Sunday, October 17, 2010



RADIO VATICANA: Ten’s of thousands of people joined Pope Benedict in St Peter’s Square today as he canonized six new Saints of the Church. Australia’s first native born saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, was one of those canonized in the solemn Eucharistic liturgy. Some 5,000 pilgrims, along with Cardinal Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, came to Rome to see St Mary, a nineteenth century nun, raised to the “honor of the altar” at Sunday’s Canonization. A daughter of Scottish Catholic Immigrants, she overcame many obstacles in founding a religious institute of women dedicated to St Joseph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.Once excommunicated by the bishops of Australia because of malicious accusations which fuelled their suspicion of the new form of religious life she founded – which was independent of the auspices of a single diocesan ordinary – St Mary remained steadfast in her trust in Divine Providence and in her selfless concern for the marginalized."She dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia, inspiring other women to join her in the first women’s community of religious sisters of that country. She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her, without regard for station or wealth, providing both intellectual and spiritual formation. Despite many challenges, her prayers to Saint Joseph and her unflagging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her new congregation, gave this holy woman the graces needed to remain faithful to God and to the Church. Through her intercession, may her followers today continue to serve God and the Church with faith and humility! She dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia, inspiring other women to join her in the first women’s community of religious sisters of that country. She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her, without regard for station or wealth, providing both intellectual and spiritual formation. Despite many challenges, her prayers to Saint Joseph and her unflagging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her new congregation, gave this holy woman the graces needed to remain faithful to God and to the Church. Through her intercession, may her followers today continue to serve God and the Church with faith and humility!"The event also saw the canonization of Canada’s first native male saint, André Bessette, a lay brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross.A delegation of over 5,000 pilgrims came from Canada and the United States to participate in his official declaration as a saint of the Universal Church.St André spent over 40 years as the porter of Notre Dame College in Montréal after he entered religious life. He was known as an affable, simple and devout religious who inspired countless persons to integrate their faith into their daily lives and seek the face of Christ in the poor.During his lifetime, many miracles were attributed to the intercessory prayer of this humble and loving religious brother.Motivated by his devotion to St Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, he received permission to found a simple oratory in the Canadian city.Today, the Oratory of St Joseph in Montréal, is an enormous sanctuary and the destination of many North American pilgrims who are in search of healing and reconciliation and venerate St André’s mortal remains. Along with St Mary and St André four other blessed became officially recognized as saints on Sunday.The Fifteenth Century, St Stanislaw Soltys, a polish Canon Regular of the Lateran, St Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola (foundress of the 19th century Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus in Spain), St Giulia Salzano, (foundress of the 19th century Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Italy), and St Battista Camilla Varano, a 15th century reformer of the Order of St Clare in Italy.The pope reminded the tens of thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square on a beautiful autumn morning that Jesus also invites each of us to follow Him in order to inherit eternal life. Let us be drawn by these shining examples, let us be guided by their teachings, so that our existence might be a canticle of praise to God, he said.Let the Virgin Mary and the intercession of the six new Saints whom we venerate with joy today obtain for us this grace.
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Brother André Bessette, the humble Canadian monk credited with healing thousands of sick, has been recognized as a saint during ceremonies at the Vatican.The Montrealer and five others — including a nun is who now Australia's first saint — were canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Square on Sunday.CBC Digital ArchivesThe Miracle on Mount RoyalIn Montreal, the faithful crowded around a big-screen television at St. Joseph's Oratory to watch the ceremonies. All night, the church was packed with people in prayer, and the crowd swelled as events were broadcast live from Rome, starting at 4 a.m. ET.Men and women spilled out into the hallway, decorated with hundreds of votive candles and the cast-off crutches of the faithful who believed they were healed by André, who died more than 70 years ago and is buried in the Church of the Crypt at the Oratory.Some said they appreciated the fact that he was a simple man. They were impressed with his humility, that he said he wasn't a healer, but that it was St. Joseph who was really behind any miraculous recoveries.Supporters of Brother Andre credit him with thousands of healings during and after his lifetime. (St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal)Pope Benedict noted that Brother André was poorly educated but understood what was essential to his faith."Doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him," Benedict said.Brother André founded St. Joseph's Oratory in 1904 — although it was a modest chapel and far from the grand landmark that looms over Montreal today on the northern slope of Mount Royal.Healer came from humble beginningsHe was born Alfred Bessette on Aug. 9, 1845, in St-Gregoire-d'Iberville, Que. — a small town southeast of Montreal — and was orphaned when he was 12 years old.Before joining the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1870, he worked in the textile mills of the northeastern United States.Once he took his vows, he gave comfort to people who came to him at College Notre-Dame for solace, and many credited him with curing their illnesses.He was declared "venerable" by Pope Paul VI in 1978 and beatified — declared "blessed" — by Pope John Paul II in 1982 after a case of healing in 1958 was recognized officially by the Vatican as a miracle.Two miracles attributed to Brother AndréThe canonization campaign for the man many faithful call the "Miracle Man of Montreal" began soon after his death in 1937 at age 91.Over the years, millions of people have signed petitions asking for his sainthood.Before such recognition, the Vatican must accept that someone is responsible posthumously for two miracles. The first miracle attributed to the Canadian came to the Vatican's attention in 1958, when New York businessman Joseph Audino said he had recovered from terminal cancer after asking for André's spiritual guidance.The second case involved a young Quebec boy who in 1999 recovered from severe head injuries suffered when he was riding his bike and was struck by a car. Relatives said they prayed to Brother André.Benedict announced Brother André's canonization in February after recognizing the second miracle attributed to him.The monk is the first saint born in modern-day Canada.The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says Canada now has 11 saints.Marguerite d'Youville was the first saint born on Canadian territory, in 1701.Canada's other saints include Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was born in France in 1620 and is considered the co-founder of Montreal, and eight French-born Jesuit martyrs who were killed during wars in the 1640s.The other new saints canonized Sunday include Mother Mary MacKillop, the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Australia's outback, Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century Polish priest, Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano and Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola.Read more:
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NEWS.COM.AU REPORT:POPE Benedict XVI says he hopes Saint Mary MacKillop, the nation's first saint, will continue to inspire Australians.Saint Mary of the Cross, as she is officially known, was canonised in Rome tonight.Up to 8000 Australian pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square to watch the rite of canonisation and mass led by the Pope.The Pope said that for years, countless young Australians had been blessed with teachers inspired by Saint Mary."She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her... providing both formation and spiritual formation," he told a huge crowd at the Vatican."May her followers today continue to serve God and the church with faith and humility."Saint Mary founded the order of Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, with Father Julian Tenison Woods, to help educate and care for poor children in rural areas.Her path to sainthood has taken 85 years, church recognition of two healing miracles, the personal attention of popes, years of research, countless prayers and patience.'Mary Mary Mary, Oi Oi Oi'Australians were out in force in Vatican City today to see Mary recognised as a saint.In between angelic singing and the ringing of church bells, there was another sound echoing around St Peter's Square: "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi."Aussies were estimated to make up between 6000 and 8000 of the 50,000-strong crowd for the canonisation ceremony.But what they lacked in overall numbers they made up for by being colourful and loud.Australian and Aboriginal flags were dotted throughout the crowd, some pilgrims adorned themselves in fake tattoos representing the Aussie flag, and the Sisters of St Joseph in their bright blue scarves waved Mary MacKillop balloons.Sister Jeanette from Sydney and Sister Mary from Adelaide said they were thrilled to hear the cries of "Aussie Aussie Aussie" and "Mary Mary Mary"."Isn't that fun? Join in!," said Sister Jeanette."It's a real sense of unity, that's what happening. It's bigger than us."After a sprinkling of rain early on, the skies cleared and the sun broke through by the time the crowds were let into St Peter's Square at 8am Rome time (5pm AEDT).Sister Jeanette said they had prayed everything would go smoothly for Saint Mary's big day."We prayed to St Joseph, that's what you do, and he fixed it up," she said.Among the pilgrims from Italy, Canada, Poland, Spain and other nations, there was bemusement at the enthusiasm of the Aussies, mutterings of "Australiana" and smiles.Teacher Brendan Kiely from Lismore said it was an emotional, joyful and celebratory mood among his friends."It's a spiritual awakening for us all," he said."We are very proud."Josephite nun Carmel Hanson from Newcastle said the canonisation ceremony was the culmination of days, weeks, months and years of work and anticipation."I'm out of my skin with excitement. It's electric," she said, waving her Mary MacKillop balloon."It's so easy to forget there are other people being canonised other than Mary MacKillop."It's been a long time coming. I think it's wonderful for the older sisters here. They keep saying, 'We didn't think in our lifetime we'd see this', and of course they have."Sister Carmel said she thought Saint Mary would be a little overwhelmed by all the fuss being made of her."I think she'd die of embarrassment," she laughed.A humble childhoodSaint Mary was born in Melbourne on January 15, 1842, the first child of Scottish immigrants Flora and Alexander.Baptised Maria Ellen MacKillop, her second name is a form of Helen, the name of the saint credited by the early church with finding the cross of Jesus.Her childhood was humble and she grew up knowing what it was like to be poor.In 1866 she founded the order of Sisters of St Joseph with Father Julian Woods to help educate and care for poor children in rural areas.However, her journey was not easy.She was accused of alcoholism and in 1871 she was excommunicated for five months from the church by her Archbishop.Later in life she suffered from ill health and was confined to a wheelchair.Saint Mary died in 1909.Writings from each of the Blesseds, including Saint Mary, were read out in an introduction prior to today's ceremony.Saint Mary's letters to her mother described her devotion to God and to caring for and educating the young, the poor and the disadvantaged.She also described the meaning for her of the name she now bears."My name in religion is Mary of the Cross," she wrote in 1867."No name could be dearer to me, so I must endeavour, not to deserve it — for I cannot — but at least I must try not to disgrace it."Read more:
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Ind. Cath News report: A London conference heard last week that recognising common humanity and respecting difference are central to a Christian theology on disability. The Enabling Church: Disability, Wholeness and Christian Theology event organised by Churches for All and Premier Media Groupin London on 7 October drew over 400 delegates to hear theologians and church leaders - most with an experience of disability themselves or within their families - explore fresh thinking about disability and the place of disabled people in the church.Ethicist, author and lecturer Roy McCloughry said that recognising common humanity and respecting difference, which was part of being human, were crucial to understanding theology on disability. He said: "We are given this basis: being made in the image of God - not only in myself as a person but together between us showing the love of God in the recognition of common humanity and the respect for difference. All too often that is not the case, even in the church it may be overlooked."Human beings are interdependent by design: "Because we're people in community, people in relationship, and not individuals, we are interdependent. We need one another, we depend on one another and that is part, not of something that's gone wrong in life, but part of what it means to be God's original intended human beings."All too often in society that has not been the case. In the history of this society, there have been many shameful times in which people with various impairments have been put away, in institutions, out of sight And it's still the case in many parts of the world that that can be true."The Right Revd Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter, who gave the opening and closing addresses, said the issue was not an 'agenda of rights' but a 'mission of God.'He added: "If each and every one of us is imprinted with the image of God, there's only one label that ought to be pinned on us and that is 'Made in the image of God.' That has enormous consequences. You can know that your life will be safer in His hands."Bishop Langrish shared his own experience with disability after his younger daughter was born with Down's Syndrome: "Our beautiful daughter with her learning disabilities brought into our family an emotional openness and an emotional directness."The Revd John Naudé, chair of Churches Together, said that disabled people were not seconds or rejects but of equal worth to everybody: "We bring something into the church because of who we are."For more information see:
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ALL AFRICA REPORT: The bishop of Rumbek, Caesar Mazzolari, has urged Sudanese people to turn to St. Daniel Comboni to plead for them before God to obtain a peaceful referendum.Speaking to Good News Radio regarding this year's feast of St. Comboni in Sudan, Bishop Mazzolari of Rumbek said that Comboni day is celebrated with what he described as a "deep, deep emotion" because of the love the Sudanese people have for Comboni as the founder of the Church in Sudan.Bishop Mazzolari cited St. Comboni's consecration of Sudan to Our Lady of Sacred Heart in Khartoum in 1867, explaining that by this act, St. Comboni manifested his awareness of "the struggling, poor, suffering people of Sudan" and asked the Virgin Mary "to bring peace, light, freedom, and healing upon the mission of Sudan."Bishop Mazzolari, a Comboni Missionary, encouraged the Sudanese people to turn to Comboni as they prepare for the referendum, imploring him to obtain for each Sudanese person what he described as "a peaceful mind, a heart which is at peace, healed from the many wounds" caused by many years of war, poverty, and the many other struggles of life.Meanwhile, Moses Mapuor Maker, a faithful of Holy Family Rumbek yesterday told Good News Radio that Comboni is the patron of not only Sudanese people, but all Africans, citing Comboni's deep conviction that Africans would be saved through the sharing of the word of God by Africans themselves.Mapuor further said that he found inspiration in the life of Comboni who endured many hardships, adding that anyone who suffers with faith and hope in God will be rewarded with eternal life like St. Comboni.The Church in Sudan owes much to the Comboni Missionaries, taking a lead in direct evangelization, establishment of formal learning institutions, health services, among other Church ministries.The Sudan Catholic Radio Network is the latest of the many initiatives of the Comboni Missionaries in Sudan, a project that was conceived at the time of the canonization of St. Daniel Comboni's in October 2003.
