Friday, October 20, 2017

Saint October 21 : St. Ursula and Companions - #Virgin #Martyrs


The experiences of Ursula and her eleven thousand companions became the subject of a pious romance which acquired considerable celebrity.  This legendary account is well known: Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin, she obtained a delay of three years. At her request she was given as companions ten young women of noble birth, and she and each of the ten were accompanied by a thousand virgins, and the whole company, embarking in eleven ships sailed for three years. When the appointed time was come, and Ursula's betrothed was about to claim her, a gale of wind carried the eleven thousand virgins far from the shores of England, and they went first by water to Cologne and thence to Basle, then by land from Basle to Rome. They finally returned to Cologne, where they were slain by the Huns in hatred of the Faith. The literary origin of this romance is not easy to determine. Apart from the inscription of Clematius, transcribed in the Passion "Fuit tempore" and paraphrased in the "Regnante Domino" Passion and the "Sermo in natali", the writers seem to have been aware of a Gallic legend of which a late version is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth: the usurper Maximus (as Geoffrey calls the Emperor Maximian), having conquered British Armorica, sent there from Great Britain 100,000 colonists and 30,000 soldiers, and committed the government of Armorica to his former enemy, now his friend, the Breton prince, Conanus Meriadocus. The latter decided to bring women from Great Britain to marry them to his subjects, to which end he appealed to Dionotus, King of Cornwall, who sent him his daughter Ursula, accompanied by 11,000 noble virgins and 60,000 other young women. As the fleet which carried them sailed towards Armorica, a violent storm destroyed some of the ships and drove the rest of them to barbarian islands in Germany, where the virgins were slain by the Huns and the Picts. However, this account has been regarded by several writers since Baronius as containing a summary of the true history of the holy martyrs. Like the Passions of Cologne, it has been subjected to the anti-scientific method, which consists in setting aside as false the improbabilities, impossibilities, and manifest fables, and regarding the rest as authentic history. As a consequence two essential traits remain: the English origin of the saints and their massacre by the Huns; and then, according as adherence is given to the "Sermo in natali", Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the Passion "Regnante Domino", the martyrdom of St. Ursula is placed in the third, fourth, or fifth century. In order to account for all the details, two massacres of virgins at Cologne have been accepted, one in the third century, the other in the fifth. The different solutions with their variations suggested by scholars, sometimes with levity, sometimes with considerable learning, all share the important defect of being based on relatively late documents, unauthoritative and disfigured by manifest fables.As they are now unhesitatingly rejected by everyone, it suffices to treat them briefly. In the twelfth century there were discovered in the Ager Ursulanus at Cologne, some distance from the Church of St. Ursula, skeletons not only of women, but of little children, and even of men, and with them inscriptions which it is impossible not to recognize as gross forgeries.  Although the history of these saints of Cologne is obscure and very short, their cult was very widespread, and it would require a volume to relate in detail its many and remarkable manifestations. To mention only two characteristics, since the twelfth century a large number of relics have been sent from Cologne, not only to neighbouring countries but throughout Western Christendom, and even India and China. The legend of the Eleven Thousand Virgins has inspired a host of works of art, several of them of the highest merit, the most famous being the paintings of the old masters of Cologne, those of Memling at Bruges, and of Carpaccio at Venice. The Order of Ursulines, founded in 1535 by St. Angela de Merici, and especially devoted to the education of young girls, has also helped to spread throughout the world the name and the cult of St. Ursula. Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "Jesus always asks us to be truthful, but truthful inside the heart."- #Homily


(Vatican Radio) May God grant us the grace of interior truth, rather than living a life of hypocrisy and trickery. That was Pope Francis’ message on Friday to those gathered for morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta chapel.
Reflecting on the first reading of the day from St Paul’s letter to the Romans, the pope explained that God’s pardon is always freely given and not earned by what we do.
The work we do, he continued, is our response to this gratuitous love and forgiveness of God, who took away original sin and who pardons our sins every time we turn to Him.
Hypocrities try to appear virtuous
In the passage from St Luke’s Gospel, Pope Francis said, we read about another way that people seek justification, by trying to appear righteous and saintly. They are the hypocrites, he said, whose lives are filthy inside, but on the outside they try to appear virtuous and holy by showing how they fast and pray or give to charity.
Jesus asks us to be truthful
In their hearts, the pope said, there is no substance, but they live by deception and theirs is a life of trickery. Jesus always asks us to be truthful in our hearts: that’s why he tells us to pray out of sight, to hide the weakness we feel when we fast, and to conceal our almsgiving, so that the left hand does not know what the right one is doing.
Falsehood is very bad for us
Jesus asks us to live coherently, Pope Francis insisted, because falsehood and hypocrisy are very bad for us. In today’s psalm, he said, we ask the Lord for the grace of truth, saying “Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not”. We confess our faults to the Lord  and He takes away the our sin and guilt.
Truth is always before God
We must always be truthful with God, the pope concluded, so let us learn not to accuse others, but rather to accuse ourselves, without trying to hide our sins from the Lord.

