Thursday, December 22, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday December 22, 2016 - SHARE


Wow the Christmas Story Touchingly told by Children with Down Syndrome by #ProLife group - goes Viral - SHARE

This Christmas Story was told by Children with Down Syndrome is so touching it will break your heart...SHARE with everyone! 

#BreakingNews Girl Killed and Church Looted in Clashes - Democratic Republic of Congo - Please PRAY

Clashes in Lubumbashi; "a girl killed and a parish looted " according to local sources

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The people, especially in the suburbs, took to the streets to protest. There were clashes with the police, with gunfire. We have news of a student who was killed by a stray bullet. Cars were set on fire and some shops were looted. A parish was also looted", say Church sources to Agenzia Fides from Lubumbashi, the second largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo and former capital of the old province of Katanga. "At the moment tension has decreased, but the streets are deserted, and even public transport does not circulate, there are only the police and the army".
The people took to the streets to protest for the missing presidential elections which were to be held this year, while yesterday at midnight the second and last term of outgoing President Joseph Kabila expired. Lubumbashi is the electoral fiefdom of Moïse Katumbi, the former governor of Katanga, regarded as one of the leading candidates for Presidency, once elections are held. But Katumbi was accused of an attempted coup and has found refuge abroad (see Fides 31/05/2016).
Kabila, who intends to stay in power until the election of his successor, appointed a new government resulting from the Agreement of 18 October (see Fides 18/10/2016) between the presidential majority and the opposition. Most of the opponents, under the name "Le Rassemblement" calls instead for Kabila to leave power immediately. The leader of "Le Rassemblement", the historical opponent Etienne Tshisekedi, has appealed to the population to no longer recognize Kabila as Head of State. The capital Kinshasa, like other major Congolese cities are at a stand still, with the people locked in the house and the police who patrol the streets. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2016)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday December 22, 2016

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Lectionary: 198

Reading 11 SM 1:24-28

In those days,
Hannah brought Samuel with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy’s father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
“Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.”
She left Samuel there.

Responsorial Psalm1 SM 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8ABCD

R. (see 1a) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:46-56

Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months
and then returned to her home.

Christmas Novena : Day 6 : Official Plenary #Indulgence - #Prayers to SHARE

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Day 6 Prayers

The Adoration of the Kings
O most sweet infant Jesus, who was made known
to the three kings, who worshipped you as you lie on
Mary's breast, and offered you the mystical presents
of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...

Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4:
Day 5:
Day 6:
Day 7:
Day 8:
Day 9: 

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

Saint December 22 : St. Chaeremon : #Bishop : #Martyr

St. Chaeremon
Feast: December 22

Feast Day:December 22
St. Chaeremon was Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. During the anti-Christian persecution instituted by Emperor Trajanus Decius (r. 249-251), Chaeromon was quite elderly. Chaeromon and some companions fled into the Arabian Desert and they were never seen again. The bishop and his companions are listed as martyrs. (Image Source: Google)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

#PopeFrancis "God walks with us in Jesus and to walk with Him towards the fullness of life..." #Advent Audience - FULL TEXT

