Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Saint May 10 : St. Damien of Molokai - Patron of #AIDS / #HIV patients and Lepers - Died 1889

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St. Damien of Molokai
MISSIONARY PRIEST
Feast: May 10

Feast Day:
May 10
Born:
January 3, 1840, Tremelo, Belgium
Died:
April 15, 1889 (aged 49),        Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii
Beatified:
June 4, 1995, Rome by Pope John Paul II
Canonized:
October 11, 2009, Rome by Pope Benedict XVI
Major Shrine:
shrine Leuven, Belgium (bodily relics), Maui, Hawaii (relics of his hand)
Patron of:
People with leprosy, people with HIV and AIDS, outcasts, the State of Hawaii



Father Damien of Molokai, ss.cc. was born Josef de Veuster on January 3, 1840 in Tremelo, Belgium. His parents were farmers. His father sent him to a college at Braine-le-Comte. Because of a mission he attended given by the Redemptorists in 1858, Joseph decided to become a religious. He entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, SS.CC. at Louvain, taking the name of Damien in his first vows. Following his brother Auguste, he became a Picpus Brother on October 7, 1860. He took the name Bro. Damianus, after St. Damien, an early Christian saint who performed miracles. On March 19, 1864, Damien arrived in Honolulu in the Kingdom of Hawaii as a missionary still in minor orders. There, Damien was ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 1864 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, a church built by his religious order, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Fr. Damien was serving at several parishes on the island of Oahu when he became aware of  the public health crisis in Hawaii. Many of his parishoners were among the Hawaiians who became afflicted by diseases brought to the islands by Europeans, American and other foreign sailors. Thousands were dying from influenza, syphilis and other ailments that never before affected Hawaiians, esp. leprosy, known today as Hansen's Disease.


Hawaiian King Kamehameha IV was afraid leprosy would spread so he segregated the lepers by creating a colony, moving them to an isolated settlement on the island of Molokai. The Board of Health provided them with supplies and food but did not yet have the manpower nor resources to provide proper healthcare to the lepers.
Fr Damien was concerned about the care of their souls if they were to be sent to this desolate area, named Kalaupapa, which was surrounded by an impregnable mountain ridge. Fr. Damien's brother was orignally assigned to be missionary to the lepers but he became ill. Fr. believed that the lepers should at least have a priest to tend to their spiritual needs so he volunteered knowing it was a definite death sentence, so he asked his bishop to be sent to Molokai.
On May 10, 1873, Fr. Damien arrived at the isolated settlement at Kalaupapa. Bishop Louis Maigret, ss.cc. presented Fr. Damien to the 600 lepers as "one who will be a father to you, and who loves you so much that he does not hesitate to become one of you; to live and die with you." Fr. Damien was sent to a morally deprived, lawless colony of death where people fought each other to survive.


His first project was to build the Parish Church of St. Philomena so the people might learn the Catholic faith and have a place to worship Our Lord in the "Blessed Sacrament, (is) indeed the stimulus for us all for me as it should be for you to forsake all worldly ambitions." He taught that "the Eucharist is the bread that gives strength. It is at once the most eloquent proof of His love and the most powerful means to foster His love in us. He gives Himself every day so that our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful.”
The King of Hawaii didn't plan the settlement to be in chaos but he neglected to provide desparately needed resources, which contributed to the confusion and disorganization in the colony. Fr. Damien changed an impossible situation into a colony of life by teaching, painting grass shacks into painted houses, organizing farms and constructing buildings, chapels and roads. He restored faith in his battered and neglected flock. He showed them that despite what the outside world told them, they were precious in the eyes of God. He taught them to believe in God and showed them that by his genuine acts of charity that what there was purpose in their lives. He restored personal pride and dignity among so many who had given up hope. He organized a band, horse riding and choir.
Fr. Damien worked providing comfort for the people of Kalaupapa for sixteen years. He was not just their priest, but a builder of homes and their doctor, too. He dressed their ulcers, and tended the sick and dying at their bedsides, bringing them meager portions of taro, fish and water and tried to cheer the despairing with sweets.
He built their coffins and dug their graves. He liked praying at the cemetary, “My greatest pleasure is to go there [the cemetery] to say my beads, and meditate on that unending happiness which so many of them are already enjoying.” Fr. grew to love his parishioners as his own children, caring for lepers of all ages, especially for the children segregated in the colony for whom he created an orphanage.
"Without the constant presence of our Divine Master upon the altar in my poor chapels, I never could have persevered casting my lot with the afflicted of Molokai; the foreseen consequence of which begins now to appear on my skin and is felt throughout the body." In 1885, he announced, "I am one of you;" he was a leper yet he continued to build hospitals, clinics, and churches, and some six hundred coffins.
Fr. Damien had a chance to leave the island if he wanted to. In the spring of 1873 his superiors sent a letter giving him permission to stay, "You may stay as long as your devotion dictates...." He was overjoyed, he had permission to stay where he was and where he longed with all his heart to be with the people he loved.


