Wednesday, April 30, 2008

St. Robert Bellarmine Quote: The Role Of Mary

We Imitate Jesus When We Honor His Mother, Mary!

To Jesus, through Mary
Here is a St. Robert Bellarmine Quote concerning the role of Mary.

"When we appeal to the throne of grace we do so through Mary, honoring God by honoring His Mother, imitating Him by exalting her, touching the most responsive chord in the sacred heart of Christ with the sweet name of Mary."

"Imitating Him by exalting her!" St. Bellarmine gave us a line worth contemplating.

How did Jesus come to us? Wasn't it through His Mother? Aren't we suppose to imitate Jesus? So, what's wrong with going through Mary to learn how to love Jesus more? Does not scripture tell us Mary's "soul magnifies the Lord?"

To Jesus, through Mary. It's not only Catholic, it's scriptural! ! !

What are your thoughts? Post your comments below.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - Fifth Sunday of Easter

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute

My Dear People,

I Am A Tridentine Lover!

Before the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960's, all masses were prayed in the universal language of the Church Latin. As the Council developed, even though the major parts of the mass were to remain in Latin, various abuses led to Mass completely in the vernacular. So, a Roman Catholic traveling to Paris, Frankfurt, or Rome, could no longer participate with the rest of the congregation, unless they knew the native tongue of the locals. After the Protestant Reformation in the middle 16th century, due to the destructive nature of the revolt, the Roman Church convened the Council of Trent. This counter Catholic Reformation led to the solidification of the major aspects of Catholicism. Among the pronouncements, came the establishment of the Tridentine Mass, or the Latin Mass. The Pope at the Council of Trent declared that nothing was to ever change in the Mass of Trent...under grave penalties.

So the Second Vatican Council Reformers decided to develop the Novus Ordo...or the New Mass. Not until Pope Benedict XVI, have all priests been given general permission to again pray the Mass of Trent, or the Tridentine Mass. If you were born after 1965, you may never have prayed the Mass in the universal language of the Church prior to the 1960's. On Friday, May 9th, at St. Mary Church at 7pm, the Tridentine Mass will be celebrated. This is a valid Catholic Mass. All are cordially invited to experience this very beautiful Mass once prayed for over 400 years. Come join us in prayer!

May we learn to more fully appreciate the many gifts and little miracles that God sends to us everyday.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Receiving Holy Communion in the Hand Debate

"The Hidden Truth!
Should You Receive Holy
Communion in the Hand?"

Finally, The Truth Revealed!
Receiving Holy Communion in The Hand
Versus Receiving Holy Communion in The Tongue,The Battle Continues . . .

First Let's Consider the Case For Receiving Holy Communion in the Hand

by Rev. Paul J. McDonald

The history of Communion in the hand is often presented in certain quarters as follows: From the Last Supper on, Holy Communion was, as the norm, continually given in the hand. So it was during the age of the martyrs. And it continued to be so during that golden age of the Fathers and of the liturgy after the peace of Constantine in 313 A.D. And it continued to be the common practice until at least the tenth century.Thus for over half of the life of the Church it was the norm.

An argument for the above is held to be found in a text of St. Cyril of Jerusalem's fifth Mystagogic Catechesis (21f), which he preached to neophytes in 348 A.D., in which he counsels the faithful to "place your left hand as the throne of your right one, which is to receive the King [in Holy Communion]" (apudL'Osservatore Romano. English edition of June 14, 1973, p. 6). This Father of the Church further counsels great care for any Fragments which might remain on one's hands.

According to some critics' version of history, popular in certain quarters, Communion on the tongue became the universal norm in this way: During the Middle Ages certain distortions in the faith and/or in approaches to it gradually developed. These included an excessive fear of God and an over-concern about sin, judgment and punishment, as well as an over-emphasis on Christ's divinity-- so emphasized as to down-play His sacred humanity or virtually deny it; also an over-emphasis on the priest's role in the sacred liturgy, and a loss of the sense of the community which the Church, in fact, is. In particular, because of excessive emphasis on adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist and an over-strict approach to moral matters, Holy Communion became more and more rare. It was considered enough to gaze upon the Sacred Host during the elevation. (In fact, in certain critics' minds the elevation, exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament find their origins during the 'unfortunate' Middle Ages, a period whose liturgical practices we would do well-- so they think-- to rid ourselves of.) It was in this atmosphere and under these circumstances, they argue, that the practice of Communion in the hand began to be restricted. The practice of the priest placing the consecrated Bread directly into the mouth of the communicant thus developed and, they think, was unwisely imposed.

