Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feast of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, OFM, Conv.

Today is the Feast Day of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe or as he is known in Polish, Św. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe. He was born Rajmund Kolbe.

Born in 1894. Died in 1941.

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"...there has come to help us the united love of the Holy Spirit and of the Immaculata, the mother full of mercy, the Mediatrix of all graces, an earthly creature like ourselves, who strongly attracts hearts to herself and to her motherly heart... (The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “Our Purpose,” August 1940)

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"...Well, now, we have a mother in heaven, the personification of divine mercy, the Immaculata...Words of St. Maximilian Kolbe Magazine article: “More Thinking!”, November 1925)

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"...She is the mother of the Redeemer, hence also mother of the redeemed, Co-redemptrix..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculata is Yours—You are Hers,”
August 1940)

" child, must love her as your mother with all the generosity of your heart. She loved you enough to sacrifice God’s Son for you..."  The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculata is Yours—You are Hers,”
August 1940)

"...Be hers—her property. Let her make free use of you and dispose of you without any limits for whatever purpose she wishes. Let her be your owner, your Lady and absolute Queen..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculata is Yours—You are Hers,”August 1940)

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"...Belong to the Immaculata so that your conscience, becoming ever purer, may be purified still more; become immaculate, as she is for Jesus, so you, too, may become a mother and conqueror of hearts for her..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculata is Yours—You are Hers,”August 1940)

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"...The sole desire of the Immaculata is to lift the level of our spiritual life until it reaches the height of sanctity..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Magazine article: “Purpose of the Militia of the Immaculata,”  December 1937)

"...We can consecrate ourselves to the Immaculata by making use of any formula, as long as we renounce our own wills and adhere to her orders, which are made known to us in the commandments of God and of the Church, in the duties of our state in life, and in internal inspirations..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Magazine article: “Purpose of the Militia of the Immaculata,”  December 1937)

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"...Only when we are perfectly obedient to the Immaculata shall we become worthy instruments in her apostolic hands. We shall be apostles by the example of our lives, apostles by offering others the help of our actions..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Magazine article: “Purpose of the Militia of the Immaculata,”  December 1937)

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"...By putting her will into practice you show genuine, substantial love for her, for Jesus and for the Father. You become holy..."  The Words of St. Maximilian
(Journal reflection: “The Immaculate is Yours—You are Hers,”  August 1940)
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"...Whatever the Father wills, the Son and the Holy Spirit will likewise. Jesus and the Immaculata will it, too; their wills never contradict each other..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculate is Yours—You are Hers,”  August 1940)
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"...She will keep you from falling if you place your trust in her, not relying at all on yourself—if you do on your part what you can, not to fall, with her help..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculate is Yours—You are Hers,”  August 1940)

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"...Do not forget that holiness consists not in extraordinary actions, but in performing well your duties toward God, yourself and others..." The Words of St. Maximilian (Journal reflection: “The Immaculate is Yours—You are Hers,”  August 1940)

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"...Whoever becomes her possession in an increasingly perfect manner, in this fashion will exercise an ever greater influence in the milieu in which he is placed and will spur others on to know the Immaculata ever more perfectly, to love her ever more ardently, to draw ever closer to her, and to consecrate oneself to her to the point of becoming totally and without any limitation her very self. A soul of this kind, totally possessed by the Immaculata, will conquer an increasing number of souls for her, using every legitimate means, and will become not only her property, but her knight, a soldier of the Immaculata! ..."The Words of St. Maximilian (Magazine article: “On the MI,” December 1936)

Source for the Words of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cardinal Newman Society Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Ex Corde Ecclesiae

Timeline and Background of Ex corde Ecclesiae - August 15, 2010, the 20th Anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae
On the Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15, 2010, The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae. CNS has written an extensive Timeline and Background of Ex corde Ecclesiae to mark the anniversary and shed light on the importance of this historic Church constitution.
Read the rest here

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

100th Year Anniversary of Saint Padre Pio's Ordination to the Priesthood

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Archbishop Andrea Mugione of Benevento in Italy celebrated Mass Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of St. Pio de Pietrelcina's ordination to the priesthood. The prelate noted that Padre Pio's example of complete surrender to the Church of Christ and in service to others should encourage Catholics to “unconditionally respond to the will of God.”

Speaking to Vatican Radio, the archbishop recalled that the anniversary is “truly a special moment of prayer, grace and reflection.”

After recalling that Padre Pio felt he had a special vocation to “be a sacrificial victim of expiation for the sins of the world and for the conversion of all humanity,” the archbishop said the Italian saint was granted permission to be ordained at the age of 23 because of the various illnesses that afflicted him.

Archbishop Mugione said Padre Pio practically “lived eternity” while on earth and learned to live out the Gospel in a life that was transformed in Christ and by Christ.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Feast of St. Philomena

Both St. John Vianney and St. Damien had a great devotion to St. Philomena whose traditional feast day is today August 11th.

Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr!

In these days, when so many are suffering, does not Our Lady say to her Daughter, as she once said to her Divine Son, "They have no wine! They have nothing to make glad their hearts!"

It is written of Divine Providence, that not only does it arrange the means, but it reaches the goal. Gentleness is remarkable in the former and strength of character in the latter. St. Philomena received from Jesus Christ in the heights of Heaven, her mission. It seems the King of Kings to Whom all power is given from the Father, distinguished her in the midst of the assembly of Saints by a particular satisfaction and preferential love. "Go, I have chosen you and wish to place you in the fields of My Church like a new sowing, destined to make It productive. You will bring to Me the fruits which My Hand prepares for you; may your firmness augment for Me, your savor."

Ah, Christ Our Savior wishes to use the glorious St. Philomena to console us, to instruct us and to encourage us. She will be our Anchor of Hope in this Age of Darkness. We need her in these unhappy times to which the words of St. John apply so well: "My dear children, we have come to the last hour. You have been told that the anti-Christ is nigh, or there are a great number of anti-Christs in the world. This is why we affirm that the last hour has tolled. Preserve your doctrine, my children, which was taught to you from the beginning. It will keep you constantly united with the Father and the Son." The anti-Christs will conspire with such malice, audacity and slander that, not only in the cities but even in the hamlets, his reign will infest you with a disgusting poison and impious vomit. False prophets will spring up, God's laws will fall to scorn, souls will be gorged with silver and gold, sanctuaries will be profaned. Fathers and mothers will be insulted by their children, marriages torn asunder and incest will stain all classes.

Divine Wisdom cries out: "Have Faith! It is I Who permit these fearful winds and storms. Have Confidence! It is I Who permit the tides to rise. I will come at the moment you need Me. If I must move the heavens and the earth to make you triumph over your enemies, I will do it! Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will enter into My glory." In falling under the tyrant's sword, Philomena was victorious. She received an immortal crown and was placed upon a throne in eternity. Her reign will have no end!

Prayer to St. Philomena

O great St. Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls. Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.

Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul. In addition to these favors, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment. O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death. Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the faith, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, especially those dear to me. O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.

(for those who wear her cord)

O most pure Virgin, glorious Martyr, St. Philomena, whom God in His eternal power has revealed to the world in these unhappy days in order to revive the faith, sustain the hope and enkindle the charity of Christian souls, behold me prostate at thy feet. Deign, O Virgin, full of goodness and kindness, to receive my humble prayers and to obtain for me that purity for which thou didst sacrifice the most alluring pleasures of the world, that strength of soul which made thee resist the most terrible attacks and that ardent love for our Lord Jesus Christ, which the most frightful torments could not extinguish in thee. So, that wearing thy holy cord and imitating thee in this life, I may one day be crowned with thee in heaven. Amen.

Thanks to Madalena for sharing this.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Feast of St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence Giving the Treasures of the Church to the Poor by Bernardo Strozzi
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Martyrdom of St Lawrence by Valentin de Buologne
St Lawrence was a Christian martyr of Spanish birth who died in Rome in 258, one of the most venerated saints since the 4th century. He was ordained deacon by Pope Sixtus II and met his death shortly after the pope's own martyrdom. Tradition has it that the pope, when arrested, instructed Lawrence to give away to the poor the church's treasures, consisting of precious vessels and money, for which, as deacon, he was responsible. No sooner had he done so than Lawrence was ordered by the Roman prefect to surrender them to him, whereupon Lawrence, indicating the poor and sick around him, said, 'Here are the treasures of the Church'. For this he was condemned to be roasted on a gridiron, a torture he underwent with equanimity, merely observing, 'See, I am done enough on one side, now turn me over and cook the other'.
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Prayer to St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that all the poor of the Church in need in every corner of the world may feel the effect of the love of their brothers and sisters who seek to help them.

Deliver the Church from the greed and envy of the powerful and protect her rights and property so that she may serve the needy in freedom, giving them good things for soul and body.

May we come some day with all those whom we helped on earth to the bright mansions of heaven where we will enjoy the riches of God’s house and the company of the Savior who lives and reigns forever and ever.


Prayer source: Aid to the Church in Need

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Knights of Columbus

St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross - Photos of the Life of Edith Stein

The following information is from Edith Stein: Her Life in Photos and Documents by Maria Amata Neyer, O.C.D., Translated by Waltruat Stein, Ph.D.

This photo of little Edith Stein is a detail of the following family portrait.

The family portrait was taken around 1894. However, this photo was taken after the death of Mr. Stein, Edith's father. "After the sudden death of the father, the family members were sorry that they had no family portrait, and so they had a passport photo of the deceased father inserted into the picture."

"Frau Auguste Stein used to divide her family into three groups: the boys, the girls and the 'children'. The last were the 'afterthoughts'Erna and Edith. The two sisters were bound in a special friendship throughout life.

Edith's most difficult time was during the winter semester of 1913-1914. She wanted to dedicate herself to working on her doctoral dissertation with the theme On the Problem of Empathy. But it was not meant to be. "I gradually worked myself into real despair...I could no longer cross the street without wishing that a car would run over me...and I would not come out alive..."

"In the Cadet Academy of Monavian Weisskirchen, which was converted to a typhoid military hospital, there lay thousands of very ill soldiers. Auguste Stein [Edith's mother] tried to forbid Edith to go there. 'You will not go with my consent!' 'Then I must do so without your consent,' retorted Edith. The nursing staff in Moravian Weisskirchen occasionally put on a party. It was harmless, but Edith Stein 'Nurse Edith' was uncomfortable. 'I thought about my patients,' she writes, and adds that she was also not used to cigarettes and strong coffee."

While a student teacher at St. Magdalene in Speyer.

"At a lecture on St. Elizabeth of Thuringia on May 30, 1931, in St. Elizabeth's jubilee year, Edith Stein spoke elven times at celebrations of the Saint's seven hundredth anniversary. It was important to her to instill great examples of the Christian life into the hearts of her audience.

Edith Stein at 40 years of age in 1931.

"After the violence of the government's Kristallnacht, Edith Stein decided to emigrate to a foreign Carmel.  Her plan of going to a monastery in the Holy Land fell through.  So she chose Echt in Holland.  Edith Stein needed a photo for her passport. This picture was taken on the threshold of the open door of the enclosure.  On the whitewashed wall of the convent passage, one can very faintly recognize the cross handing there that can be seen over the head of St. Benedicta of the Cross."
Chronology of Events and Dates in the Life of Edith Stein

1891 October 12: Born as a Jew in Breslau

1911 High school diploma with honors

1911-1913 Studies in Breslau: German, history, psychology and philosophy

1913-1915 Studies in Göttingen: philosophy (Husserl), German, history.

1915 Staatsexamen (course exam) in Göttingen with honors.

1916 Assistant instructor in Breslau

1916-1918 Research assistant to Edmund Husserl in Freiburg.

1919-1923 Private scholarly work; fruitless attempts to qualify as a university lecturer.

1921 Reading of the Life of St. Teresa of Avila in the Conrad-Martius house in Bergzabern/Pfalz; conversion decision.

1922 January 1: Baptism and first Holy Communion in the parish church of St. Martin in Bergzabern.
February 2: Confirmation in the private chapel of the bishop of Speyer.

1923-1931 Teacher at St. Magdalene's, the Dominican girls' school and education school in Speyer.

1932-1933 Instructor at the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy in Münster.

1933 October 14: Entrance into the Carmel in Cologne.

1934 April 15: Clothing as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce.

1935 April 21: Taking of First Vows. Profession for three years.

1938 April 21: Perpetual vows.
May 1: So-called veiling celebration.
December 31: Emigration to Echt, Holland

1934-1942 Production of her most important works, Finite and Eternal Being and Science of the Cross, and also many shorter works.

1942 August 2: Arrest and transport to Amersfoort.
August 4: Continuation from Amersfoort to Camp Westerbork.
August 9: Arrival in Auschwitz, murder in Birkenau.

1962 January 4: Initiation of the ecclesiastical process for the beatification of Edith Stein by the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Josef Frings.
July 25: Initiation of the examination of the writings of Edith Stein.

1971 July 7: Celebration of the conclusion of the examination of writings in Cologne.
March 7: Initiation of the third part of the process: "De-non-cultu."

1972 August 9: Conclusion of the entire diocesan process by Cardinal Höffner in a celebration at the Cologne Carmel of the thirtieth anniversary of Edith Stein's death; in conjunction with this, the transfer of all the documents to Rome.

1987 May 1: Beatification of Edith Stein by Pope John Paul II in Cologne.

1988 October 11: Canonization by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's in Rome.