Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Saint May 5 : St. Hilary of Arles : #Bishop - Died 449 - #France


St. Hilary of Arles
BISHOP
Feast: May 5


     Information:
Feast Day:May 5
Born:400 at Lorraine
Died:449
This saint was nobly born about the year 401, and was related to St. Honoratus of Arles, and of the same country in Gaul, which was probably Lorraine, or some other part of Austrasia. He was brought up in a manner suitable to his birth, in the study of the liberal arts, and of every branch of polite learning. especially of eloquence and philosophy. But how little value we ought to set on all things that appear great in the eyes of the world, he himself has taught us. "We are all equal," says he, "in Jesus Christ; and the highest degree of our nobility is to be of the number of the true servants of God. Neither science, nor birth, according to this world, can exalt us, but in proportion to our contempt of them." Before God had put these sentiments into his heart, he seems to have been not altogether insensible to the advantages of this world, in which he was raised to the highest dignities. His kinsman, St. Honoratus, who had forsaken his country to seek Christ in the solitude of the isle of Lerins, where he had founded a great monastery, was the instrument made use of by the Almighty to open his eyes. This holy man had always loved Hilary, and thought he could not give him more solid proof of his friendship than by endeavoring to gain him entirely to God. He therefore left his retirement for a few days to seek him out, and endeavored to move him by the same powerful, weighty reflections, which had made the deepest impression on his own mind, and induced him to break the chains of the world. "What floods of tears," says St. Hilary, "did this true friend shed to soften the hardness of my heart! How often did he embrace me with the most tender and compassionate affection, to obtain of me that I would take into serious consideration the salvation of my soul! Yet, by an unhappy victory, I still remained conqueror." Honoratus, finding his endeavors to wean him from the charms of a deceitful world ineffectual, had recourse to prayer, his ordinary refuge. "Well," said he to Hilary, "I will obtain of God, what you will not now grant me." Upon which they took leave of each other. Hilary, reflecting on what Honoratus had said to him, was not long before he began to feel a violent conflict within himself. "On one side," says he, "me-thought I saw the Lord calling me; on the other the world offering me its seducing charms and pleasures. How often did I embrace and reject, will and not will the same thing! But in the end Jesus Christ triumphed in me. And three days after Honoratus had left me, the mercy of God, solicited by his prayers, subdued my rebellious soul." He then went in person to seek St. Honoratus, and appeared before him as humble and tractable as the saint had left him haughty and indocile.
From this moment there appeared in Hilary that wonderful change which the Holy Ghost produces in a soul which he truly converts. His words, looks, and whole comportment breathed nothing but humility, patience, sweetness, mortification, and charity. Every one saw in him a man who began to labor in earnest to save his soul, and who had put his hand to the plough to look no more behind him, or to send a single thought alter v. hat he had left for Christ's sake. Aspiring to perfection, he sold all his several estates to his brother, and distributed all the money accruing from the sale among the poor, and the most indigent monasteries. Thus disengaged from the world, and naked, no less in the inward disposition of soul than in his exterior, he, like Abraham, took leave of his own country, and made the best of his way to Lerins; where from his first entrance he made it appear that he was worthy to live in the company of saints. He set out in the pursuit of monastic perfection with such zeal and fervor, as to become in a short time the pattern of those on whose instructions and example he came to form his own conduct. His application to prayer and mortification, and his watchfulness and care to avoid the smallest faults and imperfections, prepared him to receive the gift of tears. It is thought that his baptism was posterior to his retirement. St. Honoratus having been chosen archbishop of Arles, in 426, Hilary followed him to that city; but it was not long before his love of solitude occasioned his return to Lerins. All the holy inhabitants of that isle testified as great joy to receive him again,  as he felt to see himself among them. But God, who had other designs upon him, did not permit him to enjoy long his beloved retirement. St. Honoratus begged his assistance, and the comfort of his company, and as he did not yield to entreaties, went himself to fetch him from Lerins. Soon after God called St. Honoratus to himself, his death happening in 428 or 429. Hilary, though sensibly afflicted for the loss of such a friend, rejoiced however to see himself at liberty, and set out directly for Lerins. But no sooner were the citizens apprized of his departure, than messengers posted after him with such expedition, that he was overtaken, brought back, and consecrated archbishop, though only twenty-nine years of age.
In this high station the virtues which he had acquired in solitude shone with lustre to mankind. The higher he was exalted by his dignity, the more did he humble himself beneath all others in his heart. He reduced himself in every thing to the strictest bounds of necessity: and he had only one coat for winter and summer. He applied himself diligently to meditation on the holy scriptures, and preaching the word of God, was assiduous in prayer, watching, and fasting. He had his hours also for manual labor, with a view of gaming something for the poor; choosing such work as he could join with reading or prayer. He travelled always on foot, and had attained to so perfect an evenness of temper, that his mind seemed never ruffled with the least emotion of anger. He had an admirable talent in preaching. When he spoke before the learned of the world, his elocution, his accent, his discourse, his action, were such as the greatest orators justly admired, but despaired ever to come up to. Yet when he instructed the illiterate, he changed his manner of address, and proportioned his instructions to the capacities of the most simple and ignorant, though always supporting the dignity of the divine word by a maimer and expression suitable to its majesty. He preached the truth in its purity, without flattering the great. He