Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pope Francis recalls Coptic Christian Martyrs in Libya whose last words were "Jesus, Jesus" and says the Holy Spirit was with them


POPE FRANCIS at the GENERAL AUDIENCE

St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 8. "Do not happen to find yourself even fighting against God" (Acts 5:39). The criteria of discernment proposed by the essay Gamaliel.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We continue the catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. Faced with the prohibition of the Jews to teach in the name of Christ, Peter and the Apostles respond with courage that they cannot obey those who want to stop the journey of the Gospel in the world.

The Twelve thus show that they possess that "obedience of faith" which they will then want to arouse in all men (see Rom 1.5). Starting from Pentecost, in fact, they are no longer "alone" men. They experience that special synergy that makes them decentralize themselves and has them say: "we and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 5:32) or "the Holy Spirit and us" (Acts 15:28). They feel that they cannot say "I" alone, they are men decentralized by themselves. Strengthened by this covenant, the Apostles do not let themselves be intimidated by anyone. They had an impressive courage! We think these were cowards: they all ran away, they ran away when Jesus was arrested. But, from cowards they have become so brave. Why? Because it was the Holy Spirit with them. The same happens to us: if we have the Holy Spirit inside, we will have the courage to move forward, the courage to win many struggles, not for ourselves but for the Spirit that is with us. They do not retreat into their march as intrepid witnesses of the Risen Jesus, like the martyrs of all times, including ours. Martyrs give their lives, they do not hide that they are Christians. We think, a few years ago - even today there are many - but we think four years ago, those Coptic Orthodox Christians, real workers, on the beach of Libya: all have been slaughtered. But the last word they said was "Jesus, Jesus". They had not sold off the faith, because there was the Holy Spirit with them. These are the martyrs of today! The Apostles are the "megaphones" of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Risen One to promptly and without hesitation spread the Word that gives salvation.

And indeed, this determination makes the Jewish "religious system" tremble, which feels threatened and responds with violence and death sentences. The persecution of Christians is always the same: people who do not want Christianity feel threatened and thus bring death to Christians. But, in the midst of the Sanhedrin, the different voice of a Pharisee rises who chooses to stem the reaction of his own: his name was Gamaliel, a prudent man, "doctor of the Law, esteemed by all the people". At his school St. Paul learned to observe "the law of the fathers" (see Acts 22: 3). Gamaliele takes the floor and shows his brothers how to exercise the art of discernment in the face of situations that go beyond the usual patterns.

He shows, citing some characters who had passed off as Messiah, that every human project can first receive acclaim and then be shipwrecked, while everything that comes from above and carries the "signature" of God is destined to last. Human projects always fail; they have a time, like us. Think of so many political projects, and how they change from one side to the other, in all countries. Think of the great empires, think of the dictatorships of the last century: they felt very powerful, they thought they dominated the world. And then they all collapsed. Even today, think of today's empires: they will collapse, if God is not with them, because the strength that men have in themselves is not lasting. Only the strength of God endures. Let us think of the history of Christians, including the history of the Church, with so many sins, with so many scandals, with so many bad things in these two millennia. And why didn't it collapse? Because God is there. We are sinners, and even so often we give scandal. But God is with us. And God saves us first, and then them; but always save, the Lord. Strength is "God with us". Gamaliel demonstrates, quoting some characters who had passed off as Messiah, that every human project can first receive acclaim and then be shipwrecked. Therefore, Gamaliele concludes that, if the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth believed an impostor, they are destined to disappear into thin air; if instead they follow one who comes from God, it is better to give up fighting them; and warns: "Do not happen to find yourself even fighting against God" (Acts 5:39). It teaches us to make this discernment.

They are calm and far-sighted words, which allow us to see the Christian event with a new light and offer criteria that "know of the Gospel", because they invite us to recognize the tree from its fruits (see Mt 7:16). They touch hearts and achieve the desired effect: the other members of the Sanhedrin follow his opinion and renounce the intentions of death, that is to kill the Apostles.
We ask the Holy Spirit to act in us so that, both personally and as a community, we can acquire the habit of discernment. Let us ask him to always be able to see the unity of the history of salvation through the signs of the passage of God in our time and on the faces of those around us, because we learn that time and human faces are messengers of the living God.


Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les personnes de langue française, en particulier les pèlerins du diocèse de Blois. Frères et sœurs, demandons à Dieu la grâce du discernement sur les évènements, parfois obscurs, de nos vies et du monde. La volonté de Dieu s’exprime dans la durée. Sachons, avant de juger ou de nous décourager, attendre avec patience que l’Esprit Saint fasse porter du fruit à nos projets, dans la mesure où ils viennent de lui. Que Dieu vous bénisse!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States of America. In particular, I greet the members of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons present in Rome for their annual meeting. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
Ein herzliches Willkommen den Pilgern deutscher Sprache. Ich grüße die verschiedenen Schülergruppen, insbesondere die Cäcilienschule Wilhelmshafen und die Gerhardinger Realschule Cham sowie die Gemeinschaft des interdiözesanen Priesterseminars Leopoldinum Heiligenkreuz. Bitten wir den Heiligen Geist um die Gabe der Unterscheidung, die uns die Zeichen der Gegenwart Gottes in der Welt von heute erkennen lässt.
[A cordial welcome to German-speaking pilgrims. I greet the various groups of students, in particular those from the Cäcilienschule Wilhelmshafen and the Gerhardinger Realschule Cham, as well as the community of the Interdiocesan Seminary Leopoldinum Heiligenkreuz. We ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment that allows us to recognize the signs of God's presence in today's world.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española. En particular saludo al Pontificio Colegio Mexicano en Roma, y a los sacerdotes de la Arquidiócesis de Guadalajara, que celebran su 25 aniversario de sacerdocio. Pidamos al Espíritu Santo que nos ayude a saber descubrir a Dios en los acontecimientos y en las personas que nos rodean. Que Dios los bendiga.
Com cordial afeto, saúdo todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em especial os grupos de Fernandópolis, da diocese de Friburgo e da paróquia de São Pedro da Cova. O Senhor vos abençoe, para serdes em toda a parte farol de luz do Evangelho para todos. Possa esta peregrinação fortalecer nos vossos corações o sentir e o viver com a Igreja. Nossa Senhora acompanhe e proteja a vós todos e aos vossos entes queridos.
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزاء، إن التمييز الحقيقي يتطلّب منا أن نربّيَ أنفسنا على صبر الله وأوقاته التي ليست أوقاتنا، لنعزّز البحث عن معايير التمييز الشخصيّة والجماعية الضرورية لكي نبلغ معرفة مشيئة الله التي نجد فيها ملء الحياة. ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, authentic discernment requires educating oneself to the patience of God and to his times, which are not ours, we try to favor the search for personal and community discernment criteria, necessary to reach the knowledge of God's will, in which every fullness of life resides. The Lord bless you!]
Witam serdecznie obecnych tu Polaków. Dzisiaj w liturgii Kościoła w Polsce przypada święto patrona dzieci i młodzieży, świętego Stanisława Kostki. Ten młody chłopiec pokonał pieszo drogę z Wiednia do Rzymu, by zostać jezuitą. Pokazał, że koniecznie trzeba poświęcić wiele, by pójść za głosem własnego powołania. Jest wzorem także dla tych młodych, którzy z obawy przed reakcją rodziny, przyjaciół lub innych ludzi, boją się wybrać drogę powołania kapłańskiego lub zakonnego. Drodzy młodzi, nie lękajcie się iść za głosem Chrystusa! Niech Bóg błogosławi wam i wszystkim tu obecnym.
[I cordially greet the Poles here present. Today in the liturgy of the Church in Poland falls the feast of the patron saint of children and young people, St. Stanislaus Kostka. That boy from Vienna, walked to Rome to become a Jesuit. He thus demonstrated that it is necessary to sacrifice so much to follow the voice of one's vocation. It is also an example for those young people who, fearing the reaction of their family members, friends or others, are afraid to choose the vocational path to the priesthood or religious life. Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow the voice of Christ! God bless you and everyone present here.]

APPEAL



Next September 21st is World Alzheimer's Day, a disease that affects many men and women who, because of this disease, are often victims of violence, abuse and abuse that trample their dignity. We pray for the conversion of hearts and for those affected by Alzheimer's disease, for their families and for those who lovingly care for them. I also associate with prayer, the memory of those suffering from cancer, so that they are also increasingly supported, both in the prevention and treatment of this disease.



* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Religious, Religious and participants in the refresher course on Canon Law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

I greet the National Sacerdoti Italia Calcio team; the parishes, in particular those of the Saints Prosdocimo and Donato in Cittadella and of Santa Lucia in Palermo; the Comboni Association of migrant and refugee services; the Italian Federation of Dog Crafts; and the members of the Road Safety Education Campaign.

I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

Next Saturday is the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Imitate his willingness to readily follow Jesus. He was attached to money and sold his homeland for money! The Lord called him and he left all the money to follow Jesus. His conversion is an example for everyone, so that like him we can live as true disciples of the Lord, able to abandon the calculations of the world.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Shared from www.vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian

RIP Cokie Roberts - the famous Catholic Journalist dies at age 75 who was taught by the Sacred Heart Sisters


Catholic News Service reports that Catholic reporter Cokie Roberts has died as a result of complications from breast cancer.

Cokie Roberts, a Catholic, who was the daughter of politicians  in Washington for ABC News and NPR over several decades, died at age 75 Sept. 17, 2019, in Washington of complications from breast cancer.  Cokie Roberts, a broadcast journalist and political commentator who spoke publicly about her Catholic faith and her admiration for the Sacred Heart sisters who taught her.
She was born in New Orleans in 1943 with the full name Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs and was nicknamed “Cokie” by her brother.

Roberts, who died at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, was an Emmy award-winning reporter, author and frequent keynote speaker at Catholic college graduations. She was described as “a true pioneer for women in journalism,” by James Goldston, president of ABC News, her longtime employer. He said her “kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists.”

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was listed one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television. She also was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.

