St. Joseph Eugene De Mazenod's 150th death anniversary
Founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate:
Charles Antionie De Mazenod, the Father of St Eugene, belonged to an
aristocratic family. He held a high position in the Parliament of
Provence. His Mother, Marie Rose Joannis, was from a middle class
family. They were a deeply religious family and had a great devotion to
Our Blessed Mother. On August 1, 1782, God blessed them with a son, whom
they named Charles Joseph Eugene De Mazenod. He was baptized on August
Eugene De Mazenod
From his young age, he was devoted to religion and was a bright
student. Unfortunately, the French Revolution made the family to flee to
Italy, where they lived in exile for several years. In Venice, young
Eugene came across a holy priest named Don Bartolo who took upon himself
to educate and guide him. He also instilled the first thoughts of a
religious calling in the mind of the 12 year old Eugene.
After eleven years of exile at the age of 20, Eugene returned to Aix.
At the age of 26 he entered the Seminary of St Suplice in Paris. After
his ordination in 1811 at the age of 29, Fr De Mazenod declined the
first assignment offered to him, the prestigious position of Vicar
General to the Bishop of Amiens; instead he chose to work with the poor,
neglected and abandoned people of Aix. Realizing that he alone could not
meet the needs of Aix's poor, he invited other priests to join him in
Founding of the Religious Congregation
Fr De Mazenod purchased and abandoned Carmelite Convent for his
future community. They lived a simple life, using a dining room table
that consisted of a plank across two barrels and a single candle to
light each room. Soon these groups of priests began preaching Missions
throughout France, calling themselves Missionaries of Provence.
The success of their work led De Mazenod to form a Religious
Congregation. In 1826, De Mazenod received approval from Pope Leo XII to
name the Congregation, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In 1837,
Fr De Mazenod became the Bishop of Marseilles and with the work of the
Diocese, he guided his young congregation. During his lifetime he was
able to send out Missionaries to Canada, Sri Lanka, England, South
Africa and America.
The Oblates came to Sri Lanka in 1847 on the invitation of Msgr
Orazio Bettachchini, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Province. From Jaffna
the Oblates came to Colombo in 1883 led by Bishop Bonjean, who later
became the first Archbishop of Colombo. During these 165 years, they
laboured unceasingly in building the Kingdom of God in our land. They
established schools, convents, built churches, seminaries for the
formation of the clergy and brought the first religious sisters, Holy
Family on November 1, 1862. Above all, they spread the devotion to our
Blessed Mother by erecting grottos and shrines, introducing the Month of
May devotion, printing books on Our Blessed Mother, composing hymns etc.
"Of all the religious congregations that have worked in Sri Lanka,
the one that has had historically the greatest impact on the church in
the island is the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate." (Revd
Fr W L A Don Peter, 'Historical Gleanings' page 124).
Today, more than 185 years after the founding of the Congregation as
a small religious community in Aix en Provence in France, it extends to
more than seventy countries.
Thousands have followed in the footsteps of Eugene De Mazenod to
become Oblate Priests and Brothers. Nearly 4,500 Missionaries supported
by more than one million Oblate Lay Associates work to share the Good
News with the poor. Numerous requests from different Dioceses are
received at the General Administrations requesting for Missionaries. Let
us pray to the Lord of the Harvest and to St Eugene De Mazenod to send
good labourers to the Vineyard.
This great founder of the Oblates and lover of Our Blessed Mother was
called by the Heavenly Father on May 21, 1861 to accept the reward. He
had prepared for him.
He breathed his last while his spiritual sons were reciting 'Salve
Regina'. Eugene was beatified on October 19, 1975 by Pope Paul VI and
canonized on December 3, 1995 by Pope John Paul II.
On May 21, 2011, the Oblates of the Colombo Province will celebrate
the 150th death anniversary of St Euguene De Mazenod at the Church of
Our Lady of Fatima, Maradana, presided by His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal
Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and His Lordship, Bishop Norbert Andradi
OMI, Bishop of Anuradhapura will deliver the homily.
Open the eyes of my heart god
Your eyes have been drawn to this article, because in your heart you
desire to know God better and perhaps spend some time in His presence.
This not only helps you to get life into perspective, but knowing God
and meeting Him daily and spending time acknowledging His existence and
control of your life, gives you confidence, assurance and security.
If these are shaken or we are lacking in it for various reasons, life
becomes difficult and out of control - but realizing God is there for
you helps you to look at life squarely and realize everything that you
face is for a purpose and life becomes meaningful.
Let us focus on God. God created heaven and earth, the sea and stars
the sky and as we look at the sheer expansion of His creation we can
gaze in wonder as to what a Great God we have. Let us just shut our eyes
and dwell on the wonder of creation. Let us mention one by one what
comes into our minds that God has created. May the Spirit of God take us
beyond ourselves to show us how Great He is.
God spoke to Job thus........
'Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you
understand; Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who
stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or
who laid its cornerstone?; While the morning stars sang together and all
the angels shouted for joy; Who shut up the sea behind doors, when it
burst forth from the womb?; When I made the clouds its garment, and
wrapped it in thick darkness, When I fixed limits for it and set its
door and bars in place, when I said "This far you may come and no
farther, here is where your proud waves halt?"
