Sunday, May 1, 2016

#Novena to Saint Peregrine - #Miracle Prayer - Patron of #Cancer Patients to SHARE



Novena To St. Peregrine 
 Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother. You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand. Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....). Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven. St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid. Prayer to Saint Peregrine O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fibre of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favoured with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.
(Say for 9 days - Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be each day)
A Prayer to St. Peregrine for Sick Relatives and Friends
St. Peregrine, as a humble Servant of Mary, you experienced human weakness and the pain and suffering of sickness. Knowing that medicine and human knowledge have limits, we pray for all those involved with the medical profession that they will be a true source of healing and comfort to all people. Like you, we also turn to God in our suffering. Just as Jesus reached out and touched you with His healing hand, we pray that the following sick person(s) will be strengthened in body and spirit and cured of his or her illness by Jesus Christ through your intercession.
(Here mention the name(s) of your sick relative or friend.)
In gratitude we pray for all people of the world that they will come to know you, St. Peregrine, and the love that God has for each of them. Amen.

Saint May 1 : St. Peregrine : Patron Saint of Cancer Patients


BIOGRAPHY
In 1283 Saint Philip, Prior General of the Friar Servants of Saint Mary, attempted to lead back to obedience to the Apostolic See the citizens of Forlì then under interdict. He was driven out of the city with insults and violence. While this true follower of Christ was praying for his persecutors, one of the crowd, an eighteen year old by the name of Peregrine of the famous Laziosi family, repented and humbly asked Philip for forgiveness. The holy Father received him with love. From that moment the young man began to scorn the vanities of the world and to pray most fervently to the Blessed Virgin, asking that she show him the way of salvation. A few years later, guided by the Virgin, he received the habit of Our Lady in the priory of Siena where he dedicated himself to her service. There, together with Blessed Francis of Siena, he committed himself totally to the Servite life.
St. PeregrineAfter some years he was sent back to Forlì where, because of his love for God and Our Lady, he gave himself to the recitation of psalms, hymns and prayers, and to meditation on the law of God. On fire with love for others, he lavished a wealth of charity on the poor. It is said that he miraculously multiplied grain and wine during a severe shortage in his area.
Above all else, he was outstanding in his love for penance; in tears, he would reflect on the errors which he thought he had made and would frequently confess to the priest. He afflicted his body with various forms of mortification: when tired he would support himself on a choir stall or a rock; when overcome by sleep, he preferred the bare earth to a bed. As a result of this type of life, at the age of sixty he suffered from varicose veins which degenerated into cancer of the right leg. St. PeregrineHis condition deteriorated to the point that a physician, Paolo Salazio, who visited him in the priory, decided, with the consent of all the friars, to amputate the leg as soon as possible. The night before the operation Peregrine dragged himself before the crucifix in the chapter room. There he became drowsy and seemed to see Jesus descend from the cross to heal his leg. The following day, the doctor arrived to perform the amputation but could find no sign of the cancer, or even of a wound. He was so shocked that he spread the news of the miracle throughout the town. This only increased the people’s veneration of Peregrine. The saint died of a fever about 1345 when he was almost eighty years old. An extraordinary number of people from the town and countryside honored him in death. Some of the sick who came were healed through his intercession.
His body rests in the Servite church of Forlì where it is greatly honored by the people. Pope Paul V declared him blessed in 1609 and Pope Benedict XIII canonized him in 1726.
Text shared from StPeregrine Org
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#Novena to Saint Peregrine - #Miracle Prayer - Patron of #Cancer Patients to SHARE

#Breaking RIP Fr. Daniel Berrigan Jesuit Priest, Peace Activist and Writer Dies at 94


Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Peace Activist and Writer, Dies at Age 94
April 30, 2016 — Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, a peace activist and writer, died on April 30 in New York City at the age of 94. He was a Jesuit for 76 years and a priest for 63 years.

