St. Peter Celestine

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St. Peter Celestine, Pope and Founder of a Religious Order

Peter Celestine, a holy hermit, founder of the order of Celestine monks, was born in Isernia, in the county of Abruzzo. In early youth he gave clear indications of the virtues and holiness for which he afterwards became renowned. When scarcely six years old he one day said to his mother: “Mother I will some day become a true servant of the Almighty.” His future life made these words true. Having been sufficiently instructed in the sciences, he retired for two years into a dark forest, led by the desire to serve God. At first he shared the dwelling of another virtuous hermit, but afterwards he lived alone in a hut. Persuaded by one of his friends, he went to Rome, was ordained priest and entered the Order of St. Benedict. With the permission of the Abbot, however, he left the monastery, and resumed his solitary life on Mount Morroni; hence he is sometimes called Peter of Morroni.
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St. Pudentiana

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St. Pudentiana, Virgin

This same nineteenth of May has another glory attached to it; it is the day on which died the noble virgin Pudentiana. That name carries us back to the very first Age of the Christian Church. She was a daughter of a wealthy Roman, called Pudens, who was a kinsman of the Pudens spoken of by St. Paul, in his second Epistle to Timothy (II. Tim. iv. 21). She and her sister Praxedes had the honour of being numbered among the earliest members of the Church, and both of them consecrated their virginity to Jesus Christ. Upon their father’s death, the two sisters distributed their fortune to the poor, and devoted their whole time to good works. It was the eve of the Persecution under Antoninus. Pudentiana, though scarcely sixteen years of age, was ripe for heaven, and winged her flight to her Divine Spouse, when the storm was at its height. Her sister survived her many years: we shall commemorate her saintly memory on the 21st of July.

Pudentiana’s house, which, in her grandfather’s time, had been honoured by St. Peter’s presence, was made over, by the holy virgin herself, to Pope Pius the First, and the divine mysteries were celebrated in it. It is now one of the most venerable Churches of Rome, and is the Station for the Tuesday of the third week of Lent.

Pudentiana is a tender floweret offered to our Risen Jesus by the Roman Church. Time has diminished naught of the fair lily’s fragrance; and pure as her very name, her memory will live in the hearts of the Christian people, even to the end of the world. The eulogy passed upon her by the holy Liturgy is but a commemoration; and yet it says so much, and will say it each year, as long as time itself shall last.

The virgin Pudentiana was daughter of the Roman (Senator) Pudens. Having lost her parents, and being most exemplary in her practice of the Christian Religion, she sold, with her sister Praxedes’ consent, her possessions, gave the money to the poor, and devoted herself to fasting and prayer. It was through her influence, that her whole household, which consisted of ninety-six persons, was baptised by Pope Pius. In consequence of the decree issued by the emperor Antoninus, which forbade the Christians to offer sacrifice publicly, Pope Pius celebrated the holy mysteries in Pudentiana’s house, and the Christians assembled there to assist at the celebration. She received them with much charity, and provided them with all the necessaries of life. She died in the practice of these Christian and pious duties, and, on the fourteenth, of the Calends of June (May 19), was buried in her father’s tomb, in the Priscilla Cemetery, which is on the Salarian Road.

Prayer:

Like the dove of Noe’s Ark, that found not where to rest her feet on the guilty earth, thou tookest thy flight, O Pudentiana, and restedst in the bosom of Jesus, thy Spouse. Thus will it be at the end of the world, when the souls of the Elect shall have been reunited to their bodies: they will fly, like eagles to their King, and will cluster around him, as the object of all their desires (St. Matth. xxiv. 28). They will flee from this sinful earth, as thou didst from the abominations of Pagan-Rome, that was drunk with the blood of the Martyrs (Apoc. xvii. 6). We celebrate thy departure, dear youthful Saint, with a feeling of hope for our own future deliverance; we honour thy reaching thy Jesus, and we long to be there, together with thee. Oh! get us detachment from all transitory things, intenser love of the New Life which came to us with Easter, and indifference as to what concerns that other lower life, which is not that of our Risen Lord. Thou wast a daughter of the holy Church of Rome; pray, then, for thy mother. She is suffering now, in the days of Pius the Ninth, as she did during the pontificate of Pius the First. After having reigned over Christian nations for centuries, she is now abandoned and disowned by the very people that owe all they have to her, and yet are now turning her own blessings against her. Use thine influence, O Pudentiana! assist and protect thine and our dearest mother.

A Right Intention in All Things

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A Right Intention in All Things

CHRIST:

MY CHILD, in all things I want you to have a right intention. That means that I want you to have a supernatural purpose in whatever you think, do, or say. Whether you seek to avoid hell, diminish your purgatory, or gain Heaven, such motives are supernatural, and therefore they are right intentions. True, you are often unaware of your motives, but as long as you are not in mortal sin, and your action agrees with My law, you have a right intention.

2. A right intention, however, may have different degrees of perfection. Thus, when you do something simply to please Me, your intention is higher than if you think of your own advantage. Still, whatever be the degree of your right intention, it always seeks to fulfill My Will, and it always brings you a greater good than any intention which seeks only your earthly welfare.

3. Regardless of feelings, moods, prejudices, or preferences, strive to maintain a right intention at all times. As soon as your natural desires contradict My Will, check them as you would check any other foolish intention.

4. Do not let life’s daily events disturb nor affect you too much. Seek to know My Will and to accept it in all things. With this pure intention, you will have a deep interior peace. This is My gift to those who let Me govern their lives.

5. A person’s intention tends to become dim as he proceeds through his daily occupations. Gradually he is influenced more by pleasure or self-satisfaction. Therefore, renew your pure intention at different times during the day. Offer Me each activity and avoid anything which might lead you into sin.

6. Recall your heavenly goal from time to time. Let there be nothing great, nothing high, nothing pleasant, nothing acceptable to you unless it helps you to follow My Will. Consider all useless consolations and sinful pleasures as so much worthless money.

7. One who truly loves Me, hates everything which holds him back from Me. I alone, the eternal, infinite God, the perfect joy of the soul, can bring true peace and unending happiness to your heart.

THINK:
Where are the pleasures and joys of last year? Gone and forgotten. If they made me worse, I shall find death and judgment a little harder to face. Why do I fail to value things according to God’s way of thinking? He wants me to live a sinless and useful life. Even my pleasures should improve me in some way, and make me better able to do my work. Heaven is far greater than I can ever deserve. Still I should try each day to be a little less unworthy of it.

PRAY:
Lord, what You say is true. Grant that I may follow Your words in my daily life. Your truth shall teach me, guide me, and protect me. May it deliver me from all evil desires and foolish love. Let me esteem nothing as great, or valuable, or wonderful, except insofar as it makes me better and more pleasing in Your eyes. In this way I shall never be a slave of this earth, but shall walk daily towards Heaven with a holy freedom of heart. Amen.

INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

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

The Introit of this days Mass is a canticle of praise and thanks:

INTROIT Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle alleluia; because the Lord hath done wonderful things, alleluia; he hath revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. His right hand hath wrought for him salvation; and his arm is holy. (Ps. XCII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will: grant unto Thy people to love what Thou commandest, and to desire what thou dost promise; that amidst the various changes of the world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys abide. Through etc.

EPISTLE (James I. 17‑21.) Dearly beloved, Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger: for the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Continue reading