Thursday, October 30, 2014

Saint October 31 : St. Wolfgang : Patron of apoplexy, carpenters, and strokes

 St. Wolfgang

BISHOP
Feast: October 31
Information:
Feast Day:
October 31
Born:
924 in Swabia
Died:
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)
Canonized:
1052 by Pope Leo IX
Patron of:
apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokes

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.
St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.
St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.
ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.

Amazing Testimony of Priest who is Ready to die for flock in Ebola region of Africa - SHARE!

Pinoy priest in Ebola-hit Africa ‘ready to die’ for flock

CBCPNews  report: MAKENI, Sierra Leone, Oct. 30, 2014—True to his calling, a Filipino missionary based in Sierra Leone, one of the countries in Africa plagued by the killer Ebola virus, refuses to return to the safety of the Philippines, stressing that a “good shepherd” never leaves his sheep to the wolves.
“I will stay here in Sierra Leone. I am still convinced that this is not a moment to leave this country,” said Fr. Anthony Patrick S. Santianez on the social media site Facebook on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Fr. Anthony Patrick S. Santianez, a Filipino priest presently serving in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone, first served in Africa as a brother for three years before returning to the Philippines to be ordained. (Photo from Santianez’ Facebook account)
Ready to die
The Xaverian priest from Calbayog, Samar has left no room for guessing, sending a clear message that he is prepared to die for his mission.
The good shepherd, he explained, “lays down his life for ‘his sheep’ if necessary”.
Santianez shared, “The Philippine government asked us Filipinos in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea if we would like to be repatriated next month … My answer was, is, and will be no.”
Inspired by the New Testament passages in John 10:1-21, he pointed out he tries to be like a “good shepherd” who does not abandon his sheep when the flock is under attack.
In an earlier interview with CBCPNews, Santianez said that while he genuinely fears for his own health, leaving behind his parishioners for the Philippines is not an option, especially when his presence in Makine, the diocese he serves, is most needed.
He told CBCPNews he once considered going back to the Philippines, until a touching petition by one of his “sheep” changed his mind.
Touching plea
“My parishioner told me: Father, don’t leave us. Stay with us, because if you leave us we will get afraid more. This incident made me finally decide to stand by ‘my’ people, my parishioners, and ‘my’ countrymen and women,” he said
According to Santianez, who first came to Sierra Leone in June 24, 2008 after finishing theology at the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), this is an opportunity for him to express solidarity with Sierra Leoneans.
“Although my family knew from news reports what’s happening here, it surprised me when, amid all the confusion Ebola occasioned, my mother begged me to stay here. I knew outright it was God’s voice speaking through my mom,” the missionary, who first came to Africa as a brother, added.
As assistant parish priest of St. Guido Maria Conforti Church in Makine, Santianez administers the sacraments, teaches catechism, and makes home and community visitations in his diocese.
Again, his only appeal to Filipinos: “Prayers, please … I am calling all my prayer warriors to pray for all of us. Padayon!” (Raymond A. Sebastián) Shared from CBCPNews  

Vatican gives Pro-Life message to UN - Full Text - "The Holy See reaffirms that all life must be fully protected in all its stages from conception until natural death.

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has told the United Nations that the right to life is at the foundation of human rights.
The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, was speaking on Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly Committee Meeting on Human Rights in New York.
“The right to life as enshrined in natural law and protected by international human rights laws lies at the foundation of all human rights,” he said.  “The Holy See reaffirms that all life must be fully protected in all its stages from conception until natural death.”
Archbishop Auza added with the right to life, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion continues to face serious challenges around the world.
“In some regions, violations against religious freedom have multiplied and intensified in their brutality, in particular against religious minorities,” he said. “My delegation insists that these ruthless violations must not only be seen as violence against ethnic and religious minorities, but first and foremost must be condemned as blatant violations of fundamental human rights, and must be dealt with accordingly.”
The full text of Archbishop Auza’s remarks are below:
Statement of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, Agenda Item 68 (b and c): Human Rights
New York, 29 October 2014
Madam Chair,
I would like to thank the various Special Rapporteurs and Special Mandate holders for their reports and work during the past year. Today’s discussion brings to light a great number of serious challenges to human rights around the world, and reminds us of the need to rebuild trust in the human rights system in upholding fundamental human rights.
The right to life as enshrined in natural law and protected by international human rights laws lies at the foundation of all human rights. The Holy See reaffirms that all life must be fully protected in all its stages from conception until natural death.
In this regard, my delegation welcomes the reduction in the last two years of the recourse to the death penalty around the globe. As Pope Francis affirmed before representatives of the Association of International Penal Law, received in the Vatican last October 23, “it is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggression." The Pope also recommends the abolition of life imprisonment, which he defines as “a hidden death penalty” because, like the death penalty, it excludes all possibilities of redemption and recuperation. He warned against “penal populism” that privileges punishment to solve society’s ills, rather than a more rigorous pursuit of social justice and preventative measures. This is especially important when it comes to juvenile delinquency and crimes committed by the elderly. Pope Francis called on all people of goodwill to struggle also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of prisoners, so many of whom, in so many countries of the world, have been detained for long periods without trial.
Along with the right to life, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion continues to face serious challenges around the world. In some regions, violations against religious freedom have multiplied and intensified in their brutality, in particular against religious minorities. My delegation insists that these ruthless violations must not only be seen as violence against ethnic and religious minorities, but first and foremost must be condemned as blatant violations of fundamental human rights, and must be dealt with accordingly.
In other parts of the world, religious freedom faces legal barriers put by public authorities and experiences condescending if not outright discriminatory behavior of some in society. Some authorities seek to restrict religious observance to the private realm and impose legal obligations that conflict with personal conscience and religious beliefs. Given this misconstrued understanding of religious freedom and similar misconceptions still existing today, my delegation wishes to note that the struggle for religious freedom was at the origins of certain nations. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is an inalienable fundamental human right; thus, it has always been and will always be at the core of the struggle for the recognition and free exercise of fundamental human rights.
In this context, my delegation welcomes the Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (A/69/261), which, inter alia, identifies measures of “reasonable accommodation” to overcome discrimination and violation of this fundamental human right in the workplace. Indeed, a world that truly respects religious freedom must move beyond mere toleration. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments explicitly affirm that the right to freedom of religion or belief includes the right of all to practice their faith alone or in community, in public or private, and the right to change his or her religion or belief.
In order to address these challenges, we must strengthen the international human rights system. My delegation hopes that the resolution on Strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system (A/RES/68/268) translates into meaningful reform towards greater observance of treaties (Pacta sunt servanda) and their faithful and objective, not political or ideological, monitoring.
Madam Chair, With lessons learned from our failure to stop massive violations of fundamental human rights – including and most especially religious freedom- and of international humanitarian law, the time is for courageous decisions. My delegation looks forward to working with all delegations during this session to reinvigorate respect and appreciation for fundamental human rights around the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday October 30, 2014

