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Friday, April 5, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : FRI. APRIL 5, 2013 - SHARE


2013














POPE FRANCIS - ACT DECISIVELY AGAINST ABUSE - LATEST FROM VATICAN

AUSTRALIA : LOCAL NUNS ON TV - FUTURE OF SISTERHOOD

TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 5 : ST. VINCENT FERRER

(Vatican Radio IMAGE - SHARE)FRANCIS: ACT DECISIVELY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE
Vatican City, 5 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A communique released by that dicastery reads that, during the course of the audience, various issues pertaining to the Congregation were discussed. In particular, the Holy Father recommended that the Congregation, continuing along the lines set by Benedict XVI, act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse, first of all by promoting measures for the protection of minors, as well as in offering assistance to those who have suffered abuse, carrying out due proceedings against the guilty, and in the commitment of bishops' conferences to formulate and implement the necessary directives in this area that is so important for the Church's witness and credibility. The Holy Father assured that victims of abuse are present in a particular way in his prayers for those who are suffering.
 
CIVILTA CATTOLICA: NEW FORMAT, NEW SECTIONS, AND OPENNESS TO INTERNET AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
Vatican City, 5 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, a press conference was held to present the new print and digital versions of the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica (Catholic Civilization), which is published in Italian from Rome. Speaking at the conference were: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States; and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., director of the periodical.
“La Civilta Cattolica,” Fr. Spadaro explained, “is Italy's oldest journal among those which have never had an interruption in their publication. Every 12 days for 163 years, it has published a journal of over 100 pages. It is a cultural journal that features articles written only by Jesuits. Its editors are specialists but they use a language for readers who are not 'experts' [in the various areas].”
“Established in 1850, La Civilta Cattolica seeks to share an intellectual experience that is enlightened by faith and deeply engaged in the cultural, social, economic, political, artistic, and scientific life of our age. It does not seek to share its reflections merely within the Catholic world, but with whoever is looking for reliable sources of formation, capable of making one thing and of developing one's personal judgement. … By its tradition and nature, La Civilta Cattolica expresses a 'high' form of cultural journalism, which places it within a difficult borderland. … We don't intend to merely 'follow' and comment upon cultural events or ideas that have already been formulated. In as far as possible, we want to grasp the idea of what will be, anticipate trends and events, predict their impact, and keep our reader's attention engaged.”
Thinking of the changes that the periodical will undergo, Fr. Spadaro noted that, “from 1850 to 1933, the journal's articles weren't signed in order to convey that they weren't the expression of one individual, but rather of a community: the so-called 'college or writers', which was actually composed of seven Jesuits. Today more than ever, however, our culture is diversified. In respect to the past, therefore, the presence of international signatures of Jesuit fathers and the topics treated will increase, even If the journal will always remain 'home-made' within the established newsroom.”
“La Civilta Cattolica hasn't changed its format since 1970. This is the first time in the journal's 163 years that its graphic layout has been subjected to an actual and coordinated design plan, which covers from a restyling of the masthead … to a version for tablets. … In structural terms, the 'cronache' (reports) section will disappear, since our world is one in which reporting is entrusted to daily newspapers or even to real-time blogs and tweets. Instead, we will be focusing on 'bridges', that is, on reflections, critical evaluations, reasoning, and even on the most current contemporary events, thanks to the 'Focus' section that will consist of articles tied to current events in politics, economics, the international stage, society, and law. Reflection on the Church will have a fixed place at the heart, that is the centre, of the journal. New sections, such as 'Profile' and 'Interview', will be added.”
“The journal will also become available for browsing on tablets with applications for iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8. Right now it is possible to download the last two issues of the journal: the last one of the old version and the first one of the new version.”
“Today, communicating means less and less 'transmitting' news and more 'sharing' with other visions and ideas. This is why the journal's content, in its essential form of abstracts, has been 'opened' to the social networks for using, sharing, commenting, and debate in the ways made possible in that arena: not on our site but on those such as Facebook and Twitter.”
“In addition, thanks to collaboration by Google, a project has been launched to make all the issues published from 1850 to 2008 accessible on the web. In fact, Google had digitalized the volumes for their Google Books project, through agreements with several libraries in Europe and the United States. The issues still protected by copyright law will now be made available by our authorization.”
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 5 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, in audience.
 
