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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Catholic News World : Saturday September 27, 2014 - Share!

2014

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated a special liturgy of thanksgiving in the Church of the Gesù in Rome on Saturday, to mark the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. Please find, below, Vatican Radio's English translation of the prepared text of the Holy Father's homily for the occasion. 
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Dear brothers and friends in the Lord,
The Society under the name of Jesus has lived difficult times of persecution. During the leadership of Fr Lorenzo Ricci, “enemies of the Church succeeded in obtaining the suppression of the Society” (John Paul II, Message to Fr Kolvenbach, July 31, 1990) by my predecessor Clement XIV. Today, remembering its restoration, we are called to recover our memory, calling to mind the benefits received and the particular gifts (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 234). Today, I want to do that here with you.
In times of trial and tribulation, dust clouds of doubt and suffering are always raised and it is not easy to move forward, to continue the journey. Many temptations come, especially in difficult times and in crises: to stop to discuss ideas, to allow oneself to be carried away by the desolation, to focus on the fact of being persecuted, and not to see the other. Reading the letters of Fr Ricci, one thing struck me: his ability to avoid being harnessed by these temptations and to propose to the Jesuits, in a time of trouble, a vision of the things that rooted them even more in the spirituality of the Society.
Father General Ricci, who wrote to the Jesuits at the time, watching the clouds thickening on the horizon, strengthened them in their membership in the body of the Society and its mission. Here it is: in a time of confusion and turmoil he discerned. He did not waste time discussing ideas and complaining, but he took on the charge of the vocation of the Society.
And this attitude led the Jesuits to experience the death and resurrection of the Lord. Faced with the loss of everything, even of their public identity, they did not resist the will of God, they did not resist the conflict, trying to save themselves. The Society – and this is beautiful – lived the conflict to the end, without minimizing it. It lived humiliation along with the  humiliated Christ; it obeyed. You never save yourself from conflict with cunning and with strategies of resistance. In the confusion and humiliation, the Society preferred to live the discernment of God's will, without seeking a way out of the conflict in a seemingly quiet manner.
It is never apparent tranquility that satisfies our hearts, but true peace that is a gift from God. One should never seek the easy "compromise" nor practice facile “irenicism.” Only discernment saves us from real uprooting, from true "suppression" of the heart, which is selfishness, worldliness, the loss of our horizon. Our hope, is Jesus; it is only Jesus. Thus Fr Ricci and the Society during the suppression privileged history rather than a gray “little tale”, knowing that love judges history and that hope - even in darkness - is greater than our expectations.
Discernment must be done with right intention, with a simple eye. For this reason, Fr Ricci comes, precisely in this time of confusion and bewilderment, to speak about the sins of the Jesuits. He does not defend himself, feeling like a victim of history, but he recognizes himself as a sinner. Looking at oneself and recognizing oneself as a sinner avoids being in a position of considering oneself a victim before an executioner. Recognizing oneself as a sinner, really recognizing oneself as a sinner, means putting oneself in the correct attitude to receive consolation.
We can review briefly this process of discernment and service that this Father General indicated to the Society. When in 1759, the decrees of Pombal destroyed the Portuguese provinces of the Society, Fr Ricci lived the conflict, not complaining and letting himself fall into desolation, but inviting prayers to ask for the good spirit, the true supernatural spirit of vocation, the perfect docility to God's grace. When in 1761, the storm advanced in France, the Father General asked that all trust be placed in God. He wanted that they take advantage of the hardships toward a greater inner purification; they lead us to God and can serve for his greater glory. Then, he recommended prayer, holiness of life, humility and the spirit of obedience. In 1760, after the expulsion of the Spanish Jesuits, he continued to call for prayer. And finally, on February 21, 1773, just six months before the signing of the Brief Dominus ac Redemptor, with the utter lack of human help, he sees the hand of God's mercy, which invites those, who submit to the test, not to confide in anyone but God. Trust must grow precisely when circumstances throw us to the ground. Of importance for Fr Ricci is that the Society, until the last, is true to the spirit of its vocation, which is for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.
