Sunday, October 17, 2010


RADIO VATICANA REPORT:Pope Benedict today received the President of Poland in private audience here at the Vatican. The meeting came on the 32nd anniversary of the election of the Polish born Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla as the successor of Peter. A statement released by the Vatican Press office noted the “happy coincidence” of the visit on this anniversary and went on to say that both the Pope and President focused on the importance of dialogue between Church and State, in order to promote the common good." They also "reiterated their common desire" to see both Poland and the Holy See " continuing to work effectively in areas of common interest, such as in education and promoting the fundamental values of society, and stressing the importance of protecting human life in all its phases. " Finally, according to the statement there was "an exchange of views on the current situation in Europe."After the private talks there was an exchange of gifts in a more informal atmosphere.President Komorowski gave the Pope a facsimile manuscript of the music of Frédéric Chopin, whose bicentenary is being celebrated this year.The Pope in return gave the President a medal of his pontificate. Before the meeting with the Holy Father, President Komorowski participated on Saturday morning at a Mass celebrated in the Vatican Grottoes, at the tomb of John Paul II. After the Mass, the head of state and his wife knelt in prayer before the tomb of the Polish Pope and laid a bouquet of white and red flowers, the colours of Poland.
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Asia News report: A prayer vigil for jailed bishops and priests and religious freedom in China will be held tomorrow in the territory as the Diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission prevails over reticent authorities. Hong Kong Bishop Tong says Liu’s Nobel Prize “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Church in Hong Kong will publicly pray for religious freedom in China and for the bishops and priests currently in jail in that country. Although Hong Kong authorities initially did not want to authorise the event, the local diocesan Justice and Peace Commission was able to prevail so that tomorrow, the Way of the Cross will go ahead as planned. In the meantime, Hong Kong’s Bishop Emeritus, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, and his successor, Bishop John Tong Hon, congratulated Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.During the gathering, in which Cardinal Zen will speak, jailed bishops and priests will be remembered, including Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian and Father James Lu Genjun of Baoding.Initially, the authorities had refused to grant organisers a permit for the event. In September, the Hong Kong Leisure and Entertainment Department had turned down the Justice and Peace Commission’s application to hold a procession starting at the Southorn Playground, claiming it was all “booked”. When organisers fell back on the smaller Lockhart Road, the authorities continued to be against their request for “political reasons”.Only when the media picked up the story did the authorities grant permission to use the Southorn Playground. Nevertheless, the diocese was none too pleased. In a statement, it slammed the authorities for their attitude, which, in its view, tends to undermine the rights of all Hong Kong citizens.At the same time, Hong Kong’s bishop, Mgr John Tong Hon spoke about the Nobel Prize going to mainland dissident Liu Xiaobo, saying that it “honours the Chinese people” as a whole. In his statement, the prelate congratulated the winner, who co-authored Charter 08, and his family. He also cited Chinese premier Wen Jiaobao who said that the appeal of democracy and freedom cannot be obstructed.Bishop Tong also expressed hope to see the release of Liu and all those jailed for demanding democracy and freedom, including religious freedom, for they “can make a greater contribution to the country” and increase its “prestige in the international community.”Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Zen said that some day he too hopes to see the day when the Chinese people can fully express support for Liu’s early release.
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Cath News report: Thousands of Australian pilgrims celebrating Mary MacKillop's canonisation are making their presence felt in the Eternal City, sometimes to the bemusement of the locals.The Herald Sun reports that groups are waving Mary MacKillop flags and wearing green and gold Mary MacKillop scarfs, and are out in force in St Peter's Square for the Pope's regular Wednesday appearance."What is happening?" asked one Italian couple as they watched happy groups of Australians streaming out of the Caravita church in downtown Rome, armed with their pilgrim packs, which also include water, ponchos and Mary MacKillop prayer cards.The younger they are, the more enthusiastic they seem, said the report."Having Mary MacKillop made a saint is like a 'yes, we can' moment for Australia," said Sydney teenager Rian Galliott, touring with the Catholic Youth Mission group."It's a turning point for young people in the church to be here on this occasion. It's like we're being entrusted with the church and we're going to keep on carrying the torch that Mary MacKillop lit."Who knows, in 100 years they might be saying someone who was in Rome for this event might have lived a life good enough to be considered a saint."
