Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tues, Oct 23, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Justice, Psalms 95 , Luke 12:35-38, Saint John of Capestrano, Capestrano Italy, Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog:
Justice, Psalms 95 , Luke 12:35-38, Saint John of Capestrano,
Capestrano Italy, Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


 Today's Word:  justice  jus·tice  [juhs-tis]

Origin: 1150–1200; Middle English  < Old French  < Latin jūstitia,  equivalent to jūst ( us ) just1  + -itia -ice

1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.
4. conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
5. the administering of deserved punishment or reward.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 85:9-13

9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his glory will dwell in our land.
10 Faithful Love and Loyalty join together, Saving Justice and Peace embrace.
11 Loyalty will spring up from the earth, and Justice will lean down from heaven.
12 Yahweh will himself give prosperity, and our soil will yield its harvest.
13 Justice will walk before him, treading out a path.


Today's Gospel Reading Luke 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples: 'See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit. Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch that he comes, or in the third, but blessed are those servants if he finds them ready.

• By means of the parable the gospel today exhorts us to be vigilant.

• Luke 12, 35: Exhortation to be vigilant, watchful. "Be ready and have your belts done up and your lamps lit”. To gird oneself meant to take a cloth or a cord and put it around the robe. To be girded meant to be ready, prepared for immediate action. Before the flight from Egypt, at the moment of celebrating the Passover, the Israelites had to gird themselves, that is be prepared, ready to be able to leave immediately (EX 12,11). When someone goes to work, to fight or to execute a task he girds himself (Ct 3, 8). In the letter of Paul to the Ephesians he describes the armour of God and he says that your waist must be girded with the waist of truth (Ep 6, 14). The lamps should be lit, because to watch is the task to be carried out during the day as well as during the night. Without light one cannot go in the darkness of the night.

• Luke 12, 36: A parable.    In order to explain what it means to be girded, Jesus tells a brief parable. “Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks”. The task of waiting for the arrival of the master demands constant and permanent vigilance, especially during the night, because one does not know at what time the master will return. The employee has to be always attentive and vigilant.

• Luke 12, 37: Promise of happiness. “Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them”. Here in this promise of happiness, things turn up side down; the master becomes the employee and begins to serve the employee who becomes the master. At the Last Supper Jesus recalls that even though he is Lord and Master, he becomes the servant of all (Jn 13, 4-17).The happiness promised has something to do with the future, with happiness at the end of time, and opposed to what Jesus promised in the other parable when he said: “Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, come and have your meal at once? Would he be not more likely to say, ‘Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you, when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘we are useless servants; we have done no more than our duty” (Lk 17, 7-10).

• Luke 12, 38: He repeats the promise of happiness. “And if he comes at midnight, or at dawn, and finds those servants ready, blessed are they!” He repeats the promise of happiness which requires total vigilance. The master could return at midnight, at three o’clock in the morning, or at any other moment. The employee must be girded, ready to be able to do his work immediately.

Personal questions
• We are employees of God. We should be girded, ready, attentive and vigilant twenty-four hours a day. Do you succeed to do this? How do you do it?
• The promise of future happiness is the opposite of the present. What does this reveal to us of the goodness of God for us, for me?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint John of Capestrano

Feast Day:  October 23
Patron Saint:  judges, military chaplains and jurists

Saint John of Capestrano (Italian: Giovanni da Capestrano, Hungarian: Kapisztrán János, Polish: Jan Kapistran, Croatian: Ivan Kapistran, Serbian: Јован Капистран, Jovan Kapistran) (June 24, 1386 – October 23, 1456) was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest from Italy. Famous as a preacher, theologian, and inquisitor, he earned himself the nickname 'the Soldier Saint' when in 1456 at age 70 he led a crusade against the invading Ottoman Empire at the siege of Belgrade with the Hungarian military commander John Hunyadi. He was also known for his fanatical anti-semitic preaching directed against Jews and Judaism. Elevated to sainthood, he is the patron saint of jurists and military chaplains, as well as the namesake of the Franciscan missions San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and San Juan Capistrano in San Antonio, Texas.

As was the custom of this time, John is denoted by the village of Capestrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, in the Abruzzi region, Kingdom of Naples. His father had come to Italy with the Angevin court of Louis I of Anjou, titular King of Naples. He studied law at the University of Perugia . In 1412, King Ladislaus of Naples appointed him Governor of Perugia, a tumultuous and resentful papal fief held by Ladislas as the pope's champion, in order to effectively establish public order. When war broke out between Perugia and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in 1416, John was sent as ambassador to broker a peace, but Malatesta threw him in prison. During the captivity, in despair he put aside his new young wife, never having consummated the marriage, and started studying theology with Bernardine of Siena.

Friar and preacher

Together with James of the Marches, John entered the Order of Friars Minor at Perugia on October 4, 1416. At once he gave himself up to the most rigorous asceticism, violently defending the ideal of strict observance and orthodoxy, following the example set by Bernardine. From 1420 onwards, he preached with great effect in numerous cities and eventually became well known. Unlike most Italian preachers of repentance in the 15th century, John was effective in northern and central Europe, in Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Poland. The largest churches could not hold the crowds, so he preached in the public squares--at Brescia in Italy, he preached to a crowd of 126,000.

