Fire consumes incorrupt body of St. Benedict
The church attached to the Convent of Santa Maria di Gesù, located on the slopes of Mount Grifone in Palermo, Italy, was seriously damaged by a fire that consumed part of the sacred precinct and the remains of St. Benedict the Black. Despite being alerted, fire fighters were unable to attend to the incident promptly. The Franciscans who care for the site believe that only the Saint’s femur was saved from the flames.
The shrine is a pilgrimage point for faithful from all over the world, especially from Latin America, where devotion to St. Benedict was initiated by European sailors who colonized the continent.
New Perpetual Adoration Chapels
In the context of the initiative launched by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Eucharistic Revival, the first Perpetual Adoration chapel in Manhattan, the famous island in the heart of New York City, was inaugurated. The place of prayer is located at St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village, under the care of the Dominican friars, who have expressed deep joy at its creation, since it will foster the faith and the veneration due to the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Under the aegis of these same Eucharistic graces, five new Perpetual Adoration chapels were also inaugurated in Spain during the year 2023, bringing the total to seventy places where the Blessed Sacrament is adored without interruption in that country.
Eucharistic miracle in Honduras
Bishop Walter Guillén Soto, SDB, of the Diocese of Gracias, Honduras, has recognized a Eucharistic miracle that took place in the small town of San Juan, located thirty-five kilometres south of Gracias. The event took place on June 9, 2022, the liturgical feast of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest.
During a celebration of the Word, José Elmer Benítez Machado, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, realized that the corporal that surrounded the ciborium inside the tabernacle was stained with something that looked like human blood. The cloth was sent to the Bishop, who had it analysed by experts, scientifically verifying that it was human blood of type AB, with a positive RH factor, findings that coincide with those of similar examinations carried out on the species of the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano and on the Holy Shroud of Turin.
For Bishop Walter Guillén and his clergy, this miracle is “a call to conversion.” The documentation and scientific evidence have been sent to the Vatican for further investigation.
Catholic holidays in Holland
In order to encourage healthy diversions combined with a deepening of the Faith during school holidays, the Dutch Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam has created the “summer pass”, an invitation to visit Catholic churches and museums, and to participate in various recreational activities such as conferences, walks and guided tours of the city, exhibitions on the Catholic Religion, concerts and Bible gardens.
The entertainment in the diocese began on July 7 with a free concert performed by members of the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music, and will continue until September 10.
St. Pius X’s body to visit Treviso
The case containing the remains of St. Pius X will make a historic journey from October 6-15 to the Saint’s home region of Veneto, stopping at Treviso Cathedral, the church in his hometown of Riese and the Marian shrine of Cendrole.
The event, which has been in the organization process for years, will involve all the parishes of northern Italy and is expected to attract thousands of pilgrims to the places where St. Pius X lived before ascending to the pontifical throne. Various pastoral activities are planned so that the faithful can venerate and learn more about the Saint of Treviso.
Dom Vital’s canonization process moves ahead
The Vatican Press has begun printing Dom Vital’s positio – a document containing the main declarations and historical proofs of his heroic virtues – which will be handed over to the Vatican commissions for their opinion. It is hoped that he will soon be declared Venerable.
Dom Vital Maria Gonçalves de Oliveira was born in 1844 in Paraíba. He was the first Capuchin Bishop of Brazil, appointed at the age of just twenty-six by Pope Pius IX. His audacious pastoral life and his energy in defending the Catholic Faith earned him the title Brazilian Athanasius.
Waiting list to become a Camaldolese
Located in a remote region of Burgos, Spain, the Monastery of Our Lady of Herrera, of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona, has a waiting list of candidates wishing to enter. Despite the inhospitable location of the hermitage, the austere and penitent regime of the monks, the poverty and lack of technology, the Order has attracted an increasing number of young vocations.
The Hermits of Monte Corona were born in 1529 out of the desire of Blessed Paul Giustiniani to return to the ancient practices of the Camaldolese Order, founded by St. Romuald in the 11th century.
Pilgrims venerate the Virgin Mary’s ring
The Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia, Italy, holds a treasure of inestimable value for Christianity: the wedding ring given by St. Joseph to the Virgin Mary. Every year, dozens of pilgrims visit the site to venerate the relic, which is exhibited on two official occasions throughout the year: on July 29, the date of its transfer to the cathedral, and on September 12, the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
The ring, a simple piece of chalcedony, has become over the centuries a memorial of the historic event preceding the Incarnation of the Word, as well as a symbol of perfect marital fidelity, which is why many couples make the pilgrimage to Perugia to touch their wedding bands to the relic.
Use of mobile phones in schools abolished
The government of the Netherlands has issued a national directive stating that students should refrain from using mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices in schools, which will come into force on January 1, 2024.
The directive, while not yet a law, aims to reduce the negative impact that technology is having on the performance of schoolchildren, according to recent research.
Number of Americans who believe in God falls
The Gallup polling firm published the results, in July, of its latest study on religious belief in the US. The percentage of the population that believes in God, Angels, Heaven, hell and the devil has declined by three to five percentage points since 2016. Currently 51% of Americans believe in all five spiritual entities, 11% believe in none and 31% believe in only some. Of those surveyed, 74% believe in God, 69% in Angels, 67% in Heaven, 59% in hell and 58% in the devil.
Gallup has been conducting this survey since 2001, noting a sharp decline in church attendance, as well as in religious belief and identification in the US, with the 2023 results at their lowest point.
Declining practice of Catholicism in Italy
A survey carried out by Euromedia Research for the Italian magazine Il Timone reveals that Catholicism is already in the minority in Italy: only 32% of those interviewed declared themselves Catholic, of whom only 13.8% are actually practising Catholics, and 37% of the population declared that they have no belief at all.
Furthermore, among the faithful, the study points out: 32% of them do not know the meaning of the Eucharist, 66% are unclear about the resurrection of the body, 20% think that sin is only an evil done to others and 96% pray only once in a while, results that reflect a profound ignorance about fundamental aspects of the Catholic Faith.