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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MAY 19, 2010










CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MAY 19, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: BENEDICT XVI RECALLS HIS RECENT TRIP TO PORTUGAL-
ASIA: BANGLADESH: UNKNOWN VICTIM BURIED IN CATHOLIC CEMETERY-
AMERICA: USA: MOTHER ANGELICA RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM AVE MARIA-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: NEW EFFORT TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR MISSIONARY PRIESTS-
AFRICA: NIGERIA: BISHOPS CALL ON PRESIDENT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION-
AUSTRALIA: CANTEENS BUILT BY CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SAVE GOV. FUNDS-

VATICAN
POPE: BENEDICT XVI RECALLS HIS RECENT TRIP TO PORTUGAL

VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI reminisced about his recent apostolic trip to Portugal, which took place from 11 to 14 May to mark the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco.
The Holy Father began by explaining how throughout his journey he had felt the "spiritual support" of his predecessor John Paul II, "who visited Fatima three times, to give thanks for the 'invisible hand' that delivered him from death in the attack of 13 May here in St. Peter's Square".
During Mass in the capital city of Lisbon, "whence over the centuries so many missionaries left to carry the Gospel to other continents", the Pope had called the local Church "to vigorous evangelising activity in the various areas of society, in order to sow hope in a world often marked by mistrust". In particular he had encouraged believers "to announce the death and resurrection of Christ, the core of Christianity, fulcrum and support of our faith and the reason for our joy".
Benedict XVI then went on to refer to his meeting with representatives from the world of culture, where he had "underlined the heritage of values with which Christianity has enriched the culture, art and tradition of the Portuguese people. In that noble land, as in every country deeply marked by Christianity, it is possible to build a future of fraternal understanding and collaboration with other cultures, opening reciprocally to sincere and respectful dialogue", he said.
In Fatima, "a town marked by an atmosphere of authentic mysticism, in which the presence of the Virgin is almost palpable", the Pope had been "a pilgrim among other pilgrims", who presented Our Lady with "the joys and expectations, as well as the problems and sufferings of the whole world", said the Holy Father.
He also recalled how he had celebrated Vespers in Fatima's church of the Blessed Trinity with priests, religious and deacons of Portugal, thanking them "for their witness, often silent and not always easy, and for their faithfulness to the Gospel and to the Church", inviting them to follow, in this Year for Priests, "the shining example of the 'Cure of Ars'".
The Pope mention the Rosary he had prayed with hundreds of thousands of people on the evening of 12 May, vigil of the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin. "This prayer, so dear to Christian people, has found in Fatima a driving force for all the Church and the world", he said. "We could say that Fatima and the Rosary are almost synonymous".
During the Mass of 13 May, celebrated on the esplanade of Fatima in the presence of half a million people, the Pope had reaffirmed that "the demanding but consoling message the Virgin left us at Fatima is full of hope. It is a message that focuses on prayer, penance and conversion, a message projected beyond the threats, dangers and horrors of history, inviting humankind to have faith in the action of God, to cultivate great hope, and to experience the grace of the Lord in order to love Him, the source of love and peace".
In his meeting with pastoral care organisations, Benedict XVI recalled how he had "indicated the example of the Good Samaritan, in order to meet the requirements of our most needy brothers and sisters, and to serve Christ by promoting the common good".
In his celebration of the Eucharist in Porto, "the city of the Virgin", the Pope had highlighted "the duty to bear witness to the Gospel in all environments, offering Christ to the world so that all situations of difficulty, suffering and fear may be transformed by the Holy Spirit into an opportunity for growth and life".
"'Wisdom and Mission' was the motto of my apostolic trip to Portugal", Pope Benedict concluded his reminiscences. "In Fatima the Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to walk with hope, letting ourselves be guided by the 'wisdom from on high' which was manifested in Jesus, the wisdom of love, to bring the light and joy of Christ into the world".

