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Monday, April 11, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. APR. 11, 2011












CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. APR. 11, 2011: HEADLINES-

VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - The Holy See Press Office published the following communique at midday today:

"The Commission established by Benedict XVI to study the most important issues regarding the Catholic Church in China will meet in the Vatican from 11 to 13 April. The Commission shall be made up of the Superiors of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia competent in these matters, and various representatives of the Chinese Episcopate and religious congregations.

(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

"The first plenary meeting, held on 10-12 March 2008, took as its theme the letter Benedict XVI addressed to Chinese Catholics on 27 May 2007. The two subsequent meetings (30 March-1 April 2009 and 22-24 March 2010) were dedicated to the themes of the human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation of seminarians and consecrated persons, as well as the permanent training of priests.

"The next plenary meeting will examine the pastoral situation of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions in China, with particular reference to the challenges the Church encounters in incarnating the Gospel under current social and economic conditions".

OP/ VIS 20110411 (180)

PRAYER AND MISSIONARY ZEAL: JOHN PAUL II'S "TWO PILLARS"

VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2011 (VIS) - On Saturday afternoon Benedict XVI attended a screening of the documentary "Pilgrim in White", by the Polish director Jaropslaw Szmidt and produced by Artrama. The film narrates key moments during the pontificate of John Paul II, with accounts from religious leaders and figures from the media and the fields of culture, science and politics. The screening was also attended by various cardinals and other guests, including the makers of the documentary, who the Holy Father thanked.

He said, "For the seriousness with which it has been prepared and the quality of its production, this documentary constitutes one of the most valid contributions offered to the public on the occasion of my beloved predecessor's upcoming beatification".

He continued, "There are by now numerous audiovisual works on the life of John Paul II ... This film ... sets out to faithfully render both the personality of the Pope and his tireless work throughout his long pontificate".

Benedict XVI emphasised the "two pillars" of the life and ministry of the Polish Pope: "prayer and missionary zeal. John Paul II was a great scholar and great apostle of Christ. God chose him for the Chair of Peter and granted him long life in order that he might accompany the Church into the third millennium. By his example, he guided us all in this pilgrimage and continues to do so from above".

BXVI-film/ VIS 20110411 (240)

ANGELUS: CHRIST BREAKS DOWN THE WALL OF DEATH

VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2011 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI remarked on the readings of today's Mass, dedicated to the Resurrection, "not yet that of Jesus Christ, which breaks through as something entirely new, but that of our own resurrection, to which we aspire and which Christ Himself gave us, rising from the dead", said the Pope.

"In fact", the Holy Father continued, "death represents for us a wall we are unable to see over; even though our hearts reach out beyond, and even though we cannot know what it hides ... we imagine it, expressing our desire for eternity through symbols". However, "even among Christians, faith in the resurrection and in eternal life is often accompanied by many doubts and great confusion, as it concerns a reality beyond the limits of reason and requires an act of faith".

"In today's Gospel, the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus says to Martha, the dead Lazarus' sister, 'Your brother will rise again', and she answers, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day'. Jesus replies, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die'. This is the real truth, which breaks through and overcomes every barrier!" exclaimed the Pope. "Christ breaks down the wall of death, and in Him there resides the fullness of God, which is life, eternal life. Therefore death had no power over Him; the resurrection of Lazarus is a sign of his full dominion over mortal death, which is like sleep before God".

"But there is another death, against which Christ fought hard; and for which he paid on the cross: spiritual death, sin, which threatens to ruin the existence of every man. To defeat this death, Christ died, and his Resurrection was not a return to his previous life but the beginning of a new life, a 'new earth', finally reunited with God's heaven", the Pope concluded.

After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI addressed the Polish pilgrims who today commemorate the anniversary on of the Smolensk air crash on April 10 last year, in which the president of Poland Lech Kazinsky and several other officials lost their lives while travelling to Katyn to pay homage to the Polish soldiers and civilians massacred in the area by the Soviet army during the Second World War. "I join you in your nation's prayer", the Pope said, "that Christ, who is our new life and resurrection, receive them in His glory and that he comfort you in this painful experience. I bless your country and the Polish people with all my heart".

