Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Catholic Bishops Launch Peace Day Initiative with Act Consecration to the Holy Family of the East - FULL TEXT Prayer



Launching of annual Mass initiative to be celebrated on "Peace Day for the East"Available in the following languages:
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  • Jerusalem, June 11, 2021

    “Peace Day for the East”: Launching the annual Mass initiative

    Your Excellencies, dear brothers in the Episcopate,

    Reverend Fathers, Dear religious and consecrated persons,

    Dear faithful Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    May the Lord give you His Peace!

    On the occasion of celebrating the 130th jubilee of “Rerum Novarum” the encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891, concerning “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor”; the Episcopal Committee “Justice and Peace” which emanates from the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in the Middle East, has launched the annual Mass initiative which will be celebrated during the “Peace Day for the East” (Journée de la paix pour l'Orient), for this year on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 10:00 am.

    It has been decided that a Mass should be celebrated in each one of the countries belonging to the Council of the Catholic Patriarchs in the Middle East, and thus all the patriarchs and bishops are invited to participate in this intense prayer, and to be in a profound Communion of prayer together during this blessed day.

    On the occasion of the Year of Saint Joseph, we will also proceed in the consecration of our beloved Middle East to the Holy Family, and for this reason, a special gesture will be included in the Mass which will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 10:00 am, with the participation of all the Ordinaries of the Holy Land. We will bless a specially painted Icon of the Holy Family inlaid with relics from the same Basilica of the Annunciation. The icon represents the painting of the Holy Family of Nazareth, which rests above the altar of St Joseph Church, in Nazareth, where, according to tradition, the Carpenter’s house was.

    Once blessed, the Icon will go on a pilgrimage, starting from Lebanon, to the countries of the East, until its arrival to Rome towards the end of the year of St. Joseph, on December 8, 2021. From Rome, the Icon will travel back to the Holy Land where it will remain.

    In Rome as well, the Holy Father Pope Francis will give his special Apostolic Blessing for the “Peace Day for the East”.

    You are all invited thus to participate through your presence, and if not possible, through your communion with us in prayer, each one from his home Parish or convent, to implore the Mercy of God and His Peace on this beloved Middle East, where the Christian faith is born and still alive, despite the sufferings.

    Yours in Christ,

    † Pierbattista Pizzaballa

    President of the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land

    Latin patriarch of Jerusalem




    Act of Consecration of the East to the Holy Family

    "We resort to your protection, Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in the midst of the political and economic crises that have accumulated around us, citizens of the Middle East.

    We resort to your protection, O Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, amid the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, which has created a state of instability, fear and anxiety.

    We resort to your protection, O Family of Nazareth, you who experienced hardship with faith, hope and love, in order to dedicate our East and our countries to you completely, and entrust our lives and our homelands, our fears and hopes, our children, our youth and our families, so that every family may become a domestic church and a school of holiness.

    O Holy Family, seek from God for the Middle East the blessing of emerging   from these stifling conditions and attaining the return of peace and stability, so that its citizens may live equal in rights and duties, and enjoy a free and dignified life, regardless of their religious and national affiliation.

    O Holy Family, may your tender look be upon us, upon our families and upon our countries , so that we may open ourselves to the signs of God’s presence as you opened yourself with absolute fidelity, so that our hearts open to each other and to the dimensions of the entire world, thus we all become one family, living in peace, love and harmony.

    With Saint Ephrem, we pray to you, O Lord: Make reconciliation between peoples complete in our time, so that they may be truly one people. Gather your children in your bosom, so that they may give thanks for your goodness. If all the sons of light were united, their unified rays would remove the darkness, through the strength of their unity.

    Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we confidently place this, our prayer, and the consecration of our East in your hands. To the Most Holy Trinity be thanks and praise, now and forever, Amen."

    Pope Francis says "Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone. The prayer of Jesus is with us." FULL TEXT Catechesis + VIDEO



    POPE FRANCIS at the GENERAL AUDIENCE

    San Damaso courtyard - Wednesday, 16 June 2021

    _________________________________________


    Catechesis on prayer: 37. The Paschal prayer of Jesus for us

    Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

    We have recalled several times in this series of catechesis that prayer is one of the most evident features of the life of Jesus: Jesus prayed, and He prayed a lot. In the course of His mission, Jesus immersed Himself in it, because the dialogue with the father was the incandescent core of all His existence.

    The Gospels testify how Jesus' prayer became even more intense and dense at the hour of his passion and death. These culminating events of His life constitute the central core of Christian preaching: those last hours lived by Jesus in Jerusalem are the heart of the Gospel not only because the Evangelists reserve proportionally greater space to this narrative, but also because the event of His death and resurrection - like a flash of lightning - sheds light on the rest of Jesus' life. He was not a philanthropist who took care of human suffering and illness: He was and is much more. In Him there is not only goodness: there is something more, there is salvation, and not an episodic salvation - the type that might save me from an illness or a moment of despair - but total salvation, messianic salvation, that gives hope in the definitive victory of life over death.

    In the days of His last Passover, we therefore find Jesus fully immersed in prayer.

    He prays dramatically in the garden of Gethsemane, as we heard, assailed by mortal anguish. And yet Jesus, precisely in that moment, addresses God as “Abba”, father (cf. Mk 14:36). This word, in Aramaic, which was Jesus’ language, expresses intimacy, it expresses trust. Just as He feels the darkness gather around Him, Jesus breaks through it with that little word: Abba, father.

