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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Catholic News World : Sunday January 4, 2015 - Share!

2015


What is Epiphany - 3 Kings visit Jesus - Novena - CMB Blessing - SHARE


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, 
Visit of the Magi to be baby Jesus
The Solemn Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, one of the oldest Christian feats, traditionally occurs on January 6, following the 12 days of Christmas.
Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season for the Western Church and commemorates three important scriptural events.
EpiphanyThese are the visit of the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem following the Nativity of Jesus, the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan and the celebration of Christ's first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana many years later.
Although all three are events that are remembered and celebrated by Christians, it is the three kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, and their arrival from the East bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the infant Christ that are most closely associated with Epiphany in the Western Church.
In the story, so beloved by children and Catholics everywhere, after seeing the brilliant star in the night sky announcing the birth of the Messiah, the three wise men or Magi, followed the star which took them to Bethlehem. There they visited King Herod of Judea seeking information on where to find the new born king. Not having heard of the arrival of the baby Jesus, and fearing the infant would be a threat to his position as king, Herod instructed the three wise men to seek out the location of the Christ-child and return, to let him know where he was, so that Herod could visit and take him gifts as well.
 The Magi found the infant Jesus and paid tribute to the greatest of all Kings as he lay in his crib in a humble stable but they did not return to reveal his whereabouts to Herod. Instead directed by God in a dream, they returned home by another route.
With no information about the whereabouts of the Messiah, Herod proceeded to have his troops slaughter all infants under the age of two to remove the possible threat to his throne. But as we know, the baby Jesus escaped Herod's murderous intentions.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, January 6 is celebrated as the Nativity of Christ and instead of three kings, the Magi are depicted as 12 in number. But for Western Christians, the Magi are only three in number with each representing one of the world's three main races - African, Asian and European.
Until the Magi's arrival all characters in the Christmas story are Jewish but with the arrival of three Kings, we have the first indication that Jesus and his message are universal and that Christ arrived on earth to preach to the whole world.
Although when most people talk about the 12 days of Christmas the English song of a partridge in a pear tree usually springs to mind. But it is the Feast of Epiphany that the 12th day after Christmas that resonates with Christians and is observed across the world.
The earliest reference to Epiphany (from a Greek verb meaning "to manifest") occurred sometime around 354 AD when the Western Church separated the celebration of the Nativity of Christ as the feast of Christmas and reserved January 6 as the commemoration of the manifestation of Christ, especially to the Magi, as well as his baptism and miracle at the wedding feast of Cana which Ammianus Marcellinus St Epiphanius declared in 361 AD occurred on the same date.
On the Feast of the Epiphany priests wear white vestments. In many countries the Feast is extended from one day to eight days in what is known as the Octave of Epiphany which begins on January 6 and ends on January 13.
In countries, such as Australia, where the Feast of the Epiphany is not regarded as a Holy Day of Obligation, the date of Epiphany varies slightly from year to year and is always celebrated on the first Sunday between that falls between January 2 and January 8.
(SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY)
Epiphany means to manifest. Pious customs among Christians have placed the letters 20CMB14 and the year above door posts relating to the blood on the door posts of the Old Testament. CMB means "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" in Latin - May Christ bless this dwelling place. CMB also stand for the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  (Image share from Fr. Trigillio Jr.) 


Novena to the Magi for the Epiphany

DAY 1:
O holy Magi! You were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice; obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 2:
O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews; obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 3:
O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the newborn Messiah; obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us on the way of salvation. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 4:
O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect, from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey; obtain for us grace to have recourse, in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 5:
O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem; obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 6:
O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth, to adore the newborn King of the Jews, though he was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness; obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 7:
O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man; obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands; but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity, the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 8:
O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herd, traveled back to your country be another road; obtain for us from the Lord, the grace that, after having found Him in true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 9:
O holy Magi, who were first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths, obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to our baptismal vows, ever leading to a life of faith; that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


Free RECIPE FOR 3 KINGS http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/01/catholic-recipe-book-3-kings-cake-for.html

