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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. SEPT. 27, 2010


CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. SEPT. 27, 2010: HEADLINES-

VATICAN: POPE MESSAGE TO BRAZILIAN BISHOPS AND OTHER VIS NEWS
AMERICA: USA: DEATH OF FR. DUBAY
EUROPE: ITALY: FOUNDER OF MOVEMENT FR. GASPARINO DIES
ASIA: JERUSALEM PEACE TALKS AT RISK DUE TO CONSTRUCTION
AFRICA: BURKINA FASO- CONGRESS FOR INTERNATION CATHOLIC PRESS
AUSTRALIA: MACKILLOP EXCOMMUNICATED FOR REPORTING ABUSE
TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 27: Luke 9: 46 - 50
TODAY'S SAINT: ST. VINCENT DE PAUL: DIED 1660






VATICAN: POPE MESSAGE TO BRAZILIAN BISHOPS AND OTHER VIS NEWS

TO BRAZILIAN BISHOPS: WE ALL NEED FORGIVENESS VATICAN CITY, 25 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy Father today received prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (East region 1), who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Speaking about young people the Holy Father reminded the prelates how, during the Jubilee Year 2000, the Venerable John Paul II had described youth as "sentinels of the morning" whose "task it is to awaken their brothers and sisters as they sail in the vast ocean of the third millennium. As proof of this I recall the long queues of young people waiting to take Confession at the Circus Maximus, thus restoring the trust of many priests in the Sacrament of Penance", he said. "As you know", the Pope went on, "the core of the spiritual crisis of our time has its roots in the obscuration of the grace of forgiveness. If this is not recognised as being real and effective it tends to free people from guilt, and the conditions for the existence of guilt are never achieved. But people 'liberated' in this manner know in their hearts that it is not true, that sin exists and that they themselves are sinners". Benedict XVI highlighted how "we all need God as the Divine Sculptor Who removes the accumulation of dust and debris covering the image of God inscribed within us. We need forgiveness, which is the nucleus of all true reform. It rebuilds individuals from the depths of their hearts and is the core of the renewal of the community". "Only a profound renewal of the person can act as foundation for the growth of the Church, the community that unites and supports us in life and death", he explained. "This community is on an upward journey, seeking the purification which enables us to understand the authentic meaning of the human being, seeking the company of God. As purification is achieved the upward journey - which is hard to begin with - becomes more joyful. This joy must be increasingly reflected in the Church, infecting the world, because it is the youth of the world". "An undertaking such as this", Pope Benedict concluded, "cannot be completed with our own strength; rather, we need the light and grace that come from the Sprit of God and act in the depths of people's hearts and consciences. May that light and that grace help you and your dioceses in the formation of minds and hearts".AL/ VIS 20100927 (420)




LOVE IS THE PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE VATICAN CITY, 26 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today Benedict XVI turned his attention to this Sunday's Gospel narrative of the rich man and the poor Lazarus. While the former lives in selfish luxury and, when he dies, goes to hell, Lazarus, who eats the crumbs from the rich man's table, at his death is carried by the angels to an eternal dwelling with God. "This parable", the Pope told faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, "tells us two things: firstly, that God loves the poor and raises them from their abjection; secondly, that our eternal destiny is dependent upon our behaviour, it is up to us to follow the path God has shown us in order to achieve life, and this path is love, understood not as an emotion but as service to others in the charity of Christ". The Holy Father then went on to recall the fact that tomorrow marks the feast day and the 350th anniversary of the death of St. Vincent de Paul, patron of Catholic charity organisations. "In seventeenth-century France he personally experienced the great contrast between rich and poor. As a priest he was able to frequent aristocratic circles, the countryside and the deprived areas of Paris. Encouraged by Christ's love, Vincent de Paul organised regular forms of service to the marginalised, creating the ... 'Charitees'; that is, groups of women who dedicated their time and goods to helping the poorest". In this context, the Pope made specific mention of St. Louise de Marillac who, together with Vincent de Paul, founded the Daughters of Charity, "the first female congregation to live their consecration 'in the world', among the people, serving the sick and the needy". "Only Love with a capital 'L' brings true happiness!", the Holy Father exclaimed. "This was also made evident by another witness, who was proclaimed blessed here in Rome yesterday. I am talking about Chiara Badano, an Italian girl born in 1971 who died of an illness when she was just under nineteen, but who was a ray of light to everyone, as her nickname says: Chiara Luce". The beatification of Chiara Badano, who was a member of the Focolari Movement, the Pope concluded, "is a feast day for all young people, who may see in her an example of Christian coherence".ANG/ VIS 20100927 (400)




