Thursday, April 14, 2016

Saint April 15 : St. Hunna of Strasbourg : Patron of #Laundry and #Maids

April 15: Saint Hunna of Strasbourg
Posted by Jacob Today, April 15 marks the feast day of a lesser known saint, but one no less important. (She is so "lesser known" that no definitive portraits or pictures were able to be found of her-- therefore, the posted pictures are simple images representing her holy life, but do not necessarily depict the saint herself). Saint Hunna (born, unknown; died 679) is remembered for her love of and service to those less fortunate than herself, despite prevailing prejudice. Hunna’s actions, at a time when the class system was firmly entrenched, created difficulties for herself in her daily life, and embarrassment for her noble husband. Yet, she did not shy away from her service to the poor, as she understood it to be her duty as a Christian.
Saint Hunna was born into a privileged life, the daughter of a duke in Alsace. She matured and married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman, and together they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France). Together, they produced one son, Saint Deodatus, who eventually became a monk (and then a saint!). Saint Hunna was devoted to the Lord, raising her son with constant teaching, and living the virtues of the faith. She spent her days caring for her home and estate, and in prayer, while her husband traveled on diplomatic and political missions.
But this didn’t seem to be enough for Saint Hunna. In her prayer, she felt called to do more, to serve others. By the Lord, her eyes were opened to the poverty and general squalor that the peasants and servants lived in… and she felt moved to assist. Hunna began making daily trips from the estate into the local villages and fields, visiting her poor neighbors, offering them religious instruction, and working for them. At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing, and then spend the better part of each day washing and scrubbing the clothing clean. When the clothing was too dirty, or too threadbare to mend, she would replace it with a new article.
As time went on, her washing service expanded to any task that her neighbors needed help with—cooking, cleaning, childcare, even more demanding physical labor. She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene. Saint Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.
Saint Hunna demonstrates to us great selflessness, borne out of love for the Lord. She willingly left her life of privilege on a daily basis, eventually being shunned by those of her class and station, to intercede in the lives of those who had no one to care for them. She treated the poor, the sick, the forgotten as equals to herself, offering them basic human respect, love, and charity. Saint Hunna welcomed all into her life as the family of God. The life of Saint Hunna provides a gentle reminder of our own hesitancy to venture beyond our comfortable lives, to actively engage in community service to those in need. We are mindful of the fact that we are called to service and social justice, and that embarking on that mission may be difficult or even painful. We look to Saint Hunna as inspiration—inspiration to embody the love of Christ, and to share that love with others in service. Shared from 365 Rosaries

#Actor Antonio Banderas meets with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis greets Antonio Banderas at the General Audience - ANSA
Pope Francis greets Antonio Banderas at the General Audience - ANSA
13/04/2016 12:24



(Vatican Radio) Amongst the 30.000 people present in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday for the weekly General Audience was Spanish filmstar Antonio Banderas.
Accompanied by his girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, Banderas was greeted personally by Pope Francis at the end of his catechesis and after having made an appeal for prayers for his upcoming visit to the Greek island of Lesbos in solidarity with refugees fleeing conflict.
After the meeting Banderas tweeted: 'nice chat with Pope Francis before we start filming in Rome'. Ahead of the audience he had let his followers know he was excited and looking forward to the meeting.
The new film he is referring to is shrouded in secrecy. What has transpired is that Banderas will be playing the lead role in a film on the life of fashion designer Gianni Versace directed by Bille August.
The Oscar winning Danish film director made the announcement recently and said that he will be focussing on personal aspects of Versace’s life and highlighting unexplored aspects of his work.  
Antonio Banderas is United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador.

#Quote to SHARE by St. Therese of Lisieux "Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing."


"Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing." St. Therese of Lisieux

#PopeFrancis "This is a beautiful prayer that we can always pray: 'Speak, Lord..." #Homily

Pope Francis presides at Mass at the chapel in Casa Santa Marta, 14 April. - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis presides at Mass at the chapel in Casa Santa Marta, 14 April. - OSS_ROM
14/04/2016 11:

(Vatican Radio) One must be docile to the Holy Spirit, said Pope Francis Thursday at Mass in his residence of Casa Santa Marta, and one must not resist Him. Pope Francis warns against those who resist the Spirit with "so-called fidelity to the law" and invites the faithful to pray for the grace of the docility to the Spirit.
Philip evangelized the Ethiopian, a senior official of Queen Candace. Pope Francis was inspired by this fascinating account in the Acts of the Apostles, in the first reading of today, focusing his attention on the docility to the Holy Spirit.
Do not resist the Spirit under the guise of loyalty to the law
The protagonist of this meeting, Pope Francis noted, is in fact not so much Philip, nor even the Ethiopian, but just the Spirit. "It is Him who does things. It is the Spirit who gives birth to and grows the Church.”
"In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit: closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit. We’ve seen things - the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; the words and the great things Stephen was doing … but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit. They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law."
In referring to the reading, Pope Francis said that "the Church proposes the opposite: no resistance to the Spirit, but docility to the Spirit, which is precisely the attitude of the Christian.” He continued: “Being docile to the Spirit, this docility is the yes that the Spirit may act and move forward to build up the Church.” Here, he added, is Philip, one of the Apostles, “busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work.” But the Spirit tells him to leave what he has planned and go to the Ethiopian - "and he obeyed." Pope Francis then outlined the meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian, in which the Apostle explains the Gospel and its message of salvation. The Spirit, he said, "was working in the heart of the Ethiopian", offers him "the gift of faith and this man felt something new in his heart." And at the end he asks to be baptized, being docile to the Holy Spirit.
Docility to the Spirit gives us joy
"Two men,” the Pope said, “one an evangelist and one who knew nothing of Jesus, but the Spirit had sowed a healthy curiosity, not the curiosity of gossip." And in the end the eunuch goes his way with joy, "the joy of the Spirit, in the docility of the Spirit."
"We have heard, these past days, about resistance to the Spirit; and today we have an example of two men who were docile to the voice of the Spirit. And the sign of this is joy. Docility to the Spirit is a source of joy. “But I would like to do something, this … but I feel the Lord ask me to do something else. Joy I will find there, where there is the call of the Spirit!”
It is the Holy Spirit who carries the Church forward
A beautiful prayer asking for this docility, the Pope revealed, we may find in the First Book of Samuel, the prayer which the priest Eli suggests to the young Samuel, who during the night heard a voice calling to him: "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
"This is a beautiful prayer that we can always pray: 'Speak, Lord, because I am listening.' The prayer asking for this docility to the Holy Spirit and with this docility to carry forward the Church, to be instruments of the Spirit so that the Church can move forward. 'Speak, Lord, because your servant is listening'. We should pray this many times a day: when we have a doubt, when we do not know what to do, or when we want simply to pray. And with this prayer we ask for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. April 14, 2016


Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 276


Reading 1ACTS 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.”
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.


Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?”
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial PsalmPS 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

#PopeFrancis "...God is always with us and that his mercy endures for ever." FULL TEXT

Pope Francis addressed staff and seminarians of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome 14 April 2016 - AFP
Pope Francis addressed staff and seminarians of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome 14 April 2016 - AFP
14/04/2016 12:30

(Vatican Radio) Offer your lives “completely” to the Lord; “we too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel:”  that’s the message Pope Francis gave to staff and students at thePontifical Scots College Thursday as they celebrate the 400th anniversary of its founding as a seminary.
The Scots College in Rome was founded by Pope Clement VIII in 1600 for Catholic education at a time when Catholic instruction and preaching were illegal at home. On 10th March 1616, the Pontifical Scots College became a seminary.
In his discourse to those present Thursday, Pope Francis held up as a model of committed priesthood the martyred Scottish Jesuit Saint John Ogilvie who died for the faith in 1615. The saint was hanged and drawn at Glasgow Cross for clandestinely celebrating Mass in the homes of the few Catholics remaining in Scotland and for refusing to pledge allegiance to King James VI.
In 1616, and inspired by Ogilvie’s determined ministry, the College’s first 16 students vowed to return to Scotland as priests to follow in his footsteps.
Pope Francis said that the martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie, “which was meant to silence the Catholic faith, instead was an impetus for its promotion and for defending the Church’s freedom to remain in communion with the See of Peter.  The ‘yes’ proclaimed by the sixteen men four hundred years ago was eloquent not simply for their good intentions, but rather because they persevered, and prepared themselves in every way, returning to Scotland to face the hardships that awaited them, even if it meant becoming martyrs themselves.”
Below please find the official English translation of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks:
Dear Archbishop Tartaglia, Archbishop Cushley,
Dear Members of Staff and Seminarians of the Pontifical Scots College,
            It am pleased to welcome you today, as together we commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the transformation of the Pontifical Scots College into a seminary for priestly formation.   This anniversary is significant not only for the many years it marks, but even more so because we recall the fidelity of the sixteen men who, on 11 March 1616, were resolute in their determination to return to Scotland as priests to preach the Gospel.  That decision was born of a martyr’s blood.
            The martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie, which was meant to silence the Catholic faith, instead was an impetus for its promotion and for defending the Church’s freedom to remain in communion with the See of Peter.  The “yes” proclaimed by the sixteen men four hundred years ago was eloquent not simply for their good intentions, but rather because they persevered, and prepared themselves in every way, returning to Scotland to face the hardships that awaited them, even if it meant becoming martyrs themselves.  Theirs was a life which sought the joys and peace that Christ alone could offer.  Looking out at you today, I can see that, through the grace of God, the martyrdom of Saint John and the courage of those sixteen men has borne fruit in your beloved homeland.
            We too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel.  I urge you to have that same selfless spirit as your predecessors did.  Love Jesus above all things!  Let your “yes” be marked by a firm resolve to give yourselves generously to your priestly formation, so that your years in Rome may prepare you to return to Scotland and to offer your lives completely.  If you have this same passion as your brothers from four hundred years ago, that same love for the Church and Scotland, you will honour the history and sacrifices we recall today.  You will also become in this moment a sign to the Scottish people, especially the youth, if you encounter them in their everyday lives, if you reach out to those who are furthest from Christ.  Show them, each and every one, that God is always with us and that his mercy endures for ever. 
            In this Jubilee of Mercy, I pray that the Lord may grant you the courage and grace to be faithful to his will, by being dedicated to prayer, by loving Jesus, especially in the Holy Eucharist, and by entrusting yourselves to the care of Mary our Mother.  Upon you and all the faithful in Scotland, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.  God bless you all!