DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Monday, October 10, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. OCT. 10, 2011








AFRICA: EGYPT: 24 DEAD AND OVER 200 INJURED IN DEMONSTRATION

AMERICA: CANADA: COLF WRITES TO PRIME MINISTER HARPER FOR LIFE

ASIA: INDONESIA: NUNS CELEBRATE 80 YEARS WITH FREE CLINIC

AUSTRALIA: PREPARATIONS FOR ST. MACKILLOP ANNIVERSARY

EUROPE: POLAND: MISSIONARY CHILDHOOD STAR SINGERS FOR AFRICA

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 10: ST. FRANCIS BORGIA

TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 10: LUKE 11: 29-32


VATICAN: POPE: SILENCE REVEALS GOD - OTHER NEWS

SILENCE AND SOLITUDE REVEAL THE PRESENCE OF GOD

VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - Having addressed the local people of Serra San Bruno, the Holy Father entered the Carthusian monastery of Sts. Stephen and Bruno where he was greeted by the prior, Fr. Jacques Dupont. At 6 p.m. the Pope presided at Vespers with the monastic community in the monastery church. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

In his homily the Pope explained that the aim of his visit was to confirm the Carthusian Order in its mission, "more vital and important today than ever before", he said. The spiritual core of the Carthusians, founded by St. Bruno, lies in the desire "to enter into union of life with God, abandoning everything which impedes such communion, allowing oneself to be seized by the immense love of God and living from that love alone", through solitude and silence.

Technological progress, the Holy Father noted, has made man's life more comfortable but also "more agitated, even convulsive". The growth of the communications media means that today we run the risk of virtual reality dominating reality itself. "People are increasingly, even unwittingly, immersed in a virtual dimension, thanks to the audiovisual images that accompany their lives from morning to evening. The youngest, having been born in this state, seem to fill each vacant moment with music and images, almost as if afraid to contemplate the void. ... Some people are no longer capable of remaining silent and alone".

This situation of modern society and culture "throws light on the specific charism of the Carthusian monastery as a precious gift for the Church and for the world, a gift which contains a profound message for our lives and for all humanity. I would summarise it in these terms: by withdrawing in silence and solitude man, so to speak, 'exposes' himself to the truth of his nakedness, he exposes himself to that apparent 'void' I mentioned earlier. But in doing so he experiences fullness, the presence of God, of the most real Reality that exists. ... Monks, by leaving everything, ... expose themselves to solitude and silence so as to live only from what is essential; and precisely in living from the essential they discover a profound communion with their brothers and sisters, with all mankind".

This vocation, the Pope went on, "finds its response in a journey, a lifelong search. ... Becoming a monk requires time, exercise, patience. ... The beauty of each vocation in the Church lies in giving time to God to work with His Spirit, and in giving time to one's own humanity to form, to grow in a particular state of life according to the measure of maturity in Christ. In Christ there is everything, fullness. However we need time to possess one of the dimensions of His mystery. ... At times, in the eyes of the world, it seems impossible that someone should spend his entire life in a monastery, but in reality a lifetime is hardly sufficient to enter into this union with God, into the essential and profound Reality which is Jesus Christ".

"The Church needs you and you need the Church", the Holy Father told the monks at the end of his homily. "You, who live in voluntary isolation, are in fact at the heart of the Church; you ensure that the pure blood of contemplation and of God's love flows in her veins".

Following the celebration, the Holy Father met with the monastic community in the refectory, he signed the visitors book then visited a cell and the infirmary of the monastery. He then returned by helicopter to Lamezia Terme whence he departed by plane for Rome at 8 p.m.

PV-ITALY/ VIS 20111010 (610)

NEVER SURRENDER TO THE LURE OF PESSIMISM

VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today made a pastoral visit to Lamezia Terme and Serra San Bruno, located in the region of Calabria in southern Italy. He began the day by travelling by plane from Ciampino airport in Rome to Lamezia Terme where he celebrated Mass at an industrial area on the outskirts of the town.

"In this Sunday's liturgy we heard the parable narrating the wedding feast to which many guests were invited", said the Holy Father in his homily. "The image of a banquet is often used in Scripture to indicate joy in communion and in the abundance of the Lord's gifts. ... Many people were invited, but something unexpected happened: they refused to participate in the feast, they had other things to do". However this did not deter the king who was organising the feast. "He was not discouraged but sent his servants out to invite others. The refusal of the first invitees had the effect of extending the invitation to everyone, including the poor, the abandoned and the disinherited. ... However there was a condition to attending this wedding feast: guests had to wear the wedding robe. Entering the hall, the king realised that someone had chosen not to wear it and, for this reason, that guest was excluded from the feast".

To explain the significance of the "wedding robe", the Holy Father quoted from a commentary written by St. Gregory the Great. "In a certain sense, the guest who responded to God's invitation to participate in His banquet had faith, which opened the door of the hall to him, but he lacked something essential: the wedding robe, which is charity, love. ... In symbolic terms the robe is woven with two threads: ... love of God and love of neighbour. We are all invited to be guests of the Lord, to enter with faith into His banquet, but we must wear and preserve the wedding robe, which is charity, we must live with profound love for God and for neighbour".