An acclaimed poet who for decades famously challenged U.S. Catholics to reject war and nuclear weapons, he wrote more than 50 books on Scripture, spirituality and resistance to war. Jesuit Father James Martin described him as “one of the great Catholics of our time, a champion of social justice and tireless promoter of peace.”
Fr. Berrigan was best known for his dramatic acts of civil disobedience against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He burned draft files with homemade napalm and later hammered on nuclear weapons to enact the Isaiah prophecy to “beat swords into plowshares.” His actions challenged Americans and Catholics to reexamine their relationship with the state and reject militarism. He constantly asked himself and others: What does the Gospel demand of us?
Fr. Berrigan was born on May 9, 1921, in Virginia, Minnesota, the fifth of six boys, and grew up on a farm near Syracuse, New York.
At age 18, Fr. Berrigan entered the Society of Jesus with a close childhood friend after receiving a brochure about the Jesuits’ rigorous training program. At the time, he knew no Jesuits. It was “an act of faith on both sides,” he later wrote. “Not a bad arrangement.”
During his first teaching assignment, at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the late 1940s, Fr. Berrigan brought students across the Hudson to introduce them to the Catholic Worker. They often attended the “clarification of thought” meetings on Friday evenings, when speakers addressed topics of importance to the young Catholic movement. There he met Dorothy Day.
“Dorothy Day taught me more than all the theologians,” Fr. Berrigan told The Nation in 2008. “She awakened me to connections I had not thought of or been instructed in — the equation of human misery and poverty with warmaking. She had a basic hope that God created the world with enough for everyone, but there was not enough for everyone and warmaking.”
After being ordained a priest on June 19, 1952, Fr. Berrigan went to France for a year of studies and ministry, the final stage of Jesuit formation, and was influenced by the Worker Priest movement. Fr. Berrigan professed final vows on the Feast of the Assumption in 1956.
Fr. Berrigan taught French and philosophy at Brooklyn Preparatory School from 1954 to 1957, won the prestigious Lamont Poetry Prize in 1957 for his first book of poetry, “Time Without Number” and then taught New Testament at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.
In 1963, Fr. Berrigan embarked on a year of travel, spending time in France, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rome, South Africa and the Soviet Union. He encountered despair among French Jesuits related to the situation of Indochina, as the United States ramped up military involvement in Vietnam.
Fr. Berrigan returned home in 1964 convinced that the war in Vietnam “could only grow worse.” So he began, he later wrote, “as loudly as I could, to say ‘no’ to the war…. There would be simply no turning back.”
He co-founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship and the interfaith group Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam, whose leaders included Martin Luther King Jr., Richard John Neuhaus and Abraham Joshua Heschel.
A dramatic year of assassinations and protests that shook the conscience of America, 1968 also proved to be a watershed year for Fr. Berrigan. In February, he flew to Hanoi, North Vietnam, with the historian Howard Zinn and assisted in the release of three captured U.S. pilots. On their first night in Hanoi, they awoke to an air-raid siren and U.S. bombs and had to find shelter.
As the United States continued to escalate the war, Fr. Berrigan worried that conventional protests had little chance of influencing government policy. His brother, Philip, then a Josephite priest, had already taken a much greater risk: In October 1967, he broke into a draft board office in Baltimore and poured blood on the draft files.
Undeterred at the looming legal consequences, Philip planned another draft board action and invited his younger brother to join him. Daniel agreed.
On May 17, 1968, the Berrigan brothers joined seven other Catholic peace activists in Catonsville, Maryland, where they took several hundreds of draft files from the local draft board and set them on fire in a nearby parking lot, using homemade napalm.
Fr. Berrigan was tried and convicted for the action. When it came time for sentencing, however, he went underground and evaded the FBI for four months.
“I knew I would be apprehended eventually,” he told America in an interview in 2009, “but I wanted to draw attention for as long as possible to the Vietnam War and to Nixon’s ordering military action in Cambodia.”
The FBI finally apprehended him in August 1970. He spent 18 months in Danbury federal prison, during which he and Philip appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. He wrote of the incident and the trial in his play “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine.”
The brothers, lifelong recidivists, were far from finished.
On Sept. 9, 1980, Daniel and Philip joined seven others in entering the General Electric missile plant in King of Prussia, Pa., where they hammered on an unarmed nuclear weapon — the first Plowshares action. They faced 10 years in prison for the action but were sentenced to time served.
In his courtroom testimony at the Plowshares trial, Fr. Berrigan described his daily confrontation with death as he accompanied the dying at St. Rose Cancer Home in New York City. He said the Plowshares action was connected with this ministry of facing death and struggling against it. In 1984, he began working at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City, where he ministered to men and women with HIV-AIDS.
Fr. Berrigan’s later years were devoted to Scripture study, writing, giving retreats, correspondence with friends and admirers, mentorship of young Jesuits and peace activists, and being an uncle to two generations of Berrigans. He published several biblical commentaries that blended scholarship with pastoral reflection and poetic wit.
From 1976 to 2012, Fr. Berrigan was a member of the West Side Jesuit Community, later the Thompson Street Jesuit Community, in New York City. During those years, he helped lead the Kairos Community, a group of friends and activists dedicated to Scripture study and nonviolent direct action.
Even as an octogenarian, Fr. Berrigan continued to protest, turning his attention to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the prison in Guantánamo Bay and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Friends remember Fr. Berrigan as courageous and creative in love, a person of integrity who was willing to pay the price, a beacon of hope and a sensitive and caring friend. [Source: America magazine]
Shared from the Jesuits of America Website

