February 14, 2019

The Lily of Quito; St. Mariana de Jesus de Paredes; This orphaned girl grew up to be the “Heroine of the Nation.”

The Lily of Quito  St. Mariana de Jesus de Paredes                                                                                 aleteia.org
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

On October 31, 1618, a baby girl was born in the city of Quito, which was located in the New Kingdom of Grenada. Today this area is known as Ecuador. The child’s father was an upstanding and respected Spanish nobleman from Toledo by the name of Don Girolamo Flores de Paredes. Her mother’s name was Dona Mariana Cranobles de Xaramilo and she was descended from the most highly respected of Spanish families. Girolamo and Mariana named their daughter,  Mariana. She was the youngest of eight children.

Mariana was orphaned at the age of seven, and her upbringing was taken over by her older sister, Jeronima, who had already married. Mariana had an obvious sense of piety and humility that seemed part of her persona and her sister and her brother-in-law, Cosme de Caso,  decided they would allow her to live in seclusion in their house. Mariana did not live in total isolation because there was a Jesuit church nearby and she spent as much time there as she could praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

Mariana instinctively began to develop a deep sense of piety and self-mortification, denying herself food, drink, and sleep. Her brother-in-law had the Jesuit priest, Juan Camacho, guide her in her development. Like St. Rose of Lima (who she is compared to) she did not enter a convent but rather, stayed in her home devoting herself to prayer and penance and practicing self-mortification and fasting.

It is reported that Mariana’s fasting was so intense and strict that she ate only an ounce of food every eight to ten days. This is impossible for a person to survive on, but similar to St. Catherine of Siena and Saint Rose of Lima, .Mariana’s life was miraculously sustained by the Holy Eucharist. Many witnesses swore testimony to the fact that Mariana did receive Holy Communion each morning. She was determined to follow the mandate of Jesus: Who wants to follow me should deny herself.”

Mariana’s spirituality and the gifts attached to it included her being able to predict the future, see future events as if they were passing before her, look into the very hearts of people, cure disease by making the sign of the cross on someones or sprinkling them with holy water. It was documented that she even restored a dead person to life. The reputation of the holy woman called Mariana spread far and wide.

In 1645 there was a great earthquake in Quito. Many people died as a terrible epidemic of disease swept through the city. A Jesuit priest gave a homily in church and prayed aloud, “My God, I offer you my life so that the earthquakes are over.”

But Mariana quickly came forward and exclaimed, “No Lord, the life of this priest is necessary to save many souls, but I am not necessary….I offer you my life to stop these earthquakes.”

The very next day Mariana began to feel very sick. Shortly after, on May 26, 1645, Mariana died. She was 27 years old. There were no more earthquakes, and no one else died from disease. It is reported that on the day she died her sanctity became visible to all who were there. A pure white lily sprouted from her blood, blossomed, and bloomed for all to see. Because of this she became known as the Lily of Quito. In 1946 the Republic of Ecuador declared her a national heroine giving her the title, Heroine of the Nation.

St. Mariana de Jesus de Paredes, was beatified by Pope Pius IX on November 20, 1853 and canonized by Pope Pius XII on June 4, 1950. She is the patroness of those with bodily ills, people rejected by religious orders, and those who lose their parents, especially while children.

St. Mariana de Jesus de Paredes, please pray for us.




copyright©Larry Peterson 2019 



February 4, 2019

The Wonderful Legend of St. Peter Paschal

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson


St. Peter Paschal with boy Jesus as altar boy                                                  courtesy aleteia.org 
Peter Paschal, was born in Valencia on Spain's east coast, in the year 1227. Peter's parents were devout Mozarabs (Iberian Christians) who managed to live under Muslim rule. They did this by paying a yearly tax, known as jizyah. This tax was even collected as a means of sparing the life of certain non-muslims living in the community depending upon whether or not the ruling Imam decided a certain person deserved death. The Mozarabs and the Muslim Arabs co-existed and even spoke a similar language known as Mozarabic.

The founder of the Mercedarians, St. Peter Nolasco,  was very good friends with Peter's family and he and his Mercedarian companions would often stay at Peter's home when they were on a mission to free Christian captives. This exposure to these pious men helped to instill in young Peter a deep sense of piety. Combined with the virtuous, charitable and  caring influence of his parents, Peter Paschal, grew into a deeply devoted servant of God.