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We have just begun a series of catecheses on the theme of hope, all the more appropriate in the Season of Advent. Up to now, the prophet Isaiah has been guiding us. Today, a few days from Christmas, I would like to reflect more specifically on the moment in which, so to speak, hope entered the world, with the Incarnation of the Son of God. Isaiah himself pre-announced the Messiah’s birth in some passages: “Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”: (7:14); and also “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). The meaning of Christmas shines through these passages: God fulfils the promise making Himself man; He does not abandon His people, He comes close to the point of despoiling Himself of his divinity. Thus God shows His fidelity and inaugurates a new Kingdom, which gives a new hope to humanity. And what is this hope? Eternal life.
When there is talk of hope, it refers often to that which is not in man’s power and which is not visible. In fact, what we hope for goes beyond our strength and our gaze. However, Christ’s birth, inaugurating the Redemption, speaks to us of a different hope, a reliable, visible and comprehensible hope, because it is founded on God. He entered the world and gave us the strength to walk with him: God walks with us in Jesus and to walk with Him towards the fullness of life gives us the strength to be in the present in a new way, though laborious. For the Christian to hope, therefore, means the certainty of being on the way with Christ towards the Father, who awaits us. Hope never stops, hope is always on the way and makes us walk forward. This hope, which the Child of Bethlehem gives us, offers a goal, a good destiny to the present, the salvation of humanity, beatitude to the one who entrusts himself to the merciful God. Saint Paul summarizes all this with the expression: “For in this hope we were saved” (Romans 8:24). That is, walking in this way, with hope, we are saved. And here, we can each ask ourselves the question: do I walk with hope or is my interior life stopped, closed? Is my heart a closed drawer or a drawer open to hope, which has me walk with Christ, and not alone?
During the Season of Advent, the Crib is prepared in Christians’ homes, according to the tradition that goes back to Saint Francis of Assisi. In its simplicity, the Crib transmits hope; each of the personages is immersed in this atmosphere of hope.
We note first of all the place where Jesus is born: Bethlehem. A small borough of Judea where a thousand years earlier David was born, the shepherd chosen by God as King of Israel. Bethlehem is not a capital, therefore it is preferred by Divine Providence, which loves to act through the little ones and humble ones. In that place, the much awaited “son of David” was born, Jesus, in whom God’s hope and man’s hope meet.
Then we look at Mary, Mother of Hope. With her “Yes” she opened the door of our world to God: her girl’s heart was full of hope, all animated by faith; and so God chose her and she believed in His word. She, who for nine months was the Ark of the new and eternal Covenant, contemplated the Child in the cavern and saw in Him the love of God, who comes to save His people and the whole of humanity.
At Mary’s side is Joseph, descendant of Jesse and David; he too believed in the Angel’s words and, looking at Jesus in the manger, he meditated that that Child came from the Holy Spirit, and that God Himself ordered him to call him thus, “Jesus.” In that name is every man’s hope, because through that son of woman, God will save humanity from death and sin. Therefore, it is important to look at the Crib!
Also at the Crib are the shepherds, who represent the humble and the poor who were awaiting the Messiah, the “consolation of Israel”  (Luke 2:25) and the “redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). In that Child they saw the fulfilment of the promises and they hope that God’s salvation will finally reach each one of them. One who trusts in his own securities, especially material, does not await God’s salvation. Let’s get this in our head: our securities will not save us; the only security that saves us is that of hope in God. He saves us because He is strong and makes us walk in life with joy, with the desire to do good, with the desire to become happy for eternity. Instead, the little ones, the shepherds, trust in God, hope in Him and rejoice when they recognize in that Child the sign indicated by the Angels (cf. Luke 2:12).
And in fact the choir of Angels proclaims from on high the great design that the Child carries out: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). Christian hope is expressed in praise and thanksgiving to God, who has inaugurated His Kingdom of love, justice and peace.
Dear brothers and sisters, in these days, contemplating the Crib, we prepare ourselves for the Lord’s Birth. It will be truly a celebration if we receive Jesus, seed of hope that God deposits in the furrows of our personal and communal history. Every “Yes” to Jesus who comes is a seed of hope. Let us have confidence in this seed of hope, in this yes: “Yes, Jesus, you can save me, you can save me.” A Happy Christmas of hope to all!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
In the atmosphere of joyful expectation of Christmas, now close, I am pleased to greet affectionately the Italian-speaking faithful. I greet the Genitori de Stelle Association, with the Bishop of Avezzano, Monsignor Pietro Santoro; the delegation of the Municipality of Bolsena and the members of the Association of Bakers of Rome.
I greet the scouts with the torch of the cradle of the Nativity at Bethlehem; the Mariana Betania Oasis Community of Alvito and the students, particularly those of the Capriotti Institute of San Benedetto del Tronto. I invite all to prayer and to commitment in works of mercy so that Christmas is a personal encounter with the Lord and arouses in us resolutions of goodness and solidarity.
Finally, a special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Dear young people, prepare yourselves for the mystery of the Incarnation with the obedience of faith and humility, which were Mary’s. You, dear sick, draw from her that strength and ardor for Jesus who comes among us. And you, dear newlyweds, contemplate the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, to practice the same virtues in your family life’s journey.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
In the light of my recent meeting with the President and Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I address again a heartfelt appeal to all the Congolese so that, in this delicate moment of their history, they are architects of reconciliation and peace. May those who have political responsibilities listen to the voice of their consciences, be able to see the cruel sufferings of their countrymen and have the common good at heart. In assuring, my support and my affection to the beloved people of that country, I invite all to allow themselves to be guided by the light of the Redeemer of the world and I pray that the Lord’s Birth will open paths of hope.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday December 21, 2016

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Lectionary: 197

Reading 1SG 2:8-14

Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!
“For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”

OrZEP 3:14-18A

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21

R. (1a; 3a) Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Saint December 21 : Saint Peter Canisius : Patron of Catholic Press and Germany - #Deutschland