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UCAN REPORT: The search for leads surrounding the murder of a Baptist pastor in a Metro Manila suburb is ongoing.“There is no indication that the killing is related to the victim being a church worker,” said Inspector Emil Raymond Celis of the Quezon City Police Department.Celis is among the authorities handling the case of Joseph Saliba, a Baptist pastor in Pangasinan province, Northern Philippines who was murdered on Oct. 13. Saliba was working as a human resource director and was living in Quezon City, Metro Manila at the time of the incident.“The killer was very angry at the victim,” Inspector Celis added. Witnesses reported hearing the lone gunman cursing while shooting Saliba.Saliba died from neck and head gunshot wounds, the police reported.“The victim was in his car at an intersection when the killer approached and fired a .45 caliber pistol,” officer Archie Buctuan said.Buctuan dismissed reports by the international Catholic Fides news agency linking the murder to illegal gambling syndicates Saliba might have crossed.He said the police has no leads indicating such a connection and that they could not verify Fides reports, which cited that the pastor “was known for his work in the field of justice, human rights,” and that his advocacies “could be the reasons for the murder.”No Church, human rights or anti-gambling groups have issued a statement regarding Saliba’s murder as of Oct. 14.
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St. Ignatius of AntiochBISHOP, MARTYRFeast: October 17Information:Feast Day:October 17Born:50 in SyriaDied:between 98-117, RomeMajor Shrine:Relics are in St. Peter's Basilica, RomePatron of:against throat diseases, Church in eastern Mediterranean; Church in North AfricaAlso called Theophorus (ho Theophoros); born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117.More than one of the earliest ecclesiastical writers have given credence, though apparently without good reason, to the legend that Ignatius was the child whom the Savior took up in His arms, as described in Mark, ix, 35. It is also believed, and with great probability, that, with his friend Polycarp, he was among the auditors of the Apostle St. John. If we include St. Peter, Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch and the immediate successor of Evodius (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.", II, iii, 22). Theodoret ("Dial. Immutab.", I, iv, 33a, Paris, 1642) is the authority for the statement that St. Peter appointed Ignatius to the See of Antioch. St. John Chrysostom lays special emphasis on the honor conferred upon the martyr in receiving his episcopal consecration at the hands of the Apostles themselves ("Hom. in St. Ig.", IV. 587). Natalis Alexander quotes Theodoret to the same effect (III, xii, art. xvi, p. 53).All the sterling qualities of ideal pastor and a true soldier of Christ were possessed by the Bishop of Antioch in a preeminent degree. Accordingly, when the storm of the persecution of Domitian broke in its full fury upon the Christians of Syria, it found their faithful leader prepared and watchful. He was unremitting in his vigilance and tireless in his efforts to inspire hope and to strengthen the weaklings of his flock against the terrors of the persecution. The restoration of peace, though it was short-lived, greatly comforted him. But it was not for himself that he rejoiced, as the one great and ever-present wish of his chivalrous soul was that he might receive the fullness of Christian discipleship through the medium of martyrdom. His desire was not to remain long unsatisfied. Associated with the writings of St. Ignatius is a work called "Martyrium Ignatii ", which purports to be an account by eyewitnesses of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius and the acts leading up to it. In this work, which such competent Protestant critics as Pearson and Ussher regard as genuine, the full history of that eventful journey from Syria to Rome is faithfully recorded for the edification of the Church of Antioch. It is certainly very ancient and is reputed to have been written by Philo, deacon of Tarsus, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, who accompanied Ignatius to Rome. It is generally admitted, even by those who regarded it as authentic, that this work has been greatly interpolated. Its most reliable form is that found in the "Martyrium Colbertinum" which closes the mixed recension and is so called because its oldest witness is the tenth-century Codex Colbertinus (Paris).According to these Acts, in the ninth year of his reign, Trajan, flushed with victory over the Scythians and Dacians, sought to perfect the universality of his dominion by a species of religious conquest. He decreed, therefore, that the Christians should unite with their pagan neighbors in the worship of the gods. A general persecution was threatened, and death was named as the penalty for all who refused to offer the prescribed sacrifice. Instantly alert to the danger that threatened, Ignatius availed himself of all the means within his reach to thwart the purpose of the emperor. The success of his zealous efforts did not long remain hidden from the Church's persecutors. He was soon arrested and led before Trajan, who was then sojourning in Antioch. Accused by the emperor himself of violating the imperial edict, and of inciting others to like transgressions, Ignatius valiantly bore witness to the faith of Christ. If we may believe the account given in the "Martyrium", his bearing before Trajan was characterized by inspired eloquence, sublime courage, and even a spirit of exultation. Incapable of appreciating the motives that animated him, the emperor ordered him to be put in chains and taken to Rome, there to become the food of wild beasts and a spectacle for the people.That the trials of this journey to Rome were great we gather from his letter to the Romans (par. 5): "From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated." Despite all this, his journey was a kind of triumph. News of his fate, his destination, and his probable itinerary had gone swiftly before. At several places along the road his fellow-Christians greeted him with words of comfort and reverential homage. It is probable that he embarked on his way to Rome at Seleucia, in Syria, the nearest port to Antioch, for either Tarsus in Cilicia, or Attalia in Pamphylia, and thence, as we gather from his letters, he journeyed overland through Asia Minor. At Laodicea, on the River Lycus, where a choice of routes presented itself, his guards selected the more northerly, which brought the prospective martyr through Philadelphia and Sardis, and finally to Smyrna, where Polycarp, his fellow-disciple in the school of St. John, was bishop. The stay at Smyrna, which was a protracted one, gave the representatives of the various Christian communities in Asia Minor an opportunity of greeting the illustrious prisoner, and offering him the homage of the Churches they represented. From the congregations of Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles, deputations came to comfort him. To each of these Christian communities he addressed letters from Smyrna, exhorting them to obedience to their respective bishops, and warning them to avoid the contamination of heresy. These, letters are redolent with the spirit of Christian charity, apostolic zeal, and pastoral solicitude. While still there he wrote also to the Christians of Rome, begging them to do nothing to deprive him of the opportunity of martyrdom.From Smyrna his captors took him to Troas, from which place he dispatched letters to the Christians of Philadelphia and Smyrna, and to Polycarp. Besides these letters, Ignatius had intended to address others to the Christian communities of Asia Minor, inviting them to give public expression to their sympathy with the brethren in Antioch, but the altered plans of his guards, necessitating a hurried departure, from Troas, defeated his purpose, and he was obliged to content himself with delegating this office