Thursday, January 21, 2016

Saint January 22 : St. Vincent Pallotti : Priest

Feast Day:January 22
1798 in Rome, Italy
Canonized:1963 by Pope John XXIII
A contemporary of Cardinal Newman's and the Cure of Ars', St. Vincent Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into the very heart of contemporary society.

He was born in Rome in 1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral work.

Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became known as a "second St. Philip Neri." He gave away his books, his possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened "to kill the first priest who came through the door."
In 1835, he founded his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of missionaries.
He died at the age of fifty-five and his body lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1963.
Shared from Ewtn

Novena to #StAgness and #Prayers to SHARE - Patron of #Engaged #Couples and #Chastity

Novena to St. Agnes for unmarried couples. St. Agnes, although you were only a child, you believed that Jesus was always with you; help us to remember that he is also with us and to remain true to his presence. St Agnes, you refused to give up your faith, help us to be proud of our faith to love it, to be strong in it, and to give witness to it daily. St. Agnes, patron saint of unmarried couples, watch over ________ and _______ keep them strong in their faith, committed to chastity and virginity until marriage. Be with them and always pray for them. Amen Say 1 Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be for 9 days
Other Novena Prayer to St. Agnes
O singular example of virtue, glorious Saint Agnes, by the living faith which animated thee from thy tenderest years, and rendered thee so pleasing to God that thou didst merit the martyr's crown: obtain for us the grace to keep our holy faith inviolate within us, and to profess ourselves Christians sincerely in word and work; may our open confession of Jesus before men cause Him to bear a favorable witness to us before His eternal Father.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
O invincible Martyr, Saint Agnes most renowned, by thy confidence in God's help, when, being condemned by the impious Roman prefect to see the lily of thy purity stained and trampled in the mire, thou didst not despair, still trusting firmly in the God who giveth His angels charge over them that trust in Him: we beseech thee by thine intercession to obtain for us from Almighty God the forgiveness of all our sins and the sure confidence that He will bestow upon us life everlasting and the means necessary to merit it.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
O courageous maiden, Saint Agnes most pure, by the burning love with which thy heart was on fire, and which preserved thee from harm in the midst of the flames of passion and of the stake, where the enemies of Jesus Christ sought to destroy thee: obtain for us from Almighty God that every unclean flame may be extinguished in us and only that fire, which Jesus Christ came to enkindle upon the earth, may burn within us; so that, after spending a blameless life in the practice of this fair virtue, we shall be worthy to have a share in the glory thou didst merit by the purity of thy heart and by thy martyrdom.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

(Indulgence of 300 days) 

Prayer in Honor of St. Agnes

O Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, source of all virtues, lover of virgins, most powerful conqueror of demons, most severe extirpator of vice! deign to cast Thine eyes upon my weakness, and through the intercession of Mary most blessed, Mother and Virgin, and of Thy beloved spouse St. Agnes, glorious virgin and martyr, grant me the aid of Thy heavenly grace, in order that I may learn to despise all earthly things, and to love what is heavenly; to oppose vice and to be proof against temptation; to walk firmly in the path of virtue, not to seek honors, to shun pleasures, to bewail my past offenses, to keep far from the occasions of evil, to keep free from bad habits, to seek the company of the good, and persevere in righteousness, so that, by the assistance of Thy grace, I may deserve the crown of eternal life, together with St. Agnes and all the saints, forever and ever, in Thy kingdom. Amen.
(Indulgence 100 days, Pius IX, 1854) 

#BreakingNews Desecration of Dormition Abbey of Our Lady in Jerusalem by Teenagers

Two teens arrested in Dormition attack, for Mgr Shomali, education is key against intolerance

