Sunday, March 8, 2015

Saint March 9 : St. Dominic Savio : Patron of Choirboys, Falsely Accused, Juvenile delinquents


Information:
Feast Day:March 9
Born:
April 2, 1842(1842-04-02), San Giovanni, a frazione of Riva presso Chieri, Piedmont, Italy
Died:March 9, 1857, Mondonio, a frazione of Castelnuovo d’Asti (today Castelnuovo Don Bosco), Piedmont, Italy
Canonized:
12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:The Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians in Turin (his tomb)
Patron of:choirboys, falsely accused people, juvenile delinquents,  Pueri Cantores
MYSTIC, YOUTHFUL CONFESSOR, STUDENT OF ST. JOHN BOSCO

Here is a boy-saint who died at the age of fifteen, was one of the great hopes of St. John Bosco for the future of his congregation, and was canonized in 1954.
He was one of ten children of Carlo and Birgitta Savio. Carlo was a blacksmith and Birgitta was a seamstress. When Don Bosco was looking for young men to train as priests for his Salesian Order, his parish priest suggested Dominic Savio. Dominic became more than a credit to Don Bosco's school—he single-handedly organized those who were to be the nucleus of Don Bosco's order.
St. Dominic Savio was twelve when he met Don Bosco and organized a group of boys into the Company of the Immaculate Conception. Besides its religious purpose, the boys swept and took care of the school and looked after the boys that no one seemed to pay any attention to. When, in 1859, Don Bosco chose the young men to be the first members of his congregation, all of them had been members of Dominic's Company.
For all that, Dominic was a normal, high-spirited boy who sometimes got into trouble with his teachers because he would often break out laughing. However, he was generally well disciplined and gradually gained the respect of the tougher boys in Don Bosco's school.
In other circumstances, Dominic might have become a little self-righteous snob, but Don Bosco showed him the heroism of the ordinary and the sanctity of common sense. "Religion must be about us as the air we breathe," Don Bosco would say, and Dominic Savio wore holiness like the clothes on his back.
He called his long hours of prayer "his distractions." In 1857, at the age of fifteen, he caught tuberculosis and was sent home to recover. On the evening of March 9, he asked his father to say the prayers for the dying. His face lit up with an intense joy and he said to his father: "I am seeing most wonderful things!" These were his last words.
Thought for the Day: "I can't do big things," St. Dominic Savio once said, "but I want everything to be for the glory of God." His was the way of the ordinary: cheerfulness, fidelity in little things, helping others, playing games, obeying his superiors. This heroism in little things is the stuff of holiness.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


Saint March 9 : St. Frances of Rome : Patron of: Benedictine oblates; Automobile Drivers


Information:
Feast Day:March 9
Born:
1384, Rome
Died:March 9, 1440, Rome
Canonized:
1608, Rome by Pope Paul V
Major Shrine:Santa Francesca Romana Church, Romea
Patron of:Benedictine oblates; automobile drivers
MYSTIC AND BENEFACTOR OF THE SICK AND POOR

One of the greatest mystics of the fifteenth century; born at Rome, of a noble family, in 1384; died there, 9 March, 1440.
Her youthful desire was to enter religion, but at her father's wish she married, at the age of twelve, Lorenzo de' Ponziani. Among her children we know of Battista, who carried on the family name, Evangelista, a child of great gifts (d. 1411), and Agnes (d. 1413). Frances was remarkable for her charity to the poor, and her zeal for souls. She won away many Roman ladies from a life of frivolity, and united them in an association of oblates attached to the White Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria Nuova; later they became the Benedictine Oblate Congregation of Tor di Specchi (25 March, 1433) which was  approved by Eugene IV (4 July, 1433). Its members led the life of religious, but without the strict cloister or formal vows, and gave themselves up to prayer and good works. With her husband's consent Frances practiced continency, and advanced in a life of contemplation. Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gift of miracles and ecstasy, we well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning purgatory and hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience, exemplified on the occasion ofher husband's banishment, the captivity of Battista, her sons' death, and the loss of all herproperty.
On the death of her husband (1436) she retired among her oblates at Tor di Specchi, seeking admission for charity's sake, and was made superior. On the occasion of a visit to her son, she fell ill and died on the day she had foretold. Her canonization was preceded by three processes (1440, 1443, 1451) and Paul V declared her a saint on 9 May, 1608, assigning 9 March as her feast day. Long before that, however, the faithful were wont to venerate her body in the church of Santa Maria Nuova in the Roman Forum, now known as the church of Santa Francesca Romana.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass “Open your hearts to the mercy of Jesus!” for Lent - Video/Text

