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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Thursday, April 25, 2024

 

April 25

Saint of the day:

Saint Mark

Patron Saint of Notaries,  Venice, Barristers 


What to Eat! 
Wine, Seafood, Black Risotto, Vegetable Lasagna or Pasta, Pizza, & Gelato!

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Feast of st. Mark 

Job, Chapter 19, Verse 29

Be AFRAID of the sword for yourselves, for your anger is a crime deserving the sword; that you may know that there is a judgment.

 

Jobs friends are judging him through their own faults. Job is warning them what Christ reiterated. “Those who use the sword shall perish by the sword. Anger is a crime.

 

Anger disorders are a product of long-term anger mismanagement. They are a pathological misdirection of normal aggressive feelings. Anger is, at its essence, a part of the basic biological reaction to danger, the fight or flight response. The physiological shift makes us stop thinking and mobilize for immediate action, as though our life depends on it. It is a primitive response, and very powerful. Anger prepares us to stand our ground and fight. It helped our ancestors survive, but in today’s complex technological world, it is often more hindrance than help. The angrier you feel, the less clearly you can think, and therefore the less able you are to negotiate, take a new perspective, or effectively handle a provocation. Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. Though we have the understanding and the skills to treat the anger epidemic in this country, as a culture, we have been unwilling to accept the violence problem as one that belongs to each and every one of us. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.[1]

 

Enslavement to our wounds




[2]

 Job Issues His Reply to His Amigos[3]

·         Now that he knows all his friends are kind of jerks, he talks back. After all, he says, he's their equal and, well, they're not being very nice.

·         He knows that God is almighty, sure. But he still thinks he deserves an explanation for why God is shredding his life to pieces.

·         He's mortal. His time is short. He wants some answers.

                        Eliphaz Retorts

·         Eliphaz is back on the scene. He says that that Job is undermining God by questioning his ways, which are both unknowable and infinitely powerful. 

·         We feel like we've heard that one before….

·         He continues to say that the sinful are doomed for destruction. And you know who falls into that sinful category?

·         That's right: Job.

·         And here comes one of the most famous phrases in the Bible: "Your own lips testify against you" (15:6).

                       Job Demands a Hearing

·         In case we didn't get the picture already, Job reiterates how uncool his friends are. Then he—yep, again—confirms that he has done nothing worthy of this punishment. 

·         Why shouldn't he, a penitent man, get a fair hearing?

                    Bildad Up to Bat…Again

·         Bildad's back.

·         Guess what he's saying this time? That's right: God punishes the wicked. 

·         This time, though, he adds (in a possible reference to Canaanite lore) that the Firstborn of Death will visit the evil.

·         Um…gulp?

                        I Will Be Redeemed

·         Apparently, no one is listening, so Job reaffirms his desire to plead his case before God. 

·         He's so worked up about it, he wants to etch his complaint in something more permanent than his mortal voice. Maybe on a rock or—surprise, surprise—in a book. 

St. Mark, Evangelist

EPISTLE. I Peter 5:5-14

Beloved:  Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever.  Amen. I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

GOSPEL. Mark 16: 15-20

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them …. 

Saint Mark the Evangelist, like St. Luke, was not an apostle, as were the evangelists Matthew and John.  Yet various prayers and Scriptures in the Sacred Liturgy are taken today from those set aside for the apostles.  Why is this?  Is the Church just too lazy to compose prayers specifically for the evangelists?  Of course not.

The entire New Testament is apostolic in origin.  Out of the 27 books of the New Testament, only two were not composed by apostles:  the Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke.  Yet even these two books are apostolic in origin, for St. Mark was a disciple of St. Peter, and St. Luke of St. Paul. 

That St. Mark handed down the Gospel account that he had received from an apostle reminds us of two things.  First, the Church is apostolic in origin, by the design of Jesus.  It’s in unity with our bishops under the guidance of the Pope that we can hear the fullness of the Gospel.  Second, each of us, like St. Mark, lives one’s own vocation to hand on to others the same Good News that’s been handed down through history by the apostles and their successors.

Feast of St. Mark[4]

John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth. He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or "upper room" which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He was still a youth at the time of the Savior's death. In his description of the young man who was present when Jesus was seized and who fled from the rabble leaving behind his "linen cloth," the second Evangelist might possibly have stamped the mark of his own identity. During the years that followed, the rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his mother's Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel. Later, we find Mark acting as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to Antioch and on their first missionary journey. But Mark was too immature for the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in Pamphylia to return home. As the two apostles were preparing for their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him. Paul, however, objected. Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus. Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark, and during the former's first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24), and the Apostle learned to appreciate him. When in chains the second time Paul requested Mark's presence (2 Tim. 4:11). An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter; he played the role of Peter's companion, disciple, and interpreter. According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter's preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles. This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at Capharnaum, 1:14f)). Little is known of Mark's later life. It is certain that he died a martyr's death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St. Mark's Cathedral. The Gospel of St. Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel. It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ. For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Savior's life. Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures. With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light. His Gospel is the "Gospel of Peter," for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles. "The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King."

