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Blessed Antoni Julian Nowowiejski

Blessed Antoni Julian Nowowiejski

Feast date: May 28

Archbishop Antoni Julian Nowowiejski was was born in 1858, and beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 13, 1999, along with another 107 Poles who were martyred during World War II.

The late archbishop of Plock, Poland, was arrested by the occupying Germans in 1940. He refused the chance to escape, saying, "How can a pastor abandon their sheep?", and he also refused to profane Christian symbols. He died after countless beatings at the Nazi’s Dzialdowo death camp in 1941 at the age of 83.

St. Bernard of Menthon

St. Bernard of Menthon

Feast date: May 28

The Church remembers St. Bernard of Manthon on May 28. He was born in 923, probably in the castle Menthon near Annecy, in Savoy, and died at Novara, 1008. He was a descendant from a rich, noble family and received a thorough education. He refused to enter an honorable marriage proposed by his father, and decided to devote himself instead to the service of the Church.

Placing himself under the direction of Peter, Archdeacon of Aosta, under whose guidance he rapidly progressed, Bernard was ordained priest, and on account of his learning and virtue, was made Archdeacon of Aosta (966), having charge of the government of the diocese under the bishop. Seeing the ignorance and idolatry still prevailing among the people of the Alps, he resolved to devote himself to their conversion. For forty two years he continued to preach the Gospel to these people and carried the light of faith even into many cantons of Lombardy, effecting numerous conversions and working many miracles.

For another reason, however, Bernard's name will forever be famous in history. Since the most ancient times there was a path across the Pennine Alps leading from the valley of Aosta to the Swiss canton of Valais, over what is now the pass of the Great St. Bernard. This pass is covered with perpetual snow from seven to eight feet deep, and drifts sometimes accumulate to the height of forty feet. Though the pass was extremely dangerous, especially in the springtime on account of avalanches, it was often used by French and German pilgrims on their way to Rome.

For the convenience and protection of travelers St. Bernard founded a monastery and hospice at the highest point of the pass, 8,000 feet above sea-level, in the year 962. A few years later he established another hospice on the Little St. Bernard, a mountain of the Graian Alps, 7,076 feet above sea-level. Both were placed in charge of Augustinian monks after pontifical approval had been obtained by him during a visit to Rome.

These hospices are renowned for the generous hospitality extended to all travelers over the Great and Little St. Bernard, so called in honor of the founder of these charitable institutions. At all seasons of the year, but especially during heavy snow-storms, the heroic monks accompanied by their well-trained dogs, go out in search of victims who may have succumbed to the severity of the weather. They offer food, clothing, and shelter to the unfortunate travelers and take care of the dead. They depend on gifts and collections for sustenance. The majority of these men live at the hospice while some have charge of neighboring parishes.

The last act of St. Bernard's life was the reconciliation of two noblemen whose strife threatened a fatal issue. He was interred in the cloister of St. Lawrence. Venerated as a saint from the twelfth century in many places of Piedmont (Aosta, Novara, Brescia), he was canonized in 1681 by Innocent XI.

Synod retreat leader: The Gospel challenges African Catholics to welcome homosexuality (ICN)

In an address to a conference organized by LGBT+ Catholics Westminster (England), Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, said that the Gospel challenges the Church in Africa to welcome homosexuality.

Commenting on the African bishops’ rejection of Fiducia Supplicans, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings, Father Radcliffe said that “never before have almost all the bishops of a continent rejected a Vatican document.”

“It is not about how does our side win,” said the former master general of the Dominican Order. “It is how can the Church fulfil her vocation to be the place in which all of humanity finds home and joy.”

“Every culture offers gifts and is challenged,” he continued. “The gospel is to be inculturated in every culture but it challenges every culture. So some people, like Cardinal Ambongo [the head of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar], will argue that homosexuality is foreign to African cultures and so cannot be welcomed. I would say that here the gospel offers a challenge.”

Father Radcliffe preached two meditations each day during the pre-synodal retreat to participants in the October 2023 session of the Synod of Bishops; he also spoke during the synod session.

3 people attacked during Mass at Salt Lake City cathedral (KUTV-TV)

A man with a bamboo wooden sword entered the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City during Mass on May 26 and attacked three people.

The man’s “violent, tumultuous behavior ... appeared to be unprovoked with random victims,” police stated.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has documented over 300 attacks at parishes and other Catholic sites in the United States since 2020; typically, these involve acts of vandalism, arson, and other destruction.

USCCB issues new abuse report: 1,308 allegations, 17 of them current, made in 2022-23 (CWN)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released its 2023 annual report on the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the document that has governed the bishops’ response to the abuse crisis since 2002.

Pope receives Irish missionary who ministers to lepers in Ghana (Vatican News)

Pope Francis received Father Andrew Campbell, SVD, in a May 27 audience.

An Irish missionary who has lived in Ghana for 53 years, Father Campbell ministers to street children and lepers.

“There are 100,000 street children in the city of Accra living on the streets,” he told Vatican News. “I help [lepers], ensuring everything is okay: their health and food. I care for these needs while living with them.”

Papal meeting with Argentine political party leader (Vatican Press Office)

Pope Francis received Carlos Raimundi, a leading figure in Argentina’s Solidarity and Equality party, in a May 27 audience.

Raimundi is a strong critic of President Javier Millei, who met with the Pope in February.

The papal meeting with Raimundi comes one month after the Pope received an Argentine governor, who tweeted that the Pope intends to visit Argentina this year.

Pope recalls Year of Prayer (@Pontifex)

In a May 27 tweet, Pope Francis drew attention to the Year of Prayer, which began in January.

“Everything falls into ruin without faith, and faith is extinguished without #Prayer,” he tweeted. “Therefore, as the home and school of communion, the Church is the home and school of prayer. #YearOfPrayer”

Italian priest slain by Fascists is beatified as martyr (Diocesi di Novara)

Father Giuseppe Rossi (1912-1945), parish priest of the small Italian mountain town of Calasca-Castiglione, was beatified as a martyr in Novara Cathedral on May 26.

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, presided at the beatification Mass and preached the Italian-language homily.

Father Rossi was slain by members of the Fascist Black Brigades on February 26, 1945, less than three months before the end of World War II in Europe.

“After being forced to dig his own grave with his bare hands, he was repeatedly beaten, hit on the head with a 7-kilogram boulder, which caused his skull to be smashed, then finished with a stab wound and a gunshot,” according to the Dicastery.

1st Vatican 'World Children's Day' concludes with papal Mass in St. Peter's Square (CNS)

The first Vatican celebration of World Children’s Day (papal message) concluded with a May 26 papal Mass in St. Peter’s Square, with 50,000 in attendance, and the “cross of joy” displayed prominently on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.

During his homily, Pope Francis preached about the Blessed Trinity. “We are all happy because we believe,” he said. “Faith makes us happy. And we believe in God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

The previous day, Pope Francis spoke to the children in Rome’s Olympic Stadium and addressed their questions.

“Dear children, Jesus said in the Gospel that He loves you, do you know how much Jesus loves you?” the Pope said during his address.

Asked what miracle he could perform if he could, the Pope replied, “That all children have what they need to live, to eat, to play, to go to school. This is the miracle I would like to work.”