New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Catholic Art - The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Chirst

Obama Messiah Video

I have a very bad cold. And could hardly sleep at night. So while tossing and turning this song came to my mind and i had to make a video like this. Enjoy.

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

If anyone knows how to modify this song so that I can put it in Youtube without the copyright nonsense, I wll be most greatful

St. Felix of Cantalice - 23 May 2009

It was in a small village at the foot of Mount Appenine named Cantalice, that Saint Felix was born in 1513 of pious but poor parents, whose names were Saint and Sainte. It was not long before the little boy, when he approached the other children, was hailed by them: “Here comes Felix, the Saint!” He showed a predilection for solitary prayer from his earliest youth, and as a little shepherd used to retire to a quiet place to kneel there and meditate on the Passion of Jesus.

When he was a little older, he resolved to take the habit of the Capuchin Friars. The rigor of their rule could not deter him, but his obligations could; he was employed as a laborer. When his life was spared in an accident, during which two runaway bulls and a trailing plow should have killed him, the man for whom he was working saw the hand of God in his preservation and permitted him to leave, to enter religion. He was at that time nearly thirty years old, but the Superiors, observing his fervor, placed no obstacles.

In 1545 he pronounced his vows and was sent to Rome, where for forty years he begged for the community. His characteristic words to his companion were: “Let us go, my Brother, with rosary in hand, our eyes to the ground and our spirit in heaven.” He was of an exquisite politeness, extreme gentleness and great simplicity. The sick persons he visited at night became attached to him, and for his part, he sought them out everywhere in Rome, insofar as obedience permitted.

One day on the street he met two duelists with sword in hand. He begged them to repeat after him, “Deo gratias!” which finally they did, and after taking him as arbiter of their quarrel, they separated as good friends. Saint Felix met Saint Philip Neri in Rome, and they became friends who wished one another all possible torments for the love of Jesus Christ. They sometimes remained together without speaking for considerable periods, seemingly transported with joy.

Saint Felix had a great devotion to the most Blessed Virgin, reciting Her rosary with such tenderness that he could not continue at times. He loved the Holy Name of Jesus, and invited the children he would meet to say it with him. He slept only for about two hours, going afterwards to the church and remaining there in prayer until the office of Prime; then he would serve the first Mass and receive Communion every day.

When he was sick and was given the last Sacraments, he saw the Blessed Virgin and a beautiful troop of Angels coming to fortify him in this last journey. He cried out in joy, and gave up his soul peacefully to his Creator in 1587. He was canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712. His body is in the Capuchin Church of Rome; a plenary indulgence is granted to those who, fulfilling the ordinary conditions, visit a church of his Order on his feast day.

(The Church of Santa Maria della Concezione on Via Veneto in Rome where the remains of St. Felix are kept)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Painting of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord

Today as part of our look into Catholic Art let us admire this painting on the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord

St. Rita of Cascia - 22nd May 2009

Daughter of Antonio and Amata Lotti, a couple known as the Peacemakers of Jesus; they had Rita late in life. From her early youth, Rita visited the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, Italy, and showed interest in a religious life. However, when she was twelve, her parents betrothed her to Paolo Mancini, an ill-tempered, abusive individual who worked as town watchman, and who was dragged into the political disputes of the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Disappointed but obedient, Rita married him when she was 18, and was the mother of twin sons. She put up with Paolo’s abuses for eighteen years before he was ambushed and stabbed to death. Her sons swore vengeance on the killers of their father, but through the prayers and interventions of Rita, they forgave the offenders.

Upon the deaths of her sons, Rita again felt the call to religious life. However, some of the sisters at the Augustinian monastery were relatives of her husband’s murderers, and she was denied entry for fear of causing dissension. Asking for the intervention of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, she managed to bring the warring factions together, not completely, but sufficiently that there was peace, and she was admitted to the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalen at age 36.

Rita lived 40 years in the convent, spending her time in prayer and charity, and working for peace in the region. She was devoted to the Passion, and in response to a prayer to suffer as Christ, she received a chronic head wound that appeared to have been caused by a crown of thorns, and which bled for 15 years.

