Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Saint January 14 : St. Felix of Nola : Patron of #Eyes, Against #Lies; #domestic #Animals

Today, January 14, marks the death and martyrdom ofSaint Felix of Nola (born early third century, died 255). Born in Campania, Italy, Felix joined the clergy, giving all he had to the poor, shortly following the death of his father. Working under the guidance of Bishop Maximus of Nola, both underwent persecution and torture at the hands of Roman Emperor Decius.

Shortly following the imprisonment of Bishop Maximus, Felix was taken into custody by Roman soldiers, imprisoned, scourged and tortured, and wrapped with heavy chains in his prison cell. He miraculously escaped from his cell, following visitation from an angel who instructed him to go to the aid of his ailing bishop. As the angel encouraged Felix, his chains fell off and his prison cell was opened. Felix rescued Maximus, bearing him on his back (despite weakness and small stature), and effectively hiding both men from Roman authorities until the end of Decius’ reign.

The second attempt to imprison Felix and Maximus was miraculously prevented by a spider! Upon hearing Roman soldiers approaching, Felix crawled into a small hole in the building he was staying, where it is said a spider immediately spun a web over the opening. The guards saw the spider web and ceased searching for the men, assuming that the room had been undisturbed for some time.
Felix was a humble and giving servant of the Lord. Following the death of Maximus, he was called to be the next Bishop of Nola, but refused, indicating that one of his more experienced brothers (ordained only seven days prior to Felix) was more deserving. He refused to reclaim his possessions and land seized during the persecution, instead renting a meager plot, tilling it by hand, and sharing his goods with the poorest around him. It is said that whatever Felix possessed, he gave away to those in need, oftentimes to his own detriment. He died in 255, and is considered a Church martyr due to the torture, imprisonment, persecution, and suffering he endured for his faith. Buried in Nola, numerous miracles have been reported at his tomb.
Felix received a clear call to action from the angel in his prison cell, just as the Blessed Virgin received the Archangel Gabriel’s message of her extraordinary role in the Incarnation of Jesus. Felix heard the call, and risked his life and unimaginable suffering to answer it. While the messages we receive from the Lord are not always heralded by angels, we still need to listen for them—and perhaps listen all the more closely. These are the quiet urgings of our hearts, which bring us closer to our God. How often are we too busy and too wrapped up in our wants and needless anxieties to hear the call of God? Might slowing down and creating some silence in our lives enable a deeper communion with Christ? Today, we pray for that silence—the silence in which we hear and understand what the Lord wishes for us, and the courage to stand up and put the call into action!

Saint January 14 : St. Sava : #Patron of #Serbia



Information:
Feast Day:January 14
Born:
1175
Died:January 14, 1235, Tarnovgrad, Bulgariaa
Major Shrine:Temple of Saint Sava (Belgrade)
Patron of:Serbia
Born, Rastko, he was the third son of Stephen I Nemanja (r. 1167-1196), ruler of Serbia. In 1191, he went to Mount Athos, where he took the name Sava and became a monk. He was joined there five years later by his father, who had abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Stephen. With his father, Sava established on Mount Athos the monastery of Khilander (Hilandar), which emerged as one of the leading monastic centers for the Serbians. Sava returned to Serbia in 1208 and became archimandrite of Studenica, using the post to wield considerable political and religious influence throughout the kingdom.

He opposed his brother's religious policy of treating with the Holy See and in 1219 was consecrated the metropolitan of an independent Serbian Church by the patriarch of Nicaea with the approval of the Byzantine emperor, who was much in favor of keeping Serbia within the sphere of Greek Orthodox influence. Sava worked to establish dioceses throughout Serbia, promoted native clergy, built churches, and translated numerous religious texts into Serbian. In 1229, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning there in 1233 to win recognition of the Bulgarian patriarch from the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. he died while on his way home, at Tirnovo, Bulgaria.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints

Ferrero Rocher Chocolate founder's Success due to Our Lady of #Lourdes - Kinder, Nutella and TicTacs included...SHARE


Michele Ferrero lived from 26 April 1925 to 14 February 2015. He was the Italian who owned the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero SpA. Ferrero started this company in 1946, from a small bakery and café of his father in Alba, Piedmont. Michele Ferrero's brands include Nutella, Mon Chéri, Kinder Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and Kinder Eggs. He is said to have named Ferrero Rocher after a sacred grotto in Lourdes.  Ferrero and his wife Maria Franca Fissolo had two sons together, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero Jr.Michele was a fervent Catholic. Ferrero made a pilgrimage to the Lourdes shrine annually, and had a Madonna placed in every factory and office.

