Tuesday, October 23, 2012


St. Anthony Mary Claret
Feast: October 24
Feast Day:
October 24
December 23, 1807, Sallent
October 24, 1870, Fontfroide
May 7, 1950 by Pope Pius XII
Patron of:
Textile Merchants, Weavers, Savings (taught the poor the importance of savings), Catholic press, Claretians Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anthony Mary Claret died in the Cistercian monastery at Fontfroide in France on this date in 1870. He was canonized in 1950 and listed in the Roman Calendar in 1960. Anthony was born at Salent in the Diocese of Vich in Catalonia, Spain, in the year in which Napoleon invaded Spain. He was trained for manual labor, since his father was a weaver, but in 1829 he entered the seminary at Vich. Ordained to the priesthood in 1835, he was assigned as pastor in his home parish. Later he went to Rome to work for the Propagation of the Faith. He also entered the novitiate of the Jesuits but had to leave because of ill health, so he returned to Spain and was assigned as pastor of a parish. His apostolate consisted of rural preaching, conferences for the clergy and publications (he wrote more than 150 books). Because of his successful apostolate he aroused the animosity of some of the clergy and as a result he left Catalonia for the Canary Islands (1848). After a year he returned to Catalonia and resumed his preaching apostolate.
In 1849 Anthony gathered together five priests who formed the basis of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (popularly known as Claretians). At the suggestion of the Queen of Spain, Isabella II, Anthony was named archbishop of Santiago, Cuba (1850). For the next seven years he made pastoral visitations, preached against the slavery of the Negroes, and regularized numerous marriages. As a result of his activity he was frequently threatened with death and on one occasion an attempt was actually made on his life. In 1857 he was recalled to Spain as confessor to the queen. In this way he was able to exert some influence in the naming of bishops, set up a center of ecclesiastical studies at the Escorial, and work towards the recognition of religious orders in Spain. In 1869 he was in Rome, preparing for the First Vatican Council. He followed Isabella II into exile and at the insistence of the Spanish ambassador, was placed under house arrest in the Cistercian monastery at FontFroide, where he died at the age of 63. His remains were ultimately returned to Vich.
SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stanthonymaryclaret.asp


Luke 12: 35 - 38
35 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.
38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!


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

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
Priest: "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
People:"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
Priest: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
People: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
The following prayer to be recited by both priest and people.
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)


