DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Sunday, September 22, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SUN. SEPT. 22, 2013 - SHARE

2013











POPE FRANCIS "KNOCK AT THE DOOR OF THE HEART OF GOD" FULL TEXT - VIDEO

SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS MESSAGE FROM HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

ARRIVAL OF POPE TO SARDINIA FOR MEETING ON WORLD OF LABOR

SUICIDE BOMBERS KILL OVER 100 IN CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN PAKISTAN

59 KILLED IN HOSTAGE CRISIS IN NAIROBI MALL IN KENYA AFRICA


TODAY'S SAINT: SEPT. 22: ST. THOMAS VILLANOVA

(Vatican Radio) The Pope on Sunday celebrated Holy Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria, in Cagliari on the island of Sardinia.

Below, please find the Vatican Radio’s translation of the Holy Father’s homily at the Mass: 

[In Sardinian:] The grace of our Lord be with you always.

[In Italian:] Today is realised that desire that I announced in St. Peter's Square, before the summer, to be able to visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria.

1. I come here to share with you the joys and hopes, efforts and commitments, ideals and aspirations of your island, and to confirm you in the Faith. Even here in Cagliari, as in the whole of Sardinia, there are difficulties — there are so many! — problems and concerns: I think, in particular, of the lack of work and its precariousness, and therefore the uncertainty for the future. Sardinia, your beautiful region, suffers many situations of poverty, exacerbated by its condition as an island. The loyal cooperation of everyone is necessary, with the commitment of institutional leaders — even in the Church — to ensure the fundamental rights of persons and families, and to grow more fraternal and united. To ensure the right to work, to bring home bread, bread earned by work! I am close to you, I remember you in prayer, and I encourage you to persevere in your witness of the human and Christian values so deeply rooted in the faith and history of this land and the people. Always keep alight the light of hope!

2. I come among you to place myself, with you, at the feet of the Madonna, who gives us his Son. I know that Mary, our Mother, is in your heart, as evidenced by the Shrine, where many generations of Sardinians have come - and continue to come! - To invoke the protection of Our Lady of Bonaria, the Great Patroness of the Island. Here you bring the joys and sufferings of this land, of its families, and even of those children who live far away, many of whom went away with great sorrow and nostalgia to find a job and a future for themselves and their loved ones. Today, all of us gathered here want to thank Mary because she is always close to us; we want to renew our trust in her, and our love for her.

The first reading which we heard shows us Mary in prayer in the Upper Room together with the Apostles. Mary prays, prays together with the community of disciples, and teaches us to have full confidence in God, in His mercy. This is the power of prayer! We must not tire of knocking on the God’s door. Let us bring our whole life, every day, to the heart of God through Mary! Knock at the door of the heart of God.

In the Gospel we grasp especially the last look of Jesus upon His Mother (cf. Jn 19:25-27). From the Cross Jesus looks at His Mother and entrusted the apostle John to her, saying, “This is your son.” In John we're all here, too, and Jesus’ look of love entrusts us to the maternal guardianship of the mother. Mary will have remembered another look of love, when she was a young girl: the gaze of God the Father, who had looked upon her humility, her littleness. Mary teaches us that God does not abandon us, [that God] can do great things even with our weakness. Let us have faith in Him! Let us knock at the door of His heart!

3. And the third thought: today I have come among you, indeed we have all come together, to meet the gaze of Mary, because there, there is something like a reflection of the gaze of the Father, which made her the Mother of God, and the look of the Son on the Cross, which made her our Mother. And with that gaze Mary is looking upon us today. We need her tender look, her maternal gaze that knows us better than anyone else, her gaze full of compassion and care. Mary, today we want to say to you: Mother, look upon us! Your gaze leads us to God, your look is a good gift from the Father, who awaits us at every turn of our journey; it is a gift from Jesus Christ on the Cross, who takes upon Himself our suffering, our struggles, our sin. And in order to meet this loving Father, today we say: Mother, look upon us! Let us all say it together: Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us!

