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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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2015

#CatholicQuote to SHARE by Mother Teresa "At the hour of death when we come face-to-face..."


“At the hour of death when we come face-to-face with God, we are going to be judged on love; not how much we have done, but how much love we put into the doing.” ― Mother Teresa

#Novena to the #HolySpirit for Pentecost SHARE this Prayer

Pentecost
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

DAY 5 OF NOVENA 

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!
The Gift of Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."
Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html

#PopeFrancis “Even in the best families there is need of support, and great patience,”


Pope Francis surrounded by the faithful during his weekly General Audience. - ANSA
20/05/2015 11:


(Vatican Radio) In his catechesis at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis focused on the role of parents in the education of their children, which he called “an essential characteristic” of the family.
The Holy Father noted the many difficulties facing parents today, especially those who find themselves in difficult situations. He spoke especially about the difficulties of separated couples, calling on them to “never, never, never take the children hostage!”
He spoke out strongly against “intellectual critics” who have “silenced” parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm. This has opened up a fracture between families and societies, leading to a crisis in the relationship between families and society. So-called experts have often taken the place of parents, depriving them of their proper place in the education of their own children, “even in the most delicate and personal aspects of their lives.” Parents often are afraid to correct their children, leaving it instead to experts. Pope Francis recalled an episode from his own life, when he had said a bad word to his teacher, and his mother had come to the school to make him apologize to the teacher – and then corrected him when he got home. This wouldn’t happen today, where too often a teacher who tried to discipline a child would be criticized by the child’s parents.
The rupture between parents and other educators can lead parents to exclude themselves from the education of their children. “It is evident that this approach is not good,” the Pope said. “It is not harmonious, it is not dialogical, and rather than favouring the collaboration between families and other educational agents, it opposes them to one another.”
Christian communities, on the other hand, “are called to offer support for the educational mission of families – and they do so above all with the light of the Word of God.” Pope Francis noted how the relations between parents and children, described by St Paul, are rooted in love, which is the gift of God. “Even in the best families there is need of support, and great patience,” he said.
Pope Francis said that the grace of Christ brings to completion what is written in human nature. The many examples of the wisdom of Christian parents show that good family education is the backbone of a healthy society. He prayed, “May the Lord grant to Christian families the faith, the liberty, and the courage necessary for their mission!”
Below, please find the English-language summary of the Pope’s catechesis during the weekly General Audience:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our catechesis on the family, today we consider the vocation of families to educate their children, to raise them in the profound human values which are the backbone of a healthy society.  This educational mission, essential as it is, nowadays encounters a variety of difficulties.  Parents spend less time with their children and schools are often more influential than families in shaping the thinking and values of the young.  Yet the relationship between family and school ought to be harmonious.  Our children need sure guidance in the process of growing in responsibility for themselves and others.  Christian communities are called to support the educational mission of families.  They do this above all by living in fidelity to God’s world, cultivating faith, love and patience.  Jesus himself was raised in a family; when he tells us that all who hear the word of God and obey are his brothers and sisters, he reminds us that for all their failings, our families can count on his inspiration and grace in the difficult but rewarding vocation of educating their children.