Born at Nimwegen in the Netherlands, 8 May, 1521;
died in Fribourg, 21 November, 1597.
His father was the wealthy burgomaster, Jacob Canisius; his mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, died shortly after Peter's birth. In 1536 Peter was sent to Cologne, where he studied arts, civil law, and theology at the university; he spent a part of 1539 at the University of Louvain, and in 1540 received the degree of Master of Arts at Cologne. Nicolaus van Esche was his spiritual adviser, and he was on terms of friendship with such staunch Catholics as Georg of Skodborg (the expelled Archbishop of Lund), Johann Gropper (canon of the cathedral), Eberhard Billick (the Carmelite monk), Justus Lanspergius, and other Carthusian monks. Although his father desired him to marry a wealthy young woman, on 25 February, 1540 he pledged himself to celibacy. In 1543 he visited Peter Faber and, having made the "Spiritual Exercises" under his direction, was admitted into the Society of Jesus at Mainz, on 8 May. With the help of Leonhard Kessel and others, Canisius, labouring under great difficulties, founded at Cologne the first German house of the order; at the same time he preached in the city and vicinity, and debated and taught in the university. In 1546 he was admitted to the priesthood, and soon afterwards was sent by the clergy and university to obtain assistance from Emperor Charles V, the nuncio, and the clergy of Liège against the apostate Archbishop, Hermann von Wied, who had attempted to pervert the diocese. In 1547, as the theologian of Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Bishop of Augsburg, he participated in the general ecclesiastical council (which sat first at Trent and then at Bologna), and spoke twice in the congregation of the theologians. After this he spent several months under the direction of Ignatius in Rome. In 1548 he taught rhetoric at Messina, Sicily, preaching in Italian and Latin. At this time Duke William IV of Bavaria requested Paul III to send him some professors from the Society of Jesus for the University of Ingolstadt; Canisius was among those selected.
On 7 September, 1549, he made his solemn profession as Jesuit at Rome, in the presence of the founder of the order. On his journey northward he received, at Bologna, the degree of doctor of theology. On 13 November, accompanied by Fathers Jaius and Salmeron, he reached Ingolstadt, where he taught theology, catechized, and preached. In 1550 he was elected rector of the university, and in 1552 was sent by Ignatius to the new college in Vienna; there he also taught theology in the university, preached at the Cathedral of St. Stephen, and at the court of Ferdinand I, and was confessor at the hospital and prison. During Lent, 1553 he visited many abandoned parishes in Lower Austria, preaching and administering the sacraments. The king's eldest son (later Maximilian II) had appointed to the office of court preacher, Phauser, a married priest, who preached the Lutheran doctrine. Canisius warned Ferdinand I, verbally and in writing, and opposed Phauser in public disputations. Maximilian was obliged to dismiss Phauser and, on this account, the rest of his life he harboured a grudge against Canisius. Ferdinand three times offered him the Bishopric of Vienna, but he refused. In 1557 Julius III appointed him administrator of the bishopric for one year, but Canisius succeeded in ridding himself of this burden (cf. N. Paulus in "Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie", XXII, 742-8). In 1555 he was present at the Diet of Augsburg with Ferdinand, and in 1555-56 he preached in the cathedral of Prague. After long negotiations and preparations he was able to open Jesuit colleges at Ingolstadt and Prague. In the same year Ignatius appointed him first provincial superior of Upper Germany (Swabia, Bavaria, Bohemia, Hungary, Lower and Upper Austria). During the winter of 1556-57 he acted as adviser to the King of the Romans at the Diet of Ratisbon and delivered many sermons in the cathedral. By the appointment of the Catholic princes and the order of the pope he took part in the religious discussions at Worms. As champion of the Catholics he repeatedly spoke in opposition to Melanchthon. The fact that the Protestants disagreed among themselves and were obliged to leave the field was due in a great measure to Canisius. He also preached in the cathedral of Worms.
During Advent and Christmas he visited the Bishop of Strasburg at Zabern, started negotiations for the building of a Jesuit college there, preached, explained the catechism to the children, and heard their confessions. He also preached in the cathedral of Strasburg and strengthened the Catholics of Alsace and Freiburg in their faith. Ferdinand, on his way to Frankfort to be proclaimed emperor, met him at Nuremburg and confided his troubles to him. Then Duke Albert V of Bavaria secured his services; at Straubing the pastors and preachers had fled, after having persuaded the people to turn from the Catholic faith. Canisius remained in the town for six weeks, preaching three or four times a day, and by his gentleness he undid much harm. From Straubing he was called to Rome to be present at the First General Congregation of his order, but before its close Paul IV sent him with the nuncio Mentuati to Poland to the imperial Diet of Pieterkow; at Cracow he addressed the clergy and members of the university. In