Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Saint December 21 : Saint Peter Canisius : Patron of Catholic Press and Germany - #Deutschland

Born at Nimwegen in the Netherlands, 8 May, 1521;
Died in Fribourg, 21 November, 1597.
His father was the wealthy burgomaster, Jacob Canisius; his mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, died shortly after Peter's birth. In 1536 Peter was sent to Cologne, where he studied arts, civil law, and theology at the university; he spent a part of 1539 at the University of Louvain, and in 1540 received the degree of Master of Arts at Cologne. Nicolaus van Esche was his spiritual adviser, and he was on terms of friendship with such staunch Catholics as Georg of Skodborg (the expelled Archbishop of Lund), Johann Gropper (canon of the cathedral), Eberhard Billick (the Carmelite monk), Justus Lanspergius, and other Carthusian monks. Although his father desired him to marry a wealthy young woman, on 25 February, 1540 he pledged himself to celibacy. In 1543 he visited Peter Faber and, having made the "Spiritual Exercises" under his direction, was admitted into the Society of Jesus at Mainz, on 8 May. With the help of Leonhard Kessel and others, Canisius, labouring under great difficulties, founded at Cologne the first German house of the order; at the same time he preached in the city and vicinity, and debated and taught in the university. In 1546 he was admitted to the priesthood, and soon afterwards was sent by the clergy and university to obtain assistance from Emperor Charles V, the nuncio, and the clergy of Liège against the apostate Archbishop, Hermann von Wied, who had attempted to pervert the diocese. In 1547, as the theologian of Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Bishop of Augsburg, he participated in the general ecclesiastical council (which sat first at Trent and then at Bologna), and spoke twice in the congregation of the theologians. After this he spent several months under the direction of Ignatius in Rome. In 1548 he taught rhetoric at Messina, Sicily, preaching in Italian and Latin. At this time Duke William IV of Bavaria requested Paul III to send him some professors from the Society of Jesus for the University of Ingolstadt; Canisius was among those selected.
On 7 September, 1549, he made his solemn profession as Jesuit at Rome, in the presence of the founder of the order. On his journey northward he received, at Bologna, the degree of doctor of theology. On 13 November, accompanied by Fathers Jaius and Salmeron, he reached Ingolstadt, where he taught theology, catechized, and preached. In 1550 he was elected rector of the university, and in 1552 was sent by Ignatius to the new college in Vienna; there he also taught theology in the university, preached at the Cathedral of St. Stephen, and at the court of Ferdinand I, and was confessor at the hospital and prison. During Lent, 1553 he visited many abandoned parishes in Lower Austria, preaching and administering the sacraments. The king's eldest son (later Maximilian II) had appointed to the office of court preacher, Phauser, a married priest, who preached the Lutheran doctrine. Canisius warned Ferdinand I, verbally and in writing, and opposed Phauser in public disputations. . After long negotiations and preparations he was able to open Jesuit colleges at Ingolstadt and Prague. In the same year Ignatius appointed him first provincial superior of Upper Germany (Swabia, Bavaria, Bohemia, Hungary, Lower and Upper Austria). During the winter of 1556-57 he acted as adviser to the King of the Romans at the Diet of Ratisbon and delivered many sermons in the cathedral. By the appointment of the Catholic princes and the order of the pope he took part in the religious discussions at Worms. As champion of the Catholics he repeatedly spoke in opposition to Melanchthon. The fact that the Protestants disagreed among themselves and were obliged to leave the field was due in a great measure to Canisius. He also preached in the cathedral of Worms.
He spoke in keeping with the spirit of the age, explained the justification of man, Christian liberty, the proper way of interpreting the Scriptures, defended the worship of saints, the ceremonies of the Church, religious vows, indulgences. urged obedience to the Church authorities, confession, communion, fasting, and almsgiving; he censured the faults of the clergy, at times perhaps too sharply, as he felt that they were public and that he must avoid demanding reformation from the laity only. Against the influence of evil spirits he recommended the means of defence which had been in use in the Church during the first centuries—lively faith, prayer, ecclesiastical benedictions, and acts of penance.  