POPE BIDS FAREWELL TO AUTHORITIES OF CASTELGANDOLFO VATICAN CITY, 27 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI made his traditional farewells to the local civil and religious authorities prior to returning to the Vatican later this week. The Pope greeted Marcello Semeraro of Albano and the priests and religious accompanying him, and thanked the mayor of Castelgandolfo and the town authorities. He likewise expressed his gratitude to members of the Vatican Governorate, the Gendarmerie and the Swiss Guard, as well as to the police and the Italian air force. "As I leave you", he told them, "I would like you to ponder on the figure of St. Vincent de Paul, whose feast day falls today. This apostle of charity, so dear to Christian people and known especially through the orders of nuns he founded, was proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII as 'universal patron of all works of charity all over the world'". The Holy Father concluded: "With his unceasing apostolic activity, he made the Gospel an increasingly bright beacon of hope and love for the men and women of his time, especially for the poorest in body and in spirit. May his virtuous example and his intercession arouse in your communities, and in each one of you, a renewed commitment to solidarity so that all our efforts may come together in building the common good"..../ VIS 20100927 (240)




MESSAGE FOR WORLD CONGRESS ON PILGRIMAGES AND SHRINES VATICAN CITY, 27 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and to Archbishop Julian Barrio Barrio of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, for the Second World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Pilgrimages and Shrines, which is being held in Santiago from 27 to 30 September. Extracts from the English-language version of the Message are given below: "With the theme, 'So he went in to stay with them', taken from the Gospel passage of the disciples of Emmaus, you are", the Holy Father writes, "preparing to study in depth the importance of pilgrimages to the shrines as a manifestation of Christian life and a space of evangelisation". "I will personally make a pilgrimage soon to the tomb of the Apostle St. James, the 'Lord's friend', in the same way that I have made my way to other places in the world which many of the faithful visit with fervent devotion. In this regard, from the beginning of my pontificate, I have wanted to live my ministry as the Successor of Peter with the sentiments of a pilgrim who travels over the roads of the world with hope and simplicity bringing on his lips and in his heart the saving message of the Risen Christ, and strengthening his brothers in faith. As an explicit sign of this mission, my coat-of-arms includes the pilgrim's shell, among other elements. "In these historic moments in which we are called, with greater force if possible, to evangelise our world, the riches offered to us by the pilgrimage to shrines should be highlighted. First of all, for its great ability to summon and bring together a growing number of pilgrims and religious tourists, some of whom are in complicated human and spiritual situations, somewhat distant from living the faith and with a weak ecclesial affiliation. Christ speaks to all of them with love and hope. "The desire for happiness that is imbedded in the soul finds its answer in Him, and human suffering together with Him has a meaning. With His grace, the noblest causes also find their complete fulfilment. As Simeon met with Christ in the temple, so too a pilgrim should have the opportunity to discover the Lord in the shrine. "For this purpose, efforts should be made so that visitors may not forget that shrines are sacred places in order to be in them with devotion, respect and propriety. In this way, the Word of Christ, the Son of the living God, can ring out clearly, and the event of His death and resurrection, the foundation of our faith, can be proclaimed completely. "Very careful attention should also be given to welcoming the pilgrims, by highlighting, among other elements, the dignity and beauty of the shrine, the image of 'God's dwelling... with the human race', the moments and spaces for both personal and community prayer, and attention to devotional practices. In the same way, it can never be stressed enough that shrines should be lighthouses of charity, with unceasing dedication to the neediest through concrete works of solidarity and mercy, and constant readiness to listen, favouring in particular the faithful's reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and taking part worthily in the Eucharistic celebration, making this the centre and apex of all the pastoral activity of the shrines. In this way it will be made manifest that the Eucharist is indeed the pilgrim's nourishment, the 'Sacrament of the God Who does not leave us alone on the journey but stays at our side and shows us the way'. "In fact, different from a wanderer whose steps have no established final destination, a pilgrim always has a destination, even if at times he is not explicitly aware of it. And this destination is none other than the encounter with God through Christ in whom all our aspirations find their response. For this reason, the