Police arrested two youths, aged 15 and 16, in connection with the act of desecration. For the vicar of Jerusalem, the speed of the investigation by Israeli authorities was “a good thing.” Dialogue and education are needed to counter extremism. Reforms must start with schools and textbooks. Bethlehem’s Catholic University offers a course on interfaith dialogue with Christians and Muslims.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The "speed" with which Israeli authorities investigated the matter, and took into custody two Jewish teenagers, aged 15 and 16, is a "good thing," said Mgr William Shomali, auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem, following the youth’s arrest in connection with the acts of vandalism against the Dormition Abbey on 17 January.
However, this goes to show that "if teens feel such hate, such intolerance toward Christians, it is not spontaneous, but is the result of indoctrination and education to intolerance". Hence, "It is necessary to examine how school is taught in religious establishments, especially those that are ultra-Orthodox and not under government control."
Police yesterday arrested two suspects two days after insulting graffiti and drawings against hell-bound heathen Christians appeared on the walls of the Dormition Abbey. The two are expected to go before a Jerusalem court in the next few days to be remanded in custody, pending trial.
The Dormition Abbey is a symbol of interfaith dialogue. The attack comes only three weeks after the Salesian convent in Beit Jimal suffered a similar fate. There too, insulting messages in Hebrew – like "Death to the heathen Christians, the enemies of Israel" and "Christians to Hell” – were scribbled on walls and doors.
The abbey and its church stand on the spot where, according to Christian tradition, Mary spent her last night before "falling asleep". A statue of the Virgin sleeping is located in the crypt. During his visit in 2014, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in its church. Pope Paul VI also visited the abbey during his Holy Land pilgrimage in 1964.
For the patriarchal vicar of Jerusalem, the church attack reveals "a terrible hatred" for Christians, who instead are moving decisively "toward dialogue and acceptance." Conversely, a segment of the Jewish community "is going in the opposite direction.”
“This is not a government position,” he noted, “but rather a radical position within the Jewish community held by a minority that preaches hatred and calls for the removal of Christians from Jerusalem and the Holy Land."
For Mgr Shomali, such cowardly acts are the work of a minority, carried out under “the cloak of darkness” by people who "are not brave" and who “do not scare us.” Instead, “We are increasingly determined to stay here, a land in which we have lived for two thousand years. . . . The Holy Land is for everyone. "
"I am sure,” he added, “that dialogue will bear fruit and the proof of it is the pope’s visit to Rome’s synagogue and, shortly, to Rome’s mosque."
These attacks, the prelate went on to say, "do not weaken dialogue but they do show that it [dialogue] must be extended to all classes, schools and universities, in accordance with an educational approach.”
“A case in point. Recently, Mgr Bruno Forte* gave a lecture on Christianity to a Jewish faculty, answering students' questions. This is another effort on the path from education to dialogue."
Any reform must cover school manuals and textbooks, said Mgr Shomali. In government schools, where most youth study, "we need to present different religions in a simple way, with a representative of each faith who can tell the story starting from the texts. This way, there will be real debate, a dialogue."
The Vicar of Jerusalem cites an example in this regard. "At the Catholic University in Bethlehem, there is a 30-session course devoted to interreligious dialogue. A Christian talks about Christianity, and a Muslim, about Islam. Students, Christians and Muslims, ask a lot of questions. For professors, this kind of course is great.”
In the recent past, Jewish extremists and settlers have attacked a number of religious sites, including the church near the Upper Room, the Basilica of Nazareth, and other Catholic and Greek Orthodox places of worship in Nazareth and elsewhere. The latest involved a fire at the church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha.
Muslim mosques and places of worship have also been targeted in what Israeli extremists call a "price tag" on Christians and Muslims for having "taken away their land."
Once such actions were limited only to areas on the border with the West Bank and in Jerusalem, but now have spread too much of Israel. Shared fromAsiaNewsIT
* Mgr Bruno Forte is the archbishop of Chieti-Vasto (Italy).

