Wednesday, February 1, 2012







VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2012 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square below. Among those present was a group of children from Catholic Action of the diocese of Rome, who annually celebrate January as the "month of peace". At the end of the Marian prayer two of the children read out a message and released two doves, as a symbol of peace, from the Pope's window. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

Benedict XVI introduced the prayer with some brief remarks on today's Gospel reading in which St. Mark relates Jesus' teaching in the synagogue of Capernaum, and the healing of a man with an "unclean spirit" who recognises the Messiah. "Within a short time", the Pope explained, "Jesus' fame began to spread in the region, throughout which he travelled announcing the Kingdom of God and healing sick people of all kinds: word and action. ... The words Jesus addresses to mankind give direct access to the Father's will and to the truth about ourselves" while, moreover, "Jesus united the effectiveness of the Word with those signs of deliverance from evil. ... Divine authority ... is the power of God's love which created the universe and, becoming incarnate in the only-begotten Son, descended upon our humanity and healed the world corrupted by sin".

"For man", the Holy Father observed, "authority often means possession, power, dominion, success. For God, however, authority means service, humility, love. It means entering into the logic of Jesus Christ Who leans down to wash the feet of His disciples, Who seeks man's authentic good, Who heals wounds, Who is capable of a love so great as to give His life, because He is Love. ... Let us trustingly invoke Most Holy Mary that she may guide our hearts always to draw from the well of divine mercy, which liberates and heals our human condition, filling it with all grace and benevolence, with the power of love".

After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father mentioned three events which took place today. Firstly, the beatification in Vienna of Hildegard Burjan, "laywoman and mother who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and founded the Sisters of Social Charity. Let us give praise to the Lord for this magnificent witness to the Gospel", the Pope said.

Today is also World Leprosy Day, in which context Benedict XVI spoke of his desire "to express encouragement to everyone affected by the disease, and to the people who assist them and who, in various ways, strive to eliminate the poverty and marginalisation which are the true causes of its continuance".

Finally, today also marks the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land. "In profound communion with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custos of the Holy Land, we invoke the gift of peace for that Land blessed by God", Pope Benedict said.

The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in various languages. Addressing faithful from Poland, he mentioned the fact that Thursday 2 February is the World Day of Consecrated Life. "Grateful to religious for their ministry of prayer, for their apostolic and charitable activity in the Church, we pray for new vocations", he said. "May the Holy Spirit arouse in many hearts the desire for complete dedication to Christ".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was a joint communique on a bilateral meeting between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, held in Ramallah on 28 January. The text of the English-language communique is given below.

"Following the resumption of the bilateral negotiations between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), an official meeting took place at the headquarters of the Palestinian President in Ramallah on 28 January.

"The talks were co-chaired by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for the Holy See's relations with States and Minister Ziad Al-Bandak, the Palestinian President's advisor for Christian relations.

"The Palestinian side handed to the Holy See delegation the response to the draft agreement proposed by the Holy See in the previous meeting, and the talks took place in a positive atmosphere to strengthen further the special relations between the two sides. The delegations agreed to set up technical teams to follow up on the draft, in preparation of the plenary session in the Vatican in the near future.

"The Holy See delegation was composed of Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, under secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches;Msgr. Alberto Ortega, official of the Secretariat of the State of the Holy See, and Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, counsellor of the apostolic delegation in Jerusalem.

"The Palestinian delegation was composed of Dr. Nabil Shaath, member of the Fatah Central Committee; Dr. Bernard Sabella, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council; Mr. Issa Kassissieh, deputy head of the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department, and Mr. Wassim Khazmo, policy advisor at the PLO's Negotiations Support Unit".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to Marianna Scalfaro for the death of her father, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, former president of the Republic of Italy who died on 29 January at the age of 93. The Holy Father expresses his spiritual closeness during this time of grief, then continues:

"I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences, and to give assurances of my sincere participation in your sorrow, which also affects the entire nation of Italy. It is with great affection and particular gratitude that I recall this Catholic statesman, scrupulous magistrate and faithful servant of the institutions who, in the public offices he held, always strove to promote the common good, and the perennial ethical and religious values of Christianity which characterise the historical and civil traditions of Italy. I raise fervent prayers for his soul, invoking divine goodness - by the intercession of the Virgin Mary for whom he had particular veneration - to grant him eternal peace, and I impart upon you and all his relatives the comfort of an apostolic blessing".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 JAN 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, Benedict XVI presided at a meeting of heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
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VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

- Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.

- Fr. Richard Schenk O.P., president of the "Katholische Universitat Eichstatt-Ingolstadt".


