Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 11-12-12, M, St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Posted on 11/11/2012 7:48:21 PM PST by Salvation
From: Titus 1:1-9
 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and
appoint elders in every town as I directed you,  if any man is blameless, the
husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge
of being profligate or insubordinate.  For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be
blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or
greedy for gain,  but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright,
holy, and self-controlled;  he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that
he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those
who contradict it.
1-4. The heading is particularly long and formal. It contains, as usual (cf. Rom
1:1-2; 1 Cor 1:13; etc.), the sender’s name — Paul; the addressee’s — Titus; and
the greeting — “Grace and peace”. In this case, however, Paul’s title (Apostle),
and the prerogatives of his authority and his God-given mandate to preach are
given special emphasis (v. 3). This has led some scholars to argue that the epis-
tle was in fact written by a disciple of St Paul — who would have put in all this
about the Apostle’s authority in order to give the letter more weight. However, it
is more reasonable to suppose that when St Paul was writing the letter he had
Titus very much in mind and also the community in Crete, whom false teachers
were beginning to unsettle; the solemn, official tone would be due to the serious
nature of their doctrinal aberrations and to the need to ensure that the church in
Crete was property organized.
These introductory verses provide a very succinct definition of the mission of an
Apostle: it derives from God himself, the Savior of all (vv. 1, 3); the Apostle has
a mandate from God, he is God’s representative (v. 3); the purpose of his mission
is to communicate the word of God, which is true, which “accord with godliness”
and leads to eternal life (v. 2). His letter is addressed to the believers, who had
been endowed with faith (v. 1) and whom he has to lead to heaven (v. 2).
“Servant of God”: in the language of the Bible, serving God means rendering him
the worship that is his due. While keeping this basic meaning, “servant of God”
means one who fulfills the task his Lord gives him. Like the Old Testament pro-
phets (who were conscious of having a sacred mission, which they could not
avoid: cf. Amos 3:7; Jer 7:25), St Paul knows that he has a God-given mission
which he has a duty to perform.
“To further the faith of God’s elect”: God sends his apostles to instruct people in
the faith so that they know the truth that saves and view their lives and the world
from a supernatural vantage-point. As the Church’s Magisterium has reminded us,
evangelization begins by teaching the essential revealed truths: “It is not superflu-
ous to recall the following points: to evangelize is first of all to bear witness, in a
simple and direct way, to God revealed by Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit; to bear
witness that in his Son God has loved the world — that in his Incarnate Word he
has given being to all things and has called men to eternal life” (Paul VI, “Evan-
gelii Nuntiandi”, 26).
“The truth that accords with godliness”: The virtue of godliness or “piety” includes,
particularly, openness to God, docility to his commandments and recognition of
his divinity — in a word, religion. Godliness and truth are very closely connected:
to acquire a solid, well-grounded piety one needs to have a good grasp of the truth.
St Teresa of Avila explains this in her inimitable way: “I should prefer spirituality to
be unaccompanied by prayer than not to be founded upon the truth. Learning is a
great thing, for it instructs those of us who have little knowledge, and enlightens
us, so that when we are faced with the truth of Holy Scripture, we act as we
should. From foolish devotions may God deliver us!” (”Life”, 13, 16).
2. In doing the work given him, the Apostle always keeps before his eyes the
“hope of eternal life”; this determines the content and purpose of his preaching
— eternal beatitude for himself and for all who accept the word of God, the attain-
ment of the indescribable joy which is God’s reward to those who love him: “What
words can describe what is to come — the pleasure, the good fortune, the joy of
being with Christ? It is impossible to explain the blessedness and the advantage
the soul has when it is returned to its noble self and can from then on contem-
plate its Lord. And it is not only that he enjoys good things to hand: his joy is
permanent because these good things will never cease to be his” (St John Chry-
sostom, “Ad Theod. Lapsum”, 1, 13).
“In hope of eternal life”: hope of eternal life should imbue our devout life, and it
should also inspire the truth we teach, the faith we profess and the apostolic
Promised “ages ago”: this ambiguous Semitic expression (it can also be trans-
lated as “from all eternity”) refers to God’s promise of salvation made in ancient
times to the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament; but it refers mainly
to God’s eternal plan: from all eternity God decided to save men. This decision
of his is the basis of the theological virtue of hope; we place our hope in God
“who never lies”, who cannot deceive or be deceived.
