Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saint January 18 : Saint Margaret of Hungary : #Nun and #Mystic

 January 18 is the memorial of Saint Margaret of Hungary, a thirteenth century woman who is remembered as a nun, virgin, princess, and mystic.

Saint Margaret was born in A.D. 1242, the last daughter (ninth of 10 children) of the King of Hungary, Bela IV, and Maria Lascaris, the daughter of the emperor of Constantinople. Saint Margaret is the niece ofSaint Elizabeth of Hungaryand the younger sister of Saint Kinga and Blessed Yolanda.

Before Margaret's birth, her parents had promised Our Lord to dedicate their child to Him if Hungary was victorious over the invading Tartars. After their prayers were answered, now nearly four, they placed Margaret with the Dominican monastery of Veszprim. At the age of 12 Saint Margaret moved to a new monastery built by her father at Buda, and made profession of her final vows before Humbert of Romans.

Saint Margaret lived a life totally dedicated to Christ crucified and by her example of living inspired her sisters to follow her in her asceticism, works of mercy, pursuit of peace, and striving to be of humble service. Saint Margaret opposed all attempts by her father to arrange a political marriage between herself and King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Saint Margaret had a special love for the Eucharist and the Passion of Christ and showed a special devotion to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady.

Saint Margaret died on 18 January 1270. However, she was venerated as a saint during her lifetime. After her death the canonization investigation was begun immediately, including the testimony of 77 persons who said they had received miracles as a result of Saint Margaret's intercession. However, it was not until 19 November 1943 that Saint Margaret was canonized by Venerable Pope Pius XII, on the feast day of her cousin, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
(Edited from acta-sanctorum.blogspot.ca)

Prayer

O God of truth,
through the Holy Spirit
you blessed our sister Margaret with true humility.
Teach us that same integrity
so that we may constantly turn from our selfishness
to your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

#Royal #Princess Charlene of #Monaco and her Catholic Faith in the footsteps of Grace Kelly...SHARE


Charlene, Princess of Monaco, is a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa and wife of Prince Albert II (son of actress Grace Kelly). Charlene was born in the African country of Zimbabwe and is the daughter of Michael and Lynette Wittstock; the family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She was born on January 25, 1978 (age 37). Princess Charlene will travel to visit Pope Francis on Monday.  Monaco's state religion is Catholicism. According to a recent article by PEOPLE Magazine "Charlene has embraced the Catholic religion and is inspired by it," as explained by a  Monaco observer. "She is devoted to it and impressive in her fidelity."  Her faith has increased since the birth of her twins in December 2014. Prince Albert Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with their twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, at their Baptism on May 10, 2015.
 Charlene converted to the Roman Catholic Faith  "of her own free will and choice" before her July 2011 wedding. She was born and raised Protestant.in April of that year. "Catholicism is the state religion [in Monaco]. But for me, it represents much more. The values of this religion profoundly touch me and correspond perfectly to my spirit "In January 2013, Prince Albert took me to the Vatican to present me to Pope Benedict XVI, just as Prince Rainier did with Grace Kelly and Pius XII," she recalled, adding, "that experience was extremely intense and moving for me." These quotes by the Princess were noted in the PEOPLE Magazine article.
Princess Charlene received communion from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  Reportedly, after her children's premature birth, her first authorized exit from the maternity ward at Princess Grace Hospital was to attend chapel mass. "I prayed, as always, for everyone," she told a Paris press agency, "but I especially thanked the Lord. I have such luck, a happy husband, two children in good shape."   Princess Charlene also helped her brother Gareth Wittstock's convert.  According to the PEOPLE article Charlene often attends mass secretly with her husband (and now with their children) at one of Monaco's Roman Catholic churches. At Notre-Dame-Immaculate Cathedral, the Princess visits private laying flowers for Prince Rainier, Albert's late father. Perhaps her faith is also inspired by that of the late mother of Prince Albert the Actress Grace Kelly who was noted to be a devout Catholic. (All Images shared from Google Images)