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee - SHARE

21-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 13 

- The Pope decrees that not only men may be chosen for the washing of the feet in the Liturgy of Holy Thursday
- Pilgrimage to shrines: an eloquent expression of faith
- Pope's message to the World Economic Forum: "Do not forget the poor"
- The Year of Consecrated Life comes to an end
- Cardinal Maung Bo, papal legate at the International Eucharistic Conference of the Philippines
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

- General audience: together, let us take mercy to every part of the world
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope decrees that not only men may be chosen for the washing of the feet in the Liturgy of Holy Thursday
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has written a letter, dated 20 December and published today, to Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in which he decrees that from now on, the people chosen for the washing of the feet in the liturgy of Holy Thursday may be selected from all the People of God, and not only men and boys.
The Pope writes to the cardinal that he has for some time reflected on the "rite of the washing of the feet contained in the Liturgy of the Mass in Coena Domini, with the intention of improving the way in which it is performed so that it might express more fully the meaning of Jesus' gesture in the Cenacle, His giving of Himself unto the end for the salvation of the world, His limitless charity".
"After careful consideration", he continues, "I have decided to make a change to the Roman Missal. I therefore decree that the section according to which those persons chosen for the Washing of the feet must be men or boys, so that from now on the Pastors of the Church may choose the participants in the rite from among all the members of the People of God. I also recommend that an adequate explanation of the rite itself be provided to those who are chosen".
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has today published a decree on the aforementioned rite, dated 6 January 2016, the full text of which is published below:
"The reform of the Holy Week, by the decree Maxima Redemptionis nostrae mysteria of November 1955, provides the faculty, where counselled by pastoral motives, to perform the washing of the feet of twelve men during the Mass of the Lord's Supper, after the reading of the Gospel according to John, as if almost to represent Christ's humility and love for His disciples.
In the Roman liturgy this rite was handed down with the name of the Mandatum of the Lord on brotherly charity in accordance with Jesus' words, sung in the Antiphon during the celebration.
In performing this rite, bishops and priests are invited to conform intimately to Christ who 'came not to be served but to serve' and, driven by a love 'to the end', to give His life for the salvation of all humankind.
To manifest the full meaning of the rite to those who participate in it, the Holy Father Francis has seen fit to change the rule by in the Roman Missal (p.300, No. 11) according to which the chosen men are accompanied by the ministers, which must therefore be modified as follows: 'Those chosen from among the People of God are accompanied by the ministers' (and consequently in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum No. 301 and No. 299 b referring to the seats for the chosen men, so that pastors may choose a group of faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God. This group may consist of men and women, and ideally of the young and the old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated persons and laypeople.
This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disipline of the Sacraments, by means of the faculties granted by the Supreme Pontiff, introduces this innovation in the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, recalling pastors of their duty to instruct adequately both the chosen faithful and others, so that they may participate in the rite consciously, actively and fruitfully".
Pilgrimage to shrines: an eloquent expression of faith
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – "Making a pilgrimage to shrines is one of the most eloquent expressions of the faith of a people for God … This popular religiosity is an authentic form of evangelisation that must be promoted and emphasised, without minimising its importance", said Pope Francis this morning as he received in the Paul VI Hall three thousand leaders of pilgrimages and rectors of shrines, participating in the Jubilee.
"It would be a mistake to think that those who go on a pilgrimage live a spirituality that is not personal but rather of the 'masses'. The reality is that the pilgrim carries within him hos own history and faith, and the lights and shadows of his own life. Each person carries within his or her heart a special wish and a particular prayer. Those who enter the shrine immediately feel they are at home, welcomed, understood and supported. … Therefore, the key word I would like to underline today with you is 'welcome'. … An affectionate, celebratory, cordial and patient welcome. … Jesus spoke about welcome, but most of all He practised it. When we read that sinners such as Matthew and Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus in their home and at their table, it is because they felt welcomed first by Jesus, and this had changed their lives".
Francis commented that the pilgrim often reaches a sanctuary tired, hungry and thirsty. "And very often this physical condition reflects the inner condition", he observed. "Therefore, every person needs to be welcomed well both materially and spiritually. … Whoever they may be, young or old, rich or poor, sick and troubled or simply a curious tourist, we must find the right way to welcome them, because in each one of them there is a heart that seeks God, at times without being fully aware".
Finally, he said that priests offer a special welcome in these shrines as ministers of God's forgiveness, as the shrine is the "house of forgiveness, where each person encounters the tenderness of the Father who is merciful to all, without excluding anyone. Those who approach the confessional do so because they repent of their sins. … Priests who carry out their mission in sanctuaries must always have a heart full of mercy: their attitude must be that of a father".
Pope's message to the World Economic Forum: "Do not forget the poor"
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – "Do not forget the poor", writes Pope Francis to the founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, in the message he sent tot he annual meeting of the forum that opened yesterday in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on the theme " Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution". In the text, which was consigned by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace", the Pope emphasises that this "revolution" has been accompanied by unemployment affecting millions of people, and expresses his hope that the development of advanced technologies may lead to the creation of dignified work for all, the consolidation of economic rights and the defence of the environment.
The Holy Father also warns against the danger that a culture of prosperity numbs people, rendering them insensitive to the problems of others, and reiterates that business activity is a noble vocation directed towards the production of wealth and the improvement of the world for all, when it is understood as a service to the common good. He concludes by expressing his hope that the World Economic Forum may be a platform for the defence and protection of creation, as well as for the achievement of a "healthier, more human, more social, more integral" progress.
