Vocations find their true meaning in Christ
Three young men share their stories as they are just days away from receiving an irreversible grace of being ordained priests. They speak about how they were influenced by others and how they could not avoid the call from God to be men who serve others.
Click here to see their video.
Keeping the Light Burning
Your prayers, service and donations help us to keep the flame of Dominican Vocations bright in the Western United States. Please do consider making a regular contribution for future preachers for the salvation of souls.
On the 12th of May 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis will canonize those who have been known in history as the 800 Martyrs of Otranto (Lecce – Italy).
On the 28th of July 1480, the Turks landed in Puglia and besieged Otranto in an attempt to occupy the Kingdom of Naples. After 14 days of siege and constant bombardment of the city walls, the Turks entered the city on August 12 and instantly killed all those defending the city.
The Dominican Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Candelora was the first to be occupied by the Turkish troop because of its proximity to the city walls. The brothers took refuge in the city. At the Cathedral, they killed the archbishop, the clergy and many lay faithful who refused to recant their faith. The killings continued the next day at the Hill of Minerva.
Read more at the Dominican Order home page
Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
[Read more at AmericanCatholic.org]
Unknowingly, my family had a sneak preview of the results of the recent Conclave. During the week prior, my one year old son, Austin, kept going up to our bookshelf and pulling off a particular book, no matter where it was shelved. My wife, Anne, beginning to wonder why this was happening, decided to look more carefully at the book. It was Robin Anderson’s short biography of Pope St. Pius V. Inspired to read it, she was even more inspired by Pius, the great Dominican Pope who led a reform that successfully implemented the Council of Trent. His reform began in Rome by his own humility, simplicity, and holiness.
Anne began praying for a Pope that would follow in the footsteps of Pius V, who would help us in our pivotal time, primarily through heroic personal witness. When Pope Francis stepped out on the balcony, the commentator immediately remarked that wearing a simple white cassock was reminiscent of Pius V (and John Paul I as well, of course). Anne turned and looked at me at that moment and we knew that Austin had been on to something. Francis announced, during his brief remarks on the balcony, that he would entrust the city of Rome to Our Lady the next day. He went to Santa Maria Maggiore to venerate one of the most cherished icons in Rome, Salus Populi Romani. After this moving veneration he then went to venerate the tomb of one of his predecessors in the Papacy, none other than Pius V. Then I knew that Austin had really been on to something.
Read more at the Crisis EMagazine Website
Caterina Benincasa was born in Siena, Italy, to Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth dyer who ran his enterprise with the help of his sons, and Lapa Piagenti, possibly the daughter of a local poet. The house where Catherine grew up is still in existence. Born in 1347, she arrived when the black death struck the area; Siena was badly ravaged. Lapa was about forty years old when she prematurely gave birth to twin daughters, Catherine and Giovanna. Lapa had already 22 children, but half of them had died. Giovanna was handed over to a wet-nurse, and presently died, whereas Catherine was nursed by her mother, and developed into a healthy child. She was two years old when Lapa had her 25th child, another daughter named Giovanna. Catherine had her first vision of Christ when she was age five or six, saying that Jesus smiled at her, blessed her, and left her in ecstasy. At age seven she vowed chastity.
Her older sister Bonaventura died in childbirth. Within a year, the younger sister named Giovanna also died. While tormented with sorrow, sixteen-year-old Catherine was now faced with her parents' wish that she marry Bonaventura's widower. Absolutely opposed to this, she started a massive fast, something she had learnt from Bonaventura, whose husband had not been considerate in the least. Bonaventura had changed his attitude by refusing to eat until he showed better manners. This had taught Catherine the power of fasting in close relationships. She claimed to feel "jubilant" when cutting off her long hair.
Catherine would later advise her confessor and biographer, the Blessed Raymond of Capua, O.P., (who went on to become Master General of the Order) to do during times of trouble what she did now as a teenager: "Build a cell inside your mind, from which you can never flee." In this inner cell she made her father into a representation of Christ, her mother Lapa into the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her brothers into the apostles. Serving them humbly became an opportunity for spiritual growth. The greater the suffering, the larger her triumph was. Eventually her father gave up and permitted her to live as she pleased.
St. Francis' poverty often misunderstood
By Carl Bunderson
Berkeley, Calif., Mar 22, 2013 / 07:03 pm (EWTN News/CNA)
Saint Francis of Assisi's concern with poverty was secondary in his life and stemmed from his utter reliance on and love for God, a priest familiar with the saint said.