Pope Francis on Sunday evening celebrated Mass at the Parish of Holy Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, in the Roman suburb of Tor Bella Monaca. - ANSA
 (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday evening celebrated Mass at the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore in the Roman suburb of Tor Bella Monaca. In his homily, the Holy Father said we cannot fool Jesus, acting like saints when we’re around the church, but living our daily lives like pagans. Jesus knows what is in the heart of man. “We all know the name Jesus gives to those who show a ‘double face’: hypocrites!” The Pope said we would do well “to enter into our hearts and to look upon Jesus.” The Lord, he said, knows that we are sinners – but if we acknowledge that we are sinners, we have no need to be afraid. Pope Francis also considered Jesus’ action in cleansing the Temple. When we look into our own hearts, he said, we find so many sins: sins of selfishness, pride, envy jealousy. We must open our hearts to Jesus, and ask Him to cleanse our hearts. Jesus, though, does not cleanse our hearts with a whip, as He cleansed the Temple; rather, He purifies our hearts with the “whip” of mercy. “Open your hearts to the mercy of Jesus!” the Pope said. “And if we open our hearts to the mercy of Jesus, so that He might cleanse our hearts, our souls, Jesus will trust us.” Before arriving at the church, the Pope visited the church of Santa Giovanna Antida, within the parish boundaries, where he met with members of the community who are sick or poor, and who are cared for by the Missionaries of Charity. At the parish church, the Holy Father met with children studying catechism at the parish, and with children who attend the parish daycare. He also met with members of the parish council, and heard Confessions of several people ahead of the Mass.

Pope Francis "‘thank you’ for all those women who, in a thousand ways, bear witness to the Gospel and work in the Church.”

(Vatican Radio) In his remarks following the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis had a special greeting for “all the women throughout the world who are seeking, every day, to build a more human and welcoming society.” Pope Francis continued with a “a fraternal ‘thank you’ for all those women who, in a thousand ways, bear witness to the Gospel and work in the Church.” March 8th, celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day, is an occasion, he said, “to repeat the importance of women, and the necessity of their presence in life.” Pope Francis said, “A world where women are marginalized is a sterile world, because women don’t just bear life but transmit to us the ability to see otherwise, they see things differently. They transmit to us the ability to understand the world with different eyes, to understand things with hearts that are more creative, more patient, more tender.” The Pope then offered “a prayer, and a special blessing, for all the women present here in the Square, and for all women.”

Pope Francis plans to Canonize the Parents of St. Therese - Zelie and Louis Martin - Brief Biography and Prayer

