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Friday, October 21, 2016

Catholic News World : Friday October 21, 2016 - SHARE

 2016

#PopeFrancis "Do not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel..." on #Vocations FULL TEXT + Video


Cardinals,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Brothers and Sisters,
I receive you with joy at the end of your congress, organized by the Congregation for the Clergy, and I thank Cardinal Beniamino Stella for the courteous words he addressed to me on behalf of all.
I confess to you that I am always a bit afraid to use some common expressions of our ecclesial language: ”vocational pastoral ” might make one think of the many sectors of ecclesial action, a Curia office or, perhaps, the elaboration of a plan. I do not say that this isn’t important, but there is much more: vocational pastoral is an encounter with the Lord! When we receive Christ we live a decisive encounter, which sheds light on our existence, removes us from the anguish of our small world and makes us become disciples enamoured of the Master.
It is no accident that you chose as the title of your Congress “Miserando atque eligendo,”word of Bede the Venerable (cf. Om. 21: CCL 122, 149); Liturgia Horarum, 21 Sept., Officium lectionis, lectio II). You know – I have said it other times – that I chose this motto recalling the youthful years in which I felt the Lord’s strong call: it did not happen after a conference or because of a good theory, but because of having experienced Jesus’ merciful gaze upon me. It was like this, I tell you the truth. Therefore, it is good that you came here, from many parts of the world, to reflect on this subject but, please, may it not all end with just a beautiful congress! Vocational pastoral care is to learn Jesus’ style, which happens in places of daily life, pauses without hurry and, looks at brothers with mercy, leading them to the encounter with God the Father.
 The evangelists often evidence a particular of Jesus’ mission: He goes out on the streets and sets off (cf. Luke 9:51), “He entered cities and villages” <(cf. Luke 9:35)> and goes to meet the sufferings and the hopes of the people. He is a “God with us,” who lives amid the homes of His children and is not afraid to mix in the crowds of our cities, becoming ferment of novelty where the people struggle for a different life. We find the same detail also in the case of Matthew’s vocation: first Jesus goes out to preach again, then He sees Levi seated on the tax bench and, finally, He calls him (cf. Luke 5:27). We can pause on these three verbs, which indicate the dynamism of all vocational pastoral go out, see, call.
First of all: go out. Vocational pastoral needs a Church in movement, able to widen her borders, measuring them not on the narrowness of human calculations or the fear of making a mistake, but on the wide measure of God’s merciful heart. There cannot be a fruitful sowing of vocations if we simply remain closed in the “complacent attitude that says: “We have always done it this way,” without “bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 33). We must learn to go out of our rigidities, which make us incapable of communicating the joy of the Gospel, of the standard formulas that are often anachronistic, of the preconceived analyses that box people’s life in cold schemes. We must come out of all this.
I ask it especially of Pastors of the Church, of Bishops and priests: you are the principal responsible ones for Christian and priestly vocations, and this task cannot be relegated to a bureaucratic office. You also lived an encounter that changed your life, when another priest – a parish priest, a confessor, a spiritual director – made you experience the beauty of the love of God. And so you also: going out, listening to young people — patience is needed! –, can help them to discern the movements of their heart and guide their steps. It is sad when a priest lives only for himself, shutting himself in the safe fortress of the Rectory, of the sacristy, or of the narrow group of the “very faithful.” We are called, on the contrary, to be Pastors in the midst of the people, capable of leading a pastoral of encounter and of spending time to receive and listen to all, especially young people.
