Wednesday, September 25, 2013

POPE FRANCIS MEETS PRISONERS "YOU ARE LOVED BY THE LORD"

FRANCIS TO DETAINEES: WE ARE ALL EQUAL BEFORE THE FATHER
Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) - “Thank you all for being here. In your faces I see weariness, but also hope. Be aware that you are loved by the Lord, and also by many good people who with their prayers and their works help to alleviate the suffering of their neighbour. I feel at home here. … Here we feel strongly and in a concrete way that we are all brothers. Here the only Father is our celestial Father, and the only Master is Jesus Christ. So, the first thing I wish to share with you is precisely this joy of having Jesus as a Master, as a model of life. … We all face difficulties, all of us. … All of us here – all of us – have weaknesses, all of us are frail. No-one is better than another. We are all equal before the Father, all of us!”
With these words Pope Francis addressed the detainees and the poor assisted by Caritas who gathered to meet with him yesterday in the Cathedral of Cagliari.
“Looking to Jesus we see that He has chosen the path of humility and service. … He was neither indecisive nor indifferent: he made a choice and carried it through until the end. He chose to make himself a man, and as a man to become a servant, unto death on the cross. This is the path of love; there is no other. Therefore we see that charity is not a simple question of providing assistance, and far less a form of assistance for quieting consciences. No, that is not love, that is sales, that is business. Love is free. Charity and love are a life choice, a way of being, of living, it is the way of humility and solidarity. … This word 'solidarity'... in our throwaway culture, in which what we do not need, we cast aside, leaving only those who consider themselves righteous, who feel pure, who feel clean. Poor things! This word, solidarity, risks being cancelled from the dictionary, because it is an inconvenient word, because it obliges us to look to others and to give ourselves to others with love”.
But the path of humility and solidarity, added the Pope, was not invented by priests; rather, it was a path taken first by Jesus, and was not a form of “moralism or sentiment. The humility of Christ was real, the decision to be small, to stay with other small people, with the excluded, to stay among us, all of us sinners. But be careful: this is not an ideology! It is a way of being and living that begins with love, that starts from the heart of God”.
“But it is not enough to watch, it is necessary to follow! … Jesus did not come into the world to be seen … it is a path and the purpose of a path is to be followed”, the Pope emphasised, thanking the detainees for their efforts in following Him, even in their weariness and suffering inside the prison walls. He also gave thanks to all those who dedicate themselves to works of mercy, encouraging them to continue and reminding them that works of charity must always be done “with tenderness, and always with humility”.
“At times”, he observed, “we encounter arrogance in the service of the poor. I am sure you have seen this. … Some make themselves look good by speaking of the poor; others exploit the poor for their own interests or those of their group. This is a grave sin, as it means using the needy, those who are in need, who are Jesus' flesh, for one's own vanity. I use Jesus for my own vanity, this is a serious sin! It would be better for people like this to stay at home!”
To follow Jesus on the path of charity means “to go with Him to the existential peripheries... For the Good Shepherd, that which is lost and disdained is in need of greater care. … In the Church, the first are those who have the greatest human, spiritual and material need”.
Following Christ in the path of charity means “to sow hope … those who hold political and civil responsibilities have a task, which as citizens they must actively undertake. Some members of the Christian community are called to engage in the political sphere, which is a high form of charity, as Paul VI said. But as a Church we all have a strong responsibility, and that is to sow hope through works of solidarity, always seeking to collaborate in the best way with the public institutions, with respect for their various competences. Caritas is an expression of community, and the strength of the Christian community is helping society to grow from within, like leaven. I think of your initiatives with detainees in prisons, I think of the voluntary work of many associations, of solidarity with families who suffer the most from lack of work. In this I say: have courage! Do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope, and carry on! On the contrary, sow hope”.
At the end of the meeting, Francis met to pray with the cloistered nuns of the city of Cagliari, whom he encouraged to go forward with the certainty that “the Lord has called you to support the Church in prayer”.