His most controversial accomplishment was to take the plight of his Hawaiian to the world raising money for the much needed improvements he needed to improve the standard of living in the colony gaining support from around the world e.g. Anglicans in England at the disapproval of his superiors.
Fr. Damien de Veuster was a priest of profound faith, "Holy Communion being the daily bread of a priest, I feel myself happy, well pleased, and resigned in the rather exceptional circumstances in which it has pleased Divine Providence to put me. Were it not for the constant presence of our divine Master in our humble chapel, I would not have found it possible to persevere in sharing the lot of the afflicted in Molokai…the Eucharist is the bread that gives strength. It is at once the most eloquent proof of his love and the most powerful means of foster His love in us. He gives Himself every day so hat our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful,”
He died April 15, 1889 on his beloved Molokai the age of forty-nine. This is the tomb of St. Damien on Molokai. Father Damien was initially buried in Kalaupapa, but his body was later moved to Tremolo, Belgium. But in 1995, his right hand was returned to Kalaupapa.
Saint Damien is the patron of those with leprosy, outcasts, HIV, AIDS and the State of Hawaii. Do not hesitate to call him to help you in your time of need. Source: St. Damien Molokai UK

Saint May 10 : St. Antonius of Florence - Patron against Fevers - Died 1459


































St. Antonius of Florence
ARCHBISHOP, CONFESSOR
Feast: May 10


     Information:
Feast Day:May 10
Born:1 March 1389 at Florence, Italy
Died:2 May 1459 at Florence, Italy
Canonized:31 May 1523 by Pope Adrian VI
Patron of:against fever
St. Antoninus, or Little Antony, was born at Florence in 1389. His parents, named Nicholas Pierozzi and Thomassina, were noble citizens of that place, and he was the only fruit of their marriage. From the cradle he was modest, bashful, docile, and had no inclination but to piety, being even then an enemy both to sloth and to the amusements of children. It was his only pleasure to read the lives of saints and other good books, to converse with pious persons, or employ himself in prayer, to which he was much given from his infancy. Accordingly, if he was not at home or at school, he was always to be found at St. Michael's church before a crucifix, or in our Lady's chapel there. And whether he applied himself to that holy exercise in his closet or the church, he always kneeled or lay prostrate, with a perseverance that astonished everybody. By the means of a happy memory, a solid judgment, and quick penetration, assisted by an assiduous application, he became an able master at an age when others scarce begin to understand the first elements of the sciences. But his passion for learning was not equal to his ardor to perfect himself in the science of salvation. In prayer, he begged nothing of God but his grace to avoid sin, and to do his holy will in all things. F. Dominic, a learned and holy preacher of the order of St. Dominic, afterwards made cardinal, archbishop of Ragusa, and legate of the holy see, was then employed in building a convent at Fiesoli, two miles from Florence. Antoninus was wonderfully delighted with the unction of his sermons, and never went out of Florence but to converse with that apostolic man, to whom he applied at last for the Dominican habit. The father judging him as yet too young, and his constitution too tender for so strict a life of perpetual abstinence, frequent fasts, long watchings, and other rigors, advised him to wait yet some years, and bid him first study the canon law, adding, that when he should have learned Gratian's decree by heart, his request should be granted. So dry and difficult a task would have seemed to another equivalent to an absolute refusal. However, Antoninus set about it, and joining prayer and severe mortifications with his studies, made an essay of the ]life to which he aspired; and in less than a year presented himself again to the prior of Fiesoli; and by answering his examination upon the whole decree of Gratian, gave him a surprising proof of his capacity, memory, and fervor. The prior hesitated no longer, but gave him the habit, he being then sixteen years of age. The young novice was most exact in complying with every point of the rule, and appeared the most humble, the most obedient, most mortified, and most recollected of his brethren. Being advanced to the priesthood, he augmented his exercise of piety; he was never seen at the altar but bathed in tears. Whether sick or well, he day always on the hard boards; and so perfectly had he subjected the flesh to the spirit, that he seemed to feel no reluctance from his senses in the service of God. He was chosen very young to govern the great convent of the Minerva in Rome, and after that, was successively prior at Naples, Cajeta, Cortona, Sienna, Fiesoli, and Florence: in all which places he zealously enforced the practice of the rule of St. Dominic, and more by his actions than words. Besides his domestic employments he preached often, and with great fruit. The works which he published increased his reputation. He was consulted from Rome, and from all quarters, especially in intricate cases of the canon law. The learned cardinal de Lucca reckons him among the most distinguished auditors or judges of the Rota, though we do not find at what time he discharged that office. He was chosen vicar or general superior of a numerous reformed congregation in his order. He would not remit any thing in his austerities or labors when exhausted by a decay, of which however he recovered. Pope Eugenius IV called him to the general council of Florence; and he assisted in quality of divine at all its sessions, and at the disputations with the Greeks. During his stay at Florence he was made prior of the convent of St. Mark in that city, for which Cosmus of Medicis, called the father of his country, was then building a sumptuous church, which pope Eugenius IV. consecrated. After having established in this house the true spirit of his order, he visited his convents in Tuscany and Naples.