to his friend Polycarp. At Troas they took ship for Neapolis. From this place their journey led them overland through Macedonia and Illyria. The next port of embarkation was probably Dyrrhachium (Durazzo). Whether having arrived at the shores of the Adriatic, he completed his journey by land or sea, it is impossible to determine. Not long after his arrival in Rome he won his long-coveted crown of martyrdom in the Flavian amphitheater. The relics of the holy martyr were borne back to Antioch by the deacon Philo of Cilicia, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, and were interred outside the gates not far from the beautiful suburb of Daphne. They were afterwards removed by the Emperor Theodosius II to the Tychaeum, or Temple of Fortune which was then converted into a Christian church under the patronage of the martyr whose relics it sheltered. In 637 they were translated to St. Clement's at Rome, where they now rest. The Church celebrates the feast of St. Ignatius on 1 February.The character of St. Ignatius, as deduced from his own and the extant writings of his contemporaries, is that of a true athlete of Christ. The triple honor of apostle, bishop, and martyr was well merited by this energetic soldier of the Faith. An enthusiastic devotion to duty, a passionate love of sacrifice, and an utter fearlessness in the defense of Christian truth, were his chief characteristics. Zeal for the spiritual well-being of those under his charge breathes from every line of his writings. Ever vigilant lest they be infected by the rampant heresies of those early days; praying for them, that their faith and courage may not be wanting in the hour of persecution; constantly exhorting them to unfailing obedience to their bishops; teaching them all Catholic truth ; eagerly sighing for the crown of martyrdom, that his own blood may fructify in added graces in the souls of his flock, he proves himself in every sense a true, pastor of souls, the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep.
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Exodus 17: 8 - 138Then came Am'alek and fought with Israel at Reph'idim.9And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Am'alek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand."10So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Am'alek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Am'alek prevailed.12But Moses' hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.13And Joshua mowed down Am'alek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Psalms 121: 1 - 81I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come?2My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.3He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.4Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.5The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.6The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.7The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.8The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore.2 Timothy 3: 14 - 1714But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it15and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.16All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4: 1 - 21I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.

Luke 18: 1 - 81And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.2He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man;3and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.'4For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man,5yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'"6And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says.7And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?8I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
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RADIO VATICANA REPORT:Pope Benedict today received the President of Poland in private audience here at the Vatican. The meeting came on the 32nd anniversary of the election of the Polish born Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla as the successor of Peter. A statement released by the Vatican Press office noted the “happy coincidence” of the visit on this anniversary and went on to say that both the Pope and President focused on the importance of dialogue between Church and State, in order to promote the common good." They also "reiterated their common desire" to see both Poland and the Holy See " continuing to work effectively in areas of common interest, such as in education and promoting the fundamental values of society, and stressing the importance of protecting human life in all its phases. " Finally, according to the statement there was "an exchange of views on the current situation in Europe."After the private talks there was an exchange of gifts in a more informal atmosphere.President Komorowski gave the Pope a facsimile manuscript of the music of Frédéric Chopin, whose bicentenary is being celebrated this year.The Pope in return gave the President a medal of his pontificate. Before the meeting with the Holy Father, President Komorowski participated on Saturday morning at a Mass celebrated in the Vatican Grottoes, at the tomb of John Paul II. After the Mass, the head of state and his wife knelt in prayer before the tomb of the Polish Pope and laid a bouquet of white and red flowers, the colours of Poland.
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Asia News report: A prayer vigil for jailed bishops and priests and religious freedom in China will be held tomorrow in the territory as the Diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission prevails over reticent authorities. Hong Kong Bishop Tong says Liu’s Nobel Prize “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Church in Hong Kong will publicly pray for religious freedom in China and for the bishops and priests currently in jail in that country. Although Hong Kong authorities initially did not want to authorise the event, the local diocesan Justice and Peace Commission was able to prevail so that tomorrow, the Way of the Cross will go ahead as planned. In the meantime, Hong Kong’s Bishop Emeritus, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, and his successor, Bishop John Tong Hon, congratulated Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.During the gathering, in which Cardinal Zen will speak, jailed bishops and priests will be remembered, including Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian and Father James Lu Genjun of Baoding.Initially, the authorities had refused to grant organisers a permit for the event. In September, the Hong Kong Leisure and Entertainment Department had turned down the Justice and Peace Commission’s application to hold a procession starting at the Southorn Playground, claiming it was all “booked”. When organisers fell back on the smaller Lockhart Road, the authorities continued to be against their request for “political reasons”.Only when the media picked up the story did the authorities grant permission to use the Southorn Playground. Nevertheless, the diocese was none too pleased. In a statement, it slammed the authorities for their attitude, which, in its view, tends to undermine the rights of all Hong Kong citizens.At the same time, Hong Kong’s bishop, Mgr John Tong Hon spoke about the Nobel Prize going to mainland dissident Liu Xiaobo, saying that it “honours the Chinese people” as a whole. In his statement, the prelate congratulated the winner, who co-authored Charter 08, and his family. He also cited Chinese premier Wen Jiaobao who said that the appeal of democracy and freedom cannot be obstructed.Bishop Tong also expressed hope to see the release of Liu and all those jailed for demanding democracy and freedom, including religious freedom, for they “can make a greater contribution to the country” and increase its “prestige in the international community.”Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Zen said that some day he too hopes to see the day when the Chinese people can fully express support for Liu’s early release.