celebration of the Eucharist can really be considered the culmination of the pilgrimage. "As 'God's co-workers', I exhort all of you to be dedicated to this beautiful mission so that through your pastoral care, you will favour in pilgrims the knowledge and imitation of Christ Who continues to walk with us, enlighten our lives with His Word, and share with us the Bread of Life in the Eucharist. In this way, the pilgrimage to the shrine will be a favourable occasion to strengthen the desire in those who visit it to share the wonderful experience with others of knowing they are loved by God and sent to the world to give witness to that love. "With these sentiments, I entrust the fruits of this Congress to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostle James as I direct my prayer to Jesus Christ, 'the Way and the Truth and the Life', to Whom I present all those who seek His face as they peregrinate through life: "Lord Jesus Christ, pilgrim of Emmaus,you make yourself close to us for love,even if, at times, discouragement and sadnessprevent us from discovering your presence.You are the flame that revives our faith.You are the light that purifies our hope.You are the force that stirs our charity. Teach us to recognise you in the Word,in the house and on the Table where the Bread of Life is shared,in generous service to our suffering neighbour. And when evening falls, Lord, help us to say:'Stay with us'. Amen".MESS/ VIS 20100927 (940)




AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 27 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Two prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan, apostolic administrator of the personal apostolic administration of Sao Joao Maria Vianney. - Wilson Tadeu Jonck, S.C.I. of Tubarao. - Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy. On Saturday 25 September he received in separate audiences: - Three prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Elias James Manning O.F.M. Conv. of Valenca. - Archbishop Gil Antonio Moreira of Juiz de Fora. - Bishop Edgard Madi of Nossa Senhora do Libano em Sao Paulo of the Maronites. - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 9:14 AM 0 comments








AMERICA: USA: DEATH OF FR. DUBAY
Catholic Online REPORT-On Sunday, September 26, one of God's great servants was welcomed home.Fr. Dubay was hospitalized about a month ago and then transferred to a rehabilitation facility for specialized treatments but his health was steadily declining. Saturday he was re-admitted to the hospital with bleeding in the brain, and he was put in coronary intensive care. He passed away at 4:45am on Sunday morning.News is just now getting around that Reverend Thomas Dubay, 89,one of the most popular authors, spiritual directors and retreat masters passed away on Sunday morning. A Marist father and the author of more than 20 books, he spent the past 35 years traveling the world and preaching the Gospel.The Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., cared for Father Dubay during his final days and issued this statement:This morning at 4:45, the Lord welcomed into His Kingdom Rev Thomas Dubay, SM, after suffering kidney failure and massive bleeding in the brain. Father's frail health had been declining ever since his admission to the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Washington more than a year ago, but his suffering was even more noticeable in recent months. Despite this fact, Fr Dubay was just as witty as ever.When Father's superior, Fr. Bruce Lery, SM, called the Little Sisters on Sunday morning to tell them, he said, "We have a saint in heaven" -how true! Fr. Dubay was hospitalized about a month ago and then transferred to a rehabilitation facility for specialized treatments but his health was steadily declining. Yesterday he was re-admitted to the hospital with bleeding in the brain, and he was put in coronary intensive care. Although the ventilator was removed, he continued to breathe on his own. Although he suffered from his loss of independence, he was happy to concelebrate Mass almost every day in the chapel of the Little Sisters Home in the shadow of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in our nation's capital. The Marist priests and brothers visited him almost daily, and Father depended very much on his superior, Fr. Bruce, who was always there for him. In a few words, Fr. Dubay literally practiced what he preached! Father was happy to give weekly classes to the Little Sister postulants -classes which he enjoyed as much as they! From his room, Father continued his spiritual direction with many persons who called on him and this also was extended to letter writing.We can render prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful support Father gave to religious communities spending a good part of his life giving conferences and retreats. Although his preaching and spiritual direction was delivered to contemplative communities, his teaching was not for them alone. Religious the world over benefitted of his spiritual wisdom and guidance for years. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace after leading so many souls to true spiritual peace during his lifetime! The opening prayer of today's liturgy says it all: "Help us hurry toward the Eternal Life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom."