Ironically, the primary influence in Peter's educational journey was a teacher that Peter's parents had ransomed from the Muslim Moors years before. The young man traveled with him to Paris and, under his guidance,  studied, preached and taught,  developing a fine reputation as a learned and pious man.

Peter then returned to Valencia and Peter Nolasco became his spiritual advisor. After another year of preparation, he became a full member of The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, aka Mercedarians. It was time for him to begin redeeming captive Christians.

Peter Paschal had a brilliant mind and James I,  the King of Aragon, appointed him as a preceptor (teacher) of his son, Sanchez. Sanchez was so influenced by Peter that he himself became a Mercedarian priest  and, in 1262,  was made the Archbishop of Toledo. Since Prince Sanchez was too young to be consecrated, his teacher, Peter Paschal, was appointed to govern the diocese and was ordained the Bishop of Granada. Granada was under the control of the Muslims.

As Bishop of Grenada, Peter Paschal, preached tirelessly about Christianity. He became known for his intense determination and zeal in redeeming captive, Christian slaves who had been imprisoned by the Moors. His preaching was so potent that many Muslims began to embrace the doctrines of Jesus Christ and convert to Christianity. The followers of  Mahomet (commonly referred to as Mohammad) began to harbor an intense and growing anger toward Peter Paschal.

Besides preaching, Peter not only continually ransomed captive Christians from the Moors, but he also comforted those imprisoned and preached the gospel to the infidels. His ability to reconcile apostates and others and bring them to the church was the reason he was finally arrested and placed in a dark dungeon. Orders were given that no one was allowed to speak to Peter Paschal.

Peter was held in prison and constantly treated cruelly and with disdain. But, strange as it may seem,  he was given permission to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day. And this is where the wonderful legend of  St. Peter Paschal springs to life.

One morning, while preparing for Mass, Peter realized he had no altar server. He tried to find someone and could not. Suddenly, a little boy about the age of five appeared before the priest. The boy was dressed in the clothes of a slave and asked Bishop Peter what he was looking for. The boy told him he would gladly serve Mass for him if he would let him. Peter asked him who he was and the boy said, "I will tell you who I am when you have finished Mass."

After Mass was finished,  Peter asked the boy a few questions and was amazed at the wisdom coming forth from the child. Then he asked the boy, "Tell me, who is Jesus Christ?"

The boy answered: "I am Jesus Christ; it is I Who was crucified for your salvation and for that of the whole world; look at My hands, and My feet, and My side, and you will recognize the wounds I received during My passion. Because you have of your own choice remained prisoner in order to procure freedom for my captive children, and because, to obtain their freedom, you spent money sent to procure your own, you have made Me your prisoner." Then the little boy disappeared. Peter Paschal was filled with an indescribable joy he could never have imagined.

The Muslims sensed and actually revered the sanctity of their prisoner. They told him if he would never say anything against Mohammad they would give him his freedom. He said he could never make such a promise. Shortly thereafter, as Bishop Peter Paschal, was saying his Thanksgiving after offering Mass, a Muslim executioner came up from behind him and cut off his head  The date was January 6, 1300. He was Beatified and Canonized by Pope Clement X on August 14, 1670.

St. Peter Paschal--please pray for us.

                                             copyright©Larry Peterson 2017

January 31, 2019

When it comes to Life and Death, the Paradox that is Humanity is Inexplicable

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Angel watching over his new friend                                                     www.jesusmariasite.org


On January 22, 2019, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law the Reproductive Health Act. This was also the anniversary of Roe v.Wade.

When the governor finished signing this bill, a suffocating wind exploded from the halls of the capitol caused by the cheers and screams of those upstanding “lawmakers” who had voted to legalize infanticide. Indeed, the wind has moved like a tsunami across our land leaving behind a foul and repugnant odor.

There is an inexplicable paradox that engulfs humanity. I believe there are a far greater number of women and men who are willing to lay down their very lives for their child, even if it is still unborn.  And then there are those people who rejoice in the death and destruction of the most innocent and helpless of all God’s creations. I have no answers for this human phenomena.

The signing of this bill and the cheering that followed brought me back to a day 40 years earlier. The date was September 6, 1978. For my young family that was also a day about the life and death of a baby. Mostly, it is about how one woman would go to any lengths to save her unborn child.

Loretta had entered her sixth month of pregnancy, and in the days preceding September 6, there had been little movement from the baby. On September 5, the doctor had appeared concerned but had only said that the heartbeat “could be a bit stronger.”  He wanted her to return in a week.