Second: to see, to go out, to see. When He passes on the streets, Jesus pauses, and His look crosses that of the other, without haste. It is this that makes His call attractive and fascinating. Today, unfortunately, the speed and velocity of the stimulations to which we are subjected do not always leave room for the interior silence in which the Lord’s call resounds. Sometimes, it is possible to run this risk even in our communities: Pastors and pastoral agents prey of speed, excessively concerned with things to do, which risk falling into an empty organizational activism, without being able to pause to meet people. Instead, the Gospel makes us see that a vocation begins with a look of mercy that paused on me. It is that term “miserando,” which expresses at the same time the embrace of the eyes and the heart. It is thus that Jesus looked at Matthew. Finally, this “publican” did not perceive a look on himself of contempt or judgment, but he felt looked at within with love. Jesus challenged people’s prejudices and etiquette. He created an open space, in which Matthew was able to look at his life again and begin a new path.
This is how I like to think of the style of vocational pastoral care. And, allow me, I imagine in the same way the look of every Pastor: attentive, not hasty, capable of pausing and of reading in depth, of entering in the other’s life without ever making him feel threatened or judged. The Pastor’s look is one capable of arousing amazement at the Gospel, of awakening from the torpor in which the culture of consumerism and superficiality immerses us and of arousing genuine questions of happiness, especially in young people. It is a look of discernment, which accompanies individuals, without either taking possession of their conscience or pretending to control God’s grace. In fine, it is an attentive and vigilant look and, therefore, called continually to be purified. And when it is a question of priestly vocations and of entering the Seminary, I beg you to carry out discernment in truth, of having a shrewd and cautious look, without lightness or superficiality. I say it in particular to Brother Bishops: vigilance and prudence. The Church and the world need mature and balanced priests, intrepid and generous Pastors, capable of closeness, of listening and of mercy.
Go out, see and, the third action  call. It is the typical verb of the Christian vocation. Jesus does not make long speeches, He does not give a program to which to adhere, He does not engage in proselytism or give pre-packaged answers. Turning to Matthew, He limits Himself to say: “Follow me!” Thus He arouses in him the fascination of discovering a new goal, opening his life to a “place” that goes beyond the small bench where he is seated. Jesus’ desire is to get people to set off, to move them from a lethal sedentariness, to break the illusion that one can live happily remaining comfortably seated among one’s securities.
This desire to search, which often dwells in the youngest, is the treasure that the Lord puts in our hands and that we must look after, cultivate and have sprout. We look at Jesus, who passes along the banks of existence, gathering the desire of one who seeks, the disappointment of a night of fishing that did not go well. The burning thirst of a woman who goes to the well and draws water, or the strong need to change one’s life. So, we too, instead of reducing the faith to a book of recipes or to a whole of norms to be observed, can help young people to pose the right questions to themselves; to set off and to discover the joy of the Gospel.
I know well that your task is not an easy one and that, sometimes, despite a generous commitment, the results can be scarce and we risk frustration and discouragement. However, if we do not close ourselves in complaint and continue to “go out” to proclaim the Gospel, the Lord stays besides us and gives us the courage to throw out the nets even when we are tired and disappointed for not having caught anything.
To Bishops and priests especially, I would like to say: persevere in making yourselves close, in closeness – that synkatabasis of the Father and the Son with us –; persevere in going out, in sowing the Word, with looks of mercy. Vocational pastoral is entrusted to your pastoral action, to your discernment and to your prayer. Take care to promote it adopting possible methods, exercising the art of discernment and giving impulse, through evangelization, to the subject of priestly vocations and consecrated life. Do not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel, to encounter, to direct the life of young people. And do not be timid in proposing to them the way of priestly life, showing, first of all with your joyful witness, how good it is to follow the Lord and to give Him your life forever. And, as foundation of this work, always remember to entrust yourselves to the Lord, imploring Him for new labourers for His harvest and supporting prayer initiatives to support vocations.