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Montreal Gazette report:
The praises of a once penniless, sickly and illiterate porter were literally sung here Saturday to honour the man who is on the cusp of becoming the first Canadian-born male saint.Led by the Pontifical French Seminary choir, more than 1,000 pilgrims sang the hymn Frere Andre as a large black-and-white portrait of the lay brother was carried to the altar of Sant’Andrea della Valle, an ornate 17th-century church dedicated to Saint Andrew the Apostle.It was standing-room-only at the prayer vigil on the eve of the big day. On Sunday, Brother Andre, will become the first male Catholic saint born in Canada during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square.“Simple, pauvre, humble frere, coeur d’apetre / Pour le royaume. Simple, pauvre, frere Andre / Dans ta priere prends les notres,” they sang as the portrait was placed on an easel, and immediately illuminated by the flashes of dozens of cameras.The prayer vigil was led by Andre Richard, Archbishop of Moncton and a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the order Alfred Bessette joined in 1870 when he took the name Brother Andre.At the event, the man to be known as Saint Andre Bessette was remembered as a compassionate man who stood out because of his inspiring life story and his unique way of helping people in pain.Having lost both parents by age 12, Bessette was separated from his brothers and sisters and sent to live with family members. He tried unsuccessfully to make it on his own, drifting from job to job in Quebec before moving to New England, Gerard Dionne, a Holy Cross brother, told the crowd.After returning to Quebec when he was in his early 20s, Bessette settled in St. Cesaire, Que., southeast of Montreal, where local priest Rev. Andre Provencal inspired him to devote himself to Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus Christ.Bessette spent so much time praying to Saint Joseph, local children mocked him as “le fou de St. Joseph,” Dionne said.Provencal recommended him to the Congregation of Holy Cross, which ran College Notre Dame in Cote des Neiges. “I’m sending you a saint,” Provencal said in his recommendation letter, Dionne noted.Though wary because of Bessette’s poor health, the congregation took him in. Bessette became Brother Andre. He was given the lowly job of taking care of the school’s reception area.For years, he dreamt of building a small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph, across from College Notre Dame, on Mount Royal.“Brother Andre placed a statue of St. Joseph on his windowsill, with the face turned toward the mountain,” Dionne said. “When people asked why, his answer was quite simple: Saint Joseph wants to have a chapel on the mountain where he can be honoured and prayed to.”That chapel would be built in 1904 and then expanded a few years later. Untold numbers of people came to seek help from Brother Andre, who would tell them to rub oil that had burned in front of a statue of Saint Joseph on their bodies, and seek Saint Joseph’s help in prayer.He became known as the Miracle Man of Montreal, with thousands of people attributing to him miraculous recoveries from everything from physical infirmities to tuberculosis to cancer.Eventually, construction began on a grand building to replace Brother Andre’s simple chapel. But the worldwide economic depression of the 1920s stalled the project, leaving his superiors unable to gather the money to finish it.A few weeks before his death in 1937, Brother Andre invited his superiors, who were unsure of how to proceed, to put their confidence in Saint Joseph, Dionne said.“In middle of winter, they held a procession and placed a statue of Saint Joseph in the vast interior” of the roofless oratory.“Just one year later, when Brother Andre was no longer in this world,” Dionne said, “we were able to finish this immense building, which became Saint Joseph’s Oratory, the biggest sanctuary in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph, visited by two million people every year.”In a closing prayer, Rev. Richard Warner, the Rome-based superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, noted Brother Andre’s commitment to the poor and the afflicted and asked God to help others to follow in Andre’s footsteps.