Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, The 1st Joyful Mystery - the ANNUNCIATION, The ANNUNCIATION, YouTube VIDEOS

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Our Lady of Betania and Memorials of the Saints – 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March

Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) narrates:

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation, was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her and asked her, in the name of the Blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy Bishop and Martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the Apostles, shows us that Nazareth, is the counterpart of Eden.

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel and she answers him but the angel of the earthly paradise, is a spirit of darkness and he of Nazareth, is a spirit of light. In both instances, it is the angel that has the first word. ‘Why,’ said the serpent to Eve, ‘hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?’ His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil, he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it but he hates the image of God, which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light; see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: ‘Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!’ Such language is evidently of heaven, none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit, she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her. She rashly stretches forth her hand, she plucks the fruit, she eats it and death takes possession of her: death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life; and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror and finally, crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle and fix them on Nazareth. Mary has heard the angel’s explanation of the mystery, the will of heaven is made known to her and how grand an honour it is to bring upon her! She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God and yet, the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her! Mary bows down before this sovereign will and says to the heavenly messenger: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me, according to thy word.’

Thus, as the great St Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve, repaired the disobedience of the first, for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, ‘be it done,’ than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary and there, He begins His human life. A Virgin is a Mother and Mother of God and it is this Virgin’s consenting to the divine will, that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman, the relations of Son and Mother, it gives to the almighty God, a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary. God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance, the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough and, therefore, she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy. The result of so glorious a triumph is, that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven. Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation. Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her and, in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary and deem themselves honoured, when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.

Therefore is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary’s obedience from the power of hell, solemnise this day of the Annunciation. Well may we say of Mary, those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God’s people: ‘The valiant men ceased and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel. The Lord chose new wars and He Himself, overthrew the gates of the enemies.’ Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus, these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary: ‘Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him. And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel and He hath killed the enemy of His people, by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman and hath slain him.’

Our Lady of Betania:
The name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small Chapel was built there and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas (Crucified with Jesus) “The Good Thief”

St Dula the Slave
Blessed Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About Bl Emilian:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-blessed-emilian-kovch-1884-1944-martyr/

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Marie-Alphonsine/Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas (1843-1927)
About St Marie-Alphonusine:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-st-marie-alphonsine-danil-ghattas-1843-1927/
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March
https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/25/the-solemnity-of-the-annunciation-of-the-lord-25-march/

Our Lady of Betania:
The name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About St Emilian:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-blessed-emilian-kovch-1884-1944-martyr/

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Marie-Alphonsine/Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas (1843-1927)

St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, YouTube VIDEOS

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the Memorial of Our Lady of Betania & of the Saints – 25 March

The Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)

Actually the name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About St Emilian: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-blessed-emilian-kovch-1884-1944-martyr/

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Margaret Clitherow
Bl Margaretha Flesch
St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.

Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 March – Blessed Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 25 March – Blessed Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Martyr and Priest, Husband and Father – born (born Оmelyan) on 20 August 1884 near Kosiv, Ivano-Frankivs’ka oblast, Ukraine – gassed and burned on 25 March 1944 in the ovens of the Nazi death camp at Majdanek, Lubelskie, Poland.   Beatified on 27 June 2001 by St Pope John Paul II at Ukraine.

web3-blessed-emilian-kolvich-icon-nashastudiya-cc-via-wikipedia

Emilian Kovch, was born in The Ukraine on 20 August 1894, in Kosmach near Kosiv.   His, was a family that had produced several priests.   His father, was Father Gregory Kowcz, a Greek Catholic parish priest.   Blessed Emilian completed school in Lviv and then from 1905 to 1911, he studied theology in Rome.   In 1911 he married Maria-Anna Dobrzynska, and the next year he was ordained a priest.

There was a war between Poland and the Ukraine, which was a multi-sided war that saw seven different nations take the battlefield.   In this war, Father Emilian served as a military chaplain from 1919-1921.   He had said at the time, “I know that the soldier on the front line feels better when he sees the doctor and the priest also there . . You know, lads, that I am consecrated, and a bullet doesn’t take a consecrated man easily.”   He was captured, held prisoner briefly and then released and appointed parish priest at Peremyslany, a small town 30 miles from Lviv.
His activity then was devoted to parish life.   He cared for the spiritual, material and physical needs of his parishioners.  He organised Eucharistic congresses, bought shoes and books for poor children, supported local cooperative movements and the Ukrainian independence movement.  This brought him attention from the local Polish administration, who searched his house over 40 times.   He was fined and imprisoned in a monastery.   He and his wife had six children of their own and many times gave shelter to orphans as well.

Father Emilian’s support of independence for Ukraine did not mean that he had animosity towards the Polish people.   After the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 and Stalin’s invasion of the west Ukraine and eastern Poland, he severely scolded some of his parishioners for looting Polish homes and he prevented further thefts.   He said to them, “I thought that I had taught you to be good parishioners..now I am ashamed of you before God.”
Father Emilian organised help for Polish widows and orphans.   In the first two years of Soviet occupation, the secret police murdered or deported over 300,000 persons from west Ukraine.   In 1941 mass arrests were carried out in Peremyslany, including Father Emilian and two of his daughter’s.   Miraculously, they escaped just as the Nazi invaders reached their town, but, as Father Emilian Kowcz celebrated his first Mass back in his parish, the news arrived that all of the other prisoners had been killed by the retreating communists.

