Sunday, December 1, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 2: ST. BIBIANA


St. Bibiana
MARTYR
Feast: December 2
Information:
Feast Day:December 2
Born:4th century in Rome
Died:361
Patron of:against epilepsy, against hangovers, against headaches, against insanity, against mental illness, epileptics, mentally ill people, single laywomen, torture victims
The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority of St. Bibiana (Vibiana), a Roman female martyr, occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis" where in the biography of Pope Simplicius (468-483) it is stated that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body, near the 'palatium Licinianum'" (ed. Duchesne, I, 249). This basilica still exists. In the fifth century, therefore, the bodily remains of St. Bibiana rested within the city walls. We have no further historical particulars concerning the martyr or the circumstances of her death; neither do we know why she was buried in the city itself. In later times a legend sprang up concerning her, connected with the Acts of the martyrdom of Sts. John and Paul and has no historical claim to belief. According to this legend, Bibiana was the daughter of a former prefect, Flavianus, who was banished by Julian the Apostate. Dafrosa, the wife of Flavianus, and his two daughters, Demetria and Bibiana, were also persecuted by Julian. Dafrosa and Demetria died a natural death and were buried by Bibiana in their own house; but Bibiana was tortured and died as a result of her sufferings. Two days after her death a priest named John buried Bibiana near her mother and sister in her home, the house being later turned into a church. It is evident that the legend seeks to explain in this way the origin of the church and the presence in it of the bodies of the above mentioned confessors. The account contained in the martyrologies of the ninth century is drawn from the legend.sourcehttp://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbibiana.asp

POPE FRANCIS "JESUS HEALS OUR SINS" - MASS FOR 1ST ADVENT IN ROME

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday evening told the faithful that our meeting with Jesus takes place when we do good to others.

Celebrating Mass in the Rome Parish of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, the Pope said that life is a journey and the most beautiful gift we can receive is our encounter with Jesus.

Before celebrating Mass the Pope met with some sick people and with children preparing for Holy Communion, and he heard the Confessions of some parishioners. 

Sunday’s was Pope Francis’ second visit to a Rome Parish, and speaking off the cuff, the Pope reminded those present that Jesus loves us. During the ceremony the Pope confirmed nine young boys in their faith, and he pointed out that we meet Jesus in the Sacraments, but we also meet Him - he said - "when we do good deeds, when we visit the sick, when we help the poor, when we think of others, when we are not selfish…" 

During this journey – Pope Francis said – sins may hold us up and discourage us, but he said the people Jesus wanted most to meet were sinners, and many righteous people criticized Him for this reason and criticized the company he held.

But Jesus said – the Pope added - “I came for those who need healing, and Jesus heals our sins”.

Francis explained that Jesus forgives us during the Sacrament of Confession, and he invited the faithful to be courageous…

Finally, to the delight of those present for the Pope’s visit, Francis thanked all for their cheerfulness and asked for prayers. On a last note as he prepared to travel back to the Vatican he apologized for what he called an excess of security: “if something in the organization of this visit has disturbed you, perhaps an excess of security or fear, I want you to know" - he said - "that I do not agree with that kind of thing: I am with you!” 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

PEACE IS POSSIBLE SAYS POPE FRANCIS - 1ST ADVENT ANGELUS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Sunday that the day will come when nations will live in peace. He said it will be a great day in which weapons will be dismantled and transformed into instruments of work: “What a great day it will be”. And this – Pope Francis said – is possible. "Let’s put a bet on hope” – he continued – on hope for peace, and peace will be possible.


Speaking to crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope recalled the passage from the prophet Isaiah who speaks of a time when swords will be broken into plows and nations will live in peace.

And reminding those present that this Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year, the Pope pointed out that this is a season that renews “the horizon of hope”. He encouraged the faithful to rediscover the beauty of being on a journey towards the encounter with Jesus and called for the gift of peace.

And as the first Sunday of Advent this year also falls on World Aids Day, the Pope did not fail to make a strong appeal so that all patients affected by the disease may have access to the care they need. 

“We express our solidarity with the people affected by HIV/Aids, especially children, and we express our closeness to the many missionaries and health operators who work in silence. We pray for everyone, also for physicians and researchers. May every sick person, without exception, have access to the care he or she needs"
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

MARIAN WORKS NEVER BEFORE TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH

SPECIAL TO JCE : An Abiding Anchor -

A friend and I stopped to have a conversation one night after I finished teaching the RCIA class at my parish. We talked about how wonderfully made children with special needs are; how important they are to remind an ever calloused society what it means to sacrifice and love with a tenderness that can only come from caring for the most basic needs of another. She mentioned a young man and his family with whom she had become very close.

"People are afraid to engage him," she noted sadly, "they just don't know what to say."

Having a child with special needs, I understood her statement as fact. People are indeed afraid to engage because they fear the unknown, they fear offending, they are simply afraid of being uncomfortable and exposed.

"How did you overcome this obstacle?" I inquired.

"I got to know the son, by getting to know his mother," she beamed.

I looked her square in the eye and smiled knowingly.

She appeared momentarily perplexed, and then realized what she had said. In one sentence, she was given the grace, through a seemingly unrelated conversation, to understand Marian devotion!
St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary brings the believer to new heights of love and devotion of Jesus by fostering a deep and abiding intimacy with His mother,Theotokos.

He writes:
We fasten our souls to Your hope, as to an abiding anchor. It is to Her that the saints who have saved themselves have been the most attached and have done their best to attach others, in order to persevere in virtue. Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are  now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor! (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 175).
Tethering our souls to the most perfected human creation -- Mary -- the woman so blessed as to be chosen, and then respected by God in her free choice to carry the the Son of God, will offer us graces beyond measure. She was the first to know God intimately, to contemplate the living God from within. Hers is an experience unlike any other, an experience from which we can gain both grace and wisdom.

