Wednesday, November 9, 2016

#BreakingNews Donald Trumps Wins Presidency of USA - #ProLife Favorite - Bishops and Vatican Congratulate


Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States. He was the favorite of many Catholic and Evangelical Pro-Lifers. 
 Edison Research  showed Catholics voted for Trump by a 52-45% margin, and Protestant or other Christian religions voted 58-39 for Trump.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference,  post-election statement congratulated Trump:“The bishops’ conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
“We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.”
Archbishop Kurtz added, “Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite,” he said,
VATICAN Message to Trump:
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on Wednesday said he hoped the newly elected American president, Donald Trump, would be guided by God to serve his country but also to promote peace and wellbeing in the world.
Talking to journalists on the sidelines of a conference at Rome’s Lateran University, the cardinal said he respected the will of the American people as expressed in this exercise of democracy. “We send our congratulations to the new president”, he continued, in the hope that “his government may bear real fruit”.
Cardinal Parolin said it would be premature to comment on specific issues such as immigration, noting that the views of presidential candidates often differ from their policies once they become president and adding that Trump had already spoken “in leadership style”.
He said Trump can be “assured of our prayers that the Lord may enlighten and support him” in the service of his country, but also in the service of peace and wellbeing in the world. Cardinal Parolin concluded by saying he believes there is a need for everyone to work to change the situation in the world today, which is one of “grave wounds, of serious conflicts”.

#PopeFrancis "... let us become instruments of God’s mercy and this will do us more good..." FULL TEXT at Audience + Video


Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Jesus’ life, especially in the three years of His public ministry, was an incessant encounter with individuals. Among these, the sick had a special place. How many pages of the Gospel talk about these encounters! The paralytic, the blind, the leper, the possessed, the epileptic, and innumerable sick of all sorts … Jesus made Himself close to each one of them, and He healed them with His presence and the power of His healing strength. Therefore, among the works of mercy, to visit and assist the sick cannot be lacking.
Together with this, we can insert also that of being close to individuals that are in prison. In fact, the sick and the imprisoned live a condition that limits their freedom. It is in fact when the latter is lacking that we realize how precious it is! Jesus has given us the possibility to be free despite the limitations of sickness and of restrictions. He offers us the freedom that comes from our encounter with Him and from the new sense that this encounter leads to our personal condition.
With these works of mercy, the Lord invites us to a gesture of great humanity: sharing. We remember this word: sharing. One who is sick often feels alone. We cannot hide <the fact> that, especially in our days, precisely in sickness, one has a more profound experience of the solitude that runs through a great part of life. A visit can make the sick person feel less alone and a little company is an optimum medicine! A smile, a caress, a handshake are simple gestures, but so important for one who feels abandoned to himself. How many persons dedicate themselves to visiting the sick in hospitals and in their homes! It is a priceless work of volunteers. When it is done in the Lord’s name, then it also becomes an eloquent and effective expression of mercy. Let us not leave the sick alone! Let us not impede them from finding relief, and us from being enriched by our closeness to those who suffer. Hospitals are real “cathedrals of pain,” where, however, the strength of charity, which sustains and feels compassion, is rendered evident.
In the same line, I think of all those locked in prisons. Jesus did not forget them either. By putting a visit to the imprisoned among the works of mercy, He wished to invite us, first of all, not to be judges of anyone. Of course, if one is in prison it is because he has erred, has not respected the law and civil coexistence. Therefore, he is being punished accordingly, by being in prison. But, whatever an imprisoned person might have done, he remains, nevertheless, always loved by God. Who can enter the depth of his conscience to understand what he feels? Who can understand the pain and the remorse? It is very easy to wash one’s hands affirming that he erred. Instead, a Christian is called to take charge of him, so that the one who erred understands the evil he did and returns to himself. The lack of freedom is without a doubt one of the greatest privations for the human being. If to this is added the degradation given the conditions often deprived of humanity, in which these individuals find themselves living, then it is truly the case in which a Christian feels stirred to do his utmost to restore to them their dignity.
To visit persons in prison is a work of mercy that, especially today, assumes a particular value because of the different forms of [justicialism] to which we are subjected. Therefore, no one must point the finger at another. Instead, we must all render ourselves instruments of mercy, with attitudes of sharing and of respect. I wonder what led them to commit a crime and how were they able to yield to the different forms of evil. Yet, together with these thoughts I feel they are all in need of closeness and tenderness, so that God’s mercy will work wonders. How many tears I have seen fall down the cheeks of prisoners, who perhaps had never cried in their life; and this only because they felt received and loved.
And let us not forget that Jesus and the Apostles also experienced imprisonment. In the accounts of the Passion we learn about the sufferings the Lord was subjected to: seized, dragged as an evildoer, derided, scourged, crowned with thorns … He, the only Innocent One! And Saint Peter and Saint Paul were also in prison (cf. Acts 12:5; Philippians 1:12-17). Last Sunday, which was the Jubilee of the Imprisoned – in the afternoon, a group of prisoners of Padua came to see me. I asked them what they would do the day after, before returning to Padua. They said to me: “We will go to the Mamertine Prison to share Saint Paul’s experience.” It was lovely to hear this; it did me good. These prisoners wanted to meet Paul, the prisoner. It was a lovely thing, and it did me good. And there also, in the prison, they prayed and evangelized. Moving is the page in the Acts of the Apostles that recounts Paul’s imprisonment: he felt alone and wanted one of his friends to visit him (cf. 2 Timothy 4:9-15). He felt alone because the great majority left him alone … the great Paul.
These works of mercy, as you see, are ancient and yet always timely. Jesus left what He was doing to go to visit Peter’s mother-in-law; an ancient work of mercy. Jesus did it. Let us not fall into indifference, but let us become instruments of God’s mercy and this will do us more good than the others because mercy passes through a gesture, a word, a visit and this mercy is an act to restore joy and dignity to one who has lost it.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims: welcome! I greet the Fathers of the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata, who are celebrating the bicentenary of their foundation, and the Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena. I greet the Caritas Group from Livorno; the youngsters affected by the Rett Syndrome; the students, in particular those of the Severi-Guerrisi Institute, accompanied by the Bishop of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi, Monsignor Francesco Milito, and the military men of the “Reoas” Third Regiment of Viterbo. May the crossing of the Holy Door remind each one that only through Christ is it possible to enter in the love and mercy of the Father, who receives and forgives all.
A particular greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today we celebrate the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of Rome. Pray for the Successor of the Apostle Peter, dear young people, so that he always confirms brothers in the faith; feel the Pope’s closeness in prayer, dear sick, to face the trial of sickness; teach the faith to your children with simplicity, dear newlyweds, nourishing it with love for the Church and for Her pastors.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 9, 2016


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Lectionary: 671


Reading 1EZ 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

Reading 21 COR 3:9C-11, 16-17

Brothers and sisters:
You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Alleluia2 CHR 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord,
that my name may be there forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

Saint November 9 : Saint John Lateran : Dedication of the Basilica


Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Feast: November 9
Information:
Feast Day:
November 9