Roberts started her radio career at CBS and in 1978 began working for NPR covering Capitol Hill, where she continued to work as a political commentator until her death. Roberts joined ABC News in 1988 and during her three decades there, she was a political commentator, chief congressional analyst and co-anchor with Sam Donaldson of the news program “This Week” from 1996 to 2002.


Roberts attended Catholic schools in New Orleans and Bethesda, run by the sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart. During her career, she also wrote eight books, including a book with her husband, Steve Roberts, also a journalist, called From This Day Forward, about their interfaith marriage. Steve is Jewish.

Cokie Roberts’ roots are both political and Catholic. She is the daughter of Hale Boggs, the former Democratic House majority leader and representative from New Orleans, who died in a plane crash in 1972. Her mother, Lindy, was elected to fill his seat and served nine terms. Lindy Boggs, who died in 2013, was appointed U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in 1997, a post she held until 2001.


In a 2014 interview with America magazine by Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who died the following year, Roberts said: “There is no way to talk about my faith absent the Society of the Sacred Heart. The women who were my teachers and remain my dear friends mean the world to me. They took girls seriously in the 1950s — a radical notion, so there was never any ‘grown-up’ need to reject them, only to thank them — and they keep the faith.”


She said she also had made clear her “continuing commitment to Catholicism — as opposed to many who say, ‘I was raised Catholic.'” She said she didn’t think she had been “discriminated against officially” as a Catholic woman, but she also answered the question about this with her own question: “Are there people in this society still who think that to be a believer is to be a little bit simpleminded? Sure. And to be a Catholic, still a little simpler still? Yes,” she said.


During a 2009 LCWR meeting in New Orleans, she told the sisters that their vitality extends beyond their numbers and can best be seen in the lasting effects they have had on students and others they are serving.

“You wonderful, holy, awe-inspiring women — you women of spirit — have taught us well. Your teaching will go on, constantly creating a better world for the people of God, corralling the chaos to create a better quality of life for others that you can be proud of.”

She also praised the church’s efforts to help the poor at a 2006 Catholic Charities USA convention in Minneapolis where she said: “It seems to me that your issues are actually the ones that Jesus talked about.” She also challenged the conference participants to educate parishioners about the “option for the poor,” a Catholic social teaching that puts the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.


Roberts is survived by her husband, her children, Lee and Rebecca, and her six grandchildren.

A statement released by her family said she will be missed “beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness.”

Edited from a report by Carol Zimmermann in Catholic News Service - Image Source: Google Images
The video below shows Cokie commentating on the Election of Pope Francis:

Novena to St. Joseph Cupertino and Miracle Prayer for Exams - Patron of Students, Pilots and Disabled

EXAM PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH CUPERTINO 
This powerful prayer is very effective in examinations. It has to be said before appearing in the examination. There are two variants to this prayer. Both the prayers are equally effective. 
You can choose any one of these:- First Prayer O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. Through Christ our Lord. St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us. Amen. 
 Second Prayer O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination eg. History paper I ) examination. 
 In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me O Holy Ghost enlighten me Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me. Remember, when you succeed in the exams then you should thank St. Joseph of Cupertino. Image Source: Ordo Fratrum Minorum Conventualium.
Please LIKE us on Facebook NOW

NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH CUPERTINO 
He is patron of students doing exams, travellers (especially those undertaking journeys by air), pilots, and is invoked by children, adults and the elderly who are unloved, abandoned or neglected.
FIRST DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you were an unwanted child and were thought worthless even by your own mother. Intercede for all unwanted children that they may come to know they were born out of God’s love for them. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
SECOND DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you were an angry, frustrated child. We pray for all who struggle to express themselves, and that you help us overcome sins of anger. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
THIRD DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you experienced no love in your family and were considered of little account by all who knew you. We pray for all who have experienced the same. May we learn to treat everyone as having the worth they have in God’s eyes. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
FOURTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you suffered because you found it difficult to learn. We pray for all those who struggle at school. May they take comfort from the fact that although learning wasn’t easy for you, this didn’t stop you from becoming a saint. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
FIFTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you did the best with the intelligence you did have and put the rest in God’s hands. That way you passed all your exams and became a priest. We pray for all those struggling with exams. May we also do our best in everything and trust in God to guide our lives. We pray especially for (mention your request. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
SIXTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, even the thought or mention of anything holy made you levitate in ecstasy. Grant us something of the understanding and reverence for God and his saints that you had. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
SEVENTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, only when your superior ordered you to, were you able to come back down to earth. May we too have a love for and obedience to the teachings of the Church. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
EIGHTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, you were unjustly suspected, confined to your room and neglected by those charged with looking after you. You accepted all this with humility. We pray for all those unjustly imprisoned, and that we too may have the humility to accept injustice for the love of Christ. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
NINTH DAY:
Dear St Joseph, because you could levitate you are the patron of travellers, especially air travellers. We pray for all those travelling that they may safely reach their destinations. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - #Eucharist


Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 445

Reading 11 TM 3:14-16

Beloved:
I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.
Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,

Who was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.(2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Saint September 18 : St. Joseph of Cupertino the Saint who could Fly and the Patron of Students, Pilots and Mentally Handicapped