“Through (Brother Andre’s) intercession, help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in your glory,” Warner said.As they streamed out of Sant’Andrea della Valle, whose dome is the second largest in Rome, surpassed only by Saint Peter’s Basilica, pilgrims reflected on the man they came to celebrate.“He was a humble man who helped the neediest in our world and he deserves to be honoured,” said Montreal resident Mary Vincelli. “This world needs role models and he’s one of the best.”For Jacques Gilbert, also of Montreal, the prayer vigil was a bit of deja vu. He attended a similar event at Sant’Andrea della Valle in 1982, when Pope John Paul II beatified Brother Andre.“I didn’t want to miss the actual canonization,” said Gilbert, 78. “It’s not every day you see a saint made.’Read more:
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EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN BOYLE REVEALS AUTOBIOGRAPHY REPORT – International singing phenomenon Susan Boyle has revealed in a new autobiography that doctors had told her mother to abort her, because they thought the pregnancy was risky.Boyle soared to stardom in April 2009 after appearing on the UK television program, Britain’s Got Talent, when the plain-looking Scotswoman shocked audiences with a powerful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.But the 49-year-old native of Blackburn, a village in West Lothian, Scotland would never have dreamed the dream of singing on the international stage, if her mother had agreed to abort her on the advice of doctors. In her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be, Boyle reveals that doctors recommended a “termination” to Bridget Boyle, who already was a mother of eight children, because they feared physical complications.Boyle reveals that her mother rejected this advice as “unthinkable” since she was a “devout Catholic.”When Boyle was born by emergency c-section, doctors did not tell her mother the usual “Congratulations, Mrs. Boyle! A beautiful baby girl.” Boyle wrote that doctors took a dismissive view of her life – especially when they suspected brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.“‘It’s probably best to accept Susan will never be anything,” Boyle recounted the doctors telling her mother. “‘Susan will never come to anything so don’t expect too much of her.’”“I’m sure they had the best of intentions,” Boyle continued, “but I don’t think they should have said that, because nobody can foretell the future.”“What they didn’t know was that I am a bit of a fighter, and I’ve been trying all my life to prove them wrong.”Boyle released her first album “I Dreamed a Dream” on November 23, 2009, and quickly sold 9 million copies in six weeks, making it the number one selling album for that year. The Guinness Book of World Records also recognized Boyle as the number one female artist in the UK with the fastest selling debut album.In recent years, a number of popular icons have revealed that they had mothers who were faced with the choice to abort or give birth.Andrea Bocelli, Italian pop, opera, and classical singer, revealed to the world this year that doctors recommended abortion to his mother after she experienced an attack of appendicitis, making it likely that her son would be born with a disability. Bocelli is completely blind.Bocelli said he hoped that the story of his brave mother “could encourage many mothers that find themselves in difficult situations in those moments when life is complicated, but want to save the life of their baby.” (see coverage)In the United States, college football star Tim Tebow (now back-up quarterback for the Denver Broncos) revealed that doctors recommended abortion to his mother after she became sick in the Philippines.Tebow’s story was featured in a brief 30-second ad spot purchased for the Super Bowl. According to one study, 92.6 million Americans watched the ad. Of those who identified themselves as supportive of abortion, four percent said they were led to "personally reconsider [their] opinion about abortion" after watching Tebow and his mother Pam tell their story in the ad.