The Society, even faced with its own demise, remained true to the purpose for which it was founded. To this, Ricci concludes with an exhortation to keep alive the spirit of charity, unity, obedience, patience, evangelical simplicity, true friendship with God. Everything else is worldliness. The flame of the greater glory of God even today flows through us, burning every complacency and enveloping us in a flame, which we have within, which focuses us and expands us, makes us grow and makes us shrink.
In this way, the Society experienced the supreme test of the sacrifice unjustly asked of it, taking up the prayer of Tobit, who with a soul struck by grief, sighs, cries and then prays:  “You are righteous, O Lord, and all your deeds are just; all your ways are mercy and truth; you judge the world.  And now, O Lord, remember me and look favorably upon me. Do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offenses and those that my ancestors committed before you. They sinned against you,  and disobeyed your commandments. So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death, to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.” It concludes with the most important request: “Do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me. (Tb 3,1-4.6d).
And the Lord answered by sending Raphael to remove the white spots from Tobit’s eyes, so that he could once again see the light of God. God is merciful, God crowns with mercy. God loves us and saves us. Sometimes the path that leads to life is narrow and cramped, but the tribulation, if lived in the light of mercy, purifies us like fire, it gives us much consolation and inflames our hearts, endearing prayer to it. Our brother Jesuits in the suppression were fervent in the spirit and in the service of the Lord, rejoicing in hope, constant in tribulation, perseverant in prayer (cf. Rom 12:13). And that gave honour to the Society, but certainly not the praise of its merits. It will always be this way.
Let us remember our history: the Society “was given the grace not only to believe in the Lord, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29). We do well to remember this.
The ship of the Society has been tossed around by the waves and there is nothing surprising in this. Even the boat of Peter can be tossed about today. The night and the powers of darkness are always near. It is tiring to row. The Jesuits must be “brave and expert rowers”(Pius VII,Sollecitudo omnium ecclesiarum): row then! Row, be strong, even with the headwind! We row in the service of the Church. We row together! But while we row - we all row, even the Pope rows in the boat of Peter - we must pray a lot, "Lord, save us! Lord save your people." The Lord, even if we are men of little faith, will save us. Let us hope in the Lord! Let us hope always in the Lord!
Shared from Radio Vaticana
The Society, restored by my predecessor Pius VII, was made up of  men, who were brave and humble in their witness of hope, love and apostolic creativity, that of the Spirit. Pius VII wrote of wanting to restore the Society to "support himself in an adequate way for the spiritual needs of the Christian world, without the difference of peoples and nations" (ibid). For this, he gave permission to the Jesuits, which still existed here and there, thanks to a Lutheran monarch and an Orthodox monarch, "to remain united in one body." That the Society may remain united in one body!
And the Society was immediately missionary and made itself ​​available to the Apostolic See, committing generously "under the banner of the cross for the Lord and His Vicar on earth" (Formula of the Institute, 1). The Society resumed its apostolic activity of preaching and teaching, spiritual ministries, scientific research and social action, the missions and care for the poor, the suffering and the marginalized.
Today, the Society also deals with the tragic problem of refugees and displaced persons with intelligence and industriousness; and it strives with discernment to integrate service to faith and the promotion of justice in conformity with the Gospel. I confirm today what Paul VI told us at our 32nd General Congregation and which I heard with my own ears: "Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme situations, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, where there has been and there is confrontation between the deepest desires of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, there you have been and there are Jesuits. "
In 1814, at the time of the restoration, the Jesuits had a small flock, a "small Society," but which knew how to invest, after the test of the cross, in the great mission of bringing the light of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. This is how we must feel today therefore: outbound, in mission. The Jesuit identity is that of a man who loves God and loves and serves his brothers, showing by example not only that in which he believes, but also that in which he hopes, and who is the One in whom he has put his trust (cf. 2 Tim 1:12). The Jesuit wants to be a companion of Jesus, one who has the same feelings of Jesus.
The bull of Pius VII that restored the Society was signed on August 7, 1814, at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where our holy father Ignatius celebrated his first Mass on Christmas Eve of 1538. Mary, Our Lady, Mother of the Society, will be touched by our efforts to be at the service of her Son. May she watch over us and protects us always.

