Monday, December 10, 2018

Pope Francis on Human Rights "I am thinking, among other things, of the unborn children who are denied the right to come into the world..." FULL TEXT


MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
"HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD:
CONQUEST, OMISSIONS, NEGATIONS "
ROME, 10-11 DECEMBER 2018



Mr. Cardinal,
venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to send my cordial greeting to all of you, representatives of States to the Holy See, of the institutions of the United Nations, of the Council of Europe, of the Episcopal Commissions of Justice and Peace and of those for social pastoral care, of the academic world. and civil society organizations, convened in Rome for the International Conference on the theme "Human rights in the contemporary world: conquests, omissions, denials", promoted by the Department for the Integral Human Development Service and the Pontifical Gregorian University, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action.

Through these two documents, the family of Nations wanted to recognize the equal dignity of every human person, [1] from which derive fundamental rights and freedoms which, as rooted in the nature of the human person - an inseparable unit of body and soul - are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interconnected. [2] At the same time, in the Declaration of 1948 it is recognized that "every individual has duties towards the community, in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible". [3]

In the year in which significant anniversaries of these international legal instruments are celebrated, an in-depth reflection on the foundation and respect for human rights in the contemporary world seems opportune, a reflection that I hope will be a harbinger of a renewed commitment to the defense of human dignity , with special attention to the most vulnerable members of the community.

Indeed, by observing our contemporary societies carefully, we find numerous contradictions that lead us to wonder whether the equal dignity of all human beings, solemnly proclaimed 70 years ago, is truly recognized, respected, protected and promoted in all circumstances. Numerous forms of injustice persist in the world today, nurtured by reductive anthropological visions and by an economic model based on profit, which does not hesitate to exploit, to discard and even to kill man. [4] While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity that is disowned, despised or trampled and its fundamental rights ignored or violated.

I am thinking, among other things, of the unborn children who are denied the right to come into the world; to those who do not have access to the indispensable means for a dignified life; [5] to those who are excluded from adequate education; to those who are unjustly deprived of work or forced to work as a slave; to those who are detained in inhuman conditions, who are subjected to torture or who are denied the opportunity to redeem themselves, [6] to the victims of enforced disappearances and their families.

My thoughts also go to all those who live in a climate dominated by suspicion and contempt, which are the subject of acts of intolerance, discrimination and violence because of their racial, ethnic, national or religious affiliation. [7]

Finally, I can not remember how many people suffer multiple violations of their fundamental rights in the tragic context of armed conflicts, while unscrupulous merchants of death [8] are enriched at the price of their brothers and sisters' blood.

In the face of these serious phenomena, we are all called into question. In fact, when fundamental rights are violated, or when they are favored by some to the detriment of others, or when they are guaranteed only to certain groups, then serious injustices occur, which in turn fuel conflicts with heavy consequences both within of the individual nations both in the relations between them.

Each is therefore called to contribute with courage and determination, in the specificity of their role, to respect the fundamental rights of every person, especially those "invisible": of many who are hungry and thirsty, who are naked, sick, foreign or detained (cf. Mt 25: 35-36), who live on the margins of society or are discarded.

This need for justice and solidarity has a special significance for us Christians, because the Gospel itself invites us to turn our gaze to the least of our brothers and sisters, to move to compassion (cf. Mt 14: 14) and to concretely commit ourselves to alleviate their suffering.

I wish, on this occasion, to address a heartfelt appeal to those with institutional responsibilities, asking them to place human rights at the center of all policies, including those of development cooperation, even when this means going against the current.
With the hope that these days of reflection may awaken consciences and inspire initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting human dignity, I entrust each of you, your families and your peoples to the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Peace, and I invoke all the abundance of divine blessings.

From the Vatican, 10 December 2018

FRANCIS



[1] See the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, Preamble and Article 1.

[2] See the Vienna Declaration, 25 June 1993, n. 5.

[3] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 29.1.

[4] See Esort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 53.

[5] See John XXIII, Lett. Enc. Pacem in terris, 11 April 1963, 6.

[6] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2267.

