Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saint November 12 : St. Josaphat : Archbishop and Martyr : Patron of #Ukraine

ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR
Feast: November 12
Information:
Feast Day:
November 12
Born:
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)
Died:
12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus
Canonized:
1876
Patron of:
Ukraine
Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or — according to some writers — 1584; died at Vitebsk, Russia, 12 November, 1623.
The saint's birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine Union had become a dead-letter; in the case of the Ruthenian Church, complete demoralization followed in the wake of its severance from Rome, and the whole body of its clergy became notorious alike for their gross ignorance and the viciousness of their lives. After the Union of Berest’ in 1596 the Ruthenian Church was divided into two contending parties — the Uniates and those who persevered in schism — each with its own hierarchy. Among the leaders of the schismatic party, who laboured to enkindle popular hatred against the Uniates, Meletius Smotryckyj was conspicuous, and the most celebrated of his victims was Josaphat.
Although of a noble Ruthenian stock, Josaphat's father had devoted himself to commercial pursuits, and held the office of town-councilor. Both parents contributed to implant the seeds of piety in the heart of their child. In the school at Volodymyr Josaphat — Johannes was the saint's baptismal name — gave evidence of unusual talent; he applied himself with the greatest zeal to the study of ecclesiastical Slav, and learned almost the entire casoslov (breviary), which from this period he began to read daily. From this source he drew his early religious education, for the unlettered clergy seldom preached or gave catechetical instruction. Owing to the straitened circumstances of his parents, he was apprenticed to the merchant Popovyc at Vilna. In this town, remarkable for the corruption of its morals and the contentions of the various religious sects, he seemed specially guarded by Providence, and became acquainted with certain excellent men (e.g. Benjamin Rutski), under whose direction he advanced in learning and in virtue.
 At the age of twenty-four (1604) he entered the Basilian monastery of the Trinity at Vilna. The fame of his virtues rapidly spread, and distinguished people began to visit him. After a notable life as a layman, Rutski also joined the order, bringing with him a wide erudition. When Josaphat reached the diaconate, regular services and labour for the salvation of souls had been already begun; the number of novices steadily increased, and under Rutski — who had meanwhile been ordained priest — there began the regeneration of religious life among the Ruthenians. In 1609, after private study under the Jesuit Fabricius, Josaphat was ordained priest. He subsequently became superior in several monasteries, and on 12 November, 1617, was reluctantly consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618.
While each succeeding year saw fresh evidence of his fruitful labours, it also witnessed the steady growth of the hatred of the schismatic party. Finally on 12 November, 1623, an axe-stroke and a bullet brought Josaphat his martyr's crown. After numerous miracles had occurred, a commission was appointed by Urban VIII in 1628 to inquire into the cause of Josaphat, and examined on oath 116 witnesses. Although five years had elapsed since Josaphat's death, his body was still incorrupt. In 1637 a second commission investigated the life of the martyr, and in 1643 — twenty years after his death — Josaphat was beatified. His canonization took place in 1867.
Great were the virtues of the saint. As a boy he shunned the usual games of childhood, prayed much, and lost no opportunity of assisting at the Divine services. Children especially regarded him with the greatest affection, and found in him a worthy model. As an apprentice, he devoted every leisure hour to prayer and study. At first Popovyc viewed this behaviour with displeasure, but Josaphat gradually won such a position in his esteem, that Popovyc offered him his entire fortune and his daughter's hand. But Josaphat's love for the religious life never wavered. At first without a human guide along the paths of virtue, he received all spiritual direction immediately from the Holy Ghost.
His favourite pious exercise was to make a poklony (i.e. a reverence, in which the head touches the ground) with the ejaculation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner." Never eating meat, he fasted much, wore a hair-shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. The Jesuits frequently urged him to set some bounds to his austerities.
From his zealous study of the liturgical books he drew many proofs of Catholic truth, using his knowledge in the composition of several works — "On the Baptism of St. Volodymyr"; "On the Falsification of the Slavic Books by the Enemies of the Metropolitan"; "On Monks and their Vows". As deacon, priest, and bishop, he was distinguished by his extraordinary zeal in the service of souls. Not alone in the church did he preach and hear confessions, but likewise in the fields, hospitals, prisons, and even on his journeys. Even where his words of instruction might by themselves have failed, his entreaties and tears ensured him success. This zeal, united with his kindness and extraordinary love for the poor, won numbers to the Catholic Faith. Among his converts were included many important personages such as Ignatius, Patriarch of Moscow, and Emmanuel Cantacuzenus, who belonged to the family of the Greek Emperor Pal├Žologus.
As archbishop he restored the churches; issued a catechism to the clergy with instructions that it should be learned by heart; composed rules for the priestly life, entrusting to the deacons the task of superintending their observance; assembled synods in various towns in the dioceses, and firmly opposed the Imperial Chancellor Sapieha, when he wished to make many concessions in favour of the schismatics. Throughout all his strivings and all his occupations, he continued his exemplary life as a religious, and never abated his zeal for self-mortification and prayer. He awaited death with a certain yearning, refusing to avail himself of the opportunity of flight afforded him. After his death his influence was still greater: conversions were numerous, and veneration for him continued to extend. His feast is kept on the first Sunday after 12 November, according to the Julian Calendar. Note: His feast is currently kept on November 12 on the Universal Calendar.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis on Amoris Laetitia "Jesus points in particular to the medicine of mercy..." FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis sent a video message on Saturday morning, to the participants in a conference organized by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) on the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia. Below, you will find the full text of the Holy Father's remarks, in our English translation.
 