Novena for the Feast of the Archangels - St. Michael, St. Gabriel - SHARE this Prayer



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.

Novena to St. Vincent de Paul - Litany and Prayers

NOVENA TO ST VINCENT DE PAUL O Glorious Saint Vincent de Paul, the mention of your name suggests a litany of your virtues: humility, zeal, mercy, self-sacrifice. It also recalls your many foundations: Works of Mercy, Congregations, Societies. The Church gratefully remembers your promotion of the priesthood. Inspire all Charitable Workers, especially those who minister, to both the spiritually and the materially poor. O Lord, give us the grace that You bestowed upon, your servant St. Vincent de Paul, to relinquish the temptation of material things, in our holy effort to minister to the poor. Amen.
 Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... (Repeat this prayer for 9 days.) 
The Litany of St. Vincent de PaulFor Private Use Only.
Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.

V. The just shall spring up like the lily,
R. And flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Mary, comforter of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who at the tenderest age didst display a wisdom most mature, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who from thy childhood wast full of pity and compassion, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who like David, from a simple shepherd becamest a ruler and pastor of the people of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in thy captivity by Turkish pirates didst preserve perfect freedom, Pray for us.
St. Vincent the just man, who didst live by faith, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, always supported on the firm anchor of a Christian hope, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, always inflamed with the fire of perfect charity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, truly simple, upright, and fearing God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, true disciple of Jesus Christ, always meek and humble of heart, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, perfectly mortified in heart and mind, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever animated with the spirit of Our Lord, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, generous maintainer of the glory of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever inwardly burning and ever outwardly transported with zeal for souls, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in Christian poverty didst find the precious pearl and the rich treasure of the Gospel, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, like to the Angels in thy purity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, faithful in obedience and victorious in word and deed, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst fly the slightest appearance of evil, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in all thine actions didst aspire to the practice of perfect virtue, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst remain like a rock amidst the stormy sea of this world, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, invincible amidst the arrows of adversity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, as patient in suffering as thou wast indulgent in forgiving, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever docile and obedient son of the Holy See, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who hadst exceeding horror of the novel ways and subtle words of heretics, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, destined by a special Providence to announce the Gospel to the poor, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, father and model of ecclesiastics, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, prudent founder of the Congregation of the Mission, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, wise institutor of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, tender in compassionating and prompt in relieving the necessities of the poor, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, equally fervent in the practice of prayer and in ministry of the word, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, admirable in imitation of the life and virtues of Jesus, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst persevere to the end in shunning evil and doing good, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who as in life so in death wast most precious in the sight of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, glory of France and pride of Paris, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, patron of all charitable associations, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. The Lord hath led the just man through right ways,
R. And showed unto him the Kingdom of God.

Let Us Pray: O God, Who by an effect of Thine infinite goodness, hast renewed in our days, in the apostolic character and humility of Thy blessed servant Vincent, the spirit of Thy well-beloved Son---to preach the Gospel to the poor, relieve the afflicted, console the miserable, and add new luster to the ecclesiastical order---grant, we beseech Thee, through his powerful intercession, that we also, delivered from the great misery of sin, may labor to please Thee by the practice of the same humility, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who liveth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

O God, Who for the preaching of the Gospel to the poor, and for promoting the honor of the priesthood, didst endue blessed Vincent with the zeal of an apostle, grant, we humbly pray Thee, that we who venerate his holy life may profit by the examples of virtue he has left us. R. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday September 27, 2014


Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Lectionary: 454


Reading 1ECCL 11:9-12:8

Rejoice, O young man, while you are young
and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart,
the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand that as regards all this
God will bring you to judgment.
Ward off grief from your heart
and put away trouble from your presence,
though the dawn of youth is fleeting.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the evil days come
And the years approach of which you will say,
I have no pleasure in them;
Before the sun is darkened,
and the light, and the moon, and the stars,
while the clouds return after the rain;
When the guardians of the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent,
And the grinders are idle because they are few,
and they who look through the windows grow blind;
When the doors to the street are shut,
and the sound of the mill is low;
When one waits for the chirp of a bird,
but all the daughters of song are suppressed;
And one fears heights,
and perils in the street;
When the almond tree blooms,
and the locust grows sluggish
and the caper berry is without effect,
Because man goes to his lasting home,
and mourners go about the streets;
Before the silver cord is snapped
and the golden bowl is broken,
And the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the broken pulley falls into the well,
And the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the life breath returns to God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
all things are vanity!