the year 1559 he was summoned by the emperor to be present at the Diet of Augsburg. There, at the urgent request of the chapter, he became preacher at the cathedral and held this position until 1566. His manuscripts show the care with which he wrote his sermons. In a series of sermons he treats of the end of man, of the Decalogue, the Mass, the prophecies of Jonas; at the same time he rarely omitted to expound the Gospel of the day; he spoke in keeping with the spirit of the age, explained the justification of man, Christian liberty, the proper way of interpreting the Scriptures, defended the worship of saints, the ceremonies of the Church, religious vows, indulgences. urged obedience to the Church authorities, confession, communion, fasting, and almsgiving; he censured the faults of the clergy, at times perhaps too sharply, as he felt that they were public and that he must avoid demanding reformation from the laity only. Against the influence of evil spirits he recommended the means of defence which had been in use in the Church during the first centuries—lively faith, prayer, ecclesiastical benedictions, and acts of penance. From 1561-62 he preached about two hundred and ten sermons, besides giving retreats and teaching catechism. In the cathedral, his confessional and the altar at which he said Mass were surrounded by crowds, and alms were placed on the altar. The envy of some of the cathedral clergy was aroused, and Canisius and his companions were accused of usurping the parochial rights. The pope and bishop favoured the Jesuits, but the majority of the chapter opposed them. Canisius was obliged to sign an agreement according to which he retained the pulpit but gave up the right of administering the sacraments in the cathedral. In 1559 he opened a college in Munich; in 1562 he appeared at Trent as papal theologian. The council was discussing the question whether communion should be administered under both forms to those of the laity who asked for it. Lainez, the general of the Society of Jesus, opposed it unconditionally. Canisius held that the cup might be administered to the Bohemians and to some Catholics whose faith was not very firm. After one month he departed from Trent, but he continued to support the work of the Fathers by urging the bishops to appear at the council, by giving expert opinion regarding the Index and other matters, by reports on the state of public opinion, and on newly-published books. In the spring of 1563 he rendered a specially important service to the Church; the emperor had come to Innsbruck (near Trent), and had summoned thither several scholars, including Canisius, as advisers. Some of these men fomented the displeasure of the emperor with the pope and the cardinals who presided over the council. For months Canisius strove to reconcile him with the Curia. He has been blamed unjustly for communicating to his general and to the pope's representatives some of Ferdinand's plans, which otherwise might have ended contrary to the intention of all concerned in the dissolution of the council and in a new national apostasy. The emperor finally granted all the pope's demands and the council was able to proceed and to end peacefully. All Rome praised Canisius, but soon after he lost favour with Ferdinand and was denounced as disloyal; at this time he also changed his views regarding the giving of the cup to the laity (in which the emperor saw a means of relieving all his difficulties), saying that such a concession would only tend to confuse faithful Catholics and to encourage the disobedience of the recalcitrant. In 1562 the College of Innsbruck was opened by Canisius, and at that time he acted as confessor to the "Queen" Magdalena (declared Venerable in 1906 by Pius X; daughter of Ferdinand I, who lived with her four sisters at Innsbruck), and as spiritual adviser to her sisters. At their request he sent them a confessor from the society, and, when Magdalena presided over the convent, which she had founded at Hall, he sent her complete directions for attaining Christian perfection. In 1563 he preached at many monasteries in Swabia; in 1564 he sent the first missionaries to Lower Bavaria, and recommended the provincial synod of Salzburg not to allow the cup to the laity, as it had authority to do; his advice, however, was not accepted. In this year Canisius opened a college at Dillingen and assumed, in the name of the order, the administration of the university which had been founded there by Cardinal Truchsess. In 1565 he took part in the Second General Congregation of the order in Rome. While in Rome he visited Philip, son of the Protestant philologist Joachim Camerarius, at that time a prisoner of the Inquisition, and instructed and consoled him. Pius IV sent him as his secret nuncio to deliver the decrees of the Council of Trent to Germany; the pope also commissioned him to urge their enforcement, to ask the Catholic princes to defend the Church at the coming diet, and to negotiate for the founding of colleges and seminaries. Canisius negotiated more or less successfully with the Electors of Mainz and Trier, with the bishops of Augsburg, Würzburg, Osnabrück, Münster, and Paderborn, with the Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, and with the City and University of Cologne; he also visited Nimwegen, preaching there and at other places; his mission, however, was interrupted by the death of the pope. Pius V desired its continuation, but Canisius requested to be relieved; he said that it aroused suspicions of espionage, of arrogance, and of interference in politics (for a detailed account of his mission see "Stimmen aus Maria-Laach", LXXI, 58, 164, 301).