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Cath News report: Thousands of Australian pilgrims celebrating Mary MacKillop's canonisation are making their presence felt in the Eternal City, sometimes to the bemusement of the locals.The Herald Sun reports that groups are waving Mary MacKillop flags and wearing green and gold Mary MacKillop scarfs, and are out in force in St Peter's Square for the Pope's regular Wednesday appearance."What is happening?" asked one Italian couple as they watched happy groups of Australians streaming out of the Caravita church in downtown Rome, armed with their pilgrim packs, which also include water, ponchos and Mary MacKillop prayer cards.The younger they are, the more enthusiastic they seem, said the report."Having Mary MacKillop made a saint is like a 'yes, we can' moment for Australia," said Sydney teenager Rian Galliott, touring with the Catholic Youth Mission group."It's a turning point for young people in the church to be here on this occasion. It's like we're being entrusted with the church and we're going to keep on carrying the torch that Mary MacKillop lit."Who knows, in 100 years they might be saying someone who was in Rome for this event might have lived a life good enough to be considered a saint."
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Montreal Gazette report:
The praises of a once penniless, sickly and illiterate porter were literally sung here Saturday to honour the man who is on the cusp of becoming the first Canadian-born male saint.Led by the Pontifical French Seminary choir, more than 1,000 pilgrims sang the hymn Frere Andre as a large black-and-white portrait of the lay brother was carried to the altar of Sant’Andrea della Valle, an ornate 17th-century church dedicated to Saint Andrew the Apostle.It was standing-room-only at the prayer vigil on the eve of the big day. On Sunday, Brother Andre, will become the first male Catholic saint born in Canada during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square.“Simple, pauvre, humble frere, coeur d’apetre / Pour le royaume. Simple, pauvre, frere Andre / Dans ta priere prends les notres,” they sang as the portrait was placed on an easel, and immediately illuminated by the flashes of dozens of cameras.The prayer vigil was led by Andre Richard, Archbishop of Moncton and a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the order Alfred Bessette joined in 1870 when he took the name Brother Andre.At the event, the man to be known as Saint Andre Bessette was remembered as a compassionate man who stood out because of his inspiring life story and his unique way of helping people in pain.Having lost both parents by age 12, Bessette was separated from his brothers and sisters and sent to live with family members. He tried unsuccessfully to make it on his own, drifting from job to job in Quebec before moving to New England, Gerard Dionne, a Holy Cross brother, told the crowd.After returning to Quebec when he was in his early 20s, Bessette settled in St. Cesaire, Que., southeast of Montreal, where local priest Rev. Andre Provencal inspired him to devote himself to Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus Christ.Bessette spent so much time praying to Saint Joseph, local children mocked him as “le fou de St. Joseph,” Dionne said.Provencal recommended him to the Congregation of Holy Cross, which ran College Notre Dame in Cote des Neiges. “I’m sending you a saint,” Provencal said in his recommendation letter, Dionne noted.Though wary because of Bessette’s poor health, the congregation took him in. Bessette became Brother Andre. He was given the lowly job of taking care of the school’s reception area.For years, he dreamt of building a small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph, across from College Notre Dame, on Mount Royal.“Brother Andre placed a statue of St. Joseph on his windowsill, with the face turned toward the mountain,” Dionne said. “When people asked why, his answer was quite simple: Saint Joseph wants to have a chapel on the mountain where he can be honoured and prayed to.”That chapel would be built in 1904 and then expanded a few years later. Untold numbers of people came to seek help from Brother Andre, who would tell them to rub oil that had burned in front of a statue of Saint Joseph on their bodies, and seek Saint Joseph’s help in prayer.He became known as the Miracle Man of Montreal, with thousands of people attributing to him miraculous recoveries from everything from physical infirmities to tuberculosis to cancer.Eventually, construction began on a grand building to replace Brother Andre’s simple chapel. But the worldwide economic depression of the 1920s stalled the project, leaving his superiors unable to gather the money to finish it.A few weeks before his death in 1937, Brother Andre invited his superiors, who were unsure of how to proceed, to put their confidence in Saint Joseph, Dionne said.“In middle of winter, they held a procession and placed a statue of Saint Joseph in the vast interior” of the roofless oratory.“Just one year later, when Brother Andre was no longer in this world,” Dionne said, “we were able to finish this immense building, which became Saint Joseph’s Oratory, the biggest sanctuary in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph, visited by two million people every year.”In a closing prayer, Rev. Richard Warner, the Rome-based superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, noted Brother Andre’s commitment to the poor and the afflicted and asked God to help others to follow in Andre’s footsteps.“Through (Brother Andre’s) intercession, help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in your glory,” Warner said.As they streamed out of Sant’Andrea della Valle, whose dome is the second largest in Rome, surpassed only by Saint Peter’s Basilica, pilgrims reflected on the man they came to celebrate.“He was a humble man who helped the neediest in our world and he deserves to be honoured,” said Montreal resident Mary Vincelli. “This world needs role models and he’s one of the best.”For Jacques Gilbert, also of Montreal, the prayer vigil was a bit of deja vu. He attended a similar event at Sant’Andrea della Valle in 1982, when Pope John Paul II beatified Brother Andre.“I didn’t want to miss the actual canonization,” said Gilbert, 78. “It’s not every day you see a saint made.’Read more:
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EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN BOYLE REVEALS AUTOBIOGRAPHY REPORT – International singing phenomenon Susan Boyle has revealed in a new autobiography that doctors had told her mother to abort her, because they thought the pregnancy was risky.Boyle soared to stardom in April 2009 after appearing on the UK television program, Britain’s Got Talent, when the plain-looking Scotswoman shocked audiences with a powerful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.But the 49-year-old native of Blackburn, a village in West Lothian, Scotland would never have dreamed the dream of singing on the international stage, if her mother had agreed to abort her on the advice of doctors. In her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be, Boyle reveals that doctors recommended a “termination” to Bridget Boyle, who already was a mother of eight children, because they feared physical complications.Boyle reveals that her mother rejected this advice as “unthinkable” since she was a “devout Catholic.”When Boyle was born by emergency c-section, doctors did not tell her mother the usual “Congratulations, Mrs. Boyle! A beautiful baby girl.” Boyle wrote that doctors took a dismissive view of her life – especially when they suspected brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.