Ferrero died on 14 February 2015, at his home in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He was 89. Michele Ferrero said at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the company: “The success of Ferrero we owe to Our Lady of Lourdes, without her we can do little.” Michele Ferrero was the richest person in Italy, with a worth of $23.4 billion.  Ferrero operates in 53 countries with over 34,000 employees. 

Say a Prayer for the Soul of David Bowie - Famous Singer dead at age 69

David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), was known as David Bowie. He was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, painter and actor. Bowie's  music was popular for over five decades. He was born and raised in south London. He began a music career in 1963. "Space Oddity" became his first top five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969. Bowie married Mary Angela Barnett on 19 March 1970. They had a son together, Duncan, who was born on 30 May 1971. Bowie and Angela divorced on 8 February 1980. (Picture below left)On 24 April 1992, Bowie married the Somali-American model Iman. They had one daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones, born in August 2000. (Pictured above left) The couple resided in New York City and London.
In an Interview in 2005 he said, "Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always." In an Esquire interview   "What I've Learned", he stated, "I'm in awe of the universe, but I don't necessarily believe there's an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic."
In an Interview with Belief Net he was asked : Do you feel like your thinking about those questions has changed or deepened? I honestly believe that my initial questions haven't changed at all. There are far fewer of them these days, but they're really important. Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always. It's because I'm not quite an atheist and it worries me. There's that little bit that holds on...
Here is a video when David Bowie prayed the Our Father; please say a prayer for his Soul....

#PopeFrancis turn to God with all our heart, trusting in his mercy and grace,..." #Audience Text - Video

Pope Francis hugs a man at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 13. - AP
Pope Francis hugs a man at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 13. - AP
13/01/2016 13:03



(Vatican Radio) During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis spoke on the mercy of God as spoken about in the Bible.
Delivering his catechesis Wednesday in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall, the Pope said in the Old Testament, God reveals he is the God of Mercy.
The Holy Father explained how the Hebrew word for Mercy evokes the sort of tenderness shown by a mother for her child.
In Scripture, the Pope said, the God of mercy is gracious, slow to anger, and abounds in “steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis by inviting the faithful during the Jubilee of Mercy to “turn to God with all our heart, trusting in his mercy and grace, his infinite faithfulness and love.”
Below find the official English language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  
In this Jubilee Year, our weekly catechesis will explore the mystery of divine mercy.  In the Book of Exodus, God defines himself as the God of mercy.  In words which echo throughout the Old Testament, he tells Moses that he is “the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6).  The Hebrew word for mercy evokes the tender and visceral love of a mother for her child.  The God of mercy is also gracious, ever ready to understand and forgive.  He is slow to anger, prepared to wait patiently, like a wise farmer, for the seeds of repentance to grow in our hearts.  Likewise, he abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness.  God’s love, freely given, precedes any merit on our part; his faithfulness, like that of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, has no limits.  He waits for us, ever ready to forgive our sins and to welcome us back to a right relationship with him.  In this Year of Mercy, may we turn to God with all our heart, trusting in his mercy and grace, his infinite faithfulness and love.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis Wednesday remembered the victims of Tuesday’s suicide bomb attack in Istanbul which left ten people dead.
Listen to Ann Schneible's report:
 
Speaking in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall during his weekly general audience, the Pope asked for prayers for those killed in the attack, and for their families.
“Before concluding our encounter, in which we have reflected on God’s Mercy, I invite you to pray for the victims of the attack which took place yesterday in Istanbul.”
“May God, the merciful, grant eternal peace to the departed, comfort to their families, determined solidarity to the whole society, and convert the hearts of the violent."
The suicide bomber killed nine German and one Peruvian tourist on Jan 12 in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet Square.
The Islamic State is being blamed for the attack, which also injured fifteen people.
The bomber has been identified by Turkish authorities as a Syrian who recently entered the country. 
Turkish police have detained one person in connection with the attack

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. January 13, 2016


Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 307


Reading 11 SM 3:1-10, 19-20

During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli,
a revelation of the LORD was uncommon and vision infrequent.
One day Eli was asleep in his usual place.
His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see.
The lamp of God was not yet extinguished,
and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”

Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you,” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am,” he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am.
You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So Eli said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
Thus all Israel from Dan to Beersheba
came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 40:2 AND 5, 7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
Blessed the man who makes the LORD his trust;
who turns not to idolatry
or to those who stray after falsehood.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me.
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord.
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.