Responsorial Psalm PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Gospel LK 9:43B-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saint September 27 : St. Vincent de Paul : Patron of Charities; Horses; Hospitals; Leprosy; Prisoners; Spiritual help; Volunteers


St. Vincent de Paul
FOUNDER OF THE VINCENTIANS
Feast: September 27
Information:
Feast Day:
September 27
Born:
April 24, 1581, Pouy, Gascony, France
Died:
September 27, 1660, Paris, France
Canonized:
16 June 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XII
Major Shrine:
St Vincent de Paul chapel, Rue de Sèvres, Paris, France
Patron of:
charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers

Like his fellow saint, Francis de Sales, who was his friend and contemporary, Vincent de Paul performed an invaluable service to the Catholic Church in a period of confusion and laxness. But unlike the aristocratic bishop of Geneva, Vincent was born in poverty, of peasant stock. His birthplace was Pouy, near Dax in Gascony, in southwest France; the year was 1576. Jean de Paul and Bertrande de Moras, his parents, were sturdy farming people who reared a family of four sons and two daughters. Observing young Vincent's quick intelligence, his father sent him to be educated by the Cordelier Brothers at Dax. When the boy had been at school for four years, a lawyer of the town engaged him as tutor to his children, thus enabling Vincent to go on with his studies without further expense to his parents. Vincent continued his education at the Spanish University of Saragossa, and then returned to France to attend the University of Toulouse. At the age of twenty-four he was ordained priest by' the bishop of Perigueux, but remained at Toulouse for another four years to take the degree of Doctor of Theology.
Beyond an aptitude for study and a certain persistence in achieving his ends, there is nothing in Vincent's life up to this time to suggest his future fame and sanctity. He now went on a short journey which was to change his whole life. The scholarly young priest was to be captured at sea by pirates and sold as a slave in Africa! This extraordinary happening came about in the following way. Vincent, having returned home after receiving his degree, went back to Toulouse to recover by process of law a small legacy which had been left him by an old woman of that city. Homeward bound, he made the trip from Marseilles to Narbonne by water, on board a small coastwise vessel. The ship was set upon by three brigantines manned by Barbary pirates, who were at this time a menace to all Mediterranean shipping. When the Christians refused to strike their flag, the infidels attacked them with arrows. Three were killed and several, including Vincent, were wounded. Those who remained alive were put in chains, and the pirates straightway sailed to Africa with their human cargo. Landing at Tunis, the pirates led their prisoners through the streets of the city, after which they were brought back to the vessel and sold to the highest bidder, like cattle. Vincent, bought by a fisherman, was sold again to an aged Moslem, a humane man, who had spent fifty years in search of the "philosopher's stone." He grew fond of his slave, to whom he gave long lectures on alchemy and Mohammedanism; he even promised to make Vincent his heir and also to communicate to him all the secrets of his science if he adopted the religion of Islam. The young priest, terrified that his faith would be corrupted in this alien environment, prayed for divine protection, particularly for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.
Vincent continued firm in his faith and lived on with the old man until his death, when he became the property of his master's nephew, who soon sold him to a renegade Christian, a native of Nice. This man, a convert to Mohammedanism, had three wives, one of whom was a Turkish woman. She often wandered into the field where the new Christian slave was at work, and out of idle curiosity would ask him to sing songs in praise of his God. With tears running down his cheeks Vincent would obediently sing certain Psalms, among which was Psalm cxxxvii, "By the waters of Babylon," in which the Jews bewailed their captivity. The Turkish woman now began to reproach her husband for abandoning his religion, and kept on until, without herself accepting the faith, she made him return to it. He repented of his apostasy, and he and Vincent made their escape from Africa together. They crossed the Mediterranean safely in a small boat, landed near Marseilles, in June, 1607, then traveled up to Avignon. There the apostate confessed, and abjured Mohammedanism before the papal vice-legate. The following year, accompanied by Vincent, he went to Rome, where he entered the order of the Brothers of St. John of God, who serve in hospitals.