"I have come to share with you the joys and hopes, the toils and commitments, the ideals and aspirations of this diocesan community", Benedict XVI told the faithful. "This beautiful region is seismic not only in a geological sense, but also in structural, behavioural and social terms. It is a land where problems are acute and destabilising, a land where unemployment is a great concern, where an often pitiless criminality damages the fabric of society, a land which seems to be in a perpetual state of emergency. To that emergency you people of Calabria have responded with surprising readiness, with an extraordinary capacity to adapt to difficulties. ... Never surrender to the lure of pessimism, never close in on yourselves. Draw on the resources of your faith and your human capacities; strive to increase collaboration, to look after one another and the public good; preserve the wedding robe of love".

The Pope then went on to recall that his visit coincided with the end of the five-year pastoral plan of the local Church. He praised the initiatives that had been completed during that time, including a school for the Social Doctrine of the Church, expressing the hope that "such initiatives will produce a new generation of men and women capable of promoting the common good more than private interests". He also had words of encouragement for clergy and lay people who work to prepare Christian couples for marriage and the family "providing a response that is both evangelical and effective to the many challenges facing the family and life today".

Finally, the Holy Father praised priests for the work they do, encouraging them "increasingly to root your own spiritual lives in the Gospel, ... detaching yourselves from the worldly consumer mentality which is such a recurring temptation in the times in which we live. ... Use discernment and ecclesiastical criteria to evaluate groups and movements", he said.

"Do not be afraid to live and bear witness to the faith in the various fields of society, in the multifarious situations of human life", he concluded, addressing the faithful. "Thanks to the light of faith and the force of charity, you have every reason to be strong, trusting and courageous".

PV-ITALY/ VIS 20111010 (720)

LAY PEOPLE MUST CONTRIBUTE TO BUILDING THE COMMON GOOD

VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2011 (VIS) - "I know that there are various Marian shrines here inCalabria and that popular piety is very vibrant", said the Pope in his remarks preceding the Angelus this morning. He invited the faithful to continue to practice that piety "in the light of the teaching of Vatican Council II, of the Apostolic See and of your pastors".

The Holy Father went on: "Let us also invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin for the most serious social problems of this area and of all Calabria, especially those affecting the world of work, of the young and of people with disabilities. They require greater attention from everyone, particularly the institutions. In communion with your bishops I invite you, the lay faithful, not to fail to use your skills and responsibilities to contribute to the construction of the common good".

Following the celebration of the Eucharist and the Angelus, the Pope went to the episcopal residence of Lamezia Terme here he had lunch with local bishops. He also offered lunch to the poor at the local Caritas canteen who ate the same menu as the Pope and his entourage. At 4.45 p.m. he boarded a helicopter to travel to Serra San Bruno.

PV-ITALY/ VIS 20111010 (220)

MONASTERIES ARE INDISPENSABLE TO MODERN SOCIETY

VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2011 (VIS) - At 5.15 p.m. today, the Holy Father arrived by helicopter at Serra San Bruno, then continued his journey by car to the Carthusian monastery of Sts. Stephen and Bruno. He was greeted on the square in front of the monastery by Bruno Rosi, mayor of Serra San Bruno, then addressed some words to the many faithful from the local area who had gathered there to see him.

The Pope recalled the visit made to Serra San Bruno by John Paul II in 1984, noting that it is "a great privilege" to have a "'citadel' of the spirit" such as the Carthusian monastery on one's local territory. "Monasteries have an important, I would say indispensable, role", he said. "Their purpose today is to 'improve' the environment, in the sense that sometimes the air we breathe in our societies is unhealthy, it is polluted by a non-Christian mentality, at times even a non-human mentality, because it is dominated by economic interests, concerned only with worldly things and lacking a spiritual dimension.

"In such a climate not only God but also our fellow man is pushed to the margins, and we do not commit ourselves to the common good. Monasteries, however, are models of societies which have God and fraternal relations at their core. We have great need of them in our time".

Benedict XVI completed his remarks by exhorting the faithful of Serra San Bruno "to treasure the great spiritual tradition of this place, and seek to put it into practice in your daily lives".

PV-ITALY/ VIS 20111010 (270)

SILENCE AND SOLITUDE REVEAL THE PRESENCE OF GOD

VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Having addressed the local people of Serra San Bruno, the Holy Father entered the Carthusian monastery of Sts. Stephen and Bruno where he was greeted by the prior, Fr. Jacques Dupont. At 6 p.m. the Pope presided at Vespers with the monastic community in the monastery church.

In his homily the Pope explained that the aim of his visit was to confirm the Carthusian Order in its mission, "more vital and important today than ever before", he said. The spiritual core of the Carthusians, founded by St. Bruno, lies in the desire "to enter into union of life with God, abandoning everything which impedes such communion, allowing oneself to be seized by the immense love of God and living from that love alone", through solitude and silence.

Technological progress, the Holy Father noted, has made man's life more comfortable but also "more agitated, even convulsive". The growth of the communications media means that today we run the risk of virtual reality dominating reality itself. "People are increasingly, even unwittingly, immersed in a virtual dimension, thanks to the audiovisual images that accompany their lives from morning to evening. The youngest, having been born in this state, seem to fill each vacant moment with music and images, almost as if afraid to contemplate the void. ... Some people are no longer capable of remaining silent and alone".

This situation of modern society and culture "throws light on the specific charism of the Carthusian monastery as a precious gift for the Church and for the world, a gift which contains a profound message for our lives and for all humanity. I would summarise it in these terms: by withdrawing in silence and solitude man, so to speak, 'exposes' himself to the truth of his nakedness, he exposes himself to that apparent 'void' I mentioned earlier. But in doing so he experiences fullness, the presence of God, of the most real Reality that exists. ... Monks, by leaving everything, ... expose themselves to solitude and silence so as to live only from what is essential; and precisely in living from the essential they discover a profound communion with their brothers and sisters, with all mankind".