3-4. “At the proper time”: salvation (God’s plan for all eternity, communicated in
a veiled way to the prophets) has been manifested in the fullness of time by the
advent of the Son of God (cf. Heb 1:1); preaching concerns itself exclusively with
this message of salvation. The Apostle preaches “by command of God our Sa-
vior”, not on his personal initiative. It is worth pointing out that this whole passage
is very dense and very typical of Paul’s style: lots of ideas are crammed into very
few words. The key factor is the divine plan of salvation; but the way that plan is
communicated is also important, as is the way it is carried out; the word of God,
in addition to making the plan of salvation known, is itself salvific, it is an effective
instrument of salvation. The Apostle is very conscious that his mission is divine,
for God keeps urging him on; he chose him for this very purpose and granted him
the title of “servant of God” (cf v. 1).
On the meaning of the greeting “Grace and peace”, see the note on 1 Tim 1:2
and Rom 1:7.
5-9. The qualities of Church pastors described here agree with those recommen-
ded in the First Letter to Timothy (cf. 1 Tim 3:2-7 and note). In neither instance
is St Paul trying to give a complete list; he is simply urging that ministers be a
model for their flock. Emphasis is laid on four aspects which seem to be particu-
larly important: a minister should be of irreproachable conduct (vv. 6-7); his fami-
ly should be exemplary Christians (v. 6); he should be an upright and welcoming
person (vv. 7-8); and finally, he should have a grasp of Christian doctrine (v. 9).
The Church has always tried to have people of this caliber as ministers; the last
ecumenical council, for example, reminded pastors that, in the pursuit of holi-
ness, they have a special obligation to give good example to others: “they should
abound in every spiritual good and bear a living witness of God to all” (”Lumen
5. St Paul seems to have given Titus two jobs to do. One, which is implied here,
was to complete the catechetical instruction of the young community in Crete;
there is a lot of emphasis throughout the letter on firmness in the truth, on coun-
teracting false teachers, and on the need for all believers, particularly pastors, to
have a well-grounded faith.
The second job is to complete the hierarchical structuring of the Church. The el-
ders mentioned here perform the same role as that of the bishops in the First Let-
ter to Timothy, and they are all required to have the same qualities (on the as yet
unfixed bishop/priest terminology, see the note on 1 Tim 3:1). St Paul’s insistence
on appointing successors is a pointer to the Apostolicity of the Church: not only
do bishops have the same mission as the Apostles; that mission comes to them
from the Apostles: “In fact, not only had (the Apostles) various helpers in their mi-
nistry, but, in order that the mission entrusted to them might be continued after
their death, they consigned, by will and testament, as it were, to their immediate
collaborators the duty of completing and consolidating the work they had begun,
urging them to tend to the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit had appointed
them to shepherd the Church of God (cf. Acts 20: 28)” (”Lumen Gentium”, 20).
Very little information is available as to when St Paul visited Crete and evange-
lized it. When he was being brought as a prisoner to Rome in the autumn of the
year 60, he probably evangelized some Cretans (cf. Acts 27:7-12); there may
also have been some Christians there ever since St Peter preached for the first
time in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 2: 11). It could be that the Apostle spent a while on
the island at some stage and established a Christian community there. Crete
was fairly important, being a necessary port of call on the Greece-Asia Minor
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: Luke 17:1-6
On Leading Others Astray, Fraternal Correction
The Power of Faith
1-3. Our Lord condemns scandal, that is, “any saying, action or omission which
constitute for another an occasion of sin” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 417). Jesus
is teaching two things here: the first is that scandal will “in fact” happen; the se-
cond, that it is a grave sin, as shown by the punishment it earns.
The reason why it is so serious a sin is that it “tends to destroy God’s greatest
work, that of Redemption, through souls being lost; it kills one’s neighbor’s soul
by taking away the life of grace, which is more precious than the life of the body,
and it is the cause of a multitude of sins. This is why God threatens with the
most severe punishment those who cause others to stumble” (”ibid”., 418). See
[the notes on] Matthew 18:6-7; 18-8; 18:10.
“Take heed to yourselves”: a serious warning, meaning that we should not be a
cause of scandal to others nor should we be influenced by the bad example
others give us.
People who enjoy authority of any kind (parents, teachers, politicians, writers, ar-
tists, etc.) can more easily be a cause of scandal. We need to be on the alert in
this respect in view of our Lord’s warning, “Take heed to yourselves.”
2. Millstones were circular in shape with a large hole in the center. Our Lord’s de-
scription, therefore, was very graphic: it meant that the person’s head just fitted
through the hole and then he could not get the stone off.
3-4. In order to be a Christian one must always, genuinely, forgive others. Also,
one has to correct an erring brother to help him change his behavior. But fraternal
correction should always be done in a very refined way, full of charity; otherwise
we would humiliate the person who has committed the fault, whereas we should
not humiliate him but help him to be better.
