Fülöp Menyhért plébános

Észak Angliában, Skóciában és Walesben élő, dolgozó magyarok plébánosa

August 15, 2009

Assumption of Mary



On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith:  We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.  The pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.

We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries the Eastern Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However, by the thirteenth century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names (Commemoration, Dormition, Passing, Assumption) from at least the fifth or sixth century.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary s Assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God s people. Since Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testament, her Assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman s victory.

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul speaks of Christ s resurrection as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus  life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to belief in Mary s share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.




August 14, 2009

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

 (1894-1941)

 

 I don t know what s going to become of you!  How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe s reaction was,  I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said,  I choose both.  She smiled and disappeared.  After that he was not the same.

He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív (then Poland, now Ukraine), near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though he later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.

Ordained at 24, he saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata,, a religious magazine under Mary s protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a  City of the Immaculata Niepokalanow which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.

In 1939 the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941 he was arrested again. The Nazis  purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, in Auschwitz three months later, after terrible beatings and humiliations.

A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks.  This one. That one.  As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line.  I would like to take that man s place. He has a wife and children.  Who are you?   A priest.  No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Father Kolbe to go with the nine. In the block of death they were ordered to strip naked and the slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. He was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.




August 13, 2009

Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus

 (d. 235)

 

Two men died for the faith after harsh treatment and exhaustion in the mines of Sardinia. One had been pope for five years, the other an antipope for 18. They died reconciled.

Pontian. Pontian was a Roman who served as pope from 230 to 235. During his reign he held a synod which confirmed the excommunication of the great theologian Origen in Alexandria. Pontian was banished to exile by the Roman emperor in 235, and resigned so that a successor could be elected in Rome. He was sent to the  unhealthy  island of Sardinia, where he died of harsh treatment in 235. With him was Hippolytus (see below) with whom he was reconciled. The bodies of both martyrs were brought back to Rome and buried with solemn rites as martyrs.

Hippolytus. As a presbyter in Rome, Hippolytus (the name means  a horse turned loose ) was at first  holier than the Church.  He censured the pope for not coming down hard enough on a certain heresy calling him a tool in the hands of one Callistus, a deacon and coming close to advocating the opposite heresy himself. When Callistus was elected pope, Hippolytus accused him of being too lenient with penitents, and had himself elected antipope by a group of followers. He felt that the Church must be composed of pure souls uncompromisingly separated from the world, and evidently thought that his group fitted the description. He remained in schism through the reigns of three popes. In 235 he was also banished to the island of Sardinia. Shortly before or after this event, he was reconciled to the Church, and died with Pope Pontian in exile.

Hippolytus was a rigorist, a vehement and intransigent man for whom even orthodox doctrine and practice were not purified enough. He is, nevertheless, the most important theologian and prolific religious writer before the age of Constantine. His writings are the fullest source of our knowledge of the Roman liturgy and the structure of the Church in the second and third centuries. His works include many Scripture commentaries, polemics against heresies and a history of the world. A marble statue, dating from the third century, representing the saint sitting in a chair, was found in 1551. On one side is inscribed his table for computing the date of Easter, on the other a list of how the system works out until the year 224. Pope John XXIII installed the statue in the Vatican library.




August 12, 2009

St. Louis of Toulouse

 (1274-1297)


When he died at the age of 23, Louis was already a Franciscan, a bishop and a saint!

Louis s parents were Charles II of Naples and Sicily and Mary, daughter of the King of Hungary. Louis was related to St. Louis IX on his father s side and to Elizabeth of Hungary on his mother s side.

Louis showed early signs of attachment to prayer and to the corporal works of mercy. As a child he used to take food from the castle to feed the poor. When he was 14, Louis and two of his brothers were taken as hostages to the king of Aragon s court as part of a political deal involving Louis s father. At the court Louis was tutored by Franciscan friars under whom he made great progress both in his studies and in the spiritual life. Like St. Francis he developed a special love for those afflicted with leprosy.

While he was still a hostage, Louis decided to renounce his royal title and become a priest. When he was 20, he was allowed to leave the king of Aragon s court. He renounced his title in favor of his brother Robert and was ordained the next year. Very shortly after, he was appointed bishop of Toulouse, but the pope agreed to Louis s request to become a Franciscan first.

The Franciscan spirit pervaded Louis. "Jesus Christ is all my riches; he alone is sufficient for me," Louis kept repeating. Even as a bishop he wore the Franciscan habit and sometimes begged. He assigned a friar to offer him correction   in public if necessary   and the friar did his job.

Louis s service to the Diocese of Toulouse was richly blessed. In no time he was considered a saint. Louis set aside 75 percent of his income as bishop to feed the poor and maintain churches. Each day he fed 25 poor people at his table.

Louis was canonized in 1317 by Pope John XXII, one of his former teachers.




August 11, 2009

St. Clare

 (1194-1253)


One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-girl counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, she was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, she escaped one night from her father s home, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed the long tresses to Francis  scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. She clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair and remained adamant.

End of movie material. Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order (Poor Clares). Francis obliged her under obedience at age 21 to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.

The nuns went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat and observed almost complete silence. (Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor:  Our bodies are not made of brass. ) The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade her to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness:  I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.

Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of her life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick, waited on table, washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals and bishops often came to consult her she never left the walls of San Damiano.

Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. She was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.

A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens.  Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.  To her sisters she said,  Don t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.  The Saracens fled.




August 10, 2009

St. Lawrence

 (d. 258?)


The esteem in which the Church holds Lawrence is seen in the fact that today s celebration ranks as a feast. We know very little about his life. He is one of those whose martyrdom made a deep and lasting impression on the early Church. Celebration of his feast day spread rapidly.

He was a Roman deacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence and four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian.

A well-known legend has persisted from earliest times. As deacon in Rome, Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church, and the distribution of alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sought out the poor, widows and orphans of Rome and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels to increase the sum. When the prefect of Rome heard of this, he imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure. He sent for Lawrence and said,  You Christians say we are cruel to you, but that is not what I have in mind. I am told that your priests offer in gold, that the sacred blood is received in silver cups, that you have golden candlesticks at your evening services. Now, your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring these treasures the emperor needs them to maintain his forces. God does not cause money to be counted: He brought none of it into the world with him only words. Give me the money, therefore, and be rich in words.

Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich.  I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.  After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said,  These are the treasure of the Church.

The prefect was so angry he told Lawrence that he would indeed have his wish to die but it would be by inches. He had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence s body placed on it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark,  It is well done. Turn it over and eat it!

The church built over Lawrence s tomb became one of the seven principal churches in Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.



Weblap látogatottság számláló:

Mai: 103
Tegnapi: 80
Heti: 375
Havi: 1 293
Össz.: 612 643
Oldal: Saint of the Day
Fülöp Menyhért plébános - © 2008 - 2018 - fulopmenyhert.hupont.hu