Friday, October 22, 2021

Saturday Saint of the Day

 

St. John of Capistrano




St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a former German knight in that city. He studied law at the University of Perugia and practiced as a lawyer in the courts of Naples. King Ladislas of Naples appointed him governor of Perugia. During a war with a neighboring town he was betrayed and imprisoned. Upon his release he entered the Franciscan community at Perugia in 1416. He and St. James of the March were fellow students under St. Bernardine of Siena, who inspired him to institute the devotion to the holy Name of Jesus and His Mother. John began his brilliant preaching apostolate with a deacon in 1420. After his ordination he traveled throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal. When Mohammed II was threatening Vienna and Rome, St. John, at the age of seventy, was commissioned by Pope Callistus III to preach and lead a crusade against the invading Turks. Marching at the head of seventy thousand Christians, he gained victory in the great battle of Belgrade against the Turks in 1456. Three months later he died at Illok, Hungary. His feast day is October 23. He is the patron of jurists.

Thanks to Africa and Asia the Church continues to grow

 


Number of Catholics in Asia and Africa continues to rise


The number of Catholics in Asia and Africa continued to grow in 2019, according to newly released statistics.

The world population grew by 81.3 million in 2019, while members of the Catholic Church increased by 15.4 million for a total of 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide.

The new statistics compare 2019, the last year for which data is available, with 2018 and therefore do not reflect the effects of the global coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

While news coverage in recent years has highlighted the fall in Catholic priests being ordained in Europe and the Americas, the overall number of priests rose slightly in 2019 — by 271 — mostly due to a rise in priestly vocations in Africa and Asia, which offset decreases elsewhere.

Permanent deacons also continued to rise from the year prior, with all five continents seeing their numbers grow, especially Europe and the Americas.

The number of men and women religious decreased in 2019. Women religious were down by more than 11,500. But lay missionaries increased by over 34,200, with the overwhelming majority of the new lay missionaries located in the Americas.

The Catholic population has stayed steady with population growth. At the end of 2019, Catholics made up 17.74% of the global population — up just .01% from 2018.

The number of Catholics in Africa grew by more than eight million in 2019, for a total of around 19% of the population, while in Asia, which has 4.5 billion people, Catholics make up just 3.31% of the population, at 149.1 million.

In a press conference on Oct. 21, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle drew attention to the relatively small number of Catholics in Asia, pointing out that around half of the continent’s Catholics are located in the Philippines.

The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples added that “these past years, we have seen in Asia, in terms of proportion, percentage, an increase in the number of baptisms, and also in entry to seminaries and religious life.”

“In terms of numbers, [it is] still small, but in terms of percentage proportion, [it] is large,” he said. “And we, of course, thank the Lord.”

Tagle, the former archbishop of Manila, spoke during a press conference about World Mission Sunday, which will take place on Oct. 24.

He noted that in 2021, the Church in the Philippines is celebrating 500 years of Christianity.

“Now we have many Filipinos serving as missionaries,” he said, pointing out that they are not only priests and religious, but also laity, some of whom have emigrated to other parts of the world for work and are helping to spread the Christian message.

Saint John Paul II; his encyclical on the Eucharist

 The full encyclical of Saint John Paul II on this his feast day on the Eucharist and in  the Year of the Eucharist.


It's lengthy, but so well worth the time to read and pray with.


Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia (vatican.va)

New Papal decree on role of the Bishop in liturgical translations

 

A new decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship interprets and clarifies liturgical laws concerning the translation of liturgical texts. A new decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship interprets and clarifies liturgical laws concerning the translation of liturgical texts.  

Vatican decree clarifies role of Bishops’ conferences in liturgical translations

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a decree implementing Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Magnum principium,” concerning the respective competencies of the Congregation and the episcopal conferences with regard to the translation of liturgical texts. The Prefect of the Congregation explains the import of the new decree, in a written interview with Vatican Media.

By Vatican News

A new decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship aims at highlighting the responsibilities of bishops’ conferences in the “great task” of completing the complex project of translating the Latin liturgical texts into vernacular languages.

