Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Saint September 23 : St. Pio of Pietrelcina - #PadrePio

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

CAPUCHIN FRANCISCAN MYSTIC AND STIGMATIC
Feast: September 23Information:Feast Day:September 23Born:May 25, 1887, Pietrelcina, ItalyDied:September 23, 1968, San Giovanni Rotondo
Canonized:June 16, 2002, Rome, Italy by Pope John Paul IIMajor Shrine:San Giovanni RotondoLike the Apostle Paul, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina placed at the centre of his life and apostolic work the Cross of his Lord as his strength, his wisdom and his glory. Inflamed by love of Jesus Christ, he became like him in the sacrifice of himself for the salvation of the world. In his following and imitation of the crucified Christ he was so generous and perfect that he could have said: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). And the treasures of grace which God had granted him so lavishly he unceasingly passed on through his ministry, serving the men and women who came to him in ever greater numbers, and bringing to birth an immense host of spiritual sons and daughters.This worthy follower of St Francis of Assisi was born on 25 May 1887 at Pietrelcina in the Archdiocese of Benevento, the son of Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa De Nunzio. He was baptized the next day and given the name Francesco. At the age 12 he received the sacrament of Confirmation and made his First Holy Communion.On 6 January 1903, at the age of 16, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at Morcone, where on 22 January he took the Franciscan habit and the name Brother Pio. At the end of his novitiate year he took simple vows, and on 27 January 1907 made his solemn profession.After he was ordained a priest on 10 August 1910 at Benevento, he stayed at home with his family until 1916 for health reasons. In September of that year he was sent to the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo and remained there until his death.Filled with love of God and love of neighbour, Padre Pio lived to the full the vocation to work for the redemption of man, in accordance with the special mission which marked his entire life and which he exercised through the spiritual direction of the faithful, the sacramental reconciliation of penitents and the celebration of the Eucharist. The pinnacle of his apostolic activity was the celebration of Holy Mass. The faithful who took part witnessed the summit and fullness of his spirituality.On the level of social charity, he committed himself to relieving the pain and suffering of many families, chiefly through the foundation of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (House for the Relief of Suffering), opened on 5 May 1956.For the servant of God, faith was life: he willed everything and did everything in the light of faith. He was assiduously devoted to prayer. He passed the day and a large part of the night in conversation with God. He would say: "in books we seek God, in prayer we find him. Prayer is the key which opens God's heart". Faith led him always to accept God's mysterious will.He was always immersed in supernatural realities. Not only was he himself a man of hope and total trust in God, but by word and example he communicated these virtues to all who approached him.The love of God filled him, and satisfied his every desire; charity was the chief inspiration of his day: to love God and to help others to love him. His special concern was to grow in charity and to lead others to do so.He demonstrated to the full his love of neighbour by welcoming, for more than 50 years, countless people who had recourse to his ministry and his confessional, his counsel and his consolation. He was almost besieged: they sought him in church, in the sacristy, in the friary. And he gave himself to everyone, rekindling faith, dispensing grace, bringing light. But especially in the poor, the suffering and the sick he saw the image of Christ, and he gave himself particularly to them.He exercised to an exemplary degree the virtue of prudence, acting and counseling in the light of God.His concern was the glory of God and the good of souls. He treated everyone with justice, frankness and great respect.The virtue of fortitude shone in him. He understood very early in life that his would be the way of the Cross, and he accepted it at once with courage and out of love. For many years, he