Sunday, November 29, 2020

Pope Francis says "We need to recognize God’s closeness and to say to him: “Come close to us once more!”...This is our Advent prayer: “Come!” at Holy Mass with New Cardinals - FULL TEXT + Video


 

EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION WITH THE NEW CARDINALS

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Saint Peter's Basilica
First Sunday of Advent
, 29 November 2020 

Today’s readings propose two key words for the Advent season: closeness and watchfulness. God’s closeness and our watchfulness. The prophet Isaiah says that God is close to us, while in the Gospel Jesus urges us to keep watch in expectation of his return.

Closeness. Isaiah begins by speaking personally to God: “You, O Lord, are our father” (63:16). “Never has anyone heard”, he continues, “[of] any God, other than you, who has done so much for those who trust in him” (cf. 64:3). We are reminded of the words of Deuteronomy: who is like the Lord our God, so close to us whenever we call upon him? (cf. 4:7). Advent is the season for remembering that closeness of God who came down to dwell in our midst. The prophet goes on to ask God to draw close to us once more: “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” (Is 64:1). We prayed for this in today’s responsorial psalm: “Turn again… come to save us” (Ps 80:15.3).  We often begin our prayers with the invocation: “God, come to my assistance”. The first step of faith is to tell God that we need him, that we need him to be close to us.

This is also the first message of Advent and the liturgical year: we need to recognize God’s closeness and to say to him: “Come close to us once more!” God wants to draw close to us, but he will not impose himself; it is up to us to keep saying to him: “Come!” This is our Advent prayer: “Come!” Advent reminds us that Jesus came among us and will come again at the end of time. Yet we can ask what those two comings mean, if he does not also come into our lives today? So let us invite him. Let us make our own the traditional Advent prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20). The Book of Revelation ends with this prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus”. We can say that prayer at the beginning of each day and repeat it frequently, before our meetings, our studies and our work, before making decisions, in every more important or difficult moment in our lives: Come, Lord Jesus! It is a little prayer, yet one that comes from the heart. Let us say it in this Advent season. Let us repeat it: “Come, Lord Jesus!”

If we ask Jesus to come close to us, we will train ourselves to be watchful. Today Mark’s Gospel presented us with the end of Jesus’ final address to his disciples, which can be summed up in two words: “Be watchful!” The Lord repeats these words four times in five verses (cf. Mk 13:33-35.37). It is important to remain watchful, because one great mistake in life is to get absorbed in a thousand things and not to notice God. Saint Augustine said: “Timeo Iesum transeuntem” (Sermons, 88, 14, 13), “I fear that Jesus will pass by me unnoticed”. Caught up in our own daily concerns (how well we know this!), and distracted by so many vain things, we risk losing sight of what is essential. That is why today the Lord repeats: “To all, I say: be watchful!” (Mk 13:37). Be watchful, attentive.

Having to be watchful, however, means it is now night. We are not living in broad daylight, but awaiting the dawn, amid darkness and weariness. The light of day will come when we shall be with the Lord. Let us not lose heart: the light of day will come, the shadows of night will be dispelled, and the Lord, who died for us on the cross, will arise to be our judge. Being watchful in expectation of his coming means not letting ourselves be overcome by discouragement. It is to live in hope. Just as before our birth, our loved ones expectantly awaited our coming into the world, so now Love in person awaits us. If we are awaited in Heaven, why should we be caught up with earthly concerns? Why should we be anxious about money, fame, success, all of which will pass away? Why should we waste time complaining about the night, when the light of day awaits us? Why should we look for “patrons” to help advance our career? All these things pass away. Be watchful, the Lord tells us.

Staying awake is not easy; it is really quite hard. At night, it is natural to sleep. Even Jesus’s disciples did not manage to stay awake when told to stay awake “in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn” (cf. v. 35). Those were the very times they were not awake: in the evening, at the Last Supper, they betrayed Jesus; at midnight, they dozed off; at the cock’s crow, they denied him; in the morning, they let him be condemned to death. They did not keep watch. They fell asleep. But that same drowsiness can also overtake us. There is a dangerous kind of sleep: it is the slumber of mediocrity. It comes when we forget our first love and grow satisfied with indifference, concerned only for an untroubled existence. Without making an effort to love God daily and awaiting the newness he constantly brings, we become mediocre, lukewarm, worldly. And this slowly eats away at our faith, for faith is the very opposite of mediocrity: it is ardent desire for God, a bold effort to change, the courage to love, constant progress. Faith is not water that extinguishes flames, it is fire that burns; it is not a tranquilizer for people under stress, it is a love story for people in love! That is why Jesus above all else detests lukewarmness (cf. Rev 3:16). God clearly disdains the lukewarm.

How can we rouse ourselves from the slumber of mediocrity? With the vigilance of prayer. When we pray, we light a candle in the darkness. Prayer rouses us from the tepidity of a purely horizontal existence and makes us lift our gaze to higher things; it makes us attuned to the Lord. Prayer allows God to be close to us; it frees us from our solitude and gives us hope. Prayer is vital for life: just as we cannot live without breathing, so we cannot be Christians without praying. How much we need Christians who keep watch for those who are slumbering, worshipers who intercede day and night, bringing before Jesus, the light of the world, the darkness of history. How much we need worshipers. We have lost something of our sense of adoration, of standing in silent adoration before the Lord. This is mediocrity, lukewarmness.

