Monday, October 31, 2011

Funny Halloween Prank

A Million Roses for the World - Day 19 - October 31, 2011

In Pictures: Snow in October

Snow hangs on berries and leaves as snowfall begins in Nyack, New York, October 29, 2011. A rare October snowstorm bore down on the heavily populated Northeast on Saturday, with some areas bracing for up to a foot of snow and major power outages.

A view of a pumpkin patch covered in snow is seen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire October 30, 2011

Leaves and snow 

Fall foliage after a winter storm
Photos via Getty Images

Monday of the Thirty-First Week of Ordinary Time; All Hallows' Eve

Halloween or All Hallows' Eve is not a liturgical feast on the Catholic calendar, but the celebration has deep ties to the Liturgical Year. These three consecutive days — Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day — illustrate the Communion of Saints. The Church Militant (those on earth, striving to get to heaven) pray for the Church Suffering (those souls in Purgatory) especially on All Souls Day and the month of November. We also rejoice and honor the Church Triumphant (the saints, canonized and uncanonized) in heaven. We also ask the Saints to intercede for us, and for the souls in Purgatory.
Since Vatican II, some liturgical observances have been altered, one example being "fast before the feast" is no longer required. Originally, the days preceding great solemnities, like Christmas and All Saints Day, had a penitential nature, requiring abstinence from meat and fasting and prayer. Although not required by the Church, it is a good practice to prepare spiritually before great feast days.
In England, saints or holy people are called "hallowed," hence the name "All Hallow's Day." The evening, or "e'en" before the feast became popularly known as "All Hallows' Eve" or even shorter, "Hallowe'en."
Since the night before All Saints Day, "All Hallows Eve" (now known as Hallowe'en), was the vigil and required fasting, many recipes and traditions have come down for this evening, such as pancakes, boxty bread and boxty pancakes, barmbrack (Irish fruit bread with hidden charms), colcannon (combination of cabbage and boiled potatoes). This was also known as "Nutcrack Night" in England, where the family gathered around the hearth to enjoy cider and nuts and apples.
Halloween is the preparation and combination of the two upcoming feasts. Although the demonic and witchcraft have no place for a Catholic celebration, some macabre can be incorporated into Halloween. It is good to dwell on our impending death (yes, everyone dies at one point), the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and the Sacrament of the Sick. And tied in with this theme is the saints, canonized and non-canonized. What did they do in their lives that they were able to reach heaven? How can we imitate them? How can we, like these saints, prepare our souls for death at any moment?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI prays for flood victims in Thailand, Italy

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the victims of recent flooding in Thailand and Italy. The Holy Father began his remarks to the faithful following the Angelus prayer this Sunday in St Peter’s Square by recalling the devastation in both countries. “Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “I express my closeness to the people of Thailand hit by serious flooding, as well as in Italy, to those of Liguria and Tuscany, recently damaged by the consequences of heavy rains.”

Thailand's worst flooding in half a century has claimed nearly 400 lives over the last three months, while in Italy, floods and mudslides last week devastated coastal areas of Liguria and Tuscany and killed nine people. The Holy Father assured all those affected of his continuing prayers.

Before the Angelus, Pope Benedict reflected on the Sunday Mass readings, which spoke of the figure of the true teacher, recalling that the one true teacher is Jesus, Himself.

In the Gospel of today’s liturgy, Christ urges us to combine humility with our charitable service towards our brothers and sisters. Indeed, may we always imitate his perfect example of service in our daily lives.

The Pope noted Jesus condemnation of those who preach the good, and then act in opposition to it – those who would require the consciences of others to bear heavy and difficult burdens, while refusing to bear those same themselves. “Sound doctrine,” warned Pope Benedict, “may well be made incredible by unbecoming conduct.” In conclusion, the Holy Father prayed that all those who, in the Christian community, are called to the ministry of teaching, “might in their conduct always bear witness to the truths they convey with their words.”

Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Gospel is from the Gospel of Matthew 23:1-12. As this picture of the Pharisees is painted by none other than Christ himself, we can have no doubt but that the description given is the truth and nothing but the truth. In spite of their great knowledge of "the law and the prophets"—the divine revelation God had given to the Chosen People—and of their many strict observances of that law, they were not pleasing to God. All their good works and all their learning were spoiled by the vice of pride which made them seek earthly glory for themselves and prevented them from giving glory or thanks to God. Their religion was an empty external cloak which they used to attract attention and honor to themselves. Internally, they were so full of their own importance that there was no room for God in their hearts.
Our divine Lord warned his disciples, and through them all of us, to avoid that pernicious vice of pride. It should not be hard for any true Christian to avoid this vice. We know that every material and spiritual talent we have has been given us by God, so we must give glory to God for any gifts we possess and not to ourselves. St. Paul reminds us of this fact when he asks us: "What have you that you have not received, and if you have received it why glory in it as if it were your own?" We owe everything we have to God and we should use all the gifts he has given us for his honor and glory, and for that purpose alone.
Do we always do this? Are we never tempted to look down on our less fortunate brothers? If we have got on well in our temporal affairs do we attribute our success to our own skill and hard work or do we thank God for the opportunities he gave to us and not to others. If, aided by God's grace, we are keeping his commandments, do we show contempt for those who give in to temptations which we did not have to meet? The best of us can profit from an examination of conscience along these lines. If our external observance of the Christian rule of life is motivated solely by love and gratitude to God all is well. But if our hearts are far from God and our motives in our religious behavior is self-glorification, we are in a dangerous position. The sinners and harlots of Christ's day repented and were received into his kingdom; the Pharisees, unable to repent, were left outside.
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Faces of John Paul II" art exhibit comes to the Vatican

These are the many faces of John Paul II. Polish artist Anna Gulak showed her newest project in an exhibition at the Vatican called “The Faces of Blessed John Paul II”. She says her art tries to portray the many sides of the late pope. 