Mystic, born 17 June, 1603; died at Osimo 18 September, 1663; feast, 18 September. Joseph received his surname from Cupertino, a small village in the Diocese of Nardò, lying between Brindisi and Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples. His father Felice Desa, a poor carpenter, died before Joseph was born and left some debts, in consequence of which the creditors drove the mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and she was obliged to give birth to her child in a stable.
Also See:

#Novena to St. Joseph Cupertino and MIRACLE Prayer for Exams - Patron of #Students, Pilots and Disabled
http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2016/09/novena-to-st-joseph-cupertino-and.html
In his eighth year Joseph had an ecstatic vision while at school and this was renewed several times; so that the children, seeing him gape and stare on such occasions, lost to all things about him, gave him the sobriquet "Bocca Aperta". At the same time he had a hot and irascible temper which his strict mother strove hard to overcome. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker, but at the age of seventeen he tried to be admitted to the Friars Minor Conventuals and was refused on account of his ignorance. He then applied to the Capuchins at Martino near Tarento, where he was accepted as a lay-brother in 1620, but his continual ecstasies unfitted him for work and he was dismissed. His mother and his uncles abused him as a good-for-nothing, but Joseph did not lose hope. By his continued prayers and tears he succeeded in obtaining permission to work in the stable as lay help or oblate at the Franciscan convent of La Grotella near Cupertino. He now gave evidence of great virtues, humility, obedience, and love of penance to such an extent that he was admitted to the clerical state in 1625, and three years later, on 28 March he was raised to the priesthood. Joseph was but little versed in human knowledge, for his biographers relate that he was able to read but poorly, yet infused by knowledge and supernatural light he not only surpassed all ordinary men in the learning of the schools but could solve the most intricate questions.
His life was now one long succession of visions and other heavenly favours. Everything that in any way had reference to God or holy things would bring on an ecstatic state: the sound of a bell or of church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, all would put Joseph into contemplation. Neither dragging him about, buffeting, piercing with needles, nor even burning his flesh with candles would have any effect on him — only the voice of his superior would make him obey. These conditions would occur at any time or place, especially at Mass or during Divine Service. Frequently he would be raised from his feet and remain suspended in the air. Besides he would at times hear heavenly music. Since such occurrences in public caused much admiration and also disturbance in a community, Joseph for thirty-five years was not allowed to attend choir, go to the common refectory, walk in procession or say Mass in church, but was ordered to remain in his room, where a private chapel was prepared for him. Evil-minded and envious men even brought him before the Inquisition, and he was sent from one lonely house of the Capuchins or Franciscans to another, but Joseph retained his resigned and joyous spirit, submitting confidently to Divine Providence. He practised mortification and fasting to such a degree, that he kept seven Lents of forty days each year, and during many of them tasted no food except on Thursdays and Sundays. His body is in the church at Osimo. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1753, and canonized 16 July 1767 by Clement XIII; Clement XIV extended his office to the entire Church. His life was written by Robert Nuti (Palermo, 1678). Angelo Pastrovicchi wrote another in 1773, and this is used by the Bollandist "Acta SS.", V, Sept., 992.
Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia 

Pope Francis says "The Lord was filled with great compassion" and suggests we be compassionate in Homily at Mass


The Pope: compassion is also the language of God
Compassion is like "the lens of the heart" which makes us understand the dimensions of reality, it is also the language of God, while many times human language is indifference. The Pope spoke about it at the morning Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta, resumed yesterday after the summer break
Debora Donnini - Vatican City

Open your heart to compassion and not close in indifference. This is the strong invitation that Pope Francis makes this morning in the homily of the Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Compassion, in fact, brings us to the path of "true justice", thus saving us from being closed in on ourselves. All reflection starts from the Gospel passage by Luke of today's Liturgy (Lk 7: 11-17) in which the story is told Jesus' meeting with the widow of Nain who mourns the death of his only son, as he is taken to the grave (listen to the service with the Pope's voice)

Our God is a God of compassion
The evangelist does not say that Jesus had compassion but that "the Lord was taken by great compassion", notes the Pope, and it is as if he said "he was a victim of compassion". There was the crowd that followed him, there were the people who accompanied that woman but Jesus sees his reality: she remained alone, she is a widow, she lost her only son. It is precisely compassion, in fact, that makes reality profoundly understood:

Compassion makes you see realities as they are; compassion is like the lens of the heart: it makes us really understand the dimensions. And in the Gospels, Jesus is often taken by compassion. Compassion is also the language of God. It does not begin, in the Bible, to appear with Jesus: it was God who told Moses "I saw the pain of my people" (Ex 3: 7); it is the compassion of God, who sends Moses to save the people. Our God is a God of compassion, and compassion is - we can say - the weakness of God, but also his strength. What best gives us: because it was compassion that moved him to send the Son to us. It is a language of God, compassion.

Compassion "is not a feeling of pain", which is proved, for example, when you see a dog die on the road: "poor thing, we feel a little pain," notes Francesco. But it's "getting involved in the problem of others, it's playing life there". The Lord, in fact, plays life and goes there.