John was known as the "Scourge of the Jews" for his fanatical anti-semitism. In 1447 he offered the Pope a small fleet on which to load all the Jews of the papal states in order to ship them to some faraway land. Between 1451 and 1453, his fiery sermons against Jews persuaded many southern German regions to expel their entire Jewish population, and at Breslau some were burned at the stake.


Saint John of Capistrano
When he was not preaching, John was writing tracts against heresy of every kind. This facet of his life is covered in great detail by his early biographers, Nicholas of Fara, Christopher of Varese and Girlamo of Udine. While he was thus evangelizing, he was actively engaged in assisting Bernardine of Siena in the reform of the Franciscan Order, largely in the interests of a more rigorous discipline in the Franciscan communities. Like Bernardine, he strongly emphasized devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and, together with that saint, was accused of heresy on this account. In 1429, these Observant friars were called to Rome to answer charges of heresy, and John was chosen by his companions to speak for them. They were both acquitted by the Commission of Cardinals appointed to judge the accusations.

He was frequently deployed to embassies by Popes Eugene IV and Nicholas V: in 1439, he was sent as legate to Milan and Burgundy, to oppose the claims of the Antipope Felix V; in 1446, he was on a mission to the King of France; in 1451 he went at the request of the emperor as Apostolic Nuncio to Austria. During the period of his nunciature, John visited all parts of the Empire, preaching and combating the heresy of the Hussites; he also visited Poland at the request of Casimir IV Jagiellon. As legate, or inquisitor, he prosecuted the last Fraticelli of Ferrara, the Jesuati of Venice, the Crypto-Jews of Sicily, Moldavia and Poland, and, above all, the Hussites of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia; his aim in the last case was to make talks impossible between the representatives of Rome and the Bohemians, for every attempt at conciliation seemed to him to be conniving at heresy.

John, in spite of this restless life, found time to work--both during the lifetime of his mentor, Bernardine, and afterwards--on the reform of the Order of Friars Minor. He also upheld, in his writings, speeches and sermons, theories of papal supremacy rather than the theological wranglings of councils (see Conciliar Movement). John, together with his teacher, Bernardine, his colleague, James of the Marche, and Albert Berdini of Sarteano, are considered the four great pillars of the Observant reform among the Friars Minor.

The Soldier Saint

After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Empire, under Sultan Mehmed II, threatened Christian Europe. That following year Pope Callixtus III sent John, who was already aged seventy, to preach a Crusade against the invading Turks at the Imperial Diet of Frankfurt. John succeeded in gathering together enough troops to march onto Belgrade, which at that time was under siege by Turkish forces. In the summer of 1456, these troops, together with John Hunyadi, managed to raise the siege of Belgrade; the old and frail friar actually led his own contingent into battle. This feat earned him the moniker of 'the Soldier Priest'.

Although he survived the battle, John fell victim to the bubonic plague, which flourished in the unsanitary conditions prevailing among armies of the day. He died on 23 October 1456 at the nearby town of Ilok, Kingdom of Croatia in personal union with Hungary (now a Croatian border town on the Danube).

Sainthood and feast day

The year of John of Capistrano's canonization is variously given as 1690, by Pope Alexander VIII or 1724 by Pope Benedict XIII. In 1890, his feast day was included for the first time in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and assigned to 28 March. In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved his feast day to 23 October, the day of his death. Traditionalist Catholics commemorate his feast day on 28 March, as in the Church's calendar from 1890 to 1969.  He is patron saint of judges, military chaplains and jurists.


As a Franciscan reformer preaching simplicity, John became the namesake of two Spanish missions founded by the Franciscan friars in the north of the then-Spanish Americas: Mission San Juan Capistrano in today's Southern California and Mission San Juan Capistrano just outside the city center of today's San Antonio in Texas.


  • Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Richard S. Levy, published by ABC-CLIO, 2005,
  • Will Durant, The Reformation, Simon & Schuster (1957), page 731
  • American "St. James of the Marche"
  • ST JOHN OF CAPISTRANO (A.D. 1456) Retrieved September 13, 2006; Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 106)
  • Engelhardt, Zephyrin, O.F.M. San Juan Capistrano Mission. 1922. Standard Printing Co., Los Angeles, CA.
  • Craughwell, Thomas (23 October 2009). "St. John of Capistrano: Patron of Military Chaplains". (reprinted from Arlington Catholic Herald). Retrieved 2012-10-20.


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's  Snippet:  Capestrano Italy

Capestrano, Italy
Capestrano is a comune and small town with 965 inhabitants (2001), in the Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the natural park known as the "Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park".

