Carnival, the merrymaking and festivity that takes place in many Roman Catholic countries in the last days and hours before the Lenten season. The derivation of the word is uncertain, though it possibly can be traced to the medieval Latin carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means to take away or remove meat. This coincides with the fact that Carnival is the final festivity before the commencement of the austere 40 days of Lent, during which Roman Catholics in earlier times fasted, abstained from eating meat, and followed other ascetic practices. The historical origin of Carnival is also obscure. It possibly has its roots in a primitive festival honoring the beginning of the new year and the rebirth of nature, though it is also possible that the beginnings of Carnival in Italy may be linked to the pagan Saturnalian festival of ancient Rome.
From the Boarding School in Lüttich Pauline writes to her Grandmother:
My head is in a whirl today for it is carnival time, and usually in a boarding school things are pretty lively at a time like this. This evening a masquerade ball will take place, and imagine, I do not know yet how I shall disguise myself. I am impatiently awaiting my costume - a Turk - from Aix-la-Chapelle. However, the last spark of hope I have of receiving it is almost extinguished. I am convinced that mother sent it, for she had promised that I would receive it. The ill-fated parcel was supposed to arrive here on Saturday and it still isn't here. Perhaps I might even receive the carnival costume during Lent; and as unpleasant as this would be, I would still have to laugh about it. If my costume doesn't arrive today I shall probably masquerade as an officer or in other words, "a garde civique." However, despite the red cap, the blue jacket and the white trousers, I shall still remain loyal to the black and white flag. Perhaps I shall also wear a black and white ribbon. However, my companions know my Prussian views well enough without this external manifestation. (1832 to her Grandmother)
On February 11, 1836 Pauline writes to her Grandmother:
I have been very busy this week because of a great many social gatherings. Sunday is carnival, but with the beginning of Lent this merrymaking will stop. I can, nevertheless, easily find a little time to converse with you, dearest Grandmother. You are perhaps amused that we wear ourselves out by attending so many parties; yet, that's the way it is - one must submit as one does in all else that is unpleasant. And in order to compensate myself for the evening dinner parties, in which I am dignifiedly bored, I have prepared a diversion according to my own taste for Carnival Monday. That evening we will go to St. Leonard's Institute, masquerade ourselves, dance to our hearts' content with the boarders there, and return home with a cheerful and tranquil conscience. The whole affair will be delightful! An informal dance will be held for the resident students, who will be masqueraded, but haven't the slightest idea that we (i.e. three young ladies who attended school there with me, another charming girl and I myself) will be present. Even the wife of the Councilor Nicolai doesn't know about this; only one of the teachers who will masquerade with us, knows the whole secret. We will represent Gotham's local militia, have our commanders, our big banners, a drummer, our weapons; in short, all that is needed to bring about the effect. As soon as we enter the hall, one of those present who has previously been thoroughly instructed, will play a march so that we can appear in all splendor - Now follow the drills: Turn to the right, turn to the left, march up and down, present your weapons - all by order of the commander! The others will have a good laugh and not really know who we are. What fun that will be! I'm wearing white trousers, a green dress-coat ornamented with gold and father's huge tri-cornered uniform hat - what a dreadful way to murder the father-image - a tie, beautiful patent-leather shoes with pretty little straps, and I will carry a weapon. You really would have to see me! In order not to do anything that might offend people with a delicate conscience, we asked the Councilor if it would be proper to appear in trousers and a dress-coat. The kind answer he gave us is further proof of his liberal views and childlike disposition, such as are seldom found in such distinguished men. He again wrote us a little note and mentioned that he would gladly permit us to appear in these costumes, and he himself asked leave to drive us to St. Leonard's. Moreover he requested that he be permitted to play a little role in the comedy we were planning to present. Last year he also appeared at St. Leonard's in disguise. You can't imagine the joy his answer afforded us. Not only I, but also the others esteem the Councilor as a second Papa and are devoted to him with true childlike confidence. We would gladly go through fire for him. He's the boarders' confessor at St. Leonard's. They had already invited him to the carnival a week in advance, so that he could see them in their masquerade suits, since every feast he attends affords double joy to all the students. I have written about nothing but carnival time. Oh, dear Grandmother, the saying is again true: "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." I am very delighted! Don't take it amiss if I appear to be somewhat unbalanced; Ash Wednesday will straighten me out. Goodbye, dear, dear Grandmother. Remember in your pious prayers Your obedient granddaughter Pauline
The Gospel comes to meet us with a really moving and encouraging image. It is the image of Simeon and Anna, whom are spoken of in the Gospel of Jesus’ childhood, composed by St Luke. There were certainly elderly, the “old man”, Simeon, and the “prophetess”, Anna, who was 84 years old. This woman did not hide her age. The Gospel says that they awaited the coming of God every day, with great trust, for many years. They truly wanted to see Him that day, to grasp the signs, to understand the origin. By then, they were also perhaps more resigned to die first: that long wait, however, continued to occupy their whole life, having no commitments more important than this: to await the Lord and pray. So, when Mary and Joseph went to the temple to fulfil the provisions of the Law, Simeon and Anna moved quickly, inspired by the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 2:27). The burden of age and waiting disappeared in an instant. They recognized the Child, and discovered new strength, for a new task: to give thanks for and bear witness to this Sign from God. Simeon improvised a beautiful hymn of jubilation (cf. Lk 2:29-32) — in that moment he was a poet — and Anna became the first woman to preach of Jesus: she “spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38).