The conclusion is rather clear: We should get rid of this custom. We should forbid or at least discourage the Communion on the tongue practice whereby the faithful are not allowed to "take and eat," and should return to the pristine usage of the Fathers and Apostles, namely, Communion in the hand.

It is a compelling story. It is too bad that it is not true.

Now Let's Consider the Case For Receiving
Holy Communion in the Tongue

The sacred Council of Trent declared that the custom whereby only the priest-celebrant gives Communion to himself (with his own hands), and the laity receive It from him, is an Apostolic tradition. (1)

Pope St. Leo the GreatA more rigorous study of available evidence from Church history and from writings of the Fathers does not support the assertion that Communion in the hand was a universal practice which was gradually supplanted and eventually replaced by the practice of Communion on the tongue. Rather, facts seem to point to a different conclusion: Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) is an early witness of the traditional practice. In his comments on the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel he speaks of Communion in the mouth as the current usage: "One receives in the mouth what one believes by faith." (2) The Pope does not speak as if he were introducing a novelty, but as if this were a well established thing.

A century and a half later Pope St. Gregory the Great (died in 604) is another witness. In his dialogues he relates how Pope St. Agapitus performed a miracle during Mass, after having placed the Body of the Lord into someone's mouth.

We are not claiming that under no circumstances whatever did the faithful receive by their own hands. But under what conditions did this happen? It does seem that from very early times on, it was usual for the priest to place the Sacred Host into the mouth of the communicant. However, during times of persecution, when priests were not readily available, and when the faithful took the Sacrament to their homes, they gave Communion to themselves by their own hand. Rather than be totally deprived of the Bread of Life, they could receive by their own hand. The same applied to monks who had gone out into the desert, where they would not have the services of a
priest and would not want to give up the practice of daily holy Communion. St. Basil the Great (330-379) indicates that receiving of Communion by one's own hand was permitted precisely because of persecution, or, as was the case with monks in the desert, when no deacon or priest was available to give It. (3)

In his article on "Communion" in the Dictionaire d'Archeologiae Chretienne, Leclerq declares that the peace of Constantine in 313 A.D. served toward bringing the practice of Communion in the hand to an end. After persecution had ceased, evidently the practice of Communion in the hand persisted here and there. Church authority apparently judged that it invited abuse and deemed it contrary to the custom of the Apostles.

Thus the Synod of Rouen, France, in about 878 directed: "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layman or laywomen, but only in their mouths" ("nulli autem laico aut feminae eucharistiam in manibus ponat, sed tantum in os eius"). (4) A non-ecumenical Council of Constantinople known as "In Trullo" in 692 A.D. prohibited the faithful from giving Communion to themselves (which is of course what happens when the Sacred Particle is placed in the hand of communicants), and decreed a censure against those who would do so in the presence of a bishop, priest or deacon.

Promoters of Communion in the hand generally make little mention of the evidence we have brought forward, but do make constant use of the text attributed above to St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who lived in the fourth century at the time of St. Basil. But scholars dispute the authenticity of the St. Cyril text, according to Jungmann-Brunner, op. cit., p. 191, n.25. It is not impossible that the text is really the work of the Patriarch John, who succeeded Cyril in Jerusalem. This John was of suspect orthodoxy, as we know from the correspondence of St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine.

But is it not a form of clericalism to allow the priest to touch the Sacred Host and to forbid the laity to do the same? But even priests were not allowed to touch the Blessed Sacrament except out of some need to do so. In fact, other than the celebrant of the Mass itself, no one else receiving Communion, not even a priest, could receive It in the hand. And so, in the traditional liturgical practice of the Roman Rite, if a priest were assisting at Mass (and not celebrating) and if he wished to receive Holy Communion, he did not do so by his own hand; he received on the tongue from another priest. The same would be true of a Bishop or even a Pope. When Pope St. Pius X was on his deathbed in August of 1914, and Holy Communion was brought to him as Viaticum, he did not and was not allowed to receive in the hand. He received on the tongue according to the law and practice of the Catholic Church.

"Receiving Communion On The Tongue;
An Invitation For Greater Reverence!"

This confirms a basic point: Out of reverence it seems better that there be no unnecessary touching of the Sacred Host. Obviously someone is needed to distribute the Bread of Life. But it is not needful to make each man, woman and child into his own 'eucharistic minister' and multiply the handling and fumbling and danger of dropping and loss of Fragments. Even those whose hands have been specially consecrated to touch the Most Holy Eucharist, namely the priests, should not do so needlessly.

As for the present situation, in those countries where the indult for Communion in the hand has been granted by the Holy See, an individual bishop may forbid the practice; but no Bishop has authority to forbid the traditional way of receiving Our Lord on the tongue.