http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=38489
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 8:58 AM 0 comments








EUROPE: ITALY: FOUNDER OF MOVEMENT FR. GASPARINO DIES
Asia News report: The founder of the Contemplative Missionary Movement Fr. de Foucauld, died Sunday morning. The community has missions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.Cuneo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Fr. Andrea Gasparino, founder of the Contemplative Missionary Movement Fr. de Foucauld, passed away on Sunday 26 at around 6 am. He was 87 years and had suffered from worsening health conditions for the past month. He remained conscious and lucid until the end.The community was founded as a Boys Town in Cuneo in 1951, to help orphaned children and homeless. The community’s work was greatly helped by the inclusion of consecrated sisters in 1955. In the 1960s, it opened its first missions in Brazil, Korea, and Madagascar, and today has spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Russia and Albania. Having recognised itself in the principles of contemplation and mission expressed by Fr. de Foucauld, the community is now called the Contemplative Missionary Movement Fr. de Foucauld.The funeral will be held Tuesday, September 28 at the Church of the Contemplative Missionary Movement Fr. de Foucauld. Fr. Gasparino had asked for the following words to be written in his tomb "prayer and love obtain the impossible", the spiritual message that has always guided his work and his community.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Father-Andrea-Gasparino-dies-19563.html
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 7:13 AM 0 comments








ASIA: JERUSALEM PEACE TALKS AT RISK DUE TO CONSTRUCTION
Asia News report: From tomorrow building to resume in Shavei Shomron, Adam, Oranit, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir, Revava, Kokhav Hashahar, Kedumim and Karmei Tzur. Netanyahu (and U.S.) call on Palestinians to continue the dialogue despite move . For Abbas, without the freeze on settlements dialogue is "a waste of time." Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - With the midnight expiration of the moratorium on settlements in the West Bank, many Israeli settlers are ready to resume construction that has only been partially blocked for 10 months.The moratorium was sought by the United States to allow the resumption of peace talks, broken off after the “Cast Lead” operation in Gaza. With the resumption of the expansion of settlements, the road to peace, officially reopened in recent weeks in Washington, is at risk.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinians to continue the dialogue "despite" construction. He also asked the settlers to show “restraint and responsibility”. But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that if there is no freeze on settlements, the dialogues are "a waste of time."Many settlers celebrated the end of the moratorium and plan to resume construction in the West Bank in the coming days. Israeli sources expect the resumption of work tomorrow in Shavei Shomron, Adam, Oranit, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir, Revava, Kokhav Hashahar, Kedumim and Karmei Tzur. In Beit Hagai, south of the West Bank, foundations of a new settlement will be laid.Political adviser to Barack Obama David Axelrod, said that the United States' urging and urging "to find some compromise, even without a freeze on settlements. Abbas said that next week he will meet with Arab leaders to search for a decision.Under pressure from Washington, Israel had launched a partial moratorium on new construction in November 2009. But it has never been applied to the settlements of East Jerusalem. Since the Israeli occupation of '67 on the West Bank and East Jerusalem at least 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements. From the standpoint of international law they are illegal.A Revava (northern West Bank), the settlers celebrated the end of the moratorium last night releasing balloons in the air. Among them were also Members of Likud, the party of Netanyahu and Shas, present in governmental structures.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Construction-resumes-on-West-Bank-settlements.-Peace-talks-at-risk-19559.html
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 7:02 AM 0 comments










AFRICA: BURKINA FASO- CONGRESS FOR INTERNATION CATHOLIC PRESS