POPE TO BLESS VIRGIN OF MONTE MARIO, VISIT DOMINICAN NUNS
VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today announced that at 10.30 a.m. on 24 June Benedict XVI will visit the Don Orione Centre located in Rome's Monte Mario district to bless a statue of the Virgin "Salus populi romani". The statue, which looks out over the city, has recently been restored and replaced on its tower.
The great statue of Our Lady, nine metres high and made of gilded copper, fell from its nineteen-metre pedestal in a storm and high winds on 12 October last year.
The fall of the statue elicited a great swell of affection and devotion on the part of the authorities and people of the capital, who requested to see it back in place as soon as possible.
Benedict XVI himself, in a message sent to the superior general of the Orionine Fathers, had expressed the hope "that the statue be replaced as soon as possible for the devotion of all Romans". The Holy Father's brief pilgrimage, and his blessing of the restored statue of the Virgin, has great religious and civil significance for the whole city, because the statue is a memory of historical events inscribed in the poplar imagination.
Benedict XVI's visit to Monte Mario also coincides with the 'Feast of the Pope' which the Orione Family promotes all over the world, following a tradition begun by St. Luigi Orione.
The Holy Father will then go on to visit the Dominican convent of Santa Maria del Rosario in Monte Mario, where he will meet the cloistered nuns. The convent contains the seventh-century icon of the Virgin "Hagiosoritissa", known as Our Lady of St. Luke, as well as precious relics of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena and other Dominican saints.
The Pope is expected to return to the Vatican at about midday.
OP/ VIS 20100519 (320)



OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Giovanni Santucci of Massa Marittima - Piombino, Italy, as bishop of Massa Carrara - Pontremoli (area 1,174, population 204,110, Catholics 199,000, priests 161, permanent deacons 28, religious 233), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Eugenio Binni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Canisio Klaus of Diamantino, Brazil, as bishop of Santa Cruz do Sul (area 17,568, population 555,000, Catholics 470,000, priests 85, permanent deacons 22, religious 255), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Aloisio Sinesio Bohn, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. 



ASIA
BANGLADESH: UNKNOWN VICTIM BURIED IN CATHOLIC CEMETERY

Asia News report: The identity of the victim, whose body was found April 30 at the edge of a road, is unknown. The authorities have entrusted the task of burial to the Catholic Church because she wore a medallion with the image of the Virgin Mary. The body showed signs of violence.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The identity of the Bangladeshi woman, victim on 30 April of a probable murder, remains unknown, but she can at least rest in peace - buried in a Christian cemetery in Dhaka. For more than two weeks, her body was kept in a morgue. On 16 May the judge ordered Christian burial rites. The decision was taken because the murdered woman wore a necklace with the image of the Virgin Mary.
Sahjahan Hossain deputy inspector of police in Badda - a sub-district of Dhaka - reports that "on April 30 last we found the body of a dead woman wrapped in blankets in a manhole at the roadside." The body showed signs of torture and abuse, especially to the neck and head. But the police officer’s attention was attracted by a medal with the image of the Virgin Mary, which she wore at the time of the murder, and from which they deduced her "probable" Christian faith.
The woman's corpse was held in the morgue for 19 days, without anyone coming forward to indentify the body. Pictures of the woman were released in newspapers and on TV, but to no avail. On 16 May, the chief judge of Dhaka ordered her burial in the Christian cemetery of the capital, the police, meanwhile, have opened an investigation for murder against unknown persons.
At first the authorities have sought the aid of Anjuman Mopfidul, who deals with the burial of unidentified bodies. He objected, explaining that the woman was wearing a Christian medal and should not be buried among Muslims.
When police issued the clearance, Fr. Joyti Costa of St. Mary's Cathedral, celebrated the funeral and proceeded to give a decent burial to the unidentified body. A decision welcomed by human rights activists, who applaud the choice of the Catholic Church to "look first of all to love of the person, rather than the religion they belong to".
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Dhaka,-female-murder-victim-laid-to-rest-in-Christian-cemetery-18445.html

AMERICA
USA: MOTHER ANGELICA RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM AVE MARIA

LifeSiteNews.com report - The Ave Maria School of Law awarded Mother Mary Angelica, foundress of EWTN and beacon of outspoken fidelity to orthodox Catholic teaching, including on the life and family issues, an honorary law degree on Sunday.