This vocation, the Pope went on, "finds its response in a journey, a lifelong search. ... Becoming a monk requires time, exercise, patience. ... The beauty of each vocation in the Church lies in giving time to God to work with His Spirit, and in giving time to one's own humanity to form, to grow in a particular state of life according to the measure of maturity in Christ. In Christ there is everything, fullness. However we need time to possess one of the dimensions of His mystery. ... At times, in the eyes of the world, it seems impossible that someone should spend his entire life in a monastery, but in reality a lifetime is hardly sufficient to enter into this union with God, into the essential and profound Reality which is Jesus Christ".

"The Church needs you and you need the Church", the Holy Father told the monks at the end of his homily. "You, who live in voluntary isolation, are in fact at the heart of the Church; you ensure that the pure blood of contemplation and of God's love flows in her veins".

Following the celebration, the Holy Father met with the monastic community in the refectory, he signed the visitors book then visited a cell and the infirmary of the monastery. He then returned by helicopter to Lamezia Terme whence he departed by plane for Rome at 8 p.m.

PV-ITALY/ VIS 20111010 (610)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 10 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, accompanied by members of his family.

- Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, accompanied by members of his family.

AP/ VIS 20111010 (60)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 10 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Nuno Bras da Silva Martins, rector of the major seminary of "'Cristo Rei' dos Olivais", as auxiliary of the patriarchate ofLisbon (area 3,735, population 2,233,000, Catholics 1,867,000, priests 608, permanent deacons 75, religious 1,559),Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Vimeiro, Portugal in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1987. Since his ordination he has worked as a vice pastor, editor of a diocesan weekly newspaper and professor of theology. He has published a number of works on theological subjects and was rector of the PontificalPortuguese College in Rome from 2002 to 2005.

On Saturday 8 October it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the centenary of the cathedral of Yangon,Myanmar, due to take place on 8 December.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sonsonate, El Salvador, presented byBishop Jose Adolfo Mojica Morales, upon having reached the age limit, appointing Bishop FabioReynaldo Colindres Abarca, military ordinary for El Salvador, as apostolic administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.

- Appointed Fr. Marek Solarczyk of the clergy of the diocese of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, pastor of the cathedral, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 3,300, population 1,138,000, Catholics 1,098,000, priests 643, religious 1,542). The bishop-elect was born in Wolomin, Poland in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1992. Having gained his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Academy of Theology inWarsaw he worked as vice pastor in a number of parishes. From 2005 to 2009 he was vice rector of the diocesan seminary and continues to teach in high schools and the seminary.

AFRICA: EGYPT: 24 DEAD AND OVER 200 INJURED IN DEMONSTRATION

ASIANEWS REPORT: A peaceful demonstration attacked by thugs and the army. Tank deployed, crushing some of the demonstrators. Christians and moderate Muslims accuse the army of pandering to fundamentalists. Curfew imposed. Anti-Christian violence "advertising" for extremists ahead of political November elections.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 24 dead and 212 wounded, this is the toll after violent clashes between Coptic Christians and security forces last night in Cairo. A curfew was imposed throughout the night, which ended at 7 this morning.

The violence erupted during a demonstration held by Coptic Egyptians and others, condemning the attack by Muslim extremists against a church in Aswan, aggravated by police and the governor inertia.

The Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, after visiting the site of the clash, said that "the greatest threat to national security is the manipulation of national unity and return to discord between Muslims and Christians." This violence - he added - "threatens the relationship between citizens and the army."

In reality, the violence was sparked by the army. Thousands of Christians - but not only - marched from the district of Shubra to the headquarters of state television, demanding the resignation of the governor of Aswan, guilty of covering up for alleged Islamic extremists. They also denounced the state television of inciting anti-Christian sentiments.

At one point the demonstrators were attacked by a group of plainclothes thugs who began throwing stones and shooting. Christians responded by throwing stones and the army, in response attacked the demonstration. A military vehicle charged some of the demonstrators and crushed them. The Christians then burned some police cars. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd, the demonstrators threw stones and anything they could throw at them.

According to the Ministry of Health, among the 212 wounded 107 are civilians and 84 police.

Since the fall of Mubarak, thanks to the sit-in in Tahrir Square, held by Christians and Muslims together, there has been a crescendo of attacks against Christians by Islamic fundamentalist forces.

The army seems unable to contain the violence, but more often seems inclined to defend the extremists rather than Christians.

Last night the Christians demanded the resignation of the military council and its president, gen. Mohamed Tantawi.

The anti-Christian violence appears to be part of a campaign to increase the consensus of the Islamic parties in the lead up to the political elections on 28 November. Local sources told AsiaNews that there is a plan to drive Christians from Egypt or at least to reduce them to a minority subject.

The Christians in Egypt, the country's original population, constitute 10% of the population. They suffer from exclusion from public office and limits on freedom of religion, both in the construction of churches and in the freedom of evangelization and conversion.

AMERICA: CANADA: COLF WRITES TO PRIME MINISTER HARPER FOR LIFE

CANADIAN BISHOPS REPORT: The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the government's recent decision to provide funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The letter was signed by the Most Reverend Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I., in his capacity as Chairman of the COLF Board of Directors. The complete text of theletteris on the COLF website.
COLF asks Prime Minister Harper to redirectcolflogo

the $6 000 000 promised to Planned Parenthood

In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, dated October 4, 2011, the President of the Board of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) expressed his consternation with the conservative government’s decision to finance the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) through a grant from CIDA.

