Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Novena to St. Charles Lwanga and Martyrs of Uganda in Africa to Share

Novena in Honour of Saint Charles Lwanga & the Martyrs of Uganda

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be
Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done,
on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our
daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, through your passion and death, we adore and thank Thee.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of Martyrs, Obtain for us sanctification through our sufferings.
Holy Martyrs, followers of the suffering Christ, obtain for us the grace to imitate Him.
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.
St. Matthias Mulumba, ideal Chief and follower of Christ meek and humble, obtain for us a Christian gentleness.
St. Dionysius Sebuggwawo, zealous for the Christian Faith and renowned for your modesty, obtain for us the virture of modesty.
St. Andrew Kaggwa, model Catechist and teacher, obtain for us a love of the teaching of Christ.
St. Kizito, child resplendent in purity and Christian joy, obtain for us the gift of joy in our Lord.
St. Gyaviira, shining example of how to forgive and forget injuries, obtain for us the grace to forgive those who injure us.
St. Mukasa, fervent catechumen rewarded with the Baptism of your blood, obtain for us perseverance unto the death.
St. Adolfus Ludigo, conspicuous by your following of our Lord's spirit of service to others; obtain for us a love of unselfish service.
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, humble servant preferring a devout life to wordly honours; obtain for us to love piety more than earthly things.
St. Ambrosius Kibuuka, young man full of joy and love of your neighbour; obtain for us fraternal charity.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka, who for the sake of Christ detested vain superstitious practices; obtain for us holy hatred of superstitious practices.
St. John Muzeeyi, prudent councilor, renowned for the practice of works of mercy; obtain for us a love of those works of mercy.
Blessed Jildo Irwa and Blessed Daudi Okello who gave up your lives for the spread of the Catholic Faith; obtain for us the zeal of spreading the Catholic Faith.
St. Pontaianus Ngondwe, faithful soldier, longing for the martyr's crown; obtain for us the grace to be always faithful to our duty.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury; obtain for us a spirit of responsibility.
St. Mbaaga, who preferred death to the persuasions of your parents; obtain for us to follow generously divine grace.
St. Gonzaga Gonza, full of sympathy for prisoners, and all who were in trouble; obtain for us the spirit of mercy.
St. Noe Mawaggali, humble worker and lover of evangelical poverty; obtain for us love of evangelical poverty.
St. Luke Baanabakintu, who ardently desired to imitate the suffering Christ by Martyrdom; obtain for us a love of our motherland.
St. Bruno Serunkuuma, soldier who gave an example of repentance and temperance; obtain for us the virture to repentance and temperance.
St. Mugagga, young man renowned for your heroic chastity; obtain for us perserverance in chastity.
Holy Martyrs, firm in your fidelity to the true Church of Christ; help us to be always faithful to the true Church of Christ.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, Matthias Mulumba, Blessed Jildo Irwa, Blessed Daudi Okello and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech you, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen

St. Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda, we come to you asking your prayers of intercession on behalf of all who suffer from the unjust exercise of authority. May you who were so cruelly persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ intercede for all who are oppressed, that they might be comforted by the Divine Mercy and empowered by the gift and grace of fortitude. May justice be the goal of all people and may all who are called by the name Christian join together in works of redemption directed at the sins and the structures of sin that afflict our communities. Amen.

Pope Francis says on "..the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. Dear friends, we cannot tolerate or close our eyes on any type of racism.." Full Text