In the cathedral, his confessional and the altar at which he said Mass were surrounded by crowds, and alms were placed on the altar.In 1559 he opened a college in Munich; in 1562 he appeared at Trent as papal theologian. The council was discussing the question whether communion should be administered under both forms to those of the laity who asked for it. Lainez, the general of the Society of Jesus, opposed it unconditionally. Canisius held that the cup might be administered to the Bohemians and to some Catholics whose faith was not very firm. After one month he departed from Trent, but he continued to support the work of the Fathers by urging the bishops to appear at the council, by giving expert opinion regarding the Index and other matters, by reports on the state of public opinion, and on newly-published books. In the spring of 1563 he rendered a specially important service to the Church; the emperor had come to Innsbruck (near Trent), and had summoned thither several scholars, including Canisius, as advisers. Some of these men fomented the displeasure of the emperor with the pope and the cardinals who presided over the council. For months Canisius strove to reconcile him with the Curia. He has been blamed unjustly for communicating to his general and to the pope's representatives some of Ferdinand's plans, which otherwise might have ended contrary to the intention of all concerned in the dissolution of the council and in a new national apostasy. The emperor finally granted all the pope's demands and the council was able to proceed and to end peacefully. All Rome praised Canisius, but soon after he lost favour with Ferdinand and was denounced as disloyal; at this time he also changed his views regarding the giving of the cup to the laity (in which the emperor saw a means of relieving all his difficulties), saying that such a concession would only tend to confuse faithful Catholics and to encourage the disobedience of the recalcitrant. In 1562 the College of Innsbruck was opened by Canisius, and at that time he acted as confessor to the "Queen" Magdalena (declared Venerable in 1906 by Pius X; daughter of Ferdinand I, who lived with her four sisters at Innsbruck), and as spiritual adviser to her sisters. At their request he sent them a confessor from the society, and, when Magdalena presided over the convent, which she had founded at Hall, he sent her complete directions for attaining Christian perfection. In 1563 he preached at many monasteries in Swabia; in 1564 he sent the first missionaries to Lower Bavaria, and recommended the provincial synod of Salzburg not to allow the cup to the laity, as it had authority to do; his advice, however, was not accepted. In this year Canisius opened a college at Dillingen and assumed, in the name of the order, the administration of the university which had been founded there by Cardinal Truchsess. In 1565 he took part in the Second General Congregation of the order in Rome. While in Rome he visited Philip, son of the Protestant philologist Joachim Camerarius, at that time a prisoner of the Inquisition, and instructed and consoled him. Pius IV sent him as his secret nuncio to deliver the decrees of the Council of Trent to Germany; the pope also commissioned him to urge their enforcement, to ask the Catholic princes to defend the Church at the coming diet, and to negotiate for the founding of colleges and seminaries. Canisius negotiated more or less successfully with the Electors of Mainz and Trier, with the bishops of Augsburg, Würzburg, Osnabrück, Münster, and Paderborn, with the Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, and with the City and University of Cologne; he also visited Nimwegen, preaching there and at other places; his mission, however, was interrupted by the death of the pope. Pius V desired its continuation, but Canisius requested to be relieved; he said that it aroused suspicions of espionage, of arrogance, and of interference in politics (for a detailed account of his mission see "Stimmen aus Maria-Laach", LXXI, 58, 164, 301).
In 1581 he founded a sodality of the Blessed Virgin among the citizens and, soon afterwards, sodalities for women and students; in 1582 schools were opened, and he preached in the parish church and in other places until 1589.
 The last years of his life he devoted to the instruction of converts, to making spiritual addresses to the brothers of the order, to writing and re-editing books. The city authorities ordered his body to be buried before the high altar of the principal church, the Church of St. Nicolaus, from which they were translated in 1625 to that of St. Michael, the church of the Jesuit College. ecclesiastical censures, and permission to give extraordinary absolutions and to dispense from the law of fasting. He also wished the Index to be modified that German confessors might be authorized to permit the reading of some books, but in his sermons he warned the faithful to abstain from reading such books without permission. At Cologne he requested the town council to forbid the printing or sale of books hostile to the Faith or immoral, and in the Tyrol had Archduke Ferdinand II suppress such books. He also advised Bishop Urban of Gurk, the court preacher of Ferdinand I, not to read so many Protestant books, but to study instead the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. At Nimwegen he searched the libraries of his friends, and burned all heretical books. In the midst of all these cares Canisius remained essentially a man of prayer; he was an ardent advocate of the Rosary and its sodalities. He was also one of the precursors of the modern devotion of the Sacred Heart. Shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Christmas Novena : Day 5 : Official Plenary Indulgence