“IPPF works aggressively to dismantle abortion laws in countries where abortion is prohibited and to have abortion recognized as a universal human “right”, says Bishop Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I. It would be naïve, therefore, to think that Canadian tax dollars will not be used by IPPF to promote abortion in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania... under the guise of “education”.

”COLF reminds Prime Minister Harper that “abortion destroys lives” and invites him to be attentive to the thousands of post-abortive women who are now speaking out about their suffering.

Since “IPPF does not meet the criteria” of the Muskoka Maternal/Child Health Initiative, Bishop Wiesner invites the Canadian Government to “redirect this six million dollar grant to organizations which truly respect the life and dignity of women and children, at every stage.

COLF is co-sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus. It promotes respect for human life and dignity, and the essential role of the family.

Please see below for the complete text of the letter.


For more information :
Michèle Boulva
Director
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
(613) 241-9461, ext.141

http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/media-room/3172-letter-to-the-prime-minister-from-colf

ASIA: INDONESIA: NUNS CELEBRATE 80 YEARS WITH FREE CLINIC

UCAN REPORT: Medical treatment for poor villagers to celebrate major milestone
Robertus Sutriyono, Karanglewas
Indonesia
October 10, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of Nuns mark 80 years with free clinic
Staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital serve patients at the free clinic

Dominican sisters marked the 80th anniversary of their arival in the country yesterday by organising a free clinic for some 400 poor people living in Kediri, a village in Central Java.

Seven doctors and dozens of staff at St Elizabeth Hospital in Purwokerto, which is managed by the nuns, took part in the program.

The nuns have served people in parts of Indonesia in the areas of education and health care since their arrival in the country in 1931.

According to the program’s coordinator Sister Anna Maria, “most people coming to this program are the elderly, who suffer from coughs, colds, high blood pressure [and skin problems],” she said. “They suffer from itching because their environment is not healthy. This indicates that they are poor.”

Commenting on the program, a 74-year-old patient named Kaisem said: “It is free. I am happy to join it.”

She later acknowledged that she has a blood pressure problem. “I often had headache. Sometimes my blood pressure was high, sometimes it was low,” she said.

The village head Imam Kasid also welcomed the clinic. “When the nuns offered [it] I directly accepted it. This is part of the government’s efforts to improve people’s health,” he said.

He also hoped that the nuns will keep offering such programs to all people regardless of religious background and social status. “No matter how rich or poor the people are, the nuns should keep serving them,” he said.

In all, there are 102 Dominican sisters in Bandung, Larantuka and Purwokerto dioceses and Jakarta and Semarang archdioceses.

“We will deepen our prayer life, contemplation, reflection and sharing. We are trying to transform our service so as to make it in accordance with the life of St Dominic,” Sister Lusia Kusrini, head of the community, said.

http://www.ucanews.com/2011/10/10/nuns-mark-80-years-with-free-clinic

AUSTRALIA: PREPARATIONS FOR ST. MACKILLOP ANNIVERSARY

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
10 Oct 2011

The Mary MacKillop Centre in Penola charts her path
to Sainthood

The small South Australian town of Penola will remember Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop on Sunday, 16 October when pilgrims will gather in Mary MacKillop Park at the site of the stable where she founded her first school back in 1866.

Archbishop Emeritus of Adelaide, the Most Rev Leonard Faulkner will bless the site of the old stable schoolhouse as part of the town's canonisation anniversary celebrations.

More than 1000 locals and pilgrims are expected in Penola for the event with the blessing taking place at in the park at 9.15 am. This will be followed by a procession from the park to the historic St Joseph's Church where Mass will be celebrated 10.30 am by the Archbishop and concelebrants, Father Paul Gardiner, who for more than 25 years was Postulator for the Cause, and Father Philip Marshall, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Archbishop Emeritus Leonard Faulkner
will Preside over Canonisation
Anniversary Celebrations in Penola

Penola, which lies in the heart of South Australia's famous Coonawarra wine growing district, is the town where St Mary of the Cross MacKillop first decided to devote her life to God, and to helping the wretched, marginalised and vulnerable. It was here with Father Julian Tenison Woods she also founded Australia's first free school for the poor and the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

For many years Penola has between has been popular with those wanting to pay tribute to Australia's saint in the making and to learn more about her life. But since her canonisation in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 October last year, the small town with its population of just 1222 has become host to a non stop stream of visitors. Both Catholics and non Catholics visit the town each week to visit St Joseph's Church where Fr Tenison Woods was parish priest, to inspect the historic stone school house that replaced the original cramped school in a stable, and to trace her life via exhibitions and archives on display at Penola's Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre.

On the day of her canonisation on 17 October 2010 more than 6000 pilgrims from across Australia poured into the town to be part of a special Mass and to watch the ceremony in Rome as it was simulcast onto huge screens set up in the town's Mary MacKillop Park.

Since then the number of visitors each weekend has remained high with Australia's first saint a beloved figure and inspiration not only for Catholics but for those of all denominations and of no faith at all.

Thousands Celebrated in Penola during last year's
Canonisation of Australia's first Saint

"The response we have had from visitors throughout the past year has just been marvellous," says Claire Larkin, one of the volunteers who helps run the Penola Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre.

While this year's anniversary commemoration of the canonisation will be nowhere near as large as last year's big day, the events are nevertheless expected to swell the town's population of 1200 by a further 500 to 600.