Pope Francis plans to canonize St. Therese's parents at the family synod in October 4-25, 2015. This was announced by the Vatican on February 27 at a conference in Rome by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The feast of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin on July 12 will thus be celebrated and the miracle approved. (Image Painted by Belita William - Shared from Google Images)
 The prayer offered at the canonisation of Louis and Zélie Martin Ever-loving God, you have given us blessed Louis and Zélie Martin as an example of saintly married life. They held fast to their faith and hope throughout the demands and difficulties of life. They raised their children to become saints. May their prayer and example support families in their Christian life and help us all to walk towards holiness. If it is your will, give us the grace which we now ask through their intercession, and be pleased to number them amongst the saints of your church.
 "Thanks be to God, in October two spouses, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, will be canonized. Saints are not only priests and nuns, but also lay people," the Cardinal said.
Brief Biography of Zelie and Louis Martin
  Zélie never lost her longing for the cloister yet she loved her husband and children, and totally fulfilled her role as both wife and mother. She was a highly skilled lace maker and an astute business woman. Zélie Guérin was born on December 23, 1831 in the parish of St-Denis-sur-Sarthon near Alencon; she was baptised on Christmas Eve. Her father had retired from the army and was a member of the local police force. Her mother had given birth to her first child, Marie Louise, two years previously and the family was completed with the birth of a son, Isidore, ten years later. Her father sold his house and land in the country in order to send them to school. The family moved to Alencon when Zélie was 13 and together with her sister, she attended the school of the Perpetual Adoration. After the move to Alencon her mother ran a café for a short time and her father tried his hand at woodwork. Later Isidore, who was a bright child, was sent to the Lycée. In adult life after studying medicine in Paris he became a pharmacist at Lisieux. Zélie suffered severe headaches in her childhood as well as respiratory problems, and it was probably on account of her poor health that the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul would not accept her as a postulant when she applied to join them. Her sister entered the Visitation Convent at Le Mans at the age of 29, and became Sister Marie-Dosithée. On entering she declared, ‘I have come here in order to become a saint.’ Zélie’s plan unfolds Zélie had decided that if God did not want her as a religious she would marry and have many children who would all be consecrated to Him. She turned to Our Lady and asked her how she should earn her dowry. On December 8, 1851 she received her answer in the form of an interior voice which said, ‘Make Alencon point lace’. Zélie went to a professional school to learn her craft; she quickly excelled and left to start her own business. One day when she was crossing the Bridge of St. Leonard, Zélie noticed a man passing by and again heard that interior voice. It said, ‘This is he whom I have prepared for you.’ The man was Louis Martin, whose mother had noticed Zélie at the lace making school. On July 13, 1858 Zélie and Louis were married; she was nearly 27. On the evening of her marriage Zélie visited her sister at the Visitation Convent in Le Mans. She had been a postulant there for two months, but this was Zélie’s first visit to her and she could not stop weeping. She wished with all her heart that she could have entered too. Zélie was always totally content with Louis, Zélie’s agree to Louis’ proposal for chastity, even though she still wanted to bring up children for God. During the first year of their marriage they cared for a little boy of five whose father had died and whose mother had eleven children. They lived a life of chastity for ten months, after which, under the direction of a confessor they agreed that they should have children of their own. Once convinced that this was God’s will for them they had nine children in thirteen years. Meanwhile, Zélie set up her office next to Louis’ shop, where she continued with her lace making.  The first baby Zélie’s first child was born on February 22, 1860, and given the names Marie Louise. Zélie and Louis had decided to give all their children the name Marie in honour of Our Lady,  Marie had good health from the start, and proved to be the easiest of all the children to rear. On September 7, 1861 Marie Pauline was born; she too was a reasonably strong child, though she suffered from a chronic cough during her first years. Zélie’s third daughter Marie Léonie was born on June 3, 1863. Marie Hélène was born the following year on October 13. Zélie’s own health was already beginning to fail. She was unable to nurse this child herself and had to entrust her to a wet nurse. In April 1865 Zélie wrote to her brother, ‘You know that when I was a girl I received a blow in the breast, through striking the corner of a table.  In June 1865 Louis’on September 20, 1866 she gave birth to Marie Joseph Louis. It was the easiest birth since her first child and the baby was big and strong.  The little boy was very ill and on February 14, he died. Zélie believed she had a saint in Heaven. She turned to St. Joseph making a novena which ended on his feast day for another son. As when she asked Our Lady’s prayers for a second child, the baby was born precisely nine months later. Marie Joseph John Baptiste arrived on December 19, 1867 but his was the most difficult birth of all. Everyone could see that this baby was not strong.  Zélie was resigned, he suffered enteritis and on August 24, 1868 he died in his mother’s arms. Zelie's father, unable to live alone, had been persuaded to move in with his daughter and her family. He died less than two weeks after her second son.  On April 28, 1869 Marie Céline was born. Hélène fell ill tragically and unexpectedly; within forty-eight hours she died, aged only five.  Marie Mélanie Thérèse lived less than two months. In July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Zélie went to the 5.30 Mass there every morning with her husband; they both received Holy Communion several times each week, which was unusually frequent at that time. She had about fifteen women working for her. Zélie even dealt with investments and read the stock exchange journal. Having lost Hélène and Mélanie Thérèse, Zélie was delighted to find herself expecting her ninth child. On Thursday 2nd January 1873 Zélie gave birth to her last child, Marie Francoise Thérèse.  