The rest of that day there was no movement. We had gone to bed and fallen asleep. I was on my right side, and Loretta was lying against my back. Suddenly something jabbed me in the back. It was hard enough to wake me. I sat up and said, “The baby just kicked me.”

She said softly, “Yes, I know.”

It was 2 a.m., and all was dark and peaceful, but we did not fall back asleep. We just laid quietly, side by side, holding hands and waiting.  A second kick never came.

The next morning, after I had gone to work, Loretta began to hemorrhage. Her mom had been staying with us for a few days and thank God she was there. She called 911 and then called and left a message for me at work. My first stop was only ten minutes from the hospital, and I arrived there before the ambulance.

When they pulled the gurney out, I was stunned at what I saw. My wife had lost so much blood that her hair was smeared with it. Her eyes were closed and she was not moving. I stood by helplessly as they rushed her into the ER.

For those who reject and scoff at the wonder of God’s human creations here is an example of how one woman did not. As I was standing there not knowing what to do or where to go, a priest came in and asked me if I was Larry Peterson.  I just nodded, and he told me that my mother-in-law had called his parish.  As Loretta was being wheeled out of the house, she made her mother promise to have a priest waiting to baptize her child. Her mom kept her promise.

There was a hospital ten minutes from our house. I was told that the paramedics wanted to go there but that  Loretta demanded they take her to the Catholic hospital a half hour away. They told her it was way too risky because of the amount of blood she was losing. She would not relent, and they did as she asked. She was determined to have her child baptized. She had knowingly and willingly put her life on the line for her baby.

Loretta survived and the baby did not. She was baptized. A few days later, the remains of  Theresa Mary Peterson left the funeral home in a tiny white casket. The casket was placed on the front seat of a limousine. We followed it to Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, N.Y. She was buried with my parents, and her name is on the tombstone. She did exist and will always be remembered.

As the great Pope, St. John Paul II said, “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”

Lest evil prevails, we must pray like never before that our nation overcomes this onslaught against the very image of God Himself.

©copyright Larry Peterson 2019







January 19, 2019

Roe v Wade—46 years later hurting Baby Turtles is illegal but, in America, killing Baby People is a “guaranteed right.”

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson


Loggerhead Turtle      en.wikipedia.org

Sea turtles are protected by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 1977. They are also protected by federal law which prohibits disturbing sea turtles while they are “nesting” (aka; unborn). Also, the Marine Turtle Protection Act  states that “no person may take, possess, disturb, mutilate, destroy, cause to be destroyed, sell, offer for sale, transfer, molest or harass any marine sea turtle or its nests or eggs at any times.”


Yes, we sure love our turtles, especially here in Florida where they nest around the entire peninsula. In fact, we love them so much we have penalties for “disturbing” them.  A first offense could cost a person up to 60 days in jail and a $100--$500 fine. A second charge could put you in the slammer for six months with a punishment of $1000.  After that, the penalties continue to increase with each additional offense. Federal penalties include jail time and fines up to $15,000 for each offense.
Naturally, we do need laws to protect our wildlife and our environment. But what about “Baby People?” Don’t they count? Why is it perfectly “legal” to kill Baby People who have not been born and you can go to jail for harming or disturbing a baby turtle that has not been born? Does that make sense?  
The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is one of these protected turtles. It can be found (like Baby People) all over the world. However, its primary habitat is the Florida coast, north to Virginia. It is estimated that these turtles build 67,000 nests a year along the beaches. The female lays her eggs in the sand and buries them. After two months they hatch, crawl to the sea and begin their lives. Those that survive will live close to 60 years.

It is illegal to harm, harass, or kill any sea turtles, their eggs, or hatchlings. It is also illegal to import, sell, or transport turtles or their products. It is perfectly legal to kill Baby People who have not been born. Since Roe vs. Wade was passed in 1973, over 61,000,000 abortions have been performed in the United States. Sixty-one million baby people have been vanquished from existence, many of them burned alive via the Saline Abortion method. That extrapolates out to, on average since 1973,  1,326,086  Baby People a year killed in America.

In 2017 there were 3.86 million births in the United States. That means that approximately one out of every four pregnancies in our country results in a life extinguished. Sea turtles are given every chance to survive with the government going so far as to put people in prison who might interfere with their survival. On the other hand, Baby People are welcomed into legalized and sweetly painted extermination camps and, unmercifully and without fanfare or emotion, eradicated.

