Humor of the Day:
If God is your copilot, swap seats.
Jesus Dies on the Cross,
The 5th Sorrow of Mary – John 19: 28-37
Mary stood under Jesus’ cross as He was put to death. Her heart was pierced with a sword. His Heart was pierced with a lance. What came forth was blood and water, the sacramental life of the Church.
And a sword, too, shall pierce your heart, O Mary!
Mary, along with another Mary, and Mary Magdalen were the only ones of His disciples that stayed with Jesus for the entire morbid events of Jesus’ life. All of Jesus’ closest disciples, the Apostles who said they would never abandon Chist, did just that.
Mary was there when Jesus was pierced into the heart, with a lance. She was there when His blood and water flowed from His chest wound. The blood for mortality and Jesus’ salvation. The water of purity and a symbol of our baptism with Christ, for our salvation. This, I Believe, is why water and wine are mingled in the chalice; so that we can gain salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice. (Maybe this is why I truly love praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.)
Mary’s heart was pierced as well. I am sure Mary wanted to die as well. How could anything be darker for Mary, and for all Christians.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. John of Capistrano 1385-1456
St. John was born on June 24, 1385, and was later identified as Capistran, from Capistrano, the place of his birth.
After he had completed his studies in law at the University of Perugia, he became a lawyer in Naples, where he gained so admirable a reputation for his honesty and ability that King Ladislas frequently called him in for advice.
John was not yet 30 years old when the king made him governor of Perugia. He had repaired to a neighboring town, where war had broken out, in order to arrange for a peaceful settlement. He was treacherously seized, loaded with heavy chains, and thrown into prison. No one bothered about releasing him. Then, quite strangely, a Franciscan surrounded with light appeared to him, and invited him to leave this unstable world and enter his order. Capistran replied: “I had never thought about embracing such a life; still, if God so wills it, I will obey.”
At a great price he now obtained his freedom and begged for admission at the convent of the Franciscans in Perugia. After a rigorous trial of his humility, he received the holy habit on October 4, 1416. When he began the study of theology under St. Bernardin of Siena shortly after he had pronounced his vows, it seemed as if he acquired his holy science more through divine inspiration than through human reflection.
While still a deacon, he was sent out to preach in 1420; but not until 1425 did he begin his apostolic ministry. He began in Italy by taking up the struggle against vice. His former position in the world made him acquainted with the enormity of the evil, against which he now rose like another Elias. His burning words, his ardent zeal, and the holiness of his life caused veritable miracles of conversion. People came from every side to hear him, soon no church was large enough to accommodate the crowds. Sometimes 50,000, 80,000, and even more than 100,000 persons would gather about his pulpit in public squares and broad fields to listen to his sermons. His very appearance touched their hearts.
His presence was requested everywhere, and he was received like an angel from heaven. But amid the demonstrations of honor, the servant of God would always say: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory.”
The pope once entrusted him with the mission against a certain heretical sect, and the eminent success of his labor caused him thereafter to be sent by Popes Martin V, Eugene IV, Nicholas V, and Callistus III as apostolic nuncio to northern and southern Italy, to Sicily, and other countries, to preach against the enemies of the Church.
The last five years of his active life were devoted to missionary labors in Germany. Emperor Frederick III begged the Holy Father in 1451 to send the renowned missionary to him to put a check on the scandalous advances of the heretical Hussites. He cured innumerable sick persons, raised dead people to life again, and with only his mantle spread upon the waters, crossed rivers with several companions. Seeing these prodigies, some of the most obdurate heretics were converted, and hundreds of young people asked for admission into the order.
Although he was now 70 years of age, and so reduced by labor and austerity that he seemed to be nothing but skin and bone, the saint rushed, like the flying messenger of Christ that he was, about Germany and Hungary, summoning volunteers for the war against the enemy of the Christian name. With the troops he had assembled, he then hastened to Belgrade to aid the gallant warrior Hunyady.
An army of several thousand Turks was encamped before the fortress, but Capistran did not allow that to frighten him. Filled with confidence in the holy name of Jesus, he led the troops against the enemies, who were at least ten times stronger than the Christians. More Turks were slain in the attack by the enthusiastic warriors of Christ than the number of the Christian soldiers, and the rest fled in panic. Once more Christian Europe was saved.
This glorious victory on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen in 1456 was destined to be the crown of John’s activities. He fell ill soon afterwards, and died in the Franciscan convent of Illok in Hungary on October 23rd. Glorified by God after his death with numerous miracles, he was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII in 1690.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)