[7] See Discourse to the participants in the World Conference on the theme "Xenophobia, racism and populist nationalism, in the context of world migration", 20 September 2018.

[8] Cf. General Audience, Piazza San Pietro, 11 June 2014.

Beautiful Ancient Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Litany of Our Lady of Loreto - SHARE


The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Marian prayer which was approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. It is also known as the Litany of Loreto, for its first-known place of origin, the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto (Italy). The exact date of its origin is unknown but some place it to Apostolic times. It can be prayed every day.
Litany:
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renouned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honor, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
SHARE This Beautiful Prayer to the Mother of God to Inspire and Change the World!

LET US PRAY

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Chrsit our Lord. Amen.
 Advent 
 Let us pray. O God, you willed that, at the message of an angel, your Word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant to your suppliant people, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with you. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. 
 Christmas to the Purification 
 Let us pray. O God, by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary, you bestowed upon the human race the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beg you, that we may feel the power of her intercession, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ your Son. Who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. R. Amen. 
  Paschaltime 
 Let us pray. O God, who by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world; grant, we beg you, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
INDULGENCE Partial and a plenary indulgence. Pius VII granted one of three hundred days indulgence every time it is recited; and anyone who prays it every day may obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, on the five principal feasts of the Blessed Virgin - the Immaculate Conception, Nativity, Annunciation, Purification and Assumption.

Pope Francis "we ask for the grace to prepare ourselves with faith to celebrate Christmas”. #Homily at Mass


Pope at Mass: ‘prepare for Christmas with the courage of faith’
Pope Francis invited Christians to live the Advent season preparing for Christmas by asking for the grace of keeping the faith.
By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis on Monday shone the spotlight on the second week of Advent urging believers to ask for the grace to prepare themselves with faith to celebrate Christmas.

Speaking during the homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope said “it’s not easy to keep the faith, to defend the faith”.

Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day that tells the story of a paralysed man healed by Jesus, the Pope said faith gives us courage and shows us the way to touch the heart of the Lord.

He noted how, in the parable, the Lord “saw the faith” of those who brought the man and set him in His presence. “It took courage,“ he said, to go up on the roof and lower him on the stretcher through the tiles…. “Those people had faith: “They knew that if the sick man was put in front of Jesus, he would be healed”.

Celebrate Christmas with faith
The Pope also recalled other episodes in which Jesus expressed admiration for people’s faith. Like in the case of the centurion who asked  for the healing of his servant,  of the Syrophoenician woman who interceded for her daughter who was possessed by the devil, and of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages  who was healed after having touched the hem of Jesus’  cloak. “Jesus, the Pope said, reproaches people of little faith”, like Peter who doubts, but he said; “with faith everything is possible”.

In this second week of Advent, Pope Francis continued, “we ask for the grace to prepare ourselves with faith to celebrate Christmas”.

He noted that Christmas is often marked in a worldly or pagan fashion, but reiterating the Lord’s request that we do so with faith, the Pope said “it's not easy to keep the faith, it's not easy to defend the faith… it's not easy!”

Act of faith
Pope Francis wrapped up his reflection commenting on the episode narrated in the Gospel of John in which a  boy who was blind is healed: “It will do us good today, and also tomorrow, during the week, to take chapter 9 of the Gospel of John and read this beautiful story of the boy who was blind from birth”.

“From the bottom of our hearts” he concluded “utter an act of faith and say: I believe Lord. Help me in my faith. Defend my faith from worldliness, from superstitions, from all that is not faith. Keep it from being reduced to theory, be it theological or moral…  Faith in You, Lord”.

