Quote of the day: 8 February

APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE TO INDIA

BEATIFICATION
FATHER KURIAKOSE ELIAS CHAVARA

SISTER ALFONSA MUTTATHUPANDATHU

HOMILY OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II

Excerpts

Nahru Stadium of Kottayam
Saturday, 8 February 1986


“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to the little ones” (Mt 11:25).

What things has the Lord hidden? What mysteries has he revealed? Truly the deepest ones, the mysteries of his own divine life, those known here on earth only by him, only by Christ himself. For he says: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”.

And behold, the Son does reveal these things. At the same time, he reveals the Father. The Father is revealed through the Son. And to whom does the Son reveal these things? He reveals them to those whom he chooses: “for such was your gracious will”, Jesus tells the Father. He reveals these things to the little ones.

 

Children having fun, Backwaters at Kottayam, Kerala
Children having fun, Backwaters at Kottayam | Saurabh Chatterjee / Flickr 

 

Today, in this Sacred Liturgy, we wish to unite ourselves in a special way with Christ the Lord. Together with him, we wish to bless the Father, for the particular love which he has shown to a son and daughter of the Church in India. We praise the Father for his countless blessings during the two thousand years that the Church has existed on Indian soil. With Christ, we glorify the Father for the love that he has shown to the little ones of Kerala and all India.

Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born here in Kerala, and for nearly all of his sixty-five years of earthly life he laboured generously for the renewal and enrichment of the Christian life. His deep love for Christ filled him with apostolic zeal and made him especially careful to promote the unity of the Church. With great generosity, he collaborated with others, especially brother priests and religious, in the work of salvation.

In co-operation with Fathers Thomas Palackal and Thomas Porukara, Father Kuriakose founded an Indian religious congregation for men, now known as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. Later, with the help of an Italian missionary, Father Leopold Beccaro, he started an Indian religious congregation for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel. These congregations grew and flourished, and religious vocations became better understood and appreciated. Through the common efforts of the members of new religious families, his hopes and works were multiplied many times over.

 

Backwaters at Kottayam, Kerala
Backwaters at Kottayam, Kerala | Saurabh Chatterjee / Flickr 

 

Father Kuriakose’s life, and the lives of these new religious, were dedicated to the service of the Syro-Malabar Church. Under his leadership or inspiration, a good number of apostolic initiatives were undertaken: the establishment of seminaries for the education and formation of the clergy, the introduction of annual retreats, a publishing house for Catholic works, a house to care for the destitute and dying, schools for general education and programmes for the training of catechumens. He contributed to the Syro-Malabar liturgy and spread devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Family. In particular, he dedicated himself to encouraging and counselling Christian families, convinced as he was of the fundamental role of the family in the life of society and the Church.

But no apostolic cause was dearer to the heart of this great man of faith than that of the unity and harmony within the Church. It was as if he had always before his mind the prayer of Jesus, on the night before his Sacrifice on the Cross: “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us”. Today the Church solemnly recalls with love and gratitude all his efforts to resist threats of disunity and to encourage the clergy and faithful to maintain unity with the See of Peter and the universal Church. His success in this, as in all his many undertakings, was undoubtedly due to the intense charity and prayer which characterised his daily life, his close communion with Christ and his love for the Church as the visible Body of Christ on earth.

Truly extraordinary is this day in the history of the Church and Christianity on Indian soil. It is important, too, in the history of the pastoral ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter. It is the first time that he has had the joy of raising to the glory of the altars a son and a daughter of the Church in India, in their native land.

 

Egret backwaters near Kottayam_22 Saurabh Chatterjee Flickr 5134285929
Egret flying over the backwaters at Kottayam | Saurabh Chatterjee / Flickr 

 

You can explore all of our blog posts about Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara here.

 

Photography by SaurabhChatterjee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

4 January: St. Kuriakos Elias Chavara

January 4
SAINT KURIAKOS ELIAS CHAVARA
Priest

Optional Memorial
In the provinces of India, Memorial

 

Saint Kuriakos Elias Chavara, co-founder and first prior general of the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, was born at Kainakary in Kerala, India, February 10, 1805. He entered the seminary in 1818, and was ordained priest in 1829. He made his religious profession in 1855, in the congregation he founded. In 1861, he was named vicar general for the Syro-Malabar church; in this capacity he defended ecclesial unity threatened by schism when mar Tomas Rochos was sent from Mesopotamia to consecrate Nestorian bishops. Throughout his life he worked for the renovation of the church in Malabar. He was also co-founder in 1866 of the congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel. Above all, he was a man of prayer, zealous for the Eucharistic Lord, and devoted to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. He died at Koonammavu in 1871. His body was transferred to Mannanam in 1889.