Latest #News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


20-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 093 

Summary
- Education, the natural vocation of the family
- The Pope joins the Catholics of China in prayer and recalls Christians persecuted for their faith
- Cardinal Parolin: when the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers and walls that can protect us from environmental and social degradation
- The Holy See at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Statistics on the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The Pope to the Italian bishops: denounce corruption, which impoverishes all
- Other Pontifical Acts
Education, the natural vocation of the family
Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – The education of children as the natural vocation of the family was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square.
The Holy Father, first citing the words of St. Paul to the Colossians: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged”, emphasised the duty of parents to accompany their children step by step, without demanding the impossible, so as not to overwhelm them. He then went on to speak of the difficulties faced by mothers and fathers who often only have the opportunity to see their children in the evening when they return home tired after work – “those who are lucky enough to have work”, he added – and also referred to the even more critical situation faced by separated parents, inviting them to ensure that the conflicts between the couple do not have an impact on the children.
 Francis also mentioned that the family has been accused of other things, including authoritarianism, favouritism, conformism, and emotional repression that generates conflicts. “In fact, a fracture has opened up between family and society, undermining mutual trust, and in this way, the alliance between family and society in the education of children has entered into a crisis”.
“There are many symptoms”, he continued. “For example, in schools this has affected relationships between parents and teachers. … On the other hand, there has been a proliferation of so-called 'experts' who occupy the role of parents even in the most intimate aspects of education … and parents are expected only to listen, to learn and to adapt. Deprived of their role, they often become excessively apprehensive and possessive with regard to their children, to the point of never correcting them. They tend to increasingly entrust them to 'experts', even in relation to the most delicate and personal aspects of their life, placing themselves in the corner. In this way, parents run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children”.
“How have we arrived at this point? Without doubt in the past parents, or rather, certain educational models, had certain limits. But it is also true that there are mistakes that only parents are authorised to make, as they are able to compensate for them in a way that is impossible for any other person. On the other hand, as we well know, life now spares us little time for speaking, reflection and exchange. Many parents are 'kidnapped' by their work and other worries, and they find themselves paralysed by the fear of making mistakes. The problem, however, is not only about talking. … Let us ask ourselves instead: do we seek to understand 'where' our children truly are on their path? Where is their soul? … And above all, do we want to know?”.
Francis underlined that the Christian communities are called upon to offer support to the educational mission of the family. “At the base of everything there is love, that which God gives to us, that “is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Even in the best of families, there is much to be endured, and it takes a lot of patience. Jesus Himself experienced education in the family”.
“Even in this case, the grace of Christ's love fulfils what is inscribed in human nature. How many excellent examples we have of Christian parents full of human wisdom! They show that good family education is the backbone of humanism. Its spread through society is the resource that allows us to compensate for the shortcomings, the wounds, the lack of paternity and maternity that affect the least fortunate children, and works true miracles”.
“I hope that the Lord may give Christian families the faith, freedom and courage necessary for their missions. If family education rediscovers the pride of its central role, many things will change for the better, for uncertain parents and disappointed children. It is time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile, and to fully resume their role as educators”, concluded Francis.
The Pope joins the Catholics of China in prayer and recalls Christians persecuted for their faith
Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis, the Pope remarked that on24 May Catholics in China pray with devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians, venerated in the Sheshan shrine in Shanghai. “In the statue above the Shrine, Mary holds her Son aloft, presenting Him to the world with His arms open in a gesture of love and mercy. We too ask Mary to help Catholics in China always to be credible witnesses of this merciful love among their people and to live spiritually united with the rock of Peter upon which the Church is built”.
The Holy Father also mentioned the initiative of the Italian Episcopal Conference, which has proposed that the dioceses, on the occasion of the Eve of Pentecost, remember the many brothers and sisters exiled or killed for the mere fact of being Christians. “They are martyrs. I hope that this moment of prayer may help spread the knowledge that religious freedom is an inalienable human right and raise awareness of the tragedy of Christians persecuted in our time, and bring an end to this unacceptable crime”.
Cardinal Parolin: when the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers and walls that can protect us from environmental and social degradation
Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a message to the participants in the conference “The New Climate Economy: how economic growth and sustainability can go hand in hand”, held today in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” the World Resource Institute, the New Climate Economy and the embassy of the Netherlands to the Holy See.
The conference takes place in the context of two key steps in the preparatory process adopted by the United Nations: the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda and the 21st conference on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris next December, to adopt a new agreement to face the adverse effects of climate change. “Both of them represent the serious ethical and moral responsibility that each of us has towards the whole human family, especially the poor and future generations”, observed the cardinal.