This is the oldest, and ranks first among the four great "patriarchal" basilicas of Rome. The site was, in ancient times, occupied by the palace of the family of the Laterani. A member of this family, P. Sextius Lateranus, was the first plebian to attain the rank of consul. In the time of Nero, another member of the family, Plautius Lateranus, at the time consul designatus was accused of conspiracy against the emperor, and his goods were confiscated. Juvenal mentions the palace, and speaks of it as being of some magnificence, "regiæ ædes Lateranorum". Some few remains of the original buildings may still be traced in the city walls outside the Gate of St. John, and a large hall decorated with paintings was uncovered in the eighteenth century within the basilica itself, behind the Lancellotti Chapel. A few traces of older buildings also came to light during the excavations made in 1880, when the work of extending the apse was in progress, but nothing was then discovered of real value or importance. The palace came eventually into the hands of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, through his wife Fausta, and it is from her that it derived the name by which it was then sometimes called, "Domus Faustæ". Constantine must have given it to the Church in the time of Miltiades, not later than about 311, for we find a council against the Donatists meeting within its walls as early as 313. From that time onwards it was always the centre of Christian life within the city; the residence of the popes and the cathedral of Rome. The latter distinction it still holds, though it has long lost the former. Hence the proud title which may be read upon its walls, that it is "Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput".
It seems probable, in spite of the tradition that Constantine helped in the work of building with his own hands, that there was not a new basilica erected at the Lateran, but that the work carried out at this period was limited to the adaptation, which perhaps involved the enlargement, of the already existing basilica or great hall of the palace. The words of St. Jerome "basilica quondam Laterani" (Ep. lxxiii, P.L., XXII, col. 692) seem to point in this direction, and it is also probable on other grounds. This original church was probably not of very large dimensions, but we have no reliable information on the subject. It was dedicated to the Saviour, "Basilica Salvatoris", the dedication to St. John being of later date, and due to a Benedictine monastery of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist which adjoined the basilica and where members were charged at one period with the duty of maintaining the services in the church. This later dedication to St. John has now in popular usage altogether superseded the original one. A great many donations from the popes and other benefactors to the basilica are recorded in the "Liber Pontificalis", and its splendour at an early period was such that it became known as the "Basilica Aurea", or Golden Church. This splendour drew upon it the attack of the Vandals, who stripped it of all its treasures. St. Leo the Great restored it about 460, and it was again restored by Hadrian I, but in 896 it was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake ("ab altari usque ad portas cecidit"). The damage was so extensive that it was difficult to trace in every case the lines of the old building, but these were in the main respected and the new building was of the same dimensions as the old. This secondchurch lasted for four hundred years and was then burnt down. It was rebuilt by Clement V and John XXII, only to be burnt down once more in 1360, but again rebuilt by Urban V.
Through these various vicissitudes the basilica retained its ancient form, being divided by rows of columns into aisles, and having in front an atrium surrounded by colonnades with a fountain in the middle. The façade had three windows, and was embellished with a mosaic representing Christ as the Saviour of the world. The porticoes of the atrium were decorated with frescoes, probably not dating further back than the twelfth century, which commemorated the Roman fleet under Vespasian, the taking of Jerusalem, the Baptism of the Emperor Constantine and his "Donation" to the Church. Inside the basilica the columns no doubt ran, as in all other basilicas of the same date, the whole length of the church from east to west, but at one of the rebuildings, probably that which was carried out by Clement V, the feature of a transverse nave was introduced, imitated no doubt from the one which had been, long before this, added at S. Paolo fuori le Mura. It was probably at this time also that the church was enlarged. When the popes returned to Rome from their long absence at Avignon they found the city deserted and the churches almost in ruins. Great works were begun at the Lateran by Martin V and his successors. The palace, however, was never again used by them as a residence, the Vatican, which stands in a much drier and healthier position, being chosen in its place. It was not until the latter part of the seventeenth century that thechurch took its present appearance, in the tasteless restoration carried out by Innocent X, with Borromini for his architect. The ancient columns were now enclosed in huge pilasters, with gigantic statues in front. In consequence of this the church has entirely lost the appearance of an ancient basilica, and is completely altered in character.
