Monday, August 10, 2015

Saint August 11 : St. Philomena - Patroness of #Youth




On 25 May, 1802, during the quest for the graves of Roman martyrs in the Catacomb of Priscilla, a tomb was discovered and opened; as it contained a glass vessel it was assumed to be the grave of a martyr. The view, then erroneously entertained in Rome, that the presence of such vessels (supposed to have contained the martyr's blood) in a grave was a symbol of martyrdom, has been rejected in practice since the investigations of De Rossi (cf. Leclercq in "Dict. d.archéol. chrét. et de liturg.", s.v. Ampoules de sang). The remains found in the above-mentioned tomb were shown to be those of a young maiden, and, as the name Filumena was discovered on the earthenware slabs closing the grave, it was assumed that they were those of a virgin martyr named Philumena. On 8 June, 1805, the relics were translated to the church of Mungano, Diocese of Nola (near Naples), and enshrined under one of its altars. In 1827 Leo XII presented the church with the three earthenware tiles, with the inscription, which may be seen in the church even today. On the basis of alleged revelations to a nun in Naples, and of an entirely fanciful and indefensible explanation of the allegorical paintings, which were found on the slabs beside the inscription, a canon of the church in Mugnano, named Di Lucia, composed a purely fictitious and romantic account of the supposed martyrdom of St. Philomena, who is not mentioned in any of the ancient sources. In consequence of the wonderful favours received in answer to prayer before the relics of the saint at Mugnano, devotion to them spread rapidly, and, after instituting investigations into the question, Gregory XVI appointed a special feast to be held on 9 September, "in honorem s. Philumenae virginis et martyris" (cf. the lessons of this feast in the Roman Breviary). The earthenware plates were fixed in front of the grave as follows: LUMENA PAX TECUM FI. The plates were evidently inserted in the wrong order, and the inscription should doubtless read PAX TECUM FILUMENA. The letters are painted on the plates with red paint, and the inscription belongs to the primitive class of epigraphical memorials in the Catacomb of Priscilla, thus, dating from about the middle or second half of the second century. The disarrangement of the inscription proves that it must have been completed before the plates were put into position, although in the numerous other examples of this kind in the same catacomb the inscription was added only after the grave had been closed. Consequently, since the disarrangement of the plates can scarcely be explained as arising from an error, Marucchi seems justified in concluding that the inscription and plates originally belonged to an earlier grave, and were later employed (now in the wrong order) to close another. Apart from the letters, the plates contain three arrows, either as a decoration or a punctuation, a leaf as decoration, two anchors, and a palm as the well-known Christian symbols. Neither these signs nor the glass vessel discovered in the grave can be regarded as a proof of martyrdom.
SOURCE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA

Saint August 11 : St. Clare : Founder of #PoorClares


Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253.She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the  wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. Such at least is the traditional account. Her mother, Bl. Ortolana, belonged to the noble family of Fiumi and was conspicuous for her zeal and piety.From her earliest years Clare seems to have been endowed with the rarest virtues. As a child she was most devoted to prayer and to practices of mortification, and as she passed into girlhood her distaste for the world and her yearning for a more spiritual life increased. She was eighteen years of age when St. Francis came to preach the Lenten course in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. The inspired words of the Poverello kindled a flame in the heart of Clare; she sought him out secretly and begged him to help her that she too might live "after the manner of the holy Gospel". St. Francis, who at once recognized in Clare one of those chosen souls destined by God for great things, and who also, doubtless, foresaw that many would follow her example, promised to assist her. On Palm Sunday Clare, arrayed in all her finery, attended high Mass at the cathedral, but when the others pressed forward to the altar-rail to receive a branch of palm, she remained in her place as if rapt in a dream. All eyes were upon the young girl as the bishop descended from the sanctuary and placed the palm in her hand. That was the last time the world beheld Clare. On the night of the same day she secretly left her father's house, by St. Francis's advice and, accompanied by her aunt Bianca and another companion, proceeded to the humble chapel of the Porziuncula, where St. Francis and his disciples met her with lights in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress, and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil, and in this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. This was 20 March, 1212.
SOURCE: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA

Novena to St. Clare of Assisi - Patron Saint of Television and Sore #Eyes

Novena to St. Clare of Assisi
Say once a day for nine days, the Feast of St. Clare.First Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.
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O Seraphic Saint Clare, first disciple of the Poor Man of Assisi, who hast abandoned all riches and honours for a life of sacrifice and of highest poverty, obtain from God for us the grace we ask (mention your intentions here), that of always submitting to the Divine Will and of living confidently in the providence of our Heavenly Father. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Second Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare who, notwithstanding living separated from the world hast not forgotten the poor and the afflicted, but hast become a mother to them, sacrificing for them your riches and working for them innumerable miracles; obtain from God for us the grace we implore (mention your intentions here), Christian charity towards our brethren in all their spiritual and temporal needs. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.  
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Third Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare, light of your country, who hast delivered Italy from barbarous invaders; obtain from God for us the grace we implore (mention your intentions here), that of overcoming all attacks of the world against faith and morals thus preserving in our families true Christian peace with a holy fear of God and a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Fourth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Blessed Saint Clare, whose very name means light, illumine the darkness of our minds and hearts so that we might see what God wishes us to do and perform it with a willing and joyful heart. Before your birth, a Heavenly voice foretold that you would be a light illuminating the world. Be a light to us in the sorrows and anxieties of this earthly life, and lead us into the eternal light of our home in Heaven. Amen. 

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Fifth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare, whose virginal heart was great enough to love the whole world, take our petitions into your pure hands and present them to God. Pray for us that we may one day enter joyously before the throne of God. Let the light of your perfect purity consume the shadows of sin and corruption that darkens the world. Intercede by your innocence for our youth. Safeguard the peace of our homes and the unity of our family. Plead with your chaste love for all in peril. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Sixth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Generous Saint Clare, who left wealth and pleasure and all earthly goods to become the first spiritual daughter of Saint Francis and to serve God in the cloister, help us to commit our lives to God without limit or measure so that He may live in us and shine forth from us to all whose lives touch ours. You who loved souls so much as to make your life a continual sacrifice for them, obtain for us the graces we now implore and win for us the strength to praise God in suffering as well as in joy. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Seventh Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Faithful Saint Clare, loyal daughter of the Church, friend and confidante of popes, intercede for the holy Church and look graciously from Heaven on our holy Father Pope. Enlighten us to remove from our souls all that hinders the progress of the Church on earth. Grant that we may share your great love for the church of God and spread His kingdom on earth by a holy life. You, who worked miracles in the presence of the pope on earth, obtain for us the graces we need, now that you stand in the presence of the most high God in Heaven. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Eighth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Valiant Saint Clare, who fearlessly stood alone against the barbarous Saracens, trusting in the Blessed Sacrament as your only protection, enkindle in us a tender love for Jesus Christ; help us to live Eucharistic lives. You who saved your city of Assisi from plunder and ruin, protect our city and archdiocese, plead for our beloved country and the suffering world. A voice from the Sacred Host rewarded your trust with a promise: "I will always take care of you." Glorious Saint Clare, from your high place in Heaven, take care of us now in our earthly needs and guide us by your light to Heaven. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Ninth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Gracious Saint Clare, who fulfilled your womanhood by a life of love in prayer and penance, help us to fulfill our destiny that we may one day greet you in Heaven. You who were consoled at your death by a vision of Christ band His Mother, obtain for us the grace that we may die under the special protection of God and enter into the life and bliss you now enjoy. Have pity on us who struggle, on us who mourn, and win for us the favours of God so that after this life we may come home to Him who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

#PopeFrancis announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - FULL TEXT/Video - SHARE


 Pope Francis has set up a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” to be celebrated on September 1st annually. The announcement was made in a letter to the heads of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
Below in English is Pope Francis' letter announcing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” 
To my Venerable Brothers Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Cardinal Kurt KOCH, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now.   
As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.  Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (ibid., 216).   The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (ibid., 217).  Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”(ibid).
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.  The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers.   We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.  Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue. Cardinal Turkson, as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  I asking you to inform the Justice and Peace Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences, as well as the national and international Organizations involved in environmental issues about the establishment of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, so that in union with the needs and the local situation , this celebration can be rightly marked with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful.  For this reason, it will be the task of this Dicastery, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conferences to set up relevant initiatives to promote and illustrate this Day, so that this annual celebration becomes a powerful moment of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles.  
Cardinal Koch, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, I’m asking you to make the necessary contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and with the other ecumenical organisations so that this World Day can become the sign of a path along all believers in Christ walk together.  It will also be your Dicastery’s task to take care of the coordination with similar initiatives set up by the World Council of Churches. Whilst I look forward to the widest possible cooperation for the best start and development of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, I invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many men and women of goodwill to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation.  I support this pledge along with my Apostolic Blessing which I impart with all my heart to you, my dear Cardinals, and to all those who collaborate in your ministry. From the Vatican, 6th August 2015 Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

