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Thursday, January 7, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. JAN. 7, 2010








CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. JAN. 7, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: BECOME HUMBLE & OTHER PAPAL MESSAGES-
EUROPE: IRELAND: CARDINAL DALY REMEMBERED-
ASIA: SINGAPORE: VIDEOS OF MASS POSTED ON WEB FOR HOME BOUND CATHOLICS-
AFRICA: EGYPT: ATTACK 7 KILLS COPTIC CHRISTIANS AFTER MASS-
AFRICA: SUDAN: 140 DIE IN LATEST VIOLENCE-
AMERICA: USA: CALIFORNIA: PRIEST SUSPENDED AFTER ADMITS ABUSE-
AUSTRALIA: FR. MAGUIRE URGES MURDERER TO SURRENDER-


VATICAN

BECOME HUMBLE IN ORDER TO RECOGNISE THE GREATNESS OF GOD


(VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m. today, the Pope presided at Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. In his homily Benedict XVI commented on the readings from the Book of Isaiah and from the Gospel of St. Matthew, explaining that the Magi "were not the last but the first of the great procession of people who, through all ages of history, were able to recognise the message of the star, to follow the paths indicated by Sacred Scripture, and thus to find Him Who is apparently weak and fragile but Who, in fact, has the power to bring the greatest and most profound joy to the human heart". "In Him", the Pope continued, "is the expression of the stupendous truth that God knows us and is close to us, that His greatness and power are not expressed in the logic of the world, but in the logic of a defenceless child Whose strength is only that of the love He gives us. In the course of history there are always people who are illuminated by the light of the star, who find the path and manage to encounter Him. All of them live, each in their own way, the same experience as the Magi". "If, then, we read the promise of the prophet Isaiah and its fulfilment in the Gospel of Matthew within the great context of all history, it is evident that what we are told - and what we seek to reproduce in the nativity scene - is not a dream or a vain interplay of feelings and emotions devoid of strength or authenticity; rather, it is the Truth that irradiates around the world". "Only in that Child is the power of God made manifest, the power which brings together men of all centuries so that, under His lordship, they may follow the path of love which transfigures the world. And yet, although the few of Bethlehem have become many, believers in Jesus Christ always seem to be few. Many have seen the star but only a few have understood its message". "We can, then, ask ourselves", said the Holy Father, "why is it that some seek and find, while others do not? What is it that opens their eyes and hearts? What is lacking in those who remain indifferent, in those who show the way but do not move themselves? And we may answer that too much self-confidence, the belief they possess a perfect knowledge of reality, and the presumption of having already formulated a definitive judgement about things makes their hearts closed and insensitive to the novelty of God. They are sure of the idea they have of the world and do not allow themselves to be intimately moved by the adventure of a God Who wants to meet them. They place their trust more in themselves than in Him, and do not believe it possible that God is so great that He can become small, that he can truly draw close to us. "In the end", he added, "what they lack is the authentic humility capable of submitting itself to that which is greater, but also the authentic courage which brings us to believe in that which is truly great, even if it shows itself in a defenceless Child. What they lack is the evangelical capacity to become children at heart, to be amazed and to abandon the self so as to start down the path indicated by the star, the path of God. Yet the Lord", the Pope concluded, "has the power to make us see and to save ourselves".HML/EPIPHANY/... VIS 100107 (620)