Pope Francis : Angelus announcement of 15 New Cardinals - Text/Video

(Vatican Radio) At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the names of fifteen Archbishops and Bishops whom he will raise to the dignity of the Cardinalate on February 14, 2015. In addition, the Holy Father announced that five retired Archbishops and Bishops “distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the Church” would also be made Cardinals. Below, please find the complete text of the Pope’s announcement, with the names of all those set to be elevated to the Cardinalate: “As was already announced, on February 14 next I will have the joy of holding a Concistory, during which I will name 15 new Cardinals who, coming from 14 countries from every continent, manifest the indissoluble links between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world. “On Sunday February 15 I will preside at a solemn concelebration with the new Cardinals, while on February 12 and 13 I will hold a Consistory with all the Cardinals to reflect on the orientations and proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia. “The new Cardinals are:
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Archbishiop Manuel José Macario do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal)
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., of Addis Abeba (Ethiopia)
Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington (New Zealand)
Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo (Italy)
Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Văn Nhon of Hà Nôi (Viêt Nam)
Archbishop Alberto Suàrez Inda of Morelia (Mexico)
Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., of Yangon (Myanmar)
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok (Thailand)
Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento (Italy)
Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., of Montevideo (Uruguay)
Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez Pérez of Vallodolid (Spain)
Bishop José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, O.A.R., of David (Panamá)
Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado, of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Archipelago of Cape Verde)
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga (Island of Tonga)
“Additionally, I will join to the Members of the College of Cardinals five Archbishops and Bishops Emeriti who are distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the Church. They represent so many Bishops who, with the same pastoral solicitude, have given witness of love for Christ and for the people of God in particular Churches, in the Rome Curia, and in the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. “They are: José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Manizales Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, Major Pro-Penitentiary Emeritus Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber, Apostolic Nuncio Luis Héctor Villaba, Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán Júlio Duarte Langa, Bishop Emeritus of Xai-Xai “Let us pray for the new Cardinals, that, renewed in their love for Christ, they might be witnesses of His Gospel in the City of Rome and in the world, and with their pastoral experience they might support me more intensely in my apostolic service.”
(Vatican Radio) Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, head of the Holy See Press Office, has published the following "notes" on the new Cardinals, whose names were announced by Pope Francis at the Angelus on Sunday: With respect to the number of 120 electors, there were 12 places “open” in the College today or in the coming months. 

Fr Lombardi: Note on new Cardinals

The Pope has slightly exceeded this number, but remained very close to it, such that it is substantially respected. The most evident criteria is evidently that of universality. Fourteen different countries are represented, including some that do not currently have a Cardinal, and some that have never had one. If the retired Archbishops and Bishops are counted, eighteen countries are represented. There are no new Cardinals from North America (the USA or Canada) because they already have a significant number, and that number has remained stable during the past year. (There is a new Mexican Cardinal). The presence of countries that have never had a Cardinal (Capo Verde, Tonga, Myanmar) is noteworthy. 
These countries have ecclesial communities that are small or that represent a minority within their country. (The Bishop of Tonga is the President of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific; the Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde is one of the most ancient African Dioceses; the Diocese of Morelia in Mexico is in a region troubled by violence.) The fact that only one of the new Cardinals is from the Roman Curia is also notable, while “Roman” Cardinals remain about a quarter of the electors. It is evident that the Pope intends to consider the posts of Prefects of the Congregations and of some other very important institutions within the Curia – as, in this case, the Tribunal of the Signatura – as Cardinalatial posts. The new nominations confirm that the Pope is not bound to the traditions of the “Cardinalatial Sees” – which were motivated by historical reasons in different countries – in which the Cardinalate was considered almost “automatically” connected to such sees. Instead, we have several nominations of Archbishops and Bishops of sees that in the past have not had a Cardinal. This applies, for example, to Italy, Spain, Mexico, Panama… 
With regard to the retired nominees, the words of the Pope in his brief introduction should be noted: “They represent so many Bishops who, with the same pastoral solicitude” have served as pastors of Dioceses, but also in the Curia and in the diplomatic service. The cardinalatial nominations are intended, then, as a recognition given symbolically to some, but recognizing the merits of all. The youngest of the new Cardinals is Archbishop Tafi of Tonga (b. 1961), who will become the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. The oldest is Archbishop Pimiento Rodriguez, Archbishop emeritus of Manizales (b. 1919).

