Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Catholic Scientist Admonishes "Genetic Sorcerers"

Note: The following is excerpted from an article on
The life of Professor Jerome Lejeune (1926-1994) is worth knowing, and his battle with the culture of death promoted by leading scientists of the American world is an example of how a Catholic ought to behave, even in the midst of defeat.

Prof. Lejeune is the founder of modern genetics,[1] the discoverer of the trisomy. On October 3, 1969, he was invited to receive at San Francisco the most prestigious award of genetics, the William Allan prize.

And why was he offered this reward? Because his work enabled the successful testing which could detect trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) in mothers’ womb – thus in the United States, these tests (amongst others already in use) were used to prevent the birth of such diagnosed babies.

This is how Prof. Lejeune was rewarded and discovered to his dismay that the world was falling from under his feet, not only figuratively, but even literally during the presentation. For coincidentally, one of San Francisco’s famous seismic quakes shook the whole conference room causing him to reflect: “At this moment, I understood that the world had revolved on its axis.”

So what were those rewarding him implying? That his research would be applied to exterminate children in their mother’s womb because they could not be like other children who were “normal” or “productive members of society,” hence “you are not like me, so die!” Such an attitude should be referred to as “chromosomic racism.”

What is this “brave new world” in which in order to live, one will have to obey certain norms, be blond, possess a higher IQ, be more political, and be more this or that – and who will have to experience these norms? But in point of fact, we should remember that such norms have been tried before – and not so long ago.

Prof. Lejeune often recalled to his students the true story told him by an Austrian colleague.
My father was a doctor in a small Austrian village, and in April 1889, he was asked to deliver to two children: one was a healthy boy, and the other a poor little child. She was trisomic. My father followed closely these two children. The little girl had a rather sad life. One day her mother grew sick when she was only 16 or 17. And although she had a very week intellectual quota, she was by the side of her mother for four years, and softened the end of her mother’s life. Then she was placed in a nursing home. This was a rather sad life. Strange enough, my father does not recall the name of the girl, but he remembers very well that of the little boy. This child had a brilliant destiny and reached the summit. Oh, yes, he is somewhat forgotten, his name was Adolph Hitler.
Who can decide that one life can be lived rather than another? Who can pretend to judge such things? Behold the professor in that conference hall understands that there is being set a diabolical order. There are two options:[though in reality there is only one] either a) he plays the dummy and keeps quiet, or b) he takes the prize, leaves the place and life goes on as ever – as if nothing happened at all!

So does Prof. Lejeune – a doctor and internationally-respected professor (in fact he may even be nominated for the Noble Peace Prize next year or later) says nothing to ensure that his career continues in the same elevating fashion? Or – and this is what he actually does – he open his mouth to explain that what they are doing is monstrous!

He tells them in words they can understand. He will not speak to them about the Christian moral order, or of the Oath of Hippocrates.[2] Why should he speak of this oath to the these learned Americans, who dropped it long ago? He could tell them that his Christian heart is bleeding, but then they would tell him to keep his religious sentiment to himself and let them freely think as they wish. No! He is going to speak their own language, and they will never pardon him.
You know as well as me, and any student in genetics knows this, that, at the very moment of its conception, every creature carries within itself its chromosomic message, and nothing can change it. This will make a man be neither a monkey, or a duck, because you cannot confuse them as nothing can be added or subtracted to them. Thus, do not tell me, when you request to suppress these children, that you are not suppressing a human being because it is already a human being and nothing will change anything: he needs only to grow if he is allowed to. No! You are suppressing a human being who is not according to your norms, but do not deny it its human nature, which you allow to be quietly assassinated.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
St. Nicholas of Tolentino

From the Catholic Encyclopedia on the feast of this holy saint:
Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness.
He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour's church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: "Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus", he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen. After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day.
Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.

O Lord, hear the prayers we offer on the feast of Your blessed Confessor Nicholas. Since we cannot rely on our own merits, let the merits of those who have been pleasing to You be our assistance. Through our Lord . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Image: Saint Nicholas of Tolentino overcoming the temptations of the Devil (with the Blessed Virgin and Saint Augustine)  Santi di Tito — 1588
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to Celebrate Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St Peter’s

The CISP is happy to announce that His Eminence Dario, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St Peter’s on Saturday 26 October at 11 o’clock during the pilgrimage of the people of Summorum Pontificum to Rome.