At the Diet of Augsburg (1566), Canisius and other theologians, by order of the pope, gave their services to the cardinal legate Commendone; with the help of his friends he succeeded, although with great difficulty, in persuading the legate not to issue his protest against the religious peace, and thus prevented a new fratricidal war. The Catholic members of the diet accepted the decrees of the council, the designs of the Protestants were frustrated, and from that time a new and vigorous life began for the Catholics in Germany. In the same year Canisius went to Wiesensteig, where he visited and brought back to the Church the Lutheran Count of Helfenstein and his entire countship, and where he prepared for death two witches who had been abandoned by the Lutheran preachers. In 1567 he preached the Lenten sermons in the cathedral of Würzburg, gave instruction in the Franciscan church twice a week to the children and domestics of the town, and discussed the foundling of a Jesuit college at Würzburg with the bishop. Then followed the diocesan synod of Dillingen (at which Canisius was principal adviser of the Bishop of Augsburg), journeys to Würzburg, Mainz, Speyer, and a visit to the Bishop of Strasburg, whom he advised, though unsuccessfully, to take a coadjutor. At Dillingen he received the application of Stanislaus Kostka to enter the Society of Jesus, and sent him with hearty recommendations to the general of the order at Rome. At this time he successfully settled a dispute in the philosophical faculty of the University of Ingolstadt. In 1567 and 1568 he went several times to Innsbruck, where in the name of the general he consulted with the Archduke Ferdinand II and his sisters about the confessors of the archduchesses and about the establishment of a Jesuit house at Hall. In 1569 the general decided to accept the college at Hall.
During Lent of 1568 Canisius preached at Ellwangen, in Würtemberg; from there he went with Cardinal Truchsess to Rome. The Upper German province of the order had elected the provincial as its representative at the meeting of the procurators; this election was illegal, but Canisius was admitted. For months he collected in the libraries of Rome material for a great work which he was preparing. In 1569 he returned to Augsburg and preached Lenten sermons in the Church of St. Mauritius. Having been a provincial for thirteen years (an unusually long time) he was relieved of the office at his own request, and went to Dillingen, where he wrote, catechized, and heard confessions, his respite, however, was short; in 1570 he was obliged again to go to Augsburg. A year latter he was compelled to move to Innsbruck and to accept the office of court preacher to Archduke Ferdinand II. In 1575 Gregory XIII sent him with papal messages to the archduke and to the Duke of Bavaria. When he arrived in Rome to make his report, the Third General Congregation of the order was assembled and, by special favour, Canisius was invited to be present. From this time he was preacher in the parish church of Innsbruck until the Diet of Ratisbon (1576), which he attended as theologian of the cardinal legate Morone. In the following year he supervised at Ingolstadt the printing of an important work, and induced the students of the university to found a sodality of the Blessed Virgin. During Lent, 1578, he preached at the court of Duke William of Bavaria at Landshut. The nuncio Bonhomini desired to have a college of the society at Fribourg; the order at first refused on account of the lack of men, but the pope intervened and, at the end of 1580, Canisius laid the foundation stone. In 1581 he founded a sodality of the Blessed Virgin among the citizens and, soon afterwards, sodalities for women and students; in 1582 schools were opened, and he preached in the parish church and in other places until 1589. The canton had not been left uninfluenced by the Protestant movement. Canisius worked indefatigably with the provost Peter Schnewly, the Franciscan Johannes Michel, and others, for the revival of religious sentiments amongst the people; since then Fribourg has remained a stronghold of the Catholic Church. In 1584, while on the way to take part in another meeting of the order at Augsburg, he preached at Lucerne and made a pilgrimage to the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin at Einsiedeln. According to his own account, it was then that St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Fribourg, made known to him his desire that Canisius should not leave Fribourg again. Many times the superiors of the order planned to transfer him to another house, but the nuncio, the city council, and the citizens themselves opposed the measure; they would not consent to lose this celebrated and saintly man. The last years of his life he devoted to the instruction of converts, to making spiritual addresses to the brothers of the order, to writing and re-editing books. The city authorities ordered his body to be buried before the high altar of the principal church, the Church of St. Nicolaus, from which they were translated in 1625 to that of St. Michael, the church of the Jesuit College.