VIDEO OF POPE FRANCIS MEETING WITH YOUTH IN SARDINIA

Pope Francis meets youth from the Sardinian capital and from other cities of the region, at the end of the "Throw your nets" event, in Largo Carlo Felice.
TO THE YOUNG OF SARDINIA: DO NOT SELL YOURSELVES TO MERCHANTS OF DEATH
Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – The final encounter in Pope Francis' pastoral visit to Cagliari was with the young who, at 5 p.m., awaited him in Largo Carlo Felice, where in the morning he had met with representatives from the world of work.
Francis commented on the Gospel reading which related the story of the miraculous fish, inviting those present not to “let yourselves be overwhelmed by pessimism and distrust … when a young person is distrustful towards life, when a young person loses hope … these merchants of death … offer a route for when you are sad, without hope without trust, without courage. Please, do not sell your youth to those who sell death! You know what I am talking about”.
“Trust in Jesus”, he continued, “and when I say this, I want to be sincere and say to you: I do not come here to sell you an illusion. I come here to say: there is a Person who can carry you through: trust in Him! He is Jesus, and Jesus is not an illusion! Difficulties must not frighten you, but rather press you to overcome them. Put out to sea and cast your nets wide … with Jesus everything changes. The Word of the Lord has filled the nets, and the Word of the Lord gives effect to the missionary work of the disciples. Following Jesus is demanding, it means not being content with small objectives, with navigating close to the coast, but rather aiming high, with courage. … When it seems that all is still and stagnant, when personal problems disturb us, social unease does not find the necessary solutions, we must not give up. The path is Jesus: let him embark with us and let us set out to sea with Him! Everything changes with Jesus. … Without making too many human calculations and without worrying if the reality around you corresponds to that about which you are sure. Set out to sea, come out of yourselves; let us come out from our little world and open ourselves to God, so that we might be ever more open to our brothers”.
Since on 21 September the Pope celebrates sixty years since he was given his priestly vocation, at the age of seventeen, Francis affirmed that he has never regretted his decision because “even in the darkest moments, in moments of sin, in moments of frailty, in moments of failure, he always looked to Jesus, Who never abandoned him”.
Before concluding the meeting with his final blessing, the Pope mentioned the suicide attack outside a church in Peshawar, Pakistan at midday today. “There are mistaken choices, choices of destruction. Today, in Pakistan, because of a wrong decision, a choice of hatred, of war, there was an attack in which over 70 people died. This choice cannot stand. It serves nothing. Only the path of peace can build a better world. But if you do not do it yourselves, no-one else will! This is the problem, and this is the question I leave you with. 'Am I willing, am I willing to take the route to building a better world?' Let us pray an Our Father for all those who lost their lives in this attack in Pakistan. … And may the Virgin always help us to work for a better world, to take the path of construction, the path of peace, and never the route of destruction and war".
Following the meeting the Pope departed by air from Cagliari, arriving in Rome at 8 p.m. and returning to the Vatican shortly after.
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POPE FRANCIS "WE GO WITH JOY TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD"


(Vatican Radio) Jesus is always by our side, accompanying us in the good and the bad times. That’s what Pope Francis told those gathered in the Vatican guest house, Santa Marta Tuesday for a private early morning liturgy. 


In his homily, Pope Francis drew from this morning’s reading from the passage in Psalms: “We will go with joy to the House of the Lord,” saying the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is not a “magic rite” but an encounter with Jesus, our companion in life.

Throughout the history of the People of God, the Pope said, there have been “beautiful moments which bring joy” but also ugly moments “of pain, martyrdom and sin.”

“God, who has no History because He is eternal,” the Pope said, “desired to make History by walking alongside His people.” But even more than that, Pope Francis said “He decided to become one of us, and as one of us, to walk with us through Jesus.”

This shows us God’s greatness, he noted, but at the same time, it also illustrates His humility. And when his People strayed from Him “in sin and idolatry,” the Pope continued, “He was there” waiting. And Jesus shows the same humility: “he walks with the People of God, walks with the sinners; walks also with the arrogant.” The Lord, said Pope Francis, did much to “help these arrogant hearts of the Pharisees.” 

The Church, the Pope said, rejoices in God’s humility, that humility which accompanies us as “We go with joy to the House of the Lord.” “We go with joy,” the Holy Father said, “because He accompanies us, He is with us… and the Lord Jesus, even in our personal lives, accompanies us with the Sacraments. The Sacrament is not a magic rite: it is an encounter with Jesus Christ; we encounter the Lord – it is He who is beside us and accompanies us.”
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

POPE FRANCIS MESSAGE FOR MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

(Vatican Radio) Migrants and Refugees: Towards a better world. That is the title of Pope Francis’ message released Tuesday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees which is celebrated on January 19th 2014. Below is the English translation. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our societies are experiencing, in an unprecedented way, processes of mutual interdependence and interaction on the global level. While not lacking problematic or negative elements, these processes are aimed at improving the living conditions of the human family, not only economically, but politically and culturally as well. Each individual is a part of humanity and, with the entire family of peoples, shares the hope of a better future. This consideration inspired the theme I have chosen for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees this year: Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World.