#PopeFrancis at #Jewish #Synagogue "Let us pray together to the Lord, to lead the way to a better future." FULL TEXT-Video

Pope Francis arrives at Rome's Great Synagogue - REUTERS
Pope Francis arrives at Rome's Great Synagogue - REUTERS
17/01/2016 17:



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday became the third pope to visit Rome's synagogue in a sign of continuing Catholic-Jewish friendship.
During the visit that featured welcome speeches by prominent members of Rome's Jewish community and a speech by the Pope, Francis greeted a number of people including including several Holocaust survivors. 
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni 
Pope Francis recalled the tragedy of the Holocaust and  paid  tribute to the over  2000 Jews who were deported by the Nazis in Rome in October 1943.
He said the past must serve as a lesson for the present and for the future and said that the Holocaust teaches us that utmost vigilance is always needed to be able to take prompt action in defense of human dignity and peace.
The visit, which follows on from that of Pope Benedict XVI in January 2010 and the historic encounter of Pope Saint John Paul II with former Rabbi Elio Toaff there in 1986.
It also comes on the heels of the publication, last December of an important new document from the Vatican’s Commission for religious relations with Jews, exploring the theological developments during the past half century of dialogue between Catholics and Jews.
During his speech to those present Pope Francis highlighted how Catholic – Jewish  relations are very close to his heart and he spoke of how a spiritual bond has been created between the two communities favouring the growth of a genuine friendship and giving life to a shared commitment.
He said we share a unique and special bond thanks to the Jewish roots of Christianity and that we must therefore feel as brothers, united by the same God and by a rich common spiritual patrimony upon which to build the future.
Pope Francis referred to the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration “Nostra Aetate” which made possible the systematic dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism and which set the ground for Jewish Catholic dialogue, and he encouraged all those involved in this dialogue to continue in this direction, with discernment and perseverance. 
The Pope also said that along with theological issues, we must not lose sight of the big challenges facing the world today and he said that Christians and Jews can and must offer humanity the message of the Bible regarding the care of creation as well as always promote and defend human life. 
We must pray with insistence to help us put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of life, in Europe, in the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Africa and elsewhere in the world. And – he concluded – we have to be thankful for all that has been realized in the last fifty years of Catholic Jewish dialogue because between us mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship have grown and deepened.
Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the Pope’s address:
I'm happy to be here today with you in this Synagogue. I thank Dr. Di Segni, Mrs  Durighello and Mr Gattegna for their kind words. And  I thank you all for your warm welcome, thank you! Tada Toda Rabba, thank you!
During my first visit to this synagogue as Bishop of Rome, I wish to express to you and to extend to all Jewish communities, the fraternal greetings of peace of the whole Catholic Church.
Our relations are very close to my heart. When in Buenos Aires I used to go to the synagogues and meet the communities gathered there, I used to follow Jewish festivities and commemorations and give thanks to the Lord who gives us life and accompanies us on the path of history. Over time, a spiritual bond has been created which has favoured the birth of a genuine friendship and given life to a shared commitment. In interreligious dialogue it is essential that we meet as brothers and sisters before our Creator and to Him give praise, that we respect and appreciate each other and try to collaborate. In Jewish-Christian dialogue there is a unique and special bond thanks to the Jewish roots of Christianity: Jews and Christians must therefore feel as brothers, united by the same God and by a rich common spiritual patrimony (cf. Declaration. Nostra Aetate, 4 ), upon which to build the future.
With this visit I follow in the footsteps of my predecessors. Pope John Paul II came here thirty years ago, on 13 April 1986; and Pope Benedict XVI was amongt you six years ago. On that occasion John Paul II coined the beautiful description "elder brothers", and in fact you are our brothers and sisters in the faith. We all belong to one family, the family of God, who accompanies and protects us, His people. Together, as Jews and as Catholics, we are called to take on our responsibilities towards this city, giving first of all a spiritual contribution, and favouring the resolution of various current problems. It is my hope that closeness, mutual understanding and respect between our two  communities continue to grow. Thus, it is significant that I have come among you today, on January 17, the day when the Italian Episcopal Conference celebrates the "Day of dialogue between Catholics and Jews."
