Saturday, January 23, 2021

Espousal of Mary and Joseph and Novena Prayer - Feast January 23 with Prayers for Engaged and Couples to SHARE


(DESPONSATIO BEATÆ MARIÆ VIRGINIS) A feast of the Latin Church. It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called "espoused" to Joseph ("his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph", Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated (Colvenerius, Cal. Marian., 23 Jan.). Peter d'Ailly, chancellor of the University of Paris. (died 1420), and his famous disciple, Jean Charlier, called Gerson, were the first energetic propagators of the devotion in honour of St. Joseph. Gerson worked many years to effect the institution of a special votive feast (Thursday of ember week in Advent), the object of which should be the virginal espousal of Mary and Joseph. Gerson's friend, Henry Chicoti, canon of the cathedral chapter of Chartres, had bequeathed a certain sum for the celebration in the cathedral of this votive feast, for which Gerson had composed a proper Office. It seems that Gerson carried out the will of his friend, but tradition does not tell us on what day the feast was celebrated.  (Text from Catholic Encyclopedia) 

NOVENA PRAYER for Espousal of Mary and Joseph

Hail to our patrons, happy songs we tender,
As we observe the day of their chaste wedding,
Anew the faithful enjoy the holy splendor
Shining about them,
How beautiful thou art, O Virgin Mary,
The trinity has covered thee with graces
The lavish godhead splendidly adorns thee
As thou art married.
O blessed Joseph, to thee also we sing,
Thy virtue raises thee to highest summits
Thy sanctity is a mirror reflecting,
Thy saintly Mary.
Jesus was happy to be known as your Son
How much He loved you, parents of such virtue
From your belov’d arms to the world His mission
Already is started.
O Blessed couple, Light of earth and heaven,
Continue to inspire us with your blessing,
While the renown of your names we may leaven
By our devotion.
Eternal praise be to the mighty Godhead
Who, by the gift of Mary and Saint Joseph,
To our poor lives have, by their merits, added,
Gifts of Divine peace. Amen.
In preparation for the Feast of the holy espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Saint Joseph
Dear brothers, we shall attentively and devoutly meditate upon the wonderful virtues practiced by the Blessed Virgin Mary in company with Saint Joseph, her most chaste Spouse, and in their memory we shall humbly beg to imitate them, by saying:
1. Most holy Virgin, by those virginal Espousals you did celebrate with Saint Joseph, your most chaste Spouse, grant that my soul may be spiritually espoused to Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
2. O spotless Virgin, by that intact Virginity you did keep with Saint Joseph, your most pure Spouse, grant that my soul may with a pure heart serve Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
3. Most amiable, Virgin, by that tender affection you showed to Saint Joseph, your most dear Spouse, grant that my soul may incessantly love Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
4. Most glorious Virgin, by that perfect obedience you showed to Saint Joseph, your most prudent Spouse, grant that my soul may perfectly obey Jesus, Your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
5. Most merciful Virgin, by that strict poverty you practice with Saint Joseph, your most resigned Spouse, grant that my soul may renounce all things for the love of Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
6. Most humble Virgin, by that deepest humility you practiced with Saint Joseph, your most meek Spouse, grant that my soul may be subject to all for the love of Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
7. O most holy Virgin, by that fullness of virtues you acquired with Saint Joseph, your most praiseworthy Spouse, grant that my soul may be enamored with all the virtues, so that it may ever be more pleasing to Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
V. Pray for us holy Spouses Mary and Joseph:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Prayer: As in the Proper

The first definite knowledge of a feast in honour of the espousals of Mary dates from 29 Aug., 1517, when with nine other Masses in honour of Mary, it was granted by Leo X to the Nuns of the Annunciation, founded by Sainte Jeanne de Valois. This feast was celebrated on 22 October as a double of the second class. Its Mass, however, honoured the Blessed Virgin exclusively; it hardly mentioned St. Joseph and therefore did not correspond to the idea of Gerson. Also purely as a feast of Mary it appears in the Missal of the Franciscans, to whom it was granted 21 Aug., 1537, for 7 March (double major). About the same time the Servites obtained the feast for 8 March. The Office of the Nativity of Mary was recited, changing the word Nativilas to Desponsatio. After the religious orders, among the dioceses which adopted the feast of the Espousals of Mary, Arras takes the lead. It has been kept there since 23 Jan., 1556. The first proper Office was composed by Pierre Doré, O. P. (died 1569), confessor of Duke Claude of Lorraine. This Office followed the outlines given by Gerson and commemorated both Joseph and Mary. Pierre Doré in 1546 unsuccessfully petitioned Paul III to extend the feast of the Desponsatio B. M. V. to the Universal Church. But even without the recommendation of the Apostolic See, the feast was adopted by many Churches. In Moravia it was in the sixteenth century kept on 18. July. 
In subsequent times Rome did not favour any further extension of the feast, but after it had been refused (1655) to the King of Spain, it was granted to the German Emperor for Austria, 27 Jan., 1678 (23. Jan.); in 1680 it was conceded to Spain, but transferred (13 July, 1682) to 26 Nov., because in Spain the feast of St. Ildephonsus or St. Raymond is kept 23. Jan. In 1680 it was extended to the entire German Empire, 1689 to the Holy Land (double, second class), 1702 to the Cistercians (20 Feb.), 1720 to Tuscany, and 1725 to the Pontifical States. In our days it is kept in nearly the entire Latin Church on 23 Jan., in the Spanish-speaking countries on 26 Nov., but it has never been extended to the Universal Church. Since Pius V abolished the Office of Pierre Doré and introduced the modern Office, it is again a feast of Mary. The commemoration of St. Joseph in Mass, Vespers, Lauds (decree 5 May, 1736) can only be made by a special privilege.  (Text Catholic Encyclopedia - Images shared from Google Images)

Saint January 23 : St. Ildephonsus : Archbishop of Toledo and Doctor of the Spanish Church