I hope that these days – in which so much richness has circulated, thanks also to the Relators that took part – will contribute to recall that vocational pastoral care is a fundamental task in the Church and calls into question the ministry of Pastors and of the laity. It is an urgent mission that the Lord asks us to carry out with generosity. I assure you of my prayer and you, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

#PopeFrancis “The mystery of the Church is the mystery of the Body of Christ..." #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said humility, gentleness and magnanimity are the three key attitudes to build unity within the Church and urged Christians to reject envy, jealousy and conflicts. He was speaking at his Mass celebrated on Friday in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his inspiration from the greeting at Mass “peace be with you,” the Pope focused his homily on what is required to nurture peace and unity and avoid war and conflicts. He said our Lord’s greeting “creates a bond” of peace and unites us to create a unity of spirit and warned that if there’s no peace and if we aren’t able to greet each other in the widest sense of the word, there will never be unity. The Pope explained that this concept applies for unity in the world, unity in the town, in the district and in the family.
The evil spirit sows wars, Christians must avoid conflicts
“The evil spirit always sows wars. Jealousy, envy, conflicts, gossip…. are things that destroy peace and therefore there cannot be unity. And how should a Christian behave to promote unity, to find this unity?  Paul tells us clearly: ‘live in a manner worthy, with all humility, gentleness and magnanimity.’  These three attitudes: humility - we cannot sow peace without humility.  Where there is arrogance, there is always war and the desire to defeat the other and believing one is superior. Without humility there is no peace and without peace there is no unity.”
Rediscover gentleness and practice mutual support
Pope Francis lamented how nowadays we have lost the ability to speak gently and instead tend to shout at each other or speak badly about other people.  He urged Christians to rediscover gentleness, saying by so doing, we are able to put up with each other, give mutual support, “be patient and put up with the faults of others or the things we don’t like.”
Help build unity with the bond of peace
“First: humility, second: gentleness with this mutual support, and third: magnanimity: a big heart, a wide-open heart that can accommodate everybody and that does not condemn, that does not become smaller because of trifling things: ‘who said that,’ ‘I heard that,’ ‘who…’ no, a large heart, there is room for everybody. And this creates the bond of peace; this is the worthy manner in which to behave to create the bond of peace which is the creator of unity. The Holy Spirit is the creator of unity but this encourages and prepares the creation of unity.”
These three attitudes, said the Pope, are the right way to respond to that call to the mystery of the Church that is the mystery of the Body of Christ.
“The mystery of the Church is the mystery of the Body of Christ: ‘one faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all’ and who works ‘through all and in all:’ this is the unity that Jesus asked the Father to grant us and we must help create this unity with the bond of peace.  And the bond of peace grows with humility, with gentleness and mutual support and with magnanimity.” 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday October 21, 2016


Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 477


Reading 1EPH 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds,
“When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny.”

Saint October 21 : St. Hilarion of Gaza : Hermit


St. Hilarion
ABBOT
Feast: October 21
Information:
Feast Day:
October 21
Born:
291 at Gaza, Palestine
Died:
371 at Cyprus

Hilarion was born in a little town called Tabatha, five miles to the south of Gaza; he sprang like a rose out of thorns, his parents being idolaters. He was sent by them very young to Alexandria to study grammar, when, by his progress in learning, he gave great proofs of his wit, for which, and his good temper and dispositions, he was exceedingly beloved by all that knew him. Being brought to the knowledge of the Christian faith, he was baptized and became immediately a new man, renouncing all the mad sports of the circus and the entertainments of the theatre, and taking no delight but in the churches and assemblies of the faithful. Having heard of St. Antony, whose name was famous in Egypt, he went into the desert to see him. Moved by the example of his virtue he changed his habit and stayed with him two months, observing his manner of life, his fervour in prayer, his humility in receiving the brethren, his severity in reproving them, his earnestness in exhorting them, and his perseverance in austerities. But not being able to bear the frequent concourse of those who resorted to St. Antony to be healed of diseases or delivered from devils, and being desirous to begin to serve God like St. Antony in perfect solitude, he returned with certain monks into his own country. Upon his arrival there, finding his father and mother both dead, he gave part of his goods to his brethren and the rest to the poor, reserving nothing for himself.
