Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-23-05, Memorial, St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Posted on 09/23/2005 8:31:01 AM PDT by Salvation
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From: Luke 9:18-22
Peter's Confession of Faith
|Friday, September 23, 2005
St. Pio of Pietrelciana, Priest (Memorial)
|September 23, 2005
St. Padre Pio
Old Calendar: St. Linus, pope and martyr; St. Thecla, virgin and martyr
Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of St. Linus, the immediate successor of St. Peter in the government of the Church. He is mentioned after the apostles in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I). It was also the feast of St. Thecla, a virgin of Asia Minor in the early days of the Church. Her cultus, which is very ancient, goes back to the second century. She is considered the first woman martyr.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Born to a southern Italian farm family, the son of Grazio, a shepherd. At age 15 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, and joined the order at age 19. He suffered several health problems, and at one point his family thought he had tuberculosis. He was ordained at age 22 on 10 August 1910.
While praying before a cross on September 20, 1918, Padre Pio received the stigmata. He is the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. He was reportedly able to bi-locate, levitate, and heal by touch.
In 1956 he founded the House for the Relief of Suffering, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year.
Today there are over 400,000 members worldwide in prayer groups began by Padre Pio in the 1920's.
His canonization miracle involved the cure of Matteo Pio Colella, age 7, the son of a doctor who works in the House for Relief of Suffering, the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo. On the night of June 20, 2000, Matteo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with meningitis. By morning doctors had lost hope for him as nine of the boy's internal organs had ceased to give signs of life. That night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo's mother and some Capuchin friars of Padre Pio's monastery, the child's condition improved suddenly. When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: "Don't worry, you will soon be cured." The miracle was approved by the Congregation and Pope John Paul II on 20 December 2001.
Adapted from the Discount Catholic Store, Inc.
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Following the crucifixion of Peter, Linus, who had served as an assistant to the apostle, continued the leadership of the Church, for once the Christian faith had been firmly established in Rome, Peter and Paul had commended Linus to this responsibility. However, because the one-man episcopate had not yet emerged in Rome, we have no way of knowing exactly what duties were expected of Linus. In a letter directed to the Oriental churches, Linus told how Peter's body was taken from the cross by Marcellus, bathed in milk and wine, and embalmed with precious spices.
Linus, believed to be the son of Herculanus, was an Italian from the region of Tuscany. He has been identified by the early writer, Eusebius, as the same Linus who is mentioned by St. Paul in his letter of salutation from Rome to Timothy in Ephesus. His episcopate is said to have been approximately twelve years. A brief respite from persecution for the brethren is said to have existed at this time, for legend has it that Nero, in a frightening vision, was so chastised by Peter that he abandoned the wrath which he had once so fiercely set upon the Christians.
Much is unknown of Linus, to be sure, but it is said that he, at Peter's direction, decreed that all women would now cover their heads when entering a church. In the ancient canon of the Mass, his name is cited after those of Peter and Paul.
According to legend, Linus was martyred and buried on the Vatican Hill alongside his beloved Peter.
Excerpted from The Popes: A Papal History, J.V. Bartlett
Symbols: Triple cross; fleeing demons.
This child of St. Paul is honored by the Fathers of the Eastern Church as proto-martyr and "near apostle." Already during the second century legends concerning her were current and her grave was much visited by pilgrims. It is historically certain that she lived, but the Acts of her life are largely legendary. According to these she was born at Iconium, where she was converted to Christianity by the preaching of St. Paul. It is related that she was "accused of being a Christian by her own parents after she had refused to marry Thamiris, in order to give herself wholly to Christ. But the pyre enkindled for her burning was extinguished by a sudden downpour of rain as she threw herself into it, making the sign of the Cross. Then she fled to Antioch, where the ferocious beasts and bulls to which she was tied would do her no harm. Nor did she suffer injury during confinement in a snake pit. Because of these marvels many pagans accepted the faith. Thereafter Thecla returned to her native land, where she lived in solitude upon a hill. At the age of ninety she died a peaceful death." The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Symbols: Lion; tiger; two or more serpents; globe of fire; flaming fagots; Greek cross.
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September 23, 2005
St. Padre Pio da Pietrelcina
In one of the largest such ceremonies in history, Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio of Pietrelcina on June 16, 2002. It was the 45th canonization ceremony in Pope John Paul's pontificate. More than 300,000 people braved blistering heat as they filled St. Peter's Square and nearby streets. They heard the Holy Father praise the new saint for his prayer and charity. "This is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio's teaching," said the pope. He also stressed Padre Pio's witness to the power of suffering. If accepted with love, the Holy Father stressed, such suffering can lead to "a privileged path of sanctity."Many people have turned to the Italian Capuchin Franciscan to intercede with God on their behalf; among them was the future Pope John Paul II. In 1962, when he was still an archbishop in Poland, he wrote to Padre Pio and asked him to pray for a Polish woman with throat cancer. Within two weeks, she had been cured of her life-threatening disease.