Canisius held that to defend the Catholic truths with the pen was just as important as to convert the Hindus. At Rome and Trent he strongly urged the appointment at the council, at the papal court, and in other parts of Italy, of able theologians to write in defence of the Catholic faith. He begged Pius V to send yearly subsidies to the Catholic printers of Germany, and to permit German scholars to edit Roman manuscripts; he induced the city council of Fribourg to erect a printing establishment, and he secured special privileges for printers. He also kept in touch with the chief Catholic printers of his time — Plantin of Antwerp, Cholin of Cologne, and Mayer of Dillingen — and had foreign works of importance reprinted in Germany, for example, the works of Andrada, Fontidonio, and Villalpando in defence of the Council of Trent.
Canisius advised the generals of the order to create a college of authors; urged scholars like Bartholomæus Latomus, Friedrich Staphylus, and Hieronymus Torensis to publish their works; assisted Onofrio Panvinio and the polemic Stanislaus Hosius, reading their manuscripts and correcting proofs; and contributed to the work of his friend Surius on the councils. At his solicitation the "Briefe aus Indien", the first relations of Catholic missioners, were published (Dillingen, 1563-71); "Canisius", wrote the Protestant preacher, Witz, "by this activity gave an impulse which deserves our undivided recognition, indeed which arouses our admiration" ("Petrus Canisius", Vienna, 1897, p. 12). The latest bibliography of the Society of Jesus devotes thirty-eight quarto pages to a list of the works published by Canisius and their different editions, and it must be added that this list is incomplete. The most important of his works are described below; the asterisk signifies that the work bears the name of Canisius neither on the title page nor in the preface. His chief work is his triple "Catechism". In 1551 King Ferdinand I asked the University of Vienna to write a compendium of Christian doctrine, and Canisius wrote (Vienna, 1555), at first for advanced students, his "Summa doctrinæ christianæ . . . in usum Christianæ pueritiæ", two hundred and eleven questions in five chapters (the first edition appeared without the name of the author, but later all three catechisms bore his name); then a short extract for school children, "Summa . . . ad captum rudiorum accommodata" (Ingolstadt, 1556), was published as an appendix to the "Principia Grammatices"; his catechism for students of the lower and middle grades, "Parvus Catechismus Catholicorum" (later known as "Institutiones christianæ pietatis" or "Catechismus catholicus"), is an extract from the larger catechism, written in the winter of 1557-58. Of the first Latin edition (Cologne, 1558), no copy is known to exist; the German edition appeared at Dillingen, 1560. The "Summa" only received its definite form in the Cologne edition of 1556; it contains two hundred and twenty-two questions, and two thousand quotations from the Scriptures, and about twelve hundred quotations from the Fathers of the Church are inscribed on the margins; later all these quotations were compiled in the original by Peter Busæus, S.J., and appeared in four quarto volumes under the title "Authoritates Sacræ Scripturæ et Sanctorum patrum" etc. (Cologne, 1569-70); in 1557 Johannes Hasius, S.J., published the same work in one large folio volume, entitled "Opus catechisticum", for which Canisius wrote an introduction. The catechism of Canisius is remarkable for its ecclesiastically correct teachings, its clear, positive sentences, its mild and dignified form. It is today recognized as a masterpiece even by non-Catholics, e.g., the historians Ranke, Menzel, Philippson, and the theologians Kawerau, Rouffet, Zerschwitz.
Pius V entrusted Canisius with the confutation of the Centuriators of Magdeburg. Canisius undertook to prove the dishonesty of the centuriators by exposing their treatment of the principal persons in the Gospel — John the Baptist, the Mother of God, the Apostle St. Peter—and published (Dillingen, 1571) his next most important work, "Commentariorum de Verbi Dei corruptelis liber primus: in quo de Sanctissimi Præcursoris Domini Joannis Baptistæ Historia Evangelica . . . pertractatur". Here the confutation of the principal errors of Protestantism is exegetical and historical rather than scholastical; in 1577 "De Maria Virgine incomparabili, et Dei Genitrice sacrosancta, libri quinque" was published at Ingolstadt. Later he united these two works into one book of two volumes, "Commentariorum de Verbi corruptelis" (Ingolstadt, 1583, and later Paris and Lyons); the treatise on St. Peter and his primacy was only begun; the work on the Virgin Mary contains some quotations from the Fathers of the Church that had not been printed previously, and treats of the worship of Mary by the Church. A celebrated theologian of the present day called this work a classic defence of the whole Catholic doctrine about the Blessed Virgin (Scheeben, "Dogmatik", III, 478); in 1543 he published (under the name of Petrus Nouiomagus) "Des erleuchten D. Johannis Tauleri, von eym waren Euangelischen leben, Göttliche Predig. Leren" etc., in which several writings of the Dominican mystic appear in print for the first time. This was the first book published by a Jesuit. "Divi Cyrilli archiepiscopi Alexandrini Opera" (Latin translation, 2 fol. vols., Cologne, 1546); "D. Leonis