Monday, August 22, 2011


Born . 1220 Križanov, Czech Republic
Died 1252 Lemberk Castle, Czech Republic
Beatified 28 August 1907 by Pope Pius X

John Sarkander and zdislava Berka

Canonized 21 March 1995, Olomouc, Czech Republic by Pope John Paul II
Feast January 3

Zdislava Berka (also, Zdislava of Lemberk in 1220–1252) was the wife of Havel of Markvartice, Duke of Lemberk. She was a particularly austere and generous woman who founded a convent and was eventually recognized as a saint.


Zdislava was from a Moravian family, born in Križanov, in what is now the zdar nad Sázavou District of the Czech Republic. She was reportedly an unusually devout child, who at age seven ran away into the forest with the intention of living a hermit's life of prayer and solitude. She was forcibly returned by her family, and made to live a normal childhood from that point on. Later, her family arranged for her to marry Havel of Markvartice (also known as Gallus of Lämberg or Havel of Lemberk) of the prosperous Markwartiner family. He founded the towns of Gabel (Deutsch Gabel) and Habelschwerdt. Together they would have four children.
As a married woman, Zdislava continued to live a life of remarkable personal austerity, worked tirelessly in the care of the poor and dispossessed, and was, unusually for her era, a frequent recipient of the Eucharist. Tatar invasions of Eastern Europe were causing large numbers of people to leave their homes during this period, and a large number of refugees sought refuge at the castle of Gable, where Zdislava lived with her family and assisted these refugees as much as possible.
Her husband was concerned about what he considered the excessive degree of Zdislava's charity to these refugees. In one incident, he is reported to have gone to the bed Zdislava had given to a feverish beggar the night before, but to have found a figure of the crucified Jesus there instead. He is said to have been so impressed by this apparition that he would later allow her to found a Dominican convent in Turnov. Zdislava worked with this convent for the rest of her life, and was eventually buried there.

Shortly after her death Zdislava is reported to have appeared in an apparition to her husband. In 1907, Pope Pius X confirmed her veneration for her native country. She was canonized a saint in 1995 with John Sarkander in a ceremony in Olomouc, Czech Republic, by Pope John Paul II. In artwork, she is commonly depicted as a Dominican tertiary with a crucifix wound around with roses, or lying in the place of a sick person in bed. As a patron saint, she is asked for her intercession in difficult marriages and for people ridiculed for their piety


Zdislava von Lemberk (ca. 1215 -1252) 

Die Hl. Zdislava wurde um 1215 geboren und starb 1252 in Deutsch Gabel [Jablonné v Podještedí]. - Sie stammte aus einer mährischen Adelsfamilie der Herren von Krihanau [Krihanov] und heiratete wohl mit 17 Jahren um 1236 den nordböhmischen Adeligen Gallus v. Lämberg [Lemberk] (+ 1253). Aus dieser Ehe gingen vier Kinder hervor. Schon zu Lebzeiten und im späten Mittelalter war Zdislava wegen ihrer Wohltätigkeit, insbesondere für Kranke und Arme, von Legenden umwoben. Der bekannte böhmische Chronist, sog. Dalimil, erwähnte zu Beginn des 14. Jahrhunderts, sie habe fünf Tote zum Leben erweckt und viele Kranke geheilt. Um 1240 gründete sie mit ihrem Gemahl in Böhmisch Aicha [Cesky Dub] eine Johannitenkommende mit einem Spital und danach in Deutsch Gabel das Dominikanerkloster mit der Kirche des Hl. Laurentius. Die Dominikanerterziarin wurde nach ihrem Tode in der genannten Kirche bestattet. Die Adelsfamilie Berka von Dubé ließ 1699-1729 über ihrem Grab eine Barockkirche erbauen, die zum Wallfahrtsort wurde und strebte ihre Kanonisierung an. Ihr Kult wurde zwar 1907 bestätigt, nach 1949 bemühte sich der Bischof von Leitmeritz Štepßn Trochta um ihre Heiligsprechung, zu der es aber erst 1995 kam. Die Dominikaner gedenken Zdislava am 3. Januar, als böhmische Patronin der Kranken, Armen und der Familie wird sie am 30. Mai verehrt. Zu ihren Symbolen gehören Kreuz, Brotkorb, Krone und Kirchenmodell, manchmal mit einem von Rosen umgebenen Kruzifix (z.B. auf dem Hauptaltar der Klosterkirche in Dt. Gabel).