The photo called "Indifference"
Another example Pope Francis draws from the Gospel of the multiplication of the loaves when Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd that followed him while they would like to dismiss her. "The disciples were prudent," notes Francis. "I believe - he continues - that at that moment Jesus became angry, in his heart", considering the answer: "Give them food to you!" His invitation is to take charge of the people, without thinking that after such a day they could go to the villages to buy bread. "The Lord, says the Gospel, had compassion because he saw those people as sheep without a shepherd", recalls the Pope. On the one hand, therefore, the gesture of Jesus, compassion, on the other hand the selfish attitude of the disciples who "seek a solution but without compromise", who do not get their hands dirty, as if to say that these people manage:

And here, if compassion is the language of God, so often human language is indifference. Take charge up to here and don't think any further. Indifference. One of our photographers, L'Osservatore Romano, took a photo that is now in the Almosineria, which is called "Indifference". I have talked about other times about this. One winter night, in front of a luxury restaurant, a lady who lives on the street extends her hand to another lady who comes out of the restaurant, well covered, and this other lady looks from another side. This is indifference. Go and look at that photograph: this is indifference. Our indifference. How many times we look from another side ... And so we close the door to compassion. We can do an examination of conscience: do I usually look from another part? Or do I let the Holy Spirit take me on the path of compassion? Which is a virtue of God ...

Returning saves us from indifference
The Pope then said he was touched by a word from today's Gospel when Jesus tells this mother: "Don't cry." "A caress of compassion," he emphasizes. Jesus touches the coffin, telling the boy to get up. Then, the young man sits up and starts talking. And the Pope remarks precisely the words: "And He gave him back to his mother"

He gave it back: an act of justice. This word is used in justice: to return. Compassion takes us to the path of true justice. We must always give back to those who have a certain right, and this always saves us from selfishness, from indifference, from the closure of ourselves. We continue today's Eucharist with this word: "The Lord was filled with great compassion". May he also have compassion for each of us: we need it.
Full Text Source: Vatican News.va

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest saved by Praying the Rosary as Robbers try to Shoot him but the Gun would not Fire

KHOU reports of a 'Divine Intervention' as a Catholic Priest was beaten by robbery suspects who later shot a Houston police officer.
The priest said he was on his knees praying when the suspects tried twice to shoot him in the head.

 One of the victims of a violent crime spree that ended with a Houston police officer shot and wounded, was a priest.

Father Desmond Ohankwere was walking behind St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Church and praying the rosary when he was ambushed by four young men.

One of them pointed a gun right at his head.

"When he clicked it, I thought I was gone, so then he tried it again,” Father Desmond said.


The priest said he was on his knees praying when the suspects tried to shoot him again.

Two tries and no bullets. Just two clicks.

"I should be dead now, you should be talking about my burial,” Father Desmond said.

When the gun didn’t work, the men started beating him. He has bruises and scrapes to his arm, lower body and head.

They took what he had on him, which was two cell phones and some keys. They didn’t take his rosary.

But he’s alive. And it may be no surprise who the priest credits for that.

"Divine intervention, that’s what I’m saying,” said Father Desmond.

The priest says he will be fine, and is now praying for the injured officer and the suspects.


Ron Trevino

@khouron
Priest who was beaten up last night as he was praying rosary behind his church. A pistol was pointed at his head twice but the gun would not fire.
He believes in miracles.#HTownrush#KHOU11
Edited from Source: Source: KHOU News - Houston


Wow Beautiful Heavenly Music by St. Hildegard von Bingen honoring Our Lady "O tu suavissima virga"


O tu suavissima virga
Responsory for the Virgin (D 156v, R 468rScivias III.13.1b) by Hildegard of Bingen
R. O tu suavissima virga
frondens de stirpe Jesse,
O quam magna virtus est
quod divinitas
in pulcherrimam filiam aspexit,
sicut aquila in solem
oculum suum ponit:

R. Cum supernus Pater claritatem Virginis
adtendit ubi Verbum suum
in ipsa incarnari voluit.

V. Nam in mistico misterio Dei,
illustrata mente Virginis,
mirabiliter clarus flos
ex ipsa Virgine
exivit:

R. Cum supernus Pater claritatem Virginis
adtendit ubi Verbum suum
in ipsa incarnari voluit.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui
sancto, sicut erat in principio.

R. Cum supernus Pater claritatem Virginis
adtendit ubi Verbum suum
in ipsa incarnari voluit.
R. O sweetest branch,
you bloom from Jesse’s stock!
How great the mighty power,
that divinity
upon a daughter’s beauty gazed—
an eagle turns his eye
into the sun:

R. As Heaven’s Father tended to the Virgin’s splendor
when he willed his Word
in her to be incarnate.

V. For in God’s mystic mystery,
the Virgin’s mind illuminéd,
the flower bright—a wonder!—
forth from that Virgin
sprung:

R. As Heaven’s Father tended to the Virgin’s splendor
when he willed his Word
in her to be incarnate.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and the Spirit
Holy, as it was in the beginning.