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Catholic Info. Ser. Af. REPORT: Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga has expressed fears that Africa may never catch up with the developed world unless the contribution of women in the society is fully appreciated and exploited.He told the ongoing conference on "African Women's Decade" in Nairobi that opened on October 11 that the continent lagged behind in many aspects of socio-economic spheres because of stereotypes that perpetuated gender biases."We must discard the big-man syndrome and embrace the thinking of the modern man who believes that a progressive struggle can only be attained when the contribution of women is appreciated," Odinga said.He said some Third World countries overcame their economic woes after incorporating women in their development agenda and challenged African nations to adopt those policies that empowered and promoted gender parity in the society.Odinga regretted that the continent still registered the highest rates of maternal mortality because African governments were yet to accord provision of basic health the seriousness it deserved."Women die because our political systems have not put enough focus on their health by providing adequate resources which ought to be a priority if the decade is to mean anything to the African woman," he said.He urged participants from 48 member states to push their respective governments to honour their pledge to contribute one percent of their budget to the African Women Fund which the African Union Commission formulated to promote related activities in the continent.The premier lauded the strides Rwanda had made in promoting women representation and asked other states to emulate the trend and push the ratio beyond the 30 percent minimum benchmark to at least 50 percent slots of the available seats.The five-day event conference held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) is attended by Gambian Vice President Dr Isatou Njie Saidy among others.Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to address the forum today. SOURCE
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St. Marguerite d'YouvilleFOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITYFeast: October 16 (Canada)Information:Feast Day:October 16Born:15 October 1701, Varennes, QuebecDied:23 December 1771, Montreal, CanadaCanonized:9 December 1990, by Pope John Paul IIMajor Shrine:Chapel of St. Marie Marguerite d'Youville, near MontrealPatron of:Against death of children, difficult marriages, in-law problems, loss of parents, opposition of Church authorities, people ridiculed for piety, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, widowsMARGUERITE d'YOUVILLE, the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood, was born October 15, 1701 at Varennes, Quebec. She was the eldest of six children born to Christophe Dufrost de Lajemmerais and Marie-Renée Gaultier. Her father died when she was seven years old leaving this family of six in great poverty. It was only through the influence of her great grandfather, Pierre Boucher, that she was enabled to study for two years at the Ursulines in Quebec. Upon her return home, she became an invaluable support to her mother and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters. She married François d'Youville in 1722 and the young couple made their home with his mother who made life miserable for her daughter-in-law. She soon came to realize that her husband had no interest in making a home life. His frequent absences and illegal liquor trading with the Indians caused her great suffering. She was pregnant with her sixth child when François became seriously ill. She faithfully cared for him until his death in 1730. By age 29, she had experienced desperate poverty and suffered the loss of her father and husband. Four of her six children had died in infancy. In all these sufferings Marguerite grew in her belief of God's presence in her life and of his tender love for every human person. She undertook many charitable works with complete trust in God, whom she loved as a Father. She provided for the education of her two sons, who later became priests, and she welcomed a blind woman into her home. Marguerite was soon joined by three young women who shared her love and concern for the poor. On December 31, 1737, they consecrated themselves to God and promised to serve him in the person of the poor. Marguerite, without even realizing it, had become the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, "Grey Nuns". She persevered in caring for the poor despite many obstacles. She was in weakened health and mourning the death of one of her companions when a fire destroyed their home. This only served to deepen her commitment to the poor. On February 2, 1745, she and her two early companions pledged themselves to put everything in common in order to help a greater number of persons in need. Two years later, this "mother of the poor" as she was called, was asked to become director of the Charon Brothers Hospital in Montreal which was falling into ruin. She and her sisters rebuilt the hospital and cared for those in most desperate human misery. With the help of her sisters and their lay collaborators, Marguerite laid the foundation for service to the poor of a thousand faces. In 1765 a fire destroyed the hospital but nothing could destroy Marguerite's faith and courage. At the age of 64 she undertook the reconstruction of this shelter for those in need. Totally exhausted from a lifetime of self-giving, Marguerite died on December 23, 1771 and will always be remembered as a loving mother who served Jesus Christ in the poor.Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 1959 and called her "Mother of Universal Charity." She was canonized by Pope John Paul II, December 9, 1990.