There is also another kind of interior slumber: the slumber of indifference. Those who are indifferent see everything the same, as if it were night; they are unconcerned about those all around them. When everything revolves around us and our needs, and we are indifferent to the needs of others, night descends in our hearts. Our hearts grow dark. We immediately begin to complain about everything and everyone; we start to feel victimized by everyone and end up brooding about everything. It is a vicious circle. Nowadays, that night seems to have fallen on so many people, who only demand things for themselves, and are blind to the needs of others.

How do we rouse ourselves from the slumber of indifference? With the watchfulness of charity. To awaken us from that slumber of mediocrity and lukewarmness, there is the watchfulness of prayer. To rouse us from that slumber of indifference, there is the watchfulness of charity. Charity is the beating heart of the Christian: just as one cannot live without a heartbeat, so one cannot be a Christian without charity. Some people seem to think that being compassionate, helping and serving others is for losers. Yet these are the only things that win us the victory, since they are already aiming towards the future, the day of the Lord, when all else will pass away and love alone will remain. It is by works of mercy that we draw close to the Lord. This is what we asked for in today’s opening prayer: “Grant [us]… the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming”. The resolve to run forth to meet Christ with good works. Jesus is coming, and the road to meet him is clearly marked: it passes through works of charity.

Dear brothers and sisters, praying and loving: that is what it means to be watchful. When the Church worships God and serves our neighbour, she does not live in the night. However weak and weary, she journeys towards the Lord. Let us now call out to him.  Come, Lord Jesus, we need you! Draw close to us. You are the light. Rouse us from the slumber of mediocrity; awaken us from the darkness of indifference. Come, Lord Jesus, take our distracted hearts and make them watchful. Awaken within us the desire to pray and the need to love.

Pope Francis says "Jesus, the Bible tells us, is at the door and knocks. Every day. He is at the door of our heart." Advent Angelus - FULL TEXT + Video



ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 29 November 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good afternoon!

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, a new liturgical year begins. In it, the Church marks the passage of time with the celebration of the main events in the life of Jesus and the story of salvation. In so doing, as Mother, she illuminates the path of our existence, supports us in our daily occupations and guides us towards the final encounter with Christ. Today's liturgy invites us to live the first “important Season”,which is that of Advent, the first of the liturgical year, Advent, which prepares us for Christmas, and therefore it is a time of expectation and a time of hope. Expectation and hope.

Saint Paul (see 1 Cor 1:3-9) indicates the object of our expectation. What is it? The “manifestation of the Lord” (v. 7). The Apostle invites the Christians of Corinth, and we too, to focus our attention on the encounter with Jesus. For a Christian the most important thing is the continuous encounter with the Lord, being with the Lord. And in this way, accustomed to staying with the Lord of life, we prepare ourselves for the encounter, for being with the Lord for eternity. And this definitive encounter will come at the end of the world. But the Lord comes every day, so that, with His grace, we might accomplish good in our own lives and in the lives of others. Our God is a God-who-comes, do not forget this: God is a God who comes, who continually comes. Our waiting will not be disappointed by Him! The Lord never disappoints. He will perhaps make us wait, He will make us wait a few moments in the dark to allow our expectation to ripen, but He never disappoints. The Lord always comes, He is always by our side. At times He does not make Himself seen, but He always comes. He came at a precise moment in history and became man to take on our sins - the feast of the Nativity commemorates Jesus’ first coming in the historical moment -; He will come at the end of times as universal judge; He comes every day to visit His people, to visit every man and woman who receives Him in the Word, in the Sacraments, in their brothers and sisters. Jesus, the Bible tells us, is at the door and knocks. Every day. He is at the door of our heart. He knocks. Do you know how to listen to the Lord who knocks, who has come today to visit you, who knocks at your heart restlessly, with an idea, with inspiration? He came to Bethlehem, He will come at the end of the world, but every day He comes to us. Be careful, look at what you feel in your heart when the Lord knocks.

We are well aware that life is made up of highs and lows, of lights and shadows. Each one of us experiences moments of disappointment, of failure and being lost. Moreover, the situation we are living in, marked by the pandemic, generates worry, fear and discouragement in many people; we run the risk of falling into pessimism, the risk of falling into closure and apathy. How should we react in the face of all this? Today’s Psalm suggests: “Our soul waits for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name” (Ps 33:20-21). That is, the soul awaiting, confidently waiting for the Lord, allows us to find comfort and courage in the dark moments of our lives. And what gives rise to this courage and this trustful pledge? Where do they come from? They are born of hope. And hope does not disappoint, that virtue that leads us ahead, looking at the encounter with the Lord.

Advent is a continuous call to hope: it reminds us that God is present in history to lead it to its ultimate goal and to lead us to its fullness, which is the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. God is present in the history of humanity, He is the “God-with-us”, God is not distant, He is always with us, to the extent that very often He knocks on the door of our heart. God walks beside us to support us. The Lord does not abandon us; He accompanies us through the events of our lives to help us discover the meaning of the journey the meaning of everyday life, to give us courage when we are under duress or when we suffer. In the midst of life’s storms, God always extends His hand to us and frees us from threats. This is beautiful! In the book of Deuteronomy there is a very beautiful passage, in which the Prophet says to the people: “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us?” No-one, only we have this grace of having God close to us. We await God, we hope that He manifests Himself, but He too hopes that we manifest ourselves to Him!

May Mary Most Holy, the woman of expectation, accompany our steps at the beginning of this new liturgical year , and help us to fulfil the task of Jesus’ disciples, indicated by the Apostle Peter:. And what is this task? To account for the hope that is in us (see 1 Pet 3:15).