While employed in introducing the primitive discipline of his order in the province of Naples, the see of Florence became vacant by the death of its archbishop. The intrigues of several candidates protracted the election of a successor. But pope Eugenius IV. no sooner named F. Antoninus to the Florentines, as possessed of the qualities they had desired in their future bishop, namely, sanctity, learning, and experience, and his being a native of their own city, than they all acquiesced in his choice. Antoninus, who had then been two years absent from Florence, employed in the visitation of his monasteries, was equally surprised and afflicted that he should have been thought of for so eminent a dignity. And that he might escape it, he set out with the design of concealing himself in the isle of Sardinia; but being prevented in the execution, he was obliged to go to Sienna, whence he wrote to the pope, conjuring his holiness not to lay that formidable burden on his weak shoulders, alleging his being in the decline of life, worn out with fatigues and sickness; enlarging also upon his great unworthiness and want of capacity; and begging that he would not now treat him as an enemy whom he had honored with so many marks of friendship. He could not close his letter without watering it with his tears. The pope, however, was inflexible, and sent him an order to repair without delay to his convent at Fiesoli. He wrote at the same time to the city of Florence, to acquaint, them that he had sent them an archbishop to their gates. The principal, persons of the clergy and nobility, with Cosmus of Medicis at their head, went out to compliment him on that occasion; but found him so averse to the dignity, that all their entreaties to take it upon him were to no purpose, till the pope, being again applied to in the affair, sent him an order to obey, backing it with a threat of excommunication if he persisted in opposing the will of God. After many tears, Antoninus at last complied; he was consecrated and took possession of his bishopric in March, 1446. His regulation of his household and conduct was a true imitation of the primitive apostolic bishops. His table, dress, and furniture showed a perfect spirit of poverty, modesty, and simplicity. It was his usual saying, that all the riches. Of a successor of the apostles ought to be his virtue. He practiced all the observances of his rule as far as compatible with his functions. His whole family consisted of six persons, to whom he assigned such salaries as might hinder them from seeking accidental perquisites, which are usually iniquitous or dangerous. He at first appointed two grand vicars, but afterwards, to avoid all occasions of variance, kept only one; and remembering that a bishop is bound to personal service, did almost every thing himself, but always with mature advice. As to his temporalities, he relied entirely on a man of probity and capacity, to reserve himself totally for his spiritual functions. He gave audience every day to all that addressed themselves to him, but particularly declared himself the father and protector of the poor. His purse and his granaries were in a manner totally theirs; when these were exhausted, he gave them often part of his scanty furniture and clothes. He never was possessed of any plate, or any other precious moveables, and never kept either dogs or horses; one only mule served all the necessities of his family, and this he often sold for the relief of some poor person; on which occasion, some wealthy citizen would buy it, to restore it again as a present to the charitable archbishop. He founded the college of St. Martin, to assist persons of reduced circumstances, and ashamed to make known their necessities, which establishment now provides for above six hundred families. His mildness appeared not only in his patience in bearing the insolence and importunities of the poor, but in his sweetness and benevolence towards his enemies. One named Ciardi, whom he had cited before him to answer certain criminal accusations, made an attempt on his life; and the saint narrowly escaped the thrust of his poniard, which pierced the back of his chair. Yet he freely forgave the assassin, and praying for his conversion, had the comfort to see him become a sincere penitent in the order of St. Francis.