That is the explanation given by Archbishop Arthur Roche, the Congregation’s new prefect, illustrating the Decree Postquam Summus Pontifex, implementing the motu proprio Magnum principium in which Pope Francis modified canon 838 of the Code of Canon Law. The text of the new decree, published on the liturgical memorial of St John Paul II, interprets and clarifies how the changes made by Pope Francis, which affect the competencies of the bishops and of the Congregation, are to be implemented.

Postquam Summus Pontifex recalls that “since the main responsibility” with regard to liturgical translations “lies with the Bishops, the Episcopal Conference must take on this task directly, with the necessary collaboration of suitable persons, including experts trained in the translation of liturgical Latin.” The aim is “to guarantee that the correct and integral expression of the faith of the Catholic Church in a given language is transmitted according to her teaching and with the appropriate vocabulary.”

The Dicastery for Divine Worship is then responsible for recognitio and confirmatio of the work of the bishops. The recognitio consists in a review of what has been approved by the Bishops' Conference and of the legitimacy of the procedure followed, “taking into account the reasons dictated by the culture, and tradition of a country and by pastoral needs.”

The confirmatio consists “in the ratification given by the Apostolic See to the translation of biblical and liturgical texts, after having ascertained the legitimacy of the approval procedure followed by the Episcopal Conferences.”

In an October 2017 letter on the correct interpretation of Motu proprio, Pope Francis had specified that the new legislation now grants the Bishops' Conferences the faculty to judge the goodness and consistency of translations from Latin, “albeit in dialogue with the Holy See.” The recognitio, he explained, “indicates only the verification and safeguarding of conformity with the law and the communion of the Church,” which “should not lead to a spirit of ‘imposition’ on the Episcopal Conferences of a given translation made by the Dicastery, since this would harm the right of the bishops.” He further noted that the confirmatio “no longer presupposes, therefore, a detailed word-by-word examination, except in obvious cases that can be presented to the bishops for their further reflection.”

In the following written remarks provided to Vatican News, Archbishop Arthur Roche, explains the contents of the new Decree Postquam Summus Pontifex.

Interview with Archbishop Arthur Roche

Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Your Excellency, this implementing Decree sheds light on what was established in 2017 by the Pope’s Motu proprio Magnum principium (3 September 2017). Before going into the details of the Decree, may we recall in brief what the Motu proprio established?

In summary, we can say that the Motu Proprio Magnum principium changed the formulation of some norms of the Code of Canon Law that have to do with the publication of liturgical books in vernacular languages. For this reason, a series of modifications have been made to the text of canon 838, specifically to paragraphs 2 and 3. The Motu Proprio itself recalls and sets out the basic principles for the translation of liturgical texts which, as the prayer of the Church, are regulated by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

Fundamentally the aim is to make collaboration between the Holy See and the Bishops’ Conferences easier and more fruitful. The great task of translation, especially translating into their own languages what we find in the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, falls to the Bishops. This task is a great responsibility because, thanks to these translations, the revealed word can be proclaimed and the prayer of the Church can be expressed in a language which the people of God can understand.

What are the relevant and substantive points of the implementing decree? 

This implementing Decree, which is called Postquam Summus Pontifex and is dated 22 October, the memorial of Pope Saint John Paul II, presents the norms derived from the modifications contained in Magnum principium. It should be especially underlined how it clarifies and defines these norms with regard to the publication, recognitio, and confirmatio of the liturgical books, which is a common task of the Episcopal Conferences and the Apostolic See.

This Decree consists of an Introduction and two parts; the first part presents the norms and procedures to be taken into account when publishing liturgical books, both for their translation and for the introduction of “more radical” adaptations, as envisaged in number 40 of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

In the light of this reform — and of the clarifications that Pope Francis wrote in his letter of October 2017 — how is the relationship between the Congregation for Divine Worship and the individual Bishops’ Conferences developing on the subject of translations of liturgical texts into vernacular languages?

This reform of Pope Francis aims to underline the responsibility and competence of the Bishops’ Conferences, both in assessing and approving liturgical adaptations for the territory for which they are responsible, and in preparing and approving translations of liturgical texts.

On the other hand, our Dicastery is responsible for reviewing (recognitio) the adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conferences and confirming (confirmatio) the translations made. This is always to take place in a climate of collaboration and dialogue that favours the liturgical life of the Latin Church, as Pope Francis himself pointed out in Magnum Principium.