He was then but fifteen years of age, this happening about the year 307. He retired into a desert seven miles from Majuma, toward Egypt, between the seashore on one side and certain fens on the other. His friends forewarned him that the place was notorious for murders and robberies, but his answer was that he feared nothing but eternal death. Everybody admired his fervour and extraordinary manner of life. In the beginning of his retirement certain robbers who lurked in those deserts asked him what he would do if thieves and assassins came to him? He answered, "The poor and naked fear no thieves." "But they may kill you," said they. "It is true," said the holy man, "and for this very reason I am not afraid of them, because it is my endeavour to be always prepared for death." So great fervour and resolution in one so young and so tender as our saint was both surprising and edifying to all who knew him. His constitution was so weak and delicate that the least excess of heat or cold affected him very sensibly; yet his whole clothing consisted only of a piece of sackcloth, a leather coat, which St. Antony gave him, and an ordinary short cloak. Living in solitude, he thought himself at liberty to practice certain mortifications which the respect we owe to our neighbour makes unseasonable in the world. He cut his hair only once a year, against Easter; never changed any coat till it was worn out, and never washed the sackcloth which he had once put on, saying, "It is idle to look for neatness in a hair shirt."
At his first entering on this penitential life he renounced the use of bread; and for six years together his whole diet was fifteen figs a day, which he never took till sunset. When he felt the attacks of any temptation of the flesh, being angry with himself and beating his breast, he would say to his body, "I will take order, thou little ass, that thou shalt not kick; I will feed thee with straw instead of corn; and will load and weary thee, that so thou mayest think rather how to get a little bit to eat than of pleasure." He then retrenched part of his scanty meal, and sometimes fasted three or four days without eating; and when after this he was fainting, he sustained his body only with a few dried figs and the juice of herbs. At the same time, praying and singing, he would be breaking the ground with a rake, that his labour might add to the trouble of his fasting. His employment was digging or tilling the earth, or, in imitation of the Egyptian monks, weaving small twigs together with great rushes in making baskets whereby he provided himself with the frugal necessaries of life. During the first four years of his penance he had no other shelter from the inclemencies of the weather than a little hovel or arbour which he made himself of reeds and rushes which he found in a neighbouring marsh, and which he had woven together. Afterwards he built himself a little cell, which was still to be seen in St. Jerome's time; it was but four feet broad and five feet in height, and was a little longer than the extent of his body, so that a person would have rather taken it for a grave than a house. During the course of his penance he made some alteration in his diet, but never in favour of his appetites. From the age of twenty-one he for three years lived on a measure which was little more than half a pint of pulse steeped in cold water a-day; and for the next three years his whole food was dry bread with salt and water. From his twenty-seventh year to his thirty-first he ate only wild herbs and raw roots; and from thirty-one to thirty-five he took for his daily food six ounces of barley bread a day, to which he added a few kitchen herbs, but half boiled and without oil. But perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural kind of scurf and roughness, he added a little oil to this diet. Thus he went on till his sixty-fourth year when, conceiving by the decay of his strength that his death was drawing near, he retrenched even his bread, and from that time to his eightieth year his whole meal never exceeded five ounces. When he was fourscore years of age there were made for him little weak broths or gruels of flour and herbs, the whole quantity of his meat and drink scarce amounting to the weight of four ounces. Thus he passed his whole life; and he never broke his fast till sunset, not even upon the highest feasts or in his greatest sickness.
Anyone who considers the condition of man in this state of trial and the malice of the enemy of our salvation will easily conceive that our saint did not pass all these years, nor arrive at so eminent a degree of virtue and sanctity, without violent temptations and assaults from the infernal spirit; in all which he was victorious by the assistance of omnipotent grace. Sometimes his soul was covered with a dark cloud, and his heart was dry and oppressed with bitter anguish; but the deafer heaven seemed to his cries on such occasions, the louder and the more earnestly he persevered knocking. To have dropped the shield of prayer under these temptations would have been to perish. At other times his mind was haunted and his imagination filled with impure images, or with the vanities of the theatre and circus. The phantoms of the enemy St. Hilarion dissipated by casting himself upon his knees and signing his forehead with the cross of Christ; and, being enlightened and strengthened by a supernatural grace, he discovered his snares, and never suffered himself to be imposed upon by the artifices by which that subtle fiend strove to withdraw him from holy prayer, in which the saint spent the days and great part of the nights.