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St. HedwigWIDOW, DUCHESS OF POLANDFeast: October 16Information:Feast Day:October 16Born:1174 in BavariaDied:October 1243 at TrebnitzCanonized:1266 by Pope Clement IVPatron of:Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; Görlitz, Germany, diocese of; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widowsThe father of this saint was Bertold III of Andechs, Marquis of Meran, Count of Tirol, and Prince (or Duke) of Carinthia and Istria, as he is styled in the Chronicle of Andechs and in the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Her mother was Agnes, daughter of the Count of Rotletchs. St. Hedwiges, by a distinguishing effect of the divine mercy in her favour, was from her cradle formed to virtue by the example and lessons of her devout mother and of those that were placed about her. In her infancy she discovered no marks of levity, and all her inclinations were turned to piety and devotion. She was placed very young in the monastery of Lutzingen, in Franconia, and only taken thence when twelve years old to marry Henry, Duke of Silesia, descended of the Dukes of Glogau, in that country; to which match she only consented out of compliance with the will of her parents. In this state, by the fidelity with which she acquitted herself of all her respective duties towards God, her husband, her children, and her family, she was truly the courageous woman described by the wise men, who is to be sought from the utmost boundaries of the earth; making it her study in all things only to please God, and to sanctify her own soul and her household, she directed all her views and actions to this great end. With her husband's free consent she always passed holydays, fast-days, and all seasons of devotion in continence. She bore her husband three sons, Henry, Conrad, and Boleslas; and three daughters, Agnes, Sophia, and Gertrude. After the birth of her sixth child, she engaged her husband to agree to a mutual vow of perpetual continence, which they made in presence of the bishop of the place; from which time they never met but in public places. Her husband faithfully kept this vow for thirty years that he lived afterwards; during which time he never wore any gold, silver, or purple, and never shaved his beard; from which circumstance he was surnamed Henry the Bearded.Whether in prosperity or adversity, her whole comfort was in God and in the exercises of religion. The duke, at her persuasion and upon her yielding into his hands her whole dower for this purpose, founded the great monastery of Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz, three miles from Breslau, the capital of Silesia; upon which he settled the town of Trebnitz and other estates, endowing it for the maintenance of one thousand persons, of which, in the first foundation, one hundred were nuns; the rest were young ladies of reduced families, who were to be here educated in piety and afterwards provided with competent portions to marry advantageously in the world; or, if they were inclined to a monastic state, they were at liberty to profess it in this or in any other nunnery. This building was begun in 1203, and was carried on fifteen years without interruption, during which time all malefactors in Silesia, instead of other punishments, were condemned to work at it, and the severity of their servitude was proportioned to their crimes. The monastery was finished and the church dedicated in 1219. The duchess practiced in her palace greater austerities than those of the most rigid monks, fasted and watched in prayer, and wherever she travelled had always thirteen poor persons with her, whom she maintained, in honour of Christ and his apostles, waiting upon them herself upon her knees at table, where they were served with good meat before she took her own coarse refection. She often washed the feet and kissed the ulcers of lepers, and having an extreme desire to hear that amiable sentence from Christ at the last day, "I was in prison and you visited me," &c., she exhausted her revenues in relieving the necessitous. The simplicity which she observed in her dress whilst she lived with her husband showed that, if respect to him and his court obliged her to wear decent apparel, she was yet an enemy to vain or gaudy ornaments, which amuse a great part of her sex, and much more to all decorations and artifices of dress with which many ladies study to set themselves off to advantage; a certain mark of vanity, or a pleasure they take in themselves, and a dangerous desire of pleasing others. This passion, which banishes from the breast where it reigns the spirit of Christ and his gospel, cherishes the root of many vices, and without design spreads snares to entangle and destroy unwary souls, cannot find place in one whose conduct is regulated by, and whose heart is penetrated with, the spirit of Christian modesty.St. Hedwiges, after her separation from her husband, carried her love of humility and penance much further in this respect, and wore only clothes of plain grey stuff. Her desire of advancing in perfection put her upon leaving