Papæ huius nominis primi . . . Opera" (Cologne, 1546, later reprinted at Venice, Louvain, and Cologne), Leo is brought forward as a witness for the Catholic teachings and the discipline of the Church against the innovators; "De consolandis ægrotis" (Vienna, 1554), exhortations (Latin, German, and Italian) and prayers, with a preface by Canisius; "Lectiones et Precationes Ecclesiasticæ" (Ingolstadt, 1556), a prayerbook for students, reprinted more than thirty times under the titles of "Epistolæ et Evangelia" etc.; *"Principia grammatices" (Ingolstadt, 1556); Hannibal Codrett's Latin Grammar, adapted for German students by Canisius, reprinted in 1561, 1564 and 1568; *"Ordnung der Letaney von vnser lieben Frawen" [Dillingen (1558)], the first known printing of the Litany of Loreto, the second (Macerata, 1576) was most probably arranged by Canisius; *"Vom abschiedt des Coloquij zu Wormbs" (s. l. a., 1558?).
*"Ain Christlicher Bericht, was die hailige Christliche Kirch . . . sey" (Dillingen, 1559), translation and preface by Canisius (cf. N. Paulus in "Historischpolit. Blätter", CXXI, 765); "Epistolæ B. Hieronymi . . . selectæ" (Dillingen, 1562), a school edition arranged and prefaced by, Canisius and later reprinted about forty times; "Hortulus Animæ", a German prayer-book arranged by Canisius (Dillingen, 1563), reprinted later, probably published also in Latin by him. The "Hortuli" were placed later on the Index nisi corrigantur; *"Von der Gesellschaft Jesu Durch. Joannem Albertum Wimpinensem" (Ingolstadt, 1563), a defence of the order against Chemnitz and Zanger, the greater part of which was written by Canisius; "Institutiones, et Exercitamentas Christianæ Pietatis" (Antwerp, 1566), many times reprinted, in which Canisius combined the catechism for the middle grades and the "Lectiones et Precationes ecclesiasticæ" (revised in Rome); "Beicht und Communionbüchlein" [Dillingen, 1567 (?), 1575, 1579, 1582, 1603; Ingolstadt, 1594, etc.]; "Christenliche . . . Predig von den vier Sontagen im Aduent, auch vonn dem heiligen Christag" (Dillingen, 1570). At the request of Ferdinand II of Tyrol, Canisius supervised the publishing of *"Von dem hoch und weitberhümpten Wunderzeichen, so sich . . . auf dem Seefeld . . . zugetragen" (Dillingen, 1580), and wrote a long preface for it; then appeared "Zwey vnd neuntzig Betrachtung vnd Gebett, dess . . . Bruders Clausen von Vnterwalden" (Fribourg, 1586); "Manuale Catholicorum. In usum pie precandi" (Fribourg, 1587); "Zwo . . . Historien . . . Die erste von . . . S. Beato, ersten Prediger in Schweitzerland. Die andere von . . . S. Fridolino, ersten Prediger zu Glaris vnd Seckingen" (Fribourg, 1590): in this, the first of the popular biographies of the saints especially worshipped in Switzerland, Canisius does not give a scholarly essay, but endeavours to strengthen the Catholic Swiss in their faith and arouse their piety; "Notæ in Evangelicas lectiones, quæ per totum annum Dominicis diebus . . . recitantur (Fribourg, 1591), a large quarto volume valuable for sermons and meditations for the clergy; "Miserere, das ist: Der 50. Psalm Davids . . . Gebettsweiss . . . aussgelegt" (Munich, 1594, Ingolstadt, 1594); "Warhafte Histori . . . Von Sanct Moritzen . . . vnd seiner Thebaischen Legion . . . Auch insonderheit von Sanct Vrso" (Fribourg, 1594); *"Catholische Kirchengesäng zum theil vor vnd nach dem Catechismo zum teil sonst durchs Jahr . . . zusingen" (Fribourg, 1596); "Enchiridion Pietatis quo ad precandum Deum instruitur Princeps" (s. l., 1751), dedicated by Canisius in 1592 to the future emperor Ferdinand II (Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie; XIV, 741); "Beati Petri Canisii Exhortationes domesticæ", mostly short sketches, collected and edited by G. Schlosser, S.J. (Roermond, 1876); "Beati Petri Canisii Epistulæ et Acta": 1541-65, edited by O. Braunsberger, S.J. (4 vols., Freiburg im Br., 1896-1905). There still remain unpublished four or five volumes containing eleven hundred and ninety-five letters and regesta written to or by Canisius, and six hundred and twenty-five documents dealing with his labours.
"Peter Canisius", says the Protestant professor of theology, Krüger, "was a noble Jesuit; no blemish stains his character" ("Petrus Canisius" in "Geschichte u. Legende", Giessen, 1898, 10). The principal trait of his character was love for Christ and for his work; he devoted his life to defend, propagate, and strengthen the Church. Hence his devotion to the pope. He did not deny the abuses which existed in Rome; he demanded speedy remedies; but the supreme and full power of the pope over the whole Church, and the infallibility of his teaching as Head of the Church, Canisius championed as vigorously as the Italian and Spanish brothers of the order. He cannot be called an "Episcopalian" or "Semi-Gallican"; his motto was "whoever adheres to the Chair of St. Peter is my man. With Ambrose I desire to follow the Church of Rome in every respect". Pius V wished to make him cardinal. The bishops, Brendel of Mains, Brus of Prague, Pflug of Naumburg, Blarer of Basle, Cromer of Ermland, and Spaur of Brixen, held him in great esteem. St. Francis of Sales sought his advice by letter. He enjoyed the friendship of the most distinguished members of the College of Cardinals — Borromeo, Hosius, Truchsess, Commendone, Morone, Sirlet; of the nuncios Delfino, Portia, Bonhomini and others; of many leading exponents