Agenzia Fides REPORT-Archbishop Rouamba tells Fides of “a very positive meeting,” after participating in the Congress for the International Catholic Union of the Press held for the first time in Africa"The meeting was very positive, as I was able to observe in talking to some journalists from my country who participated in it," Fides learned from Archbishop Séraphin François Rouamba, Archbishop of Koupéla and President of the Bishops' Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger, who attended the 22nd World Congress of the UCIP (International Catholic Union of the Press), which for the first time in 83 years after its Foundation was held in Africa. The 22nd World Congress was held September 14 to 19 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The event was attended by 300 representatives of 48 countries from all the continents.“The initiative to provide training for young journalists from the organization has been well-received," says Archbishop Rouamba.The Congress, which was officially opened by the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compare, was attended by former President of Ghana Jerry John Rawlings, UCIP Secretary-General Joseph Calstas-Chittilappily, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Archbishop Séraphin François Rouamba. The main theme of the conference was: “The Media at the Service of Justice, Peace, and Good Governance in a world of Inequality and Poverty.” Among the topics discussed were: professionality and the culture of peace; Journalism at the service of peace, justice, and good governance; inter-religious conflicts and challenges to peace; ethnic-religious conflicts in Nigeria and the need for their solution; the role of media in spreading democracy; ethics and deontology for a journalism at the service of development; the Church and communication - ethics and Christian morality; the kind of communication for the Church in a world of crisis.http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27496&lan=eng
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 6:55 AM 0 comments










AUSTRALIA: MACKILLOP EXCOMMUNICATED FOR REPORTING ABUSE
Cath News report: Mary MacKillop's excommunication resulted from her reporting child abuse by a priest - against whom disciplinary action was taken, according to a documentary to e shown on the ABC's Compass program. Another grudging priest angered by the incident reportedly worked to throw her out of the church.Various news media have picked up the information presented in a new ABC 1 documentary, scheduled for airing on Compass on October 10, on the nun's life. An AAP report in Sydney Morning Herald said previous theories surrounding the excommunication have been vague.In response to the claims, the Sisters of St Joseph said in a statement: "Mary MacKillop's excommunication from the church, for a period of five months from September 1871, is an event that has been comprehensively documented."There were several factors that led to this painful period for Mary and the sisters. The reasons for Mary's excommunication have been written about and commented on in the public domain since that time. This is consistent with the information contained in the Compass program."The ABC's Compass program says Bishop Laurence Sheil ordered the punishment after Mary MacKillop reported child abuse by Father Keating from the Kapunda parish, north of Adelaide, according to the AAP report.Blessed MacKillop and the Josephite sisters reported the abuse to the vicar-general and disciplinary action was taken against Keating, humiliating him and angering a Father Charles Horan, who was close to Bishop Shiel.Horan is believed to have harboured a grudge against MacKillop and the whistleblowers in her order, and used his influence over the bishop to manipulate him into throwing the nun out of the church.Bishop Sheil revoked the punishment on his death bed some five months later, according to official accounts.According to ABC's AM program on the weekend, Father Paul Gardiner - the man who's led the charge for sainthood - said the excommunication was more "a nasty footnote"."It's a sort of a footnote; it's a nasty footnote to a heroic story, and I don't think media people should take it as though it's the main story, particularly since they've got a lot of closer, modern scandals occurring in the Catholic Church to concentrate on. Why tarnish the occasion of Mary's canonisation with this miserable bit of scandal."
