Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saint December 7 : St. Ambrose : Patron of Candle makers, Pets,Students : Bishop and Doctor of the Church


between 337 and 340 A.D., Trier, Germany
397 A.D.
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, Italy where he is buried
Patron of:
Bee keepers, bees, candle makers, domestic animals, French Commissariat, learning, Milan, Italy, students, wax refiners

St. Ambrose was a small man with pale yellow hair like a nimbus. In the violence and confusion of his time, he stood out courageously resisting evil, strengthening the Church, and administering it with extraordinary ability. His learning gained for him the title of Doctor of the Church.

When Ambrose had governed at Milan for two years, the bishop died, and the city was torn by strife over the election of a successor. When he stood up to protest a voice suddenly called out, "Ambrose, bishop! On December 7, 374, he was consecrated. The new bishop now gave his possessions to the poor and his lands to the Church, reserving only a small income for the use of his sister Marcellina.

Conscious of his ignorance of theology, Ambrose began to study the Scriptures and the works of religious writers, particularly Origen and Basil.

When Augustine of Hippo came to live at Milan, he called on the bishop, and in time the two became great friends. Augustine went often to hear Ambrose preach, and was at last baptized by him. One of Ambrose's topics was the blessing and virtue of virginity, when chosen for God's sake. At the request of Marcellina, he made a popular manual of his sermons on this subject.

When Ambrose fell sick, he foretold his own death, saying he would live only until Easter. He busied himself writing a treatise called 'The Goodness of Death', and with an interpretation of the Forty-third Psalm.

On Good Friday, 397, he partook of the Last Sacrament, and died soon after. He was then about fifty-seven and had been bishop for twenty-two years. His remains now rest under the high altar of his basilica, where they were placed in 835.

Ambrose's varied writings influenced the development of the Church. He was the first of the Fathers to use Latin effectively, and as the Roman Empire declined in the West he helped to keep this great language alive by starting it on its new course in the service of Christianity. He enriched Church music, and seven of the hymns he wrote are still a part of the liturgy. His personality combined firmness where God's law was concerned with warmth, moderation, and generosity in all else. Trusted by sovereigns, loved by the people, Ambrose was-to quote Augustine's words after their first meeting—"a man affectionate and kind."

Actor Kirk Cameron defends Santa Claus and Catholic #Traditional #History of #SaintNicholas - SHARE

Kirk Cameron, known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV show“Growing Pains” and films. Is promoting his new film defending Christmas. In a video clip released last week “Do You Love Santa Claus” Cameron shows the history of Saint Nicolas. Santa Claus, was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I. St. Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. “He was a devout Christian,” Cameron explains. "was left with a large sum of money when his parents died, and be became famous for his kindness toward the poor and his generous giving of gifts to children.”

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 “He was there at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, one of the most important events in Church history,” he continues, referring to the first ecumenical conference under Constantine. “The Council of Nicaea ended up producing what is known today as the Nicene Creed, a profession of faith used by churches all around the world. The creed affirmed the deity of Christ and the three persons of the trinity.” According to the St. Nicholas Center, Roman Catholics believe that after Nicholas was put into prison for striking another man during the council, “Jesus with His mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way, Nicholas was reinstated.” During a recent speech before hundreds of students at Liberty University, Cameron also made defended St. Nicholas as being a Christian. “They even ‘sainted’ him—that’s why we call him St. Nicholas,” he said. “He became legendary in his time and beyond his time. He became larger than life and reached mythic proportions.” “So the guy that many of us think is distracting from the birth of the Christ child, is really the defender of the faith you and I want to be,” he explained. “So now that you know who the real Santa Claus is, you want to take a picture with him at the mall this Christmas? I do.” December 6th is the Roman Catholic “Feast of Saint Nicholas,”

#PopeFrancis "..put above all the search for God and his love.." at Audience - FULL TEXT + Video

FULL TEXT Audience 12/6/17 of Pope Francis:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today I would like to talk about the apostolic journey I have made in recent days in Myanmar and Bangladesh. It was a great gift from God, and therefore I thank Him for everything, especially for the meetings I have had. I renew the expression of my gratitude to the Authorities of the two countries and to the respective Bishops, for all the preparation work and for the reception reserved for me and my collaborators. A "thank you" I feel I want to address the Burmese and the Bengali people, who have shown me so much faith and affection: thank you!

For the first time a successor of Peter visited Myanmar, and this happened shortly after diplomatic relations were established between this country and the Holy See.