experienced spiritual sufferings. For years he endured the pains of his wounds with admirable serenity. He accepted in silence the many interventions of his superiors, and in the face of calumnies he always remained silent.He habitually practised mortification in order to gain the virtue of temperance, in keeping with the Franciscan style. He was temperate in his attitude and in his way of life.Conscious of the commitments which he had undertaken when he entered the consecrated life, he observed with generosity the vows he had professed. He was obedient in all things to the commands of his superiors, even when they were burdensome. His obedience was supernatural in intention, universal in its scope and complete in its execution. He lived the spirit of poverty with total detachment from self, from earthly goods, from his own comfort and from honours. He always had a great love for the virtue of chastity. His behaviour was modest in all situations and with all people.He sincerely thought of himself as useless, unworthy of God's gifts, full of weakness and infirmity, and at the same time blessed with divine favours. Amid so much admiration around him, he would say: "I only want to be a poor friar who prays".From his youth, his health was not very robust, and especially in the last years of his life it declined rapidly. Sister Death took him well prepared and serene on 23 September 1968 at the age of 81. An extraordinary gathering of people attended his funeral.On 20 February 1971, barely three years after the death of the servant of God, Pope Paul VI, speaking to the superiors of the Capuchin Order, said of him: "Look what fame he had, what a worldwide following gathered around him! But why? Perhaps because he was a philosopher? Because he was wise? Because he had resources at his disposal? Because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from dawn to dusk and was—it is not easy to say it—one who bore the wounds of our Lord. He was a man of prayer and suffering".Even during his lifetime, he enjoyed a vast reputation for sanctity because of his virtues, his spirit of prayer, sacrifice and total dedication to the good of souls.In the years following his death, his reputation for sanctity and miracles grew steadily and became established in the Church, all over the world and among all kinds of people.God thus showed the Church his desire to glorify on earth his faithful servant. In a short time the Capuchin Order took the steps prescribed by canon law to begin the cause of beatification and canonization. After examining the case, the Holy See, in accordance with the norm of the Motu Proprio Sanctitas clarior, granted the nihil obstat on 29 November 1982. The Archbishop of Manfredonia was thus abled to introduce the cause and set up the informative process (1983-90). On 7 December 1990 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognized its juridical validity. When the Positio had been completed, there was the usual discussion on whether the servant of God had exercised the virtues to a heroic degree. On 13 June 1997 the special meeting of the theological consultors was held and gave a positive judgement. In the ordinary session on 21 October 1997, with Bishop Andrea Maria Erba of Velletri-Segni as the proposer of the cause, the Cardinals and Bishops recognized that Padre Pio of Pietrelcina had lived to a heroic degree the theological, cardinal and associated virtues.On 18 December 1997, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the decree on heroic virtues was promulgated.For the beatification of Padre Pio, the Postulation presented to the competent Congregation the healing of Mrs. Consiglia De Martino of Salerno. The regular canonical process concerning this case was held at the ecclesiastical tribunal of the Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno from July 1996 to June 1997, and the case was recognized as valid by a decree dated 26 September 1997. On 30 April 1998 at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Medical Board examined the miracle, and on 22 June 1998 the special meeting of theological consultors gave its judgement. On 20 October 1998 the ordinary congregation of the Cardinals and Bishops belonging to the Congregation, together with the proposer, Bishop Andrea M. Erba, was held in the Vatican.On 21 December 1998, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the decree on the miracle was promulgated.
SOURCE EWTN