Vatican City, 23 October 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. today addressed the Synodal assembly on the subject of the recent decision to send a delegation of Synod Fathers to Damascus, Syria.
"Speaking before this assembly last Tuesday", he said, "I announced the Holy Father's decision to send a delegation to Damascus to express his solidarity and that of the Synod with the people of Syria who, unfortunately, have for some time been experiencing a tragic situation of suffering. The intention was also to express our spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters in that country, and to encourage those committed to seeking a solution respectful of the rights and duties of all.
"The initiative raised wide interest and received a positive welcome, not only in Rome and Syria, but also at the international level.
"First of all I wish to tell you that we have continued to study the issue and to prepare the visit, despite the tragic episodes that have taken place in the region over recent days.
"As is well known, there is a strong desire to express the closeness of the Holy See and the universal Church by means of a delegation, which will travel to Damascus at the time and in the manner which will be announced after they have been defined in the light of the contacts and preparations currently under way. Given the gravity of the situation, the visit will be postponed, probably until after the conclusion of the Synod, and the composition of the delegation will be modified, also due to other commitments on the part of its members.
"The contribution of the personal offerings of the Synod Fathers, and those of the Holy See, will be sent to Syria as a gesture of fraternal solidarity with the entire population.
"Above all we continue in our commitment to prayer, which is always heard by the Lord and which I invite you to join with renewed confidence".
Vatican City, 23 October 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was the full text of the sentence issued by the Tribunal of Vatican City State on 6 October, in which Paolo Gabriele was declared guilty of aggravated theft.
On 6 October Paolo Gabriele had been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of three years although, in view of his "lack of a criminal record, his record of service in the period prior to the facts in question, the subjective (though mistaken) belief identified by the accused as the motive for his conduct, as well as his own statement of his awareness of having betrayed the trust of the Holy Father, the Tribunal reduced the sentence to imprisonment for one (1) year and six (6) months, and ordered the guilty party to defray the costs of the trial".
In a briefing held this morning Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. explained some aspects of the sentence. He began by noting that it focused on the offence of stealing documents, and in particular the originals of documents, and took no account of other objects such as a nugget of gold, a cheque in the Holy Father's name and a sixteenth-century copy of "The Aeneid", because there were doubts about the way in which the search during which they were found had been carried out, and Gabriele's guilt was not proven.
Fr. Lombardi also explained that a psychiatric examination had excluded the possibility that the accused might have had some mental condition which had made him unaware of his responsibility for his actions. The Tribunal had also, he said, been careful to define the juridical terms of the offence of theft; i.e., the removal and appropriation of an object without the consent of its owner with the intent of obtaining some benefit. Thus the offence involved was theft and not embezzlement, although the sentence notes that the benefit Gabriele sought to gain was not economic in nature, but intellectual and moral.
Another question that arose was whether Gabriele had acted at the "suggestion" of a third party; a term that had been interpreted to include complicity or influence. The accused himself affirmed that the word did not mean collaboration with other people, but the influence of the surrounding environment which had led him to the conviction that he was acting for the good of the Holy Father and the Church.
The Holy See Press Office Director noted that the aggravating circumstances lay in the fact that the theft had involved abuse of trust and the publication of reserved documents, while the attenuating circumstances were the absence of a criminal record and Gabriele's own moral conviction.
On the subject of the punishment, Fr. Lombardi pointed out that the Tribunal had based its sentence on the penalties established for such offences in the Criminal Code. The promoter of justice had requested that Gabriele be given a lifetime ban on holding public office but, as the final sentence was of eighteen months, the Penal Code contains no provision for such a measure and the ban on public office was thus of limited duration. Nonetheless, in view of the gravity of the offence, it had been decided not to suspend the sentence conditionally.
Finally the director of the Holy See Press Office announced that Paolo Gabriele currently remains under house arrest, because until the publication of the full text of the sentence the promoter of justice before the Tribunal of Vatican City State, Giovanni Giacobbe, was unable to file an appeal. If he did not now do so within the set deadline the sentence would be put into effect. In this case the accused would have to serve his term in prison inside the Vatican, because there was no relevant convention with the Italian State. The possibility remains, however, that the Holy Father will pardon Gabriele although, since it would be a personal decision, it is not clear if and when he will do so.
The full text of the sentence is available (in Italian) here.
Vatican City, 23 October 2012 (VIS) - Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, has issued a decree ruling that the first hearing in the trial of Claudio Sciarpelletti is to take place at 9 a.m. on 5 November. Sciarpelletti, who is accused of complicity, was sent for trial by the examining magistrate on 13 August, but his trial was separated from that of Paolo Gabriele by a ruling issued during the course of the court hearing of 29 September.
The hearing will take place in the audience hall of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, and the judicial bench will be composed of Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president, and Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano, judges.


FLOODING in Lourdes, France at the site of Our Lady has caused over 2 million Euros in damages. The apparition site receives over 6 million visitors annually. In the 1858, St. Bernadette saw Our Lady and found healing waters. There have been 68 approved miracles from this site. Over 450 visitors had to be evacuated due to the excessive flooding caused by flash floods. Prayers and devotions have resumed as the clean up has begun to return the shrine to normal. Donations can be made to support the restoration via the Lourdes Website. LIVE VIDEO FROM THE SHRINE IS AVAILABLE VIA http://www.lourdes-radio.com/player_live/player_live_en/player-token_en.php


The outbreak of violence concentrated in the town of Min Bya, but is likely to spread throughout the state. It is the first serious incident since fighting last June. Accusations traded over responsibility. A group of Buddhist monks calls for Muslim "sympathizers" to be denounced and advocates the creation of a sort of "moral police".

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Fresh tensions in Rakhine State, western Myanmar, near the border with Bangladesh, following violent clashes between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority Rohingya in Burma. On the night of October 21 clashes errupted between the two opposing sides in different areas of the town of Min Bya, which continued all day yesterday. The final toll is three dead - two Muslim women - and at least 300 homes burned in several villages in the area. It is the first serious incident since last June, when the authorities declared a state of emergency to stop the violence between Buddhists and Muslims, which has caused dozens of deaths.

For weeks, the Rakhine State was the scene of continual outbreaks of tension, while across the country a fierce campaign was sparked against the Rohingya Muslim minority, the Burmese ethnic group considered "foreign" and deprived of the right of citizenship. Even the "reformer" president Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have yet to take a clear position on the matter, with the Nobel Peace Laureate calling for the implementation of the "rule of law", but without clarifying if the Rohingya are full-fledged citizens of Myanmar.

Throughout the day yesterday several homes were set on fire, in a continuous escalation of violence. At the moment it is not clear what gave rise to clashes with Muslims and Buddhists who are trading accusations of responsibilities. In August, the Burmese authorities formed a commission of inquiry to verify the facts of what occurred in the previous weeks, while rejecting the idea of ​​relying on feedback from a survey carried out by experts of the United Nations. Among other things, Naypyidaw has stopped and arrested a group of aid workers belonging to the UN and international human rights organizations.