Holy Mass on 26 October will allow Diocesan and Religious Priests, Seminarians, and the faithful among the people of Summorum Pontificum to show Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos their gratitude and affection for everything he has done in the service of the Church, especially at the time of the preparation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, during which His Eminence was a witness and of which he is the living memory.

The CISP especially wishes to thank His Eminence for coming to say Mass because the 26 October is the sixty-first anniversary of his ordination to the Priesthood, which he received in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles in Rome on 26 October 1952. This Pontifical High Mass of thanksgiving at St Peter’s will be one of the central points of the Pilgrimage, during which the eternal youth of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be seen by all, and by means of which the people of Summorum Pontificum will contribute to the missionary zeal of the New Evangelisation.
Traditional Mass Propers: 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Ps. 85:3, 5 Have pity on me, O Lord, for to You I call all the day; for You, O Lord, are sweet and mild, and plentiful in mercy to all who call upon You. Ps. 85:1. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am needy and poor. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Lord, may Your grace always be with us to make us diligent in performing good deeds. Through our Lord . . .

Eph. 3:13-21
Brethren: Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man: That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted and founded in charity, You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge: that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God. Now to him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us: To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen.

The nations all revere Your name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth shall reverence Your glory. V. For the Lord has built up sion, and He shall appear in His glory.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 97:1 Sing to the Lord a new canticle, for He has done wondrous deeds. Alleluia!

Luke 14:1-11

At that time, when Jesus went into the house of one of the Pharisees, on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And behold, there was a certain man before him that had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" But they held their peace. But he taking him, healed him and sent him away. And answering them, he said: "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit and will not immediately draw him out, on the sabbath day?" And they could not answer him to these things. And he spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: "When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than thou be invited by him: And he that invited thee and him, come and say to thee: 'Give this man place.' And then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when thou art invited, go, sit down in the lowest place; that when he who invited thee cometh, he may say to thee: 'Friend, go up higher.' Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee. Because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Ps. 39:14, 15
Look down, O Lord, to help me. Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life. Look down, O Lord, to help me.

SECRET Cleanse us by this Sacrifice, O Lord, and in Your mercy make us worthy to participate in it. Through our Lord . . .

Ps. 70:16-17, 18
O Lord, I will be mindful of Your singular justice. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and when I am old and gray, O God, forsake me not!

POST COMMUNION - Purify our souls, O Lord, and instill new life into them through this Heavenly Sacrament, so that even our bodies may find strength now and for the future. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945

Friday, September 6, 2013
Pray for Peace in Syria

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Multiple Canons: A Serious Consequence of Vatican II

The Roman Canon had been untouched since the 7th Century

For those unfamiliar with the Traditionalist movement (and even those who think they know Traditional Catholics), the common accusation applied to the Traditionalist is being a man too attached to earthly traditions.  The Traditionalist is a modern day Pharisee.  He cares for beautiful vestments, golden chalices, and ritual but he cares little (or at least less) for his neighbor and for the poor.  He is viewed as an enemy of the authentic teachings of Christ and is personified in the story of the rich man (cf. Matthew 19:16-26 ) and in the parable of the two men who enter the temple to pray (cf.  Luke 18:9-14).

Yet, this straw man depiction of the Traditionalist is entirely off point.  The Traditionalist’s end goal is not found in ornate vestments or mysterious rituals.  The Traditionalist is concerned with giving to God the utmost glory and the first of all things (cf  Matthew 6:33).  And as such, our Lord is deserving of the most ornate of vestments and the most opulent of chalices.  It is not the Traditionalist – no! – it is the Lord to whom the honor is given.

Even those familiar with the Traditional Movement, but those who are not traditionalists, will at least know of the Traditionalist’s arguments against the changes in the Liturgy.  They will have heard the Traditionalist lament the omission of kneeling in the Nicene Creed; the change of “pro multis” to “for all”; and the changes in the Rites of Confirmation, Ordination, and the Eucharist.
Yet few people realize – and few Traditionalists lament as loudly as they do the aforementioned issues – the grave consequences of introducing multiple canons into the Holy Liturgy.  