Receiving Communion on The Tongue, communion in tongue, communion in hand, receiving communion in handBut surely the Apostles received Communion in the hand at the Last Supper? It is usually presumed that this was so. Even if it were, though, we would point out that the Apostles were themselves priests, or even Bishops. But we must not forget a traditional custom of middle-eastern hospitality which was in practice in Jesus' time and which is still the case; that is, one feeds his guests with one's own hand, placing a symbolic morsel in the mouth of the guest. And we have this text of St. John's Gospel (13:26-30): "Jesus answered, 'It is he to whom I shall give this Morsel when I have dipped It.' So when He had dipped the Morsel, He gave It to Judas... So, after receiving the Morsel, he [Judas] immediately went out..."

Did Our Lord place this wet Morsel into Judas' hand? That would be rather messy. Did He not perhaps extend to the one whom He addressed later in the garden as "friend" the gesture of hospitality spoken of above? And if so, why not with Holy Communion, "giving Himself by His own Hand"?

Communion in the Hand vs Communion in the Tongue Reference Sheet

Fr. Paul McDonald, Pastor, St. Patrick's Church

Blogger Note: All headlines and emphasis are my own. Thanks Father for permitting me to publish this article.

By Their Fruits ...Discerning Whether To Receive Communion In The Tongue Vs In The Mouth

When discerning rather to receive Holy Communion in the tongue or in the hand its always best to discern the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It much more simple than one would imagine especially when discerning something with a 40+ year track record. First of all it is not a sacrilege to receive Communion in the Hand, to say so is an act of disobedience towards Rome and our local bishops. Obviously disobedience is not one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but it doesn't mean that both methods are equal.

To help your discernment, here are some simple questions comparing today's Catholic to pre-Vatican II Catholics. Let's make the assumption of comparing today's average Catholic with pre-Vatican II average Catholic.
  1. Are people more or less reverent before, during and after Mass?
  2. Which generation had a stronger prayer life?
  3. Is the Eucharist the source and summit of the community life?
  4. Does the body display more or less of a posture of reverence? i.e. kneeling, genuflecting properly, hands folded during prayer, etc...
  5. How casual is our relationship with our Creator?
  6. Do you get the picture? Pretty simple stuff when you look at it.

There is a decision here to be made. Are you willing to take the next step? Receiving Holy Communion on The Hand Vs Receiving Holy Communion on The Tongue, You Make the Call!

Let's have it. What are your comments? We won't know unless you leave one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Communion in the Hand vs Communion in the Tongue Reference Sheet

The Truth Revealed: Receiving
Communion on The Hand Vs Communion on
The Tongue Reference Sheet

Click for full article.
Receiving Holy Communion in The Hand
Versus Receiving Holy Communion in The Tongue
, The Battle Continues . . .

(1) "It has always been the practice in the Church of God in the reception of the Sacrament, that laypersons receive Communion from priests and that the priest-celebrants give Communion to themselves. This practice, coming down lawfully and justly from Apostolic tradition, ought to be retained." ("... In sacramentali autem sumptione semper in Ecclesia Dei mos fuit, ut laici a sacerdotibus communionem acciperent, sacerdotes autem celebrantes se ipsos communicarent; qui mos tamquam ex traditione apostolica descendens iure ac merito retineri debet.") -- Council of Trent, Sess. 13,chapter 8 (DS 1648). While this ranks as unapostolic the practice today of laypersons directly helping themselves to Hosts from the tabernacle or altar or ciborium, and its lesson seems out of harmony with the extensive use of lay ministers whereby they give Communion when the celebrant could just as well give It; yet the description in the text as worded here does not necessarily exclude the possibility of laypersons receiving Our Lord from the priest into their hands, and giving It then to themselves. --A.M.S.,

(2) "Hoc enim ore sumitur quod fide creditur" (Serm. 91.3). Of course this, too, proves no more of Fr. McDonald's thesis than the text quoted in footnote 1, except 'sumitur' can suggest receiving directly from the priest into the mouth.

Passages from various Fathers of the Church are sometimes cited as authority that in their day Communion in the hand was universal. But the texts we have found assembled in literature promoting this practice, prove to us only that the practice existed, and perhaps prevailed in the area in which the writer lived, but not that it was the only method at that time in the whole Church. Nor do ancient materials quoted tell us whether the Apostles taught laypersons to receive holy Communion in the hand. Hence the Council of Trent and other witnessses here cited, may well have had important further information.