“The usual image of Francis and poverty is skewed...poverty is important, but it is secondary to something else for Francis, which is absolute dependence on God,” Dominican priest Father Augustine Thompson told EWTN News March 21.
While many associate the 13th century saint with poverty, he wrote little about it and when he did, he was pointing to the humility of the Incarnation and the death of Christ, said the Berkeley, Calif.-based priest.
“The one time he talks about poverty itself – he mentions it very rarely in his own writings – he gives as the perfect example of poverty that the second person of the Blessed Trinity became a human being and took on the lowliness of the human condition, and then offered himself on the cross, and offers his body to us in the Eucharist.”
“The Eucharist and poverty for St. Francis are two parts of the same thing,” said Fr. Thompson, author of the 2012 book “Francis of Assisi: A New Biography.”
While believing in service to the lowest of the poor, St. Francis also “sees the Eucharist as worthy of the utmost respect, as it is itself the greatest act of humility and poverty when God gives himself as food to ordinary people.”
Read more at EWTN
The great outlines and all the important events of his life are known, but biographers differ as to some details and dates. Death prevented Henry Denifle from executing his project of writing a critical life of the saint. Denifle's friend and pupil, Dominic Prümmer, O.P., professor of theology in the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, took up the work and published the "Fontes Vitae S. Thomae Aquinatis, notis historicis et criticis illustrati"; and the first fascicle (Toulouse, 1911) has appeared, giving the life of St. Thomas by Peter Calo (1300) now published for the first time. From Tolomeo of Lucca . . . we learn that at the time of the saint's death there was a doubt about his exact age (Prümmer, op. cit., 45). The end of 1225 is usually assigned as the time of his birth. Father Prümmer, on the authority of Calo, thinks 1227 is the more probable date (op. cit., 28). All agree that he died in 1274.
St. Agnes of Rome (c. 291 – c. 304) is a virgin–martyr, is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims, and virgins.
She is also known as Saint Ines. Her memorial, which commemorates her martyrdom, is 21 January in the General Roman Calendar. Agnes is depicted in art with a lamb, as her name resembles the Latin word for "lamb", agnus. The name "Agnes" is actually derived from the feminine Greek adjective "hagnē" (ἁγνή) meaning "chaste, pure, sacred".
January 23: Book Symposium on "Francis of Assisi: A New Biography" with:
Augustine Thompson, O.P.,
Karen Scott, and
Wednesday, January 23, 4:30 PM
Book Symposium on Francis of Assisi: A New Biography
with Augustine Thompson, O.P. (Author), Graduate Theological Union
Karen Scott, DePaul University
Lawrence Cunningham, University of Notre Dame
Swift Hall, Third Floor Lecture Hall
1025 East 58th Street
Presented by the Lumen Christi Institute
Saint Albert the Great
Friar, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church
Feast of the Order
Solemnity of the Priory of St. Albert the Great
Albert, eldest son of the Count of Bollstädt, was born at Lauingen, Swabia, in the year 1205 or 1206, though many historians give it as 1193. Nothing certain is known of his primary or preparatory education, which was received either under the paternal roof or in a school of the neighbourhood. As a youth he was sent to pursue his studies at the University of Padua; that city being chosen either because his uncle resided there, or because Padua was famous for its culture of the liberal arts, for which the young Swabian had a special predilection. The date of this journey to Padua cannot be accurately determined.
In the year 1223 he joined the Order of St. Dominic, being attracted by the preaching of Blessed Jordan of Saxony second Master General of the Order. Historians do not tell us whether Albert's studies were continued at Padua, Bologna, Paris, or Cologne. After completing his studies he taught theology at Hildesheim, Freiburg (Breisgau), Ratisbon, Strasburg, and Cologne
This past Sunday, October 21st, our Holy Father Pope Benedict officially declared St. Pedro Calungsod to be among the many saints of Heaven. This young filipino martyr, a lay cathechist, gave his life forth the Faith in Guam. Under difficult conditions, the missionaries continued to present the Faith to the Chamorros. A Chinese "healer" named Choco, envious of the success of the missionaries, propagated a story that the baptismal waters the missionaries used was poisonous. A native father refused to have his daughter baptized, but in his absence, the child's Christian mother asked for baptism, and this was given to the child. The father, on his return, flew into a rage and attacked the missionaries. St. Pedro had a chance to escape, but did not wish to abandon Padre Diego, whom he was assisting.
His feast day is April 2nd. St. Pedro, pray for us! Click here for more info on our friend in Heaven!