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Monday, November 17, 2014

Catholic News World : Monday November 17, 2014 - Share!

2014

Wow Sainsbury Ad touches your heart with the Peace of Christmas....Viral Video reaches 8 million - SHARE!

100 years ago, on Christmas Eve 1914, unofficial truces spread across the front lines  of World War One. Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, this ad commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day, 1914, when the guns fell silent and two armies met in no-man’s land, sharing gifts – and even playing football together. The chocolate bar featured in the ad is on sale now at Sainsbury’s. All profits (50p per bar) will go to The Royal British Legion and will benefit our armed forces and their families, past and present. This commercial shows how soldiers slowly abandoned their trenches and exchange greetings with their enemies. The video was published to YouTube on and has over 8 million views. The second Video explains the true story...
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Pope Francis "...never, never, never move away from this Church" #Vatican Homily

Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
17/11/2014 02:
(Vatican Radio) The temptation that Christians face to be with Jesus without being with the poor and marginalized: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.The Holy Father said that the temptation to ignore Christ when he appears to us in the poor and afflicted is one that faces the Church in every age. Pope Francis offered his reflections following the Gospel reading of the day, which recounted the episode of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the blind man on the road to Jericho – a type of figure prominent in the Gospel according to St Luke (18:35-43), from which the reading was taken. The blind man was a no-account in the eyes of the world, a man who, “desired only salvation,” who so greatly, “desired to be cured,” of his affliction that he shouted and shouted, until the wall of indifference collapsed and he was able to knock, “on the door of the Lord’s heart.” The circle of disciples wanted only to quiet him, to keep him from disturbing the Lord:
“This [person on the margins] could not reach the Lord, because this clique – with a the best of intentions, mind you – closed the door.  This happens frequently, among us believers: when we have found the Lord, without our noticing it, we create this sort of ecclesiastical micro-climate . Not only the priests, the bishops, but the faithful, as well: ‘We’re the ones who are with the Lord,’ [we say to ourselves], though for all our looking on Him, we fail to see His needs. We do not look to the Lord who is hungry, who is thirsty, who is in prison, who is in hospital – to the Lord, who is in the marginalized – and being [so closed off, so sealed up], does great harm.”
Pope Francis went on to describe a second type of Christian – of whom there are a few – the kind of follower of Christ, who feels especially chosen. Such as these say and think things like, “Now we are the elect, we are with the Lord,”  said Pope Francis, adding that they therefore want to keep “this little world” to and for themselves – to keep it away from anyone – even little children – who might “disturb the Lord,” and saying that such as these, “have abandoned their first love.”:
“When in the Church, the faithful, ministers, become a group like this ... not ‘ecclesial’, but ‘ecclesiastical’, [enjoyng] the privilege of closeness to the Lord, they are tempted to forget their first love – a love so beautiful – one we all had when the Lord has called us, saved us, told us: ‘But I love you so much.’ This is a temptation all disciples have: to forget our first love, that is, to forget the [rough neighborhoods], where [we all came from], even though [we are now] ashamed of it.”
Then the Holy Father described the third group on the scene: the “simple folk” – the ones who praise God for the healing of the blind man. “How many times,” he asked, “do we find simple people, how many old ladies who can barely walk,” but who make the trip, “to pray at a one of Our Lady’s shrines.” He went on to say that such as these, “do not ask for privileges, but only for grace.” Such as these, he continued, are “the faithful people” who know how to “waste time with the Lord,” and, “to follow the Lord, without asking special privileges,” and who, above all else, remember the “Church on the margins,” comprised of children, of the sick, of the imprisoned:
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace that all of us who have received the grace of being called, never, never, never move away from this Church. Let us never enter into this micro-climate of the privileged ecclesiastical disciples, who turn away from the Church of God, which is suffering, asking for salvation, which calls for faith, which begs to hear God's Word. Let us ask the grace to be faithful to God, without asking the Lord for privileges, which separate us from God's people.”

