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ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST LAWRENCE BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: JULY 21

Lawrence was born at Brindisi, in Apulia. A a young man he entered the Capuchin Order. H acquired a thorough knowledge of philosophy and theology and became proficient in several languages, ancient as well as modern. When he became a priest, he undertook the task of preaching, in which he laboured unflinchingly throughout almost all of Italy and other European countries.

POPES ENLISTED HIS HELP

Possessed of unusual prudence and the gift of counsel as well, he was made Superior of his whole Order, and was often employed by the Popes on very important diplomatic missions. One of his greatest achievements was to persuade Christian leaders to unite their forces against the threatening onslaughts of the Turks. When the Christian army was assembled in Hungary, Lawrence rode at their head with the cross and, encouraging the soldiers and their officers, they gained a very celebrated victory.

HE COMBINED THE INTERIOR LIFE WITH EXTERNAL ENTERPRISES

In spite of the pressure of so many great activities he practised to an heroic degree the virtues of a religious. Whatever spare time he had, he would devote to prayer, wonderfully combining the interior life with external enterprises. Finally at Lisbon, the which he was sent by the people of Naples as their spokesman before the King of Spain, a strenuous defender of Christian liberty and justice, he succumbed as it were in battle, in the year 1619.

He left many writings defending the Catholic faith against heresies, and explaining Sacred Scripture. Pope Leo XIII added him to the number of the saints, and Pope John XXIII declared him a Doctor of the universal Church.

PRAYER:

O God, who, to enable him to accomplish tasks, no matter how difficult, for the glory of your name and the salvation of souls, endowed blessed Lawrence, your Confessor and Doctor, with the spirit of wisdom and fortitude; grant us, in the same spirit, ever to know our duty, and through his prayers do it. Through our Lord.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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SALESIAN BROTHER STEPHEN SANDOR, WHO WAS HANGED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IS BEATIFIED

WE ARE SHOCKED HE WAS TORTURED AND EXECUTED.

“Salesian Brother Stephen Sandor, who was secretly hanged for ‘anti-state activities’ under Communist rule in Hungary, has been beatified a martyr.

Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom – Budapest said at the beatification Mass in St Stephen’s Square in front of Budapest’s cathedral: ‘We celebrate a hero, deeply loyal to his Salesian vocation, and respect a great labourer who taught young people the love of work.

‘We are shocked he fell victim to a show trial, was tortured on false charges, sentenced to death and executed. His martyrdom evokes a sad era of purges when the judicial system sanctioned murder.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, a fellow Salesian and prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saint’s Causes, said Blessed Stephen Sandor’s death, far from being an ‘impoverished heroic gesture’, had followed a life of perpetual self-dedication’. He said religious persecution created ‘a gulf between human beings’, whereas martyrs built ‘bridges of fraternity, forgiveness and acceptance through their sacrifice’.

Born in 1914, Stephen Sandor joined the Salesians as a lay brother in 1936, taking final vows a decade later.

After teaching at a school, he served in Hungary’s army in World War Two and was briefly imprisoned by US forces in 1945. He secretly ministered to young people after the Communist takeover, working under a false name at a chemicals factory, but disappeared after being arrested by the secret police in July 1952. He was hanged a year later.”
– This article entitled “Salesian hanged by regime is beatified” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue November 1 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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THE EXTRAORDINARY MIRACLE OF THE IRISH MADONNA OF HUNGARY

THE IRISH MADONNA OF HUNGARY; GYOR, HUNGARY 1697

“The extraordinary miracle of the Irish Madonna of Hungary is not a legend, but a reality based on facts and the testimony of reliable witnesses.

OUR LADY OF GYOR

The picture was hanging in the Cathedral of Clonfert, in the diocese of Tuam, Ireland, when, in 1649, Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland with 10,000 Englishmen. Among other objectives, his campaign was meant to eliminate papal influence and establish a Protestant interest in the country.

THE BEGINNING OF THE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

When the religious persecution began, Bishop Walter Lynch of Clonfert and some of his priests were arrested. To prevent the Irish Madonna from falling into the hands of those who would destroy it, Bishop Lynch smuggled the picture out of Ireland and kept it in his possession. The bishop, together with some members of his group, escaped 1652 from the island known as Innisboffin, where they had been imprisoned. They dispersed to various countries, where they were warmly received.

OUR LADY HAD OTHER PLANS

Bishop Lynch and the portrait spent some time in Belgium and in Portugal. Later he travelled as far as Hungary. There he was joyously received by the Bishop of Gyor, who appointed him as his auxiliary. The Irish bishop learned the Hungarian language and worked 10 years among the faithful. Although he seemed content, he was nevertheless longing to return to his native country. When he learned that the persecution in Ireland had subsided, he prepared for the return journey. The picture was meant, of course, to return with him, but Our Lady had other plans.