    Jesus also prays on the cross, obscurely shrouded in the silence of God. And yet once again the word “Father” emerges from His lips. It is the most ardent prayer, because on the cross Jesus is the absolute intercessor: He prays for others, He prays for everyone, even for those who have condemned Him, even though no-one apart from a poor delinquent takes His side. Everyone was against Him or indifferent, only that criminal recognised the power. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). In the midst of the drama, in the excruciating pain of soul and body, Jesus prays with the words of the psalms; with the poor of the world, especially those forgotten by all, He pronounces the tragic words of Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 2). He felt abandonment, and He prayed. The cross is the fulfilment of the gift of the Father, who offers love, that is, our salvation is fulfilled. And also, once, He calls Him “My God”, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”: that is, everything, everything is prayer, in the three hours of the Cross.

    Jesus therefore prays in the decisive hours of His passion and death. And with the resurrection, the Father will the prayer. The prayer of Jesus is intense, the prayer of Jesus is unique, and is also becomes the model for our prayer. Jesus prayed for everyone: He even prayed for me, for each one of you. Every one of you can say: “Jesus, on the cross, prayed for me”. He prayed. Jesus can say to every one of us: “I prayed for you at the Last Supper, and on the wood of the Cross”. Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone. The prayer of Jesus is with us. “And now, Father, here, we who are listening to this, does Jesus pray for us?” Yes, He continues to pray so that His word may help us keep going forward. But pray, and remember that He prays for us.

    And this seems to me the most beautiful thing to remember. This is the final catechesis of this cycle on prayer: remember the grace that we do not only pray, but that, so to speak, we have been “prayed for”, we have already been received in Jesus’ dialogue with the Father, in communion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus prays for me: each one of us can take this to heart. We must not forget. Even in the worst moments. We are already welcomed into Jesus’ dialogue with the Father in the communion of the Holy Spirit. We were willed by Christ Jesus, and even in the hour of His passion, death and resurrection, everything was offered for us. And so, with prayer and with life, there remains only to have courage and hope, and with this courage and hope, to to feel the prayer of Jesus strongly and to keep on going: so that our life may be one of giving glory to God in the knowledge that He prays for me to the Father, that Jesus prays for me.

    ________________________________________________

    Special Greetings

    I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. In union with the Lord Jesus, our intercessor before the Father, may we pray perseveringly for the conversion of hearts and the salvation of world. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

    FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot same

    US Bishops Appoint New Executive Director of Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs



    Rev. Ronald Kunkel Appointed as Executive Director of USCCB's Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs

    JUNE 15, 2021 

    WASHINGTON – Father Ronald Kunkel, S.T.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has been named executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The appointment was made today by Monsignor Jeffrey D. Burrill, USCCB general secretary, and is effective August 9.


    “Father Kunkel brings an extensive background of theological instruction to the Conference,” said Monsignor Burrill. “I am confident that his expertise will fruitfully serve both the bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, as well as the secretariat with the theological and pastoral consultation that is necessary in carrying out the work of the Conference.”


    Father Kunkel was ordained to the priesthood in 2000. He served as associate pastor of St. Peter parish in Skokie, Illinois and associate pastor and director of liturgy at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Since 2005, he has served at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, as an instructor of systematic theology, assistant professor of dogmatic theology, director of sacred liturgy, and associate professor of dogmatic theology. He obtained his bachelor of business administration from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor of sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He then received his licentiate of sacred theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome, and his doctorate of sacred theology from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.


    Father Kunkel is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Catholic Liturgy, and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and he is a contributor to the theological journal Chicago Studies. He succeeds Father Michael J.K. Fuller, a priest of the Diocese of Rockford, who was named last November as Associate General Secretary for the USCCB.

    Source: USCCB

    Tuesday, June 15, 2021

    Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, June 16, 2021 in Your Virtual Church



    Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
    Lectionary: 367
    Reading I
    2 Cor 9:6-11
    Brothers and sisters, consider this:
    whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
    and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
    Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
    for God loves a cheerful giver.
    Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
    so that in all things, always having all you need,
    you may have an abundance for every good work.
    As it is written:
        He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
            his righteousness endures forever.
    The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
    will supply and multiply your seed
    and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
    You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
    which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
    Responsorial Psalm
    112:1bc-2, 3-4, 9
    R.    (1b)  Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
        who greatly delights in his commands.
    His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
        the upright generation shall be blessed.
    R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
        his generosity shall endure forever.
    Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
        he is gracious and merciful and just.
    R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Lavishly he gives to the poor;
        his generosity shall endure forever;
            his horn shall be exalted in glory.
    R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Alleluia
    Jn 14:23
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Whoever loves me will keep my word,
    and my Father will love him
    and we will come to him.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Gospel
    Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Take care not to perform righteous deeds
    in order that people may see them;
    otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
    When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
    as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
    to win the praise of others.
    Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    But when you give alms,
    do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
    so that your almsgiving may be secret.
    And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
    “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
    who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
    so that others may see them.
    Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
    and pray to your Father in secret.
    And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
    “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
    They neglect their appearance,
    so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
    Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
    so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
    except to your Father who is hidden.
    And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

    Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-

    People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
    At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