The little brothers and sisters who had died were considered very much a part of the family and following Zélie’s own conviction the children were taught to look upon Heaven as their true home. In October 1876, doctors said the swelling in Zélie’s breast was A fibrous tumour’ and advised an operation.  On February 24 her sister died at the Visitation.  Zelie and 3 of her daughters set out for a pilgrimage for healing to Lourdes on June 18. Zélie fell and twisted her neck causing pain from which she never recovered. She was immersed four times in the baths, but her pain remained as severe a ever. Zélie arrived home in good spirits, even though her health was worse. She held on to Our Lady’s promise to Bernadette, ‘I will not make you happy in this world but in the next.’ At the end of June the tumour began to discharge; the nights were dreadful; the pain was so severe Zélie could not sleep. few more steps. On August 16 Zélie wrote her last letter to her brother, ‘If the Blessed Virgin does not cure me, it is that my time has come and that God wishes me to find my rest elsewhere than on earth.’ Ten days later a haemorrhage took away her voice, her limbs became swollen and she became so weak that the Guérins were summoned. Louis fetched the priest escorting the Blessed Sacrament from the Church. The family were all gathered round for this final ceremony. The next day the Guérins were there. Céline Guérin never forgot the mother’s last look; she resolved to do all she could for the children, but she knew she could not replace such a mother. On Tuesday August 28 at 12.30 a.m. Zélie died, her husband and her brother beside her. The three older girls were there, but they did not waken the two younger ones. Thérèse’s father took her to see her mother for the last time the next morning. The following day Zélie was buried with the four little ones. It was not until 1894 when Louis died that Isidore Guérin had the family grave moved to Lisieux. In 1957 the Cause for Zélie’s Beatification was introduced together with that of her husband. … The Cause of Louis and Zélie received a great boost when the Holy See officially recognised their heroic holiness and on 26th March 1994 they were declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II.
Short Biography of Blessed Louis Martin Father of St. Thérèse Above the graves of St. Thérèse’s parents behind the Basilica in Lisieux are the words, ‘God gave me a father and mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth,’ words written by Thérèse to Abbé Bellière just two months before she died. Time has shown that Thérèse was not alone in believing this as their Cause for Beatification was introduced in 1957. Their heroic holiness was officially recognised by the Holy See when Pope John Paul II declared them Venerable on 26th March 1994. Louis’ family were from Normandy he was born in the south of France at Bordeaux. His father was a captain in the army garrisoned there, though he was actually away in Spain when Louis was born on August 22, 1823. Louis’ only brother, Pierre, was four years older. He died at sea while still young; his sister, Marie, who was three years older, died when she was only twenty-six. Louis was baptised privately straight after birth but the full ceremonies at the Church of St. Eulalie were not completed until October after his father returned from the Spanish campaign. He was given the names Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus. After his return from Spain Captain Martin was transferred to Avignon, where in 1826 another child, Anne Fannie, was born. She was the only one of the family besides Louis to have any children of her own; she married Adolphe Leriche and in 1844 gave birth to a son of the same name, but died nine years later. The youngest of Louis’ sisters, Sophie also died at age nine. The father chose to live in Alencon where he knew he could educate his children.  In 1842 Louis began to learn watchmaking. In Strasburg Louis climbed the Swiss Alps to the Augustinian Monastery of Mount St. Bernard but to seek admission to the community. The Prior told him that without any knowledge of Latin he could not be accepted. He persevered for over a year, but when illness made it necessary for him to give up for a while he never returned to it. Master Watchmaker Louis returned to Alencon a master watchmaker and in November 1850 established his shop in the Parish of St. Pierre de Monsort. The house was large so Louis had his parents to live with him. He worked hard at his watchmaking and later added a jeweller’s shop. He insisted on closing his shop on Sundays even when a priest suggested that he might leave the side door open. In 1857 he bought the Pavilion, a small property on the outskirts of the town. He also liked fishing and he often took his catch to the Poor Clare Convent. He was generous to the poor and never hesitated to give practical help when he saw the need.When he was thirty-five, only three months after their first meeting, Louis married Zélie Guérin, on July 13, 1858. They lived behind his shop, and as the house was so large his parents were able to remain there, living quite separately on the floor above. Since Louis and Zélie both desired to live the religious life they chose to continue their dedication to God through chastity after their marriage. It was only ten months later, when a confessor suggested that they should consider the vocation of parenthood that their ideas changed. Louis was delighted when his first daughter was born on February 22, 1860.  In the following thirteen years eight more children followed Marie; Louis rejoiced at each birth and sorrowed when three of them died as small babies, but his greatest sadness in those years was the death of five year old Hélène on February 22, 1870. That same year, in April, Louis sold his business to his nephew, Adolphe Leriche, and in July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Louis’ mother continued to live above the shop, happy that her grandson now occupied the other apartment.  Louis had always done all he could to help Zélie with her lacemaking business. With the birth of Thérèse in January 1873 Louis’ family was complete. He loved to spend time with his five daughters.  