#BreakingNews #PopeFrancis arrives in the #USA - Text/Video - Arrival Ceremony

The US President greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base - AFP
The US President greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base - AFP
22/09/2015 21:30


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has landed on American soil. He touched down at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC at 3.50pm local time kicking off the first visit of his life to the United States of America.
Pope Francis’ 10th Apostolic Journey abroad has already taken him to Cuba where he visited Havana, Holguin and Santiago. In the United States of America he will be spending time in Washington DC, in New York and in Philadelphia where the World Meeting of Families is taking place. 
Greeting him on the tarmac at the Washington Air Force Base, were US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and both of their daughters.
It is the first time in his presidency that Obama has greeted a visiting dignitary at the point of touchdown. Presidents usually have important visitors come to them, at the White House. And in another departure from official protocol, its also the first time ever that the Vice-President and his family have joined the welcoming party. 
However, for the record, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush also travelled to the air force base in Maryland to greet Francis' predecessor, the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he visited the United States in 2008. 
This visit marks Pope Francis’ second meeting with President Obama whom he first met in the Vatican in March 2014.
During his six-day, three-city visit to the U.S., Pope Francis will meet with Obama, address Congress, speak at the United Nations in New York and take part in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia where he will celebrate the closing Mass.
The Official Welcome Ceremony in Washington DC is on Wednesday morning at the White House. Some 15,000 people have been invited to attend the ceremony which is scheduled to take place on the South Lawn. Afterwards, the Pope and the President will hold talks in private in the Oval Office.
Pope Francis’s Apostolic Visit to the US is packed with important events, including the first ever address from a Pope to Congress.
But it also includes many, more personal gestures, like meeting with immigrants, with prisoners and with the homeless. Those meetings which include the moments that Pope Francis clearly cherishes most, as time and time again, he reaches out to those struggling to hold on to the bottom rungs of society.

#PopeFrancis "The Eucharist is the meal of Jesus’ family, which the world over gathers..." to #Families in Cuba FULL TEXT/Video

Pope Francis kisses a Cuban child in Santiago de Cuba - AP
Pope Francis kisses a Cuban child in Santiago de Cuba - AP
22/09/2015 17:


(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis’ final engagement in Cuba on Tuesday (22nd September) was a meeting with families in the cathedral in Santiago. After listening to a young mother and father with three children speaking of their hopes, the Pope described families as centres of humanity and warmth. The family, he said, “saves us from two present-day phenomena: fragmentation and uniformity.” 
Spesaking off the cuff, Pope Francis recalled how many pregnant women at his weekly general audiences in the Vatican ask him to bless their unborn babies. He said anyone in the audience, or listening via radio or television, who is "pregnant with hope" should place their hand on their tummy and receive the Pope's blessing.
Please find below an English translation of the Pope’s prepared remarks for his address to families in Santiago de Cuba’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption:
                We are here as a family!  And whenever we come together as a family, we feel at home.  Thank you, Cuban families.  Thank you, Cubans, for making me feel part of a family, for making me feel at home, in these days.  This meeting is like “the cherry on the cake”.  To conclude my visit with this family gathering is a reason to thank God for the “warmth” spread by people who know how to welcome and accept someone, to make him feel at home.  Thank you!
                I am grateful to Archbishop Dionisio GarcĂ­a of Santiago for his greetings in the name of all present, and to the married couple who were not afraid to share with all of us their hopes and struggles in trying to make their home a “domestic church”.
                John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus worked his first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana, at a family party. There he was, with Mary, his Mother, and some of his disciples, taking part in a family celebration.
                Weddings are special times in many people’s lives. For the “older folks”, parents and grandparents, it is an opportunity to reap the fruits of what they have sown.  Our hearts rejoice when we see children grow up and make a home of their own.  For a moment, we see that everything we worked for was worth the effort.  To raise children, to support and encourage them, to help them want to make a life for themselves and form a family: this is a great challenge for all parents.  Weddings, too, show us the joy of young spouses.  The future is open before them, and everything “smacks” of new possibilities, of hope.  Weddings always bring together the past which we inherit and the future in which we put our hope.  They are an opportunity to be grateful for everything which has brought us to this day, with the same love which we have received.
                Jesus begins his public life at a wedding.  He enters into that history of sowing and reaping, of dreams and quests, of efforts and commitments, of hard work which tills the land so that it can yield fruit.  Jesus began his life within a family, within a home.  And he continues to enter into, and become a part of, our homes.
                It is interesting to see how Jesus also shows up at meals, at dinners.  Eating with different people, visiting different homes, was a special way for him to make known God’s plan.  He goes to the home of his friends, Martha and Mary, but he is not choosy; it makes no difference to him if they are publicans or sinners, like Zacchaeus.  He didn’t just act this way himself; when he sent his disciples out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God he told them: Stay in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide (Lk 10:7).  Weddings, visits to people’s homes, dinners: those moments in people’s lives become “special” because Jesus chose to be part of them.
                I remember in my former diocese how many families told me that almost the only time they came together was at dinner, in the evening after work, when the children had finished their homework.  These were special times in the life of the family.  They talked about what happened that day and what each of them had done; they tidied the house, put things away and organized their chores for the next few days.  These were also times when someone might come home tired, or when arguments or bickering might break out.  Jesus chooses all those times to show us the love of God.  He chooses those moments to enter into our hearts and to help us to discover the Spirit of life at work in our daily affairs.  It is in the home that we learn fraternity, solidarity, and not to be overbearing.  It is in the home that we learn to receive, to appreciate life as a blessing and to realize that we need one another to move forward.  It is in the home that we experience forgiveness, that we are continually asked to forgive and to grow.  In the home there is no room for “putting on masks”:  we are who we are, and in one way or another we are called to do our best for others.
                That is why the Christian community calls families “domestic churches”.  It is in the warmth of the home that faith fills every corner, lights up every space, builds community.  At those moments, people learn to discover God’s love present and at work.
                In many cultures today, these spaces are shrinking, these experiences of family are disappearing, and everything is slowly breaking up, growing apart.  We have fewer moments in common, to stay together, to stay at home as a family.  As a result, we don’t know how to be patient, we don’t know how to ask permission or forgiveness, or even to say “thank you”, because our homes are growing empty.  Empty of relationships, empty of contacts, empty of encounters.  Not long ago, someone who works with me told me that his wife and children had gone off on vacation, while he remained home alone.  The first day, the house is completely quiet, “at peace”, and nothing was out of place.  On the third day, when I asked him how things were going, he told me: I wish they would all come back soon.  He felt he couldn’t live without his wife and children.
                Without family, without the warmth of home, life grows empty, there is a weakening of the networks which sustain us in adversity, nurture us in daily living and motivate us to build a better future.  The family saves us from two present-day phenomena: fragmentation (division) and uniformity.  In both cases, people turn into isolated individuals, easy to manipulate and to rule.  Societies which are divided, broken, separated or rigidly uniform are a result of the breakup of family bonds, the loss of those relationships which make us who we are, which teach us to be persons.
                The family is a school of humanity which teaches us to open our hearts to others’ needs, to be attentive to their lives.  Amid all the difficulties troubling our families today, please, never forget one thing: families are not a problem, they are first and foremost an opportunity.  An opportunity which we have to care for, protect and support.
                We talk a lot about the future, about the kind of world we want to leave to our children, the kind of society we want for them.  I believe that one possible answer lies in looking at yourselves: let us leave behind a world with families.  No doubt about it: the perfect family does not exist; there are no perfect husbands and wives, perfect parents, perfect children, but this does not prevent families from being the answer for the future.  God inspires us to love, and love always engages with the persons it loves.  So let us care for our families, true schools for the future.  Let us care for our families, true spaces of freedom.  Let us care for families, true centers of humanity.
                I do not want to end without mentioning the Eucharist.  All of you know very well that Jesus chose a meal to the setting for his memorial.  He chose a specific moment of family life as the “place” of his presence among us.  A moment which we have all experienced, a moment we all understand: a meal.
                The Eucharist is the meal of Jesus’ family, which the world over gathers to hear his word and to be fed by his body.  Jesus is the Bread of Life for our families. He wants to be ever present, nourishing us by his love, sustaining us in faith, helping us to walk in hope, so that in every situation we can experience the true Bread of Heaven.
                In a few days I will join families from across the globe in the World Meeting of Families and, in less than a month, in the Synod of Bishops devoted to the family. I ask you to pray in a particular way for these two events, so that together we can find ways to help one another and to care for the family, so that we can continue to discover Emmanuel, the God who dwells in the midst of his people, and makes his home in our families.