ANG/ VIS 20110411 (470)

CROATIA: DEFENDING RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL IDENTITY

VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received the letters of credence of Filip Vucak, new ambassador of Croatia to the Holy See, a country he will visit on 4-5 June.

Benedict XVI referred to the "beauty of its culture and the depth of its ancestors' faith", and highlighted the importance of "[fortifying] the current generations by showing them clearly their rich Croatian historical heritage and the Christian culture with which it is deeply permeated, and which has always supported the Croatian people in times of adversity".

Recalling that "Croatia will soon fully enter the European Union", Benedict XVI remarked that "this integration must be achieved fully respecting Croatia's specific characteristics, regarding its religious life and culture. It would be illusory to repudiate this identity in favour of another born in circumstances different to those of the birth and construction of Croatia".

"In entering the European Union", he continued "your country shall not only be the recipient of an economic and legal system with both advantages and limits, but should also bring its own, typically Croatian contribution. Croatia should not be afraid to make a determined claim for respect for its history and its religious and cultural identity. Dour voices dispute Europe's religious roots with bewildering regularity. Amnesia and the denial of historical evidence have become customary. To declare that Europe does not have Christian roots is like claiming that a man may live without oxygen or nourishment ... I am sure that your country will know how to defend its identity with conviction and pride and to avoid the new pitfalls as they appear which, under the pretext of a misunderstood religious freedom, are contrary to natural law, the family, and morality".

The Pope expressed his satisfaction at the interest the country has shown in enabling "Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina to fulfil their role a sone of the three constituent peoples of that country". In this context, he confirmed that "Croatia contributes its specific experience to facilitate dialogue and comprehension between people of different traditions co-existing throughout the centuries" and encouraged them to "continue along this path of consolidating peace through respect for all". Likewise, he expressed his pleasure that Croatia "promotes religious freedom and respects the specific mission of the Church".

"For all these reasons", he concluded his address to the ambassador, "I am most pleased to be able to visit your country in a few weeks' time... As you know, the theme chosen for the trip will be 'Together in Christ!'... Together in spite of the innumerable human differences, together in diversity! ... In the name of Christ, who accompanied the Croatian people throughout centuries with goodness and mercy, I wish to offer encouragement to your country and to the Church which accompanies you".

CD/ VIS 20110411 (470)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain, and retinue.

- Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

- Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation.

- Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec, Canada.

On Saturday the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini S.J., archbishop emeritus of Milan, Italy.

AP/ VIS 20110411 (100)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Paul Donoghue, S.M., as bishop of Rarotonga (area 234, population 12,760, Catholics 2,531, priests 9, religious 12), Cook Islands. The bishop-elect was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Msgr Stuart France O'Connell, S.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the apostolic vicariate of Machiques, Venezuala, presented by Msgr Ramiro Diaz Sanchez, O.M.I., upon having reached the age limit.

- Elevated the apostolic vicariate of Machiques (area 25,350, population 325,000, Catholics 282,000, priests 20, permanent deacons 1, religious 52), Venezuala, to the rank of diocese, with the same name and territorial configuration, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan Church of Maracaibo. He nominated as first bishop of the diocese of Machiques Msgr. Jesus Alfonso Guerrero Contreras, O.F.M. The bishop-elect was born in Merida, Venezuela, in 1951, and was ordained a priest in 1977.

- Appointed Msgr. Gyorgy Udvardy, auxiliary bishop of Esztergom-Budapest as Bishop of the diocese of Pecs (area 8,196, population 662,000, Catholics 438,000, priests 114, permanent deacons 3, religious 66), Hungary.

- Appointed Msgr. John Moolachira, bishop of Diphu, as coadjutor archbishop of Guwahati (area 17,551, population 7,040,000, Catholics 75,551, priests 126, religious 515), India.

- Appointed Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop emeritus of Palermo, as Special Envoy to the Diocesan Pauline Jubilee Year celebrations in Pozzuoli Italy, on 30 May 2011, on the occasion of the 1950th anniversary of St. Paul's landing in the city.