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23434
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 6:48 AM 0 comments










TODAY'S SAINT: ST. VINCENT DE PAUL: DIED 1660
St. Vincent de PaulFOUNDER OF THE VINCENTIANSFeast: September 27Information:Feast Day:September 27Born:April 24, 1581, Pouy, Gascony, FranceDied:September 27, 1660, Paris, FranceCanonized:16 June 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XIIMajor Shrine:St Vincent de Paul chapel, Rue de Sèvres, Paris, FrancePatron of:charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteersLike his fellow saint, Francis de Sales, who was his friend and contemporary, Vincent de Paul performed an invaluable service to the Catholic Church in a period of confusion and laxness. But unlike the aristocratic bishop of Geneva, Vincent was born in poverty, of peasant stock. His birthplace was Pouy, near Dax in Gascony, in southwest France; the year was 1576. Jean de Paul and Bertrande de Moras, his parents, were sturdy farming people who reared a family of four sons and two daughters. Observing young Vincent's quick intelligence, his father sent him to be educated by the Cordelier Brothers at Dax. When the boy had been at school for four years, a lawyer of the town engaged him as tutor to his children, thus enabling Vincent to go on with his studies without further expense to his parents. Vincent continued his education at the Spanish University of Saragossa, and then returned to France to attend the University of Toulouse. At the age of twenty-four he was ordained priest by' the bishop of Perigueux, but remained at Toulouse for another four years to take the degree of Doctor of Theology.Beyond an aptitude for study and a certain persistence in achieving his ends, there is nothing in Vincent's life up to this time to suggest his future fame and sanctity. He now went on a short journey which was to change his whole life. The scholarly young priest was to be captured at sea by pirates and sold as a slave in Africa! This extraordinary happening came about in the following way. Vincent, having returned home after receiving his degree, went back to Toulouse to recover by process of law a small legacy which had been left him by an old woman of that city. Homeward bound, he made the trip from Marseilles to Narbonne by water, on board a small coastwise vessel. The ship was set upon by three brigantines manned by Barbary pirates, who were at this time a menace to all Mediterranean shipping. When the Christians refused to strike their flag, the infidels attacked them with arrows. Three were killed and several, including Vincent, were wounded. Those who remained alive were put in chains, and the pirates straightway sailed to Africa with their human cargo. Landing at Tunis, the pirates led their prisoners through the streets of the city, after which they were brought back to the vessel and sold to the highest bidder, like cattle. Vincent, bought by a fisherman, was sold again to an aged Moslem, a humane man, who had spent fifty years in search of the "philosopher's stone." He grew fond of his slave, to whom he gave long lectures on alchemy and Mohammedanism; he even promised to make Vincent his heir and also to communicate to him all the secrets of his science if he adopted the religion of Islam. The young priest, terrified that his faith would be corrupted in this alien environment, prayed for divine protection, particularly for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.Vincent continued firm in his faith and lived on with the old man until his death, when he became the property of his master's nephew, who soon sold him to a renegade Christian, a native of Nice. This man, a convert to Mohammedanism, had three wives, one of whom was a Turkish woman. She often wandered into the field where the new Christian slave was at work, and out of idle curiosity would ask him to sing songs in praise of his God. With tears running down his cheeks Vincent would obediently sing certain Psalms, among which was Psalm cxxxvii, "By the waters of Babylon," in which the Jews bewailed their captivity. The Turkish woman now began to reproach her husband for abandoning his religion, and kept on until, without herself accepting the faith, she made him return to it. He repented of his apostasy, and he and Vincent made their escape from Africa together. They crossed the Mediterranean safely in a small boat, landed near Marseilles, in June, 1607, then traveled up to Avignon. There the apostate confessed, and abjured Mohammedanism before the papal vice-legate. The following year, accompanied by Vincent, he went to Rome, where he entered the order of the Brothers of St. John of God, who serve in hospitals.Vincent now returned to France and chanced to be brought to the attention of Queen Marguerite of Valois, who appointed him her almoner. This office gave him the income from a small abbey. For a time he lodged in the same house as a lawyer, who was one day robbed of a considerable sum. He openly charged