SHARE - Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus Apostle : #Patron of #Impossible - #Prayer Begins

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
 "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
Prayer to be recited 
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)

#PopeFrancis "It is necessary for political action to be placed truly at the service of the human person..." FULL TEXT

Pope Francis on Friday  was speaking to participants in a workshop organized in the Vatican by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Organization of Catholic Universities in Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL). The Oct. 19-21 workshop is discussing “Changing relations among market, state and civil society.”
Official Vatican FULL TEXT Address of the Holy Father
Illustrious Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cordially greet the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and those who are participating in these study days, as well as the institutions that support the initiative. This draws attention to a need of great current relevance, such as that of developing new models of cooperation between the market, the State and civil society, in relation to the challenges of our time. In this occasion, I would like to focus briefly on two specific causes that increase exclusion and the existence of existential peripheries.
The first is the endemic and systemic increase of inequality and the exploitation of the planet, which is greater than the increase in income and wealth. However inequality and exploitation are not inevitable, nor are they an historic constant. They are not inevitable because they depend not only on different individual forms of behavior, but also the economic rules that a society decides to adopt. We can think of energy production, the job market, the banking system, welfare, the tax system, the schools sector. According to how these sectors are planned, there are different consequences on the way in which income and wealth are distributed among those who have participated in their production. If the aim of profit prevails, democracy tends to become a plutocracy in which inequalities grow, as does the exploitation of the planet. I repeat: this is not a necessity; there are periods in which, in some countries, inequalities diminish and the environment is better protected.
The other cause of exclusion is work that is not worthy of the human person. Yesteryear, in the age of Rerum novarum (1891), …. Today, beyond this sacrosanct demand, we also ask ourselves why we still have not succeeded in putting into practice the content of the Constitution Gaudium et spes: “The entire process of productive work … must be adapted to the needs of the person and to his way of life” (no. 67) and, we can add with the Encyclical Laudato si’, with respect for creation, our common home.
The creation of new work needs, especially in this time, people who are open and enterprising, fraternal relations, and research and investment in the development of clean energy to face the challenges of climate change. This is concretely possible today. It is necessary to divest ourselves of the pressures of public and private lobbies which defend sectorial interests, and also to overcome forms of spiritual sloth. It is necessary for political action to be placed truly at the service of the human person, of the common good and of respect for nature.
The challenge to meet is therefore that of endeavoring courageously to go beyond the model of social order currently prevalent, transforming it from within. We must ask the market not only to be efficient in the production of wealth and in ensuring sustainable growth, but also of placing itself in the service of integral human development. We cannot sacrifice the “golden calf” of our times – fundamental values such as democracy, justice, freedom, the family, creation – on the altar of efficiency. Substantially, we must aim at “civilizing” the market, with a view to an ethics that is friendly to man and his environment.
A similar issue is the rethinking of the figure and role of the nation-State in a new context such as that of globalization, which has profoundly altered the previous international order. The State cannot be conceived of as the only and exclusive holder of the common good, without permitting intermediary bodies in civil society to freely express all their potential. This would be a violation of the principle of subsidiarity which, combined with that of solidarity, constitutes a fundamental pillar of the social doctrine of the Church. Here the challenge is how to reconcile individual rights with the common good.
In this sense, the specific role of civil society may be compared to that which Charles PĆ©guy attributed to the virtue of hope: like a younger sister in the middle of another two virtues – faith and charity – holding them by the hand and pulling them ahead. This is how the position of civil society seems to me: “pulling” ahead the State and the market so that they rethink their reason for being and their way of working.
Dear friends, I thank you for your attention to these reflections. I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you, your loved ones and your work.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday October 20, 2017 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 471


Reading 1ROM 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
What can we say that Abraham found,
our ancestor according to the flesh?
Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works,
he has reason to boast;
but this was not so in the sight of God.
For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
A worker's wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due.
But when one does not work,
yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness.
So also David declares the blessedness of the person
to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.

Responsorial PsalmPS 32:1B-2, 5, 11

R. (see 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

AlleluiaPS 33:22

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."