After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I would like to express my closeness to the people of Central America, hit by strong hurricanes. In particular I recall the Island of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, as well as the Pacific coast of the north of Colombia. I pray for all the countries who are suffering as a result of these disasters.

I renew my warm greeting to you, the faithful of Rome and pilgrims from various countries. In particular, I greet those who, unfortunately in very limited numbers, have come on the occasion of the creation of the new Cardinals, which took place yesterday afternoon. Let us pray for the thirteen new members of the College of Cardinals.

I wish all of you a blessed Sunday and a blessed Advent journey. Let us try to try to bring out the good even from the difficult situation that the pandemic imposes upon us: greater sobriety, discreet and respectful to others who may be in need, some prayer also within the family, with simplicity. These three things will help us greatly: greater sobriety, discreet and respectful to others who may be in need, and, very importantly, some moments of prayer also within the family, with simplicity. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch, and arrivederci.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sunday Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, November 29, 2020 - 1st of Advent - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



First Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 2
Reading 1
IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7
You, LORD, are our father,
our redeemer you are named forever.
Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.
 
 No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.
Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we were mindful of you in our ways!
Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
 
 
Reading II
1 COR 1:3-9
Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alleluia
PS 85:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MK 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
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

What is Advent? 3 Things to Know and SHARE Plus FREE Resources - Happy Advent!



1. ADVENT comes from the Latin ad-venio, meaning to come to.
2. Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and involving four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
3. With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished:
* to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
* thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace,
* and thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world. 

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Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 
FREE ADVENT Calendar to Print from the US Bishops - https://www.usccb.org/resources/Final_Advent_Calendar_2020_1.pdf

Historical origin
The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was 
not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find 
no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, 
according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], 
it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    
Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time.

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent 
(from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") 
is the season encompassing the four Sundays 
(and weekdays) leading up to the 
celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs
 our hearts and minds to 
Christ’s second coming at the end of time and 
also to the anniversary of the Lord’s 
birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, 
from December 17 to December 24, 
focus particularly on our preparation for the 
celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind 
us of the meaning of the season. 
Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to 
the season with daily activity and 
prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually 
for the birth of Jesus Christ.  

More Advent 
resources are listed in Links below.

Blessing of an Advent Wreath
  • Blessing of a Christmas Tree
  • Commentary on the Proper Prayers of Advent from the Roman Missal
  • Blessing of a Christmas Manger or Nativity Scene
  • Festival of Lessons and Carols
  • Lectio Divina for Advent
  • Liturgical Notes for Advent
  • Parish Resources

  •  About Advent Wreaths
    Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. Ideally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.
    Text Edited from the USCCB

    Saint November 29 : St. Saturninus : Missionary and Martyr

    MISSIONARY AND MARTYR Feast: November 29
    Born:
    third century, Patras, Greece
    Died:
    257, Toulouse, France
    Canonized:
    Basilique St-Sernin, Toulouse
    Patron of:
    Toulouse, France

    St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.
    source The Catholic Encyclopedia

    Saint November 28 : St. Catherine Labore whose Body is Incorrupt and the Nun who saw the Vision of the Miraculous Medal

    Feastday: November 28 - 
    Above is the Incorrupt Body of St. Catherine
     - Also known as: Zoe Laboure; Catherine Labore
    Zoe Laboure was born at Fain-lès-Moutiers, Burgundy, France to the 
    farmer Pierre Labouré and Louise Laboure as the ninth of eleven children 
    on May 2, 1806. From an early age felt a call to the religious life. When 
    Catherine was nine years old, her saintly mother died on October 9, 1815. 
    After the burial service, little Catherine retired to her room, stood on a chair,
     took our Lady's statue from the wall, kissed it, and said: "Now, dear Lady, 
    you are to be my mother." On January 25, 1818, Catherine made her First 
    Communion. One day she had a dream in which a priest said to her: 
    "My daughter, you may flee me now, but one day you will to come to me.
     Do not forget that God has plans for you." Sometime later, while visiting 
    a hospital of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine, she noticed
     a priest's picture on the wall. She asked a sister who he might be, and 
    was told: "Our Holy Founder Saint Vincent de Paul." This was the same 
    priest Catherine had seen in the dream. Catherine knew she was in the right  place.


    Later, on January 1830, Catherine began her postulancy at Chatillon. On 
    Wednesday, April 21, 1830, Catherine Labouré entered the novitiate of the 
    Daughters of Charity, located at their motherhouse, Rue du Bac 140, Paris. 
     taking the name Catherine. On the eve of the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, 
    July 19, the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their 
    Holy Founder and gave each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy 
    founder's surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece 
    down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book.
     She earnestly prayed to Saint Vincent that she might, with her own eyes,
     see the Mother of God. 
    1st apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 19th July, 1830 Chapel Rue du Bac 140, 
    Paris