R. As Heaven’s Father tended to the Virgin’s splendor
when he willed his Word
in her to be incarnate.
Latin collated from the transcription of Beverly Lomer and the edition of Barbara Newman; translation by Nathaniel M. Campbell.
SOURCE: http://www.hildegard-society.org/2014/10/o-tu-suavissima-virga-responsory.html



#BreakingNews Chinese Government plans to Destroy Historic Marian Shrine which brings Thousands of Pilgrims annually


Asia News reports that Taiyuan, pilgrims flock to save Shrine of Our Lady from destruction
by Wang Zhicheng
The government wants to destroy the mountain top "Heaven’s Gate". Perhaps a motorway will pass through the area. Great security measures to control thousands of faithful. The sanctuary was built in 1924. Every year, on September 15th, tens of thousands of pilgrims come from all over China.



Taiyuan (AsiaNews) - Thousands of faithful came on pilgrimage to Dongergou, near Taiyuan (Shanxi), to the shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is celebrated on September 15 in the Church.

This year, in addition to reasons of faith, the faithful were further concerned by news that the local government wants to destroy the solemn door of the sanctuary, called " Heaven’s Gate" because it says that it is too high.

Other reports claim the local government's plan is to build a highway through the area. The statues that adorn the Gate have already been removed, in the name of "sinicization". Some time ago the news spread that the government wanted to destroy the entire sanctuary. In the name of "sinicization" many churches have already been defaced, crosses torn from bell towers, domes destroyed. Another shrine in Guizhou risks destruction.

Yesterday the pilgrimage took place amid large security measures, in the presence of the police, but everything happened in a quiet way. No priest, except those from the Diocese of Taiyuan, was allowed to concelebrate or preside over a mass. Many faithful climbed to their knees on the steps to Heaven’s Gate (photo 3).

The shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows was built almost a century ago, in 1924. " Heaven’s Gate" overlooks a long zigzag path on the mountain interspersed with the Stations of the Cross (photo 2). From "Heaven’s Gate " pilgrims contemplate the sanctuary that partly recalls the structure of the Temple of Paradise in Beijing (photo 4). Every year, on September 15, tens of thousands of pilgrims come from all over China.

One of the faithful explained that the dedication to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows took place because they wanted to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary and because the mountains around the church are called "of the seven bitternesses". The church and sanctuary were built to ask God for protection from floods and drought.
Full Text Source: Asia NewsIT

Pope and Malta's President George Vella discuss Migration and Environment


Pope and Malta President discuss migration
Pope Francis receives the President of Malta in audience in the Vatican.
By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis and Maltese President George Vella engaged in “cordial talks and discussed the phenomenon of migration to Europe” during an audience on Monday morning in the Vatican.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the two leaders expressed satisfaction for the good state of relations between Malta and the Holy See, highlighted the importance of religious values in the culture and life of the Maltese people and discussed the contribution of the Catholic Church in the field of education.

Migration
A Press Office statement also revealed that the Pope and the President set some time aside to consider some of the challenges faced by the Mediterranean island nation regarding the phenomenon of migration towards Europe.

Malta, like other Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain, is at the frontline in dealing with migration through the Mediterranean route. Ongoing discussions at a global and at a EU level have seen the country demand more responsibility sharing.

Welcome, Protect, Promote, Integrate
Pope Francis calls repeatedly on all men and women of goodwill to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate” migrants and refugees. 

Pope Francis and President Vella focused on how the migration phenomenon strongly involves the Church and is not to be separated from environmental protection.

Finally, there was an exchange of views on various regional situations, with particular reference to the Mediterranean.
Full Text Source: Vatican News.va

Saint September 17 : St. Robert Bellarmine a Doctor of the Church and the Patron of Catechists, Canon Lawyers and Catechumens