Louis liked to go on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s shrines. At the end of 1876 when Louis realised that his wife was fatally ill he became inconsolable. He gave up his fishing for a time and would not leave her. On August 28 Zélie died and the following day Louis took his little Thérèse to kiss her mother for the last time. Louis was left with five daughters ranging in age from 4 to 17, Louis fulfilled his wife’s wishes and less than three months after her death the family went to live at Les Buissonnets in Lisieux, to be near her brother, Isidore Guérin, and his wife Céline. he returned to Alencon to visit his own mother and the family graves Marie ran the house helped by a maid. He still enjoyed reading and also passed much time there in meditation and prayer. He spent each evening with his daughters. Usually one of them read aloud from ‘The Liturgical Year’ or some other carefully chosen book. Céline and Thérèse often sat on his knee and he told them stories and sang to them. This was where Thérèse first heard many of the melodies that she later used as settings for her poems. The evening always ended with family prayer and Thérèse said that she only had to watch her father to know how the saints pray. He often spoke of Heaven and every day he assisted at the early Mass as he had done in Alencon. He established the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Lisieux with the help of his brother-in-law. He was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society and each Monday he gave alms to the poor. Carmel takes Pauline When Thérèse began school at the Benedictine Convent it was often Louis who took and collected her together with Céline who was also a pupil there. When Pauline expressed her desire to enter Carmel he gave his permission willingly even though he was not at all sure that her health would stand up to the austerities of the life. Later that same day he said to her, ‘Pauline, I have given you permission to enter Carmel for your happiness, but do not think that there is no sacrifice on my part, for I love you so much.’ He was sorry to lose a daughter from the family circle which meant so much to him, but he was happy that the prayers he had made with Zélie that each child would be consecrated to God were being fulfilled. He knew that of all the girls Pauline had been closest to her mother and Zélie had been convinced that she would enter a convent. Now her wishes had come true. The following March Louis set off for Paris with Marie and Léonie to celebrate the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies there. Céline and Thérèse were left in the care of their aunt and uncle and during that time Thérèse became very ill. Louis had Marie send to Our Lady of Victories in Paris to ask for a Novena of Masses to be said for her recovery. It was during that Novena, on Pentecost Sunday, that Our Lady smiled on Thérèse and she was cured.  Léonie soon decided suddenly to enter the Poor Clares however, was not strong enough to follow the austere rule of the Poor Clares. When Thérèse asked her father’s permission to enter Carmel, Louis was not so surprised, even though she was only fourteen.  He went with her to see the Bishop and he took her, together with Céline, on a pilgrimage to Rome where she asked the Holy Father for the necessary permission. Léonie, this time with her father’s full permission, had gone to try her vocation at the Visitation Convent in Caen, but even though the Visitation was much less austere than the Poor Clares Leonie could not enter. By this time Louis’ health had deteriorated. Through most of his life he had been well and strong but one day when he was fishing near Alencon he was stung behind his ear by a poisonous fly. At first there was only a small black spot which did not trouble him very much, but over the years the infection spread. The year before Thérèse entered Carmel he experienced a paralytic stroke which affected his left side. The date for Thérèse’s Clothing in the Carmelite Habit was delayed because of Louis’ illness but it was finally fixed for 10th January 1889.  He led Thérèse to her clothing.  On February 12, 1889 Louis was admitted to the Bon Sauveur, hospital at Caen. In the hospital he had a considerable amount of freedom and he received loving care from the sisters. He spent much of his time in the Chapel and was able to receive Holy Communion daily when he was well enough. By this time Louis had suffered further strokes which had paralysed his legs. His daughter Pauline had been elected Prioress of Carmel. Léonie then entered the Visitation Convent at Caen again in June 1893. Céline alone remained with her father until his death, but she was greatly supported by the Guérin family. In 1888 they had inherited, together with the Maudelonde family, La Musse. On August 18 they returned to Lisieux. Throughout the following winter, Louis’ health remained stable. In May Céline went to Caen but while she was there on May 27 Louis suffered a serious stroke. Louis received the Last Sacraments. He seemed to be recovering again until June 5 when he had a serious heart attack while Céline was at the 7 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral.  He suffered another, more prolonged heart attack on July 28 and again he received the Last Sacraments.   Céline remained alone with her father praying the invocations to Jesus, Mary and Joseph for a happy death.  Isidore Guérin Isidore pressed the crucifix to Louis’ lips several times. By this time his breathing had become very weak, and at a quarter past eight on Sunday 29th July 1894 he died.  Louis’ body was taken back to Lisieux where he was buried on August 2 after a Requiem Mass in the Cathedral. Céline had written to her sisters in Carmel ‘Papa is in Heaven’. Prayer for the Beatification of Louis and Zélie Martin and to obtain favours through their intercession: God Our Father, we praise You for Louis and Zélie Martin, a truly faithful husband and wife, who lived their Christian life in an exemplary way through their duties in life and practice of Gospel teaching. In bringing up a large family, in spite of trials, bereavements and suffering, they showed immense trust in You and obedience to Your will. Lord deign to manifest Your will in their regard and grant me the favours I implore while praying that the father and mother of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus be presented as models of family life today. Amen. The Causes of Louis and Zélie Martin were drawn up between 1957 and 1960 in two separate processes whose findings were sent to Rome. These two Causes will now be examined according to the method of the historical process and form one single Cause so that this husband and wife may be Beatified together, should the Church so decide. The faithful are, therefore, invited to invoke Mr. & Mrs. Martin together for favours and miracles confided to their intercession. (Martin Sisters Pictured Below)
Edited from(much longer and beautiful biography)  by J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm http://web.archive.org/web/20120315073852/http://www.sttherese.com/Parents.html 