In the four years since the publication of the Motu proprio, how can its application be assessed?

My experience in these years as Archbishop Secretary and, since a few months ago, as Prefect, has been very positive and also very enriching. In our daily work we see the universality of the Church and, at the same time, the uniqueness of each church.

The Bishops, as moderators, promoters, and custodians of liturgical life in their particular church, have a great sensitivity, due to their theological and cultural formation, which enables them to translate the texts of Revelation and the Liturgy into a language that responds to the nature of the People of God entrusted to them.

Taking into account what the Motu Proprio indicates and in the light of this implementing Decree, our Dicastery wishes to be, as the Holy Father desires, an instrument at the service of the universal Church. All this can be summed up by saying that at the heart of this change is the desire to bring God’s people closer to the liturgy and the liturgy closer to them.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

He is the great Saint of our (my) lifetime

 

St. Pope John Paul II


Feastday: October 22
Patron: of World Youth Day (Co- Patron)
Birth: 1920
Death: 2005
Beatified: May 1, 2011 Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
Canonized: April 27, 2014 Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis






Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.

He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Cracow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Cracow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Cracow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Cracow on November 1, 1946.

Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland.


Saint John Paul II Biography

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.

He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Cracow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Cracow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Cracow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Cracow on November 1, 1946.

Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in Cracow as well as chaplain for the university students until 1951, when he took up again his studies on philosophy and theology. In 1953 he defended his habilitation thesis on "evaluation of the possibility of founding a Christian ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler" at the Faculty of Theology of Jagiellonian University (It was the last habilitation before closing the Faculty by comunist goverment).

Later he became professor of moral philosophy and social ethics in the major seminary of Cracow and in the Faculty of philosophy at the Catholic University of Lubin (where he became the Director of the Chair of Ethic, and lectured for 25 years until his election for the Pope in 1978).

On July 4, 1958, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cracow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Cracow, by Archbishop Baziak.

On January 13, 1964, he was nominated Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967.

Besides taking part in Vatican Council II with an important contribution to the elaboration of the Constitution Gaudium et spes, Cardinal Wojtyla participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

Since the start of his Pontificate on October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul II has completed 95 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 142 within Italy . As Bishop of Rome he has visited 301 of the 334 parishes.

His principal documents include 14 encyclicals , 13 apostolic exhortations , 11 apostolic constitutions and 42 apostolic letters. The Pope has also published three books : "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" (October 1994); "Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination" (November 1996) and "Roman Tryptych - Meditations", a book of poems (March 2003).

John Paul II has presided at 138 beatification ceremonies ( 1,310 Blesseds proclaimed ) and 48 canonization ceremonies ( 469 Saints ) during his pontificate. He has held 8 consistories in which he created 201 cardinals . He has also convened six plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals.

From 1978 to today the Holy Father has presided at 15 Synods of Bishops : six ordinary (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2001), one extraordinary (1985) and eight special (1980, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998[2] and 1999).

No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II: to date, more than 16,700,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (more than 1,000). Such figure is without counting all other special audiences and religious ceremonies held [more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone] and the millions of faithful met during pastoral visits made in Italy and throughout the world. It must also be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 690 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State , and even the 226 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

The Catholic Church is very much for vaccines; consistent with past practices

 

The Catholic Church’s embrace of coronavirus vaccines is consistent with past practice








Catholic religious leaders across the United States are supporting coronavirus vaccination and in many instances discouraging demands for religious exemptions by congregants (though a few bishops have made exemption letter templates available).

In doing so, they are following the lead of Pope Francis, who gave approval to the recently developed vaccines, and determined that the role of tissue from 50-year-old aborted fetuses in the production and testing of some of them did not negate their acceptability, in the absence of a morally perfect vaccine. Catholic doctrine enables this judgment, because it distinguishes between “material” vs. formal cooperation with evil when it can be justified “for proportionally serious reasons” — in creating lifesaving medicines. Francis has also encouraged the Catholic faithful to get vaccinated, calling it “an act of love.”

Such a position shouldn’t be surprising. The American Catholic Church has historically come down on the side of public health, even when doing so has violated Catholic teachings. During the 1918 flu pandemic, American church leaders even temporarily sacrificed a central observance of Catholicism — the Mass — to slow the spread of the disease. Their decision illustrated how, for the church, preserving lives, even through imperfect means, has taken precedence over other deeply held beliefs.


