The First Friday of each month is dedicated to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In a series of visions Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alaoque for about eighteen months which began on December 27, 1673 in which he informed her that he had chosen her to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart. In our Cathedral this devotion begins with the 12:10 pm Mass followed by Eucharistic adoration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel until the Latin Mass at 5:10 pm, after which are the traditional first Friday devotions, Litany of the Sacred Heart and Benediction.
Our diocese was dedicated to the Sacred Heart by our first bishop, Bishop Michael Heiss on Easter Sunday April 5, 1874.(Right Hand Glove Uplifted, Sr. M. Mileta Ludwig, FSPA, p. 373)
On Wednesday of this week we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, apostle and martyr. The first reading is taken from the Book of Revelation and the reference to the Wife of the Lamb is found in the top pane of the theology window themed the Bride of Christ.
Title: Book of Revelation 21:9
Narrative: Book of Revelation 21:9-14
The church on earth is often referred to as the Bride of Christ. In this particular window our redemption is demonstrated by Christ’s love, over and over again. The other panes, that of Tobias searching for and finding Sara and Hosea’s constant love and devotion for his unfaithful wife who finally returned to him remind us that Christ searches and waits for us all to come to him so that we may all enter into eternal life.
Clare, the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi and his wife Ortolana, was devoted to prayer and practices of mortification from her earliest years. At the age of eighteen she first heard St. Francis preach and sought him out secretly for spiritual guidance. He immediately recognized her as one chosen by God as destined for great things. On March 20, 1212, Palm Sunday, she left her home and vowed herself to the service of Christ in the presence of St. Francis himself. For a brief period of time she resided in a Benedictine monastery for nuns. When Clare and her sister Agnes moved to the church of San Damiano other women joined them where they were directed by St. Francis and were known as the Poor Ladies. In 1216, Clare accepted the role of abbess and eventually wrote their Rule of Life, the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman. She cared for St. Francis during his terminal illness until his death in 1226.
Clare died on August 11, 1253 at age 59. She was canonized on August 15, 1255 by Pope Alexander IV. After her death, the religious order became known as the Order of Saint Clare and today is known as the Poor Clares.
It was on this day one year ago (August 11) that our bishop, William P. Callahan, OFM Conventual chose to be installed as our tenth Bishop of La Crosse.