of ecclesiastical learning; and of such prominent men as the Chancellor of the University of Louvain, Ruard Tapper, the provost Martin Eisengrein, Friedrich Staphylus, Franz Sonnius, Martin Rithovius, Wilhelm Lindanus, the imperial vice-chancellors Jacob Jonas and Georg Sigismund Seld, the Bavarian chancellor Simon Thaddaeus Eck, and the Fuggers and Welsers of Augsburg. "Canisius's whole life", writes the Swiss Protestant theologian Gautier, "is animated by the desire to form a generation of devout clerics capable of serving the Church worthily" ("Etude sur la correspondance de Pierre Canisius", Geneva, 1905, p. 46). At Ingolstadt he held disputations and homiletic exercises among the young clerics, and endeavoured to raise the religious and scientific standard of the Georgianum. He collected for and sent pupils to the German College at Rome and provided for pupils who had returned home. He also urged Gregory XIII to make donations and to found similar institutions in Germany; soon papal seminaries were built at Prague, Fulda, Braunsberg, and Dillingen. At Ingolstadt, Innsbruck, Munich, and Vienna schools were built under the guidance of Canisius for the nobility and the poor, the former to educate the clergy of the cathedrals, the latter for the clergy of the lower grades. The reformed ordinances published at that time for the Universities of Cologne, Ingolstadt, and Vienna must be credited in the main to his suggestions.
With apostolic zeal he loved the Society of Jesus; the day of his admission to the order he called his second birthday. Obedience to his superiors was his first rule. As a superior he cared with parental love for the necessities of his subordinates. Shortly before his death he declared that he had never regretted becoming a Jesuit, and recalled the abuses which the opponents of the Church had heaped upon his order and his person. Johann Wigand wrote a vile pamphlet against his "Catechism"; Flacius Illyricus, Johann Gnypheus, and Paul Scheidlich wrote books against it; Melanchthon declared that he defended errors wilfully; Chemnitz called him a cynic; the satirist Fischart scoffed at him; Andreæ Dathen, Gallus, Hesshusen, Osiander, Platzius, Roding, Vergerio, and others wrote vigorous attacks against him; at Prague the Hussites threw stones into the church where he was saying Mass; at Berne he was derided by a Protestant mob. At Easter, 1568, he was obliged to preach in the Cathedral of Würzburg in order to disprove the rumour that he had become a Protestant. Unembittered by all this, he said, "the more our opponents calumniate us, the more we must love them". He requested Catholic authors to advocate the truth with modesty and dignity without scoffing or ridicule. The names of Luther and Melanchthon were never mentioned in his "Catechism". His love for the German people is characteristic; he urged the brothers of the order to practise German diligently, and he liked to hear the German national hymns sung. At his desire St. Ignatius decreed that all the members of the order should offer monthly Masses and prayers for the welfare of Germany and the North. Ever the faithful advocate of the Germans at the Holy See, he obtained clemency for them in questions of ecclesiastical censures, and permission to give extraordinary absolutions and to dispense from the law of fasting. He also wished the Index to be modified that German confessors might be authorized to permit the reading of some books, but in his sermons he warned the faithful to abstain from reading such books without permission. While he was rector of the University of Ingolstadt, a resolution was passed forbidding the use of Protestant textbooks and, at his request, the Duke of Bavaria forbade the importation of books opposed to religion and morals. At Cologne he requested the town council to forbid the printing or sale of books hostile to the Faith or immoral, and in the Tyrol had Archduke Ferdinand II suppress such books. He also advised Bishop Urban of Gurk, the court preacher of Ferdinand I, not to read so many Protestant books, but to study instead the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. At Nimwegen he searched the libraries of his friends, and burned all heretical books. In the midst of all these cares Canisius remained essentially a man of prayer; he was an ardent advocate of the Rosary and its sodalities. He was also one of the precursors of the modern devotion of the Sacred Heart. Shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Beautiful Traditional Wexford #Carol - one of the Oldest in #History - #Palestrina Choir - SHARE - Proclaims Jesus' Birth!

The Wexford Carol (Irish: Carúl Loch Garman, Carúl Inis Córthaidh) is a traditional Irish Christmas carol from County Wexford, and Enniscorthy. It originates in 12th century  and is in Mixolydian mode form,. It is also known by its first verse, "Good people all this Christmas time." This is one of the oldest Christmas carols of Europe. This version by the The Palestrina Choir of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, has been viewed thousands of times. It is an breathtakingly beautiful sung version. 
SHARE this Beautiful Carol which Proclaims the Birth of Jesus
Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide,
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas,
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

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