had often in private admonished a certain judge in the province of a criminal partiality in the administration of justice, but without effect. One day the magistrate came into the church, attended by his officers, while the saint was preaching. The holy bishop broke off his sermon on the spot, and gave his surprised audience for reason, that he who had so often neglected the advice he had given him for his salvation, was not worthy to partake of the nourishment of the divine word. the judge no sooner heard his reflection, but withdrew in  confusion, and the saint resumed his discourse Observing one day that many went out of the church immediately after the reading of the gospel, just as he was going to preach, he prevailed with them to return, by saying: "You will not so easily get out of hell, if you are once unhappily fallen into its dungeons." He had such a love for the poor, that to have the more to bestow on them, he lived himself in the greatest poverty: he never kept a horse, and labored hard in digging and manuring the ground, though educated according to the dignity of his family. To redeem captives, he caused the church plate to be sold, not excepting the sacred vessels; making use of patens and chalices of glass ill the celebration of the divine mysteries. If his compassion for the corporal miseries of the faithful was so tender, we may judge how much more he was moved to pity at their spiritual necessities. He bore the weak with tenderness, but never indulged the passions or sloth of any. When he put any one in a course of penance he was himself bathed in tears; whereby he troth excited the penitent to the like, and with ardent sighs and prayer obtained for him of God the grace of compunction and pardon. He visited the bishops of his province, and endeavored to make them walk in the perfect spirit of Christ, the prince of pastors. He established many monasteries and took particular care to enforce a strict observance of monastic discipline among them. He had a close friendship with St. Germanus, whom he called his father, and respected as an apostle. He presided in the council of Ries in 439, in the first council of Orange in 441, in the council of Vaison in 442, and probably in 443, in the second council of Arles, in all which several canons of discipline were framed.
His zeal exasperated several tepid persons; and some of these, by misconstruing his actions, gave the holy pope St. Leo a disadvantageous character of him. His zeal, indeed, had been on some occasions too hasty and precipitate: but this was owing in him to mistake, not to passion; for the circumstances of his actions, and of his eminent piety, oblige us to interpret his intention by the same spirit by which he governed himself in his whole conduct. This disagreement between St. Leo and St. Hilary proved a trial for the exercise of zeal in the former, and of patience in the latter, for his greater sanctification by humility, submission, and silence. Chelidonius, bishop of Besancon, had been deposed by St. Hilary Upon an allegation, that, before he was consecrated bishop, he had married a widow, and had condemned persons to death as magistrate; both which were looked upon as irregularities or disqualifications for holy orders. Chelidonius hereupon set out for Rome, to justify himself to the pope, St. Leo, who received his appeal from his metropolitan, and acquitted him of the irregularity with which he stood charged. St. Hilary, upon hearing that his suffragan was gone for Rome, followed him thither on foot, and in the midst of winter. The pope having assembled a council to judge this affair, St. Hilary took his seat among the other bishops that composed it: but from his not attempting to prove the irregularity which had been alleged against Chelidonius, the saint seemed to own that he had been imposed on as to the matter of fact. But he pretended, that the cause ought not to be judged otherwise than by commissaries deputed by the pope to take cognizance of it in the country that gave it birth, a point for which some Africans had contended. This plea was overruled, the contrary having been frequently practiced, when both parties could appear at Rome: though the manner of judging appeals is only a point of discipline, which may vary in different places. Another affair brought St. Hilary into a greater difficulty. Projectus, a bishop of his province, being sick, St. Hilary, upon information, hastened to his see, and ordained a new bishop: after which Projectus recovering, there were two bishops contending for the same see, and Hilary supported the last ordained; perhaps because the first might remain disabled for his functions. The author of St. Hilary's life does not clear up his conduct in this particular: but we cannot doubt of the sincerity of his intention. Moreover the discipline of the church in such matters was not at that time so clearly settled by the canons as it has been since. St. Hilary therefore imagined a metropolitan might have a discretionary power in such matters. However St. Leo rightly judged such an ordination irregular, liable to great inconveniences, and productive of schisms. Wherefore he forbade St. Hilary to ordain any bishops for the future. Our holy prelate cancelled his mistakes by his patience, and St. Leo, writing immediately after the saint's death, to his successor Ravennus, calls him, <Hilary of holy memory>. Exhausted by austerities and labors, St. Hilary passed to a better life on the 5th of May, 449, being only forty-eight years old. St. Honoratus, the eloquent bishop of Marseilles, who has given us an abstract of his life, relates several miraculous cures wrought by the saint while he was living. His body lies in a subterraneous chapel, under the high altar, in the church of St. Honoratus at Arles, with an elegant ancient epitaph. The name of St. Hilary stands in the Roman Martyrology.
That this saint never gave in to the Semi-Pelagian doctrine, though it hard not been then condemned by any decree of the pastors of the church, is clearly shown by Tillemont and Dom. Rivet. This is proved from several passages in his life by St. Honoratus; and in the Martyrologies of Rabanus and Notker it is mentioned that he vigorously exerted his zeal in bringing a light and in correcting the Pelagian heresy, which is taught in the conferences of Cassian. His exposition of the creed, commended by the ancients, is now lost: his homilies on all the feasts of the year were much esteemed, but are not known at present. The best edition of his works is given by John Salinas, regular canon of St. John Lateran, in Italy, in 1731.