(Also, "Bellarmino"). A distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal, born at Montepulciano, 4 October, 1542; died 17 September, 1621. His father was Vincenzo Bellarmino, his mother Cinthia Cervini, sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, afterwards Pope Marcellus II. He was brought up at the newly founded Jesuit college in his native town, and entered the Society of Jesus on 20 September, 1560, being admitted to his first vows on the following day. The next three years he spent in studying philosophy at the Roman College, after which he taught the humanities first at Florence, then at Mondovì. In 1567 he began his theology at Padua, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Having been ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures thus delivered grew into the work "De Controversiis" which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness. This monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the blow it dealt to Protestantism being so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Nor has it even yet been superseded as the classical book on its subject-matter, though, as was to be expected, the progress of criticism has impaired the value of some of its historical arguments.
In 1588 Bellarmine was made Spiritual Father to the Roman College, but in 1590 he went with Cardinal Gaetano as theologian to the embassy Sixtus V was then sending into France to protect the interests of the Church amidst the troubles of the civil wars. Whilst he was there news reached him that Sixtus, who had warmly accepted the dedication of his "De Controversiis", was now proposing to put its first volume on the Index. This was because he had discovered that it assigned to the Holy See not a direct but only an indirect power over temporals. Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the Holy See was intense, took this greatly to heart; it was, however, averted by the death of Sixtus, and the new pope, Gregory XIV, even granted to Bellarmine's work the distinction of a special approbation. Gaetano's mission now terminating, Bellarmine resumed his work as Spiritual Father, and had the consolation of guiding the last years of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in the Roman College in 1591. Many years later he had the further consolation of successfully promoting the beatification of the saintly youth. Likewise at this time he sat on the final commission for the revision of the Vulgate text. This revision had been desired by the Council of Trent, and subsequent popes had laboured over the task and had almost brought it to completion. But Sixtus V, though unskilled in this branch of criticism, had introduced alterations of his own, all for the worse. He had even gone so far as to have an impression of this vitiated edition printed and partially distributed, together with the proposed Bull enforcing its use. He died, however, before the actual promulgation, and his immediate successors at once proceeded to remove the blunders and call in the defective impression. The difficulty was how to substitute a more correct edition without affixing a stigma to the name of Sixtus, and Bellarmine proposed that the new edition should continue in the name of Sixtus, with a prefatory explanation that, on account of aliqua vitia vel typographorum vel aliorum which had crept in, Sixtus had himself resolved that a new impression should be undertaken. The suggestion was accepted, and Bellarmine himself wrote the preface, still prefixed to the Clementine edition ever since in use. On the other hand, he has been accused of untruthfulness in stating that Sixtus had resolved on a new impression. But his testimony, as there is no evidence to the contrary, should be accepted as decisive, seeing how conscientious a man he was in the estimation of his contemporaries; and the more so since it cannot be impugned without casting a slur on the character of his fellow-commissioners who accepted his suggestion, and of Clement VIII who with full knowledge of the facts gave his sanction to Bellarmine's preface being prefixed to the new edition. Besides, Angelo Rocca, the Secretary of the revisory commissions of Sixtus V and the succeeding pontiffs, himself wrote a draft preface for the new edition in which he makes the same statement: (Sixtus) "dum errores ex typographiâ ortos, et mutationes omnes, atque varias hominum opiniones recognoscere cœpit, ut postea de toto negotio deliberare atque Vulgatam editionem, prout debebat, publicare posset, morte præventus quod cœperat perficere non potuit". This draft preface, to which Bellarmine's was preferred, is still extant, attached to the copy of the Sixtine edition in which the Clementine corrections are marked, and may be seen in the Biblioteca Angelica at Rome. In 1592 Bellarmine was made Rector of the Roman College, and in 1595 Provincial of Naples. In 1597 Clement VIII recalled him to Rome and made him his own theologian and likewise Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office. Further, in 1599 he made him Cardinal-Priest of the title of Santa Maria in viâ, alleging as his reason for this promotion that "the Church of God had not his equal in learning". He was now appointed, along with the Dominican Cardinal d'Ascoli, an assessor to Cardinal Madruzzi, the President of the Congregation de Auxiliis, which had been instituted shortly before to settle the controversy which had recently arisen between the Thomists and the Molinists concerning the nature of the concord between efficacious grace and human liberty. Bellarmine's advice was from the first that the doctrinal question should not be decided authoritatively, but left over for further discussion in the schools, the disputants on either side being strictly forbidden to indulge in censures or condemnations of their adversaries. Clement VIII at first inclined to this view, but afterwards changed completely and determined on a doctrinal definition. Bellarmine's presence then became embarrassing, and he appointed him to the Archbishopric of Capua just then vacant. This is sometimes spoken of as the cardinal's disgrace, but Clement consecrated him with his own hands--an honour which the popes usually accord as a mark of special regard. The new archbishop departed at once for his see, and during the next three years set a bright example of pastoral zeal in its administration.
In 1605 Clement VIII died, and was succeeded by Leo XI who reigned only twenty-six days, and then by Paul V. In both conclaves, especially that latter, the name of Bellarmine was much before the electors, greatly to his own distress, but his quality as a Jesuit stood against him in the judgment of many of the cardinals. The new pope insisted on keeping him at Rome, and the cardinal, obediently complying, demanded that at least he should be released from an episcopal charge the duties of which he could no longer fulfil. He was now made a member of the Holy Office and of other congregations, and thenceforth was the chief advisor of the Holy See in the theological department of its administration. Of the particular transactions with which his name is most generally associated the following were the most important: The inquiry de Auxiliis, which after all Clement had not seen his way to decide, was now terminated with a settlement on the lines of Bellarmine's original suggestion. 1606 marked the beginning of the quarrel between the Holy See and the Republic of Venice which, without even consulting the pope, had presumed to abrogate the law of clerical exemption from civil jurisdiction and to withdraw the Church's right to hold real property. The quarrel led to a war of pamphlets in which the part of the Republic was sustained by John Marsiglio and an apostate monk named Paolo Sarpi, and that of the Holy See by Bellarmine and Baronius. Contemporaneous with the Venetian episode was that of the English Oath of Alliance. In 1606, in addition to the grave disabilities which already weighed them down, the English Catholics were required under pain of prœmunire to take an oath of allegiance craftily worded in such wise that a Catholic in refusing to take it might appear to be disavowing an undoubted civil obligation, whilst if he should take it he would be not merely rejecting but even condemning as "impious and heretical" the doctrine of the deposing power, that is to say, of a power, which, whether rightly or wrongly, the Holy See had claimed and exercised for centuries with the full approval of Christendom, and which even in that age the mass of the theologians of Europe defended. The Holy See having forbidden Catholics to take this oath, King James himself came forward as its defender, in a book entitled "Tripoli nodo triplex cuneus", to which Bellarmine replied in his "Responsio Matthfi Torti". Other treatises followed on either side, and the result of one, written in denial of the deposing power by William Barclay, an English jurist resident in France, was that Bellarmine's reply to it was branded by the Regalist Parlement of Paris. Thus it came to pass that, for following the via media of the indirect power, he was condemned in 1590 as too much of a Regalist and in 1605 as too much of a Papalist. Bellarmine did not live to deal with the later and more serious stage of the Galileo case, but in 1615 he took part in its earlier stage. He had always shown great interest in the discoveries of that investigator, and was on terms of friendly correspondence with him. He took up too--as is witnessed by his letter to Galileo's friend Foscarini--exactly the right attitude towards scientific theories in seeming contradiction with Scripture. If, as was undoubtedly the case then with Galileo's heliocentric theory, a scientific theory is insufficiently proved, it should be advanced only as an hypothesis; but if, as is the case with this theory now, it is solidly demonstrated, care must be taken to interpret Scripture only in accordance with it. When the Holy Office condemned the heliocentric theory, by an excess in the opposite direction, it became Bellarmine's official duty to signify the condemnation to Galileo, and receive his submission. Bellarmine lived to see one more conclave, that which elected Gregory XV (February, 1621). His health was now failing, and in the summer of the same year he was permitted to retire to Sant' Andrea and prepare for the end. His death was most edifying and was a fitting termination to a life which had been no less remarkable for its virtues than for its achievements. His spirit of prayer, his singular delicacy of conscience and freedom from sin, his spirit of humility and poverty, together with the disinterestedness which he displayed as much under the cardinal's robes as under the Jesuit's gown, his lavish charity to the poor, and his devotedness to work, had combined to impress those who knew him intimately with the feeling that he was of the number of the saints. Accordingly, when he died there was a general expectation that his cause would be promptly introduced. And so it was, under Urban VIII in 1627, when he became entitled to the appellation of Venerable. But a technical obstacle, arising out of Urban VIII's own general legislation in regard to beatifications, required its prorogation at that time. Though it was reintroduced on several occasions (1675, 1714, 1752, and 1832), and though on each occasion the great preponderance of votes was in favour of the beatification, a successful issue came only after many years. This was partly because of the influential character of some of those who recorded adverse votes, Barbarigo, Casante, and Azzolino in 1675, and Passionei in 1752, but still more for reasons of political expediency, Bellarmine's name being closely associated with a doctrine of papal authority most obnoxious to the Regalist politicians of the French Court. "We have said", wrote Benedict XIV to Cardinal de Tencin, "in confidence to the General of the Jesuits that the delay of the Cause has come not from the petty matters laid to his charge by Cardinal Passionei, but from the sad circumstances of the times" (Études Religieuses, 15 April, 1896). [Note: St. Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1931. He is the patron saint of catechists.] Text from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Special Prayers by St. Hildegard von Bingen and Prayer for her Intercession - Patron of Music, Medicine, Theology