Vincent now returned to France and chanced to be brought to the attention of Queen Marguerite of Valois, who appointed him her almoner. This office gave him the income from a small abbey. For a time he lodged in the same house as a lawyer, who was one day robbed of a considerable sum. He openly charged Vincent with the theft and spoke against him to all his friends. Vincent did nothing save quietly deny the charge, adding, "God knows the truth." For six years he bore the slander, making no further denial, and at last the real thief confessed. Speaking as though the victim had been someone else, Vincent once told this story at a conference with his priests, in order to show that patience, silence, and resignation are generally the best defense of innocence.
Vincent soon came to know a famous priest of Paris, Monsieur de Berulle, afterwards a cardinal. Father Berulle, who at that time was founding a branch of the Congregation of the Oratory in France, recognized Vincent's worth. He found for him a curacy at Clichy, in the outskirts of Paris, and later through his influence Vincent became tutor to the children of Philip de Gondi, Count of Joigny and general of the galleys of France. The countess, a serious-minded woman, was so impressed by Vincent that she eventually chose him as her spiritual director.
In 1617, while the family was at its country seat at Folleville, in the diocese of Amiens, Vincent was sent for to hear the confession of a peasant who lay dangerously ill. In the course of his questioning, Vincent learned that every one of the peasant's previous confessions had been sacrilegious. On his recovery the man declared, in the presence of the countess, that he would have been eternally lost if he had not spoken with Vincent. Unlike the majority of noble women of this period, who felt no responsibility for their dependents, this good lady was concerned about the spiritual welfare of her tenantry. She persuaded Vincent to preach in the parish church of Folleville and instruct the people. Such crowds came to confess that he called the Jesuits of Amiens to his aid. The Congregation of the Mission had its inception at this time.
Vincent left the household of the count that same year to become pastor of the parish of Chatillon-les-Dombes, which had long been neglected, its church virtually abandoned to the elements. By restoring the church, by instituting the habit of regular worship, he created a new spirit which helped to regenerate the whole district. He converted the notorious count of Rougemont and many other aristocrats from their dissolute lives. Seeing how effective Vincent's labors were, the countess now offered him a large sum of money to found a perpetual mission in whatever place and manner he thought fit. Nothing at first came of the idea, for Vincent seemed reluctant to undertake so important an enterprise. Meanwhile the countess secured her husband's help in organizing a company of zealous missionaries to work among their own vassals and the peasants of the countryside. They also discussed the plan for a perpetual mission with the count's brother, Jean Francois de Gondi, archbishop of Paris, who gave them the College des Bons Enfants as a reception house for the proposed new community.
The countess had obtained from Vincent a promise to continue as her spiritual director while she lived and to assist her at the end. She was in failing health and died in the summer of 1625, whereupon Vincent went to Paris to establish himself at the College des Bons Enfants. Now, at the age of forty-nine, he was free to assume the position of director. He drew up rules and constitutions for the house, and these were approved by Pope Urban VIII in 1632. In that year they were given the priory of St. Lazare, henceforth the chief house of the congregation. The Fathers of the Mission thus came to be called Lazarists, although they are more generally known as Vincentians. The Congregation consisted then, as it still does, of priests and laymen who, after a period of probation, take four simple vows, poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability. They live from a common fund and devote themselves to sanctifying their own spirits and to converting sinners. They are employed in missions, especially to country people, teaching the Catechism, preaching, reconciling differences, and performing charitable deeds. Some of them conduct seminaries. Their institutions now flourish in all parts of the world. Vincent lived to see twenty-five more communities founded in France, northern Italy, Poland, and elsewhere.