“‘It’s probably best to accept Susan will never be anything,” Boyle recounted the doctors telling her mother. “‘Susan will never come to anything so don’t expect too much of her.’”“I’m sure they had the best of intentions,” Boyle continued, “but I don’t think they should have said that, because nobody can foretell the future.”“What they didn’t know was that I am a bit of a fighter, and I’ve been trying all my life to prove them wrong.”Boyle released her first album “I Dreamed a Dream” on November 23, 2009, and quickly sold 9 million copies in six weeks, making it the number one selling album for that year. The Guinness Book of World Records also recognized Boyle as the number one female artist in the UK with the fastest selling debut album.In recent years, a number of popular icons have revealed that they had mothers who were faced with the choice to abort or give birth.Andrea Bocelli, Italian pop, opera, and classical singer, revealed to the world this year that doctors recommended abortion to his mother after she experienced an attack of appendicitis, making it likely that her son would be born with a disability. Bocelli is completely blind.Bocelli said he hoped that the story of his brave mother “could encourage many mothers that find themselves in difficult situations in those moments when life is complicated, but want to save the life of their baby.” (see coverage)In the United States, college football star Tim Tebow (now back-up quarterback for the Denver Broncos) revealed that doctors recommended abortion to his mother after she became sick in the Philippines.Tebow’s story was featured in a brief 30-second ad spot purchased for the Super Bowl. According to one study, 92.6 million Americans watched the ad. Of those who identified themselves as supportive of abortion, four percent said they were led to "personally reconsider [their] opinion about abortion" after watching Tebow and his mother Pam tell their story in the ad.
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Catholic Info. Ser. Af. REPORT: Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga has expressed fears that Africa may never catch up with the developed world unless the contribution of women in the society is fully appreciated and exploited.He told the ongoing conference on "African Women's Decade" in Nairobi that opened on October 11 that the continent lagged behind in many aspects of socio-economic spheres because of stereotypes that perpetuated gender biases."We must discard the big-man syndrome and embrace the thinking of the modern man who believes that a progressive struggle can only be attained when the contribution of women is appreciated," Odinga said.He said some Third World countries overcame their economic woes after incorporating women in their development agenda and challenged African nations to adopt those policies that empowered and promoted gender parity in the society.Odinga regretted that the continent still registered the highest rates of maternal mortality because African governments were yet to accord provision of basic health the seriousness it deserved."Women die because our political systems have not put enough focus on their health by providing adequate resources which ought to be a priority if the decade is to mean anything to the African woman," he said.He urged participants from 48 member states to push their respective governments to honour their pledge to contribute one percent of their budget to the African Women Fund which the African Union Commission formulated to promote related activities in the continent.The premier lauded the strides Rwanda had made in promoting women representation and asked other states to emulate the trend and push the ratio beyond the 30 percent minimum benchmark to at least 50 percent slots of the available seats.The five-day event conference held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) is attended by Gambian Vice President Dr Isatou Njie Saidy among others.Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to address the forum today. SOURCE
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St. Marguerite d'YouvilleFOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITYFeast: October 16 (Canada)Information:Feast Day:October 16Born:15 October 1701, Varennes, QuebecDied:23 December 1771, Montreal, CanadaCanonized:9 December 1990, by Pope John Paul IIMajor Shrine:Chapel of St. Marie Marguerite d'Youville, near MontrealPatron of:Against death of children, difficult marriages, in-law problems, loss of parents, opposition of Church authorities, people ridiculed for piety, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, widowsMARGUERITE d'YOUVILLE, the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood, was born October 15, 1701 at Varennes, Quebec. She was the eldest of six children born to Christophe Dufrost de Lajemmerais and Marie-Renée Gaultier. Her father died when she was seven years old leaving this family of six in great poverty. It was only through the influence of her great grandfather, Pierre Boucher, that she was enabled to study for two years at the Ursulines in Quebec. Upon her return home, she became an invaluable support to her mother and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters. She married François d'Youville in 1722 and the young couple made their home with his mother who made life miserable for her daughter-in-law. She soon came to realize that her husband had no interest in making a home life. His frequent absences and illegal liquor trading with the Indians caused her great suffering. She was pregnant with her sixth child when François became seriously ill. She faithfully cared for him until his death in 1730. By age 29, she had experienced desperate poverty and suffered the loss of her father and husband. Four of her six children had died in infancy. In all these sufferings Marguerite grew in her belief of God's presence in her life and of his tender love for every human person. She undertook many charitable works with complete trust in God, whom she loved as a Father. She provided for the education of her two sons, who later became priests, and she welcomed a blind woman into her home. Marguerite was soon joined by three young women who shared her love and concern for the poor. On December 31, 1737, they consecrated themselves to God and promised to serve him in the person of the poor. Marguerite, without even realizing it, had become the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, "Grey Nuns". She persevered in caring for the poor despite many obstacles. She was in weakened health and mourning the death of one of her companions when a fire destroyed their home. This only served to deepen her commitment to the poor. On February 2, 1745, she and her two early companions pledged themselves to put everything in common in order to help a greater number of persons in need. Two years later, this "mother of the poor" as she was called, was asked to become director of the Charon Brothers Hospital in Montreal which was falling into ruin. She and her sisters rebuilt the hospital and cared for those in most desperate human misery. With the help of her sisters and their lay collaborators, Marguerite laid the foundation for service to the poor of a thousand faces. In 1765 a fire destroyed the hospital but nothing could destroy Marguerite's faith and courage. At the age of 64 she undertook the reconstruction of this shelter for those in need. Totally exhausted from a lifetime of self-giving, Marguerite died on December 23, 1771 and will always be remembered as a loving mother who served Jesus Christ in the poor.Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 1959 and called her "Mother of Universal Charity." She was canonized by Pope John Paul II, December 9, 1990.
