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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catholic News World : Tuesday July 12, 2016 - SHARE

2016


#ProLife Cardinal Napier calls Abortion of Black Babies Genocide - #BlackLivesMatter

 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier is from Durban, South Africa. This Pro-Life Cardinal posted statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, showing that 57 million abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973. However, he noted that the 31 percent of abortions are performed on black women. In a recent series of Tweets he wrote, “That figure starts looking like a genocide when one factors in that Black women make up only 13 percent of the total number of women in USA”  Cardinal Napier explained, " Of those 57 million+ babies disproportionate number, +/- 31% have been Black! Isn't that also something we should be apologizing for?" He tweeted; " Guttmacher Institute estimates that since 1973 USA has aborted 57 million+ babies! Isn't this something we should be apologizing for?" See more at his OFFICIAL Twitter account: https://twitter.com/CardinalNapier

Fr. Frederico Lombardi of the Holy See Press Office Clarifies comments of Cardianal Sarah

(Vatican Radio) The head of the Holy See press office, Fr Federico Lombardi, has issued a clarification regarding comments by the head of the Vatican’s liturgical office, Cardinal Robert Sarah. The papal spokesman says the comments, made during a conference in London last week, were “wrongly interpreted” and do not represent new guidelines for priests about which way to face during the celebration of Mass.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, Fr Lombardi said that Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has always been “rightly concerned about the dignity of the celebration of the Mass” so that it adequately expresses “an attitude of respect and adoration of the Eucharistic mystery”.
However he noted that the cardinal’s words were misinterpreted by some parts of the media to suggest that new liturgical directives would be introduced next Advent regarding the question of whether a priest should face towards or away from the congregation during the celebration of Mass.
The statement quotes from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (n.299) which states that “The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. Moreover, the altar should occupy a place where it is truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns”.
Fr Lombardi notes that Pope Francis made this view clear to Cardinal Sarah during a recent audience, stressing that the ‘Ordinary’ form of the celebration of Mass is the one laid down in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the ‘Extraordinary’ form, permitted in certain specific cases by Pope Benedict XVI, should not be seen as replacing the ‘Ordinary’ form.

RIP Abdul Sattar Edhi - Great Humanitarian Philanthropist Dies at Age 88 of #Pakistan

Church mourns "Pakistan’s Mother Teresa "

Kamran Chaudhry
Abdul Sattar Edhi died last night at age 88 at a hospital in Karachi. His funeral was attended by faithful of all religions. He set up a network of homes that welcome thousands of abandoned people, poor, elderly, sick, rejected children, that operate free medical clinics, dispensaries, ambulances. His example of charity will not be forgotten "because his good work is immortal."
Karachi (AsiaNews) - Abdul Sattar Edhi, one of Pakistan’s best-known philanthropists, died last night at age 88 at a hospital in Karachi, where he was hospitalized suffering from renal failure. Today, his funeral was attended by many faithful of all denominations, who wanted to pay tribute to the man who was called the " Pakistan’s Mother Teresa".
The archdiocese of Karachi organized prayer vigils in all the churches. Speaking to AsiaNews several members of the Church of Pakistan, Caritas Karachi, along with activists, Christians and Muslims express deep sorrow for the death of an "angel of mercy" and point out that his example of love will survive in the future thanks to the many social works he initiated.
The state funeral was held at the National Stadium in Karachi. The place was packed with people who had come to pay their last respects to the founder of the "Edhi Foundation", the charitable work that operates the largest network of ambulances around the world.
Edhi was born in 1928 in a small village in Gujarat (India), but in 1947 he moved with his family to Pakistan where he opened the first free medical clinic. Today, in Pakistan alone, his foundation is home to 5,700 people in 17 residential institutions and coordinates 1,500 ambulances. The social network manages dozens of free hospitals, laboratories, orphanages, nursing homes and drug rehabilitation centers. All its centers are equipped with a baby hatch children born from unwanted pregnancies can be left. The man repeated constantly: "Do not kill them, put them in the crib. We will take care of these innocent people".
The philanthropist has received numerous international awards for his work. In 1986 he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award (the "Asian Nobel") for his public service; in 1989, the Nishan-i-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award of Pakistan. Then came the Gandhi Award, in 2007 the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize and many others. Even his wife Bilquis Edhi is engaged in the humanitarian field and last year received the International Mother Teresa Prize.
Despite the awards, last Edhi led a sober life without pomp, he wore simple clothes and lived in a small, windowless room next to the office of the foundation. Fr Bonnie Mendes says: "He did not care if you were a man or a woman, wounded or disabled. The only criterion that applied was whether you needed help. "
Samson Salamat, a prominent activist, adds: "He promoted non-discrimination for the benefit of society, in a country where discriminatory attitudes on the basis of religion, class and race are very frequent. Edhi served every human being, he always spread a message of humanity and the rejection of hatred and prejudice. He was a voice of love in a culture of hate. "
Rojar Randhawa, coordinator of Caritas Lahore, recalls that the man would always say: "I have never received a formal education. But what are we to make of education if we do not become human beings? My school is the good of humanity. No religion is above humanity".
Irfan Mufti, deputy director of South Asia Partnership Pakistan, reports: "Edhi has made two major contributions to our society. In an age of materialism, apathy, regression, he has served in a human, honest and straightforward way with the typical features of a social worker. He also rejected any position of power, wealth, luxury. People like him transcend every dimension of time and space and become immortal through their words and deeds".
At his funeral, Fr. Saleh Diego, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Karachi, laid a wreath of flowers on behalf of the whole local Church. The priest said he had visited him in hospital: "He was very happy to see us. Together with his family we prayed for him".