St. Hilarion had spent above twenty years in his desert when he wrought his first miracle. A certain married woman of Eleutheropolis, who was the scorn of her husband for her barrenness, sought him out in his solitude, and by her tears and importunities prevailed upon him to pray that God would bless her with fruitfulness; and before the year's end she brought forth a son, A second miracle much enhanced the saint's reputation. Elpidius, who was afterwards prefect of the praetorium, and his wife Aristeneta, returning from a visit of devotion they had made to St. Antony to receive his blessing and instructions, arrived at Gaza, where their three children fell sick, and their fever proving superior to the power of medicines they were brought to the last extremity, and their recovery despaired of by the physicians. The mother, like one distracted, addressed herself to Hilarion, who, moved by her tears, went to Gaza to visit them. Upon his invoking the holy name of Jesus by their bedside, the children fell into a violent sweat, by which they were so refreshed as to be able to eat, to know their mother, and kiss the saint's hand. Upon the report of this miracle many flocked to the saint, desiring to embrace a monastic life under his direction. Till that time neither Syria nor Palestine were acquainted with that penitential state; so that St. Hilarion was the first founder of it in those countries, as Antony had been in Egypt. Among other miraculous cures, several persons possessed by devils were delivered by our saint. The most remarkable were Marisitas, a young man of the territory about Jerusalem, so strong that he boasted he could carry seven bushels of corn; and Orion, a rich man of the city of Aila, who, after his cure, pressed the saint to accept many great presents, at least for the poor. But the holy hermit persisted obstinately to refuse touching any of them, bidding him bestow them himself. St. Hilarion restored sight to a woman of Facidia, a town near Rinocorura, in Egypt, who had been blind ten years. A citizen of Majuma, called Italicus, who was a Christian, kept horses to run in the circus against a Duumvir of Gaza, who adored Mamas, which was the great idol of Gaza, that word signifying in Syriac, Lord of men. Italicus, knowing that his adversary had recourse to spells to stop his horses, came to St. Hilarion, by whose blessing his horses seemed to fly while the others seemed fettered; upon seeing which the people cried out that Mamas was vanquished by Christ. From the model which our saint set, a great number of monasteries were founded all over Palestine. St. Hilarion visited them all on certain days before the vintage.
St. Hilarion was informed by revelation in Palestine, where he then was, of the death of St. Antony. He was then about sixty-five years old, and had been for two years much afflicted at the great number of bishops, priests, and people that were continually resorting to him, by which his contemplation was interrupted. At length, regretting the loss of that sweet solitude and obscurity which he formerly enjoyed, he resolved to leave that country, to prevent which the people assembled to the number of ten thousand to watch him. He told them he would neither eat nor drink till they let him go; and seeing him pass seven days without taking anything they left him. He then chose forty monks who were able to walk without breaking their fast (that is, without eating till after sunset), and with them he travelled into Egypt. On the fifth day he arrived at Peleusium; and in six days more at Babylon, in Egypt. Two days after he came to the city of Aphroditon, where he applied himself to the deacon Baisanes, who used to let dromedaries to those who had desired to visit St. Antony, for carrying water which they had occasion for in that desert. The saint desired to celebrate the anniversary of St. Antony's death by watching all night in the place where he died. After travelling three days in a horrible desert they came to St. Antony's mountain, where they found two monks, Isaac and Pelusius, who had been his disciples, and the first his interpreter. It was a very high steep rock of a mile in circuit, at the foot of which was a rivulet, with abundance of palm-trees on the borders. St. Hilarion walked all over the place with the disciples of St. Antony. Here it was, said they, that he sang, here he prayed; there he laboured, and there he reposed himself when he was weary. He himself planted these vines and these little trees; he tilled this piece of ground with his own hands; he dug this basin with abundance of labour, to water his garden, and he used this hoe to work with several years together. St. Hilarion laid himself upon his bed and kissed it as if it had been still warm. The cell contained no more space in length and breadth than what was