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Sunday, October 16, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: SUN. OCT. 16, 2011

AUSTRALIA: CATHOLIC CHARITY RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP HOMELESS

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: ORGAN PLAYING MARATHON IN CATHEDRAL

AMERICA: NEW FILM "THE WAY" WITH MARTIN SHEEN

ASIA: HONG KONG: MISSIONARY MONTH STARTS WITH CROSS PROCESSION

AFRICA: KENYA: AID WORKERS KIDNAPPED BY GUNMAN

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 16: ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 16: ST. MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE

TODAY'S MASS READINGS: 29th SUN. OF ORDINARY TIME/ YEAR A

VATICAN: POPE: WORD OF GOD IS STILL ALIVE
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict on Saturday evening addressed a conference entitled "New Evangelizers for the New Evangelization - The Word of God grows and spreads" sponsored by the recently established Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

The Holy Father began his address by affirming the Word of God is still alive, to this day, because the Church makes it present through her faithful transmission, in the celebration of the sacraments and in the testimony of believers, living the same life-blood as the first Christian community.

Pope Benedict then presented the challenges the new Pontifical Council faces in today’s world.

”Modern man is often confused and cannot find answers to many questions which trouble his mind in reference to the meaning of life and issues that arise in the depths of his heart,” he said. “Man cannot avoid these questions which touch on the very meaning of self and of reality, nor can he live in a single dimension. Instead, he often removes himself from the search for the essential meaning of life, while turning to things which give him fleeting happiness, a moment’s satisfaction, but which soon leaves him unhappy and unsatisfied.”

Pope Benedict said despite this condition of modern man, the Word of God continues to grow and spread. He mentioned three reasons.

“The power of the Word does not depend primarily on our action…but by God, who hides his power under the guise of weakness…the second reason is because the seed of the Word…still falls into good soil that produces fruit… the third reason is that the Gospel has spread to the very ends of the world, and even in the midst of indifference, misunderstanding, persecution, many continue today to courageously open their hearts and minds to accept the invitation of Christ to meet him and become his disciples,” he said.

He said the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization is called to offer special help to the Church's mission, especially in those countries of ancient Christian tradition which seem to have become indifferent or even hostile to the Word of God.

AUSTRALIA: CATHOLIC CHARITY RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP HOMELESS

homeless

Food and other donations are needed to help the homeless and needy.

ADELAIDE NOW REPORT: A CATHOLIC program that feeds the homeless has won State Government support on World Homeless Day.

St Vincent de Paul's Fred's Van, which provides 500 meals a week to the homeless and other disadvantaged people, will receive a $22,500 State Goverment grant.

Housing Minister Jennifer Rankine said the Government would also look at long-term options to support the service.

A total of 7962 South Australians were homeless in 2006, according to Census figures.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/grant-to-feed-the-states-hungry/story-e6frea83-1226162486128

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: ORGAN PLAYING MARATHON IN CATHEDRAL

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT:
Winchester Cathedral organ marathon | Winchester Cathedral organ marathon
On 21 and 22 October, Winchester Cathedral's trio of Organists, assisted by three musical colleagues (all past organists at Winchester themselves), will be playing the Cathedral's Organs (one at a time!) non-stop for 24 hours, from 2pm - 2pm, in shifts, to raise funds for Cathedral's Choral Foundation. The Cathedral will be open until 9pm on the Friday night - reopening at 7am on the Saturday morning - and there is an opportunity to 'sleepover' in the building - although no one guarantees any sleep!

The final hour of the Organathon will be a fun hour, with duets and possibly a trio played by the Cathedral Organists, in the form of a concert. At the end of the Organathon there will be a retiring collection.

The Winchester Cathedral Willis Organ dates from 1851, where it was on show at the Great Exhibition, and was moved to Winchester by the then organist Samuel Sebastian Wesley shortly afterwards. Of course the Winchester organ can be heard almost every day as it accompanies over a thousand services in the Cathedral every year. With over 5000 pipes, producing a large range of sounds, it is one of the finest organs in the country and so is ideal for exploring the wide range of music.

If you don't want to miss a moment of the Organathon, you can stay overnight in the Cathedral (They do not guarantee sleep during this overnight stay!) Tickets: £40 and includes a full English breakfast served in the Cathedral Refectory on Saturday Morning. Tickets are available by emailing Emma Law (emma.law@winchester-cathedral.org.uk) or by phone on 01962 857 212.

