Blog Post - November 23rd
S. Miguel Agustin Pro| Pope S. Clement I| S. Felicitas| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Miguel Agustín Pro
¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King) were the last words Father Pro uttered before he was executed for being a Catholic priest and serving his flock.
Born into a prosperous, devout family in Guadalupe de Zacatecas, Mexico, he entered the Jesuits in 1911 but three years later fled to Granada, Spain, because of religious persecution in Mexico. He was ordained in Belgium in 1925.
He immediately returned to Mexico, where he served a Church forced to go “underground.” He celebrated the Eucharist clandestinely and ministered the other sacraments to small groups of Catholics.
He and his brother Roberto were arrested on trumped-up charges of attempting to assassinate Mexico’s president. Roberto was spared but Miguel was sentenced to face a firing squad on November 23, 1927. His funeral became a public demonstration of faith. He was beatified in 1988.
When Father Miguel Pro was executed in 1927, no one could have predicted that 52 years later the bishop of Rome would visit Mexico, be welcomed by its president and celebrate open-air Masses before thousands of people. Blessed John Paul II made additional trips to Mexico in 1990, 1993, 1999 and 2002. Those who outlawed the Catholic Church in Mexico did not count on the deeply rooted faith of its people and the willingness of many of them, like Miguel Pro, to die as martyrs.
During his homily at the beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II said that Father Pro “is a new glory for the beloved Mexican nation, as well as for the Society of Jesus. His life of sacrificing and intrepid apostolate was always inspired by a tireless evangelizing effort. Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away (see John 16:22). Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”
Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast day of Pope S. Clement I, Martyr. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
We know that Pope St. Clement was Roman, was our fourth pope and was martyred outside of Rome, but this information is about all we know with certainty. According to tradition he was probably a freed man in the imperial household and was baptized by St. Peter. He succeeded Cletus as pope in 91, and was exiled to the Crimea by Emperor Trajan. He preached with great zeal to the prisoners working in the mines there. Because of this he was condemned to death, bound and thrown into the sea with an anchor around his neck. It is also agreed by scholars that he was the author of a letter to the Corinthians in which he rebuked them for a schism that had broken out in their church. The letter is of particular historical importance as one of the outstanding documents of the early Church and significant as an instance of the bishop of Rome intervening authoritatively as the pre-eminent authority in the affairs of another apostolic church to settle a dispute as early as the first century.
About 868 St. Cyril, when in the Crimea on the way to evangelize the Chazars, dug up some bones in a mound (not in a tomb under the sea), and also an anchor. These were believed to be the relics of St. Clement. They were carried by St. Cyril to Rome, and deposited by Adrian II with those of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the high altar of the basilica of St. Clement in Rome. The history of this translation is evidently quite truthful, but there seems to have been no tradition with regard to the mound, which simply looked a likely place to be a tomb. The anchor appears to be the only evidence of identity but we cannot gather from the account that it belonged to the scattered bones.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this holy pope that You gave to shepherd Your flock as well as all those whom You have put in authority. Help us, Father, to be submissive and docile to them, knowing that when they make infallible statements that they are speaking for You. Amen.
Also in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Felicitas, Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Felicitas of Rome (c. 101 - 165) is a saint numbered among the Christian martyrs. Apart from her name, the only thing known for certain about this martyr is that she was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus, on the Via Salaria on a 23 November. However, a legend presents her as the mother of the "Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs", whose feast is celebrated on 10 July.
The legend of Saint Symphorosa is very similar and their acts may have been confused. They may even be the same person. This Felicitas is not the same as the North African Felicitas who was martyred with Perpetua.
The feast of Saint Felicitas of Rome is first mentioned in the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" as celebrated on November 23. From a very early date her feast as a martyr was solemnly celebrated in the Roman Church on that date, as shown by the fact that on that day Saint Gregory the Great delivered a homily in the Basilica that rose above her tomb. Her body then rested in the catacomb of Maximus on the Via Salaria; in that cemetery all Roman itineraries, or guides to the burial-places of martyrs, locate her burial-place, specifying that her tomb was in a church above this catacomb. The crypt where St Felicitas was laid to rest was later enlarged into a subterranean chapel, and was rediscovered in 1885.
Respect for Sisters:
Sisters are—and should be—enormously respected. There's a kind of moral or spiritual power they have that makes up for their lack of institutional power.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Life without love of God is worse than death.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 327: The Hidden Presence of God
God is hiding. But why? He hides under the veil of secrecy and silence so that we will diligently seek Him. He does not choose to compete with the distractions of the world since He wants you to choose Him as your one desire. Desire to seek Him, hidden in your heart, hidden in the holy Sacraments, hidden in the silence and hidden in the people whom you encounter throughout your day. The Lord is there, waiting for you to discover His Heart filled with unfathomable Mercy. Seek Him with all your might (See Diary #1591).
Ponder the hidden presence of God today. Be aware of the fact that the presence of God is all around you, constantly calling to you and inviting you into His Heart. If you allow yourself to become disinterested or distracted by the world, you will never discover how close He is. Reflect upon His hidden presence and do not hesitate to seek Him today.
Lord, I love You but at times I fail to live that love fully. I become so very distracted by things that mean little in the end. Help me to regain my focus and to seek You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.