HARMONY BETWEEN REASON AND FAITH, SCIENCE AND REVELATION VATICAN CITY, 6 JAN 2010 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass in the Vatican Basilica, at midday the Pope appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below. Recalling the fact that "today we celebrate the great Feast of the Epiphany, the mystery of the apparition of the Lord to all people, as represented by the Magi who came from the East to adore the King of the Jews", the Pope said that "the star and Holy Scripture were the twin lights that guided the journey of the Magi, who appear to us as models of authentic seekers after truth". The Magi, he went on, "were men of learning in the broadest sense, who observed the cosmos and held it to be a vast book full of signs and divine messages for mankind. Their wisdom, then, far from being self-sufficient, was open to further revelations and divine calls". "The culmination of their quest came when they found themselves before 'the child with Mary his mother'. The Gospel says that 'they knelt down and paid him homage'. They could have been deluded, even scandalised; yet, being true wise men, they were open to the mystery which revealed itself in such a surprising way, and with their symbolic gifts they showed they recognised Jesus as King and Son of God. In that gesture the messianic oracles announcing the homage of the nations to the God of Israel were fulfilled. "One final detail confirms the blend of intelligence and faith in the Magi", the Pope added. "This is the fact that, 'having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road'. It would have been natural to return to Jerusalem, to the palace of Herod and the Temple, in order to announce their discovery. Instead the Magi, who had chosen the Child as their king, kept that discovery hidden, like Mary or, better still, like God Himself. And so, just as they appeared they disappeared in silence, contented but also changed by their encounter with the Truth. They had discovered the new face of God, a new regality: the regality of love". The Pope appealed to the Virgin Mary, "model of true wisdom, to help us become true searchers after the truth of God, always capable of experiencing the profound harmony that exists between reason and faith, between science and revelation". After the Marian prayer, the Holy Father congratulated "our brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches who celebrate Christmas tomorrow. May the mystery of light be a source of joy and peace for all families and communities". He then reminded those present that the Solemnity of the Epiphany coincides with the Day of Missionary Children, which has as its motto this year: "children helping children". "Promoted by the Venerable Pope Pius XII in 1950, this initiative educates children to form a mentality open to the world and to show solidarity with their more disadvantaged peers", said Pope Benedict. In this context he concluded by expressing his affectionate greetings to "all the young missionaries present on the five continents, and I encourage them always to be witnesses of Jesus and announcers of His Gospel".ANG/EPIPHANY/... VIS 100107 (560)




OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 6 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the office of ordinary for Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe, presented by Bishop Nechan Karakeheyan, and appointed Fr. Vahan Ohanian of the Mechitarist Order as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same Ordinariate. - Appointed Bishop Sebastiao Bandeira Coelho, auxiliary of Manaus, Brazil, as coadjutor of Coroata (area 18,744, population 511,000, Catholics 409,000, priests 31, religious 58), Brazil.RE:NEC/.../KARAKEHEYAN:OHANIAN:BANDEIRA VIS 100107 (90)




JUST AND LASTING SOLUTIONS TO CONFLICTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST VATICAN CITY, 7 JAN 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Kenan Gursoy, the new ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See. At the beginning of his English-language address to the diplomat, the Pope recalled how "we are fast approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Holy See, a fruit of the pontificate of my predecessor Pope John XXIII". Referring then to his own journey to Turkey in November 2006, Benedict XVI noted that "it was my first visit as Pope to a predominantly Islamic country. I was glad to be able to express my esteem for Muslims and to reiterate the commitment of the Catholic Church to carry forward inter-religious dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect and friendship, bearing joint witness to the firm faith in God that characterises Christians and Muslims, and striving to know one another better so as to strengthen the bonds of affection between us". After then highlighting how "Catholics in Turkey appreciate the freedom of worship that is guaranteed by the Constitution, and are pleased to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of their fellow citizens, especially through involvement in charitable activity and healthcare", the Holy Father highlighted the fact that "the Catholic Church in Turkey is waiting for civil juridical recognition. This would help her to enjoy full religious freedom and to make an even greater contribution to society", he said. "Turkey is well placed to act as a bridge between Islam and the West, and to make a significant contribution to the effort to bring peace and stability to the Middle East. ... As history has so often shown, territorial disputes and ethnic rivalries can only be satisfactorily resolved when the legitimate aspirations of each party are duly taken into account, past injustices acknowledged and, when possible, repaired". Benedict XVI concluded his address by assuring the diplomat that "of the high priority that the Holy See gives to the search for just and lasting solutions to all the conflicts of the region and of its readiness to place its diplomatic resources at the service of peace and reconciliation".CD/LETTERS OF CREDENCE/TURKEY:GURSOY VIS 100107 (380)