Vincent with the theft and spoke against him to all his friends. Vincent did nothing save quietly deny the charge, adding, "God knows the truth." For six years he bore the slander, making no further denial, and at last the real thief confessed. Speaking as though the victim had been someone else, Vincent once told this story at a conference with his priests, in order to show that patience, silence, and resignation are generally the best defense of innocence.Vincent soon came to know a famous priest of Paris, Monsieur de Berulle, afterwards a cardinal. Father Berulle, who at that time was founding a branch of the Congregation of the Oratory in France, recognized Vincent's worth. He found for him a curacy at Clichy, in the outskirts of Paris, and later through his influence Vincent became tutor to the children of Philip de Gondi, Count of Joigny and general of the galleys of France. The countess, a serious-minded woman, was so impressed by Vincent that she eventually chose him as her spiritual director.In 1617, while the family was at its country seat at Folleville, in the diocese of Amiens, Vincent was sent for to hear the confession of a peasant who lay dangerously ill. In the course of his questioning, Vincent learned that every one of the peasant's previous confessions had been sacrilegious. On his recovery the man declared, in the presence of the countess, that he would have been eternally lost if he had not spoken with Vincent. Unlike the majority of noble women of this period, who felt no responsibility for their dependents, this good lady was concerned about the spiritual welfare of her tenantry. She persuaded Vincent to preach in the parish church of Folleville and instruct the people. Such crowds came to confess that he called the Jesuits of Amiens to his aid. The Congregation of the Mission had its inception at this time.Vincent left the household of the count that same year to become pastor of the parish of Chatillon-les-Dombes, which had long been neglected, its church virtually abandoned to the elements. By restoring the church, by instituting the habit of regular worship, he created a new spirit which helped to regenerate the whole district. He converted the notorious count of Rougemont and many other aristocrats from their dissolute lives. Seeing how effective Vincent's labors were, the countess now offered him a large sum of money to found a perpetual mission in whatever place and manner he thought fit. Nothing at first came of the idea, for Vincent seemed reluctant to undertake so important an enterprise. Meanwhile the countess secured her husband's help in organizing a company of zealous missionaries to work among their own vassals and the peasants of the countryside. They also discussed the plan for a perpetual mission with the count's brother, Jean Francois de Gondi, archbishop of Paris, who gave them the College des Bons Enfants as a reception house for the proposed new community.The countess had obtained from Vincent a promise to continue as her spiritual director while she lived and to assist her at the end. She was in failing health and died in the summer of 1625, whereupon Vincent went to Paris to establish himself at the College des Bons Enfants. Now, at the age of forty-nine, he was free to assume the position of director. He drew up rules and constitutions for the house, and these were approved by Pope Urban VIII in 1632. In that year they were given the priory of St. Lazare, henceforth the chief house of the congregation. The Fathers of the Mission thus came to be called Lazarists, although they are more generally known as Vincentians. The Congregation consisted then, as it still does, of priests and laymen who, after a period of probation, take four simple vows, poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability. They live from a common fund and devote themselves to sanctifying their own spirits and to converting sinners. They are employed in missions, especially to country people, teaching the Catechism, preaching, reconciling differences, and performing charitable deeds. Some of them conduct seminaries. Their institutions now flourish in all parts of the world. Vincent lived to see twenty-five more communities founded in France, northern Italy, Poland, and elsewhere.Extensive and rewarding as this work was, it did not satisfy Vincent's passion for helping suffering people. He started con fraternities to seek out and care for the sick in every parish. From these groups, under the leadership of Louise de Marillac, sprang the Sisters of Charity, "whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister the streets of the city and wards of the hospitals." Vincent persuaded a number of noble and wealthy Parisian women, who had hitherto never given a thought to the misery of others, to band together as Ladies of Charity, to collect funds and assist in many practical ways. He made plans for the founding of several hospitals to serve the needy sick, foundlings, and the aged. At Marseilles a home was opened