    It is 11.30 pm; Sister Catherine Laboure (24 years old) wakes up as she hears
     her name called three times. She opens the curtains of her cell and sees her 
    Guardian Angel in de form of a 5 year old child. He says: "follow me to the 
    chapel, where the Virgin Mary awaits you". Catherine Laboure hastily
     dresses herself and follows him to the chapel. The chapel is lit as for 
    midnight-Mass, but she can't see the Blessed Virgin. She then kneels and 
    prays. After half an hour her guardian angel says: "there is the Blessed 
    Virgin Mary". Catherine Laboure hears a rustle like that of silk and to the 
    left of St. Joseph she sees the Blessed Virgin Mary descend and sit herself 
    on the chair of the Priest. Within a moment she is on her knees in front of 
    the Blessed Virgin, with her hands confidently folded on Mary's knees. 
    This is the beginning of a two hour long conversation. The Blessed Virgin
     Mary tells her that God will charge her with a mission. In the process she
     will experience many difficulties. The Blessed Virgin already speaks of bad
     times ahead. The whole world will be plunged into confusion through all 
    sorts of incidents. The Cross will be treated with contempt; it will be cast 
    to earth. The side of our Lord will be pierced again. The Blessed Virgin says 
    this with a very sorrowful look on her face. Encouragingly though, she adds:
    "but come to the foot of this altar and here graces will be bestowed upon all, 
    who ask with confidence and fervour. they will be given to the rich and to the
     poor"

    2nd apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 27th November, 1830 Chapel Rue du
     Bac 140, Paris
    It is 5.30pm, and the Sisters are in the chapel for the hour of Meditation. 
    Suddenly Catherine Laboure hears, to her right, the same rustle as before; 
    it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She stops to the left near the painting of 
    St. Joseph. This whole apparition is conducted in scenes and sign-language.
     The Blessed Virgin "standing in space". She was dressed in white, standing 
    on a globe and holding a golden ball, with rings on her fingers flashing with 
    light. An inner voice told her that the ball represented the whole world and
     that the rays coming from Mary's fingers represented graces for individuals.
     Then, a second phase: The golden ball then vanished as this apparition 
    changed to represent Mary with her arms outstretched, inside an oval frame 
    with golden lettering:"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have 
    recourse to you." This was the front side of the medal that was to be made."
    The reverse side of the Medal

    Mary gave her this instruction: "have a medal struck on this model. 
    All those who carry this will receive Grace in abundance, especially 
    if they wear the medal around their neck and say this prayer confidently, 
    they will receive special protection from the Mother of God and abundant
     graces". Then it is although the whole scene turns around and Catherine 
    Laboure can see the back of the medal: in the centre is the letter M, from
     where a Cross ascends with at its base a cross-beam which passes through
     the letter M and below this the two hearts of Jesus and Mary, one crowned
     with thorns the other pierced by the sword of sorrow. The whole is
     surrounded with a crown of 12 stars recalling the vision of St. John in the
     twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation. Catherine Laboure
     hears: "the M with the Cross and the two hearts say enough".
    During the next year this apparition occurred five times and each time
     with the same instructions: "have a medal struck on this model, and all
     those who wear it will receive great graces, especially when worn around
     the neck".Sister Catherine endured many humiliations, but she persevered.
     It took two years before her confessor, Father Aladel, a Vicentian priest, 
    had the medal struck. The original name of the medal is that of  holy Mary’s
     Immaculate Conception; only after 7 years was the name changed to the 
    “Miraculous Medal”. 
    Because of the many answered prayers, the conversions
     and the cures, some 10 million medals were sold during the 
    first 5 years. The short prayer: 
    "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to 
    Thee", has since been prayed innumerable times by believers, so that the
     entire Christianity became familiar with Mary's "Immaculate Conception".
     It was Pope Pius IX who made it a rule of faith. This was received with great
     joy by the entire Church. Four years later, Mary came as though to confirm 
    this, when She said to Bernadette at Lourdes: I am the Immaculate  

    Catherine Laboure died on 31st December 1876.  
    When her body was exhumed, after fifty-seven years of burial,
     it was found to be completely incorrupt and supple. 
    Her eyes were as blue as the day she died. On 28th May, 
    1933 she was beatified by Pope Pius XI.
     This occasion was witnessed by 50,000 people, of which there
     were 8,000 children of Mary, veiled in white, 
    all wearing the Miraculous Medal. On 27th July, 1947
     Catherine Laboure was canonized by Pope Pius XII. 
    Here again many believers were present, 
    including more than 10,000 children of Mary, veiled in white.
    Many healings, including those of people for whom there was
     totally no hope, were attributed to the "Miraculous Medal". 
    Just in the American city of Philadelphia alone, 
    between 1930 and 1950, more than 750.000
     favours were granted and registered. 
    Catherine Laboure is still lying in state at the
     right of the altar in the chapel Rue du Bac 140, 
    in Paris and she still looks as though she only died yesterday!
    Patroness of architects, miners, and prisoners.
    SHARED FROM MARY PAGES 
     "These apparitions of Mary and the Miraculous Medal by Catherine Laboure are fully approved by the Holy See: 1836"

    Pope Francis Creates 13 New Cardinals and says "We all love Jesus, we all want to follow him, but we must always be careful to stay on the road." FULL TEXT + Video from Vatican



    Vatican News reports that Pope Francis on Saturday, November 28, 2020 held the 7th ordinary public consistory of his pontificate to create 13 new cardinals. These cardinals come from 8 nations of the world and their biographies are found below (the homily).

     Due to the COVID pandemic, Asia’s two new cardinals, Bishop Cornelius, Apostolic Vicar of Brunei and Archbishop Jose Advincula of Capiz, Philippines, were unable to come to the Vatican for the consistory. They followed the ceremony that was live-streamed live from the Vatican. They will be handed their biretta, ring and title later in their respective countries.  