Born:
607 at Toledo, Spain
Died:
January 23, 667
Archbishop of Toledo; died 23 January, 667. He was born of a distinguished family and was a nephew of St. Eugenius, his predecessor in the See of Toledo. At an early age, despite the determined opposition of his father, he embraced the monastic life in the monastery of Agli, near Toledo. While he was still a simple monk, he founded and endowed a monastery of nuns in Deibiensi villula. We learn from his writings that he was ordained a deacon (about 630) by Helladius, who had been his abbot and was afterwards elected Archbishop of Toledo. Ildephonsus himself became Abbot of Agli, and in this capacity was one of the signatories, in 653 and 655, at the Eighth and Ninth Councils of Toledo. Called by King Reccesvinth, towards the end of 657, to fill the archiepiscopal throne, he governed the Church of Toledo for a little more than nine years and was buried in the Basilica of Saint Leocadia. To these scanty but authentic details of his life (they are attested by Ildephonsus himself, or by his immediate successor, Archbishop Julianus, in a short biographical notice which he added to the "De viris illustribus" of Ildephonsus) some doubtful or even legendary anecdotes were added later. At the end of the eighth century Cixila, Archbishop of Toledo, embellished the biography of his predecessor. He relates that Ildephonsus was the disciple of Isidore of Seville, and recalls in particular two marvellous stories, of which the second, a favourite theme of hagiographers, poets, and artists, has been for ages entwined with the memory of the saint. Ildephonsus, it is said, was one day praying before the relics of Saint Leocadia, when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God. It was related, further, that on another occasion the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her.

The literary work of Ildephonsus is better known than the details of his life, and merits for him a distinguished place in the roll of Spanish writers. His successor, Julianus of Toledo, in the notice already referred to, informs us that the saint himself divided his works into four parts. The first and principal division contained six treatises, of which two only have been preserved: "De virginitate perpetuâ sanctae Mariae adversus tres infideles" (these three unbelievers are Jovinianus, Helvidius, and "a Jew"), a bombastic work which displays however a spirit of ardent piety, and assures Ildephonsus a place of honour among the devoted servants of the Blessed Virgin; also a treatise in two books: (1) "Annotationes de cognitione baptismi", and (2) "Liber de itinere deserti, quo itur post baptismum". Recent researches have proved that the first book is only a new edition of a very important treatise compiled, at the latest, in the sixth century, Ildephonsus having contributed to it only a few additions (Helfferich, "Der westgothische Arianismus", 1860, 41-49). The second part of his works contained the saint's correspondence; of this portion, there are still preserved two letters of Quiricus, Bishop of Barcelona, with the replies of Ildephonsus. The third part comprised masses, hymns, and sermons; and the fourth, opuscula in prose and verse, especially epitaphs. The editions of the complete works of Ildephonsus contain a certain number of writings, several of which may be placed in either of the last two divisions; but some of them are of doubtful authenticity, while the remainder are certainly the work of another author. Moreover, Julianus states that Ildephonsus began a good number of other works, but his many cares would not permit of his finishing them. On the other hand, he makes no mention of a little work which is certainly authentic, the "De viris illustribus". It may be considered as a supplement to the "De viris illustribus" of Isidore of Seville, and is not so much a literary historical work as a writing intended to glorify the Church of Toledo and defend the rights of the metropolitan see.
Text: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint January 23 : St. John the Almsgiver the Patriarch of Alexandria and Patron of Knights Hospitaller


Born:
550 at Arnathus, Cyprus
Died:
616 at Arnathus, Cyprus
Patron of:
Knights Hospitaller
Patriarch of Alexandria (606-16), b. at Amathus in Cyprus about 550; d. there, 616. He was the son of one Epiphanius, governor of Cyprus, and was of noble descent; in early life he was married and had children, but they and his wife soon died, whereupon he entered the religious life.

On the death of the Patriarch Theodorus, the Alexandrians besought Emperor Phocas to appoint John his successor, which was accordingly done. In his youth John had had a vision of a beautiful maiden with a garland of olives on her head, who said that she was Compassion, the eldest daughter of the Great King. This had evidently made a deep impression on John's mind, and, now that he had the opportunity of exercising benevolence on a large scale, he soon became widely known all over the East for his munificent liberality towards the poor. One of the first steps he took was to make a list of several thousand needy persons, whom he took under his especial care. He always referred to the poor as his "lords and masters", because of their mighty influence at the Court of the Most High. He assisted people of every class who were in need. A shipwrecked merchant was thus helped three times, on the first two occasions apparently without doing him much good; the third time however, John fitted him out with a ship and a cargo of wheat, and by favourable winds he was taken as far as Britain, where, as there was a shortage of wheat, he obtained his own price. Another person, who was not really in need, applied for alms and was detected by the officers of the palace; but John merely said "Give unto him; he may be Our Lord in disguise." He visited the hospitals three times every week, and he freed a great many slaves. He was a reformer who attacked simony, and fought heresy by means of improvements in religious education. He also reorganized the system of weights and measures for the sake of the poor, and put a stop to corruption among the officials. He increased the number of churches in Alexandria from seven to seventy.

John is said to have devoted the entire revenues of his see to the  alleviation of those in need. A rich man presented him with a magnificent bed covering; he accepted it for one night, but then sold it, and disposed of the money in alms. The rich man "bought in" the article, and again presented it to John, with the same result. This was repeated several times; but John drily remarked: "We will see who tires first." It was not John. Another instance of his piety was that he caused his own grave to be dug, but only partly so, and appointed a servant to come before him on all state occasions and say "My Lord, your tomb is unfinished; pray give orders for its completion, for you know not the hour when death may seize you." When the Persians sacked Jerusalem in 614, John sent large supplies of food, wine, and money to the fleeing Christians. But eventually the Persians occupied Alexandria, and John himself in his old age was forced to flee to his native country, where he died.