In the resolution attending the award at the school's commencement ceremonies, Ave Maria Law President and Dean Eugene R. Milhizer praised Mother Angelica as "a robust advocate for the unborn child" and "an icon in the Catholic media."
Milhizer also lauded the 87-year-old for having "served the Roman Catholic Church with outstanding devotion" and having "been in the vanguard of the renewal of religious life following Vatican II."
As revealed in her biography, penned by EWTN's Raymond Arroyo, Mother Angelica’s life is remarkable for her unwavering dedication to upholding authentic Catholicism, even as left-leaning Catholic bishops fought vigorously to take over the network that now broadcasts uniquely and staunchly pro-life and pro-family Catholic programming around the world.
Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo, Mother Angelica is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration who founded Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama in 1961, before beginning the Eternal Word Television Network in a garage on the monastery property twenty years later. Mother Angelica relocated the Monastery in 1991 to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, where she remains with her burgeoning young community of contemplative nuns. At a time when the often heterodox "social justice" brand of Catholicism was entering the mainstream, Mother Angelica's hard-headed determination to follow Christ motivated her to pursue a different path.
After learning to her horror that Jesus was portrayed by a woman in a Stations of the Cross play at World Youth Day in 1993, broadcast live on EWTN, Mother Angelica fumed: "Enough is enough. I'm tired of inclusive language that refuses to admit that the Son of God is a man. I'm tired of you, liberal church in America. You're sick."
After that, Mother Angelica revamped her image, and acquired a zeal for traditional Catholicism - attracting scorn even from Catholic sources, such as the National Catholic Reporter, which criticized the nun's approach as lacking in intellectual sophistication. Yet Mother Angelica's charm, wit and profound wisdom on spiritual matters continued to win her admirers around the world.EWTN, available on television in 140 countries and territories, and over the internet and on the radio around the world, is now famous for putting the deeply pro-life and pro-family teachings of the Catholic church on a pedestal, by featuring prominent conservative figures such as Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer of HLI and Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/may/10051812.html


EUROPE
ENGLAND: NEW EFFORT TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR MISSIONARY PRIESTS

CNA report: In an effort to raise funds in support of missionary priests, a Catholic charity is urging the faithful in the United Kingdom to offer Masses in honor of the Pope and his upcoming visit to the area.

As an incentive to donate to their charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is compiling a list of names of those who participate and will present a commemorative book to the Holy Father or his U.K. representative when he visits this September.
ACN reported on Monday that stipends from the Masses, for which there are suggested donation amounts, will benefit priests within the organization who do missionary work in countries were Christianity has been suppressed.
“At this moment, more than ever, our Holy Father and all priests need our prayers and support,” said Neville Kyrke-Smith, ACN national director on Monday.
“We must invoke the Holy Spirit and ask the prayers of our Blessed Mother to strengthen their faith and renew the priesthood,” he added.
The charity is placing a particular emphasis on the Middle East in response to Benedict XVI comments about how the Church is threatened in that region. ACN has been active in providing financial assistance to beleaguered Catholics in the area.
In addition to providing monetary assistance, ACN suggested that spiritual gifts, such as Eucharistic adoration or rosaries, can be offered in support of the Pope and the work of the organization.
For more information, please visit: http://www.acnuk.org/pages/papal-gifts.html




AFRICA
NIGERIA: BISHOPS CALL ON PRESIDENT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION

All Africa report: Some Catholic Bishops on Sunday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to put in more effort in fighting corruption, and ensuring credible elections in 2011.

