22nd Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Martyrdom of John the Baptist
- · Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations (occasionally)
- · Today in Catholic History
- · Catholic Apologetics
- · A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day
- · Reflection on OFS General Constitutions
Today is the Feast of the “Martyrdom of John the Baptist”. It is a holy day observed by various Christian churches which follow liturgical traditions. The day commemorates the martyrdom – – by beheading – – of Saint John the Baptist on the orders of Herod Antipas, “Tetrarch” or sub-king of Galilee under the Roman Empire.
According to the Synoptic Gospels, Herod had imprisoned John because he rebuke Herod for divorcing his wife (Phasaelis), and unlawfully taking Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I. On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter (traditionally named Salome) danced before the king and his guests. Her seductive and erotic dancing pleased Herod so much, that in his drunkenness, he promised to give her anything she desired, up to half of his kingdom. When the daughter asked her mother what she should request from Herod, she was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although Herod was appalled by the request, he reluctantly agreed and had John executed in the prison.
Like John the Baptist, I believe we all have a “calling” to which we must hear and hopefully CARRY OUT. No one will ever repeat the mission of John the Baptist. However, all of us are called to that very same mission in our own separate lives. Why(?): It is the very role of EVERY Catholic Christian – – witnessing to Jesus through our individual, unique lives. Whatever position or title one has in this world, they are called to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. By our words and deeds others should realize we live in the joy of knowing Jesus as the “One” true Lord promised by the prophets. We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources in witnessing to Jesus, as we can draw strength and power from the infinite vastness of Christ’s saving grace working in our lives with, in, and through the Holy Spirit.
Seven Years ago today, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated ALL of the U.S. Gulf Coast – – from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle – – claiming more than 1,836 souls, and causing a devastation of over $115 billion in damage.
Another hurricane – – Isaac – – has come aground near New Orleans today. Let us all please keep everyone in the storm’s path in our prayers.
† 1178 – Anti-Pope Callistus III gives pope title to Alexander III
† 1261 – Jacques Pantaleon elected as Pope Urban IV
† 1484 – Giovanni B Cibo elected as Pope Innocent VIII
† 1799 – Death of Pius VI, [Giovanni A Braschi], Italian Pope (1775-99), dies at 71
† 1844 – Death of Edmund Ignatius Rice, Irish founder of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers (b. 1762)
† 1994 – Death of Jean-Marie Vincent, Haitian Catholic priest, shot dead
† Feast/Memorials: Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic Church commemorate the beheading of John the Baptist with a feast day.
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
My reason and purpose for this section on my blog is to provide “scriptural confirmation” for our beliefs and doctrines, not to cause dissention or opposition with my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, yet not in union with the Roman Catholic Church. Whether God speaks to us through the “Bible”, or through “Tradition”, it is the Holy Spirit who inspires the “Word” from which all authentic tradition flows.
Tradition can be separated into two aspects: oral and behavioral. Oral tradition includes written forms. After all, it ALL started with oral tradition. Behavioral tradition includes Baptism, Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, Laying on of hands for healing, Intercessory prayer, and Ordination.
All Scriptural verses are taken from both the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible and the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep’” (John 21:15-17) RSV.
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17) KJV.
When he died at the age of 23, Louis was already a Franciscan, a bishop and a saint!
Louis’s parents were Charles II of Naples and Sicily and Mary, daughter of the King of Hungary. Louis was related to St. Louis IX on his father’s side and to Elizabeth of Hungary on his mother’s side. (St. Louis IX and St. Elizabeth of Hungary are the two Patron saints of the Secular Franciscan Order [OFS].)
Louis showed early signs of attachment to prayer and to the corporal works of mercy. As a child he used to take food from the castle to feed the poor. When he was 14, Louis and two of his brothers were taken as hostages to the king of Aragon’s court as part of a political deal involving Louis’s father. At the court Louis was tutored by Franciscan friars under whom he made great progress both in his studies and in the spiritual life. Like St. Francis he developed a special love for those afflicted with leprosy.
While he was still a hostage, Louis decided to renounce his royal title and become a priest. When he was 20, he was allowed to leave the king of Aragon’s court. He renounced his title in favor of his brother Robert and was ordained the next year. Very shortly after, he was appointed bishop of Toulouse, but the pope agreed to Louis’s request to become a Franciscan first.
The Franciscan spirit pervaded Louis. “Jesus Christ is all my riches; he alone is sufficient for me,” Louis kept repeating. Even as a bishop he wore the Franciscan habit and sometimes begged. He assigned a friar to offer him correction — in public if necessary — and the friar did his job.
Louis’s service to the Diocese of Toulouse was richly blessed. In no time he was considered a saint. Louis set aside 75 percent of his income as bishop to feed the poor and maintain churches. Each day he fed 25 poor people at his table.
Louis was canonized in 1317 by Pope John XXII, one of his former teachers.
When Cardinal Hugolino, the future Pope Gregory IX, suggested to Francis that some of the friars would make fine bishops, Francis protested that they might lose some of their humility and simplicity if appointed to those positions. Those two virtues are needed everywhere in the Church, and Louis shows us how they can be lived out by bishops.
“All the faithful were edified by the fervor of his devout celebration of Mass, the efficacy of his deep humility, his tender compassion, his upright life, the harmonious congruity in all his actions, words and bearing. Who without wonderment could look upon a most charming young man, the son of so mighty a king, outstanding for his generosity, raised to such dignity, renowned for his influence, preeminent for humility, living a life of such mortification, endowed with such wisdom, clothed in so poor a habit yet renowned for the charm of his discourse and a shining example of upright life?” (contemporary biography).
Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
One Wednesday a month, I will post an article from the OFS General Constitution, NAFRA Statutes, or other Franciscan documents. Three other 3-4 weeks of each month I will still continue to post two articles from the OFS Rules.
OFS GENERAL CONSTITUTIONS
THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER
1. All the faithful are called to holiness and have a right to follow their own spiritual way in communion with the Church.
2. [Rule 1] There are many spiritual families in the Church with different charisms. Among these families, the Franciscan Family, which in its various branches recognizes St. Francis of Assisi as its father, inspiration, and model, must be included.
3. [Rule 2] From the beginning, the Secular Franciscan Order has had its own proper place in the Franciscan Family. It is formed by the organic union of all the Catholic fraternities whose members, moved by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves through profession to live the Gospel in the manner of St. Francis, in their secular state, following the Rule approved by the Church.
4. The Holy See has entrusted the pastoral care and spiritual assistance of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO), because it belongs to the same spiritual family, to the Franciscan First Order and Third Order Regular (TOR). These are the “Institutes” who are responsible for the altius moderamen, referred to by Canon 303 of the Code of Canon Law.
5. The Secular Franciscan Order is a public association in the Church. It is divided into fraternities at various levels: local, regional, national, and international. Each one has its own juridical personality within the Church.