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 5 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Gintaras Linas Grusas as archbishop of Vilnius (area 9,644, population 830,000, Catholics 547,000, priests 169, religious 249), Lithuania. The archbishop-elect was born in Washington, DC, USA in 1961, was ordained a priest in 1994, and received episcopal ordination in 2010. Most recently he has served on the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference as secretary general and as Military Ordinary of Lithuania. He succeeds Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

ASIA : SYRIA : PEOPLE IN NORTH SURVIVE ON GRASS

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: AsiaNews sources describe life in the capital where the war has devastated even the wealthiest families. Thousands of people survive on the meager government subsidies. To overcome the winter people have deforested the public parks. Six hour queues for a piece of bread and a liter of petrol.


Damascus (AsiaNews) - The war between rebels and regime of Bashar al-Assad has brought  even Damascus to its knees after having first devastated Aleppo the economic center of the country where the army and Islamist militias clash even in the alleys of the old town. According to AsiaNews sources there are no supplies in the capital and major cities still in the hands of the government, but people survive thanks to rations from the regime. Every day, people are forced to queue for even five or six hours straight to get a few liters of petrol and a few pounds of bread. The price of basic necessities is very high.

Until now, the regime has maintained at 75 cents per liter for fuel prices, but more and more people are forced to stock up on the black market, where costs are also ten times higher.

Even bread is an increasingly rare commodity. People can "choose" between the standard which costs about 16 cents, but is of little nutritional value, or the "tourist" brand paying a price even four times higher. It takes up to two weeks to get a canister of gas and the cost is around  7 dollars. The winter months have brought misery and suffering even among the richest families. Many people died from the cold. To warm themselves people cut down the trees of public parks and sacrificed furniture. Local sources say that the situation is even worse in areas under rebel control, where everything is run by the black market.

In areas controlled by the rebels, the situation is on the edge of survival. In the Kherbet al-Khaldiyé refugee camp in the province of Aleppo, the people consisting mainly of women, elderly and children have nothing to eat. "We're ripping the grass from the field - says Naida, 35, a mother of seven children - mint, purple grass, and cook it. We have nothing to eat." She said that aid only arrives a few times each month. "Once we were brought a kilo of potatoes - she says - but it had to suffice for more than a month. We had to survive with a potato per person per week." Muhannad Hadi, head of the World Food Programme (WFP) stresses that it is almost impossible to move aid across the Syrian territory. The warehouses are often at the center of the cross-fire between the regime and the rebels. The situation is particularly critical in areas of conflict. Some opposition groups control the areas where WFP is able to have access and where millions of people are in need of food. The rebels control the stores and have also taken over some dams for drinking water. Many refugees are forced to use puddles to wash and for drinking water.

Despite the devastated economy, most analysts argue that the regime will survive for at least another year. So far Assad has exploited the approximately 17 billion dollars accumulated during the oil boom of the 90s, but it is almost exhausted. The President still has approximately 4.5 billion dollars that would allow him to balance the losses which are the result of the sanctions of the international community, which amount to approximately 400 million dollars per month. (S.C.)


SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : LOCAL NUNS ON TV - FUTURE OF SISTERHOOD

DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA RELEASE


Vicar for Religious in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Sister Ailsa Mackinnon RSM and the Missionary Sisters of BV Mary, Queen of the World in Granville have featured in a SBS story on the future of the sisterhood and the Church in Australia.
Sisters Clare Dang and Lucy Vo from Missionary Sisters of BV Mary, Queen of the World joined Sr Ailsa in taking part in the news story, as did Josephite Sister Hun Do.
The SBS story reported the number of Catholic nuns in Australia peaked in the 1960s, and has been in decline ever since. There are fewer than 6,000 left in Australia, and with an average age of 74, the church is at risk of losing one of its most devout populations.
Sr Ailsa told SBS she attributes the decline of the sisterhood in part, to rising affluence.
“Life in Australia is pretty easy, and we have a very middle-class type of an existence. So the desire to enter into this search isn’t as urgent as [it is among] people who have had a lot of hardship in their lives.”
Sr Alisa said the future of the Church lied in recognising diversity. In Australia, more than 22 per cent of the wider Catholic population were born overseas.

“Certainly the church has tried to accommodate the waves of migrants who have come to Australia,” Sr Ailsa said. “It’s only going to become more multicultural.”