Extensive and rewarding as this work was, it did not satisfy Vincent's passion for helping suffering people. He started con fraternities to seek out and care for the sick in every parish. From these groups, under the leadership of Louise de Marillac, sprang the Sisters of Charity, "whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister the streets of the city and wards of the hospitals." Vincent persuaded a number of noble and wealthy Parisian women, who had hitherto never given a thought to the misery of others, to band together as Ladies of Charity, to collect funds and assist in many practical ways. He made plans for the founding of several hospitals to serve the needy sick, foundlings, and the aged. At Marseilles a home was opened for exhausted galley-slaves. It was the custom at this time in France to punish criminals by condemning them to service in the war galleys of the state. Under the lash and chained to their benches, they performed the cruelly hard labor of rowing these cumbersome vessels with their many-tiered banks of oars. After a few years the prisoners were broken and useless; now for the first time they had a hospital and various other forms of aid.
For men about to take Holy Orders, Vincent devised a set of spiritual exercises, and special exercises also for those desiring to make general Confession, or to settle on a vocation. He conferred frequently with the clergy on the correction of the shocking slackness, ignorance, and abuses that were all around them. To the Biblical injunction, "Thou art thy brother's keeper," he gave new practical meaning, by laying down patterns of philanthropy that have been followed ever since. To the worldly society of seventeenth-century Paris he presented a much-needed example of selfless charity.
The great political and religious conflict known as the Thirty Years War was now raging. Vincent, on hearing of the wretchedness of the people of Lorraine, collected alms for them in Paris. He sent missionaries to other countries affected by the war. Recalling his own sorrows as a slave in Tunisia, he raised enough money to ransom some twelve hundred Christian slaves in Africa. He had influence with the powerful Cardinals Richelieu and De Retz, directors of French foreign policy; and was sent for by King Louis XIII, to minister to him as he lay dying. The king's widow, Anne of Austria, now Queen Regent, had him made a member of the Council of Conscience of the five-year-old prince, the future Louis XIV. Vincent continued to be in favor at court, and during the civil war of the Fronde, tried to persuade the Queen Regent to give up her unpopular minister, Cardinal Mazarin, to help pacify and unify the people.
Thus, although he had no advantages of birth, fortune, or handsome appearance, or any showy gifts at all, Vincent de Paul's later years became one long record of accomplishment. In the midst of great affairs, his soul never strayed from God; always when he heard the clock strike, he made the sign of the cross as an act of divine love. Under setbacks, calumnies, and frustrations, and there were many, he preserved his serenity of mind. He looked on all events as manifestations of the Divine will, to which he was perfectly resigned. Yet by nature, he once wrote of himself, he was "of a bilious temperament and very subject to anger." Without divine grace, he declared, he would have been "in temper hard and repellent, rough and crabbed." With grace, he became tenderhearted to the point of looking on the troubles of all mankind as his own. His tranquillity seemed to lift him above petty disturbances. Self-denial, humility, and an earnest spirit of prayer were the means by which he attained to this degree of perfection. Once when two men of exceptional learning and ability asked to be admitted to his congregation, Vincent courteously refused them, saying: "Your abilities raise you above our low state. Your talents may be of good service in some other place. As for us, our highest ambition is to instruct the ignorant, to bring sinners to a spirit of penitence, and to plant the Gospel spirit of charity, humility, and simplicity in the hearts of all Christians." One of his rules was that, so far as possible, a man ought not to speak of himself or his own concerns, since such discourse usually proceeds from and strengthens pride and self-love.
Vincent was deeply concerned at the rise and spread of the Jansenist heresy. He protested hotly against a view of God that seemed to limit His mercy, and no priest teaching that error could remain in his congregation. "I have made the doctrine of grace the subject of my prayer for three months," he said, "and every day God has confirmed my faith that our Lord died for us all and that He desires to save the whole world."
As the end of his long life drew near, Vincent endured much suffering. On September 27, 1660, he received the Last Sacraments, and died calmly in his chair, being then eighty-five years old. He was buried in the church of St. Lazare, Paris. In 1729 he was beatified by Benedict XIII, and canonized by Clement XII in 1737. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed him patron of all charitable societies. His emblem is, most appropriately, children.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/V/stvincentdepaul.asp

