Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Saint April 16 : St. Benedict Joseph Labre - Patron of Mental illness, Bachelors and Homeless


St. Bendict Joseph Labre
BEGGAR
Feast: April 16

Information:Feast Day:
April 16
Born:
25 March 1748 at Amettes, Boulogne, France
Died:
17 April 1783 at Rome
Canonized:
8 December 1883 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Tomb at Santa Maria ai Monti
Patron of:
Unmarried men, rejects, mental illness, mentally ill people, insanity, beggars, hobos, the homeless
Born 26 March, 1748 at Amettes in the Diocese of Boulogne, France; died in Rome 16 April, 1783.
He was the eldest of fifteen children. His parents, Jean-Baptiste Labre and Anne-Barba Grandsire, belonged to the middle class and so were able to give to their numerous offspring considerable opportunities in the way of education. His early training he received in his native village in a school conducted by the vicar of the parish. The account of this period furnished in the life written by his confessor, Marconi, and that contained in the one compiled from the official processes of his beatification are at one in emphasizing the fact that he exhibited a seriousness of thought and demeanor far beyond his years. Even at that tender age he had begun to show a marked predilection for the spirit of mortification, with an aversion for the ordinary childish amusements, and he seems from the very dawning of reason to have had the liveliest horror for even the smallest sin. All this we are told was coexistent with a frank and open demeanor and a fund of cheerfulness which remained unabated to the end of his life.
At the age of twelve his education was taken over by his paternal uncle, François-Joseph Labre, curé of Erin, with whom he then went to live. During the six following years which he spent under his uncle's roof, he made considerable progress in the study ofLatin, history, etc. but found himself  unable to conquer a constantly growing distaste for any form of knowledge which did not make directly for union with God. A love of solitude, a generous employment of austerities and devotedness to his religious exercises were discernible as distinguishing features of his life at this time and constitute an intelligible prelude to his subsequent career.
At the age of sixteen he resolved to embrace a religious life as a Trappist, but having on the advice of his uncle returned to Amettes to submit his design to his parents for their approval he was unable to win their consent. He therefore resumed his sojourn in the rectory at Erin, redoubling his penances and exercises of piety and in every way striving to make ready for the life of complete self-annihilation to which the voice within his soul seemed to be calling him.
After the heroic death of his uncle during an epidemic in September 1766, Benedict, who had dedicated himself during the scourge to the service of the sick and dying, returned to Amettes in November of the same year. His absorbing thought at this time was still to become a religious at La Trappe, and his parents fearing that further opposition would be resistance to the will of God fell in with his proposal to enter the cloister. It was suggested, how ever, by his maternal uncle, the Abbé Vincent, that application be made to the Carthusians at Val-Sainte-Aldegonde rather than to La Trappe. Benedict's petition at Val-Sainte-Aldegonde was unsuccessful but he was directed to another monastery of the same order at Neuville. There he was told that as he was not yet twenty there was no hurry, and that he must first learn plain-chant and logic. During the next two years he applied twice unsuccessfully to be received at La Trappe and was for six weeks as a postulant with the Carthusians at Neuville, he finally sought and obtained admission to the Cistercian Abbey of Sept-Fonts in November, 1769. After a short stay at Sept-Fonts during which his exactness in religious observance and humility endeared him to the whole community, his health gave way, and it was decided that his vocation lay elsewhere. In accordance with a resolve formed during his convalescence he then set out for Rome. From Chieri in Piedmont he wrote to his parents a letter which proved to be the last they would ever receive from him. In it he informed them of his design to enter some one of the many monasteries in Italy noted for their special rigor of life. A short time, however, after the letter was dispatched he seems to have had an internal illumination which set at rest forever any doubts he might have as to what his method of living was to be. He then understood "that it was God's will that like St. Alexis he should abandon his country, his parents, and whatever is flattering in the world to lead a new sort of life, a life most painful, most penitential, not in a wilderness nor in a cloister, but in the midst of the world, devoutly visiting as a pilgrim the famous places of Christian devotion". He repeatedly submitted this extraordinary inspiration to the judgment of experienced confessors and was told he might safely conform to it. Through the years that followed he never wavered in the conviction that this was the path appointed for him by God. He set forward on his life's journey clad in an old coat, a rosary about his neck, another between his fingers, his arms folded over a crucifix which lay upon his breast. In a small wallet he carried a Testament, a breviary, which it was his wont to recite daily, a copy of the "Imitation of Christ", and some other pious books. Clothing other than that which covered his person he had none. He slept on the ground and for the most part in the open air. For food he was satisfied with a piece of bread or some herbs, frequently taken but once a day, and either provided by charity or gotten from some refuse heap. He never asked for alms and was anxious to give away to the poor whatever he received in excess of his scanty wants. The first seven of the thirteen remaining years of his life were spent in pilgrimages to the more famous shrines of Europe. He visited in this way Loreto, Assisi, Naples, Bari, Fabriano in Italy; Einsiedeln in Switzerland; Compostella in Spain; Parav-le-Monial in France. The last six years he spent in Rome, leaving it only once a year to visit the Holy House of Loreto. His unremitting and ruthless self-denial, his unaffected humility, unhesitating obedience and perfect spirit of union with God in prayer disarmed suspicion not unnaturally aroused as to the genuineness of a Divine call to so extraordinary a way of existence. Literally worn out by his sufferings and austerities, on the 16th of April 1783, he sank down on the steps of the church of Santa Maria dei Monti in Rome and, utterly exhausted, was carried to a neighboring house where he died. His death was followed by a multitude of unequivocal miracles attributed to his intercession. The life written by his confessor, Marconi, an English version of which bears the date of 1785, witnesses to 136 miraculous cures as having been certified to up to 6 July, 1783. So remarkable, indeed, was the character of the evidence for some of the miracles that they are said to have had no inconsiderable part in finally determining the conversion of the celebrated American convert, Father John Thayer, of Boston who was in Rome at the time of the saint's death. Benedict has proclaimed Venerable by Pius IX in 1859 and canonized by Leo XIII 8 December, 1881. His feast is kept on the 16th of April, the day of his death.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Wow Blind Disabled Boy in #VIRAL Video makes Amazing Music ...SHARE

Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes and wheelchair bound for life.  Hughes was born March 10, 1988 to Patrick John and Patricia Hughes. He was diagnosed as bilateral anophthalmia with pterygium syndrome and congenital bilateral hip dysplasia. His father, taught him to the piano at the age of nine months. He has two younger brothers, Jesse and Cameron.Patrick Henry joined the Louisville Marching Band, playing trumpet while his father pushed him in his wheelchair. He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, and onstage performances with Pam Tillis, Lonestar, Lane Brody, Chad Brock, Faith Hill, and Bryan White.  Hughes graduated from Atherton High School, where he participated in the International Baccalaureate program and was a member of National Honor Society. He has graduated from the University of Louisville, magna cum laude where he majored in Spanish and played trumpet in the marching band.
SHARE if you are PROLIFE show the World that every Life is Worth Living!

Easter Message of #Orthodox Patriarch Kirill - Full Text

Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday, April 12 following the Julian calendar. Below is the Full Text Easter Message of the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Russia:
Beloved in the Lord my brothers the archpastors, all-honourable fathers, pious monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
It is with joy that I greet you with the ancient and yet eternally new and life-affirming victorious exclamation:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
This wondrous resonance of truly life-creating words contains the foundation of our faith, the gift of hope and the fount of love.
Just yesterday, together with the Lord’s disciples, we grieved at the death of our beloved Saviour, while today with the whole world, both visible and invisible, we sing triumphantly: ‘For Christ has risen, the everlasting eternal joy!’ (Canon of Holy Pascha). Just yesterday it would seem that the last hope for salvation had been lost, while today we have acquired firm expectation of eternal life ‘in the never-fading Kingdom of God.’ Just yesterday the ghost of corruption prevailed over creation, casting doubt over the meaning of our earthly life, while today we proclaim to each and all the great victory of Life over death.
The divinely-inspired apostle Paul spoke of the significance of the miracle that took place on that distant, and yet forever near to every Christian night; he tells us directly that this event has the greatest importance for our faith, for ‘if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain’ (1 Cor 15:14). The Lord’s Passover is the very heart and invincible power of Christianity: as St. Philaret of Moscow says, it ‘creates hope, ignites love, inspires prayer, calls down grace, illumines wisdom, destroys all calamities and even death itself, gives vitality to life, makes bliss not a dream but a reality, glory not a phantom but the eternal lightning of the eternal light illuminating all things and defeating nobody’ (Homily on the Day of Holy Pascha, 1826).
Belief in Christ’s Resurrection is inextricably harnessed to the Church’s belief that the incarnate Son of God, in redeeming the human race and tearing asunder the fetters of sin and death, has granted to us genuine spiritual freedom and the joy of being united with our Maker. We are all in full measure communicants of this precious gift of the Saviour, we who have gathered on this radiant night in Orthodox churches to ‘enjoy the banquet of faith,’ as St. John Chrysostom puts it.
Pascha is the culmination of the Saviour’s path of thorns crowned with suffering and the sacrifice of Golgotha. It is not fortuitous that in both the writings of the Fathers and liturgical texts Christ is repeatedly called the ‘First Warrior in the battle for our salvation.’ ‘For I have given you an example,’ (Jn 13:15), the Lord says to his disciples and calls upon us all to follow the example of his life.
Yet how are we to imitate the Saviour? What sort of spiritual heroism can we apply to the realities of modern-day life? Today, when we utter the word ‘heroism,’ an image often arises in peoples’ minds of a legendary warrior, a historical figure or famous hero from the past. Yet the meaning of spiritual heroism lies not in the acquisition of resounding fame or the gain of universal recognition. Through spiritual deeds, immutably linked to our inner endeavours and the limiting of oneself, we can know by experience what true and perfect love is, for the willingness to sacrifice oneself, which lies at the foundation of all spiritual deeds, is the highest manifestation of this feeling.
