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The Catholic Defender: Saturday in the Octave of Easter

The Octave of Easter is the eight-day period, or octave, that begins on Easter Sunday and ends with the following Sunday.

Our Father, who art in heaven, sacred is Your Word. Your kingdom come, Your Words be heard on earth as they are in heaven. Give us today Your Sacred Word. Forgive our neglect of it in the past as we forgive those who neglect us. Lead us toward an encounter with You each time we delve into the Scriptures. For Your presence, Your power, and Your glory are ever present among us now and forever. Amen.

Father, we beg Your blessing for the Right to Life, the Unborn, the weak, the sick and the old; all who are finding themselves being targets of the vicious culture of death; that our Lord Jesus bless and protect all who stand up for the Christian dignity of persons. That God enlighten those who are traveling down death's highway by their involvement, in any way, with either the contemporary death culture, selfism, relativeism, or any of the new age errors of our times, that God envelop our culture with His Divine protection and help us both individually and as a nation to true enlightenment, conversion and repentance of our selves and our culture. Help us to turn from our national sin of abortion, and return to, and once again become a Christian nation, on the narrow road, that is, the path to becoming a nation and culture, under God. Amen.

I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Let us begin, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.


Reading 1 Acts 4:13-21 Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, "What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name." So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, "Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard." After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21 R.(21a) I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. "The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power." I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the just shall enter it. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Ps 118:24 R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 16:9-15 When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."

Saint of the Day: Caesar de Bus

Like so many of us, Caesar de Bus struggled with the decision about what to do with his life. After completing his Jesuit education he had difficulty settling between a military and a literary career. He wrote some plays but ultimately settled for life in the army and at court.

At eighteen he joined the king's army and took part in the war against the Huguenots

For a time, life was going rather smoothly for the engaging, well-to-do young Frenchman. He was confident he had made the right choice. That was until he saw firsthand the realities of battle, including the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacres of French Protestants in 1572.

He distinguished himself by his works of charity and his zeal in preaching and catechizing and conceived the idea of instituting a congregation of priests who should devote themselves to the preaching of Christian doctrine. In 1592

known as Christian Doctrine Fathers, were founded in the Swiss town of L'Isle and in the following year came to Avignon, France. This institute's development into a religious congregation was approved by Pope Clement VIII on 23 December 1597. Besides the Christian Doctrine Fathers, de Bus founded a congregation for women originally called "Daughters of Christian Doctrine", which later came to be called the "Ursulines", which died out in the 17th century.

He fell seriously ill and found himself reviewing his priorities, including his spiritual life. By the time he had recovered, Caesar had resolved to become a priest. Following his ordination in 1582, he undertook special pastoral work: teaching the catechism to ordinary people living in neglected, rural, out-of-the-way places. His efforts were badly needed and well received.

Working with his cousin, Caesar developed a program of family catechesis. The goal—to ward off heresy among the people—met the approval of local bishops. Out of these efforts grew a new religious congregation: the Fathers of Christian Doctrine.

“Family catechesis” is a familiar term in parish life today. Grounded in the certainty that children learn their faith first from their parents, programs that deepen parental involvement in religious education multiply everywhere. There were no such programs in Caesar’s day until he saw a need and created them. Other needs abound in our parishes, and it’s up to us to respond by finding ways to fill them or by joining in already established efforts.

Pope Pius VII declared César de Bus venerable in 1821 and Pope Paul VI beatified him in Rome on 27 April 1975. On 27 May 2020 Pope Francis issued a decree via the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approving a miracle and hence clearing the way for de Bus to be proclaimed a saint; he was canonized on 15 May 2022. During his life Saint César de Bus demonstrated his love for two things especially – the catechism and those on the outer reaches of society. Through his example, he reminds us to go out to the peripheries, to the marginalized, as Pope Francis so often calls us to do.

Pope Pius VII declared César de Bus venerable in 1821 and Pope Paul VI beatified him in Rome on 27 April 1975. On 27 May 2020 Pope Francis issued a decree via the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approving a miracle and hence clearing the way for de Bus to be proclaimed a saint; he was canonized on 15 May 2022.

The miracle that allowed the canonization was the grace granted to a 25 year old girl, hospitalized in Salerno for a cerebral hemorrhage who was diagnosed with fulminant meningitis.

In Salerno, we have a community where there is a parish and we also have our own doctrinal editions for catechesis. A prayer chain was really created. Both in the hospital, together with relatives, and in church, every night they prayed, asking for healing through the intercession of Blessed César. And well, from one moment to another, overnight, the whole situation was resolved, and the girl woke up, immediately asking to smoke. She was a person who liked to smoke a lot and she was recovered, especially from the point of view of meningitis. It did not leave any serious damage like the doctors thought, considering the clinical situation.


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