EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
Bl. Vilmos Apor (Feast Day May 23)
February 29, 1892 – April 2, 1945
Vilmos Apor de Altorja was a Hungarian Roman Catholic bishop, born in Ségesvár, Transylvania (at that time, Hungary, now Romania). He was a baron in the noble Apor Family and served as a bishop during World War II. He became famous for his steadfast commitment to the poor. During the persecution of the Jews, he actively defended the persecuted and employed all his contacts in favor of those seeking refuge; the episcopal estates, convents and hospitals gave shelter to the needy. He was a gentle and kind person and dedicated himself to opposing both communism and Nazism. He used his sermons as a chance to condemn them, though coming at a great personal risk to himself. On Good Friday 1945, he sacrificed his life for his faithful while defending the women hidden in the cellar of the episcopal palace against abuse from violent Soviet soldiers. The bullets that penetrated his body formed the shape of a cross.
The beatification process opened on 5 March 1991 and culminated after Pope John Paul II presided over the beatification in Saint Peter's Square on November 9, 1997.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· What would it be like to encounter the baby Jesus?
· To prostrate oneself is to lay flat on the ground, face down in reverence. Why was it appropriate and fitting for the Magi to worship Jesus in this way?
· Like Herod in the Gospel sometimes people tempt us to do something wrong or against God’s will. Share a time when you acted in a just way in spite of a temptation.
· Bl. Vilmos Apor sacrificed his life defending others. Share a time when you defended someone from harm or harsh words.
Make paper crowns for the whole family and wear them at dinner to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany!
· thin cardboard (poster board or old cereal boxes work well)
· foil gift wrap or construction paper
· paint, crayons, or felt-tip pens
· optional: stickers, markers, glitter, shapes cut from construction paper
Cut a strip of cardboard 3 or 4 inches wide and long enough to go around each person’s head and overlap slightly. Cut a piece of construction paper or foil gift wrap the same length but slightly wider (2 inches wider). Glue the construction paper to the cardboard so the bottom edge lines up. Cut a zigzag in the top edge of the construction paper. Note: The construction paper is wider to make it easier to cut the zigzag; it is difficult to cut the zigzag from the cardboard. Decorate using markers, glitter or stickers. Make a ring with the cardboard facing in (toward the head) and the paper facing out and staple to make a crown.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Epiphany is celebrated in different ways all over the world. In England, there is a custom of blessing apple trees. Enjoy this apple dessert on this holy day.
8 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup melted butter (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place sliced apples in greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle ½ of mixture over apples. Combine granulated sugar, flour, egg, salt, and baking powder. Spread this mixture over apples, which will act as a crust. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon/brown sugar mixture over top. Optional: pour butter over everything. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Epiphany House Blessing
This ceremony of the blessing of the home and the inscription of the initials of the three Magi above each door can be performed by the head of the family or another designated family member. Have some chalk on hand in preparation for the prayer.
Leader: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Leader: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial. The star burned like a flame, pointing the way to God, the King of kings. The wise men saw the sign and brought their gifts in homage to their great King.
Lord, bless this chalk, and let it be a help to our family. Let us use it with faith in your most holy name, and with it inscribe on the doors of their homes the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health in body and protection of soul; through Christ our Lord.
Leader: O Lord, Almighty God, bless our home that it may become a shelter of health, chastity, humility, goodness, mercy, obedience to the commandments, and thanksgiving to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May your blessing come upon this house, those who live here, and those who visit, through Christ our Lord.
After the prayers of the blessing are recited, inscribe the initials of the Magi upon the main entrance of your home as indicated below:
20 + C + M + B + 24
The initials, C, M, B, can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase - Christus mansionem benedicat - which means "Christ bless this house." The plus signs represent the cross, and the numbers in the beginning and end mark the year.
Leader: Let us pray together the prayer that Jesus taught us. Our Father . . .
The Magi worshipped Jesus by laying prostrate on the ground. What gesture do we use to show reverence to Jesus during the consecration of the bread and wine?
The Magi practiced prudence when they avoided Herod and returned to their country by another route. The virtue of prudence helps us decide what is right. Practice the virtue of prudence this week. When faced with a difficult situation, pray about it, and let God help you decide the right thing to do.
gifts of the Magi symbolize the areas of Jesus’ life: his kingship (gold), that
he is God (frankincense), and his death (myrrh).