The Lord has called us to the feat of active love embedded in losing oneself in service to our neighbour, and even more so to those who especially need our support: the suffering, the sick, the lonely and the downcast. If this law of life, which is so clearly manifested and expressed in the earthly life of the Saviour, becomes the inheritance of the majority, then people will be truly happy. Indeed, in serving others, we gain incomparably more than we give: the Lord then enters our hearts and by communicating with divine grace all of human life is changed. As there can be no holiness without labour, as there can be no Resurrection without Golgotha, so too without spiritual feats the genuine spiritual and moral transformation of the human person is impossible.
When spiritual heroism becomes the substance not only of the individual but of an entire people, when in striving for the celestial world the hearts of millions of people are united, ready to defend their homeland and vindicate lofty ideals and values, then truly amazing, wondrous things happen that at times cannot be explained from the perspective of formal logic. The nation acquires enormous spiritual strength which no disasters or enemies are capable of overcoming. The truth of these words is evidently attested by the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, achieved by the self-sacrificing heroism of our people. We shall mark the seventieth anniversary of this glorious date in the current year.
In afflictions and temptations we are called upon to preserve peace and courage, for we have been given the great and glorious promise of victory over evil. Can we be discouraged and despair? No! For we comprise the Church of Christ which, according to the Lord’s true word, cannot be overcome by the ‘gates of hell’ (Mt 16:18), and Divine Revelation bears witness to us by foretelling that ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away’ (Rev 21:4). I prayerfully wish you all, Your Graces my brothers the archpastors, all-honourable fathers, dear brothers and sisters, strength of spirit and steadfastness in faith, peace and unfailing joy in the Lord, the Conqueror of death. Imbued by the light of Christ’s Resurrection and in communing with the mystery of the Paschal miracle, let us share our exultant joy with those who are close to us and those far from us in testifying to all of the Saviour who has risen from the tomb.
May we all the days of our life be forever warmed, comforted and inspired to good deeds by the ardent words of the good news of Pascha which impart to us the true gift of the joy of life:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!

#PopeFrancis "more weight and more authority must be given to women”


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says there is still much to be done in order to give due recognition to women, both in society and in the Church. Speaking on Wednesday during the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope said that not only must the voice of women be listened to, but that it must also be given weight and authority.Continuing in his Catechesis on the family, Pope Francis focused on the great gift that God gave humanity when he created man and woman and on the Sacrament of marriage.

Reflecting on the complementarity between man and woman, Francis said that the Scripture tells us that “God created man in his own image… male and female he created them” and that man and woman bear the image and likeness of God not only as individuals, but also together.  
He said that in God’s plan, sexual differentiation is not ordered to subordination, but to communion and procreation and he said that this reciprocity brings harmony and enrichment to the human family.  
But, pointing out that it also presents a constant challenge and that modern culture has opened new scenarios, the Pope pointed out that there is much work to be done in order to give women their due recognition. 
The very way in which Jesus considered women – the Pope said – shines a powerful light on a long road still to be tread, a road upon which we have only taken a few steps. This road – Francis said – “is to be travelled with creativity and audacity”.
The Pope also touched on issues that have come to the fore thanks to new freedoms and new perspectives opened up by contemporary culture.
Asking himself whether the so-called “gender” theory that aims to annul sexual differences may also be an expression of frustration and resignation due to our inability to confront a problem, the Pope said that: “removing the difference is the problem, not the solution”.