Apostolic Palace Library
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Catechesis: 5. Abraham's prayer
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
There is a voice that suddenly resounds in Abraham's life. A voice that invites him to embark on a path that tastes of absurdity: a voice that spurs him to uproot himself from his homeland, from the roots of his family, to go towards a new future, a different future. And all based on a promise, which you just have to trust. And trusting a promise is not easy, it takes courage. And Abraham trusted.
The Bible is silent on the past of the first patriarch. The logic of things suggests that he worshiped other deities; perhaps he was a wise man, accustomed to scrutinizing the sky and the stars. Indeed, the Lord promises him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars that dot the sky.
And Abraham leaves. Listen to the voice of God and trust his word. This is important: he trusts the word of God. And with his departure, a new way of conceiving the relationship with God is born; it is for this reason that the patriarch Abraham is present in the great Jewish, Christian and Islamic spiritual traditions as the perfect man of God, capable of submitting to him, even when his will proves difficult, if not incomprehensible.
Abraham is therefore the man of the Word . When God speaks, man becomes the receptor of that Word and his life the place where he asks to incarnate. This is a great novelty in the religious journey of man: the life of the believer begins to be conceived as a vocation, that is, as a call, as a place where a promise is fulfilled; and he moves in the world not so much under the weight of an enigma, but with the strength of that promise, which one day will come true. And Abraham believed the promise of God. He believed and went, without knowing where he was going - so says the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 11: 8). But he trusted.
Reading the book of Genesis, we discover how Abraham lived the prayer in continuous fidelity to that Word, which periodically appeared along its way. In summary, we can say that in Abraham's life faith becomes historyFaith becomes history. Indeed, Abraham, with his life, with his example, teaches us this path, this path on which faith becomes history. God is no longer seen only in cosmic phenomena, like a distant God, who can instill terror. The God of Abraham becomes "my God", the God of my personal history, who guides my steps, who does not abandon me; the God of my days, the companion of my adventures; the God Providence. I wonder and I ask you: do we have this experience of God? "My God", the God who accompanies me, the God of my personal history, the God who guides my steps, who does not abandon me, the God of my days? Do we have this experience? Let's think about it.
This experience of Abraham is also testified by one of the most original texts in the history of spirituality: the Memorialby Blaise Pascal. It begins thus: "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certainty, certainty. Feeling. Joy. Peace. God of Jesus Christ ». This memorial, written on a small parchment, and found after his death sewn inside a philosopher's suit, expresses not an intellectual reflection that a wise man like him can conceive of God, but the living, experienced sense of his presence. Pascal even notes the precise moment in which he felt that reality, having finally met it: the evening of November 23, 1654. It is not the abstract God or the cosmic God, no. He is the God of a person, of a call, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, the God who is certainty, who is feeling, who is joy.
"Abraham's prayer is expressed first of all by actions: man of silence, at every stage he builds an altar to the Lord" ( Catechism of the Catholic Church , 2570). Abraham does not build a temple, but scatters the path of stones that remember the transit of God. A surprising God, as when he visits him in the figure of three guests, whom he and Sarah welcome and who announce the birth of their son Isaac (cf. Gen 18.1-15). Abraham was a hundred years old, and his wife ninety, more or less. And they believed, they trusted God. And Sarah, his wife, conceived. At that age! This is the God of Abraham, our God, who accompanies us.
Thus Abraham becomes familiar with God, also capable of arguing with him, but always faithful. Talk to God and discuss. Until the ultimate test, when God asks him to sacrifice his own son Isaac, the son of old age, the only heir. Here Abraham lives faith like a drama, like a groping walk in the night, under a sky this time without stars. And many times it happens to us too, to walk in the dark, but with faith. God himself will stop the hand of Abraham already ready to strike, because he saw his truly total availability (cf. Gen 22,1-19).
Brothers and sisters, we learn from Abraham, we learn to pray with faith: listen to the Lord, walk, dialogue until discussion. We are not afraid to argue with God! I will also say something that seems heresy. Many times I have heard people saying to me: "You know, this happened to me and I got angry with God" - "Did you have the courage to get angry with God?" - "Yes, I got angry" - "But this is a form of prayer". Because only a child is able to get angry with his dad and then re-meet him. We learn from Abraham to pray with faith, to dialogue, to discuss, but always willing to accept the word of God and put it into practice. With God, we learn to speak like a son with his dad: listen to him, answer, discuss. But transparent, like a son with dad. So Abraham teaches us to pray. Thanks.