Forgiving offenses — which is something we should always do — should not be
confused with giving up rights which have been justly violated. One can claim
rights without any kind of hatred being implied; and sometimes charity and jus-
tice require us to exercise our rights. “Let’s not confuse the rights of the office
you hold with your rights as a person. The former can never be waived” (St. J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 407).
Sincere forgiveness leads us to forget the particular offense and to extend the
hand of friendship, which in turn helps the offender to repent.
The Christian vocation is a calling to holiness, but one of its essential require-
ments is that we show apostolic concern for the spiritual welfare of others: Chris-
tianity cannot be practiced in an isolated, selfish way. Thus, “if any one among
you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that
whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from
death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).
5. “Increase our faith!”: a good ejaculatory prayer for every Christian. “Omnia pos-
sibilia sunt credenti”. “Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.” The words
are Christ’s. How is it that you don’t say to Him with the Apostles: ‘”adauge nobis
fidem!” “increase my faith!’ (”The Way”, 588).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
|First reading||Titus 1:1-9 ©|
|Psalm||Psalm 23:1-6 ©|
|Gospel||Luke 17:1-6 ©|
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The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R: As we have hoped in Thee.
V: O Lord hear my prayer.
R: And let my cry come unto Thee.
V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.
Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priestsThis icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. As a reminder of our duty to pray for the suffering faithful in Purgatory, the Church has dedicated the month of November to the Holy Souls. The Holy Souls are those who have died in the state of grace but who are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins already forgiven for which satisfaction is still to be made. They are certain of entering Heaven, but first they must suffer in Purgatory. The Holy Souls cannot help themselves because for them the night has come, when no man can work (John 9:4). It is our great privilege of brotherhood that we can shorten their time of separation from God by our prayers, good works, and, especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
To Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory:
1. Have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered up for them.
2. Pray the Rosary and or the Chaplet of Divine Marcy for them, or both.
3. Pray the Stations of the Cross.
4. Offer up little sacrifices and fasting.
5. Spread devotion to them, so that others may pray for them.
6. Attend Eucharistic Adoration and pray for them.
7. Gain all the indulgences you can, and apply them to the Holy Souls
8. Visit to a Cemetery
V. The just shall be in everlasting remembrance;
R. He shall not fear the evil hearing.
V. Absolve, O Lord, the souls of the faithful departed from every bond of sin,R. And by the help of Thy grace may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment,and to enjoy the happiness of eternal life.V. Because in Thy mercy are deposited the souls that departed in an inferior degree of grace,R. Lord, have mercy.V. Because their present suffering is greatest in the knowledge of the pain that their separation from Thee is causing Thee,R. Lord, have mercy.V. Because of their present inability to add to Thy accidental glory,R. Lord, have mercy.V. Not for our consolation, O Lord; not for their release from purgative pain, O God;but for Thy joy and the greater accidental honour of Thy throne, O Christ the King,R. Lord, have mercy.V. For the souls of our departed friends, relations and benefactors,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those of our family who have fallen asleep in Thy bosom, O Jesus,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those who have gone to prepare our place,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. (For those who were our brothers [or sisters] in Religion,)R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For priests who were our spiritual directors,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For men or women who were our teachers in school,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those who were our employers (or employees),R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those who were our associates in daily toil,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For any soul whom we ever offended,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For our enemies now departed,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those souls who have none to pray for them,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those forgotten by their friends and kin,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those now suffering the most,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those who have acquired the most merit,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For the souls next to be released from Purgatory,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those who, while on earth, were most devoted to God the Holy Ghost, to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament,to the holy Mother of God,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For all deceased popes and prelates,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For all deceased priests, seminarians and religious,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For all our brethren in the Faith everywhere,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For all our separated brethren who deeply loved Thee, and would have come into Thy household had they known the truth,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those souls who need, or in life asked, our prayers,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. For those, closer to Thee than we are, whose prayers we need,R. grant light and peace, O Lord.V. That those may be happy with Thee forever, who on earth were true exemplars of the Catholic Faith,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. That those may be admitted to Thine unveiled Presence, who as far as we know never committed mortal sin,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. That those may be housed in glory, who lived always in recollection and prayer,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. That those may be given the celestial joy of beholding Thee, who lived lives of mortification and self-denial and penance,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. That those may be flooded with Thy love, who denied themselves even Thy favours of indulgence and who made the heroic act for the souls who had gone before them,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. That those may be drawn up to the Beatific Vision, who never put obstacles in the way of sanctifying grace and who ever drew closer in mystical union with Thee,R. grant them eternal rest, O Lord.V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.Let Us PrayBe mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of grace. To these, O Lord,and to all who rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light and peace, through the same Christ Our Lord.Amen
All Saints or All Souls? Differences should be black and white
All Souls' Day [Catholic Caucus]
Why I Am Catholic: For Purgatory, Thank Heavens (Ecumenical)
Q and A: Why Pray for the Dead? [Ecumenical]
.and Death is Gain A Meditation on the Christian View of Death [Catholic Caucus]
99 & 1/2 Wont Do A Meditation on Purgatory
The Month of November: Thoughts on the "Last Things"
To Trace All Souls Day (Protestants vs Catholics)
November 2 -- All Souls Day
On November: All Souls and the "Permanent Things"
"From the Pastor" ALL SAINTS & ALL SOULS
Praying for the Dead [All Souls Day] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
To Trace All Souls Day [Ecumenical]
All Souls Day [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Roots of All Souls Day
The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
During Month of Souls, Recall Mystic, St. Gertrude the Great
All Saints and All Souls
General Intention: Ministers of the Gospel. That bishops, priests, and all ministers of the Gospel may bear the courageous witness of fidelity to the crucified and risen Lord.