On the journey, which is often difficult, we are not alone, we are so many, we are one people, and the gaze of Our Lady helps us to look around us in a brotherly manner. Let's look at ourselves in a more fraternal way! Mary teaches us to have that look that seeks to welcome, to guide, to protect. We learn to look at each other under the maternal gaze of Mary! There are people who we instinctively give less attention to, people who instead have most need of it: the most abandoned, the sick, those who have nothing to live on, those who do not know Jesus, young people who are in trouble, the young who can’t find work. We should not be afraid to go out and look at our brothers and sisters through the eyes of Our Lady, She invites us to be true brothers. And we do not allow anything or anyone to come between us and the gaze of the Madonna. Mother, look upon us! No one hide from it! Our childlike heart knows to defend it from so many windbags who promise illusions; from those who have a greedy look for easy life, from the promises of those who can’t fulfil them. They can’t steal Mary’s gaze from us, which is full of tenderness, which gives us strength, makes us united in solidarity among ourselves. Let us all say, “Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us!”

[In Sardinian:] May Our Lady of Bonaria accompany you always in your life. 


SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

ARRIVAL OF POPE TO SARDINIA FOR MEETING ON WORLD OF LABOR

Pope Francis has arrived in Sardinia
Pope Francis arrives by air at the "Mario Mameli" Airport of Cagliari Elmas, from where he proceeds to the center of the Sardinian capital for the meeting with the World of Labor.

SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS MESSAGE FROM HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday addressed the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Pope Francis said the goal of the Church for its communications efforts is “to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes.”

The Holy Father said we must examine if the communications of the Church are helping others to meet Christ.

“The challenge is to rediscover, through the means of social communication as well as by personal contact, the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith and of the encounter with Christ,” he said.

Below is the full text of Pope Francis' remarks

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

I greet you and I thank you for your work and commitment to the important sector of social communications – but having spoken to Archbishop Celli, I must change “sector” to the important “dimension of life” which is that of social communications. I wish to thank Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli for the greeting that he extended to me on your behalf. I would like to share some thoughts with you.

First of all: the importance of social communications for the Church. This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Inter Mirifica. This anniversary is more than a commemoration; the Decree expresses the Church’s attentiveness towards communication and all its instruments, which are also important in the work of evangelisation. But towards its instruments – communication is not an instrument! It’s something else. In the last few decades, the various means of communication have evolved significantly, but the Church’s concern remains the same, taking on new forms and expressions. The world of social communications, more and more, has become a “living environment” for many, a web where people communicate with each other, expanding the boundaries of their knowledge and relationships (cf. Benedict XVI, Message for the 2013 World Communications Day). I wish to underline these positive aspects, although we are all aware of the limitations and harmful factors which also exist. 

In this context – and this is the second reflection – we must ask ourselves: what role should the Church have in terms of its own practical means of communication? In every situation, beyond technological considerations, I believe that the goal is to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today, in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts, and their hopes. They are men and women who sometimes feel let down by a Christianity that to them appears sterile, struggling precisely to communicate the depth of meaning that faith gives. We do in fact witness today, in the age of globalisation, a growing sense of disorientation and isolation; we see, increasingly, a loss of meaning to life, an inability to connect with a “home”, and a struggle to build meaningful relationships. It is therefore important to know how to dialogue, and how to enter, with discernment, into the environments created by new technologies, into social networks, in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses, and encourages. Do not be afraid to be this presence, expressing your Christian identity as you become citizens of this environment. A Church that follows this path learns how to walk with everybody! And there’s also an ancient rule of the pilgrims, that Saint Ignatius includes, and that’s why I know it! In one of his rules, he says that anyone accompanying a pilgrim must walk at the same pace as the pilgrim, not ahead and not lagging behind. And this is what I mean: a Church that accompanies the journey, that knows how to walk as people walk today. This rule of the pilgrim will help us to inspire things.

The third: it’s a challenge that we all face together in this environment of social communications, and the problem is not principally technological. We must ask ourselves: are we capable of bringing Christ into this area, or rather, of bringing about the encounter with Christ? To walk with the pilgrim through life, but as Jesus walked with the pilgrims of Emmaus, warming their hearts and leading them to the Lord? Are we capable of communicating the face of a Church which can be a “home” to everyone? We talk about the Church behind closed doors. But this is more than a Church with open doors, it’s more! Finding “home” together, building “home”, building the Church. It’s this: building the Church as we walk. A challenge! To lead to the rediscovery, through means of social communication as well as by personal contact, of the beauty which is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith, the beauty of the encounter with Christ. Even in the context of social communications, the Church is required to bring warmth, to warm hearts. Do our presence and plans measure up to this requirement, or do we remain mired in technicalities? We hold a precious treasure that is to be passed on, a treasure that brings light and hope. They are greatly needed. All this, however, requires a careful and thorough formation in this area for priests, for religious men and women, for laity. The great digital continent does not only involve technology, but is made up of real men and women who bring with them what they carry inside, their hopes, their suffering, their concerns, their pursuit of truth, beauty, and good. We need to show and bring Christ to others, sharing these joys and hopes, like Mary, who brought Christ to the hearts of men and women; we need to pass through the clouds of indifference without losing our way; we need to descend into the darkest night without being overcome and disorientated; we need to listen to the illusions of many, without being seduced; we need to share their disappointments, without becoming despondent; to sympathise with those whose lives are falling apart, without losing our own strength and identity (cf. Pope Francis, Address to the Bishops of Brazil, 27 July 2013, n. 4). This is the walk. This is the challenge.