THANKS TO THE CARABINIERI FOR THEIR SERVICE VATICAN CITY, 7 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI received Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi, military ordinary for Italy, accompanied by Leonardo Gallitelli, general of the Italian "Arma dei Carabinieri", and members of the force from the "Roma San Pietro" company. The Pope expressed his thanks for the "diligent efforts you make with your vigilant yet discreet presence in the area around the Vatican. "Your labours help to provide security and serenity for the pilgrims and visitors who come to the centre of the Catholic faith", he added, "and allow them the necessary spiritual concentration as they visit the tomb of the Apostle Peter and the Basilica that houses it". "May your own faith, the tradition of faithfulness and generosity of which you are heirs, and the ideals of your corps help you to find in this delicate service new sources for satisfaction and for experiencing positive elements in your personal and professional lives". And the Pope concluded: "May Mary, the 'Virgo fidelis' and your patroness, accompany you and the entire 'Arma dei Carabinieri', especially those involved in delicate peace missions in various countries of the world, and accept your good intentions, presenting them to her Son".AC/.../CARABINIERI VIS 100107 (210)



AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 7 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. - Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.AP/.../... VIS 100107 (50)




EUROPE
IRELAND: CARDINAL DALY REMEMBERED


Catholic Herald reports that Cardinal Cahal Daly, the former Primate of All Ireland and an outspoken critic of paramilitary violence and poverty in Northern Ireland, was a man "ahead of his time", his successor told mourners.Cardinal Seán Brady of Armagh told mourners at the funeral at St Patrick's Cathedral on Tuesday: "As early as 1973 he was working with other Christian leaders in the search for peace. A report which they prepared at that time set out principles for a non-violent way forward for the divided communities of Northern Ireland. Today its language bears a remarkable similarity to that of political agreements we have now."Cardinal Brady said his predecessor remained adamant that "justice, mutual respect and purely peaceful means were the only way forward. It was a source of considerable satisfaction for him later to see politicians take courageous risks for peace. As he would often pray from the psalms, 'Mercy and faithfulness have met, justice and peace have embraced.'"Our task today is to continue along the path of mercy and to tackle all remnants of sectarianism in our midst," he said.Cardinal Daly, 92, died on December 31. In a telegram released on January 2, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the cardinal's "long years of devoted pastoral service to the Church" and expressed gratitude for his "sustained efforts in the promotion of justice and peace in Northern Ireland".Cardinal Daly was best remembered for his contribution to ecumenical relations at a time when sectarian violence increased in Northern Ireland.As the former bishop of Down and Connor - the Northern Ireland diocese that includes the province's main city of Belfast - he witnessed first-hand the violence waged by the Irish Republican Army.At his installation as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland in 1990, he called on the IRA to end its strategy of terror and urged a government-sponsored "new deal" to aid economically depressed Catholic neighbourhoods in West Belfast.He believed an effective redevelopment plan for West Belfast would "do more for ending the violence than any security policy".The cardinal was also involved in ecumenical work and urged Irish Catholics and Protestants to "help one another to stay faithful to Christ in a world where more and more people walk away from him".A firm supporter of the Northern Ireland peace process, the cardinal rejected the idea that the province's problems could be solved by forming an independent state.In 1992, when Cardinal Daly turned 75 and offered his resignation to Pope John Paul II, the offer was refused, which left the cardinal to lead the Irish church through one of its most difficult periods in modern history as a series of child abuse cases involving clerics came to light. Saying the scandals caused him much personal pain, he repeatedly apologised for the harm caused by Church members and took the unprecedented step of appearing on a live television talk show to make his apology more widely known.He also played a major role in drawing up new procedures for how the Church should respond to the problem in a policy document, published in 1996.Cardinal Brady told those at Cardinal Daly's funeral that rebuilding trust within Ireland's Catholic Church "will entail making sure that children are safe at every moment and in every Church setting. It will require complete commitment to the path initiated by Cardinal Daly, of working with the civil authorities and whole parish communities to ensure best practice, cooperation and accountability in safeguarding children in all Church activities." (SOURCE: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000723.shtml