Emmanuel Badejo of the Oyo Diocese, Alaba Job of Ibadan Archdiocese and Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan Diocese, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, also called on Jonathan to tackle the energy problem.
Badejo said the biggest challenge for the new President was to tackle corruption, saying "the President is aware of the challenges facing Nigerians, the issue of power, communication, roads and poverty must all be addressed.
"His name is already positive, we wish him well, the way he has come, we know is God's will; so, he should cooperate with the grace of God and help Nigerians to come out of poverty."
Alaba-Job said the new President should ensure that he conducted 2011 elections in a credible manner, adding that "for the elections to be free and fair, the Uwais report should be implemented and he should make sure that sincere people coordinate the elections.
"Also, there should be liberty for the church and other organisations to monitor the elections."
Job, who also is the President of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), urged Nigerians to cooperate and support Jonathan "as God has blessed us with so many resources both human and natural, to bring new hope to the nation".
Bagobiri, the Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, advised Jonathan to put personal gains aside and act by God's divine providence to do his best to put the country in the right direction.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201005180817.html

AUSTRALIA
CANTEENS BUILT BY CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SAVE GOV. FUNDS

Cath News report: School canteens built by the Catholic school system under the Government stimulus scheme are up to five times cheaper than those delivered by state governments, The Australian reports.

The vast difference between the cost of buildings delivered by state governments and those delivered by Catholic schools was highlighted yesterday at the Senate hearing into the BER.
Bill Walsh, executive officer of the NSW Catholic Block Grant Authority, which is handling $1 billion of funds and delivering architect-designed buildings at a fraction of the cost of the public sector, said the authority set maximum construction rates for all Catholic schools, to prevent price gouging and rip-offs.
"We know what a building should cost; we didn't allow any price gouging" Mr Walsh said.
"We don't allow builders to say 'You've got funding of $3m, so this building is going to cost $3m'."  Fronting the inquiry yesterday NSW Department of Education director-general Michael Coutts-Trotter said he "absolutely" stood by claims the NSW government "ensures value for money" under the BER.
But he was unable to adequately explain the vast difference in costs of buildings delivered to Catholic schools from those delivered by the government, except to claim those NSW government buildings were of a higher quality.
The inquiry heard that the school building program has widened the divide between public and private schools, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Representatives from the independent and Catholic school sectors told the Senate inquiry into the Building the Education Revolution program yesterday that they had received value for money through self-managing their projects.
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=21400

TODAY´S SAINTS

St. Crispin of Viterbo

FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER
Feast: May 19
Information: Feast Day: May 19

Born: 13 November 1668, Viterbo

Died: 19 May 1750, Rome

Canonized: 20 June 1982 by Pope John Paul II
Friar Minor Capuchin; b. at Viterbo in 1668; d. at Rome, 19 May, 1750. When he was five years old, his pious mother took him to a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, a short distance from Viterbo, where she consecrated him to the Mother of God and placed him under her special protection. The child grew beyond his years in virtue and science of the saints; so that the townsfold of Viterbo were wont to call him il Santarello, the little saint. As Crispin one day saw the Capuchin novices walking in procession, God inspired him with the desire to embrace the religious life. He was shortly afterwards received into the Franciscan Order as a simple lay brother. Having been employed for some time as cook in the convent at Viterbo, he was sent to Tolfa, a town not far distant from Civita Becchia, to fulfil the same office. Thence he was sent to Rome and finally to Albano. Here Crispin was visited by the men of the world, by bishops and cardinals, and even by the pope himself, who always took delight in conversing with the humble lay brother. It was Crispin's constant endeavour to imitate the virtues of his patron, St. Felix of Cantalice, whom he had chosen as his model of perfection at the beginning of his religious life. Like St. Felix, he used to call himself the ass or beat of burden of the Capuchins, and, having on one occasion been asked by a stranger why he went bare-headed, Crispin answered jocosely, that "an ass does not wear a hat." Enfeebled by old age and by his numerous austerities, he was sent to Rome by his superiors, there to end his holy life. His body, which even at the present time is still in a remarkable state of preservation, rests under one of the side altars in the church of the Capuchin Fathers in Rome. Blessed Crispin was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius VII in 1806. His feat is celebrated only by the Capuchins.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcrispinofviterbo.asp

St. Celestine V

POPE

Feast: May 19
Information: Feast Day: May 19

Born: 1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy

Died: 19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy

Canonized: 1313
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.
Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.
Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."
St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcelestinev.asp


TODAY´S GOSPEL

John 17: 11 - 19

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11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.

18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.
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