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Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I cordially greet all of you who attend the third International Symposium on the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, convened by the Office for Pastoral Care of the Family of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
The theme you have proposed: The Gospel of Love between Conscience and Norm, is of great importance, and can illuminate the path that the Churches in Italy are taking, in order to respond to the desire for family that emerges in the soul of the young generations. Love between a man and a woman is obviously among the most generative human experiences; it is the leaven of a culture of  encounter, and introduces to the present world an injection of sociality. Indeed “the good of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church. (Amoris laetitia, 31)” The family born of marriage creates fruitful bonds, which reveal themselves to be the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant; however, along the journey of marital love and family life there are situations that require arduous choices, which must be made with rectitude. In the domestic reality, sometimes there are concrete knots to be addressed with prudent conscience on the part of each. It is important that spouses, parents, be not left alone, but accompanied in their commitment to applying the Gospel to the concreteness of life. On the other hand, we know well that “we are called to form consciences, not to pretend to substitute them. (Ibid., 37)”
The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual with respect to the relations that he entertains in life.
As I said recently to the Pontifical Academy for Life, “There are those who even speak of ego-latry, that is, of a true worship of the ego, on whose altar is sacrificed everything, including the dearest affections. This perspective is not harmless: it molds a subject that looks constantly in the mirror, until it becomes incapable of turning its eyes to others and the world. The spread of this attitude has most serious consequences for all the affections and ties of life. (5 Oct., 2017)” This is a “pollution” that corrodes souls and confounds minds and hearts, producing false illusions.
Romano Guardini, in a text on the subject of conscience, indicates the way to the search for the true good. He writes: “From this imprisonment in myself I am free only if I find a point, which is not my ego: a height higher than myself; something solid and working in my interior – and behold! Here we are come to the core [...] that is, to religious reality. That good [...] is something alive. [...] It is the fullness of worth, which belongs to the selfsame living God. (La coscienza, Brescia 1933, 32-33)”
In the very depths of each one of us there is a place wherein the Mystery reveals itself, and illuminates the person, making the person the protagonist of his story. Conscience, as the II Vatican Council recalls, is this, “most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths. (GS 16)” To the Christian falls the task of being vigilant, so that in this sort of tabernacle is no want of divine grace, which illuminates and strengthens married love and parental mission. Grace fills the amphorae of human hearts with an extraordinary capacity for gift, renewing for the families of today the miracle of the wedding feast at Cana.
Commenting on that Gospel episode, I have been able to say that, “By transforming into wine the water of the jars used ‘for the Jewish rites of purification’ (Jn 2:6), Jesus preforms an eloquent sign: he transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bearer of joy. (Gen. Audience, June 8, 2016)” Jesus points in particular to the medicine of mercy, which cures the hardness of the heart, restoring the relationship between husband and wife, and between parents and children.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish all the best for your work in this Symposium. Let the Church in Italy help to assimilate and develop Amoris laetitia’s content and style; may she contribute to the formation of family group animators in parishes, associations, and movements; may she support the journey of so many families, helping them to live the joy of the Gospel, and to be active cells in the community. I bless you, and I ask you, please, to pray for me.