ASIA: JAPAN: DEATH TOLL OF 13,000- MINUTE OF PRAYER SILENCE

ASIA NEWS REPORT: The 7.1 magnitude quake hits about 164 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, but does not cause any major damages. A minute of silence is held across the country for the 13,000 people who died in last month’s catastrophe. Sendai diocese opens new aid centres and sends priests and volunteers to the hardest-hit areas.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – The work of the small Japanese Church continues in tsunami-hit areas. In recent days, the Diocese of Sendai opened two new aid centres and sent priests, seminarians and lay people to back rescue operations.

Today, a quake with a magnitude of 7.1 was recorded at 5.17 pm (local time) in Fukushima Prefecture, about 164 kilometres northeast of Tokyo. The authorities issued a tsunami warning, cancelled a few hours later, and evacuated technical staff from the nuclear plant damaged in the 11 April quake. According to official with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the quake caused a blackout, shutting down cooling pumps for a few hours at three reactors. However, they insist everything is under control. Yukio Edano, a spokesperson for the Japanese government, said that the evacuation zone would be widened beyond the existing 30-km radius.

Today’s quake comes a month to the day after the 11 March event that devastated the eastern coast of the country. Today the country also held a minute of silence to mark the tragedy. According to the latest figures, the death toll now stands around 13,000. Here is an account by Fr David Uribe, a Guadalupe missionary in Tokyo.

In the Diocese of Sendai, the work of priests and lay Catholics in favour of people affected by the earthquake, tsunami and radioactive leak continues despite problems associated with aftershocks and the widening disaster area, which now covers an area of 1,543 km2.

A month after the catastrophe, there is a more accurate picture of the number of Christian victims and the extent of material damages. With the cooperation of the Diocese of Osaka, a network of contacts has been set up linking various priests and missionaries active in the various parishes of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. At present, information can only be exchanged via mobile phone. In many areas, it is still impossible to determine the actual level of difficulties residents face.

Priests, seminarians and lay Catholics from different dioceses of Japan have volunteered in the areas already reached by rescue operators. On 2 April, officials from Sendai Diocese opened a new aid centre in the city of Kamaishi (Iwate prefecture), in addition of those already operating in the cities of Sendai, Shiogama and Ishinomaki.

In the next few days, Fr Marco Antonio de La Rosa, a Guadalupe missionary, in cooperation with Fr José Maria Vianney Uesugi, from the Sapporo Diocese, will open a base camp in the parish of Miyako (Iwate). From here, the two clergymen will bring aid to the villages of Taro and Yamada, both razed to the ground by the tsunami. Seminarians and religious from the dioceses of Fukuoka and Oita are already operating in the area.

Meanwhile, the situation in the towns near the Fukushima nuclear plant is getting worse. Here, radioactive leaks have compounded the problems caused by the tsunami and the quake.

According to the Catholic weekly Katorikku Shinbun, 50,000 of the 70,000 residents in the cities of Minami Soma and Hamarachi, which are situated some 30 kilometres from the plant, have already left because of the radioactive leak.

In the two towns, the tsunami killed more than 300 people; an additional 1,100 are still missing. About 1,800 homes have been destroyed.

Takano San, a Catholic from Hamarachi parish, said that even people living in the area outside the restricted area have left. On Sundays, only four people attend Mass. Before the quake, they were around 20.

In his view, people are afraid of radiation and have lost confidence in the authorities and scientists who are no longer able to control the situation.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/New-quake-hits-Fukushima-as-Church-sends-volunteers-to-tsunami-stricken-areas-21269.html

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: SHAKESPEARE'S THEATRE TO READ BIBLE DURING HOLY WEEK

HUFFINGTON POST REPORT: William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre will mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a cover-to-cover reading between Palm Sunday and Easter Monday.

Twenty actors will take part in the reading, which is scheduled to take 69 hours over eight days. They will recite all 1,189 chapters of the historic Bible in the theater built as a replica of the place that saw many of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

"Four hundred years ago, a set of church scholars sat in Stationer's Hall by St. Paul's Cathedral and put the finishing touches to the King James Bible. Across the river, a set of playwrights, Shakespeare foremost amongst them, entertained a town," artistic director Dominic Dromgoole told ENInews.