 Source: Vatican News va

Saint December 10 : St. Gregory III : Pope


St. Gregory III
POPE
Feast: December 10


Information:
Feast Day:December 10
Died:741

Pope St. Gregory III was the son of a Syrian named John. The date of his birth is not known. His reputation for learning and virtue was so great that the Romans elected him pope by acclamation, when he was accompanying the funeral procession of his predecessor, 11 February, 731. As he was not consecrated for more than a month after his election, it is presumed that he waited for the confirmation of his election by the exarch at Ravenna. In the matter of Iconoclasm, he followed the policy of his predecessor. He sent legates and letters to remonstrate with the persecuting emperor, Leo III, and held two synods in Rome (731) in which the image-breaking heresy was condemned. By way of a practical protest against the emperor's action he made it a point of paying special honour to images and relics, giving particular attention to the subject of St. Peter's. Fragments of inscriptions, to be seen in the crypts of the Vatican basilica, bear witness to this day of an oratory he built therein, and of the special prayers he ordered to be there recited.
Leo, whose sole answer to the arguments and apologies for image worship which were addressed to him from both East and West, was force, seized the papal patrimonies in Calabria and Sicily, or wherever he had any power in Italy, and transferred to the patriarch of Constantinople the ecclesiastical jurisdiction which the popes had previously exercised both there, and throughout the ancient Prefecture of Illyricum. Gregory III confirmed the decision of his predecessors as to the respective rights of the Patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado, and sent the pallium to Antoninus of Grado. In granting it also to Egbert of York, he was only following out the arrangements of St. Gregory I who had laid it down that York was to have metropolitical rights in the North of England, as Canterbury had to have them in the South. Both Tatwine and Nothelm of Canterbury received the pallium in succession from Gregory III (731 and 736). At his request Gregory III extended to St. Boniface the same support and encouragement which had been afforded him by Gregory II. "Strengthened exceedingly by the help of the affection of the Apostolic See", the saint joyfully continued his glorious work for the conversion of Germany. About 737 Boniface came to Rome for the third time to give an account of his stewardship, and to enjoy the pope's "life-giving conversation", At Gregory's order the monk and great traveller, St. Willibald, went to assist his cousin St. Boniface in his labours.
The close of Gregory's reign was troubled by the Lombards. Realizing the ambition which animated Liutprand, Gregory completed the restoration of the walls of Rome which had been begun by his predecessors, and bought back Gallese, a stronghold on the Flaminian Way, from Transamund, Duke of Spoleto, which helped to keep open the communications between Rome and Ravenna. In 739, Liutprand was again in arms. His troops ravaged the exarchate, and he himself marched south to bring to subjection his vassals, the Dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, and the Duchy of Rome. Transamund fled to Rome, and Gregory implored the aid of the great Frankish chief, Charles Martel. At length ambassadors from the viceroy (subregulus) of the Franks appeared in Rome (739). Their arrival, or the summer heats, brought a momentary peace. But in the following year, Liutprand again took the field. This time the Romans left their walls, and helped Transamund to recover Spoleto. When, however, he had recovered his duchy, he would not or could not comply with Gregory's request, and endeavour to recover for the pope "the four cities of the Roman duchy which had been lost for his sake." In the midst of all these wars and rumours of war, Gregory died, and was buried in the oratory of our Lady which he had himself built in St. Peter's. He died in 741, but whether in November or December is not certain. It is however, on 28 November that he is commemorated in the Roman martyrology.
source EWTN

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday December 10, 2018 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 181

Reading 1IS 35:1-10

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals lurk
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
nor fools go astray on it.
No lion will be there,
nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.
It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.

Responsorial PsalmPS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 35:4f) Our God will come to save us!
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Our God will come to save us!
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Our God will come to save us!
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Our God will come to save us!

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold the king will come, the Lord of the earth,
and he himself will lift the yoke of our capacity.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 5:17-26

One day as Jesus was teaching,
Pharisees and teachers of the law,
who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem,
were sitting there,
and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed;
they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof
and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
into the middle in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
"As for you, your sins are forgiven."

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves,
"Who is this who speaks blasphemies?
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply,
"What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."

He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God.
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God,
and, struck with awe, they said,
"We have seen incredible things today."

