Monday, January 30, 2017

Saint January 31 : St. John Bosco : Patron of: Editors, #Publishers, #Schoolchildren, #Young people

Today, January 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint John Bosco (1815-1888), Salesians Father, Founder, Confessor, and teacher and patron saint of youth. Saint John worked tirelessly throughout his life to provide education and spiritual instruction to the poor and orphaned children of the world. The orders he founded continue to pursue that mission today. Saint John is remembered for accepting anyone, loving everyone, saying: “A piece of Heaven fixes everything.”
John was born in Turin, in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, to a peasant family. His father died when John was only two years old, leaving he and his two brothers in the solitary care of his mother. The family, quite poor, struggled to make ends meet, and John began to work as soon as he was old enough to correctly manipulate tools. He also demonstrated piety and devotion to the Lord from an early age, and professed his wish to become a priest at the age of nine, following a dream. His goal, even from that early age, was to assist youth who suffered in the same manner in which he did. John wished to spread the word of the Gospel, even as a child. He demonstrated great initiative and creativity and learned magic tricks and acrobatics in an attempt to gather an audience so that he could later evangelize and catechize the children and adults of his town. He would begin with a prayer, and while he still had a crows, would often repeat the homily he had heard in church earlier in the week.
His mother approved his wish to become a priest, but to make that happen, John would have to leave home to receive an education in the city. Being larger than his peers, and noticeably more impoverished, John was the constant focus of his classmates’ ridicule and teasing. To pay for his education, John spent his evenings working in whatever capacity he could—as a tailor, cobbler, and a waiter—returning back to his small room to study through the night be candlelight. Upon graduation, he began his studies for the priesthood.
Like most things he set his mind to, John Bosco was ordained a priest at only twenty-six. During his time as a seminarian, he devoted his spare hours to looking after the urchins who roamed the slums of the city. Every Sunday he taught them catechism, supervised their games and entertained them with stories and tricks. He spent weekdays recruiting the roughest and dirtiest he could find, inviting them to the Sunday gatherings. Before long, his kindness had won their confidence, and his “Sunday School” became a ritual with them.
Upon ordination, Saint John immediately sought to formalize his ministry to the poor boys of the city, opening a hospice. When he was unable to secure a building in a “good” section of town, he took one in the slums. This first “oratory” was soon joined by three others, as educators and religious sought to join him in his ministry. His mother joined him as well, serving as housekeeper. Saint John fed and clothed the boys, but also spent long hours providing them with a basic education, and teaching them skills to obtain employment. Within the hospice was a tailoring and shoemaking room, as well as a printing press. Above all, he instructed the boys in the Gospel, modeling by example the life of Jesus Christ, and creating the atmosphere of a Christian family built on trust and love.
Noting the transformation of the youth he ministered to, Don (Father) Bosco began to gather followers to him, who accepted him as their spiritual advisor, leader, and guide. As their number grew, the Salesian Society of priests and lay brothers was formed. Named after Saint Francis de Sales, noted for his gentleness and kindness, Saint John Bosco dedicated this new society to the saint. Saint John traveled to Rome in 1858, and met with Pope Pius IX who encouraged his new religious community. Four years later, he founded an order for women, The Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, to care for abandoned girls in the same manner.
By 1868, over 800 boys were being cared for in the Salesian oratories. Along with this, Saint John oversaw the writing, printing and distribution countless pamphlets that popularized Catholic teaching and answered the objections of anti-Catholics. Moreover, he was reported to receive supernatural guidance from the Lord, it the form of vivid dreams and visions, many of which he recounted. At times, he was able to predict the deaths of those he was close to, revealed by God, so that he might provide Last Rites. He also received a vivid vision of Hell, which he shared with all he encountered. Saint John is also remembered for working miracles, especially the multiplication of food when funds were short.
Saint John Bosco reformed the manner in which children were educated. Rather than the punitive system which was common at the time, John enacted a preventative system which rejected corporal punishment. By tending to basic needs, educational needs, and spiritual needs, the Salesians sought to put children in an environment which reduced the likelihood to commit sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with his boys’ work, study and play. He is remembered for saying to those he ministered to: "It is enough to know that you are young and abandoned for me to love you very much." Saint John Bosco died on January 31, 1888. His incorrupt relics are frequently taken on pilgrimage around the world, to visit the faithful. The work begun by Saint John continues today, with thousands dedicated to education youth at risk. The international society of the Salesians of Don Bosco administers over 3,000 schools, colleges, technical schools, and youth centers throughout the world (in 125 countries). All at risk children are served, regardless of religion or social inequalities. The mission of this tireless ministers is to be “signs and bearers of God’s love to the young.”
Saint John Bosco, you reached out to children whom no one cared for despite ridicule and insults. Help us to care less about the laughter of the world and care more about the joy of the Lord. Amen
Admirable apostle of youth, founder of religious Congregations, catechist, educator, writer, and a light that shone brightly in our time, you know that one of the greatest powers today is the power of the Press. Prompt editors to be always truthful and to work for the good of human beings, thus serving the greater glory of God. Amen. Text shared from 365 Rosaries - Image Google 

