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Prayer for the Year of Faith

Lord Jesus Christ, you have given your Church the mission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. May our efforts to fulfil this mission be guided by the Holy Spirit so that we might be a leaven of new life, salt of the earth, and a light of the world worthy missionaries and faithful to you. Make us valiant witnesses to the Faith of the Church, and inspire us to speak the truth with love. Help us to communicate to others the joy that we have received Allow us to be united but not closed; humble, but not fearful; simple but not nave; thoughtful but not overbearing; contemporary but not superficial, respectful of others, but boldly your disciples. May we bear into the world the hope of God, which is Christ the Lord, who rose from the dead and lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

Ignacia del Espritu Santo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Venerable Ignacia del Espritu Santo, also known as Mother Ignacia (1 February 1663 10 September 1748) was a Filipino Religious Sister of the Roman Catholic Church. Known for her acts of piety and religious poverty, founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, the first native Filipino female congregation with approved pontifical status in the Republic of the Philippines. Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. Early life The birthdate of Mother Ignacia del Espritu Santo is piously attributed on February 1, 1663, basing on the cultural customs of the Spanish era. Only her baptismal record is preserved, which occured on March 4, 1663, The baptismal rite occured in the Church of the Holy Kings in the fifth Parian de Chinos and was officiated by Fray Padre Alberto Collares, O.P. Ignacia was the eldest and sole surviving child of Mara Jernima, a Filipina and Jusepe Iuco, a Christian Chinese migrant from Xiamen, China. Expected by her parents to marry at 21 years old, Ignacia sought religious counsel from Father Paul Klein, a Jesuit priest from Bohemia. The priest gave her the Spiritual Exercises ofSt. Ignatius of Loyola from which Ignacia drew her religious devotion and piety. After this period of solitude and prayer, Ignacia finally decided to pursue her religious calling, to "remain in the service of the Divine Majesty and live by the sweat of her brow. According to Father

Founder, Religious of the Virgin Mary

Born February 1, 1663 (postulated) Recorded date of known baptism: (March 4, 1663). Binondo, Manila, Philippines


September 10, 1748 (aged 85) Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

Honored in

Roman Catholic Church

Majorshrine Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, RVM Motherhouse


September 10, March 4


Clutched arms, needles, scissors, alms-baskets, dove


Advocate of women's rights, Women's retreat movement

Controversy Religious poverty, Racism, Intolerance of religious works

Murillo Velarde, her eyewitness biographer, Ignacia left her parents' home with only a needle and a pair of scissors.

Religious seclusion Ignacia felt strongly against the Spanish prohibition that native Filipinos could not become religious nuns or priests at the time. Mother Jernima de la Asuncin was the first Spanishreligious sister who came to the Philippines to establish a convent but due to the Spanish prohibition at the time, native Filipinos were prohibited from joining the Holy Orders and religious congregations. In hopes of changing this ecclesiastical limitation, Ignacia began to live alone in a vacant house at the back of the Colegio Jesuita de Manila, the headquarters of Jesuits in Manila. She devoted a life of public prayer and labour which attracted other Filipino lay women to monasticism at a time when Filipinos were barred from pursuing the religious life. Ignacia accepted these women into her company, and though they were not officially recognised as a religious institute at the time, together they became known as the Beatas de la Compaa de Jess (English: "Blesseds of the Friends of Jesus"). They frequently received the sacraments at the old church of St. Ignatius, performed many acts of public devotion there and went to the Jesuit priests for spiritual direction and confession. Popular folk tale ascribed the penitential form of spirituality and mortification of the flesh which sustained the other women in hardship, especially during times of extreme poverty, when they had to beg for rice and salt as a form of almsgiving and scour the streets for firewood. The lay women continued to support themselves through manual labour and requesting alms from other laypeople. Eventually, the growing number of laywomen called for a more stable lifestyle and a set of rules called Religious Constitution which governed their daily schedule . The association only admitted young girls and boarders who were taught catechism and given manual work. Constitution of her Order In 1726, Ignacia wrote the history of her religious order and finalised constitutions of the Congregation and submitted to the Archdiocesan Chancery Office of Manila for the ecclesiastical approbation which was formally granted in 1732 by the Fiscal Provisor of Manila. Ignacia decided to resign as Mother Superior and lived as an ordinary member until her death on September 10, 1748.