After Mass at St Joseph's, those attending will visit Penola's Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre where an exhibition of last year's canonisation to be officially opened.

The day's anniversary celebrations will conclude early afternoon with a big barbecue for locals, visitors and pilgrims.

http://www.sydney.catholic.org.au/news/latest_news/2011/20111010_99.shtml

EUROPE: POLAND: MISSIONARY CHILDHOOD STAR SINGERS FOR AFRICA

Agenzia Fides report - On the eve of the beginning of Missionary Month, from September 26 to 28, the meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) and other missionary organizations in Poland took place, in the town of Niepokalanów. According to information sent to Fides by father Tomasz Atlas, the National Director of the PMS in Poland, the first report that the participants heard concerned the missionary dimension of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe. The second report instead described the problems concerning the new African state of South Sudan, since the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood will destine to the children of the African state the donations collected through the Christmas iniative of the "Star Singers". During the meeting other issues were also faced: the missionary commitment of young people and the activities of groups of the living Rosary, founded by Pauline Jaricot, also founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The 150th anniversary of Jaricot’s death (January 9, 1862) was also announced and the celebration of the ninth National Congress of Missionary Childhood, in June next year. His Exc. Mgr. Wiktor Skworc, Bishop of Tarnow, President of the Episcopal Commission for Missions, presided the closing Mass of the meeting. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 10/10/2011)

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 10: ST. FRANCIS BORGIA

St. Francis Borgia
JESUIT LEADER OF THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
Feast: October 10
Information:
Feast Day:
October 10
Born:
October 28, 1510, Valencia, Spain
Died:
September 30, 1572, Rome, Italy
Canonized:
1671 by Clement X
Major Shrine:
relics translated to the Jesuit church in Madrid, Spain in 1901
Patron of:
against earthquakes; Portugal; Rota, Marianas