“When the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation. There is no room for the globalisation of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture so often denounced by Pope Francis.Of course, the path is not easy, since this ethical and moral responsibility calls into question the resetting of the development model, requiring a major political and economic commitment. However, as I said to the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014, 'the technological and operational bases needed to facilitate this mutual responsibility are already available or within our reach. We have the capacity to start and strengthen a true and beneficial process which will irrigate, as it were, through adaptation and mitigation activities, the field of economic and technological innovation where it is possible to cultivate two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change'”.
Cardinal Parolin concluded by conveying Pope Francis' best wishes to the participants, and his hope that “the discussions and reflections of this Conference may contribute to further and deepen reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals, as well as to finding ways to guarantee access to a truly integral human development for all, especially the poor and the future generations”.
The Holy See at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation
Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers and head of the Holy See delegation at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation, held in Geneva from 18 to 26 May, participated in the debate on the Ebola virus epidemic which has claimed 9,380 lives out of a total of more than 23,000 cases of contagion throughout the world, mainly in West Africa.
“The Holy See delegation wishes to note the importance and the timeliness of the theme for the general discussion”, said the archbishop. “The recent Ebola outbreak was a human and public health tragedy, which, among others, showed that the need to build resilient health systems cannot be over emphasised, as they are essential for the provision of universal health coverage and for a prompt response to outbreaks of disease”.
“Unfortunately, most low income countries, which are still afflicted by infectious disease and epidemics, have very poor health systems that need urgent intervention, if they are to respond to the health needs of the whole population. … This requires long-term commitment from national governments and international donors to support resilient health systems and to ensure universal coverage of health services, thus strengthening the capacity of national health systems to deliver equitable and quality health-care services, and also stepping up their ability to respond to outbreaks and to improve community ownership and participation. This means short and long-term investment in a number of key elements of the health system; particularly, improved primary health care, an adequate number of trained health workers, availability of medicine, appropriate infrastructure, update statistical data, sufficient public financing, public-private partnership and scaling up the number of well-equipped health posts and district hospitals. It is also a challenge to donors to make a shift from short-term program funding to long-term comprehensive health service financing”.
“The recent report on Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection, by the International Labour Office, revealed that more than half of the population in rural areas worldwide does not have access to basic healthcare, with many of them at risk of impoverishment or deepened poverty due to out of pocket payment for services. This is clear evidence that, in 2015, we are still a long way from universal coverage. For various reasons, there are strong inequalities in access to healthcare between the rural and urban areas, with the latter often more advantaged than the former which are most deprived. Embracing the recommendation of the report, my delegation wishes to note the urgent need to address this rural urban divide in the post-2015 Development Agenda, bearing in mind that “human life is always sacred and always has ‘quality’”.
“In many countries, the Catholic Church is privileged to be one of the primary partners of the State in providing much needed health care services to populations in remote areas, through its over 110,000 health and social-welfare institutions around the world”, he concluded. “It is therefore important to offer them the necessary collaboration and support so as to enable them to bring the services close and to render them accessible to poor people in particular. Indeed, in many low-income countries, the contribution of civil society and communities to health services delivery is fundamental”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Alto Solimoes, Brazil, presented by Bishop Evangelista Alcimar Caldas Magalhaes, O.F.M. Cap., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Adolfo Zon Pereira, S.X., coadjutor of the same diocese.
- appointed Fr. Paulo Jackson Nobrego de Sousa as bishop of Garanhuns (area 8,734, population 677,000, Catholics 609,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 7, religious 94), France. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose de Espinharas, Brazil in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in Biblical Sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Patos, Brazil, including parish administrator, parish vicar, rector of the diocesan seminary, formator of major seminarians at the archdiocesan seminary of Joao Pessoa, diocesan pastoral coordinator, and parish priest. He has also served as national secretary of the Organisation of Seminaries and Philosophical and Theological Institutes of Brazil. He is currently professor of sacred scripture at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, parish priest of the “Senhor Bom Jesus do Horto” parish in Belo Horizonte, and formator of seminarians in Patos.
- appointed Bishop Laurent Dognin, auxiliary of Bordeaux, France, as bishop of Quimper (area 6,785, population 899,870, Catholics 733,000, priests 271, permanent deacons 33, religious 582), France.
- appointed Bishop Pedro Cunha Cruz, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as coadjutor of the diocese of Campanha (area 15,420, population 780,000, Catholics 762,000, priests 116, religious 181), Brazil.
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Hamburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Norbert Werbs upon reaching the age limit.
19-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 092 