Dear friends, the concern and the presence of the Church in the world of social communications is important in order to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ, but the encounter with Christ is personal. It cannot be manipulated. In these times we see a great temptation within the Church, which is spiritual harassment: the manipulation of conscience; a theological brainwashing which in the end leads to an encounter with Christ which is purely nominal, not with the Live Person of Christ. In a person’s encounter with Christ, both Christ and the person need to be involved! Not what’s wanted by the “spiritual engineer”, who wants to manipulate people. This is the challenge. To bring about the encounter with Christ in the full knowledge, though, that we ourselves are means of communication, and that the fundamental problem is not the acquisition of the latest technologies, although these are necessary to a valid, contemporary presence. It is necessary to be absolutely clear that the God in whom we believe, who loves all men and women intensely, wants to reveal himself through the means at our disposal, however poor they are, because it is he who is at work, he who transforms, and he who saves us. 

Let us all pray that the Lord may warm our hearts and sustain us in the engaging mission of bringing him to the world. I ask you for your prayers, because this is my mission too, and I assure you of my blessing. 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

SUICIDE BOMBERS KILL OVER 100 IN CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN PAKISTAN

ASIA NEWS REPORT: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the end of Sunday service . 700 people present at the time of the massacre in All Saints Church , a symbolic place for integration between Christians and Muslims. The Taliban and government attempt at dialogue drowns in the blood of innocent victims. Paul Bhatti : "government excludes minorities " in building the country .

Peshawar (AsiaNews) - Over one hundred people have been killed and 130 people injured in a suicide attack outside a Protestant church in Peshawar, capital of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , in northern Pakistan . According to preliminary reports two suicide bombers blew themselves up this morning close to the Christian place of worship, as faithful were leaving the building after attending the Sunday service . Local sources said that the double explosion also caused damage to the surrounding buildings. Between 600 and 700 people were present at the time of the attack. The victims included several women and children , a portion of injured were admitted to Lady Reading Hospital , but the number is too high and were also alerted other medical facilities in the country.

Paul Bhatti , former Minister for National Harmony and president of APMA ( All Pakistan Minorities Alliance ) rushed to the site to see firsthand the conditions of the wounded and try to spread calm. "More than a hundred people were killed - Paul Bhatti confirmed to AsiaNews - there are many injured in very serious condition ... we expect a greater number of victims." The former minister pointed the finger at "terrorists who seek to affect not only Christians, but all Pakistan as seen days ago with the murder of an army general. The religious element - he added - is not predominant, but the political aspect is more important". Bhatti does not spare criticism of the provincial government and the central executive in Islamabad , the first for failing to " properly protect" a building included in the "red zone and high-risk". The government of Prime Minister Sharif is involved in peace talks " and is not involving religious minorities, relegating them to the margins ." "We are victims of this violence - he concludes - and among Christians there is anger and resentment. Tomorrow with members of APMA will make a large peaceful protest in Islamabad ."

The terrorists - attributable to Islamic extremist movements, although so far there are no official claims - hit the symbolic place if worship with more than eight kilograms of explosives. The All Saints Church , in fact, was built in 1883 inspired by the structures of the mosques , it is facing Mecca and is a landmark building for its attempt to promote peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority in Pakistan.

It is located in a sensitive area of the city, Kohati Gate, where there are also three other churches and several Muslim places of worship . The city of Peshawar has declared three days of mourning; condemnation was expressed by President Himari Hussain , Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , the Pti leader Imran Khan and the main political and religious leaders Pakistanis. Many - including imams and Islamic spiritual leaders - have used social networks to express their condolences, for a "targeted and cowardly" attack which, again, has targeted innocent victims.

The former ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman , who led a tough battle against Islamic extremism in the past , has appealed to the government to " put an end to peace talks " initiated in recent days with the Taliban and extremist groups. The new government in Islamabad had in fact announced the intention to enter into negotiations with the Islamist fringe, which, in turn and in a short time, responded with bombs and deaths.