Lives of the Saints - Alban Butler

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and #Fatima #Prayers - 5 Saturday #Devotion - SHARE

Our Lady of Fatima Novena Prayer
This is one of the most beautiful novenas that can be said. 

DAY ONE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
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DAY TWO
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY THREE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FOUR
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FIVE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SIX
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SEVEN
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
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DAY EIGHT
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen. 
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY NINE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  


(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
Fátima Prayers
 The Pardon Prayer
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. 
The Angel's Prayer
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. 
Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 
The Sacrifice Prayer
 O Jesus, it is for the love of You, in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners [Some add here "that I pray/do this"].  "O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."Acts of Reparation. T
 Conversion and Salvation Prayers
 By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world! Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world. 
Lucia said that Mary called for a series of devotions, including the Five Saturdays, frequent recitation of the Rosary, and prayers for the conversion of Russia – at the time viewed by the Church as a godless, Communist nation.
Litany of Our Lady of Fatima 
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for our beloved country. 
Our Lady of Fatima, Sanctify our clergy.
Our Lady of Fatima, Make our Catholics more fervent.
Our Lady of Fatima, Guide and inspire those who govern us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Cure the sick who confide in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Console the sorrowful who trust in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help those who invoke thine aid.
Our Lady of Fatima, Deliver us from all dangers.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help us to resist temptation.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help those who are dear to us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Bring to Holy Catholic Church those who are in error.
Our Lady of Fatima, Give us back our ancient fervor.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Our Lady of Fatima, Bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain peace for the world.
O Mary conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Let Us Pray: O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