Statistics on the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father will make an apostolic trip to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 6 June. The following are some statistical data on the Catholic Church in this country, from the Central Office of Church Statistics.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a surface area of 51,197 sq. km. and a population of 3,833,000 inhabitants, of whom 43,900 are Catholics – 11.5% of the population. There are four ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 304 parishes and one parish centre. The apostolate consists of six bishops, 624 priests, 14 men religious and 537 women religious. There are 68 catechists and 120 major seminarians.
The Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina has 16 educational centres including pre-school, primary, middle, secondary and high schools, and a university. There are also six clinics, four rest homes for the elderly and disabled, four orphanages and nurseries, six family counselling centres and life protection centres, three centres for social education or re-education, and six centres of other types.
The Pope to the Italian bishops: denounce corruption, which impoverishes all
Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) - “Our vocation is to listen when the Lord asks us: 'Console my people'. Indeed, we are asked to console, to help, to encourage, without discrimination, all our brothers who are oppressed by the weight of their crosses, without ever tiring of working to lift them up again with the strength that comes only from God”, said Pope Francis yesterday afternoon to the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference, as he inaugurated the 68th assembly, to be held in the Vatican to analyse the reception of the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel).
Proclaiming the Gospel today, a difficult moment in history, requires prelates to “go against the grain: or rather, to be joyful witnesses of the Risen Christ to transmit joy and hope to others”, said the Holy Father, who went on to illustrate the importance of the “ecclesial sensibility”, which means assuming the same sentiments as Christ, “sentiments of humility, compassion, concreteness and wisdom”.
A sensibility that also involves “not being timid … in denouncing and fighting against a widespread mentality of the public and private corruption that shamelessly impoverishes families, pensioners, honest workers and Christian communities, discarding the young, who are systematically deprived of any hope for their future, and above all marginalising the weak and the needy. It is an ecclesial sensibility that, as good pastors, makes us go forth towards the People of God to defend them from ideological colonisations that take away their identity and human dignity”.
This sensibility is also made tangible in pastoral decisions and in the elaboration of documents “where the abstract theoretical-doctrinal aspect must not prevail, as if our directions were intended not for our People or our country, but only for a few scholars or specialists – instead we must make the effort to translate them into concrete and comprehensible proposals”, emphasised Francis.
The strengthening of the essential role of the laity is another of the concrete applications of pastoral sensibility, since “laypeople with an authentic Christian formation should not need a bishop-guide … to assume their own responsibilities at all levels, political to social, economic to legislative. However, they do need a bishop-pastor”.
Finally, the ecclesial sensibility is revealed in a tangible way “in collegiality and in the communion between bishops and their priests; in the communion between bishops themselves; between dioceses which are materially and vocationally rich and those in difficulty; between the periphery and the centre; between episcopal conferences and the bishops, and the Successor of Peter”. He remarked, “in some parts of the world we see a widespread weakening of collegiality, both in pastoral planning and in the shared undertaking of economic and financial commitments. The habit of checking the reception of programmes and the implementation of projects is lacking. For example, conferences or events are organised which promote the usual voices, anaesthetising the Communities, approving choices, opinions and people, instead of allowing us to be transported towards the horizons where the Holy Spirit asks us to go”.
“Why do we let the religious institutes, monasteries and congregations age so much, almost to the point of no longer giving evangelical witness faithful to the founding charism? Why do we not try to regroup them before it is too late?”. This is a global problem that, as the Holy Father stated, indicates a lack of ecclesial sensibility.
“I will end here, after have presented to you a few examples of weakened ecclesial sensibility due to the need to continually face enormous global problems and the crisis that spares not even the Christian and ecclesial identity itself”, he concluded, asking the Lord to grant to all during the Jubilee Year of Mercy “the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to console every man and every woman of our time”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Rev. Fr. James Massa and Rev. Fr. Witold Mroziewski as auxiliaries of Brooklyn (area 466, population 4,838,406, Catholics 1,403,137, priests 604, permanent deacons 225, religious 1,053), U.S.A.
Bishop-elect Massa was born in Jersey City, U.S.A., in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a master's degree in theology from the Yale University School of Divinity, New Haven, and a doctorate in systematic theology from Fordham University, New York. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Brooklyn, including parish vicar, chaplain and professor at the Kansas Newman College, professor at the Pope John XXIII national seminary and the seminary of the Immaculate Conception, executive director of the ecumenical and interreligious committee of the U.S.A. episcopal conference, consultor of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, professor of the St. Joseph seminary, moderator of the curia and administrator of the Holy Name Parish.
Bishop-elect Mroziewski was born in Augustow, Poland in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds master's degrees in theology and canon law, and a doctorate in canon law from the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He has served in a number of roles, including parish vicar in the diocese of Lomza, Poland, and in Brooklyn, parish vicar, administrator, parish priest, judge at the diocesan tribunal, coordinator of the Polish apostolate, adjunct promoter of justice for criminal causes, member of the presbyteral council and defender of the bond. He is currently parish priest of the Holy Cross parish in Maspeth.

Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday May 20, 2015


Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 299


Reading 1ACTS 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.

Responsorial PsalmPS 68:29-30, 33-35A, 35BC-36AB

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Show forth, O God, your power,
the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
let the kings bring you gifts.
R. Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth. 
or:
R. Alleluia.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
chant praise to the Lord
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
“Confess the power of God!”
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Over Israel is his majesty;
his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 17:11B-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

#Novena to the #HolySpirit for Pentecost SHARE this Prayer

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.



DAY 4 OF NOVENA
Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.
The Gift of Fortitude
The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."
Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)



Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html  

Saint May 20 St. Bernardine of Siena - Patron of #Gamblers and #Advertisers

St. Bernardine of Siena
FRANCISCAN PREACHER AND MISSIONARY
Feast: May 20


Information:
Feast Day:May 20
Born:1380, Massa Marittima, Italy
Died:1444, Aquila, Italy
Canonized:24 May 1450 by Pope Nicholas V
Patron of:advertisers; advertising; Aquila, Italy; chest problems; Italy; gambling addicts; public relations personnel; public relations work;
St. Bernardine, a true disciple of St. Francis, and an admirable preacher of the word of God, inflamed with the most ardent love of our divine Redeemer, was made by God an instrument to kindle the same holy fire in innumerable souls, and to inspire them with his spirit of humility and meekness. He was born at Massa in 1380, of the noble family of Albizeschi, in the republic of Sienna. He lost his mother when he was but three years old, and his father, who was chief magistrate of Massa, before he was seven. The care of his education devolved on a virtuous aunt called Diana who infused into his tender soul ardent sentiments of piety towards God, and a tender devotion to his blessed Mother. This aunt always loved him as if he had been her own son; and indeed his towardly dispositions won him exceedingly the affections of all who ever had the care of him. He was modest, humble, and devout; and took great delight in prayer, visiting churches, serving at mass, and hearing sermons, which he would repeat again to his companions with an admirable memory and gracefulness of action. In that tender age he had a great compassion for the poor. One day it happened that his aunt sent away a poor person from the door without an alms, because there was but one loaf in the house for the dinner of the family. Bernardine was much troubled to see the beggar go away unrelieved, and said to his aunt, "For God's sake, let us give something to this poor man; otherwise I will neither dine nor sup this day. I had rather the poor should have a dinner than myself." This  wonderfully comforted his good aunt, who never ceased to incite him to all virtues, and, according to his strength, to accustom himself by degrees to fasting. Young as he was, he fasted every Saturday in honor of the blessed Virgin; which pious custom he always continued. At eleven years of age he was called to Sienna by his uncles, and put to school under the ablest masters, who all admired the quickness of his parts, and the solidity of his judgment; but much more, his docility, modesty, and virtue. If he chanced to hear any word the least unbecoming, he, by blushing, testified what confusion it gave him, and how much it wounded his very heart; and though he was otherwise most condescending, civil, and respectful to all, he could never bear with patience any indecent discourse. For a single word of that kind he so severely reprimanded a man of quality, that it was to him a warning during the remainder of his life to govern his tongue; and many years alter, hearing Bernardine preach, he was so moved that he seemed to be drowned in tears. The modesty of the virtuous youth was a check to the most impudent, and kept them in awe in his presence: in whatever company, if the conversation was too free, it was dropped when he appeared, and the very loosest rakes would say, "Hush! here comes Bernardine:" as the presence of Cato among the Romans restrained the lewd libertinism of a festival.1 Nor did the saint behave on these occasions in such a manner as might render virtue the subject of ridicule, but with a surprising dignity. Nevertheless, an impure monster had once the insolence to make an attempt upon his virginal purity, and to solicit him to sin. But the saint, not content to testify his scorn and indignation, excited the whole troop of his little innocent playfellows against the lewd villain, who pelted him with clods and stones, and made him ashamed any more to show his face. Bernardine was exceeding comely and beautiful; but his known virtue secured him from any further assaults; and he never ceased to beg of God the grace of purity, particularly through the intercession of the blessed  Virgin Mary. When he had completed the course of his philosophy, he applied himself to the study of civil and canon law, and afterwards of that of the holy scriptures, with such ardor that he could never from that time relish any other study.