CAFOD at 50 - much achieved but no room for complacency

Bishop John Arnold, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, with CAFOD director Chris Bain, before the Mass
"Although so much has been achieved we can never be complacent. There remains much to be done. One billion people still live in abject poverty" - Bishop John Arnold.

More than 2,500 CAFOD supporters from across England and Wales gathered at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday afternoon for a special Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of CAFOD.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols was principal celebrant. The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini was present and more than 18 bishops and 30 priests concelebrated.

As people entered the Cathedral before Mass, images from each decade of CAFOD's history were shown on screens, and words of welcome were given by Chris Bain, Director of CAFOD.

He thanked the congregation for their support and said: "I hope we can recommit ourselves to building a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

The readings were given by Mildred Neville, a former trustee and Anne Marie Coppock, manager of CAFOD Salford.

During his homily, Bishop John Arnold, Chair of CAFOD Trustees, described the modest origins of CAFOD in 1958 - when four Catholic women organised the first Family Fast Day, which took place in 1960. He said: "It exceeded all expectations, so much so that in 1962 the bishops of England and Wales used their project as the foundation for the new Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, which was brought to life in 1962 at the meeting of the bishops in Rome, at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council."

The charity now has a budget of £58m and supports projects in 46 countries. Bishop John said the understanding of 'charity' has changed since CAFOD was established. Besides providing food and medicine for the poorest people, and emergency aid in times of humanitarian disaster, it also focuses on development, "allowing people to create their own sustainable livelihoods; giving people a voice so that governments may be called to account for their policies and their actions, both in their domestic and foreign affairs and allowing for the exposure of what can be the ruthless pillaging of natural resources by multi-nationals with no thought of benefit for the people of a region - so often the root causes of poverty."

Bishop John described some of the projects he has visited as a Trustee of CAFOD. In the Congo he met groups of women survivors of sexual violence, now running their own thriving business as tailors and dress-makers for their wider community. In Sri Lanka he spent a day handing out door keys to new homes for people who had lost everything in the tsunami.

More than 90% of parishes in the UK take part in Family Fast Days, Bishop John said. He praised the hundreds of projects in school supporting CAFOD, and the many thousands who have campaigned with CAFOD against unjust trading systems, for debt cancellation of poor countries, and for establishing that vital 0.7% of GDP of Government spending on development each year.

Referring to the Gospel reading where two disciples are described walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus after the Crucifixion, in a state of great desolation, before they are met by the Risen Lord - Bishop John said: "Our world faces a continuing toll of humanitarian disasters but the Lord walks with us, too, and there can never be the moment of despair."

Bishop John went on to quote St Paul who described the Church as one body. "When one part of the body is sick, the whole body is unwell. Those who live in comfort, with security and plenty, are part of one and the same body with those who are dying of hunger and the relentless suffering of poverty. CAFOD speaks of 'Just One World', a recognition that we belong to one another."

CAFOD's work with partners is based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Compassion, Dignity, Hope, Partnership, Solidarity, Sustainability and Stewardship, he said.

The first purpose of the day was to give thanks for the work of CAFOD, Bishop John said, but, "The second purpose must be one of entrusting the future to God's goodness.. Although so much has been achieved we can never be complacent. There remains much to be done. One billion people still live in abject poverty."

The Intercessions were read by Julian Filochowski, former Director, Cathy Corcoran, former International Director and Denise Carter, former Communities and Supporters Director.

During the Offertory, the Icon of Mary the Magnificat, a Romero Crucifix, sheaves of maize and a paddle were brought up to the sanctuary - each representing an aspect of CAFOD's work.

Throughout the Mass a special choir drawn together for the occasion was led by Canon Pat Browne. At the end of the Mass a special Rite of recommitment read by volunteers was accompanied a Nigerian hymn sung by the St Ignatius African choir from Stamford Hill.
See also ICN CAFOD's 50th Anniversary Thoughts from a laywoman
and the text of Bishop John Arnold's homily here:


AGENZIA FIDES REPORT: Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Zambia are opposed to forced repatriation of Rwandese refugees who live in the Country and condemn cases of abuse against children. This is shown by a articulated pastoral Letter, which Fides received, in which the Zambia Episcopal Conference takes stock of the situation in the Country and the relations between Church and State.
The Bishops note that "so far, our relations with the new government are friendly. We would like to reiterate what we have always said to the previous governments. Our prophetic voice on national issues is motivated by our divine obligation and a desire to see the government working for the good of the Country and be successful".
The Bishops express appreciation for what has been done by the government to fight corruption, but they ask, however, a greater effort, even to avoid the phenomenon of nepotism in the appointment of senior civil servants.
On the issue of Rwandans refugees, the Bishops say: "Since independence, Zambia has always been an oasis of peace in the midst of a region in conflict. As a result, Zambia has become a haven for refugees. We are therefore strongly disturbed by the complaints of the refugees, especially those from Rwanda, that the Ministry of Interior, in agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and eventually by the Rwandese government, are trying to forcibly repatriate Rwandan refugees".
Among the social problems of the Country, the Bishops point out the increase of violence against women and child abuse, defined as "indecent and inhumane acts." In particular what is serious is the spread of AIDS and HIV, which "devastates families and constitutes a major threat to our survival, both as a nation and as a continent".
On the economic front, the Bishops call for better distribution of wealth from the exploitation of mineral resources of the Country, where social protests are not uncommon. "We are aware that the frequent strikes and industrial unrest in the country are signs of dissatisfaction and injustice in work relations", said the Episcopal Conference. "We must stop the trend, which started in the early '90s with the liberalization of trade unions, which led to unintended consequences such as undermining workers' organizations". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/01/2012)


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Bernardo Cervellera
During the Year of the Dragon, AsiaNews asks President Hu Jintao and ambassador Ding Wei for the release of three bishops and six Chinese priests who have disappeared in police custody or are in forced labour camps.

Rome (AsiaNews) - In a letter to President Hu Jintao and the Chinese ambassador in Italy, AsiaNews has decided to ask for the release of three bishops and of six priests who have disappeared in police custody or are detained in prison without trial. Their release could be a gesture of friendship and hope for Catholics and human rights activists, as well as a sign of true hope for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

In just a few days, on January 23, the world of the Far East celebrates the Lunar New Year: we will enter the Year of the Dragon, a very positive year that promises many fruits. In China, hundreds of millions of people will travel to join their families: the dawn of the New Year is always celebrated by strengthening the bonds of family and friendships which help to face the future with an even more positive outlook.

For this reason, we ask that for these three bishops and six priests to be restored to their families and their communities.

They were never charged with any crime; given the opportunity of a trial or convicted by a court. And yet they have been interred in forced labour camps or were seized by the police of a country that is a member of the UN Security Council and that has signed the Charter of Human Rights.

AsiaNews has decided to send a letter to the Chinese ambassador in Italy, the Hon. Ding Wei, who in recent days has admirably and diligently taken great care in serving the Chinese community in Italy, particularly after the tragic event of the barbaric killing of Zhou Zheng and small infant Joy.

Having wept and prayed with him for the family of Zhou, we ask the Hon. Ding for a little of this diligence and care towards the bishops and priests who have disappeared and been imprisoned unjustly, who are also his countrymen and our brothers.

Here is a list of bishops and priests in prison, or disappeared:

Bishops and priests who have disappeared in police custody
Msgr. James Su Zhimin underground bishop of Baoding (Hebei)Msgr. Su, nearly 80 years of age, was arrested by police on October 8, 1997. The charge that led to his arrest has never been revealed, nor whether a trial took place, while place of his detention is unknown. In November 2003 he was discovered by chance at a hospital in Baoding, surrounded by policemen. After a brief and hurried visit from relatives, he once again disappeared in police custody and to this day there has been no more information on his whereabouts.
Before his last arrest, Msgr. Su Zhimin spent at least 26 years on and off in prison or forced labour camps, branded as "counter-revolutionary" just because, since the 1950s, he always refused to join the Patriotic Association, which wants to build a national Church independent of the pope. In 1996 - from a hidden location because he was sought by the authorities – he was able to distribute an open letter calling on the Chinese government to respect human rights and religious freedom of the people. In all, has already spent 40 years in captivity.

Msgr Cosma Shi Enxiang, underground bishop of Yixian (Hebei)Bishop Shi, 90, was arrested April 13 the 2001, which was Good Friday. Nothing is known of him, although his family and the faithful continue to ask the police for at least some news of his wellbeing.
Msgr. Shi Enxiang has suffered long periods of prison from 1957 until 1980, was forced into hard labour, first on a farm in Heilongjiang, then as a miner in coal mines in Shanxi. He was arrested again for three years in 1983, followed by three years of house arrest. In 1989 – following the establishment of the Episcopal Conference of underground bishops – he was arrested once again and was only released in 1993, until his last arrest in 2001. In all, he has already spent 51 years in prison.