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St. HedwigWIDOW, DUCHESS OF POLANDFeast: October 16Information:Feast Day:October 16Born:1174 in BavariaDied:October 1243 at TrebnitzCanonized:1266 by Pope Clement IVPatron of:Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; Görlitz, Germany, diocese of; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widowsThe father of this saint was Bertold III of Andechs, Marquis of Meran, Count of Tirol, and Prince (or Duke) of Carinthia and Istria, as he is styled in the Chronicle of Andechs and in the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Her mother was Agnes, daughter of the Count of Rotletchs. St. Hedwiges, by a distinguishing effect of the divine mercy in her favour, was from her cradle formed to virtue by the example and lessons of her devout mother and of those that were placed about her. In her infancy she discovered no marks of levity, and all her inclinations were turned to piety and devotion. She was placed very young in the monastery of Lutzingen, in Franconia, and only taken thence when twelve years old to marry Henry, Duke of Silesia, descended of the Dukes of Glogau, in that country; to which match she only consented out of compliance with the will of her parents. In this state, by the fidelity with which she acquitted herself of all her respective duties towards God, her husband, her children, and her family, she was truly the courageous woman described by the wise men, who is to be sought from the utmost boundaries of the earth; making it her study in all things only to please God, and to sanctify her own soul and her household, she directed all her views and actions to this great end. With her husband's free consent she always passed holydays, fast-days, and all seasons of devotion in continence. She bore her husband three sons, Henry, Conrad, and Boleslas; and three daughters, Agnes, Sophia, and Gertrude. After the birth of her sixth child, she engaged her husband to agree to a mutual vow of perpetual continence, which they made in presence of the bishop of the place; from which time they never met but in public places. Her husband faithfully kept this vow for thirty years that he lived afterwards; during which time he never wore any gold, silver, or purple, and never shaved his beard; from which circumstance he was surnamed Henry the Bearded.Whether in prosperity or adversity, her whole comfort was in God and in the exercises of religion. The duke, at her persuasion and upon her yielding into his hands her whole dower for this purpose, founded the great monastery of Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz, three miles from Breslau, the capital of Silesia; upon which he settled the town of Trebnitz and other estates, endowing it for the maintenance of one thousand persons, of which, in the first foundation, one hundred were nuns; the rest were young ladies of reduced families, who were to be here educated in piety and afterwards provided with competent portions to marry advantageously in the world; or, if they were inclined to a monastic state, they were at liberty to profess it in this or in any other nunnery. This building was begun in 1203, and was carried on fifteen years without interruption, during which time all malefactors in Silesia, instead of other punishments, were condemned to work at it, and the severity of their servitude was proportioned to their crimes. The monastery was finished and the church dedicated in 1219. The duchess practiced in her palace greater austerities than those of the most rigid monks, fasted and watched in prayer, and wherever she travelled had always thirteen poor persons with her, whom she maintained, in honour of Christ and his apostles, waiting upon them herself upon her knees at table, where they were served with good meat before she took her own coarse refection. She often washed the feet and kissed the ulcers of lepers, and having an extreme desire to hear that amiable sentence from Christ at the last day, "I was in prison and you visited me," &c., she exhausted her revenues in relieving the necessitous. The simplicity which she observed in her dress whilst she lived with her husband showed that, if respect to him and his court obliged her to wear decent apparel, she was yet an enemy to vain or gaudy ornaments, which amuse a great part of her sex, and much more to all decorations and artifices of dress with which many ladies study to set themselves off to advantage; a certain mark of vanity, or a pleasure they take in themselves, and a dangerous desire of pleasing others. This passion, which banishes from the breast where it reigns the spirit of Christ and his gospel, cherishes the root of many vices, and without design spreads snares to entangle and destroy unwary souls, cannot find place in one whose conduct is regulated by, and whose heart is penetrated with, the spirit of Christian modesty.St. Hedwiges, after her separation from her husband, carried her love of humility and penance much further in this respect, and wore only clothes of plain grey stuff. Her desire of advancing in perfection put her upon leaving the palace with her husband's consent, and fixing altogether at Trebnitz, near the monastery, often retiring for some days into that austere house, where she lay in the dormitory, and complied with all the penitential exercises of the community. She wore the same cloak and tunic summer and winter; and underneath a rough hair shift, with sleeves of white serge, that it might not be discovered. She fasted every day except Sundays and great festivals, on which she allowed herself two small refections. For forty years she never ate any flesh, though subject to frequent violent illnesses; except that once, under a grievous distemper in Poland, she took a little, in obedience to the precept of the pope's legate. On Wednesdays and Fridays her refection was only bread and water. With going to churches barefoot, sometimes over ice and snow, her feet were often blistered and left the ground stained with traces of herblood; but she carried shoes under her arms, to put on if she met anyone. Her maids that attended her to church, though well clad, were not able to bear the cold, which she never seemed to feel. She had a good bed in her chamber, but never made use of it, taking her rest on the bare ground; she watched great part of the night in prayer and tears, and never returned to rest after matins. After compline she prolonged her prayers in the church till very late: and from matins till break of day. At her work, or other employments, she never ceased to sigh to God in her heart as a stranger banished from him on earth, and returned often in the day to the church, where she usually retired into a secret corner, that her tears might not be perceived. The Princess Anne, her daughter-in-law, who usually knelt next to her, admired the abundance of tears she saw her frequently shed at her devotions, the interior joy and delights with which she was often overwhelmed during her communications with heaven, and the sublime raptures with which she was sometimes favoured. The same was testified by Herbold, her confessor, and by several servant maids. At her prayers she frequently kissed the ground, watering it with her tears, and in private often prayed a long time together prostrate on the floor. She continued in prayer during all the time it thundered, remembering the terrors of the last day. Her tears and devotion were extraordinary when she approached the holy communion. She always heard mass either kneeling or prostrate with a devotion which astonished all that saw her; nor could she be satisfied without hearing every morning all the masses