Amazing New Movie "The Drop Box" about a Pastor Saving Babies in Korea - Watch Trailer


EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED AND WORTHY OF LOVE

Hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, every year, forgotten by the surrounding culture.
The Drop Box is a documentary about the work of Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect his community’s most vulnerable children. By installing a drop box outside his home, Pastor Lee provides a safe haven to babies who would otherwise be abandoned on the streets to die.
It’s a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society.
But it’s also a story of hope. And a celebration of the reality that every human life is sacred, has a purpose and is worthy of love.

ABOUT THE DROP BOX

In 2009, Lee Jong-rak, pastor of the Jusarang Community Church in Seoul, South Korea, installed a drop box in the outer wall of his home to provide a safe place for babies who would otherwise be left to die on the streets. Since then, he has saved hundreds of babies’ lives and adopted, as his own, many who would have perished.
Two years after the drop box was built, Brian Ivie was reading through the Los Angeles Times and came across an article titled, “South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock.” After reading the article, Brian knew he had to find a way to share Pastor Lee’s story.
Six months after reading the article, Brian Ivie and his production team fromArbella Studios headed to Seoul, South Korea, to live with Pastor Lee and film his story.
Pastor Lee Jong-rak
They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world.
God sent them here for a purpose.
Pastor Lee Jong-rak

#PopeFrancis "...allow the Lord to enter with His mercy – not with the whip, no, with His mercy – to cleanse our hearts."


Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Sunday Angelus. Referring to the day's Gospel, the Holy Father called on Christians to allow Jesus to cleanse our hearts. - AP
08/03/2015 13:13