A calling from God fulfilling happiness

Extended interviews with Srs Clare Dang, Lucy Vo and Hun Do.
Sr Clare Dang told SBS that she'd never met a nun before she decided to become one.
Vietnamese-born, Sr Clare was still in high school when she found the number of a convent in a magazine, and made the call.
"I think it's just a calling from God, just to do something to fulfil your happiness," Sr Clare said.
For Sr Lucy Vo, an early experience boarding with nuns at a convent lead her to aspire to become one.
"Going to high school outside, I had two alternatives to choose from. I could choose the pathway of religious life, or the other way. But obviously the call was very strong," she says.
Aged 34 and 33 respectively, SBS said Srs Clare and Vo are among the rare few choosing to enter a life of religious devotion in modern Australia.
Although the two women had not met before entering the convent, they have similar backgrounds. Both were born in Vietnam, and moved with their families to Hong Kong before boarding a boat to Australia.
It's an experience both women said drew them closer to their faith.
"Many of the boat people do think they owe God something when they are saved," Sr Clare said.
She can recall a particular moment that helped define the course of her life.
Her family had just left Vietnam when she was ten years old. They were on board a tiny boat for 11 days, when tragedy struck.
"The boat was crushed into this hidden rock under the sea. Everybody was held tight together, and not just Catholic, but all religious. Even those who don't have any religion. There was praying...they were leaning back and the promise was coming out. They were saying, 'if you do this for me, God, or heaven, or whatever they believed in, I would do this for you.'"
Sister Lucy, whose family left Vietnam when she was two, may not remember the journey but she recognises the affect it had on her family. "That journey, just fleeing Vietnam and the hardships that my family has faced, it certainly has strengthened my faith."
SHARED FROM DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA

AFRICA : MOZAMBIQUE : CLASHES WITH POLICE CLAIM LIVES

Agenzia Fides REPORT - 4 people have died and 16 injured in the attack in the early hours of the morning by the men of the Renamo, the main opposition party in Mozambique, at the police command in Muxungué, in the province of Sofala, in the center of the Country. The militants of the Renamo attacked the police station to free their comrades arrested a few hours before. The Renamo (Mozambique National Resistance) fought against the government of Frelimo (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) during the civil war of 16 years which ended in 1992. Since then it has become the main opposition party. For several months the tension has risen since the leader of the Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama has retired in the old military base of his movement in the forest of Gorongosa, in the province of Sofala in central Mozambique, surrounding himself with armed militants. From this base Dhlakama has issued an ultimatum to President Armando Guebuza to accept the formation of a national unity government.
"We are dealing with disturbing facts but should not be emphasized. So far the clashes figures have been localized in the area " sources of the local Church say to Fides Agency. "There are some sections of the Renamo that have taken a hard line, but there are also several appeals for calm, for an end to these acts of disorder and to resume the dialogue between the parties. These appeals come not only from the Catholic Church but also from other Christian denominations." On April 8, the Bishops will meet in Assembly and it is likely that they will release a statement on the situation that the Country is experiencing.
"The government on the one hand seeks a moderate approach to try to resolve the dispute, on the other, however, must prove that they have the situation under control, and therefore intervenes with police actions, which lead to clashes. 
Tension is then placed in relation to the administrative elections in November that the Renamo has stated its intention to boycott" say our sources. (L.M.)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRI. APRIL 5, 2013


John 21:
 1 - 14

1After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tibe'ri-as; and he revealed himself in this way.
2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathan'a-el of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zeb'edee, and two others of his disciples were together.
3Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.
4Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No."
6He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish.
7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.
8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."
11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.
13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
14This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

2013

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYER - SHARE


SHARE – LIKE – PRAY – DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
JESUS said: I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls".
-Day 1. Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plungesMe. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people,
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Day 2. Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God’s love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy Radiant as stars,
bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Day 3.Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Day 4. Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. 

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 5. Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion. 

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 6. Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 7. Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.
Amen.
Day 8. Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen
Day 9. Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined,
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 5 : ST. VINCENT FERRER


St. Vincent Ferrer
SPANISH DOMINICAN PREACHER
Feast: April 5


Information:
Feast Day:April 5
Born:January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
Died:April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
Canonized:June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:builders, construction workers, plumbers
Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at Lérida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/V/stvincentferrer.asp#ixzz1rAT77VHg
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