At seventeen years of age he enrolled himself in the confraternity of Our Lady in the hospital of Scala, to serve the sick. Here he began with new vigor to tame his flesh by severe fasts, watchings, hair-shirts, disciplines, and other austerities; but he applied himself more to the interior mortification of his will, which rendered him always most mild, sweet, patient, and affable to every one. He had served this hospital four years, when, in 1400, a dreadful pestilence which had already made great havoc in several other parts of Italy, and was increased by the concourse of pilgrims to the jubilee, reached Sienna; insomuch that twelve, eighteen, or twenty persons died every day in this hospital; and among others were carried off almost all the priests, apothecaries, and servants, that belonged to the place. Bernardine therefore  persuaded twelve young men to bear him company in the service of the hospital, expecting heaven for their speedy recompense; and they all strove which should come up the nearest to Bernardine in cheerfulness, humility, and assiduity in performing the most sacred offices, and in exerting themselves in the service of the sick. The saint was intrusted in a manner with the whole care of the hospital, which, in the space of four months, he put into excellent order. It is hardly credible how many lives he saved, or with what charity and pains he night and day attended the patients, and furnished them with every comfort and succor which it was in his power to afford them. God preserved him from the contagion during these four months, at the end of which the pestilence ceased. He then returned home, but sick of a fever which he had contracted by his fatigues, which obliged him to keep his bed four months; during which time he edified the city, no less by his resignation and patience, than he had done by his charity. He was scarce well recovered when he returned to the like works of charity, and with incredible patience attended a dying aunt for fourteen months, named Bartholomaea, a woman of great piety, who was blind and bedridden. When God had called her to himself, Bernardine retired to a house at some distance from the city, making the walls of his garden the bounds of his enclosure. Here, in solitude, fasting, and prayer, he endeavored to learn the will of God in the choice of a state of life. After some time he took the habit of the order of St. Francis, among the fathers of the Strict Observance at Colombiere, a solitary convent a few miles from Sienna; and after the year of his novitiate, made his profession on the 8th of September, 1404. Having been born on the feast of the Nativity of the blessed Virgin, out of devotion to her, he chose the same day for the principal actions of his life: on it he took the religious habit, made his vows, said his first mass, and preached his first sermon. His fervor increased daily; and while some sought interpretations to mollify the severity of the rule, he was always studying to add to it greater austerities and heroic practices of virtue, the more perfectly to crucify in himself the old man. He was pleased with insults and humiliations, and whatever could be agreeable to the most ardent spirit of humility and self-denial. When he went through the streets in a threadbare short habit, the boys sometimes cast stones at him, with injurious language; in which contempt the saint found a singular joy and satisfaction. He showed the same sentiments when a near kinsman with bitter invectives reproached him, as disgracing his friends by the mean and contemptible manner of life he bad embraced. These and all other virtues he learned in the living book of Christ crucified, which he studied night and day, often prostrate before a crucifix, from which he seemed one day to hear our Lord speak thus to him: "My son, behold me hanging upon a cross: if thou lovest me, or art desirous to imitate me, be thou also fastened naked to thy cross, and follow me; thus thou wilt assuredly find me." In the same school he learned an insatiable zeal for the salvation of souls, redeemed by the blood of Christ. Having in retirement prepared himself for the office of preaching, his superiors ordered him to employ his talent that way for the benefit of others. He labored under a natural impediment from weakness and hoarseness of voice; the removal of which obstacle he obtained by addressing himself to his glorious patroness, the mother of God. For fourteen years his labors were confined to his own country; but when the reputation of his virtue was spread abroad, he shone as a bright light to the whole church.

In vain cloth the minister of God confide in the weak resources of mere human eloquence and pomp of words, by which he rather debases the dignity and majesty of the sacred oracles: while he pleases the ear and gains the applause of his audience, he leaves their hearts dry. The great apostle of Andalusia, the venerable holy John D'Avila, being desired to lay down some rules for the art of preaching, answered, he knew no other art than the most ardent love of God and zeal for his honor. He used to say to young clergymen, that one word spoken by a man of prayer would do more good, and have a more powerful influence, than all the most eloquent discourses; for it is only the language of the heart that speaks to the heart; and a life of mortification and prayer not only draws down the dew of the divine benediction upon the labors of the preacher, but it replenishes his soul with a sincere spirit of humility, compunction, and all virtues, and with an experimental knowledge and feeling sense of the great truths which he delivers. Zealous ministers who are filled with the Spirit of God, are a great blessing to the people among whom they labor; and this reflection unfolds the secret how saints possess so extraordinary a grace of converting souls to God. This was the excellent talent of Bernardine. They who heard him preach felt their souls to melt in sentiments of compunction, divine love, humility, and the contempt of the world, and returned home new men, striking their breasts, and bathed in tears. The word, of God was in his mouth as a fire, and as a hammer breaking the hardest rocks. Another eminent preacher of his order being asked the reason why his sermons did not produce equal fruit with those of Bernardine, answered, "Brother Bernardine is a fiery glowing coal. What is only warm hath not the power of kindling a fire in others like the burning coal." The saint himself being consulted what was the way to preach with profit, gave this rule: "In all your actions seek in the first place the kingdom of God and his glory; direct all you do purely to his honor; persevere in brotherly charity, and practice first all that you desire to teach others. By this means the Holy Ghost will be your master, and will give you such wisdom and such a tongue that no adversary will be able to stand against you." This he faithfully practiced, and from his assiduous communication with God he imbibed that eminent spirit of virtue which gave him the most powerful ascendant over the hearts of men. Among the great truths of religion, he principally labored to inculcate a sincere contempt of the vanity of the world, and an ardent love of our blessed Redeemer. He wished he could cry out with a trumpet which could be heard over the whole earth, that he might sound aloud in the ears of all men that great oracle of the Holy Ghost: O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love vanity, and seek after lying? O children, how long will you love childishness?3 And he never ceased with the thunder of his voice to raise men from grovelling always on this earth, to the important consideration of the things which belong to their eternal welfare, and to the love of Jesus Christ. So much was he affected with the mysteries of the incarnation and sufferings of the Son of God, that he could never pronounce his sacred name without appearing in transports of love and adoration. Often at the end of his sermon he showed to the people the sacred name of Jesus curiously cut on a board with gold letters, inviting them to adore Christ with him on their knees, reciting a pious doxology. This was misconstrued by some, who also cavilled at certain expressions which he had used. Upon their complaints, pope Martin V. summoned him to appear, and commanded him silence for a while. The humble saint meekly acquiesced without making any reply. But his holiness, after a full examination of his doctrine and conduct, dismissed him with his benediction, high commendations, and ample leave to preach everywhere. The same pope pressed him to accept the bishopric of Sienna in 1427; but he declined that dignity, alleging for his excuse, that if he were confined to one church, he could no longer employ himself in the service of so many souls. In 1431 he no less resolutely refused that of Ferrara, which Eugenius III. earnestly desired to confer upon him, and again that of Urbino, in 1435. When the saint preached first at Milan, the haughty duke Philip Mary Visconti took offence at certain things which he had said in his sermons, and threatened him with death if he should presume to speak any more on such subjects; but the saint declared, that no greater happiness could befall him than to die for the truth. The duke, to try him, sent him a present of one hundred ducats of gold in a golden bowl. The saint excused himself from receiving the money to two different messengers; but being compelled by a third to accept it, he took the messenger with him to the prisons, and laid it all out in his presence in releasing debtors. This disinterestedness turned the duke's aversion into the greatest veneration for the saint ever after.