After her death in 1748, the Archbishop of Manila, Reverend Pedro de la Santisima Trinidad Martinez de Arizala, O.F.M., paid homage to the growing religious group his archdiocese in his writings. He wrote: "....They live in community with great edification to the whole city and contributing to the common good. They are clothed in blackcotton tunic and mantle. They attend daily mass at the Jesuit church where they also frequent the sacraments...As they do not observe cloister, as they support themselves partly through the work of their hands and partly by charity of pious people...." In May 1768, the Royal Decree of Spanish King Charles III of Spain on the Suppression of the Jesuits reached Manila. It was later cemented with the approval of Pope Clement XIV which caused emotional and religious suffering for Ignacia's order as the Jesuit priests were expelled from the Philippines and deported back to Spain and Italy. Death and Pontifical approval In 1732, the Archbishop of Manila approved the Rules then in use among the other religious women. Ignacia had the consolation of seeing the steady growth of her small band of members. Mother Ignacia del Espritu Santo died on September 10, 1748 at the age of eighty-five. She died on her knees after receiving Holy Communion at the communion rail of the old Jesuit church of St. Ignatius inIntramuros. On July 31, 1906, the Archbishop of Manila Jeremiah James Harty assisted the religious sisters in the canonical erection of Mother Ignacia's order, which was previously postponed in filing of 1732 due to incorrect process of petitioning to Rome. On 17 March 1907,Pope Pius X promulgated the Decretum Laudis (English: Decree of Praise) in favour of the congregation's Rules and Constitutions. The Decree of Approbation was granted by Pope Pius XI on 24 March 1931 which elevated the Congregation to Pontifical status. On 12 January 1948, the 200th anniversary of the death of Mother del Espritu Santo, Pope Pius XII issued the Decree of Definitive Papal Approbation of the Constitutions. As venerable In a papal decree dated 6 July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the findings of the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and declared that ...the Servant of God, Ignacia, foundress of the Religious of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is found to possess to a heroic degree the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity toward God and neighbor, as well as the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice,

Temperance and Fortitude.

Mother Ignacia Memorial Circle[1][2],(RVM Motherhouse[3] & Generalate, 214 N. Domingo, 1111 Quezon City) On February 1, 2008, Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales presided over the promulgation which officially accorded to Ignacia the title "Venerable" at the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, Manila A well-known street in Manila called Mother Ignacia Avenue is named after Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo due to being centralized within the commercial grounds of ABS-CBNnetwork communications. The municipal city of Santa Ignacia in Tarlac, Philippines is also named in honor of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. References 1. ^ Mother Ignacia del Espritu Santo, History of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, 2. ^ The baptismal church refers to the church of the Three Kings in Binondo, Manila, located in the "5th section of the area, which is perhaps long gone now. The word Parian most likely refers to the Filipino-Chinese market district, where Ignacia was perhaps baptised due to the racial segregation among foreigners at the time. 3. ^ On the meaning of Parian: The Inculturation of Filipino: Chinese Culture Mentality pp. 228-229. by Jose Vidamor B. Yu 4. ^ Decretum Super Virtutibus, 6 July 2007, Romae - PP. Benedictus XVI

St. Valentine, The Real Story By David Kithcart The 700 Club

Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That's what Valentine's day is all about, right? Well, maybe not. The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn't romantic at all -- at least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O'Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story of the man behind the holiday -- St. Valentine. "He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time," Father O'Gara explains. " He also had an

edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died." "I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived," says Father O'Gara. "Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this." "The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict." Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison. "One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, who's daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result." In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine." "What Valentine means to me as a priest," explains Father O'Gara, "is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that -- even to the point of death." Valentine's martyrdom has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In fact, Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine.

Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage and memory of this Christian saint. "Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage you want some sense of God in your life -- some great need of God in your life. And we know, particularly in the modern world, many people are meeting God through his Son, Jesus Christ." "If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you're going to have to suffer. It's not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don't be surprised if the 'gushing' love that you have for someone changes to something less "gushing" but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?" "So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context," Father O'Gara says. "Love -- human love and sexuality is wonderful, and blessed by God -- but also the shadow of the cross. That's what Valentine means to me." Learn more about God's gift of love to you.