Francis Borgia, born 28 October, 1510, was the son of Juan Borgia, third Duke of Gandia, and of Juana of Aragon; died 30 September, 1572. The future saint was unhappy in his ancestry. His grandfather, Juan Borgia, the second son of Alexander VI, was assassinated in Rome on 14 June, 1497, by an unknown hand, which his family always believed to be that of Cæsar Borgia. Rodrigo Borgia, elected pope in 1402 under the name of Alexander VI, had eight children. The eldest, Pedro Luis, had acquired in 1485 the hereditary Duchy of Gandia in the Kingdom of Valencia, which, at his death, passed to his brother Juan, who had married Maria Enriquez de Luna. Having been left a widow by the murder of her husband, Maria Enriquez withdrew to her duchy and devoted herself piously to the education of her two children, Juan and Isabel. After the marriage of her son in 1509, she followed the example of her daughter, who had entered the convent of Poor Clares in Gandia, and it was through these two women that sanctity entered the Borgia family, and in the House of Gandia was begun the work of reparation which Francis Borgia was to crown. Great-grandson of Alexander VI, on the paternal side, he was, on his mother's side, the great-grandson of the Catholic King Ferdinand of Aragon. This monarch had procured the appointment of his natural son, Alfonso, to the Archbishopric of Saragossa at the age of nine years. By Anna de Gurrea, Alfonso had two sons, who succeeded him in his archiepiscopal see, and two daughters, one of whom, Juana, married Duke Juan of Gandia and became the mother of our saint. By this marriage Juan had three sons and four daughters. By a second, contracted in 1523, he had five sons and five daughters. The eldest of all and heir to the dukedom wasFrancis. Piously reared in a court which felt the influence of the two Poor Clares, the mother and sister of the reigning duke, Francis lost his own mother when he was but ten. In 1521, a sedition amongst the populace imperilled the child's life, and the position of the nobility. When the disturbance was suppressed, Francis was sent to Saragossa to continue his education at the court of his uncle, the archbishop, an ostentatious prelate who had never been consecrated nor even ordained priest. Although in this court the Spanish faith retained its fervour, it lapsed nevertheless into the inconsistencies permitted by the times, and Francis could not disguise from himself the relation in which his grandmother stood to the dead archbishop, although he was much indebted to her for his early religious training. While at Saragossa Francis cultivated his mind and attracted the attention of his relatives by his fervour. They being desirous of assuring the fortune of the heir of Gandia, sent him at the age of twelve toTordesillas as page to the Infanta Catarina, the youngest child and companion in solitude of the unfortunate queen, Juana the Mad.
In 1525 the Infanta married King Juan III of Portugal, and Francis returned to Saragossa to complete his education. At last, in 1528, the court of Charles V was opened to him, and the most brilliant future awaited him. On the way to Valladolid, while passing, brilliantly escorted, through Alcalá de Henares, Francis encountered a poor man whom the servants of the Inquisition were leading to prison. It was Ignatius of Loyola. The young nobleman exchanged a glance of emotion with the prisoner, little dreaming that one day they should be united by the closest ties. The emperor and empress welcomed Borgia less as a subject than as a kinsman. He was seventeen, endowed with every charm, accompanied by a magnificent train of followers, and, after the emperor, his presence was the most gallant and knightly at court. In 1529, at the desire of the empress, Charles V gave him in marriage the hand of Eleanor de Castro, at the same time making him Marquess of Lombay, master of the hounds, and equerry to the empress, and appointing Eleanor Camarera Mayor. The newly-created Marquess of Lombay enjoyed a privileged station. Whenever the emperor was travelling or conducting a campaign, he confided to the young equerry the care of the empress, and on his return to Spain treated him as a confidant and friend. In 1535, Charles V led the expedition against Tunis unaccompanied by Borgia, but in the following year the favourite followed his sovereign on the unfortunate campaign in Provence. Besides thevirtues which made him the model of the court and the personal attractions which made him its ornament, the Marquess of Lombay possessed a cultivated musical taste. He delighted above all in ecclesiastical compositions, and these display a remarkable contrapuntal style and bear witness to the skill of the composer, justifying indeed the assertion that, in the sixteenth century and prior to Palestrina, Borgia was one of the chief restorers of sacred music.
In 1538, at Toledo, an eighth child was born to the Marquess of Lombay, and on 1 May of the next year the Empress Isabella died. The equerry was commissioned to convey her remains to Granada, where they were interred on 17 May. The death of the empress caused the first break in the brilliant career of the Marquess and Marchioness of Lombay. It detached them from the court and taught the nobleman the vanity of life and of its grandeurs. Blessed John of Avila preached the funeral sermon, and Francis, having made known to him his desire of reforming his life, returned to Toledo resolved to become a perfect Christian. On 26 June, 1539, Charles V named Borgia Viceroy of Catalonia, and the importance of the charge tested the sterling qualities of the courtier. Precise instructions determined his course of action. He was to reform the administration of justice, put the finances in order, fortify the city of Barcelona, and repress outlawry. On his arrival at the viceregal city, on 23 August, he at once proceeded, with an energy which no opposition could daunt, to build the ramparts, rid the country of thebrigands who terrorized it, reform the monasteries, and develop learning. During his vice-regency he showed himself an inflexible justiciary, and above all an exemplary Christian. But a series of grievous trials were destined to develop in him the work of sanctification begun at Granada. In 1543 he became, by the death of his father, Duke of Gandia, and was named by the emperor master of the household of Prince Philip of Spain, who was betrothed to the Princess of Portugal. This appointment seemed to indicate Francis as the chief minister of the future reign, but by God's permission the sovereigns of Portugal opposed the appointment. Francis then retired to his Duchy of Gandia, and for three years awaited the termination of the displeasure which barred him from court. He profited by this leisure to reorganize his duchy, to found a university in which he himself took the degree of Doctor of Theology, and to attain to a still higher degree of virtue. In 1546 his wife died. The duke had invited the Jesuits to Gandia and become their protector and disciple, and even at that time their model. But he desired still more, and on 1 February, 1548, became one of them by the pronunciation of thesolemn vows of religion, although authorized by the pope to remain in the world, until he should have fulfilled his obligations towards his children and his estates—his obligations as father and as ruler.