In this case too, I wanted to express the closeness of Christ and of the Church to a people who suffered because of conflicts and repressions, and who are now slowly walking towards a new condition of freedom and peace. A people in which the Buddhist religion is strongly rooted, with its spiritual and ethical principles, and where Christians are present as a small flock and leaven of the Kingdom of God. This Church, alive and fervent, I had the joy of confirming in the faith and in communion, in the encounter with the Bishops of the country and in the two Eucharistic celebrations. The first was in the large sports area at the center of Yangon, and the Gospel of that day recalled that persecution because of faith in Jesus is normal for his disciples, as an occasion for witness, but that "not even one of their hairs will go lost "(cf. Lk 21: 12-19). The second Mass, the last act of the visit to Myanmar, was dedicated to the young: a sign of hope and a special gift of the Virgin Mary, in the cathedral that bears his name. In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future that will not be those who build arms, but those who sow fraternity. And always in a sign of hope I blessed the first stones of 16 churches, the seminary and the nunciature: eighteen!

In addition to the Catholic community, I was able to meet the authorities of Myanmar, encouraging the country's efforts to pacify and hoping that all the different components of the nation, no one excluded, can cooperate in this process in mutual respect. In this spirit, I wanted to meet the representatives of the different religious communities present in the country. In particular, at the Supreme Council of Buddhist monks I have expressed the esteem of the Church for their ancient spiritual tradition, and the trust that Christians and Buddhists can together help people to love God and neighbor, rejecting all violence and opposing evil with the good.

After leaving Myanmar, I went to Bangladesh, where I first paid tribute to the martyrs of the struggle for independence and to the "Father of the Nation". The population of Bangladesh is very much part of the Muslim religion, and so my visit - in the footsteps of those of Blessed Paul VI and of St John Paul II - marked a further step in favor of respect and dialogue between Christianity and 'Islam.

I reminded the Authorities of the country that the Holy See has supported from the outset the will of the Bengali people to establish themselves as an independent nation, as well as the need for religious freedom to be safeguarded in it. In particular, I wanted to express solidarity with Bangladesh in its commitment to help the Rohingya refugees flow en masse into its territory, where the population density is already among the highest in the world.

The Mass celebrated in a historic park in Dhaka has been enriched by the ordination of sixteen priests, and this was one of the most significant and joyful events of the trip. In fact, both in Bangladesh and in Myanmar and in the other countries of Southeast Asia, thanks to God vocations are not lacking, a sign of living community, where the voice of the Lord resounds calling to follow him. I shared this joy with the Bishops of Bangladesh, and I encouraged them in their generous work for families, for the poor, for education, for dialogue and for social peace. And I shared this joy with many priests, consecrated and consecrated persons of the country, as well as with the seminarians, novices and novices, in whom I saw sprouts of the Church in that land.

In Dhaka we experienced a strong moment of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, which gave me the opportunity to underline the opening of the heart as the basis of the culture of encounter, harmony and peace. I have also visited the "Mother Teresa House", where the saint was staying when she was in that city, and that welcomes many orphans and people with disabilities. There, according to their charisma, the sisters live every day the prayer of adoration and the service to the poor and suffering Christ. And always, always a smile on their lips: nuns who pray they pray so much, that they serve the suffering and continually with a smile. It is a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much these little sisters.

The last event was with the young Bengalis, full of testimonies, songs and dances. But how well they dance, these Bengalis! They know how to dance well! A feast that manifested the joy of the Gospel welcomed by that culture; a joy fertilized by the sacrifices of many missionaries, of many catechists and Christian parents. Young Muslims and other religions were also present at the meeting: a sign of hope for Bangladesh, for Asia and for the whole world. Thank you
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et de divers pays francophones, en particulier la délégation de la Lorraine, ainsi que celle du scoutisme catholique. En ce temps de l’Avent, que le Seigneur nous aide, ainsi que les peuples du Myanmar et du Bangladesh, à ouvrir nos cœurs pour l’aimer et aimer notre prochain. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[I am pleased to greet the pilgrims from France and the various Francophone countries, especially those from the Lorraine delegation and Catholic scouting. In this time of Advent, may the Lord help you, as well as the peoples of Myanmar and Bangladesh, to open hearts to love and to favor one's neighbor. God bless you!]