     He provided a reflection before bestowing on them the cardinal’s berretta (red hat), the ring and the title. During the consistory, the cardinals-designate professed the creed together and approached Pope Francis one by one who placed the red biretta on each one of them, giving them the cardinal’s ring and the title and rank. Vatican News explained that Pope Francis announced the names of 13 new cardinals during the midday “Angelus” prayer on Sunday, October 25. Four of these cardinals are above 80 years of age and hence are not eligible to vote for a new pope in the case of a conclave. With the consistory of November 28, the total number of cardinals in the world rises to 229, of which 101 are 80 or above.  

    Pope Francis' Reflection:

     The way. The path is the setting for the scene described by the Evangelist Mark. And it is the environment in which the Church's journey always takes place: the path of life, of history, which is salvation history to the extent that it takes place with Christ and is based on his Paschal mystery. Jerusalem is always ahead of us. The cross and resurrection are part of our history, they are part of our today, but they are always the goal of our being on the move.

    This word of the Gospel has often accompanied the consistories for the creation of new cardinals.  It is not just a “background”, but a “guide” for us who are today together with Jesus on the path that precedes us on the path. He is the strength and purpose of our life and service.

    Therefore, dear brothers, we must measure this word today.

    Mark emphasizes that the disciples "wondered" along the way; they "were afraid" (10:32). Why? Because they knew what to expect in Jerusalem; Jesus had already spoken to them openly about it several times. The Lord knows the moods of those who follow him and that does not leave him indifferent. Jesus never abandons his friends; he never neglects her. Even if he seems to be going straight ahead, he always does it for us. Everything he does, he does for us, for the sake of our salvation. And in the present case of the twelve, he is doing it to prepare them for the test, so that they can be with him now and especially when he is no longer with them. So that you may always go with him on his way.

    Knowing that the hearts of the disciples are troubled, Jesus calls the twelve aside and tells them "again" "what was before him" (v. 32). We heard it: it is the third announcement of his Passion, Death and Resurrection. This is the way of the Son of God. The way of the servant of God. Jesus identifies with this path so much that he himself is this path. "I am the way" (Jn 14: 6). This way, no other.

    And at this point the "turn" occurs that moves the situation and allows Jesus to reveal to James and John - but in fact to all the apostles - the destiny that awaits them. Imagine the scene: After Jesus has explained again what must happen to him in Jerusalem, he looks the twelve in the face, he stares into their eyes as if to say: "Is that clear?" Then he sets the Away at the head of the group again. And two separate from the group, James and John. They approach Jesus and tell him their wish: "In your glory let one of us sit on your right and the other on your left" (v. 37). This is another way. That is not the way of Jesus, it is another. It is the path of those who, perhaps without even being aware of it, “used” the Lord to benefit themselves; of those who - as St. Paul says - "seek their advantage" and "do not seek what Jesus Christ is" (Phil 2:21). There is also that wonderful sermon from St. Augustine about the shepherds (Sermo 46), and it is always good for us to read it over and over again in the reading room.

    After listening to James and John, Jesus doesn't get upset or angry. His patience is really infinite. And he replies: "You do not know what you are asking" (v. 38). He excuses her in a certain way, but at the same time he accuses her: "You do not even notice that you are going astray." very all are tempted to go astray.

    Dear brothers, we all love Jesus, we all want to follow him, but we must always be vigilant to stay on his path. Because with our feet, physically we can be with him, while our hearts can be far away and lead us off the path. So z. B. the purple of the cardinal's robe, which stands for the color of blood, for the worldly spirit become an eminent distinction. (...)

    In this gospel story, the sharp contrast between Jesus and the disciples is striking. Jesus knows about him, he knows and endures him. But the contrast remains: he on the way, she off the way. Two irreconcilable ways. In fact, only the Lord can save his friends who are disoriented and in danger of being lost, only his cross and resurrection. For them, as well as for all, he goes up to Jerusalem. For them and for all he will break his body and shed his blood. For them and for all he will rise from the dead, and by the gift of the Spirit he will forgive them and transform them. He will finally lead her on his way.

    Saint Mark - like Matthew and Luke - took this story into his Gospel because it is a saving word that the Church needs at all times. Even if the twelve cut a bad figure in this, this text has entered the scriptures because it reveals the truth about Jesus and about us. It is a salutary word for us today too. We too - Pope and Cardinals - must always reflect ourselves in this word of truth. It is a sharp sword, it cuts us, it is painful, but at the same time it heals, frees, converts us. Conversion is just that: going back on the way of God from off the path.

    May the Holy Spirit give us this grace today and always.

    Vatican News provided brief biographies of the Church’s newest cardinals.

    Cardinal Mario Grech of Malta is the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops.  The 63-year old former Bishop of Gozo was ordained a priest on May 26, 1984.  With a licentiate and doctorate from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University and the Angelicum respectively, he has held several posts, including teaching, in the Church in Malta.  Pope Benedict appointed him bishop in 2011 and Pope Francis called him to Rome as pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.  He was appointed is General Secretary on September 15, 2020.