Some portions of the older buildings still survive. Among these we may notice the pavement of medieval Cosmatesque work, and the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, now in the cloisters. The graceful baldacchino over the high altar, which looks so utterly out of place in its present surroundings, dates from 1369. The stercoraria, or throne of red marble on which the popes sat, is now in the Vatican Museum. It owes its unsavoury name to the anthem sung at the ceremony of the papal enthronization, "De stercore erigeus pauperem". From the fifth century there were seven oratories surrounding the basilica. These before long were thrown into the actual church. The devotion of visiting these oratories, which held its ground all through the medieval period, gave rise to the similar devotion of the seven altars, still common in many churches of Rome and elsewhere. Between the basilica and the city wall there was in former times the great monastery, in which dwelt the community of monks whose duty it was to provide the services in the basilica. The only part of it which still survives is the cloister, surrounded by graceful columns of inlaid marble. They are of a style intermediate between the Romanesque proper and the Gothic, and are the work of Vassellectus and the Cosmati. The date of these beautiful cloisters is the early part of the thirteenth century.
The ancient apse, with mosaics of the fourth century, survived all the many changes and dangers of the Middle Ages, and was still to be seen very much in its original condition as late as 1878, when it was destroyed in order to provide a larger space for the ordinations and other pontifical functions which take place in this cathedral church of Rome. The original mosaics were, however, preserved with the greatest possible care and very great success, and were re-erected at the end of the new and deeper apse which had been provided. In these mosaics, as they now appear, the centre of the upper portion is occupied by the figure of Christ surrounded by nine angels. This figure is extremely ancient, and dates from the fifth, or it may be even the fourth century. It is possible even that it is the identical one which, as is told in ancienttradition, was manifested to the eyes of the worshippers on the occasion of the dedication of the church: "Imago Salvatoris infixa parietibus primum visibilis omni populo Romano apparuit" (Joan. Diac., "Lib. de Ecclesia Lat.", P.L. CXCIV, 1543-1560). If it is so, however, it has certainly been retouched. Below is seen the crux gammata, surmounted by a dove which symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and standing on a hill whence flow the four rivers of the Gospels, from whose waters stags and sheep come to drink. On either side are saints, looking towards the Cross. These last are thought to belong originally to the sixth century, though they were repaired and altered in the thirteenth by Nicholas IV, whose effigy may be seen prostrate at the feet of the Blessed Virgin. The river which runs below is more ancient still, and may be regarded as going back to Constantine and the first days of the basilica. The remaining mosaics of the apse are of the thirteenth century, and the signatures of the artists, Torriti and Camerino, may still be read upon them. Camerino was a Franciscan friar; perhaps Torriti was one also.
The pavement of the basilica dates from Martin V and the return of the popes to Rome from Avignon. Martin V was of the Colonna family, and the columns are their badge. The high altar, which formerly occupied the position customary in all ancient basilicas, in the centre of the chord of the apse, has now beyond it, owing to the successive enlargements of the church, the whole of the transverse nave and of the new choir. It has no saint buried beneath it, since it was not, as were almost all the other great churches of Rome, erected over the tomb of a martyr. It stands alone among all the altars of the Catholic world in being of wood and not of stone, and enclosing no relics of any kind. The reason for this peculiarity is that it is itself a relic of a most interesting kind, being the actual wooden altar upon which St. Peter is believed to have celebrated Mass during his residence in Rome. It was carefully preserved through all the years of persecution, and was brought by Constantine and Sylvester from St. Pudentiana's, where it had been kept till then, to become the principal altar of the cathedral church of Rome. It is now, of course, enclosed in a larger altar of stone and cased with marble, but the original wood can still be seen. A small portion was left at St. Pudentiana's in memory of its long connection with that church, and is still preserved there. Above the High Altar is the canopy or baldacchino already mentioned, a Gothic structure resting on four marble columns, and decorated with paintings by Barna of Siena. In the upper part of the baldacchino are preserved the heads of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the great treasure of the basilica, which until this shrine was prepared to receive them had always been kept in the "Sancta Sanctorum", the private chapel of the Lateran Palace adjoining. Behind the apse there formerly extended the "Leonine" portico; it is not known which pontiff gave it this name. At the entrance there was an inscription commemorating the dream of Innocent III, when he saw the church of the Lateran upheld by St. Francis of Assisi. On the opposite wall was hung the tabula magna, or catalogue of all the relics of the basilica, and also of the different chapels and the indulgences attached to them respectively. It is now in the archives of the basilica.
SOURCE Catholic Encyclopedia