    Saint June 16 : St. John Francis Regis a Jesuit Evangelist and the Patron of Social Workers - #Regis

     

    St. John Francis Regis
    Jesuit Evangelist
    Born:
    January 31, 1597, Fontcouverte, Aude, Languedoc, France
    Died:
    December 30, 1640, La Louvesc, Dauphine, France
    Canonized:
    April 5, 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XII
    Major Shrine:
    La Lovesc
    Patron of:
    lacemakers, social workers
    Born 31 January, 1597, in the village of Fontcouverte (department of Aude); died at la Louvesc, 30 Dec., 1640. His father Jean, a rich merchant, had been recently ennobled in recognition of the prominent part he had taken in the Wars of the League; his mother, Marguerite de Cugunhan, belonged by birth to the landed nobility of that part of Languedoc. They watched with Christian solicitude over the early education of their son, whose sole fear was lest he should displease his parents or his tutors. The slightest harsh word rendered him inconsolable, and quite paralyzed his youthful faculties. When he reached the age of fourteen, he was sent to continue his studies in the Jesuit college at Béziers. His conduct was exemplary and he was much given to practices of devotion, while his good humour, frankness, and eagerness to oblige everybody soon won for him the good-will of his comrades. But Francis did not love the world, and even during the vacations lived in retirement, occupied in study and prayer. On one occasion only he allowed himself the diversions of the chase. At the end of his five years' study of the humanities, grace and his ascetic inclinations led him to embrace the religious life under the standard of St. Ignatius Loyola. He entered the Jesuit novitiate of Toulouse on 8 December, 1616, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Here he was distinguished for an extreme fervour, which never afterwards flagged, neither at Cahors, where he studied rhetoric for a year (Oct., 1618-Oct., 1619), nor during the six years in which he taught grammar at the colleges of Billom (1619-22), of Puy-en-Velay (1625-27), and of Auch (1627-28), nor during the three years in which he studied philosophy in the scholasticate at Tournon (Oct., 1622-Oct., 1625). During this time, although he was filling the laborious office of regent, he made his first attempts as a preacher. On feast-days he loved to visit the towns and villages of the neighbourhood, and there give an informal instruction, which never failed--as attested by those who heard him--to produce a profound impression on those present.

    As he burned with the desire to devote himself entirely to the salvation of his neighbour, he aspired with all his heart to the priesthood. In this spirit he began in October, 1628, his theological studies. The four years he was supposed to devote to them seemed to him so very long that he finally begged his superiors to shorten the term. This request was granted, and in consequenceFrancis said his first Mass on Trinity Sunday, 15 June, 1631; but on the other hand, in conformity with the statutes of his order, which require the full course of study, he was not admitted to the solemn profession of the four vows. The plague was at that time raging in Toulouse. The new priest hastened to lavish on the unfortunate victims the first-fruits of his apostolate. In the beginning of 1632, after having reconciled family differences at Fontcouverte, his birthplace, and having resumed for some weeks a class in grammar at Pamiers, he was definitively set to work by his superiors at the hard labour of the missions. This became the work of the last ten years of his life. It is impossible to enumerate the cities and localities which were the scene of his zeal. On this subject the reader must consult his modern biographer, Father de Curley, who has succeeded best in reconstructing the itinerary of the holy man. We need only mention that from May, 1632, to Sept., 1634, his head-quarters were at the Jesuit college of Montpellier, and here he laboured for the conversion of the Huguenots, visiting the hospitals, assisting the needy, withdrawing from vice wayward girls and women, and preaching Catholic doctrine with tireless zeal to children and the poor. Later (1633-40) he evangelized more than fifty districts in le Vivarais, le Forez, and le Velay. He displayed everywhere the same spirit, the same intrepidity, which were rewarded by the most striking conversions. "Everybody", wrote the rector of Montpellier to the general of the Jesuits, "agrees that Father Regis has a marvellous talent for the Missions" (Daubenton, "La vie du B. Jean-François Régis", ed. 1716, p. 73). But not everyone appreciated the transports of his zeal. He was reproached in certain quarters with being impetuous and meddlesome, with troubling the peace of families by an indiscreet charity, with preaching not evangelical sermons, but satires and invectives which converted no one. Some priests, who felt their own manner of life rebuked, determined to ruin him, and therefore denounced him to the Bishop of Viviers. They had laid their plot with such perfidy and cunning that the bishop permitted himself to be prejudiced for a time. But it was only a passing cloud. The influence of the best people on the one hand, and on the other the patience and humility of the saint, soon succeeded in confounding the calumny and caused the discreet and enlightened ardour of Regis to shine forth with renewed splendour (Daubenton, loc. dit., 67- 73). Less moderate indeed was his love of mortification, which he practiced with extreme rigour on all occasions, without ruffling in the least his evenness of temper. As he returned to the house one evening after a hard day's toil, one of his confrères laughingly asked: "Well, Father Regis, speaking candidly, are you not very tired?" "No", he replied, "I am as fresh as a rose." He then took only a bowl of milk and a little fruit, which usually constituted both his dinner and supper, and finally, after long hours of prayer, lay down on the floor of his room, the only bed he knew. He desired ardently to go to Canada, which at that time was one of the missions of the Society of Jesus where one ran the greatest risks. Having been refused, he finally sought and obtained from the general permission to spend six months of the year, and those the terrible months of winter, on the missions of the society. The remainder of the time he devoted to the most thankless labour in the cities, especially to the rescue of public women, whom he helped to persevere after their conversion by opening refuges for them, where they found honest means of livelihood. This most delicate of tasks absorbed a great part of his time and caused him many annoyances, but his strength of soul was above the dangers which he ran. Dissolute men often presented a pistol at him or held a dagger to his throat. He did not even change colour, and the brightness of his countenance, his fearlessness, and the power of his words caused them to drop the weapons from their hands. He was more sensitive to that opposition which occasionally proceeded from those who should have seconded his courage. His work among penitents urged his zeal to enormous undertakings. His superiors, as his first biographers candidly state, did not always share his optimism, or rather his unshaken faith in Providence, and it sometimes happened that they were alarmed at his charitable projects and manifested to him their disapproval. This was the cross which caused the saint the greatest suffering, but it was sufficient for him that obedience spoke: he silenced all the murmurs of human nature, and abandoned his most cherished designs. Seventy-two years after his death a French ecclesiastic, who believed he had a grievance against the Jesuits, circulated the legend that towards the end of his life St. John Francis Regis had been expelled from the Society of Jesus. Many different accounts were given, but finally the enemies of the Jesuits settled on the version that the letter of the general announcing to John his dismissal was sent from Rome, but that it was late in reaching its destination, only arriving some days after the death of the saint. This calumny will not stand the slightest examination. (For its refutation see de Curley, "St. Jean-François Régis", 336-51; more briefly and completely in "Analecta Bollandiana", XIII, 78-9.) It was in the depth of winter, at la Louvesc, a poor hamlet of the mountains of Ardèche, after having spent with heroic courage the little strength that he had left, and while he was contemplating the conversion of the Cévennes, that the saint's death occurred, on 30 December, 1640. There was no delay in ordering canonical investigations. On 18 May, 1716, the decree of beatification was issued by Clement XI. On 5 April, 1737, Clement XII promulgated the decree of canonization. Benedict XIV established the feast-day for 16 June. But immediately after his death Regis was venerated as a saint. Pilgrims came in crowds to his tomb, and since then the concourse has only grown. Mention must be made of the fact that a visit made in 1804 to the blessed remains of the Apostle of Vivarais was the beginning of the vocation of the Blessed Curé of Ars, Jean-Baptiste Vianney, whom the Church has raised in his turn to her altars. "Everything good that I have done", he said when dying, "I owe to him" (de Curley, op. cit., 371). The place where Regis died has been transformed into a mortuary chapel. Near by is a spring of fresh water to which those who are devoted to St. John Francis Regis attribute miraculous cures through his intercession. The old church of la Louvesc has received (1888) the title and privileges of a basilica. On this sacred site was founded in the beginning of the nineteenth century the Institute of the Sisters of St. Regis, or Sisters of Retreat, better known under the name of the Religious of the Cenacle; and it was the memory of his merciful zeal in behalf of so many unfortunate fallen women that gave rise to the now flourishing work of St. Francis Regis, which is to provide for the poor and working people who wish to marry, and which is chiefly concerned with bringing illegitimate unions into conformity with Divine and human laws.