March 11, 2015 - Papst Franziskus
"On the journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I replied, 'Who are you, sir?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting… I asked, 'What shall I do, sir?' The Lord answered me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.”
(Acts 22, 6-10)
Die Schäfchen kommen zum guten Hirten: anlässlich des Gedenktages der heiligen Agnes wurden dem Papst an diesem Samstag zwei Lämmer im Vatikan präsentiert. Aus der Wolle der Schafe wird traditionell das Pallium für neue Erzbischöfe angefertigt. Der Papst begutachtete die Tiere, die zuvor in der römischen Kirche Sant'Agnese gesegnet worden waren, und strich ihnen übers Fell.
Das Pallium ist eine weiße Wollstola mit aufgestickten schwarzen Kreuzen. Es wird vom Papst und den Erzbischöfen, die zugleich Leiter von Kirchenprovinzen sind, während der Liturgie über dem Messgewand getragen. Die neu ernannten Metropolitan-Erzbischöfe erhalten das Pallium traditionell am 29. Juni vom Papst, dem römischen Patronatsfest Peter und Paul.
Agnes ist eine römische Märtyrerin aus dem 3. Jahrhundert, die der Überlieferung nach als junges Mädchen während einer Christenverfolgung in Rom den Tod auf dem Scheiterhaufen fand. Die Verbindung mit den Lämmern leitet sich von der Namensähnlichkeit mit dem lateinischen Wort „agnus“, Lamm, her. Die Herstellung der Pallien obliegt den Benediktinerinnen der Kirche Santa Cecilia im römischen Stadtteil Trastevere.
Quelle: Radio Vatikan, Deutsche Abteilung, 21.01,2017
Mutter Pauline führt blinde Kinder zum Licht, zur Krippe.
Fenster in der Marienkapelle einer Pfarrkirche in Dortmund.
Herr Jesus Christus dein Licht heilt die Blindheit meines Herzens und entzündet stets neue Lichter in mir. Manchmal scheue ich mich, mein Licht auf den Leuchter zu stellen, weil ich vergesse, dass es dein Licht ist, von dir geschenkt zum Weiterschenken, wirkmächtig für die Ausbreitung deines Reiches. Darum bitte ich dich: Halte mich fest im Lichtkreis deiner Liebe, lass das Feuer deiner Liebe in mir wachsen, und lass meine Worte und Taten so werden, dass sie Zeugnis geben von deinem Licht, von deiner Liebe. Ich möchte ein lebendiger Hinweis auf dich sein und mithelfen, dass die Menschen in meiner Umwelt den Weg zu dir finden und dich als das Licht ihres Lebens entdecken. (Sr. Christhild)
Let us imitate the meekness of Jesus, his humility, his love, his mildness, his zeal for souls and God’s honor, his spirit of penance. 1855
The cross is the real test of faith, the true foundation and source of hope, the perfect refinement of love, in a word, the way to heaven. 1859
It is precisely the cross which Jesus offers us which we ought to embrace with great willingness and not choose our own crosses. 1843
We must pray for love of the cross. Then frequently we shall see things in an entirely different light. 1855
With a joyful heart endeavor to accept little daily annoyances out if love for God, swallowing them like water. Try it. (1877
In all suffering God sends us he has his wise designs, and to those who love him everything turns out for the best. 1878