(Shafique Khokhar collaborated) Text Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Saint July 12 : Saint Louis and Saint Zélie Martin : Parents of St. Thérèse - #Lisieux


Brief Biography of Zelie and Louis Martin
  Zélie never lost her longing for the cloister yet she loved her husband and children, and totally fulfilled her role as both wife and mother. She was a highly skilled lace maker and an astute business woman. Zélie Guérin was born on December 23, 1831 in the parish of St-Denis-sur-Sarthon near Alencon; she was baptised on Christmas Eve. Her father had retired from the army and was a member of the local police force. Her mother had given birth to her first child, Marie Louise, two years previously and the family was completed with the birth of a son, Isidore, ten years later. Her father sold his house and land in the country in order to send them to school. The family moved to Alencon when Zélie was 13 and together with her sister, she attended the school of the Perpetual Adoration. After the move to Alencon her mother ran a café for a short time and her father tried his hand at woodwork. Later Isidore, who was a bright child, was sent to the Lycée. In adult life after studying medicine in Paris he became a pharmacist at Lisieux. Zélie suffered severe headaches in her childhood as well as respiratory problems, and it was probably on account of her poor health that the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul would not accept her as a postulant when she applied to join them. Her sister entered the Visitation Convent at Le Mans at the age of 29, and became Sister Marie-Dosithée. On entering she declared, ‘I have come here in order to become a saint.’ Zélie’s plan unfolds Zélie had decided that if God did not want her as a religious she would marry and have many children who would all be consecrated to Him. She turned to Our Lady and asked her how she should earn her dowry. On December 8, 1851 she received her answer in the form of an interior voice which said, ‘Make Alencon point lace’. Zélie went to a professional school to learn her craft; she quickly excelled and left to start her own business. One day when she was crossing the Bridge of St. Leonard, Zélie noticed a man passing by and again heard that interior voice. It said, ‘This is he whom I have prepared for you.’ The man was Louis Martin, whose mother had noticed Zélie at the lace making school. On July 13, 1858 Zélie and Louis were married; she was nearly 27. On the evening of her marriage Zélie visited her sister at the Visitation Convent in Le Mans. She had been a postulant there for two months, but this was Zélie’s first visit to her and she could not stop weeping. She wished with all her heart that she could have entered too. Zélie was always totally content with Louis, Zélie’s agree to Louis’ proposal for chastity, even though she still wanted to bring up children for God. During the first year of their marriage they cared for a little boy of five whose father had died and whose mother had eleven children. They lived a life of chastity for ten months, after which, under the direction of a confessor they agreed that they should have children of their own. Once convinced that this was God’s will for them they had nine children in thirteen years. Meanwhile, Zélie set up her office next to Louis’ shop, where she continued with her lace making.  The first baby Zélie’s first child was born on February 22, 1860, and given the names Marie Louise. Zélie and Louis had decided to give all their children the name Marie in honour of Our Lady,  Marie had good health from the start, and proved to be the easiest of all the children to rear. On September 7, 1861 Marie Pauline was born; she too was a reasonably strong child, though she suffered from a chronic cough during her first years. Zélie’s third daughter Marie Léonie was born on June 3, 1863. Marie Hélène was born the following year on October 13. Zélie’s own health was already beginning to fail. She was unable to nurse this child herself and had to entrust her to a wet nurse. In April 1865 Zélie wrote to her brother, ‘You know that when I was a girl I received a blow in the breast, through striking the corner of a table.  In June 1865 Louis’on September 20, 1866 she gave birth to Marie Joseph Louis. It was the easiest birth since her first child and the baby was big and strong.  The little boy was very ill and on February 14, he died. Zélie believed she had a saint in Heaven. She turned to St. Joseph making a novena which ended on his feast day for another son. As when she asked Our Lady’s prayers for a second child, the baby was born precisely nine months later. Marie Joseph John Baptiste arrived on December 19, 1867 but his was the most difficult birth of all. Everyone could see that this baby was not strong.  Zélie was resigned, he suffered enteritis and on August 24, 1868 he died in his mother’s arms. Zelie's father, unable to live alone, had been persuaded to move in with his daughter and her family. He died less than two weeks after her second son.  On April 28, 1869 Marie Céline was born. Hélène fell ill tragically and unexpectedly; within forty-eight hours she died, aged only five.  Marie Mélanie Thérèse lived less than two months. In July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Zélie went to the 5.30 Mass there every morning with her husband; they both received Holy Communion several times each week, which was unusually frequent at that time. She had about fifteen women working for her. Zélie even dealt with investments and read the stock exchange journal. Having lost Hélène and Mélanie Thérèse, Zélie was delighted to find herself expecting her ninth child. On Thursday 2nd January 1873 Zélie gave birth to her last child, Marie Francoise Thérèse.  The little brothers and sisters who had died were considered very much a part of the family and following Zélie’s own conviction the children were taught to look upon Heaven as their true home. In October 1876, doctors said the swelling in Zélie’s breast was A fibrous tumour’ and advised an operation.  On February 24 her sister died at the Visitation.  