Confidently, we should pursue a relationship with Jesus by getting to know His Mother. She will bring to light things about her Son that could be found no where else. And, with the establishment of that abiding relationship with the Mother of God, devotion to Jesus, The Holy Trinity, Mother Church, and all things holy will increase exponentially.

Created by Casimir Valla, a devotee who made his Consecration to Jesus through Mary more than two decades ago, his site had a title that should ring familiar:  unique in its purpose, it was designed to promote and help foster Marian devotion by making available works never before translated into English. 

The books are not only valuable on a personal level to deepen ones own spiritual devotion, but are magnificent resources through which to share the devotion with others. Perhaps as the season of Advent draws nearer, these books might be a source of inspiration to you or to someone you love, deepening the understanding of who Mary is as the Mother of God, and our Mother, while also increasing appreciation for the Incarnation and birth of Our Savior.

 For more information and to order your own copies, please visit:

 "We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son."--Saint Louis de Montfort
BY: 
Kathy DiNovis Vestermark
Catholic wife and mother - MA in Theology - Catechetical Diploma. 
Catholic Distance University
Faculty Member, Student Life Coordinator at Catholic Distance University · Jul 2011 to present

ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH - BARTHOLOMEW I MEETS POPE FRANCIS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, in order to mark the Patronal feast of the Church the Patriarch leads – the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle. “With the heartfelt affection reserved for beloved brothers,” writes Pope Francis, “I offer my prayerful best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful, and – together with my Catholic brothers and sisters – join your own prayer on this festive occasion.” 
Writing for the first time as Pope to mark this feast, Pope Francis assures the Patriarch of his intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, saying that it is for him a source of great reassurance to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, the fruit of a grace-filled journey along which the Lord has guided the Churches at Rome and at Constantinople since the historic encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the fiftieth anniversary of which we will celebrate shortly. 

Pope Francis also writes of the concern he shares with the Patriarch for the many people who are suffering due to violence and war, hunger, poverty and grave natural disasters, especially for situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain in their homelands. “Dialogue, pardon and reconciliation,” writes Francis, “are the only possible means to achieve the resolution of conflict.” 

Noting the present context of the 1700th anniversary of Constantine’s Edict, which put an end to religious persecution in the Roman Empire in both East and West, and opened new channels for the dissemination of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes, “Today, as then, Christians of East and West must give common witness so that, strengthened by the Spirit of the risen Christ, they may disseminate the message of salvation to the entire world,” adding that there is an urgent need for effective and committed cooperation among Christians in order to safeguard everywhere the right to express publicly one’s faith and to be treated fairly when promoting the contribution which Christianity continues to offer to contemporary society and culture.

Below, please find the official English text of the Message.

******************************************

To His Holiness Bartholomaios I
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

“Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, 
from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 6:23)

After welcoming with joy the delegation which Your Holiness sent to Rome for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, it is with the same joy that I convey, through this message entrusted to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, my spiritual closeness on the feast of Saint Andrew, Peter’s brother and the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. With the heartfelt affection reserved for beloved brothers, I offer my prayerful best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful, and – together with my Catholic brothers and sisters – join your own prayer on this festive occasion.

Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, this is the first time that I address you on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle Andrew, the first-called. I take this opportunity to assure you of my intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is for me a source of great reassurance to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, the fruit of a grace-filled journey along which the Lord has guided our Churches since the historic encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the fiftieth anniversary of which we will celebrate shortly. God, the source of all peace and love, has taught us throughout these years to regard one another as members of the same family. For indeed we have one Lord and one Saviour. We belong to him through the gift of the good news of salvation transmitted by the apostles, through the one baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity, and through the holy ministry. United in Christ, therefore, we already experience the joy of authentic brothers in Christ, while yet fully aware of not having reached the goal of full communion. In anticipation of the day in which we will finally take part together in the Eucharistic feast, Christians are duty-bound to prepare to receive this gift of God through prayer, inner conversion, renewal of life and fraternal dialogue.

Our joy in celebrating the feast of the Apostle Andrew must not make us turn our gaze from the dramatic situation of the many people who are suffering due to violence and war, hunger, poverty and grave natural disasters. I am aware that you are deeply concerned for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain in their homelands. Dialogue, pardon and reconciliation are the only possible means to achieve the resolution of conflict. Let us be unceasing in our prayer to the all-powerful and merciful God for peace in this region, and let us continue to work for reconciliation and the just recognition of peoples’ rights.

Your Holiness, the memory of the martyrdom of the apostle Saint Andrew also makes us think of the many Christians of all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities who in many parts of the world experience discrimination and at times pay with their own blood the price of their profession of faith. We are presently marking the 1700th anniversary of Constantine’s Edict, which put an end to religious persecution in the Roman Empire in both East and West, and opened new channels for the dissemination of the Gospel. Today, as then, Christians of East and West must give common witness so that, strengthened by the Spirit of the risen Christ, they may disseminate the message of salvation to the entire world. There is likewise an urgent need for effective and committed cooperation among Christians in order to safeguard everywhere the right to express publicly one’s faith and to be treated fairly when promoting the contribution which Christianity continues to offer to contemporary society and culture.

It is with sentiments of profound esteem and warm friendship in Christ that I invoke abundant blessings on Your Holiness and on all the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, asking the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and of the holy apostles and martyrs Peter and Andrew. With the same sentiments I renew my best wishes and exchange with you a fraternal embrace of peace.


From the Vatican, 25 November 2013
Shared from Radio Vaticana