necessary for a man to stretch himself in to sleep. On the top of the mountain (to which the ascent was very difficult, turning like a vine) they found two cells of the same size, to which he often retired to avoid a number of visitors and even the conversation of his own disciples: they were hewn in a rock, nothing but doors being added to them. When they came to the garden, "Do you see," said Isaac, "this little garden planted with trees and pot-herbs? About three years since a herd of wild asses coming to destroy it, he stopped one of the first of them and, striking him on the sides with his staff, said, 'Why do you eat what you did not sow?' From that time forward they only came hither to drink, without meddling with the trees or herbs." St. Hilarion asked to see the place where he was buried. They carried him to a bye place; but it is uncertain whether they showed it him or no; for they showed no grave, and only said that St. Antony had given the strictest charge that his grave should be concealed, fearing lest Pergamius, who was a very rich man in that country, should carry the body home and cause a church to be built for it.
St. Hilarion returned from this place to Aphroditon, and, retiring with only two disciples into a neighbouring desert, exercised himself with more earnestness than ever in abstinence and silence; saying, according to his custom, that he then only began to serve Jesus Christ. It had not rained in the country for three years, that is, ever since the death of St. Antony, when the people in deep affliction and misery addressed themselves to St. Hilarion, whom they looked upon as St. Antony's successor, imploring his compassion and prayers. The saint, sensibly affected with their distress, lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven, and immediately obtained a plentiful rain. Also many labourers and herdsmen who were stung by serpents and venomous beasts were perfectly cured by anointing their wounds with oil which he had blessed and given them. Though oil be the natural and sovereign antidote against poison, these cures by his blessing were esteemed miraculous. The saint, seeing the extraordinary honours which were paid him in that place, departed privately towards Alexandria, in order to proceed to the desert of Oasis. It not being his custom to stop in great cities, he turned from Alexandria into Brutium, a remote suburb of that city, where several monks dwelt. He left this place the same evening, and when these monks very importunately pressed his stay he told them that it was necessary for their security that he should leave them. The sequel showed that he had the spirit of prophecy; for that very night armed men arrived there in pursuit of him, with an order to put him to death. When Julian the Apostate ascended the throne, the pagans of Gaza obtained an order from that prince to kill him, in revenge of the affront he had put upon their god Mamas, and of the many conversions he had made; and they had sent this party into Egypt to execute the sentence. The soldiers, finding themselves disappointed at Brutium, said he well deserved the character of a magician which he had at Gaza. The saint spent about a year in the desert of Oasis, and, finding that he was too well known in that country ever to lie concealed there, determined to seek shelter in some remote island, and, going to Paretonium in Lybia, embarked there with one companion for Sicily. He landed at Pachynus, a famous promontory on the eastern side of the island, now called Capo di Passaro. Upon landing he offered to pay for his passage and that of his companion with a copy of the gospels which he had written in his youth with his own hand; but the master, seeing their whole stock consisted in that manuscript and the clothes on their backs, would not accept of it; he even esteemed himself indebted to this passenger, who by his prayers had delivered his son, who was possessed by a devil, on board the vessel. St. Hilarion, fearing lest he should be discovered by some oriental merchants if he settled near the coast, travelled twenty miles up the country and stopped in an unfrequented wild place; where, by gathering sticks, he made every day a fagot, which he sent his disciple, whose name was Zanan, to sell at the next village, in order to buy a little bread. Hesychius, the saint's beloved disciple, had sought him in the East and through Greece when, at Methone, now called Modon, in Peloponnesus, he heard that a prophet had appeared in Sicily who wrought many miracles. He embarked and arrived at Pachynus; and inquiring for the holy man at the first village, found that everybody knew him; he was not more distinguished by his miracles than by his disinterestedness; for he could never be prevailed upon to take anything, not so much as a morsel of bread, from anyone.