Whatever are we doing? We civilized people have allowed a portion of our past to be destroyed. We are allowing our present to be vilified by what can only be called a great lie fabricated as the virtue of "helping" women. We have short-circuited the future of our children and grandchildren. We have  taken away from them the possibility of another Rembrandt, or a Mozart or a Jonas Salk, or a Martin Luther King Jr., or even an Abraham Lincoln living among them.

Most of all, we have taken away the meaning of the beauty and wonder of human life. We have changed it from a wondrous mystery, given to us by God our Creator. Instead, we have turned it into a disposable commodity that can be discarded at will under the guise of “reproductive rights.” Does not “reproductive rights” mean having the freedom to reproduce---not to destroy? Un-reproducing leaves only one result; that result is death.

 There is a world-wide abortion counter that ticks off the abortions around the world as they happen. Look for yourself. More than one life a second is being aborted. Genocide of the innocent, living in and out of the womb, is rampant on planet Earth. Whatever have we wrought?

As the great Pope, St. John Paul II said, “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”                     

                          ©Larry Peterson 2019copyright


January 16, 2019

Blessed Maria Bolognesi; Mystic, Stigmatist, Visionary, and Victim of the Demonic

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson
Blessed Maria Bolognesi   en.wikipedia.org

On October 21, 1924, an out-of-wedlock child was born and given the name, Maria. At the time, Maria was not assigned a surname. That was because her birth father, (himself an illegitimate child) refused to wed Maria’s mother and left her. Fortunately for Maria, the most influential person in young girl’s life would be her grandma, Cornetto Cesira. She taught Maria all she could about God and Jesus and religion. Five years later, Maria’s mom married Giuseppe Bolognesi, and Maria was given her step-father's’name

When Maria was eight-years-old, she and her mom contracted meningitis. Her mom was close to death from the dreaded illness. Maria, who had begun to recover,  was preparing for her First Holy Communion. The nun that was teaching her told her that Jesus would grant her a wish if she asked Him. She wished her mom would get better and she fully recovered from the disease.

Filled with emotion and love for Jesus, Maria made her First Communion on May 22, 1932. In her diary they found written; “I cried with joy. Finally, my little heart also carries Eucharistic Jesus. I asked for so many, many graces: to love everyone, even my enemies. I came home, other families would have lunch at their homes, but at my home, there was nothing to eat, but still, I was so so happy.”

From June 21, 1940, to April 1, 1942, Maria exhibited strange behavior, and many have attested this was due to demonic possession. She could not approach church buildings or any other religious buildings. Holy water was repulsive to her. Once, as she arrived at the bridge that spanned the river leading to the church, people with her saw her skirt being pulled from behind as Maria fought to move forward. There was no wind blowing at the time, yet she could not move forward.

Maria also began sweating blood, suffered from pneumonia, ophthalmia (extreme dryness of the eyes and loss of tears), pinworms, anemia, vomiting, sciatica, chronic laryngitis, and rheumatism. She also developed heart problems. Doctors were completely baffled by the number of afflictions the teenager was experiencing. Although suffering greatly she gave it over to Jesus, sharing herself with Him.

Maria received her first vision of Jesus Christ during Holy Week of 1942. It was Holy Thursday, April 2, when He appeared to her and gave her three rings with five rubies, the rings representing the Trinity, and the rubies representing His five wounds. Jesus promised her she would learn how to read and that her mother would repent of her sins and return to the church. On April 11, with the permission of her spiritual advisor, Father Bassiano Paiato, she began wearing the black habit.

Besides having to endure much pain and suffering throughout the 1940s, Maria also had those who began ridiculing her and mocking her “made-up” visions. Among them were different clergy. On March 5, 1948, three criminals attacked her and beat her, tied her up, gagged her and left her bleeding in the snow. Because of some of the ridicule that had been heaped upon this servant of Jesus, the police at first did not believe her and accused her of “faking” the attack to garner attention. They were quickly proved wrong, and all charges against her were absolved.

Toward the end of the 1940s, Maria began to suffer from arthritis, colitis, developed appendicitis, and almost became blind. She would be taken to Rovigo and Padua for treatment and while there, would assist taking care of the orphans and visit the sick in the hospitals. On January 25, 1954, a wound opened up on her right hand. It was the beginning of the stigmata appearing on Maria. In August of 1954, the wounds appeared on Maria’s feet and on Good Friday, 1955, she received the wound on her left side. The time was exactly 3 p.m.