for exhausted galley-slaves. It was the custom at this time in France to punish criminals by condemning them to service in the war galleys of the state. Under the lash and chained to their benches, they performed the cruelly hard labor of rowing these cumbersome vessels with their many-tiered banks of oars. After a few years the prisoners were broken and useless; now for the first time they had a hospital and various other forms of aid.For men about to take Holy Orders, Vincent devised a set of spiritual exercises, and special exercises also for those desiring to make general Confession, or to settle on a vocation. He conferred frequently with the clergy on the correction of the shocking slackness, ignorance, and abuses that were all around them. To the Biblical injunction, "Thou art thy brother's keeper," he gave new practical meaning, by laying down patterns of philanthropy that have been followed ever since. To the worldly society of seventeenth-century Paris he presented a much-needed example of selfless charity.The great political and religious conflict known as the Thirty Years War was now raging. Vincent, on hearing of the wretchedness of the people of Lorraine, collected alms for them in Paris. He sent missionaries to other countries affected by the war. Recalling his own sorrows as a slave in Tunisia, he raised enough money to ransom some twelve hundred Christian slaves in Africa. He had influence with the powerful Cardinals Richelieu and De Retz, directors of French foreign policy; and was sent for by King Louis XIII, to minister to him as he lay dying. The king's widow, Anne of Austria, now Queen Regent, had him made a member of the Council of Conscience of the five-year-old prince, the future Louis XIV. Vincent continued to be in favor at court, and during the civil war of the Fronde, tried to persuade the Queen Regent to give up her unpopular minister, Cardinal Mazarin, to help pacify and unify the people.Thus, although he had no advantages of birth, fortune, or handsome appearance, or any showy gifts at all, Vincent de Paul's later years became one long record of accomplishment. In the midst of great affairs, his soul never strayed from God; always when he heard the clock strike, he made the sign of the cross as an act of divine love. Under setbacks, calumnies, and frustrations, and there were many, he preserved his serenity of mind. He looked on all events as manifestations of the Divine will, to which he was perfectly resigned. Yet by nature, he once wrote of himself, he was "of a bilious temperament and very subject to anger." Without divine grace, he declared, he would have been "in temper hard and repellent, rough and crabbed." With grace, he became tenderhearted to the point of looking on the troubles of all mankind as his own. His tranquillity seemed to lift him above petty disturbances. Self-denial, humility, and an earnest spirit of prayer were the means by which he attained to this degree of perfection. Once when two men of exceptional learning and ability asked to be admitted to his congregation, Vincent courteously refused them, saying: "Your abilities raise you above our low state. Your talents may be of good service in some other place. As for us, our highest ambition is to instruct the ignorant, to bring sinners to a spirit of penitence, and to plant the Gospel spirit of charity, humility, and simplicity in the hearts of all Christians." One of his rules was that, so far as possible, a man ought not to speak of himself or his own concerns, since such discourse usually proceeds from and strengthens pride and self-love.Vincent was deeply concerned at the rise and spread of the Jansenist heresy. He protested hotly against a view of God that seemed to limit His mercy, and no priest teaching that error could remain in his congregation. "I have made the doctrine of grace the subject of my prayer for three months," he said, "and every day God has confirmed my faith that our Lord died for us all and that He desires to save the whole world."As the end of his long life drew near, Vincent endured much suffering. On September 27, 1660, he received the Last Sacraments, and died calmly in his chair, being then eighty-five years old. He was buried in the church of St. Lazare, Paris. In 1729 he was beatified by Benedict XIII, and canonized by Clement XII in 1737. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed him patron of all charitable societies. His emblem is, most appropriately, children.SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/V/stvincentdepaul.asp
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 27: Luke 9: 46 - 50
Luke 9: 46 - 5046And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.47But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side,48and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great."49John answered, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us."50But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you."
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