Monday, November 17, 2014

Feast November 18 : Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul


Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul
Feast: November 18
Information:
Feast Day:
November 18

The Vatican Church, dedicated in honour of St. Peter, is the second patriarchal church at Rome, and in it reposes one half of the precious remains of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul. The tombs of the great conquerors and lords of the world have been long since destroyed and forgotten; but those of the martyrs are glorious by the veneration which the faithful pay to their memory.
The body of St. Peter is said to have been buried immediately after his martyrdom, upon this spot, on the Vatican hill, which was then without the walls and near the suburb inhabited by the Jews. The remains of this apostle were removed hence into the cemetery of Calixtus, but brought back to the Vatican. Those of St. Paul were deposited on the Ostian Way, where his church now stands. The tombs of the two princes of the apostles, from the beginning, were visited by Christians with extraordinary devotion above those of other martyrs. Caius, the learned and eloquent priest of Rome, in 210, in his dialogue with Proclus the Montanist, speaks thus of them: "I can show you the trophies of the apostles. For, whether you go to the Vatican hill, or to the Ostian road, you will meet with the monuments of them who by their preaching and miracles founded this church."
The Christians, even in the times of persecution, adorned the tombs of the martyrs and the oratories which they erected over them, where they frequently prayed. Constantine the Great, after founding the Lateran Church, built seven other churches at Rome and many more in other parts of Italy. The first of these were the churches of St. Peter on the Vatican hill (where a temple of Apollo and another of Idaea, mother of the gods, before stood) in honour of the place where the prince of the apostles had suffered martyrdom and was buried and that of St. Paul, at his tomb on the Ostian road. The yearly revenues which Constantine granted to all these churches, amounted to seventeen thousand seven hundred and seventy golden pence, which is above thirteen thousand pounds sterling, counting the prices, gold for gold; but, as the value of gold and silver was then much higher than at present, the sum in our money at this day would be much greater. These churches were built by Constantine in so stately and magnificent a manner as to vie with the finest structures in the empire, as appears from the description which Eusebius gives us of the Church of Tyre; for we find that the rest were erected upon the same model, which was consequently of great antiquity. St. Peter's Church on the Vatican, being fallen to decay, it was begun to be rebuilt under Julius II in 1506, and was dedicated by Urban VIII in 1626, on this day; the same on which the dedication of the old church was celebrated The precious remains of many popes, martyrs, and other saints, are deposited partly under the altars of this vast and beautiful church, and partly in a spacious subterraneous church under the other. But the richest treasure of this venerable place consists in the relics of SS. Peter and Paul, which lie in a sumptuous vault beyond the middle of the church, towards the upper end, under a magnificent altar at which only the pope says mass, unless he commissions another to officiate there. This sacred vault is called The confession of St. Peter, or The threshold of the Apostles (SOURCE:http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/D/dedicationofthebasilicasofstspeter&paul.asp

Wow Sainsbury Ad touches your heart with the Peace of Christmas....Viral Video reaches 8 million - SHARE!

100 years ago, on Christmas Eve 1914, unofficial truces spread across the front lines  of World War One. Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, this ad commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day, 1914, when the guns fell silent and two armies met in no-man’s land, sharing gifts – and even playing football together. The chocolate bar featured in the ad is on sale now at Sainsbury’s. All profits (50p per bar) will go to The Royal British Legion and will benefit our armed forces and their families, past and present. This commercial shows how soldiers slowly abandoned their trenches and exchange greetings with their enemies. The video was published to YouTube on and has over 8 million views. The second Video explains the true story...
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Pope Francis "...never, never, never move away from this Church" #Vatican Homily

Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
17/11/2014 02:
(Vatican Radio) The temptation that Christians face to be with Jesus without being with the poor and marginalized: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.The Holy Father said that the temptation to ignore Christ when he appears to us in the poor and afflicted is one that faces the Church in every age. Pope Francis offered his reflections following the Gospel reading of the day, which recounted the episode of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the blind man on the road to Jericho – a type of figure prominent in the Gospel according to St Luke (18:35-43), from which the reading was taken. The blind man was a no-account in the eyes of the world, a man who, “desired only salvation,” who so greatly, “desired to be cured,” of his affliction that he shouted and shouted, until the wall of indifference collapsed and he was able to knock, “on the door of the Lord’s heart.” The circle of disciples wanted only to quiet him, to keep him from disturbing the Lord:
“This [person on the margins] could not reach the Lord, because this clique – with a the best of intentions, mind you – closed the door.  This happens frequently, among us believers: when we have found the Lord, without our noticing it, we create this sort of ecclesiastical micro-climate . Not only the priests, the bishops, but the faithful, as well: ‘We’re the ones who are with the Lord,’ [we say to ourselves], though for all our looking on Him, we fail to see His needs. We do not look to the Lord who is hungry, who is thirsty, who is in prison, who is in hospital – to the Lord, who is in the marginalized – and being [so closed off, so sealed up], does great harm.”
Pope Francis went on to describe a second type of Christian – of whom there are a few – the kind of follower of Christ, who feels especially chosen. Such as these say and think things like, “Now we are the elect, we are with the Lord,”  said Pope Francis, adding that they therefore want to keep “this little world” to and for themselves – to keep it away from anyone – even little children – who might “disturb the Lord,” and saying that such as these, “have abandoned their first love.”:
“When in the Church, the faithful, ministers, become a group like this ... not ‘ecclesial’, but ‘ecclesiastical’, [enjoyng] the privilege of closeness to the Lord, they are tempted to forget their first love – a love so beautiful – one we all had when the Lord has called us, saved us, told us: ‘But I love you so much.’ This is a temptation all disciples have: to forget our first love, that is, to forget the [rough neighborhoods], where [we all came from], even though [we are now] ashamed of it.”
Then the Holy Father described the third group on the scene: the “simple folk” – the ones who praise God for the healing of the blind man. “How many times,” he asked, “do we find simple people, how many old ladies who can barely walk,” but who make the trip, “to pray at a one of Our Lady’s shrines.” He went on to say that such as these, “do not ask for privileges, but only for grace.” Such as these, he continued, are “the faithful people” who know how to “waste time with the Lord,” and, “to follow the Lord, without asking special privileges,” and who, above all else, remember the “Church on the margins,” comprised of children, of the sick, of the imprisoned:
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace that all of us who have received the grace of being called, never, never, never move away from this Church. Let us never enter into this micro-climate of the privileged ecclesiastical disciples, who turn away from the Church of God, which is suffering, asking for salvation, which calls for faith, which begs to hear God's Word. Let us ask the grace to be faithful to God, without asking the Lord for privileges, which separate us from God's people.”

Pope Francis "the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live..." Full Text