From the Common of Pastors or of Holy Men (Religious)

Office of Readings

The Second Reading

From a note written on the day of his death, by his spiritual director Fr. Leopold Beccaro

Day and night he fought to arrest the spread of schism

Today, Tuesday, January 3, 1871, at 7:15 in the morning, Fr. Cyriac (Kuriakos) Elias of the Holy Family, the first Prior, died after a life of great innocence. He could declare before his death he had never lost his baptismal innocence. He was exercising himself in the practice of virtues, especially in simplicity of heart, living faith, tender obedience, and devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Joseph. He has undergone immense hardships for the good of the Christians of Malabar, especially during the time of the schism of Rochos, when he, having been appointed vicar general of the Syrians, showed his extraordinary devotion to the Holy See. He fought day and night to arrest the spread of schism from which he would save no less than forty parishes. On this account the Holy Father Pope Pius IX sent him a letter expressing his great satisfaction. He was the founder and the first Prior of the Carmelites of Malabar. He founded also the convent of nuns after undergoing many hardships. On account of his endearing virtues, learning and profound knowledge of the Syriac language he enjoyed great influence on the Syrians of Malabar. He was always greatly loved by the Vicars Apostolic of Malabar, and even more by the people of Malabar, the gentiles and Nestorians not excluded. He endured his last illness for two years in a spirit of great resignation, nay with joy. He was detached from all disorderly affections for earthly things, which was all the more true in the last days of his life. Having received the last sacraments with extraordinary piety and devotion, in a heavenly joy, and amidst the tears of all who knew him, especially my own, who knew him even as myself, he breathed his last at the age of sixty-five and was buried in the church of St. Philomena at Koonammavu. O holy and beautiful soul, pray for me.

Responsory

R/. You adorned my soul with all graces *
so that the angels too may find joy in that.
V/. You took care, besides, that my name might be inscribed in the book of life *
so that the angels too may find joy in that.

Prayer

Lord God,
You raised up Saint Kuriakos Elias your priest
to strengthen the unity of the Church.
Grant that through his intercession
we may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit
to read the signs of the times with wisdom
and spread the news of the Gospel
by both word and example.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

 

Kuriakose Elias Chavara 011 T
Credit: rejijoseph.com (used by permission)

29 November: Blesseds Denis and Redemptus

November 29
BLESSEDS DENIS OF THE NATIVITY, PRIEST,
AND REDEMPTUS OF THE CROSS, RELIGIOUS

Martyrs

Optional Memorial
in the provinces of India: Memorial

Denis of the Nativity, a priest, called in the world Pierre Berthelot, was born in Honfleur in France in 1600. He was a cartographer and naval commander for the kings of Portugal and France before he joined the Discalced Carmelites in Goa in 1635. It was also at Goa that the Portuguese lay brother, Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in 1598, had made his profession in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross. They were sent to the island of Sumatra (Indonesia), where, in the town of Achen (Aceh), they received the martyr’s crown on November 29, 1638.

From the common of several martyrs

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From The Ascent of Mount Carmel by Saint John of the Cross

(Bk 2, Ch 7:5—ed. Kavanaugh-Rodriguez 1979, pp. 122-24)

True self-denial means carrying Christ’s Cross

If anyone wishes to follow my way, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For he who would save his soul shall lose it, but he who loses it for me shall gain it. Oh, who can make this counsel of Our Savior understandable and practicable and attractive, that spiritual persons might become aware of the difference between the method many of them think is good and that which ought to be used in traveling this road! They are of the opinion that any kind of withdrawal from the world or reformation of life suffices. Some are content with a certain degree of virtue, perseverance in prayer, and mortification, but never achieve the nakedness, poverty, selflessness, or spiritual purity (which are all the same) that the Lord counsels us here. For they still feed and clothe their natural selves with spiritual feelings and consolations rather than divesting and denying themselves of these for God’s sake.

Through this kind of conduct, they became, spiritually speaking, enemies of the cross of Christ. A genuine spirit seeks the distasteful in God rather than the delectable, leans more toward suffering than toward consolation, more toward going without everything for God rather than toward possession. It prefers dryness and affliction to sweet consolation. It knows that this is the significance of following Christ and denying self, that the other method is perhaps a seeking of self in God—something entirely contrary to love.

If a man resolutely submits to the carrying of this cross, if he decidedly wants to find and endure trial in all things for God, he will discover in all of them great relief and sweetness. A man makes progress only through imitation of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one goes to the Father but through him. This way is nothing other than a death to our natural selves.

