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Catholic Missal of the day: Wednesday, March 20 2024

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent

Book of Daniel


King Nebuchadnezzar said: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up."
Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they answered.
"But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Book of Daniel


Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
and blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John


Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains.
So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; then do what you have heard from the Father."
They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!" (So) they said to him, "We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.

St. Joseph Bilczewski(Bishop (1860-1923))

Saint Joseph Bilczewski Bishop (1860-1923) Blessed Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski was born on April 26, 1860, in Wilamowice, near Kęty, in the present day Diocese of Bielsko Żywiec, then part of the Diocese of Krakow. He finished elementary school in Wilamowice and Kęty, attended high school in Wadowice, and received his diploma in 1880. On July 6, 1884, he was ordained in Krakow by Cardinal Albino Dunajewski. In 1886, Fr. Joseph received a doctorate in theology from the University of Vienna. Following advanced studies in Rome and Paris, he passed the qualifying exam at the Jaghellonic University of Krakow. The following year, he became a professor of Dogmatic Theology at the John Casimir University of Leopoli. He also served as Dean of Theology prior to becoming Rector of the University. During his tenure at the University, he was appreciated by his students and enjoyed the friendship and respect of his colleagues. He arduously dedicated himself to scientific work and, despite his young age, acquired fame as a learned man. Fr. Joseph's extraordinary intellectual and relational abilities were recognized by Francis Joseph, the emperor of Austria, who presented Monsignor Joseph to the Holy Father as a candidate for the vacant Metropolitan See of Leopoli. The holy father, Leo XIII, responded positively to the Emperor's proposal; and on December 17, 1900, he named the forty-year-old Monsignor Joseph Bilczewski Archbishop of Leopoli of the Latin Rite.Given the complex social, economic, ethnic and religious situation, care for the large diocese required of the Bishop a deep commitment and called for great moral effort, strong confidence in God and a faith enlivened by continual contact with God. Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski became known for his abundant goodness of heart, understanding, humility, piety, commitment to hard work and pastoral zeal, which sprang from his immense love for God and neighbor. His pastoral plan can be summed up in the words, "totally sacrifice oneself for the Holy Church." Among other things, he pointed out the need for the development of devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and frequent reception of Holy Communion. A particular form of pastoral action of Archbishop Bilczewski were the pastoral letters and appeals addressed to the priests and the faithful of the Archdiocese. In them, he spoke of the problems of faith and morals of the time as well as of the most pressing issues of the social sphere. He also explained devotion to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart and the importance of religious and moral formation of children and youth in the family and in school. He taught for the Church and for the Holy Father. Above all, he took great care to cultivate many priestly vocations. He saw the priest as first and foremost a teacher of faith and an instrument of Christ, a father for the rich as well as for the poor. Taking the place of Christ on Earth, the priest was to be the minister of the sacraments, and for this reason his whole heart had to be dedicated to the celebration of the Eucharist, nourishing the people of God with the body of Christ (Jn 6:55). He often exhorted the priests to adoration of the most Blessed Sacrament. In his pastoral letter devoted to the Eucharist, he invited the priests to participate in the priestly associations: The Association for Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Association of Aid to Poor Catholic Churches, whose goal was to rejuvenate the zeal of the priests themselves. He also dedicated a great deal of care to the preparation of children and to full participation in the Mass, desiring that every Catechesis would lead children and youth to the Eucharist. Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski promoted the construction of churches, chapels, schools and day-care centers. He developed teaching to help enable the growth in the instruction of the faithful. He materially and spiritually helped the more important works that sprung up in his archdiocese. His holy life, filled with prayer, good deeds and works of mercy led to his meriting great appreciation and respect on the part of those of various faiths, rites and nationalities. No religious or nationalistic conflicts arose during the tenure of his pastoral work. He was a proponent of unity, harmony and peace. On social issues, he always stood on the side of the people and of the poor. He taught that the base of social life had to be justice made perfect by Christian love. During the First World War, when souls were overtaken with hate and a lack of appreciation, he pointed out to the people the infinite love of God, capable of forgiving every type of sin and offense. He reminded them of the need to observe the Commandments and particularly that of brotherly love. Sensitive to the social questions regarding the family and youth, he courageously proposed solutions to problems based on the love of God and of neighbor. During his 23 years of pastoral service, he changed the face of the Archdiocese of Leopoli. His passing on March 20, 1923, only brought new life to his vast and far-sighted pastoral action. He was prepared for death and accepted it with peace and serenity as a sign of God's will, which he always considered sacred.He left this world universally recognized for his holiness. Wanting to rest among those for whom he was always father and protector, in accord with his desires, he was buried in Leopoli in the cemetery of Janów, known as the cemetery of the poor. Thanks to the efforts of the Archdiocese of Leopoli, the process for his beatification and canonization was initiated. The first step was concluded on December 17, 1997, with the declaration of the life of heroic virtue of Archbishop Joseph Bilczewski by The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. In June 2001, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognized as miraculous the fact of the rapid, lasting and unexplainable "quo ad modum" healing through the intercession of Archbishop Bilczewski of the third degree burns of Marcin Gawlik, a nine year old boy, which opened the way for his beatification.The beatification took place in the Diocese of Leopoli on June 26, 2001, during Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Visit to the Ukraine.He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 23, 2005, in Rome.

St. Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus((1842-1912))

SAINT MARIA JOSEFA OF THE HEART OF JESUS SANCHO DE GUERRA Religious (1842-1912)I- LIFE AND WORKS Saint Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, eldest daughter of Bernabe Sancho, chair-maker, and of Petra de Guerra, housewife, was born in Vitoria (Spain) on September 7, 1842, and was baptized the following day. According to the custom practiced then, she was confirmed two years after, on August 10, 1844. Her father died when she was seven years old; her mother prepared her for the First Communion that she received at ten years old. At the age of fifteen, she was sent to some relatives in Madrid to receive education and a more complete formation. The characteristic traits of her infancy and childhood were: a strong piety to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, a remarkable sensibility towards the poor and the sick, and an inclination to solitude.She returned to Vitoria at the age of eighteen and manifested to her mother the desire to enter in a monastery, feeling an attraction to the cloistered life. From adulthood, Blessed Maria Josefa used to repeat: "I was born with a religious vocation." She lived through many various experiences, but listened faithfully to counsel from both priests and family before finding the definitive form of her vocation. She was, in fact, to be on the point of entering to the Conceptionists contemplative of Aranjuez in 1860, but was prevented by the onset of a severe case of typhus. Her mother helped her to overcome the disappointment. In the succeeding months, it seemed to her understanding that the Lord calls her to a type of religious active life. For this, she decided to enter in the Institute of the Servants of Mary, recently founded in Madrid by Saint Soledad Torres Acosta. With the coming of the time of her profession, she was assailed with grave doubts and uncertainty on her effective call in that Institute. She opened her soul to various confessors and from their advices she felt that she was mistaken on her vocation. The meetings with the holy Archbishop Claret and the serene conversations Saint Soledad Torres Acosta helped Sr. Maria Josefa arrive to the decision of leaving the Institute of the Servants of Mary and founding a new religious family. The aim was to assist the sick in the hospitals and in their homes. With the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo's permission, Sr. Maria Josefa and thee other Servants of Mary started the new foundation. The new foundation started in Bilbao in the spring of 1871, when Sr. Maria Josefa was twenty nine. Since then, and for the succeeding forty one years, she was superior of the new Institute of the Servants of Jesus. She embarked on difficult trips to visit the different communities until a long sickness confined her in the house of Bilbao. Obliged to stay in bed or an armchair, she continued to follow the events of the various communities with in and outside Spain through a painstaking and precious correspondence. When she passed away on March 20, 1912, after long years of suffering, there were 43 houses of the Servants of Jesus and the number of her Sisters reached more than one thousand. Her passing was felt in Bilbao and other numerous localities of the Institute. In the same way, her funeral had an extraordinary resonance. She was buried in the municipal cemetery of Bilbao. In 1926, her fame of sanctity grew and her mortal remains were transferred to the chapel of the Institute's mother house.II- SPIRITUALITY The writings and the testimonies of the eye-witnesses put in evidence the central points of the spirituality of Blessed Maria Josefa:1) Great love to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart.2) Profound adoration to the mystery of Redemption and intimate participation to the sufferings of Christ and to his Cross.3) Total dedication to the service of the sick in a context of contemplative spirit. Here are some significant expressions taken from her writings: "The charity and mutual love constitute even in this life the paradise of the community. Without cross we cannot live wherever we go, because the religious life is a life of sacrifice and of abnegation. The foundation of greatest perfection is the fraternal charity" (Don Pablo B. Aristegui, Beata Maria Josefa del Cuore di Gesù, Mensajero, Bilbao, 1992, p. 97). "Don't believe sisters that the assistance consists only in giving medicines and food to the sick. There is another type of assistance that must never be forgotten and it is the assistance of the heart that adjusts and enter in sympathy with the person who suffers and go to meet his necessities" (Ibidem, p. 100). "We form in the Divine Heart of Jesus our center to communicate with Him. We can do it with the frequency that we desire without fear of molesting anyone; only with Jesus will be our intimacy'' (Consejos y Maximas de Nuestra Venerada Madre Fundadora. Madrid, Imprenta Juan Bravo, 1994, p. 15).III- CHARISM TO SERVE THE SICK The particular footprint imprinted by Ma. Josefa to the Institute of the Servants of Jesus reflects her interior experience of a soul consecrated to the charitable service of the neighbor, especially to the sick, in a climate of contemplative spirit. We find her concept well-expressed in the Directorio de Asistencias, where the Servant of Jesus provides for the sick, accompanies the suffering until the door of eternity, and calls those who are lost to the right path of life. "In this manner, as written in the functional manuals of our Institute, designed to procure the corporal health of the neighbor, is elevated to a great height, making our active life more perfect than that of a contemplative, as taught by the angelic teacher St. Thomas who says about the works directed to the salvation of souls derived from contemplation" (Directorio de Asistencias de la Congregación Religiosas Siervas de Jesús de la Caridad, Vitoria, 1930, p. 9). With this spirit, the Servants of Jesus, from the death of their Mother Maria Josefa and until now, have continued their service to the sick, with a generous oblation of life that reminds us of their Foundress. Furthermore, in conformity to the progress of times and the necessities of the modern life, from the primary end of the assistance to the sick, the assistance to old persons in residences and the reception and assistance to the children in day care centers, some others were added, such as: provision of food to the indigents, centers for those afflicted with AIDS, day care centers for the aged, pastoral health care and other works of beneficence and charities, above all in the poorest places of Latin America and Asia. Today, in actuality, the 1,050 Religious of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus are present in Spain and in other countries such as Italy, France, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Philippines.IV- ITINERARY OF THE CAUSE Few years after the death of Mother Maria Josefa, the Institute of the Servants of Jesus planned to start the Cause of the Canonization. However, the adverse circumstances from the Spanish civil war and the Second World War delayed the motion.a) May 31, 1951, was the start of the Informative Ordinary Process in Bilbao.b) On January 7, 1972, the Decretum super introductione Causae.c) On September 7, 1989, the Decretum super Virtutibus was promulgated.d) On September 27, 1992, Ma. Maria Josefa was solemnly beatified in Saint Peter's Square.e) On October 1, 2000, she was canonized by John Paul II.