DEVOTION OF THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS

The following is an explanation of the conditions contained in Our Lady's request regarding the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the Month.
  1. Confess and receive Holy Communion
    On February 15, 1926 the Child Jesus alone came to visit Sr. Lucia and asked if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being propagated. Sr. Lucia spoke of a difficulty some people have in confessing on the first Saturday, and asked if they might be allowed eight days in order to fulfill Our Lady's requests. Jesus answered: "Yes, even more time still, as long as they receive Me in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
  2. Recite the Rosary
    Five decades of the Rosary may be recited at any time or place; yet, since one will be attending Mass in order to receive Holy Communion, a very desirable time and place would be before or after Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Meditation on the mysteries according to one's capacity is an essential condition for praying the Rosary. Yet, involuntary distractions do not rob the Rosary of fruit if one is doing the best he can.
  3. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary."
    The question is often asked: Does the meditation while reciting the Rosary fulfill this condition, or is there required an additional fifteen minutes of meditation? That an additional 15 minutes of meditation is required was recently confirmed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima. It is clear too from a statement by the first Bishop of Fatima.
    The last entry in the chronology of Fatima, published in the official Calendar of the Sanctuary for the year of 1940, and signed by Dom Jose Correia da Silva, the first Bishop of Fatima, gave a summary of Our Lady's requests concerning the Five First Saturdays. From that official statement in the Calendar of the Sanctuary, we read the Bishop's enumeration of the various items that pertain to the devotion of the five Saturdays:
      It consists in going to Confession, receiving Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary and meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The Confession may be made during the eight days preceding or following the first Saturday of each month, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. Should one forget to form the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it may be formed at the next Confession, occasion to go to confession being taken at the first opportunity.

Wow Actor Eduardo Verástegui made Vow to save Sex for Marriage - has kept #Chastity for 14 years

LatinTimes - In 2002, Eduardo Verástegui took a vow of abstinence after re-discovering his faith under the wing of his then voice coach, Jasmine O’Donnell.
“She would ask me a lot of questions, without judging me, like 'What's your life's purpose?' 'What motivates you to wake up every day?' 'Who do you live for and who do you die for?' 'What does God mean to you?'” Verástegui said during an interview in 2013. “That helped me understand that I was full of contradictions. My faith wasn't the center of my life. Not because I didn't want it to be, but because I didn't know better.”
Fast-forward three years, and the 41-year-old actor is still being truthful to his beliefs and proudly admits he has been celibate for 14 years. On Thursday, the “Little Boy” producer was presented with the Veritas 2016 award at the Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico, where he was questioned about his current status.
“The ideal woman for me will be the one I get married to,” the Tamaulipas born told Mexican newspaperReforma. “What does she look like? I don’t know, I’m still waiting for her. I’m looking right, back, front, up, to see where she is.”
The actor added that even though he would love to meet “the one”, sometimes what we want is not in God’s plan, so we have to learn to accept God’s will.
“I’m always asking if that’s God’s will in my life, because you can’t force what’s not meant to be, and just get married to get married,” he said. “I’ve met women, but I haven’t been able to find that connection one needs to take the next step.”
Verástegui, who claims his life decisions have taught him to respect the opposite sex on a greater level, reinforced his original statement and disclosed that engaging in sexual acts is not bad, but it in his personal opinion, it is something sacred, which is why he will continue to practice celibacy until marriage.
“One of the things I’ve learned through my faith is that sex is sacred,” the actor mentioned. “You have to take care of it [sex] in order to be able to share it with the mother of my children, in this case, my wife, who I’m eager to meet so I can tell her I’ve already been faithful to her for 14 years, even before I even met her.” Text shared from LainTimes

#PopeFrancis "God loves all, He seeks all, one by one!" #Audience FULL TEXT - Video


Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We all know the image of the Good Shepherd, who carries the lost sheep on His shoulders. This icon has always represented Jesus’ solicitude towards sinners and the mercy of God, who is not resigned to lose anyone. Jesus narrates the parable to make us understand that His closeness to sinners should not scandalize but, on the contrary, should spur in everyone a serious reflection on the way we live our faith. The narration sees, on one hand, the sinners that approach Jesus to hear Him and, on the other, the suspicious Doctors of the Law and the scribes who move away from Him because of His behavior. They move away because Jesus approaches the sinners. They were proud, they were arrogant; they considered themselves just.
Our parable unfolds around three figures: the shepherd, the lost sheep and the rest of the flock. However, the only one who acts is the shepherd, not the sheep. Hence, the shepherd is the only true protagonist and everything depends on him. A question introduces the parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?”(Luke 15:4). It is a paradox that induces to doubt the action of the shepherd: is it wise to abandon the ninety-nine for one sheep and, what is more, not in the safety of the sheepfold, but in the desert? According to the biblical tradition, the desert is a place of death where it is difficult to find food and water, without shelter and at the mercy of wild beasts and robbers. What can ninety-nine vulnerable sheep do? The paradox continues nevertheless, saying that, having found the sheep, the shepherd “lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing, and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ (v. 6). It seems, therefore, that the shepherd does not go back to the desert to recuperate the whole flock! Inclined to the one sheep, he seems to forget the other ninety-nine. But in reality, it is not so. The teaching Jesus wishes to give us is, rather, that no sheep can be lost. The Lord cannot be resigned to the fact that even one person alone can be lost. God’s action is that of one who goes in search of his lost children to then celebrate and enjoy with all finding them again. It is an unstoppable desire: not even ninety-nine sheep can stop the shepherd and keep him closed in the sheepfold. He could reason thus: “I weigh the matter: I have ninety-nine, I have lost one, but it is no great loss.” Instead, he goes to seek it because each one is very important for him, and that one is the neediest, the most abandoned, the most discarded, and he goes to find it. We are all advised: the style with which God acts is mercy towards sinners and He is absolutely faithful to this mercy: nothing and no one will be able to deter Him from His will of salvation. God does not know our present throwaway culture. God has nothing to do with this. God does not discard any person. God loves all, He seeks all, one by one! He does not know the word ”discard the people,” because He is all love and all mercy.
The Lord’s flock is always on the way: it does not possess the Lord. We cannot delude ourselves, imprisoning Him in our schemes and our strategies. The shepherd will be found there where the lost sheep is. Therefore, the Lord is to be sought where He wishes to meet us, not where we presume to find Him! In no other way will the flock come together again other than by following the way traced by the shepherd’s mercy. While he looks for the lost sheep, he incites the ninety-nine to participate in the reunification of the flock. Then, not only the sheep carried on the shoulders, but the whole flock will follow the shepherd to his home, to celebrate with “friends and neighbors.”
We must reflect often on this parable, because there is always some one in the Christian community who is missing and has gone away and left his place empty. Sometimes this is discouraging and leads us to believe that it is an inevitable loss, a sickness without remedy. It is then that we run the danger of shutting ourselves in a sheepfold, where there will not be the smell of the sheep, but the stink of the closed! And Christians? We must not be closed, because we will have the stink of closed things. Never! It is necessary to go out and not to be closed in on ourselves, in small communities, in the parish, considering ourselves “the just.” This happens when the missionary impetus is lacking, which leads us to encounter others. In Jesus’ vision, there are no definitively lost sheep, but only sheep to be found again. We must understand this well: no one, for God, is definitively lost. Never! God seeks us up to the last moment. Think of the good thief; but only in Jesus’ vision no one is definitively lost. The perspective, therefore, is altogether dynamic, open, stimulating and creative. It drives us to go out in search, to undertake a path of fraternity. No distance can keep the shepherd far away, and no flock can renounce a brother. To find one who is lost is the joy of the shepherd and of God, but it is also the joy of the whole flock! We are all sheep that have been found again and gathered by the Lord’s mercy, called to gather the whole flock together with Him!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Greeting in Italian
Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims: welcome!
I am happy to receive the pilgrimage of the diocese of Savona-Noli with the Bishop, Monsignor Vittorio Lupi; the detained and families of “Our Lady of the Rock” project of Lecce and the Knights of Saint Timothy of Termoli, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Gianfranco De Luca. I greet the Associations, the parish and school groups, in particular the students of the Nicolo Braucci Lyceum of Caivano. I hope your Jubilee pilgrimage is rich in copious spiritual fruits so that, by crossing the Holy Door with faith, you obtain the Indulgence for yourselves, for your dear ones and for your deceased.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. The month of May is dedicated to Our Lady. Dear young people, cultivate devotion to the Mother of God with the daily recitation of the Rosary; dear sick, feel the closeness of Mary of Nazareth, especially in the hour of the cross, and you, dear newlyweds, pray to her so that love and mutual respect will never be lacking in your home.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. May 4, 2016

