Happy Friday the 13th.
According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century. Several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.
- In numerology, the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
- Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century. Many have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
On the other hand, another theory maintains that the superstition can be traced back to ancient myth:
- A tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil – a gathering of thirteen – and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”]
Another theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 – Friday the 13th.
41 days till CHRISTmas,
and 16 days till the beginning of the ADVENT season
“HO, HO , HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Humor of the Day:
When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there .
From the Apostles Creed, (continued):
“… AND LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN”
Eternal life began at baptism as a life conferred by holiness. There are two dimensions of everlasting life – here on earth, and in the world to come (heaven or hell). Everlasting life is natural to God alone, and is nothing less than a participation in the very life of God, by grace here, and glory in heaven.
God is the Alpha and the Omega. God alone is without beginning because He always existed, and will always exist. His very essence is to exist; God cannot ‘NOT’ exist. It is a share in this very life of the Trinity that we are privileged to possess in time, and destined to enjoy with God when He calls us into eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
The Catholic Church has identified heaven as a place and condition of perfect happiness, consisting primarily in the beatific vision of God, which will be intuitive, and not the result of mental reasoning or reflection. It will be a face-to-face vision of the Blessed Trinity; nothing standing between the soul and God. We will have a direct perception of who God is, with no channel or medium between our soul, and God. It will be so intimate that we may compare it with knowledge of ourselves. And finally, God will reveal Himself plainly, openly, and clearly because He will disclose Himself personally.
“My dear people,” the Apostle John wrote, “we are already the children of God. But what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed. All we know is that when it is revealed we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as He really is” (I John 3:2).
What a beautiful present. I can’t wait to open it someday; with God’s grace.
Information from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini 1850-1917
Born in 1850 at Sant’Angelo di Lodi in Lombardy, Mary Frances Cabrini was the youngest in a peasant family of 13 children. Even as a child she was known for her piety and love of prayer; and she dreamed of being a missionary in China. At 18 she received her teacher’s certificate; and when her parents died the following year, she sought admission in two different sisterhoods but was rejected because of her poor health. During the next 10 years she devoted herself to teaching and directing a school for orphans, and satisfied her zeal by giving catechism instructions and visiting the poor during free time. During a smallpox epidemic in 1872 she did heroic work as a nurse.
But Mary Frances still wanted to be a missionary; and in 1880, with the encouragement of the bishop of Lodi, she and a few companions took up their residence in a former Franciscan Friary and thus founded a new religious community, namely the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Previously Mother Frances Xavier, as Mary Frances was now called, had been an exemplary Tertiary of St. Francis of Assisi.
In 1888 Mother Cabrini’s institute received the approval of the Holy See; and the next year Pope Leo XIII directed her to go to the United States, and to make the Italian emigrants in that country the object of her charitable and apostolic work. With six companions, Mother Cabrini arrived in the United States on March 31, 1889; and, though she also visited Central and South America, she spent the greater part of her remaining life in the United States. She became a United States citizen at Seattle in 1909.
Mother Cabrini suffered from fevers for months at a time, but she kept up her amazing activities for God and for souls until she died at Columbus Hospital in Chicago on December 22, 1917, at the age of 67. When the cause of her beatification was commenced in 1928, her sisters, 2,000 in number, were caring for 67 institutions in 8 countries of America and Europe. She was beatified in 1938, and canonized in 1946, the first United States citizen to be thus raised to the full honors of the altar.
St. Frances Xavier “Mother of the Emigrants” Cabrini’s body rests beneath the high altar in the chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, in the northernmost part of Manhattan, New York City.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:
As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ. A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.