His body was brought to Constantinople, thence to Ofen by King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary; thence in 1530 to Toll near Presburg, and finally in 1632 to Presburg cathedral. He was the original patron saint of the Hospitallers, and was commemorated by the Greeks on 12 Nov. His life, written by Leontius of Neapolis, in Cyprus, was translated into Latin by Anastasius the Librarian in the ninth century and was referred to at the Seventh General Council.
SOURCE:The Catholic Encyclopedia

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, January 23, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 
Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 316
Reading I
Heb 9:2-3, 11-14
A tabernacle was constructed, the outer one,
in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of offering; 
this is called the Holy Place.
Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. 
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, 
passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, 
that is, not belonging to this creation, 
he entered once for all into the sanctuary, 
not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own Blood, 
thus obtaining eternal redemption.

 
 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes 
can sanctify those who are defiled 
so that their flesh is cleansed, 
how much more will the Blood of Christ, 
who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God,
cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
Responsorial Psalm
47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
For king of all the earth is God:
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
Alleluia
See Acts 16:14b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Mk 3:20-21
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, 
for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Friday, January 22, 2021

Saint January 23 : St. Marianne Cope of Molokai, Hawaii, but Born in Germany, who spoke “the Language of Truth and Love”


Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898).
Mother Marianne’s generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a woman who spoke “the language of truth and love” to the world, said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, called her life “a wonderful work of divine grace.” Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, “She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.”
On January 23, 1838, a daughter was born to Peter and Barbara Cope of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. The girl was named after her mother. Two years later the Cope family emigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, New York. Young Barbara worked in a factory until August 1862, when she went to the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After profession in November of the next year, she began teaching at Assumption parish school.
Marianne held the post of superior in several places and was twice the novice mistress of her congregation. A natural leader, three different times she was superior of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where she learned much that would be useful during her years in Hawaii.
Elected provincial in 1877, Mother Marianne was unanimously re-elected in 1881. Two years later the Hawaiian government was searching for someone to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. More than 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada were asked. When the request was put to the Syracuse sisters, 35 of them volunteered immediately. On October 22, 1883, Mother Marianne and six other sisters left for Hawaii where they took charge of the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu; on the island of Maui they also opened a hospital and a school for girls.
In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls” there. The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne! On Molokai she took charge of the home that St. Damien de Veuster [May 10, d. 1889] had established for men and boys. Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.
Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully. Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.
Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918 and was beatified in 2005 and canonized seven years later.
Shared from AmericanCatholic

Wow New LIFE Monument by Famous Artist Timothy Schmalz to be Installed in Washington, DC and in Every State! Video Interview Exclusive


An Exclusive Interview with the famous Canadian sculpter Timothy P. Schmalz about his New LIFE Monument. His artwork is found around the world, including churches in Rome and at the Vatican. He is most famous for his homeless Jesus sculpture. 

Schmalz said of his newest sculpture, the “emphasis is on the idea of celebrating life.”

He hopes to change many hearts around the world with this new beautiful work of art.

Listen to the Video below and hear the artist in his own words about his new LIFE venture that will be installed in Washington DC facing the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (also in the video see more images of this amazing work of art)

“Because we have to persuade with beauty,” Schmalz said. “If I can use my talent to persuade people, then I’m going something good. I’m doing something positive.”

This center world/womb area is created out of mirrored steel that reflects the surrounding world and viewers of the art. The viewers of the sculpture literally see themselves in the center of the work, symbolizing their connection to this creative source.      (as explained on his website)

“People will literally see themselves within that womb,” he said. “You see yourself, that’s powerful. Everyone that is walking this planet came from that place.” 

The original Life Monument will be installed facing the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.  and Schmalz hopes to have it in place in the spring, perhaps in time for Mother’s Day. 

He hopes the sculptures will be in every state capitol.

Schmalz has partnered with EWTN for the commissioning of rosaries containing the sculpture sold through EWTN and also benefit pro-life efforts. 

The woman in the sculpture can be interpreted as the Virgin Mary or as any woman. 

For more information on the National Life Monument, visit nationallifemonument.com

Contact Timothy Scmaltz here: https://www.nationallifemonument.com/contact

National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children - Remembering over 60 Million Babies Killed in Abortion - with Resources



January 22 is the date marking 48 years of legalized abortion in all fifty states on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. 
According to statistics there have been an estimated 62,502,904 abortions that have taken the lives of unborn children. 
The US Catholic Bishops (USCCB) state: the over 60 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.  
According to LifeNews.com the Centers for Disease Control and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, provide these numbers.
Nothing has ever killed more people in America — or worldwide — than abortion. 
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.” As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.

Archbishop Cordileone of California's Message "No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion." to Speaker Pelosi and President Biden



Archbishop Cordileone’s Response to Speaker Pelosi’s Comments About Pro-Life Voters
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
January 21, 2021
 
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized prolife voters who voted for Donald Trump on the abortion issue, saying their votes cause her “great grief as a Catholic” and accusing them of “being willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”
 
Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, issued the following statement in response:
“To begin with the obvious: Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church.  She speaks as a high-level important government leader, and as a private citizen.  And on the question of the equal dignity of human life in the womb, she also speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years.
“Christians have always understood that the commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ applies to all life, including life in the womb.  Around the end of the first century the Letter of Barnabas states: “You shall not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shall you destroy it after it is born’ (#19).  One thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five years later, the Second Vatican Council affirmed: ‘Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes’ (Gaudium et spes, n. 51).  
“Pope Francis continues this unbroken teaching.  Addressing participants in the conference, ‘Yes to Life! - Taking Care of the Precious Gift of Life in Its Frailty’ on May 25, 2019, he condemned abortion in the strongest possible terms: ‘is it licit to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? ...  It is not licit.  Never, never eliminate a human life … to solve a problem.  Abortion is never the answer that women and families are looking for.’  And just yesterday (January 20, 2021) Archbishop Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, reiterated the declaration of the U.S. bishops that abortion is for Catholics the ‘preeminent priority.’  In doing so, he acted rightly and collaboratively in his role as USCCB President, and I am grateful to him for doing so.
“Preeminent does not mean ‘only,’ of course.  There are certainly many evils we must confront and many goods we must pursue.  In his inaugural speech yesterday, President Biden gave a moving call to unity and healing.  He offered what I would call a ‘Litany of Compassion’ – bringing before the eyes of the nation the suffering of people across a wide spectrum of issues.  In my experience, advocates for unborn children also work diligently to be of service in many of these causes as well.  Speaker Pelosi has chosen this week to impugn the motives of millions of Catholics and others for choosing to make voting on the issue of abortion their priority and accuses them of ‘selling out democracy.’  This is not the language of unity and healing.  She owes these voters an apology.
“I myself will not presume to know what was in the minds of Catholic voters when they voted for the Presidential candidate of their choice, no matter who their preferred candidate was.  There are many issues of very grave moral consequence that Catholics must weigh in good conscience when they vote.  But one thing is clear: No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion.  ‘Right to choose’ is a smokescreen for perpetuating an entire industry that profits from one of the most heinous evils imaginable.  Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop.
“That is why, as Catholics, we will continue to speak out on behalf of those who have no voice to speak for themselves and reach out to, comfort and support those who are suffering the scars of the abortion experience.  We will do so, until our land is finally rid of this despicable evil.”

# # #
 
Archbishop Cordileone: As Catholics We Pray for New Administration, Oppose Unjust Threats to Human Life and Dignity
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
January 20, 2021
On the occasion of the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as 46th President of the United States of America, Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement this morning in which he discussed the role of faith in civic participation, and expressed prayers for the success of the Biden Administration. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco subsequently released this statement:
“Archbishop Gomez’s timely call for healing as a country as the new administration assumes office is both very welcome and needed.  I thank him for clarifying how Catholics approach the broad range of issues facing us that pose threats to human life and dignity.  In particular, I am grateful to him for stating clearly once again that opposing the injustice of abortion remains our “preeminent priority,” while acknowledging that “preeminent” does not mean “only.”  Catholics must and do speak out on many issues affecting the equal dignity of us all, but if life at its most vulnerable beginnings is not protected, then none of us is safe.  Affirming this equal human dignity at every stage and in every condition is the path to healing and unity.  I join Archbishop Gomez in praying for President Biden and for the future of this exceptional nation, that this vision may be realized in our time.  May God bless America.”

Vatican Announces that Tribunal Convicted Former Head of IOR for Embezzlement and Money Laundering



Vatican News reports that the Tribunal of the Vatican City State on Thursday convicted Angelo Caloia, former head of the Insitute of Works for Religion (IOR) on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. The court also convicted Italian lawyer, Gabriele Liuzzo, and his son Lamberto Luizzo.
By Vatican News staff writer
In a ruling on Thursday, the Tribunal of the Vatican City State concluded the trial instituted against the former president of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) Prof. Angelo Caloia, and lawyer Gabriele Liuzzo concerning the sale of 29 properties owned by the IOR and a subsidiary company, SGIR s.r.l.
In a statement, the Holy See Press Office said that the Tribunal found Caloia and Luizzo “guilty of several counts of embezzlement from the IOR, and others of aggravated embezzlement from SGIR s.r.l., as well as of the crime of self-laundering.” Both men were sentenced to a total of eight years and eleven months of imprisonment and a fine of 12,500 euros each.
Findings from investigation
According to the indictment based on investigations carried out in 2014 by the Promontory Group, Caloia and Liuzzo, in league with the then IOR general director, Lelio Scaletti (now deceased) manipulated the sales of the properties between 2002 and 2007, selling them below their market value and appropriating the difference. The sum, estimated at approximately 59 million euros, was partly laundered in Switzerland with the help of Liuzzo’s son, Lamberto Liuzzo.
The court also sentenced Lamberto Liuzzo to five years and two months’ imprisonment and imposed a fine of 8,000 euros on him for the crime of money laundering.
Experts estimate the IOR and SGIR lost approximately 34 million euros in potential revenue due to the undervaluing of the sales of the properties. The court also found evidence that in some cases, the defendants actually appropriated the part of the money paid by the buyers, or in any case money from the IOR and SGIR, to the tune of an estimated 19 million euros.
They were, however, acquitted of the charges relating to properties for which it had not been proven that they appropriated money, even though the purchase price of the properties was significantly lower than the market value at the time.
The preliminary hearing, which lasted about two years, made it possible to clarify the main aspects of the case with the contribution of all the parties and in full compliance with the cross-examination.
Compensation to IOR and SGIR
As part of the ruling, the court ordered the defendants to pay damages to the IOR and SGIR which had joined the proceedings as a plaintiff seeking damages, in excess of 20 million euros.
The defendants were also permanently banned from holding public office and were ordered to forfeit sums totaling approximately 38 million euros.
In addition, the court, on appeal, confirmed the application of preventive measures against Gabriele Liuzzo, ordering the confiscation of an already seized approximately 14 million euros deposited at the IOR, as well as another 11 million euros deposited with Swiss banks.
The Holy See Press Office said that the convictions were “the first application of the legislation introduced in December 2018, within the more general framework of the adaptation of Vatican legislation to international standards for combatting money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes.”
FULL TEXT Release: VaticanNews.va

Pope Francis Prays for Victims of Twin Suicide Bombing in Iraq which Left 32 Dead and the Cardinal Calls for Fasting and Prayer