Fr. Joseph Lu Genjun, vicar general of the underground diocese of Baoding (Hebei)He disappeared in police custody February 17, 2006. Fr. Lu, who belongs to the underground Church, was arrested in February 2006 along with another priest and a friend whom he met at the train station in Baoding. The other priest was transferred to the Xushui prison (Hebei) and later released. Instead, to date no-one knows where Fr. Lu is imprisoned.
In December 2008, his parishioners asked the government for his release, even if only temporary, to be close to his dying parents and attend their funeral. But even this act of filial piety, which is of great importance in Chinese culture, was denied him.
Fr. Lu has suffered years of imprisonment and other violence. In 1998, Palm Sunday, he was jailed for a short period (perhaps to keep him from celebrating Masses during Holy Week). In 2001 he was sentenced to three years of "re-education through labour" (forced labour camps), accused of having conducted illegal missionary activities that undermine social order because he did not adhere to the Patriotic Association. He was released in 2003.
In May 2004 he was arrested along with another priest, shortly before giving a lecture on natural methods of birth control and moral theology. The two were kept for several days in Dingzhou prison, near Anguita (Hebei).

Fr. Zhang Jianlin, underground priest of the diocese of Xuanhua (Hebei)Fr. Zhang was taken away by staff of the Religious Affairs Bureau on 22 June 2011. Up to now no-one knows where he is being held.
In July 2009, Fr. Zhang had been taken away by police and placed under house arrest in a courtyard attached to the building of a government office. He had been given permission to receive visitors, but was been subjected to heavy physical and psychological tactics to force him to support the Council of Chinese Bishops (not recognized by the Holy See) and to join the Patriotic Association. After seven months of detention he was released, but was kept under constant control, he could not move freely, and was forbidden to practice his ministry
In 2008 he was arrested in Nanjing, for trying to go to the Marian shrine of Sheshan on May 24 and participate in the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, convoked by Pope Benedict XVI. Brought back to Hebei, he served a period of detention in Xuanhua.

Fr. Cui Tai, underground priest of the diocese of Xuanhua (Hebei)Fr. Cui disappeared in police custody June 22, 2011. That day some personalities of the government’s Religious Affairs Bureau dragged him away and since then he has disappeared without trace.
He had often been arrested and then released. During his periods of detention, he suffered hunger and his health has drastically deteriorated. In 1993, undergoing a sentence of three years in prison, was beaten and lost two teeth.
In 2001, due to an accident, the police discovered his identity as a priest and detained him in an isolated place in the mountains, forcing him to undergo political sessions and brainwashing. He was later released, but could never freely carry out his ministry, being under constant surveillance.

Bishops and priests who are detained or imprisonedFr. Liu Honggen, underground priest of the diocese of Baoding (Hebei)Fr. Liu and eight other priests were arrested in the village of Xinanzuo (Qingyuan County, Hebei), 27 December 2006. He is currently detained in the prison of Qingyuan

Fr. Ma Wuyong, underground priest of the diocese of Baoding (Hebei)Fr. Ma and 8 other priests were arrested in August 2004 in the village of Suijiazhuang (Quyang County, Hebei). The priests had gathered to celebrate their first year of ordination. At least 20 police cars arrived at the place carrying out a door to door search and arrest them. Fr. Ma is currently held in a prison in Qingyuan.
Before the Chinese New Year 2006, Fr. Ma was temporarily released from prison. He was re-arrested a month later, after attending the funeral of a priest of Baoding, Fr. Chen Baidu.

Fr. Wang Chengli, underground priest of the Diocese of Heze (Shandong)On 25 August 2011, Fr. Wang, 48, was sentenced to two and a half years of "re-education through labor" (forced labour) probably because he refused to join the Patriotic Association. To serve his sentence, the priest was transferred from Dongming prison to Jining concentration camp, over 150 miles from his county.

Msgr. Wu Qinjing, official bishop of the diocese of Zhouzhi (Shaanxi)Since November 2007 the government has forced this young bishop to remain imprisoned in the minor seminary in Xian and limits his activities. Bishop Wu was secretly ordained as a bishop of the official diocese of Zhouzhi, but without the permission of the local Patriotic Association. For this reason, since his ordination was made public (May 2006), the government has blocked all of his activities and has kidnapped him, forcing him to memorize the "Regulations on Religious Affairs". He is forbidden to carry the Episcopal insignia or carry out any activities as a bishop. He is still under house arrest at the seminary in Xian.,-home-for-the-Chinese-New-Year-23704.html


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
30 Jan 2012

New interactive technogy a feature of
exhibition at Mary MacKillop Place
Cutting edge technology will give schools, children and the general public a unique way to explore the story of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph.
After more than two years in the planning and preparation, the new expanded gallery space at North Sydney's Mary Mackillop Place Museum with its innovative interactive "touch table" will open on Wednesday 1 February.
Designed as a permanent exhibition, it will nevertheless continue to expand and be updated over the months and years in what Curator of the Museum, Edwina Huntley describes as a "living breathing space."
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Made possible by a $20,000 grant in 2010 under the Commonwealth Government's "Commemorating Eminent Australians Program," the interactive display using the latest in technology offers a wide-ranging in depth information resource for Australians of all ages.