Since all time the Roman Canon had be recited by the priest silently.  The priest – in imitation of Moses – ascends to a place where the Faithful cannot venture. It is in this holy place – at the altar of God – where the priest confects the Holy Eucharist and offers to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of His Divine and Only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity.  This is a task of the priest alone to accomplish – the people present can offer nothing other than marvel at the mystery.

Silence is not a foreign concept to Catholics.  Catholics should be familiar with the story of ­­Elijah who heard God in the small whisper:

And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord over throwing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: the Lord is not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake: the Lord is not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire: the Lord is not in the fire, and after the fire a whistling of a gentle air.And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias? And he answered.  (1 Kings 19:11-13)

Yet the Novus Ordo brought about four Eucharistic Prayers recited in the vernacular and recited loudly.  Gone was the sense of mystery.  Gone was the priest entering the holy place to pray for the people.  The Novus Ordo Liturgy has succumbed to the vision of Martin Luther - the priest is no longer seen as an alter Christus.   

The Canon is an ancient prayer.  It is for Catholics the prayer of utmost importance in the Liturgy since it is by the prayers of the Canon that the greatest miracle in the world takes place on the altar. 

Since the seventh century [the Traditional] Canon has remained unchanged. It is to St. Gregory I (590-604) the great organiser of all the Roman Liturgy, that tradition ascribes its final revision and arrangement.  (Catholic Encyclopedia)

In the Ambrosian Rite, during the Canon the priest will stretch out his arms in the shape of a Cross

Yet, despite the sacredness of the Canon, the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council saw the elimination of one unified Canon and the creation of multiple canons.  In fact, even in our world today, priests freely use their own ad lib words during the Canon and potentially (if not always) invalidate the Sacrifice of the Mass upon the altar.  This is for the Traditionalist a grave and utmost serious situation.

In the 1970 and 1975 Latin editions of the Roman Missal, there are four Eucharistic Prayers (these may be augmented in the third editio typica which is due out this fall). In more recent American editions of the Roman Missal, in addition to the four already mentioned, there are five others included in the appendix: two for Reconciliation and three for Masses with children. Thus for the last twenty-five years, the Roman rite has had the experience of many Eucharistic Prayers. 

This was not always so, however. For some 1600 years previously, the Roman rite knew only one Eucharistic Prayer: the Roman canon. 

In the average parish today, Eucharistic Prayer II is the one most frequently used, even on Sunday. Eucharistic Prayer III is also used quite often, especially on Sundays and feast days. The fourth Eucharistic prayer is hardly ever used; in part because it is long, in part because in some places in the U.S. it has been unofficially banned because of its frequent use of the word "man". The first Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman canon, which had been used exclusively in the Roman rite for well over a millennium and a half, nowadays is used almost never. As an Italian liturgical scholar puts it: "its use today is so minimal as to be statistically irrelevant".

This is a radical change in the Roman liturgy. Why aren't more people aware of the enormity of this change? Perhaps since the canon used to be said silently, its contents and merits were known to priests, to be sure, but not to most of the laity. Hence when the Eucharistic Prayer began to be said aloud in the vernacular, with four to choose from -- and the Roman canon chosen rarely, if ever -- the average layman did not realize that 1600 years of tradition had suddenly vanished like a lost civilization, leaving few traces behind, and those of interest only to archaeologists and tourists. 

(Source: From One Eucharistic Prayer to Many: How it Happened and Why by Father Cassian Folsom, O.S.B) 

What serious theological implications does this have for a Catholic?

In the Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, the repeated petitions to God that He accept the Sacrifice have also been suppressed; thus, there is no longer any clear distinction between Divine and human sacrifice.

In Eucharistic Prayer IV the Church--as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic--is abased by eliminating the Roman Canon's petition for all orthodox believers who keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith. These are now merely all who seek you with a sincere heart. The Memento of the Dead in the Canon, moreover, is offered not as before for those who are gone before us with the sign of faith, but merely for those who have died in the peace of Christ. To this group--with further detriment to the notion of the Church's unity and visibility--Eucharistic Prayer IV adds the great crowd of "all the dead whose faith is known to You alone." None of the three new Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, alludes to a suffering state for those who have died; none allows the priest to make special Mementos for the dead. All this necessarily undermines faith in the propitiatory and redemptive nature of the sacrifice.