#BreakingNews Child Abuse Scandal in Pakistan with Hundreds of Children - Please Pray

Massive child abuse scandal unveiled in Pakistan
Citizens in Pakistan are clamoring for justice after a sex abuse scandal involving hundreds of children shocked the nation. Pornographic films allegedly show victims being forced to have sex and abusing each other.
Pakistan is reeling from the aftermath of a huge child pornography scandal, which came to light a few days ago when protesters clashed with police in Kasur, a town close to the country's eastern city of Lahore.
The demonstrators were protesting against the police for allegedly failing to arrest members of a gang suspected of raping hundreds of children, filming them and blackmailing their parents, Pakistani daily "Dawn" reported.
According to local media, most of the 280 children were below 14 years of age and were residents of Husain Khanwala village, near Kasur. A local gang began filming sexual exploits with the children in 2006, which allegedly continued until last year. The victims were forced to have sex and the videos were then circulated for 50 Rupees (40 US cents, 36 euro cents).
A journalist working for Pakistani website "The Nation" posted some information about the videos on Twitter:
Local media websites also quoted villagers saying some films had been exported to European countries and the US.
Investigations begin
Kasur officials have ordered an inquiry, but District Police Officer Rai Babbar said only seven complainants had been made so far.
More than 10 people have been accused in a police complaint made by the children's parents, but nearly half are out on bail and six have been placed under judicial remand for 14 days. Punjab's Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, has meanwhile ordered the accused persons to be arrested.
The government's handling of the case also has journalists and rights activists up in arms, especially after Punjab Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah denied the cases of abuse, saying the reports surfaced because villagers were fighting over land.
Police have also disputed media reports that the number of victims ran into the hundreds.
Numbers could increase
Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Pakistan's prominent child rights activist and lawyer Rana Asif Habib said the numbers were simply "the tip of the iceberg." The actual number of victims could be much higher, considering that Kasur was very close to Lahore, where slum children attract abusers in large numbers.
"Pakistan is not a signatory to the UN Child Rights Convention," Habib says, adding that children can therefore not complain to any authority in the event that they are sexually exploited. He recalls a 1999 case when child abuser Javed Iqbal surrendered himself to the police, admitting that he had sexually abused over 100 children and drowned them in acid afterwards.
And as far as the Kasur child abuse case is concerned, Habib is cynical. Officials will probably make a show of an investigation as long as the media focuses on them. "After that there is usually no follow-up and then it is brushed under the carpet," Habib says. Text shared from Deutsche Welle - Image Freshpk Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday August 10, 2015


Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr
Lectionary: 618


Reading 12 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.


The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

AlleluiaJN 8:12BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Saint August 10 : St. Lawrence : #Deacon and Martyr


MARTYR died 10 August, 258.St. Lawrence, one of the deacons of the Roman Church, was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, like Pope Sixtus II and many other members of the Roman clergy. At the beginning of the month of August, 258, the emperor issued an edict, commanding that all bishops, ,priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death ("episcopi et presbyteriet diacones incontinenti animadvertantur" — Cyprian Epist. lxxx, 1). This imperial command was immediately carried out in Rome. On 6 August Pope Sixtus II was apprehended in one of the catacombs, and executed forthwith ("Xistum in cimiterio animadversum sciatis VIII id. Augusti et cum eo diacones quattuor." Cyprian , ep. lxxx, 1). Two other deacons, Felicissimus and Agapitus, were put to death the same day. In the Roman Calendar of feasts of the fourth century their feast day is on the same date. Four days later, on the 10th of August of that same year, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, also suffered a martyr's death.  The burial-place is in the Catacomb of Cyriaca in agro Verano. source: The Catholic Encyclopedia