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Saint December 10 : Our Lady of Loreto - #Loreto #OurLady

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
10 Dec 2009
The title Our Lady of Loreto refers to the Holy House of Loreto, the house in which Mary was born, and where the Annunciation occurred, and to a statue of Our Lady which is found there.
It is the first shrine of international renown dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and has been a true Marian centre of Christianity for several centuries.
Flown By AngelsTradition has it that a band of angels scooped up the house from Nazareth in the Holy Land to save it.
From pillaging and destruction and transported it first to Tersatto, Dalmatia in 1291. It is said investigations at the time found the house was built of limestone, mortar and cedar wood. These materials were commonplace In Nazareth, but almost unobtainable in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia).
Then three years later, the little house was said to have been once more flown by angels this time to Recanati, where he did not stay long, and finally on to Loreto in Italy.
Today's BasilicaA vast Basilica with a huge dome has been built over the site of the Holy House. The Popes have always held the Shrine of
Loreto in special esteem, taking it directly under the authority because of the "divine mysteries which took place there".
Written at the door of the Basilica are the words: "The whole word has no place more sacred....for here was the word made flesh, and here was born the Virgin Mother..."
On entering the Basilica, one finds beneath the central dome, and just behind the high altar, a rectangular edifice of white marble, richly adorned with statues. However the white marble forms only a protective coat. The contrast between the exterior richness and the poverty of the interior is stark.
Inside are the plain, rough walls of a cottage of great antiquity, ten metres by five metres and about five metres high. In its original form the Holy House had only three walls because the eastern side, where the altar now stands, opened onto a Grotto.
In the centre of the House of Our Lady, there is a replica of a wooden statue of the Madonna. The original one, made of cedar of Lebanon, arrived at Loreto together
with the house, but has since been destroyed. The dark colour of the image represents the original image of Our Lady of Loreto, which was carved from wood and subsequently darkened over the centuries of being exposed to the soot from the oil lamps which burn in the Chapel. The original statue was destroyed by fire, and the friars determined that it would be most proper that the replacement statue reflect the darkened condition of the original prior to the destruction by fire.
Sacred OilsThere are seven oil lamps which burn continuously in the Shrine. Each day the lamps are filled with a special oil which will burn through the time the Chapel is open to pilgrims,
who come in their thousands. Prior to filling the lamps each day, what oil remains in the lamps is poured into small bottles. For centuries this oil, blessed by both a priest with a sacred blessing, and by Our Lady as it burns in the Shrine, has long been valued by pilgrims to the Shrine as an oil of blessing and healing.
The Pope's believe divine mysteries have taken place at the Shrine.
Papal MessagesOn 4 October, 1962, Pope John XX111 announced: "This is the lesson that comes from Nazareth: holy families blessed love and homely virtue, blossom with the warmth of ardent hearts that are full of generosity and good will."
The same theme was also taken up by Pope John Paul 11 when he went on a pilgrimage to Loreto on 8 September, 1979. He said:" The House of the Holy Family!
It was the first temple, the first church, on which the Mother of God shed her light through her motherhood. She irradiated it with the light which
comes from the great mystery of the Incarnation; from the mystery of her Son."
Pope John Paul 11 also expressed the hope that all the children belonging to the human family may have a roof over their heads and be given a home. The Holy Family of Nazareth is a model and the guardian of all Christian families. This is why the faithful invoke the Virgin of Loreto, Patroness of the family and of the home.
SEE ALSO: 

Beautiful Ancient Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Litany of Our Lady of Loreto - SHARE

SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY
IMAGE SHARE http://www.salvemariaregina.info/MarianShrines/Loretto.html

Pope Francis "...the center of our life is Jesus and his word of light, of love, of consolation." at #Angelus FULL TEXT + Video


ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, December 9th 2018

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Last Sunday the liturgy invited us to live the time of Advent and the Lord's waiting with the attitude of vigilance and also of prayer: "watch" and "pray". Today, the second Sunday of Advent, we are shown how to give substance to this expectation: by undertaking a journey of conversion, how to make this expectation concrete. As a guide for this journey, the Gospel presents us the figure of John the Baptist, who "traveled throughout the Jordan region, preaching a baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of sins" (Lk 3: 3). To describe the mission of the Baptist, the evangelist Luke collects the ancient prophecy of Isaiah, which says: "Voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, straighten his paths! Every ravine will be filled, every mountain and every hill will be lowered "(verses 4-5).
To prepare the way for the Lord who comes, it is necessary to take into account the demands of conversion to which the Baptist invites. What are these needs for a conversion? First of all we are called to reclaim the depressions produced by coldness and indifference, opening ourselves to others with the same sentiments of Jesus, that is, with that cordiality and fraternal attention that takes responsibility for the needs of our neighbor. Reclaim the depressions produced by coldness. You can not have a relationship of love, of charity, of fraternity with others if there are "holes", as you can not go on a road with many holes. This requires changing the attitude. And all this, do it even with special care for the most needy. Then we need to lower so much harshness caused by pride and pride. How many people, perhaps without realizing it, is superb, it is harsh, it does not have that relationship of cordiality. We need to overcome this by making concrete gestures of reconciliation with our brothers, asking for forgiveness of our faults. It is not easy to reconcile. We always think: "who takes the first step?". The Lord helps us in this, if we have good will. Conversion, in fact, is complete if it leads to humbly recognizing our mistakes, our infidelities, and non-compliances.

The believer is the one who, through his being close to his brother, as John the Baptist opens roads in the desert, that is, indicates prospects of hope even in those impervious existential contexts, marked by failure and defeat. We can not give in to negative situations of closure and rejection; we must not allow ourselves to be subjected to the mentality of the world, because the center of our life is Jesus and his word of light, of love, of consolation. And he! The Baptist invited the people of his time to conversion with force, vigor, and severity. Yet he knew how to listen, he knew how to perform gestures of tenderness, gestures of forgiveness towards the multitude of men and women who came to him to confess their sins and be baptized with the baptism of penitence.

The testimony of John the Baptist helps us to move forward in our testimony of life. The purity of his proclamation, his courage in proclaiming the truth, succeeded in reawakening the expectations and hopes of the Messiah that had long been dormant. Even today, the disciples of Jesus are called to be his humble but courageous witnesses to rekindle hope, to make it understood that, despite everything, the kingdom of God continues to be built day by day with the power of the Holy Spirit. We think, each of us: how can I change something of my attitude, to prepare the way for the Lord?

May the Virgin Mary help us to prepare the way of the Lord day by day, beginning with ourselves; and to spread around us, with tenacious patience, seeds of peace, justice and fraternity.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet with affection all of you, pilgrims from Rome, from Italy and from various parts of the world.

In particular, I greet the many young people of the diocese of Orvieto-Todi. Thank you and have a good journey of Advent!

I greet the faithful of Trapani, Caltagirone and Bronte, and the 
Confirmation candidates of the Oratory of Almè (Bergamo).

A cordial greeting of good Sunday to all. And please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. December 9, 2018 - #Eucharist Readings and Video : 2nd Sun. of #Advent


Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 6

Reading 1BAR 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God’s command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company..

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6.

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2PHIL 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

AlleluiaLK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Saint December 9 : St. Juan Diego : Witness of Our Lady of #Guadelupe in Mexico



Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.
 Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.
When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. On 9 December 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.
With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.
Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on 6 May 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.
The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant. Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be "born" again among the peoples of the New World, and is a message as relevant to the "New World" today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego.
Text : Vatican.va

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Pope Francis on Immaculate Conception "...we look at the beauty of Our Lady, born and lived without sin, always docile and transparent to God." FULL TEXT


SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Saturday, December 8th 2018

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and happy party!

Today's Word presents us with an alternative. In the first reading there is the man who originally says no to God, and in the Gospel there is Mary who at the annunciation says yes to God. In both Readings it is God who seeks man. But in the first case he goes to Adam, after sin, asks him: "Where are you?" (Gen 3,9), and he replies: "I hid myself" (v. 10). In the second case, however, it goes to Mary, without sin, who answers: "Behold the servant of the Lord" (Lk 1:38). Here I am the opposite of I hid. Here I am open to God, while sin closes, isolates, makes one remain alone with oneself.