Let me remark in passing that a writer in L'Osservatore Romano, English edition of June 14, 1973, pp. 6-7, influenced many when, in a long article he presents historical testimonies and references evidently intended to support his statement that: "The literary and monumental sources of the first nine centuries are unanimous in testifying to the use of receiving theeucharistic Bread in the hand throughout the whole Church." Note that this does not state Communion in the hand was the only method of communion during that period, as some have wrongly thought, nor do testimonies quoted in that writer's article tell us whether it was the most common method everywhere in the Church most of the time throughout the first nine centuries. --A.M.S.,

(3) "If one feels he should in times of persecution, in the absence of a priest or deacon, receive Communion by his own hand, there should be no need to point out that this certainly shows no grave immoderation; for long custom allows this in such cases. In fact, all solitaries in the desert, where there is no priest, reserving Communion in their dwellings, receive It from their own hands." (Our translation of St. Basil's words in M. J. Rouët de Journel's Enchiridion Patristicum, n. 916-- Barcelona, 1946). --A.M.S.,

(4) Can. 2 (Mansi, X, 1199). Apud Jungmann-Brunner, The Mass of the Roman Rite, vol. 2, pp. 381f, New York, Benziger Bros., 1955.

Rev. Paul J. McDonald
Parish Priest (Pastor)
St. Patrick's Church

"The Hidden Truth! Should You
Receive Holy Communion in the Hand?"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - Fourth Sunday of Easter

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute

My Dear People,

Knowing God's Peace

Stress and anxiety are the sure portals for sickness and disease. The body and mind can only tolerate so much stress, before normal bodily functions begin to deteriorate. Our modern world is laden with anxiety. God knows how important PEACE is in our lives. Jesus announces to His Apostles, a message of PEACE every time He appears to them after the Resurrection. These holy men were laden with post Crucifixion anxiety. Our Lord ushers in His PEACE upon them.

In our Gospel today, Jesus implores us, for our hearts not to be troubled. "Have faith in God, and in ME..." Jesus announces to His Disciples. In order for the Apostles to fulfill their mission, they had to be focused on Jesus with hearts full of PEACE. This same salutation Jesus extends to us. How many are your worries? Do you lose sleep at night because you are anxious? Is it hard to focus during the day because of your many difficulties? Today's Gospel was written for YOU. Have faith in God the Father's providential love, and in Jesus' Divine Mercy. Know that all things are possible for God. Trust in His care for you. Rest in His PEACE.

May we put our faith into action by sharing our time, talent and treasure.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI US Trip - Monday

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI
Trip To America - Monday Night

Go Here For The Latest On Pope Benedict XVI's Trip To The United States

Pope's US trip draws to a close, France - 20 hours ago
Pope Benedict XVI has rounded off his visit to the United States with a mass for 57000 at the Yankee Stadium in New York. During the trip, he has spoken out ...
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USA Today - 20 hours ago
NEW YORK — Benedict XVI celebrated Mass before a loud, jubilant crowd at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, capping a US visit marked by the pope's focus on clergy ...

Pope ends US trip with mass for 57000 people
Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom - 18 hours ago
Pope Benedict has ended his US trip with a mass for 57000 people at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Pontiff also visited Ground Zero in New York yesterday ...
Dallas Morning News, TX - 19 hours ago
NEW YORK – The final day of Pope Benedict XVI's US visit was marked Sunday by two powerful events: praying with victims of Sept. 11, 2001, inside the deep ...

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Newsday, NY - 1 hour ago
Story reported by Bart Jones, Deborah S. Morris, Keith Herbert, Karla Schuster, Pervaiz Shallwani, Dave Marcus and written by Jennifer Smith His eyes fixed ...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI US Trip - Saturday

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI
Trip To The US - Saturday Night

Go Here For The Latest On Pope Benedict XVI's Trip To America

Pope heads out from US after a 6-day visit
The Associated Press - 34 minutes ago
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Reuters - 43 minutes ago
(Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Sunday ended his US trip with a visit to Ground Zero, where he prayed at the site of the felled World Trade Center, ...
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Newsday, NY - 1 hour ago
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International Herald Tribune, France - 1 hour ago
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Pope honours victims of September 11 attacks, France - 7 hours ago
The Pope has visited Ground Zero on the final and sixth day of his trip to the US. Fog shrouded New York's skyscrapers as the 81-year-old prayed and offered ...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI US Trip - Saturday

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI
Trip To America - Saturday Night

Go Here For The Latest On Pope Benedict XVI's Trip To The United States

Pope inspires youth on Day 2
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From the Los Angeles Times
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI US Trip - Friday

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI
Trip To The US - Friday Night

Go Here For The Latest On Pope Benedict XVI's Trip To America

Keeping faith with the American voter
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 3 hours ago
The Catholic vote has become the focus of both Democrat presidential hopefuls with Pope Benedict XVI visiting the United States. ...
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI US Trip

Latest On Pope Benedict XVI Trip To The US - Thursday Night

Go Here For Thursday Morning's Extensive Coverage On the Latest On Pope Benedict XVI Trip To America

Find out the world says about our beloved Pope!