The 1918 pandemic caused worldwide devastation and necessitated many restrictions on public activities, including religious assemblies. Religious leaders objected less on constitutional grounds that these restrictions interfered with religious freedom, and more because they saw worship as spiritually necessary.

American Catholic Church leaders, too, worried that these restrictions violated the Catholic teaching that failure to attend Mass is a mortal sin and therefore threatened to do spiritual damage to their flock. Yet Church leaders encouraged compliance with government directives and publicly criticized religious leaders who held services as usual. They granted broad dispensations from Mass attendance to encourage compliance.

The position taken by Bishop Regis Canevin of Pittsburgh is just one example. In October 1918, Canevin acknowledged that Catholics experienced hardship and sacrifice when they had to give up Mass. But Canevin emphasized that it was necessary to obey civil authorities who were tasked with protecting public health. Canevin argued, therefore: “The only rule for pastors and people is to cooperate with the civil authorities … ” He exhorted his flock to “obey the law and comply with regulations that are enacted for the common good.”

Another impassioned advocate for public health was Father James Coyle, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Ala. Coyle, an Irish immigrant who was known for his outspokenness in defense of immigrants and the downtrodden, served as dean (vicar) and pastor of the most important Catholic church in Northern Alabama.

During the pandemic, Coyle publicly favored temporarily curtailing Mass, even while making sure people understood the sacrifice involved. He wrote a “Message for Catholics,” originally published in the Birmingham News, to justify the suspension of Mass.

In his message — probably crafted to win some converts to Catholicism as well — Coyle spoke of how central the Mass was to Catholic life, and the supreme obligation to attend. Coyle emphasized that the Mass was “no mere gathering for prayer” or simply coming to temple to join in “hymns of praise to the maker,” but an experience of the divine presence every Sunday. He underscored, therefore, that church leaders were not taking the decision to cancel public Masses lightly and showed empathy for Catholics who felt their loss.

And yet he reminded readers that “a legitimate excuse, of course, annuls the obligation” to attend and instructed Catholic faithful to hold at-home Masses instead.

It was not just parish priests and bishops who deferred to secular authorities, even as they sought to balance spiritual and public health needs. Cardinal James Gibbons, then archbishop of Baltimore, argued for allowing for the possibility of some sort of limited Mass, suggesting that “it would be a much-needed relief to our churchgoing population if they could be allowed to attend brief morning services,” observing that “a number of calls upon our physicians are simply the result of nervousness” and could be “considerably allayed by the reassurance of religion.”

Nonetheless, Gibbons, like so many of his brethren, chose to invoke a dispensation for his flock from the normal requirement of Mass attendance. And for Gibbons, granting these dispensations was no small deal, as it involved the cancellation of his own 50th Jubilee.

Catholic leaders recognized how hardship could prevent the conducting of Masses in multiple contexts — from wars to pandemics — and faith required adapting to these circumstances. Catholic leaders also placed importance on obeying secular authorities, reflecting a time when most American Catholics were immigrants or children of immigrants, and not as well accepted in the United States as they would become by the end of the 20th century.

But more significantly, they believed that this was a matter of life and death. Church leaders understood that they had the power to grant dispensations, providing exemptions from religious requirements in such cases. And they had no doubt about the stakes as churches tended to the sick and watched as priests succumbed to the flu. Church leaders, such as Bishop Thomas F. Hickey of Rochester, N.Y., also observed how obedience to public health guidelines reduced flu deaths.

In short, while Catholic leaders displayed respect and empathy for the centrality of religious belief and practice, they firmly sided with public safety even though it conflicted with religious doctrine.

This decision illustrated how the Church prioritized preserving life — even at the expense of other deeply held beliefs and teachings. Church leaders sought alternative ways to maintain religious commitments, and they expressed the imperfect nature of the solutions implemented, but they firmly sided with public health authorities.

Today, with online Masses a common and accepted option (even with temporary dispensations from attending Mass in person in some dioceses), the church has once again taken the side of public health by encouraging coronavirus vaccines.