Maria Bolognesi suffered from serious physical ailments her entire life. Jesus appeared to her at different times showing her Heaven several times and, in November of 1957, both  Heaven and Purgatory. Her first heart attack occurred in 1971. It is said the Padre Pio, even after his passing in 1968, would appear to her in bilocation whenever she stayed in Rovigo. On January 30, 1980, Maria Bolognesi passed away.

Maria was beatified on May 2, 2013. Pope Francis was quoted as saying, "Blessed Maria Bolognesi spent her life in service to others, especially the poor and sick, enduring great suffering in profound union with the passion of Christ. We give thanks to God for her testimony to the Gospel!”

Blessed Maria Bolognesi, please pray for us.

                                       copyright©LarryPeterson 2018

January 11, 2019

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal; widowed with four small children she founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary

 St. Jane Frances de Chantal     www.catholicculture.org
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson 

Jane Frances de Chantal was born into an upper-class family in  Dijon, France, in 1572. Her dad was the president of the Parliament of Burgundy, and the family was well connected. Jane’s mom died when she was only 18 months of age, and her upbringing was taken over by her dad.

Under the watchful and loving care of her dad, Jane developed into a woman of true beauty and grace.  One attribute of Jane’s that stood out from the time she was a child was her desire to help others.

Jane married the Baron de Chantal when she was 21. She and her husband were completely in love with each other, but tragedy struck during their seventh year of marriage. In 1601, the Baron was killed while practicing shooting with friends. The Baroness de Chantal, only 28 years old and the mother of four young children had become an accidental, heart-broken widow.

Because of estate issues, and wanting to protect her children’s rights to the property involved, Jane was forced to move in with her father-in-law in Mothelon. He was ruled over by a nasty and wicked servant and quickly Jane and her children were the servants of the servant.  Jane took a vow of chastity and prayed to God to send someone to help guide her on her journey forward. A short time later she had a vision of the spiritual director that God was going to send her.

During Lent of 1604, Jane visited her hometown of Dijon. While attending Mass, she thought she recognized the celebrant, and when he stepped up to preach she was sure of it; it was the spiritual guide that God had shown her in her vision. After Mass, she went to meet him and placed herself under his guidance. His name was Bishop Francis de Sales. They became close friends.

Jane informed the future saint that she wanted to become a nun, but Francis asked her to wait for a time. She took a vow to stay unmarried and to obey her director. After a period of three more years, Francis de Sales told Jane of his plan to start an institute of women, and it would be unlike all others. His dream was to create a haven for women that were rejected everywhere else.

Age, health, or deformity, would not be a reason to stop someone from joining. Also, there would be no cloister, and these sisters could partake in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It was a monumental ambition by Francis de Sales. The women that joined this new order would be called the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary or the Visitation Nuns. That was because they were to practice the virtues the Blessed Virgin exemplified at the Visitation; meekness and humility.

With the help of her father and brother (who was married to the sister of Francis de Sales), Jane made solid arrangements for the well-being and future of her children. She then left for Annecy. On Trinity Sunday, June 6, 1610, the Congregation of the Visitation was canonically established at Annecy.

When St. Francis de Sales died in 1622 there were already 13 convents for Visitation Sisters. When Jane Frances de Chantal died in 1641, there were 86. Also, after Francis de sales died his dear friend, Vincent de Paul became Jane’s confessor and remained with her until her death.

Jane Francis de Chantal was beatified on November 21, 1751, by Pope Benedict XIV and canonized on July 16, 1767, by Pope Clement XIII. There were already 164 convents in existence at this time. Today, the Visitation Sisters are spread all over the world from Portugal to Korea to Ireland,  Germany, and England.  In the United States, there are ten monasteries.

Some of the noted Visitation sisters include St. Margaret Mary Alocoque and Servant of God; Leone Martin, St. Terese’s sister. In 2010,  Pope Benedict XVI granted a plenary indulgence to anyone who makes a visit and prays at a Visitation Monastery.

Up until 2001, her feast day was on December 12.  Then it was changed to August 12. She is invoked as the patron of widows, forgotten people, and parents seperated form their children.

Saint Jane Francis de Chantal, please pray for us.
        
©Larry Peterson 2019



January 4, 2019

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat; The Preemie Who Grew Up to Change the World

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

It was December 12, 1779 and Madame Fouffe Barat was seven months pregnant with her third child. She had been sleeping comfortably when screams and the smell of smoke awoke her. She sat up and saw the flames outside her window. They were coming from her neighbor's house.  The sudden trauma of what was happening caused the frightened woman to begin early labor. Consequently, her daughter, Madeline Sophie Barat. was born two months premature. The fire did not touch the Barat home.