    (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

    Saint June 15 : St. Vitus who is Patron of Actors , Comedians, Dogs, Dancers and Epilepsy

    St. Vitus a MARTYR
    Born: in 290, Sicily
    Died:
    303, Lucania, modern-day Basilicata, Italy
    Patron of:
    actors; comedians; Czechoslovakia; dancers; dogs; epilepsy; Mazara del Vallo, Sicily; Forio, Ischia; oversleeping; Prague, Czech Republic; rheumatic chorea (Saint Vitus Dance); snake bites; storms; Vacha, Germany; Zeven, Lower Saxony
    =
    According to the legend, martyrs under Diocletian; feast, 15 June. The earliest testimony for their veneration is offered by the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 78: "In Sicilia, Viti, Modesti et Crescentiae"). The fact that the note is in the three most important manuscripts proves that it was also in the common exemplar of these, which appeared in the fifth century. The same Martyrologium has under the same day another Vitus at the head of a list of nine martyrs, with the statement of the place, "In Lucania", that is, in the Roman province of that name in Southern Italy between the Tuscan Sea and the Gulf of Taranto. It is easily possible that the same martyr  Vitus in both cases, because only the name of a territory is given, not of a city, as the place where the martyr was venerated. This testimony to the public veneration of the three saints in the fifth century proves positively that they are historical martyrs. There are, nevertheless, no historical accounts of them, nor of the time or the details of their martyrdom. During the sixth and seventh centuries a purely legendary narrative of their martyrdom appeared which was based upon other legends, especially on the legend of Poitus, and ornamented with accounts of fantastic miracles. It still exists in various versions, but has no historical value.