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Day 5 Prayers

The Circumcision

O most sweet infant Jesus, circumcised when

eight days old, and called by the glorious name

of Jesus, and proclaimed both by your name and

by your blood, to be the Savior of the world.

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...



NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

RIP Cardinal Bernard Law - Death of former Archbishop of Boston at age 86 in Rome

Vatican News Release: The former Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law has died in Rome.
Cardinal Bernard Francis Law has died in Rome following a long illness. Archbishop emeritus of Boston and Archpriest emeritus of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, he was 86 years old. Ordained priest in 1961, he was appointed Archbishop of Boston in 1984 where he worked to promote ecumenical dialogue and Catholic-Jewish relations. In 2002 he resigned from his position in Boston following accusations that he had covered up cases of abuse against minors.
BIOGRAPHY OF CARDINAL BERNARD FRANCIS LAW Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archpriest emeritus of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and Archbishop emeritus of Boston (USA), was born on 4 November 1931 in Torreón, Mexico, son of a U.S. Air Force colonel. He finished his studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; entered St. Joseph's Seminary at St. Benedict, Los Angeles and from 1955 to 1961, studied at the Pontifical Josephinum College at Worthington, Ohio.
He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Natchez-Jackson (now Jackson) on 21 May 1961. From 1963-1968 he was the editor of the Natchez-Jackson, Miss. diocesan newspaper; from 1968-1971 he was the director of the NCCB committee on ecumenical and interreligious affairs.
On 22 October 1973 he was appointed Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Montana and received episcopal ordination on 5 December 1973.
In 1975 he invited to his diocese all 166 members of the Vietnamese religious order, the Congregation of Mary Coredemptrix, and two years later ordained to the priesthood twelve members of this religious institute.
Succeeding Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, he was appointed by John Paul II on 11 January 1984 Archbishop of Boston, the third largest ecclesiastical see in the U.S. He set out as objectives for the pastoral administration of the archdiocese: personal spiritual renewal of the faith, evangelization, social justice and peace, catechesis of the Catholic faith, and vocations. His first pastoral letter emphasized the need to strengthen parish life, at the heart of which is the liturgy.
The cardinal of Boston has often been the spokesman for Catholics in the United States on behalf of Christian unity and the progress of Catholic-Jewish relations. His vast experience acquired in this area has been put at the disposition of the universal Church as consultor to the commission for the religious relations with Judaism (1976-1981) and as member of the Secretariat for Christian Unity. In 1981 he was appointed Vatican delegate to oversee the acceptance of Episcopalian converts into the Catholic priesthood.
He has also held several posts within the U.S. National Catholic Conference of Bishops.
Archbishop emeritus of Boston, 13 December 2002.
Archpriest of the Patriarchal (now Papal) Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, 27 May 2004- 21 November 2011.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 25 May 1985, of the Title of S. Susanna (St. Susanna).