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday based his Angelus address on the Gospel account of Jesus cleansing the Temple. Jesus’ prophetic words and actions, the Pope said, which refer to His death and resurrection, “are fully understood in the light of His Pasch.” Jesus Christ Himself, in His Resurrection, becomes the meeting place between God and man.
During Lent, the Pope continued, we prepare for Easter, when we will renew our baptismal promises. The Holy Father called on each of us to follow Jesus, so that people might encounter God in us and in our witness. But this leads us to ask ourselves if we allow the Lord “to ‘cleanse’ our hearts and to drive out the idols, those attitudes of cupidity, jealousy, worldliness, envy, hatred, those habits of gossiping and tearing down others.” Jesus, the Pope said, cleanses our hearts not with a whip, as He cleansed the Temple, but with tenderness, mercy, and love.
“Every Eucharist that we celebrate with faith makes us grow as a living temple of the Lord,” the Pope said, “thanks to the communion with His crucified and risen Body… Let us allow Him to enter into our lives, into our families, into our hearts.”
Below, please find the complete text of the Pope’s Angelus address for Sunday, 8 March 2015:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today’s Gospel presents the episode of the of the expulsion of the merchants from the temple (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus “made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen” (Jn 2:15), the money, everything. Such a gesture gave rise to strong impressions in the people and in the disciples. It clearly appeared as a prophetic gesture, so much so that some of those present asked Jesus: “[But] what sign can you show us for doing this?” (v. 18), who are you to do these things? Show us a sign that you have authority to do them. They are seeking a divine sign, a prodigy that would certify Jesus as being sent by God. And He responded: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (v. 19). They replied: “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” (v. 20). They had not understood that the Lord was referring to the living temple of His body, that would be destroyed in the death on the Cross, but would be raised on the third day. For this, in “three days.” “When He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken” (v. 22).
In effect, this gesture of Jesus and His prophetic message are fully understood in the light of His Pasch. We have here, according to the evangelist John, the first proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ: His body, destroyed on the Cross by the violence of sin, will become in the Resurrection the universal meeting place between God and men. And the Risen Christ is Himself the universal meeting place – for everyone! – between God and men. For this reason, His humanity is the true temple where God is revealed, speaks, is encountered; and the true worshippers, the true worshippers of God are not only the guardians of the material temple, the keepers of power and of religious knowledge, [but] they are those who worship God “in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23).
In this time of Lent we are preparing for the celebration of Easter, when we will renew the promises of our Baptism. Let us travel in the world as Jesus did, and let us make our whole existence a sign of our love for our brothers, especially the weakest and poorest, let us build for God a temple of our lives. And so we make it “encounterable” for those who we find along our journey. If we are witnesses of this living Christ, so many people will encounter Jesus in us, in our witness. But, we ask – and each one of us can ask ourselves – does the Lord feel at home in my life? Do we allow Him to “cleanse” our hearts and to drive out the idols, those attitudes of cupidity, jealousy, worldliness, envy, hatred, those habits of gossiping and tearing down others. Do I allow Him to cleanse all the behaviours that are against God, against our neighbour, and against ourselves, as we heard today in the first Reading? Each one can answer for himself, in the silence of his heart: “Do I allow Jesus to make my heart a little cleaner?” “Oh Father, I fear the rod!” But Jesus never strikes. Jesus cleanses with tenderness, with mercy, with love. Mercy is the His way of cleansing. Let us, each of us, let us allow the Lord to enter with His mercy – not with the whip, no, with His mercy – to cleanse our hearts. The whip of Jesus with us is His mercy. Let us open to Him the gates so that He would make us a little cleaner.
Every Eucharist that we celebrate with faith makes us grow as a living temple of the Lord, thanks to the communion with His crucified and risen Body. Jesus recognizes that which is in each of us, and knows well our most ardent desires: that of being inhabited by Him, only by Him. Let us allow Him to enter into our lives, into our families, into our hearts. May Mary most holy, the privileged dwelling place of the Son of God, accompany us and sustain us on the Lenten journey, so that we might be able to rediscover the beauty of the encounter with Christ, the only One Who frees us and saves us.

Top 10 Catholic Women - #WomensDay - SHARE Amazing Stories!


Today, March 8, is International Women's Day. The 1st national "Women's Day" was held on February 28, 1909 in the USA. The International Women's Day was celebrated on March 18, 1911. To celebrate this many hold parades or conferences in honour of women's roles in society. It also serves to call attention to the plight of many women suffering unjustly in many countries world wide.