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Wow beautiful Polyphony to touch your Soul "Jesu, Rex Admirabilis" sung by an Amazing Choir to SHARE



The composer Palestrina wrote a stunning polyphonic setting to this hymn from the Breviary which is generally attributed to St. Bernard in the 12th century. It is sung in Latin , by this professional choir, with the english translation below: 
Jesu, Rex admirabilis
et triumphator nobilis,
dulcedo ineffabilis,
totus desiderabilis.
Quando cor nostrum visitas,
tunc lucet ei veritas,
mundi vilescit vanitas,
et intus fervet caritas.
Jesu, dulcedo cordium,
fons vivus, lumen mentium,
excedens omne gaudium
et omne desiderium.
Jesum omnes agnoscite,
amorem eius poscite;
Jesum ardenter quaerite,
quaerendo inardescite.
Te nostra, Jesu, vox sonet,
nostri te mores exprimant;
te corda nostra diligant
et nunc, et in perpetuum. Amen.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
"O Jesus, admirable king and noble conqueror, sweetness ineffable, wholly to be desired." Totus, wholly, altogether, above all else.

2. "When Thou dost visit our heart, then truth illuminates it; the vanity of the world becomes contemptible, and charity glows within."

3. "O Jesus, sweetness of hearts, living fountain, light of intellects, Thou dost surpass all joys and all desires."

4. "Let all confess Jesus, let all earnestly ask for His love; let all zealously seek Jesus, and in seeking Him become enkindled."

5. "Thee, O Jesus, may our voices praise; may the whole course of our lives (mores) give testimony of Thee; may our hearts love Thee now and forever."

RIP Father Wei Heping - age 41 - Catholic Underground Priest of China who died mysteriously receives Funeral

Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

Li Yuan

ASIA NEWS REPORT: Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Card. Joseph Zen, Emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong, has asked God to save the Holy See "from the brink of the precipice and not sell out the faithful Church [to the Chinese government]". The cardinal expressed his concerns in his homily recalling Fr. Wei Heping (alias Yu Heping), who died two years ago in mysterious and suspicious circumstances.
The Mass was held last night in the Church of St. Jude, organized by the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace. Pointing out that "the Holy See is not necessarily the Pope," the cardinal remarked that in recent years, in which an initial dialogue between Beijing and the Vatican is taking place, the Holy See has often remained silent about the grave events of the Chinese Church such as death of Fr. Wei, the captivity of Msgr. Giacomo Su Zhimin, the destruction of crosses and churches in Zhejiang.
"Dialogue - said Card. Zen - is important and necessary. However, it [the Holy See] is too optimistic about the communist regime. It has depended on its diplomacy instead of faith. It does not have a bottom line to reach an agreement."
He continued “The Holy See is ceaselessly compromising and has even arrived at the point of selling itself out to appease. This is by no means what God expects of the Church and by no means faithful to the mission that Christ gave the Apostles. "
These comments seem to have been provoked by some news the Cardinal has recently received and  which is "very shocking". Previously, Card. Zen had thought the negotiations were stalled, that "the Pope was more cautious" perhaps because "Beijing had expressed other demands on which he could not agree."
Without mentioning the diocese, the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong said that "they are pushing for an evil plan: to ask faithful bishops to resign in order to leave room for illicit and excommunicated bishops. This is a bolt out of the blue! And it is the approach of a huge disaster for the Church. "
"Someone - he added - might think I'm using the Mass to complain. No, I think Fr. Wei is using my mouth to communicate. These words serve to let us know what kind of grace we are asking for today. "
The body of Fr. Wei, an active 41-year-old priest of the underground community, was found in suspicious circumstances in the Ren River, near Taiyuan City (Shanxi) on November 8, 2015. He had been expected to return the day before from a trip to Liaoning Province.
According to ecclesial sources, who closely followed his case, the autopsy revealed  a wide hemorrhagic area in the right part of the brain, but there were no visible wounds on the skin. The police concluded that he had committed suicide and archived the case.
To the family of Fr. Wei was not allowed to have a copy of the autopsy report and they asked to reopen the investigation but the police refused.
A faithful in the underground community thanked Card. Zen for remembering Fr. Wei and the Church's difficulties in China, and said she was saddened after reading the Cardinal's homily, posted today on his blog: "After reading this, my heart bleeds. As the cardinal said, maybe we should retreat to a cave and weep. But my heart does not give me peace. "
The Justice and Peace Commission, which organized the Mass for Fr. Wei also published a paper and electronic booklet titled "Peace Pilgrim", symbolically using his name (Heping means "peace") and his tireless commitment to evangelization (see here).
The booklet contains articles written by his family, friends, and faithful who received catechism from him, hoping that Catholics will not forget Fr. Wei, before the truth about his death is revealed.
The text also includes a reflection of the priest and his opinion on the relations between China and the Vatican, entitled "Time belongs to God". In it he said there should be no hurry to make an agreement, if the political situation is not yet ready.