Why is May the Month of Mary - Free Resources - FAQ about #BlessedMary to SHARE

USCCB REPORT
Mary
As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us
"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved."
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Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
May as a month of our Lady was strengthened especially by the Rosary Encyclicals of Leo XIII – beginning in 1883 and concluding in 1889, the Pontiff wrote twelve encyclicals and five apostolic letters on the Rosary. The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the rather recent origin of Mary Month:
“The May devotion [to our Lady] in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite (Albers, "Bluethenkranze", IV, 531 sq.). This practice is the oldest instance of a devotion extending over an entire month.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Special Devotions for Months”)
Mary Month – Why May?
There was an ancient tradition of connecting May with new life and fecundity, led to a realization that May is very much the month of motherhood – this may be the reason why Mother’s Day is celebrated during May .
Q.Do Catholics Adore Mary? 
Though English words like 'worship' and 'adoration' are occasionally used to signify only veneration, honor or affection, they are generally understood to refer to that highest type of worship reserved for God alone. In this sense, Catholics do NOT adore or worship Mary, or any other created person or thing. 
The Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea in 787 considered the issue of veneration which is not directed to the Divine persons in relation to sacred images. At this Council, the Church taught that the special type of worship called adoration may only be offered to God: Latria from the Greek term for enslavement. However, the Church also acknowledged that certain persons, though only creatures of God, are entitled to honor or veneration of a qualitatively lesser degree than the absolute allegiance owed to God. The Conciliar Fathers termed this lesser devotion:Dulia. Such veneration was proper for Mary and the Saints. In view of Mary's important role in salvation history as Mother of Jesus, the Church recognized that Mary warranted a special degree of honor among the Saints. For this class of devotion, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) suggested the term hyperdulia
No, Catholics do not worship Mary, if by worshiping is meant adoring. She is not God for us, has never been and will never be. Addressing prayer to Mary is like asking a dear and close friend for help. Do we make a God of our friend when asking him to keep us in his prayers? Do we divinize him/her when asking for his prayerful support in sickness and the trials of life? Believers on earth and in heaven constitute a living community which the major Christian denominations recognize as the communion of saints. The saints in heaven are not dead. Their Christian example of virtuous living and their closeness to God make of them powerful allies for us struggling mortals. They do not take God's place; they are an expression of his grace.
Likewise, there is nothing in Mary that would not have been in God and come from him. She is a pure product of God; this is the essential meaning of Mary's sinlessness. Never forget: if God wanted the exclusively direct relation between him and you and me he would never send Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, never allow scripture to be the foundation of our faith, never encourage his Son to found the Church or institute the sacraments. Christianity is the religion of mediation, essential and foundational in Christ; participative and subordinate in his Church and in varying degrees in the believers. Source: udayton
Q.  Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

A. 1. A saying that is well known among Catholics is, "To Jesus, through Mary." This does not mean, "To Mary, through Jesus." Nor does it mean, "To Jesus and to Mary." This saying affirms that Catholics do not pray "to" Mary as an equal to God. They pray "through" Mary as an intercessor who prays to God on behalf of mankind.