Under glorious skies in a DC ballpark packed full of faithful ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - 2 hours ago
By CONRAD WILSON, Star Tribune WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict celebrated his first American mass Thursday at Nationals Park in Washington, calling on US ...
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Times of India, India - 6 hours ago
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Times Online, UK - 6 hours ago
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Guardian, UK - 7 hours ago
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AP Top News at 4:32 pm EDT
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Pope Benedict XVI US Visit News

Extensive News Coverage of Pope Benedict XVI US Visit

Day One Coverage of Pope Benedict's XVI in America . . .

Detroit Free Press, United States - 3 hours ago
BY MIKE WENDLAND • FREE PRESS COLUMNIST • April 17, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States is generating the expected wall-to-wall traditional ...
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The Pope’s visit to the US is testimony to one of the most unexpected transformations that has taken place in the public image of a religious leader. ...
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Houston Chronicle, United States - 11 hours ago
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NPR - 13 hours ago
by Maria Godoy, April 16, 2008 · The image of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church as a globetrotter is a thoroughly 20th-century one: Between ...
Presidents And Popes
CBS News, NY - 21 hours ago
The pontiff makes his first trip to the US, with stops in Washington and New York. (CBS) The relationship between the White House and Vatican spans nearly ...
Bulletproof Popemobile to cruise New York, DC
Chicago Sun-Times, United States - Apr 16, 2008
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The Associated Press - Apr 16, 2008
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The Associated Press - Apr 16, 2008
Some notable moments in the 89-year history of pope-and-president meetings: _President Kennedy's 1963 meeting with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican was historic: ...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Pope Benedict XVI

Prayers For Pope Benedict XVI

Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, we humbly ask that you sustain, inspire, and protect your servant, Pope Benedict XVI. We also ask, O Heavenly Father, that you watch over and protect Pope Benedict and entrust him to the loving care of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima. Through her prayers and maternal love, may Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source: EWTN

Thanks Easter for the reminder.

Happy Birthday to our Dear Papa,
Pope Benedict XVI!

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - Third Sunday of Easter

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute

My Dear People,

Jesus The Gate To Abundant Life

Jesus tells us in the Gospel today, "I am the Sheep Gate." The gate going into the fold was a way to oversee the fold itself. It was also the entry way into the safety of the group. The gate was the only way in and out of the protective pasture. Our Lord is constantly watching over us. Like the shepherd at the gate, Jesus is always going after the lost sheep. They hear and heed His Voice.

When the "gates" of Heaven were closed by Adam and Eve's sin, the Lamb of Sacrifice, Jesus Christ, opened them up again. Jesus is our NEW GATE. Like the walled city of Jerusalem fitted with gates, Heaven too has a protected entry. Jesus is the only avenue into Heaven. Jesus is our source of abundant Life. Jesus is our constant hope. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life of the Church.

May we faithfully follow Jesus and not be led astray by materialism, greed or personal gain.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Monday, April 14, 2008

St. Robert Bellarmine Biography

St. Robert Bellarmine Short Biography

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit, and nephew of Pope Marcellus II, who was born in Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy in 1542, and died in Rome in 1621, was one of the most learned men, and (as is admitted by the Roman catholic party) the most powerful controversialists in defense of the Pope, that the Catholic Church ever produced.

St. Robert Bellarmine, Cardinal Bellarmine, Saint BellarmineIn 1598 he was made cardinal. On his nomination Clement VIII used these remarkable words: "We choose him because the church of God does not possess his equal in learning." In 1602 he was created archbishop of Capua. Having discharged the duties of this office for about four years, he was recalled to Rome by Paul V, who thought his great talents, learning, and zeal, could be better employed in the councils of the papacy. There he remained until his death. His works are very numerous; most of them written in Latin, in a clear and concise style. His greatest work is his Disputations, or Controversies, concerning the main distinctions between the Rome and Protestant Churches, in four volumes, of which the fourth book in the second volume comprises his famous "Notes of the True Church." His controversial works were not then, and have not since been considered as his own mere opinions, but as authorized vindications of the principles and doctrines of the Pope, spiritual and temporal. They were revised, altered, and corrected in later editions, under the authority of the papal government; and now they stand as the most authentic and genuine record of that twin spiritual and temporal power.