Patron: Against impenitence; attorneys; barristers; captives; Egypt; glaziers; imprisoned people; insect bites; lions; notaries; prisoners; scrofulous diseases; stained glass workers; struma; Diocese of Venice, Florida; Venice, Italy.

Symbols: Winged lion; fig tree; pen; book and scroll; club; barren fig tree; scroll with words Pax Tibi; winged and nimbed lion; lion.

Often Pictured as: Man writing or holding his gospel; man with a halter around his neck; lion in the desert; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; holding a palm and book; holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; helping Venetian sailors; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.

Feast of St. Mark, the Patron Saint of Venice[5]

In Italy April 25th is Liberation Day, a national holiday commemorating the end of World War II in 1945 and the Nazi occupation of Italy. But for Venetians April 25th is an even older holiday, Festa di San Marco, or The Feast of St Mark. April 25th is the anniversary of St Mark’s death in 68 A.D. and in Venice is a lively celebration. Mass is held in the morning at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and there is music, dancing, concerts and carnivals throughout the day. Of course it wouldn’t be a festival in Venice without a Gondola Race! The "Regata di Traghetti" starts at the island of Sant’Elena and ends at the Punta della Dogana, at the entrance of the Grand Canal. One look at Saint Mark’s Square with Saint Mark’s Basilica is proof enough that the city is anything but subtle about their pride in their patron saint. The winged lion, which represents St Mark and is the famous symbol of the city of Venice, can also be found in Piazza San Marco, and all over Venice for that matter. Saint Mark may be a ubiquitous symbol in Venice today, but before the year 828 Saint Mark's remains were in Alexandria. Being an important maritime power, Venice needed equally important relics, a status symbol at the time. Venetian merchants Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello were up for the job, and smuggled Saint Mark’s remains from Alexandria into Venice. They accomplished the difficult task by hiding the relics in shipments of pork meat, which were understandably off-putting to the Islamic inspectors. Perhaps it’s because of the great effort taken to "import" Saint Mark’s remains that Venetians have always been so proud of their patron saint. 

Festival of the Blooming Rose

The celebration is also known as the "Festival of the Blooming Rose,” and it is tradition for men to give the woman they love a "bocolo," a red rose bud to symbolize their love. The legend surrounding the tradition of the rosebud centers on two star-crossed lovers, Maria Partecipazio, the Doge’s daughter, and Tancredi the troubadour. Maria was a beautiful noblewoman, whose father forbid her romance with Tancredi because of his lower social class. Tancredi enrolls in the army, seeking fame and glory through battle that would elevate his social status, making him able to return home worthy of Maria. He fought valiantly, but was ultimately killed in battle in Spain. Tancredi fell mortally wounded onto a rosebush, and with the last of his strength picked a rosebud and asked his friend Orlando the Paladin to take it back to Maria. Orlando returned to Venice on April 24th, and true to his word gave Maria the rosebud, still stained with Tancredi’s blood. The next day, on April 25th, Maria was found dead with the rose over her broken heart. So, while flowers are always a welcome gesture, if you’re in Venice for April 25th, be sure to symbolize your eternal love with a red rosebud!

The Rogation Days

These are the Church's special days of prayer during which the faithful beseech God for mercy in behalf of the bodily and spiritual needs of humanity, and especially to obtain His blessings upon the new growth in the fields. The term Rogation has been given these days because of the supplicatory and penitential exercises which characterize them. Outstanding are the special prayers (given in the Ritual and Breviary), the violet color of the vestments of the clergy and of the vestures, the Litany of the Saints sung during the procession and the special Rogation Mass. 

Formerly such observances were more numerous than today, and they included fasting and abstinence. They were held in time of public calamity to appease the just wrath of God because of sin or to beseech Him to avert impending calamities. It is still common in many places for clergy and people to proceed to the fields, imploring God's blessing upon them. Antedating the Christian observance, and which the latter replaced, was the pagan festival of the Robigalia which sacrifices were offered to the god Robigus whose special task it was, as popularly believed, to keep blight from grain. 

Today the Church has four such days to be observed during the year. The one replacing the pagan festival of April 25 coincides with the feast of St. Mark, celebrated on this day, and is called the Greater Litanies. The procession is held, and the Mass of Rogation is offered up. If the procession cannot possibly be held, whether out of doors or within the church, the Mass is of the feast of St. Mark, unless it occurs on a still greater feast, or during Easter week, when it is transferred. The three other Rogation Days, also called the Lesser Litanies immediately priced the feast of the Ascension. Their observance has come down to use form the institution at Vienna in France by Bishop Mamertus in the fifth century. Pope St. Leo III, towards the end of the eighth century, introduced practice for the universal church.