In the Preface for Eucharistic Prayer II--and this is unprecedented--the various angelic hierarchies have disappeared. Also suppressed, in the third prayer of the old Canon, is the memory of the holy Pontiffs and Martyrs on whom the Church in Rome was founded; without a doubt, these were the saints who handed down the apostolic tradition finally completed under Pope St. Gregory as the Roman Mass.

Chapter VII The Alienation of the Orthodox  

The Apostolic Constitution explicitly mentions the riches of piety and doctrine the Novus Ordo supposedly borrows from the Eastern Churches. But the result is so removed from, and indeed opposed to the spirit of the Eastern liturgies that it can only leave the faithful in those rites revolted and horrified. What do these ecumenical borrowings amount to? Basically, to introducing multiple texts for the Eucharistic Prayer (the anaphora)--none of which approaches their Eastern counterparts' complexity or beauty--and to permitting Communion Under Both Species and the use of deacons. Against this, the New Order of Mass appears to have been deliberately shorn of every element where the Roman liturgy came closest to the Eastern Rites. [53] At the same time, by abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus Ordo cast off what was spiritually precious of its own. In place of this are elements which bring the new rite closer to certain Protestant liturgies, not even those closest to Catholicism. At the same time, these new elements degrade the Roman liturgy and further alienate it from the East, as did the reforms which preceded the Novus Ordo. In compensation, the new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline.

Taken from The Ottaviani Intervention by Cardinal Ottaviani

And so the Traditional must fight on – not concerned at the slanders used against him.  Men may accuse him of “intolerance,” “lack of charity,” or “exaggerated concern with the externals,” but the Traditionalist will fight on so that in all the Masses of the world the Holy Eucharist may be lawfully confected and offered to the Eternal Father in the most fitting, righteous, and worthy manner possible.

In the bull Quo Primum Pope St. Pius V declared: "By this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it." And he concluded: "No one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Photo Gallery: Pope St. Pius X

In honor of today's feast of His Holiness the Great Pope St. Pius X, I wish to share this gallery of images of His Holiness.  For information on his life and feastday, please click here.

Monday, September 2, 2013
Feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary

The Virgin Receiving St Stephen of Hungary into Paradise by Scarsellino, c. 1590.

The following is taken from EWTN:
Coming from the east under a chief called Arpad, a fierce, marauding people called Magyars invaded and conquered the central part of the Danube valley during the last years of the ninth century. King Stephen was of this race. The Magyars first learned of Christianity on sporadic raids into north Italy and France. In the middle of the ninth century the Thessalonian priests, SS. Cyril and Methodius, had planted the faith in Pannonia, to the south, and had translated the Bible into the native tongue. It was not for a hundred years, however, that the Magyars gave serious attention to the Church. This was in the time of Geza, the third duke after Arpad. He was shrewd enough to see the practical desirability of Christianity as a protection against the inroads of his Christian neighbors on either side. He had the choice of turning to the Eastern Church at Constantinople or to the Church of Rome. Although Rome was more distant, he chose the Western Church, in fear that if he accepted Christianity from the east his domain would be incorporated in the recently revived Eastern Empire, the boundaries of which extended to the Danube.

Geza's first wife was Sarolta, one of the few Magyar women who was truly Christian. Of this union was born, about the year 975, a son named Vaik, the future king and saint. His mother took great care of his early training, and he had excellent Italian and Czech tutors. Geza married as his second wife a Christian princess Adelaide, sister of the duke of Poland; at her behest, Adalbert. archbishop of Prague, came on a preaching mission to Hungary. Geza and his young son were baptized in 986, Vaik being given the name of the first martyr, Stephen; a number of the Hungarian nobles were baptized at the same time. For most of them it was a conversion of expediency, and their Christianity was, at the outset, merely nominal. The young prince, on the contrary, became a Christian in a true sense, and his mature life was spent spreading the faith and trying to live according to its disciplines and tenets.