In our changing world, the growing phenomenon of human mobility emerges, to use the words of Pope Benedict XVI, as a “sign of the times” (cf. Message for the 2006 World Day of Migrants and Refugees). While it is true that migrations often reveal failures and shortcomings on the part of States and the international community, they also point to the aspiration of humanity to enjoy a unity marked by respect for differences, by attitudes of acceptance and hospitality which enable an equitable sharing of the world’s goods, and by the protection and the advancement of the dignity and centrality of each human being.

From the Christian standpoint, the reality of migration, like other human realities, points to the tension between the beauty of creation, marked by Grace and the Redemption, and the mystery of sin. Solidarity, acceptance, and signs of fraternity and understanding exist side by side with rejection, discrimination, trafficking and exploitation, suffering and death. Particularly disturbing are those situations where migration is not only involuntary, but actually set in motion by various forms of human trafficking and enslavement. Nowadays, “slave labour” is common coin! Yet despite the problems, risks and difficulties to be faced, great numbers of migrants and refugees continue to be inspired by confidence and hope; in their hearts they long for a better future, not only for themselves but for their families and those closest to them.

What is involved in the creation of “a better world”? The expression does not allude naively to abstract notions or unattainable ideals; rather, it aims at an authentic and integral development, at efforts to provide dignified living conditions for everyone, at finding just responses to the needs of individuals and families, and at ensuring that God’s gift of creation is respected, safeguarded and cultivated. The Venerable Paul VI described the aspirations of people today in this way: “to secure a sure food supply, cures for diseases and steady employment… to exercise greater personal resonsibility; to do more, to learn more, and have more, in order to be more” (Populorum Progressio, 6).



Our hearts do desire something “more”. Beyond greater knowledge or possessions, they want to “be” more. Development cannot be reduced to economic growth alone, often attained without a thought for the poor and the vulnerable. A better world will come about only if attention is first paid to individuals; if human promotion is integral, taking account of every dimension of the person, including the spiritual; if no one is neglected, including the poor, the sick, prisoners, the needy and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:31-46); if we can prove capable of leaving behind a throwaway culture and embracing one of encounter and acceptance.

Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more. The sheer number of people migrating from one continent to another, or shifting places within their own countries and geographical areas, is striking. Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history. As the Church accompanies migrants and refugees on their journey, she seeks to understand the causes of migration, but she also works to overcome its negative effects, and to maximize its positive influence on the communities of origin, transit and destination.

While encouraging the development of a better world, we cannot remain silent about the scandal of poverty in its various forms. Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, restrictive approaches to fundamental freedoms, whether of individuals or of groups: these are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome. Often these are precisely the elements which mark migratory movements, thus linking migration to poverty. Fleeing from situations of extreme poverty or persecution in the hope of a better future, or simply to save their own lives, millions of persons choose to migrate. Despite their hopes and expectations, they often encounter mistrust, rejection and exclusion, to say nothing of tragedies and disasters which offend their human dignity.

The reality of migration, given its new dimensions in our age of globalization, needs to be approached and managed in a new, equitable and effective manner; more than anything, this calls for international cooperation and a spirit of profound solidarity and compassion. Cooperation at different levels is critical, including the broad adoption of policies and rules aimed at protecting and promoting the human person. Pope Benedict XVI sketched the parameters of such policies, stating that they “should set out from close collaboration between the migrants’ countries of origin and their countries of destination; they should be accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate different legislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individual migrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries” (Caritas in Veritate, 62). Working together for a better world requires that countries help one another, in a spirit of willingness and trust, without raising insurmountable barriers. A good synergy can be a source of encouragement to government leaders as they confront socioeconomic imbalances and an unregulated globalization, which are among some of the causes of migration movements in which individuals are more victims than protagonists. No country can singlehandedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon, which is now so widespread that it affects every continent in the twofold movement of immigration and emigration.