 
—Excerpted from "The Mind of the Church after Easter and at Whitsuntide: Participation Outlines" by Rembert Bularzik, OSB, Orate Fratres 1935-05-18: Vol 9 Iss 7, pp. 292-293

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER TWO-THE TRADITION OF PRAYER

Article 1-AT THE WELLSPRINGS OF PRAYER

2652 The Holy Spirit is the living water "welling up to eternal life" in the heart that prays. It is he who teaches us to accept it at its source: Christ. Indeed in the Christian life there are several wellsprings where Christ awaits us to enable us to drink of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of God

2653 The Church "forcefully and specially exhorts all the Christian faithful . . . to learn 'the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ' ( Phil 3:8) by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.... Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man. For 'we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles."'

2654 The spiritual writers, paraphrasing Matthew 7:7, summarize in this way the dispositions of the heart nourished by the word of God in prayer "Seek in reading and you will find in meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you by contemplation."

The Liturgy of the Church

2655 In the sacramental liturgy of the Church, the mission of Christ and of the Holy Spirit proclaims, makes present, and communicates the mystery of salvation, which is continued in the heart that prays. the spiritual writers sometimes compare the heart to an altar. Prayer internalizes and assimilates the liturgy during and after its celebration. Even when it is lived out "in secret," prayer is always prayer of the Church; it is a communion with the Holy Trinity.

The theological virtues

2656 One enters into prayer as one enters into liturgy: by the narrow gate of faith. Through the signs of his presence, it is the Face of the Lord that we seek and desire; it is his Word that we want to hear and keep.

2657 The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ's return, teaches us - to pray in hope. Conversely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope in us. the psalms especially, with their concrete and varied language, teach us to fix our hope in God: "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry." As St. Paul prayed: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

2658 "Hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Prayer, formed by the liturgical life, draws everything into the love by which we are loved in Christ and which enables us to respond to him by loving as he has loved us. Love is the source of prayer; whoever draws from it reaches the summit of prayer. In the words of the Cure of Ars:

I love you, O my God, and my only desire is to love you until the last breath of my life. I love you, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving you, than live without loving you. I love you, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love you eternally.... My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love you, I want my heart to repeat it to you as often as I draw breath.

"Today"

2659 We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus' teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence: time is in the Father's hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: "O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts."

2660 Prayer in the events of each day and each moment is one of the secrets of the kingdom revealed to "little children," to the servants of Christ, to the poor of the Beatitudes. It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the kingdom of justice and peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations; all forms of prayer can be the leaven to which the Lord compares the kingdom.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer to the Holy Spirit[6]

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations.

Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday Feast

Thursday is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stopping by the grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.

·         According to Mary Agreda[7] in her visions it was on a Thursday at six o'clock in the evening and at the approach of night that the Angel Gabriel approached and announced her as Mother of God and she gave her fiat.

Best Places to Visit in April

Santa Catalina Island, California[8]

Part of the Channel Islands of California (22 miles off Southern California), I honestly believe this gorgeous spot is one of the best islands to visit in spring. For starters, there’s the stunning island scenery before the summer crowds arrive, and this time of year has a much more relaxed atmosphere. The weather averages around 67 degrees in the day, and once there, I would highly recommend just kicking back and waiting for island life to take hold! 

It’s a rocky but very scenic island with white sand beaches, palm trees, a cute harbor filled with gently bobbing boats, and jaw-dropping sunsets. There are also plenty of accommodation options.

·         Visitor’s Centre Address: 1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: +1 310-510-1520

My favorite highlights…

  • Experiencing the exhilarating Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour which reaches speed of nearly 40 mph at 600 feet above sea level!
  • Exploring the outback on an open-air four-wheel tour to discover remote areas others don’t usually see.
  • Taking part in a Happy Hour Tour where I tasted award-winning appetizers and specialty drinks.

BANQUET for the Feast of St. Mark

·         Feast of St. Mark-Mass

Rachel’s Corner

Welcome to Arizona Tiki Oasis (April 25 - 28, 2024), an island lifestyle meet-up held in the middle of the desert at one of the best-preserved Mid-Century hotels in America — Hotel Valley Ho (est.1956). Wear your most festive aloha wear; sip crafted tropical cocktails by top mixologists; browse the pop-up Art Show; relax in a cabana by the pool; learn about mid-century style, design, and lifestyle from experts; shop the outdoor marketplace with a variety of artists, makers, and traders; and, of course, enjoy the overall island-in-the-desert vibe.  

Event 

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival--April 25-May 5--Love jazz? Join fellow music lovers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held every year since 1970, the annual Jazz Fest, as it’s called, showcases nearly every music genre, from blues to R&B, and everything else in between. It’s all performed across 12 stages during the last weekend in April.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The sanctification of the Church Militant.

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         John Parker Day



[8]https://globalgrasshopper.com/destinations/north-america/21-of-the-best-places-to-visit-in-april-in-the-usa/




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