Missionary Intention: Pilgrim Church. That the pilgrim Church on earth may shine as a light to the nations.
|Monday, November 12, 2012
St. Josaphat, Bishop, Martyr (Memorial)
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Bishop & Martyr
Stir up in your Church, we pray, O Lord,
the Spirit that filled Saint Josaphat
as he laid down his life for the sheep,
so that through his intercession
we, too, may be strengthened by the same Spirit
and not be afraid to lay down our life for others.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Gospel: John 17:20-26
"I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me. 26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
The following is taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia
Born in the little town of Volodymyr in Luthiania in the year 1580, young Josaphat proved himself to have zeal for God at a young age. As a boy he shunned the usual games of childhood, prayed much, and lost no opportunity for assisting at the divine services. Children especially regarded him with the greatest affection, and found him a worthy model. Both parents contributed to implant the seeds of piety in the heart of their child.
Owing to the straitened circumstances of his parents, he was apprenticed to the merchant Popovyc at Vilna. In this town, remarkable for the corruption of its morals, and the contentions of the various religious sects, Josaphat seemed specially guarded by Providence and became aquainted with certain excellent men under whose direction he advanced in learning and virtue.
As an apprentice, he devoted every leisure hour to prayer and study. At first Popovyc viewed this behavior with displeasure, but Josaphat gradually won such a position in his esteem, that Popovyc offered him his entire fortune and his daughter's hand.
But Josaphat's love for the religious life never wavered. At the age of twenty-four he entered the Basilian monastery of the Trinity at Vilna, and brought with him the same piety and zeal for God. His favorite pious exercise was to make a poktony (i.e., a reverence in which the head touches the ground) with the ejaculation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner". Never eating meat he fasted much, wore a hair shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. The Jesuits frequently urged him to set boundaries to his austerities.
In 1609 after private study under the Jesuit Fabricius, Josaphat was ordained priest. He subsequently became superior in several monasteries, and on November 12, 1617, was reluctantly consecrated bishop of Vitebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618.
Josaphat had lived most of his life during a time of great schism and while each succeeding year saw fresh evidence of his fruitful labors, it also witnessed the steady growth of the schismatic party. Finally on November 12, 1623, an axe stroke and a bullet brought Josaphat his martyr's crown.
After numerous miracles had occurred, a commission was appointed by Urban VIII in 1628 to inquire into the cause of Josaphat, and examined on oath 116 witnesses. Although five years had elapsed since Josaphat's death, his body was still incorrupt. In 1637 a second commission investigated the martyr's life and in 1867, twenty years after his martyrdom, Josaphat was canonnized.
As deacon, priest, and Bishop he was distinguished by his extraordinary zeal in the service of souls. Not alone in the church did he preach and hear confessions, but likewise in the fields, hospitals, prisons, and even on his journeys. Even where his words of instruction might by themselves have failed, his entreaties and tears ensured him success.
This zeal united with his kindness and extraordinary love for the poor, won numbers to the Catholic faith. Among his converts were included many important personages such as Ignatius, Patriarch of Moscow, and Emmanuel Cantacuzenus who belonged to the family of the Greek Emperor Palaeologus. As archbishop he restored the churches; issued a catechism to the clergy with instructions that it should be learned by heart; composed rules for the priestly life, entrusting to the deacons the task of superintending their observance; assembled synods in various dioceses, and firmly opposed the Chancellor when he wished to make concessions in favor of schismatics.
Throughout all his strivings and all his occupations, he continued his exemplary life as a religious, and never abated his zeal for self-mortification and prayer. He awaited death with a certain yearning, refusing to avail himself of the opportunity of flight afforded him. After his death his influence was still greater: conversions were numerous, and veneration for him continued to extend.
|Feast Day:||November 12|
|Born:||1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)|
|Died:||12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus|
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