At the age of twenty Stephen married Gisela, sister of the duke of Bavaria, the future Emperor Henry II. Since Hungary was then at peace with its neighbors, Stephen devoted himself to rooting out idolatry among his people. In the guise of a missionary, he often accompanied the Christian preachers; sometimes he had to check their tendency to impose the faith forcibly. There had recently been a migration of German Christian knights into the rich and fertile plains of Hungary. These newcomers took up land and they also labored to make converts of the peasantry. Many Magyars not unnaturally resented this infiltration, which they thought jeopardized their territorial rights and their ancient pagan customs. They rose in revolt under the leadership of Koppany, a man of great valor. Stephen met the insurgents himself, having prepared for battle by fasting, almsdeeds, and prayer, and invoking the aid of St. Martin of Tours, whom he had chosen as his patron. The historic meeting took place at Veszprem in 998, and though Stephen's forces were inferior in size to those of the rebels, with the help of the German knights he won a famous victory. Koppany was slain.

To give God the glory for his success, Stephen built near the site of the battle a monastery dedicated to St. Martin, called the Holy Hill, and bestowed on it extensive lands, as well as one third ,of the spoils of victory. Known since that time as the archabbey of Martinsberg, or Pannonhalma, it flourished down to modern times. It is the mother house of all Benedictine congregations in Hungary. Stephen now followed up his plans by inviting priests and monks to come from Germany, France, and Italy. They continued the work of taming the savage nation by teaching it the Gospel; they built churches and monasteries to serve as centers of religion, industry, and education. Some of them died as martyrs.

Hungary was still without ecclesiastical organization, and Stephen now founded the archbishopric of Gran, with five dioceses under it, and later the archbishopric of Kalocsa, with three dioceses. He then sent Abbot Astricius to Rome to obtain from Pope Sylvester II the confirmation of these foundations as well as of other things he had done for the honor of God and the exaltation of His Church. At the same time he begged the Pope to confer on him the title of king, that he might have more authority to accomplish his designs for promoting God's glory and the good of the people. It happened that Boleslaus, duke of Poland, at this same time had sent an embassy to Rome to get the title of king confirmed to him by papal ordinance. Pope Sylvester, persuaded to grant the request, had prepared a royal crown to send him with his blessing. But the special zeal, piety, and wisdom of Stephen of Hungary seemed to deserve priority. The Pope too may have been moved by political considerations, since the powerful German Emperor Otto II was at that moment in Rome. At any rate, he delivered this famous crown[1] to Stephen's ambassador, Astricius, and at the same time by a bull confirmed all the religious foundations Stephen had erected and the ordination of the Hungarian bishops. On his envoy's return, Stephen went out to meet him, and listened with reverence to the reading of the Pope's bull, bowing as often as the Pope's name was mentioned. It was this same Abbot Astricius who anointed and crowned him king with solemnity and pomp at Gran, in the year 1001.

To plant Christianity firmly in his kingdom and provide for its continued growth after his death, King Stephen filled Hungary with religious foundations. At Stuhlweissenburg he built a stately church in honor of the Mother of God, in which the kings of Hungary were afterwards crowned and buried. In Buda he founded the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, and in Rome, Ravenna, and Constantinople hospices for pilgrims. He filled Martinsberg with Benedictines, who, as we have seen, were notable for practical works and founded four other monasteries of the order, as well as con. vents for nuns. At Veszprem there was a convent for nuns of the Byzantine rite. One effect of the conversion of Hungary was that the road used by pilgrims and crusaders going to the Holy Land was made safer, since the valley of the Danube formed a natural highway for at least a part of the long, difficult journey. To support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor, Stephen started the collection of tithes, and every tenth town was required to maintain a church and support a priest. Stephen himself built the churches and the bishops appointed the priests. He passed edicts for the severe punishment of blasphemy, murder, theft, and adultery. He commanded his subjects to marry, with the exception of monks, nuns, and clergy; he forbade marriages between Christians and pagans. Easy of access to persons of all ranks, Stephen was always ready to listen to the complaints of the poor, knowing that in helping them he honored Christ. Widows and orphans he took under his special protection.

This democratic King would often go about in disguise in order to find out the needs of humble persons whom his officials might overlook. Once, while dealing out alms thus, a rough band of beggars crowded around him, pulled at his beard and hair, knocked him down, and snatched away his purse. The King took this indignity in good humor, without making known who he was. When his nobles heard of the incident, they insisted that he should not again expose himself to such danger. Yet he renewed his vow never to refuse an alms to anyone who begged of him.