    Cardinal Marcello Semeraro from Italy’s Apulia region is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican. Ordained a priest on September 8, 1971, the 72-year old cardinal taught dogmatic theology ecclesiology following his studies in Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University.  Appointed Bishop of Oria in 1998 he was transferred to Albano Diocese in 2004.   In 2013, Pope Francis appointed him secretary of the "Council of Cardinals", which advises him on the government of the Church and the Roman Curia.  On 15 October 2020, Pope Francis appointed him the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

    Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali  (Rwanda), lost his family, except a brother, in the genocidal war of 1994. After his studies in Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, where he also did his philosophical studies, he returned to Rwanda.   The 62-year old cardinal was ordained a priest by Saint John Paul II in Rwanda 1990,  after which he taught in the Minor Seminary of Ndera (Kigali).  He has a doctorate in moral theology from Rome and has headed the Caritas of Kigali and the diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace. Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Kibungo in 2013 and transferred him to the Archdiocese of Kigali in 2018.

    Cardinal Gregory Wilton, Archbishop of Washington, USA, is from Chicago, Illinois, where he completed his philosophical studies. Ordained a priest in 1973, he obtained a doctorate in liturgy from Rome’s Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 1983, Bishop of Belleville in 1993, Archbishop of Atlanta in 2004 and Archbishop of Washington in 2019.  He was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004.  

    Cardinal Jose F. Advincula, Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, ordained a priest for the archdiocese in 1976.  The 68-year old cardinal was the spiritual director of the St. Pius X Seminary, where he was also professor and dean of education.  He studied Psychology and Canon Law between Manila and Rome, obtaining a licentiate in Canon Law. Back home, he served in the seminaries of Vigan, Nueva Segovia and in the regional seminary of Jaro. In 1995 he was appointed rector of the St. Pius X Seminary of Capiz and became the Defender of the Bond, promoter of justice and finally judicial vicar of the archdiocese.  He was appointed Bishop of San Carlos in 2001 and was transferred to Capiz as archbishop in 2011. 

    Cardinal Celestino Aós Brac O.F.M.Cap, is the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile.  Born in Artaiz, Spain, the 75-year old cardinal was sent Chile in 1983, where he worked in a parish and served as treasurer of the Capuchins in the country.  Later, he also served in the ecclesiastical courts of Valparaiso Diocese and Concepción Archdiocese and was treasurer of the Chilean Association of Canon Law.  Appointed Bishop of Copiapó in 2014, he was appointed apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago in March 2019 and was nominated its Archbishop December that year. 

    Cardinal Cornelius Sim, is the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei.  The 69-year old electrical graduate and engineer was ordained a priest in 1989.  In 1997, when Saint Pope John Paul II separated Brunei from the Diocese of Miri-Brunei and established the Apostolic Prefecture of Brunei, he appointed the cardinal as its prefect.  When Brunei was raised to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate, he was appointed its first Apostolic Vicar.  He thus became the country's first bishop.

    Cardinal Augusto Paolo Lojudice, Archbishop of Siena-Colle Val d'Elsa-Montalcino, Italy,  was ordained a priest in 1989.  He has held several responsibilities in Rome Diocese, such as spiritual father at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary and the parish priest of San Luca al Prenestino.   In 2015, he was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Rome.  In May 2019, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Siena-Colle Val d'Elsa-Montalcino. Currently, he serves as secretary of the Commission for Migration of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI).   

    Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, an Italian priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual ( OFM Conv), was consecrated bishop on November 22, in view of the consistory.   The 55-year old graduate in mechanical also has a licentiate in theological anthropology.  Ordained a priest in 2000, he was elected superior of the Conventual Franciscans of St. Anthony’s Province, Bologna.  In 2013 he was called to serve as the Custos (guardian) of the Sacred Convent of Saint Francis in Assisi, until 2017.

    Cardinal Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel of Mexico is the Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas.  Ordained a priest in 1963, the 80-year old cardinal has held several responsibilities in his native Toluca Archdiocese. He was appointed Bishop of Tapachula in 1991.  He has served as general secretary of the Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELAM).   In  2000, Saint Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

    Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi of Italy is a Scalabrinian Missionary is a former apostolic nuncio and Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations.  Ordained a priest in 1965, the 80-year old cardinal served as director of the US bishops’ Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees & Travelers.  From 1989 to 1996, he was secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, after which he was appointed archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia and Eritrea.  In 2000, he was appointed apostolic nuncio to Djibouti. From 2003 to 2016 served as the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN offices and other organizations in Geneva.   In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him a member of the former Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, now the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

    Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap is the Preacher of the Papal Household.  The 86-year old Italian graduate in theology and classical literature is a former professor of the University of the Sacred Heart of Milan.  A former member of the International Theological Commission, he left teaching in 1979 to devote himself to the ministry of the Word. Pope John Paul II appointed him the Preacher of the Papal Household in 1980, a post that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have also confirmed.  His numerous books have been translated into many languages.

    Cardinal Enrico Feroci of Italy is the parish priest of the noted Roman Marian sanctuary of Divino Amore (Divine Love).  The 80-year old cardinal was ordained a priest in 1965 and held several responsibilities in Rome Diocese.  He was appointed Chaplain of the Pope in 1995. Since 2017 he has been Rector of the Sanctuary of Divino Amore and since 2018 Rector of the Seminary of Our Lady of Divine Love. In 2019, he was appointed parish priest of the sanctuary.


    New Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Appointed by the Pope - Archbishop Brian Dunn



    New Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth

    Friday, November 27 2020
    Today, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Anthony Mancini after 13 years as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, with the Most Reverend Brian Dunn thereby succeeding him as the Archbishop. Archbishop Dunn has been Coadjutor Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth since April 2019. Archbishop Mancini submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law.