Confined to her bed the last four years of her life, eating little more than the Eucharist, teaching and directing the younger sisters. Near the end she had a visitor from her home town who asked if she’d like anything; Rita’s only request was a rose from her family’s estate. The visitor went to the home, but it being January, knew there was no hope of finding a flower; there, sprouted on an otherwise bare bush, was a single rose blossom.

Among the other areas, Rita is well-known as a patron of desperate, seemingly impossible causes and situations. This is because she has been involved in so many stages of life - wife, mother, widow, and nun, she buried her family, helped bring peace to her city, saw her dreams denied and fulfilled - and never lost her faith in God, or her desire to be with Him.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ascension painting by Giotto

In some diocese and in some countries today is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. Not so in Canada where this feat is celebrated on Sunday.

Let us today admire this fresco by Giotto di Bondone as we prepare our hearts for this Feast.

St. Cristóbal Magallanes and Companions - 21st May 2009

Pope John Paul II beatified Toribio (among the martyrs who were collectively called Cristóbal Magallanes and his Companions, Martyrs of the Catholic Action Movement in Mexico) on November 22, 1992; the pontiff canonized the martyrs on May 21, 2000. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke of the martyrs, saying:

Most of them belonged to the secular clergy and three were laymen seriously committed to helping priests. They did not stop courageously exercising their ministry when religious persecution intensified in the beloved land of Mexico, unleashing hatred of the Catholic religion. They all freely and calmly accepted martyrdom as a witness to their faith, explicitly forgiving their persecutors. Faithful to God and to the Catholic faith so deeply rooted in the ecclesial communities which they served by also promoting their material well-being, today they are an example to the whole Church and to Mexican society in particular. After the harsh trials that the Church endured in Mexico during those turbulent years, today Mexican Christians, encouraged by the witness of these witnesses to the faith, can live in peace and harmony, contributing the wealth of Gospel values to society. The Church grows and advances, since she is the crucible in which many priestly and religious vocations are born, where families are formed according to God's plan, and where young people, a substantial part of the Mexican population, can grow up with the hope of a better future. May the shining example of Cristóbal Magallanes and his companion martyrs help you to make a renewed commitment of fidelity to God, which can continue to transform Mexican society so that justice, fraternity and harmony will prevail among all.

During his homily at the canonization Mass on May 21, 2000, Pope John Paul II addressed the Mexican men, women and children present in Rome and said: “After the harsh trials that the Church endured in Mexico during those turbulent years, today Mexican Christians, encouraged by the witness of these witnesses to the faith, can live in peace and harmony, contribute the wealth of gospel values to society. The Church grows and advances, since she is the crucible in which many priestly and religious vocations are born, where families are formed according to God's plan, and where young people, a substantial part of the Mexican population, can grow with the hope of a better future. May the shining example of Cristóbal Magallanes and his companion martyrs help you to make a renewed commitment of fidelity to God, which can continue to transform Mexican society so that justice, fraternity and harmony will prevail among all.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stupid "Catholic " Politicians wife

French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy accuses Pope Benedict of "damaging" countries in Africa with his stance on birth control.

"I find that the controversy coming from the Pope's message – albeit distorted by the media – is very damaging," she said. "In Africa it's often church people who look after sick people. It's astonishing to see the difference between the theory and the reality.

"I think the church should evolve on this issue. It presents the condom as a contraceptive which, incidentally, it forbids, although it is the only existing protection."

Bruni-Sarkozy added: "I was born Catholic, I was baptized, but in my life I feel profoundly secular."

Sorry Carla, firstly by marring a divorced man you are living in a state of sin, the sin is called fornication. *

Second secularism is condemned as a heretical error in the Syllabus of Errors by Pope Pius IX

Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? 8 He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

St. Paul in the Square - Youth pray to their Mother

It was heart warming to see the little ones and the teens pray the Rosary.

The Archbishop after the Rosary went walking amidst the crowd and blessed the children and their parents as well. (My camera got soft so all the pictures are a bit out of focus)

This little lad was fascinated by the big cross that the Archbishop had on.

St. Bernardine of Siena - 20th May 2009

One day in the year 1408 the great apostle Saint Vincent Ferrer suddenly interrupted his sermon, to declare that there was among his hearers a young Franciscan who would be one day a greater preacher than himself, and who would be placed in honor by the Church before himself. This unknown friar, who would be canonized only six years after his death, was Bernardine, then 28 years old. Of noble birth, he had spent his youth in works of mercy, caring for the sick before he entered religion at the age of 24.