"The playwrights listened to the clerics in church, the clerics sneaked in to listen to the plays in the theater. Between the two of them they generated an energy, a fire and wit in the English language."

The theater's 2011 season will also include the story of the creation of the King James Bible in the play "Anne Boleyn," by Howard Brenton. The story looks at the legacy of King Henry VIII's second wife, who conspires with the exiled William Tyndale to make England Protestant forever.

Starting 70 years after her death, the play examines how King James united England's religious factions with a common Bible, and the debt he owed to Anne.

AMERICA: USA: PROGRAM USES PRAYER FOR WEIGHT LOSS- LIGHT WEIGH

LIGHTWEIGH SITE REPORT: The Light Weigh is a 12 week Video Series - Bible Study where you will learn a new approach to eating and to prayer. Light Weigh members learn to eat the foods they enjoy in moderation. The Light Weigh is international and is done throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and Australia. All Light Weigh groups use the same format.

The Light Weigh Video Series is designed to be done in small groups in your parish or in your home. The Light Weigh is Catholic, and so it is able to draw upon the FULLNESS of the Truth found in our beautiful Faith, the Faith that Jesus Himself founded personally and designed.

By following The Light Weigh, you will learn to attain peace with food by imitating the example of Jesus and the spirituality of two of His devoted followers; St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Therese, The Little Flower.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

OVEREATING verses PEACE WITH FOOD

The reason people overeat is not due to a nutritional need, but an emotional need. We tend to go to food for emotions such as, stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, relaxation, nervousness, distraction, anger, sadness, loneliness etc.. God (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has designed everyone with a ready made hole in their heart. God did this so we would be incomplete without Him. This longing, this incompleteness, causes us to seek Him; which is what He wants us to do! God is the only thing that will fill our "heart hole" perfectly. The problem is in trying to fill this spiritual hunger with everything but Him. God alone is the perfect "piece" to our hearts, that gives us perfect "peace." This is why it is so important to approach attaining peace with food from a spiritual perspective.

Dieting puts people into a "shortage mentality" and steals from them the ability to gain peace with food. The goal of The Light Weigh is to help you attain "Peace With Food." Dieting will never give you peace with food, because it is totally food-focused and self-focused. In The Light Weigh, God’s Love transforms.

MAIN MESSAGE and MATERIALS

The main message of The Light Weigh is to remind people how PRECIOUS they are to God. To remind them of God’s immense and continuous love for us, no matter what they weigh. God wants us to go to Him for the spiritual hunger we have been trying to fill with food. When we begin to fill our heart with Him, that is when we begin to see our temptation to overeat diminish. The filling of the heart is a process and The Light Weigh gives members specific materials; a Light Weigh Workbook, a Light Weigh Audio series and a Light Weigh Spiritual Growth Kit, which when used along with the Light Weigh Video series, help this transformation in the heart to take place. The Light Weigh also does an eating example every week to reinforce The Light Weigh approach to eating and peace with food. NOTE: The Light Weigh videos remain the property of The Light Weigh. The Light Weigh video series is on loan to your group for as long as you are meeting as a group and doing the program. When you are finished with the program you return the videos to The Light Weigh.

MEETINGS

The Light Weigh meetings are an hour and a half, once a week for 12 weeks. There are no weigh-ins at the meetings. The first 30 minutes of the meeting is spent discussing the Bible Study, written around the topic of the week; the rest of the meeting is spent watching the weekly Light Weigh Video. The videotapes for each week vary in length, but are not longer than an hour.

A GROUP PROGRAM

Why do I have to do it in a group?! The Light Weigh is designed for group use only. It takes 3 people including yourself to make a group. A group provides many things necessary for you to change. Your group meetings are a sign of commitment on your part; they help you to fit the program into your busy schedule and provide a weekly check-in and accountability. Jesus has said, "Where two or more of you gather in my name there I will be also." Groups provide encouragement, friendship, example and the opportunity to help one another. Suzanne Fowler, the author and founder of The Light Weigh, also joined and started a Light Weigh group when she launched the program many years ago and lost her weight in a group setting. It makes a difference when people pray and make sacrifices for each other. Over and over The Light Weigh has heard how much people enjoy getting together for their Light Weigh Bible Study and meeting. It’s fun!