Madeline Sophie was so tiny and frail they had her baptized as soon as the church opened that morning. Her godparents had already been chosen but there was no time to send a message to them. Instead, they had a woman on her way to Mass, Louise-Sophie Cedor, and Madeline's older brother, Louis, age 11, stand in as godparents. And so it was for the beginning of Madeline's life. A quick journey from terror to sanctifying grace, a journey she would never remember which was the beginning of a life that would be remembered by many.

St. Madeline Sophie Barat   catholic.org
Madeline's family had been in in the Burgundy area for generations. Her dad was a wine-cooper (someone who made wooden barrels for wine) and the family was well provided for. He was a respected craftsman practicing a trade that was highly regarded with much history behind it.

Madeline's brother, Louis, had a brilliant mind and by the age of nine had decided to become a priest. His parents believed in their boy and hired a tutor to help him study at home. When he was 16 he was able to begin his studies for the priesthood. However, he was too young to be ordained so he returned home to bide his time until he was 21 and could return to the seminary.

Madeline was still a young child and Louis decided to educate her. His lessons for his little sister included, Latin, Greek,  history, science and math. Madeline was receiving an education that most young girls of that time could only have dreamed about. However, the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, changed everything. When the Pope condemned the new French Constitution, Louis St. madelin Sophie baratrejected his loyalty oath to the "state". He was arrested in and spent three years in prison. Only through the intervention of a close friend was he able to get out of jail and evade the guillotine.

Louis, now an ordained priest, moved to Paris and took Madeline with him. By the time Madeline was 18 years old she had received an education from her brilliant brother that far surpassed anything she might have obtained anywhere else. Since she and Louis had to live in a 'safe house", she also learned to work with her hands. She  became an excellent embroidress and seamstress to help support them. But God's ever watchful eye had been on Madeline since her birth. Bigger things would need her attention.

Madeline had originally planned to join the Carmelites. But the trauma of the French Revolution led her in a different direction. She decided she wanted to make known the "love of God as made known in the Heart of Christ". She also wanted to direct her attention to all young women, rich and poor alike.

highly educated, determined yet filled with a great humility, Madeline Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The women joining her new order would be trained to teach young women the faith as taught by Holy Mother Church.The year was 1800 and Madeline was only 20 years old. She became Mother Madeline and by the age of 23 was elevated to the position of  Superior General of the order, a position she would hold for the next 65 years.

Mother Madeline's natural leadership skills and her affinity for all people would be the catalyst for the rapid growth of the order and success of the schools.  Mother  Madeline and her fledgling order of nuns began growing and spreading rapidly. Madeline's quest was for the restoration of christian life in France and she believed it could be accomplished through the education of young women.

The Society of the Sacred Heart had opened their first school in Amiens in northern France in 1801. There followed a school for the poor of the town and  further growth happened much quicker than ever expected. Before long the order was doing work within all of Europe. As the order and the schools it ran expanded, Mother Madeline grew also. She was transformed by all the different women joining her Society and her natural way with folks became pronounced where she even inspired  those having brief encounters with her.

In 1826 Mother Madeline received papal approval of her order. The order grew to 105 houses in many countries. St. Rose Pillippine Duchesne , (who had joined the order in 1804) and four of her followers brought the Society to the United States in 1818. Today there are over 2500 members in provinces in 41 countries around theworld. The mission is the same; to reveal the love of God to the world through the sacred Heart of His Son.

Mother Madeline Sofie Barat died in Paris, France on May 25, 1865. She was 85 years old. St. Madeline was quoted as saying,  "Be humble, be simple, bring joy to others." St. Madeline practiced what she preached

Madeline Sofie Barat was beatified by Pope St. Pius X in 1908 and canonized a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1925.

St. Madeline Barat, please pray for us.


                                  ©Copyright Larry Peterson 2019All Rights Reserved

December 29, 2018

An Example of the Dark Side of Secularism—attacking the Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus Color Guard                                  courtesy Our Lady of the Rosary Council 12982   Gainesville, VA
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME 

By Larry Peterson

I am not going to use any names here. There is no point. Everyone knows who is who.

