Women's History Month - the Catholic version
#21
(03-11-2019, 05:34 AM)Blind Horus Wrote: I've read Mary is considered the greatest teacher, so why wouldn't her students become Doctors be they women or men?

I think the answer to that is liturgical. The Office of a Doctor is that of a Confessor, with the exception of the Gospel Homily and the 8th Respond, which is from the feast of St John (the Apostle and Evangelist): "In medio Ecclesiæ aperuit os ejus", "In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth". "Doctor of the Church" has always been a title about publicly teaching the faith, and God, through St Paul, says that's a role for men.

(03-11-2019, 05:34 AM)Blind Horus Wrote: Altar girls have nothing to do with who is a Doctor of the Church. Red herrings?

I think they do. Both involve a confusion between the roles of males and females. Nobody thinks females are incapable of serving at Mass, in the sense of being unable to learn which items to give the priest at what time, where to stand, and what to say. Plenty of women know Latin, and in the new Mass, that's not even necessary. But, traditionally, when there was no server and a woman made the responses, she would remain outside the sanctuary. Likewise, we can certainly learn things from women, especially saints, but there's a difference between being a teacher and a Teacher of the Church (which, after all, is what Doctor means in Latin). Even female altar boys cannot be instituted as Acolytes, since that's inherently clerical even without the minor orders. It's all part of the same mindset that any distinction between men and women is sexist. Whether the past few Popes have held that view, I don't know, but perhaps it's only by the grace of the Holy Ghost preventing it that we don't have women priests.

(03-11-2019, 05:34 AM)Blind Horus Wrote: One other point, most of the more renowned seers have been women, so in this Marian Age wouldn't you think it may be pleasing to Someone to make them Doctors of Her Son's Church?

Maybe. I wouldn't even pretend to know the mind of our Lord, other than what He's revealed to us. But based on Scripture and the tradition of the Church up until 1970, it's a novelty. God hasn't prevented changes to the liturgy before, but why isn't there anything for female Doctors? They know "In medio Ecclesiæ" is inappropriate for Virgin Doctors. Perhaps there's not something more feminine because that's not what Scripture says.

There are probably many reasons why more seers are women, probably related to things women are generally much better at, or more disposed to, than men. But seer and Doctor are not the same role.
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#22
St Germaine Cousin

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When Hortense decided to marry Laurent Cousin in Pibrac, France, it was not out of love for his infant daughter. Germaine was everything Hortense despised. Weak and ill, the girl had also been born with a right hand that was deformed and paralyzed. Hortense replaced the love that Germaine has lost when her mother died with cruelty and abuse.

Laurent, who had a weak character, pretended not to notice that Germaine had been given so little food that she had learned to crawl in order to get to the dog's dish. He wasn't there to protect her when Hortense left Germaine in a drain while she cared for chickens -- and forgot her for three days. He didn't even interfere when Hortense poured boiling water on Germaine's legs.

With this kind of treatment, it's no surprise that Germaine became even more ill. She came down with a disease known as scrofula, a kind of tuberculosis that causes the neck glands to swell up. Sores began to appear on her neck and in her weakened condition to fell prey to every disease that came along. Instead of awakening Hortense's pity this only made her despise Germaine more for being even uglier in her eyes.

Germaine found no sympathy and love with her siblings. Watching their mother's treatment of their half-sister, they learned how to despise and torment her, putting ashes in her food and pitch in her clothes. Their mother found this very entertaining.

Hortense did finally get concerned about Germaine's sickness -- because she was afraid her own children would catch it. So she made Germaine sleep out in the barn. The only warmth Germaine had on frozen winter nights was the woolly sheep who slept there too. The only food she had were the scraps Hortense might remember to throw her way.

The abuse of Germaine tears at our hearts and causes us to cry for pity and justice. But it was Germaine's response to that abuse and her cruel life that wins our awe and veneration.

Germaine was soon entrusted with the sheep. No one expected her to have any use for education so she spent long days in the field tending the sheep. Instead of being lonely, she found a friend in God. She didn't know any theology and only the basics of the faith that she learned the catechism. But she had a rosary made of knots in string and her very simple prayers: "Dear God, please don't let me be too hungry or too thirsty. Help me to please my mother. And help me to please you." Out of that simple faith, grew a profound holiness and a deep trust of God.