It must also be emphasized that such cooperation begins with the efforts of each country to create better economic and social conditions at home, so that emigration will not be the only option left for those who seek peace, justice, security and full respect of their human dignity. The creation of opportunities for employment in the local economies will also avoid the separation of families and ensure that individuals and groups enjoy conditions of stability and serenity.
Finally, in considering the situation of migrants and refugees, I would point to yet another element in building a better world, namely, the elimination of prejudices and presuppositions in the approach to migration. Not infrequently, the arrival of migrants, displaced persons, asylum-seekers and refugees gives rise to suspicion and hostility. There is a fear that society will become less secure, that identity and culture will be lost, that competition for jobs will become stiffer and even that criminal activity will increase. The communications media have a role of great responsibility in this regard: it is up to them, in fact, to break down stereotypes and to offer correct information in reporting the errors of a few as well as the honesty, rectitude and goodness of the majority. A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world. The communications media are themselves called to embrace this “conversion of attitudes” and to promote this change in the way migrants and refugees are treated.

I think of how even the Holy Family of Nazareth experienced initial rejection: Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7). Jesus, Mary and Joseph knew what it meant to leave their own country and become migrants: threatened by Herod’s lust for power, they were forced to take flight and seek refuge in Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14). But the maternal heart of Mary and the compassionate heart of Joseph, the Protector of the Holy Family, never doubted that God would always be with them. Through their intercession, may that same firm certainty dwell in the heart of every migrant and refugee.

The Church, responding to Christ’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations”, is called to be the People of God which embraces all peoples and brings to them the proclamation of the Gospel, for the face of each person bears the mark of the face of Christ! Here we find the deepest foundation of the dignity of the human person, which must always be respected and safeguarded. It is less the criteria of efficiency, productivity, social class, or ethnic or religious belonging which ground that personal dignity, so much as the fact of being created in God’s own image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-27) and, even more so, being children of God. Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community. Migration can offer possibilities for a new evangelization, open vistas for the growth of a new humanity foreshadowed in the paschal mystery: a humanity for which every foreign country is a homeland and every homeland is a foreign country.

Dear migrants and refugees! Never lose the hope that you too are facing a more secure future, that on your journey you will encounter an outstretched hand, and that you can experience fraternal solidarity and the warmth of friendship! To all of you, and to those who have devoted their lives and their efforts to helping you, I give the assurance of my prayers and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

PRAYERS FOR VICTIMS OF MALL IN KENYA


Sisters-Hold-Procession-and-Prayers-for-Terror-Victims
CISA NEWS REPORT: The Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA) and the Association of Sisterhood in Kenya (AOSK) Wednesday September 25 held a procession and prayers for the victims of Saturday’s terror attack at Westgate.
Below if a Press Statement they released and which was read and signed by their Chairperson Sr Margaret Aringo FSJ………
“During the sadness and pain of a time like this, we the consecrated women of the catholic faith living a religious life of prayer and service to God;
1. Proclaiming the truth and sadness of life as a gift from God;
2. Proclaiming unity of the people of God;
3. Proclaiming the love of the people of God;
4. Proclaiming the spirit of justice, strength and courage of the people of God;
Come together to share the gift of prayer for the victims of terror visited on the beloved children of God, our brothers and sisters, at the Westgate mall by the agents of the devil and strongly condemn the act and its perpetuation. We praise the security mechanisms of Kenya, the friends of Kenya, the Hospitals, professionals and individuals who have come out to give the best they have to determine the end of this act and save lives and property.
May the soul of those who have departed by this tragedy rest in eternal peace. May the persons undergoing treatment for injuries sustained from the attack experience the healing from Lord our God. May owners of property and business destroyed at Westgate mall recover through God’s gift of providence. May Kenya remain peaceful ever after.
We have continued to pray for our beloved country and the people of Kenya from our convents and churches but this tragedy bears a dimension of pain and sadness that brings us out to match and pray for peace and love of God to descend to Kenya and people of Kenya. We are all children of God.”
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS 

208 KILLED IN EARTHQUAKE IN PAKISTAN

ASIA NEWS REPORT: The quake struck yesterday afternoon in a remote area of the southwestern province of Baluchistan . The 7.7 magnitude quake was felt in New Delhi , India. Thousands of people displaced by the collapse of houses, at least 90 % of homes destroyed. Basic necessities and tents arrive, but medicines and hospitals are lacking.