Pope Francis begins by offering to Klaus Schwab his good wishes "for the fruitfulness of this meeting, which seeks to encourage continuing social and environmental responsibility through a constructive dialogue on the part of government, business and civic leaders, as well as distinguished representatives of the political, financial and cultural sectors".
"The dawn of the so-called 'fourth industrial revolution' has been accompanied by a growing sense of the inevitability of a drastic reduction in the number of jobs. The latest studies conducted by the International Labour Organisation indicate that unemployment presently affects hundreds of millions of people. The financialisation and technologisation of national and global economies have produced far-reaching changes in the field of labour. Diminished opportunities for useful and dignified employment, combined with a reduction in social security, are causing a disturbing rise in inequality and poverty in different countries. Clearly there is a need to create new models of doing business which, while promoting the development of advanced technologies, are also capable of using them to create dignified work for all, to uphold and consolidate social rights, and to protect the environment. Man must guide technological development, without letting himself be dominated by it".
"To all of you I appeal once more: 'Do not forget the poor!' This is the primary challenge before you as leaders in the business world. Those who have the means to enjoy a decent life, rather than being concerned with privileges, must seek to help those poorer than themselves to attain dignified living conditions, particularly through the development of their human, cultural, economic and social potential. We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us, to make us incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and sensing the need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. Weeping for other people’s pain does not only mean sharing in their sufferings, but also and above all realising that our own actions are a cause of injustice and inequality. Let us open our eyes, then, and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognise that we are compelled to heed their cry for help. May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity. May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism".
Once we realise this, he continues, "we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our common humanity. Do not be afraid to open your minds and hearts to the poor. In this way, you will give free rein to your economic and technical talents, and discover the happiness of a full life, which consumerism of itself cannot provide. In the face of profound and epochal changes, world leaders are challenged to ensure that the coming 'fourth industrial revolution', the result of robotics and scientific and technological innovations, does not lead to the destruction of the human person – to be replaced by a soulless machine – or to the transformation of our planet into an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few. On the contrary, the present moment offers a precious opportunity to guide and govern the processes now under way, and to build inclusive societies based on respect for human dignity, tolerance, compassion and mercy. I urge you, then, to take up anew your conversation on how to build the future of the planet, 'our common home', and I ask you to make a united effort to pursue a sustainable and integral development".
"As I have often said, and now willingly reiterate, business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good. As such, it has a responsibility to help overcome the complex crisis of society and the environment, and to fight poverty. This will make it possible to improve the precarious living conditions of millions of people and bridge the social gap which gives rise to numerous injustices and erodes fundamental values of society, including equality, justice and solidarity".
"In this way, through the preferred means of dialogue, the World Economic Forum can become a platform for the defence and protection of creation and for the achievement of a progress which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral with due regard also for environmental goals and the need to maximise efforts to eradicate poverty as set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change".
The Year of Consecrated Life comes to an end
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – The Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Lfie and the Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) has announced the events relating to the conclusion of the Year of Consecrated Life, to be held from 28 January to 2 February in Rome, which are expected to be attended by more than four thousand consecrated persons from all over the world.
On the theme "Consecrated life in communion. The common foundation in the variety of forms", on these days there will be meetings, prayer vigils, times for regrouping and examining in greater depth the specifics of each form, looking prophetically towards the future".
The aims of the meeting are to get to know better the great mosaic of consecrated life, to live communion rediscovering the single call uniting the variety of forms (Ordo Virginum, monastic life, apostolic institutes, secular institutes, new institutes and new forms of consecrated life), starting out together on the path of the great Jubilee of Mercy that once more gives all consecrated persons the specific mandate of their vocation: to be guided by the Father's mercy, witnesses and builders of an authentically lived fraternity.
The first event will take place on 28 January: a vigil in St. Peter's Basilica, presided by Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the CIVCSVA, and in which Cardinal Joao Braz De Aviz, prefect of the Congregation, will participate. On 29 January, all consecrated persons will gather in the Paul VI Hall, while on 30 and 31 January, in five locations in Rome, representatives of each form of consecrated life will meet to explore in greater depth various specific aspects of their vocation. They will subsequently meet in the Paul VI Hall again on 1 February, for an audience with the Holy Father and the Oratory "On the trail of beauty", directed by Msgr. Marco Frisina.
The events will end on 2 February with the morning Jubilee pilgrimage and the Eucharistic celebration for the twentieth World Day of Consecreted Life, celebrated by Pope Francis.
Cardinal Maung Bo, papal legate at the International Eucharistic Conference of the Philippines
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated18 November, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, as papal legate at the 51st National Eucharistic Congress of the Philippines, to be held in Cebu from 24 to 31 January 2016.
The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Fr. Dominic Bar Bu, special secretary for the papal delegation, and Fr. Marvin Mejia, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, apostolic nuncio in Paraguay;
- Robert Compaore, ambassador of Burkina Faso, presenting his credential letters;
- Bishop Ruben Oscar Frassia of Avellaneda-Lanus, Argentina;
- Friars from the Abbey of the Tre Fontane in Rome, with the lambs that will be blessed on the feast of St. Agnes, and whose wool will be used to weave the pallium the Holy Father will impose upon the metropolitan archbishops on 29 June, solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Rev. Can. Marco Brunetti as bishop of Alba (area 1,050, population 157,526, Catholics 142,526, priests 137, permanent deacons 10, religious 293), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Turin, Italy in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a licentiate in theology and health pastoral ministry, and has served as parish priest, member of the Presbyterium and of the national council for health pastoral ministry.
- Msgr. Giuseppe Russo, Italy, as under-secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).
20-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 12 

