Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Saint April 27 : St. Zita : Patron of Patron of Servants, #Homemakers , #Rape victims, Waitresses


St. Zita
VIRGIN
Feast: April 27


Information:
Feast Day:April 27
Born:1218 at Monsagrati near Lucca, Italy
Died:27 April 1272 at Lucca, Italy
Canonized:5 September 1696 by Pope Leo X and Pope Innocent XII
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca
Patron of:Domestic servants, homemakers, lost keys, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, single laywomen, waiters, waitresses
She was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca in Italy. She was brought up with the greatest care, in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious sentiments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general corruption of nature, so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother reduced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say, "This is most pleasing to God; this is the divine will"; or, "That would displease God."
The sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed everyone who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work; but her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers. At twelve years of age she was put to service in the family of a citizen of Lucca, called Fatinelli, whose house was contiguous to the church of St. Frigidian. She was thoroughly persuaded that labour is enjoined all men as a punishment of sin, and as a remedy for the spiritual disorders of their souls; and far from ever harbouring in her breast the least uneasiness, or expressing any sort of complaint under contradictions, poverty, and hardships, and still more from ever entertaining the least idle, inordinate, or worldly desire, she blessed God for placing her in a station in which she was supplied with the most effectual means to promote her sanctification, by the necessity of employing herself in penitential labour, and of living in a perpetual conformity and submission of her will to others. She was also very sensible of the advantages of her state, which afforded all necessaries of life, without engaging her in the anxious cares and violent passions by which worldly persons, who enjoy most plentifully the goods of fortune, are often disturbed; whereby their souls resemble a troubled sea, always agitated by impetuous storms, without knowing the sweetness of a true calm. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance; and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them.
Notwithstanding her extreme attention to her exterior employments, she acquired a wonderful facility of joining with them almost continual mental prayer and of keeping her soul constantly attentive to the divine presence. Who would not imagine that such a person should have been esteemed and beloved by all who knew her?
Nevertheless, by the appointment of divine providence, for her great spiritual advantage, it fell out quite otherwise and for several years she suffered the harshest trials. Her modesty was called by her fellow-servants simplicity, and want of spirit and sense; and her diligence was judged to have no other spring than affectation and secret pride. Her mistress was a long time extremely prepossessed against her, and her passionate master could not bear her in his sight without transports of rage.
It is not to be conceived how much the saint had continually to suffer in this situation. So unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten, she never repined nor lost her patience; but always preserved the same sweetness in her countenance, and the same meekness and charity in her heart and words, and abated nothing of her application to her duties. A virtue so constant and so admirable at length overcame jealousy, antipathy, prepossession, and malice.
Her master and mistress discovered the treasure which their family possessed in the fidelity and example of the humble saint, and the other servants gave due praise to her virtue. Zita feared this prosperity more than adversity, and trembled lest it should be a snare to her soul. But sincere humility preserved her from its dangers; and her behaviour, amidst the caresses and respect shown her, continued the same as when she was ill-treated and held in derision; she was no less affable, meek, and modest; no less devout, nor less diligent or ready to serve everyone. Being made housekeeper, and seeing her master and mistress commit to her with an entire confidence the government of their family and management of all their affairs, she was most scrupulously careful in point of economy, remembering that she was to give to God an account of the least farthing of what was intrusted as a depositum in her .hands; and, though head-servant, she never allowed herself the least privilege or exemption in her work on that account.
She used often to say to others that devotion is false if slothful. Hearing a man-servant speak one immodest word, she was filled with horror, and procured him to be immediately discharged from the family. With David, she desired to see it composed only of such whose approved piety might draw down a benediction of God upon the whole house and be a security to the master for their fidelity and good example. She kept fast the whole year, and often on bread and water; and took her rest on the bare floor or on a board. Whenever business allowed her a little leisure, she spent it in holy prayer and contemplation in a little retired room in the garret; and at her work repeated frequently ardent ejaculations of divine love, with which her soul appeared always inflamed. She respected her fellow-servants as her superiors. If she was sent on commissions a mile or two in the greatest storms, she set out without delay, executed them punctually, and returned often almost drowned, without showing any sign of reluctance or murmuring.
By her virtue she gained so great an ascendant over her master that a single word would often suffice to check the greatest transports of his rage; and she would sometimes cast herself at his feet to appease him in favour of others. She never kept anything for herself but the poor garments which she wore: everything else she gave to the poor. Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as it were, in her hands, gave her ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the poor, which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do nothing without his express authority. If she heard others spoken ill of, she zealously took upon her their defence and excused their faults.
Always when she communicated, and often when she heard mass, and on other occasions, she melted in sweet tears of divine love: she was often favoured with ecstasies during her prayers. In her last sickness she clearly foretold her death, and having prepared herself for her passage by receiving the last sacraments, and by ardent signs of love, she happily expired on the 27th of April, in 1272, being sixty years old: one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved. Her body was found entire in 1580 and is kept with great respect in St. Frigidian's church, richly enshrined; her face and hands are exposed naked to view through a crystal glass. Pope Leo X granted an office in her honour. The city of Lucca pays a singular veneration to her memory.
The solemn decree of her beatification was published by Innocent XII in 1696, with the confirmation of her immemorial veneration. See her life, compiled by a contemporary writer, and published by Papebroke, the Bollandist, on the 27th of April, p. 497, and Benedict XIV De Canoniz. lib. ii. c. 24, p. 245.
Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Feast April 26 : Our Lady of Good Counsel : History and Novena #Prayer to SHARE


NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL
FEAST APRIL 26
Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.

Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.

Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.

(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)


 
HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL 
Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso" and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio", appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support; thus early tradition, which furthermore tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. At once devotion to Our Lady inSanta Maria sprang up; pilgrim-bands began to resort thither; while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, of which a register was opened two days after the event, were wrought, as they still continue to be, at the shrine. In July following, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. Their report, however, is not known to be extant. The cult of Our Lady increased. In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as didPius IX in 1864. On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by theVatican Basilica. In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass ofOur Lady for 25 April, anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIVapproved of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII. On 18 December, 1779, Pius VI, while re-approving the cult of Our Lady, granted all Augustinians anOffice with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December, 1884, Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for allAugustinians, while on 17 March, 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria — one of the four parish churches at Genazzano — to the rank of minor basilica; and, on 22 April following, authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation "Mater Boni Consillii" to follow that of "Mater Admirabilis". The same pontiff, ten years earlier (21 December, 1893) hadsanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. In theUnited States there are many churches and institutions in honour of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA 

#BreakingNews Canadian hostage Beheaded in Philippines by Islamic Group - Please PRAY


Jolo, radical Islamists behead a Canadian hostage


John Ridsdel was held since September 2015 had been kidnapped along with another Canadian, his Filipina girlfriend and a Norwegian.  Ottawa condemns "a cold-blooded murder, for which responsibility falls on the head of those who did it". In the same area it the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio was released a few days ago.

 
Manila (AsiaNews) - The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the "brutal cold-blooded murder" of his countryman, John Ridsdel, hostage of the Filipino Islamist group Abu Sayyaf since September 2015.
The man, a former executive of a mining company , was beheaded yesterday: the fundamentalists had demanded a ransom of 80 million dollars for him and three other hostages, including a Filipino woman.

Authorities have found the severed head of a foreign man on the island of Jolo. Ridsdel had been brought there after the kidnapping, which occurred in a tourist resort near the city of Davao. Also kidnapped  with him were another Canadian, Robert Hall, together with his Philippine girlfriend Marites Flor, and the Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

In a video sent by the kidnappers to the authorities in November 2015, Ridsdel sought help from his government and made it clear that he would be killed on April 25 if the ransom was not paid. The Canadian government has long had a "zero tolerance" policy towards abduction, and will not pay money to terrorists.