BECOMING A LIGHT WEIGH MEMBER

Once you have become a member of The Light Weigh and receive your materials, you are ready to begin! The cost of The Light Weigh materials is $135.00 plus S&H, per person. This covers the workbook, audio series, spiritual growth kit and attending the video program. As long as your group is continuing to meet, you may repeat the program as many times as you like during the first year without paying the full cost again. All you need do each time your repeat is purchase the next audio series for $30 plus S&H. Light Weigh Members have told us they love their meetings! They have formed wonderful friendships and gained wisdom, strength and encouragement from other Light Weigh members.

Over and over we hear how The Light Weigh has changed peoples lives, and we give total credit to the Holy Spirit. Read the "Success Stories" section. It is our prayer that each Light Weigh member will experience a greater appreciation of God’s great love for them, rediscover and connect more deeply with the Catholic Faith and the treasures our Church contains to help them in their daily struggles and attain the peace with food they seek.

http://www.lightweigh.com/brief.htm

AFRICA: IVORY COAST: ARCHBISHOP REQUESTS PRAYERS FOR PEACE

Agenzia Fides REPORT - “Bombing around the presidential residence has gone on throughout the night. Here at the Nunciature (200 metres from Gbagbo's residence), the shots were felt very strongly,” Archbishop Ambrose Madtha, Apostolic Nuncio in Abidjan, tells Fides, who together with the personnel in the Nunciature, has remained in place despite the fighting.
Even today, 11 April, fighting continues in the district of Abidjan, around the home of outgoing President of Côte d'Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, where he has remained barricaded for at least 11 days, refusing to surrender. Last night UN mission and French Licorne helicopters launched rockets at the residence, destroying it in part, to “neutralize the heavy artillery” of Gbagbo, as provided by Resolution 1975 of the UN Security Council.
“We thank God that we still have electricity and running water, as well as a supply of food,” says Archbishop Madtha. However, the Nuncio's thought go to the thousands of displaced people in Abidjan. “In every parish in the city there are large numbers of displaced people forced to flee their homes because of the shootings and bombings. Only those who experience it can understand what this means.”
Archbishop Madtha confirms that helicopters were used in the assault on Gbagbo's residence: “The helicopters launched missiles. Aircraft continues to fly over the area where we are. We are not able to see what damage has been done to the presidential residence, but we saw smoke rising from that direction.
“We did not sleep all night because of the bombing. We are all tired and anxious. We are collecting detailed information on the humanitarian situation which is certainly very serious, because food is scarce,” concludes Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan, ending the telephone call to Fides with a request for peace prayers for Côte d'Ivoire.

AUSTRALIA: SISTER SAYS SUBSTANDARD STATE FOR REFUGEES- INVESTIGATION

CATH NEWS REPORT: A religious sister who works with refugees in the Hunter in NSW said housing is substandard and refugee families in the region live in squalor, reports the ABC.


One of the refugee families this week had new lounge chairs delivered, their shower was fixed and they were given new appliances - but the items were removed only a couple of days later.Sister Diana Santleben, who works with the Josephite Refugee Support Network based at Penola House in Hamilton, said she was gobsmacked to hear a refugee family had new furniture taken from their house the day after an Immigration inspection.

"They'd lived two months in this house with a shower that didn't work and lounge chairs that were ripped and filthy," Sister Diana says.

"The stove didn't work, the washing machine didn't work at all.

"The mother of the family is nine months pregnant and she's got seven children and she has to do all the washing by hand.

She said the place was filthy when the family arrived two months ago, and still has rubbish and broken furniture on the yard from previous tenants.

Sister Diana says the family were happy on Wednesday this week that their service provider had delivered new furniture.

The immigration department inspected the house yesterday.

"I went there again this morning and I was gobsmacked," she said.

"The lovely new furniture is all gone."