Free Catholic Movie : The 4th Wise Man - Stars Martin Sheen

The Fourth Wise Man (1985) TV Movie - 72 min -
 Adventure | Drama -
 30 March 1985 (USA) The story of Artaban, the fourth Magi, who spends his life looking for Jesus his King. Writers: Tom Fontana, Henry van Dyke (short story) Stars: Martin Sheen, Alan Arkin, Eileen Brennan |
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3 Kings Cake Recipe for Epiphany - Traditional German Recipe

The Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones in 1887.
A Traditional Cake for Epiphany, German recipe

INGREDIENTS 
 2 Cups and 3 Tablespoons of Flour 
1.4 Ounces of Yeast (Fresh)
1/3 Cup of Sugar
2/4 Cup of Milk
7 Tablespoons of melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Lemon chopped
1/2 teaspoon of Cardamon
2 Eggs (1 Separated)
1/2 Cup of Rum soaked Raisins
1 Cup of dried chopped Fruit

Instructions
In a large mixing bowl pour in 3/4 of the flour leaving a hole in the middle. Mix the yeast with a pinch of sugar and some of the lukewarm milk. Place the yeast mixture in the hole and cover with a towel. Let sit for 1/4 an hour in a warm place. Afterwards, add the butter, salt, lemon, cardamon, eggs, milk and flour to the mixture. Knead dough until smooth.
Once a ball of dough is formed add the remaining raisins and fruit. Knead entire mixture and make a log and divide into four balls.
Place in a greased spring-form pan with a tube. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place. Brush dough with a beaten egg yolk and place in the oven at 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cake before removing from pan.
When cooled frost the cake with 2 Tablespoons of Icing Sugar mixed with 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice. Decorate with candied cherries.
Traditionally, a golden crown is placed on top of the cake.