Catholic Distance University : Accredited Studies from Home - Solidly Catholic - SHARE


CDU opened its doors to students in 1983. Thirty years later, the school has grown into an accredited Catholic university with full and part-time students from all 50 states and 60 countries - studying graduate and undergraduate theology and pursuing continuing education courses, seminars, and certificates for adult faith formation. Our faculty include world-renowned theologians and Scripture scholars. (CDU About)
Special to JCE by President Dr. Mount: 
A former west Texas farmer named Davin Winger not only earned his MA in Theology online at Catholic Distance University but, as an Evangelical Protestant, found the Catholic Church online. A Catholic priest connected with him and became a spiritual guide in Davin’s journey of conversion. Davin is now a candidate for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Amarillo.

Today he is enrolled in an online PhD program, and through his online educational accomplishments he has changed careers from farming to college professor. Davin publishes an online newsletter called Mary Mail and until just recently would rise early every morning to perform his part-time duties helping to manage the online Student Life Center at Catholic Distance University. As Davin notes, “There is no Catholic institution of higher education within 200 miles of my home. Without CDU, I could not have pursued my dream of an accredited theological degree.”
Although access to Catholic theological education is an immeasurable benefit of online programs, there is more to the story. Along with a challenging curriculum taught by well-qualified faculty who are passionate about their faith, CDU strives to offer a unique “Catholic” online experience that reflects the sound pedagogy of distance education research and a Catholic learning community that fosters communion in an atmosphere of welcome, openness, dialogue, and mutual support through our Student Life Center. Secular culture is about the individual. The Church is about belonging to a community. Pope Francis speaks of this as neighborliness: “Those who communicate in effect become neighbors…The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people.”
Hospitality online begins with introductions. In the online world, introductions are even more important than in a classroom because of the diminished human presence. I learn about each classmate’s geographical location, family, work, hobbies, volunteerism, and aspirations. Even before classes begin, in the Student Life Center I meet other students in my program who gather digitally in our cohort “space” in the online campus, pray with them in the online Chapel, engage in general conversation in the Café, and upload a photo of myself and my family.  In traditional classes, where I can see all of my classmates, I may never formally meet most of them and learn little about them personally.
Although research in adult learning consistently reveals higher learning outcomes in online programs, most online programs still try to replicate the classroom as though it were the ideal. Some online programs use videos of professors teaching in front of a class. I like to highlight the differences and point out their advantages such as greater diversity, more thoughtful elaboration of ideas, more time for reflection, and dependence on written communication. These are the basic components of critical thinking that lead to deep and transformative learning, especially when engaging with content rich in the living word of God.
Online learning is naturally contemplative to a Catholic student working in solitude. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI speaks about silence in his 2012 World Communications Day Message, “In silence we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves…by remaining silent, we allow the other person to speak…in this way space is created for mutual listening, and deeper human relationships become possible.”
Time changes when we study online. The asynchronous model of being able to log on within a week’s time at the student’s convenience—early morning or late at night—allows the learner to work at peak time rather than learn synchronously in a traditional class where students and faculty must convene at the same time. For working adults, this usually means attending class at night after working all day while nibbling on granola bars for dinner.  
Online discussions are usually richer and more thoughtful. Everyone is required to contribute to the online discussion. Unlike the traditional class, where extroverts generally dominate, each student in an online class posts a response after reflecting. There is time to prayerfully consider other viewpoints as well as the comments of the instructor. Best of all, this is done in the comfort and relaxed atmosphere of home.
The relationship with faculty is different in an online setting. Although initially it may seem harder to “read” the personality of one’s professor, having a professor only a click away with a promise of a quick and thoughtful response more than makes up for meeting face to face once a week. In addition to getting my own questions answered, I am able to read the responses to questions that other students pose, which provides even more information.   
Using written language to communicate adds richness, depth, and permanence to human dialogue despite the loss of body cues in normal conversation. It requires more work, but it opens up the potential for deeper understanding. St. John Paul II in Gift and Mystery writes, “The Polish language opened up completely new horizons for me; it introduced me to the mystery of language…ultimately, the mystery of language brings us back to the inscrutable mystery of God himself.”
As media choices grow richer and mobile devices become the gateway to education as well as communication, more hybrid models of learning will embrace both face-to-face and online opportunities. These models will better serve each learner’s pedagogical needs and ultimately enrich the fullness of the human encounter that remains at the heart of the learning experience.
Marianne Evans Mount, Ph.D.
Connect with CDU120 East Colonial Highway Hamilton, Virginia 20158-9012
540-338-2700 | Toll Free 1-888-254-4CDU | Fax 540-338-4788



ISIS bombs Iraq's Oldest Church in Tikrit - Please PRAY

 
El-Balad: ISIS affiliated elements bombed the Iraq’s Green Church, in the middle of Tikrit, about 170 kilometers north of Baghdad, using IEDs, said a Saladin governorate security source.
“ ISIS fighters implanted IEDs inside the green church in the presidential palaces district, leaving it totally devastated,” he said, Thursday, at a press conference..
The church is regarded as one of the oldest Christian houses of worship in the Middle East.
“ The former regime restored the church in 2000. The Saladin governorate made a petition to have it included on the world heritage list,” added the source who asked to remain anonymous.Shared from el-balad.com
Edited from RomeReport: The church was a historical monument that was built 700 years after Christ. The militants are scorching the Christian roots of the Middle East.

At the same time, the constant stream of refugees continues to grow and the humanitarian crisis is multiplying. 

Turkey is now receiving thousands of displaced people. The country opened its borders to allow more than 130,000 refugees escaping the violence. 
Recently, the Islamic State has taken over more than 60 cities in northern Syria, close to the Turkish border. 

Pope Francis tries to catch a Baseball thrown at him - Video has gone VIRAL - SHARE

 Pope Francis was thrown a baseball hat the end of the General Audience in St. Peter's Square  on September 24, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.   Everyone present, especially his bodyguards, was smiling as the Pope agreed to try to catch the baseball. However, the ball slipped from his hands. The Pope signed the baseball and gave it back to its owner. A member of the Koeppel family from St. Edward’s Church in Palm Beach, Florida, threw the ball in the hope of raising money for their parish. (Image SHARE: Google Images/ABC)
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