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from Wales, Denmark, Nigeria and the United States of America. I offer a particular greeting to the members of the World Youth Alliance and the musical group Up with People. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
[I greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Hearing, especially those from Wales, Denmark, Nigeria and the United States of America. I address a special greeting to the youth of the World Youth Alliance and to the musical group Viva la Gente. On all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.]
Herzlich grüße ich die Brüder und Schwestern deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Teilnehmer an der Wallfahrt der Schönstatt-Bewegung. Der Herr lädt uns in dieser Adventszeit ein, ihm entgegenzugehen. Er gibt sich zu erkennen in den Kleinsten, in den Kranken und Bedürftigen. Der Heilige Geist geleite euch auf euren Wegen.
[I cordially greet the German-speaking brothers and sisters, especially the participants in the Schönstatt movement pilgrimage. The Lord invites us in this time of Advent to go to meet him who makes himself known to the little ones, the sick and the needy. May the Holy Spirit guide you on your way.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. En este tiempo de Adviento los animo a fortalecer su vida cristiana con la oración, la escucha de la Palabra de Dios y las obras de caridad, y, siguiendo el ejemplo de la Inmaculada Virgen María, cuya solemnidad celebraremos pasado mañana, preparen su corazón para recibir al Señor que ya viene. Muchas gracias.
Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa aqui presentes, particularmente os fiéis brasileiros. Caros amigos, neste início de Advento, somos convidados a ir ao encontro de Jesus que nos espera em todos os necessitados, aos quais podemos levar a luz do Evangelho e o alívio da caridade. Que Deus vos abençoe!
[I address a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims present here, in particular, to the Brazilian faithful. Dear friends, in this beginning of Advent, we are invited to go to meet Jesus who awaits us in all the needy to whom we can bring the light of the Gospel and the relief of charity. God bless you!]
أرحب بمودة بالحجاج الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين ‏ من الأردن، ومن الأراضي المقدسة، ومن ‏الشرق الأوسط. من لا يتألم مع أخيه المتألم، حتى وإن اختلف معه في اللون أو الدين أو اللغة أو الثقافية، ‏يجب عليه أن يتساءل عن صدق إيمانه وصدق إنسانيته. لقد تأثرت كثيرا بلقاء اللاجئين الروهينجا، وطلبت ‏منهم أن يسامحونا على ‏ تقصيرنا وعن صمتنا، كما طالبت المجتمع الدولي أن يساعدهم ويساعد جميع ‏الجماعات المتألمة والمضَّطهدة في العالم.‏ ليبارككم الرب ‏جميعا ‏ويحرسكم من الشرير!‏‏‏ ‏‏
[I address a cordial greeting to the Arab-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Jordan, the Holy Land and the Middle East. Who does not suffer with his suffering brother, even if he is different from him by race, religion, language or culture, must question the sincerity of his faith and his humanity. I was very touched by the meeting with the Rohingya refugees and I asked them to forgive us for our failings and for our silence, asking the international community to help them and to help all the oppressed and persecuted groups in the world. May the Lord bless you all and protect you from the evil one!]
Witam polskich pielgrzymów, a szczególnie tych, którzy ofiarowali i zorganizowali transport tej pięknej choinki na Plac św. Piotra. Bardzo dziękuję! W najbliższą niedzielę, w Polsce będzie obchodzony Dzień modlitwy i pomocy Kościołowi na Wschodzie. Polecam Bogu to dzieło, znak gotowości wspierania wiernych i pasterzy w sąsiednich krajach. Dziękuję Wam również za towarzyszenie mi w modlitwie podczas niedawnej podróży apostolskiej. Z serca wam błogosławię! Niech Będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I welcome the Polish pilgrims, especially those who have committed themselves to donate and bring this beautiful Christmas tree to St. Peter's Square. Thank you very much! Next Sunday in Poland the Day of Prayer and of Help for the Eastern Church will be celebrated. I entrust this work to God, a sign of solicitude for the support of the faithful and the pastors of neighboring countries. I thank you also for having accompanied me in my prayer during my recent apostolic journey. I bless you from the heart! Praised be Jesus Christ!]

My thoughts now go to Jerusalem. In this regard, I can not ignore my deep concern about the situation that has arisen in recent days and, at the same time, do not make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions United Nations.

Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, who venerate the Holy Places of their respective religions, and has a special vocation to peace.

I pray the Lord that this identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already convulsed and marked by many and cruel conflicts.

* * *

I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I greet the parish groups, the schools participating in the project of formation for the legality of the Archdiocese of Capua, and the associations, in particular: the Friends of Raoul Follereau Italy; the Catholic Catholic Entrepreneurs; the Parents of children suffering from leukemia or cancer, as well as members of the Civil Protection of Cerveteri. The visit to the Eternal City helps each one to live intensely the time of Advent in preparation for the Lord's Christmas. I welcome the faithful from Episcopia: I will gladly bless the golden crown which will be placed on the effigy of the Madonna who is venerated in the local shrine.