Monday, August 1, 2011


Birth name Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
Born 25 November 1881(1881-11-25) Sotto il Monte, Italy
Ordination 10 August 1904 by Giuseppe Ceppetelli
Consecration 19 March 1925 by Giovanni Tacci Porcelli
Created Cardinal 12 January 1953
Papacy began 28 October 1958
Papacy ended 3 June 1963 (4 years,218 days)
Predecessor Pius XII
Successor Paul VI
Died 3 June 1963(1963-06-03) (aged 81) Vatican City
Beatified 3 September 2000 by Pope John Paul II
Canonized 27 April 2014 St. Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis

Blessed Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII; Italian: Giovanni XXIII), born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), was the 262nd Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City.
Pope John was elected on 28 October 1958. He called the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) but did not live to see it to completion. He died on 3 June 1963, two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris. He was beatified, along with Pope Pius IX, on 3 September, 2000.

Bl. Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli at Sotto il Monte, Italy, in the Diocese of Bergamo on 25 November 1881. He was the fourth in a family of 14. The family worked as sharecroppers. It was a patriarchal family in the sense that the families of two brothers lived together, headed by his great-uncle Zaverio, who had never married and whose wisdom guided the work and other business of the family. Zaverio was Angelo's godfather, and to him he always attributed his first and most fundamental religious education. The religious atmosphere of his family and the fervent life of the parish, under the guidance of Fr Francesco Rebuzzini, provided him with training in the Christian life.
He entered the Bergamo seminary in 1892. Here he began the practice of making spiritual notes, which he continued in one form or another until his death, and which have been gathered together in the Journal a Soul. Here he also began the deeply cherished practice of regular spiritual direction. In 1896 he was admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order by the spiritual director of the Bergamo seminary, Fr Luigi Isacchi; he made a profession of its Rule of life on 23 May 1897.
From 1901 to 1905 he was a student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. On 10 August 1904 he was ordained a priest in the church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo in Rome's Piazza del Popolo. In 1905 he was appointed secretary to the new Bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi. He accompanied the Bishop in his pastoral visitations and collaborated with him in his many initiatives: a Synod, management of the diocesan bulletin, pilgrimages, social works. In the seminary he taught history, patrology and apologetics. He was an elegant, profound, effective and sought-after preacher.
These were the years of his deepening spiritual encounter with two saints who were outstanding pastors: St Charles Borromeo and St Francis de Sales. They were years, too, of deep pastoral involvement and apprenticeship, as he spent every day beside "his" Bishop, Radini Tedeschi. When the Bishop died in 1914, Fr Angelo continued to teach in the seminary and to minister in various pastoral areas.
When Italy went to war in 1915 he was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to wounded soldiers. When the war ended, he opened a "Student House" for the spiritual needs of young people.
In 1919 he was made spiritual director of the seminary, but in 1921 he was called to the service of the Holy See. Benedict XV brought him to Rome to be the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925 Pius XI named him Apostolic Visitator in Bulgaria, raising him to the episcopate with the titular Diocese of Areopolis. For his Episcopal motto he chose Oboedientia et Pax, which became his guiding motto for the rest of his life.
On 19 March 1925 he was ordained Bishop and left for Bulgaria. He was granted the title Apostolic Delegate and remained in Bulgaria until 1935, visiting Catholic communities and establishing relationships of respect and esteem with the other Christian communities. In the aftermath of the 1928 earthquake his solicitude was everywhere present. He endured in silence the misunderstandings and other difficulties of a ministry on the fringes of society, and thus refined his sense of trust and abandonment to Jesus crucified.
In 1935 he was named Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and Greece. The Catholic Church was present in many ways in the young Turkish republic. His ministry among the Catholics was intense, and his respectful approach and dialogue with the worlds of Orthodoxy and Islam became a feature of his tenure. When the Second World War broke out he was in Greece. He tried to get news from the prisoners of war to their families and assisted many Jews to escape by issuing "transit visas" from the Apostolic Delegation. In December 1944 Pius XII appointed him Nuncio in France.
During the last months of the war and the beginning of peace he aided prisoners of war and helped to normalize the ecclesiastical organization of France. He visited the great shrines of France and participated in popular feasts and in important religious celebrations. He was an attentive, prudent and positive observer of the new pastoral initiatives of the Bishops and clergy of France. His approach was always characterized by a striving for Gospel simplicity, even amid the most complex diplomatic questions. The sincere piety of his interior life found expression each day in prolonged periods of prayer and meditation. In 1953 he was created a Cardinal and sent to Venice as Patriarch. He was filled with joy at the prospect of ending his days in the direct care of souls, as he had always desired since becoming a priest. He was a wise and enterprising pastor, following the model pastors he had always venerated and walking in the footsteps of St Laurence Giustiniani, first Patriarch of Venice. As he advanced in years his trust in the Lord grew in the midst of energetic, enterprising and joyful pastoral labours.
At the death of Pius XII he was elected Pope on 28 October 1958, taking the name John XXIII. His pontificate, which lasted less than five years, presented him to the entire world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd. Meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active, he carried out the Christian duties of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: visiting the imprisoned and the sick, welcoming those of every nation and faith, bestowing on all his exquisite fatherly care. His social magisterium in the Encyclicals Pacem in terris and Mater et Magistra was deeply appreciated.
He convoked the Roman Synod, established the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law and summoned the Second Vatican Council. He was present as Bishop in his Diocese of Rome through his visitation of the parishes, especially those in the new suburbs. The faithful saw in him a reflection of the goodness of God and called him "the good Pope". He was sustained by a profound spirit of prayer. He launched an extensive renewal of the Church, while radiating the peace of one who always trusted in the Lord. Pope John XXIII died on the evening of 3 June 1963, in a spirit of profound trust in Jesus and of longing for his embrace.