Pope Francis "the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live..." Full Text

Pope Francis - AFP
17/11/2014 12:53

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the Bishops of Zambia on Monday who are in Rome on their Ad Limina Visit. In his prepared remarks to the group the Pope spoke about the importance of the family and the need to reach out to the poorest and most afflicted and in society. He also spoke to the Bishops about encouraging young people to play an active role in the life of the the Church.Please find below the Pope's English language remarks to the Bishops of Zambia
Dear Brother Bishops,
I welcome you to the City of the Apostles, where you have come as shepherd pilgrims ad Limina Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, and I thank Archbishop Mpundu for his gracious words on behalf of all the bishops, priests and people of your country.  As Christ our light and our life draws us together as brothers in the Church, may he deepen the ties between the Successor of Peter and the Bishops of Zambia.  This time in Rome offers you a fresh opportunity to reflect on the many ways in which the Lord’s flock entrusted to you has been growing in Africa.  Pray in these days to discern the way ahead in solidarity and fraternity, towards the plentiful harvest (Jn 10:2) to which the Holy Spirit is leading you.
Looking back to the beginnings of the Church in Zambia, it is well known that the rich deposit of faith brought by missionary religious from lands overflowing with growth prompted your forebears to respond with their own works of charity, whose effects are felt throughout your country today.  Preparing for generations unborn, these spiritual leaders actively planted the word which the Holy Spirit had proposed to them (cf. 1 Cor 3:6).  Despite the sometimes painful meeting of ancient ways with the new hope that Christ the Lord brings to all cultures, the word of faith took deep root, multiplying a hundredfold, and a new Zambian society transformed by Christian values emerged. It is at once evident how plentiful the spiritual harvest in your vast land already is – blessed with Catholic-run clinics, hospitals and schools, many parishes alive and growing across Zambia, a wide diversity of lay ministries, and substantial numbers of vocations to the priesthood.  With the whole Church, we can give thanks to God for what he has already accomplished in the people entrusted to your care.
In our own days, Zambians continue to seek a happy and fulfilling future in the Church and in society, despite great challenges  which militate against stability in social and ecclesial life, in particular for families.  When family life is endangered, then the life of faith is also put at risk.  As you yourselves have recounted, many – especially the poor in their struggle for survival – are led astray by empty promises in false teachings that seem to offer quick relief in times of desperation.  
In regard to these difficulties, I am convinced that “the weakening of [family] bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66).  Be solicitous whether in or out of season, by supporting this “sanctuary of life” (Africae Munus, 42) which is the family, for it is here that the Church’s well-being in Zambia must grow and be fostered.
I ask you, with your priests, to form strong Christian families, who – by your catechizing – will know, understand and love the truths of the faith more deeply, and thus be protected from those currents which may tempt them to fall away.  Affirm Catholic couples in their desire for fidelity in conjugal life and in their yearning to provide a stable spiritual home for their children, helping them to nurture the life of virtue in the family.  By so doing, your authentic teaching of the doctrines of the faith will touch the daily life of Zambian households.
I urge you to be close to your young people as they seek to establish and articulate their identity in a disorienting age.  Help them to find their purpose in the challenge and joy of co-creation with God that is the vocation to married life, fulfilled in the blessing of children; or indeed in the celibate vocations to the sacred priesthood or religious life, which the Church has been given for the salvation of souls.  Encourage young Catholics by living lives of virtue to experience the liberating gift of chastity as adults.  I pray that you will foster ever greater cooperation with Zambia’s networks of active Catholic youth, who can in turn lead many others into the Church’s family. 
In a special way invite those who have grown lukewarm and feel lost to return to the full practice of the faith.  As pastors of the flock, do not forget to seek out the weakest members of Zambian society, among whom are the materially poor and those afflicted with AIDS; for “the great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith” (Evangelii Gaudium, 200).
Despite all that the Church in Zambia faces, it is a time not to be discouraged but rather to offer the true freedom which only the Lord can give, sustained by the sacraments.  I encourage you to remain sensitive as shepherds to the spiritual and human needs of your closest coworkers: never tire of being kind and firm fathers to your priests, helping them resist materialism and the standards of the world, while recognizing their just needs.  Continue also to promote the treasure of religious life in your Dioceses, so that outstanding examples may be brought forth of Zambian men and women seeking to love the Lord with undivided hearts.
In this challenging time after the death of President Sata, I invite you to continue working with your political leaders for the common good, deepening your prophetic witness in defence of the poor in order to uplift the lives of the weak (cf. Pastoral Statement of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, “Act Justly and Walk Humbly with Your God”, 27 January 2013).
In all things, cooperate with the graces of the Holy Spirit, in unity of belief and purpose.  In union with priests, deacons, religious, catechists and lay leaders, irrigate with your corporal and spiritual works of mercy the vineyard of the Lord which stretches across Zambia like the great Zambezi River.  
The Church’s mission to evangelize never ends: “it is imperative to evangelize cultures in order to inculturate the Gospel... Each culture and social group needs purification and growth” (Evangelii Gaudium, 69).  Then the People of God in Zambia will receive the gift of the Gospel from you with fresh vigour, as you offer them Christ’s joy and mercy anew.  May their lives conform ever more deeply to the pattern of the Gospel; then the Lord’s Kingdom of peace will spread and grow in your beloved nation.
The Lord of the harvest is preparing to send the rains he promises in due season (Lev 26:4); for you are cultivating his fields until he returns at harvest time (Mt 13:30).  Until then, knowing well how much your work demands personal sacrifice, patience and love, draw on the faith and sacrifice of the Apostles to whose threshold you have come, in order to return strengthened to the Church in Zambia.
Dear Brothers, trusting in the saving grace of Almighty God, and commending you – along with all priests, religious and lay faithful in your Dioceses – to the intercession of Mary “Mother of the Church which evangelizes” (Evangelii Gaudium, 284), I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Risen Lord.