Vatican News:
Pope Francis sends telegramme of condolence upon the death of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archbishop emeritus of Boston. 
As is traditional upon the death of a Cardinal, the Pope sent a telegramme of condolence for the passing of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who died at the age of 86 after a long illness. The Holy Father sent his message on Wednesday to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. “I raise prayers for the repose of his soul, that the Lord, God who is rich in mercy, may welcome him in His eternal peace,” the Pope wrote. He also sent his Apostolic Blessing “to those who share in mourning the passing of the cardinal, whom I entrust to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani.” Cardinal Law was the Archbishop of Boston (USA) from 1984 until his resignation in 2002. He was then sent to Rome where he served as Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. 
Funeral services 
 The Vatican’s Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations said funeral services for Cardinal Law will take place in St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday, 21 December. Cardinal Angelo Sodano will preside over the Mass, while Pope Francis will celebrate the rites of Commendatio and Valedictio.
 Please find below the English-language translation of the Pope’s telegramme:
 Cardinal Angelo Sodano Dean of the College of Cardinals
 Vatican City
 I have learned of the departure of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archpriest emeritus of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, and I wish to express my condolences to the College of Cardinals. I raise prayers for the repose of his soul, that the Lord, God who is rich in mercy, may welcome him in His eternal peace, and I send my Apostolic Blessing to those who share in mourning the passing of the cardinal, whom I entrust to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani. FRANCISCUS PP.
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley Statement
on the Passing of Cardinal Bernard F. Law
"Cardinal Bernard F. Law, my predecessor as Archbishop of Boston, has passed away at the age of 86 following a prolonged illness. I recognize that Cardinal Law’s passing brings forth a wide range of emotions on the part of many people. I am particularly cognizant of all who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy, whose lives were so seriously impacted by those crimes, and their families and loved ones. To those men and women, I offer my sincere apologies for the harm they suffered, my continued prayers and my promise that the Archdiocese will support them in their effort to achieve healing.
As Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Law served at a time when the Church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences. Since the day I arrived in the Archdiocese of Boston, my primary objective has been to work for healing and reconciliation among survivors, their families and the wider community of Catholics for whom the abuse crisis was a devastating experience and a great test of faith. In the midst of these groups that were most affected have stood priests and religious sisters of the Archdiocese who have tried to minister to any and all seeking assistance, even when they have been deeply challenged by the crisis that unfolded in the Church.
It is a sad reality that for many Cardinal Law’s life and ministry is identified with one overwhelming reality, the crisis of sexual abuse by priests. This fact carries a note of sadness because his pastoral legacy has many other dimensions. Early in his priesthood in Mississippi Cardinal Law was deeply engaged in the civil rights struggle in our country. Later, he served in the Archdiocese and nationally as a leader in the ecumenical and interfaith movement following the Second Vatican Council, developing strong collaborative relationships with the Greek Orthodox and Jewish communities in Boston. He was well known for visiting the sick, the dying and the bereaved at all hours of the night and day, a ministry that extended to the rich and poor, the young and elderly, and people of all faiths. He also held the care for immigrants and their families in a special place in his ministry.
In the Catholic tradition, the Mass of Christian Burial is the moment in which we all recognize our mortality, when we acknowledge that we all strive for holiness in a journey which can be marked by failures large and small. Cardinal Law will be buried in Rome where he completed his last assignment. I offer prayers for him and his loved ones as well as for all the people of the Archdiocese."

Pope Francis says arrive Early for Mass "from the beginning that the Mass is an encounter of love with Christ, who “offering His body on the cross" FULL TEXT + Video