ASIA
SINGAPORE: VIDEOS OF MASS POSTED ON WEB FOR HOME BOUND CATHOLICS


UCAN reports that the Church of St. Vincent de Paul is posting complete videos of its Saturday sunset Masses on its website for parishioners who cannot make it to church.

The St. Vincent de Paul parish website
Parish priest Father Michael Sitaram said the videos are mainly to reach out to the housebound.
While they receive Holy Communion weekly from a Eucharistic minister, they are now able to view the Mass celebration despite being physically unable to attend. “Many of them were once active in the parish and are happy to see how the church is growing,” said Father Sitaram.
Furthermore, some parishioners who are able to attend Mass may want to hear the homily again, he added.
The parish is believed to be the first in the Singapore archdiocese to offer such a service.
The priest says he got the idea from the American Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), where videos of Masses are broadcast. He also saw a similar service in the Philippines, he said.
After initial hiccups, the first Mass video of St. Vincent de Paul church was uploaded in August.
The church also offers a similar service featuring monthly Masses in Tagalog for Filipino workers.
Father Sitaram says he hopes to see other videos uploaded as well, such as those of the Divine Mercy devotion and of speakers on various topics on the faith.

This way, the parish can reach out not only to the housebound but also to young adults who lead busy lives and may not have time to attend such talks, the priest said.
While Father Sitaram said the present online service has been generally well-received, some see a down-side.
Parishioner Gregory Koh, 17, acknowledges the videos are useful for those who are unable to physically come for Mass, but said “people may use it as an opportunity not to come to church and just stay at home, as they feel that watching the videos is sufficient.”
However, Father Sitaram stressed that watching the videos do not fulfill the Sunday Mass obligation for those who are able to attend Mass.
(SOURCE: http://www.ucanews.com/2010/01/07/parish-posts-mass-online-for-housebound-catholics/


AFRICA
EGYPT: ATTACK 7 KILLS COPTIC CHRISTIANS AFTER MASS

The incident happened at midnight last night, after Christmas Mass which the Coptic Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. The attack was revenge for an alleged case of sexual assault against a twelve year old, which occurred last November.
Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from an attack against the Christian Copts in Egypt is seven dead and three wounded. Yesterday, shortly before midnight, an armed commando opened fire on a group of faithful of the church of St John in Nag Hamadi, in the province of Qena, 64 miles from Luxor. Sources in the Ministry of the Interior explain that the assault was a response to an alleged case of sexual assault, which occurred last November. The Muslim community has accused a Christian of raping a 12 year old girl.
Local witnesses report that a group of three armed men in a car opened fire on the faithful. The Christian community had gathered to celebrate Christmas midnight mass which for the Coptic falls on January 7. The head of the armed commandos, ministerial sources added, have already been identified. The attackers opened fire indiscriminately on the crowd. Among the injured there are two Muslims, who were in the vicinity of the building at the time of the attack.
Kirollos, the bishop of the diocese of Nag Hamadi, confirms that the victims are "six faithful and a security guard”. He had left the church a few minutes before the arrival of armed commandos. In recent weeks, the bishop had received threats from Muslim groups. Groups of Muslims shouted "we will not let you celebrate the holidays."
The violence was provoked by the alleged rape of a twelve year old Muslim girl in November last year. In the days that followed, the local Islamic community burnt and damaged Christian buildings and properties. The police asked bishop Kirollos to remain safely at homes, for fear of further violence.
In Egypt, the Coptic Christian community is about 10% of the population in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. The Christian community it is the victim of violence and persecution, caused by a sharp rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Sometimes the basis of many attacks disputes over land ownership, or over for women, but they soon become sectarian clashes.http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=17278&size=A