She said the refugee family doesn't speak English so don't understand why the new furniture was removed, apparently by the same person who delivered it, and the old, damaged and dirty furniture returned.

The Navitas consortium, formerly known as ACL, has won another three-year Federal Government contract to provide education, health care and other support for refugees relocating to the Hunter.
Navitas has sent a statement to the ABC saying it takes allegations of such nature very seriously and will fully investigate the claims.

The Federal Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen says his Department will also investigate.

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=25799

TODAY'S SAINT: APR. 11: ST. Gemma Galgani

St. Gemma Galgani

STIGMATIST

Feast: April 11



Information:

Feast Day:April 11
Born:12 March 1878 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Died:Holy Saturday, 11 April 1903 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Italy
Canonized:2 May 1940 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:Passionist Monastery in Lucca, Italy
Patron of:Students, pharmacists, tuberculosis patients, love and hope

There is little to be said about her life. Born at Camigliano in Tuscany, she suffered from 'tuberculosis of the spine with aggravated curvature', and, though she considered herself cured by a vision of the young Saint Gabriel Possenti, she could not obtain a certificate of health enabling her to enter a convent, as she wished. She had many 'abnormal' experiences from June 1899 onwards, including the 'stigmata' in hands and feet, carefully examined by her confessor and biographer, the Passionist Fr Germano. These began to appear about 8 p.m. on a Thursday and lasted till 3 p.m. on the Friday. No pain preceded their apparition, but only a deep recollection. There was seen first a discoloration on the back and palm of each hand; then a 'rent in the flesh' under the skin which then split, and a deep laceration was observed, at least usually: the holes above and below corresponded and the perforations seemed complete, but it was hard to judge of this because they kept firing up with blood, partly flowing, partly congealing. Fr Germano measured the diameters and shapes of the wounds carefully, and noted that 'a few times' a sort of fleshy swelling, like a nail-head, about an inch across, covered the wounds in the hands (though not those in the feet): 'The deep wounds were the more usual state of Gemma's stigmata—I say, the more usual state'. He also says that directly the Friday ecstasy was over, 'the flow of blood from all wounds ceased immediately; the raw flesh healed; the lacerated tissues healed too': at least by Sunday not a vestige remained of the deep 'cavities'; the new skin was smooth, though 'whitish marks' remained on it. Much more could be said about this saint, but this account suffices as occasion for explaining the principles governing the Church's approach to these and allied phenomena.

First, the Congregation of Rites, declaring that Gemma practiced the Christian virtues to a heroic degree, explicitly refrained from passing judgment on the preternatural character of the recorded phenomena; a matter (it adds) 'upon which no decision is ever made' (see vol. xxiv [1932], p. 57, and Thurston: , ed. J. H. Crehan, chapter 11, especially pp. 52-54).

We must first register the alleged presented to us for observation, and then consider the evidence. Only then may we tentatively embark on . So we notice that before the time of St. Francis of Assisi there can be quoted only two or three instances of stigmatization of doubtful character: but since St. Francis, instances become almost innumerable up to the present day. We start by excluding those where self-inflicted wounds can even be suspected; for there have been instances of downright imposture, of misguided asceticism-conscious or possibly unconscious. This cannot apply to Gemma Galgani, since the gradual appearance and disappearance of her wounds was scrupulously . Again, all instances of complete stigmatization (save probably two) are found in women, and usually (though by no means always) in women who lead an enclosed and constantly meditative life; this suggests that the mind can influence the body-as it obviously can: a can make one blush, or turn pale. Further, an ecstatica's stigmata (or visions) not seldom correspond with some picture or effigy that she habitually sees: the marks of the scourging on Gemma are said to reproduce those on a crucifix she contemplated; Catherine Emmerich and others 'see' our Lord on a Y-shaped cross like one they were accustomed to; some will see Him crucified with three, others with four, nails; the wound of the lance may be on the right, or again on the left. We may therefore grant that a supernatural grace be granted to the soul, the mind, helped by the imagination, may proceed to interpret it to itself by means of such ideas or images as it possesses or prefers. But how far can the 'mind' influence the body? 'Dermatography'—marks on the skin, usually disappearing soon—can undoubtedly be induced by suggestion, whether it be self-suggestion or administered by another; but can suggestion cause lesions of the tissues, persisting and not becoming gangrenous? The word 'hysteria' should now be left aside—the ugly word 'pithiatism' may be replacing it—it merely means 'suggestibility'. Now there is no fault in being 'suggestible'; one person may lie abnormally open to the stimulus of anger, fear, sex or pity. If then we seek the nature of the stimulus lying behind the bodily manifestations observed in one who, on other grounds, is judged to be of exceptional holiness, we can prudently suppose that it is love for God, for Christ incarnate, or crucified, which so moves the entire 'subject'—body-mind—as to produce the exterior phenomena. The miracle would then lie in the intensity of the love for God granted to a human soul; the physical consequences of so super-human a love might be quite incalculable, by no means necessarily the stigmata, though possibly including them: indeed, disconcerting symptoms might well co-exist with those that might be expected, and should by no means be at once ascribed to diabolic influences. The description of all abnormal symptoms of the sort under discussion should be purely clinical, not rhetorical or pietistic.