General Audience of the The Holy Father with Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today I would like to get to the heart of the Eucharistic Celebration. The Mass is made up of two parts, which are the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy, so closely joined between them as to form one act of worship (Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 56; Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, 28). Introduced by some preparatory rites and concluded with others, the celebration is, therefore, one body and it can’t be separated; however, for a better understanding, I will try to explain its various moments, each one of which is capable of touching and involving a dimension of our humanity. It’s necessary to know these holy signs to live the Mass fully and savor all its beauty.
When the people are gathered, the celebration opens with the introductory rites, including the entrance of those celebrating or of the celebrant, the greeting – “The Lord be with you,” “Peace be with you,” — , the penitential act – “I confess,” where we ask for forgiveness of our sins –, the Kyrie eleison, the hymn of the Gloria and the Collect prayer: it’s called “Collect Prayer,” not because the collection of the offerings is made there: it’s the collection of the prayer intentions of all the peoples, and that collection of the people’s intention goes up to Heaven as  prayer. The purpose – of these introductory rites — is such as to have the “faithful, gathered together, form a community, and dispose themselves to listen with faith to the Word of God and to celebrate worthily the Eucharist” (Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, 46). It’s not a good habit to look at one’s watch and say: “I’m on time, I’ll arrive after the sermon and with this I will fulfil the precept.” The Mass begins with the sign of the Cross, with these introductory rites, because there we begin to adore God as a community. And, therefore, it’s important to plan not to arrive late, but rather in advance to prepare one’s heart for this rite, for this celebration of the community.
While normally the entrance hymn is being sung, the priest with the other ministers reaches the presbytery in procession, and here he greets the altar with a bow and, in sign of veneration, kisses it and, when there is incense, he incenses it. Why? Because the altar is Christ: it’s a figure of Christ. When we look at the altar, we look in fact where Christ is. The Altar is Christ. These gestures, which risk passing unobserved, are very significant, because they express from the beginning that the Mass is an encounter of love with Christ, who “offering His body on the cross [. . . ] becomes altar, victim and priest” (Easter Preface V). In fact, the altar, in as much as sign of Christ, “is the center of the thanksgiving that is fulfilled with the Eucharist” (Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, 296), and the whole community around the altar, which is Christ: not to look at <faces> but to look at Christ, because Christ is at the center of the community, He’s not far from it.
Then there is the sign of the cross. The priest that presides traces it on himself and the same is done by all the members of the assembly, aware that the liturgical act is carried out “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And here I pass to another very small argument. Have you seen how children make the sign of the cross? They don’t know what they do: sometimes they make a design, which isn’t the sign of the cross. Please: mothers and fathers, grandparents, teach children from the beginning – when very small – to do the sign of the cross well. And explain to them what it is to have Jesus’ cross as protection. And the Mass begins with the sign of the cross. The whole prayer moves, so to speak, in the realm of the Most Holy Trinity – “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” –, which is the realm of infinite communion; it has as its origin and as its end the love of God One and Triune, manifested and given to us in the Cross of Christ. In fact, His Paschal Mystery is a gift of the Trinity, and the Eucharist always flows from His pierced Heart. Therefore, by signing ourselves with the sign of the cross, not only do we remember our Baptism, but we affirm that the liturgical prayer is the encounter with God in Christ Jesus, who was incarnated for us, died on the cross and rose glorious.
Therefore, the priest addresses the liturgical greeting with the expression: “The Lord be with you” or another similar one – there are several –; and the assembly responds: “And with your spirit.” We are in dialogue; we are at the beginning of the Mass and we must think of the meaning of all these gestures and words. We are entering a “symphony,” in which various tones of voices resound, including times of silence, in view of creating “agreement” among all the participants, namely, to recognize one another animated by one Spirit and by one same end. In fact “the priestly greeting and the people’s response manifest the mystery of the gathered Church” (Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, 50). Expressed thus is the common faith and the mutual desire to be with the Lord and to live in unity with the whole community.
And this is a praying symphony, which is being created and presents immediately a very touching moment, because the one who presides invites all to acknowledge their sins. We are all sinners. I don’t know, perhaps one of you isn’t a sinner . . . If someone isn’t a sinner, please raise his hand, so we can all see. But there aren’t any raised hands; ok, your faith is good! We are all sinners and, therefore, we ask for forgiveness at the beginning of the Mass. It’s the penitential act. It’s not only about thinking of the sins committed, but much more: it’s the invitation to acknowledge ourselves sinners before God and before the community, before brothers, with humility and sincerity, as the publican in the Temple. If the Eucharist truly renders present the Paschal Mystery, namely the passage of Christ from death to life, then the first thing we should do is to recognize what are our situations of death to be able to rise with Him to new life. This makes us understand how important the penitential act is. And, therefore, we will take up this argument in the next catechesis. We go step by step in the explanation of the Mass. However, I recommend: please teach the children to do the Sign of the Cross well!
[Original text: Italian]   [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims, welcome! I would like to thank the Cuban Circus  for this beautiful show! Thank you! I’m happy to receive the new Priests of the Legionaries of Christ, with their brethren and relatives; the Priests of the Saint Joseph of Rome International Missionary College and the parishes of Alvito and of Mary Most Holy Annunziata of Siano. I exhort you all to renew your adherence to the poor, humble and obedient Christ, to transmit the love and mercy of God in today’s ecclesial context.
I greet the school Institutes, the families of the Personnel dependent of the Major Air Force; the delegations of the municipalities of Bolsena and of Cagnano Amiterno and the directors and artists of the Circus of Cuba.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds.
Dear young people, prepare yourselves for the mystery of the Lord’s Birth with the obedience of faith and the humility that were Mary’s. You, dear sick, draw from Her that same strength of love for Jesus who comes among us. And you, dear newlyweds, contemplate the example of the Holy Family at Bethlehem, to practice the same virtues in your journey of family life. And after the Blessing, I would like to hear this choir that sings well!
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Wow #PianoGuys make Beautiful Christmas Song for Lost Loved Ones - Video + Touching Story behind to SHARE -