In June, the District Court Kyaukphyu in the State of Rakhine sentenced three Muslims, deemed responsible for the rape and killing in late May of Thida Htwe, a young Buddhist Arakanese, which was the source of violent sectarian clashes between Muslims and Buddhists ( cf. AsiaNews 19/06/2012 Rakhine, ethnic violence: three death sentences for the rape-murder of a woman). In the following days, an angry crowd, killed 10 Muslims entirely unconnected with the incident. The spiral of hatred has caused the death of 29 others, including 16 Muslims and 13 Buddhists. According to official sources at least 2,600 homes were set alight, while hundreds of Rohingya refugees have sought refuge abroad.

The climate of tension in the area is being fomented by appeals in the last hours by a group of Burmese monks of the State of Rakhine to target Rohingya "sympathizers", labeling them as "traitors". In a document released by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the All-Arakanese Monks' Solidarity Conference is inviting locals to disseminate images of those who support the Muslim minority, in fact legitimizing personal violence and targeted attacks that are likely to exacerbate the conflict. The report also puts forward in ten points the birth of a Safety Committee chaired by Buddhist monks, required to ensure compliance with the law and discipline, as well as "the spread of religion." A sort of moral police, along the lines of paramilitary forces found in many Islamic countries, like Saudi Arabia or Iran.




Archbishop Costelloe Addresses Synod

16 Oct 2012

In addressing the Synod on New Evangelisation in Rome, Archbishop Costelloe said:
In Christifidelis laici Pope John Paul II spoke of the need to "remake the fabric of the ecclesial community" if we are to remake the fabric of the society in which we live. To do this we must recover the ecclesiology of the Church as the Body of Christ, with Christ as its life-giving head.
The first chapter of the Instrumentum laboris stresses this by focusing our attention on Christ and reminding us that the goal of all evangelization is to foster an encounter between the person and Christ.

The time has come for us as bishops to place Christ at the heart of our preaching and teaching, and encourage our priests and deacons to do the same. We must help people to be captured by the fascination which the Jesus of the gospels exerts on hearts and minds.

To paraphrase the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco who made a similar remark about contemporary religious life: The greatest challenge facing the Church today is to return the Church to Christ and to return Christ to the Church - not to become other than we are but to become more fully who and what we are.
Source: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_25_xiii-ordinaria-2012/02_inglese/b08_02.html#-_H._Exc._Rev._Mons._Timothy_John_COSTELLOE,_S.D.B.,_Archbishop_of_Perth_(AUSTRALIA)_


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "We received a phone call from a person claiming to belonging to the group that kidnapped the three religious, with a ransom note" says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo -Beni (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo), in whose diocese three Assumptionist fathers (Augustinians of the Assumption) of Congolese nationality were kidnapped (see Fides 10/22/2012). The Bishop is cautious about the reliability of the request: "We are still waiting to find a reliable channel for dialogue with the kidnappers."
The Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) issued a statement condemning the kidnapping. "I hope that the kidnappers are aware of the size of their act and take this into account," said Mgr. Sikuli Paluku. The message, signed by His Exc. Mgr. Nicolas Djomo, Bishop of Tsumbe and President of CENCO, in addition to strongly condemning the kidnapping of the three religious priests (who had been recently appointed to the parish of Mbau), "appeals to the kidnappers who committed this unacceptable act to safeguard the physical and moral integrity of the three priests and free them without conditions to enable them to continue their pastoral service and assistance to the people of Mbau."
Regarding the news according to which the three religious were kidnapped by some guerrillas of Ugandan origin operating in the area, Mgr. Sikuli Paluku replied: "In the region there are some groups that were born in Uganda but have been in Congo for years, and have become Congolese also because their members have married Congolese women. These groups live out of banditry or put themselves at the service of others. I do not think, however, that it is them. There are indeed other indigenous groups and I believe we need to look in that direction," concludes the Bishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/10/2012


ctivists, priests blame pressure from Muslim groups
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
October 22, 2012
Authorities in Banda Aceh have closed down nine churches and six Buddhist temples in the past week following mounting pressure from local Islamic groups, rights groups say.
All the religious sites are in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) province in Sumatra where sharia law is implemented.
“Priests were forced to sign a document agreeing to stop religious activities [in their churches] because they don’t have building permits,” said Veryanto Sitohang, chairman of the Alliance of United North Sumatra, a human rights group.
“We were informed that intimidation was exercised when these signings took place,” he told ucanews.com today.
The churches closed include buildings belonging to the Indonesian Bethel Church (GBI), the Pentecost Church and the Indonesian Christian Church.
Sitohang said all the congregations had met the requirements of a 2006 decree from the religious affairs and home ministries as well as a 2007 regulation set by the NAD governor.
“But it seems the local authorities didn’t want them to obtain a building permit,” he said.
The 2006 decree states that any religious community not part of the local majority must have at least 90 congregation members and approval from at least 60 people from other religious communities in order to build a place of worship.
The governor’s regulation, however, says congregations must number at least 150 people and approval must come from at least 120 people from other religious communities.
“Such requirements for minority groups are, of course, very difficult to meet since almost 98 percent of people living in the province are Muslims,” Sitohang said.
GBI priest Reverend Nico Tarigan has urged provincial authorities to find another solution.
Banda Aceh deputy mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal suggested the congregations join other churches which have building permits.
“As a province that applies Islamic law, Aceh has a special law on this issue,” the Jakarta Globe quoted him as saying.


