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  • Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, apostle - February 22, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch has also been long celebrated at Rome on 22 February At each place a chair cathedra was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs New Catholic Dictionary Stational Church Chair of St Peter Since early times the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St Peter As witness one of the most renowned of the Apostolic Fathers the Roman See has always held a peculiar place in the affection and obedience of orthodox believers because of its presiding in love and service over all the Churches of God We shall find in the Gospel that Jesus Christ willing to begin the mystery of unity in His Church among all His disciples chose twelve but that willing to consummate the mystery of unity in the same Church among the twelve He chose one He called His disciples said the Gospel here are all and among them He chose twelve Here is the first separation and the Apostles chosen And these are the names of the twelve Apostles the first Simon who is called Peter Mt 10 1 2 Here in a second separation St Peter is set at the head and called for that reason by the name of Peter which Jesus Christ says St Mark had given him in order to prepare as you will see the work which He was proposing to raise all His building on that stone All this is yet but a beginning of the mystery of unity Jesus Christ in beginning it still spoke to many Go preach I send you see Mt 28 19 Now when He would put the last hand to the mystery of unity He speaks no longer to many He marks out Peter personally and by the new name which He has given him It is One who speaks to one Jesus Christ the Son of God to Simon son of Jonas Jesus Christ who is the true Stone strong of Himself to Simon who is only the stone by the strength which Jesus Christ imparts to him It is to him that Christ speaks and in speaking acts on him and stamps upon him His own immovableness And I He says say to you you are Peter and He adds upon this rock I will build my Church and He concludes the gates of hell shall not prevail against it Mt 16 18 To prepare him for that honor Jesus Christ who knows that

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  • Optional Memorial of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, bishop and martyr - February 23, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    the Evangelist He was a disciple of the apostles and friend of St Ignatius of Antioch He was ordained bishop of Smyrna now Izmir Turkey and was about eighty six when the Roman pro consul urged him to renounce Christ and save his life St Polycarp said For eighty six years I have served Him and he has never wronged me How can I renounce the King who has saved me He suffered martyrdom in 155 by burning at the stake in the amphitheater of Smyrna According to the 1962 Missal of St John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite today is the feast of St Peter Damian His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on February 21 St Polycarp s feast is observed on January 26 Stational Church St Polycarp of Smyrna Polycarp had known those who had known Jesus and was a disciple of St John the Apostle who had converted him around the year 80 AD He taught says his own pupil Irenaeus of Lyons the things that he learned from the Apostles which the Church hands down which are true Irenaeus who as a young boy knew Polycarp praised his gravity holiness and majesty of countenance He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna and held the see for about 70 years He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy especially Marcionism and Valentinianism the most influential of the Gnostic sects Toward the end of his life he visited Pope St Anicetus in Rome and when they could not agree on a date for Easter decided each would observe his own date To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion Polycarp suffered martyrdom with 12 others of his flock around the year 156 Excerpted from St Polycarp Bishop and Martyr by Fr Paul Haffner Inside the Vatican February 2004 Among the select few from apostolic times about whom we have some historical information is Polycarp bishop of Smyrna and one of the most glorious martyrs of Christian antiquity His life and death are attested by the authentic Acts of his martyrdom no similar account is older as well as by other contemporary writings It moves us deeply when for example we find in St Irenaeus a disciple of Polycarp the passage in which he reminisces The memory of that time when as a youth I was with Polycarp in Asia Minor is as fresh in my mind as the present Even now I could point to the place where he sat and taught and describe his coming and going his every action his outward appearance and his manner of discourse to the people It seems as though I still heard him tell of his association with the apostle John and with others who

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  • Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent - February 24, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    male and female For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh So they are no longer two but one flesh Therefore what God has joined together no human being must separate Mark 10 5 9 According to the 1962 Missal of St John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite today is the feast of St Matthias apostle His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on May 14 Stational Church From the Beginning of Creation Marriage Was Sacred The link between secularization and the crisis of marriage and of the family is only too clear The crisis concerning the meaning of God and that concerning moral good and evil has succeeded in diminishing an acquaintance with the fundamentals of marriage and of the family which is rooted in marriage For an effective recovery of the truth in this field it is necessary to rediscover the transcendent dimension that is intrinsic to the full truth of marriage and the family overcoming every dichotomy that tends to separate the profane aspects from the religious as if there were two marriages one profane and another sacred God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them Gn 1 27 The image of God is found in the duality of man and woman and in their interpersonal communion For this reason transcendence is inherent in the existence of marriage right from the start because it belongs to the natural distinction between man and woman in the order of creation In their being one flesh Gn 2 24 the man and the woman in their mutual assistance and fruitfulness participate in something