Pope Francis condemned a twin suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad that killed at least 32 people and injured over 100 others. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack. 
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, on behalf of Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolence to Iraqi President Bahram Salih for the victims of the massacre. "His Holiness Pope Francis" reads the telegram, released by the Vatican Press Office " was deeply saddened to learn of the bomb attacks on Tayaran Square in Baghdad this morning. In deploring this senseless act of brutality", the text continues, the Pope "prays for the deceased victims and their families, for the injured and for the emergency personnel in attendance. Trusting that all will continue work to overcome violence with fraternity, solidarity and peace, Pope Francis - concludes Cardinal Parolin - invokes upon the nation and its people the blessing of the Most High"
"They wanted to send a message of death, which perhaps has to do with the withdrawal of US soldiers from the Country, or with the electoral project. The fact remains that, so far, there is no declaration or claim from who is behind these explosions" said Cardinal Louis Sako to Fides News. People crowded the second-hand clothes market in Tayaran Square, in central Baghdad where the attack occurred. Pope Francis’s apostolic visit to Iraq, scheduled for March 5 to 8. 
On January 19, in Baghdad, at the headquarters of the Chaldean Patriarchate, the Catholic bishops in Iraq had participated in a meeting in preparation for the announced papal visit. 
Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, in view of the upcoming "Fast of Nineveh" - three days of fasting and prayer traditionally observed by Chaldean Christians to commemorate the conversion of Nineveh following the preaching of the Prophet Jonah, days that this year fall on the 25th to January 27 - exhorted all the Chaldean baptized to "pray for salvation from the Coronavirus epidemic" and "also for the success of Pope Francis' visit in March". 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, January 22, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



Readings for January 22 2021: 
Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – Lectionary: 315
1st Reading – Hebrews 8:6-13
Brothers and sisters:
6 Now our high priest has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one.
8 But he finds fault with them and says: Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they did not stand by my covenant and I ignored them, says the Lord.
 

 10 But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen and kin, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know me, from least to greatest.
12 For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.
13 When he speaks of a “new” covenant, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing.
 
Responsorial Psalm – Psalms 85:8 AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (11a) Kindness and truth shall meet.
8 Show us, O LORD, your mercy,
and grant us your salvation.
10 Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
11 Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
12 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
13 The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
14 Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel – Mark 3:13-19
13 Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.
14 He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach
15 and to have authority to drive out demons:
16 He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter;
17 James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
19 and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint January 22 : St. Vincent Pallotti a Priest Devoted to Our Lady and the Poor who Founded the Pallottines

St. Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850, Rome, Italy) founded the Societas Apostolatus Catholici (S.A.C.) in 1835. He was canonized in 1963 by Pope John XXIII.
St. Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome, April 21, 1795, the third child of ten. His parents were Peter-Paul Pallotti and his wife Maddalena. From his earliest years his devout parents took him to daily Mass and religious devotions in the many neighborhood churches of Rome. For a time Vincent had trouble with his studies until his mother sought the advice of a close friend, Father Fazzini. He advised her to make a novena to the Holy Spirit with Vincent. The Novena completed, something clicked in the boy's head. He became the brightest student in his class. Vincent had an innate desire to do what he could to help the poor. Before he would give them a coin he would wash it in the nearby fountain. "When I give to the poor," he would say, "I give the coin to Christ. I want it to look nice." He felt called to do penance. He ate little. When his parents informed Father Fazzini of the penances, he replied, "Let us leave Vincent undisturbed. It appears to be a higher call than we have been given. It seems to come from God."
Vincent's first registration in a religious youth group was at his grade school of San Pantaleone, staffed by the Piarist Fathers. The school had been hallowed by the presence of its holy founder, St. Joseph Calasanz who formed a youth apostolate in Counter-reformation Rome. Our Lady had appeared to Joseph Calasanz when he was a teacher in the classroom where Vincent now attended. Joseph had been instrumental in restoring both eye and eyesight to a pupil whose eye had been jabbed out by a pencil thrust into it by an angry classmate. Vincent's Marian development was thus well nurtured in this school with the solemn observances of our Lady's feasts and the devout use of a small rosary of twelve Hail Mary's called the "Crown of Twelve Stars," which St. Calasanz had much promoted among the students of his schools. Vincent was quite religious and of a serious nature. Yet, he loved to play ball with his friends in front of his father's grocery store. Early every morning he walked to Santa Maria in Vallicella. There he put on his cassock and surplice as an altar boy. Under the altar of this church there was reposed the remains of the great youth worker, St. Philip Neri.
In the days before St. John Bosco, the name of St. Philip Neri would first come to mind whenever any program was being instituted for youth. Pallotti was often referred to in later life as the "Second St. Philip Neri."
St. Vincent became a member of a more advanced youth group at the Church of Santa Maria del Pianto. It met every Sunday and Holy Day for catechetical instruction, Marian devotions and recreation. It was under the direction of diocesan priests and among them was St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Vincent as a major seminarian and young priest succeeded St. Gaspar in the directorship of the group. Once when he was on a summer vacation, Father Pallotti wrote to his youth group reminding them that St. Philip Neri had said: "The most insane thing in the whole world was not to want to be a saint. Sanity is to take every means to achieve sanctity and be pleasing to God. When we think of the infinite reward God will give us for that - it is sheer insanity to do the opposite!"
Vincent's high school studies were accomplished at the world-famed Collegio Romanowhich had been established by St. Ignatius Loyola. Among its graduates were the paragons of youthful holiness, St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. John Berchmans. In Vincent's time the Jesuits had been suppressed for several years and replaced by other clergy. The profound tradition of the Jesuits who had taught there, and the magnificent altar tomb of St. Gonzaga, could not be ignored and was very much kept alive. Pallotti chose St. John Berchmans, a Jesuit seminarian, as his role model to imitate on the path to holiness, particularly in his love for Mary in her Immaculate Conception.
Collegio Romano, as all Jesuit schools once did, had a distinctive youth organization known as the "Sodality of the Blessed Virgin." Because the school's unit was the first Sodality, it bore the distinguished title: "Prima Priaria." Vincent cherished his membership in it and the group heightened his Marian devotion all the more as he practiced it in union with his peers who took their devotion to Mary very seriously. After his entrance into theSapienza University as a theology student, he decided upon a very bold and daring move. Despite the very negative reaction of many toward the clergy, now that he was a seminarian, he chose to wear his cassock and collar in public. He was clearly visible as a man of the Church when most diocesan and non-monastic orders wore a garb that resembled very much what comes to our minds when we think of Benjamin Franklin. For him it was a sign and defiance of the secularized world and its anti-clericalism.
One day Pallotti was leading his youth group at Santa Maria del Pianto to some function elsewhere in Rome. An irate diocesan priest, himself dressed in the "Benjamin Franklin" style garb, sharply upbraided the seminarian as a hypocrite and phony for his use of the cassock. Vincent let the priest rant and rave on. In a few minutes he slipped away from the group and was found in a corner of the sacristy of Santa Maria del Pianto on his knees reciting the Te Deum in thanksgiving for this mistreatment for what he believed was right.
As Vincent neared ordination he was introduced into apostolic work among the farmers who brought their products to Rome from the surrounding towns and villages to sell at the markets. Vincent was assigned to the hay sellers. He organized the young farmers and their children into classes in the evening and helped them to learn how to read and write. He also prepared many of them for the sacraments. From this experience of being a volunteer, he would later encourage others to volunteer to spread the kingdom of God.
Vincent Pallotti was ordained in May, 1818, at the Lateran Basilica. He said his first Mass on the following day in the Jesuit Church in Frascati. He was not assigned to a specific church or rectory. Instead, he lived at home with his family and continued as a teacher at the Sapienza University. In the world of college students he was very well liked. He offered tutoring to those who had found their studies difficult. He began a very successful apostolate of street preaching on the steps of local churches and was able to attract large numbers of people into church afterwards for confession.
In his travels Vincent became aware of a number of young workers whose work hours prevented them from attending daytime classes. He soon gathered these workers at a nearby parish hall and recruited volunteer teachers to give them a basic education. He and several others gave the religious instruction. In a matter of a few years the project mushroomed into many other "night schools" and was relocated to more spacious quarters. By now, 500 young workers were enrolled. At this point Pallotti turned over his project to the supervision of the Christian Brothers to ensure that it would be properly managed.
After ten years at the Sapienza University, the diocesan authorities turned to Father Pallotti for assistance with a very pressing youth problem in Trastevere. This section of Rome was a difficult one. While it had produced saints as lovely as St. Cecilia and St. Frances of Rome, it had also produced many rogues and toughened people. It has been ever the spot where urchins and ragamuffins run rampant.
There was now a great need for a kind, patient and sincere priest who could see beyond brokenness and be capable of drawing the best out of these disorderly youth. They needed to be given the most elemental religious instruction. They needed to be prepared for First Holy Communion. In those days First Communion was received when a child was about twelve years old.
This new assignment would mean relinquishing his teaching position at the University and saying goodbye to his favorite youth group at Santa Maria del Pianto. Father Vincent knew that the assignment would bring many souls to God and strengthen the faith of these Trastevere urchins and so he accepted it willingly.
He was given space in the Ponterotto retreat house which had formerly been the family home of St. Frances of Rome. The rough Trastevere teens, who could have matched any scugnizzi that Charles Dickens could describe with his pen, now got the attention they deserved in order to set them in the right direction. They responded with extraordinary cooperation. Pallotti did not neglect the nobility nor the upper class and he provided retreats for them at another retreat house nearby. His purpose was to inculcate into these men who would be the leaders of the future, a love of virtue, a sense of honor and integrity coupled with a sense of responsibility for those who had less than they.
His knack for getting volunteers involved in his many projects, expanded beyond his concern for youth when he began his broad vision of the Union Of The Catholic Apostolate which strove to accomplish a revival of the Catholic Faith among Catholics and a rekindling of charity toward achieving the salvation of one's neighbor. In his desired UNION, men and women of every social strata, church folks of every rank and religious order would work in harmonious collaboration for the missionary endeavors of the Church. Moreover, the poor, the aged and ailing, the sick and bedridden could offer their prayers and sufferings for the success of the venture. Pope Gregory XVI heartily approved the new movement and it soon had hundreds and hundreds of members.
Not long after its foundation and its first experience of the Epiphany festival as the visible exemplification of its spiritual ideals, philosophy and objectives, the UNION was confronted not by ceremony but by calamity. Deadly cholera struck in 1837 and decimated the population of the Eternal City. Not even Vincent's father was spared. His director, Father Fazzini and his friend, St. Gaspare del Buffalo died. In its wake hundreds were left homeless and hungry.
Orphaned girls roamed the streets. It was their pitiable plight that wounded the heart of Vincent Pallotti who was himself strenuously working day and night and round the clock to care for the destitute and abandoned. What grieved him most was that these orphan girls were being taken advantage of by the unscrupulous. He and a trusted friend, Mr. James Salvati, got the use of a small, former seminarians' residence and fixed it up to receive the orphan girls. A corps of carefully chosen volunteers looked after the girls and taught them the domestic skills they would later need in life. This home became known as the Pious House of St. Agatha. It is still in operation today behind what is now the St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome. In its chapel Vincent placed the large painting of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Pious House of St. Agatha occupied much of the Saint's attention and his visits there were a delight for the young girls who loved him dearly. His lay volunteers later became the nucleus of the Pallottine Sisters who would devote much time to the education and Christian formation of young people. He began another orphanage near the Vatican. Later on it was taken over by another religious order, and a third, at Velletri, was already in the planning stage just before Vincent died.
Not the least of St. Vincent's contributions to the apostolate among the young was the magnificent care he gave to the students preparing for the priesthood at the Roman Seminary, Propaganda Fide (where the students from foreign lands came to study), the national colleges of England, Scotland and those of the various Eastern Churches whose students studied in Rome. His was a welcome presence and many looked back at the guidance St. Vincent had given them from as far away as Persia and Baltimore, Maryland, whose Archbishop Martin J. Spalding was able to write forty years later of his spiritual mentor that all Rome regarded him as a saint and a man of profound faith in the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. "No cross or aggravation could ruffle him and the memory of his holiness clusters as a halo around my heart!"
John Henry Newman, much admired by the young students of Oxford, had resigned his Anglican ministry and entered the Catholic Church. He and several others were sent to Rome to complete studies for ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Newman believed Pallotti to be a very holy man and said the same to the then Archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Chichester. Manning had come on visit to Rome to examine its claims "on location."
Manning went to visit Pallotti and came away with the same conviction. Manning spoke of hearing a group of young men singing a Marian hymn as they passed through the street and was told that it was one of the groups from Pallotti's Night Schools on their way home. Both Newman and Manning later were made Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church.
Youth work was not the only part of Pallotti's apostolate though there is more than enough of it to merit a consideration of its own. He continued his duties as a diocesan priest and led his Union of the Catholic Apostolate in its generous outreach to provide for the local needs of the Church and for those of the foreign missions. He was a great retreat master and preacher. Long lines waited their turn outside his confessional. Yet Pallotti made time for daily visits to the city hospitals and to the jails and prisons where his smile and compassion brought a ray of sunshine to those incarcerated there. He badgered the prison officials incessantly until he had obtained the separation of the youthful offenders from the adults in prison. "If you want to rehabilitate youth and keep them out of jail in the future, then give them the chance to do without a thorough training in criminality they are sure to receive from their elders here!" And he was listened to with respect by the prison authorities, and with thankfulness from those who would now have a new lease on life.
Vincent is still remembered for his unstinting generosity to the prisoners condemned to death. He would spend the entire night with them. He was their last friendly presence at the scaffold. Amid the hubbub and hurry burly of such gruesome scenes, it was he who calmly held the crucifix before their eyes as the headsman's axe swiftly descended. Popes sought his advice and knelt for their own confession before him. Soldiers in their military barracks responded to their beloved priest with extraordinary respect. For those at death's door he was an angel of mercy as he brought the sacraments of the Church and encouragement to trust in God's goodness until the very end.
Only once is it recorded that his contact with youth was a failure. A group of loud, boisterous wise guys were standing before a picture of Our Lady and their language was not of the type one would expect to hear in a convent sacristy! Vincent went up to them and asked them to stop out of respect for the Blessed Mother's picture. The haughty braggarts who feared neither God, man nor beast, stood up to the young priest in the mistaken hope of besting him. The ringleader jeered: "Yeah, Father! What's she going to do about it, kill us?" Suddenly a look of horror came over Vincent's face as he saw into the near future. "Young man you are a fool to continue like this. You will be dead in less than a few minutes. Repent while there is time. At that the teenager let out a stream of profanity that would have twisted the tail of a stone lion. Suddenly he collapsed unconscious to the ground. His astonished following of juvenile delinquents rushed to revive him. They were shocked out of their wits. "He's dead, Father! My God, he's dead!" By use of a clever disguise Vincent was able to get near a young man who was a revolutionist and had promised to kill any priest who came near him. When the man fell asleep with rifle in hand and pistol beneath the pillow, Pallotti removed them and put the cross in his hand. Later the man awoke, astonished and made his confession to Father Vincent and died about a week later reconciled to the Lord.
St. Vincent Pallotti died in 1850 surrounded by a handful of followers which now numbers thousands of priests, brothers and sisters and an even more vast number of lay people committed to the apostolate. He was canonized in 1963 by Pope John XXIII as a model for all active priests and for encouraging the lay people to become more active in the mission of the Church. Also, he was hailed by Popes Pius XI, Pius XII and John XXIII as the precursor of Catholic Action and of the Second Vatican Council.
Shared from the Pallottines.org