I am graciously welcome to the personages of the French. Alors que nous sommes entrés dans le temps liturgique ordinire, nous sommes appelés, à l'exemple d'Abraham, à marcher quotidiennement en présence de Dieu, à demeurer à l'écoute de sa parole, toujours prêts à l'accueillir et à la mettre en pratique. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
I cordially greet the French-speaking faithful. Entering ordinary liturgical time we are called, like Abraham, to walk every day in the presence of God, to listen to his Word, always ready to welcome it and put it into practice. God bless you .]
I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr George Floyd. My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that "the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost ". Today I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercedes for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world. May God bless all of you and your families.
[I greet the English-speaking faithful connected through the social media. Dear brothers and sisters of the United States, I am following with great concern the painful social unrest that has been taking place in your country these days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. Dear friends, we cannot tolerate or close our eyes on any type of racism or exclusion and pretend to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we must recognize that “the violence of the last few nights is self-destructive and self-injurious. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost ”. Today I join the Church of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and of all the United States, in praying for the rest of the soul of George Floyd and all the others who have lost their lives because of the sin of racism. Let us pray for the comfort of families and heartfelt friends, and pray for national reconciliation and the peace we yearn for. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and in the world. God bless you all and your families.]
Von Herzen grüße ich die Gläubigen deutscher Sprache. Das Gebet lässt uns erfahren, dass Gott uns nahe ist und uns führt. Nehmen wir sein Wort gläubig und freudig auf und setzen es in die Tat um. Diesen Freitag begehen wir den Festtag des heiligen Bonifatius. Der Apostel Deutschlands helfe uns, den Herrn, unser Heil und unsere Hoffnung, durch unser Leben zu verkünden.
I extend a cordial greeting to the German-speaking faithful. Prayer makes us feel that God is close to us and guides us. We welcome his word with faith and joy and put it into practice. This Friday we celebrate the feast of San Bonifacio, the Apostle of Germany; may he help us to proclaim the Lord with our lives, our salvation and hope .]
I cordially greet you to the language of the language that you sign to the través de los medios de comunicación social. Pidamos al Señor que nos concende aprender a orar con la misma fe de Abrahán, que seamos dóciles y disponibles a acoger su voluntad ya ponerla en práctica, como hijos e hijas que confían en su providencia paterna. Que Dios los bendiga.
Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos fiéis de língua portuguesa, encorajando-vos a procurar e encontrar Deus na oração: assim experimentareis a guia do Espírito Santo que fará de cada um de vós verdadeiras testemunhas da fé cristã na sociedade. De bom grade abençoo a vós e aos vossos entes queridos.
I address a cordial greeting to you, Portuguese-speaking faithful, encouraging you to seek and find God in prayer: in this way you will experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will make each of you true witnesses of the Christian faith in society. Gladly I bless you and your loved ones! ]
أحيي جميع المؤمنين الناطقين باللغة العربية ، المتابعين لهذه المقابلة عَبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. كان إبراهيم رجل صلاة وصديق الله ، فكان يقيم مذبحًا للربّ أينما ذهب. في صلاته كان قادرًا أن يجادل الله ولكنه بقي دائمًا أمينًا له ، حتى في الاختبار الأسمى والأصعبب ال عنده س ض. ليبارككم الربّ جميعًا ويحرسكم دائمًا من كل شر!
I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful who follow this meeting through the social media. Abraham was a man of prayer and a friend of God, who built an altar to the Lord wherever he went. In his prayer he was able to argue with God, while always remaining faithful to him, even in the supreme trial, when God asked him to sacrifice his own son Isaac. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam wszystkich Polaków. Szczególne wyrazy mojej bliskości kieruję do Młodych, którzy jednoczą się na modlitewnym czuwaniu the uwielbieniu w ramach XXIV Spotkania Młodych Lednica 2000. Tym razem tylko niewielu będzie mogło fizycznie zgromadzić się w pobliżu źródeł chrzcielnych Polski, ale liczni Bede wives w nim uczestniczyć za pośrednictwem środków przekazu . Wszyscy razem dziękujcie Bogu za dar Ducha Świętego, który ożywia w was entuzjazm wiary i czyni was świadkami radości tych, którzy starają się żyć w świetle Chrystusa zmartwychwstaego.
Niech towarzyszy wam Patron tych spotkań, św. Jan Paweł II, którego stulecie urodzin świętujemy w tym roku. Przyjmijcie za swoje jego motto: Totus tuus i, jak on, przeżywajcie waszą młodość, całkowicie zawierzając siebie Chrystusowi i Jego Matce, abyście z odwagą postępowali ku horyzonto przysz.
Podczas waszego spotkania dokonacie dość śmiałego gestu: pobłogosławicie swoich rodziców. Zróbcie to w pokornym geście miłości i wdzięczności za dar waszego życia i wiary. Jednoczę się z wami w modlitwie i proszę was: módlcie się także za mnie. Niech Bóg wam błogosławi!
I cordially greet the Poles. In particular, I express my closeness to the young people who join in the vigil of prayer and praise in the context of the XXIV Youth Meeting LEDNICA 2000. This time few will be able to physically gather next to the baptismal font of Poland, but many will be able to participate through the means of communication. All of you thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit who animates the enthusiasm of faith and bears witness to the joy of those who try to live in the light of the risen Christ. May the patron of these meetings accompany you, St. John Paul II, of which we are celebrating the centenary of this year. Make his motto yours: "Totus tuus" and, like him, live your youth by entrusting yourself to Christ and his Mother to continue boldly towards the horizons of the future. During your meeting you will make a courageous gesture: you will give the blessing to your parents. Do it as a humble gesture of love and filial gratitude for the gift of life and faith. I join in prayer and ask you: pray for me too. God bless you! ]

I greet the Italian-speaking faithful. The nearby feast of the Holy Trinity brings us back to the mystery of the intimate life of the One and Triune God, the center of the Christian faith and stimulates us to find our comfort and inner peace in the love of God.
I address my thoughts to the elderly, young people, the sick and newlyweds. Trust in the Holy Spirit, "who is Lord and gives life" and be open to his love so you can transform your life, your families and your communities.
My blessing to all of you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Saint June 3 : St. Clotilde the Queen of France who was Dedicated to Prayer and Patron of Brides , Adopted Children and Widows