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  • Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - February 25, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    on the Church Year Spring or Lent Ember Days show Library 1 A Tree Planted Near Running Waters Sr Maria Walburga Schortemeyer O S B Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e books Old Calendar St Walburga abbess Hist Historically today is the feast of St Walburga sister of Sts Willibald and Winebald She became a nun at Wimborne in Dorset under St Tatta and followed St Lioba to Germany at the invitation of St Boniface She died abbess of Hiedenheim whence her relics were translated to Eichstatt Stational Church St Walburga St Walburga was born around 710 She is the daughter of St Richard and the niece of St Boniface When St Richard set out for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his sons Ss Willibald Winibald he entrusted 11 year old Walburga to the monastery school at Wimborne She remained as a nun spending a total of 26 years there When St Boniface put out an appeal for nuns to help him in the evangelization of Germany St Walburga answered the call On the way to Germany there was a terrible storm at sea Walburga knelt on the deck of the ship and prayed The sea immediately became calm Some sailors witnessed this and spread the word that she was a wonderworker so she was received in Germany with great respect At first she lived at Bischofsheim under the rule of St Lioba Then she was made abbess at Heidenheim near to where her brother Winibald served as an abbot over a men s monastery After his death she ruled both monasteries She worked many miracles in the course of her ministry She wrote a biography of her brother Winibald and of Willibald s travels in Palestine in Latin She is regarded as the first woman author

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  • Friday of the Second Week of Lent - February 26, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    Church Saint Porphyrius Saint Porphyrius Archbishop of Gaza was born about the year 346 at Thessalonica His parents were people of substance and this allowed St Porphyrius to receive a fine education Having the inclination for monastic life he left his native region at twenty five years of age and set off for Egypt where he lived in the Nitrian desert under the guidance of St Macarius the Great January 19 There he also met St Jerome June 15 who was then visiting the Egyptian monasteries He went to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places and to venerate the Life Creating Cross of the Lord September 14 then he moved into a cave in the Jordanian wilderness for prayer and ascetic deeds After five years St Porphyrius was afflicted with a serious malady of the legs He decided to go to the holy places of Jerusalem to pray for healing As he lay half conscious at the foot of Golgotha St Porphyrius fell into a sort of trance He beheld Jesus Christ descending from the Cross and saying to him Take this Wood and preserve it Coming out of his trance he found himself healthy and free from pain Then he gave away all his money to the poor and for the adornment of the churches of God For a time he supported himself by working as a shoemaker The words of the Savior were fulfilled when the saint was forty five years old The Patriarch of Jerusalem ordained St Porphyrius to the holy priesthood and appointed him custodian of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord In 395 the bishop of the city of Gaza in Palestine died The local Christians went to Caesarea to ask Metropolitan John to send them a new bishop who would be able to contend against the pagans which were predominant in their city and were harassing the Christians there The Lord inspired the Metropolitan to summon the priest Porphyrius With fear and trembling the ascetic accepted the office of bishop and with tears he prostrated himself before the Life Creating Wood and went to fulfill his new obedience In Gaza there were only three Christian churches but there were a great many pagan temples and idols During this time there had been a long spell without rain causing a severe drought The pagan priests brought offerings to their idols but the woes did not cease St Porphyrius imposed a fast for all the Christians he then served an all night Vigil followed by a church procession around the city Immediately the sky covered over with storm clouds thunder boomed and abundant rains poured down Seeing this miracle many pagans cried out Christ is indeed the only true God As a result of this 127 men thirty five women and fourteen children were united to the Church through Holy Baptism and another 110 men soon after this The pagans continued to harass the Christians They passed them over for public office