AFRICA
SUDAN: 140 DIE IN LATEST VIOLENCE



All Africa reports that violence in Southern Sudan continues to escalate, with the latest incident claiming 140 lives, even as 10 aid agencies called for urgent international intervention to prevent a return to war between the north and south.
A senior UN official said on 7 January that at least 140 people had been killed and 90 wounded during an attack on the Wunchai region of Warrap state.
The fight occurred some time at the beginning of the year but reports emerged only after a UN security team visited the remote area by airplane two days ago.
"Local sources on the ground said at least 140 had been killed and 90 wounded," said Lise Grande, the UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Southern Sudan.
Grande, who also said several thousand cattle had been stolen, added that a military team of UN peacekeepers had left on 7 January by road to ascertain the exact situation on the ground in the wider region.
"We are deeply concerned at these reports," Grande said.
"Lethal cocktail"
Details of the attack coincided with the launch of a report by 10 aid agencies who cautioned that the successful holding of elections and a referendum, civilian protection, as well as increased development funding for Southern Sudan, were crucial in preventing a return to war five years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The agencies said the CPA was on the brink of collapse because of a "lethal cocktail" of rising violence, chronic poverty and political tensions.
"A great deal hangs on what can be achieved in the next 365 days," Richard Poole, director of humanitarian aid programmes for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Southern Sudan, told a news conference in Nairobi. "When the peace deal expires in a year, we must ensure that the chance for long-term peace and development in the region does not die with it."
Reacting to the NGOs' report, people on the streets of Juba, the Southern Sudan capital, said they feared for the future.
"War is a possibility - we do not trust the north," said Simon Akol, a small trader.
However, senior officials of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the ruling party in the south, said the risks were being exaggerated.
"Of course, we have problems with security that require a lot of attention, but we should not simply always look at the negative side of things," said Anne Itto, the SPLM deputy secretary-general for the south.
"Of course we can do more, but we have come a long, long way since the peace deal was signed in 2005," Itto added. "We have a government in place, as well as roads, institutions and roads being built, as well as a political space that has been created.
"Much needs to be done but we are hopeful for the future."
Not too late
Maya Mailer, a policy adviser for Oxfam and co-author of the NGOs' report, said in a statement: "It is not yet too late to avert disaster, but the next 12 months are a crossroads for Africa's largest country. Last year saw a surge in violence in Southern Sudan. This could escalate even further and become one of the biggest emergencies in Africa in 2010."
According to the agencies, at least 2,500 people were killed in 2009 and 350,000 fled their homes, "a human toll greater than occurred last year in Darfur". They said the rest of the world had largely overlooked this suffering.
The report warned of several possible flashpoints over the next 12 months including presidential, legislative and local elections in April - the first in 24 years - and a referendum in early 2011 on whether Southern Sudan becomes independent.
Warning that growing frustration over the lack of development in Southern Sudan was harming the chance for peace, the agencies noted that less than half the population had access to clean water and maternal mortality rates were among the worst in the world.
"There are fewer than 50km of tarmac road in the entire region, an area the size of France, and during heavy rains many areas are cut off for months at a time, making the delivery of humanitarian aid almost impossible," the report stated. "Some 80 percent of adults cannot read or write and one in seven children dies before their fifth birthday."