#PopeFrancis "Like Mary, we want to be a Church which serves, which leaves home and goes forth," at Mass in Cuba - FULL TEXT/Video

Pope Francis said Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, on Tuesday in Santiago. Find below Pope the Homily of Pope Francis at Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Santiago.
                   The Gospel we have just heard tells us about something the Lord does every time he visits us: he calls us out of our house. These are images which we are asked to contemplate over and over again. God’s presence in our lives never leaves us tranquil: it always pushes to do something. When God comes, he always calls us out of our house. We are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so as to encounter others; we receive love in order to give love.
                   In the Gospel we see Mary, the first disciple. A young woman of perhaps between fifteen and seventeen years of age who, in a small village of Palestine, was visited by the Lord, who told her that she was to be the mother of the Savior. Mary was far from “thinking it was all about her”, or thinking that everyone had to come and wait upon her; she left her house and went out to serve. First she goes to help her cousin Elizabeth. The joy which blossoms when we know that God is with us, with our people, gets our heart beating, gets our legs moving and “draws us out of ourselves”. It leads us to take the joy we have received and to share it in service, in those “pregnant” situations which our neighbors or families may be experiencing.
            The Gospel tells us that Mary went in haste, slowly but surely, with a steady pace, neither too fast nor so slow as never to get there. Neither anxious nor distracted, Mary goes with haste to accompany her cousin who conceived in her old age. Henceforth this was always to be her way. She has always been the woman who visits men and women, children, the elderly and the young. She has visited and accompanied many of our peoples in the drama of their birth; she has watched over the struggles of those who fought to defend the rights of their children. And now, she continues to bring us the Word of Life, her Son, our Lord. These lands have also been visited by her maternal presence. The Cuban homeland was born and grew, warmed by devotion to Our Lady of Charity. As the bishops of this country have written: “In a special and unique way she has molded the Cuban soul, inspiring the highest ideals of love of God, the family and the nation in the heart of the Cuban people”.
This was what your fellow citizens also stated a hundred years ago, when they asked Pope Benedict XV to declare Our Lady of Charity the Patroness of Cuba. They wrote that “neither disgrace nor poverty were ever able to crush the faith and the love which our Catholic people profess for the Virgin of Charity, for whom, in all their trials, when death was imminent or desperation was at the door, there arose, like a light scattering the darkness of every peril, like a comforting dew…, the vision of that Blessed Virgin, utterly Cuban and loved as such by our cherished mothers, blessed as such by our wives.”
In this shrine, which keeps alive the memory of God’s holy and faithful pilgrim people in Cuba, Mary is venerated as the Mother of Charity. From here she protects our roots, our identity, so that we may never stray to paths of despair. The soul of the Cuban people, as we have just heard, was forged amid suffering and privation which could not suppress the faith, that faith which was kept alive thanks to all those grandmothers who fostered, in the daily life of their homes, the living presence of God, the presence of the Father who liberates, strengthens, heals, grants courage and serves as a sure refuge and the sign of a new resurrection. Grandmothers, mothers, and so many others who with tenderness and love were signs of visitation, valor and faith for their grandchildren, in their families. They kept open a tiny space, small as a mustard seed, through which the Holy Spirit continued to accompany the heartbeat of this people. “Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness” (Evangelii Gaudium, 288). Generation after generation, day after day, we are asked to renew our faith. We are asked to live the revolution of tenderness as Mary, our Mother of Charity, did. We are invited to “leave home” and to open our eyes and hearts to others. Our revolution comes about through tenderness, through the joy which always becomes closeness and compassion, and leads us to get involved in, and to serve, the life of others. Our faith makes us leave our homes and go forth to encounter others, to share their joys, their hopes and their frustrations. Our faith, “calls us out of our house”, to visit the sick, the prisoner and to those who mourn. It makes us able to laugh with those who laugh, and rejoice with our neighbors who rejoice.                  Like Mary, we want to be a Church which serves, which leaves home and goes forth, which goes forth from its chapels, its sacristies, in order to accompany life, to sustain hope, to be a sign of unity. Like Mary, Mother of Charity, we want to be a Church which goes forth to build bridges, to break down walls, to sow seeds of reconciliation. Like Mary, we want to be a Church which can accompany all those “pregnant” situations of our people, committed to life, to culture, to society, not washing our hands but rather walking with our brothers and sisters.
This is our most valuable treasure (cobre), this is our greatest wealth and the best legacy we can give: to learn like Mary to leave home and set out on the path of visitation. And to learn to pray with Mary, for her prayer is one of remembrance and gratitude; it is the canticle of the People of God on their pilgrimage through history. It is the living reminder that God passes through our midst; the perennial memory that God has looked upon the lowliness of his people, he has come the aid of his servant, even as promised to our forebears and their children for ever.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. Septemer 22, 2015


Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 450


Reading 1EZR 6:7-8, 12B, 14-20

King Darius issued an order to the officials
of West-of-Euphrates:
“Let the governor and the elders of the Jews
continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.
I also issue this decree
concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews
in the rebuilding of that house of God:
From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.
I, Darius, have issued this decree;
let it be carefully executed.”

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building,
supported by the message of the prophets,
Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo.
They finished the building according to the command
of the God of Israel
and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius
and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar,
in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The children of Israel–priests, Levites,
and the other returned exiles–
celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God,
they offered one hundred bulls,
two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs,
together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel,
in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel.
Finally, they set up the priests in their classes
and the Levites in their divisions
for the service of God in Jerusalem,
as is prescribed in the book of Moses.

The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion,
sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles,
for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

AlleluiaLK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

#Novena for Archangels Feast - SHARE this #prayer - St. Michael - St. Gabriel - St. Raphael



September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael.



Novena to St. Michael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.


Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.



>Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel

Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.

Saint September 22 : St. Thomas of Villanova of #Valencia #Spain

St. Thomas of Villanova

BISHOP
Feast: September 22
Information:
Feast Day:
September 22
Born:
1488, Spain
Died:
1555, in Valencia, Spain
Canonized:
November 1, 1658 by Pope Alexander VII