St. Gemma Galgani was beatified in 1933, and canonized in 1940.



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgemmagalgani.asp#ixzz1JE7pp6Ug

TODAY'S SAINT: APR. 11: ST. Stanislaus

St. Stanislaus

PATRON SAINT OF POLAND, BISHO OF CRACOW, MARTYR

Feast: April 11



Information:

Feast Day:April 11
Born:26 July 1030 as Szczepanowski, Poland
Died:murdered on 8 May 1079 in the chapel of Saint Michael in a suburb of Cracow, Poland
Canonized:1253 by Pope Innocent IV at Assisi, Italy
Patron of:Cracow, Plock, Poland, soldiers in battle

Bishop and martyr, born at Szczepanów (hence called Szczepanowski), in the Diocese of Cracow, 26 July, 1030; died at Cracow, 8 May, 1079; feast on May 7 in Roman Martyrology, but on 8 May in Cracow, which has a special feast of the translation of his relics on 27 September; patron of Poland and the city and Diocese of Cracow; invoked in battle. In pictures he is given the episcopal insignia and the sword. Larger paintings represent him in a court or kneeling before the altar and receiving the fatal blow. No contemporary biography of the saint is in existence. At the time of his canonization a life appeared written by a Dominican Vincent(?) (Acta SS.,May, II, 196) which contains much legendary matter. His parents, Belislaus and Bogna, pious and noble Catholics, gave him a religious education. He made his studies at Gnesen and Paris(?). After the death of his parents he distributed his ample inheritance among the poor. Lambert Zula, Bishop of Cracow, ordained him priest and made him pastor of Czembocz near Cracow, canon and preacher at the cathedral, and later, vicar-general. After the death of Lambert he was elected bishop, but accepted only on explicit command of Pope Alexander II. He worked with his wonted energy for his diocese, and inveighed against vices among high and low, regardless of consequences. Boleslaw II had become King of Poland. the renown he had gained by his successful wars he now sullied by atrocious cruelty and unbridled lust. Moreover the bishop had several serious disputes with the king about a piece of land belonging to the Church which was unjustly claimed by Boleslaw, and about some nobles, who had left their homes to ward off various evils threatening their families and who were in consequence cruelly treated by the king. Stanislaus spared neither tears nor prayers and admonitions to bring the king to lead a more Christian life. All being in vain, Boleslaw was excommunicated and the canons of the cathedral were instructed to discontinue the Divine Offices in case the king should attempt to enter. Stanislaus retired to the Chapel of St. Michael in a suburb of Cracow. The king was furious and followed the bishop with his guards, some of whom he sent to kill the saint. These dared not obey, so Boleslaw slew him during the Holy Sacrifice. The body was at first buried in the chapel, but in 1088 it was transferred to the cathedral by Bishop Lambert II. St. Stanislaus was canonized 1253 by Innocent IV at Assisi.



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/ststanislaus.asp#ixzz1JE7Zl74D
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