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Catholic Missal of the day: Wednesday, April 24 2024

Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter

Acts of the Apostles


The word of God continued to spread and grow.
After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission, they returned to Jerusalem, taking with them John, who is called Mark.
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.
So they, sent forth by the holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They had John also as their assistant.



May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John


Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

St. Benedict Menni(Priest († 1914))

Saint Benedict Menni Priest, O.H., Founder of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1841-1914) Benedict Menni was a faithful follower of Saint John of God. Through his words and deeds, he was a herald of the Gospel and prophet of hospitality.His origins and Hospitaller vocation Benedict was born in Milan on March 11, 1841, and baptized the same day. He was named Angelo Ercole - Ercole being Italian for "Hercules." He was the fifth of fifteen children born to Luigi Menni and Luisa Figini. His warm and hospitable home gave him the support and stimulus needed to develop character and virtues. He discerned a vocation early on. Faithful to his conscience, he gave up a good position at a bank and - with a selfless attitude to the suffering - volunteered to work as a stretcher-bearer to assist soldiers wounded on the battlefield in Magenta, near Milan. The spirit of dedication and self-denial of the Brothers of St. John of God attracted our future saint. At the age of 19, he applied to enter the Hospitaller Order. Taking the name Benedict, he was consecrated to God and caring for the sick.His Hospitaller formation and mission Benedict's vocation as Hospitaller was revealed through his care for the wounded and ill. Not only did he place himself at the service of all, but he was loyal to his superiors. At the time, Spain (the cradle of the Hospitaller Order) was embroiled in political strife with open hostility to all religious orders, and the work of St. John of God was in jeopardy. Being sent to Spain in 1867, Benedict both restored the order of St. John of God and founded the Congregation of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.Restoration of the Hospitaller Order Sent by Fr. Giovanni M. Alfieri, the prior general of the Order who always supported him, and with the blessing of Pope Visitor and Pius IX, Benedict Menni demonstrated an iron will and a determined spirit even before he left Rome. Only a few months after arriving, he set up his first children's hospital in Barcelona (1867), which marked the beginning of his extraordinary work of restoration that was carried out over 36 years. From the first moment, numerous generous followers rallied around Benedict; and it was through them that he was able to guarantee continuity to his new Hospitaller institutions. They sprung up in Spain, Portugal and Mexico; and subsequently throughout the New World.Foundation of the Hospitaller Sisters When he arrived in Granada (1878), Benedict Menni came in contact with two young women, Maria Josefa Recio and Maria Angtistias Gimenez, who would set up a new women's hospital to provide psychiatric care (1881). The mother house of the Congregation of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in Ciempozuelos, Madrid, and received the approval of the Holy See in 1901. Six words summarize their identity: "pray, work, endure, suffer, a love God and silence." The Congregation soon spread its wings and became established in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Today, as it celebrates the canonization of its founder, the Sisters are present in 24 countries, with over 100 Hospitaller centres.Visitor and Prior General of the Order Benedict Menni's opera magna spread, at the request of the Holy See, to the whole Order when he was appointed Apostolic Visitor (1909-1911) and subsequently Prior General (1911). However, he resigned after one year because of health reasons and misunderstandings. He spent the last two years of his life in humility and purification, and died a holy death in Dinan, France, on April 24, 1914. His remains were taken by the Spanish Brothers to Ciempozuelos, and today are venerated under the high altar of the Founders' Chapel in the Hospitaller Sisters' mother house.In the glory of the saints The process for St. Benedict's canonization opened from 1945 to 1947 in the diocese of Madrid, where he is buried. On May 11, 1982, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints recognized Benedict's virtues as heroic, and assigned to him the posthumous title of "Venerable." Following the official acceptance of the miraculous healing of Asuncion Cacho thanks to St. Benedict's intercession, Fr. Benedict was proclaimed "Blessed" in St. Peter's Basilica on June 23, 1985, and "Saint" on November 21, 1999, by Pope John Paul II.

