Category: Catholic Prayers

Saint of the Day for Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Saint of the Day for Saturday, April 20th, 2019

St. Marian

Facts

Feast day: April 20

When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St. Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice edified all his piety and obedience.

The Abbot, wishing to test him, gave him the lowest possible post – that of cowman and shepherd in the Abbey farm at Merille. Marcian accepted the work cheerfully, and it was noticed that the beast under his charge throve and multified astonishingly. He seemed to have a strange power over all animals.

The birds flocked to eat out of his hands: bears and wolves departed at his command; and when a hunted wild boar fled to him for protection, he defended it from its assailants and set it free. After his death, the Abbey took the name of the humble monk.

His feast day is April 20th.

St. Agnes of Montepulciano

Image of St. Agnes of Montepulciano

Facts

Feast day: April 20
Death: 1317
Nun and foundress in Tuscany. She was born circa 1268 and at the age of nine entered the monastery of Montepulciano, near her home in Gracchiano-Vecchio. Four years later she was commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV to assist in the foundation of a new convent in Procena.
At fifteen she became the head of the nuns there. About 1300, the people of Montepulciano built a new convent in order to lure Agnes back to them. She established a convent under the Dominican rule and governed there until her death in 1317. Agnes was noted for her visions.
She held the infant Christ in her arms and received Holy Communion from an angel. She experienced levitations and she performed miracles for the faithful of the region. She is still revered in Tuscany

St. Francis Page

Facts

Feast day: April 20
Death: 1602

Jesuit martyr of England. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Francis was a member of an English Protestant family of Harrow-on-the-Hill, in England. Reconciled to the Catholic faith, he was ordained in 1600 and sent from Douai, France, to England.

He was arrested there two years later. While in prison, Francis entered the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. He was martyred at Tyburn, England, and was beatified in 1929

9 things you need to know about Divine Mercy Sunday

9 things you need to know about Divine Mercy Sunday

“Feast of Divine Mercy Start today. The Lord Requested us to have a 9 hour with him today. We implore you all to follow us in the 9 days Novena that culminate to Divine Mercy Sunday”

We’re almost up to Divine Mercy Sunday.

It’s a recent addition to the Church’s calendar, and it has links to both private revelation and the Bible.

Millions of people look forward to and are profoundly moved by this day.

What is it, and why is it so important to them?

Here are 9 things you need to know.

1. What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter. It is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, which recommended a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy.

It also has links to the Bible and the readings of this day.

To learn more about St. Faustina, you can CLICK HERE.

2. When was it made part of the Church’s calendar?

In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and, during the ceremony, he declared:

4. It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”. 

In the various readings, the liturgy seems to indicate the path of mercy which, while re-establishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings

3. If this is based on private revelation, why is it on the Church’s calendar?

In his theological commentary in The Message of Fatima, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote:

We might add that private revelations often spring from popular piety and leave their stamp on it, giving it a new impulse and opening the way for new forms of it.

Nor does this exclude that they will have an effect even on the liturgy, as we see for instance in the feasts of Corpus Christi and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From one point of view, the relationship between Revelation and private revelations appears in the relationship between the liturgy and popular piety: The liturgy is the criterion, it is the living form of the Church as a whole, fed directly by the Gospel.

Popular piety is a sign that the faith is spreading its roots into the heart of a people in such a way that it reaches into daily life. Popular religiosity is the first and fundamental mode of “inculturation” of the faith. While it must always take its lead and direction from the liturgy, it in turn enriches the faith by involving the heart.

4. What does the Church do to encourage the celebration of devotion to the Divine Mercy on this day?

Among other things, it offers a plenary indulgence:

To ensure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff [John Paul II] himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence, as will be explained below, so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.

In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters. . . .

a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).

For more information about the plenary indulgence, CLICK HERE.

5. What is the Divine Mercy image?

The Divine Mercy image is a depiction of Jesus based on a vision that St. Faustina had in 1931. There have been a number of paintings made of this image. The original, though not the most popular one today, is shown above.

A basic explanation of the image is:

Jesus is shown in most versions as raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white (translucent).

The depictions often contains the message “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Polish: Jezu ufam Tobie).

The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary – 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the “Fountain of Mercy”.

6. What is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy?

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a set of prayers used as part of the Divine Mercy devotion.

They are usually said using a standard set of Rosary beads, often at 3 p.m. (the time of Jesus’ death), but with a different set of prayers than those used in the Marian Rosary.

7. How is the Divine Mercy devotion linked to the Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Easter?

The Divine Mercy image depicts Jesus at the moment he appears to the disciples in the Upper Room, after the Resurrection, when he empowers them to forgive or retain sins.

This moment is recorded in John 20:19-31, which is the Gospel reading for this Sunday in all three yearly Sunday liturgical cycles (A, B, and C).

This reading is placed on this day because it includes the appearance of Jesus to the Apostle Thomas (in which Jesus invites him to touch his wounds). This event occurred on the eighth day after the Resurrection (John 20:26), and so it is used on the liturgy eight days after Easter.

(It also, however, includes the appearance of Jesus to the disciples on Easter evening, a week earlier, in which he empowered them to forgive or retain sins.)

8. How did Jesus empower the apostles to forgive or retain sins?

That part of the text reads:

[21] Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
[22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
[23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

He thus gave them a special empowerment with the Holy Spirit to forgive or retain sins.

9. How does this relate to the sacrament of confession?

It relates directly to it. Jesus empowered the apostles (and their successors in ministry) with the Holy Spirit to either forgive or retain (not forgive) sins.

Because they are empowered with God’s Spirit to do this, their administration of forgiveness is efficacious–it really removes sin rather than just being a symbol of forgiveness a person is already thought to have obtained.

Because they are instructed to forgive or retain, they must discern which they are to do. This means that they need to know about the sin and whether we are truly repentant of it. As a result, we must tell them about the sin and our sorrow for it. Hence: confession

Saint of the Day for Friday, April 19th, 2019

Saint of the Day for Friday, April 19th, 2019

St. Alphege

Image of St. Alphege

Facts

Feast day: April 19
Patron of Greenwich; Solihull; kidnap victims
Birth: 953
Death: 1012

Archbishop and “the First Martyr of Canterbury.” He was born in 953 and became a monk in the Deerhurst Monastery in Gloucester, England, asking after a few years to become a hermit.

He received permission for this vocation and retired to a small hut near Somerset, England. In 984 Alphege assumed the role of abbot of the abbey of Bath, founded by St. Dunstan and by his own efforts. Many of his disciples from Somerset joined him at Bath. In that same year, Alphege succeeded Ethelwold as bishop of Winchester.

He served there for two decades, famed for his care of the poor and for his own austere life. King Aethelred the Unready used his abilities in 994, sending him to mediate with invading Danes. The Danish chieftain Anlaf converted to Christianity as a result of his meetings with Alphege, although he and the other chief, Swein, demanded tribute from the Anglo-Saxons of the region.

Anlaf vowed never to lead his troops against Britain again. In 1005 Alphege became the successor to Aleric as the archbishop of Canterbury, receiving the pallium in Rome from Pope John XVIII. He returned to England in time to be captured by the Danes pillaging the southern regions.

The Danes besieged Canterbury and took Alphege captive. The ransom for his release was about three thousand pounds and went unpaid. Alphege refused to give the Danes that much, an act which infuriated them. He was hit with an ax and then beaten to death. Revered as a martyr, Alphege’s remains were placed in St. Paul’s Church in London.

The body, moved to Canterbury in 1023, was discovered to be incorrupt in 1105. Relics of St. Alphege are also in Bath, Glastonbury, Ramsey, Reading, Durham, Yorkminster and in Westminster Abbey. His emblem is an ax, and he is depicted in his pontifical vestments or as a shepherd defending his flock.

St. Alphege of Canterbury

Facts

Feast day: April 19
Patron of Greenwich; Solihull; kidnap victims
Birth: 954
Death: 1012
Canonized By: 1078 Rome by Pope Gregory VII

other Saints lined up for today include the following:

St. Crescentius
St. Expeditus
St. Gerold
St. Hermogenes
Bl. James Duckett
St. Paphnutius
St. Anthony Pavoni
St. Timon
St. Ursmar
St. Vincent of Collioure

Pope releases new liturgical law paving way for revision of English missal

Pope releases new liturgical law paving way for revision of English missal

The new law says that bishops now have the power to complete translations of the Mass from Latin into local languages.

Pope releases new liturgical law paving way for revision of English missal

Pope Francis has issued a new law returning authority to bishops’ conferences over liturgical translations, paving the way for the current English missal to be revised. 

The new law, which is part of the Argentinian Pontiff’s attempts to shore up the the reforms to Catholic worship started by the Second Vatican Council, says that bishops now have the power to complete translations of the Mass from Latin into local languages. 

The Pope’s order “Magnum Principium” amends Canon Law (Canon 838.3) to say bishops are required to “faithfully” prepare and “approve” translations which are then confirmed by Rome. The words “faithfully” and “approve” are both new. 

This throws open the possibility that the 2011 English Roman Missal – which became mired in disagreement with claims that the Vatican had overly controlled the process – could be changed. The onus will now be on local bishops to take the initiative.  

Francis’ law also reverses moves by his predecessors to centralise the translation process, which saw Vatican officials editing, and re-writing the work of bishops’ conferences.    

The foundation stone to his new law, Francis explained, is the “great principle” of Vatican II which stressed that “liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood.” This task, he pointed out, had originally been entrusted to the bishops in countries across the world. 

His law comes soon after a landmark speech to Italian liturgists where he declard that reforms to Catholic worship instituted after the 1962-65 council are “irreversible”, something he declared with “magisterial authority.” 

Both the recent interventions will be read as ending attempts by those who would like to roll back Vatican II’s changes with a “reform of the reform.” They feel that the reforms to worship which took place after the council undermined the sacred character of the Mass, while also wanting to see a greater uniformity to liturgical celebration. 

In 2001 the Vatican issued Liturgiam Authenticam which set out principles for translating the Mass into local languages from the Latin original. This called for more literal translations of the Latin into the vernacular, which contrasted with an earlier approach called “dynamic equivalence” where a translation took place according to the sense of words and phrases. 

But this was controversial by many local bishops conferences who felt it was an example of Rome over reaching itself in the translation process.

“It is no surprise that difficulties have arisen between the Episcopal Conferences and the Apostolic See in the course of this long passage of work,” the Pope said, hinting at past disagreements. 

The 2011 English missal was produced according to Liturgiam Authenticam and received a mixed response. Supporters praised it for being more faithful to the Latin and bringing in scriptural allusions, critics said it was clumsy and contained poor English.

Now, however, Francis’ new law undermines this ruling as well as Vatican attempts to interfere in the process of translations. 

In an article released by the Vatican to help explain the new law, Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary to the Holy See’s liturgy department, said the 2001 ruling now needs to be “interpreted in the light” of the Pope’s latest changes.

Significantly it was Archbishop Roche, and not Cardinal Robert Sarah, the liturgy’s department prefect, who wrote the article. Cardinal Sarah has been a supporter of “Liturgiam Authenticam” and critical of some changes to the Mass which took place after Vatican II.  

It was also Archbishop Roche whom the Pope asked to lead a low-key commission examining “Liturgiam Authenticam.” Although their existence was never formally confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship or anyone at the Vatican, the body met and reportedly sent a report to Francis.  

In  “Magnum Principium”, the Pope has been careful to stress the need for unity in the Roman Rite and that the Vatican still plays a role in translations. Francis also writes about the “sacrifice involved in the partial loss of liturgical Latin”, but said “it willingly opened the door so that these versions, as part of the rites themselves, might become the voice of the Church celebrating the divine mysteries along with the Latin language.” 

Many critics to changes of the liturgy post-Vatican II lament the loss of Latin, which they stress the council called to be preserved