Zelie and 3 of her daughters set out for a pilgrimage for healing to Lourdes on June 18. Zélie fell and twisted her neck causing pain from which she never recovered. She was immersed four times in the baths, but her pain remained as severe a ever. Zélie arrived home in good spirits, even though her health was worse. She held on to Our Lady’s promise to Bernadette, ‘I will not make you happy in this world but in the next.’ At the end of June the tumour began to discharge; the nights were dreadful; the pain was so severe Zélie could not sleep. few more steps. On August 16 Zélie wrote her last letter to her brother, ‘If the Blessed Virgin does not cure me, it is that my time has come and that God wishes me to find my rest elsewhere than on earth.’ Ten days later a haemorrhage took away her voice, her limbs became swollen and she became so weak that the Guérins were summoned. Louis fetched the priest escorting the Blessed Sacrament from the Church. The family were all gathered round for this final ceremony. The next day the Guérins were there. Céline Guérin never forgot the mother’s last look; she resolved to do all she could for the children, but she knew she could not replace such a mother. On Tuesday August 28 at 12.30 a.m. Zélie died, her husband and her brother beside her. The three older girls were there, but they did not waken the two younger ones. Thérèse’s father took her to see her mother for the last time the next morning. The following day Zélie was buried with the four little ones. It was not until 1894 when Louis died that Isidore Guérin had the family grave moved to Lisieux. In 1957 the Cause for Zélie’s Beatification was introduced together with that of her husband. … The Cause of Louis and Zélie received a great boost when the Holy See officially recognised their heroic holiness and on 26th March 1994 they were declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II.
 Short Biography of Blessed Louis Martin Father of St. Thérèse Above the graves of St. Thérèse’s parents behind the Basilica in Lisieux are the words, ‘God gave me a father and mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth,’ words written by Thérèse to Abbé Bellière just two months before she died. Time has shown that Thérèse was not alone in believing this as their Cause for Beatification was introduced in 1957. Their heroic holiness was officially recognised by the Holy See when Pope John Paul II declared them Venerable on 26th March 1994. Louis’ family were from Normandy he was born in the south of France at Bordeaux. His father was a captain in the army garrisoned there, though he was actually away in Spain when Louis was born on August 22, 1823. Louis’ only brother, Pierre, was four years older. He died at sea while still young; his sister, Marie, who was three years older, died when she was only twenty-six. Louis was baptised privately straight after birth but the full ceremonies at the Church of St. Eulalie were not completed until October after his father returned from the Spanish campaign. He was given the names Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus. After his return from Spain Captain Martin was transferred to Avignon, where in 1826 another child, Anne Fannie, was born. She was the only one of the family besides Louis to have any children of her own; she married Adolphe Leriche and in 1844 gave birth to a son of the same name, but died nine years later. The youngest of Louis’ sisters, Sophie also died at age nine. The father chose to live in Alencon where he knew he could educate his children.  In 1842 Louis began to learn watchmaking. In Strasburg Louis climbed the Swiss Alps to the Augustinian Monastery of Mount St. Bernard but to seek admission to the community. The Prior told him that without any knowledge of Latin he could not be accepted. He persevered for over a year, but when illness made it necessary for him to give up for a while he never returned to it. Master Watchmaker Louis returned to Alencon a master watchmaker and in November 1850 established his shop in the Parish of St. Pierre de Monsort. The house was large so Louis had his parents to live with him. He worked hard at his watchmaking and later added a jeweller’s shop. He insisted on closing his shop on Sundays even when a priest suggested that he might leave the side door open. In 1857 he bought the Pavilion, a small property on the outskirts of the town. He also liked fishing and he often took his catch to the Poor Clare Convent. He was generous to the poor and never hesitated to give practical help when he saw the need.When he was thirty-five, only three months after their first meeting, Louis married Zélie Guérin, on July 13, 1858. They lived behind his shop, and as the house was so large his parents were able to remain there, living quite separately on the floor above. Since Louis and Zélie both desired to live the religious life they chose to continue their dedication to God through chastity after their marriage. It was only ten months later, when a confessor suggested that they should consider the vocation of parenthood that their ideas changed. Louis was delighted when his first daughter was born on February 22, 1860.  In the following thirteen years eight more children followed Marie; Louis rejoiced at each birth and sorrowed when three of them died as small babies, but his greatest sadness in those years was the death of five year old Hélène on February 22, 1870. That same year, in April, Louis sold his business to his nephew, Adolphe Leriche, and in July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Louis’ mother continued to live above the shop, happy that her grandson now occupied the other apartment.  Louis had always done all he could to help Zélie with her lacemaking business. With the birth of Thérèse in January 1873 Louis’ family was complete. He loved to spend time with his five daughters.  