Archive for October, 2008

Pope Benedict declares India’s first woman saint

October 13, 2008

By Andrew Buncombe
Belfast Telegraph
13 October 2008

India got its first female saint – a Catholic nun who was so determined as a young girl to enter a convent that she stepped into a fire to disfigure her feet and stop her aunt pressuring her to marry.

Pope Benedict used the canonisation of Sister Alphonsa to call for an end to the religious violence in India in which Hindu mobs have killed dozens of Christians forced thousands from their homes.

“As the Christian faithful of India give thanks to God for their first native daughter to be presented for public veneration, I wish to assure them of my prayers during this difficult time,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square. “I urge the perpetrators of violence to renounce these acts and join with their brothers and sisters to work together in building a civilisation of love.”

Alphonsa Muttathupadathu, who was born in 1910 in the southern state of Kerala, has been credited with curing illness and disease even after her death in 1946. She is India’s second saint, following Gonsalo Garcia’s elevation in 1862, and the country’s first woman to be canonised, pipping India’s most famous nun to the post. Albanian-born Mother Teresa was beatified, the first step to becoming a saint, in 2003. Attending the ceremony yesterday at the Vatican was a 10-year-old Indian boy whose club foot was, in the judgement of papal officials, miraculously healed after prayers to Sister Alphonsa.

It took more than 50 years for the Vatican to sift through the evidence and make Sister Alphonsa a saint. She considered Jesus to be her “divine spouse” and was desperate to avoid having to marry. “My marriage was arranged when I was 13. What had I to do to avoid it? I prayed all that night … then an idea came to me. If my body were a little disfigured no one would want me!”

Meanwhile, around Kerala, the bells of white-painted churches rang out and firecrackers were set off as Catholics celebrated. Thousands packed into a small church and a school auditorium in the town of Bharananganam, where Sister Alphonsa is buried, to watch the event on television. “We always thought she was someone special, we felt she had an aura about her,” said Sister Grace Kalriparambil, 77, an acquaintance. “At a time when evil is so widespread, it is good to have something like this to keep our spirits up.”

India’s Christians, who account for up to 2.5 per cent of the population, have been shaken in recent weeks by violence in the eastern state of Orissa. Thousands of poor Christians have been forced from their homes. At least 35 people have been killed and a nun, from Kerala, was allegedly raped.


Site Search

October 12, 2008

I have made a Google site search box for this journal, but as it is a javascript item, Lj willna host it. Therefore it is on, and the link for it is will be over in the sidebar. I have also put in an LjSeek site search box in the sidebar, but it is not working very well at this time. Perhaps as it gets older, it will.

Meanwhile here is the link that will be in the sidebar for the Google search. It will bring up all the nearly 300 posts on this journal, depending upon what you type in to look for. Enjoy!

Search faith32

Readings, the Liturgy, Calendars and more

October 12, 2008

Yesterday I found Universalis, which is pretty nice for using to see which readings are in use for what day. I am putting a permanent link to this one post on the links over in the sidebar so that you can always clicky on it to get your daily readings even when this post is off the front page. There are two logos to reflect the different time zones in the world. Choose whichever one you need. :)




October 12, 2008

**This is one of my favourite paintings of Our Lady, and if you click on it, you can see a larger version

By William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Our Lady loves you

October 12, 2008

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

From Selva at Flickr

Mass Readings for 28th Sunday of the year

October 12, 2008

From: Universalis

First reading Isaiah 25:6 – 10

On this mountain,
the Lord of Hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.
On this mountain he will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame
everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation;
the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us;
for the hand of the Lord
rests on this mountain.

Psalm or canticle Psalm 22 (23)

The good shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.
He has taken me to green pastures,
he has led me to still waters;
he has healed my spirit.
He has led me along right paths
for his own name’s sake.

Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for you are with me:
your rod and your staff give me comfort.

You have set a table before me
in the sight of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup overflows.

Truly goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life.
For long years I shall live
in the house of the Lord.

Second reading Philippians 4:12 – 20

I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can. Glory to God, our Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Matthew 22:1 – 14

Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

Give me the grace to amend my life, and to have an eye to mine end, without the grudge of death, which to them that die in thee, good Lord, is the gate of a truly wealthy life.

— St Thomas More
From: EWTN