Islamabad ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 208 dead and more than 370 people injured.  This is the provisional toll from the powerful earthquake that struck yesterday afternoon at 16:31 local time in Balochistan province in south- western Pakistan , causing the collapse of hundreds of homes . The quake was felt clearly in neighboring India, in New Delhi , where buildings shook for a few seconds. According to the U.S. Geological Survey the quake was magnitude of 7.7 and struck at a depth of 20 km underground, north- east of Awaran , along the road that connects Quetta to Karachi.

Many homes were damaged enough to force thousands of people to sleep in the open . The quake was strong enough to bring out a small island - 100 meters wide and nine high - off the coast , not far from the port of Gwadar, a free zone important for trade. Balochistan is the largest of the Pakistani provinces but also the least inhabited because of the roughness of the region, often the scene of earthquakes on the border with Iran, as was the case last April.

Witnesses tell of thousands of people in a panic , reciting verses from the Koran and praying to God for comfort. The authorities expect an increase in the number of victims in the coming hours and launch appeals for lack of medicines and places equipped for tending the wounded. More serious cases were transferred to Karachi by helicopter, while others were sent to medical structures in neighboring districts . Administration officials in Awarn - which has about 300 thousand inhabitants in total - reported that "at least 90%" of the houses in the district were destroyed.

The central government has sent about 200 soldiers in the area, to help with recovery operations for the missing and aid to the population. The fact that the great majority of the houses are built of mud and earth compounds the death toll, there are few concrete structures , the majority of them are government buildings. Teams of doctors have arrived along with basic necessities and a thousand tents to house the displaced .

The area affected by the earthquake yesterday was the scene of battles between separatist rebels of Baluchistan and Islamabad troops, with rebels targeting symbols of the state, development projects and infrastructure. A military source reported gunfire on a convoy transporting doctors to the earthquake area, but there is no independent confirmation about the attack that caused no injuries.

Experts in seismology and volcanology define the area where the earthquake happened yesterday "among the most complex" on earth, because the meeting point of the Indian plate (south- east), Arab plate (south -west) and the Eurasian plate (north ) . The Kirthar fault generated the earthquake.  The fault line is believed to have an extension of 200 km and touches the region (mountainous and mostly desert) of Baluchistan , which in turn overlooks the Indian Ocean.
Shared from Asia News IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. SEPT. 25, 2013

Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 451

Reading 1                  EZR 9:5-9

At the time of the evening sacrifice, I, Ezra, rose in my wretchedness,
and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees,
stretching out my hands to the LORD, my God.

I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you,
O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads
and our guilt reaches up to heaven.
From the time of our fathers even to this day
great has been our guilt,
and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up,
we and our kings and our priests,
to the will of the kings of foreign lands,
to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace,
as is the case today.

“And now, but a short time ago, mercy came to us from the LORD, our God,
who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place;
thus our God has brightened our eyes
and given us relief in our servitude.
For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us;
rather, he has turned the good will
of the kings of Persia toward us.
Thus he has given us new life
to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins,
and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem.”

Responsorial Psalm                       TB 13:2, 3-4A, 4BEFGHN, 7-8

R. (1b) Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
He scourges and then has mercy;
he casts down to the depths of the nether world,
and he brings up from the great abyss.
No one can escape his hand.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Praise him, you children of Israel, before the Gentiles,
for though he has scattered you among them,
he has shown you his greatness even there.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
So now consider what he has done for you,
and praise him with full voice.
Bless the Lord of righteousness,
and exalt the King of ages.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
In the land of my exile I praise him
and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones,
and may all of you praise his majesty.
Celebrate days of gladness, and give him praise.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.

Gospel     LK 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

NOVENA : FEAST OF THE ANGELS - ST. MICHAEL - GABRIEL - RAPHAEL - DAY 5




September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and ST. Raphael.


Novena to St. Michael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.


Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.



Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.

TODAY'S SAINT: SEPT. 25: ST. FINBARR


St. Finbarr
BISHOP
Feast: September 25
Information:
Feast Day:
September 25
Born:
550 AD, near Bandon, Ireland
Died:
620 AD, Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland
Patron of:
Cork

Bishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 September, 623, was son of Amergin. He evangelized Gowran, Coolcashin, and Aghaboe, and founded a school at Eirce. For some years he dwelt in a hermitage at Gougane Barra, where a beautiful replica of Cormac's chapel has recently been erected in his honour. Finbarr was buried in the cathedral he built where Cork city now stands. He was specially honoured also at Dornoch and Barra, in Scotland. There are five Irish saints of this name.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/stfinbarr.asp