Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saint October 20 : St. Paul of the Cross : Founder of the #Passionists


Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775. His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time in prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion.
At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honourable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.
 Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honour of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules.
After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
 Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons.
The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.] The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established. Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "...a God who revealed in Jesus His merciful face." at #Audience - FULL TEXT - Video


Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
A consequence of so-called “wellbeing” is one which leads people to withdraw into themselves, making them insensitive to the needs of others. Everything is done to deceive them, presenting ephemeral models of life, which disappear after a few years, as if our life were a fashion to follow and to change at every season. It’s not so. Reality must be accepted and faced for what it is, and often it makes us meet situations of urgent need. It is because of this that the cry of hunger and thirst is found among the works of mercy: to feed the hungry — there are so many today — and give drink to the thirsty. How many times themedia informs us of populations that suffer from the lack of food and water, with grave consequences, especially for children.
In face of certain news and, especially, of certain images, public opinion feels touched and from time to time, aid campaigns are launched to stimulate solidarity. Donations are generous and thus, one can contribute to alleviate the suffering of many. This form of charity is important, but, perhaps, it does not involve us directly. Instead, when we go on the street and come across a person in need, or a poor man comes to knock on the door of our home, it’s very different, because we are no longer before an image but we are involved personally. There is no longer any distance between me and him or her, and I feel challenged. Poverty in the abstract does not challenge us, but it makes us think, it makes us lament, but when we see poverty in the flesh of a man, of a woman, of a child, this challenges us! And because of this, we have that habit of fleeing from the needy, of not getting close to them, of falsifying somewhat the reality of the needy with fashionable habits to distance ourselves from it. When I come across him, there is no longer any distance between me and the poor one. In such cases, what is my reaction? Do I turn my gaze away and pass beyond? Or do I stop to talk to him and to be interested in his state? And if you do this, one won’t be lacking who says: “This is crazy, why does he talk to a poor one!” Do I see if I can receive that person in some way or do I try to be free of him soonest? But perhaps he is asking only for the necessary: something to eat and to drink. Let us reflect for a moment: how often do we recite the “Our Father,” and yet we do not really pay attention to those words: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
A Psalm in the Bible says that God is He who “gives bread to all flesh” (136:25). The experience of hunger is harsh. Someone who has lived periods of war and want knows it. Yet this experience is repeated every day and it exists beside abundance and waste. The Apostle James’ words are always timely: ‘What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (2:14-17) because it is incapable of doing works, of doing charity, of loving. There is always someone who is hungry and thirsty and is in need of me. I cannot delegate it to any other. This poor one is in need of me, of my help, of my word, of my commitment. We are all involved in this.
It is also the teaching of the page of the Gospel in which Jesus, seeing the many people who had been following him for hours, asks His disciples: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” (John 6:5). And the disciples answered: “It’s impossible, it would be better if you dismissed them …” Instead, Jesus says to them: “No, you yourselves give them to eat” <cf. Mark 14:16). He has them give him the few loaves and fish they have, he blesses them, breaks them and has them distributed to all. It is a very important lesson for us. It says to us that the little we have, if we entrust it to Jesus’ hands and share it with faith, becomes superabundant richness.
In the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI affirms: “Feed the hungry  is an ethical imperative for the universal Church… The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights … It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination[65]” (n. 27). Let us not forget Jesus’ words: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35) and “If anyone who thirsts, come to me and drink” (John 7:37). These words are a provocation for all of us believers, a provocation to recognize that our relationship with God passes through feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, a God who revealed in Jesus His merciful face.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Italian-Greetings 
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I receive joyfully the faithful of the Diocese of Caltagirone, with the Bishop, Monsignor Calogero Peri, on the occasion of the bicentenary of its foundation; the Confirmed of the Diocese of Faenza-Modigliana, accompanied by Monsignor Mario Toso; the participants in the Seminar promoted by the University of the Holy Cross; the youngsters of Catholic Action of Brindisi-Ostuni and the faithful of Mistretta.
I greet the pilgrimage of the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, gathered here for the Canonization of Saint Alphonsus Maria Fusco, and I hope that the Founder’s charism is spread also in today’s society. I greet the officials of the Academy of Modena; the Center of National Creativity Foundation; the Association of the Variously Disabled and the participants in the Second Meeting Women, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
Finally, a thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today the liturgy remembers Saint Paul of the Cross, priest Founder of the Passionists: dear young people, especially the youngsters adhering to the Festival of Diplomacy, may meditation on Jesus’ Passion teach you the greatness of His love for us; dear sick, carry your cross in union with Christ to have relief in the hour of trial; and you, dear newlyweds, dedicate time to prayer, so that your conjugal life is a journey of Christian perfection.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday October 19, 2016


Memorial of Saints John de Br├ębeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 475


Reading 1EPH 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial PsalmIS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (see 3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

AlleluiaMT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”