The Epiphany of the Lord for 2019 will be celebrated on January 6. The entrance antiphon  will read, “Arise Jerusalem, and look to the East and see your children gathered from the rising to the setting of the sun.”  Baruch 5:5

How fitting as we hear how the three wise men from the East, followed the brilliantly shining Star using it as their guide to lead them to the Savior of the world. They were seeking out Goodness and Love, and all they wished to do was worship the One who brought it.

Flash forward 2000+ years and  we head into the year 2019.  Two political “rising stars” from the West (who also happen to be United States Senators; one from California and one from Hawaii)  have decided to attack a man who has been named for consideration for a seat on the United States District Court in Nebraska. They are pounding the print and media with their message saying this man is not qualified to be a judge because his views are “extreme.” They know this because he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Herod would be proud.

The Senator from Hawaii has decided that the Catholic views on abortion and same-sex marriage held by the Knights of Columbus are “extreme.” The Senator from California depicted the Knights as “an all-male society” and asked the judicial nominee if he was aware that the Knights of Columbus “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality.” In the new democratic party approving of abortion and same ex-marriage seems to be the litmus test as to whether or not you are “good or bad.”

Those two senators are not the only two trashing the judicial candidate for being Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Most of those who call themselves “Democrat” are too. These people seem to think that the desire to honor and protect life and traditional marriage (you know, between a man and a woman) makes you an ‘extremist."

Why even the incoming Speaker of the House, a “devout” Catholic, proudly teaches that abortion is a woman’s “sacred right.”  This flies into the very core of Catholic teaching and is an abomination created for political gain. What has happened to truth, honor,  and integrity?

Here is the thing; I am a member of the Knights of Columbus and have been a member since 1964. I also have another 1.9 million men around the world whom I call “Brother.” You see, we Knights are all Brothers and proud of it.

We proudly proclaim our core principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism without shame or hesitation.   We respect and defend life all over the world. We (the Knights of Columbus) donated over $185 million and  K of C Service hours valued at $1.9 billion in 2017.

Our charitable activities include the Christian Refugee Relief Fund, Disaster Relief, the Ultrasound Initiative, Coats for Kids, Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission, and Habitat for Humanity. Plus so much more at the local levels by so many K of C Councils spread from coast to coast and around the world.

So you see, when these very important people decide they do not like our principles and beliefs and think they are picking on only one person (Re: Brett Kavanaugh) they are not. They are trashing millions of people and 1.9 million of them are members of the Knights of Columbus.

One final thought, the senator from California, suggested that the Knights of Columbus is  “an all-male society. She might do a bit more research. because she obviously has never heard of the Columbiettes. They are the women's' branch of the Knights of Columbus and this year they celebrate their 80th anniversary.  Yes, we Knights work hand in hand with our Columbiette Sisters and together, we do great things for others.


©Larry Peterson 2018



December 15, 2018

Santa Claus and Christmas-- Let the Children Feel and Embrace the Spirit of what it all means.

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

I wrote this blog several years ago and except for a few minor changes,  I am re-blogging it for Christmas, 2018.  The reason is simple. I believe in Santa Claus and I am sick of hearing these elitist-know-it-all-uppity-ups declaring that "lying" to your children about Santa Claus is wrong and traumatic and teaches the wrong lesson and blah-blah-blah. That is NONSENSE.

Christmas with  Jesus and Santa (yes, they are tied together) is not about a day in time. No, it is about a seasonal spirit in time: a season where the spirit of kindness, and goodness, and charity, and most of all love explode around us. It is a time of wonder and miracles. Damn right I believe!

The title of this blog is It Makes Sense To Me and what follows does Make Sense to Me.  Many will feel this article makes no sense at all. Well, I don't care. The fact is, Santa Claus, is rooted in the great St. Nicholas and this 3rd-century saint, heeding the words of Christ to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," did just that; he gave everything he had to the poor and needy. He devoted his very existence to serving God.

St. Nicholas morphed into the Santa we are familiar with today. But there is no getting away from the fact that his origin was heaven sent. The Santa Claus we know and all that goes with him has filled the hearts of children with wonder and awe since the 19th century. Why do so many folks want to take it way? Why does anyone feel the child must know the "truth". They find out soon enough what "truth" is. Believing in Santa Claus and the wonder he creates never hurt anyone. Rather, it is one of the great unheralded examples of all that is GOOD.

It has been two years since we were dragged through the nastiest presidential campaign and election in our lifetimes. Editorials about the candidates were often lies, innuendo, and falsehoods. Many in the media have subjected we, the people, to a daily onslaught of mud-slinging hatred,  tossed not only at our President but also at Christianity and all that pertains to it.