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 482


Reading 1EPH 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the Devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood
but with the principalities, with the powers,
with the world rulers of this present darkness,
with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day
and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.

With all prayer and supplication,
pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.
To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication
for all the holy ones and also for me,
that speech may be given me to open my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains,
so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.

Responsorial Psalm PS 144:1B, 2, 9-10

R. (1b) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Gospel LK 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Over 300 Buried Alive in Mud in Sri Lanka - Asia - Please Pray

Asia News report: Sri Lanka, rescue operations hampered: more than 300 people buried alive by mud 
by Melani Manel Perera
Bad weather prevents rescuers from freeing the village of Meeriyabedda inhabited by tea growers, swept away by a landslide. Except for the children who had left early to go to school.


Colombo (AsiaNews) - More than 300 people have been buried alive and an entire village swept away by an avalanche of mud. This is the death toll from yesterday's landslide in the mountainous area of Meeriyabedda (Badulla District), inhabited by farmers on the local tea plantation. Bad weather is hampering rescue operations and so far only 10 dead bodies have been pulled out. The village children however, are safe having left early for school.

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reports that approximately 40 hectares of land and 120 homes have been affected by the landslide. The houses, shops and the village hall - a total of 150 buildings - are under thirty feet of mud and only a few roofs are visible.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered security forces to take part in the rescue operations, and more than 500 soldiers have been deployed They join the air force, police, volunteers and health workers who are racing to recover bodies. Shared from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis "Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness..." Homily

Pope Francis at Mass - OSS_ROM
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis described Christian life as a continuous battle being waged against Satan, the world and the passions of the flesh. His comments came during his homily at Mass celebrated on Thursday morning at the Santa Marta residence. He stressed that the devil exists and we must fight against him with the armour of truth.
Pope Francis's reflections during his homily were taken from the words of St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians where the apostle urged Christians to put on the full armour of God in order to resist Satan’s temptations.  A Christian life, he said, has to be defended and it requires both strength and courage. It’s a continuous battle against the three main enemies of Christian life which are the devil, the world and the passions of the flesh.
“From whom do I have to defend myself? What must I do?  Pauls tells us to put on God’s full armour, meaning that God acts as a defence, helping us to resist Satan’s temptations.  Is this clear?  No spiritual life, no Christian life is possible without resisting temptations, without  putting on God’s armour which gives us strength and protects us.”
Saint Paul, continued the Pope, underlines that our battle is not against little things but against the principalities and the ruling forces, in other words against the devil and his followers.   
“But in this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him.  Paul tells us this, it’s not me saying it! The Word of God is telling us this.  But we’re not all convinced of this.  And then Paul describes God’s armour and which are the different types that make up this great armour of God.  And he says: ‘So stand your ground,  with truth a belt around your waist.’  The truth is God’s armour.”
By contrast, said Pope Francis, the devil is a liar and the father of liars and in order to fight him we must have truth on our side.  He also underlined the importance of always having our faith in God, like a shield, when fighting this battle against the devil, who, he noted, doesn't throw flowers at us but instead burning arrows.
“Life is a military endeavour.  Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness: the joy that the Lord is the victor within us, with his free gift of salvation.  But we’re all a bit lazy, aren’t we, in this battle and we allow ourselves to get carried away by our passions, by various temptations. That’s because we’re sinners, all of us!  But don’t get discouraged.  Have courage and strength because the Lord is with us.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Saint October 30 : St. Alphonsus Rodriguez : Jesuit Confessor


St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
CONFESSOR AND LAY BROTHER
Feast: October 30
Information:
Feast Day:
October 30
Born:
July 25, 1532, Segovia
Died:
October 31, 1617
Canonized:
6 September, 1887
Major Shrine:
Majorca

Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From thattime he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to theporter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.

Free Catholic Movie : Timepiece (1996) - Stars James Earl Jones and Kevin Kilner

Timepiece (1996) TV Movie - 100 min - Drama - 22 December 1996 (USA) Set in the 1940's, James Earl Jones as an an old clockmaker faces racism and is tried for murder when the racist is killed. However, Kevin Kilner comes forward and claims to have commmitted... Director: Marcus Cole Writers: Richard Paul Evans (novel), Richard Fielder (teleplay) Stars: Naomi Watts, Kevin Kilner, James Earl Jones |