So much importance was there attached to his works, that for nearly a century there was scarcely an eminent or learned Protestant in Europe who did not publish answers to his ingenious and alluring sophisms. In England his tract on "Notes of the True Church," were considered so important, from the learning of the man that fifteen of the most distinguished ecclesiastics, including one archbishop and six bishops, published formal and elaborate refutations of them, each man taking a separate tract.

Though no writer of the Catholic Church ever showed more zeal, or urged stronger arguments, to prove that the Pope possessed the power of deposing sovereign princes. Yet his "Treatise about the Power of the Pope in Temporal Matters," while it was condemned by the Catholic parliament of Paris, as dangerous to all civil government His work was placed by order of Sixtus V among the condemned books in the catalogue of the Inquisition, because he asserted that the deposing power of the Pope was indirect, and not direct.

Saint Robert Bellarmine On Almost Becoming Pope

It was often suggested to him that he would be raised to the pontifical chair. Of this promotion he appears to have had a strong dislike; and he has left registered a solemn vow, that if he were elected he would abolish the system of favoritism ; he had previously condemned the lax discipline and immorality of the monastic institutions. Henry IV considering him the least objectionable of the candidates, wished for his election. On the first meeting of the conclave of Leo XI he had a majority of votes. Again, in the conclave of Paul V it was seriously designed by many to nominate him. Some say he wasn't elected because he was too honest and was a Jesuit.

His uncle, Marcellus II one day exclaimed in his hearing, "I do not see how those sitting in this high place (the Papal chair) can well be saved." Cardinal Bellarmine, in answer to the question, why so few cardinals were in the catalog of saints, "Because they aspire to be Pope" which means, that the qualities necessary in a saint were at variance with those necessary in a good Pope.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pope Marcellus II - St. Bellarmine's Uncle

Pope Marcellus II Biography

St. Robert Bellarmine's Uncle


Born 6 May, 1501, at Montepulciano in Tuscany; died 6 May, 1555, at Rome. His father, Ricardo Cervini, was Apostolic treasurer in the time at Siena, he came to Rome, shortly after the accession of Clement VII, in 1523, to continue his studies, and through his purity of life and longing for knowledge gained the respect and friendship of many persons of high influence. Paul III, who had succeeded Clement VII in 1534, appointed him prothonotary apostolic and papal secretary. When, in 1538, Paul III entrusted his youthful nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, with practically the complete management of the temporal affairs of the Church, the prudent and virtuous Cervini was appointed the adviser and private secretary of the young and inexperienced cardinal and as such had a great influence in the papal curia. He accompanied Farnese on his various legations, and in order that he might take actual part in the consultations and negotiations between Farnese and the monarchs of Europe he was created cardinal-priest of the title of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 19 December, 1539. He had already been appointed to the See of Nicastro, in addition to which he became administrator of the Diocese of Reggio the following year and that of Gubbio in 1544. In 1539 he accompanied Farnese on an important legation to Charles V of Germany and Francis I of France. The purpose of this legation was to induce the two monarchs to send the prelates of their countries to the intended General Council of the Church and to gain their assistance against Henry VIII of England and the Turks.

Pope Marcellus II, Pope Marcellus II BiographyThey had an audience with Francis I at Amiens on 9 February, 1540, and with the emperor at Ghent on the twenty-fourth of the same month, but their mission proved useless. They were already returning to Rome when Cervini received orders from the pope to stay as legate at the imperial court and to represent him at the Diet which the emperor wished to convene at Speyer. When, however, it became evident that the Protestants would be predominant at the Diet and had no desire to come to an understanding with the Catholics, the pope counteracted his order and sent no representative to the Diet which in the meantime had been transferred to Hagenau. In October, 1540, Cervini returned to Rome, not, however, before he had urgently requested the pope to send a representative to the intended Diet of Worms. In a consistory held at Rome on 6 February, 1545, he was appointed one of the three presidents of the Council of Trent. His two colleagues were Cardinals Giovanni Maria del Monte (afterwards Julius III) and Reginald Pole. On 13 March, 1545, he arrived at Trent. During the first period of the Council, i.e. from its opening session on 13 December, 1545, until its prorogation for an indefinite period at Bologna on 14 September, 1547, he fearlessly represented the interests of the pope and the Church against all opposition from the emperor, whose extreme hatred he in consequence incurred. In 1548 he succeeded Agostino Steuco as librarian of the Vatican with the title of "Bibliothecæ Apostolicæ Vaticanæ Protector". Under his protectorate the Vatican library was soon put in a flourishing condition. More than 500 Latin, Greek and Hebrew volumes were added, and new catalogues of the Greek and Latin manuscripts were prepared. As early as 1539 he had induced the pope to have printed at least the most valuable Greek manuscripts. Cervini's public activity was less prominent during the pontificate of Julius III (1550-5). He was replaced as president of the Council of Trent by Marcello Crescenzi in the hope that the emperor would give his support to the presidents of the Council.