    According to this legend Vitus was a boy seven years of age (other versions make him twelve years old), the son of a pagan senator of Lucania. During the era of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximilian, his father sought in every way, including various forms of torture, to make him apostatize. But he remained steadfast, and God aided him in a wonderful manner. He fled with his tutor Modestus in a boat to Lucania. From Lucania he was taken to Rome to drive out a demon which had taken possession of a son of the Emperor Diocletian. This he did, and yet, because he remained steadfast in the Christian Faith, he was  tortured together with his tutor Modestus and his nurse Crescentia. By a miracle an angel brought back the martyrs to Lucania, where they died from the tortures they had endured. Three days later Vitus appeared to a distinguished matron namedFlorentia, who then found the bodies and buried them in the spot where they were. It is evident that the author of the legend has connected in his invention three saints who apparently suffered death in Lucania, and were first venerated there. The veneration of the martyrs spread rapidly in Southern Italy and Sicily, as is shown by the note in the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum". Pope Gregory the Great mentions a monastery dedicated to Vitus in Sicily ("Epist.", I, xlviii, P.L., LXXXVII, 511). The veneration of Vitus, the chief saint of the group, also appeared very early at Rome. Pope Gelasius (492-496) mentions a shrine dedicated to him (Jaffé, "Reg. Rom. Pont.", 2nd ed., I, 6 79), and at Rome in the seventh century the chapel of a deaconry was dedicated to him ("Liber Pont.", ed. Duchesne, I, 470 sq.). In the eighth century it is said that relics of St. Vitus were brought to the monastery of St-Denis by Abbot Fulrad. They were later presented to Abbot Warin of Corvey in Germany, who solemnly transferred them to this abbey in 836. From Corvey the veneration of St. Vitus spread throughout Westphalia and in the districts of eastern and northern Germany. St. Vitus is appealed to, above all, against epilepsy, which is called St. Vitus's Dance, and he is one of the Fourteen Martyrs who give aid in times of trouble. He is represented near a kettle of boiling oil, because according to the legend he was thrown into such a kettle, but escaped miraculously. The feast of the three saints was adopted in the historical Martyrologies of the early Middle Ages and is also recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 15 June. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia
    Prayers and Devotions to St. Vitus (One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers) 

    Novena to St. Vitus

    Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.
    Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul.
    Prayer in Honor of St. Vitus

    Grant us, O God, through the intercession of St. Vitus, a due estimation of the value of our soul and of its redemption by the precious blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ; so that, for its salvation, we bear all trials with fortitude. Give this Thy youthful servant and heroic martyr as a guide and protector to Christian youths, that following his example they may after a victorious combat receive the crown of justice in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Invocation of St. Vitus
    St. Vitus, glorious martyr of Christ; in thy youth thou wast exposed to violent and dangerous temptations, but in the fear of God and for the love of Jesus thou didst victoriously overcome them. O amiable, holy youth, I implore thee by the love of Jesus, assist me with thy powerful intercession to overcome the temptations to evil, to avoid every occasion of sin, and thus to preserve spotless the robe of innocence and sanctifying grace, and to bring it unstained to the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ, that I may forever enjoy the beatific vision of God which is promised to the pure of heart. Amen.
    Concluding Prayer


    My Lord and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

    Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen
    Source of Prayers: catholicharboroffaithandmorals

    Pope Francis to Leaders "...convert death into life, weapons into food" at Forum to «Rebuild the World Back Better» - FULL TEXT + Video



    Pope Francis sent a video-message to participants in the 16th edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum - here political leaders and ministers discuss the rebuilding the post-pandemic world. The theme of the 2021 GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum is “Rebuild the World Back Better”. 

    VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

     ON THE OCCASION OF THE 16th EDITION OF THE GLOBSEC BRATISLAVA FORUM

    (June 15-17, 2021)

    Mr. President ,

    thank you for your kind invitation to participate, through this video message, in the 16th edition of the GLOBSEC  Bratislava Forum , dedicated to the theme: « Rebuild the World Back Better ».

    I greet you, all the organizers and participants of this conference. I would like to express my gratitude for the platform that the  Bratislava Forum  offers to the important debate on the reconstruction of our world after the experience of the pandemic, which forces us to confront a series of serious socio-economic, ecological and political issues, all between related to them.

    In this regard, I would like to offer you some ideas, taking inspiration from the method of the trinomial  see - judge - act .

    To see

    A serious and honest analysis of the past, which includes the recognition of the systemic deficiencies, the mistakes made and the lack of responsibility towards the Creator, neighbor and creation, seems to me essential to develop an idea of ​​recovery that aims not only at rebuild what was there, but to correct what was not working before the advent of the Coronavirus and which contributed to aggravate the crisis. Whoever wants to get up from a fall must confront the circumstances of his own collapse and recognize the elements of responsibility.

     

     I see, therefore, a world that has been deceived by an illusory sense of security based on the hunger for gain.

    I see a model of economic and social life, characterized by so many inequalities and selfishness, in which a small minority of the world population owns the majority of assets, often not hesitating to exploit people and resources.

    I see a lifestyle that doesn't care enough for the environment. We are accustomed to consuming and destroying without restraint what belongs to everyone and must be safeguarded with respect, creating an "ecological debt" to be borne above all by the poor and future generations.

    To judge

    The second step is to evaluate what has been seen. In greeting my collaborators of the Roman Curia on the occasion of last Christmas, I made a brief reflection on the meaning of the crisis. The crisis opens up new possibilities: it is in fact an open challenge to face the current situation, to transform the time of trial into a time of choice. A crisis, in fact, forces you to choose, for good or for evil. From a crisis, as I have already repeated, you do not come out the same: either you come out better or you come out worse. But never the same.