Born Francesco Forgione, Padre Pio grew up in a family of farmers in southern Italy. Twice (1898-1903 and 1910-17) his father worked in Jamaica, New York, to provide the family income.
At the age of 15, Francesco joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio. He was ordained in 1910 and was drafted during World War I. After he was discovered to have tuberculosis, he was discharged. In 1917 he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, 75 miles from the city of Bari on the Adriatic.
On September 20, 1918, as he was making his thanksgiving after Mass, Padre Pio had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet and side.
Life became more complicated after that. Medical doctors, Church authorities and curiosity seekers came to see Padre Pio. In 1924 and again in 1931, the authenticity of the stigmata was questioned; Padre Pio was not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to hear confessions. He did not complain of these decisions, which were soon reversed. However, he wrote no letters after 1924. His only other writing, a pamphlet on the agony of Jesus, was done before 1924.
Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him. Each morning after a 5 a.m. Mass in a crowded church, he heard confessions until noon. He took a mid-morning break to bless the sick and all who came to see him. Every afternoon he also heard confessions. In time his confessional ministry would take 10 hours a day; penitents had to take a number so that the situation could be handled. Many of them have said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.
Padre Pio saw Jesus in all the sick and suffering. At his urging, a fine hospital was built on nearby Mount Gargano. The idea arose in 1940; a committee began to collect money. Ground was broken in 1946. Building the hospital was a technical wonder because of the difficulty of getting water there and of hauling up the building supplies. This "House for the Alleviation of Suffering" has 350 beds.
A number of people have reported cures they believe were received through the intercession of Padre Pio. Those who assisted at his Masses came away edified; several curiosity seekers were deeply moved. Like St. Francis, Padre Pio sometimes had his habit torn or cut by souvenir hunters.
One of Padre Pios sufferings was that unscrupulous people several times circulated prophecies that they claimed originated from him. He never made prophecies about world events and never gave an opinion on matters that he felt belonged to Church authorities to decide. He died on September 23, 1968, and was beatified in 1999.
Homily of the Day
Haggai 2:1-9 / Lk 9:18-22
As we've heard in the Old Testament readings this week, the process of persuading the Israelites to return to their homeland and to rebuild the temple was a long one. They'd gotten comfortable where they were and they were afraid of the human costs of starting over, even when it meant going home.
"Take courage," the Lord says to them, and then he reminds them of the pact he made when he brought them out of Egypt hundreds of years before. The pact was that he'd remain with them always, no matter what they did. No matter how corrupt they became, he'd be there with them, calling them back, and offering them forgiveness.
That's why rebuilding the temple was so important: It made that pact with God visible and tangible. It said to them, "Yes, God still dwells in our midst, still loves us, and still is faithful to his promises."
It was hard for the Israelites to remember that, and it's often hard for us to remember too. That's one of the reasons why it's so important for us to step away from our ordinary paths and gather around the Lord with the rest of his people every Sunday.
We need to remember who we are and who it is that walks with us every day, whether we're paying attention or not, and whether we're walking a noble path or not. We need to remember and to give thanks that God is faithful, even when we are not. We need to remember how to say, "I'm sorry," and "I need your help," and "Teach me how to love better."
God is always ready to hear those words from us, if only we remember how to speak them. Come to church with us, and remember.
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Friday September 23, 2005 Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Haggai 2:1-9) Gospel (St. Luke 9:18-22)
As the people of Israel came back from the captivity in Babylon and were going to rebuild the temple, they looked at the temple of God and saw it in ruins. So God asked the question through the prophet Haggai, as we heard in the first reading: Is there anyone among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how does it look now? Does it not look as nothing to you? Then the Lord goes on to tell us that the future glory will be far greater than the former glory.
That certainly happened in a physical way. The temple that was built, for instance, at the time of Our Lord was considerably larger than the one Solomon had built and was considerably fancier than the one Solomon had built. Yet when we really stop and think about what Our Lord has promised, He told us, first of all, that the day is coming when He is going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land, and then tells us that He is going to fill His house with glory.
Now the glory that He is talking about is Our Lord. That is the greatest glory of all. He is the One who is the treasure that is contained within the temple of God. We are told: In this place I will give you peace. Who is the one who gives peace? The One Who says, My peace I give you; My peace is my gift to you. Where are we going to find peace other than in Jesus? This world offers no peace, absolutely none. There is nothing in this life that is going to bring peace except Our Lord.