Saint January 13 : St. Hilary of Poitiers : #Bishop of #Poitiers


Information:
Feast Day:January 13
Born:
300, Poitiers
Died:368, Poitiers
Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according to the most accredited opinion, or according to the Roman Breviary, on 13 January, 368. Belonging to a noble and very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, but, having also taken up the study of Holy Scripture and finding there the truth which he sought so ardently, he renounced idolatry and was baptized. Thenceforth his wide learning and his zeal for the Faith attracted such attention that he was chosen about 350 to govern the body of the faithful which the city had possessed since the third century. We know nothing of the bishops who governed this society in the beginning. Hilary is the first concerning whom we have authentic information, and this is due to the important part he played in opposing heresy. The Church was then greatly disturbed by internal discords, the authority of the popes not being so powerful in practice as either to prevent or to stop them. Arianism had made frightful ravages in various regions and threatened to invade Gaul, where it already had numerous partisans more or less secretly affiliated with it. Saturninus, Bishop of Arles, the most active of the latter, being exposed by Hilary, convened and presided over a council at Béziers in 356 with the intention of justifying himself, or rather of establishing his false doctrine. Here the Bishop of Poitiers courageously presented himself to defend orthodoxy, but the council, composed for the most part of Arians, refused to hear him, and being shortly afterwards denounced to the Emperor Constantius, the protector of Arianism, he was at his command transported to the distant coasts of Phrygia.
But persecution could not subdue the valiant champion. Instead of remaining inactive during his exile he gave himself up to study,  completed certain of his works which he had begun, and wrote his treatise on the synods. In this work he analysed the professions of faith uttered by the Oriental bishops in the Councils of Ancyra, Antioch, and Sirmium, and while condemning them, since they were in substance Arian, he sought to show that sometimes the difference between the doctrines of certain heretics and orthodox beliefs was rather in the words than in the ideas, which led to his counselling the bishops of the West to be reserved in their condemnation. He was sharply reproached for his indulgence by certain ardent Catholics, the leader of whom was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari. However, in 359, the city of Seleucia witnessed the assembly in synod of a large number of Oriental bishops, nearly all of whom were either Anomoeans or Semi-Arians. Hilary, whom everyone wished to see and hear, so great was his reputation for learning and virtue, was invited to be present at this assembly. The governor of the province even furnished him with post horses for the journey. In presence of the Greek fathers he set forth the doctrines of the Gallic bishops, and easily proved that, contrary to the opinion current in the East, these latter were not Sabellians. Then he took part in the violent discussions which took place between the Semi-Arians, who inclined toward reconciliation with the Catholics, and the Anomoeans, who formed as it were the extreme left of Arianism.
After the council, which had no result beyond the wider separation of these brothers in enmity, he left for Constantinople, the stronghold of heresy, to continue his battle against error. But while the Semi-Arians, who were less numerous and less powerful, besought him to become the intermediary in a reconciliation between themselves and the bishops of the West, the Anomoeans, who had the immense advantage of being upheld by the emperor, besought the latter to send back to his own country this Gallic bishop, who, they said, sowed discord and troubled the Orient. Constantius acceded to their desire, and the exile was thus enabled to set out on his journey home. In 361 Hilary re-entered Poitiers in triumph and resumed possession of his see. He was welcomed with the liveliest joy by his flock and his brothers in the episcopate, and was visited by Martin, his former disciple and subsequently Bishop of Tours. The success he had achieved in his combat against error was rendered more brilliant shortly afterwards by the deposition of Saturninus, the Arian Bishop of Arles by whom he had been persecuted. However, as in Italy the memory still rankled of the efforts he had made to bring about a reconciliation between the nearly converted Semi-Arians and the Catholics, he went in 364 to the Bishop of Vercelli to endeavour to overcome the intolerance of the partisans of the Bishop Lucifer mentioned above. Almost immediately afterwards, that it might be seen that, if he was full of indulgence for those whom gentleness might finally win from error, he was intractable towards those who were obstinate in their adherence to it, he went to Milan, there to assail openly Auxentius, the bishop of that city, who was a firm defender of the Arian doctrines. But the Emperor Valentinian, who protected the heretic, ordered Hilary to depart immediately from Milan.
He then returned to his city of Poitiers, from which he was not again to absent himself and where he was to die. This learned and energetic bishop had fought against error with the pen as well as in words. The best edition of his numerous and remarkable writings is that published by Dom Constant under the title: "Sancti Hilarii, Pictavorum episcopi opera, ad manuscriptos codices gallicanos, romanos, belgicos, necnon ad veteres editiones castigata" (Paris, 1693). The Latin Church celebrates his feast on 14 January, and Pius IX raised him to the rank of Doctor of the Universal Church. The Church of Puy glories in the supposed possession of his relics, but according to one tradition his body was borne to the church of St-Denys near Paris, while according to another it was taken from the church of St-Hilaire at Poitiers and burned by the Protestants in 1572.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)