaritan of Silesia” were brought to the crypt of her church, where they have been, in a side chapel, since 1998. In Nysa, now in the diocese of Opole, she was beatified on September 30, 2007. The congregation is now headquartered in different places in the world.

Holy Trinity, one God,
humbly beg your kindness
mercy and help in our need,
through the intercession of the Blessed Maria Merkert,
that your love for life and served prodigal
for the sick, the poor and abandoned.
For Christ our Lord. Amen.

For information:
Sisters of St. Elizabeth
Via dell’Olmata, 9
00184 Roma
tel. 06/4888271

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Blessed Juan Gonga Martinez

November 13, 2008

blessed-juan-gonga-martinez-nov-13Blessed Juan Gonga Martinez

Martyr of the Spanish Civil War

Carcaixent, SPaint, March 25, 1912-Simat de Valldigna, Spain, November 13, 1936

Roman Martyrology: In the village of Simat de Valldigna the territory of Valencia in Spain, blessed John Gonga Martínez, martyr, who spilled the blood of Christ during the persecution against the faith.

Gonga Juan Martinez, the lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Valencia, was born March 25, 1912 in Carcaixent in Spain. He was baptized on March 28, 1912 and confirmed on October 13, 1926, in the parish church of the Assumption of Our Lady of his birthplace. After his first communion, May 25 1922, he began an ‘intense apostolic life.

Aspiring to the priesthood, a long illness left him with poor health, hindering the achievement of his goal. He then joined Catholic Action, and was very active. He was a very affective Catechist and managed to get some conversions. Famous in his city for promoting works of charity, he was already nicknamed “the holy” during his life. He became an accountant and found work as an employee in an office.

At the outbreak of civil war and fierce religious persecution that crossed Spain, he was jailed on July 25, 1936 at Mass, but was later released and fled to another city. Having nostalgia for his family he returned to Carcaixent, where he was immediately imprisoned and killed on November 13, 1936 at Simat of Valldigna. Before expiring, with a cross in the hands lose his executioners.

On March 11, 2001, Pope John Paul II, raised to the honors of the altars 233 victims of the persecution, including the Blessed Juan Martinez Gonga, who is celebrated on the anniversary of his martyrdom.

SOURCE: Santi e Beati