With a population of over 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and the second Muslim nation after Indonesia. Just under 80 per cent are Sunni Muslim, and 20 per cent are Shia. Hindus are around 1.85 per cent; Christians are 1.6 per cent and Sikhs 0.04 per cent.  Violence against ethnic or religious minorities is commonplace across the country, especially Christians a favorite target for Islamic fundamentalists. There have been dozens of incidents of violence, including targeted attacks against entire communities - Gojra in 2009 or Joseph Colony Lahore in March last year - or abuses against individuals, often perpetrated under the pretext of blasphemy laws that end up hitting innocent victims ( the case of the Christian minor Rimsha Masih ) . ( DS )
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

59 KILLED IN HOSTAGE CRISIS IN NAIROBI MALL IN KENYA AFRICA

59 people have been killed and at least 200 people have been injured following the shooting at the Westgate Shopping mall in Nairobi's Westlands area. This is according to the Kenya Red Cross service that provided emergency response services.
ALLAFRICA REPORT:
Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said a delicate operation was still underway to free remaining hostages and neutralise the attackers who remained holed up in the shopping mall more than 20 hours after the attack occurred.
He criticised one of the local dailies that published a photo of one of the victims, saying it had brought anguish to the families of the victim.
Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet earlier said that the number of casualties has also raised to over 200.
"KDF has taken over the management of the facility for now so we will wait to see what the outcome would be when we start the operation," he said.
Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on the shopping mall.
The militia group said on Twitter that they had killed over 100 people.
"(@HSM_Press):Since our last contact, the Mujahideen inside the mall confirmed to @HSM_Press that they killed over 100 Kenyan kuffar & battle continues," Al Shabaab tweeted.
Kenyan army reinforcements were pouring into the upmarket Nairobi shopping mall early on Sunday as operations to end the stand-off with Islamist rebels continued.
Large numbers of soldiers in helmets and flak jackets, some carrying rocket-propelled grenades, could be seen headed towards the mall.
The Kenyan interior ministry said the upper floors of the four-storey mall had been secured, and that the attackers had been isolated somewhere on the ground floor or in the basement.
An unknown number of hostages were also still trapped inside, officials said during the night.
Police in the area have meanwhile lobbed teargas to disperse crowds that had gathered there since initial reports of the shootings acises these crowds were hampering the evacuation exercise as well as coordination of the security forces operation.
Shared from ALLAFRICA

NOVENA : FEAST OF THE ANGELS - ST. MICHAEL - GABRIEL - RAPHAEL - DAY 2





September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael.



Novena to St. Michael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.


Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.



Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE : SEPT. 22, 2013

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Lectionary: 135


Sep 22, 2013 - 25th Sun Ordinary Time


Reading 1            AM 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Responsorial Psalm                     PS 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 1a, 7b) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2                     1 TM 2:1-8

Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.  This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time.  For this I was appointed preacher and apostle — I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —, teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Gospel                     LK 16:1-13 

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.  He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you?  Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?  I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.  I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one.  To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.  Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.  I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.  If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?  If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?  No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and mammon.”


TODAY'S SAINT: SEPT. 22: ST. THOMAS VILLANOVA

St. Thomas of Villanovaa

BISHOP
Feast: September 22
Information:
Feast Day:
September 22
Born:
1488, Spain
Died:
1555, in Valencia, Spain
Canonized:
November 1, 1658 by Pope Alexander VII