Francisco Roque, the country director of Save the Children in Southern Sudan, said: "After five years of peace, Southern Sudan remains one of the poorest regions on earth. People hoped the peace would bring economic benefits and development, but this has happened far too slowly and in some areas not at all. We are very worried about children who seem to be increasingly targeted in attacks on villages. International donors and the government must urgently improve aid to these areas."
A return to conflict would have devastating consequences that extend far beyond Southern Sudan, the agencies said. This crisis was escalating at a time when the situation in Darfur, in western Sudan, remains one of the world's biggest humanitarian emergencies. They warned that there could not be sustainable peace in Darfur if the peace between north and south was allowed to fail.(source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001070795.html


AMERICA
USA: CALIFORNIA: PRIEST SUSPENDED AFTER ADMITS ABUSE


Catholic Culture reports that a priest of the Diocese of Stockton has been suspended after admitting that he abused a minor two decades ago.
“Father Leo Suarez has expressed deep sorrow over the hurt he has caused,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire. “He is currently in residential treatment and will no longer be able to exercise priestly ministry. I hold in prayer all who have been hurt by what happened.”
Father Suarez was ordained in 1988.
(SOURCE: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=5104

AUSTRALIA
FR. MAGUIRE URGES MURDERER TO SURRENDER


Cath News reports that Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire and suburban youth worker Les Twentyman are urging the person behind the stabbing murder of Indian student Nitin Garg to surrender to them.

"We could act as circuit-breakers," Father Maguire told the Herald Sun.
"At least the perpetrator would be guaranteed safe passage to the police."
The pair believe the culprit, or culprits, behind the killing of 21-year-old student might be too scared to give themselves up to police, the report said.
Mr Garg was on his way to his job at Hungry Jack's restaurant in suburban Melbourne last weekend when he was attacked.
Mr Twentyman said if the offender surrendered he would see to it that the culprits receive good legal representation.
He said the western suburbs have been shaken by the "senseless" killing and the people want to show that they were not racist.
He is hoping to organise a community day on Australia Day to bring together the ethnic groups in the area.
"It would give us the chance to show support to the Indian community and to show that we are very multicultural," Mr Twentyman said.
(SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=18620


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Raymond of Penyafort
PRIEST, RELIGIOUS
Feast: January 7
Information:
Feast Day:
January 7
Born:
1175 at Penafort, Catalonia, Spain
Died:
6 January 1275 at Barcelona, Spain
Canonized:
29 April 1601 by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:
canon lawyers, lawyers