#PopeFrancis "Let us offer this Mass for our martyrs, for those who are now suffering..." #Homily


(Vatican Radio) The greatest strength of the Church today is in the little, persecuted Churches. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta. At the heart of the Pope’s homily were the martyrs: “Today there are more than in the first ages” – but the media says nothing about them, he continued, because it’s not news. Pope Francis invited us to remember those who suffer martyrdom.
“Without memory there is no hope,” the Pope said, basing his homily on the reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. The first Reading of the Mass is an exhortation to remember the whole history of the people of the Lord. The liturgy in these days focuses on the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, which speaks of memory – and first of all, a “memory of docility,” the memory of the docility of so many people, beginning with Abraham, who was obedient, who went out from his own land without knowing where he was going. In particular, the section of Hebrews 11 read in today’s Mass dealt with other memories: the memory of the great works of the Lord, accomplished by Gideon, Barak, Samson, David; “so many people,” the Pope said, “who have done great things in the history of Israel.
Today there are more martyrs than in the first ages: the media says nothing because they're not newsworthy
There is also a third group we remember: the martyrs, “those who have suffered and given their lives, as Jesus did,” who “were stoned, tortured, killed by the sword.” The Church, in fact, is “this people of God,” “sinful but docile,” which “does great things and also bears witness to Jesus Christ, to the point of martyrdom”:
“The martyrs are those that carry the Church forward, they are those who support the Church, who have supported her [in the past] and [who] support her today. And today there are more than in the first centuries. The media doesn’t speak of them because they're not newsworthy, but so many Christians in the world today are blessed because [they are] persecuted, insulted, incarcerated. There are so many imprisoned solely for carrying a cross or for confessing Jesus Christ! This is the glory of the Church, and our support, and also our humiliation: we who have so much, everything seems so easy for us, and if we are lacking something we complain. But let us think of these our brothers and sisters who today, in numbers greater than in the first ages, are suffering martyrdom!”
“I cannot forget,” Pope Francis continued, “the testimony of that priest and that sister in the Cathedral of Tirana [Albania]: years and years of imprisonment, forced labour, humiliations,” for whom human rights did not exist.
The greatest strength of the Church is the small, persecuted Churches
Then the Pope recalled that the greatest strength of the Church of today is in the “little Churches” that are persecuted:
“And we too – it’s also true and just – we are satisfied when we see a great ecclesial act, which has great success, Christians who demonstrate… and this is beautiful! Is this strength? Yes, it’s strength. But the greatest strength of the Church today is in the little Churches, tiny, with few people, persecuted, with their Bishops in prison. This is our glory today, this is our glory and our strength.”
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians
“A Church without martyrs – I would dare to say – is a church without Jesus,” the Pope said in conclusion. He then invited those present to pray “for our martyrs, who suffer so much… for those Churches that are not free to express themselves: they are our hope.” And the Pope recalled that in the first ages of the Church, an ancient writer said “the blood of Christians, the blood of the martyrs, is the seed of Christians”:
“They, with their martyrdom, their witness, with their suffering, even giving their life, offering their life, sow Christians for the future and in other Churches. Let us offer this Mass for our martyrs, for those who are now suffering, for the Churches that suffer, who do not have liberty. And let us thank the Lord for being present with the strength of the Holy Spirit in these our brothers and sisters who today are bearing witness to Him.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. January 30, 2017 - #Eucharist


Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 323


Reading 1HEB 11:32-40

Brothers and sisters:
What more shall I say?
I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah,
of David and Samuel and the prophets,
who by faith conquered kingdoms,
did what was righteous, obtained the promises;
they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires,
escaped the devouring sword;
out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle,
and turned back foreign invaders.
Women received back their dead through resurrection.
Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance,
in order to obtain a better resurrection.
Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point;
they went about in skins of sheep or goats,
needy, afflicted, tormented.
The world was not worthy of them.
They wandered about in deserts and on mountains,
in caves and in crevices in the earth.

Yet all these, though approved because of their faith,
did not receive what had been promised.
God had foreseen something better for us,
so that without us they should not be made perfect.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24

R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Blessed be the LORD whose wondrous mercy
he has shown me in a fortified city.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Once I said in my anguish,
"I am cut off from your sight";
Yet you heard the sound of my pleading
when I cried out to you.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"
(He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!")
He asked him, "What is your name?"
He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
"Send us into the swine. Let us enter them."
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
"Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.