Many of the Ukrainian people hoped that Hitler would liberate them from the Bolshevik oppressors and grant them some measure of independence, but, those hopes were short lived.   Father Emilian urged the young people to not become involved in criminal deeds and to resist the urging of anti-semitism by the Nazi’s and their newly formed police force under Nazi control.   He never ceased to condemn publicly the deeds of the Nazi Fascist regime, which treated the Slavs as sub-human and began deporting them to German factories and labour camps.
BL EMILIAN KOVCH - 25 MARCH
The treatment of the Jews became a very serious matter.   A detachment of the SS drove some Jews into a local Synagogue and began throwing firebombs inside with the intention of burning them alive. Somehow made aware by some Jews of what was taking place, Father Emilian, along with some of his parishioners, rushed to the Synagogue and blocked the doors preventing the Nazi’s from throwing more firebombs inside.   Fluent in German, Father Emilian shouted at the Nazi’s to go away and by another miracle, they did.   Father Emilian and the parishioners then went into the already burning building, and saved as many as possible.

The Jews were the majority of the population of Peremyslany and any attempt to save Jewish lives en masse from the Nazi’s was impossible.   Some of the Jewish population came to Father Emilian asking for baptism, in the hope that would save them from Nazi extermination and he catechised and baptised them, at first individually.   As the Nazi persecution became more intense, a group representing 1,000 Jews came to Father Emilian asking for baptism.   Father Emilian then consulted Archbishop Andrei Sheptytsky (who was sheltering over 1,000 Jews himself) as to what action to take.   As time was getting short, on his return, Father Emilian then administered a short catechesis and mass baptism.
This was entirely against Nazi law but, Father Emilian ignored their warnings and further, after the closing of the ghetto, he applied to the Nazi’s for permission to enter the ghetto to baptise any who desired it.   The records indicate that the newly baptised Jews formed their own Christian community even within the ghetto.   Father Emilian even wrote a letter to Adolph Hitler denouncing the Nazi crimes!
The Nazi’s could not allow such activity to go unpunished and so in December 1942, Father Emilian Kowcz was arrested, imprisoned, and interrogated by the Gestapo. During interrogation, Father Emilian admitted to baptising Jews and refused to sign a document saying he would not do so in the future, even if it was contrary to Nazi law. The record of this interrogation still exists and says in part:
Officer: “Did you know that it is prohibited to baptize Jews?”
Fr. Kovch: “I didn’t know anything.”
Officer: “Do you now know it?”
Fr. Kovch: “Yes.”
Officer: “Will you continue to do it?”
Fr. Kovch: “Of course.”
 
Unable to get compliance from Father Emilian, the Gestapo sent him to Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin.   There, Blessed Father Emilian Kowcz brought comfort to his fellow prisoners, no matter what their race, no matter what their faith.   He saw his situation as a mission and a Gift from God, as well as a responsibility to be fulfilled.   He would celebrate the Liturgy in a corner of the barracks.   When his daughters and other family members attempted to secure his release he wrote these words to them:
I thank God for His goodness to me.   Apart from heaven, this is the one place where I wish to remain.   Here we are all equal: Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Latvians and Estonians.   Of all these here I am the only priest. I cannot even imagine how it would be here without me.   Here I see God, who is the same for us all, regardless of our religious distinctions.   Perhaps our churches are different, but the same great and Almighty God rules over us all.   When I celebrate the Divine Liturgy, they all join in prayer. . .
 
They die in different ways, and I help them to cross over this little bridge into eternity. Is this not a blessing?   Isn’t this the greatest crown which God could have placed upon my head? It is indeed. I thank God a thousand times a day for sending me here. I do not ask him for anything else.   Do not worry, and do not lose faith at what I share. Instead, rejoice with me.
 
Pray for those who created this concentration camp and this system. They are the only ones who need prayers . . May God have mercy upon them.”
 
Father Emilian’s health began to deteriorate and after Christmas 1943, he became seriously ill from stomach problems he couldn’t hide.   He was sent to the camp “hospital” where it was well known by his fellow prisoners that healing treatment was extremely rare and that the Nazi “doctors” helped speed death along by injection or starvation.   Father Emilian was last seen by his fellow prisoners in the spring but, afterwards, they did not know what became of him.   It was not until 1972 that his daughters managed to obtain his death certificate, where the records indicate that he died of infection and inflammation to his right leg that blocked circulation.   Some records also indicate that he was gassed and burned in the ovens of the Majdanek concentration camp.   Father Emilian Kowcz died on 25 March 1944.
On the night before his death, he wrote the following to his family:
I understand that you are trying to get me released.   But I beg you not to do this. Yesterday they killed fifty people.   If I am not here, who will help them to get through these sufferings?   They would go on their way to eternity with all their sins and in the depths of unbelief, which would take them to hell.   But now they go to death with their heads held aloft, leaving all their sins behind them.   And so they pass over to the eternal city.”
 
Blessed Father Emilian Kovch through his example of faith and courage, showed all what Love of Christ, Faith in Christ, and Hope in Christ is and how that love, faith, and hope is to all people, no matter who they are, or what their station in life.
On 9 September 1999, Blessed Emilian Kovch was recognised as a Righteous Ukrainian by the Jewish Council of Ukraine.
BL EMILIAN KOVCH - 25 MARCH - SNIP
Posted in DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

25 March 2018, Palm Sunday, the Solemnity of the Annunciation and Memorials of the Saints

Palm Sunday (2018)

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity): The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Gabriel the Archangel that she was to be the Mother of God (Luke 1), the Word being made flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit.   The feast probably originated about the time of the Council of Ephesus, c 431 and is first mentioned in the Sacramentary of Pope Gelasius (died 496).   The Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Philippe de Champaigne (1 and 2 below), Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, Titian (2nd last below), Tintoretto (last below) and Del Sarto.Annunciation_Philippe de Champaigneannunciation-philippe-de-champaignethe annunciation - paolo de matteis 1712the-annunciation1200px-Zwiastowanie_Tintoretta

Our Lady of Betania:   Actually the name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela.   Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch
Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Margaret Clitherow
Bl Margaretha Flesch
St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.