the palace with her husband's consent, and fixing altogether at Trebnitz, near the monastery, often retiring for some days into that austere house, where she lay in the dormitory, and complied with all the penitential exercises of the community. She wore the same cloak and tunic summer and winter; and underneath a rough hair shift, with sleeves of white serge, that it might not be discovered. She fasted every day except Sundays and great festivals, on which she allowed herself two small refections. For forty years she never ate any flesh, though subject to frequent violent illnesses; except that once, under a grievous distemper in Poland, she took a little, in obedience to the precept of the pope's legate. On Wednesdays and Fridays her refection was only bread and water. With going to churches barefoot, sometimes over ice and snow, her feet were often blistered and left the ground stained with traces of herblood; but she carried shoes under her arms, to put on if she met anyone. Her maids that attended her to church, though well clad, were not able to bear the cold, which she never seemed to feel. She had a good bed in her chamber, but never made use of it, taking her rest on the bare ground; she watched great part of the night in prayer and tears, and never returned to rest after matins. After compline she prolonged her prayers in the church till very late: and from matins till break of day. At her work, or other employments, she never ceased to sigh to God in her heart as a stranger banished from him on earth, and returned often in the day to the church, where she usually retired into a secret corner, that her tears might not be perceived. The Princess Anne, her daughter-in-law, who usually knelt next to her, admired the abundance of tears she saw her frequently shed at her devotions, the interior joy and delights with which she was often overwhelmed during her communications with heaven, and the sublime raptures with which she was sometimes favoured. The same was testified by Herbold, her confessor, and by several servant maids. At her prayers she frequently kissed the ground, watering it with her tears, and in private often prayed a long time together prostrate on the floor. She continued in prayer during all the time it thundered, remembering the terrors of the last day. Her tears and devotion were extraordinary when she approached the holy communion. She always heard mass either kneeling or prostrate with a devotion which astonished all that saw her; nor could she be satisfied without hearing every morning all the masses that were said in the church where she was.That devotion is false or imperfect which is not founded in humility and the subjection of the passions. St. Hedwiges always sincerely looked upon herself as the last and most ungrateful to God of all creatures, and she was often seen to kiss the ground where some virtuous person had knelt in the church. No provocation was observed to make her ever show the least sign of emotion or anger. Whilst she lived in the world, the manner in which she reprimanded servants for faults showed how perfectly she was mistress of herself, and how unalterable the peace of her mind was. This also appeared in the heroic constancy with which she bore afflictions. Upon receiving the news of her husband being wounded in battle and taken prisoner by the Duke of Kirne, she said, without the least disturbance of mind, that she hoped to see him in a short time at liberty and in good health. The conqueror rejected all terms that could be offered for his freedom; which obliged Henry, our saint's eldest son, to raise a powerful army to attempt his father's rescue by force of arms. Hedwiges, whose tender soul could never hear of the effusion of Christian blood without doing all in her power to prevent it, went in person to Conrad, and the very sight of her disarmed him of all his rage, so that she easily obtained what she demanded. The example of our saint had so powerful an influence over her husband that he not only allowed her an entire liberty as to her manner of living and exercises of piety, but began at length in some degree to copy her virtues; observed the modesty and recollection of a monk in the midst of a court; and became the father of his people and the support of the poor and weak. All his thoughts were directed to administering justice to his subjects, and making piety and religion flourish in his dominions. He died happily in 1238, upon which melancholy occasion all the nuns at Trebnitz expressed their sense of so great a loss by many tears and other marks of grief. From that time she put on the religious habit at Trebnitz, and lived in obedience to her daughter Gertrude, who, having made her religious profession in that house when it was first founded, had been before that time chosen abbess. Nevertheless, St. Hedwiges never made any monastic vows, that she might continue to succour the necessitous by her bountiful charities.One instance will suffice to show with what humility and meekness she conversed with her religious sisters. Out of a spirit of sincere poverty and humility, she never wore any