St. Hilarion was desirous to go into some strange country, where not even his language should be understood. Hesychius therefore carried him to Epidaurus in Dalmatia, now Old Ragusa, the ruins of which city are seen near the present capital of the republic of that name. Miracles here again defeated the saint's design of living unknown. St. Hilarion, seeing it impossible to live there unknown, fled away in the night in a small vessel to the island of Cyprus. Being arrived there, he retired to a place two miles from Paphos. He had not been there three weeks when such as were possessed with devils in any part of the island began to cry out that Hilarion, the servant of Jesus Christ, was come. He expelled the evil spirits, but, sighing after the tranquillity of closer retirement, considered how he could make his escape to some other country; but the inhabitants watched him that he might not leave them. After two years Hesychius persuaded him to lay aside that design and retire to a solitary place which he had found twelve miles from the shore, not unpleasantly situated among very rough and craggy mountains, where there was water with fruit-trees, which advice the saint followed, but he never tasted the fruit. St. Jerome mentions that though he lived so many years in Palestine, he never went up to visit the holy places at Jerusalem but once; and then stayed only one day in that city. He went once that he might not seem to despise that devotion; but did not go oftener, lest he should seem persuaded that God or his religious worship is confined to any particular place. His chief reason, doubtless, was to shun the distractions of populous places that as much as possible nothing might interrupt the close union of his soul to God. The saint, in the eightieth year of his age, whilst Hesychius was absent, wrote him a short letter with his own hand in the nature of a last will and testament, in which he bequeathed to him all his riches, namely, his book of the gospels, his sackcloth, hood, and little cloak. Many pious persons came from Paphos to see him in his last sickness, hearing he had foretold that he was to go to our Lord. With them there came a holy woman named Constantia, whose son-in-law and daughter he had freed from death by anointing them with oil. He caused them to swear that as soon as he should have expired, they would immediately commit his corpse to the earth, apparelled as he was, with his hair-cloth, hood, and cloak. His distemper increasing upon him, very little heat appeared to remain in his body, nor did anything seem to remain in him of a living man besides his understanding, only his eyes were still open. He expressed his sense of the divine judgments, but encouraged his soul to an humble confidence in the mercy of his Judge and Redeemer, saying to himself, "Go forth, what cost thou fear? go forth, my soul, what cost thou apprehend? Behold, it is now threescore and ten years that thou hast served Christ; and art thou afraid of death?" He had scarcely spoken these words but he gave up the ghost, and was immediately buried as he had ordered.
St. Hilarion died in 371, or the following year, being about eighty years of age; for he was sixty-five years old at the death of St. Antony. Hesychius, who was in Palestine, made haste to Cyprus upon hearing this news and, pretending to take up his dwelling in the same garden, after ten months found an opportunity of secretly carrying off the saint's body into Palestine, where he interred it in his monastery, near Majuma. It was as entire as it was when alive, and the cloths were untouched. Many miracles were wrought, both in Cyprus and Palestine, through his intercession, as St. Jerome assures us. Sozomen mentions his festival to have been kept with great solemnity in the fifth age. See his life written by St. Jerome before the year 392.