    Judging what we have seen and experienced encourages us to improve. Let's take advantage of this time to take steps forward. The crisis that has hit everyone reminds us that no one is saved alone. The crisis opens the way for us to a future that recognizes the true equality of every human being: not an abstract equality, but a concrete one, which offers people and peoples fair and real opportunities for development.

    Act

    Those who do not act waste the opportunities offered by the crisis. Acting in the face of social injustices and marginalization requires a development model that places "every man and the whole man" at the center "as the fundamental pillar to respect and protect, adopting a methodology that includes the ethics of solidarity and “political charity” ”( Message to the Director of UNESCO , Ms Audrey Azoulay , 24 March 2021).

    Every action needs a vision, a vision that is  as a whole  and  of hope : a vision like that of the biblical prophet Isaiah, who saw swords turning into plows, spears into sickles (cf.  Is 2:  4). To act for the development of all is to carry out a work of conversion. And above all decisions that convert death into life, weapons into food.

    But we all need to undertake an ecological conversion as well. In fact, the overall vision includes the perspective of a creation understood as a "common home" and urgently requires action to protect it.

    Dear friends, animated by the hope that comes from God, I hope that your exchanges these days will contribute to a model of recovery capable of generating more inclusive and sustainable solutions; a development model based on peaceful coexistence between peoples and harmony with creation. Good work, and thank you!

     FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va

    Bishops of Poland Renew Consecration of the Country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as was Done in 1920 - FULL TEXT Prayer and VIDEO



    Bishops Conference of Poland Press release:
    Just like a hundred years ago, we humbly dedicate ourselves to Your Sacred Heart, giving our Homeland to You, said the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, reading the Act of Consecration of the Polish Nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the 100th anniversary of this event. 
     On June 11, 2021, on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, during the Holy Mass at. 18 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow, the Act of Consecration of the Polish Nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was renewed. 
     Holy Mass was chaired by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, chairman of the Polish Bishops' Conference, who also renewed the Act. “We entrust to you our entire personal, family and social life, which we wish to base on the solid principles of the Gospel. Like a hundred years ago, we humbly dedicate ourselves to Your Sacred Heart, giving our Homeland to You, ”said the President of the Episcopate when reading the Act.


    “Jesus, make our hearts like Your Heart, so that we may lose our lives in the service of the most needy, the weakest and the defenseless. During the difficult time of the pandemic, lead us to the sick and the elderly, and to those who mourn their dead. Open our hearts to those who have been painfully wounded in the community of the Church, so that, thanks to Your grace, their wounds may heal and they may have peace again, ”we read in the Act.

    Father Jarosław Paszyński SJ, Provincial of the Southern Poland Province of the Society of Jesus, drew attention in the homily of the Holy Mass. to the fact that "The Heart of Jesus is the heart of the Church". “The cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus highlights what is the heart of the Church - God's love for us and our response to this love, following the example of Jesus' love. St. John Paul II called it the civilization of the Heart of Christ, the civilization of love, ”he said. He added that in building this civilization a program of spiritual formation that includes three things: adoration, communion and reparation can be helpful.

    The Eucharist was attended by bishops gathered at the 389th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops' Conference, which is held from 11 to 12 June 2021 in the Archdiocese of Krakow.

    On July 27, 1920, at Jasna Góra, the Polish Episcopate consecrated the homeland to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This act was repeated a year later in Krakow, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the occasion of the consecration of the temple.

    We publish the full text of the Act:

    RENEWAL
    OF THE ACT OF DONATION OF
    THE POLISH NATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

    Our Lord Jesus Christ,

    Today, as a hundred years ago, we gather in the temple dedicated to the honor of Your Sacred Heart in Krakow. In the person of their pastors, people of consecrated life and faithful, the nation and the Church in Poland stand before you to solemnly renew the act of dedication to your Sacred Heart.

    Like our ancestors on the threshold of independence, we also commend the Church and the Homeland to you today, thanking you for the gift of freedom. Giving ourselves to Your Sacred Heart, we ask: Your kingdom come! And in the wake of St. With John Paul II we cry: “Let Your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth. This land! ”.

    In the face of Your mercy, we confess our individual and social sins with repentance. We apologize for the lack of respect for life, including the weakest one, hidden under the mother's heart. We apologize for the sins of sexual abuse of minors, especially committed by some clergy and the related sins of neglect of their superiors. We apologize for addictions and addictions, for privacy, partying, aggression and inability to dialogue. We apologize for the lack of reverence for what is sacred, including attempts to treat religion instrumentally.

    Aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses - facing new and difficult challenges for the Church and the Fatherland - we confidently cry out: Open our eyes, heal sick hearts, wash what is dirty, give the grace of conversion and penance! Free us from mutual hatred and contempt, from the spirit of discord and hurtful division. Give us enlightened eyes of the heart, so that we stop seeing each other's enemies and see our fellow household members - in your home and also in this house called Poland. Give us the grace of sincere love for you, for the Church, for the homeland and for each other. Instill in us the spirit of universal brotherhood.

    Jesus, make our hearts like Your Heart, so that we may lose our lives in the service of the most needy, the weakest and the defenseless. During the difficult time of the pandemic, lead us to the sick and the elderly, and to those who mourn their dead. Open our hearts to those who have been painfully wounded in the community of the Church, so that, thanks to Your grace, their wounds may be healed and they may have peace again.

