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The Catholic Defender: The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy Sunday Novena The Third Day:

Third Day:

Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse then in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wonderous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

In describing mercy, the books of the Old Testament use two expressions in particular, each having a different semantic nuance.

First there is the term "hesed," which indicates a profound attitude of "goodness." When this is established between two individuals, they do not just wish each other well; they are also faithful to each other by virtue of an interior commitment, and therefore also by virtue of a faithfulness to themselves.

When in the Old Testament the word "hesed" is used of the Lord, this always occurs in connection with the covenant that God established with Israel. This covenant was, on God's part, a gift and a grace for Israel. Nevertheless, since, in harmony with the covenant entered into, God had made a commitment to respect it, "hesed" also acquired in a certain sense a legal content.

The juridical commitment on God's part ceased to oblige whenever Israel broke the covenant and did not respect its conditions. But precisely at this point, "hesed," in ceasing to be a juridical obligation, revealed its deeper aspect: it showed itself as what it was at the beginning, that is, as love that gives, love more powerful than betrayal, grace stronger than sin.

"It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name" (Ez. 36:22). Therefore Israel, although burdened with guilt for having broken the covenant, cannot lay claim to God's "hesed" on the basis of (legal) justice; yet it can and must go on hoping and trusting to obtain it, since the God of the covenant is really "responsible for his love."

From the deep and original bond — indeed the unity — that links a mother to her child there springs a particular relationship to the child, a particular love. Of this love one can say that it is completely gratuitous, not merited, and that in this aspect it constitutes an interior necessity: an exigency of the heart.

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 4:32-37 The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas (which is translated ""son of encouragement""), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5 R.(1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. The LORD is king, in splendor robed; robed is the LORD and girt about with strength. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, O LORD. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed: holiness befits your house, O LORD, for length of days. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 3:14-15 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 3:7b-15 Jesus said to Nicodemus: "'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus answered and said to him, 'How can this happen?" Jesus answered and said to him, "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

saint of the Day: Blessed James Oldo

Blessed James Oldo obtained from God the gift of prophecy; repeatedly he foretold wars, which always took place as predicted. He also announced the time of his own death, and died in the fullest hope of divine mercy in the year of Our Lord 1404. Seven years after his death his body was found still incorrupt.

James Oldo experienced a radical conversion that led him to become a Franciscan tertiary, and later a priest.

He was born in 1364 into a rich family in Lodi, Italy. He married at a young age, and he and his wife both led a very self-indulgent lifesyle. One day, a traveling reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre came to thier town. As a joke, James lay down on it to compare his height to Christ's.

As soon as he laid down on it, he was instantly converted, and became a tertiary soon after.

At first, his mother and wife were opposed to the change they saw in him, but soon they grew attracted to his new ways and became tertiaries as well. The family turned their mansion into a chapel and worked with the sick and with prisoners.

You’ve heard rags-to-riches stories. Today, we celebrate the reverse.

James of Oldo was born into a well-to-do family near Milan in 1364. He married a woman who like him, appreciated the comforts that came with wealth. But an outbreak of the plague drove James, his wife, and their three children out of their home and into the countryside. Despite those precautions, two of his daughters died from the plague. James determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth.

Blessed James Oldo made a general confession, joined the Third Order of St Francis, and began a penitential and devout Christian life. Gladly would he have led his wife on a similar course, but his own mother detained her amid the vanities of the world. But later, the mother had a vision in which it appeared to her that she and her son had been snatched from their worldly amusements to appear directly before the judgment-seat of God. She was so strongly affected by the vision that she herself spoke to her daughter-in-law and urged her to follow the example of her husband. Both women were likewise received into the Third Order.

The fashionable family mansion, which until then had so often been the scene of extravagant pleasure, served now as an edification to the whole city. When his spouse died, James became a priest and then began to lead a still more rigorous life of penance. On his bare body he wore a coarse penitential garb, ate neither mean nor drank wine, and observed an almost continual fast. Sometimes he ate only once a week, until Blessed James Oldo received an order from his bishop to take food at least three times a week He slept on the bare earth with a stone under his head. Incessantly he preached to the people, admonishing them to do penance. Many turned from their worldly ways to a Christian life, many even left the world to serve God in the religious state. Thus a prominent lady named Mirandola founded a convent of Poor Clares, provided sacred vessels for the church from the sale of her jewels, and herself entered the convent as a Poor Clare.

He and his wife became Secular Franciscans. James gave up his old lifestyle and did penance for his sins. He cared for a sick priest, who taught him Latin. Upon the death of his wife, James himself became a priest. His house was transformed into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support. James focused on caring for the sick and for prisoners of war. He died in 1404 after contracting a disease from one of his patients. James Oldo was beatified in 1933.

In 1397 Caterina passed away, and soon thereafter, Giacomo was ordained a priest by the bishop of Lodi. His house was transformed into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support. He became a celebrated preacher, and was known to have inspired many to enter consecrated religious life.

When James’ wife died, he became a priest. His acts of penance were so severe that his bishop had to order him to eat at least three times a week. He was a celebrated preacher, who inspired many to enter the religious life. He also prophesied wars and his own death. He died at the age of 40 in 1404. When his body was moved seven years after his death, it was found incorrupt.


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