If this saint trembled after an innocent, penitential, and holy life, because he considered how perfect the purity and sanctity of a soul must be to stand before him who is infinite purity and infinite justice, how much ought tepid, slothful, and sinful Christians to fear? Whilst love inflames the saints with an ardent desire of being united to their God in the kingdom of pure love and security, a holy fear of his justice checks and humbles in them all presumption. This fear must never sink into despondency, abjection, or despair; but quicken our sloth, animate our fervour, and raise our courage; it must be solicitous, not anxious. Love and hope must fill our souls with sweet peace and joy, and with an entire confidence in the infinite mercy and goodness of God, and the merits of our divine Redeemer. SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Saint October 21 : St. Ursula and Companions - #Virgin #Martyrs


The experiences of Ursula and her eleven thousand companions became the subject of a pious romance which acquired considerable celebrity.  This legendary account is well known: Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin, she obtained a delay of three years. At her request she was given as companions ten young women of noble birth, and she and each of the ten were accompanied by a thousand virgins, and the whole company, embarking in eleven ships sailed for three years. When the appointed time was come, and Ursula's betrothed was about to claim her, a gale of wind carried the eleven thousand virgins far from the shores of England, and they went first by water to Cologne and thence to Basle, then by land from Basle to Rome. They finally returned to Cologne, where they were slain by the Huns in hatred of the Faith. The literary origin of this romance is not easy to determine. Apart from the inscription of Clematius, transcribed in the Passion "Fuit tempore" and paraphrased in the "Regnante Domino" Passion and the "Sermo in natali", the writers seem to have been aware of a Gallic legend of which a late version is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth: the usurper Maximus (as Geoffrey calls the Emperor Maximian), having conquered British Armorica, sent there from Great Britain 100,000 colonists and 30,000 soldiers, and committed the government of Armorica to his former enemy, now his friend, the Breton prince, Conanus Meriadocus. The latter decided to bring women from Great Britain to marry them to his subjects, to which end he appealed to Dionotus, King of Cornwall, who sent him his daughter Ursula, accompanied by 11,000 noble virgins and 60,000 other young women. As the fleet which carried them sailed towards Armorica, a violent storm destroyed some of the ships and drove the rest of them to barbarian islands in Germany, where the virgins were slain by the Huns and the Picts. However, this account has been regarded by several writers since Baronius as containing a summary of the true history of the holy martyrs. Like the Passions of Cologne, it has been subjected to the anti-scientific method, which consists in setting aside as false the improbabilities, impossibilities, and manifest fables, and regarding the rest as authentic history. As a consequence two essential traits remain: the English origin of the saints and their massacre by the Huns; and then, according as adherence is given to the "Sermo in natali", Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the Passion "Regnante Domino", the martyrdom of St. Ursula is placed in the third, fourth, or fifth century. In order to account for all the details, two massacres of virgins at Cologne have been accepted, one in the third century, the other in the fifth. The different solutions with their variations suggested by scholars, sometimes with levity, sometimes with considerable learning, all share the important defect of being based on relatively late documents, unauthoritative and disfigured by manifest fables.As they are now unhesitatingly rejected by everyone, it suffices to treat them briefly. In the twelfth century there were discovered in the Ager Ursulanus at Cologne, some distance from the Church of St. Ursula, skeletons not only of women, but of little children, and even of men, and with them inscriptions which it is impossible not to recognize as gross forgeries.  Although the history of these saints of Cologne is obscure and very short, their cult was very widespread, and it would require a volume to relate in detail its many and remarkable manifestations. To mention only two characteristics, since the twelfth century a large number of relics have been sent from Cologne, not only to neighbouring countries but throughout Western Christendom, and even India and China. The legend of the Eleven Thousand Virgins has inspired a host of works of art, several of them of the highest merit, the most famous being the paintings of the old masters of Cologne, those of Memling at Bruges, and of Carpaccio at Venice. The Order of Ursulines, founded in 1535 by St. Angela de Merici, and especially devoted to the education of young girls, has also helped to spread throughout the world the name and the cult of St. Ursula. Catholic Encyclopedia

SHARE - Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus Apostle : #Patron of #Impossible - #Prayer Begins

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
 "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
Prayer to be recited 
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)
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