Andrew Lumsden, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral, who will start the thing off said: "We aim to make this a fun occasion and a chance to hear the Cathedral Organs as the sun sets and rises. Not only will the instruments and the players get a good workout, but also our coffee machine!"

You can help by sponsoring the event in a number of ways. either by the hour or overall for the event. See: http://www.justgiving.comor you can text YDWJ67 £XX (the amount you wish to donate) to 70070.

In addition to sponsorship, in the run-up and throughout the event there will be an opportunity to Pledge for a Piece (from a published list) to be played. Between 11am and 12noon on Saturday 22 October the pieces that receive the highest pledges will be played, as part of the Organathon. This list is available and donations can be made anytime up until 10am on Saturday 22 October.

More details of this and all events at Winchester Cathedral are available at: http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk .
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http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=19093

AMERICA: NEW FILM "THE WAY" WITH MARTIN SHEEN

Talking with the Writer, Director and Actor Emilio Estevez

"The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago - The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage.


year. So they came on board to help out. We got another company called Arden (?) releasing. They've been very helpful in securing deals with AMC Theatres and with the Wal-Mart retail chain. We also have a contract with Comcast. So what we've done is create partnerships, built the studio without the brick and mortar, if you will, and bring consultants on from every walk of life to help us get this message out, get the theatres, and make sure the advertisements get on the air and the newspapers. It's been an education that I didn't ask for, these last couple of years, buts it's been absolutely invaluable.
BOSTON, MA (Catholic Media Review) - [Editor's note] Leticia Velasquez had the opportunity of talking with Emilio Estevez about his new movie "The Way." Starring his father, Martin Sheen, Estevez wrote, directed and acted in the film, which is getting a lot of attention for his poignant story.

Velasquez: My fans are very enthusiastic that they are going to hear from you and hear your side of the story behind "The Way."

Estevez: Excellent.

Velasquez: Would you tell us about your own personal faith journey?

Estevez: I grew up in a house, where, as a boy, we lived in New York City for six years, my mother was raised Southern Baptist, and my father was a devout Catholic. And, as a boy, I heard nothing but arguments about religion, and it was very, very confusing to me, and, as a result it left a very distasteful feeling for me. Where I finally ended up, is that all of the children were Baptized, but we were not practicing Catholics, in fact, my father fell away from the Church for quite some time, and then came back in 1981, there was a reconversion. So, for me, this has been a long journey, my mother likes to call me a work in progress. And I am that, and I think the film is a reflection of my spiritual journey. Its often said that the proof is in the pudding, but I like to say that its in the eating of the pudding. And if you've seen the film then its pretty clear where I'm at in my spiritual path.


Velasquez: How does the Camino de Santiago figure into your personal story? I understand you've walked it.

Estevez: We spent a lot of time on it; my son lives in Spain. He was traveling to Spain with my father in 2003. And they stopped on the Camino in a town called Burgos. And my son met a gal, and fell in love, and he married her years later. He's been married about 8 ½ years. So I obviously have a close connection to Spain through my son. But also through my grandfather; he was from the North of Spain, from Galicia. And I dedicate the film to my grandfather, Francisco, whose presence I felt every day, every step of the way, not only through the planning of the film, and in the shooting of it, and obviously as we're continuing our American pilgrimage now, the spirit of my grandfather is very strong in my life.


Velasquez: I remember your father sharing how it was very moving to him when he saw the dedication to your grandfather for the first time at the screening. So what do you hope that your audience takes away from "The Way?"

Estevez: We live in a very interesting time. Our culture, and especially the media, whether its mainstream or commercial media, the message they're sending every day is "take this pill, you'll be happier" or "go on this diet, you'll be thinner and happier", "go visit this plastic surgeon, change the way you look and it will change your life", "have your teeth whitened and people will love you more." And it's really a bunch of nonsense, because all the things you do which are outward will, I believe, really change you. The change comes from within. And I think the theme of the film is "how about we are OK with being exactly who we are, and we don't try to change ourselves so that other people love us more. That we are all wonderfully imperfect; that is our common bond. Our wonderful imperfections; we're these beautiful, gorgeous messes. All of us, myself included, right? And that is really what bonds us.


Velasquez: You described several miracles, which took place during the filming?