On 31 August, 1550, the Duke of Gandia left his estates to see them no more. On 23 October he arrived at Rome, threw himself at the feet of St. Ignatius, and edified by his rare humility those especially who recalled the ancient power of the Borgias. Quick to conceive great projects, he even then urged St. Ignatius to found the Roman College. On 4 February, 1551, he left Rome, without making known his intention of departure. On 4 April, he reached Azpeitia in Guipuzcoa, and chose as his abode the hermitage of Santa Magdalena near Oñate. Charles V having permitted him to relinquish his possessions, he abdicated in favour of his eldest son, was ordained priest 25 May, and at once began to deliver a series of sermons in Guipuzcoa which revived the faith of the country. Nothing was talked of throughout Spain but this change of life, and Oñate became the object of incessant pilgrimage. The neophyte was obliged to tear himself from prayer in order to preach in the cities which called him, and which his burning words, his example, and even his mere appearance, stirred profoundly. In 1553 he was invited to visit Portugal. The court received him as a messenger from God and vowed to him, thenceforth, a veneration which it has always preserved. On his return from this journey, Francis learned that, at the request of the emperor, Pope Julius III was willing to bestow on him the cardinalate. St. Ignatius prevailed upon the pope to reconsider this decision, but two years later the project was renewed and Borgia anxiously inquired whether he might in conscience oppose the desire of the pope. St. Ignatius again relieved his embarrassment by requesting him to pronounce the solemn vows of profession, by which he engaged not to accept any dignities save at the formal command of the pope. Thenceforth the saint was reassured. Pius IV and Pius V loved him too well to impose upon him a dignity which would have caused him distress. Gregory XIII, it is true, appeared resolved, in 1572, to overcome his reluctance, but on this occasion death saved him from the elevation he had so long feared.
On 10 June, 1554, St. Ignatius named Francis Borgia commissary-general of the Society in Spain. Two years later he confided to him the care of the missions of the East and West Indies, that is to say of all the missions of the Society. To do this was to entrust to a recruit the future of his order in the peninsula, but in this choice the founder displayed his rare knowledge of men, for within seven years Francis was to transform the provinces confided to him. He found them poor in subjects, containing but few houses, and those scarcely known. He left them strengthened by his influence and rich in disciples drawn from the highest grades of society. These latter, whom his example had done so much to attract, were assembled chiefly in his novitiate at Simancas, and were sufficient for numerous foundations. Everything aided Borgia — his name, his sanctity, his eager power of initiative, and his influence with the Princess Juana, who governed Castile in the absence of her brother Philip. On 22 April, 1555, Queen Juana the Mad died at Tordesillas, attended by Borgia. To the saint's presence has been ascribed the serenity enjoyed by the queen in her last moments. The veneration which he inspired was thereby increased, and furthermore his extreme austerity, the care which he lavished on the poor in the hospitals, the marvellous graces with which God surrounded his apostolate contributed to augment a renown by which he profited to further God's work. In 1565 and 1566 he founded the missions of Florida, New Spain, and Peru, thus extending even to the New World the effects of his insatiable zeal.
In December, 1556, and three other times, Charles V shut himself up at Yuste. He at once summoned thither his old favourite, whose example had done so much to inspire him with the desire to abdicate. In the following month of August, he sent him to Lisbon to deal with various questions concerning the succession of Juan III. When the emperor died, 21 September, 1558, Borgia was unable to be present at his bedside, but he was one of the testamentary executors appointed by the monarch, and it was he who, at the solemn services at Valladolid, pronounced the eulogy of the deceased sovereign. A trial was to close this period of success. In 1559 Philip II returned to reign in Spain. Prejudiced for various reasons (and his prejudice was fomented by many who were envious of Borgia, some of whose interpolated works had been recently condemned by the Inquisition), Philip seemed to have forgotten his old friendship for the Marquess of Lombay, and he manifested towards him a displeasure which increased when he learned that the saint had gone to Lisbon. Indifferent to this storm, Francis continued for two years in Portugal his preaching and his foundations, and then, at the request of Pope Pius IV, went to Rome in 1561. But storms have their providential mission. It may be questioned whether but for the disgrace of 1543 the Duke of Gandia would have become a religious, and whether, but for the trial which took him away from Spain, he would have accomplished the work which awaited him in Italy. At Rome it was not long before he won the veneration of the public. Cardinals Otho Truchsess, Archbishop of Augsburg, Stanislaus Hosius, and Alexander Farnese evinced towards him a sincere friendship. Two men above all rejoiced at his coming. They were Michael Chisleri, the future Pope Pius V, and Charles Borromeo, whom Borgia'a example aided to become a saint.
On 16 February, 1564, Francis Borgia was named assistant general in Spain and Portugal, and on 20 January, 1565, was elected vicar-general of the Society of Jesus. He was elected general 2 July, 1565, by thirty-one votes out of thirty-nine, to succeed Father James Laynez. Although much weakened by his austerities, worn by attacks of gout and an affection of the stomach, the new general still possessed much strength, which, added to his abundant store of initiative, his daring in the conception andexecution of vast designs, and the influence which he exercised over the Christian princes and at Rome, made him for the Society at once the exemplary model and the providential head. In Spain he had had other cares in addition to those of government. Henceforth he was to be only the general. The preacher was silent. The director of souls ceased to exercise his activity, except through his correspondence, which, it is true, was immense and which carried throughout the entire world light and strength to kings, bishops and apostles, to nearly all who in his day served the Catholic cause. His chief anxiety being to strengthen and develop his order, he sent visitors to all the provinces of Europe, to Brazil, India, and Japan. The instructions, with which he furnished them were models of prudence, kindness, and breadth of mind. For the missionaries as well as for the fathers delegated by the pope to the Diet of Augsburg, for the confessors of princes and the professors of colleges he mapped out wide and secure paths. While too much a man of duty to permit relaxation or abuse, he attracted chiefly by his kindness, and won souls to good by his example. The edition of the rules, at which he laboured incessantly, was completed in 1567. He published them at Rome, dispatched them (throughout the Society), and strongly urged their observance. The text of those now in force was edited after his death, in 1580, but it differs little from that issued by Borgia, to whom the Society owes the chief edition of its rules as well as that of the Spiritual, of which he had borne the expense in 1548. In order to ensure the spiritual and intellectual formation of the young religious and the apostolic character of the whole order, it became necessary to take other measures. The task of Borgia was to establish, first at Rome, then in all the provinces, wisely regulated novitiates and flourishing houses of study, and to develop the cultivation of the interior life by establishing in all of these the custom of a daily hour of prayer.