    Archbishop Dunn was born on 8 January 1955 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from King’s College as well as a Master of Divinity from the University of Western Ontario. He was ordained to the priesthood on 28 August 1980 for the Diocese of Grand Falls where he served as pastor and in a number of other responsibilities, including Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor. In 1991, he obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from Saint Paul University (Ottawa) and soon after became a lecturer in the Diploma Program for Theology and Ministry at the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax (1992-1999). Beginning in 2002, he served on the faculty of St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, and became Dean of Studies at the seminary until 2008. During this same time period, Bishop Dunn also served as a lecturer in the Faculty of Canon Law at Saint Paul University (2003-2004 & 2007). He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Sault Ste-Marie 16 July 2008 and ordained 9 October 2008. He was appointed Bishop of Antigonish on 21 November 2009 and installed 25 January 2010. He was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth on 12 April 2019.

    Archbishop Mancini was born on 27 November 1945 in Italy. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Resurrection College at the University of Waterloo (1966) and a Licentiate in Theology Studies from the Grand Séminaire de Montréal (1970). He later pursued post-graduate studies in Ecumenical Theology at the University of Geneva (1971-1972) and completed his doctoral studies (Ph. D.) in Pastoral Theology at the Université de Montréal (1996). Following his studies in Geneva, he served as Assistant Director for the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism as well as Chaplain and Lecturer at Marianopolis College in Montréal. From 1977 to 1984, he served in pastoral ministry in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Montréal and assisted as a member of the Coordinating Team for the papal visit of Pope Saint John Paul II in Montréal (1983-1984). From 1986 to 1998, he was National Director of the Canadian Centre for Human Development (1986-1997) and concurrently Assistant to the Director of the Office du personnel pastoral (1992-1996) and then Director of the Office for English Pastoral Services (1996-1998) for the Archdiocese. In 1998, he was appointed as Vicar General and Co-ordinator for Administrative and Financial Services for the Archdiocese and served in this role until 2007. On 18 February 1999, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal and ordained 25 March 1999. As Auxiliary Bishop, he served as the Moderator of the Diocesan Curia from 2002 until 2007. On 17 October 2007, he was appointed Archbishop of Halifax and Apostolic Administrator of Yarmouth. With the establishment of the new Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth on 8 December 2011, he was appointed the first Archbishop of the new Archdiocese.

    As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Archbishop Mancini served as a member of the then English Sector Commission for Liturgy (1999-2000) and the then English Sector Commission for Christian Education (2000-2003), Chairman of the then Standing Committee for Communications (2008-2011), and as a member of the Commission for Justice and Peace (2011-2014). He was Co-Treasurer of the CCCB from 2013 to 2017, during which time he was also a member of the Ad hoc Committee on CCCB Financing (2013-2016). He likewise chaired the Ad hoc Committee for the Protection of Minors (2013-2018), and was a member of the English Sector Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis (2019-2020). He was the CCCB delegate to the 2014 meeting in Rome of the Anglophone Conference on Safeguarding Children, served as the CCCB principal contact for the protection of minors with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (2015-2018), and was a CCCB delegate on Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle (2016-2017).

    A Mass of Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Archbishop Emeritus Anthony Mancini and the Succession of Archbishop Brian Joseph Dunn as the 2nd Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth on 27 November at 12:15 p.m. (Atlantic) and livestreamed from St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica. On 8 December at 12:15 p.m. (Atlantic) Archbishop Dunn will celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a Mass to be livestreamed from the Cathedral Basilica. The Mass, will likewise commemorate the 9th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

    The Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth has 88 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 180,834 served by 68 diocesan priests, 11 priests and 95 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as 42 permanent deacons.

    Press Release : CCCB

    Pope Francis says "Please don't let hope be stolen!" - "We can come out of these crises better, as many of our brothers and sisters have testified in the daily gift of their lives..." FULL TEXT to Seminar on the Pandemic



    VIDEO MESSAGE FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

    TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE VIRTUAL SEMINAR
    "LATIN AMERICA: CHURCH, POPE FRANCIS AND THE SCENARIOS OF THE PANDEMIC"

    Thursday, November 19, 2020

     I greet the participants in this virtual seminar entitled "Latin America: Church, Pope Francis and the scenarios of the pandemic", whose objective is to reflect and analyze the pandemic situation of covid-19 in Latin America, its consequences and, above all, the possible lines of action and support in solidarity that must be developed by all those who are part of and weave the beauty and hope of the continent. I thank the organizers for this initiative and I hope that it will inspire paths, awaken processes, create alliances and give impetus to all the mechanisms necessary to guarantee a dignified life for our peoples, especially the most excluded, through the experience of fraternity and the building of social friendship. When I say the most excluded, I don't mean it in the sense of giving alms to the most excluded, or as a gesture of charity, no, I say it as a hermeneutic key. From there we have to start, from every human periphery, from each one, if we don't start there, we will be wrong. And this is perhaps the first purification of thought that we must do.

    The Covid pandemic has amplified and highlighted even more the socio-economic problems and injustices that already severely afflicted all of Latin America, and the poor with greater severity.

    To the inequalities and discrimination, which increase the social gap, are added the difficult conditions in which the sick and many families who are going through moments of uncertainty and suffer situations of social injustice. And this is evident when it is noted that not everyone has the necessary resources to adopt the elementary measures of protection against covid-19: a safe roof where social distancing can be implemented, water and sanitary products to sanitize and disinfect environments, a job sure that it guarantees access to services, just to mention the most essential ones. I think we need to keep this in mind. It is to be concrete.  Not only as a protective measure - as I said earlier - but also as facts that should concern us. Does everyone have a secure roof? Does everyone have access to water? Do they have products to sanitize and disinfect environments? Do they have a secure job? The pandemic has made our pre-existing vulnerabilities even more visible.