What is Veterans' or Remembrance Day - 5 things to SHARE - Wear a #Poppy and #Prayers

1. On November 11, many people wear a red poppy in memory of the war veterans and victims. It was at 11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that the Armistice was signed signaling the end of World War I. 
2. At that point the guns stopped after 4 years of war. 
3.Remembrance Day was instituted by King George the V in 1919 and is celebrated in Commonwealth countries. In the USA it is celebrated as Veteran's Day. 
4.The red from the Poppy flower, which grew over several battlefields, sybolized the blood shed by the troops. 
5. The Poppy comes from the famous poem of remembrance: (IMAGE SOURCE : THE GUARDIAN/GOOGLE)
 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Let us pray for these victims and all victims of war. May we learn to live in peace with one another and with God.
FROM USCCB OFFICIAL PRAYERS FOR WAR 

Prayers in a Time of War

  1. For Troops
    All-powerful and ever-living God,
    when Abraham left his native land
    and departed from his people
    you kept him safe through all his journeys.
    Protect these soldiers.
    Be their constant companion and their strength in battle,
    their refuge in every adversity.
    Guide them, O Lord, that they may return home in safety.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  2. Prayer of a Spouse for a Soldier
    God of power and might,
    at every moment and in every place
    you are near to those who call upon your name in faith.
    In marriage you have blessed us with a share in your divine love.
    Look upon my husband/wife and keep him/her in your safekeeping,
    no matter where the road may lead.
    And when the battle is ended,
    bring him/her safely home to those who love him.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  3. Prayer of a Parent for a Soldier
    Father all-powerful and ever-loving God,
    from before we were born,
    your love has nurtured and sustained us.
    Hear my prayer for N., my son/daughter.
    Keep him/her safe in time of battle
    and faithful to you, day in and day out.
    Bring him/her safely home to those who love him/her.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  4. For Government Leaders
    God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
    through you authority is rightly administered,
    laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
    Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
    the President and other government leaders of these United States.
    May they always seek
    the ways of righteousness, justice and mercy.
    Grant that they may be enabled by your powerful protection
    to lead our country with honesty and integrity.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  5. For the Safety of Soldiers
    Almighty and eternal God,
    those who take refuge in you will be glad
    and forever will shout for joy.
    Protect these soldiers as they discharge their duties.
    Protect them with the shield of your strength
    and keep them safe from all evil and harm.
    May the power of your love enable them to return home
    in safety, that with all who love them,
    they may ever praise you for your loving care.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  6. For our Enemies
    Jesus, Prince of Peace,
    you have asked us to love our enemies
    and pray for those who persecute us.
    We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.
    With the help of the Holy Spirit,
    may all people learn to work together
    for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.
    To you be glory and honor for ever and ever.
  7. For Deceased Veterans
  8. O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,
  9. look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their
    lives in the service of their country.
    Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son
    they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom
    and rejoice in you with your saints forever.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. November 11, 2017 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Lectionary: 490


Reading 1ROM 16:3-9, 16, 22-27

Brothers and sisters:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus,
who risked their necks for my life,
to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
greet also the Church at their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus,
who was the firstfruits in Asia for Christ.
Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
Greet Andronicus and Junia,
my relatives and my fellow prisoners;
they are prominent among the Apostles
and they were in Christ before me.
Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ,
and my beloved Stachys.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ greet you.

I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole Church, greets you.
Erastus, the city treasurer,
and our brother Quartus greet you.

Now to him who can strengthen you,
according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11

R. (1b) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Alleluia2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon."

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
"You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God."