Pope Francis - AFP
17/11/2014 12:53

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the Bishops of Zambia on Monday who are in Rome on their Ad Limina Visit. In his prepared remarks to the group the Pope spoke about the importance of the family and the need to reach out to the poorest and most afflicted and in society. He also spoke to the Bishops about encouraging young people to play an active role in the life of the the Church.Please find below the Pope's English language remarks to the Bishops of Zambia
Dear Brother Bishops,
I welcome you to the City of the Apostles, where you have come as shepherd pilgrims ad Limina Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, and I thank Archbishop Mpundu for his gracious words on behalf of all the bishops, priests and people of your country.  As Christ our light and our life draws us together as brothers in the Church, may he deepen the ties between the Successor of Peter and the Bishops of Zambia.  This time in Rome offers you a fresh opportunity to reflect on the many ways in which the Lord’s flock entrusted to you has been growing in Africa.  Pray in these days to discern the way ahead in solidarity and fraternity, towards the plentiful harvest (Jn 10:2) to which the Holy Spirit is leading you.
Looking back to the beginnings of the Church in Zambia, it is well known that the rich deposit of faith brought by missionary religious from lands overflowing with growth prompted your forebears to respond with their own works of charity, whose effects are felt throughout your country today.  Preparing for generations unborn, these spiritual leaders actively planted the word which the Holy Spirit had proposed to them (cf. 1 Cor 3:6).  Despite the sometimes painful meeting of ancient ways with the new hope that Christ the Lord brings to all cultures, the word of faith took deep root, multiplying a hundredfold, and a new Zambian society transformed by Christian values emerged. It is at once evident how plentiful the spiritual harvest in your vast land already is – blessed with Catholic-run clinics, hospitals and schools, many parishes alive and growing across Zambia, a wide diversity of lay ministries, and substantial numbers of vocations to the priesthood.  With the whole Church, we can give thanks to God for what he has already accomplished in the people entrusted to your care.
In our own days, Zambians continue to seek a happy and fulfilling future in the Church and in society, despite great challenges  which militate against stability in social and ecclesial life, in particular for families.  When family life is endangered, then the life of faith is also put at risk.  As you yourselves have recounted, many – especially the poor in their struggle for survival – are led astray by empty promises in false teachings that seem to offer quick relief in times of desperation.  
In regard to these difficulties, I am convinced that “the weakening of [family] bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66).  Be solicitous whether in or out of season, by supporting this “sanctuary of life” (Africae Munus, 42) which is the family, for it is here that the Church’s well-being in Zambia must grow and be fostered.
I ask you, with your priests, to form strong Christian families, who – by your catechizing – will know, understand and love the truths of the faith more deeply, and thus be protected from those currents which may tempt them to fall away.  Affirm Catholic couples in their desire for fidelity in conjugal life and in their yearning to provide a stable spiritual home for their children, helping them to nurture the life of virtue in the family.  By so doing, your authentic teaching of the doctrines of the faith will touch the daily life of Zambian households.
I urge you to be close to your young people as they seek to establish and articulate their identity in a disorienting age.  Help them to find their purpose in the challenge and joy of co-creation with God that is the vocation to married life, fulfilled in the blessing of children; or indeed in the celibate vocations to the sacred priesthood or religious life, which the Church has been given for the salvation of souls.  Encourage young Catholics by living lives of virtue to experience the liberating gift of chastity as adults.  I pray that you will foster ever greater cooperation with Zambia’s networks of active Catholic youth, who can in turn lead many others into the Church’s family. 
In a special way invite those who have grown lukewarm and feel lost to return to the full practice of the faith.  As pastors of the flock, do not forget to seek out the weakest members of Zambian society, among whom are the materially poor and those afflicted with AIDS; for “the great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith” (Evangelii Gaudium, 200).
Despite all that the Church in Zambia faces, it is a time not to be discouraged but rather to offer the true freedom which only the Lord can give, sustained by the sacraments.  I encourage you to remain sensitive as shepherds to the spiritual and human needs of your closest coworkers: never tire of being kind and firm fathers to your priests, helping them resist materialism and the standards of the world, while recognizing their just needs.  Continue also to promote the treasure of religious life in your Dioceses, so that outstanding examples may be brought forth of Zambian men and women seeking to love the Lord with undivided hearts.
In this challenging time after the death of President Sata, I invite you to continue working with your political leaders for the common good, deepening your prophetic witness in defence of the poor in order to uplift the lives of the weak (cf. Pastoral Statement of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, “Act Justly and Walk Humbly with Your God”, 27 January 2013).
In all things, cooperate with the graces of the Holy Spirit, in unity of belief and purpose.  In union with priests, deacons, religious, catechists and lay leaders, irrigate with your corporal and spiritual works of mercy the vineyard of the Lord which stretches across Zambia like the great Zambezi River.  
The Church’s mission to evangelize never ends: “it is imperative to evangelize cultures in order to inculturate the Gospel... Each culture and social group needs purification and growth” (Evangelii Gaudium, 69).  Then the People of God in Zambia will receive the gift of the Gospel from you with fresh vigour, as you offer them Christ’s joy and mercy anew.  May their lives conform ever more deeply to the pattern of the Gospel; then the Lord’s Kingdom of peace will spread and grow in your beloved nation.
The Lord of the harvest is preparing to send the rains he promises in due season (Lev 26:4); for you are cultivating his fields until he returns at harvest time (Mt 13:30).  Until then, knowing well how much your work demands personal sacrifice, patience and love, draw on the faith and sacrifice of the Apostles to whose threshold you have come, in order to return strengthened to the Church in Zambia.
Dear Brothers, trusting in the saving grace of Almighty God, and commending you – along with all priests, religious and lay faithful in your Dioceses – to the intercession of Mary “Mother of the Church which evangelizes” (Evangelii Gaudium, 284), I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Risen Lord.

Pope Francis "Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother..." Full Text on Marriage