Louis liked to go on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s shrines. At the end of 1876 when Louis realised that his wife was fatally ill he became inconsolable. He gave up his fishing for a time and would not leave her. On August 28 Zélie died and the following day Louis took his little Thérèse to kiss her mother for the last time. Louis was left with five daughters ranging in age from 4 to 17, Louis fulfilled his wife’s wishes and less than three months after her death the family went to live at Les Buissonnets in Lisieux, to be near her brother, Isidore Guérin, and his wife Céline. he returned to Alencon to visit his own mother and the family graves Marie ran the house helped by a maid. He still enjoyed reading and also passed much time there in meditation and prayer. He spent each evening with his daughters. Usually one of them read aloud from ‘The Liturgical Year’ or some other carefully chosen book. Céline and Thérèse often sat on his knee and he told them stories and sang to them. This was where Thérèse first heard many of the melodies that she later used as settings for her poems. The evening always ended with family prayer and Thérèse said that she only had to watch her father to know how the saints pray. He often spoke of Heaven and every day he assisted at the early Mass as he had done in Alencon. He established the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Lisieux with the help of his brother-in-law. He was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society and each Monday he gave alms to the poor. Carmel takes Pauline When Thérèse began school at the Benedictine Convent it was often Louis who took and collected her together with Céline who was also a pupil there. When Pauline expressed her desire to enter Carmel he gave his permission willingly even though he was not at all sure that her health would stand up to the austerities of the life. Later that same day he said to her, ‘Pauline, I have given you permission to enter Carmel for your happiness, but do not think that there is no sacrifice on my part, for I love you so much.’ He was sorry to lose a daughter from the family circle which meant so much to him, but he was happy that the prayers he had made with Zélie that each child would be consecrated to God were being fulfilled. He knew that of all the girls Pauline had been closest to her mother and Zélie had been convinced that she would enter a convent. Now her wishes had come true. The following March Louis set off for Paris with Marie and Léonie to celebrate the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies there. Céline and Thérèse were left in the care of their aunt and uncle and during that time Thérèse became very ill. Louis had Marie send to Our Lady of Victories in Paris to ask for a Novena of Masses to be said for her recovery. It was during that Novena, on Pentecost Sunday, that Our Lady smiled on Thérèse and she was cured.  Léonie soon decided suddenly to enter the Poor Clares however, was not strong enough to follow the austere rule of the Poor Clares. When Thérèse asked her father’s permission to enter Carmel, Louis was not so surprised, even though she was only fourteen.  He went with her to see the Bishop and he took her, together with Céline, on a pilgrimage to Rome where she asked the Holy Father for the necessary permission. Léonie, this time with her father’s full permission, had gone to try her vocation at the Visitation Convent in Caen, but even though the Visitation was much less austere than the Poor Clares Leonie could not enter. By this time Louis’ health had deteriorated. Through most of his life he had been well and strong but one day when he was fishing near Alencon he was stung behind his ear by a poisonous fly. At first there was only a small black spot which did not trouble him very much, but over the years the infection spread. The year before Thérèse entered Carmel he experienced a paralytic stroke which affected his left side. The date for Thérèse’s Clothing in the Carmelite Habit was delayed because of Louis’ illness but it was finally fixed for 10th January 1889.  He led Thérèse to her clothing.  On February 12, 1889 Louis was admitted to the Bon Sauveur, hospital at Caen. In the hospital he had a considerable amount of freedom and he received loving care from the sisters. He spent much of his time in the Chapel and was able to receive Holy Communion daily when he was well enough. By this time Louis had suffered further strokes which had paralysed his legs. His daughter Pauline had been elected Prioress of Carmel. Léonie then entered the Visitation Convent at Caen again in June 1893. Céline alone remained with her father until his death, but she was greatly supported by the Guérin family. In 1888 they had inherited, together with the Maudelonde family, La Musse. On August 18 they returned to Lisieux. Throughout the following winter, Louis’ health remained stable. In May Céline went to Caen but while she was there on May 27 Louis suffered a serious stroke. Louis received the Last Sacraments. He seemed to be recovering again until June 5 when he had a serious heart attack while Céline was at the 7 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral.  He suffered another, more prolonged heart attack on July 28 and again he received the Last Sacraments.   Céline remained alone with her father praying the invocations to Jesus, Mary and Joseph for a happy death.  Isidore Guérin Isidore pressed the crucifix to Louis’ lips several times. By this time his breathing had become very weak, and at a quarter past eight on Sunday 29th July 1894 he died.  Louis’ body was taken back to Lisieux where he was buried on August 2 after a Requiem Mass in the Cathedral. Céline had written to her sisters in Carmel ‘Papa is in Heaven’. Prayer for the Beatification of Louis and Zélie Martin and to obtain favours through their intercession: God Our Father, we praise You for Louis and Zélie Martin, a truly faithful husband and wife, who lived their Christian life in an exemplary way through their duties in life and practice of Gospel teaching. In bringing up a large family, in spite of trials, bereavements and suffering, they showed immense trust in You and obedience to Your will. Lord deign to manifest Your will in their regard and grant me the favours I implore while praying that the father and mother of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus be presented as models of family life today. Amen. The Causes of Louis and Zélie Martin were drawn up between 1957 and 1960 in two separate processes whose findings were sent to Rome. These two Causes will now be examined according to the method of the historical process and form one single Cause so that this husband and wife may be Beatified together, should the Church so decide. The faithful are, therefore, invited to invoke Mr. & Mrs. Martin together for favours and miracles confided to their intercession. 
(Image Painted by Belita William - Shared from Google Images)