"By using this innovative mapping and display technology, students, teachers, pilgrims, visitors and tourists will gain new insights into the essence of Mary MacKillop, who is one of Australia's great pioneering women and a strong believer in education for all," says Edwina.
The basic feature of the exhibition begins with what looks like a very large coffee table. It is in fact a unique "large table format" computer which operates without the usual devices such as a keyboard or a mouse. Instead the sturdy table top perspex-covered screen responds to the touch - in much the same way a smart phone operates responds. But what is even more exciting is that the screen reacts not only to one person's touch or gesture but has the ability to respond individually to multiple users.

Interactive technology means many people
can use the device at any one time
"With 50 points of contact, the table-top screen is able to interact with many different people and objects at the same time," says Edwina. "The technology also has the ability for a person to place and move physical objects across the surface of the table and have the computer recognise these objects and interact with the user through these."
Responses are given through sound as well as via visually engaging and active graphics with the entire program designed to educate and make learning fun, informative and exciting.
Designed into four modules, with particular attention paid to school curriculum requirements, the multi-touch exhibition at Mary MacKillop Place Museum will prove fascinating to both Catholics and non Catholics and to anyone interested in history or education with graphic answers given to questions ranging from details of an 1875 school curriculum to the history of a township where the Josephites established a school in the second half of the 19th Century.
The Mary MacKillop Place Museum is open daily from 10 am until 4 pm. For more information on the new exhibition visit:


USCCB REPORT: WASHINGTON—The challenges of living one’s faith in the public square and protecting the lives and dignity of the poor and vulnerable are the focus of the 2012 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which will be February 12-15, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
“Faithful Citizenship: Protecting Human Life and Dignity, Promoting the Common Good,” is the theme of this year’s gathering, and speakers and workshops will explore the social ministry implications of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the call to political and civic responsibility published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and reissued ahead of the 2012 elections.
The assembled Catholic social ministry leaders will also visit representatives of Congress to present proposals and concerns about policies affecting the most vulnerable people in the United States and around the world. The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is sponsored by USCCB and 14 Catholic partner organizations including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Catholic Labor Network, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Partnership on Disability and the National Council of Catholic Women.
Among the plenary speakers are Carolyn Woo, the new president and CEO of CRS; Arturo Chavez, president of the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC); John Carr, executive director of Justice, Peace and Human Development for USCCB; as well as Mark Shields and David Brooks from the PBS News Hour.
For more information on the gathering, visit: . .
For more information on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, visit:


Mark 5: 1 - 20
1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Ger'asenes.
2 And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain;
4 for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him.
5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones.
6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him;
7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me."
8 For he had said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"
9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many."
10 And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country.
11 Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside;
12 and they begged him, "Send us to the swine, let us enter them."
13 So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.
14 The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.
15 And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid.
16 And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine.
17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighborhood.
18 And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.
19 But he refused, and said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decap'olis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled.
St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti
Feast: January 30

Feast Day: January 30
1585, Vignanello, Italy
Died: 30 January 1640, Viterbo
Canonized: 1807 by Pope Pius VII
A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, near Viterbo in Italy; died 30 January, 1640, at Viterbo; feast, 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum). Her parents were Marc' Antonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At Baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, and showed a worldly disposition, which not even the almost miraculous saving of her life at the age of seventeen could change; neither was her frivolity checked by her education at the Convent of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, where an older sister had taken the veil. At the age of twenty she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Cassizucchi, but was passed by in favour of a younger sister. She was sadly disappointed, became morose, and at last joined the community at St. Bernardine, receiving the name Hyacintha. But, as she told her father, she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world; and she asked him to furnish her apartments with every comfort. She kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, received and paid visits at pleasure.
For ten years she continued this kind of life, so contrary to the spirit of her vows and such a source of scandal to the community. By the special protection of God, she retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. At length she was touched by God's grace, and the earnest exhortations of her confessor at the time of serious illness made her see the folly of the past and brought about a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy, Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



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