We have just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration “Nostra Aetate” which made possible the systematic dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism. On 28 October last, in St. Peter's Square, I was able to greet a large number of Jewish representatives to whom I said “Deserving of special gratitude to God is the veritable transformation of Christian-Jewish relations in these 50 years. Indifference and opposition have changed into cooperation and benevolence. From enemies and strangers we have become friends and brothers. The Council, with the Declaration Nostra Aetate, has indicated the way: “yes” to rediscovering Christianity’s Jewish roots; “no” to every form of anti-Semitism and blame for every wrong, discrimination and persecution deriving from it.” Nostra Aetate explicitly defined theologically for the first time the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism. Of course it did not solve all the theological issues that affect us, but we it provided an important stimulus for further necessary reflections. In this regard, on 10 December 2015, the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews published a new document that addresses theological issues that have emerged in recent decades since the promulgation of “Nostra Aetate”. In fact, the theological dimension of Jewish-Catholic dialogue deserves to be more thorough, and I wish to encourage all those involved in this dialogue to continue in this direction, with discernment and perseverance. From a theological point of view, it is clear there is an inseparable bond between Christians and Jews. Christians, to be able to understand themselves, cannot not refer to their Jewish roots, and the Church, while professing salvation through faith in Christ, recognizes the irrevocability of the Covenant and God’s constant and faithful love for Israel .
Along with theological issues, we must not lose sight of the big challenges facing the world today.  That of an integral ecology is now a priority, and us Christians and Jews can and must offer humanity the message of the Bible regarding the care of creation. Conflicts, wars, violence and injustices open deep wounds in humanity and call us to strengthen a commitment for peace and justice. Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name, and in particular with the three great monotheistic religions. Life is sacred, a gift of God. The fifth commandment of the Decalogue says: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). God is the God of life, and always wants to promote and defend it; and we, created in his image and likeness, are called upon to do the same. Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, regardless of his or her origin or religious affiliation. Each person must be viewed with favour, just as God does, who offers his merciful hand to all, regardless of their faith and of their belonging, and who cares for those who most need him: the poor, the sick, the marginalized , the helpless. Where life is in danger, we are called even more to protect it. Neither violence nor death will have the last word before God,  the God of love and life. We must pray with insistence to help us put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of life, in Europe, in the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
In its history, the Jewish people has had to experience violence and persecution, to the point of  extermination of European Jews during the Holocaust. Six million people, just because they belonged to the Jewish people, were victims of the most inhumane barbarity perpetrated in the name of an ideology that wanted to replace God with man. On October 16, 1943, over a thousand men, women and children Rome’s Jewish community were deported to Auschwitz. Today I wish to remember them in a special way: their suffering, their fear, their tears must never be forgotten. And the past must serve as a lesson for the present and for the future. The Holocaust teaches us that utmost vigilance is always needed to be able to take prompt action in defense of human dignity and peace. I would like to express my closeness to every witness of the Holocaust who is still living; and I address a special greeting to those who are present here today.
Dear brothers, we really have to be thankful for all that has been realized in the last fifty years, because between us mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship have grown and deepened. Let us pray together to the Lord, to lead the way to a better future. God has plans of salvation for us, as the prophet Jeremiah says: "I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord - plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope" (Jer 29 , 11). “The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!  (cf. 6.24 to 26 Nm). Shalom Alechem! (Linda Bordoni

#PopeFrancis "So let us fall more and more in love with the Lord Jesus, our Spouse..." Angelus FULL TEXT- Video



