Today is January 27. On this date in 1540, Saint Angela Merici died after laying the foundation of the Ursuline Nuns. A group of those teaching Sisters came to New Orleans just 9 years after the founding of the city: the year was 1727. And they have been teaching there uninterruptedly for 279 years, until Hurricane Katrina forced them to break that marvelous continuity. But Ursuline Academy is reopening now and will continue the rich legacy of Catholic education which it has brought to New Orleans for almost 300 years.
On this date in 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born—one of the most talented and prolific of all composers of music. God has indeed blessed the human race with his music.
On this date in 1945, the Russian armies, advancing into Poland against the Nazis, liberated the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau where many thousands died, including two of our canonized saints: Maximilian Kolbe, who volunteered to take the place of a husband and father who was to be killed in reprisal for an escape, and Saint Edith Stein, who was Jewish, and was killed by the insane anti-Semitism of the Nazis even though she had become a Catholic and a Carmelite nun.
This weekend, our Sunday gospel will be that of Christ’s expelling a demon from a possessed man in Capernaum. And we awaken today to the headlines that the Palestinians have elected the pro-violence Hamas party into power in that tragically divided country. The determination of Hamas to destroy the state of Israel is certain to make any real peace in Israel impossible. Let us pray that Our Divine Lord will drive out the demons of hatred, violence, and attempts at genocide in the land made holy by his own presence there during his entire life on earth. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.