General audience: together, let us take mercy to every part of the world
Vatican City, 20 January 2016 (VIS) – In this morning's general audience, held in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father dedicated his catechesis to the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, taking place this year from 18 to 25 January, on the theme "Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord". "The first letter of St. Paul is addressed to the first generation of Christians to make them aware of the gift received in Baptism, and the demands that this involves", said the Pope. "We too, in this Week of Prayer, are invited to rediscover all this, and to do so together, overcoming our divisions. Sharing Baptism means that we are all sinners and that we all need to be saved, redeemed, liberated from evil".
"When we as Christians decide to share one Baptism, we affirm that we all – Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox – share the experience of being called from the unforgiving and alienating darkness, towards the encounter with the living God, full of mercy. We all, unfortunately, experience selfishness, which generates division, closed-mindedness, contempt. Starting over from Baptism means rediscovering the source of mercy, the source of hope for all, because no-one is excluded from God's mercy".
"Sharing this grace creates an indissoluble bond between the Baptised: by virtue of our Baptism we can consider ourselves brothers", he continued. "We are truly the holy people of God, even though, as a result of our sins, we are not yet a fully united people. God's mercy, that works in Baptism, is stronger than our divisions. To the extent that we welcome the grace of mercy, we become ever more fully the people of God, and we also become capable of proclaiming all His wonderful works, starting from a simple and fraternal witness of unity".
"By the grace of Baptism", he concluded, "we have obtained God's mercy and we have been welcomed into His people. We all – Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants – form a royal priesthood and a holy nation. This means that we have a common mission, which is that of transmitting the mercy we have received to others, starting from the poorest and the abandoned". Pope Francis concluded by urging all disciples of Christ to "find a way to collaborate together to take the mercy of the Father to every part of the world".
Vatican City, 20 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- A Muslim delegation, presenting an official invitation to the Holy Father to attend the Great Mosque in Rome;
- Bishops from Sudan and South Sudan, attending a meeting organised by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Yesterday he received in audience Bishop Cesar Daniel Fernandez of Jujuy, Argentina.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 20 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Bishop Canisio Klaus of Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, as bishop of Sinop (area 191,000, population 650,000, Catholics 534,000, priests 52, permanent deacons 2, religious 69), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Gentil Delazari, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- erected the Maronite apostolic exarchate of Bogota, Colombia.
- appointed Fr. Fadi Abou Chebel, O.M.M., as the first apostolic exarch of the new exarchate of Bogota, Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Deir al Qamar, Lebanon in 1969, took his solemn vows in 1994 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including deputy priest, spiritual assistant for young seminarians, general director of the Notre Dame college of Louaize, university chaplain and general director of university pastoral ministry in Lebanon.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. Jan. 21, 2016

Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 314

Reading 11 SM 18:6-9; 19:1-7

When David and Saul approached
(on David’s return after slaying the Philistine),
women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul,
singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums.
The women played and sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”

Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought:
“They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me.
All that remains for him is the kingship.”
And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.

Saul discussed his intention of killing David
with his son Jonathan and with all his servants.
But Saul’s son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him:
“My father Saul is trying to kill you.
Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning;
get out of sight and remain in hiding.
I, however, will go out and stand beside my father
in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you.
If I learn anything, I will let you know.”

Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him:
“Let not your majesty sin against his servant David,
for he has committed no offense against you,
but has helped you very much by his deeds.
When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine,
and the LORD brought about a great victory
for all Israel through him,
you were glad to see it.
Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood
by killing David without cause?”
Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea and swore,
“As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed.”
So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him.
Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.

Responsorial PsalmPS 56:2-3, 9-10A, 10B-11, 12-13

R. (5b) In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Have mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me;
all the day they press their attack against me.
My adversaries trample upon me all the day;
yes, many fight against me.
R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
My wanderings you have counted;
my tears are stored in your flask;
are they not recorded in your book?
Then do my enemies turn back,
when I call upon you.
R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me?
R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill.
For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.

AlleluiaSEE 2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:7-12

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing,
a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
He warned them sternly not to make him known.

#PopeFrancis "...they begin to gossip – and gossip kills” #Homily

Pope Francis celebrating daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke against the sins of jealousy and envy. - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis celebrating daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke against the sins of jealousy and envy. - OSS_ROM
21/01/2016 11:47