And she had the most important prayer of all -- the Mass. Every day, without fail, she would leave her sheep in God's care and go to Mass. Villagers wondered that the sheep weren't attacked by the wolves in the woods when she left but God's protection never failed her. One day when the rains had swollen the river to flood stage, a villager saw the river part so that she could cross to get to the church in time for Mass.

No matter how little Germaine had, she shared it with others. Her scraps of food were given to beggars. Her life of prayer became stories of God that entranced the village children.

But most startling of all was the forgiveness to showed to the woman who deserved her hatred.

Hortense, furious at the stories about her daughter's holiness, waited only to catch her doing wrong. One cold winter day, after throwing out a beggar that Germaine had let sleep in the barn, Hortense caught Germaine carrying something bundled up in her apron. Certain that Germaine had stolen bread to feed the beggar, she began to chase and scream at the child. As she began to beat her, Germaine opened her apron. Out tumbled what she had been hiding in her apron -- bright beautiful flowers that no one had expected to see for months. Where had she found the vibrant blossoms in the middle of the ice and snow? There was only one answer and Germaine gave it herself, when she handed a flower to her mother and said, "Please accept this flower, Mother. God sends it to you in sign of his forgiveness."

As the whole village began to talk about this holy child, even Hortense began to soften her feelings toward her. She even invited Germaine back to the house but Germaine had become used to her straw bed and continued to sleep in it. There she was found dead at the age of 22, overcome by a life of suffering.

With all the evidence of her holiness, her life was too simple and hidden to mean much beyond her tiny village -- until God brought it too light again. When her body was exhumed forty years later, it was found to be undecayed, what is known as incorruptible. As is often the case with incorruptible bodies of saints, God chooses not the outwardly beautiful to preserve but those that others despised as ugly and weak. It's as if God is saying in this miracle that human ideas of beauty are not his. To him, no one was more beautiful than this humble lonely young woman.

After her body was found in this state, the villagers started to speak again of what she had been like and what she had done. Soon miracles were attributed to her intercession and the clamor for her canonization began.

In this way, the most unlikely of saints became recognized by the Church. She didn't found a religious order. She didn't reach a high Church post. She didn't write books or teach at universities. She didn't go to foreign lands as a missionary or convert thousands. What she did was live a life devoted to God and her neighbor no matter what happened to her. And that is all God asks.

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=52
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#23
St. Agnes of Montepulciano

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“Nun and foundress in Tuscany. She was born circa 1268 and at the age of nine entered the monastery of Montepulciano, near her home in Gracchiano-Vecchio. Four years later she was commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV to assist in the foundation of a new convent in Procena. At fifteen she became the head of the nuns there. About 1300, the people of Montepulciano built a new convent in order to lure Agnes back to them. She established a convent under the Dominican rule and governed there until her death in 1317. Agnes was noted for her visions. She held the infant Christ in her arms and received Holy Communion from an angel. She experienced levitations and she performed miracles for the faithful of the region. She is still revered in Tuscany.”

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1181

St. Agnes’ body is incorrupt.

[Image: StAgnesofMontepulcianoIncorrupt.jpg]
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#24
St. Zita

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"St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always tried to do God's will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother. At the age of twelve Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her home at Monte Sagrati. As things turned out, she stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She found time every day to attend Mass and to recite many prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so perfectly that the other servants were jealous of her. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! She used to say: "a servant is not holy if she is not busy; lazy people of our position is fake holiness." At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness and she became a very close friend. St. Zita was given a free reign over her working schedule and busied herself with visits to the sick and those in prison. Word spread rapidly in Lucca of her good deeds and the heavenly visions that appeared to her. She was sought out by the important people, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a saint. She is the patroness of domestic workers. Her feast day is April 27."

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=582

St. Zita's body is incorrupt.

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#25
Venerable Mary of Agreda

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"Mary of Agreda was born at Agreda in Spain in 1602, of noble parents, whose virtues surpassed the nobility of their birth. Very early the child showed special signs of grace. At the age of six she had attained a high degree of prayer, which was noticeable in her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the sufferings of our Lord. Her confessor recognized the great graces with which she was favored, and permitted her at a tender age to receive Holy Communion and to practice extraordinary works of penance. Painful illness which afflicter her, she bore with the greatest patience, strengthened by the remembrance of Christ’s sufferings.