Anna Gulak -Artist
“I wanted to visualize different aspects of his character because he was not only great but he was also humble. He was a great leader and diplomat but he was also very emphatic and very sensitive.” 

Gulak first started painting the face of John Paul II for a statue she was creating. But ideas for different paintings kept coming, so she turned these 'rough sketches', measuring 10 feet high, into something to combat the messages of advertising that people often turn away from. 

Anna Gulak -Artist
“I made them in reference to contemporary billboard art because right now in this world of masses, there's a lot of commercials and billboards and they attack the mind of the viewer.” 

In 2010, Gulak presented the pope with a medal she had designed at the request of the Holy See. As for the future, she says “The Faces of John Paul II” is the beginning of a journey and where it will end has not become clear.

Blessed Maria Restituta

On Oct. 29, Catholics celebrate the feast day of Helen Kafka, better known as Blessed Maria Restituta. Working as a nurse in the 1940s, she was ordered by the Gestapo to remove crucifixes she had placed in several hospital rooms and was sentenced to death. Pope John Paul II beatified her on June 21, 1998.

Helen Kafka was born in 1894 to a shoemaker and grew up in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 20, she decided to join the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and took the name Restituta after an early Church martyr.

In 1919, she began working as a surgical nurse in Austria. When the Germans took over the country, she became a local opponent of the Nazi regime. Her conflict with them escalated after they ordered her to remove all the crucifixes she had hung up in each room of a new hospital wing.

Sister Maria Restitua refused and she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942. She was sentenced to death for "aiding and abetting the enemy in the betrayal of the fatherland and for plotting high treason.”

She spent the rest of her days in prison caring for other prisoners, who loved her. The Nazis offered her freedom if she would abandon the Franciscan sisters, but she refused.She was beheaded March 30, 1943 in Vienna.

Saint Quote:

"I have lived for Christ; I want to die for Christ."

~ Blessed Maria's last recorded words

Friday, October 28, 2011


Simon and Jude were among the twelve apostles whom Jesus called to continue his work of salvation. They imitated Jesus by preaching, healing, and sacrificing their lives for the salvation of souls. Simon was known as “the Zealot” to distinguish him from Simon Peter. The Zealots were given the name “stabbers” by the Romans because they carried sharp daggers under their cloaks in order to kill unsuspecting Roman soldiers. They were terrorists. It’s amazing that Jesus called such a man to follow him but his call is for every person. What’s even more amazing is that besides a terrorist Jesus called Matthew, someone who collaborated with the Romans by collecting taxes for them. Simon and Matthew would have been sworn enemies. It’s too bad that Simon and Matthew do not share the same feast, but Matthew the Evangelist has the honor of a feast day all his own.

Not much is known about Jude who is called “Thaddaeus” in two of the Gospels and who tradition has it wrote the New Testament Letter that bears his name. He is known today as the patron saint of impossible or hopeless cases. Certainly, from a human perspective, it would have been impossible for Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax-collector to live and work together. But Jesus said: “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19: 26). The Apostles had firsthand experience of this.

Let us ask Simon and Jude to pray with us today for Pope Benedict’s monthly intentions as we offer the following prayer.

Glorious Saints Simon and Jude Thaddaeus, by those privileges with which you were adorned in your life times, namely, your friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ and your vocation to be apostles, and by that glory which now is yours in heaven as the reward of your apostolic labors and your martyrdoms, obtain for us from the Giver of every good and perfect gift all the graces that we stand in need of. Amen.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pope personally greets all participants during inter-religious gathering in Assisi

After taking a train from Vatican City to Assisi, the pope boarded a small bus to get to the city's center. As religious leaders arrived in Assisi for the inter-religious meeting, the pope, welcomed each one of them at the entrance of St. Mary of the Angels Basilica. 

Assisi 2011: A decisive stand for human dignity

From L-R: Julia Kristeva, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Norvan Zakarian, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Ecumenical Patriarch of Orthodox Church Bartolomeo I, Pope Benedict XVI, Rabbi David Rosen, Wande Abimbola, Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami, Ja Seung, the head of South Korea's Buddhist Jogye Order and Kyai Haji Hasyim Muzadi attends at S. Maria degli Angeli Basilica in Assisi October 27, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI attends interreligious meeting "prayer for peace" in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi.

Below is the text of Pope Benedict XVI’s intervention Thursday October 27th in the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, before representatives of the world’s religions and non-believers:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Distinguished Heads and Representatives of Churches, Ecclesial Communities and World Religions, Dear Friends,

Twenty-five years have passed since Blessed Pope John Paul II first invited representatives of the world’s religions to Assisi to pray for peace. What has happened in the meantime? What is the state of play with regard to peace today? At that time the great threat to world peace came from the division of the earth into two mutually opposed blocs. A conspicuous symbol of this division was the Berlin Wall which traced the border between two worlds right through the heart of the city. In 1989, three years after Assisi, the wall came down, without bloodshed. Suddenly the vast arsenals that stood behind the wall were no longer significant. They had lost their terror. The peoples’ will to freedom was stronger than the arsenals of violence. The question as to the causes of this dramatic change is complex and cannot be answered with simple formulae. But in addition to economic and political factors, the deepest reason for the event is a spiritual one: behind material might there were no longer any spiritual convictions. The will to freedom was ultimately stronger than the fear of violence, which now lacked any spiritual veneer. For this victory of freedom, which was also, above all, a victory of peace, we give thanks. What is more, this was not merely, nor even primarily, about the freedom to believe, although it did include this. To that extent we may in some way link all this to our prayer for peace.
Pope Benedict XVI (R) disembarks from a train in Assisi station upon arrival to attend the inter-religious talks on October 27, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI will lead during the day the 25th Inter-religious talks, a 'journey of reflection, dialogue and prayer.
But what happened next? Unfortunately, we cannot say that freedom and peace have characterized the situation ever since. Even if there is no threat of a great war hanging over us at present, nevertheless the world is unfortunately full of discord. It is not only that sporadic wars are continually being fought – violence as such is potentially ever present and it is a characteristic feature of our world. Freedom is a great good. But the world of freedom has proved to be largely directionless, and not a few have misinterpreted freedom as somehow including freedom for violence. Discord has taken on new and frightening guises, and the struggle for freedom must engage us all in a new way.

Let us try to identify the new faces of violence and discord more closely. It seems to me that, in broad strokes, we may distinguish two types of the new forms of violence, which are the very antithesis of each other in terms of their motivation and manifest a number of differences in detail. Firstly there is terrorism, for which in place of a great war there are targeted attacks intended to strike the opponent destructively at key points, with no regard for the lives of innocent human beings, who are cruelly killed or wounded in the process. In the eyes of the perpetrators, the overriding goal of damage to the enemy justifies any form of cruelty. Everything that had been commonly recognized and sanctioned in international law as the limit of violence is overruled. We know that terrorism is often religiously motivated and that the specifically religious character of the attacks is proposed as a justification for the reckless cruelty that considers itself entitled to discard the rules of morality for the sake of the intended “good”. In this case, religion does not serve peace, but is used as justification for violence.

The post-Enlightenment critique of religion has repeatedly maintained that religion is a cause of violence and in this way it has fuelled hostility towards religions. The fact that, in the case we are considering here, religion really does motivate violence should be profoundly disturbing to us as religious persons. In a way that is more subtle but no less cruel, we also see religion as the cause of violence when force is used by the defenders of one religion against others. The religious delegates who were assembled in Assisi in 1986 wanted to say, and we now repeat it emphatically and firmly: this is not the true nature of religion. It is the antithesis of religion and contributes to its destruction. In response, an objection is raised: how do you know what the true nature of religion is? Does your assertion not derive from the fact that your religion has become a spent force? Others in their turn will object: is there such a thing as a common nature of religion that finds expression in all religions and is therefore applicable to them all? We must ask ourselves these questions, if we wish to argue realistically and credibly against religiously motivated violence. Herein lies a fundamental task for interreligious dialogue – an exercise which is to receive renewed emphasis through this meeting. As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put “suffering-with” (compassion) and “loving-with” in place of force. His name is “God of love and peace” (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.

If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way: as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.

Pope Benedict XVI reads on the train while travelling to Assisi October 27, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI is attending the "Prayer for Peace," an inter-religious meeting in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi.

Yet I do not intend to speak further here about state-imposed atheism, but rather about the decline of man, which is accompanied by a change in the spiritual climate that occurs imperceptibly and hence is all the more dangerous. The worship of mammon, possessions and power is proving to be a counter-religion, in which it is no longer man who counts but only personal advantage. The desire for happiness degenerates, for example, into an unbridled, inhuman craving, such as appears in the different forms of drug dependency. There are the powerful who trade in drugs and then the many who are seduced and destroyed by them, physically and spiritually. Force comes to be taken for granted and in parts of the world it threatens to destroy our young people. Because force is taken for granted, peace is destroyed and man destroys himself in this peace vacuum.

The absence of God leads to the decline of man and of humanity. But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.

In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert: “There is no God”. They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness. They are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”. They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the possibility and necessity of living by it. But they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others. These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God. So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible. Therefore I have consciously invited delegates of this third group to our meeting in Assisi, which does not simply bring together representatives of religious institutions. Rather it is a case of being together on a journey towards truth, a case of taking a decisive stand for human dignity and a case of common engagement for peace against every form of destructive force. Finally I would like to assure you that the Catholic Church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world. We are animated by the common desire to be “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.


As we pray for Pope Benedict’s Mission Intention today, let us reflect on part of a speech he gave last May to an assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Dear friends, with your precious work of animation and missionary cooperation you remind the People of God of “the need in our day too for decisive commitment to the missio ad gentes” [mission to the nations] (Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini # 95), to proclaim the “the great hope”, “the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety” (Encyclical Spe Salvi # 31). Indeed, new problems and new forms of slavery are emerging in our time, both in the so-called first world, well-off and rich but uncertain about its future, and in the developing countries, which, partly because of a globalization often characterized by profit ends by increasing the masses of the poor, emigrants and the oppressed, in which the light of hope fades.

The Church must constantly renew her commitment to bring Christ, to prolong his messianic mission to bring about the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of justice, peace, freedom and love. It is the duty of the entire People of God to transform the world according to God’s plan with the renewing force of the Gospel, so “that God may be everything to every one” (1 Cor 15:28). Thus it is necessary to continue with renewed enthusiasm the work of evangelization, the joyful proclamation of the Kingdom of God, who came in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead all men and women to the true freedom of children of God against every form of slavery. It is necessary to cast the nets of the Gospel into the sea of history to bring human beings towards the land of God.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Million Roses for the World - Day 15 - October 26, 2011

Mass Confusion - Trailer

America's Catholic Television Network Brings "Mass Confusion" to the masses! Greg & Jennifer Willits and Mac & Katherine Barron star in this first in Catholic Media: a Catholic sitcom. This family friendly, hilarious show revolves around two Catholic families, and takes place in Atlanta, Georgia.

What children can teach us about fighting world hunger


An international non-profit called “Accion Contra el Hambre,” which translates to Action Against Hunger, recently launched a unique campaign to fight against malnutrition. The campaign titled “Experiment in Sharing” focuses on 20 children. 

In the study, the children are divided into groups of two. All of them are given a plate, but only one out of every two actually has food on it. By analyzing the response of the kids, the organization sheds light on what people can do to help the 3.5 million children who die every year of malnutrition.

Assisi 2011, Pope Benedict : that peace reign in the world

Vatican radio reports: Pope Benedict XVI launched an appeal for aid for quake victims in Turkey on Wednesday, at the end of a Liturgy of the World with faithful on the eve his pilgrimage to Assisi. Speaking in Italian he said: “At this time, our thoughts turn to the people of Turkey hard hit by the earthquake, which has caused heavy loss of life, many missing and extensive damage. I invite you to join me in prayer for those who have lost their lives and to be spiritually close to the many people who have been sorely tried. May the Almighty support all those engaged in rescue work”.

The Holy Father’s weekly General Audience this Wednesday had a special character: that of a prayer meeting in preparation for Thursday’s Day of Reflection and Prayer for Peace in Assisi. Inclement weather drove pilgrims inside for the prayer encounter, filling the Paul VI audience hall to capacity, with participants who could not be accommodated in the hall present in St Peter’s Basilica. 

The Holy Father greeted the overflow pilgrims in the Basilica in several languages, including English: “I am pleased to receive you in Saint Peter’s Basilica and to extend a warm welcome to all of you who could not be accommodated in the Audience Hall. Always stay faithfully united to Christ and bear joyful witness to the Gospel. To all of you I cordially impart my Blessing”.

The Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini presented the pilgrims, praising the Holy Father for his constant commitment, in the Name of God, to building bridges of friendship among peoples, cultures and states, healing the wounds of division and promoting reconciliation and concord.

“For this,” said Cardinal Vallini, “all the people taking part desire to make themselves ‘pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace’.”

The readings, from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah and from the Gospel according to St Luke, as well as the responsorial psalm – taken from Psalm 84, each spoke in its own way of true peace as a gift of the True God, whose saving action has signed human history indelibly.

In his homily, Pope Benedict XVI said the Kingdom of Peace in which Christ is the king. “It is,” he said, “a realm that extends across the whole Earth.”

“Dear brothers and sisters,” said Pope Benedict: “[A]s Christians we want to ask God for the gift of peace, we pray that He make us instruments of peace in a world still torn by hatred, by divisions, by selfishness, by war. We ask that the meeting Thursday in Assisi might encourage dialogue among people of different religious affiliations and bring a ray of light that might illuminate the minds and hearts of all men, so that rancor will give way to pardon, division to reconciliation, hatred and violence to love and gentleness: that peace reign in the world”.

The Holy Father also had English greetings for pilgrims in Paul VI Hall: “I am happy to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today. I ask you to accompany me in prayer as I journey tomorrow to Assisi for the celebration of the Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, together with representatives of different religions. I extend special greetings to the pilgrims from the Diocese of Niigata in Japan celebrating their centenary. I also welcome those present from England, Denmark, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States. May Almighty God bless all of you!”.

St. Evaristus

The episcopate of Evaristus began in the third year of Emperor Trajan's reign. Sources refer to him as a Greek from Antioch, the son of a Jew named Juda from Bethlehem. The exact length of his reign has been disputed by historians, as have been the authenticity of his letters and decretals; however, early scholars credit Evaristus with dividing Rome into specific parishes and with ordaining fifteen bishops, seven priests, and two deacons. Lack of historical evidence for these acts, though, would make them questionable.
In his first epistle addressed to the bishops of Africa, Evaristus decreed that seven deacons were to monitor a bishop's preaching, to ensure that he did not lapse from the true teachings. Evaristus did not wish to see undue accusations aimed at his bishops, yet reserved solely to the See of Rome the power to terminate any bishop as a result of this indiscretion. His second epistle drew a comparison between the lasting bond of husband and wife and that of a bishop and his diocese. Fragments of certain documents bearing his name have been proved to be forgeries, and therefore the validity of his epistles is doubtful. Evaristus did, however, live long enough to see the beginning of the Antonine dynasty.
According to Church tradition, he died a martyr and was buried near St. Peter on the Vatican Hill, but again, there is no reliable evidence to support this.
Excerpted from The Popes: A Papal History, J.V. Bartlett

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sts. Crispin and Crispinian

The Roman Martyrology includes these twin brother martyrs for this day. St. Crispin was a Roman noble and brother of Saint Crispinian with whom he evangelized Gaul in the middle 3rd century. They worked from Soissons, preached in the streets by day and made shoes by night. The group's charity, piety and contempt of material things impressed the locals, and many converted in the years of their ministry. They were martyred in Rome in 286 by torture and beheading, under emperor Maximian Herculeus, being tried by Rictus Varus, governor of Belgic Gaul and an enemy of Christianity. A great church was built at Soissons in the 6th century in their honor; Saint Eligius ornamented their shrine.
This feast was immortalized by Shakespeare in his play Henry V, (Act 4, Scene 3). The king gave a rousing speech (called "Saint Crispin's Day) on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, fought on this day in 1415. (Read a synopsis of the battle.) The English, although outnumbered, soundly defeated the French. In England this was a religious holiday on which commoners and serfs got a day of rest.
Patron: Cobblers; glove makers; lace makers; lace workers; leather workers; saddle makers; tanners; weavers.
Symbols: Cobbler's last; shoe; shoemaker's tools; awl and knife saltire; millstones; flaying knives; rack.

Forty Martyrs of England & Wales

These forty were canonised by Pope Paul VI on October 25th, 1970. They are representative of the English and Welsh martyrs of the Reformation who died at various dates between 1535 and 1679. Some 200 of these martyrs had already been declared ‘Blessed’ (i.e. ‘beatified’) by previous Popes. They include:
  • SS. John Houghton, Robert Lawrence and Augustine Webster, the first martyrs (1535), all priors of different Charterhouses (houses of the Carthusian Order, including the one in London) who, by virtue of the Carthusian vow of silence, refused to speak in their own defense;
  • St. Cuthbert Mayne, a Devonian, who was the first martyr not to be a member of a religious order. He was ordained priest at the then newly established English College at Douai in Northern France and was put to death at Launceston in 1577;
  • St. Edmund Campion, the famous Jesuit missionary and theologian who published secretly from Stonor Park, the ancient Catholic country house near Henley-on-Thames, who died in 1581 on the same day as St. Ralph Sherwin, the first martyr to have been trained at the English College in Rome;
  • St. Richard Gwyn, the first of the Welsh martyrs, a schoolteacher from Llanidloes in Mid-Wales who died at Wrexham in 1584;
  • St. Margaret Clitherow, the wife of a butcher with a shop in the famous Shambles in York, who allowed her house to be used as a Mass centre, who was sentenced to be crushed to death under a large stone at the Ouse Bridge Tollbooth in the city;
  • St. Swithun Wells, a teacher from Brambridge in the county of Hampshire who owned a London house at Grays Inn Fields which was also a secret Mass centre (1591);
  • St. Philip Howard, eldest son of the fourth Duke of Norfolk (himself executed for treason in 1572) who led a dissolute existence and left behind an unhappy wife in Arundel Castle until he was converted by the preaching of St. Edmund Campion, and died in the Tower in 1595;
  • St. Nicholas Owen, Jesuit lay brother and master carpenter, who constructed many priests’ hiding-holes in houses throughout the country, some of them so cunningly concealed they were not discovered until centuries later (1606).
Under James I and Charles I the purge died down, but did not entirely cease. St. John Southworth, missionary in London, was put to death under Cromwell and is venerated in Westminster Cathedral, and the final martyrs died in the aftermath of the Titus Oates plot in 1679. [SS. John Fisher & Thomas More are not included in this list for they had been canonized in 1935].
Taken from Sacred Heart Parish, Waterloo

Monday, October 24, 2011

All Souls Novena Starts Today October 24 to November 1

Say once a day for nine days, starting on 24 October until the eve of All Souls Day.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

A Million Roses for the World - Day 13 - October 24, 2011

Unique Christian museum opens in Mumbai, India

There's no doubt, Mumbai is a busy city. At least 15 million people live here, in what's know as India's commercial capital. Catholics make up a small percentage, but despite being a minority, the religious heritage is strong. In fact, the city recently opened its first Christian art museum with relics that date back to the 16th century.

Card. Oswald Gracias
Archbishop of Mumbai (India)
“There is so much to learn about our own history, the richness of the Church's history and also the brilliance of the artists who did all this. The works are very impressive.”

Among the treasures are church manuscripts, books, crucifixes, chalices, alters, vestments, statues, paintings and all types of sculptures.

The museum gives Indian Catholics a way to look back at their rich history, but above all, a sense of pride and curiosity. Father Warner D' Souza is the mastermind behind the project.

Fr. Warner D' Souza (India)
Catholic Church Committee on Heritage
“We realized that we were losing a lot of wonderful pieces that were lying around the place and they weren't really being restored. Once we took the matter to the cardinal, he showed great interest. Initially everybody was skeptical, but then gradually, it was really a necessity that made us collect these pieces, but then it became a passion.”

The museum also has an amphitheater that gives visitors the chance to see films, visual presentations, and of course, it's also a forum for discussion on art, culture and religion.

David Cordoz
“To make this an interactive wall, where you can look at the place and say Our Lady of Remedy, Poinsur and actually touch it and then all the stuff in a computer would flow out and you get all the information of the history of that church.”

In a city that already prides itself with beautiful architecture, hundreds of churches and parishes, this museum is being recognized as a source of inspiration and education for future generations.

Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Claret, bishop

Today’s saint was a Spaniard who became a priest and tried to enter both the Carthusian and Jesuit orders but was turned away because of his poor health. It seems that Providence had other plans, for in 1850 he was sent to Cuba and became its archbishop. His strong preaching led many to hate him and he survived several assassination attempts. He had a deep love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and founded the Claretians, also known as the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s estimated that he preached over 10,000 sermons and published 200 books. Let us ask this great missionary bishop to intercede with us that last Sunday’s celebration of World Mission Day may instill in the People of God a fire that leads them to pray and work for evangelization as we reflect on these words of St. Anthony Mary Claret.

Driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles traveled throughout the earth. Inflamed with the same fire, apostolic missionaries have reached, are now reaching and will continue to reach the ends of the earth, from one pole to the other, in order to proclaim the word of God. They are deservedly able to apply to themselves those words of the apostle Paul: The love of Christ drives us on. The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal. The one who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. …

For myself, I say this to you: The one who burns with the fire of divine love is a child of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he desires and works with all his strength to inflame all people with the fire of God’s love. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty; he labors strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labors, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award

My fellow bloggers Esther and Noreen have awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you for this honor and for counting me among so many other stylish blogs.

So here are the rules for accepting this award: I am to tell you seven things about myself and then pass the award on to five other bloggers.

So here are seven facts about me:

1. I have been working at the same financial institution for the last 32 years and I have actually enjoyed the work. The bank has been a good employer, it's financially strong with good benefits. While I can now consider early retirement, I still need to see four more children through university so I will probably wait awhile before making any decision.  

2. I am SCARED of lizards. Living in on an island there are lizards everywhere and I should be accustomed to the creatures, but I am not. I have kept this secret from my kids. If they only knew I would be the object of their continuous pranks. 

3. When I was a teenager I wanted to become a nun but God had a different plan for me: my vocation as wife and mother.  

4. If I could go back to school, it would be to obtain an Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I love paining and drawing. I never pursued this as my dad told me that artists die penniless and I believed him. 

5. I drink too much Coca-Cola, at least one (12 oz)  everyday which is not a good example for the kids.

6. I cherish my catholic faith deeply and I thank God each day for his mercy and generosity. 

7. Just tuned 50 and I can't decide which sounds better: "5 decades or half a century?"

Now for the five bloggers I would like to pass this on to...

Pope Benedict canonizes three saints

Pope Benedict marked the 85th World Mission Sunday by canonizing three saints in St. Peter’s Square.

Two of the saints were Italian – Archbishop Guido Maria Conforti of Parma, who also founded the Xaverian Missionaries and Father Luigi Guanella, the founder of of the Servants of Charity and the Institute of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. One was Spanish, Sister Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro, founder of the Congregation of the Servants of St. Joseph.

In his homily on the Gospel of the day (Matthew 22:34-40), Pope Benedict said love of neighbour is “the visible sign that the Christian can show the world to witness God's love.”

"How providential is then the fact that today the Church should indicate to all members three new saints who allowed themselves to be transformed by divine love, which marked their entire existence,” said Pope Benedict. “In different situations and with different charisms, they loved the Lord with all their heart and their neighbour as themselves so as to become a model for all believers.”

The Pope called on all people to be drawn by their examples, and to be guided by their teachings, so that their entire existence becomes a witness of authentic love for God and neighbour.

After reciting the Angelus at the end of Mass, he asked everyone to pray to the Virgin Mary for the October 27th meeting in Assisi scheduled to be attended by leaders of world religions and non-religious personalities in search of peace. It is marking the 25thanniversary of a similar meeting in the same town called by Blessed John Paul II.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

World Mission Sunday - 2011

For the first time, Archbishop Fernando Filoni will attend World Mission Day as the head of the Vatican's congregation that deals with missions. He says, he hopes the celebration will be a way to remember all Catholics, that play a big role in missionary projects.

During an interview with ROME REPORTS, Filoni says he hopes the day will serve to deepen the faith of missionaries, so they in turn can transmit that very faith to others. He also hopes it will strengthen their prayer, solidarity and economic support.

The areas where the missionary work takes place focuses in places where Christianity doesn't have its roots. Places in Africa, Asia, Oceania and even some parts of the Americas.

Currently, there are about 44,000 missionaries spread over the world. Africa is the continent with the most, with nearly 15,000. It's then followed by Latin America which has about 12,000.

The dark side of missionary work, is that at times, missionaries are threatened and even killed because of religious intolerance. The latest case involves Italian priest Fausto Tentori. He was killed last October 17th in the Philippines.

According to Archbishop Filoni, “every death is traumatic and serious. But it's also a testimony of moral wealth and generosity because they are generous people who love God and are willing to love others at the expense of life.”

During his last Angelus, the Pope announced the coming “Year of Faith,” where the pope emphasized the relevance of missionary work. Under this new goal, the work of the missions and the New Evangelization will definitely be key.

Read Pope Benedict XVI full message for World Mission Sunday 2011

The memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II - October 22,

Homily of His Holiness John Paul II for the Inauguration of his pontificate

St. Peter’s Square - Sunday, 22 October 1978

Pope John Paul II was beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, on May 1, 2011. His feast day is October 22, the anniversary of his assuming the pontificate in 1978. The feast of Blessed John Paul was placed on the official liturgical calendar in both Rome and Poland; and it may also be celebrated elsewhere in the world. As a commemoration of Blessed John Paul for his first feast day, we wish to recall his homily on the occasion his inauguration as pope, thirty-three years ago.

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). These words were spoken by Simon, son of Jonah, in the district of Caesarea Philippi. Yes, he spoke them with his own tongue, with a deeply lived and experienced conviction — but it is not in him that they find their source, their origin: “... because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven” (Mt 16:17). They were the words of Faith.

These words mark the beginning of Peter’s mission in the history of salvation, in the history of the People of God. From that moment, from that confession of Faith, the sacred history of salvation and of the People of God was bound to take on a new dimension: to express itself in the historical dimension of the Church.

This ecclesial dimension of the history of the People of God takes its origin, in fact is born, from these words of faith, and is linked to the man who uttered them: “You are Peter — the rock — and on you, as on a rock, I will build my Church.”

2. On this day and in this place these same words must again be uttered and listened to:

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Yes, brothers and sons and daughters, these words first of all.

Their content reveals to our eyes the mystery of the living God, the mystery to which the Son has brought us close. Nobody, in fact, has brought the living God as close to men and revealed Him as He alone did. In our knowledge of God, in our journey towards God, we are totally linked to the power of these words: “He who sees me sees the Father.” He who is infinite, inscrutable, ineffable, has come close to us in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary in the stable at Bethlehem.

All of you who are still seeking God, all of you who already have the inestimable good fortune to believe, and also you who are tormented by doubt: please listen once again, today in this sacred place, to the words uttered by Simon Peter. In those words is the faith of the Church. In those same words is the new truth, indeed, the ultimate and definitive truth about man: the son of the living God — “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

3. Today the new Bishop of Rome solemnly begins his ministry and the mission of Peter. In this city, in fact, Peter completed and fulfilled the mission entrusted to him by the Lord.

The Lord addressed him with these words: “... when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go” (Jn 21:18).

Peter came to Rome!

What else but obedience to the inspiration received from the Lord guided him and brought him to this city, the heart of the Empire? Perhaps the fisherman of Galilee did not want to come here. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay there, on the shores of the Lake of Genesareth, with his boat and his nets. But guided by the Lord, obedient to his inspiration, he came here!

According to an ancient tradition (given magnificent literary expression in a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz), Peter wanted to leave Rome during Nero’s persecution. But the Lord intervened: He went to meet him. Peter spoke to Him and asked, “Quo vadis, Domine?” — “Where are you going, Lord?” And the Lord answered him at once: “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Peter went back to Rome and stayed here until his crucifixion.

Yes, brothers and sons and daughters, Rome is the See of Peter. Down the centuries new bishops continually succeeded him in this See. Today a new bishop comes to the Chair of` Peter in Rome, a bishop full of trepidation, conscious of his unworthiness. And how could one not tremble before the greatness of this call and before the universal mission of this See of Rome!

To the See of Peter in Rome there succeeds today a bishop who is not a Roman. A bishop who is a son of Poland. But from this moment he too becomes a Roman. Yes — a Roman. He is a Roman also because he is the son of a nation whose history, from its first dawning, and whose thousand-year-old traditions are marked by a living, strong, unbroken and deeply felt link with the See of Peter, a nation which has ever remained faithful to this See of Rome. Inscrutable is the design of Divine Providence!

4. In past centuries, when the Successor of Peter took possession of his See, the triregnum or tiara was placed on his head. The last pope to be crowned was Paul VI in 1963, but after the solemn coronation ceremony he never used the tiara again and left his successors free to decide in this regard.

Pope John Paul I, whose memory is so vivid in our hearts, did not wish to have the tiara; nor does his successor wish it today. This is not the time to return to a ceremony and an object considered, wrongly, to be a symbol of the temporal power of the popes.

Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us to gaze on the Lord and immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ Himself.

He who was born of the Virgin Mary, the carpenter’s Son (as He was thought to be), the Son of the living God (confessed by Peter), came to make us all “a kingdom of priests”.

The Second Vatican Council has reminded us of the mystery of this power and of the fact that Christ’s mission as Priest, Prophet-Teacher and King continues in the Church. Everyone, the whole People of God, shares in this threefold mission. Perhaps in the past, the tiara, this triple crown, was placed on the pope’s head in order to express by that symbol the Lord’s plan for His Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ’s Church, all “sacred power” exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world but in the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection.

The absolute and yet sweet and gentle power of the Lord responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force but expresses itself in charity and truth.

The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome, today makes a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no eventide. Make me be a servant. Indeed, the servant of your servants.

5. Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept His power. Help the pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To His saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it.

So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.

Precisely today the whole Church is celebrating “World Mission Day”; that is, she is praying, meditating and acting in order that Christ’s words of life may reach all people and be received by them as a message of hope, salvation, and total liberation.

6. I thank all of you here present who have wished to participate in this solemn inauguration of the ministry of the new Successor of Peter.

I heartily thank the heads of state, the representatives of the authorities, and the government delegations for so honoring me with their presence.

Thank you, eminent cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.

I thank you, my beloved brothers in the episcopate.

Thank you, priests.

To you, sisters and brothers, religious of the orders and congregations, I give my thanks.

Thank you, people of Rome.

Thanks to the pilgrims who have come here from all over the world.

Thanks to all of you who are linked with this sacred ceremony by radio and television.

7. I speak to you, my dear fellow-countrymen, pilgrims from Poland, brother bishops with your magnificent Primate at your head, priests, sisters and brothers of the Polish religious congregations — to you representatives of Poland from all over the world.

What shall I say to you who have come from my Krakow, from the See of Saint Stanislaus of whom I was the unworthy successor for fourteen years? What shall I say? Everything that I could say would fade into insignificance compared with what my heart feels, and your hearts feel, at this moment.

So let us leave aside words. Let there remain just great silence before God, the silence that becomes prayer. I ask you: be with me! At Jasna Gora and everywhere. Do not cease to be with the pope who today prays with the words of the poet: “Mother of God, you who defend Bright Czestochowa and shine at Ostrabrama”. And these same words I address to you at this particular moment.

8. That was an appeal and a call to prayer for the new pope, an appeal expressed in the Polish language. I make the same appeal to all the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church. Remember me today and always in your prayers!

To the Catholics of French-speaking lands, I express my complete affection and devotedness. I presume to count upon your unreserved filial assistance. May you advance in the faith! To those who do not share this faith, I also address my respectful and cordial greetings. I trust that their sentiments of goodwill may facilitate the spiritual mission that lies upon me, and which does not lack repercussions for the happiness and peace of the world.

To all of you who speak English I offer in the name of Christ a cordial greeting. I count on the support of your prayers and your goodwill in carrying out my mission of service to the Church and mankind. May Christ give you His grace and His peace, overturning the barriers of division and making all things one in Him.

[The Holy Father spoke in similar terms in German, Spanish, Portuguese, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Ukranian, and Lithuanian].

I open my heart to all my brothers of the Christian churches and communities, and I greet in particular you who are here present in anticipation of our coming personal meeting; but for the moment I express to you my sincere appreciation for your having wished to attend this solemn ceremony.

And I also appeal to all men — to every man (and with what veneration the apostle of Christ must utter this word: “man”!)

— pray for me!

— help me to be able to serve you! Amen.

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Million Roses for the World - Day 11 - October 21, 2011

Republic of Congo (Africa)

Congo is one of the most urbanized countires in Africa. First inhabited by Pygmies, Congo was later settled by the Bantus. It came under French reul in the 19th century and in the 20th came decades of turbulent politics marked by Marxist rhetoric. Remnants of the civil war militias, known as Ninjas, are still active in the southern region. It is one of sub-Saharan Africa's main oil producers, though 70% of the population lives in poverty.

Sorrowful Mysteries
Intentions for Congo
  1. That the wealth of the land may be used for the good of all.
  2. That government may succeed in efforts to fight poverty.
  3. That the government may be equipped to handle the hordes of refugees fleeing to the Congo.
  4. That genuine peace may come to the Congolese.
  5. That the country will develop other sectors so it will be less vunerable to volatile oil prices.

Sts. Ursula and Companions

According to a legend that appeared in the tenth century, Ursula was the daughter of a Christian King in Britain and was granted a three-year postponement of a marriage she did not wish to a pagan prince. With ten ladies in waiting, each attended by a thousand maidens, she embarked on a voyage across the North Sea, sailed up the Rhine to Basle, Switzerland, and then went to Rome. On their way back they were all massacred by pagan Huns at Cologne in about 451 when Ursula refused to marry their chieftain.

According to another legend, America was settled by British colonizers and soldiers after Emperor Magnus Clemens Maximus conquered Britain and Gaul in 383. The ruler of the settlers, Cynan Meiriadog, called on King Dionotus of Cornwall for wives for the settlers, whereupon Dionotus sent his daughter Ursula, who was to marry Cynan, with eleven thousand noble maidens and sixty thousand common women. Their fleet was shipwrecked and all the women were enslaved or murdered.
The legends are pious fictions, but what is true is that one Clematius, a senator, rebuilt a basilica in Cologne that had originally been built, probably at the beginning of the fourth century, to honor a group of virgins who had been martyred at Cologne. They were evidently venerated enough to have had a church built in their honor, but who they were and how many of them there were are unknown. From these meager facts, the legend of Ursula grew and developed.

Excerpted from Dictionary of Saints, John J. Delaney

The 11,000 number probably resulted from a misreading of the term "11M" which indicated 11 Martyrs, but which a copyist took for a Roman numeral. St. Ursula is the namesake for the Ursuline Order, founded for the education of young Catholic girls and women.

Patron: Catholic education (especially of girls); Cologne, Germany; educators; holy death; schoolchildren; students; teachers; Ursuline order.

Symbols: Large mantle lined with ermine; two arrows; three arrows; dove; book; ship; white banner charged with red cross; book and arrow; crown; pilgrim's staff; arrow and furled banner; clock; maiden shot with arrows, often accompanied by a varied number of companions who are being martyred in assorted, often creative ways.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Million Roses for the World - Day 10 - October 20, 2011

St. Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa on January 3, 1694. His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety. He was inspired to found a congregation, having while in ecstasy beheld the habit which he and his companions were to wear. After consulting his director, Bishop Gastinara of Alexandria in Piedmont, he reached the conclusion that God wished him to establish a congregation in honor of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

On November 22, 1720, the Bishop vested him with the habit that had been shown to him in a vision, the same that the Passionists wear at the present time. From that moment the saint applied himself to prepare the Rules of his institute, and in 1721 he went to Rome to obtain the approbation of the Holy See. At first he failed, but finally succeeded when Benedict XIV approved the Rules in 1741 and 1746. Meanwhile St. Paul built his first monastery near Obitello. Some time later he established a larger community at the Church of Sts. John and Paul in Rome.

For 50 years St. Paul remained the indefatigable missionary of Italy. God lavished upon him the greatest gifts in the supernatural order, but he treated himself with the greatest rigor, and believed that he was a useless servant and a great sinner. His saintly death occurred at Rome in the year 1775, at the age of 81. He was canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867.

Patron: Passionist order.

Symbols: Man in Passionist habit, black tunic and mantle, leather belt and rosary with emblem over the heart; cross; book with cross; heart emblem of Passionist order.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why Didn’t We Think of This Before?

Trans­fer­ring food from the cut­ting board to a plate is child’s play with theTrans­fer Cut­ting Board by chris&ruby. Such a sim­ple & effec­tive idea–why haven’t we been doing it this way for years?

Novena To St. Jude - October 19 to 27

Novena To St. Jude

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly -(make your request here)

- and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen


May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Fatherand theHail Mary)


Mother Teresa died in 1997, and burst again onto the world stage 10 years later with publication of her letters and writings in Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta. The book caught the world’s spotlight as writers seized on newly revealed secrets about her spiritual struggles and deep interior darkness. The anti-God lobby said the revelations proved God does not exist. Writer Christopher Hitchens called her “a confused old lady [who] ...ceased to believe.”
But, of course, there’s more to her story than that.

What was her situation? How did a girl from Skopje in Macedonia (now Albania) become a universally acclaimed saint? The Christian answer is immediate: She dedicated her life to God’s people through Christ. She saw Jesus in every situation, in every person. That still doesn’t answer how she did it.

If Mother Teresa stopped believing in God, was she clinically depressed? Or, was she depressed because of spiritual struggles or other experiences? Did she experience the “Dark Night” known to mystics? In this Update, we’ll take a look at some of the themes in her writings that have led to so many questions.

Dark Night
Dark Night, often called “dark night of the soul,” is popularly understood as a feeling of abandonment, but it is more complicated. St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite friar and friend of St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century, wrote of how God works in the souls of mystics. Souls invited into Dark Night, he wrote, realize they just can’t pray anymore.

Not only does prayer cease, but those experiencing Dark Night lose the joy of the spiritual journey. But they hang on tightly to their commitment to Christ. This Dark Night is really only understood in the light of faith, through Scripture. St. John of the Cross points out two phases in this condition: Dark Night of the Senses and Dark Night of the Spirit, in his two classic writings The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night.