St. Bernardine preached several times through the greatest part of Italy; some say also in Spain; but this seems uncertain. Nothing was more spoken of over all Italy than the wonderful fruit of his sermons, miraculous conversions, restitution of ill-gotten goods, reparations of injuries, and heroic examples of virtue. The factions of the Guelfs and Ghibellins then horribly divided many cities of Italy, and gave frequent employment to the saint. Hearing once of a great dissension at Perugia, he hastened thither from the marquisate of Ancona, and entering the city, thus addressed the inhabitants, "God, who is highly offended at this division among you, hath sent me, as his angel, to proclaim peace to men of good will upon earth." After preaching four sermons to persuade them to a mutual forgiveness of all injuries, and a general amnesty, at the end of the last he bade all those who forgave each other and desired to live in peace, to pass to the right hand. All present did so except one young nobleman, who stayed on the left, muttering some thing between his teeth. The saint, after a severe reproach, foretold him his sudden death, which happened soon after, and without the benefit of the sacraments. In 1433 he accompanied the emperor Sigismund to his coronation at Rome; after which he retired for a short time to Sienna, where he put the finishing hand to his works.

Amidst the greatest applause and honors, the most sincere humility always appeared in his words and actions; and he ever studied to conceal the talents with which God had enriched him. How great his esteem of humility was, he testified when a brother of his order asked him the means by which he might speedily arrive at perfection. The saint, instead of giving him any answer by words, threw himself at his feet; showing at the same time his own great affection to humility, and also that this virtue raises the soul to divine love and every grace. God, however, was pleased to honor his servant before men. Besides several predictions and miraculous cures of many lepers and other sick persons, the saint is recorded to have raised four dead to life. He was appointed vicar-general of his order of the Strict Observance in Italy, in 1438, in which he settled a rigorous reformation; but, after five years, obtained a discharge from his office; and in his old age continued the function of preaching through Romania, Ferrara, and Lombardy. He returned to Sienna in 1444, preached a most pathetic farewell sermon at Massa on concord and unity, and being taken ill of a malignant fever on the road, still preached as usual till he arrived at Aquila in Abruzzo. There, being confined to his bed, he prepared himself for his passage out of this life by the rites of the church. When he was speechless, he made a sign to be taken off his bed and laid upon the floor; where, lifting up his eyes to heaven, he surrendered his pure soul into the hands of his Creator on the 20th of May, 1444, after a life of sixty-three years, eight months, and thirteen days. His tomb was rendered illustrious by many miracles, and he was canonized by Nicholas V. in 1450. His body is kept in a crystal shrine, enclosed in one of silver, in the church of his order at Aquila.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbernadineofsiena.asp#ixzz1vQNR64Mu