The code of laws which King Stephen put into effect was well suited to control a hot- tempered people, newly converted to Christianity; but it was not at all pleasing to those who still opposed the new religion, and the wars which Stephen now undertook were religious as well as political. Stephen undertook the political reorganization of Hungary. He abolished the old tribal divisions and partitioned the land into counties, under a system of governors and magistrates, similar to that of the Western Empire. He also developed a kind of feudalism, turning the independent nobles into vassals of the crown, thus welding them into a political unity. He retained direct control over the common people. In 1025 there was a revolt led by a noble called Ajton, who was moving to transfer his allegiance to the Eastern emperor. Stephen mobilized his forces at Kalocsa and gained an overwhelming victory. After he had repulsed an invasion of Bulgarians, some of the Bulgarians returned, hoping to settle peaceably in Hungary. They were set upon by vengeful Magyars. Stephen straightway had a number of the Magyars hanged along the frontier, as a warning that well-intentioned strangers must not be molested. When Stephen's saintly brother-in-law, Emperor Henry II, died, he was succeeded by his cousin, Conrad II. Fearing Stephen's growing power, Conrad marched against him. A parley was arranged, and Conrad retired. This settlement, according to Stephen's subjects, showed the peace-loving disposition of their king.

The death of Stephen's son Emeric left him without a direct heir, and the last years of the king's life were embittered by family disputes and dark intrigues over the succession. Of the four or five claimants, the successful one was Peter, son of Stephen's sister, a ruthless woman who stopped at nothing to gain her end. Two of Stephen's cousins were no better and even conspired to have him killed. A hired assassin entered his bedroom one night, but the King awakened and calmly called out, "If God be for me, who shall be against me?" The King pardoned the assassin and his cousins as well. It is not surprising that "a time of troubles" followed the death of this great statesman and king; it lasted until the reign of St. Ladislas, some forty years later.

Stephen died on the feast of the Assumption, 1038. His tomb at Stuhlweissenburg became the scene of miracles, and forty-five years after his death Pope Gregory VII, at the request of Ladislas, ordered his relics enshrined and placed in the rich chapel which bears his name in the church of Our Lady at Buda. King Stephen was canonized in 1083. In 1696 Pope Innocent XI appointed his festival for September 2, the day on which Emperor Leopold won Buda back from the Turks. In Hungary his feast is still kept on August 20, the day of the translation of his relics. This saint merits the highest veneration for his accomplishments in both secular and religious matters, and, most especially, for having been an exemplar of justice, mercy, charity, and peace in a cruel age.

Almighty God, grant that the blessed confessor Stephen may now defend the Church from his throne in heaven, just as he fostered her growth when he ruled on earth. Through our Lord . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
September: Month Dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows

The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15.  Devotions and explanations in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows can be found here.

The principal feasts of this month are as follows:
Let us also not forget that the September Embertides will be upon us following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.
Mark your calendars for this year's September Embertide: September 18, 20, and 21
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Traditional Mass Propers: 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Ps. 85:1, 2-3 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me. Save Your servant who trusts in You. Have pity on me, O Lord, for to You I call all the day. Ps. 85:4. Gladden the soul of Your servant, for I have lifted up my soul to You, O Lord.

COLLECT - O Lord, let Your abiding mercy purify and defend the Church. Govern her always by Your care, for without Your assistance she cannot remain safe. Through our Lord . . .

5:25-26; 6:1-10
Brethren: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens: and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ. For if any man think himself to be some thing, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every one prove his own work: and so he shall have glory in himself only and not in another. For every one shall bear his own burden. And let him that is instructed in the word communicate to him that instructeth him, in all good things. Be not deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

It is good to praise the Lord, and to sing to Your name, O Most high. V. To proclaim Your mercy in the morning and Your truth throughout the night.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 94:3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great king over all the earth. Alleluia!

Luke 7:11-16

At that time, Jesus went into a city that is called Naim: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her:"Weep not." And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: "Young man, I say to thee, arise." And he that was dead sat up and begun to speak. And he gave him to his mother. And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: "A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people."

Ps. 39:2, 3, 4
I have waited and waited for the Lord, and He inclined toward me and heard my cry. And He out a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God.

SECRET O Lord, may Your Sacrament safeguard and defend us always against the attacks of the devil. through our Lord . . .

John 6:52
The Bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world.

POST COMMUNION - Let the grace of your Heavenly gift rule our minds and bodies, O Lord, that we may overcome the unruly impulses of our nature. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945

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