Here I am is the key word of life. It marks the passage from a horizontal life, centered on oneself and on one's needs, to a vertical life, slender towards God. Here I am to be available to the Lord, it is the cure for selfishness, it is the antidote to an unsatisfied life, something is always missing. Here I am the remedy against the aging of sin, it is the therapy to stay young inside. Here I am to believe that God counts more than my "I". It is to choose to bet on the Lord, docile to his surprises. So to tell him here I am the greatest praise we can offer him. Why not start the day like this with a "Here I am, sir"? It would be nice to say every morning: "Here I am, Lord, today your will be done in me". We will say this in the prayer of the Angelus, but we can repeat it already now, together: Here I am, Lord, today your will be done in me!

Mary adds: «It happens for me according to your word». He does not say: "happen according to me", but "according to you". He does not limit God. He does not think: "I dedicate myself a little to Him, I hurry up and then do what I want". No, Mary does not love the Lord when she goes, in fits and starts. He lives trusting God in all respects. Here is the secret of life. It can all those who trust God in everything. But the Lord, dear brothers and sisters, suffers when we answer him as Adam: "I am afraid and I am hidden". God is the Father, the tenderest of fathers, and desires the trust of his children. How many times we suspect him, we suspect God! We think he can send us some proof, deprive us of freedom, abandon ourselves. But this is a great deception, it is the temptation of the origins, the temptation of the devil: insinuate the distrust of God. Mary overcomes this first temptation with her I am. And today we look at the beauty of Our Lady, born and lived without sin, always docile and transparent to God.

This does not mean that life was easy for her, no. Being with God does not magically solve problems. The conclusion of today's Gospel recalls this: "The angel turned away from her" (verse 38). He turned away: it is a strong word. The angel leaves the Virgin alone in a difficult situation. She knew how particular she would become Mother of God - the angel had said - but the angel had not explained it to others, only to her. And the problems began immediately: think of the irregular situation according to the law, the torment of St. Joseph, the skipped life plans, what the people would say ... But Mary puts trust in God before the problems. It is left by the angel, but he believes that with her, in her, God has remained. And he trusts. Trust God. It is certain that with the Lord, even if unexpectedly, everything will be fine. Here is the wise attitude: not living depending on the problems - finished one, another will present itself! - but trusting God and entrusting himself every day to Him: here I am! "Here I am" is the word. "Here I am" is prayer. We ask the Immaculate to have the grace to live like this.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, Bishop Pietro Claverie and eighteen religious and religious comrades, killed in hatred of the faith, are beatified at the Shrine of Notre-Dame de Santa Cruz in Oran, Algeria. 19 new Blessed! These martyrs of our time have been faithful announcers of the Gospel, humble builders of peace and heroic witnesses of Christian charity: a bishop, priests, religious, religious and laity. Their courageous testimony is a source of hope for the Algerian Catholic community and a seed of dialogue for the whole of society. This beatification is for everyone an incentive to build together a world of fraternity and solidarity. Let's applaud the new Blessed, all together.

I assure a memory in my prayer for the boys and the mother who died this night in a nightclub in Corinaldo, near Ancora, as well as for the numerous injured. I ask for all the intercession of Our Lady.
I greet you with affection, pilgrims from Italy and from different countries, especially families, parish groups and associations. On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, in the Italian parishes the membership of Catholic Action is renewed, an association that has been a gift and a resource for the Church's journey in Italy for 150 years. I encourage his diocesan and parish articulations to commit themselves to the formation of lay people capable of bearing witness to the Gospel, becoming a leaven of a more just and supportive society.

I cordially bless the faithful of Rocca di Papa and the torch with which they will light the great star on the fortress of their beautiful town, in honor of Mary Immaculate.

This afternoon I will go to Santa Maria Maggiore to pray to Our Lady, and then I will go to Piazza di Spagna to renew the traditional act of homage and prayer at the foot of the monument to the Immaculate. I ask you to join me spiritually in this gesture, which expresses filial devotion to our heavenly Mother.