other than some old threadbare castaway habit. One of the nuns happened once to say to her, "Why do you wear these tattered rags? They ought rather to be given to the poor." The saint meekly answered, "If this habit gives any offence, I am ready to correct my fault." And she instantly laid it aside and got another, though she would not have a new one. Three years after the death of her husband, she sustained a grievous trial in the loss of her eldest, most virtuous, and most beloved son Henry, surnamed the Pious, who had succeeded his father in the duchies both of Greater and Lesser Poland and of Silesia. The Tartars, with a numberless army, poured out of Asia by the north, proposing nothing less to themselves than to swallow up all Europe. Having plundered all the country that lay in their way through Russia and Bulgaria, they arrived at Cracow, in Poland. Finding that city abandoned by its inhabitants, who carried off their treasures, they burnt it to the ground, so that nothing was left standing except the Church of St. Andrew, without the walls. Continuing their march into Silesia, they laid siege to the citadel of Breslau, which was protected by the prayers of St. Ceslas, or Cieslas, prior of the Dominicans there, and the barbarians, terrified by a globe of fire which fell from the heavens upon their camp, retired towards Legnitz. Duke Henry assembled his forces at Legnitz, sad, every soldier having been at confession, he caused mass to be said, at which he and all his army received the holy communion. From this sacred action he courageously led his little army to fall upon the enemy, having with him Miceslas, Duke of Oppolen in Higher Silesia, Boleslas, Marquis of Monravia, and other princes. He gave wonderful proofs both of his courage and conduct in this memorable battle, and for some time drove the barbarians before him; but at last, his horse being killed under him, he was himself slain not far from Legnitz, in 1241. His corpse was carried to the Princess Anne, his wife, and by her sent to Breslau, to be interred in the convent of Franciscans which he had begun to found there, and which she finished after his death. The grandchildren of our saint were preserved from the swords of these infidels, being shut up in the impregnable castle of Legnitz. St. Hedwiges herself had retired, with her nuns and her daughter-in-law, Anne, to the fortress of Chrosne. Upon the news of this disaster she comforted her daughter the abbess, and her daughter-in-law the princess, who seemed almost dead with grief. Without letting fall a single tear, or discovering the least trouble of mind, she said, "God hath disposed of my son as it hath pleased him. We ought to have no other will than his." Then, lifting up her eyes to heaven, she prayed as follows: "I thank you, my God, for having given me such a son, who always loved and honoured me, and never gave me the least occasion of displeasure. To see him alive was my great joy; yet I feel a still greater pleasure in seeing him, by such a death, deserve to be for ever united to you in the kingdom of your glory. Oh, my God, with my whole heart I commend to you his dear soul." The example of this saint's lively faith and hope most powerfully and sweetly dispelled the grief of those that were in affliction, and her whole conduct was the strongest exhortation to every virtue. This gave an irresistible force to the holy advice she sometimes gave others. Being a true and faithful lover of the cross, she was wont to exhort all with whom she conversed to arm themselves against the prosperity of the world with still more diligence than against its adversities, the former being fraught with more snares and greater dangers. Nothing seemed to surpass the lessons on humility which she gave to her daughter-in-law Anne, which were the dictates of her own feeling and experimental sentiments of that virtue. Her humility was honoured by God with the gift of miracles. A nun of Trebnitz who was blind recovered her sight by the blessing of the saint with the sign of the cross. In her last sickness she insisted on receiving extreme unction before any others could be persuaded that she was in danger. The passion of Christ, which she had always made a principal part of her most tender devotion, was the chief entertainment by which she prepared herself for her last passage. God was pleased to put a happy end to her labours by calling her to himself on the 15th of October 1243. Her mortal remains were deposited at Trebnitz. She was canonized in 1266 by Clement IV, and her relics were enshrined the year following. Pope Innocent XI appointed the 17th of this month for the celebration of her office.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 16: Luke 12: 8 - 12
Luke 12: 8 - 128"And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;9but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.10And every one who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.11And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say;12for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."
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