The saint wanted not courage whenever the honor of God required it. He suppressed games of hazard; reformed other abuses in all orders preached almost every Sunday and holiday, and visited his whole diocese every year, always on foot. His character for wisdom and integrity was such, that he was consulted from all parts, and by persons of the highest rank, both secular and ecclesiastical: and his decisions gave so general a satisfaction, that they acquired him the name of Antoninus the counsellor. Yet this multiplicity of business was no interruption of his attention to God. He allowed himself very little sleep. Over and above the church office, he recited daily the office of our Lady, and the seven penitential psalms; the office of the dead twice a week, and the whole psalter on every festival. In the midst of his exterior affairs he always preserved the same serenity of countenance, and the same peace of mind, and seemed always recollected in God. Francis Castillo, his secretary, once said to him, bishops were to be pitied if they were to be eternally besieged with hurry as he was. The saint made him this answer, which the author of his life wished to see written in letters of gold: "To enjoy interior peace, we must always reserve in our hearts amidst all affairs, as it were, a secret closet, where we are to keep retired within ourselves, and where no business of the world can ever enter." Pope Eugenius IV. falling sick, sent for Antoninus to Rome, made his confession to him, received the viaticum and extreme-unction from his hands, and expired in his arms on the 23d of February, 1447. Nicholas IV succeeded him. St. Antoninus having received his benediction, hastened to Florence, where a pestilence had begun to show itself, which raged the whole year following. The holy archbishop exposed himself first, and employed his clergy, both secular and regular, especially those of his own order, in assisting the infected; so that almost all the friars of St. Mark, St. Mary Novella, and Fiesoli were swept away by the contagion, and new recruits were sent from the province of Lombardy to inhabit those houses. The famine, as is usual, followed this first scourge. The holy archbishop stripped himself of almost every thing; and by the influence of his words and example, many rich persons were moved to do the like. He obtained from Rome, particularly from the pope, great succors for the relief of the distressed. Indeed, the pope never refused any thing that he requested; and ordered that no appeals should be received at Rome from any sentence passed by him. After the public calamity was over, the saint continued his liberalities to the poor; but being informed that two blind beggars had amassed, the one two hundred, and the other three hundred ducats, he tool; the money from them, and distributed it among the real objects of charity; charging himself, however, with the maintenance of those two for the rest of their lives. Humility made him conceal his heroic practices of penance and piety from others, and even from himself; for he saw nothing but imperfections even in what others admired in him, and never heard any thing tending to his own commendation without confusion and indignation. He formed many perfect imitators of his virtue. An accident discovered to him a hidden servant of God. A poor handicraftsman lived in obscurity, in the continual practice of penance, having no other object of his desires but heaven. He passed the Sundays and holidays in the churches, and distributed all he gained by his work, beyond his mean subsistence, among the poor, with the greatest privacy; and kept a poor leper, serving him and dressing his ulcers with his own hands, bearing the continual reproaches and complaints of the ungrateful beggar, not only with patience, but also with joy. The leper became the more morose and imperious, and carried complaints against his benefactor to the archbishop, who, discovering this hidden treasure of sanctity in the handicraftsman, secretly honored it, while he punished the insolence of the leper.

Florence was shook by frequent earthquakes during three years, from 1453, and a large tract of land was laid desolate by a violent storm. The saint maintained, lodged, and set up again the most distressed, and rebuilt their houses. But he labored most assiduously to render these public calamities instrumental to the reformation of his people's manners. Cosmus of Medicis used to say, that he did not question but the preservation of their republic, under its great dangers, was owing chiefly to the merits and prayers of its holy archbishop. Pope Pius II. has left us, in the second book of his Commentaries, a most edifying history of the eminent virtues of our saint, and the strongest testimonies of his sanctity. The love of his flock made him decline a secular embassy to the emperor Frederic ill. God called him to the reward of his labors on the 2d of May, 1459, in the seventieth year of his age, the thirteenth of his archiepiscopal dignity. He repeated on his death-bed these words, which he had often in his mouth during health, "To serve God is to reign." Pope Pius II. being then at Florence, assisted at his funeral. His hair-shirt and other relics were the instruments of many miracles. He was buried, according to his desire, in the church of St. Mark, among his religious brethren, and was canonized by Adrian VI. in 1523. His body was found entire in 1559, and translated with the greatest pomp and solemnity, into a chapel prepared to receive it in the same church of St. Mark, richly adorned by the two brothers Salviati, whose family looks upon it as their greatest honor that this illustrious saint belonged to it. Nor is it easy to imagine any thing that could surpass the rich embellishments of this chapel, particularly the shrine; nor the pomp and magnificence of the procession and translation, at which a area number of cardinals, bishops, and princes from several parts assisted, who all admired to see the body perfectly free from corruption, one hundred and thirty years after it had been buried.