Prayers St. Hildegard von Bingen composed - and prayer for her Intercession:
 Prayers written by St. Hildegard
O Great FatherO Great Father we are in great need;
Now therefore we implore, we implore you
Through your Word, by which you have
Filled us with [those things] we need;
Now it may please you Father for it befits you
To consider us with your help,
So that we might not fail and lest your name
Might be blackened in us
And through your name, deign to help us.
O Eternal LordO eternal Lord,
it is pleasing to you
to burn in that same fire of love,
like that from which our bodies are born,
and from which you begot your Son
in the first dawn before all of Creation.
So consider this need which falls upon us,
and relieve us of it for the sake of your Son,
and lead us in joyous prosperity.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

O Shepherd of SoulsO Shepherd of souls
and o first voice
through whom all creation was summoned,
now to you,
to you may it give pleasure and dignity
to liberate us
from our miseries and languishing.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
O Ruby Blood
O ruby blood
which flowed from on high
where divinity touched.
You are a flower
that the winter
of the serpent’s breath
can never injure.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

O Leafy BranchO leafy branch,
standing in your nobility
as the dawn breaks forth:
now rejoice and be glad
and deign to set us frail ones
free from evil habits
and stretch forth your hand
and lift us up.
by Hildegard von Bingen

Prayers for St. Hildegard’s IntercessionPrayer to St. HildegardFather, Source of Life,
you have bestowed on St Hildegard of Bingen
many excellent graces.
Help us to follow her example
of meditating on your ineffable Majesty
and to follow you
so that we, amidst the darkness of this world,
recognise the Light of your clarity
to cling to you without fail.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer to St. HildegardO Lord, you were generous with your gifts of grace to the virgin Hildegard. By following closely her example and teaching, may we pass from the darkness of this life into your marvelous light. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Source: catholicsaintmedals
Documentary of the Life of St. Hildegard von Bingen below:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday September 17, 2019 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 444

Reading 11 TM 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial PsalmPS 101:1B-2AB, 2CD-3AB, 5, 6

R.(2) I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.