FULL TEXT Angelus of Pope Francis on Jan. 17, 2016 
***
Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!
This Sunday’s Gospel presents the miraculous event which took place in Cana, a village in Galilee, during a wedding party in which also Mary, Jesus, and His first disciples were present (cf. Jn 2,1-11). The mother, Mary, makes her Son notice that the wine ran out, and Jesus, after having said to her that His hour has not yet come, however, grants her request and gives the spouses the best wine of the entire celebration. The Evangelist notes that, “Jesus did this as the beginning of His signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed His glory, and His disciples began to believe in Him”(v. 11).
Miracles, then, are extraordinary signs that accompany the preaching of the Good News, and are intended to arouse or strengthen the faith in Jesus. In the miracle at Cana, we can see an act of kindness on the part of Jesus to the newlyweds, a sign of God’s blessing on the marriage. The love between man and woman is therefore a good way to live the Gospel, that is, to go on with joy on the path of holiness.
But the miracle of Cana is not just about the bride and groom. Every human person is called to meet the Lord as the Bridegroom of his life. The Christian faith is a gift we receive in Baptism, which allows us to meet God. The faith through times of joy and sorrow, light and darkness, as in any authentic experience of love. The story of the wedding at Cana invites us to rediscover that Jesus does not come to us as a judge ready to condemn our sins, nor as a commander that requires us to blindly follow His orders; He appears as the Savior of humanity, as brother, as our big brother, Son of the Father: as the One who responds to the expectations and promises of joy that dwell in the heart of each of us.
Therefore, we can ask ourselves: Do I really know the Lord like this? Do I feel Him next to me, in my life? Am I responding on the wavelength of that spousal love that He shows to all, to each human being? It is in realizing that Jesus searches us and invites us to make room for Him deep in our heart. And in this journey of faith, with Him, we are not left alone: ​​we have received the gift of the Blood of Christ. The large stone jars that Jesus filled with water to transform it into wine (v. 7) are a sign of the passage from the Old to the New Covenant: instead of water used for the purification ritual, we received the Blood of Jesus, poured in a sacramental way in the Eucharist and in a bloody way in the Passion and the Cross. The Sacraments, which flow from the Paschal Mystery, instill in us supernatural strength and allow us to enjoy the infinite mercy of God.
May the Virgin Mary, model of meditation on the words and gestures of the Lord, help us to rediscover faith with the beauty and richness of the Eucharist and the other sacraments, which makes present ever more the faithful love of God for us. So let us fall more and more in love with the Lord Jesus, our Spouse, and meet Him with lamps lit up with our joyous faith, and become ever more His witnesses in the world.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today marks the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which, in the context of the Holy Year of Mercy, is also celebrated as the Jubilee of Migrants. I am pleased, therefore, to greet with great affection the ethnic communities present here, from various regions of Italy, especially from Lazio. Dear migrants and refugees, each of you carries a history, a culture, precious values; and often, unfortunately, experiences of poverty, oppression and fear. Your presence in this square is a sign of hope in God. Do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope and the joy of living, resulting from the experience of divine mercy, also thanks to the people who greet you and help you. Passing through the Holy Door and the Mass, that soon you will soon experience, will fill your heart with peace. In this Mass, I wish to thank–and I would like for you all to thank with me–the inmates of the prison in Opera, for the gift of the [packaged wafers from themselves], and that will be used in this celebration.
I greet with affection all of you, pilgrims who have come from Italy and other countries: in particular, the cultural association Napredak, of Sarajevo; Spanish students of Badajoz and Palma de Mallorca; and young people from Osteria Grande (Bologna).
Now I invite you all to pray to God for the victims of the attacks that have taken place in recent days in Indonesia and Burkina Faso. May the Lord welcome them into His house, and support the commitment of the international community to build peace. Let us pray to the Virgin Mary: Hail Mary….
I wish you all a good Sunday. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT - Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]