475, Lyon, France
545, Tours, France
Patron of:
brides, adopted children, parents, exiles, widows
Was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to Gondebald, the tyrannical king of Burgundy, who put him, his wife, and the rest of his brothers, except one, to death, in order to usurp their dominions. In this massacre he spared Chilperic's  two fair daughters, then in their infancy. One of them became afterwards a nun; the other, named Clotildis, was brought up in her uncle's court, and by a singular providence, was instructed in the Catholic religion, though she was educated in the midst of Arians. It was her happiness in the true faith, to be inspired from the cradle with a contempt and disgust of a treacherous world, which sentiments she cherished and improved by the most fervent exercises of religion. Though she saw herself surrounded with all the charms of the world, and was from her infancy its idol, yet her heart was proof against its seductions. She was adorned with the assemblage of all virtues; and the reputation of her wit, beauty, meekness, modesty, and piety, made her the adoration of all the neighboring kingdoms, when Clovis I., surnamed the great, the victorious king of the Franks, demanded and obtained her of her uncle in marriage granting her all the conditions she could desire for the free and secure exercise of her religion.1 The marriage was solemnized at Soissons, in 493. Clotildis made herself a little oratory in the royal palace, in which she spent much time in fervent prayer and secret mortifications. Her devotion was tempered with discretion, so that she attended all her business at court, was watchful over her maids, and did every thing with a dignity, order, and piety, which edified and charmed the king and his whole court. Her charity to the poor seemed a sea which could never be drained. She honored her royal husband, studied to sweeten his warlike temper by Christian meekness, conformed herself to his humor in things that were indifferent; and, the better to gain his affections, made those things the subject of her discourse and praises in which  she saw him to take the greatest delight. When she saw herself mistress of his heart, she did not defer the great work of endeavoring to win him to God, and often spoke to him on the vanity of his idols, and on the excellency of the true religion. The king always heard her with pleasure; but the moment of his conversion was not yet come. It was first to cost her many tears, severe trials, and earnest perseverance. After the baptism of their second son, Clodomir, and the infant's recovery from a dangerous indisposition, she pressed the king more boldly to renounce his idols. One day especially, when he had given her great assurances of his affection, and augmented her dowry by a gift of several manors, she said she begged only one favor of his majesty, which was the liberty to discourse with him on the sanctity of her religion, and to put him in mind of his promise of forsaking the worship of idols. But the fear of giving offence to his people made him delay the execution. His miraculous victory over the Alemanni, and his entire conversion in 496, were at length the fruit of our saint's prayers.

Clotildis, having gained to God this great monarch, never ceased to excite him to glorious actions for the divine honor: among other religious foundations he built in Paris, at her request, about the year 511, the great church of SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's. This great prince had a singular devotion to St. Martin, and went sometimes to Tours, to prostrate himself in prayer at his tomb. He sent his royal diadem, which is called, to this day, The Realm, a present to pope Hormisdas, as a token that he dedicated his kingdom to God. His barbarous education and martial temper made it, in certain sallies of his passions, difficult for Clotildis to bridle his inclination to ambition and cruelty, so that he scarce left any princes of his own relations living, except his sons. He died on the 27th of November, in the year 511, of his age the forty-fifth, having reigned thirty years. He was buried in the church of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's, where his tomb still remains. An ancient long epitaph, which was inscribed on it, is preserved by Aimoinus, and copied by Rivet. His eldest son Theodoric, whom he had by a concubine before his marriage, reigned at Rheims over Austrasia, or the eastern parts of France, which comprised the present Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, and several provinces of Germany. Metz was afterwards the capital of this country. As to the three sons of Clotildis, Clodomir reigned at Orleans, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire I., at Soissons. This division produced wars and mutual jealousies, till, in 560, the whole monarchy was reunited under Clotaire, the youngest of these brothers. St. Clotildis lived to see Clodomir defeat and put to death Sigismund, king of Burgundy; but soon after, in 524, himself vanquished and slain by Gondemar, successor to Sigismund; Gondemar overcome and killed by Childebert and Clotaire, and the kingdom of Burgundy united to France. The most sensible affliction of this pious queen was the murder of the two eldest sons of Clodomir, committed in 526, by their uncles Childebert and Clotaire, who seized on the kingdom of Orleans. This tragical disaster contributed more perfectly to wean her heart from the world. She spent the remaining part of her life at Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin, in exercises of prayer, almsdeeds, watching, fasting, and penance, seeming totally to forget that she had been queen, or that her sons sat on the throne. Eternity filled her heart, and employed all her thoughts. She foretold her death thirty days before it happened; having been admonished of it by God at the tomb of St. Martin, the usual place of her tears. In her last illness, she sent for her sons Childebert, king of Paris, and Clotaire, king of Soissons, and exhorted them, in the most pathetic manner, to honor God and keep his commandments; to protect the poor, reign as fathers to their people, live in union together, and love and study always to maintain tranquillity and peace. She scarce ever ceased repeating the psalms with the most tender devotion, and ordered all she had left to be distributed among she poor; though this was very little; for she had always been careful to send her riches before her by their hands. On the thirtieth day of her illness she received the sacraments, made a public confession of her faith, and departed to the Lord on the 3d of June, in 545. She was buried, by her own order, in the church of St. Genevieve, at the feet of that holy shepherdess, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 3d of June. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., and Fortunatus; and among the moderns, Abbe Du Bos and Gilb. le Gendre, Antiquites de la Nation et Monarchie Francoise, & c. Text : Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler
Prayer to St. Clotilde (Angelfire)
Hail, gentle and loving St. Clotilde, sweet illustrious Queen of the Franks, who by thy faith and perseverance in the Lord didst convert thy husband and made France for many centuries a venerable stalwart of the Catholic faith, I implore thy powerful intercession in this my great need.
Assist me, holy St. Clotilde, from thy height of glory in heaven. Thou, who during thy earthly sojourn, didst drink deeply from the Saviour's chalice of sorrows, have pity on my dire distress, especially . . . (Here make your intention).
Grant also that through my sorrows I may, like thee, purify my faith and never lose hope in the mercy of God. Amen.