Pope Francis "Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother..." Full Text on Marriage

(Vatican Radio) On Monday, Pope Francis addressed a Colloquium being held on the theme “The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” The Holy Father began his address by dwelling on the word “complementarity”: “a precious word, with multiple meanings.” Although complementarity can refer “situations where one of two things adds to, completes, or fulfills a lack in the other” it also means much more than that. Christians, he said, “find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body's members work together for the good of the whole-everyone's gifts can work together for the benefit of each.” Complementarity, the Pope said, “is at the root of marriage and family.” Although there are tensions in families, the family also provides the framework in which those tensions can be resolved.” He said that complementarity should not be confused with a simplistic notion that “all the roles and relations of the sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern.” Rather, “complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children.” Pope Francis stated frankly, “In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis.”
The “culture of the temporary” has led many people to give up on marriage as a public commitment. “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.” The Pope said that the crisis in the family has produced a crisis “of human ecology,” similar to the crisis that affects the natural environment. “Although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it.” To do that, the Pope said, “It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods.” He noted that the family is the foundation of society, and that children have the right to grow up in a family with a mother and a father “capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity.”
He also called on participants in the Colloquium “to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity, and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart.” This is especially important for young people “who represent our future.” Finally, Pope Francis said the family is not an ideological concept, but an “anthropological fact.” That is, the family is not a “conservative” or a “progressive” notion, but is a reality that transcends ideological labels. Pope Francis concluded his address with the hope that the Colloquium would be “an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies.”
Below, please find the complete text of the Pope’s address:
Dear sisters and brothers, I warmly greet you. I thank Cardinal Muller for his words with which he introduced our meeting. I would like to begin by sharing with you a reflection on the title of your colloquium. “Complementarity”: it is a precious word, with multiple meanings. It can refers to situations where one of two things adds to, completes, or fulfills a lack in the other. But complementarity is much more than that. Christians find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body's members work together for the good of the whole-everyone's gifts can work together for the benefit of each (cf. 1 Cor. 12). To reflect upon "complementarity" is nothing less than to ponder the dynamic harmonies at the heart of all Creation. This is the key word, harmony. All complementarities were made by our Creator, because the Holy Spirit, who is the Author of harmony, achieves this harmony. It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman. This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together. For most of us, the family provides the principal place where we can begin to “breathe” values and ideals, as well to realize our full capacity for virtue and charity.
At the same time, as we know, families are places of tensions: between egoism and altruism, reason and passion, immediate desires and long-range goals. But families also provide frameworks for resolving such tensions. This is important. When we speak of complementarity between man and woman in this context, let us not confuse that term with the simplistic idea that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern. Complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children -- his or her personal richness, personal charisma. Complementarity becomes a great wealth. It is not just a good thing but it is also beautiful. In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment.
This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis. The crisis in the family has produced crisis of human ecology, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it. It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is "indispensable"; that it "transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple" (n. 66). And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium's emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.
 In these days, as you embark on a reflection on the beauty of complementarity between man and woman in marriage, I urge you to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity, and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart.
 Let us bear in mind especially the young people, who represent our future. It is important that they do not give themselves over to the poisonous mentality of the temporary, but rather be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern: this must be done. With regard to this I want to say one thing: Let us not fall into the trap of being qualified by ideological concepts. Family is an anthropological fact - a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it with concepts of an ideological nature, that are relevant only in a single moment of history, and then pass by. We can't speak today of a conservative notion of family or a progressive notion of family: Family is family! It can't be qualified by ideological notions. Family has a strength of its own [per se]. May this colloquium be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies. I wish to confirm that, God willing, in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families. I thank you for the prayers with which you accompany my service to the Church. And I pray for you, and I bless you from the heart. Thank you very much!

