Our Lady of Providence

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Our Lady of Providence

This title of Mary has roots in Scripture. It is often attributed to Mary’s intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ’s first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.

Among the master artists of the sixteenth century, Italy produced one Scipione Pulzone (1550-1588) who, because of the excellence of his works, has been styled by connoisseurs the “Roman Van Dyke.” Born at Gaeta, he is commonly known as “Gaetano.” Surpassing in fame his Crucifixion in the Vallicella, his Assumption in the church of San Sylvester on Mt. Cavallo, and his other works in the Palais Borghese and the gallery of Florence is his now-immortal Mater Divinae Providentiae. In 1664, this exquisite painting fell providentially into the hands of the Barnabite Fathers in charge of the church of San Carlo a Catinari in Rome, who thereupon erected a humble shrine. Soon all Romans came to visit it and were rewarded with extraordinary favours. Grateful pilgrims left votive tablets which today are so many historical pages proving the intercessory power of the Mother of God. In 1774, His Holiness Benedict XIV established the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence. Endowed in succession with many privileges by Pius VII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Pius XI, the Confraternity spread from Italy to Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, China, South America, Mexico, the Isles of Crete and Malta. Tourists to Puerto Rico may see, over the main altar of the cathedral of San Juan, the statue of Our Lady of Providence, the Patroness of the Island. Continue reading

St. Pontian

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St. Pontian, Pope and Martyr

THE LIBERIAN Calendar informs us that this pope sat five years from the death of St. Urban, in 230, the church then enjoying peace in the reign of Alexander Severus. But Maximinus, who, by contriving the assassination of the best of the Roman emperors, in May, 235, opened to himself a way to the imperial throne, began his reign by raising a bloody persecution. He was by birth a barbarian, a native of Thrace, and of a gigantic stature: for his cruelty towards all men he is surnamed Busiris, Typhon, and Phalaris, and was a monster of gluttony. St. Pontian was banished by him in the beginning of his reign into the isle of Sardinia, where he died the same year, if not by the sword, at least by the hardships of his exile and the unhealthfulness of the air. See Tillemont, t. 3.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Landgravine of
Hesse and Thuringia

St. Elizabeth, a model of devotion and purity to those who live singly, a mirror of love and retirement for married people, a most perfect example of patience for widows, and whose virtues deserve to be followed by all, high and low, was born in Hungary. She was a daughter of Andrew II., King of Hungary, and of Gertrude, daughter of the Duke of Carinthia. According to the Roman Breviary, Elizabeth began in early childhood to fear God, and increased in piety with age. The walk she loved best of all was going to church, where she prayed with angelic devotion, and whence it was a difficult task to bring her home, as her greatest delight consisted in praying. At the door of the church, she always took off the jewelled coronet which she wore, and when asked why she did this, she replied: “God forbid that I should ever appear with such a crown before the face of Him who was crowned with thorns, and who, out of love for me, was nailed to the cross.” She called Mary, the divine Mother, her mother, and entertained great devotion towards St. John, the Apostle and Evangelist, whom she chose as the special protector of her chastity. She never refused what was asked of her in the name of the Blessed Virgin or in that of St. John. The money allotted to her for her recreation, she gave to the poor, requesting them to say the Ave Maria. She was an enemy to luxury, vain adornments and idleness. Nature had not only bestowed upon her unusual personal beauty, but had also endowed her with great qualities of mind. Continue reading


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LIX. The Hierarchy

The Church is a closely organized and united society, including the hierarchy and the faithful. All members render loving obedience to the infallible Vicar of Christ. The Pope does not rule as a proud monarch, but as a Father, the representative of God; as a good Shepherd, solicitous for each member of the great flock. The unquestioning obedience of the faithful is responsible for the wonderful unity among the members of the Church throughout the world. There are about four hundred twenty-five million Catholics, all submitting to the hierarchy, at the head of which is the Pope.

What is the hierarchy? –The hierarchy is the organization in successive grades of the ruling powers of the Church.

The hierarchy is the “teaching Church,” the ruling body composed of the priests with their bishops and the Pope above all. It is an army of leaders having care and control of the holy and sacred things of the Church.

Under this army of the “teaching Church” is the “hearing Church–the faithful, the laity.

The members of the hierarchy differ in two ways: in the power of orders, and in the power of jurisdiction.
The power of orders is given by the sacrament of ordination, It is the power to sanctify, a permanent spiritual power that no earthly authority can take away. The power of jurisdiction is given by a superior, to enable a subject to exercise his spiritual authority lawfully. This power may be limited and revoked by legitimate authority. Continue reading

Instruction for the Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost {Resumed Sixth Sunday after Epiphany}

Instruction for the Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost {Resumed Sixth Sunday after Epiphany}

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

[For the Introit of this day’s Mass see the Introit of the third Sunday after Epiphany.]

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that ever fixing our thoughts on such things as are reasonable, we may both in our words and works do what is pleasing in Thy sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

EPISTLE (I. Thess. I. 2-10.) Brethren, we give thanks to God for you all, making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing; being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father: knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election: for our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned, to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised from the dead), Jesus, who both delivered us from the wrath to come. Continue reading