Edited from(much longer and beautiful biography)  by J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm http://web.archive.org/web/20120315073852/http://www.sttherese.com/Parents.html 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday July 12, 2016 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 390


Reading 1IS 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah,
Rezin, king of Aram,
and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah,
went up to attack Jerusalem,
but they were not able to conquer it.
When word came to the house of David that Aram
was encamped in Ephraim,
the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled,
as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.

Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz,
you and your son Shear-jashub,
at the end of the conduit of the upper pool,
on the highway of the fuller’s field, and say to him:
Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear;
let not your courage fail
before these two stumps of smoldering brands
the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans,
and of the son Remaliah,
because of the mischief that
Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah,
plots against you, saying,
“Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force,
and appoint the son of Tabeel king there.”

Thus says the LORD:
This shall not stand, it shall not be!
Damascus is the capital of Aram,
and Rezin is the head of Damascus;
Samaria is the capital of Ephraim,
and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria.

But within sixty years and five,
Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.
Unless your faith is firm
you shall not be firm!

Responsorial PsalmPS 48:2-3A, 3B-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (see 9d) God upholds his city for ever.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
is the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
For lo! the kings assemble,
they come on together;
They also see, and at once are stunned,
terrified, routed.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Quaking seizes them there;
anguish, like a woman’s in labor,
As though a wind from the east
were shattering ships of Tarshish.
R. God upholds his city for ever.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.


For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Saint July 12 : St. John Gualbert - Founder of #Vallumbrosan Order

St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini, was born in 985 (or 995), and died at Passignano, 12 July, 1073, on which day his feast is kept; he was canonized in 1193. One of his relatives having been murdered, it became his duty to avenge the deceased. He met the murderer in a narrow lane and was about to slay him, but when the man threw himself upon the ground with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, he pardoned him for the love of Christ. On his way home, he entered the Benedictine Church at San Miniato to pray, and the figure on the crucifix bowed its head to him in recognition of his generosity. This story forms the subject of Burne-Jones's picture "The Merciful Knight", and has been adapted by Shorthouse in "John Inglesant". John Gualbert became a Benedictine at San Miniato, but left that monastery to lead a more perfect life. His attraction was for the cenobitic not eremitic life, so after staying for some time with the monks at Camaldoli, he settled at Vallombrosa, where he founded his monastery.
Mabillon places the foundation a little before 1038. Here it is said he and his first companions lived for some years as hermits, but this is rejected by Martène as inconsistent with his reason for leaving Camaldoli. The chronology of the early days of Vallombrosa has been much disputed. The dates given for the founder's conversion vary between 1004 and 1039, and a recent Vallumbrosan writer places his arrival at Vallombrosa as early as 1008. We reach surer ground with the consecration of the church by Bl. Rotho, Bishop of Paderborn, in 1038, and the donation by Itta, Abbess of the neighbouring monastery of Sant' Ellero, of the site of the new foundation in 1039. The abbess retained the privilege of nominating the superiors, but this right was granted to the monks by Victor II, who confirmed the order in 1056. Two centuries later, in the time of Alexander IV, the nunnery was united to Vallombrosa in spite of the protests of the nuns. The holy lives of the first monks at Vallombrosa attracted considerable attention