US President Trump Prays Silently at St. John Paul II Shrine as Prelude to Order Advancing Religious Freedom - FULL TEXT + Video

In a pre-planned visit; President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady, Melania visited the National Shrine of Saint Pope John Paul II in Washington, DC. The couple prayed silently at the shrine and also in the chapel. This was a prelude to the release of his executive order on "Advancing International Religious Freedom." (FULL TEXT below) The shrine had suffered damage from a protest. According to CNS, the Trumps' visit to the shrine in Northeast Washington came on the 41st anniversary of the start of St. John Paul II's pilgrimage to his native Poland, the first trip by the pope during which he repeatedly addressed religious and political freedom. In  a statement about the visit, after the president and first lady left, the shrine wrote the White House officials originally scheduled the visit "as an event for the president to sign an executive order related to global religious freedom." "This was fitting given St. John Paul II was a tireless advocate of religious liberty throughout his pontificate," the statement said. "International religious freedom receives widespread bipartisan support, including unanimous passage of legislation in defense of persecuted Christians and religious minorities around the world."The shrine welcomes all people to come and pray and learn about the legacy of St. John Paul II," it added.

Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom


  Issued on: June 2, 2020

 By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  (a)  Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative.  Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.  As stated in the 2017 National Security Strategy, our Founders understood religious freedom not as a creation of the state, but as a gift of God to every person and a right that is fundamental for the flourishing of our society.

(b)  Religious communities and organizations, and other institutions of civil society, are vital partners in United States Government efforts to advance religious freedom around the world.  It is the policy of the United States to engage robustly and continually with civil society organizations — including those in foreign countries — to inform United States Government policies, programs, and activities related to international religious freedom.

Sec. 2.  Prioritization of International Religious Freedom.  Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State (Secretary) shall, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), develop a plan to prioritize international religious freedom in the planning and implementation of United States foreign policy and in the foreign assistance programs of the Department of State and USAID.

Sec. 3.  Foreign Assistance Funding for International Religious Freedom.  (a)  The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Administrator of USAID, budget at least $50 million per fiscal year for programs that advance international religious freedom, to the extent feasible and permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations.  Such programs shall include those intended to anticipate, prevent, and respond to attacks against individuals and groups on the basis of their religion, including programs designed to help ensure that such groups can persevere as distinct communities; to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such attacks; to ensure equal rights and legal protections for individuals and groups regardless of belief; to improve the safety and security of houses of worship and public spaces for all faiths; and to protect and preserve the cultural heritages of religious communities.

(b)  Executive departments and agencies (agencies) that fund foreign assistance programs shall ensure that faith-based and religious entities, including eligible entities in foreign countries, are not discriminated against on the basis of religious identity or religious belief when competing for Federal funding, to the extent permitted by law.