Prayers to St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Patron of Widows, Poor and Brides - Litany


Dear Saint Elizabeth, you were always poor in spirit, most generous toward the poor, faithful to your husband, and fully consecrated to your Divine Bridegroom. Grant your help to widows and keep them faithful to their heavenly Lord. Teach them how to cope with their loss and to make use of their time in the service of God. Amen.

 
Prayer of Widows and Widowers
Lord Jesus Christ, during your earthly life You showed compassion on those who had lost a loved one. Turn your compassionate eyes on me in my sorrow
over the loss of my life's partner. Take him/her into your heavenly kingdom as a reward for his/her earthly service.
Help me to cope with my loss by relying on You even more than before.
Teach me to adapt to the new conditions of my life and to continue doing
your will as I see it. Enable me to avoid withdrawing from life
and make me give myself to others more readily, so that I may continue to live in your grace and to do the tasks that You have laid out for me. Amen.

Litany of St. Elizabeth of Hungary  Protector, Third Order Franciscan
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us. O Christ, graciously hear us.
O God the Father, of heaven: have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: O God, the Holy Ghost:
O Holy Trinity, one God: have mercy upon us.
Holy Mary: Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin: Mother and Mistress of our Order: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mother in Israel: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, queen in the Kingdom of God: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, consoler of sinners: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, nurse of lepers: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, devoted wife of Louis the Good: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, famous exemplar of Christian widowhood: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, fervent spouse of the Son of God: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, humble in prosperity: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, patient in adversity: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mighty in penance: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, wondrous in prayer: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, first-born of the tertiaries regular: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, protectress of our Order: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, the "dear saint" of Holy Church: Pray for us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Elizabeth. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia.
Let us pray: Merciful Lord, we pray Thee to pour the bright beams of Thy grace into our hearts: that, by the glorious prayers of Thy Saint Elizabeth, we may learn to despise all worldly prosperity, and ever to rejoice in all Heavenly consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings : Monday November 17, 2014


Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Lectionary: 497


Reading 1RV 1:1-4; 2:1-5

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”

Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (Rev. 2:17) Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.

Gospel LK 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Saint November 17 : St. Elizabeth of Hungary : Patron of Brides, Nurses, Homeless, Bakers


St. Elizabeth of Hungary
PRINCESS OF HUNGARY
Feast: November 17
Information:
Feast Day:
November 17
Born:
1207 at Presburg, Hungary
Died:
17 November 1231, Marburg, Germany
Canonized:
1235, Perugia, Italy
Major Shrine:
Elisabeth Church (Marburg)
Patron of:
hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides, countesses, dying children, exiles, homeless people, lacemakers, tertiaries and widows

Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, born in Hungary, probably at Pressburg, 1207; died at Marburg, Hesse, 17 November (not 19 November), 1231. She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth's brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece. In 1211 a formal embassy was sent by Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia to Hungary to arrange, as was customary in that age, a marriage between his eldest son Hermann and Elizabeth, who was then four years old. This plan of a marriage was the result of political considerations and was intended to be the ratification of a great alliance which in the political schemes of the time it was sought to form against the German Emperor Otto IV, a member of the house of Guelph, who had quarrelled with the Church. Not long after this the little girl was taken to the Thuringian court to be brought up with her future husband and, in the course of time, to be betrothed to him. The court of Thuringia was at this period famous for its magnificence. Its centre was the stately castle of the Wartburg, splendidly placed on a hill in the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, where the Landgrave Hermann lived surrounded by poets and minnesingers, to whom he was a generous patron. Notwithstanding the turbulence and purely secular life of the court and the pomp of her surroundings, the little girl grew up a very religious child with an evident inclination to prayer and pious observances and small acts of self-mortification. These religious impulses were undoubtedly strengthened by the sorrowful experiences of her life. In 1213 Elizabeth's mother, Gertrude, was murdered by Hungarian nobles, probably out of hatred of the Germans. On 31 December, 1216, the oldest son of the landgrave, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died; after this she was betrothed to Ludwig, the second son. It was probably in these years that Elizabeth had to suffer the hostility of the more frivolous members of the Thuringian court, to whom the contemplative and pious child was a constant rebuke. Ludwig, however, must have soon come to her protection against any ill-treatment. The legend that arose later is incorrect in making Elizabeth's mother-in-law, the Landgravine Sophia, a member of the reigning family of Bavaria, the leader of this court party. On the contrary, Sophia was a very religious and charitable woman and a kindly mother to the little Elizabeth. The political plans of the old Landgrave Hermann involved him in great difficulties and reverses; he was excommunicated, lost his mind towards the end of his life, and died, 25 April, 1217, unreconciled with the Church. He was succeeded by his son Ludwig IV, who, in 1221, was also made regent of Meissen and the East Mark. The same year (1221) Ludwig and Elizabeth were married, the groom being twenty-one years old and the bride fourteen. The marriage was in every regard a happy and exemplary one, and the couple were devotedly attached to each other. Ludwig proved himself worthy of his wife. He gave his protection to her acts of charity, penance, and her vigils and often held Elizabeth's hands as she knelt praying at night beside his bed. He was also a capable ruler and brave soldier. The Germans call him St. Ludwig, an appellation given to him as one of the best men of his age and the pious husband of St. Elizabeth. They had three children: Hermann II (1222-41), who died young; Sophia (1224-84), who married Henry II, Duke of Brabant, and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse, as in the war of the Thuringian succession she won Hesse for her son Heinrich I, called the Child; Gertrude (1227-97), Elizabeth's third child, was born several weeks after the death of her father; in after-life she became abbess of the convent of Aldenburg near Wetzlar.
Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Ludwig made a journey to Hungary; Ludwig was often after this employed by the Emperor Frederick II, to whom he was much attached, in the affairs of the empire. In the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and the pest wrought havoc in Thuringia, Ludwig was in Italy attending the Diet at Cremona on behalf of the emperor and the empire. Under these circumstances Elizabeth assumed control of affairs, distributed alms in all parts of the territory of her husband, giving even state robes and ornaments to the poor. In order to care personally for the unfortunate she built below the Wartburg a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to their wants; at the same time she aided nine hundred poor daily. It is this period of her life that has preserved Elizabeth's fame to posterity as the gentle and charitable Cheatelaine of the Wartburg. Ludwig on his return confirmed all she had done. The next year (1227) he started with the Emperor Frederick II on a crusade to Palestine but died, 11 September of the same year at Otranto, from the pest. The news did not reach Elizabeth until October, just after she had given birth to her third child. On hearing the tidings Elizabeth, who was only twenty years old, cried out: "The world with all its joys is now dead to me."
The fact that in 1221 the followers of St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) made their first permanent settlement in Germany was one of great importance in the later career of Elizabeth. Brother Rodeger, one of the first Germans whom the provincial for Germany, Caesarius of Speier, received into the order, was for a time the spiritual instructor of Elizabeth at the Wartburg; in his teachings he unfolded to her the ideals of St. Francis, and these strongly appealed to her. With the aid of Elizabeth the Franciscans in 1225 founded a monastery in Eisenach; Brother Rodeger, as his fellow-companion in the order, Jordanus, reports, instructed Elizabeth, to observe, according to her state of life, chastity, humility, patience, the exercise of prayer, and charity. Her position prevented the attainment of the other ideal of St. Francis, voluntary and complete poverty. Various remarks of Elizabeth to her female attendants make it clear how ardently she desired the life of poverty. After a while the post Brother Rodeger had filled was assumed by Master Conrad of Marburg, who belonged to no order, but was a very ascetic and, it must be acknowledged, a somewhat rough and very severe man. He was well known as a preacher of the crusade and also as an inquisitor or judge in cases of heresy. On account of the latter activity he has been more severely judged than is just; at the present day, however, the estimate of him is a fairer one. Pope Gregory IX, who wrote at times to Elizabeth, recommended her himself to the God-fearing preacher. Conrad treated Elizabeth with inexorable severity, even using corporal means of correction; nevertheless, he brought her with a firm hand by the road of self-mortification to sanctity, and after her death was very active in her canonization. Although he forbade her to follow St. Francis in complete poverty as a beggar, yet, on the other hand, by the command to keep her dower she was enabled to perform works of charity and tenderness.