(From L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English 6 September 2000 )


Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in Sotto il Monte, a small country village in the Bergamo province of the Lombardy region of Italy. He was the first-born son of Giovanni Battista Roncalli (1854–1935) and his wife Marianna Giulia Mazzolla (1854–1939), and fourth in a family of 13, including: Angelo Giuseppe, Alfredo (Born 1889), Maria Caterina (1877–1883), Teresa (1879–1954), Ancilla (1880–1953), Domenico Giuseppe (22 February 1888 – 14 March 1888), Francesco Zaverio (1883–1976), Maria Elisa (1884–1955), Assunta Casilda (Born 1886), Giovanni Francesco (1891–1956), Enrica (1893–1918), Giuseppe Luigi (Born 1894) and Luigi (1896–1898)
 His family worked as sharecroppers as did most of the people of Sotto il Monte – a striking contrast to that of his predecessor, Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII), who came from an ancient aristocratic family.

In 1905, Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, the new Bishop of Bergamo, appointed Roncalli as his secretary. Roncalli worked for Radini-Tedeschi until the bishop's death in 1914. During this period Roncalli was also a lecturer in the diocesan seminary in Bergamo.
During World War I, Roncalli was drafted into the Royal Italian Army as a sergeant, serving in the medical corps as a stretcher-bearer and as a chaplain. After being discharged from the army in 1919, he was named spiritual director of the seminary.

In 1921, Pope Benedict XV appointed him as the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925 Pope Pius XI appointed him as Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria (1925–1935), also naming him for consecration as titular bishop of Areopolis, Greece. He chose as his episcopal motto Obedientia et Pax ("Obedience and Peace"), which became his guiding motto.
In 1935 he was made Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and Greece. Roncalli used this office to help the Jewish underground in saving thousands of refugees in Europe, leading some to consider him to be a Righteous Gentile (see Pope John XXIII and Judaism). In 1944, during World War II, Pope Pius XII named him Apostolic Nuncio to France

In 1953, he was appointed Patriarch of Venice and, accordingly, raised to the rank of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca by Pope Pius XII. As a sign of his esteem, the President of France, Vincent Auriol, claimed the ancient privilege possessed by French monarchs and bestowed the red hat on Roncalli at a ceremony in the Elysee Palace.

Papal election

Main article: Papal conclave, 1958
Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Upon being elected he was also formally became the Prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Sacred Consistorial Congregation.