He completed at Rome the house and church of S. Andrea in Quirinale, in 1567. Illustrious novices flocked thither, among them Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568), and the future martyr Rudolph Acquaviva. Since his first journey to Rome, Borgia had been preoccupied with the idea of founding a Roman college, and while in Spain had generously supported the project. In 1567, he built the church of the college, assured it even then an income of six thousand ducats, and at the same time drew up the rule of studies, which, in 1583, inspired the compilers of the Ratio Studiorum of the Society. Being a man of prayer as well as of action, the saintly general, despite overwhelming occupations, did not permit his soul to be distracted from continual contemplation. Strengthened by so vigilant and holy an administration the Society could not but develop. Spain and Portugal numbered many foundations; in Italy Borgia created the Roman province, and founded several colleges in Piedmont. France and the Northern province, however, were the chief field of his triumphs. His relations with the Cardinal de Lorraine and his influence with the French Court made it possible for him to put an end to numerous misunderstandings, to secure the revocation of several hostile edicts, and to found eight colleges in France. In Flanders and Bohemia, in the Tyrol and in Germany, he maintained and multiplied important foundations. The province of Poland was entirely his work. At Rome everything was transformed under his hands. He had built S. Andrea and the church of the Roman college. He assisted agenerously in the building of the Gesù, and although the official founder of that church was Cardinal Farnese, and the Roman College has taken the name of one of its greatest benefactors, Gregory XIII, Borgia contributed more than anyone towards these foundations. During the seven years of his government, Borgia had introduced so manyreforms into his order as to deserve to be called its second founder. Three saints of this epoch laboured incessantly to further the renaissance of Catholicism. They were St. Francis Borgia, St. Pius V, and St. Charles Borromeo.
The pontificate of Pius V and the generalship of Borgia began within an interval of a few months and ended at almost the same time. The saintly pope had entire confidence in the saintly general, who conformed with intelligent devotion to every desire of the pontiff. It was he who inspired the pope with the idea of demanding from the Universities of Perugia and Bologna, and eventually from all the Catholic universities, a profession of the Catholic faith. It was also he who, in 1568, desired the pope to appoint a commission of cardinals charged with promoting the conversion of infidels and heretics, which was the germ of the Congregation for the Propogation of the Faith, established later by Gregory XV in 1622. A pestilential fever invaded Rome in 1566, and Borgia organized methods of relief, established ambulances, and distributed forty of his religious to such purpose that the same fever having broken out two years later it was to Borgia that the pope at once confided the task of safeguarding the city.
Francis Borgia had always greatly loved the foreign missions. He reformed those of India and the Far East and created those of America. Within a few years, he had the glory of numbering among his sons sixty-six martyrs, the most illustrious of whom were the fifty-three missionaries of Brazil who with their superior, Ignacio Azevedo, were massacred by Huguenot corsairs. It remained for Francis to terminate his beautiful life with a splendid act of obedience to the pope and devotion to the Church.
On 7 June, 1571, Pius V requested him to accompany his nephew, Cardinal Bonelli, on an embassy to Spain and Portugal. Francis was then recovering from a severe illness; it was feared that he had not the strength to bear fatigue, and he himself felt that such a journey would cost him his life, but he gave it generously. Spain welcomed him with transports. The old distrust of Philip II was forgotten. Barcelona and Valencia hastened to meet their former viceroy and saintly duke. The crowds in the streets cried: "Where is the saint?" They found him emaciated by penance. Wherever he went, he reconciled differences and soothed discord. At Madrid, Philip II received him with open arms, the Inquisition approved and recommended his genuine works. The reparation was complete, and it seemed as though God wished by this journey to give Spain to understand for the last time this living sermon, the sight of a saint. Gandia ardently desired to behold its holy duke, but he would never consent to return thither. The embassy to Lisbon was no less consoling to Borgia. Among other happy results he prevailed upon the king, Don Sebastian, to ask in marriage the hand of Marguerite of Valois, the sister of Charles IX. This was the desire of St. Pius V, but this project, being formulated too late, was frustrated by the Queen of Navarre, who had meanwhile secured the hand of Marguerite for her son. An order from the pope expressed his wish that the embassy should also reach the French court. The winter promised to be severe and was destined to prove fatal to Borgia. Still more grievous to him was to be the spectacle of the devastation which heresy had caused in that country, and which struck sorrow to the heart of the saint. At Blois, Charles IX and Catherine de' Medici accorded Borgia the reception due to a Spanish grandee, but to the cardinal legate as well as to him they gave only fair words in which there was little sincerity. On 25 February they left Blois. By the time they reached Lyons, Borgia's lungs were already affected. Under these conditions the passage of Mt. Cenis over snow-covered roads was extremely painful. By exerting all his strength the invalid reached Turin. On the way the people came out of the villages crying: "We wish to see the saint". Advised of his cousin's condition, Alfonso of Este, Duke of Ferrara, sent to Alexandria and had him brought to his ducal city, where he remained from 19 April until 3 September. His recovery was despaired of and it was said that he would not survive the autumn. Wishing to die either atLoretto or at Rome, he departed in a litter on 3 September, spent eight days at Loretto, and then, despite the sufferings caused by the slightest jolt, ordered the bearers to push forward with the utmost speed for Rome. It was expected that any instant might see the end of his agony. They reached the "Porta del Popolo" on 28 September. The dying man halted his litter and thanked God that he had been able to accomplish this act of obedience. He was borne to his cell which was soon invaded by cardinals and prelates. For two days Francis Borgia, fully conscious, awaited death, receiving those who visited him and blessing through his younger brother, Thomas Borgia, all his children and grandchildren. Shortly after midnight on 30 September, his beautiful life came to a peaceful and painless close. In the Catholic Church he had been one of the most striking examples of the conversion of souls after the Renaissance, and for the Society of Jesus he had been the protector chosen by Providence to whom, after St. Ignatius, it owes most.
In 1607 the Duke of Lerma, minister of Philip III and grandson of the holy religious, having seen his granddaughter miraculously cured through the intercession of Francis, caused the process for his canonization to be begun. The ordinary process, begun at once in several cities, was followed, in 1637, by the Apostolic process. In 1617 Madrid received the remains of the saint. In 1624 the Congregation of Rites announced that his beatification and canonization might be proceeded with. The beatification was celebrated at Madrid with incomparable splendour. Urban VIII having decreed, in 1631, that a Blessed might not be canonized without a new procedure, a new process was begun. It was reserved for Clement X to sign the Bull of canonization of St. Francis Borgia, on 20 June, 1670. Spared from the decree of Joseph Bonaparte who, in 1809, ordered the confiscation of all shrines and precious objects, the silver shrine containing the remains of the saint, after various vicissitudes, was removed, in 1901, to the church of the Society at Madrid, where it is honoured at the present time.
It is with good reason that Spain and the Church venerate in St. Francis Borgia a great man and a great saint. The highest nobles of Spain are proud of their descent from, or their connexion with him. By his penitent and apostolic life he repaired the sins of his family and rendered glorious a name, which but for him, would have remained a source of humiliation for the Church. His feast is celebrated 10 October. SOURCE

TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 10: LUKE 11: 29-32

Luke 11: 29 - 32
29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.30For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin'eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.31The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.32The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Post a Comment