Responsory

If anyone wishes to follow my way,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
They have persecuted me, and they will persecute you.
Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Blessed are you when you are persecuted on my account: rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Prayer

Father,
we celebrate the memory of Blesseds Denis and Redemptus
who died for their faithful witnessing to Christ.
Give us the strength to follow their example,
loyal and faithful to the end.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. They loved Christ in their lives and imitated Him in their death: and so they reign with Him forever.

 

 

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Photos from the convent of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Banda Aceh, Indonesia courtesy of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia (used by permission) 

25 August: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified

August 25
SAINT MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Saint Mary (Mariam) of Jesus Crucified was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melkite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 Mariam entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. Mariam returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, Mariam died at Bethlehem in 1878.

From the common of virgins, or of holy women (religious)

Second Reading

(Cat. 16, 1, 12:16 (PG 33, 936, 939-942)

From the Catechesis of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good

The Holy Spirit, although he is one and of one nature and indivisible, apportions his grace as he wills to each one. When the dry tree is watered it brings forth shoots. So too the soul in sin: when through penance it is made worthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit, it bears the fruit of justice. Though the Spirit is one in nature, yet by the will of God and in the name of Christ he brings about multiple effects of virtue.

He uses the tongue of one man for wisdom, he illumines the soul of another by prophecy, to another he imparts the power of driving out devils, to another the gift of interpreting the sacred scriptures; he strengthens the self-control of one man, teaches another the nature of almsgiving, another to fast and mortify himself, another to despise the things of the body; he prepares another man for martyrdom.

He acts differently in different men while himself remaining unchanged, as it is written: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

His approach is gentle, his presence fragrant, his yoke very light; rays of light and knowledge shine forth before him as he comes. He comes with the heart of a true protector; he comes to save, to heal, to teach, to admonish, to strengthen, to console, to enlighten the mind, first of the man who receives him, then through him the minds of others also.

As a man previously in darkness, suddenly seeing the sun, receives his sight and sees clearly what he did not see before, so the man deemed worthy of the Holy Spirit is enlightened in soul and sees beyond the power of human sight what he did not know before. Although his body remains on the earth, his soul already contemplates heaven as in a mirror.

Responsory

We contemplate your beauty, O Virgin of Christ:
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

Nothing could bring you to surrender virginity;
nothing could separate you from the love of the Son of God.
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

Prayer

God of mercy and all consolation,
you raised Saint Mary,
the humble daughter of the Holy Land,
to contemplation of the mysteries of your Son
and made her a witness to the love and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Grant us, through her intercession,
so to share in the sufferings of Christ
that we may rejoice in the revelation of your glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Mariam-Baouardy_icon-traditional
One of the earliest and best-known icons of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

 

Learn more about Mariam here.

August 25: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified

August 25
BLESSED MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Saint Mary (Mariam) of Jesus Crucified was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melkite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 Mariam entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. Mariam returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, Mariam died at Bethlehem in 1878.

From the common of virgins, or of holy women (religious)

SECOND READING

(Cat. 16, 1, 12:16 (PG 33, 936, 939-942)

From the Catechesis of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good

The Holy Spirit, although he is one and of one nature and indivisible, apportions his grace as he wills to each one. When the dry tree is watered it brings forth shoots. So too the soul in sin: when through penance it is made worthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit, it bears the fruit of justice. Though the Spirit is one in nature, yet by the will of God and in the name of Christ he brings about multiple effects of virtue.

He uses the tongue of one man for wisdom, he illumines the soul of another by prophecy, to another he imparts the power of driving out devils, to another the gift of interpreting the sacred scriptures; he strengthens the self-control of one man, teaches another the nature of almsgiving, another to fast and mortify himself, another to despise the things of the body; he prepares another man for martyrdom.

He acts differently in different men while himself remaining unchanged, as it is written: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

His approach is gentle, his presence fragrant, his yoke very light; rays of light and knowledge shine forth before him as he comes. He comes with the heart of a true protector; he comes to save, to heal, to teach, to admonish, to strengthen, to console, to enlighten the mind, first of the man who receives him, then through him the minds of others also.

As a man previously in darkness, suddenly seeing the sun, receives his sight and sees clearly what he did not see before, so the man deemed worthy of the Holy Spirit is enlightened in soul and sees beyond the power of human sight what he did not know before. Although his body remains on the earth, his soul already contemplates heaven as in a mirror.

RESPONSORY

We contemplate your beauty, O Virgin of Christ:
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

Nothing could bring you to surrender virginity;
nothing could separate you from the love of the Son of God.
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

PRAYER

God of mercy and all consolation,
you raised Saint Mary,
the humble daughter of the Holy Land,
to contemplation of the mysteries of your Son
and made her a witness to the love and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Grant us, through her intercession,
so to share in the sufferings of Christ
that we may rejoice in the revelation of your glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Mariam-photo-b&w
Learn more about Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified

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