Some parishioners may not agree with or understand the church’s stance — but it is consistent with the church’s long-standing handling of public health and its prioritization of measures that preserve life, even if morally imperfect.

Pope Francis says we are the yeast to leaven the dough

 

The logo of the 49th Social Week of Italian Catholics.The logo of the 49th Social Week of Italian Catholics. 

Pope: “We are called to be the yeast that leavens the dough”

Pope Francis has sent a message to participants in the 49th Social Week of Italian Catholics in Taranto. The theme of the event is: "The Planet We Hope For. Environment, Work, Future. Everything is connected”.

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis hopes for a society and a planet where people are always on the move attending to the cries of others, changing course if needed and adapting themselves to situations for a better world and the common good. 

He evoked the image of this society in a message to participants in the 49th Social Week of Italian Catholics, which kicked off on Thursday in the coastal city of Taranto in southern Italy.  The theme of the October 21 to 24 event is, "The Planet We Hope For. Environment, Work, Future. Everything is connected."

Conversion

In his message, the Holy Father noted that their gathering was taking place in the context of a health and social crisis unleashed by the pandemic. “We cannot resign ourselves and stand at the window and watch, we cannot remain indifferent or apathetic without assuming responsibility for others and for society. We are called to be the yeast that leavens the dough”.   

The pandemic has also broken the illusion that we are omnipotent and can trample down the territories we inhabit and the environment in which we live. In this regard, the Pope called for the courage of ecological conversion, especially community conversion. He called on participants in the Social Week to be open to the Holy Spirit and listen to the sufferings of the poor, the last ones, the desperate, the families who are tired of living in polluted, exploited, burnt-out places, devastated by corruption and degradation. In this regard, Pope Francis offered Italy’s Catholics three “road signs” on the road of hope. 

Mindful of people at crossings

The first is to be attentive to crossings, where we come across people in despair, such as young people forced to leave their native countries and who are jobless or exploited. There are women who are jobless due to the pandemic or who are forced to choose between motherhood and profession; workers without opportunities; poor people and migrants who are not welcomed and integrated; elderly people who are abandoned and lonely; families who are victims of usury, gambling and corruption; entrepreneurs abused by the mafia; or communities destroyed by fires.  There are also many sick people, adults and children, workers forced to do arduous or immoral work, often in unsafe conditions.  The Pope said we cannot remain indifferent to these brothers and sisters of ours who are crucified and are awaiting resurrection. He prayed that the Holy Spirit inspire all to leave no stone unturned so that their legitimate hopes may be realized.

On the move always

The second “road sign” that the Pope offered is the “no parking” sign, pointing out that tiring and being resigned in the face of challenges would see Gospel fade away.  On the contrary, God's love is never static which impels us never to stop.  Stressing that hope is always on the move, he said, “let us not stay in sacristies, let us not form elitist groups that isolate themselves and close themselves off”. 

He said Christians should not resort to the halfway measure of limiting themselves to just denouncing evil but to assume responsibility for creating networks of redemption. “Technological and economic development that does not leave a better world and an integrally higher quality of life,” he said “cannot be considered progress." “We are not afraid to denounce and oppose illegality, but above all we are not afraid to sow good!

Changing course for the common good

The Pope’s third road sign is the obligation to turn, saying “hope invites us to recognize that we can always change course, that we can always do something to solve problems”.  What is needed is a profound conversion that touches not only environmental ecology but also human ecology, the ecology of the heart. The turning point will come only if we know how to form consciences not to look for easy solutions to protect those who are already guaranteed but to propose lasting processes of change for the benefit of the younger generations.

This, he said will help create the planet we hope for: a planet where the culture of dialogue and peace will bring forth a new day, where work confers dignity on the person and safeguards creation, where culturally distant worlds converge, animated by a common concern for the common good.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Thursday Saint of the Day

 

St. Hilarion


Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. Hesychius. He was born in Tabatha, Palestine, and was educated in Alexandria, Egypt. He stayed with St. Anthony in the desert there before becoming a hermit at Majuma, near Gaza, Israel. In 356, Hilarion returned to St. Anthony in the Egyptian desert and found that his fame had Spread there too. He fled to Sicily to escape notice, but Hesychius traced him there. The two went to Dalmatia, Croatia, and then to Cyprus. Hilarion performed so many miracles that crowds flocked to him when it was discovered he was in any region. He died on Cyprus, and St. Hesychius secretly took his remains back to Palestine. His cult is now confined to local calendars.