If Catholics were to pray to Mary, this would imply that they are worshipping her as a god. But Catholics do not perceive Mary as a god. (i) They honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. (ii) The view Mary as the holiest of all the Saints. (iii) The accept the fact that Mary is the most successful Saint at obtaining Divine favours through her intercession.

Q.  Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf?

A.  First of all, because Mary was the birth mother of the humanity of Jesus in who "the fullness of the deity (God) was pleased to dwell bodily," [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Catholics recognize the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.

Secondly, because Mary was "favoured by God" [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God's grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf.

Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the "queen mother." Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon.

In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, "... then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'" [1 Kgs. 2:19-20]

Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...]

Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents.

Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven.

In view of the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that those who were called to Heaven, including Mary, are still alive in spirit in the Kingdom of God that coexists with our world. As some non-Catholics pray through their deceased parents, grandparents or other biological relatives, asking these beloved departed persons to intercede before God on their behalf, Catholics pray through Mary to Jesus, taking advantage of her blessed position as the Mother of God.

This Catholic action affirms the prophetic and Divinely inspired passage that is found in the Holy Bible where it states, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47] All generations could not call Mary blessed if she was not actively involved in the progressive Divine Plan that continues to develop before our eyes.

Indeed, all generations have called the Blessed Virgin Mary blessed, including this one, because she has never stopped interceding on behalf of the world, her intercession obtaining endless miraculous cures and other favours. The role of Mary in the area of obtaining physical miraculous cures is well known and documented in Lourdes, France, this being only one of the many holy places where the grace of God has been manifested through the Virgin Mary at apparition sites.
Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From Popular Devotional PracticesBeatification
A canonization today is the Church's official declaration, through the decision of the pope, that a person is a saint, truly in heaven and worthy of public veneration and imitation. The process begins by naming the person "Venerable," a "Servant of God" who has demonstrated a life of heroic virtue. 
The next stage is beatification, by which a person is named "Blessed." This step requires one miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God. 
For canonization, a second miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after the individual's beatification. Miracles are not required for martyrs. The pope may dispense with some of the formalities or steps in the process.

Miracles

108. Why did Jesus manifest the Kingdom by means of signs and miracles?

Jesus accompanied his words with signs and miracles to bear witness to the fact that the Kingdom is present in him, the Messiah. Although he healed some people, he did not come to abolish all evils here below but rather to free us especially from the slavery of sin. The driving out of demons proclaimed that his cross would be victorious over "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31).

Wow #Miraculous Staircase built by St. Joseph in New Mexico to SHARE - Mystery to Architects

 Miraculous Staircase of Saint Joseph This is the miraculous staircase of Saint Joseph at Loretto Chapel in Santa Fé, New Mexico. U.S.A.   134 years since it was built in 1878, it still confounds architects, in the physics of its construction and inexplicable design . The helix shaped spiral staircase has two complete 360° turns, stands 20 feet high up to the choir loft and has no newel (center pole) to support it . Its entire weight rests solely on its base and against the choir loft - a mystery that defies laws of gravity. it is still in use daily for over a hundred years. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. It is made of an extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. The banisters were added 10 years later in 1888 by Phillip A. Hesch at the Sisters' request. The 33 steps represent the age of Jesus Christ. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the 1998 television movie entitled "The Staircase".  Mother Magdalen, Mother Superior of the Sisters of Loretto, when the Chapel was completed in 1878, said there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were asked to help but all concluded that access to the loft would have to be via ladder. The Sisters of Loretto made a novena to Saint Joseph, the Patron Saint of Carpenters, and on the ninth day a gray-haired man came to the convent on a donkey with a toolbox and approached Mother Magdalen. He asked if he might try to help the Sisters by building a stairway but he needed total privacy. He set to work and locked himself in the chapel for three months.