Sec. 4.  Integrating International Religious Freedom into United States Diplomacy.  (a)  The Secretary shall direct Chiefs of Mission in countries of particular concern, countries on the Special Watch List, countries in which there are entities of particular concern, and any other countries that have engaged in or tolerated violations of religious freedom as noted in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom required by section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292), as amended (the “Act”), to develop comprehensive action plans to inform and support the efforts of the United States to advance international religious freedom and to encourage the host governments to make progress in eliminating violations of religious freedom.

(b)  In meetings with their counterparts in foreign governments, the heads of agencies shall, when appropriate and in coordination with the Secretary, raise concerns about international religious freedom and cases that involve individuals imprisoned because of their religion.

(c)  The Secretary shall advocate for United States international religious freedom policy in both bilateral and multilateral fora, when appropriate, and shall direct the Administrator of USAID to do the same.

Sec. 5.  Training for Federal Officials.  (a)  The Secretary shall require all Department of State civil service employees in the Foreign Affairs Series to undertake training modeled on the international religious freedom training described in section 708(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-465), as amended by section 103(a)(1) of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (Public Law 114-281).

(b)  Within 90 days of the date of this order, the heads of all agencies that assign personnel to positions overseas shall submit plans to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, detailing how their agencies will incorporate the type of training described in subsection (a) of this section into the training required before the start of overseas assignments for all personnel who are to be stationed abroad, or who will deploy and remain abroad, in one location for 30 days or more.

(c)  All Federal employees subject to these requirements shall be required to complete international religious freedom training not less frequently than once every 3 years.

Sec. 6.  Economic Tools.  (a)  The Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and through the process described in National Security Presidential Memorandum-4 of April 4, 2017 (Organization of the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and Subcommittees), develop recommendations to prioritize the appropriate use of economic tools to advance international religious freedom in countries of particular concern, countries on the Special Watch List, countries in which there are entities of particular concern, and any other countries that have engaged in or tolerated violations of religious freedom as noted in the report required by section 102(b) of the Act.  These economic tools may include, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, increasing religious freedom programming, realigning foreign assistance to better reflect country circumstances, or restricting the issuance of visas under section 604(a) of the Act.

(b)  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may consider imposing sanctions under Executive Order 13818 of December 20, 2017 (Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption), which, among other things, implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Public Law 114-328).

Sec. 7.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

(a)  “Country of particular concern” is defined as provided in section 402(b)(1)(A) of the Act;

(b)  “Entity of particular concern” is defined as provided in section 301 of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (Public Law 114-281);

(c)  “Special Watch List” is defined as provided in sections 3(15) and 402(b)(1)(A)(iii) of the Act; and

(d)  “Violations of religious freedom” is defined as provided in section 3(16) of the Act.

Sec. 8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



June 2, 2020.


Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - #Eucharist - Your Virtual Church

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 354
Reading 12 PT 3:12-15A, 17-18
Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.
But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned,
be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled
and to fall from your own stability.
But grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Responsorial90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 AND 16
R.    (1)  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Seventy is the sum of our years,
or eighty, if we are strong,
And most of them are fruitless toil,
for they pass quickly and we drift away.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

AlleluiaEPHESIANS 1:17-18
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.

Prayer to make 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
Press Play on the Video Below - 

Saint June 3 : Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Martyrs of Uganda : Patrons of African Catholic Youth

Feast Day:
June 3
Buganda, Uganda
June 3, 1886, Namugongo, Uganda
October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:
Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo
Patron of:
African Catholic Youth Action, converts, torture victims
The 22 Martyrs of Uganda
Died 1886-1887

Charles was one of 22 Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. Though he was baptized the night before being put to death, he became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda." He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga.
Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?
When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly so death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, "Kotanda! (O my God!)." He was burned to death by Mwanga's order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3rd of the Roman Calendar. Charles is the Patron of the African Youth of Catholic Action.
Text source :
Novena Prayer: 

#Novena to St. Charles Lwanga and Martyrs of #Uganda in #Africa - SHARE 

Pope Francis Donates Vatican Ambulance to Serve the Poorest in Rome with Special Blessing

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis has dedicated a Vatican ambulance to serve the poor who sleep rough on the streets of Rome.
Reportedly, on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis blessed a Vatican ambulance which will serve the poor of Rome.

 Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner was given the responsibility for the ambulance within the Office of Papal Charities.

The Holy See Press Office statement says the ambulance belongs to the Vatican's fleet and has SCV (Vatican) license plates.

This ambulance will now serve “the poorest, who remain almost invisible to Institutions.”

The statement recalls the “sad ordeal of Modesta Valenti, an elderly homeless woman to whom the city of Rome has dedicated a street.”

On 31 January 1983, after a long, cold night sleeping rough outside Termini train station, she felt ill.