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  • Saturday of the Second Week of Lent - February 27, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    who is rightly called the Aloysius of the 19th century He was Francis Possenti known in religion as Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Born in Assisi March 1 1838 he was given the name of the city s illustrious patron St Francis at baptism As a student in neighboring Spoleto he led a good though rather worldly kind of life until God drew him closer to Himself through an illness The decisive step was taken while seeing the highly honored miraculous picture of our Lady in Spoleto borne about in solemn procession As his eyes followed our Blessed Mother Francis felt the fire of divine love rising in his heart and almost at once made the resolve to join the Passionists a religious congregation dedicated to the veneration of and meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ 1856 After overcoming many difficulties he carried out his resolution and received the religious name Gabriel of the Mother of Sorrows Even as a novice he was regarded as a model of perfect holiness both within and beyond the cloister Saint Gabriel did not stand out from his community in any extraordinary way his heroism lay in his obedient attitude He conformed himself to his community in complete humility Little is known of his life only that he was blessed with an excellent memory and other gifts that made him an outstanding student He also had a great devotion to the Passion of Christ and the Sorrows of Mary Pius X and Leo XIII especially desired that he be the patron saint of young people and novices in religious orders as their model in the interior life He died in the year 1862 Saint Gabriel Possenti wrote Love Mary She is loveable faithful constant She will never let herself be outdone in love but will ever remain supreme If you are in danger she will hasten to free you If you are troubled she will console you If you are sick she will bring you relief If you are in need she will help you She does not look to see what kind of person you have been She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you embraces you and consoles and serves you She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity Patron Abruzzi region of Italy Catholic Action clerics students young people in general Things to Do For more information about this Passionist saint visit here EWTN and the Passionist nuns For prayers to St Gabriel visit here St Leander of Seville St Leander was born of an illustrious family at Carthagena in Spain He was the eldest of five brothers several of whom are numbered among the Saints He entered into a monastery very young where he lived many years and attained to an eminent degree of virtue and sacred learning These qualities occasioned his being promoted to the see of Seville but

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  • Third Sunday of Lent - February 28, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Stational Church Sunday Readings The first reading is taken from the book of Exodus 3 1 8 13 15 The story of the salvation of God s people continues during this Lenten season Today we hear of Moses encounter with God at the burning bush The second reading is from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians 10 1 6 10 12 St Paul establishes a parallel between the situation of the Israelites in the desert and the Corinthians Paul wants to remind us that we are not saved merely because we happen to have been the recipients of God s free grace We have to demonstrate that we are willing recipients of that free gift The children of Israel received it but they proved to be unworthy of it and so they were not saved Origin ca A D 240 Commentary on First Corinthians 4 45 205 The Gospel is from St Luke 13 1 9 Our Lord stresses that we need to produce plenty of fruit cf Lk 8 11 15 in keeping with the graces we have received cf Lk 12 48 But he also tells us that God waits patiently for this fruit to appear he does not want the death of the sinner he wants him to be converted and to live Ezek 33 11 and as St Peter teaches he is forebearing towards you not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance 2 Pet 3 9 But God s clemency should not lead us to neglect our duties and become lazy and comfort seeking living sterile lives He is merciful but he is also just and he will punish failure to respond to his grace There is one case that we should be especially sorry about that of Christians who could do more and don t Christians who could live all the consequences of their vocation as children of God but refuse to do so through lack of generosity We are partly to blame for the grace of faith has not been given us to hide but to share with others cf Mt 5 151 We cannot forget that the happiness of these people in this life and in the next is at stake The Christian life is a divine wonder with immediate promises of satisfaction and serenity but on condition that we know how to recognize the gift of God cf Jn 4 10 and be generous not counting the cost J Escriva Christ is passing by 147 The Navarre Bible St Luke Things to Do Truly observe this Sunday in Lent with your family Make it relaxing as befits the Lord s Day Remember that the Sundays of Lent are not counted in the total forty days of this holy season so you are not expected to continue your penances and fasting on this day Reread the Gospel together and discuss it as a family play games cook a nice meal

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  • Monday of the Third Week of Lent - February 29, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    Calendar this was the feast of St John de Brefeuf His feast has been transferred to October 19 Stational Church Meditation The Tree of Knowledge and the Cross The sin that was wrought through the tree was undone by the obedience of the tree obedience to God whereby the Son of man was nailed to the tree destroying the knowledge of evil and bringing in and conferring the knowledge of good and evil is disobedience to God as obedience to God is good And therefore the Word says through Isaiah the prophet foretelling what was to come to pass in the future for it was because they told the future that they were prophets the Word says through him as follows I refuse not and do not gainsay my back have I delivered to blows and my cheeks to buffets and I have not turned away my face from the contumely of them that spat Is 50 6 So by obedience whereby He obeyed unto death hanging on the tree He undid the old disobedience wrought in the tree And because He is Himself the Word of God Almighty who in His invisible form pervades us universally in the whole world and encompasses both its length and breadth and height and depth for by God s Word everything is disposed and administered the Son of God was also crucified in these imprinted in the form of a cross on the universe for He had necessarily in becoming visible to bring to light the universality of His cross in order to show openly through His visible form that activity of His that it is He who makes bright the height that is what is in heaven and holds the deep which is in the bowels of the earth and stretches forth

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