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen(Martyr (1577-1622))

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen Capuchin Priest and Martyr (1577-1622) St. Fidelis was born in Sigmaringen, Southern Germany, to a patrician family in 1577. He frequently received the sacraments, visited the sick and the poor, and spent hours praying at the altar. For a time, he followed the legal profession, and was remarkable for his advocacy of the poor and his respectful language toward opponents. Finding it difficult to become both a rich lawyer and a good Christian, Fidelis entered the Capuchin Order. True to his calling, he embraced a life of austerity and prayer, performing voluntary self-disciplines for the sake of all souls. Having been sent to Switzerland by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, Father Fidelis braved every peril and drew souls from Calvinism to the Church founded by Jesus Himself. When preaching in Seewis im Práttigau, he was shot by Calvinist nationalists. Undeterred, Fr. Fidelis continued preaching and was lynched. He refused to apostate, so the mob hacked and cut him to death with swords. Death could not end Fr. Fidelis' love. In life and in death, he was perfectly conformed to our Lord. For his heroic virtues and the miracles proceeding from his intercession, he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV on June 29, 1746.

Bl. Maria Elisabetta Hesselblad((1870-1957))

BLESSED MARIA ELISABETTA HESSELBLAD (1870-1957) Maria Elisabetta Hesselblad was born in the little village of Faglavik, in the province of Alvsborg, Sweden, on June 4, 1870. The following month, she was baptized and received into the Reformed Church of Sweden. She was the fifth of thirteen children born to Augusto Roberto Hesselblad and Cajsa Pettesdotter Dag. Her childhood was lived out in various places due to economic difficulties. In 1886, Maria went to work first of all in Karlosborg and then in the United States of America. She went to nursing school at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York and dedicated herself to home care of the sick. She continually made sacrifices, which did not benefit her health, but her soul in turn flourished. The contact she had with so many Catholics, and her thirst for truth, helped keep alive her desire for full communion with Jesus Christ. Through prayer, personal study and a daughterly devotion to the Mother of God, Maria was decisively led to the Catholic Church. On August 15, 1902, at the Convent of the Visitation in Washington, she received conditional baptism from Fr. Giovani Giorgio Hagen, S.J., who also became her spiritual director. Looking back on that moment of grace, she wrote, "In an instant the love of God was poured over me. I understood that I could respond to that love only through sacrifice and a love prepared to suffer for His glory and for the Church. Without hesitation I offered Him my life, and my will to follow Him on the Way of the Cross." Two days later, she was nourished with the Eucharist; and then she left for Europe. In Rome, Maria received the Sacrament of Confirmation and perceived she was to dedicate herself to the unity of Christians. She also visited the church and house of Saint Bridget of Sweden (+ 1373) and came away with a deep and lasting impression. God spoke to her saying, "It is in this place that I want you to serve me." She returned to the United States, and her fragile health notwithstanding, she left everything on March 25, 1904, to settle in Rome at the Casa di Santa Brigida, receiving a wonderful welcome from the Carmelite Nuns. In silence and in prayer, she made great progress in knowledge and love of Christ. She fostered devotion to Saint Bridget and Saint Catherine of Sweden and nourished a growing concern for her people and the Church. In 1906, Pope Saint Pius X allowed her to take the habit of the Order of the Most Holy Savior of Saint Bridget and profess vows as a spiritual daughter of the Swedish saint. In the years that followed, Maria strove to bring back to Rome the Order of the Most Holy Savior, and to that end she visited the few existing Brigettine monasteries in Europe, an experience that brought joys, disappointments and no concrete help. Her dream of bringing to birth a Brigettine community in Rome that was made up of members coming from monasteries of ancient observance was not realized. However, Divine Providence, in ways that were quite unexpected, enabled a new branch to grow from the ancient Brigettine trunk. In fact, on the November 9, 1911, the Servant of God welcomed three young English postulants and refounded the Order of the Most Holy Savior of Saint Bridget, whose particular mission was to pray and work, especially for the unity of Scandinavian Christians with the Catholic