“Several passers-by called an ambulance, which declined to assist her because of her poor hygiene,” reads the statement. “After 4 long hours, several hospitals refused to take responsibility for her. Modesta was left on the ground, suffering. She died before an ambulance finally arrived.”

The Papal Almoner is also responsible for a mobile clinic used to provide care to the poor in Rome’s poorer neighborhoods, as well as the Mother of Mercy Clinic, set up in the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square which offers first-aid care to homeless people in the area. 

Australia Bishops entrust Australia to Mary Help of Christians with Prayers - Full Text Homily of Archbishop Fisher

The Bishops of Australia released a motion to consecrate the country to Our Lady: “That the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.” Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension. The entrustment of Australia to Mary Help of Christians can therefore take place on the 24th or the 25th, the bishops agreed. In various parishes throughout the country prayers of consecration were recited. (see picture below)
 Here is the Homily from Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP from St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia on that day of Consecration.
Years ago I saw a very beautiful image of The Virgin Mary at Prayer in the Dominican church of St Clement near the Colosseum in Rome. When I got back home, I discovered the same painting in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Was I seeing double? Had I stolen the painting and brought it back with me to Australia? No, both were painted by Sassoferrato (Giovanni-Battista Salvi 1609-1685, a great baroque artist but also a copycat, even a cheat. He’d do almost identical images for different patrons and then tell them all that theirs was the original! It turns out there’s a third version of the same painting in Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. And another in the Auckland Art Gallery. Another ‘original’ is one of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery in London. You can also get it as a coffee mug,  a T-shirt or, oddly, as a beach towel!

A person in a blue cup

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In all these images, Mary is a young Italian beauty with a perfect complexion and hands together in prayer. Over her red tunic is a cloak of striking ultramarine, made from grinding the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. She is holy yet human, and she’s unique – except that there are lots just like her…

…which captures, I think, something of the heart of Mary, Help of Christians. We know that she never sinned, was full of grace, received Christ into her womb, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, brought Jesus up. Such holiness might have made her seem aloof and distant. Yet, she’s very much one of us, and so in the Sassoferrato paintings she wears ordinary clothes (for those days), she prays like we do, and she has no halo. Her story is that of a human mother, who in the words of our first reading today “brings up her sons and cares for those who seek her” (Sir 4:11-18). Throughout history, right back to the Wedding Feast of Cana, people in difficulty have asked Mary for help: they’ve sought her intercession. Because she’s one of us, a mother to us, we turn to her in our need; but because she’s the best of us, mother to Our Lord, she gets those prayers answered.

So Mary is holy yet human, and attracts our devotion as ‘Help of Christians’. She is also unique. After Adam and Eve and Jesus, she’s the only human being made without original sin. As our first reading put it, she’s loved and honoured and held close by all who love God. She’s an original, yet there are potentially many just like her: for every one of you boys is called to be a saint too. If one of us, could remain sinless all her life, despite having all the temptations and the difficulties we have, then we too can choose, each time we choose, what is good and true and beautiful, as she did. By God’s grace you can do that! And when you fail, when your painting cracks and has flaky bits, you can return to her Son, the Master Painter, to be restored in Confession, to be made new. You can indeed all be originals – different in your temperament and gifts – but beautiful souls, with high ideals, virtuous character and good choices like her. There can be a whole art gallery of such works, the real St Mary’s College, the communion of saints!

In this morning’s Gospel Jesus is dying (Jn 19:25-27). Joseph is long dead and there are no other children. So Jesus asks John to take His mother in. That Jonno would only have been 15 or so, and so he was likely to outlive her which was helpful. More importantly, when all the other disciples abandoned Jesus, he stayed. No wonder he was Jesus’ favourite, ‘the disciple He loved’ (Jn 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20). But it’s not just about John. ‘The disciple Jesus loved’ is code for us, too. We are Jesus’ favourites. We must take Mary into our hearts also. She will be a mother to us, especially in hard times, as that first reading says, “through winding paths, fear and faintness, through times of plague, sore discipline and ordeal”.

When Fr John Joseph Therry arrived in Australia, two hundred years ago this month, he petitioned the governor for a site for a Catholic chapel. The establishment; the powerful people in Sydney at the time, responded by giving him the garbage dump near the convict barracks and the Hyde Park vegetable patch. No-one then imagined what a prime site St Mary’s would turn out to be!