On the choice of his name Pope John said that
I choose John ... a name sweet to us because it is the name of our father, dear to me because it is the name of the humble parish church where I was baptized, the solemn name of numberless cathedrals scattered throughout the world, including our own basilica [St. John Lateran]. Twenty-two Johns of indisputable legitimacy have [been Pope], and almost all had a brief pontificate. We have preferred to hide the smallness of our name behind this magnificent succession of Roman Popes

On 25 December 1958, he became the first pope since 1870 to make pastoral visits in his Diocese of Rome, when he visited children infected with polio at the Bambino Gesù Hospital and then visited Santo Spirito Hospital. The following day he visited Rome's Regina Coeli prison, where he told the inmates: "You could not come to me, so I came to you." These acts created a sensation, and he wrote in his diary:
...great astonishment in the Roman, Italian and international press. I was hemmed in on all sides: authorities, photographers, prisoners, wardens.
His frequent habit of sneaking out of the Vatican late at night to walk the streets of the city of Rome.
Calling the Council
Far from being a mere "stop gap" pope, to great excitement, John called an ecumenical council fewer than ninety years after the First Vatican Council (Vatican I's predecessor, the Council of Trent, had been held in the 16th century). Cardinal Montini remarked to a friend that "this holy old boy doesn't realise what a hornet's nest he's stirring up". From the Second Vatican Council came changes that reshaped the face of Catholicism: a comprehensively revised liturgy, a stronger emphasis on ecumenism, and a new approach to the world.


On 23 September 1962, Pope John XXIII was first diagnosed with stomach cancer. The diagnosis, which was kept from the public, followed nearly eight months of occasional stomach hemorrhages, and reduced the pontiff's appearances. Looking pale and drawn during these events, he gave a hint to his ultimate fate in April 1963, when he said to visitors, "That which happens to all men perhaps will happen soon to the Pope who speaks to you today."
On 11 May 1963, the Italian president Antonio Segni awarded Pope John XXIII the Balzan Prize for his engagement for peace. It was the Pope's last public appearance.
On 25 May 1963, the Pope suffered another hemorrhage and required blood transfusions, but the cancer had perforated the stomach wall and peritonitis soon set in. By 31 May, it had become clear that the cancer had overcome the resistance of Pope John. "At 11 am Petrus Canisius Van Lierde as Papal Sacristan was at the bedside of the dying pope, ready to anoint him. The Pope began to speak for a very last time: "I had the great grace to be born into a Christian family, modest and poor, but with the fear of the Lord. My time on earth is drawing to a close. But Christ lives on and continues his work in the Church. Souls, souls, Ut omnes unum sint."Van Lierde then anointed his eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet. Overcome by emotion, Van Lierde forgot the right order of anointing. Pope John gently helped him before bidding those present a last farewell.

The Pope died at 19:49 (local time) of peritonitis due to a perforated stomach cancer on 3 June at the age of 81. He was buried on 6 June, ending a reign of four years, seven months.
On 3 December 1963, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award, in recognition of the good relationship between Pope John and the United States.

Legacy and beatification

Known affectionately as "Good Pope John" and "the most beloved Pope in history" to many people, on 3 September 2000, John was declared "Blessed" by Pope John Paul II (who himself was declared "Blessed" in 2011), the penultimate step on the road to sainthood. He was the first pope since Pope Pius X to receive this honour. Following his beatification, his body was moved from its original burial place in the grottoes below St Peter's Basilica to the altar of St. Jerome and displayed for the veneration of the faithful. At the time, the body was observed to be extremely well preserved—a condition which the Church ascribes to embalming.and the lack of air flow in his sealed triple coffin rather than to a miracle.
When John's body was moved, the original vault above the floor was removed and a new one built beneath the ground; it was here that the body of Pope John Paul II was entombed from 2005 to 2011 before being moved for his beatification in 2011.
The date assigned for the liturgical celebration of Blessed John XXIII is not 3 June, the anniversary of his death, as would be usual, but 11 October, the anniversary of his opening of the Second Vatican Council.He is also commemorated in the Anglican Communion.
From his early teens, he maintained a diary of spiritual reflections that was subsequently published as Journal of a Soul. The collection of writings charts Roncalli's efforts as a young man to "grow in holiness" and continues after his election to the Papacy; it remains widely read.
Sedevacantist and Conclavist groups have been some of Pope John's most outspoken critics. The more extreme devotees of Our Lady of Fátima also believe that Pope John deliberately held back secret prophetic information revealed during an apparition of the Virgin Mary.