From the bull of his canonization, by Clement VIII in 1601, and his life, written by several Spanish, Italian and French authors. See Fleury, b. 78, n. 55, 64, and chiefly Touron Hommes Illustres de l'Ordre de S. Domin. t. 1, p. I The house of Pegnafort, or, as it is pronounced, Pennafort, was descended from the counts of Barcelona, and nearly allied to the kings of Aragon. Raymund was born in 1175, at Pennafort, a castle in Catalonia, which in the fifteenth century was changed into a convent of the order of St. Dominick. Such was his rapid progress in his studies, that at the age of twenty he taught philosophy at Barcelona, which he did gratis, and with so great reputation, that he began then to be consulted by the ablest masters. His principal care was to instil into his scholars the most perfect maxims of a solid piety and devotion, to compose all differences among the citizens, and to relieve the distressed. He was about thirty years of age when he went to Bologna, in Italy, to perfect himself in the study of the canon and civil law, commenced Doctor in that faculty, and taught with the same disinterestedness and charity as he had done in his own country. In 1219 Berengarius, bishop of Barcelona, who had been at Rome, took Raymund home with him, to the great regret of the university and senate of Bologna; and, not content with giving him a canonry in his church, made him his archdeacon, grand vicar, and official. He was a perfect model to the clergy, by his innocence, zeal, devotion, and boundless liberalities to the poor, whom he called his creditors. In 1222 he took the religious habit of St. Dominick at Barcelona, eight months after the death of the holy founder, and in the forty-seventh year of his age. No person was ever seen among the young novices more humble, more obedient, or more fervent. To imitate the obedience of a Man-God, who reduced himself to a state of subjection to his own creatures, to teach us the dangers and deep wound of self-will, and to point out to us the remedy, the saint would depend absolutely on the lights of his director in all things. And it was upon the most perfect self-denial that he laid the foundation of that high sanctity which he made the object of his most earnest desires. The grace of prayer perfected the work which mortification had begun. In a spirit of compunction he begged of his superiors that they would enjoin him some severe penance, to expiate the vain satisfaction and complacency which he said he had sometimes taken in teaching. They indeed imposed on him a penance, but not such a one as he expected. It was to write a collection of cases of conscience for the instruction and conveniency of confessors and moralists. This produced his Sum the first work of that kind. Had his method and decisions been better followed by some later authors of the like works, the holy maxims of Christian morality had been treated with more respect by some moderns than they have been, to our grief and confusion.
Raymund joined to the exercises of his solitude the functions of an apostolical life, by laboring without intermission in preaching, instructing, hearing confessions with wonderful fruit, and converting heretics, Jews, and Moors Among his penitents were James, king of Aragon, and St. Peter Nolasco, with whom he concerted the foundation of the Order of the B. Virgin of mercy for the redemption of captives. James, the young king of Aragon had married Eleonora of Castile within the prohibited degrees, without a dispensation. A legate was sent by pope Gregory IX. to examine and judge the case. In a council of bishops of the two kingdoms, held at Tar rayon, he declared the marriage null, but that their son Don Alphonso should be reputed lawfully born, and heir to his father's crown. The king had taken his confessor with him to the council, and the cardinal legate was so charmed with his talents and virtue, that he associated him in his legation and gave him a commission to preach the holy war against the Moors. The servant of God acquitted himself of that function with so much prudence, zeal, and charity, that he sowed the seeds of the total overthrow of those infidels in Spain. His labors were no less successful in the reformation of the manners of the Christians detained in servitude under the Moors which were extremely corrupted by their long slavery or commerce with these infidels. Raymund showed them, by words full of heavenly unction and fire, that, to triumph over their bodily, they must first conquer their spiritual enemies, and subdue sin in themselves, which made God their enemy. Inculcating these and the like spiritual lessons, he ran over Catalonia, Aragon, Castile, and other countries. So general a change was wrought hereby in the manners of the people, as seemed incredible to all but those who were witnesses of it. By their conversion the anger of God was appeased, and the arms of the faithful became terrible to their enemies. The kings of Castile and Leon freed many places from the Moorish yoke. Don James, king of Aragon, drove them out of the islands of Majorca and Minorca, and soon after, in 1237, out of the whole kingdom of Valentia. Pope Gregory IX. having called St. Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him his chaplain, (which was the title of the Auditor of the causes of the apostolic palace,) as also grand penitentiary. He made him likewise his own confessarius, and in difficult affairs came to no decision but by his advice. The saint still reserved himself for the poor, and was so solicitous for them that his Holiness called him their father. He enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear, and expedite immediately all petitions presented by them. The pope, who was well versed in the canon law, ordered the saint to gather into one body all the scattered decree of popes and councils, since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. Raymund compiled this work in three years, in five books, commonly called the Decretals, which the same pope Gregory confirmed in 1234. It is looked upon as the best finished part of the body of the canon law; on which account the canonists have usually chosen it for the texts of their comments. In 1235, the pope named St. Raymund to the archbishopric of Tarragon, the capital of Aragon: the humble religious man was not able to avert the storm, as he called it, by tears and entreaties; but at length fell sick through anxiety and fear. To restore him to his health, his Holiness was obliged to consent to excuse him, but required that he should recommend a proper person. The saint named a pious and learned canon of Gironne. He refused other dignities with the like constancy.