After the death of Julius III (23 March, 1555), the cardinals present in Rome, 3 in number, entered the conclave on 4 April, and four days later Cardinal Marcello Cervini was elected pope, although the emperor had instructed his cardinals to prevent his election. Contrary to custom, Cervini, like Adrian VI, retained his old name of Marcello and was called Marcellus II. On the following day, 10 April, he was consecrated bishop, for, though he had administered the Dioceses of Nicastro, Reggio, and Gubbio, he had not yet received episcopal consecration. He was crowned pope on the same day, but without the customary solemnity, on account of the Lenten season. The new pope had been one of those cardinals who were desirous of an inner reform of the Church. While administrator of Reggio he undertook a thorough visitation of the diocese in 1543, and abolished abuses wherever they were found. Immediately upon his accession he took the work of reform in hand; he died after a reign of only 22 days, of a sickness resulting from overexertion during the pontifical functions of Holy Week and Easter. Palestrina entitled one of his famous polyphonic masses "Missa Papæ Marcelli" in his honour. This mass was not, however, as is often asserted, chanted in the presence of Marcellus II; it was not composed until after the death of this pope.

Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dying Peacefully After 105 Years

When Gerald was younger, we took the family to go see this friend of the family. It was Rose who made the connection with him. Of course she would with those beautiful blue eyes, blonde curly hair and the three year old voice of a tiny angel. Here was Gerald effortlessly holding Rose in his lap telling her stories about her Great Grandpa Harkey. His brain was sharp for being 104 years old at the time. Until recently, the Great, Great, Great Grandpa was still walking. Yesterday, lying in bed with an oxygen mask, we saw him again.

"Hello, Gerald! It's one of Harkey's grandkids." He really doesn't know me well, but that doesn't stop me from taking the kids to the nursing home to see him.

His glazed eyes twinkled and his heart smiled when he recognized good ol' Harkey's name (my grandpa). It was a short stay, yet one I will never forget. I don't recall if he ever said anything that day his presence, his closeness with God did all the talking.

What a witness God has given us to follow. Praise the Lord!

The next day during the car pool with three other co-workers, leaning towards despair a one of the ladies said. "We saw Grandpa Gerald last night, it's not looking good. No solids for two weeks and his digestive system isn't isn't working." She was close to tears.

Grandpa Gerald? That was news to me. "Gerald is your Grandpa? I had no idea, when were you there? We must have just missed each other." Strangely enough her mood noticeably became more peaceful with the comment. Yes, Gerald is a great prayer warrior already bearing fruit.

"Look! Over There!"

Why was one of the car poolers interrupting the conversation to point to some clouds? Selfishly, I thought it was rude, until I followed her finger.

There it was, a sign! On this dark cloudy morning with absolutely no rain in site was the base of a beautiful rainbow.

beautiful rainbow, rainbow landscape, double rainbow

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Father John Corapi's Conversion Story

Father John Corapi Unplugged: His Remarkable Conversion Story

Order your free Father John Corapi Conversion Story through Catholicity online now!

About the Speaker: Father John Corapi

Father John Corapi is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. The pillars of his preaching are love for the Blessed Virgin Mary which leads to a loving relationship with Jesus Christ and great love and reverence for the Holy Eucharist, as well as an uncompromising love for and obedience to the Holy Father and the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. His widely acclaimed series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church entitled The Teaching of Jesus Christ is used throughout the world as a course in religious education and catechesis. more »
More about Father John Corapi's Amazing Story

Father John Corapi's Amazing Story is just that: amazing. You'll have to listen to it yourself to appreciate how one man can go from the utter depths of despair to the heights of supernatural contentment.

Because it was the first recording released to the general public featuring Father JohnCorapi, virtually no one in America knew who he was at the time. Of course, Father John Corapi has since become one of the most influential Catholic speakers of our times, appearing at countless conferences, parish missions, as well as regularly on EWTN, the global Catholic television network.

Many believe that he has the ineffable power of God fueling his speaking ability, giving him supernatural influence beyond the meaning of his words.

We warmly invite you to experience this miraculous talk in your own way.