The only tools he had were a saw, a hammer, a T-square. When the staircase was completed, the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. The Loretto Sisters ran an advertisement in a local newspaper in search for the man but found no trace of him. But Mother Magdalen and her community of Sisters and students knew that the stairway was Saint Joseph’s answer to their fervent prayers. Many think that the humble carpenter was Saint Joseph himself. According to the annals of Mother Magdalen, the construction of the Chapel was placed under the special patronage of St. Joseph "in whose honor we communicated every Wednesday, that he might assist us." Then she adds, "Of his powerful help we have been witnesses on several occasions." At the time of sale in 1971, Our Lady of Light Chapel was deconsecrated as a Catholic Chapel. Fortunately, however, there was such an outcry from the people of Santa Fe, that the Chapel with the miraculous stairs was preserved as a national monument.

#Orthodox Celebrate Easter May 1 with Holy Fire from Jerusalem - Christ is Risen!

 Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated Easter on May 1, 2016,  They remembered Jesus resurrection more than 2,000 years ago. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrated Easter in March, according to the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrated Easter this week, as they use the older Julian calendar. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev went to an Easter midnight Mass in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the world's largest Orthodox Church, offered the Mass with 5,000 faithful. In Greece, also received candles lit with "Holy Fire" from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The "Holy Fire," comes from the Edicule, the small chamber marking the site of Jesus' tomb. The fire was taken to Greece by plane and, and as customary, welcomed at Athens airport with the honors for a visiting foreign head of state. Then it was taken across the country by plane so it could reach the furthest parishes. The "Holy Fire" was also transported to Russia and other Orthodox nations.
POPE Francis Message to Orthodox for Easter
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his greetings to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Holy Easter on Sunday, May 1 according to the Julian calendar.
Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Regina Coeli prayer he said: “May the Risen Lord bring to our brothers of the Eastern Churches all the gifts of His light and His peace. Christos anesti!” Earlier, in a tweet launched through his @Pontifex account, the Pope said “I address a cordial greeting to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Holy Pascha today. Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!”
Meanwhile during negotiations in Minsk, on the occasion of the Eastern Orthodox Easter, it was agreed that Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists were to observe a comprehensive cease-fire in the south-east of Ukraine where the festivity is observed both by the Orthodox and by Greek Catholics. The armistice was supposed to go into effect at midnight Saturday, but according to Ukrainian government sources a soldier was killed and several wounded on Sunday in the country’s east in what appears to be a violation of the armistice.
In a message, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, urged the faithful to bear witness to the love of their neighbors amid the atrocities of the contemporary world which, he said, is torn by terrorism, wars and suffering.
The Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy and Malta, Gennasius, also issued an appeal “to purify one's heart” to be able “to fully feel the presence of the Risen One”, while the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej, sent a message asking the faithful to forgive, “not to judge others” and “not to be afraid of the world in spite of worldly ideologies, disunity, hatred and violence.”

#PopeFrancis "“May the risen Lord bear his gifts of light and peace to all." #ReginaCoeli FULL Video - Text


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday reiterated his plea for peace in Syria appealing to all parties involved in the conflict to respect the cessation of hostilities and commit to dialogue. Speaking after the Regina Coeli prayer in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said he is deeply pained by the dramatic news of the spiral of violence in Syria which, he said, “continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation in the country”. He referred in particular to the situation in the city of Aleppo which continues to “claim innocent victims, even amongst children, sick people and those who, at the cost of great sacrifice, are bringing aid to those in need”. And Francis had words of encouragement for an Italian association that fights all forms of abuse against minors: “This is a tragedy! We must not tolerate the abuse of minors! We must defend minors and severely punish those who abuse them” he said, thanking the “Associazione Meter” for its dedicated work. And marking May 1st, International Labour Day, the Pope also mentioned an International Conference which opens on Monday in Rome on the theme: “Sustainable Development and the most Vulnerable Forms of Work” which takes place within the context of the Jubilee of Mercy. “I hope – he said – that the event will sensitize the authorities, political and economic institutions and civil society in order to promote a model of development that will safeguard human dignity within full respect for labour and environmental legislation”. Pope Francis also had a special greeting to “our brothers of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Easter.” “May the risen Lord – he said – bear his gifts of light and peace to all. Christos anesti!”