Pope Francis Brings 8 People Closer to Sainthood by Recognizing Heroic Virtues - Including Jerome Lejeune and Elizabeth Prout


The Vatican released today, that Pope Francis brought 8 People Closer to Sainthood by Recognizing Heroic Virtues.

Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, 21.01.2021

On 21 January 2021, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorised the same Congregation to promulgate the Decrees regarding:

The martyrdom of the Servant of God Giovanni Fornasini, diocesan priest; born on 23 February 1915 in Pianaccio di Lizzano in Belvedere, Italy, and killed in hatred of the faith in San Martino di Caprara, Italy, on 13 October 1944;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Michele Arcangelo Maria Antonio Vinti, diocesan priest; born on 18 January 1893 in Grotte, Italy, and died there on 17 August 1943;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ruggero Maria Caputo, diocesan priest; born on 1 May 1907 in Barletta, Italy, and died there on 15 June 1980;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mary Josephine of Jesus (née Elizabeth Prout), founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ; born on 2 September 1820 in Shrewsbury, England, and died in Sutton, England on 11 January 1864;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Santiago Masarnau Fernández, lay faithful; born on 10 December 1805 in Madrid, Spain, and died there on 14 December 1882;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pasquale Canzii, seminarian; born on 6 November 1914 in Bisenti, Italy, and died in Penne, Italy on 24 January 1930;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, lay faithful; born on 13 June 1926 in Montrouge, France, and died in Paris, France, on 3 April 1994;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Adele Bonolis, lay faithful, founder of the Works of Assistance and Social Redemption; born on 14 August 1909 in Milan, Italy, and died there on 11 August 1980. 

 Source: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2021/01/21/210121b.html

4 Die in Explosion in Madrid, Spain including Newly Ordained Catholic Priest - Pope Sends Condolences - RIP



An explosion occurred in Madrid this Wednesday, January 20, at 3:00 p.m., in a building annexed to the Virgen de la Paloma parish, due to a possible gas leak. It has resulted in four deaths and eleven injured, according to emergencies in Madrid. One of the deceased is the priest Ruben Pérez Ayala, one of the priests of the Virgen de la Paloma parish.