A group of people standing in front of a building

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When Therry was at school Napoleon and his secularist forces invaded Italy, determined to suppress the Catholic Church. They took Pope Pius VI as prisoner and he died in captivity. The next Pope, Pius VII, was forced to attend Napoleon’s coronation in 1804, when Napoleon decided he wanted to be called “Emperor” now and not just “General”. And when Napoleon famously took the crown from the Pope’s hands and crowned himself and his queen as well. Things only went downhill from that low point. Pius VII was a prisoner for six years; the whole six years that John Joseph Therry was a seminarian. He called on all the Church to pray the Rosary. Soon after Therry was ordained the dictator emperor was defeated and the Church free again. Pope Pius VII gave thanks by adding the Feast of Mary, Help of Christians, to the general calendar.

So when Fr Therry arrived in the colony, he dedicated the first Catholic church just here to her. After all, Catholics had had it hard in Australia: Mass was very rarely permitted in the previous 32 years; many were convicts in chains and hard labour, poor or powerless. They needed help. They needed the best of helpers, Mary Help of Christians.

With the arrival of Bishop Polding in 1835 this little church; the mother church of Australia became the first cathedral. In 1844 at the First Provincial Synod of Bishops, and again in 1885 at the first Plenary Council of Australasia, the nation was dedicated to St Mary, Help of Christians. That was renewed by the Bishops of Australia in 1988, in 2001, and today in this time of pandemic.

Like those early Catholics, we know we need help; we need God’s help. And it can’t hurt to have God’s Mum in our corner! So today we pray together for Mary’s guidance and protection in difficult times. We pray she’ll make us more like her, beautiful and colourful artworks, worldly and other-worldly, different yet like her in our openness to God, our active service of others, our pondering what’s good, our fidelity to the end.

Our Lady of Help of Christians, pray for us!

Wow Virtual Choir of Catholic Artists Produce Viral "Be Not Afraid" which Reaches a Million! - Watch Video

During this time of crisis, English-speaking Catholic artists have come together with this message of hope. Salt + Light Media produced this along with various Catholic artists from the USA and Canada. BE NOT AFRAID is a song writted by Bob Dufford, SJ. This video included Performers: Dan Schutte, John Michael Talbot, Steve Angrisano, Tom Booth, Fr. Rob Galea, Sarah Hart, Sarah Kroger, Tony Melendez, Jesse Manibusan, Susan HooKong-Taylor, Jennifer Martin, Renee Bondi, Curtis Stephan, Mark Mallett, Kitty Cleveland, Chris Bray, Nancy Bodsworth, David Wang, Bob Halligan Jr., Marie Miller, Luke Spehar, Amanda Vernon, Danielle Rose, Ken Canedo, Gretchen Harris, Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, Colleen MacAlister, Mikey Needleman, Danielle Noonan, Cooper Ray, PJ Anderson, Michael James Mette and MJM7, Lee Roessler, Lorraine Hess, Kathleen and Jesse Leblanc, Greg and Mary Walton, Tori Harris, Aly Aleigha, Rita West, Matt Lewis, Corrie-Marie, Ryan and Elizabeth Tremblay, Taylor Tripodi, Miley Azbill, Hannah Schaefer, Francesca LaRosa, John Angotti, Damaris Thillet, Ivan Diaz, Pedro Rubalcava, Anna Betancourt and Santiago Fernandez. BE NOT AFRAID - Lyrics By Bob Dufford, SJ - (Includes the fourth verse that Bob Dufford wrote in 2007.) v1. You shall cross the barren desert but you shall not die of thirst. You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. You shall speak your words to foreign lands and all will understand. You shall see the face of God and live. R. Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow Me and I will give you rest. v2. If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown. If you walk amidst the burning flames you shall not be harmed. If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you, through it all. /R v.3 Blessed are your poor for the Kingdom shall be theirs. Blest are you that weep and mourn for one day you shall laugh. And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of Me, blessed, blessed are you! /R v.4 And when the earth has turned beneath you and your voice is seldom heard. When the flood of gifts that blessed your life has long since ebbed away. When your mind is thick and hope is thin and dark is all around, I will stand beside you till the dawn. /R Source: Youtube - S+L Channel

#BreakingNews Catholic Nuns' Bookstore Vandalized during Protests in USA on Pentecost Morning

Sister Anne Flanagan of the Daughters of St. Paul posted that her order's Pauline Bookstore in Chicago was vandalized. She explains that on Saturday afternoon, the sisters removed the Blessed Sacrament from the bookstore chapel and locked themselves upstairs. At 3:00 AM on Pentecost (May 31) morning they heard the glass break. Both of the automatic doors were shattered, and the front plate-glass display window.  The vandals broke through the counter and then left. A quick inventory shows that they seem to have left without taking a single Some friends came to help begin the clean-up, and by mid-afternoon the sisters had found a safer place to spend the night.  Sister Anne wrote: "if you are inclined to give toward replacing our doors, window, counter and equipment, please go to and indicate "Chicago" in the notes. The Sisters also ask for prayers....