St. Wulfran(Archbishop (+720))

SAINT WULFRAN Archbishop(+720) St. Wulfran's father was an officer in the armies of King Dagobert. He spent some years in the court of King Clotaire III and St. Bathildes. Wulfran was humble and devoted to Jesus Christ and Mother Mary. Through prayer and the sacraments, he learned to overcome concupiscence and worldly vanities. Wulfran wasconsecrated archbishop of Sens in 682. He governed the diocese for two and a half years. A tender compassion for the blindness of idolaters in Friesland, and the example of zealous English preachers, moved him to resign his bishopric. He then attended a retreat at Fontenelle and entered Friesland as a poor missionary priest. Wulfran baptized multitudes, among them King Radbod's son, which ended the custom of sacrificing people to idols. On one occasion, Ovon was selected as a sacrificial victim, but his life was spared when Wulfran begged King Radbod's mercy. People ran to the palace, and some would not suffer what they called a sacrilege. After many words, they backed down, but on the condition that Wulfran's God should save Ovon's life. Ovon, after being hanged on the gibbet for two hours and being left for dead, fell to the ground when the cord broke. Found alive, Ovon was given to Wulfran, became a monk, and later a priest at Fontenelle. Wulfran also miraculously rescued two children from being drowned in honor of idols. Radbod, an eye-witness to Wulfran's miracle, promised to become Christian; but before stepping into the baptismal font, asked where the great number of his ancestors and nobles were in the afterlife. The prince then refused baptism and passed away shortly before St. Willibrord could speak with him. Wulfran later retired to Fontenelle, where he passed away on April 20, 720.


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

Published: 2024-02-27T07:26:24Z | Modified: 2024-02-27T07:26:24Z