Wednesday, October 20, 2021

 


ST IRENE 

Psalm 47, Verse 3-5

3 For the LORD, the Most High, is to be FEARED, the great king over all the earth, 4 Who made people subject to us, nations under our feet, 5 Who chose our heritage for us, the glory of Jacob, whom he loves. 

Sounds arrogant; doesn’t it? 

The fact is God is the ruler of the earth! If you do His will, you are blessed both here in this life and the next. If you, don’t it is like standing on the beach in a CAT 5 Hurricane and boasting that you are a good surfer.

Preaching God's Forgiveness[1]

Much has been written about the great challenges the Church faces in contemporary culture. The great modern "isms" confront a us daily—relativism, individualism, and consumerism, to name a few.

·         Relativism holds that absolute truth and enduring values are illusory.

·         Individualism gives "strong emphasis [to] the individual and individual choice, which often eclipses the sense of community or of the common good."

·         Consumerism puts "focus on material satisfaction to the detriment of spiritual values".

Given this cultural climate, it is hardly surprising that there is a lack of a sense of sin and a dropping rate of participation in Church life. In fact, the heart of every person in Christ must be about the heart of Jesus Christ, and the central mystery of his life, the Paschal Mystery: "The person and mission of Jesus, culminated in his Death and Resurrection, this is ultimately the central content of all the Scriptures". People of God can understand their own lives properly and be able to see their own experience in the light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus". In a culture often dominated by relativism, individualism, and consumerism, the proclamation of the salvation of Christ is truly Good News. It allows people to see there is another way; it paves the way for conversion; it brings hope. God can open up a space in the human heart, a space that he alone can fill. Christ is about calling persons back to fruitful participation in the Sacrament of Penance, especially if it has been years since their last confession.

Saint Irene[2]

 

Irene, a beautiful and chaste Portuguese girl, was murdered before she reached the age of 20. "An assiduous pupil and a devout believer, the only times she ever left her house was to attend mass or to pray in the sanctuary dedicated to Saint Peter on his feast-day. A young nobleman named Britald happened to see her on one of these rare outings and fell desperately in love with her. Every time that she went out, he waited to catch a glimpse of her, followed her to church, and eventually made his suit known to her; however, Irene gave him to understand that she would never marry him. "Thus rejected, Britald fell into a deep depression and became so ill that the doctors who were called in to tend him gave him up for lost. Hearing of this, Irene visited him and told him that she had refused him because she was no longer free, having already taken a vow of virginity.

 

Britald at once accepted her decision and gradually recovered his health. Before Irene left him, he had sworn that he would respect, and make others respect, her vocation as a holy virgin, and the two had parted like brother and sister, promising each other that they would meet again in Paradise. “Irene returned home and resumed the life of seclusion and study, intending to make her entrance into a convent before long. But the monk who was giving her private lessons proved to be a lecherous scoundrel and behaved towards her in a manner as dishonorable as Britald's was honorable. “Irene repulsed him and had him dismissed at once; but his lust turning to a desire for revenge, the monk then began to spread slanderous rumors about her. To those who asked him why he was no longer giving the girl her private lessons, he replied that he had left on learning that she was about to become a mother.

 

This rumor quickly circulated throughout the town and at length reached Britald who, being frank and trusting and unused to lies, believed what he was told. In a passion of rage and jealousy, he hired a mercenary soldier to kill her. Soon afterwards, as she was returning home from visiting an old man who was crippled, the assassin approached her from behind and killed her with a single stroke of his sword. “Her body, which was thrown into the river, was later retrieved by some Benedictines on the banks of the Tagus, near the town of Scalabris. They gave her a proper burial, made known her story, and not long afterwards, so great was the veneration in which she was held, the name of the town of Scalabis was changed to Santarem (Saint Irene)" (verbatim from Encyclopedia).

 

Santarem in Portuguese means “Saint Irene”, patron of the city. In the Church of St. Irene, we can find the Miraculous Crucifix of Monteiraz. Church documents relates that the Body of our Lord became alive (like the Miracle of Limpias), Jesus arm came down from the crucifix and embraced a small shepherd girl of the time of the Eucharistic Miracle. The crucifix belonged to a community of the 12 benedictine monks (Abby of 12 apostles) is from the XII century, it is still venerated today.

 

Visit this link (http://www.piercedhearts.org/treasures/eucharistic_miracles/santarem.htm) to learn more about the Eucharistic Miracle.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan?

·         The Year of St. Joseph

 

Why is St. Joseph the “Terror of Demons”?[3] 

Though we know little about St. Joseph from the Gospels, what we read there demonstrates that his righteous character and behavior served as a defense for his beloved wife and foster Son. The Holy Family was a little city under perpetual siege by the Devil. But Joseph was chosen by God to guard the city walls. 

When he first learned that Mary was carrying a Child who was not his own, he naturally concluded that she had committed adultery. But so great was his love for Mary and even for her unborn Child that his primary intention was to protect them. Rather than publicly exposing the situation—which would have led to terrible consequences for both mother and Child—he “resolved to send her away quietly” (see Mt 1:18—19). 

When the angel revealed to him the truth of the situation and told him not to fear to take her as his wife, his great faith in God prompted him to do that immediately (Mt 1:20—5). Though he knew that such obedience would come with a great cost, his impulse, again, was to protect Mary and the Babe. 

Yet once more, when the angel warned him to take his little Family and flee to Egypt because Herod planned to kill the Child, he obeyed right away, in the middle of the night. With extraordinary courage he left for a foreign land without preparations, without telling their extended family, without a job or home waiting for them, and despite numerous dangers on the highways because of robbers and worse (see Mt 1:13—15). His compelling desire was to defend them, and that desire led him to choose Nazareth as their home when they returned, to avoid the possible wrath of Herod’s son in Judea (Mt 1:19—22). 

Our last glimpse of Joseph comes when Jesus was twelve years old, and he and Mary couldn’t find Him in Jerusalem. When they did, after three days of separation, Mary’s words reveal Joseph’s heart as well as her own when she said to the Boy, “Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Lk 2:48). 

I think we can conclude that whatever attacks the Devil may have attempted in the “hidden years” of the Holy Family at Nazareth, those attacks were unsuccessful in large part because of Joseph’s protection, who served as their divinely appointed defender. 

After Joseph left this world for the next, he went on to take on the mantle of a defender, not just of the Holy Family, but of the extended family of Jesus and Mary—that is, the whole Church. He has in fact been declared “Patron of the Universal Church.” Many titles ascribed to him in the litany that bears his name remind us of this role: Guardian of Virgins, Pillar of Families, Patron of the Dying, Protector of Holy Church. But none among them is more fitting than the title that reveals his might as a spiritual warrior: Terror of Demons. 

Joseph may well have been a man of few words; Sacred Scripture has recorded nothing from his lips. But this title suggests that when we call on him for rescue from our diabolical adversaries, he need not even speak to them: His very presence terrifies them and sends them fleeing. (More about Joseph’s role in the apostolic exhortation of Pope St. John Paul II Redemptoris Custos: On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin Mary

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 22



·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

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