Educator, philanthropist, born at Fuentellana, Spain, 1488; died at Valencia, 8 September, 1555. Son of Aloazo Tomas Garcia and Lucia Martinez Castellanos, the saint was brought up in the practices of religion and charity. Every Friday his father was wont to give in alms all the meal he earned at the mill, besides his usual daily dole of bread. On great feast-days he added wood, wine, and money; while to poor farmers he loaned money and seed. On the death of her husband, Lucia continued the usual alms, and supplied indigent maidens in the neighbourhood with clothing and money. When sixteen tears old, Thomas entered the University of Alcala, where, after proceeding master of arts and licentiate in theology, he filled the chair (1514) of arts, logic, and philosophy. Among his auditors were the famed scholars Ferdinand de Encina and Dominic Soto. With Alcala, however, ended his university associations, he having declined the chair of natural philosophy at Salamanca, where he joined the Augustinians in 1516, his vows following a year later, and his ordination to priesthood the year after; his first Mass was celebrated at Christmas, 1518. At Salamanca Convent Thomas was given the class of scholastic theology because of his attachment for books, chiefly the Lombard and St. Thomas, and his exemplary life. Preaching in the pulpits of Spain was soon added to his duties, among other places at Valencia, the field of his later trials, and Valladolid, seat of the imperial Court and residence of the Emperor Charles V when on his visits to the Low Countries. In this last-named city St. Thomas was named by the emperor his court preacher, and one of his councillors of state. Rarely, however, did the saint pay visits of ceremony to the then master of Europe, though his written correspondence with Charles, who held his opinions in high esteem, was voluminous. Towards the close of his life, while at Valencia, he had all the emperor's letters destroyed; his own letters to the emperor, however, are now stored at Simancas.
Apart from these burdens Thomas held many offices of trust in his order, e.g. as convent prior in various cities, among others at Valladolid in 1544, the very year he was called to the See of Valencia. Moreover, he was twice provincial-prior, first of Andalusia and Castile in 1527, then six years later of Castile alone, whence the first mission band of his brethren was sent across the Atlantic in 1533 to establish houses of their order in Mexico. On 5 Aug., 1544, he received his nomination to the Archbishopric of Valencia, a post that for well-nigh a hundred years had witnessed no bishop in residence, an appointment that was confirmed by Paul III. Previously St. Thomas had declined the See of Granada, offered him by the emperor, while that of Valencia he accepted only through obedience to his superiors. He was consecrated in the church of his order at Valladolid by Juan, Cardinal Tavera de Pardo, Archbishop of Toledo. On his entrance to his see on 1 Jan., 1545, of which he was thirty-second bishop and eighth archbishop, St. Thomas opened his career as legislator and philanthropist, which won for him the titles of "Almsgiver", "Father of the Poor", and "Model of Bishops", given him at his beatification in 1618 by Paul V. During his eleven years of episcopal rule his most noteworthy deeds were as follows: a visitation of his diocese, opened a few weeks after entrance into his see. Among other amendments he inhibited his visitators from accepting any gifts whatever. He then held a synod, the first at Valencia for many years, whereby he sought to do away with a number of abuses, as bloodshed, divorce, concubinage, and many excessive privileges or unreasonable exemptions; he abolished the underground prisons; rebuilt the general hospital at Valencia which had just been destroyed by fire; founded two colleges, one for young ecclesiastics, the other for poor students; laboured for the conversion of the , whose profession of Christianity was largely mere outward show; established a creche near his palace for foundlings and the offspring of indigent parents; had Mass said at early hours for the working-classes; and in brief, by statutes, by preaching, and by example, strove to reform the morals of churchman and layman.
Towards the poor especially his heart was ever alive with pity; to them his palace gate was always open; daily he had a repast for every poor person that applied for help, as many even as four to five hundred thus getting their meals at his hands. In every district of the city he had almoners appointed with orders especially to search out the respectable persons who shrank from asking alms; these he had supplied with money, food, clothing, while as to indigent workmen, poor farmers, and mechanics, he replenished their stock and brought them tools, thus putting them in the way of making a living. His whole life as replete with acts of practical kindness. He spent his spare time chiefly in prayer and study; his table was one of simple fare, with no luxuries. His dress was inexpensive; he mended with his own hands whatever needed repairs. Numberless are the instances of St. Thomas' supernatural gifts, of his power of healing the sick, of multiplication of food, of redressing grievances, of his ecstasies, of his conversions of sinners. He was taken ill in August, 1555, of angina pectoris, of which he died at the age of 67, at the termination of Mass in his bedroom. His last words were the versicles: "In manus tuas, Domine", etc.; his remains were entombed at the convent Church of Our Lady of Help of his order outside the city walls, whence later they were brought to the cathedral. The saint was of well-knit frame, of medium height, with dark complexion, brilliant eyes, ruddy cheeks, and Roman nose. He was beatified by Paul V (7 Oct., 1618), who set his feast-day for 18 Sept., and canonized by Alexander VII on 1 Nov., 1658.
Various reasons are given to account for St. Thomas' non-appearance at the Council of Trent, among them that he was ill, unable to stand the fatigue of travel; that his people would not brook his absence; and that the emperor was unable to do without his aid at home. The writings of St. Thomas, mainly sermons, are replete with practical norms of mystic theology. Some twenty editions have been published, the best and most complete being probably that of Manila, 1882-1884, in 5 tomes.SHARED FROM EWTN