For the recovery of his health he returned to his native country, and was received with as much joy as if the safety of the whole kingdom. and of every particular person, had depended on his presence. Being restored again to his dear solitude at Barcelona, he continued his former exercises of contemplation, preaching, and administering the sacrament of penance. Except on Sundays, he never took more than one very small refection in the day. Amidst honors and applause he was ever little in his own eyes: he appeared in the schools like a scholar, and in his convent begged the superior to instruct him in the rules of religious perfection, with the humility and docility of a novice. Whether he sung the divine praises with his brethren, or prayed alone in his cell, or some corner of the church, ho poured forth an abundance of tears; and often was not able to contain within himself the ardor of his soul. His mildness and sweetness were unalterable. The incredible number of conversions of which he was the instrument, is known only to Him who, by his grace, was the author of them. He was employed frequently in most important commissions, both by the holy see and by the king. But he was thunderstruck by the arrival of four deputies from the general chapter of his order at Bologna, in 1238, with the news that he was chosen third general, Jordan of Saxony being lately dead. He wept and entreated, but at length acquiesced in obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot, without discontinuing any of his penitential austerities, or rather exercises. He instilled into his spiritual children a love of regularity, solitude, mortification, prayer, sacred studies, and the apostolical functions, especially preaching. He reduced the constitutions of his order into a clearer method, with notes on the doubtful passages. This his code of rules was approved in three general chapters. In one held at Paris in 1239, he procured the establishment of this regulation, that a voluntary demission of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted. This he contrived in his own favor; for, to the extreme regret of the order, he in the year following resigned the generalship, which he had held only two years. He alleged for his reason his age of sixty-five years. Rejoicing to see himself again a private religious man, he applied himself with fresh vigor to the exercises and functions of an apostolical life, especially the conversion of the Saracens. Having this end in view he engaged St. Thomas to write his work 'Against the Gentiles;' procured the Arabic and Hebrew tongues to be taught in several convents of his order; and erected convents, one at Tunis, and another at Murcia, among the Moors. In 1256, he wrote to his general that ten thousand Saracens had received baptism. King James took him into the island of Majorca. The saint embraced that opportunity of cultivating that infant church. This prince was an accomplished soldier and statesman, and a sincere lover of religion, but his great qualities were sullied by a base passion for women. He received the admonitions of the saint with respect, and promised amendment of life, and a faithful compliance with the saint's injunctions in every particular; but without effect. St. Raymund, upon discovering that he entertained a lady at his court with whom he was suspected to have criminal conversation, made the strongest instances to have her dismissed, which the king promised should be done, but postponed the execution. The saint, dissatisfied with the delay, begged leave to retire to his convent at Barcelona. The king not only refused him leave, but threatened to punish with death any person that should undertake to convey him out of the island. The saint, full of confidence in God, said to his companion, "A king of the earth endeavors to deprive us of the means of retiring; but the King of heaven will supply them." He then walked boldly to the waters, spread his cloak upon them, tied up one corner of it to a staff for a sail, and having made the sign of the cross, stepped upon it without fear, while his timorous companion stood trembling and wondering on the shore. On this new kind of vessel the saint was wafted with such rapidity, that in six hours he reached the harbor of Barcelona, sixty leagues distant from Majorca. Those who saw him arrive in this manner met him with acclamations. But he, gathering up his cloak dry, put it on, stole through the crowd, and entered his monastery. A chapel and a tower, built on the place where he landed, have transmitted the memory of this miracle to posterity. This relation is taken from the bull of his canonization, and the earliest historians of his life. The king became a sincere convert, and governed his conscience, and even his kingdoms, by the advice of St. Raymund from that time till the death of the saint. The holy man prepared himself for his passage to eternity, by employing days and nights in penance and prayer. During his last illness, Alphonsus, king of Castile, with his queen, sons, and brother; and James, king of Aragon, with his court, visited him, and received his last benediction. He armed himself with the last sacraments; and, in languishing sighs of divine love, gave up his soul to God, on the 6th of January, in the year 1275, and the hundredth of his age. The two kings, with all the princes and princesses of their royal families, honored his funeral with their presence: but his tomb was rendered far more illustrious by miracles. Several are recorded in the bull of his canonization, published by Clement VIII. in 1601. Bollandus has filled fifteen pages in folio with an account of them. His office is fixed by Clement X. to the 23d of January.



TODAY'S GOSPEL


Luke 4: 14 - 22
14
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.
15
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
16
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;
17
and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
20
And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21
And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
22
And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
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