Very encouraging update from Cardinal Raymond Burke

 

“DIVINE PROVIDENCE WILL DETERMINE THE TIME OF MY RETURN TO MY USUAL PASTORAL ACTIVITIES.”








Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

With heartfelt gratitude to all those who have prayed for my recovery, I write to inform you that, since my previous letter, physical therapy has aided my rehabilitation so greatly that I am now able to offer daily the Holy Mass. Words cannot adequately express my joy at this gift of God’s grace in my life. As a priest, Bishop and Cardinal, the return to the daily offering of the Holy Mass, the principal daily work of every priest, unites me most fully to you in our spiritual bond as members of the Mystical Body of Christ (cf. Jn 15, 5-8; Eph 4, 4-13). At the same time, my recovery continues to remain an intensive process. Divine Providence will determine the time of my return to my usual pastoral activities. In the meantime, please help me to prepare, as best as possible, for that time by your prayers.

This letter, however, is not principally intended to be an update on the condition of my health. It is, rather, an instrument of the pastoral charity which is the distinctive grace of the priesthood and episcopacy, offering sound direction and encouragement to the faithful. In specific, I write to encourage you to recite daily the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary.

Although the Feast or Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7th, the entire month of October is dedicated to fostering this most highly prized devotion to Mary, which she herself has given to us. In writing to you about the daily praying of the Holy Rosary, I underline three important considerations.

First, the message of Our Lady of Fatima urges us to honor her by praying the Rosary every day. Second, when Our Lady concluded her apparitions at Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lord granted a remarkable confirmation of the apparitions in the Miracle of the Sun. Third, in asking us to pray daily the Rosary, Our Lady indicated a specific intention: peace. Pope Saint John Paul II, echoing Our Lady’s messages to us at Fatima, explained that “the Rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 40).

The peace for which we pray, while reciting the prayer of the Rosary is not a peace given by this world (cf. Jn 14, 27), but rather the peace obtained for us by the blood of the Cross of Jesus Christ (cf. Col 1, 20). Let us recall that Our Lady of the Rosary was first given the title of Our Lady of Victory by Pope Saint Pius V, to honor the victory of peace, which was won, through her intercession and especially through the praying of the Holy Rosary, at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Changing the title of Our Lady of Victory to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Pope Gregory XIII underlined the powerful instrument for attaining the victory of peace, namely, the praying of the Holy Rosary.

The victory of peace is ultimately the victory over Satan who, since the sin of our First Parents, never ceases to tempt us to commit sin. It is the victory worked by God the Father through the Redemptive Incarnation of His only-begotten Son. The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is the privileged instrument through which God the Father sent God the Son into the world to win for us the victory. She is the woman whose Son crushes the head of the serpent, Satan, as God the Father promised after the sin of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen 3, 15). She continues to be the channel by which the grace of Christ wins the victory over sin in our daily lives.
By praying the Rosary daily, we draw near to the Mother of Our Savior, who teaches us, as she taught the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana: “Do whatever He [Jesus] tells you” (Jn 2, 5). She, whom Our Savior gave to us as our Mother – the Mother of Divine Grace – helps us to stand faithfully, with her, beneath the Cross of Our Lord, one in heart with her Immaculate Heart in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus (cf. Jn 19, 25-27). With her, we share in the Triumph of the Cross.

The victory of peace, sought through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by praying the Holy Rosary and attained in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, overcomes the confusion, error and division, all the works of the Evil One, which so fiercely attack today the world and the Church. For that reason, I urge you today, if you are not already doing so, to pray the Holy Rosary, seeking the intercession of the Mother of God for the victory of peace, peace in your soul, peace in the world, peace in the Church. I leave you with words of Pope Saint John Paul II, whose papal ministry was so strongly marked by devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Let us pray the Rosary, if possible every day, either by ourself or in community. The Rosary is a simple prayer, but profound and very effective, even to ask favors for families, communities and the world” (Regina Caeli, 28 April 2002).

Imploring Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to bless you, your homes, your families, and all your labors, I remain

Yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE