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Monday, September 30, 2013
Pope Francis to Consecrate World to the Immaculate Heart
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In positive news, His Holiness Pope Francis has announced that on October 13th he will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In honor of this event, please join me in prayer as we honor the Immaculate Heart of the Holy Mother of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Please click here for prayers and devotions.
 
AN ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and tender Mother of men, in accordance with thy ardent wish made known at Fatima, I consecrate to thee myself, my brethren, my country, and the whole human race.

Reign over us and teach us how to make the Heart of Jesus reign and triumph in us, and around us, as It has reigned and triumphed in thee. Reign over us, dearest Mother, that we may be thine in prosperity and in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death.

O most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Virgins, watch over our minds and hearts and preserve them from the deluge of impurity which thou didst lament so sorrowfully at Fatima. We want to be pure like thee. We want to atone for the many crimes committed against Jesus and thee. We want to call down upon our country and the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.

Therefore, we now promise to imitate thy virtues by the practice of a Christian life without regard to human respect.

We resolve to receive Holy Communion on the First Saturday of every month (or often if not possible every First Saturday) and to offer thee five decades of the Rosary each day, together with our sacrifices, in the spirit of reparation and penance. Amen.
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Image: Communion Visit to the Sick
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This is a striking photograph of a 1942 image from LIFE magazine depicting a priest in Quebec taking communion to someone who is sick. He’s being led by an altar boy carrying a candle. 

Notice the people on the step kneeling as the priest approaches with the Blessed Sacrament.  Where has our piety gone?  Have the vast majority of men lost this gift of the Holy Ghost?

Kyrie eleison!
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Traditional Mass Propers: 19th Sunday After Pentecost
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INTROIT
"I Am the salvation of the people," saith the Lord. "In whatever tribulation they shall cry to Me, I will hear them; and I will be their Lord for ever." Ps. 77:1. Attend, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - Almighty and merciful God, graciously shield us from all that is harmful, so that both in body and soul we may be eager to do Your will. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE
Eph. 4:23-28
Brethren: Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according in God is created in justice and holiness of truth. Wherefore, putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

GRADUAL
Let my prayer be directed as incense in Thy sight, O Lord. V.: The lifting up of my hands as evening sacrifice..

Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 104. 1). Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His Name: declare His deeds among the Gentiles. Alleluia


GOSPEL
Matthew 22:1-14

At that time, Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the Pharisees in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son; and he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage, and they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited: Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marraige. But they neglected; and went their way, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise; and the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death. But when the king had heard of it, he was angry; and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers,and burnt their city. Then he saith to his servants: The marraige indeed is ready, but they that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marraige. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good; and the marraige was filled with guests. And the king went in to see the guests, and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment: and he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment? but he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."

OFFERTORY
Ps. 137:7
If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, Thou wilt quicken me, O Lord: and Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies; and Thy right hand shall save me.

SECRET Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that these gifts, which we offer in the sight of Thy Majesty, may be unto us for salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee . . .

COMMUNION
Ps. 118:4-5
Thou hast commanded Thy commandments to be kept most diligently: O that my ways may be directed to keep Thy justifications!

POST COMMUNION - May Thy healing grace, O Lord, mercifully free us from our perverse inclinations, and make us ever to cleave to Thy commandments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


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Saturday, September 28, 2013
Five New SSPX Brothers
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The Feast of St. Michael, September 29th, is a special day for the brothers of the Society of St. Pius X as the Archangel is their particular patron. At St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, also SSPX’s USA Brothers’ Novitiate, the novices made their religious vows during the Solemn Mass.

After a 6-day retreat preached by Fr. Iscarra according to the spirituality of the Desert Fathers, 3 Brothers will make their First vows and 4 others will renew their vows. They are 18 attending the retreat. According to the Statutes written by Archbishop Lefebvre for the SSPX’s brothers, the brothers make their vows for one year, then twice for a three-year period, before being allowed to make their perpetual vows.

The first religious profession takes place after a year of novitiate. Adding to the brothers’ ranks, on the eve of the feast of St. Michael, 2 postulants received the habit (black cassock and plain sash) and became novices, Mr. Curtis became Br. Albert Mary and Mr. Goldade became Br. Philip. The Society St. Pius X number more than 110 Brothers and 15 are presently assigned in the US

Source: SSPX
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
New Online Course: Introduction to Religion and Catholicism
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http://www.lulu.com/shop/frances-spilman/a-step-towards-heaven-an-introduction-to-religion/paperback/product-22056069.html

CatechismClass.com is pleased to announce the publication of its newest, entirely-online Catholic education program.  Entitled A Step Toward Heaven: An Introduction Religion, the course examines the most important aspect of our lives – our religious faith.  We discuss basic issues – why we need religion, the existence of God and why relativism is wrong. 

After looking at various religions, the author shows why the Catholic Church is the one true religion.   There are lessons on why we need the Catholic Church, the use of philosophy and logic in understanding the authenticity of Catholicism, the Apostles’ Creed, the Bible and Tradition in the Church.  Every lesson opens and ends with Catholic prayers and there are extensive quotations from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium and the Catechism of the Council of Trent.   Every section includes beautiful pictures to illustrate the point of the text.  

A Step Toward Heaven does indeed help us to get closer to Paradise as we learn more about the Catholic faith.  This is a book for those looking for faith and for those who want to follow the Catholic religion more faithfully and enthusiastically.

This course is written by Frances Spilman.  Frances is from a small town in Northern New Jersey and attended Catholic schools from 1st grade to graduate school.   She has been a church organist and pianist since the age of 13 and has volunteered as a CCD teacher for many years.  Frances is a Life Runner and has marched in the Right to Life Parades.  

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For more information and for ordering options, please visit http://tinyurl.com/lsjwpsv
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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Traditional Mass Propers: 18th Sunday after Pentecost
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INTROIT
Eccli. 36:18 Grant peace, O Lord, to those who wait for You, that Your prophets may be found faithful. Hear the prayers of Your servant of Your people Israel. Ps. 121.1. I rejoice at the tidings which were told me, "We shall go into the house of the Lord." V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Lord, let Your mercy direct our hearts, for without You we can do nothing to please You. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE
I Cor. 1:4-8
Brethren: I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus: That in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; As the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, So that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the days of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

GRADUAL
I rejoiced at the tidings which were told me, "We shall go into the house of the Lord." V. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your towers.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. The nations shall revere Your name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth shall reverence Your glory. Alleluia!



GOSPEL
Matthew 9:1-8

At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: "Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee." And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: "He blasphemeth." And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: "Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) "Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house." And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.

OFFERTORY
Ex. 24:4, 5
Moses consecrated an altar to the Lord, offering holocausts on it, and sacrificing victims. He made an evening sacrifice to the Lord God for an odor of sweetness, in the sight of the children of Israel.

SECRET O God, who allows us to share in Your own divine nature by partaking of this sacrifice, grant that our conduct may be guided by Your revealed truth. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION
Ps. 95:8-9
Bring offerings, and enter his courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple.


POST COMMUNION - We thank You, O Lord, for nourishing us with Your Sacred Gift. In Your mercy, make us worthy of the Sacrament we have received. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


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Saturday, September 21, 2013
Prayer for Ember Saturday in September
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The following is the Collect from the Mass on Saturday of Ember Days of September.  Oremus:
Almighty, everlasting God, you who cure our body and soul through healing self-denial, we humbly entreat your majesty to hear favorably the devout prayer of those who fast, and to grant us help for the present and the future.  Through our Lord...Amen.

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How to Pray Like the Saints
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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Feast of St. Januarius
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Taken from Catholic Online:
St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento during the Emperor Diocletion persecution. Bishop Januarius went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He was then also imprison along with his deacon and lector. They were thrown to the wild beasts, but when the animals did not attack them, they were beheaded. What is believed to be Januarius' blood is kept in Naples, as a relic. It liquifies and bubbles when exposed in the cathedral. Scientists have not been able to explain this miracle to date. St. Januarius lived and died around 305 A.D. and his feast day is September 19th.
Miracle of the Liquefaction of His Blood:
Saint Januarius is famous for the miracle of the annual liquefaction of his blood, which, according to legend, was saved by a woman called Eusebia just after the saint's death. Thousands of people assemble to witness this event in Naples Cathedral three times a year: on September 19 (Saint Januarius day, to commemorate his martyrdom), on December 16 (to celebrate his patronage of both Naples and of the archdiocese), and on the Saturday before the first Sunday of May (to commemorate the reunification of his relics). Although the city of Naples became known as urbs sanguinum, the miracle is not a unique phenomenon. Other examples include Saint Patricia, blood said to belong to Saint John the Baptist in the monastery of San Gregorio Armeno, and that of Saint Pantaleon which liquifies in nearby Ravello. The liquefication of coagulated blood is therefore peculiar to the region of Campania and virtually unheard of elsewhere.  (Source: Wikipedia)
Saint Alphonsus Liguori wrote regarding Saint Januarius:
"The Neapolitans honor this saint as the principal patron of their city and nation, and the Lord himself has continued to honor him, by allowing many miracles to be wrought through his intercession, particularly when the frightful eruptions of Mount Vesuvius have threatened the city of Naples with utter destruction. While the relics of St. Januarius were being brought in procession towards this terrific volcano, the torrents of lava and liquid fire which it emitted have ceased, or turned their course from the city. But the most stupendous miracle, and that which is greatly celebrated in the church, is the liquefying and boiling up of this blessed martyr's blood whenever the vials are brought in sight of his head. This miracle is renewed many times in the year, in presence of all who desire to witness it; yet some heretics have endeavored to throw a doubt upon its genuineness, by frivolous and incoherent explanations; but no one can deny the effect to be miraculous, unless he be prepared to question the evidence of his senses."
John Henry Cardinal Newman also attested to the veracity of the miracle of liquefaction:

"I think it impossible to withstand the evidence which is brought for the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius at Naples and for the motion of the eyes in the pictures of the Madonna in the Papal States.

Collect:

We are made happy, O God, by the annual feast of Your holy martyrs Januarius and his companions. As we joyously remember the merits of these saints, may we also be inspired by their example. Through our Lord . . . 
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
September Embertide Fasting
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Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).  Ember Days are days of fasting and partial abstinence.

Ember Days this September: 18, 20 and 21

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:
Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
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Monday, September 16, 2013
WSJ: Traditional Catholicism is Winning
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Even the Wall Street Journal is noticing:
[The] aging generation of progressives continues to lobby church leaders to change Catholic teachings on reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and women's ordination. But it is being replaced by younger men and women who are attracted to the church because of the very timelessness of its teachings.

They are attracted to the philosophy, the art, the literature and the theology that make Catholicism countercultural. They are drawn to the beauty of the liturgy and the church's commitment to the dignity of the individual. They want to be contributors to that commitment—alongside faithful and courageous bishops who ask them to make sacrifices. It is time for Catholics to celebrate their arrival.
Source: "Traditional Catholicism Is Winning", Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2012, by Hendershott and White.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013
The Cross: Sorrowful Yet Glorious
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 Note: The Following is taken from SSPX

The liturgical feasts of September 14 (the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) and 15 (The Seven Sorrowshttp://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2005/09/memorial-of-our-lady-of-sorrows.html) present the same theme under an entirely different spiritual outlook:
  • September 14th emphasizes Christ’s kingship; it praises the Cross as the sign of objective redemption and unfolds before our eyes the crux gemmata (the gemmed cross).
  • September 15the portrays the human and suffering Christ with his co-sufferer, Mary of the Seven Sorrows.
Both feasts honor the Cross of Our Lord, following so closely upon one another, showing the two spiritual trends of ancient times and that of the Middle Ages, the beata passio (the blessed passion) and the passio amara (the bitter passion).

The Occasion

The occasion of the feast of the Holy Cross was the finding of the True Cross on September 14, 320 by St. Helen, and the consecration of the church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem. Later on the “finding” received its special feast day on May 3, and the present date referred to the recovery of the Cross from the Persians by Emperor Heraclius in 628, who delivered the Cross to the patriarch Zacharias on May 3, 630. So there was a swapping of the occasion of the feasts.

The Mystery

Here the Church stresses the mystery of the Cross with full enthusiasm and love because She glorifies the sign of redemption. Why does she celebrates the feast at the start of the fall: the Cross is “raised” against the rising darkness, always the symbol of the power of hell. The Church “raises the sign of the Son of Man” which will appear at his Second Coming, and the expectation of the parousia is always connected with the Church’s Harvest time.
The Preface of the Holy Cross contrasts paradise’s tree of knowledge with Calvary’s tree of the Cross; on the one the devil is conquered, on the other he was conquered!
From a tree came death, from a tree also should come forth life. He who triumphed on a tree should also be defeated on a tree.
The Power of the Cross

The Communion antiphon refers to the power of the Cross: “Through the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, O our God!” The sign of the Cross has often been employed as an exorcism against the demons; the Latin Church also distributes holy Communion with this sacred sign. This sign is the most used sacramental, which we would make with much more devotion if we were conscious that it had sacramental power.

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Friday, September 13, 2013
Friday: Mandatory Day of Penance
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O Lord, Our God, have mercy on us sinners!



Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.

Code of Canon Law:


Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
Today is also a great day to pray the Stations of the Cros. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Catholic Scientist Admonishes "Genetic Sorcerers"
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Note: The following is excerpted from an article on SSPX.org
The life of Professor Jerome Lejeune (1926-1994) is worth knowing, and his battle with the culture of death promoted by leading scientists of the American world is an example of how a Catholic ought to behave, even in the midst of defeat.

Prof. Lejeune is the founder of modern genetics,[1] the discoverer of the trisomy. On October 3, 1969, he was invited to receive at San Francisco the most prestigious award of genetics, the William Allan prize.

And why was he offered this reward? Because his work enabled the successful testing which could detect trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) in mothers’ womb – thus in the United States, these tests (amongst others already in use) were used to prevent the birth of such diagnosed babies.

This is how Prof. Lejeune was rewarded and discovered to his dismay that the world was falling from under his feet, not only figuratively, but even literally during the presentation. For coincidentally, one of San Francisco’s famous seismic quakes shook the whole conference room causing him to reflect: “At this moment, I understood that the world had revolved on its axis.”

So what were those rewarding him implying? That his research would be applied to exterminate children in their mother’s womb because they could not be like other children who were “normal” or “productive members of society,” hence “you are not like me, so die!” Such an attitude should be referred to as “chromosomic racism.”

What is this “brave new world” in which in order to live, one will have to obey certain norms, be blond, possess a higher IQ, be more political, and be more this or that – and who will have to experience these norms? But in point of fact, we should remember that such norms have been tried before – and not so long ago.

Prof. Lejeune often recalled to his students the true story told him by an Austrian colleague.
My father was a doctor in a small Austrian village, and in April 1889, he was asked to deliver to two children: one was a healthy boy, and the other a poor little child. She was trisomic. My father followed closely these two children. The little girl had a rather sad life. One day her mother grew sick when she was only 16 or 17. And although she had a very week intellectual quota, she was by the side of her mother for four years, and softened the end of her mother’s life. Then she was placed in a nursing home. This was a rather sad life. Strange enough, my father does not recall the name of the girl, but he remembers very well that of the little boy. This child had a brilliant destiny and reached the summit. Oh, yes, he is somewhat forgotten, his name was Adolph Hitler.
Who can decide that one life can be lived rather than another? Who can pretend to judge such things? Behold the professor in that conference hall understands that there is being set a diabolical order. There are two options:[though in reality there is only one] either a) he plays the dummy and keeps quiet, or b) he takes the prize, leaves the place and life goes on as ever – as if nothing happened at all!
So does Prof. Lejeune – a doctor and internationally-respected professor (in fact he may even be nominated for the Noble Peace Prize next year or later) says nothing to ensure that his career continues in the same elevating fashion? Or – and this is what he actually does – he open his mouth to explain that what they are doing is monstrous!

He tells them in words they can understand. He will not speak to them about the Christian moral order, or of the Oath of Hippocrates.[2] Why should he speak of this oath to the these learned Americans, who dropped it long ago? He could tell them that his Christian heart is bleeding, but then they would tell him to keep his religious sentiment to himself and let them freely think as they wish. No! He is going to speak their own language, and they will never pardon him.
You know as well as me, and any student in genetics knows this, that, at the very moment of its conception, every creature carries within itself its chromosomic message, and nothing can change it. This will make a man be neither a monkey, or a duck, because you cannot confuse them as nothing can be added or subtracted to them. Thus, do not tell me, when you request to suppress these children, that you are not suppressing a human being because it is already a human being and nothing will change anything: he needs only to grow if he is allowed to. No! You are suppressing a human being who is not according to your norms, but do not deny it its human nature, which you allow to be quietly assassinated.
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
St. Nicholas of Tolentino
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From the Catholic Encyclopedia on the feast of this holy saint:
Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness.
He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour's church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: "Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus", he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen. After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day.
Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.
Collect: 

O Lord, hear the prayers we offer on the feast of Your blessed Confessor Nicholas. Since we cannot rely on our own merits, let the merits of those who have been pleasing to You be our assistance. Through our Lord . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Image: Saint Nicholas of Tolentino overcoming the temptations of the Devil (with the Blessed Virgin and Saint Augustine)  Santi di Tito — 1588
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Sunday, September 8, 2013
Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to Celebrate Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St Peter’s
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PRESS RELEASE BY THE CŒTUS INTERNATIONALIS SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM
8 SEPTEMBER 2013, FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The CISP is happy to announce that His Eminence Dario, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St Peter’s on Saturday 26 October at 11 o’clock during the pilgrimage of the people of Summorum Pontificum to Rome.

Holy Mass on 26 October will allow Diocesan and Religious Priests, Seminarians, and the faithful among the people of Summorum Pontificum to show Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos their gratitude and affection for everything he has done in the service of the Church, especially at the time of the preparation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, during which His Eminence was a witness and of which he is the living memory.

The CISP especially wishes to thank His Eminence for coming to say Mass because the 26 October is the sixty-first anniversary of his ordination to the Priesthood, which he received in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles in Rome on 26 October 1952. This Pontifical High Mass of thanksgiving at St Peter’s will be one of the central points of the Pilgrimage, during which the eternal youth of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be seen by all, and by means of which the people of Summorum Pontificum will contribute to the missionary zeal of the New Evangelisation.
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Traditional Mass Propers: 16th Sunday after Pentecost
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INTROIT
Ps. 85:3, 5 Have pity on me, O Lord, for to You I call all the day; for You, O Lord, are sweet and mild, and plentiful in mercy to all who call upon You. Ps. 85:1. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am needy and poor. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Lord, may Your grace always be with us to make us diligent in performing good deeds. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE
Eph. 3:13-21
Brethren: Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man: That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted and founded in charity, You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge: that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God. Now to him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us: To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen.

GRADUAL
The nations all revere Your name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth shall reverence Your glory. V. For the Lord has built up sion, and He shall appear in His glory.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 97:1 Sing to the Lord a new canticle, for He has done wondrous deeds. Alleluia!



GOSPEL
Luke 14:1-11

At that time, when Jesus went into the house of one of the Pharisees, on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And behold, there was a certain man before him that had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" But they held their peace. But he taking him, healed him and sent him away. And answering them, he said: "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit and will not immediately draw him out, on the sabbath day?" And they could not answer him to these things. And he spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: "When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than thou be invited by him: And he that invited thee and him, come and say to thee: 'Give this man place.' And then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when thou art invited, go, sit down in the lowest place; that when he who invited thee cometh, he may say to thee: 'Friend, go up higher.' Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee. Because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

OFFERTORY
Ps. 39:14, 15
Look down, O Lord, to help me. Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life. Look down, O Lord, to help me.

SECRET Cleanse us by this Sacrifice, O Lord, and in Your mercy make us worthy to participate in it. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION
Ps. 70:16-17, 18
O Lord, I will be mindful of Your singular justice. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and when I am old and gray, O God, forsake me not!


POST COMMUNION - Purify our souls, O Lord, and instill new life into them through this Heavenly Sacrament, so that even our bodies may find strength now and for the future. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


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Friday, September 6, 2013
Pray for Peace in Syria
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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Multiple Canons: A Serious Consequence of Vatican II
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The Roman Canon had been untouched since the 7th Century

For those unfamiliar with the Traditionalist movement (and even those who think they know Traditional Catholics), the common accusation applied to the Traditionalist is being a man too attached to earthly traditions.  The Traditionalist is a modern day Pharisee.  He cares for beautiful vestments, golden chalices, and ritual but he cares little (or at least less) for his neighbor and for the poor.  He is viewed as an enemy of the authentic teachings of Christ and is personified in the story of the rich man (cf. Matthew 19:16-26 ) and in the parable of the two men who enter the temple to pray (cf.  Luke 18:9-14).

Yet, this straw man depiction of the Traditionalist is entirely off point.  The Traditionalist’s end goal is not found in ornate vestments or mysterious rituals.  The Traditionalist is concerned with giving to God the utmost glory and the first of all things (cf  Matthew 6:33).  And as such, our Lord is deserving of the most ornate of vestments and the most opulent of chalices.  It is not the Traditionalist – no! – it is the Lord to whom the honor is given.

Even those familiar with the Traditional Movement, but those who are not traditionalists, will at least know of the Traditionalist’s arguments against the changes in the Liturgy.  They will have heard the Traditionalist lament the omission of kneeling in the Nicene Creed; the change of “pro multis” to “for all”; and the changes in the Rites of Confirmation, Ordination, and the Eucharist.
Yet few people realize – and few Traditionalists lament as loudly as they do the aforementioned issues – the grave consequences of introducing multiple canons into the Holy Liturgy.  

Since all time the Roman Canon had be recited by the priest silently.  The priest – in imitation of Moses – ascends to a place where the Faithful cannot venture. It is in this holy place – at the altar of God – where the priest confects the Holy Eucharist and offers to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of His Divine and Only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity.  This is a task of the priest alone to accomplish – the people present can offer nothing other than marvel at the mystery.

Silence is not a foreign concept to Catholics.  Catholics should be familiar with the story of ­­Elijah who heard God in the small whisper:

And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord over throwing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: the Lord is not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake: the Lord is not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire: the Lord is not in the fire, and after the fire a whistling of a gentle air.And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias? And he answered.  (1 Kings 19:11-13)

Yet the Novus Ordo brought about four Eucharistic Prayers recited in the vernacular and recited loudly.  Gone was the sense of mystery.  Gone was the priest entering the holy place to pray for the people.  The Novus Ordo Liturgy has succumbed to the vision of Martin Luther - the priest is no longer seen as an alter Christus.   

The Canon is an ancient prayer.  It is for Catholics the prayer of utmost importance in the Liturgy since it is by the prayers of the Canon that the greatest miracle in the world takes place on the altar. 

Since the seventh century [the Traditional] Canon has remained unchanged. It is to St. Gregory I (590-604) the great organiser of all the Roman Liturgy, that tradition ascribes its final revision and arrangement.  (Catholic Encyclopedia)

In the Ambrosian Rite, during the Canon the priest will stretch out his arms in the shape of a Cross

Yet, despite the sacredness of the Canon, the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council saw the elimination of one unified Canon and the creation of multiple canons.  In fact, even in our world today, priests freely use their own ad lib words during the Canon and potentially (if not always) invalidate the Sacrifice of the Mass upon the altar.  This is for the Traditionalist a grave and utmost serious situation.

In the 1970 and 1975 Latin editions of the Roman Missal, there are four Eucharistic Prayers (these may be augmented in the third editio typica which is due out this fall). In more recent American editions of the Roman Missal, in addition to the four already mentioned, there are five others included in the appendix: two for Reconciliation and three for Masses with children. Thus for the last twenty-five years, the Roman rite has had the experience of many Eucharistic Prayers. 

This was not always so, however. For some 1600 years previously, the Roman rite knew only one Eucharistic Prayer: the Roman canon. 

In the average parish today, Eucharistic Prayer II is the one most frequently used, even on Sunday. Eucharistic Prayer III is also used quite often, especially on Sundays and feast days. The fourth Eucharistic prayer is hardly ever used; in part because it is long, in part because in some places in the U.S. it has been unofficially banned because of its frequent use of the word "man". The first Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman canon, which had been used exclusively in the Roman rite for well over a millennium and a half, nowadays is used almost never. As an Italian liturgical scholar puts it: "its use today is so minimal as to be statistically irrelevant".

This is a radical change in the Roman liturgy. Why aren't more people aware of the enormity of this change? Perhaps since the canon used to be said silently, its contents and merits were known to priests, to be sure, but not to most of the laity. Hence when the Eucharistic Prayer began to be said aloud in the vernacular, with four to choose from -- and the Roman canon chosen rarely, if ever -- the average layman did not realize that 1600 years of tradition had suddenly vanished like a lost civilization, leaving few traces behind, and those of interest only to archaeologists and tourists. 

(Source: From One Eucharistic Prayer to Many: How it Happened and Why by Father Cassian Folsom, O.S.B) 

What serious theological implications does this have for a Catholic?

In the Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, the repeated petitions to God that He accept the Sacrifice have also been suppressed; thus, there is no longer any clear distinction between Divine and human sacrifice.


In Eucharistic Prayer IV the Church--as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic--is abased by eliminating the Roman Canon's petition for all orthodox believers who keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith. These are now merely all who seek you with a sincere heart. The Memento of the Dead in the Canon, moreover, is offered not as before for those who are gone before us with the sign of faith, but merely for those who have died in the peace of Christ. To this group--with further detriment to the notion of the Church's unity and visibility--Eucharistic Prayer IV adds the great crowd of "all the dead whose faith is known to You alone." None of the three new Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, alludes to a suffering state for those who have died; none allows the priest to make special Mementos for the dead. All this necessarily undermines faith in the propitiatory and redemptive nature of the sacrifice.


In the Preface for Eucharistic Prayer II--and this is unprecedented--the various angelic hierarchies have disappeared. Also suppressed, in the third prayer of the old Canon, is the memory of the holy Pontiffs and Martyrs on whom the Church in Rome was founded; without a doubt, these were the saints who handed down the apostolic tradition finally completed under Pope St. Gregory as the Roman Mass.


Chapter VII The Alienation of the Orthodox  

The Apostolic Constitution explicitly mentions the riches of piety and doctrine the Novus Ordo supposedly borrows from the Eastern Churches. But the result is so removed from, and indeed opposed to the spirit of the Eastern liturgies that it can only leave the faithful in those rites revolted and horrified. What do these ecumenical borrowings amount to? Basically, to introducing multiple texts for the Eucharistic Prayer (the anaphora)--none of which approaches their Eastern counterparts' complexity or beauty--and to permitting Communion Under Both Species and the use of deacons. Against this, the New Order of Mass appears to have been deliberately shorn of every element where the Roman liturgy came closest to the Eastern Rites. [53] At the same time, by abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus Ordo cast off what was spiritually precious of its own. In place of this are elements which bring the new rite closer to certain Protestant liturgies, not even those closest to Catholicism. At the same time, these new elements degrade the Roman liturgy and further alienate it from the East, as did the reforms which preceded the Novus Ordo. In compensation, the new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline.

Taken from The Ottaviani Intervention by Cardinal Ottaviani

And so the Traditional must fight on – not concerned at the slanders used against him.  Men may accuse him of “intolerance,” “lack of charity,” or “exaggerated concern with the externals,” but the Traditionalist will fight on so that in all the Masses of the world the Holy Eucharist may be lawfully confected and offered to the Eternal Father in the most fitting, righteous, and worthy manner possible.

In the bull Quo Primum Pope St. Pius V declared: "By this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it." And he concluded: "No one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Photo Gallery: Pope St. Pius X
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In honor of today's feast of His Holiness the Great Pope St. Pius X, I wish to share this gallery of images of His Holiness.  For information on his life and feastday, please click here.




















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Monday, September 2, 2013
Feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary
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The Virgin Receiving St Stephen of Hungary into Paradise by Scarsellino, c. 1590.

The following is taken from EWTN:
Coming from the east under a chief called Arpad, a fierce, marauding people called Magyars invaded and conquered the central part of the Danube valley during the last years of the ninth century. King Stephen was of this race. The Magyars first learned of Christianity on sporadic raids into north Italy and France. In the middle of the ninth century the Thessalonian priests, SS. Cyril and Methodius, had planted the faith in Pannonia, to the south, and had translated the Bible into the native tongue. It was not for a hundred years, however, that the Magyars gave serious attention to the Church. This was in the time of Geza, the third duke after Arpad. He was shrewd enough to see the practical desirability of Christianity as a protection against the inroads of his Christian neighbors on either side. He had the choice of turning to the Eastern Church at Constantinople or to the Church of Rome. Although Rome was more distant, he chose the Western Church, in fear that if he accepted Christianity from the east his domain would be incorporated in the recently revived Eastern Empire, the boundaries of which extended to the Danube.

Geza's first wife was Sarolta, one of the few Magyar women who was truly Christian. Of this union was born, about the year 975, a son named Vaik, the future king and saint. His mother took great care of his early training, and he had excellent Italian and Czech tutors. Geza married as his second wife a Christian princess Adelaide, sister of the duke of Poland; at her behest, Adalbert. archbishop of Prague, came on a preaching mission to Hungary. Geza and his young son were baptized in 986, Vaik being given the name of the first martyr, Stephen; a number of the Hungarian nobles were baptized at the same time. For most of them it was a conversion of expediency, and their Christianity was, at the outset, merely nominal. The young prince, on the contrary, became a Christian in a true sense, and his mature life was spent spreading the faith and trying to live according to its disciplines and tenets.

At the age of twenty Stephen married Gisela, sister of the duke of Bavaria, the future Emperor Henry II. Since Hungary was then at peace with its neighbors, Stephen devoted himself to rooting out idolatry among his people. In the guise of a missionary, he often accompanied the Christian preachers; sometimes he had to check their tendency to impose the faith forcibly. There had recently been a migration of German Christian knights into the rich and fertile plains of Hungary. These newcomers took up land and they also labored to make converts of the peasantry. Many Magyars not unnaturally resented this infiltration, which they thought jeopardized their territorial rights and their ancient pagan customs. They rose in revolt under the leadership of Koppany, a man of great valor. Stephen met the insurgents himself, having prepared for battle by fasting, almsdeeds, and prayer, and invoking the aid of St. Martin of Tours, whom he had chosen as his patron. The historic meeting took place at Veszprem in 998, and though Stephen's forces were inferior in size to those of the rebels, with the help of the German knights he won a famous victory. Koppany was slain.

To give God the glory for his success, Stephen built near the site of the battle a monastery dedicated to St. Martin, called the Holy Hill, and bestowed on it extensive lands, as well as one third ,of the spoils of victory. Known since that time as the archabbey of Martinsberg, or Pannonhalma, it flourished down to modern times. It is the mother house of all Benedictine congregations in Hungary. Stephen now followed up his plans by inviting priests and monks to come from Germany, France, and Italy. They continued the work of taming the savage nation by teaching it the Gospel; they built churches and monasteries to serve as centers of religion, industry, and education. Some of them died as martyrs.

Hungary was still without ecclesiastical organization, and Stephen now founded the archbishopric of Gran, with five dioceses under it, and later the archbishopric of Kalocsa, with three dioceses. He then sent Abbot Astricius to Rome to obtain from Pope Sylvester II the confirmation of these foundations as well as of other things he had done for the honor of God and the exaltation of His Church. At the same time he begged the Pope to confer on him the title of king, that he might have more authority to accomplish his designs for promoting God's glory and the good of the people. It happened that Boleslaus, duke of Poland, at this same time had sent an embassy to Rome to get the title of king confirmed to him by papal ordinance. Pope Sylvester, persuaded to grant the request, had prepared a royal crown to send him with his blessing. But the special zeal, piety, and wisdom of Stephen of Hungary seemed to deserve priority. The Pope too may have been moved by political considerations, since the powerful German Emperor Otto II was at that moment in Rome. At any rate, he delivered this famous crown[1] to Stephen's ambassador, Astricius, and at the same time by a bull confirmed all the religious foundations Stephen had erected and the ordination of the Hungarian bishops. On his envoy's return, Stephen went out to meet him, and listened with reverence to the reading of the Pope's bull, bowing as often as the Pope's name was mentioned. It was this same Abbot Astricius who anointed and crowned him king with solemnity and pomp at Gran, in the year 1001.

To plant Christianity firmly in his kingdom and provide for its continued growth after his death, King Stephen filled Hungary with religious foundations. At Stuhlweissenburg he built a stately church in honor of the Mother of God, in which the kings of Hungary were afterwards crowned and buried. In Buda he founded the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, and in Rome, Ravenna, and Constantinople hospices for pilgrims. He filled Martinsberg with Benedictines, who, as we have seen, were notable for practical works and founded four other monasteries of the order, as well as con. vents for nuns. At Veszprem there was a convent for nuns of the Byzantine rite. One effect of the conversion of Hungary was that the road used by pilgrims and crusaders going to the Holy Land was made safer, since the valley of the Danube formed a natural highway for at least a part of the long, difficult journey. To support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor, Stephen started the collection of tithes, and every tenth town was required to maintain a church and support a priest. Stephen himself built the churches and the bishops appointed the priests. He passed edicts for the severe punishment of blasphemy, murder, theft, and adultery. He commanded his subjects to marry, with the exception of monks, nuns, and clergy; he forbade marriages between Christians and pagans. Easy of access to persons of all ranks, Stephen was always ready to listen to the complaints of the poor, knowing that in helping them he honored Christ. Widows and orphans he took under his special protection.

This democratic King would often go about in disguise in order to find out the needs of humble persons whom his officials might overlook. Once, while dealing out alms thus, a rough band of beggars crowded around him, pulled at his beard and hair, knocked him down, and snatched away his purse. The King took this indignity in good humor, without making known who he was. When his nobles heard of the incident, they insisted that he should not again expose himself to such danger. Yet he renewed his vow never to refuse an alms to anyone who begged of him.

The code of laws which King Stephen put into effect was well suited to control a hot- tempered people, newly converted to Christianity; but it was not at all pleasing to those who still opposed the new religion, and the wars which Stephen now undertook were religious as well as political. Stephen undertook the political reorganization of Hungary. He abolished the old tribal divisions and partitioned the land into counties, under a system of governors and magistrates, similar to that of the Western Empire. He also developed a kind of feudalism, turning the independent nobles into vassals of the crown, thus welding them into a political unity. He retained direct control over the common people. In 1025 there was a revolt led by a noble called Ajton, who was moving to transfer his allegiance to the Eastern emperor. Stephen mobilized his forces at Kalocsa and gained an overwhelming victory. After he had repulsed an invasion of Bulgarians, some of the Bulgarians returned, hoping to settle peaceably in Hungary. They were set upon by vengeful Magyars. Stephen straightway had a number of the Magyars hanged along the frontier, as a warning that well-intentioned strangers must not be molested. When Stephen's saintly brother-in-law, Emperor Henry II, died, he was succeeded by his cousin, Conrad II. Fearing Stephen's growing power, Conrad marched against him. A parley was arranged, and Conrad retired. This settlement, according to Stephen's subjects, showed the peace-loving disposition of their king.

The death of Stephen's son Emeric left him without a direct heir, and the last years of the king's life were embittered by family disputes and dark intrigues over the succession. Of the four or five claimants, the successful one was Peter, son of Stephen's sister, a ruthless woman who stopped at nothing to gain her end. Two of Stephen's cousins were no better and even conspired to have him killed. A hired assassin entered his bedroom one night, but the King awakened and calmly called out, "If God be for me, who shall be against me?" The King pardoned the assassin and his cousins as well. It is not surprising that "a time of troubles" followed the death of this great statesman and king; it lasted until the reign of St. Ladislas, some forty years later.

Stephen died on the feast of the Assumption, 1038. His tomb at Stuhlweissenburg became the scene of miracles, and forty-five years after his death Pope Gregory VII, at the request of Ladislas, ordered his relics enshrined and placed in the rich chapel which bears his name in the church of Our Lady at Buda. King Stephen was canonized in 1083. In 1696 Pope Innocent XI appointed his festival for September 2, the day on which Emperor Leopold won Buda back from the Turks. In Hungary his feast is still kept on August 20, the day of the translation of his relics. This saint merits the highest veneration for his accomplishments in both secular and religious matters, and, most especially, for having been an exemplar of justice, mercy, charity, and peace in a cruel age.
Collect:

Almighty God, grant that the blessed confessor Stephen may now defend the Church from his throne in heaven, just as he fostered her growth when he ruled on earth. Through our Lord . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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September: Month Dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows
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The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15.  Devotions and explanations in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows can be found here.

The principal feasts of this month are as follows:
Let us also not forget that the September Embertides will be upon us following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.
Mark your calendars for this year's September Embertide: September 18, 20, and 21
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