THREATENING DISASTERS WERE AVERTED

Before the date of his departure, the Irish bishop became desperately ill. On his deathbed he bequeathed the picture to the Bishop of Gyor, who subsequently had the body of his Irish friend buried in the crypt of the cathedral.

The people of Gyor quickly adopted the picture of the Madonna. It was especially welcomed because the arrival of the portrait coincided with a series of victories over the Turks.

During the years many souls have come from throughout Hungary to pray before the Madonna for personal and national needs and to thank Our Lady for preventing, through her intercession, some disasters which had threatened.

THE IMAGE

The portrait of Our Lady and the Infant Christ is charming. The Child lies asleep on a pallet, His crowned head on a fluffy pillow, His two arms resting atop the fold of a covering. The Blessed Virgin also wears a crown and appears to be kneeling beside the Child. With her hands folded in prayer, Our Lady looks serenely down upon her slumbering Babe.

IRELAND IN TROUBLE

While the Hungarians enjoyed peace and plenty during the year 1697, the Irish were afflicted with great hardships and religious persecution. In that year the Parliament passed an edict that ordered the expulsion of all priests from the territory of Ireland and the British Isles. Churches were confiscated and all traces of the Catholic religion were to be eliminated. A national Irish church was established and only members of this church were permitted to serve as ministers at funerals.

OUR LADY CRIES FOR HER SUFFERING CHILDREN

On March 17 of that year, St Patrick’s Day, as thousands were attending Holy Mass in the Cathedral of Gyor, the eyes of the Madonna began to shed tears and blood which ran down the canvas to the image of the sleeping Jesus. The Irish Madonna was weeping for her suffering children. The people who had been attending the Holy Sacrifice, as well as those who were summoned to witness the miracle, took turns in gathering around the portrait while the priests repeatedly wiped the face of the Madonna with a linen cloth that is still preserved in the Cathedral.

To further examine the miracle and the possible source of the blood and tears, the portrait was taken down from the wall and removed from its frame. No explanation could be given for the phenomenon, which continued for more than three hours.

EVEN CALVINISTS, LUTHERANS AND JEWS TESTIFIED THAT THEY HAD SEEN THIS MIRACLE WITH THEIR OWN EYES

Before long not only Catholics, but also Protestants and Jews flocked to see the miracle. Thousands witnessed the event, and many of these gave testimony of what they saw. A document signed by a hundred people bears the signatures of the governor of the city, its mayor, all its councilmen, the bishop, priests, Calvinist and Lutheran ministers as well as a Jewish rabbi. All volunteered their signatures to the document stating that they had witnessed an undeniable miracle.

THE LINK BETWEEN TWO NATIONS

The miracle of Our Lady weeping blood and tears on St Patrick’s Day in 1697 for her suffering children in Ireland left a deep impression on the people of Hungary down to the present day. At all times, but especially in times of disaster, the people flock to her shrine in order to gain strength and hope in the midst of crisis. By virtue of this portrait, the Madonna has linked two nations whose people have suffered for their faith and freedom.
(From the book: Miraculous Images of Our Lady by Joan Carroll Cruz, published by Tan Books & Publishers in Rockford, Illinois, 1993)”
– This article was published in “Helping the missions side by side with St Therese” issue no 82. [Capital headings added afterwards.] Please support the Little Way Association if you can (one of the many current projects is the reconstruction of a well in the Indian Diocese of Jabalpur. Donations for the missions are sent without deduction for any expenses.) Please contact the Little Way Association to help in any way at this address: The Little Way Association, 119 Cedars Rd, Clapham Common, London SW4 0PR, United Kingdom. All Little Way benefactors share in a DAILY MASS offered for their intentions in the Missions.

 
 

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PRAYER TO ST CYRIL AND ST METHODIUS

ST CYRIL, MONK; AND ST METHODIUS, BISHOP; MEMORIAL: FEBRUARY 14

Cyril and Methodius were brothers, born in Salonika about 825 and educated at Constantinople. They translated the Bible, and liturgical texts, into the slavonic language. Cyril died in Rome on 14 February 869. Methodius was made a bishop and spent many years preaching the gospel in Hungary, despite resistance and hostility. He died in 885, in former
Czechoslovakia.

PRAYER:

Father,
you brought the light of the gospel to the Slavic nations
through Saint Cyril and his brother Saint Methodius.
Open our hearts to understand your teaching
and help us to become one in faith and praise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 
 

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