Canada, stated Prime Minister Trudeau, "Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage". The deceased, according to Canadian media, was semi-retired and worked sometimes as a freelance journalist.

According to some sources, the group that kidnapped him could be the same that a few days ago released the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio, which is part of some autonomous extremist groups. Among them, the most formidable is Abu Sayyaf - "sword-bearing" in Arabic – it is one of the bloodiest Islamist groups in the galaxy, who split from the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 to pursue an even more aggressive fundamentalist politics . The stated purpose is to create an independent Islamic Caliphate in the southern Philippines from the rest of the nation, for the vast majority of Catholic faith.
Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Special #ProLife Letter to God - Questioning Assisted Suicide in Canada


Let your voice be heard - contact the Ministers of Parliament to STOP Assisted Suicide - 
A fictional Letter to God that makes you think about the new laws on Euthanaisia....
 Dear God,
Hi, it’s me again. Sorry to bother you. I have a tough question. And I’m losing a lot of sleep. Maybe it’s because deep down inside I kind of already know the answer? It’s this whole physician assisted dying or suicide thing here in Canada. Many of my Christian, Muslim, and Jewish friends tell me it’s wrong, but why can’t people have a choice when they die? Will this assisted dying really hurt anyone? Why did you design a world with so much pain and suffering? I guess there’s the doctors, and nurses. Maybe pharmacists too. They might be hurt. I know there’s lots who don’t actually want to kill these suffering people. Maybe if we make it a law that they have to refer to someone else who will? Will that work?
But what if they can’t in their consciences? Then we’re stuck. (Why did you give us consciences?) Do we take away their medical licenses? That will only leave more Canadians without a family doctor or specialist. And would that just cause more pain and suffering to more Canadians in the end? I just don’t know what to do. Then there’s my friends who are police officers. They are worried they might have to break into homes and use physical force to pry away depressed teenagers who want to die from horrified, sobbing parents. Or wrench away the elderly from their grandchildren’s arms. Will the screams ever go away in their heads? Will my friends need counselling for delivering these people to their death? I hope my three children when they become teenagers never ask to die. My heart would ache so much. I don’t know if I could go on living myself.
I’ve always wondered if a person can change their mind after they die. Like if they kill themselves then discover they made a bad decision? I mean, when they get to heaven—they will go to heaven, right? (You use the word “hell” a lot in the Bible.) Maybe when they are in eternity, let’s use that word, they could change their minds?
Would you hold that against me?
I know depressed people can get better. But what if they don’t? Didn’t you give man the ability to control his own destiny however he wants? I learned in my Alpha courses that man is made in the image of God. What does that mean exactly? And that when a sparrow falls to the ground you know about it. The instructor told me you care more about us than sparrows. That’s kind of cool! The guy also said your Spirit gives us life. Is it wrong to take a life? Would you be angry? When you said, “Thou shalt not kill” (my Bible uses the word, “murder”) did you mean “killing,” like, going against their wishes? They didn’t explain this in teacher’s college. But the person is suffering. There’s absolutely nothing I can do!
… well … that’s not totally true, I suppose. More doctors, providing more end-of-life care would help. I guess we really do need more doctors in Canada after all? And then there’s Christopher Reeve. Paralyzed from the neck down. What an inspiration he was to millions of people. He got standing ovations almost everywhere he went. He was courageous, with a fight to live. A real hero!
But aren’t the people who want to end their suffering heroes too? If a paralyzed person wants to die, shouldn’t that be their right? And what about the courageous doctors who will administer the lethal drugs? Aren’t they heroes too? This is all so confusing to me. I can’t logically figure it out. Nothing is making sense….
What’s worse, I keep having these nightmares. I dream that I get out of bed, go to the bathroom, turn on the tap, and blood comes gushing out. I run to another tap. Same thing. I turn on the shower. Blood. I open the dishwasher. A wave of blood hits me. I run out the door—the driveway is covered in blood. I look down at my hands. Blood.
I suddenly wake up, gasping for air. I look down at my hands. They are clean.
I realize you are very busy. And I know there’s lots of people who need your help. But I truly need your assistance on this one.
Many people are counting on me.
Sincerely, Justin T.
DearGodLetter.ca     CherDieuLettre.ca (Release from Dear God Letter)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday April 26, 2016


Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 286


Reading 1ACTS 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:10-11, 12-13AB, 21

R. (see 12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE LK 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:27-31A

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

#PopeFrancis Letter to Clergy Clericalism, he reminded, “forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church..."