I greet and welcome the group of Syrian-Iraqi refugees residing in Italy, as well as the priests, nuns and laity from Myanmar and Bangladesh, who are here to return my recent visit to their countries of origin. Thank you.

A special thought for the young, the sick and the newlyweds. Today is the memorial of St. Nicholas of Bari. Dear young people, put above all the search for God and his love; dear sick people, the example of the saints will be of help and comfort in the moments of greatest need; and you, dear newlyweds, with the grace of God make your union stronger and deeper every day. Thank you.
TEXT SOURCE VATICAN.VA original Italian - working translation

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Killed in the Philippines - RIP Inspiring Fr. Marcelito Paez shot by Gunmen

Manila (FIdes Agency) - Marcelito Paez, called Tito, an elderly priest of the diocese of San Jose, was killed in the Philippines. As confirmed by Bishop Roberto Mallari, who leads the community of San Jose, in the central part of the Filipino island of Luzon, he was shot by four motorcycle-riding gunmen around 8 pm on December 4 as he was driving through Jaen town. He was rushed to a hospital in the nearby town of San Leonardo and died about two hours later due to gunshot wounds. It was a real execution, that Bishop Mallari "strongly condemns", asking the authorities "to investigate and do justice to his death ". So far no criminal group has claimed the killing.
As Fides learns, there is strong indignation and disappointment among the faithful in the diocese and throughout the Catholic community in the Philippines. Vigils and spontaneous prayer meetings have brought together the local faithful, whom the Bishop invited to "stay united in prayer for justice".
Paez was a diocesan priest who served the diocese for more than 30 years and retired in 2015, although he continued his pastoral and apostolic work. In his service to the Church, he was known for his active involvement in the defense of social justice, especially in human rights issues that affected the poor. For many years he had been part of the Commission for the social action of the diocese, at the head of the "Justice and Peace" office.
The priest was currently the coordinator in Luzon of the "Rural Missionaries of the Philippines RMP", a body that in the Philippines brings together religious men and women and lay people, men and women, founded in 1969 by the Association of Major Superiors in the Philippines, with the idea of offering an active Christian presence in rural areas.
Just on the day he was killed, Paez assisted in facilitating the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay who was detained in a prison in the city of Cabanatuan.
"It is a very serious act. The execution is a brutal act that aims to sow terror among those who oppose the militaristic and despotic nature of Duterte’s government and to silence those who continue to denounce extrajudicial executions and violations of human rights", says Sister Elenita Belardo, of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Coordinator of the "Rural Missionaries of the Philippines" to Agenzia Fides. "We do not know who the perpetrators are and we want a serious investigation to be carried out. 
We believe that President Duterte is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks against rural missionaries, activists and human rights defenders during this period", adds the nun, expressing condolences to Fr. Tito’s family and community. "His commitment to serving the poor in rural areas is an inspiration for all of us. He served people until his last breath. He always tried to witness the Gospel and the social teachings of the Church, he defended the rights and interests of the people".
Sister Elenita concludes: "It is urgent to denounce these atrocities. We live in difficult times when nobody is safe. Let us all come together and raise our voices against the utter contempt for the lives of people, that also the current government encourages", she concludes. (PA-SD) (Agenzia Fides, 06/12/2017)

Novena to St. Nicholas - #Chaplet - #Caminata de los Tres Lunes - #Novena #Prayers - SHARE

Novena to St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas, Glorious Confessor of Christ, assist us in thy loving kindness. Glorious St. Nicholas, my special Patron from thy throne in glory, thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and attain for me from our Lord the graces and help that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities (and especially this favor ______________________________________ provided that it be profitable to my salvation). Be mindful likewise, O Glorious and Saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff of our Holy Church and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin, blinded by darkness of ignorance, error and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide the needy. Strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm. Cause all [people] to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen. 
 Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father. 
 Pray for us, Oh Blessed Nicholas, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us Pray, O God who has glorified Blessed St. Nicholas, thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonder, and who does not cease daily so to glorify him , grant we beseech thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Chaplet of Saint Nicholas 

• Gracious God,On the cross, pray
hear my prayers for mercy,
and by the help of Saint Nicholas
keep me safe from all danger,
and guide me on the way of salvation.
Grant this through our Lord Jeus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the first triad,
continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the second triad, continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the third triad, continuing on the three beads
Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me.