And I wish everyone a good feast and a good journey of Advent with the guidance of the Virgin Mary. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Wow Ancient Chant that will Touch your Soul "Vox clara ecce intonat" for #Advent sung by Heavenly Abbey Choir

Vox clara ecce intonat is a Latin hymn used traditionally in the Liturgy of the Hours at Lauds during Advent. Originated in the 6th century or earlier possibly by St Ambrose,
It speaks of the preaching of John the Baptist, announcing the coming of Christ in Luke's Gospel.
 Latin
  Vox clara ecce intonat
 1 VOX clara ecce intonat, obscura quaeque increpat: procul fugentur somnia; ab aethere Christus promicat.
 2 Mens iam resurgat torpida quae sorde exstat saucia; sidus refulget iam novum, ut tollat omne noxium.
 3 E sursum Agnus mittitur laxare gratis debitum; omnes pro indulgentia vocem demus cum lacrimis, 4 Secundo ut cum fulserit mundumque horror cinxerit, non pro reatu puniat, sed nos pius tunc protegat.
 5 Summo Parenti gloria Natoque sit victoria, et Flamini laus debita per saeculorum saecula. Amen.
 1 Hark! a herald voice is calling: 'Christ is nigh,' it seems to say; 'Cast away the dreams of darkness, O ye children of the day!' 2 Startled at the solemn warning, Let the earth-bound soul arise; Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling, Shines upon the morning skies. 3 Lo! the Lamb, so long expected, Comes with pardon down from heaven; Let us haste, with tears of sorrow, One and all to be forgiven; 4 So when next he comes with glory, Wrapping all the earth in fear, May he then as our defender Of the clouds of heaven appear. 5 Honour, glory, virtue, merit, To the Father and the Son, With the co-eternal Spirit, While unending ages run.[11]

Pope Francis in Memory of Algerian Martyrs "Live together in peace". - FULL TEXT


Message of the Holy Father for the Beatification of the martyrs Mons. Pierre Claverie, O. P., Bishop of Oran, and 18 companions (religious men and women) in Algeria, 08.12.2018

We publish below the message that the Holy Father sent on the occasion of the Beatification of the martyrs Mons. Pierre Claverie, OP, Bishop of Oran, and 18 companions (religious and religious) in Algeria and of which he read the Prefect of the Congregation of Causes of the Saints, His Eminence Card. Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Special Envoy of the Pope for the Celebration:

Message from the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters,

this Saturday, December 8, the Church in Algeria celebrates with joy the beatification of nineteen religious and martyrs. I join in your thanksgiving for these lives totally given by love of God, the country and all its inhabitants whose humble daily life you share in a spirit of brotherhood, friendship, service. Receive here my fraternal encouragement for this celebration to help heal the wounds of the past and create a new dynamic of meeting and living together as a result of our blessed.

I am very grateful to the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and his associates, for facilitating the celebration in Algeria of the beatification of Bishop Pierre Claverie and his eighteen companions and companions. , martyrs of the greatest love. I want to express my affection for the Algerian people who suffered great suffering during the social crisis of which he was a victim in the last years of the last century.

In memory of the death in Algeria of these nineteen Christian victims, the Catholics of Algeria and the world want to celebrate the fidelity of these martyrs to the project of Peace that God inspires to all men. At the same time, they want to take in their prayers all the sons and daughters of Algeria who have been, like them, victims of the same violence for having lived, with fidelity and respect for the other, their duties as believers and of citizens on this blessed land. It is for them also that we address our prayer and express our grateful homage.

The Catholic Church in Algeria knows the heiress, with all the Algerian nation, of the great message of love proposed by one of the many spiritual masters of your land, Saint Augustine of Hippo. It wants to serve the same message, in these times when all peoples seek to advance their aspiration to "Live together in peace".

By the beatification of our nineteen brothers and sisters, the Church wants to testify to her desire to continue to work for dialogue, harmony and friendship. We believe that this unprecedented event in your country will draw a great sign of fraternity in the Algerian sky to the whole world.

We are happy that this celebration can be held in a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary who is particularly present in our two religious traditions. May the maternal gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary, full of grace, all beautiful and pure, protect and guard you.

At the Vatican, December 2, 2018.

FRANCIS