Pope poses for photo with group of pilgrims at general audience. - AP
Pope poses for photo with group of pilgrims at general audience. - AP
26/04/2016 14:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Tuesday that the clergy should serve lay people and not make use of them and spoke out against clericalism, calling it one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America. His comments came in a wide-ranging letter reflecting on the role of the laity that was addressed to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.  The Pope’s letter was a follow-up to the commission’s recent Plenary Assembly whose theme was “the indispensable role of the lay faithful in the public life of Latin American countries.” In his letter, Pope Francis explained that he wished to follow-up the discussions and reflections that emerged during the Plenary Assembly in order to prevent them "from not bearing fruit." 
He urged the clergy to look closely at the people and lives of the lay faithful and avoid falling into the trap of adopting certain slogans on their behalf that seem well-meaning but in practice don't succeed in supporting the lives of our communities. Pointing to the example of a famous phrase “it’s time for the laity,” he noted that in this particular case, that clock has ground to a halt.
We must remember, he said, that as clergy we all began our lives as lay people and that “we’d do well to recall that the Church is not an elite of priests, of consecrated people, of bishops but all of us make up the faithful and Holy People of God.”
Turning to the issue of clericalism, the Pope said he considered it the outcome of “a mistaken way of living out the ecclesiology proposed by the Second Vatican Council” and described clericalism as “one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America.”  He said clericalism has many negative impacts such as wiping out the personality of Christians and causing a belittling of the grace of our baptism that the Holy Spirit has placed in the hearts of lay people. Clericalism, he reminded, “forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church belong to all the people of God and not just to an illuminated and elected few.”
On the positive side, Pope Francis noted that Latin America is characterized by many examples of popular ministry and piety, saying it is one of the few spaces where the laity (including their pastors) and the Holy Spirit have been able to come together without clericalism which he said “seeks to control and put a brake on this anointment by God of the faithful.” He warned that this popular ministry “has its limits” and can sometimes lead to distortions of religion but said if it is "steered properly" it can generate many excellent human values such as generosity, devotion, sacrifice and openness to others. 
Pope Francis spoke of the importance of giving encouragement and support to the efforts of the lay faithful who work in the public sphere but at the same time stressed “it is not the job of the pastor to tell the lay people what they must do and say” in those situations, adding “they know more and better than us.” “It’s illogical and even impossible,” he continued, “for us as pastors to believe that we have the monopoly on solutions for the numerous challenges thrown up by contemporary life.”
In conclusion, the Pope reiterated that the lay faithful are the protagonists of the Church and the world and stressed that “we are called to serve them, not to make use of them.

Saint April 26 : St. Marcellinus #Pope and Martyr


St. Marcellinus
POPE AND MARTYR
Feast: April 26


     Information:
Feast Day:April 26
Born:Rome, Italy
Died:25 October 304 at Rome, Italy
He succeeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity and impiously claimed divine honours. Theodoret says that in those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honour. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears from the Liberian Calendar, which places him among those popes that were not put to death for the faith.
It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the gospel, that the cross, or sufferings and mortifications, are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his great apostle puts us in mind that he entered into bliss only by his blood and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ and recommended by his powerful example and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, penance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fervour are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to renew their fervour in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, draw them aside and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose courage under its labours, and under the afflictions with which God is pleased to purify them and afford them means of sanctifying themselves.


SOURCE: History of the Christian Church