Therefore, It Makes Sense To Me, to share an editorial from Mr. Francis Pharcellus Church, who was an editorial writer for the old New York Sun. The editorial was about Santa Claus. It is an example of what the media people of today should be telling our children, (fat chance of that happening). It was written during a time when there were no radios, phones, televisions, iPads, smartphones or even blue-tooth. People talked to each other and used paper, pen, and pencil to message each other. Can you imagine?

What follows was written back in 1897 and, It STILL Makes Sense To Me.  Some of you might have seen this before. If you have, enjoy it again. If not, enjoy it now. It is a letter written by eight-year-old, Virginia O'Hanlon, of West 95th Street in New York City, to the newspaper asking if  Santa Claus was TRUE. Her dad had told her that if the "Sun" said it was true then it must be so. Enjoy a moment back in time when things were a bit simpler and the innocence of children was loved and respected by most 'grown-ups'.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~photo courtesy  hollywoodreporter.com~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Is There A Santa Claus?
From the editorial page of The New York Sun
September 21, 1897
_______________________________________________
Dear Editor---I am eight years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN, it’s so. Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 W. 95th St.
_______________________________________________
Dear Virginia, your friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes Virginia, there isa Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus? It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginia. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your Papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah Virginia, in all this world, there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives! And he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten time ten thousand years from now , he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

©Larry Peterson 2018

December 13, 2018

Catholic Saints who Managed to Live to the age of 100 and Beyond

Nheyob | CC BY SA 4.0 | Public Doma
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Recently I came across the names of eight saints who were centenarians. Incredibly they had made it up to and past the one-hundred-year mark without having the advantages of modern medicine and all the blessings we have available to us. No, they just lived their lives until God called them. Here is a brief account of three of them:

St. Simon Stock
Simon Stock was born in England in 1165 AD. Legend has it that at the age of twelve he began living as a hermit in the hollow trunk (“stock” means trunk) of a large, oak tree. In the early 13th  century Simon went to the Holy Land where he joined the newly formed Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Their origins were in Palestine and when they moved to Europe, Simon went with them. He became one of the early leaders of the order which became known as the Carmelites.

On July 26, 1251, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Simon holding the Brown Scapular in one hand. She said to Simon,  "Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection."

Simon Stock became the prior general of the Carmelites and under his leadership, the order spread across Europe and throughout England. Today the Brown Scapular is known and venerated the world over. (The word scapular comes from the Latin, scapula, meaning "shoulder blade" That is why the brown cloth covers the chest and the upper back).

Interestingly, St. Simon Stock was never formally canonized yet he is venerated in the Catholic Church, his feast day is May 16, and the Carmelites have honored him since 1564, which also has the approval of the Vatican.

Lastly, St. Simon Stock died in the year 1265. He was 100 years old.

St. Patrick
We all know that St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but the dates of his life are murky at best. He was probably born in the early 5th century and, at the age of sixteen,  was captured by pirates. He was taken from his home in Britain to Ireland where he was held in captivity for six years before escaping back to his family.

He became a cleric and returned to Ireland working tirelessly to convert the pagan Celts. He became the first bishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland. He is regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland. His became a saint during the pre-congregation era.
All available documents suggest that St. Patrick died when he was 106 years old.

St. Raymond of Penyafort (Pennyforth)
Raymond was a lawyer, a preacher, and a priest who left a profound influence on the history of Spain and the Church. He was instrumental in re-Christianizing Spain after the Moors were defeated and his consolidation of papal decrees was the primary source of canon law for over 700 years.

Raymond was approached by Peter Nolasco, the Founder of the Mercedarians, and asked if he could help him get approval in founding his order. Raymond helped greatly, assisting his friend in getting the consent of King James I of Aragon and so were born the Mercedarians.

Already an accomplished lawyer and scholar, Raymond joined the Dominicans in  Barcelona in 1222. He was 47 years-old. Raymond was a gifted preacher and was very successful at evangelizing Moors and Jews.

In 1230, Pope Gregory IX, made Raymond his confessor. During this time Raymond sorted and put in order all the decrees of popes and councils since 1150. Canonists relied on Raymond’s succinctly arranged writings until the new codification in 1917.

Raymond Penyaforth died in 1275 at the age of 100. He was canonized a saint by Pope Clement VIII in 1601. He is the patron saint of lawyers, including canon lawyers.
St. Raymond Penyaforth, pray for us.


 ©lsrry Peterson2018