In honor of women's day; here is a list of
TOP 10 CATHOLIC WOMEN:
1. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD Mary of Nazareth was born before the 1st century AD. Mary was born to Anne and Joachim. She was the mother of Jesus Christ. She conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit and remained a virgin. The angel Gabriel came to her and announced that she would conceive and bear a son who would be Emmanuel. She proclaimed the famous inspired prayer found in the Gospels: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. Shall call me blessed: These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever." (Luke 1: 46)
2. MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. The Bojaxhiu family was of Albanian descent. When she turned 18 she entered the Sisters of Loreto of Ireland. She took the name Teresa after St. Therese of Lisieux. She taught in a missionary school in India until 1948. While traveling through India she felt God calling her to serve the poorest of the poor. She received permission to leave her order and began to help the poor with volunteers. In 1950, she was given permission from the Vatican to start the order "The Missionaries of Charity".In 1979, she received the Nobel peace prize for her tireless work for the poor. (picture above)
Her order rapidly spread around the world to care for the poor, sick and marginalized in over 120 countries. She spoke of this ministry in her own words, "I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days."
3.  ST. MARY MACKILLOP 
was born in Victoria, Australia, on January 15, 1842 and died on August 8, 1909. She is also known as St. Mary of the Cross. She founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart with Father Julian Tenison Woods. They focus on education for the poor. She was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. (Image: SQPN.com) She is the first Australian Canonized Saint. Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Victoria.
4. ST. HILDEGARD VON BINGEN
was born near the Rhine River, in Germany, in 1098 and died  on September 17, 1179. She was a visionary, musician, doctor, abbess and theologian.  She founded 2 monastaries. Hildegard composed Ordo Virtutem, the 1st passion play. She was taught in a monastery from the age of 8. Later she became an Abbess. She was the youngest of 10 children. Her books include: Scivias and Vita.
5. MOTHER ANGELICA OF THE
Mother Angelica was born in Canton, Ohio, on April 20, 1923, with the name Rita Rizzo. She founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in 1980. She became a novice and then nun with the Poor Clares of Adoration in 1944. In 1962 she founded a house for the Poor Clares in Alabama. Her network has reached over 1 billion viewers world-wide. They run Catholic programming. It also offers a Website and Radio.                                   
 6. ST PERPETUA AND ST. FELICITY
were African martyrs from Carthage in 202. Both of them were young mothers when they were killed by the Roman Emperor. Perpetua is quoted as saying: "We were in the hands of our persecutors, when my father, out of the affection he bore me, made new efforts to shake my resolution. I said to him: 'Can that vessel, which you see, change its name?' He said: 'No.' I replied: 'Nor can I call myself any other than I am, that is to say, a Christian." Felicity is quoted replying to a guard: "It is I that suffer what I now suffer; but then there will be another in me that will suffer for me, because I shall suffer for him." They and other martyrs were severly tortured; St. Pertua said before death:  "Continue firm in the faith, love one another, and be not scandalized at our sufferings." Their names are mentioned in the Canon of the Roman Catholic Mass. Their feast is on March 7.
7. ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, born as Edith Stein, was a Jewish woman born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11. She was an academic and worked for a university. In 1917, Edith was converted when visiting a friend; she wrote "This was my first encounter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me—Christ in the mystery of the Cross". On 1 January 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. She entered the Carmelite convent of Cologne on 14 October and was clothed in the habit on 15 April 1934.
During the time of Nazi power Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the convent. Her last words to her sister: "Come, we are going for our people". She and her sister were killed in Auschwitz. Her feast day is August 9.
8. ST. ALPHONSA MUTTATHUPADATHU was born on August 19 1910 and died on July 28, 1946. She was a Franciscan Sister. She is the 1st Indian canonized Saint. Alphonsa was from the Syro-Malabar Eastern Rite founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. She was born in Kudamlloor, Kerala, India and spoke Malayalam.  She became a nun in 1936 and though sickly, taught in school for  years. Many miracles are attributed to her. She was canonized on October 12, 2008 and her feast is July 28.
9. ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX was born on January 2, 1873 and died on September 30, 1897. She was born in Alencon, France. Her original name was Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin. She became a Carmelite nun at the age of 15. Her other names were St. Therese of the Child Jesus, of the Holy Face and the Little Flower. She was a sacristan who became ill with Tuberculosis and died at age 24. She and her 5 sisters all became nuns.  Her memoirs entitled Story fo a Soul have become famous. She never left the convent but had an intense prayer life and love of God. She was declared a Doctor of the Church and the patroness of missions. Her feast day is October 1st or 3rd.
10. ST. JOSEPHINE BAKHITA was born in Sudan, Africa, in 1869 and died on February 8, 1947. She was a slave and became a Canossian nun in Italy. She worked for 45 years in Europe. She was born in Darfur to the Daju people; and belonged to a wealthy family. As a young child she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders, severally tortured and enslaved. She was forcibly converted to Islam. After much tortue under her masters she was sold to an Italian Consul who was kind. She moved to Italy with the family and worked in peace for them. She was declared free by an Italian court in 1889. Bakhita was baptised and confirmed in 1890. In 1893 she entered the Canossian Sisters and was welcomed by Pope Pius X. She was cook, sacristan and portress. Her reputation for holiness spread throughout Italy. Her feast is February 8.
Compiled by: Miriam Westen, M.Ed, MA Theology, PhD (Candidate)

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