(Vatican Radio) On Monday, Pope Francis addressed a Colloquium being held on the theme “The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” The Holy Father began his address by dwelling on the word “complementarity”: “a precious word, with multiple meanings.” Although complementarity can refer “situations where one of two things adds to, completes, or fulfills a lack in the other” it also means much more than that. Christians, he said, “find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body's members work together for the good of the whole-everyone's gifts can work together for the benefit of each.” Complementarity, the Pope said, “is at the root of marriage and family.” Although there are tensions in families, the family also provides the framework in which those tensions can be resolved.” He said that complementarity should not be confused with a simplistic notion that “all the roles and relations of the sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern.” Rather, “complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children.” Pope Francis stated frankly, “In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis.”
The “culture of the temporary” has led many people to give up on marriage as a public commitment. “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.” The Pope said that the crisis in the family has produced a crisis “of human ecology,” similar to the crisis that affects the natural environment. “Although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it.” To do that, the Pope said, “It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods.” He noted that the family is the foundation of society, and that children have the right to grow up in a family with a mother and a father “capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity.”
He also called on participants in the Colloquium “to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity, and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart.” This is especially important for young people “who represent our future.” Finally, Pope Francis said the family is not an ideological concept, but an “anthropological fact.” That is, the family is not a “conservative” or a “progressive” notion, but is a reality that transcends ideological labels. Pope Francis concluded his address with the hope that the Colloquium would be “an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies.”
Below, please find the complete text of the Pope’s address:
Dear sisters and brothers, I warmly greet you. I thank Cardinal Muller for his words with which he introduced our meeting. I would like to begin by sharing with you a reflection on the title of your colloquium. “Complementarity”: it is a precious word, with multiple meanings. It can refers to situations where one of two things adds to, completes, or fulfills a lack in the other. But complementarity is much more than that. Christians find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body's members work together for the good of the whole-everyone's gifts can work together for the benefit of each (cf. 1 Cor. 12). To reflect upon "complementarity" is nothing less than to ponder the dynamic harmonies at the heart of all Creation. This is the key word, harmony. All complementarities were made by our Creator, because the Holy Spirit, who is the Author of harmony, achieves this harmony. It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman. This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together. For most of us, the family provides the principal place where we can begin to “breathe” values and ideals, as well to realize our full capacity for virtue and charity.
At the same time, as we know, families are places of tensions: between egoism and altruism, reason and passion, immediate desires and long-range goals. But families also provide frameworks for resolving such tensions. This is important. When we speak of complementarity between man and woman in this context, let us not confuse that term with the simplistic idea that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern. Complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children -- his or her personal richness, personal charisma. Complementarity becomes a great wealth. It is not just a good thing but it is also beautiful. In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment.
This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis. The crisis in the family has produced crisis of human ecology, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it. It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is "indispensable"; that it "transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple" (n. 66). And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium's emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.
 In these days, as you embark on a reflection on the beauty of complementarity between man and woman in marriage, I urge you to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity, and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart.
 Let us bear in mind especially the young people, who represent our future. It is important that they do not give themselves over to the poisonous mentality of the temporary, but rather be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern: this must be done. With regard to this I want to say one thing: Let us not fall into the trap of being qualified by ideological concepts. Family is an anthropological fact - a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it with concepts of an ideological nature, that are relevant only in a single moment of history, and then pass by. We can't speak today of a conservative notion of family or a progressive notion of family: Family is family! It can't be qualified by ideological notions. Family has a strength of its own [per se]. May this colloquium be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies. I wish to confirm that, God willing, in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families. I thank you for the prayers with which you accompany my service to the Church. And I pray for you, and I bless you from the heart. Thank you very much!

Prayers to St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Patron of Widows, Poor and Brides - Litany


Dear Saint Elizabeth, you were always poor in spirit, most generous toward the poor, faithful to your husband, and fully consecrated to your Divine Bridegroom. Grant your help to widows and keep them faithful to their heavenly Lord. Teach them how to cope with their loss and to make use of their time in the service of God. Amen.


Prayer of Widows and Widowers
Lord Jesus Christ, during your earthly life You showed compassion on those who had lost a loved one. Turn your compassionate eyes on me in my sorrow
over the loss of my life's partner. Take him/her into your heavenly kingdom as a reward for his/her earthly service.
Help me to cope with my loss by relying on You even more than before.
Teach me to adapt to the new conditions of my life and to continue doing
your will as I see it. Enable me to avoid withdrawing from life
and make me give myself to others more readily, so that I may continue to live in your grace and to do the tasks that You have laid out for me. Amen.

Litany of St. Elizabeth of Hungary  Protector, Third Order Franciscan
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us. O Christ, graciously hear us.
O God the Father, of heaven: have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: O God, the Holy Ghost:
O Holy Trinity, one God: have mercy upon us.
Holy Mary: Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin: Mother and Mistress of our Order: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mother in Israel: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, queen in the Kingdom of God: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, consoler of sinners: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, nurse of lepers: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, devoted wife of Louis the Good: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, famous exemplar of Christian widowhood: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, fervent spouse of the Son of God: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, humble in prosperity: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, patient in adversity: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mighty in penance: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, wondrous in prayer: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, first-born of the tertiaries regular: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, protectress of our Order: Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, the "dear saint" of Holy Church: Pray for us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Elizabeth. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia.
Let us pray: Merciful Lord, we pray Thee to pour the bright beams of Thy grace into our hearts: that, by the glorious prayers of Thy Saint Elizabeth, we may learn to despise all worldly prosperity, and ever to rejoice in all Heavenly consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.