On the medal, pray
• Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you, I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
Caminata de los Tres Lunes (Spanish)
(Mondays one walks to a Saint Nicholas statue dedicated to Nicholas)

I know you will not betray my trust,Invocation

Full of sweet hope I come to you today, my Holy One,
for I am confident that in your goodness
I will be blessed.
my desperate cries will be heard
and my troubled spirit will be calmed.
Psalm and Scripture Reading
FIRST MONDAY Psalm 60, Romans 12.1–2
SECOND MONDAY Psalm 30, James 2.14–17
THIRD MONDAY Psalm 24, Matthew 22.36–40
Holy Father Nicholas,
through the precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
that was spilled on the way of bitterness,
for the crown of thorns that they put on his holy head,
for the slap across his holy face,
for the spear thrust into his holy side,
O Divine Love! for the lashings he endured,
for the pain his Holy Mother felt
as she watched him walk the way of affliction,
when she saw him fall,
the cross heavy with the weight of our sins;
for all he suffered during his holy Passion
and for all the blood that was spilled,
I beg you, holy Father Nicholas,
that you would know my needs and my distress
and that you would provide answers to my fervent prayers.
First Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me.
Second Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me.
Third Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition.
The Our Father
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
[For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.]
Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop Of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you,
I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
From this perilous sea,
O Holy Father Nicholas,
Lead us to the safe port
Of our heavenly home.
From the struggles of this life
And fatal storms,
Save us by your favor
And singular virtue.
You always come to help
Everyone who cries to you—
The sick, sailors,
Rich or poor—all who call upon you.
By your holiness
And powerful intercession,
Keep us on the way
To our heavenly home.
To those who faithfully
Carried your tradition,
They've earned the glory
and love of us all. Amen.
We beseech you, O Lord,
and plead for your mercy,
by the intercession of Holy Bishop Nicholas,
who protects us from all dangers,
show us the way of salvation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

#PopeFrancis "..keep the Word of God in your heart, to make it the luminous..." FULL TEXT to Academics