As you start to feel His presence whilst your mind stays focused on
your Creator may be you could pray by mentioning how great and awesome
Let us pray:-
Oh Lord God, the Creator of all things, I thank you for touching
me and showing me you are there and you are real. Thank you for creating
me and I acknowledge what a lot of thought and love has gone into it.
Yes Lord, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and am the crown of
your creation. Please Father, help me to know and understand my part in
your creation. Most of all I want to know you in a real way. Amen.
Over 200,000 attend mass for John Paul II in Fatima
Statue of blessed late Pope John Paul II in the church of San
Miguel in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The statue was blessed by
the bishop of Mallorca in the first chapel dedicated to late
Pope John Paul II since his beatification on May 01. AFP
Some 200,000 Catholics attended a mass in homage to Pope John Paul II
Friday, marking 94 years since the Virgin Mary's first reported
apparition in the town of Fatima, the shrine's keepers said.
The Polish pontiff, who died on April 2, 2005, had said it was Our
Lady of Fatima who saved his life when he was shot by a far-right
militant in the Vatican's Saint Peter's Square in May 1981, leaving him
John Paul II had survived this assassination attempt "to become God's
instrument, to participate in the fall of the Iron Curtain and to help
end the political oppression of communism in the world," the Archbishop
of Boston, Sean O'Malley, said in his homily to the congregation.
The mass was followed by a 13-minute video projected onto giant
screens, showing the Pope's visits to Fatima in 1982, 1991 and 2000 -
always on May 13.
John Paul II was beatified by his successor Pope Benedict XVI two
Fatima, about 130 kilometres (81 miles) north of Lisbon, is a town
where three children are said to have seen apparitions of the Virgin
Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, between May and October 1917.
Thousands of faithful flock to the shrine every year.
Pope reshuffles Vatican government
Pope Benedict XVI reshuffled his Vatican administration appointing a
new interior minister and a new head of the influential Congregation for
the Evangelization of Peoples.
The new interior minister is Giovanni Angelo Becciu and the head of
the congregation, also known by its Latin name of Propaganda Fide, will
be Fernando Filoni, a 65-year-old known for his wide diplomatic
Filoni has worked in Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, the Philippines and
Sri Lanka. Filoni has also had a leading role in trying to reconcile the
state-sanctioned Catholic Church in China and the underground church. He
defended Iraq's Christian minority, which has been targeted by attacks.
Globalization creates 'new forms of slavery' : Pope
Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims as he arrives in St. Peterís
Square in the Vatican for his weekly general audience May 11.
Globalization creates "new forms of slavery" by generating more
poverty and oppression, Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday.
"Globalisation often characterised by profit-seeking increases the
number of poor, migrants (and) the oppressed," he said as he met with
delegates of the Superior Council of missionary societies at the
"New problems and new forms of slavery appear in our era (in both)
the well-off and rich world (which) suffers from uncertainty over its
future" and in developing countries, he said.
Ceylon Bible Society celebrates Easter with a difference
Many Christian denominations in Moratwua came together on April 23 at
5.30 p.m at the parish Hall of the Holy Emmanuel Church to celebrate the
risen Christ. Ven. Devapriya and Ms. Sharmini De Silva graced the
occasion as Chief Guests.
In her welcome address the General Secretary, Ms. Lakshani Fernando
welcomed all who were present and also appealed for funds to provide
10,000 Bibles to be distributed to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of
the CBS in 2012.
The important place we should give Jesus Christ in our lives was very
well explained through a drama Oba Sitiyanam.
It depicted a story where the producer of a passion play had
meticulously prepared all arrangements for the play but had forgotten to
include the main character Jesus Christ in it.
The singing of the combined Moratumulla Methodist circuit choir,
Rawathawatte Methodist Church, Holy Emmaneul Church, Baptist Church,
Apostolic Church, Jeewana Diya Church, King's Church, and Queen of
Angels Church brought in a spirit of renewal and unity.
Vatican envoy holds mass in quake-hit Japan
A close advisor of Pope Benedict XVI held mass at Tokyo's Saint
Mary's Cathedral on Saturday, in a show of support from the Vatican for
the victims of the massive March 11 and tsunami.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum,
delivered a message of support during an afternoon ceremony attended by
13 Japanese bishops, according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of
Japan. Cor Unum, which means One Heart in Latin, oversees the Vatican's
worldwide charity operations.
Cardinal Sarah, who arrived in Tokyo on Friday on a five-day visit,
also toured the tsunami-hit city of Iwaki, some 180 kilometres (110
miles) northeast of the capital, officials at the bishops' conference
said. He was scheduled to travel to the northern city of Sendai to hold
another mass on Sunday before meeting local authorities and Catholic
volunteer groups. A 9.1-magnitude earthquake and a huge tsunami battered
Japan's northeastern coast in March, leaving some 25,000 people dead or
missing. In the aftermath the Vatican sent $150,000 in emergency aid to