Church. In 1931, Maria experienced the great joy of receiving the Holy See's permission to have permanent use of the church and house of Saint Bridget in Rome. These became the center of activity for the Order, which - driven on by its missionary zeal - also established foundations in India (1937). During and after the Second World War, the Servant of God performed great works of charity on behalf of the poor and those who suffered because of racial laws. She promoted a movement for peace that involved Catholics and non-Catholics; she multiplied her ecumenical endeavors; and for many people who belonged to other religions or other christian confessions, she was part of their journey toward the Catholic Church. From the very beginning of her Foundation, she was particularly attentive to the formation of her spiritual daughters, for whom she was both a mother and a guide. She implored them to live in close union with God, to have a fervent desire to be conformed to our Divine Savior, to possess a great love for the Church and the Roman Pontiff, and to pray constantly that there be one Flock and one Shepherd, adding, "This is the prime goal of our vocation." She also devoted herself to fostering a unity of spirit within the Order. "The Lord has called us from different nations," she wrote, "but we must be united with one heart and one soul. In the divine Heart of Jesus we will always meet one another and there we seek our strength to face the difficulties of life. May we be strengthened to practice the beautiful virtues of charity, humility and patience. Then our religious life will be the antechamber to Heaven." On other occasions she said, "Our religious houses must be formed after the example of Nazareth: prayer, work, sacrifice. The human heart can aspire to nothing greater." Throughout her life, she remained faithful to what she had written in 1904: "Dear Lord, I do not ask to see the path. In darkness, in anguish and in fear, I will hang on tightly to your hand and I will close my eyes, so that you know how much trust I place in you, Spouse of my soul." Hope in God and in His providence supported her in every moment, especially in times of testing, solitude and the cross. She put the things of Heaven before the things of earth, God's will before her own, the good of her neighbor before her own benefit. Contemplating the infinite love of the Son of God, who sacrificed Himself for our salvation, she fed the flame of love in her heart, as manifested by the goodness of her works. Repeatedly to her daughters she said, "We must nourish a great love for God and our neighbors; a strong love, an ardent love, a love that burns away imperfections, a love that gently bears an act of impatience, or a bitter word, a love that lets an inadvertence or act of neglect pass without comment, a love that lends itself readily to an act of charity." The Servant of God was like a garden in which the sun of charity brought to bloom the flowers of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. She was filled with care and concern for her Sisters, for the poor, the sick, the persecuted Jewish people, for priests, for the children to whom she taught Christian doctrine, for her family and for the people of Sweden and Rome. She was a humble Sister and most obliging to all who sought her help. She always felt a sense of duty and great joy in sharing with others the gifts she had received from the Lord, and this she did with gentleness, graciousness and simplicity. She was prudent in her work for the Kingdom of God, in her speaking, acting, advising and correcting. She had great respect for the religious freedom of non-Christians and non-Catholics, whom she received gladly under her roof. She walked with God, clinging to the cross of Christ, who was her companion from the days of her youth. "For me," she said, "the way of the Cross has been the most beautiful of all because on this path I have met and known my Lord and Savior." Unremittingly, her physical suffering went hand in hand with her moral suffering. The cross became particularly heavy and painful during the final years of her life, when the Holy See prepared the Canonical Visit of her Order as her health got progressively worse. In prayer and peaceful submission to God's will, she prepared herself for the final meeting with the Divine Spouse, who called her to Himself in the early hours of April 24, 1957. The reputation for holiness that surrounded Maria Hesselblad increased after her death; and almost immediately, the Vicariate of Rome began the cause for beatification. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 9, 2000, in Rome.


Category: Mass by Year / Catholic Missal 2024 / Catholic Missal of april 2024

Published: 2024-02-27T07:26:18Z | Modified: 2024-02-27T07:26:18Z