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293


Reading 1ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial PsalmPS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”

Saint May 4 : St. Godehard of Hildesheim - Patron of Sick #Children


St. Godehard of Hildesheim
BISHOP
Feast: May 4


     Information:
Feast Day:May 4
Born:960, Reichersdorf, Bavaria
Died:May 4, 1038
Canonized:1131, Rheims by Innocent II
Patron of:ravelling merchants; invoked against fever, dropsy, childhood sicknesses, hailstones, the pain of childbirth, and gout; invoked by  those in peril of the sea
He was a native of Bavaria, and abbot of Altaich, in that country, and reformed likewise the abbeys of Hersfeld, in Hesse, of Tergensee, in the diocese of Frisinguen, and of Chremsmunster, in that of Passaw. In 1021, the episcopal chair of Hildesheim falling vacant by the death of St. Bernward, St. Godard was compelled by St. Henry to take upon him that pastoral charge. The relief of the poor, both spiritual and temporal, was everywhere the first object of his attention. He died on the 4th of May, 1038, and was canonized by Innocent II in 1131. Many places in Germany acknowledge him patron, and several bear his name. See his life by Wolfhert, his disciple, in Henschenius, p. 501, and in Mabillon: and more at large, with long histories of miracles, among the writers of the history of the most illustrious house of Brunswick-Hanover, t. 2, p. 483. Several very devout epistles of St. Godard, or Godehard, are given us by Dom. Pez, in his Codex Diplomatico-Historico-Epistolaris, p. 133, & c.


Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Saint May 4 : St. Florian : Patron of #Firefighters

Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, and many things associated with either fire or water. His feast day is celebrated on May 4. Saint Florian was born in the mid-third century A.D., perhaps around the year 250,somewhere around current-day Austria. He rose through the Roman army ranks to become a commander.
Besides his duties to the military, he was charged with leading the firefighting brigade of the day. Florian was a Christian in a time when the Roman emperors were trying to eliminate Christianity throughout their realm. At one point he was ordered to offer up a sacrifice to the Roman gods, something in which he did not believe.
Other stories state that he refused to participate in the ongoing persecution of Christians, in which the army had been ordered to participate. In either case, Florian's beliefs became known. When questioned, he again stated that he was a Christian.
The popular method of disposing of Christians in that day was to burn them to death, and it was suggested that Florian suffer the same fate. He, however, stated his intention to "climb to Heaven on the flames" of the funeral pyre being prepared for him. The soldiers decided at that point to dispense with him via another route: he was flogged, then flayed, then a large stone was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Ennis River to drown.
 A faithful lady recovered and buried his body, which was later moved to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near current-day Linz, Austria. In 1138 some of St. Florian's relics were given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow. Since his relics arrived in Poland, he has beenregarded as the patron saint of that country. Because of his association with fire, St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweeps and has been invoked for protection from both fire and water. A statue of St. Florian installed at the front of the main firehouse in Vienna, Austria survived a 1945 bombing with barely a scratch.
Shared from st-florian-medal.com