The venerable Achard, bishop of Avranches, in his excellent treatise On Self-denial, reduces the means and practice of Christian perfection to seven degrees of self-renunciation, by which he is disposed for the reign of love in his soul. These degrees he otherwise calls seven deserts of the soul. The first is the desert of penance. The second of solitude, at least that of the heart. The third of mortification. The fourth of simplicity of faith. The fifth of obedience. The sixth of the pure love of God. The seventh of zeal for his honor in the salvation of our neighbor. For a man, first, is to renounce sin by sincere repentance. Secondly, the world by solitude. Thirdly, the flesh by the mortification of his senses. Fourthly, though reason is man's most noble excellency, yet this being obscured and often blinded by the passions, easily becomes the seat of pride, and leads into the most dangerous precipices and errors. Man is therefore bound to humble his reason by keeping it in due subordination, and in a certain degree to renounce it by simplicity of heart and sincere humility. And this is so far from being against reason, that it is the sovereign use of reason. Fifthly, a man is moreover obliged to renounce his own will by perfect obedience. Sixthly, he must moreover renounce all that he is by the pure love of God, which ought to have no bounds. Seventhly, none but one who has tasted the sweetness of heavenly contemplation, knows how incomparable an advantage he renounces who deprives himself of it. Yet zeal for our neighbor's salvation, and tender compassion for his spiritual miseries, move the saints sometimes to prefer toils and sufferings to its pure delights and charms. By these rules we see by what degrees or means pious pastors attain to the apostolic spirit of their state, and how heroic their sacrifice is. Source Lives of the Saints Butler- Image source: Google

#PopeFrancis “Let us receive the Holy Spirit with docility!” #Homily

“Let us receive the Holy Spirit with docility!” This was Pope Francis’ message during his Tuesday morning homily during Mass celebrated in the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence.
Joining the Pope at Mass were the Sisters who work in the Santa Marta residence. They were celebrating the feast day of their founder, Saint Luisa di Marillac.
The Pope, continuing to develop the themes he had used in the previous day’s homily, reflected on the early Christians’ docility and openness to the Holy Spirit against the backdrop of the first persecutions of the Christians.
“In these past days we have talked about resistance to the Holy Spirit, for which Saint Stephen scolded the doctors of the law. Today the readings speak of an attitude which the opposite namely  for Christians to have docility towards the Holy Spirit” said Pope Francis.
 He described how, after Saint Stephen was killed, a widespread persecution broke out against Christians and many of them fled to places like Cyprus, Phoenicia and Antioch. But this persecution gave new opportunities to the Christians, he added.  Noting that until this moment, they had only been preaching to the Jews, the Pope pointed out that some of those Christians who went to Antioch began to preach to the pagans, because they felt that the Holy Spirit was pushing them to do so.  This, he said, showed their docility towards the Spirit.
This docility is spoken about in the first letter of Saint James, where he exhorts believers to “Receive the word with docility.”  Pope Francis told the congregation that this means needing to have an open attitude that is not rigid.
“The first path in the journey of docility is therefore to receive the Word, which opens the heart. The second path is to know the Word, to know Jesus, who says ‘my sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me’” said the Pope.
“Then there is a third path, familiarity with the Word. To always bring the Word with us. To read it, to open our hearts to the Lord, open our hearts to the Spirit who makes us understand the Word.  And the fruit of this, to receive the Word, to understand the Word, to take it with us, to have this familiarity with the Word, is a great fruit! A person who does this displays goodness, kindness, joy, peace, self -control and meekness.”
The Pope went on to explain  that this meekness is the attitude that gives us docility towards the Spirit.
“But I have to receive the Spirit which brings me the Word with docility. And this docility, by not resisting the Spirit, brings me this way of living, this way of acting. To receive the Word with docility, to know the Word and call to the Spirit to grant us the grace to understand and then to give space for this seed to sprout and grow into this attitude of goodness, meekness, gentleness , peace, charity and self-control.  All this shows  a  Christian attitude” he said.  
The Pope also pointed out that it was not the Apostles who preached to the pagans in Antioch, but others whose names we do not know. And when the Apostle Barnabas arrived in Antioch, he saw there the grace of God, resting in hearts that were faithful  to the Lord.
“There is the Spirit that guides us to do no wrong, but to receive with the spirit with docility, to know the Spirit in the Word and to live according to the Spirit. And this is the opposite of the resistance for which Stephen scolded the doctors of the law: ‘You always have resisted the Spirit!’ Do we resist the spirit? Do we create resistance? Or do we receive him? With docility: these are the words of James. ‘To receive with docility.’ Resistance is the opposite of docility. Let us call for this grace.”
The  Pope concluding his homily by noting that that it was in Antioch that the community of disciples was first given the name Christians. 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday May 9, 2017 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 280


Reading 1ACTS 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial PsalmPS 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."