In the necropolis the statue of the "Warrior of Capestrano" (4th century BCE) was found during the work in a field by a farmer. The 2,09 m (6.9 feet) tall statue depicts an early Italic warrior in full gear, the King of the Vestini tribe, Naevius Pompuledius, executed by the sculptor Aninis. Now the statue is on display in the National Archaeological Museum of the Abruzzi in Chieti. Capestrano borders with the municipalities of Brittoli (PE), Bussi sul Tirino (PE), Carapelle Calvisio, Castelvecchio Calvisio, Collepietro, Corvara (PE), Navelli, Ofena, Pescosansonesco (PE) and Villa Santa Lucia degli Abruzzi. It counts 4 civil parishes (frazioni): Capodacqua, Forca di Penne, Santa Pelagia and Scarafano.

Main sights 


Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium

Front door of St Peter ad Oratorium in Capestrano
The Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium is situated on the bank of Tirino river, six kilometres far from Capestrano. The church was built in 752 A.C. as part of the monastery of St Vincenzo al Volturno, by the Lombard king Desiderius. The religious building we can admire still today was edified in the 12th century. It is a church with a nave, two side aisles and a choir. There is only one entrance door with a lintel decorated with vegetal motif. Onto the romanic portal there are two marble relief with the figures of David and St. Vincent Deacon. The façade has a marble square inscription of the Sator Square in Latin. In the 15th century it was abandoned by the monks.

Piccolomini or Mediceo Castle

The castle was built in the 13th century, on the hill next to the Tirino river and the Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium in a strategic position at 505 m on the sea level. The first document of 1284, when King Charles I of Sicily gave the castle to Riccardo d'Acquaviva, marquis of Capestrano. In 1462 the Castle passed on to Marquis Antonio I Todeschini Piccolomini d'Aragona (14? - 1493) nephew of Pope Pius II, which enlarged the castle with new towers with battlements. In 1579 Marquis Costanza Piccolomini daughter of Innico, sold the castle to Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1743 the Castle passed on to Charles III of Spain as Charles 3rd Borbon King of Naples and two Sicilies. In 1860 the Castle passed on to Savoia King of Italy.

Lake of Capodacqua

In the frazione of Capodacqua is located the homonym little lake, locally famous for the presence of the ruins of submerged mills.

Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park

Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park
The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park is a natural park in Italy, which was established in 1991. It has an area of 2,014 square kilometres. The terrain is predominantly mountainous. It is managed by Ente Parco Nazionale Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, with headquarters in Assergi, in the Province of L'Aquila. The Grand Highway of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park runs through the park between the Gran Sasso mountain peak and the chain known as Monti della Laga.

The park is one of the largest protected areas in Europe, the show-piece being the massif of Gran Sasso, which dominates the surrounding landscape; it rises vertically on the immense pastures of Campo Imperatore. On the east side, from Teramo, there is the majestic "Paretone" which is a part of the central Adriatic landscape. It is the kingdom of perennial snow, rocks and wind. On the north there is the profile of Monti della Laga chain, where thousands of migratory birds stop on the shores of Lake Campotosto. This area is completely covered by woods of beeches, firs, turkey oaks and chestnuts. There are over 200 kilometres of horse trails which can be used to visit the park.

Nature and wildlife

Abruzzo Edelweiss on the Gran Sasso mountain - Monte Camicia.\
The park contains one of the most biologically diverse areas of Europe. The climate is borderline between that of the Mediterranean and that of Europe. The park contains more than two thousand plant species, some of which are found exclusively in this area, such as Abruzzo Edelweiss, as well as fauna which are equally precious. Many species of wildlife inhabit the park, including rare animals such as the Abruzzo Chamois, as well as wolves, roe deer, wildcats, wild boars, foxes and squirrels. Notable birds include the Golden Eagle, the White-backed Woodpecker, the goshawk, the Common Buzzard and the peregrine. There are also insects, such as the Apollo Butterfly.


The park contains a very long circuit of approximately 300 km, featuring trails that can be visited on horseback, by mountain bike, or on foot.
Many outdoor activities are possible within the park including:
  • Horse riding
  • Trekking
  • Cycling
  • Canoeing
  • Bird watching
  • Alpine skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
Educational projects are active in the park visitor centres, trails and paths can be freely explored also with the assistance of mountain guides.


The villages of the park are tiny towns with close-knit stone and brick houses, joined by the rise and fall of narrow lanes, their solid wood doors set under architraves carved with bearings and dates of many centuries past. Each village deserves exploration to meet the real people and enjoy Abruzzo's proverbial hospitality, discover genuine traditions and wonderful regional products. Almost all of the park's inland settlements date back to at least the Middle Ages but many are older, fonded in the Italic-Roman period. In many cases, the place name highlights the defensive nature of the settlement and a summit position: Castel, Rocca, Pizzo, Penna, Colle (castle, keep, peak, crest and hill).

Notable people

  • Saint Giovanni da Capistrano (John of Capistrano), an Italian friar, theologian and inquisitor was born here in 1386.
  • The Italian-born American composer Dalmazio Santini (1923–2001) was born in Capestrano.


      • Capestrano official site 
      • official Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park website — (Italian)
      • The National Park of the Gran Sasso
      • Abruzzo by the Park Authority on (italian)