Pope Francis  on Tuesday greeted members of the Pontifical Academies as they held their 22nd Public Session on the theme: “In Interiore homine”.
It is an annual in Rome’s Palazzo della Cancelleria. 
Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin read a message sent by Pope Francis .
FULL TEXT of Pope Francis: 
To the Venerable Brother Cardinal GIANFRANCO RAVASI
President of the Pontifical Council of Culture
With joy and gratitude, I address you on the occasion of the 22 n Solemn Public Session of the Pontifical Academies, which has taken place annually since 1995, and which constitutes a point of reference for the journey of the seven Pontifical Academies gathered in the Coordination Council, which you chair. This event is connected to the presentation of the Pontifical Academies Prize, organized in turn by each one of them, according to the sector of competence, to promote and support the efforts of those, particularly young people or institutions that work with the young, who are distinguished in their respective sectors for offering significant contributions to the project that we can define as “Christian humanism”.
I would, therefore, like to address my cordial greeting to all of you, Cardinals, Bishops, Ambassadors, academics and friends who participate in this Solemn Public Session, with the keen hope that such an occasion may constitute for all, but especially for the prize-winners, an encouragement for research and the examination of themes fundamental to the Christian humanistic vision.
This edition has as its protagonist, for the first time, the Pontifical Academia Latinitatis, integrated in the Coordination Council among the Pontifical Academies following its institution, at the behest of my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI with the Motu proprio Latina Lingua of 10 November 2012, in order to “support the commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, both in the ecclesial context and in the broader world of culture” (4).
Therefore, I address a particular greeting to the President of the Academy, Professor Ivano Dionigi, and to all the Academicians, thanking them for their hard work, as demonstrated above all by the journal Latinitas, which provides a qualified and competent point of reference for scholars and lovers of the Latin language and culture.
I also congratulate you on your choice of theme for this Public Session: “In interiore homine. Research paths in the Latin tradition”. Indeed, it is intended to combine the research itineraries expressed by Latin, classical and Christian authors, with a theme of absolute centrality not only in Christian experience but also in the simply human. The theme of interiority, of the heart, of consciousness and self-awareness, in fact, is found in every culture as well as in the different religious traditions and, significantly, is presented with great urgency and strength even in our time, often characterized by concern with appearance, superficiality, the division between heart and mind, interiority and exteriority, consciousness and behavior. The moments of crisis, of change, of transformation not only of social relations but above all of the person and of his deeper identity, inevitably demand reflection on the inner and intimate essence of the human being.
A page of the Gospel helps us to reflect on this question: it is the parable of the merciful Father. At its center we read the statement referring to the “prodigal son”: “In se autem reversus dixit: […] Surgam et ibo ad patrem meum”, “But when he came to himself, he said … I will arise and go to my father (Lk 15: 17-18). The itinerary of Christian life and of human life itself can be summarized by this dynamism, first interior and then exterior, which initiates the path of conversion, of profound, coherent and non-hypocritical change, and therefore of the authentic integral development of the person.
Many figures, belonging both to the classical Greek-Roman and to the Christian world – I think above all of the Fathers of the Church and of the Latin writers of the first Christian millennium – have reflected on this dynamism, on the interiority of man, proposing numerous texts that today are still of great depth and topicality, and deserve not to fall into oblivion.
Among them all, a role of absolute pre-eminence certainly belongs to Saint Augustine who, starting from his personal experience, expressed in the Confessions, offers us unforgettable and evocative pages. In De vera religione, for example, he wonders what true harmony consists of, summarizing both ancient wisdom – from the maxim “Know thyself”, engraved on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, to similar affirmations by Seneca – both the words of the Gospel, thus affirms: “Noli foras ire, in teipsum redi; in interior homine habitat veritas; et si tuam naturam mutabilem inveneris, transcende et teipsum”. “Do not go abroad, return in yourself. In the inward man dwells truth. If you find that you are by nature mutable, transcend yourself” (39,72).
His reflection then becomes heartfelt appeal in the Commentary on the Gospel of John (18, 10): “Redite ad cor: quid itis a vobis, et peritis ex vobis? Quid itis solitudinis vias?”. “Return to your heart: why go from yourselves, and perish from yourselves? Why go the ways of solitude?”. Then, renewing the invitation, he indicates the destination, the homeland of the human journey: “Redi ad cor; vide ibi quid sentias forte de Deo, quia ibi est imago Dei. In interiore homine habitat Christus, in interiore homine renovaris ad imaginem Dei, in imagine sua cognosce auctorem eius”.  “Return to your heart; see there what, it may be, you can perceive of God, for in it is the image of God. In the inner man dwells Christ, in the inner man are you renewed after the image of God, in His own image recognize its Author” (ibid.).
These evocative statements are of extraordinary interest also in our times, and are worth repeating to ourselves, to those with whom we share our human journey, and especially to the youngest, who begin the great adventure of life and often remain caught up in the labyrinths of superficiality and banality, of the external success that conceals an inner emptiness, of the hypocrisy that masks the split between appearances and the heart, between the beautiful and cared-for body and the soul, empty and arid.
Dear friends, like Saint Augustine, I too would like to address an appeal to you, Academicians, participants in the Public Session, and especially to those who have the task of teaching, of transmitting the wisdom of the fathers, enclosed in the tests of Latin culture; know how to speak to the hearts of the young, know how to treasure the very rich heritage of the Latin tradition to educate them in the path of life, and accompany them along paths rich in hope and confidence, drawing from the experience and wisdom of those who have had the joy and the courage to “return to themselves” to pursue their own identity and human vocation.
Now, with the hope of encouraging and supporting those who, in the study of language and Latin culture, are committed to offering a serious and valuable contribution to Christian humanism, I am pleased to award the Pontifical Academies Prize, ex aequo, to Dr. Pierre Chambert-Protat for his doctoral thesis on Florus of Lyon, and Dr. Francesco Lubian, for the critical publication of the Disticha attributed to Saint Ambrose. Furthermore, to encourage the study of the heritage of Latin culture, I am pleased to award the Medal of the Pontificate to Dr. Shari Boodts for the critical edition of the Sermones of Saint Augustine, and to the Latin Teaching Group of the University of Toulouse 2, for the publication of a valuable Latin manual for university students.
Finally, to the Academicians and to all the participants in the meeting, I wish an increasingly fruitful effort in their respective fields of research, and I entrust each and every one of you to the Virgin Mary, model of interiority, whom in the Gospel of Luke is proposed to us twice, as she who “conservabat omnia verba haec conferens in corde suo” (Lk 2:19). May she help you always to keep the Word of God in your heart, to make it the luminous and inexhaustible source of all your efforts.
I sincerely impart to all of you and your families a special Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 5 December 2017

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 6, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 177

Reading 1IS 25:6-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial PsalmPS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
"My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way."
The disciples said to him,
"Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?"
Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
"Seven," they replied, "and a few fish."
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.