Estevez: That's right, first of all, the miracle that the movie got done in the first place. When you look at pictures that are driven by CGI (Computer Generated Images) vulgarity, violence, overt sexuality, its hard to get your message across if it's a gentle, that's about people and about relationships, so that was the first miracle, that we actually got this picture completed.

But we were warned against shooting in the north of Spain at the time when we were shooting. They said, "Its going to rain every day" and "you're never going to make your 40 day schedule". So, we went out there anyway, and we started rolling. It rained twice, and both days we were filming indoors, doing indoor scenes. It was definitely a blessed shoot!

There was also the miracle of getting access to the cathedral. We were not allowed in, up until 48 hours before we were to film in the cathedral. (Cathedral of Santiago de Campostella) I had the entire crew lighting candles, getting involved with their intentions to allow filming, because. Without getting inside the Cathedral at the end of the film, I had no ending. I had no movie.


Velasquez: Did you have trouble finding a distributor for the film?

Estevez: What we've done is we've put together our own studio. There's a company called BDA here in New York City, who was responsible for releasing the Banksea film last


Velasquez: And you're marketing the film with your father (Martin Sheen) in a coast to coast tour.

Estevez: That's right, we're on a tour bus, we don't have a $50 million ad campaign but we have a $ 50,000 bus. We're on it every day, we started six weeks ago, from California, and set out for the East Coast, and we've arrived here (NY). We're going to head back, I believe on Sunday, we're going to go to Toronto for a bit, head over to Ann Arbor, Indianapolis, and I think we're going to end in Cincinnati on Friday. So we have another week on the road, and then we'll head back to LA and do some LA press.

Its been very exciting. We've been screening the film and doing Q&A's in each town, sometimes two a night and its been very gratifying. The people who attend are given a microphone and are free to ask any question they like. We don't pre-screen anybody, and people have been giving testimony, been witnessing. And saying, "Thank you for making this film" and "thanks for making something that we want to see."


Velasquez: Did making this film draw you closer to your dad?

Estevez: He and I are very close, my mother and father are together 50 years, we live right down the street. So we are close in proximity and close in our hearts. I consider them my best friends, and the film is really an extension of that and it was a joy to put it on film.
(Martin Sheen plays Emilio's father in "The Way.")


Velasquez: My readers are very grateful that you made a film showing the Church in a positive light and giving the unborn a voice. We want to know what's next for you?

Estevez: I'm thinking about a family sports themed film in the tradition of "Mighty Ducks." I've written a film about the world of competitive harness racing, which I'm, a fan of, so that may be next. I'm potentially shooting that next year.

"The Way" opens in theaters across the country on Friday, October 14.

ASIA: HONG KONG: MISSIONARY MONTH STARTS WITH CROSS PROCESSION

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The solemn procession of the Missionary Cross of the parishes of the deanery of Central Kowloon opened the Month Missionary, Sunday, October 2, waiting for World Mission Day to be held on October 23. According to reports from the Kong Ko Bao (Chinese version of the diocesan bulletin), more than 200 faithful of the parish of St. Joseph and the parish of Christ the Worker attended the procession in the rain, guided by their parish priests: Fr D. Doimo and Fr. A. Bernnan. Since last May the 7 parishes of the deanery of Central Kowloon in fact began the pilgrimage and procession of the Missionary Cross in the context of the Year of the Laity, extended until 2012 according to the guidance of the diocese. Each parish plays host to the Cross for a month, organizing the worship and pilgrimage of parishioners as a sign of evangelization. The procession began on October 2, from the parish of St. Joseph, which delivered the Cross to the parishioners of the parish of Christ the Worker, and ended with a tribute of flowers to the Cross. In addition, the deanery has scheduled the "Closing of the pilgrimage and the missionary mandate of the Cross" to be held on October 30 in the presence of Mgr. John Tong, Bishop of Hong Kong. According to reports from the Kong Ko Bao, throughout the diocese of Hong Kong the missionary journey towards World Mission Day with many initiatives is increasing. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2011)

AFRICA: KENYA: AID WORKERS KIDNAPPED BY GUNMAN

CISA report -Two Spaniards were on Thursday October 13 kidnapped by al Shabaab gunmen at the Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa.

The victims were relief workers with Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders.

Emergency response teams comprising the police and the military were airborne minutes after the incident at Dadaab Ifo camp was reported.

According to The Nation there has been no indication that the Kenyan forces have tracked down the kidnappers.