In the message signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope voiced his closeness and affection as the Archdiocese mourns. Pope Francis said he is praying for the victims, the injured, and their families. He also “commends the victims in a special way to God’s mercy and prays for their eternal repose.” And the Pope entrusted all those affected to the intercession of Our Lady of Almudena, the patroness of Madrid.

Ruben, 35, undergoing serious surgery at the Hospital de la Paz, came out of the operation but was in serious condition, as confirmed late on Wednesday by the official Twitter of the Virgen de la Paloma parish.

Religión Confidencial reports the priest received the extreme unction at the hands of his brother Pablo, also a priest. While in the hospital, Fr. Ruben, had been detected with a stain on his lung, from covid. 

In an interview with the Archdiocese of Madrid, Rubén said of his vocation to the priesthood: "I have had the experience throughout this time in seminary that happiness is not in living everything for oneself, but in giving oneself to others".

Cardinal Carlos Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid has shown his sadness on Twitter: "Tonight the young priest Rubén Pérez Ayala died, whom I ordained just seven months ago. I thank him for his life of dedication to Christ and his Church. I pray for his family I also pray for the other deaths after the explosion in La Paloma and for all those affected. "

Emergencies Madrid has confirmed the death of three people. Among the deceased is David Santos Muñoz, a 35-year-old electrician, father of four children, and a parishioner of the parish. He had gone to help out and by early afternoon he was missing.

Sources: Religion Elconfidencialdigital and VaticanNews

Cardinals Meet with Prime Minister Modi in India and Encourage a Visit by Pope Francis to the Country



ASIA/INDIA - 
Meeting with Prime Minister Modi: Cardinals encourage Pope's visit Wednesday, 20 January 2021 
New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - 
Fides reports that, in a personal conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, January 19, three Indian cardinals requested that the institutional steps be taken to invite Pope Francis to visit India. During the approximately 45-minute meeting, other topics and current challenges with which the Christian denomination in the country is confronted were discussed. Cardinals Oswald Gracias (Chairman of the Indian Bishops' Conference) George Alencherry (Head of the Syro-Malabar Church) and Baselios Cleemis (Head of the leaders of the Syro-Malankar Church) took part in the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister. "It was a dialogue on wide-ranging issues. We talked about the different areas of work carried out by the Church in India, at a national level, in particular about how Catholic institutions work in different fields of education, medical and social assistance. We discussed how the Church can collaborate with the government", said Cardinal Gracias on the sidelines of the meeting. According to Cardinal Gracias, "Prime Minister Modi generally welcomed the proposal to invite the Pope to India". The Prime Minister now needs to find an appropriate moment to invite the Holy Father in view of the current health and safety conditions in India", marked by the pandemic. According to Cardinal Gracias, the issue of peasants has also been raised and it is hoped "that a just solution will be found" and the Prime Minister declared that the government is making every effort for this. Another of the issues touched upon was that of the Jesuit Fr. Stan Swamy, arrested for his social commitment. As reported by Cardinal Gracias, the Prime Minister said he was aware of the situation, but noted that the government did not want to interfere at the moment as the case was being handled by an independent agency. During the muting, the Cardinals informed Modi on the extensive work done by the Church during the Covid-19 pandemic: the Catholic Church and its partner organizations have provided more than 15.2 million rupees to provide for the poor during the current pandemic. The various Caritas agencies have cared for over two million people in India. "We will continue to take care of the Indian people", remarked the President of the Bishops' Conference. Speaking of religious minorities (Christians, Muslims and others) in India, Cardinal Alencherry shared with Modi the reflection "on the necessary fair distribution of goods and services". In this connection he reminded the Prime Minister of the urgency of promoting religious harmony. The Prime Minister justified the controversial Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which the Cardinals referred to, and which affects the arrival of foreign funds to Catholic institutions and organizations, by saying that "so many organizations that receive foreign funds do not keep adequate accounts". Cardinal Cleemis called for the funds allocated by the federal government to be evenly distributed among the poor. The cardinals also raised the issue of the Dalit people at the meeting with the Prime Minister, with particular reference to the Christians of the Dalit community. "These are groups of people who need to be cared for and included in society", said the church officials, which was also confirmed by the Prime Minister, who welcomes the human and social advancement of the Dalits. In the Cardinals' view, the government must apply economic and non-religious criteria to measures to ensure equitable access for Dalits to education, social benefits and integration. Cardinal Gracias made it clear to Modi that "the Church is not politically active ... and always acts impartially". "What we want is good government, we seek care for the poor, economic growth and development of people, justice and the progress of the country", concluded the Cardinal. (SD-PA) (Source: Agenzia Fides, 20/1/2021)

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman on March for Life says “Peaceful prayer and witness must and will continue this year..." as LIFE Novena Begins - FULL TEXT



U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Pro-Life Activities on the 2021 March for Life JANUARY 19, 2021 
WASHINGTON – The organizers for the annual March for Life announced that the 2021 rally would take place in a virtual format. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a statement about the change and invited participation in the virtual format:

“As long-time participants in the annual March for Life, my brother bishops and I commend the march organizers for their concern for the lives and safety of all participants. The countless, peaceful, pro-life marchers who would normally gather each year should not be put at risk.

“Peaceful prayer and witness must and will continue this year—just in a different format. I have the honor this year of opening the March for Life Virtual Rally in prayer, so please join me at  https://marchforlife.org/2021-virtual-events.

“In preparation for the virtual March for Life, and in observance of the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on January 22, I invite you to join many thousands of Catholics praying a nationwide novena from Thursday, January 21 through Friday, January 29. You can receive daily intentions, brief reflections, and suggested actions by signing up for 9 Days for Life. As part of this novena, dioceses nationwide are live-streaming Masses, Rosaries, Holy Hours and more for the protection of human life. Please join us in prayer.”

Source: USCCB