Educator, philanthropist, born at Fuentellana, Spain, 1488; died at Valencia, 8 September, 1555. Son of Aloazo Tomas Garcia and Lucia Martinez Castellanos, the saint was brought up in the practices of religion and charity. Every Friday his father was wont to give in alms all the meal he earned at the mill, besides his usual daily dole of bread. On great feast-days he added wood, wine, and money; while to poor farmers he loaned money and seed. On the death of her husband, Lucia continued the usual alms, and supplied indigent maidens in the neighbourhood with clothing and money. When sixteen tears old, Thomas entered the University of Alcala, where, after proceeding master of arts and licentiate in theology, he filled the chair (1514) of arts, logic, and philosophy. Among his auditors were the famed scholars Ferdinand de Encina and Dominic Soto. With Alcala, however, ended his university associations, he having declined the chair of natural philosophy at Salamanca, where he joined the Augustinians in 1516, his vows following a year later, and his ordination to priesthood the year after; his first Mass was celebrated at Christmas, 1518. At Salamanca Convent Thomas was given the class of scholastic theology because of his attachment for books, chiefly the Lombard and St. Thomas, and his exemplary life. Preaching in the pulpits of Spain was soon added to his duties, among other places at Valencia, the field of his later trials, and Valladolid, seat of the imperial Court and residence of the Emperor Charles V when on his visits to the Low Countries. In this last-named city St. Thomas was named by the emperor his court preacher, and one of his councillors of state. Rarely, however, did the saint pay visits of ceremony to the then master of Europe, though his written correspondence with Charles, who held his opinions in high esteem, was voluminous. Towards the close of his life, while at Valencia, he had all the emperor's letters destroyed; his own letters to the emperor, however, are now stored at Simancas.
Apart from these burdens Thomas held many offices of trust in his order, e.g. as convent prior in various cities, among others at Valladolid in 1544, the very year he was called to the See of Valencia. Moreover, he was twice provincial-prior, first of Andalusia and Castile in 1527, then six years later of Castile alone, whence the first mission band of his brethren was sent across the Atlantic in 1533 to establish houses of their order in Mexico. On 5 Aug., 1544, he received his nomination to the Archbishopric of Valencia, a post that for well-nigh a hundred years had witnessed no bishop in residence, an appointment that was confirmed by Paul III. Previously St. Thomas had declined the See of Granada, offered him by the emperor, while that of Valencia he accepted only through obedience to his superiors. He was consecrated in the church of his order at Valladolid by Juan, Cardinal Tavera de Pardo, Archbishop of Toledo. On his entrance to his see on 1 Jan., 1545, of which he was thirty-second bishop and eighth archbishop, St. Thomas opened his career as legislator and philanthropist, which won for him the titles of "Almsgiver", "Father of the Poor", and "Model of Bishops", given him at his beatification in 1618 by Paul V. During his eleven years of episcopal rule his most noteworthy deeds were as follows: a visitation of his diocese, opened a few weeks after entrance into his see. Among other amendments he inhibited his visitators from accepting any gifts whatever. He then held a synod, the first at Valencia for many years, whereby he sought to do away with a number of abuses, as bloodshed, divorce, concubinage, and many excessive privileges or unreasonable exemptions; he abolished the underground prisons; rebuilt the general hospital at Valencia which had just been destroyed by fire; founded two colleges, one for young ecclesiastics, the other for poor students; laboured for the conversion of the , whose profession of Christianity was largely mere outward show; established a creche near his palace for foundlings and the offspring of indigent parents; had Mass said at early hours for the working-classes; and in brief, by statutes, by preaching, and by example, strove to reform the morals of churchman and layman.
Towards the poor especially his heart was ever alive with pity; to them his palace gate was always open; daily he had a repast for every poor person that applied for help, as many even as four to five hundred thus getting their meals at his hands. In every district of the city he had almoners appointed with orders especially to search out the respectable persons who shrank from asking alms; these he had supplied with money, food, clothing, while as to indigent workmen, poor farmers, and mechanics, he replenished their stock and brought them tools, thus putting them in the way of making a living. His whole life as replete with acts of practical kindness. He spent his spare time chiefly in prayer and study; his table was one of simple fare, with no luxuries. His dress was inexpensive; he mended with his own hands whatever needed repairs. Numberless are the instances of St. Thomas' supernatural gifts, of his power of healing the sick, of multiplication of food, of redressing grievances, of his ecstasies, of his conversions of sinners. He was taken ill in August, 1555, of angina pectoris, of which he died at the age of 67, at the termination of Mass in his bedroom. His last words were the versicles: "In manus tuas, Domine", etc.; his remains were entombed at the convent Church of Our Lady of Help of his order outside the city walls, whence later they were brought to the cathedral. The saint was of well-knit frame, of medium height, with dark complexion, brilliant eyes, ruddy cheeks, and Roman nose. He was beatified by Paul V (7 Oct., 1618), who set his feast-day for 18 Sept., and canonized by Alexander VII on 1 Nov., 1658.
Various reasons are given to account for St. Thomas' non-appearance at the Council of Trent, among them that he was ill, unable to stand the fatigue of travel; that his people would not brook his absence; and that the emperor was unable to do without his aid at home. The writings of St. Thomas, mainly sermons, are replete with practical norms of mystic theology. Some twenty editions have been published, the best and most complete being probably that of Manila, 1882-1884, in 5 tomes.http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stthomasofvillanova.asp


Post a Comment