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Saint May 19 St. Crispin of Viterbo - #Franciscan Lay Brother - Died 1750

St. Crispin of Viterbo
FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER
Feast: May 19


Information:
Feast Day:May 19
Born:13 November 1668, Viterbo
Died:19 May 1750, Rome
Canonized:20 June 1982 by Pope John Paul II
Friar Minor Capuchin; b. at Viterbo in 1668; d. at Rome, 19 May, 1750. When he was five years old, his pious mother took him to a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, a short distance from Viterbo, where she consecrated him to the Mother of God and placed him under her special protection. The child grew beyond his years in virtue and science of the saints; so that the townsfold of Viterbo were wont to call him il Santarello, the little saint. As Crispin one day saw the Capuchin novices walking in procession, God inspired him with the desire to embrace the religious life. He was shortly afterwards received into the Franciscan Order as a simple lay brother. Having been employed for some time as cook in the convent at Viterbo, he was sent to Tolfa, a town not far distant from Civita Becchia, to fulfil the same office. Thence he was sent to Rome and finally to Albano. Here Crispin was visited by the men of the world, by bishops and cardinals, and even by the pope himself, who always took delight in conversing with the humble lay brother. It was Crispin's constant endeavour to imitate the virtues of his patron, St. Felix of Cantalice, whom he had chosen as his model of perfection at the beginning of his religious life. Like St. Felix, he used to call himself the ass or beat of burden of the Capuchins, and, having on one occasion been asked by a stranger why he went bare-headed, Crispin answered jocosely, that "an ass does not wear a hat." Enfeebled by old age and by his numerous austerities, he was sent to Rome by his superiors, there to end his holy life. His body, which even at the present time is still in a remarkable state of preservation, rests under one of the side altars in the church of the Capuchin Fathers in Rome. Blessed Crispin was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius VII in 1806. His feast is celebrated only by the Capuchins.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Saint May 19 St. Celestine V - Pope - Died 1296

St. Celestine V
POPE
Feast: May 19


Information:
Feast Day:May 19
Born:1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
Died:19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Canonized:1313
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.

Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.

A spirit of retirement, or a love of holy solitude and its exercises, and an habitual interior recollection, are essential to piety and a true Christian life. Some, by a particular call of God, dedicate themselves to his service in a state of perfect solitude, in which the first motive may be self-defence of preservation. In the world, snares are laid everywhere for us, and its lusts often endeavor to court and betray us, and the torrent of its example, or the violence of its persecutions, to drive and force us into death. Whoever, therefore, prudently fears that he is not a match for so potent an enemy, may, nay sometimes ought, to retire from the world. This is not to decline the service of God or man, but sin and danger: it is not to prefer ease and security before industry and labor, but before a rash presumption and a fatal overthrow. But entire solitude is a safer state only to those who are animated with such a love and esteem for all its exercises as give an assurance of their constant fervor in them; also who seriously cultivate interior solitude of mind, and will never suffer it to gad abroad after the objects of worldly affairs, vanities, or pleasures: lastly, whose souls are free from envy, emulation, ambition, desire of esteem, and all other busy and turbulent passions, which cannot fail by desires and hankerings to discompose the mind, and muddy the pure stream, and adulterate the relish of a retired life. The soul must be reduced to its native purity and simplicity, before it will be able to taste the blessings of true liberty, of regular devotion, and elevated meditation.

Secondly: An indication that God designs certain persons for retirement, is the discovery of talents fitted for this state rather than for any public station. For there are active and contemplative gifts. Those who are destined by heaven to a retired life, in it become most eminently serviceable to the world,  by proving excellent examples of innocence, and the perfect spirit of every Christian virtue, and by their prayers and continual pure homages of praise and thanksgivings to God, from which others may reap far more valuable benefits than from the labors of the learned or the bountiful alms of the rich. Thus the world never loses a member, but enjoys Its service in its proper place, and the most effectual manner, says an ingenious Protestant writer; who adds, that such a one retires not from the world to avoid its service, but its fooleries.

Thirdly: The same author observes, that the main end of retirement ought always to be to dedicate ourselves entirely to God by the exercises of compunction and holy contemplation. This may be easily demonstrated both from reason and religion, and from the examples of so many illustrious saints. Retirement is recommended by particular motives to persons who, after going through the station of a public life, are at liberty to embrace it in order to fit themselves for eternity.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcelestinev.asp#ixzz1vJN97PlQ
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