#BreakingNews 46 Killed and Catholic Church Burned down in Nigeria - Please PRAY

— Hell was let loose last Monday in Ukpabi-Nimbo, in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, when dare-devil herdsmen, numbering over 500, unleashed terror on hapless natives, killing 46 and burning the Christ Holy Catholic Church, Odozi-Obodo. 11 houses were razed while 14 victims are lying critically ill at Hospitals.
APRIL 23: HOW IT STARTED The herdsmen were believed to have hatched the plot to attack Ukpabi-Nimbo, last weekend,and notified the natives. The development triggered tension in the community. The herdsmen, it was learnt, were bent on taking over portions of the vast fertile land in the community for cattle grazing, a stance the community opposed. The herdsmen allegedly told the natives that their kinsman, Muhammadu Buhari, is the President and so, they takeover land wherever they wanted to graze their cattle at the expense of the host community. The herdsmen, it was learnt, assembled about 500 other herdsmen to launch the attack. It was gathered that the herdsmen in a neighbouring town had imported the 500 others from Nasarawa State to help them invade Ukpabi-Nimbo on the grounds that some of their cattle were missing.
 The herdsmen were alleged to have consistently raped,maimed and killed victims from the communities situated on the Nsukka-Adani-Umulokpa expressroad in the council area. Those kidnapped allegedly paid ransoms ranging from N500,000 to about N5 million before they regained their freedom.
APRIL 25: BLACK MONDAY At about 5.15 am, the assailants struck,casualty figure immediately stood at 40,while six more bodies were recovered the following day. The affected villages of Nimbo Ngwoko, Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Enugu Nimbo, Umuome and Ugwuachara became deserted as blood littered everywhere. Christ Holy Catholic Church, Odozi-Obodo, at Onu-Eke, Nimbo and 11 houses were razed even as 14 victims are lying in critical conditions at Royal Cross Hospital, Nsukka, Nsukka District General Hospital and Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka.
 A member, Board of Governors, Civil Liberty Organization, CLO, told Sunday Vanguard that the killings are targeted at the South-East, the South-West, and the South-South geopolitical zones to reduce the Christian population. It is a grand plan to Islamize Nigeria. The pertinent question is that since when have herdsmen begun to rear cattle with guns? Who bought the guns for them and taught them how to use the guns. Why has Buhari not condemned or commiserated with Benue and Enugu State people over the killings?"
The traditional ruler of Ukpabi-Nimbo, Igwe John Akor, who said: 
"The killing,raping,kidnapping of my subjects have come to a head. There is no week that passes that we do not experience kidnapping and killing by herdsmen. It has got out of hand. It was a black Monday. We have been doing our best to have peace with the herdsmen but to no avail. We have called several meetings with those of them from Kogi State,Adani and Enugu. We are appealing to the federal, state and local with governments to come to our aid by giving us adequate security presence. Again,our vast fertile land is what they take advantage of. They harass our people and kill insisting that they own the land and their cattle must graze there. They hold our men at gun point in their farmland and rape their wives,destroy the farms and livestock. Our people have not be going to farm for the past eight months because they are scared not to fall victim to the herdsmen's siege. 
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, expressed outrage over the Ukpabi-Nimbo attack. The CAN leader maintained that it would be wrong "for our people to fold their hands and watch helplessly while our women are being raped, our men are being killed and our ancestral land is being taken away." While calling for investigation of security agencies in the state, he announced one-day of mourning to commiserate with all those who lost their lives in the attack. "In honour of those whose lives were snuffed away by these herdsmen, CAN declares one-day of mourning. 
Within this period, we ask our people to pray fervently and ask God to take control", he added.
Edited from All Africa

#Sunday Mass Online : Sun. May 1, 2016 6th of Easter - Reading and Video


Sixth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 57


Reading 1ACTS 15:1-2, 22-29

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.

The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:

“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”

Responsorial PsalmPS 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2REV 21:10-14, 22-23

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
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.”