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Weekly Bulletin September 10, 2023
by Terrie Evans
On this 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time we remember how important the bond is that forms between grandparents and grandchildren, as we celebrate Grandparents’ Day. Senator Jennings Randolph along with other senators introduced a joint resolution requesting the president issue an annual proclamation. This annual proclamation was proposed to designate the first Sunday of September after Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day. The proclamation was passed by Congress and on August 3, 1978, the then President, Jimmy Carter signed the annual proclamation “To honor Grandparents, to give Grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children and to help children become aware of strength, information and guidance older people can offer.” The National Grandparents’ Day Council of Chula Vista, California announced in 2004 an official song “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill would become the official song of the United States Grandparents’ Holiday. The National Grandparents’ Day Council presented Mr. Prill an award in recognition for his composition.
On Monday September 11, 2023, we remember 9/11 and the 4 coordinated attacks on our country, 22 years ago. Those attacks caused the deaths of 2,996 victims with thousands injured and the destruction that would affect many families forever. Our country will always remember where we were on that morning and grieve those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Our church community remembers that day and the time 8:46AM this Monday, as we pray for those lost and the family members they left behind.
On Tuesday, September 12th we honor the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast day began in 1513 as a local celebration in Cuenca, Spain on the date of September 15th. It was moved by Pope Sixtus V to September 17th with the feast spreading throughout the Kingdom of Naples. The faithful at that time started asking the Blessed Virgin Mary for protection during wars. When the Polish King, John Sobieski asked the Blessed Virgin Mary to aid his troops before the Battle of Vienna and after being the victor, Pope Innocent XI then added the feast to the Roman calendar. In 1911, Pope Pius X restored the celebration to a prominent position when it was moved to September 12th. By 1969 it was considered a duplication of the September 8th Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but still recognized as a celebration of the Roman Rite and in 2002, Pope John Paul II then restored the celebration to the General Calendar. Those who promote the veneration of the Holy Name of Mary are Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. As a sign of honor and entrustment to Mary, religious orders such as the Cistercians and Servites as a custom give each member “Mary” as a part of his or her name. In Rome, one of the twin churches at the Forum of Trajan is dedicated to the Name of Mary “Santissima Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano”. The name of Mary is venerated because it belongs to the Mother of God with parishes and schools dedicated in her honor.
On September 13, 2023, we celebrate the feast of St. John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople in 397 who worked for the common good of the church and founded hospitals in Constantinople. The Anglicized version of Chrysostom in Greek means golden mouthed denoting his celebrated eloquence. There are 700 sermons and 246 letters, biblical commentaries, moral discourses, and theological treaties written by him. In 1908, Pope Pius X named St. John the patron of preachers. His preaching is part of the lasting legacy of St. Johns influence on Christian Liturgy. Christian clerics refer to him as “one of the most eloquent preachers who ever since apostolic times have brought to men the divine tidings of truth and love”. His widely used editions of St. John Chrysostom’s works are available in Greek, Latin, English, and French. He was born in 347 and died in 407 at the age of 58. His last words were: “Glory be to God for all things”.
On Thursday September 14th, we honor the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the liturgical festival of the Exaltation (triumph) of the Holy Cross that can be traced to two historical occurrences in the City of Jerusalem. The first was the dedication of the Constantinian Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on this date in the 4th Century. The other event was the recovery of the True Cross from the Persians in the 7th Century which prompted the declaration of this special feast. The history of this feast began in Constantinople where the custom was to carry the relic of the True Cross through the streets of the city to invoke God’s blessing for the protection from sickness. The Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and some Anglican Churches have a formal Adoration of the Cross during services on Good Friday.
On Friday, September 15, we honor Our Lady of Sorrows, a popular religious theme, and Catholic Devotion to the Virgin Mary. The Seven Sorrows of Mary portray her sorrow in tears with seven swords piercing her heart that depict the events in the life of Mary. The Seven Sorrows are: 1. The Prophecy of Simeon, 2. The Flight into Egypt, 3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, 4. Mary meeting Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the 4th Station of the Cross, not found in the Bible, 5. The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary, 6. Jesus’ Descent from the Cross, 7. The Burial of Jesus by Jospeh of Arimathea. Over the centuries, devotions were started from the meditation on Mary’s Sorrows with the three most common devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows are, the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, the Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary, and the Novena to Our Sorrowful Mother. The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows became popular in the 12th Century after the writings of the Benedictine Monks around the 11th Century. In 1482, the feast was officially placed in the Roman Missile under the title of Our Lady of Compassion showing the great love our Blessed Mother displayed in suffering with her Son. Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa) is the subject of some well-known works of Catholic Marian art and in the book “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” by Joel Giallanza published by Ave Maria Press. Our Lady of Sorrows is the Patron Saint country of Poland, the state of Mississippi and the churches dedicated to her are: Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago, St. Mary of Sorrows in Virginia, Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Hawaii, Our Lady of Sorrows Church in California, Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows in Missouri, and in Molise, Italy the Basilica Santuario di Maria Santissima Addolorata. On the 2nd Sunday of September in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York the annual procession will be held with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. This tradition started in the 1940’s with the Italian immigrants from Mola di Bari celebrating the feast of their patron saint.