and brought many requests for new foundations, but there were few postulants, since few could endure the extraordinary austerity of the life. Thus only one other monastery, that of San Salvi at Florence, was founded during this period. But when the founder had mitigated his rule somewhat, three more monasteries were founded and three others reformed and united to the order during his lifetime. In the struggle of the popes against simony the early Vallumbrosans took a considerable part, of which the most famous incident is the ordeal by fire undertaken successfully by St. Peter Igneus in 1068 (see Delarc, op. cit.). Shortly before this the monastery of S. Salvi had been burned and the monks ill-treated by the anti-reform party. These events still further increased the repute of Vallombrosa.
Development of the order
After the founder's death the order spread rapidly. A Bull of Urban II in 1090, which takes Vallombrosa under the protection of the Holy See, enumerates fifteen monasteries besides the motherhouse. Twelve more are mentioned in a Bull of Paschal II in 1115, and twenty-four others in those of Anastasius IV (1153) and Adrian IV (1156). By the time of Innocent III they numbered over sixty. All were situated in Italy, except two monasteries in Sardinia. About 1087 Bl. Andrew of Vallombrosa (d. 1112) founded the monastery of Cornilly in the Diocese of Orléans, and in 1093 the Abbey of Chezal-Benoît, which became later the head of a considerable Benedictine congregation. There is no ground for the legend given by some writers of the order of a great Vallumbrosan Congregation in France with an abbey near Paris, founded by St. Louis. The Vallumbrosan Congregation was reformed in the middle of the fifteenth century by Cassinese Benedictines, and again by Bl. John Leonardi at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1485 certain abbeys with that of San Salvi at Florence at their head, which had formed a separate congregation, were reunited to the motherhouse by Innocent VIII. At the beginning of the sixteenth century an attempt was made by Abbot-General Milanesi to found a house of studies on university lines at Vallombrosa; but in 1527 the monastery was burned by the troops of Charles V. It was rebuilt by Abbot Nicolini in 1637, and in 1634 an observatory was established. From 1662-80 the order was united to the Sylvestrines. In 1808 Napoleon's troops plundered Vallombrosa, and the monastery lay deserted till 1815. It was finally suppressed by the Italian Government in 1866. A few monks remain to look after the church and meteorological station, but the abbey buildings have become a school of forestry founded in 1870 on the German model, the only one of its kind in Italy. Vallombrosa is also a health resort.
The decline of the order may be ascribed to the hard fate of the motherhouse, to commendams, and to the perpetual wars which ravaged Italy. Practically all the surviving monasteries were suppressed during the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The present Vallumbrosan monasteries, besides Vallombrosa itself, are: Passignano, where St. John Gualbert is buried; S. Trinità at Florence, where the abbot-general resides; Sta Prassede, in Rome; Galloro in the Diocese of Albano, with the sanctuary of Bl. Benedict Ricasoli (d. 1107); and the celebrated sanctuary of Montessoro in the Diocese of Leghorn. The modern monastery of Signol near Loriol, Drôme, France, was suppressed by the Ferry laws in 1880. The present abbot-general is Fedele Tarani. The monks now number about 100. The shield of the order shows the founder's arm in a tawny-coloured cowl grasping a golden crutch-shaped crozier on a blue ground. The services rendered by the order have been mostly in the field of asceticism. Besides the Vallumbrosan saints alluded to in other parts of this article there may also be mentioned: Bl. Veridiana, anchoress (1208-42); Bl. Giovanni Dalle Celle (feast, 10 March); the lay brother Melior (1 Aug.). By the middle of the seventeenth century the order had supplied twelve cardinals and more than 30 bishops. F. E. Hugford (1696-1771), born at Florence of English parents, is well known as one of the chief promoters of the art of scagliola (imitation of marble in plaster). Abbot-General Tamburini's works on canon law are well known. Galileo was for a time a novice at Vallombrosa and received part of his education there. Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Novena to Saint Benedict - #Miracle Prayers and #Litany to SHARE -