And inviting men and women to speak more to one another, and to respect and love each other, Pope Francis also urged intellectuals “not to abandon this theme as if it had become secondary within their commitment to build a more just and free society”.
Nowadays – the Pope concluded – as we sense the responsibility to do more in favour of women, recognizing the weight and authority of their voices in society and the Church, we must also ask ourselves to what extent society’s loss of faith in God is related to the crisis of the covenant between man and woman.  
The challenge faced by the Church, and by all believers and families – he said - is to rediscover the beauty of God’s plan, the imprint of his image in that covenant.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday April 15, 2015

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 269


Reading 1ACTS 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

1 year since the Nigerian Girls Kidnapped - Please Pray

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Our thoughts go to the girls and their families", says His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, one year after the kidnapping of the female students from a high school in Chibok in the north of Nigeria. "One year after their abduction we do not know where the girls are. It is a deep pain for the families whose daughters disappeared suddenly without a trace. I can imagine their anguish. But they are not alone, because the whole community and Nigerian families are with them", says Mgr. Kaigama.
The President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, however, emphasizes that it is "of concern that after one year, despite the commitments made by our government and the international community, very little has been achieved: not only the girls have not been released but nothing is known about their fate".
"On the other hand we are grateful for the progress made in recent months in terms of the recovery of territorial control from Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited", said the Archbishop. "What is important now is to intensify efforts to track down the girls. The new government has promised to do more. The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, is a former senior official who knows the military and intelligence issues very well. We hope to be able to outline a strategy to defeat Boko Haram and bring home the kidnapped girls", concluded Mgr. Kaigama. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/04/2015)

Saint April 15 : St. Hunna of Strasbourg : Patron of Laundry and Maids

April 15: Saint Hunna of Strasbourg
Posted by Jacob Today, April 15 marks the feast day of a lesser known saint, but one no less important. (She is so "lesser known" that no definitive portraits or pictures were able to be found of her-- therefore, the posted pictures are simple images representing her holy life, but do not necessarily depict the saint herself). Saint Hunna (born, unknown; died 679) is remembered for her love of and service to those less fortunate than herself, despite prevailing prejudice. Hunna’s actions, at a time when the class system was firmly entrenched, created difficulties for herself in her daily life, and embarrassment for her noble husband. Yet, she did not shy away from her service to the poor, as she understood it to be her duty as a Christian.
Saint Hunna was born into a privileged life, the daughter of a duke in Alsace. She matured and married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman, and together they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France). Together, they produced one son, Saint Deodatus, who eventually became a monk (and then a saint!). Saint Hunna was devoted to the Lord, raising her son with constant teaching, and living the virtues of the faith. She spent her days caring for her home and estate, and in prayer, while her husband traveled on diplomatic and political missions.
But this didn’t seem to be enough for Saint Hunna. In her prayer, she felt called to do more, to serve others. By the Lord, her eyes were opened to the poverty and general squalor that the peasants and servants lived in… and she felt moved to assist. Hunna began making daily trips from the estate into the local villages and fields, visiting her poor neighbors, offering them religious instruction, and working for them. At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing, and then spend the better part of each day washing and scrubbing the clothing clean. When the clothing was too dirty, or too threadbare to mend, she would replace it with a new article.
As time went on, her washing service expanded to any task that her neighbors needed help with—cooking, cleaning, childcare, even more demanding physical labor. She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene. Saint Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.
Saint Hunna demonstrates to us great selflessness, borne out of love for the Lord. She willingly left her life of privilege on a daily basis, eventually being shunned by those of her class and station, to intercede in the lives of those who had no one to care for them. She treated the poor, the sick, the forgotten as equals to herself, offering them basic human respect, love, and charity. Saint Hunna welcomed all into her life as the family of God. The life of Saint Hunna provides a gentle reminder of our own hesitancy to venture beyond our comfortable lives, to actively engage in community service to those in need. We are mindful of the fact that we are called to service and social justice, and that embarking on that mission may be difficult or even painful. We look to Saint Hunna as inspiration—inspiration to embody the love of Christ, and to share that love with others in service. Shared from 365 Rosaries