that were said in the church where she was.That devotion is false or imperfect which is not founded in humility and the subjection of the passions. St. Hedwiges always sincerely looked upon herself as the last and most ungrateful to God of all creatures, and she was often seen to kiss the ground where some virtuous person had knelt in the church. No provocation was observed to make her ever show the least sign of emotion or anger. Whilst she lived in the world, the manner in which she reprimanded servants for faults showed how perfectly she was mistress of herself, and how unalterable the peace of her mind was. This also appeared in the heroic constancy with which she bore afflictions. Upon receiving the news of her husband being wounded in battle and taken prisoner by the Duke of Kirne, she said, without the least disturbance of mind, that she hoped to see him in a short time at liberty and in good health. The conqueror rejected all terms that could be offered for his freedom; which obliged Henry, our saint's eldest son, to raise a powerful army to attempt his father's rescue by force of arms. Hedwiges, whose tender soul could never hear of the effusion of Christian blood without doing all in her power to prevent it, went in person to Conrad, and the very sight of her disarmed him of all his rage, so that she easily obtained what she demanded. The example of our saint had so powerful an influence over her husband that he not only allowed her an entire liberty as to her manner of living and exercises of piety, but began at length in some degree to copy her virtues; observed the modesty and recollection of a monk in the midst of a court; and became the father of his people and the support of the poor and weak. All his thoughts were directed to administering justice to his subjects, and making piety and religion flourish in his dominions. He died happily in 1238, upon which melancholy occasion all the nuns at Trebnitz expressed their sense of so great a loss by many tears and other marks of grief. From that time she put on the religious habit at Trebnitz, and lived in obedience to her daughter Gertrude, who, having made her religious profession in that house when it was first founded, had been before that time chosen abbess. Nevertheless, St. Hedwiges never made any monastic vows, that she might continue to succour the necessitous by her bountiful charities.One instance will suffice to show with what humility and meekness she conversed with her religious sisters. Out of a spirit of sincere poverty and humility, she never wore any other than some old threadbare castaway habit. One of the nuns happened once to say to her, "Why do you wear these tattered rags? They ought rather to be given to the poor." The saint meekly answered, "If this habit gives any offence, I am ready to correct my fault." And she instantly laid it aside and got another, though she would not have a new one. Three years after the death of her husband, she sustained a grievous trial in the loss of her eldest, most virtuous, and most beloved son Henry, surnamed the Pious, who had succeeded his father in the duchies both of Greater and Lesser Poland and of Silesia. The Tartars, with a numberless army, poured out of Asia by the north, proposing nothing less to themselves than to swallow up all Europe. Having plundered all the country that lay in their way through Russia and Bulgaria, they arrived at Cracow, in Poland. Finding that city abandoned by its inhabitants, who carried off their treasures, they burnt it to the ground, so that nothing was left standing except the Church of St. Andrew, without the walls. Continuing their march into Silesia, they laid siege to the citadel of Breslau, which was protected by the prayers of St. Ceslas, or Cieslas, prior of the Dominicans there, and the barbarians, terrified by a globe of fire which fell from the heavens upon their camp, retired towards Legnitz. Duke Henry assembled his forces at Legnitz, sad, every soldier having been at confession, he caused mass to be said, at which he and all his army received the holy communion. From this sacred action he courageously led his little army to fall upon the enemy, having with him Miceslas, Duke of Oppolen in Higher Silesia, Boleslas, Marquis of Monravia, and other princes. He gave wonderful proofs both of his courage and conduct in this memorable battle, and for some time drove the barbarians before him; but at last, his horse being killed under him, he was himself slain not far from Legnitz, in 1241. His corpse was carried to the Princess Anne, his wife, and by her sent to Breslau, to be interred in the convent of Franciscans which he had begun to found there, and which she finished after his death. The grandchildren of our saint were preserved from the swords of these infidels, being shut up in the impregnable castle of Legnitz. St. Hedwiges herself had retired, with her nuns and her daughter-in-law, Anne, to the fortress of Chrosne. Upon the news of this disaster she comforted her daughter the abbess, and her daughter-in-law the princess, who seemed almost dead with grief. Without letting fall a single tear, or discovering the least trouble of mind, she said, "God hath disposed of my son as it hath pleased him. We ought to have no other will than his." Then, lifting up her eyes to heaven, she prayed as follows: "I thank you, my God, for having given me such a son, who always loved and honoured me, and never gave me the least occasion of displeasure. To see him alive was my great joy; yet I feel a still greater pleasure in seeing him, by such a death, deserve to be for ever united to you in the kingdom of your glory. Oh, my God, with my whole heart I commend to you his dear soul." The example of this saint's lively faith and hope most powerfully and sweetly dispelled the grief of those that were in affliction, and her whole conduct was the strongest exhortation to every virtue. This gave an irresistible force to the holy advice she sometimes gave others. Being a true and faithful lover of the cross, she was wont to exhort all with whom she conversed to arm themselves against the prosperity of the world with still more diligence than against its adversities, the former being fraught with more snares and greater dangers. Nothing seemed to surpass the lessons on humility which she gave to her daughter-in-law Anne, which were the dictates of her own feeling and experimental sentiments of that virtue. Her humility was honoured by God with the gift of miracles. A nun of Trebnitz who was blind recovered her sight by the blessing of the saint with the sign of the cross. In her last sickness she insisted on receiving extreme unction before any others could be persuaded that she was in danger. The passion of Christ, which she had always made a principal part of her most tender devotion, was the chief entertainment by which she prepared herself for her last passage. God was pleased to put a happy end to her labours by calling her to himself on the 15th of October 1243. Her mortal remains were deposited at Trebnitz. She was canonized in 1266 by Clement IV, and her relics were enshrined the year following. Pope Innocent XI appointed the 17th of this month for the celebration of her office.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 16: Luke 12: 8 - 12
Luke 12: 8 - 128"And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;9but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.10And every one who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.11And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say;12for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."
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