When we see these points, we understand that the future glory of the temple of God is far, far greater than all the glory of the temple that Solomon built or even of the one that Herod built. Of course, even as we look at the beauty of a church, we have to remember that the temple in which God receives the greatest glory is us. We are the temple of the Lord. Saint Paul makes that exceedingly clear, that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. If this is the case, the glory that each one of us has is infinitely more than the glory of the building in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. We could look at a beautiful church and it could be worth millions of dollars. So what? The day will come when that is going to pass away. But our souls are immortal. And if our souls are in the state of grace and we are united with Jesus, then we have peace. When we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we have within us an infinite treasure which churches that are worth millions of dollars cannot compare. The dignity of the human person is way beyond even the most beautiful building that the most talented artist could make.
We need to be able to see this dignity that God is making within us, in fact, that He has made within us. And we need to be able to recognize the treasure that dwells within, the treasure, first of all, that we are made in His image and likeness, and the treasure beyond that that we are able to receive Jesus into our own selves and that we carry Him within us. This is exactly what Saint Paul reminds us of, that we carry this treasure in earthen vessels so that its surpassing power will be made clear. The surpassing power is the infinite beauty of God. So we, our human bodies made of this earth, have been given a treasure that is infinite and inexhaustible. Now what we want to give back to God is a temple that is filled with peace, that is filled with love, that is beautiful beyond all measure. The beauty of that temple is to live according to our dignity and to be one with Jesus Christ, so that in love with Jesus we are giving to God what is most fitting and most beautiful to Him. Then when Our Lord looks upon us, whether He looks at a beautiful church or anything else that is in this world, He will be able to say that the glory of this house your body, your soul is far greater than the former glory of any temple. The dignity within us is greater than the glory in any building that human hands have made, and in this place the temple of our bodies in union with Jesus Christ there will be peace.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.
Thanks, I needed that right now!
|18||And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples also were with him: and he asked them, saying: Whom do the people say that I am?||et factum est cum solus esset orans erant cum illo et discipuli et interrogavit illos dicens quem me dicunt esse turbae|
|19||But they answered and said: John the Baptist; but some say Elias: and others say that one of the former prophets is risen again.||at illi responderunt et dixerunt Iohannem Baptistam alii autem Heliam alii quia propheta unus de prioribus surrexit|
|20||And he said to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answering, said: The Christ of God.||dixit autem illis vos autem quem me esse dicitis respondens Simon Petrus dixit Christum Dei|
|21||But he strictly charging them, commanded they should tell this to no man.||at ille increpans illos praecepit ne cui dicerent hoc|
|22||Saying: The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the ancients and chief priests and scribes and be killed and the third day rise again.||dicens quia oportet Filium hominis multa pati et reprobari a senioribus et principibus sacerdotum et scribis et occidi et tertia die resurgere|
2nd half of 13th century
fresco fragment 39cm x 27.6 cm
The Fabbrica of Saint Peter's, Rome
|Friday, September 23, 2005
When depression hits, its easy to believe we are powerless. Weve fallen too far behind in our work and can never catch up. Weve tried to reach out to an alienated relative before and been rebuffed. Weve been hurt so many times, its reasonable to think things will never change. We look back nostalgically to a time when we had more energy and our dreams seemed within reach; and we know well never get back there.
God sent the prophet Haggai to a people in the grip of depression. The Persian king had allowed them to return from exile to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but the work was painfully slow. They had run out of materials. They were surrounded by enemies who hated them and managed to bring the work to a halt for years. Finally the Jews received authorization from the new ruler to begin again, but they were discouraged and lethargic.
To compound the situation, the oldest among them could remember what Solomons temple looked like before the Babylonian invasion. They remembered how the presence of God had left the temple before the Babylonian invasion. Would he ever return? Their modest building seemed like nothing in comparison.
God inspired Haggai to rouse the people with a glorious, hopeful vision and a dose of realistic, practical advice. Haggai used the wonderful image of God shaking the nations like a piggybank so that treasure will fall on his needy people.
With this vision in hand, Haggai exhorted the people to let go of fear and get to work. Take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you (Haggai 2:4). Through Haggai, God addressed their deepest fear, that he had abandoned them: My Spirit abides among you; do not fear (2:5). Even though they cannot imagine how they will get from their present desperate situation to the promised glory, they can take the next step, prayerfully laying the next stone. The rest is up to God.
When depression assails us, we often ask the wrong question. Instead of asking, Why is this happening to me? ask God, What are you enabling me to do today to begin to change the situation? And then, like the Jews, we too can work, confident that Gods Spirit rests on us.
Lord, my hope is limited, but Im willing to take up my trowel. Show me what I can do today to bring your kingdom closer.
Psalm 43:1-4; Luke 9:18-22
Good news indeed.