St. John of Capistrano
Feast: October 23
Feast Day:
October 23
June 24, 1386, Capestrano, Abruzzi, Kingdom of Naples
October 23, 1456, Ilok, modern Croatia
1690 or 1724, Rome by either Pope Alexander VIII or Pope Benedict XIII
Patron of:

Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had come to Naples in the train of Louis of Anjou, hence is supposed to have been of French blood, though some say he was of German origin. His father dying early, John owed his education to his mother. She had him at first instructed at home and then sent him to study law at Perugia, where he achieved great success under the eminent legist, Pietro de Ubaldis. In 1412 he was appointed governor of Perugia by Ladislaus, King of Naples, who then held that city of the Holy See. As governor he set himself against civic corruption and bribery. War broke out in 1416 between Perugia and the Malatesta. John was sent as ambassador to propose peace to the Malatesta, who however cast him into prison. It was during this imprisonment that he began to think more seriously about his soul. He decided eventually to give up the world and become a Franciscan Friar, owing to a dream he had in which he saw St. Francis and was warned by the saint to enter the Franciscan Order. John had married a wealthy lady of Perugia immediately before the war broke out, but as the marriage was not consummated he obtained a dispensation to enter religion, which he did 4 October, 1416.
After he had taken his vows he came under the influence of St. Bernardine of Siena, who taught him theology: he had as his fellow-student St. James of the Marches. He accompanied St. Bernardine on his preaching tours in order to study his methods, and in 1420, whilst still in deacon's orders, was himself permitted to preach. But his apostolic life began in 1425, after he had received the priesthood. From this time until his death he laboured ceaselessly for the salvation of souls. He traversed the whole of Italy; and so great were the crowds who came to listen to him that he often had to preach in the public squares. At the time of his preaching all business stopped. At Brescia on one occasion he preached to a crowd of one hundred and twenty-six thousand people, who had come from all the neighbouring provinces. On another occasion during a mission, over two thousand sick people were brought to him that he might sign them with the sign of the Cross, so great was his fame as a healer of the sick. Like St. Bernardine of Siena he greatly propagated devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and, together with that saint, was accused of heresy because of this devotion. While he was thus carrying on his apostolic work, he was actively engaged in assisting St. Bernardine in the reform of the Franciscan Order. In 1429 John, together with other Observant friars, was cited to Rome on the charge of heresy, and he was chosen by his companions to defend their cause; the friars were acquitted by the commission of cardinals.
After this, Pope Martin V conceived the idea of uniting the Conventual Friars Minor and the Observants, and a general chapter of both bodies of Franciscans was convoked at Assisi in 1430. A union was effected, but it did not last long. The following year the Observants held a chapter at Bologna, at which John was the moving spirit. According to Gonzaga, John was about this time appointed commissary general of the Observants, but his name does not appear among the commissaries and vicars in Holzapfel's list (Manuale Hist. Ord. FF. Min., 624-5) before 1443. But it was owing to him that St. Bernardine was appointed vicar-general in 1438. Shortly after this, whilst visiting France he met St. Colette, the reformer of the Second Franciscan Order or Poor Clares, with whose efforts he entirely sympathized. He was frequently employed on embassies by the Holy See. In 1439 he was sent as legate to Milan and Burgundy, to oppose the claims of the antipope Felix V; in 1446 he was on a mission to the King of France; in 1451 he went at the request of the emperor as Apostolic nuncio to Austria. During the period of his nunciature John visited all parts of the empire, preaching and combatting the heresy of the Hussites; he also visited Poland at the request of Casimir IV. In 1454 he was summoned to the Diet at Frankfort, to assist that assembly in its deliberation concerning a crusade against the Turks for the relief of Hungary: and here, too, he was the leading spirit. When the crusade was actually in operation John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign: he was present at the battle of Belgrade, and led the left wing of the Christian army against the Turks. He was beatified in 1694, and canonized in 1724. He wrote many books, chiefly against the heresies of his day.