Sunday Mass Online : January 4, 2015 - Epiphany Feast

The Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20


Reading 1IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

AlleluiaMT 2:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

Feast : Epiphany of the Lord Feast : 3 Kings adore Baby Jesus


Information:
Feast Day:January 6
 (New Calendar: 1st Sunday after New Year's Day)
EPIPHANY, which in the original Greek signifies appearance or manifestation, as St. Austin observes, is a festival principally solemnised in honour of the discovery Jesus Christ made of himself to the Magi, or wise men; who, soon after his birth, by a particular inspiration of Almighty God, came to adore him and bring him presents. Two other manifestations of our Lord are jointly commemorated on this day in the office of the church: that at his baptism, when the Holy Ghost descended on him in the visible form of a dove, and a voice from heaven was heard at the same time: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The third manifestation was that of his divine power at the performance of his first miracle, the changing of water into wine, at the marriage at Cana, "by which he manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him." Upon so many accounts ought this festival to challenge a more than ordinary regard and veneration; but from none more than us Gentiles, who, in the persons of the wise men, our first-fruits and forerunners, were on this day called to the faith and worship of the true God.
The call of the Gentiles had been foretold for many ages before in the clearest terms. David and Isaias abound with predictions of this import; the like is found in the other prophets; but their completion was a mercy reserved for the times of the Messiah. It was to him, who was also the consubstantial Son of God, that the eternal Father had made the promise of all "nations for his inheritance"; who being born the spiritual king of the whole world, for the salvation of "all men," would therefore manifest his coming both to those that "were near, and those that were afar off," that is, both to Jew and Gentile. Upon his birth, angels were dispatched ambassadors to the Jews, in the persons of the poor shepherds, and a star was the divine messenger on this important errand to the Gentiles of the East; conformably to Balaam's prophecy, who foretold the coming of the Messias by that sign.
The summons of the Gentiles to Bethlehem to pay homage to the world's Redeemer was obeyed by several whom the Scripture mentions under the name and title of , or wise men; but is silent as to their number. The general opinion, supported by the authority of St. Leo, Caesarius, Bede, and others, declares for three. However, the number was small, comparatively to those many others that saw that star, no less than the wise men, but paid no regard to this voice of heaven: admiring, no doubt, its uncommon brightness, but culpably ignorant of the divine call it, or hardening their hearts against its salutary impressions, overcome by their passions, and the dictates of self-love. In like manner do Christians, from the same cause, turn a deaf ear to the voice of the divine grace in their souls, and harden their hearts against it in such numbers, that, notwithstanding their call, their graces, and the mysteries wrought in their favour, it is to be feared that even among many "are called, but few are chosen." It was the case with the Jews, "with the most of whom," St. Paul says, "God was not well pleased."
The wise men being come, by the guidance of the star, into Jerusalem, or near it, it there disappears: whereupon they reasonably suppose they are come to their journey's end, and upon the point of being blessed with the sight of the new-born king: that, on their entering the royal city, they shall in every street and corner hear the acclamations of a happy people, and learn with ease the way to the royal palace, made famous to all posterity by the birth of their king and Saviour. But to their great surprise there appears not the least sign of any such solemnity. The court and city go quietly on in seeking their pleasure and profit! and in this unexpected juncture what shall these weary travellers do? Were they governed by human prudence, this disappointment is enough to make them abandon their design, and retreat as privately as they can to screen their reputation, and avoid the raillery of the populace, as well as to prevent the resentment of the most zealous of tyrants, already infamous for blood. But true virtue makes trials the matter and occasion of its most glorious triumphs. Seeming to be forsaken by God, on their being deprived of extraordinary, they have recourse to the ordinary means of information. Steady in the resolution of following the divine call, and fearless of danger, they inquire in the city with equal confidence and humility, and pursue their inquiry in the very court of Herod himself: "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? " And does not their conduct teach us, under all difficulties of the spiritual kind, to have recourse to those God has appointed to be our spiritual guides, for their advice and direction? To "obey and be subject to them," that so God may lead us to himself, as he guided the wise men to Bethlehem by the directions of the priests of the Jewish church.
The whole nation of the Jews, on account of Jacob's and Danial's prophecies, were then in the highest expectation of the Messiah's appearance among them; the place of whose birth having been also foretold, the wise men, by the interposition of Herod's authority, quickly learned, from the unanimous voice of the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, that Bethlehem was the place which was to be honoured with his birth, as having been pointed out by the prophet Micheas several ages before. How sweet and adorable is the conduct of divine providence! He teaches saints his will by the mouths of impious ministers, and furnishes Gentiles with the means of admonishing and confounding the blindness of the Jews. But graces are lost on carnal and hardened souls. Herod had then reigned upwards of thirty years; a monster of cruelty, ambition, craft, and dissimulation; old age and sickness had at that time exasperated his jealous mind in an unusual manner. He dreaded nothing so much as the appearance of the Messiah, whom the generality then expected under the notion of a temporal prince, and whom he could consider in no other light than that of a rival and pretender to his crown; so no wonder that he was startled at the news of his birth. All Jerusalem, likewise, instead of rejoicing at such happy tidings, were alarmed and disturbed together with him. We abhor their baseness; but do not we, at a distance from courts, betray several symptoms of the baneful influence of human respects running counter to our duty? Likewise in Herod we see how extravagantly blind and foolish ambition is. The divine infant came not to deprive Herod of his earthly kingdom, but to offer him one that is eternal; and to teach him a holy contempt of all worldly pomp and grandeur. Again, how senseless and extravagant a folly was it to form designs against those of God himself! who confounds the wisdom of the world, baffles the vain projects of men, and laughs their policy to scorn. Are there no Herods nowadays? Persons who are enemies to the spiritual kingdom of Christ in their hearts ?
The tyrant, to ward off the blow he seemed threatened with, has recourse to his usual arts of craft and dissimulation. He pretends a no less ardent desire of paying homage to the new-born king, and covers his impious design of taking away his life under the specious pretext of going himself in person to adore him. Wherefore, after particular examination about the time when the wise men first saw this star, and a strict charge to come back and inform him where the child was to be found, he dismissed them to the place determined by the chief priests and scribes. Herod was then near his death; but as a man lives, such does he usually die. The near prospect of eternity seldom operates in so salutary a manner on habitual sinners as to produce in them a true and sincere change of heart.
The wise men readily complied with the voice of the Sanhedrim, notwithstanding the little encouragement these Jewish leaders afford them from their own example to persist in their search; for not one single priest or scribe is disposed to bear them company in seeking after, and paying due homage to, their own king. The truths and maxims of religion depend not on the morals of those that preach them; they spring from a higher source—the wisdom and veracity of God himself. When, therefore, a message comes undoubtedly from God, the misdemeanours of him that immediately conveys it to us can be no just plea or excuse for our failing to comply with it. As, on the other side, an exact and ready compliance will then be a better proof of our faith and confidence in God, and so much the more recommend us to his special conduct and protection, as it did the wise men. For no sooner had they left Jerusalem, but, to encourage their faith and zeal, and to direct their travels, God was pleased to show them the star again, which they had seen in the East, and which continued to go before them till it conducted them to the very place where they were to see and adore their God and Saviour. Here its ceasing to advance, and probably sinking lower in the air, tells them in its mute language: "Here shall you find the new-born king." The holy men, with an unshaken and steady faith, and in transports of spiritual joy, entered the poor cottage, rendered more glorious by this birth than the most sumptuous stately palace in the universe, and finding the child with his mother, they prostrate themselves, they adore him, they pour forth their souls in his presence in the deepest sentiments of praise, thanksgiving, and a total sacrifice of themselves. So far from being shocked at the poverty of the place, and at his unkingly appearance, their faith rises and gathers strength on the sight of obstacles which, humanly speaking, should extinguish it. It captivates their understanding; it penetrates these curtains of poverty, infancy, weakness, and abjection; it casts them on their  faces, as unworthy to look up to this star, this God of Jacob; they confess him under this disguise to be the only and eternal God: they own the excess of his goodness in becoming man, and the excess of human misery which requires for its relief so great a humiliation of the Lord of glory. St. Leo thus extols their  faith and devotion: "When a star had conducted them to adore Jesus they did not find him commanding devils, or raising the dead, or restoring sight to the blind, or speech to the dumb, or employed in any divine actions; but a silent babe, under the care of a solicitous mother, giving no sign of power, but exhibiting a miracle of humility."
The Magi, pursuant to the custom of the eastern nations, where the persons of great princes are not to be approached without presents, present to Jesus, as a token of homage, the richest produce their countries afforded, gold, frankincense, and myrrh— gold, as an acknowledgment of his regal power; incense, as a confession of his Godhead; and myrrh, as a testimony that he was become man for the redemption of the world.
The holy kings being about to return home, God, who saw the hypocrisy and malicious designs of Herod, by a particular intimation diverted them from their purpose of carrying back word to Jerusalem where the child was to be found. So, to complete their fidelity and grace, they returned not to Herod's court; but, leaving their hearts with their infant Saviour, took another road back into their own country. In like manner, if we would persevere in the possession of the graces bestowed on us, we must resolve from this day to hold no correspondence with a sinful world, the irreconcilable enemy to Jesus Christ; but to take a way that lies a distance from it, I mean that which is marked out to us by the saving maxims of the gospel. And pursuing this with an unshaken confidence in his grace and merits, we shall safely arrive at our heavenly country.
It has never been questioned but that the holy Magi spent the rest of their lives in the fervent service of God. The ancient author of the imperfect comment on St. Matthew, among the works of St. Chrysostom, says they were afterwards baptized in Persia by St. Thomas the apostle, and became themselves preachers of the gospel. Their bodies were said to have been translated to Constantinople under the first Christian emperors. From thence they were conveyed to Milan, where the place in which they were deposited is still shown in the Dominicans' church of that city. The emperor Frederick Barbarossa having taken Milan, caused them to be translated to Cologne in Germany, in the twelfth century.

SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/E/epiphanyofthelord.asp#ixzz1ifzjXEwl

Saint January 4 : St. Elizabeth Ann Seton : Foundress of the Sisters of Charity ; Patron of Catholic Schools



Information:
Feast Day:January 4
Born:
28 August 1774 in New York City, New York, USA
Died:4 January 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland
Canonized:
14 September 1975 by Pope Paul VI
Patron of:Catholic Schools; State of Maryland

This first American-born saint accomplished more in twelve years than most people do in a whole lifetime. From 1809 to 1821, the year she died, she laid the foundation for the Catholic parochial system in the United States, founded her Sisters of Charity, and ran her school and lived with her community at her headquarters in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was the daughter of a distinguished colonial family in New York City, her father a physician and professor at what later became Columbia University. Her grandfather was rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Staten Island.

Born in 1774 she married William Magee Seton, a wealthy young businessman, in 1794. They had five children. Mr. Seton had reversals in business and lost his fortune, and a sea voyage was recommended to recover his health. The couple, along with their eldest daughter, embarked for Italy in 1803 and were given hospitality by the Filicchi family of Leghorn. William Seton died in Pisa less than three months later.

Influenced by her stay in Italy, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton became a Catholic upon her return to the United States, against the opposition of her family. In August 1807, she was invited by the superior of the Baltimore Sulpicians to found a school for girls near the Sulpician seminary in Baltimore. With the help of Archbishop Carroll, she organized a group of young women to assist her in her work, received a religious rule and habit from him, and took the vows of religion.
In 1809, she moved her headquarters to Emmitsburg, adopted a modified version of the rule of St. Vincent de Paul for the French Sisters of Charity, and laid the foundation for the Catholic parochial school system in the United States. She trained her sisters for teaching, wrote textbooks for classrooms, worked among the poor, the sick, and the black people of the region, and directed the work of her congregation. In 1814, she sent her nuns to open an orphanage in Philadelphia and another in New York City in 1817.

She died at Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI on September 14, 1975. Her body is enshrined at the motherhouse of the American Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg.
Thought for the Day: Mother Seton seems almost like a neighbor down the street. But she is St. Elizabeth Seton, who found God through very difficult times. She was loving wife, devoted mother, foundress, and saint.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!" And they left their nets at once and went with him.-Matthew 4:19-20
SOURCE: EWTN.COM
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