St. Benedict,  Patriarch of Western Monasticism, and founder of the Benedictine Order , was born in Nursia, Italy, in 480 and died in 547
NOVENA PRAYER - Say for 9 days
Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne Of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom. 
 Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you. I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayer and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it). Help me, great St. Benedict. to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.
(3) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary, (3) Glory Be St. Benedict, pray for us.
THE LITANY OF ST. BENEDICT
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Holy Father, Saint Benedict, Pray for us.
Father most reverend, Pray for us.
Father most renowned, Pray for us.
Father most compassionate, Pray for us.
Man of great fortitude, Pray for us.
Man of venerable life, Pray for us.
Man of the most holy conversation, Pray for us.
True servant of God, Pray for us.
Light of devotion, Pray for us.
Light of prayer, Pray for us.
Light of contemplation, Pray for us.
Star of the world, Pray for us.
Best master of an austere life, Pray for us.
Leader of the holy warfare, Pray for us.
Leader and chief of monks, Pray for us.
Master of those who die to the world, Pray for us.
Protector of those who cry to thee, Pray for us.
Wonderful worker of miracles, Pray for us.
Revealer of the secrets of the human heart, Pray for us.
Master of spiritual discipline, Pray for us.
Companion of the patriarchs, Pray for us.
Equal of the prophets, Pray for us.
Follower of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Teacher of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Father of many pontiffs, Pray for us.
Gem of abbots, Pray for us.
Glory of Confessors, Pray for us.
Imitator of anchorites, Pray for us.
Associate of virgins, Pray for us.
Colleague of all the Saints, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Intercede for us, O holy father Saint Benedict, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray: O God, Who hast called us from the vanity of the world, and Who dost incite us to the reward of a heavenly vocation under the guidance of our holy patriarch and founder, Saint Benedict, inspire and purify our hearts and pour forth on us Thy grace, whereby we may persevere in Thee. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
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