    Make Polish families find a source of unity and renewal in your loving heart. May they be focal points of love and peace, free from betrayal, aggression and violence, open to accepting a new life and capable of transmitting the faith to new generations. Open the hearts of young people so that their enthusiasm, strength of faith and witness to hope may renew the community of the Church.

    Teach us to contemplate what you have created. Teach us to care for a beautiful and undamaged earth so that - as a gift from you - we can pass it on to those who will come after us.

    We entrust to you our entire personal, family and social life, which we wish to base on the solid principles of the Gospel. Just like a hundred years ago, we humbly dedicate ourselves to Your Sacred Heart, entrusting our Homeland to You.

    With confidence we cry out: Glory be to Your Sacred Heart, with whom You love us so much and through which the path to our salvation leads. Amen.

    Knights of Columbus Consecrated to Saint Joseph during Installation of New Supreme Knight by Bishop - VIDEO



    Knights of Columbus reports that the Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, new Supreme Officers and Directors and State Deputies were officially installed during a historic ceremony.

    Patrick E. Kelly was officially installed as the 14th supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus at the conclusion of Mass June 11 at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn.
    “Standing before God, with my family and my brother Knights here assembled, I promise to support and obey the constitution and laws of our Order,” he stated in his oath of office. “I promise to conduct myself in such a way as to personify the principles of the Order, especially the principle of charity, so that the widow, the orphan, the poor, the sick and the homeless may find solace.” 
    Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was the principal celebrant of the Mass, which took place during the annual Organizational Meeting of Knights of Columbus State Deputies. In his homily, the supreme chaplain noted that the historic installation was held on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, at the church where Blessed Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, and during the Year of St. Joseph.
    “Worthy Supreme Knight, we are indeed blessed to have you as our leader and we pledge you our heartfelt prayers and wholehearted support and loyalty,” Archbishop Lori said. “Drawing grace and strength from the infinite love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, finding inspiration from the fatherly love of good St. Joseph, surrounded by the intercessory prayers of Blessed Michael McGivney, may the Knights of Columbus grow daily in wisdom, in love, and in numbers now and for many, many years to come.”
    After Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson conferred the medal of office on Supreme Knight Kelly, the newly installed supreme knight led the faithful in the Litany of St. Joseph and prayed an act of consecration of his administration St. Joseph. Archbishop Lori then blessed the supreme knight, his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters.
    The Kelly Family
    The Kelly Family
    Deputy Supreme Knight Paul G. O’Sullivan, Supreme Secretary Patrick T. Mason, new supreme directors, and state deputies were also ceremonially installed following the Mass and remarks by the supreme knight. Given delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first time in the Order’s history that a supreme knight and state deputies were installed on the same day.
    In his remarks, Supreme Knight Kelly emphasized the example of St. Joseph as a model of Catholic knighthood. 
    “This year [of St. Joseph] is providential for the Knights of Columbus because there are few things the world needs more right now than men in the mold of St. Joseph,” the supreme knight said. In particular, he said that Knights should emulate St. Joseph’s roles as guardian of the family and guardian of the truth.
    “Catholic families are struggling to live out their faith and raise their children amid a culture that is increasingly hostile to our beliefs,” he said. “Catholic husbands and fathers, especially fathers of young children, need the encouragement and support of the Knights of Columbus. We can inspire them with the creative courage needed to keep their families strong in the faith.”
    Encouraging Knights to embrace their role as “guardians of the family,” the supreme knight continued: “The truth that Joseph protected had a name: Jesus Christ, who is the Truth incarnate. As Knights, we too must serve this truth. This is not easy in our day. As was the case for Blessed Michael McGivney, we live in a time of bigotry and intolerance. Key truths — truths about marriage, about life in the womb, about the nature of the family and the meaning of freedom — are often denied and even vilified. Yet, this makes our commitment to truth all the more important. We stand for these truths, for what is truly right, truly just and truly loving.” 
    Supreme Knight Kelly further noted that Knights are called to have a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. “The more we dedicate ourselves to Christ in the Eucharist,” he said, “the more we will be a sign of unity in an age of division and disbelief.”
    He concluded his remarks by urging all members of the Order to ask for the intercession of St. Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney, asking for “the grace to commit ourselves more fully to Christ.”
    “We will be a sign of unity in this age, and a source of light and courage for the men and families living in these challenging times,” he said. “It is a high calling, and like previous generations of Knights, the time has come for us to answer the call, out of love for Christ and his Church.” 
    The ceremony concluded with the conferral of medals of office on the deputy supreme knight, supreme secretary, new supreme directors and state deputies.
    Release: Knights of Columbus - Photo Screenshot same

    Monday, June 14, 2021

    Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 in Your Virtual Church



    Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
    Lectionary: 366
    Reading I
    2 Cor 8:1-9
    We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
    that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
    for in a severe test of affliction,
    the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
    overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
     