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass on Thursday, the feast of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr. In his homily, the Holy Father prayed that God might preserve us from the sins of envy and jealousy – ugly sins that kill others with words and that exist even in our Christian communities.
Envy is an ugly sin that grows like a weed
The first reading (1 Sam 18:6-9; 19:1-7) tells the story of Saul, the king of Israel, and his jealousy towards David. After the victory over the Philistines, the women joyfully sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” From that day forward, Saul looked on David with suspicion, fearing that David might betray him. Ultimately, Saul decided to kill him. Later he followed the advice of his son and reconsidered. But his wicked thoughts returned. Jealousy, the Pope said, is “a sickness” that returns and brings with it envy:
“How ugly envy is! it is an attitude, it is an ugly sin. And jealousy or envy grows in the heart like a weed: it grows, but it doesn’t allow good plants to grow. It harms everything that its shadow seems to fall upon. There is no peace! It is a tormented heart, it is an ugly heart! But the envious heart, too – we hear it here – leads to killing, to death. And Scripture says clearly: through the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”
Envy kills, even in our communities
“Envy kills,” the Pope said. “It does not tolerate others having something that I do not have. And it always suffers, because the heart of an envious or jealous person suffers. It is a suffering heart!” It is a suffering that desires “the death of others.” “But how many times,” he asked, “in our communities – and we don’t have to look too far to see this – are people killed, through jealousy, with the tongue? Someone is envious of this, of the other, and they begin to gossip – and gossip kills”:
“I too, thinking and reflecting on this passage, invite myself – and everyone – to see if, in my heart, there is any jealousy, any envy, which always leads to death and doesn’t make me happy; because this sickness always leads us to regard the good others possess as if it were against us. And this is an ugly sin. It is the beginning of many, many crimes. Let us ask the Lord to give us the grace not to open the heart to jealousy, not to open the heart to envy, because these things always lead to death.”
Jesus handed over out of envy
Pope Francis concluded by noting that Jesus was handed over to Pontius Pilate because of the envy of the chief priests and the scribes:
“According to the interpretation of Pilate – who was very intelligent, but a coward – envy was what lead to the death of Jesus: the instrument, the ultimate instrument. They handed him over out of envy. Let us also ask the Lord the grace never, because of envy, to hand over to death a brother, a sister of the parish, of the community, or even someone in our neighbourhood. Everyone has their sins, everyone has their virtues. They are specific to each individual. Look at the good, and do not kill with gossip through envy or jealousy.

Saint January 21 : St. Agnes : #Engaged couples; #Chastity; #Gardeners; #Girls; Rape victims; virgins

Feast Day:January 21
Major Shrine::Church of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura and the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, both in Rome
Patron of:Betrothed couples; chastity; Children of Mary; Colegio Capranica of Rome; crops; gardeners; Girl Scouts; girls; rape victims; virgins
Of all the virgin martyrs of Rome none was held in such high honour by the primitive church, since the fourth century, as St. Agnes. In the ancient Roman calendar of the feasts of the martyrs (Depositio Martyrum), incorporated into the collection of Furius Dionysius Philocalus, dating from 354 and often reprinted, e.g. in Ruinart [Acta Sincera Martyrum (ed. Ratisbon, 1859), 63 sqq.], her feast is assigned to 21 January, to which is added a detail as to the name of the road (Via Nomentana) near which her grave was located. The earliest sacramentaries give the same date for her feast, and it is on this day that the Latin Church even now keeps her memory sacred. Since the close of the fourth century the Fathers of the Church and Christian poets have sung her praises and extolled her virginity and heroism under torture. It is clear, however, from the diversity in the earliest accounts that there was extant at the end of the fourth century no accurate and reliable narrative, at least in writing, concerning the details of her martyrdom. On one point only is there mutual agreement, viz., the youth of the Christian heroine. St. Ambrose gives her age as twelve (De Virginibus, I, 2; P.L., XVI, 200-202: Haec duodecim annorum martyrium fecisse traditur), St. Augustine as thirteen (Agnes puella tredecim annorum; Sermo cclxxiii, 6, P.L., XXXVIII, 1251), which harmonizes well with the words of Prudentius: Aiunt jugali vix habilem toro (Peristephanon, Hymn xiv, 10 in Ruinart, Act. Sinc., ed cit. 486). Damasus depicts her as hastening to martyrdom from the lap of her mother or nurse (Nutricis gremium subito liquisse puella; in St. Agneten, 3, ed. Ihm, Damasi epigrammata, Leipzig, 1895, 43, n. 40). We have no reason whatever for doubting this tradition. It indeed explains very well the renown of the youthful martyr. Catholic Encyclopedia