This marks an escalation of cross-border raids by the Islamic militants who have so far abducted two tourists and killed another in Lamu.

On Thursday, they struck at midday in a raid that took about 40 minutes. Officers aboard military and police helicopters complained of poor visibility because it was raining heavily.

Kenyan Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said: “We’ve dispatched a helicopter. Another helicopter from the military is also involved.

‘‘They have reported that manoeuvring is difficult because of bad weather but the operation is under way.”

A witness told The Nation by phone from Dadaab that the victims were doctors and were being driven home from work.

“The attackers, who were armed with AK-47 rifles waited for them outside. As soon as the vehicle carrying them left the gate, they blocked it, shot the driver and abducted the two foreigners to an unknown destination,” the witness, a Kenyan worker at the camp, said.

He added: “The attackers were among the refugees who have stayed here for some time. It is difficult to know when they came because we have new arrivals every day.”

He believes there are many more al Shabaab fighters in the camp pretending to be refugees.

Thursday’s incident was the third in two months, in which foreigners were abducted by gunmen and taken to lawless Somalia.

French woman Marieu Dedieu was kidnapped on Manda Island on October 1 while Mrs Judith Tebbutt, a Briton, was abducted and her husband David shot dead at Kiwayu resort in Kiunga in September.

http://www.cisanewsafrica.com/?p=3021

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 16: ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE

St. Marguerite d'Youville
FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY
Feast: October 16 (Canada)
Information:
Feast Day:
October 16
Born:
15 October 1701, Varennes, Quebec
Died:
23 December 1771, Montreal, Canada
Canonized:
9 December 1990, by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Chapel of St. Marie Marguerite d'Youville, near Montreal
Patron 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, widows

MARGUERITE 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.

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 16: ST. MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
MYSTIC AND LEADER OF DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART
Feast: October 17
Information:
Feast Day:
October 17
Born:
22 July 1647, L'Hautecour, Burgundy, France
Died:
17 October 1690, Paray-le-Monial, Burgundy, France
Canonized:
13 May 1920, Rome by Benedict XV
Patron of:
those suffering with polio, devotees of the Sacred Heart, loss of parents

Religious of the Visitation Order. Apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born at Lhautecour, France, 22 July, 1647; died at Paray-le-Monial, 17 October, 1690.
Her parents, Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, were distinguished less for temporal possessions than for their virtue, which gave them an honourable position. From early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. After her first communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortifications, until paralysis confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health. The death of her father and the injustice of a relative plunged the family in poverty and humiliation, after which more than ever Margaret found consolation in the Blessed Sacrament, and Christ made her sensible of His presence and protection. He usually appeared to her as the Crucified or the Ecce Homo, and this did not surprise her, as she thought others had the same Divine assistance. When Margaret was seventeen, the family property was recovered, and her mother besought her to establish herself in the world. Her filial tenderness made her believe that the vow of childhood was not binding, and that she could serve God at home by penance and charity to the poor. Then, still bleeding from her self-imposed austerities, she began to take part in the pleasures of the world. One night upon her return from a ball, she had a vision of Christ as He was during the scourging, reproaching her for infidelity after He had given her so many proofs of His love. During her entire life Margaret mourned over two faults committed at this time—the wearing of some superfluous ornaments and a mask at the carnival to please her brothers. (SOURCE:http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmargaretmaryalacoque.asp

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 16: ST. HEDWIG

St. Hedwig
WIDOW, DUCHESS OF POLAND
Feast: October 16
Information:
Feast Day:
October 16
Born:
1174 in Bavaria
Died:
October 1243 at Trebnitz
Canonized:
1266 by Pope Clement IV
Patron of:
Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; Görlitz, Germany, diocese of; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widows

The 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 her
blood; 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.

TODAY'S MASS READINGS: 29th SUN. OF ORDINARY TIME/ YEAR A

Isaiah 45: 1, 4 - 6
1Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and ungird the loins of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:4For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.5I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me,6that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Psalms 96: 1, 3 - 5, 7 - 10
1O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but the LORD made the heavens.
7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
8Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9Worship the LORD in holy array; tremble before him, all the earth!
10Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."
1 Thessalonians 1: 1 - 5
1Paul, Silva'nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo'nians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you;
5for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
Matthew 22: 15 - 21
15Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle him in his talk.16And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Hero'di-ans, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men.17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites?19Show me the money for the tax." And they brought him a coin.20And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"21They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."


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