Owing to a speech defect, Bernardine’s success as a preacher at first seemed doubtful, but by the prayers of Our Lady, this obstacle was miraculously removed in 1417, and the Franciscan friar began an apostolate which lasted until he died. One day, preaching in praise of the Blessed Virgin, he applied to Her the verse of the Apocalypse: “A great sign appeared in heaven, a Woman clothed with the sun...” At once a brilliant star appeared over his head. He was understood, when he spoke in Italian, by listeners of the Greek language who knew only their maternal tongue. He obtained miraculous conversions and reformed the greater part of Italy by his burning words and by the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. He preached that devotion, displaying at the end of his sermons, the Holy Name written on a tablet. He was also a zealous apostle of the cult of Saint Joseph. It is said that during sixteen years, and some say eighteen, he did not pass a single day without preaching.

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, in Gothic letters on a blazing sun. This was to displace the superstitious symbols of the day, as well as the insignia of factions (for example, Guelphs and Ghibellines). The devotion spread, and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings. Opposition arose from those who thought it a dangerous innovation. Three attempts were made to have the pope take action against him, but Bernardine’s holiness, orthodoxy and intelligence were evidence of his faithfulness.

But his success had to be purified by the cross. The Saint was denounced as a heretic, and his devotion as idolatrous. After many trials he lived to see his innocence proved. In 1427 he refused the bishopric of Siena, and a few years later two others, in order to continue his preaching. He miraculously cured lepers and other sick persons, and raised to life several deceased persons. The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, established in 1530, was extended to the entire Church in 1721 by Pope Innocent XIII.

Saint Bernardine was appointed Vicar General of his Order in 1438, which office he held for five years, then preached again for a time until his last illness forced his retreat in 1444. He died on Ascension Eve of that year, while his brethren were chanting the antiphon, “Father, I have manifested Thy Name to men.” Already in 1450, a Jubilee year, he was canonized.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

St. Paul in the Square - Rosary

The St. Paul in the Square event began at 3:00 pm in Dundas Square in Toronto with the recitation of the Rosary and the Litany to St. Paul.

(This priest in black with nifty sunglasses led the Rosary and Litany to St Paul)

Some sat and prayed the rosary.

Some stood

Actually quite a few stood

Some faced the sun, no only she faced the sun. It was a windy day indeed.

The little ones prayed too when I wasn't running about being a source of distraction.

Those with strong knees kneeled on the stone floor.

His Grace too said the rosary which made me so happy. It is great indeed to see such a strong devotion to The Rosary.

St. Theophilus of Corte - 19th May 2009

Theophilus was born in Corsica of rich and noble parents. As a young man he entered the Franciscans and soon showed his love for solitude and prayer. After admirably completing his studies, he was ordained and assigned to a retreat house near Subiaco. Inspired by the austere life of the Franciscans there, he founded other such houses in Corsica and Tuscany. Over the years, he became famous for his preaching as well as his missionary efforts.

Though he was always somewhat sickly, Theophilus generously served the needs of God's people in the confessional, in the sickroom and at the graveside. Worn out by his labors, he died on June 17, 1740. He was canonized in 1930.

Monday, May 18, 2009

St. Paul in the Square

(Click on image for panoramic view)

On the 17th May 2009, the Archdiocese of Toronto organized St. Paul in the Square to mark the end of the year of St. Paul. This event was at Dundas Square which is in the heart of the city of Toronto.
The program began at 3:00pm with the rosary and the litany to St. Paul. This was followed by some praise and worship music by Susan Hookong Taylor and Ana DaCosta who is the composer of 'Song of the Cross' which was the theme song of World Youth Day Toronto 2002.

After short break, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto did Lectio Divina which is reading from the bible with meditation. This was very beautiful and dealt with the life of St. Paul, Reflection on Acts 17:16-34
. I shall go into this in detail in posts over the week ahead.

The program ended with Music by Matt Maher.

For pictures of this event, please scroll down to the bottom of this page for a slide show at the bottom.