Order your free Father John Corapi Conversion Story through Catholicity online now

Father John Corapi Conversion Story Testimonial

My husband and I have never been the same since receiving Father John Corapi's free CD two years ago. Since then, we've traveled far to see him. We listen to his tapes daily and share them with our family and friends. we ALL love the truth and he speaks ONLY the truth. Father Corapi is surely a prophet in the new millennium!
... from Cindy in New York
Information taken from Catholicity

Did You Know:

Father John Corapi has a parathyroid tumor!

Original Father John Corapi Post Concerning His Tumor Here:

Fr. Corapi's Conversion Story - Condensed You Tube Version

Monday, April 7, 2008

Logan, the Sky Angel Cowboy

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - Third Sunday of Easter

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute

My Dear People,

The Road To Emmaus

road to emmausThe Easter account on the road to Emmaus shows us how much Jesus desires for all to be fed by His Word and His Body. The disciples were prevented from recognizing Jesus, because their hearts did not hear His Word. Their minds were closed. After breaking open the Holy Scriptures for them, He then blessed the bread, broke it, gave it to them and said, "Take and EAT! Jesus was saying Holy Mass for these disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Immediately, their eyes were opened, and Jesus vanished from their sight. The early Christians repeated this celebration of Word and Sacrament. It is why we still do the same 2000 years later. At Holy Mass, Jesus breaks open the Scriptures for us. Then, He feeds us with His Body and Blood. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, our eyes can be opened to His Holy Presence as well. We must hunger for the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, as did His holy disciples. Ask for this holy grace, and you will receive it abundantly.

May we always hunger for the Divine Mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Saturday, April 5, 2008

There Are Two, Father

"Out of the Mouth of Babes..."

Fr. Brendan This story comes from Father "teaching" a little girl during confession.

In this case, a 7 year-old girl walked into the confessional and hopped into the chair a few feet in front of me. I said “Hi” and she returned a big smile and said “Hi”. I asked her “how many people are in this room?” She looked around as if to say "is someone hiding here" and then responded “two”. I smiled back and asked “then where is God” and without hesitation or thought she quickly responded “where you’re sitting” Wow. After 9 years of the seminary I am learning from a 7 year-old about God and the theology of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. She is right of course. God is not a third person in the confessional. Where the priest is, there is Christ. “Out of the mouth of babes you have found perfect praise.” (Psalm 8)

Flowers To Cheer You Up

garden flowers, black eyed susan daisy

Flowers to cheer you up!
Created at Mostly Prayers

Thank you Easter, for the cheering up.

Give this to 2 or 3 bloggers that may need a smile or a (((hug))).
Leave a message in their combox to let them know
you have a surprise for them.

I will give this to the fellows at Catholic Dads.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Father John Corapi Has Parathyroid Tumor!

Father John Corapi, Father John Corapi Tumor

Father John Corapi To Be Operated On In Mayo Clinic!

This is Posted on Free Republic by NYer:

Bottom line, Father John Corapi has a parathyroid tumor and will be going back to the Mayo Clinic next week for surgery. It's a very rare (6 in 1 million men get it), tumor, which is 98% of the time, not cancerous. The good news is they ruled out lymphoma which is what they thought he had. He goes through great detail explaining and extolling the Mayo Clinic, his tests, and our obligation to keep our bodies as healthy as we can.

He also said for the past 7 months he was too sick to get out bed 70% of the time; intense exhaustion with flu like symptoms (a result of the excess calcium this type of tumor causes, in addition to osteoporosis). Surgery is the only cure.

As you might suspect, he turned his experience into a redemptive suffering lecture, reminding us that God's true power comes via our weakness. He also touched on what I've seen more and more recently especially among strong Catholics close to Mary and who offer their sufferings and that is the obvious; how much the world right now needs the help of redemption from the souls willing and able to offer it back to Christ via Mary, united to the cross. I'm sure most of us figured out it was pretty obvious that God needed Father Corapi's suffering especially during Holy Week.

He talked in fairly great detail about his week of tests; including the anxiety for his family, about maybe "checking out", i.e., having cancer, etc. In his forever wit, he joked about the benefit and happiness of dying (except for the pain to his family), rather than having to endure and see the face of a "certain" next US President. He quite seriously said death would be better than having to endure the next likely president for four years.. Yikes!

Anyway, please spread the world to keep Father C in your prayers. His favorite prayer is the Memorare, which is what he asked be prayed for him when he was first admitted to the Mayo Clinic.

He wrapped up his segment with the profound words from his thesis on redemptive suffering:

To be set at the foot of the cross is to be set at the pinnacle of all human possibilities.

Original Father John Corapi Post Concerning His Sickness Here:

Fr. Corapi's Conversion Story - Condensed You Tube Version