Up to 1888 it was believed, on account of the testimony of one of Elizabeth's servants in the process of canonization, that Elizabeth was driven from the Wartburg in the winter of 1227 by her brother-in-law, Heinrich Raspe, who acted as regent for her son, then only five years old. About 1888 various investigators (Börner, Mielke, Wenck, E. Michael, etc.) asserted that Elizabeth left the Wartburg voluntarily, the only compulsion being a moral one. She was not able at the castle to follow Conrad's command to eat only food obtained in a way that was certainly right and proper. Lately, however, Huyskens (1907) tried to prove that Elizabeth was driven from the castle at Marburg in Hesse, which was hers by dower right. Consequently, the Te Deum that she directed the Franciscans to sing on the night of her expulsion would have been sung in the Franciscan monastery at Marburg. Accompanied by two female attendants, Elizabeth left the castle that stands on a height commanding Marburg. The next day her children were brought to her, but they were soon taken elsewhere to be cared for. Elizabeth's aunt, Matilda, Abbess of the Benedictine nunnery of Kitzingen near Würzburg, took charge of the unfortunate landgravine and sent her to her uncle Eckbert, Bishop of Bamberg. The bishop, however, was intent on arranging another marriage for her, although during the lifetime of her husband Elizabeth had made a vow of continence in case of his death; the same vow had also been taken by her attendants. While Elizabeth was maintaining her position against her uncle the remains of her husband were brought to Bamberg by his faithful followers who had carried them from Italy. Weeping bitterly, she buried the body in the family vault of the landgraves of Thuringia in the monastery of Reinhardsbrunn. With the aid of Conrad she now received the value of her dower in money, namely two thousand marks; of this sum she divided five hundred marks in one day among the poor. On Good Friday, 1228, in the Franciscan house at Eisenach Elizabeth formally renounced the world; then going to Master Conrad at Marburg, she and her maids received from him the dress of the Third Order of St. Francis, thus being among the first tertiaries of Germany. In the summer of 1228 she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and on its completion devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially to those afflicted with the most loathsome diseases. Conrad of Marburg still imposed many self-mortifications and spiritual renunciations, while at the same time he even took from Elizabeth her devoted domestics. Constant in her devotion to God, Elizabeth's strength was consumed by her charitable labours, and she passed away at the age of twenty-four, a time when life to most human beings is just opening.
Very soon after the death of Elizabeth miracles began to be worked at her grave in the church of the hospital, especially miracles of healing. Master Conrad showed great zeal in advancing the process of canonization. By papal command three examinations were held of those who had been healed: namely, in August, 1232, January, 1233, and January, 1235. Before the process reached its end, however, Conrad was murdered, 30 July, 1233. But the Teutonic Knights in 1233 founded a house at Marburg, and in November, 1234, Conrad, Landgrave of Thuringia, the brother-in-law of Elizabeth, entered the order. At Pentecost (28 May) of the year 1235, the solemn ceremony of canonization of the "greatest woman of the German Middle Ages" was celebrated by Gregory IX at Perugia, Landgrave Conrad being present. In August of the same year (1235) the corner-stone of the beautiful Gothic church of St. Elizabeth was laid at Marburg; on 1 May, 1236, Emperor Frederick II attended the taking-up of the body of the saint; in 1249 the remains were placed in the choir of the church of St. Elizabeth, which was not consecrated until 1283. Pilgrimages to the grave soon increased to such importance that at times they could be compared to those to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. In 1539 Philip the Magnanimous, Landgrave of Hesse, who had become a Protestant, put an end to the pilgrimages by unjustifiable interference with the church that belonged to the Teutonic Order and by forcibly removing the relics and all that was sacred to Elizabeth. Nevertheless, the entire German people still honour the "dear St. Elizabeth" as she is called; in 1907 a new impulse was given to her veneration in Germany and Austria by the celebration of the seven hundredth anniversary of her birth. St. Elizabeth is generally represented as a princess graciously giving alms to the wretched poor or as holding roses in her lap; in the latter case she is portrayed either alone or as surprised by her husband, who, according to a legend, which is, however, related of other saints as well, met her unexpectedly as she went secretly on an errand of mercy, and, so the story runs, the bread she was trying to conceal was suddenly turned into roses.

Free Catholic Movie : "The Song of Bernadette" Stars Jennifer Jones about Our Lady of Lourdes

The Song of Bernadette (1943) 156 min - Biography | Drama - April 1945 (USA)  The Apparitions occurred in 1858 France. Based on the novel by Franz Werfel, "The Song of Bernadette" is a sympathetic account of the life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a sickly (asthmatic) French peasant girl who claimed to have seen 18 miraculous visions of a "beautiful lady" near her home village of Lourdes in 1858. Bernadette had become so happily excited by her initial vision, which she claimed included her having been instructed by this "beautiful lady" to return each day for 15 days*.
Director: Henry King Writers: George Seaton (screenplay), Franz Werfel (novel) Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe |
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