    Right now I'm also thinking of the brothers and sisters who, in addition to suffering the impact of the pandemic, sadly see that the ecosystem around them is in serious danger due to the forest fires that are destroying vast areas such as the Pantanal and the Amazon, which are the lungs of Latin America and the world.

    We are aware that we will continue to experience the devastating effects of the pandemic for a long time, especially in our economies, which require solidarity attention and creative proposals to alleviate the burden of the crisis. In the Kingdom of God, which already begins in this world, bread reaches everyone and advances, social organization is based on contributing, sharing and distributing, not on possessing, excluding and accumulating. I think these two triples should mark the pace of our thinking a little. In the Kingdom of God, bread reaches everyone and advances, social organization is based on contributing, sharing and distributing, not on possessing, excluding and accumulating. Therefore we are all called, individually and collectively, to carry out our work or mission with responsibility, transparency and honesty.

    The pandemic has shown the best and worst of our peoples and the best and worst of every person. Now more than ever it is necessary to regain awareness of our common belonging. The virus reminds us that the best way to take care of ourselves is by learning to take care of and protect those close to us: neighborhood awareness, people's awareness, region awareness, common home awareness. We know that, alongside the covid-19 pandemic, there are other social ills - the lack of a roof, the lack of land and the lack of work, the three famous T's ( techo , tierra , trabajo ) - which serve as indicators and require a generous response and immediate attention.

    Faced with this gloomy landscape, the Latin American peoples teach us that they are peoples with soul who have been able to face crises with courage and have been able to generate voices that, crying out in the desert, have smoothed the paths of the Lord (cf. Mk 1,3). Please don't let hope be stolen! The path of solidarity as justice is the best expression of love and closeness. We can come out of these crises better, as many of our brothers and sisters have testified in the daily gift of their lives and in the initiatives that the People of God have generated.

    We have seen "the working power of the Spirit poured out and molded in courageous and generous dedications" ( Extraordinary moment of prayer in time of epidemic , March 27, 2020). On this point I also address those who exercise political responsibilities and I allow myself, once again, to invite them to rehabilitate politics, which "is a very high vocation, is one of the most precious forms of charity, because it seeks the common good". As I said in the recent encyclical Brothers all : «Recognizing every human being as a brother or sister and seeking a social friendship that includes everyone are not mere utopias. They require the decision and the ability to find effective paths that ensure their real possibility. Any commitment in this direction becomes a lofty exercise of charity. Because an individual can help a person in need, but when he joins with others to give life to social processes of fraternity and [social processes] of justice for all, he enters the "field of the broadest charity, of political charity". It is a question of progressing towards a social and political order whose soul is social charity "( n. 180 ).

    This requires all of us who have a leading role to learn the art of meeting and not to favor or endorse or use mechanisms that make this serious crisis an electoral and social tool. The depth of the crisis proportionally requires the stature of the political-ruling class, capable of looking up and guiding and orienting legitimate differences in the search for viable solutions for our peoples. The only thing that discrediting the other achieves is to undermine the possibility of finding agreements that help alleviate, in our communities, but especially for the most excluded, the effects of the pandemic. And we have, in Latin America, I don't know if everywhere, but in much of Latin America, a very great capacity to progress in discrediting the other. Who pays for this discrediting process? The people pay for it, we progress in discrediting the other at the expense of the poorest, at the expense of the people. It is time that the distinctive trait of those who have been chosen by their peoples to govern them be placed at the service of the common good and not that the common good be placed at the service of their interests. We all know the dynamics of the corruption that goes in this direction. And this is also true for men and women of the Church; because the internal ecclesiastical ones are a real leprosy that makes the Gospel sick and kills. It is time that the distinctive trait of those who have been chosen by their peoples to govern them be placed at the service of the common good and not that the common good be placed at the service of their interests. We all know the dynamics of the corruption that goes in this direction. And this is also true for men and women of the Church; because the internal ecclesiastical ones are a real leprosy that makes the Gospel sick and kills. It is time that the distinctive trait of those who have been chosen by their peoples to govern them be placed at the service of the common good and not that the common good be placed at the service of their interests. We all know the dynamics of the corruption that goes in this direction. And this is also true for men and women of the Church; because the internal ecclesiastical ones are a real leprosy that makes the Gospel sick and kills.

    I urge you that, driven by the light of the Gospel, you continue to go out together with all people of good will in search of those who ask for help, in the manner of the Good Samaritan, embracing the weakest and building - it is a very exploited phrase, but I say it the same - building a new civilization, since “good, as well as love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they must be conquered every day "( Brothers all , n. 11).

    Faced with these great challenges, we ask the Virgin of Guadalupe that our Latin American land does not " desmadre ", that is, it does not lose the memory of its mother, that the crisis, far from separating us, helps us to recover and enhance the awareness of this common hybrid that makes us brothers and makes us children of the same Father.

    It will do us good to remember once again that unity is greater than conflict. May her mantle, her mantle of Mother and Woman, repair us as one people who, fighting for justice, can say: "He has helped Israel, his servant, remembering his mercy, as he promised our fathers" ( Lk 1 : 54-55). Thanks.


    from L'Osservatore Romano , Year CLX, num. 269, 21/11/2020