In her seventeenth year Mary entered the convent of Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception at Agreda. As a novice she excelled in the exercises of convent life. She made her profession on the feast of the Purification in 1620 as Sister Mary of Jesus. After she had consecrated herself to God through the holy vows, the young religious strove for perfection with holy earnestness and cheerful surrender to God. At the same time her unassuming humility and kindness of heart made her so beloved by her fellow sisters, that at the age of twenty-five she was elected abbess. The pope confirmed her election to office; and she was obliged to accept it repeatedly for thirty-eight years until her death. Only once, at her most earnest request, was she released for a period of three years.

As the superior, Mary was always the first among her associates to engage in lowly work. She swept the halls, nursed the sick, washed their linens, and appeared to have a special preference for the most menial services. Her way of life was so austere that one wonders how she could do her work. She not only abstained from meat, but never partook of eggs, milk, or cheese; she slept on a board for only two or three hours; the remaining time of the night she spent in exercises of devotion.

Every night, laden with a heavy cross, she made the Way of the Cross. Even as the superior she strove to practice obedience, following the suggestions of her higher superiors, and in spiritual matters submitting wholly to the guidance of her confessor. For a time she had a confessor who dealt harshly with her and never granted her any request she made; but Mary obeyed him cheerfully, and often said later: “He acted well; I always thought that he was right, and because of obedience I felt great peace of soul.”

Venerable Mary of Agreda governed her subjects with as much wisdom as love. She was endowed with great wisdom, so that persons of the highest rank, also prelates and bishops, and even the king of Spain, asked her for advice. When she spoke of God, all who heard her were inflamed with the love of God. She received special revelations concerning the life of the Virgin Mother of God, which she recorded in a book called The Mystical City of God.

Mention should be made about Mary of Agreda’s work among the Indians of Texas and New Mexico. Her ardent desire, prayers, and sacrifices for their conversion were apparently rewarded with the gift of bilocation. Between 1621 and 1631, when Mary of Agreda was between nineteen and twenty-nine years of age, she made some five hundred visits to the Texas Indians, coming, as it seemed to them, from the hills on their horizon and returning that way after her instructions were over. When these Indians presented themselves to the Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico and asked that fathers be sent among them, it was learned that a Lady in Blue had often come among them, instructed them, and ordered them to seek out missionaries to baptize them.

Upon investigation it was learned that this Lady in Blue was Mary of Agreda, who, when she was put under obedience to tell what had happened, said she had no explanation. She could not say how she got there, only that when she was praying for the welfare of the Indians, she just found herself among them and began to instruct them. Presently she found herself home again. 

This happened many times.

A bishop testified that when Venerable Mary of Agreda went into an ecstasy her body was raised a bit above the ground and appeared to have no weight, moving even to a slight breeze. Her face was very beautiful, though somewhat pallid compared to her normal swarthy hue. She would often remain in this state for hours.

Mary died on Pentecost morning, May 24, 1667, at nine o’clock, at the time the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles and when the “Veni, Creator Spiritus, Come, Holy Ghost Creator!” was being recited in the canonical hours.

When she passed away a heavenly voice was heard to say: “Come! – Come! – Come!”

At her grave many miracles were wrought; and her cause of beatification is now being carried on in Rome.

from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM"

https://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/ma...greda.html

Ven. Mary's body is incorrupt.

[Image: 2017-08-28-Mary_of_Agreda.jpg]
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#26
Interesting write up on Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, born Edith Stein.

A very intelligent woman. She was born Jewish, became an atheist in her teen years, earned doctorate, then converted to the Faith and became a Carmelite nun after reading the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/the-life...ith-stein/
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God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face.  - John Muir

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator.  A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made  - Saint Basil

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. - Thoreau, Walden
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#27
(03-12-2019, 10:55 AM)In His Love Wrote: St. Zita
For whom the Servant of God, Zita, Empress and Queen, the wife of Blessed Karl, was named. her Cause was introduced in 2009.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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Deum timete, regem honorificate.
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