     For according to their means, I can testify,
    and beyond their means, spontaneously,
    they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
    in the service to the holy ones,
    and this, not as we expected,
    but they gave themselves first to the Lord
    and to us through the will of God,
    so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
    he should also complete for you this gracious act also.
    Now as you excel in every respect,
    in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
    and in the love we have for you,
    may you excel in this gracious act also.
    I say this not by way of command,
    but to test the genuineness of your love
    by your concern for others.
    For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
    so that by his poverty you might become rich.
    Responsorial Psalm
    146:2, 5-6ab, 6c- 7, 8-9a
    R.    (1b)  Praise the Lord, my soul!
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Praise the LORD, my soul!
        I will praise the LORD all my life;
        I will sing praise to my God while I live.
    R.    Praise the Lord, my soul!
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
        whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
    Who made heaven and earth,
        the sea and all that is in them.
    R.    Praise the Lord, my soul!
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Who keeps faith forever,
        secures justice for the oppressed,
        gives food to the hungry.
    The LORD sets captives free. 
    R.    Praise the Lord, my soul!
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    The LORD gives sight to the blind.
    The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
        the LORD loves the just.
    The LORD protects strangers. 
    R.    Praise the Lord, my soul!
    or:
    R.    Alleluia.
    Alleluia
    Jn 13:34
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    I give you a new commandment:
    love one another as I have loved you.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Gospel
    Mt 5:43-48
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “You have heard that it was said,
        You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
    But I say to you, love your enemies
    and pray for those who persecute you,
    that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
    for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
    and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
    For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
    Do not the tax collectors do the same?
    And if you greet your brothers only,
    what is unusual about that?
    Do not the pagans do the same?
    So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    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

    Pope Francis says "Despite the achievements of the past decades, many of our brothers and sisters still do not have access, either in quantity or quality, to the necessary nutrition." FULL TEXT.



    MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

    TO THE MINISTER OF CLIMATE AND THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
    ON THE OCCASION OF THE XLII SESSION OF THE FAO CONFERENCE

    [Rome, June 14-18, 2021]


    To His Excellency
    Mr MICHAŁ KURTYKA
    Minister of Climate and Environment
    of the Republic of Poland
    President of the XLII
    FAO Conference

    The current moment, still marked by the health, economic and social crisis caused by Covid-19, highlights that the work that FAO carries out in the search for adequate answers to the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition, which continue to be great challenges of our time, acquires particular importance. Despite the achievements of the past decades, many of our brothers and sisters still do not have access, either in quantity or quality, to the necessary nutrition.

    Last year, the number of people who were at risk of acute food insecurity, and who needed immediate support to survive, reached the highest figure in the last five years. This situation could worsen in the future. Conflicts, extreme weather phenomena, economic crises, together with the current health crisis, are a source of famine and hunger for millions of people. Therefore, to address these growing vulnerabilities, the adoption of policies capable of addressing the structural causes that cause them is essential.

    To offer a solution to these needs, it is above all important to ensure that food systems are resilient, inclusive, sustainable and capable of providing healthy and accessible diets for all. In this perspective, the development of a circular economy is profitable, which guarantees resources for all, including for future generations, and which promotes the use of renewable energies. The fundamental factor for recovering from the crisis that plagues us is an economy on a human scale, not only subject to profit, but anchored to the common good, friendly to ethics and respectful of the environment.

    The reconstruction of post-pandemic economies offers us the opportunity to reverse the course followed so far and to invest in a global food system capable of withstanding future crises. This includes the promotion of sustainable and diversified agriculture, which takes into account the precious role of family farming and that of rural communities. In fact, it is paradoxical to note that the lack or scarcity of food is suffered precisely by those who produce it. Three quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas and rely primarily on agriculture to earn their living. However, due to lack of access to markets, land tenure, financial resources, infrastructure and technology, these brothers and sisters of ours are the most vulnerable to food insecurity.

    I appreciate and encourage the efforts of the international community to ensure that each country can put in place the mechanisms necessary to achieve its food autonomy, both through new models of development and consumption, and through forms of community organization that preserve local ecosystems and biodiversity (cf. Encyclical Laudato si ' , nn. 129 , 180 ). It could be of great help to use the potential of innovation to support small producers and help them improve their capacities and resilience. With this in mind, the work you do is of particular importance in the current era of crisis.

    At the present juncture, in order to start the recovery, the fundamental step is the promotion of a culture of care, willing to face the individualistic and aggressive tendency to throw away, which is very present in our societies. While few sow tensions, clashes and falsehoods, we, on the other hand, are invited to build, with patience and determination, a culture of peace that is oriented towards initiatives that embrace all aspects of human life and help us reject the virus of indifference. .

    Dear friends, simply drawing up programs is not enough to give impetus to the action of the international community; there is a need for tangible gestures that have as a point of reference the common belonging to the human family and the promotion of brotherhood. Gestures that facilitate the creation of a society that promotes education, dialogue and equity.

    Individual responsibility gives rise to collective responsibility, which encourages the family of nations to make concrete and effective commitments. It is pertinent that “we do not think only of our interests, of particular interests. We take this test as an opportunity to prepare everyone for tomorrow, without excluding anyone: everyone. Because without an overview, no one will have a future "( Homily at the Mass of Divine Mercy , April 19, 2020).

    With a cordial greeting both to you, Mr. President of the Conference, and to the Director General of FAO, to the Representatives of the various Nations and International Organizations, and also to the other participants, I wish to express my gratitude to you for your efforts. The Holy See and the Catholic Church, with their structures and institutions, support the work of this Conference and accompany you in your dedication to a more just world, at the service of our defenseless and needy brothers and sisters.

    Fraternally,

    Francis

    Vatican, June 14, 2021

    ___________________________________________________________

    from L'Osservatore Romano , Year CLXI n. 132, Monday 14 June 2021, p.12