Piano Guys Youtube Page Release:
Story behind the Song: “So last year, was a really tough year for us. We lost our daughter, Annie. People talk about grief, pain, fear, sorrow. All of these words, can’t really describe how you feel when you really go through the loss of a loved one. Even though we held onto hope, that we would somehow see her again, it was just a brutal time that we were going through, right at Christmas. It felt pretty hard to celebrate. And then I found this song. It was just a video on Facebook by this Christian artist and he was singing about the very struggle I was having. As my wife and I listened to the words of this song, it expressed exactly what we were feeling. It also gave us what we needed at the time. That was comfort. So many people struggle with loss at this time of year, not just me. If you are missing someone this Christmas, I want to dedicate this song to you. I also want to dedicate it to Annie, my sweet Annie, who I miss very much.” -Jon Schmidt Lyrics: I’m not going to lie. Christmas really hurts this time Cause you’re not here to celebrate with me. Tears fill my eyes. And memories flood my mind, As I place your ornament upon our tree. Although this year I have a broken heart, It gives me hope and joy as I remember where you are. Chorus: You’re with the Son of God. You’re with the Prince of Peace. You’re with the one we’re celebrating And that thought amazes me. Sometimes I still break down, Grieving that we’re apart, But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are. You’re with the Son of God. Got your picture in a frame And a stocking with your name. Oh God knows it’s been hard letting go. And I can’t bring you back, But I’ll see you again. And oh, that thought is healing to my soul. I’ll miss making angels with you in the snow. I guess instead you will be singing with them All around God’s throne. Chorus And I know the Christmas season Was your favorite time of year. You loved to help us decorate our tree. But now that you’re with Jesus, I can’t imagine how you feel Cause He’s the one who bled and died Upon the tree for you and me. Chorus Credits: “The Sweetest Gift” written by Craig Aven Produced by Jon Schmidt and Chuck E. Myers “sea” Arranged by Jon Schmidt, Chuck Myers, Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson Craig Aven: Vocals Jon Schmidt: Piano Steven Sharp Nelson: Cello Piano and vocals recorded by Jake Bowen at Big Idea Studios Cello recorded by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios Mastered by Al van der Beek Video Produced and Filmed by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott Video Edited by Shaye Scott & Paul Anderson

Pope Francis brings 27 closer to Sainthood including the Rosary Priest and Cardinal Friend of JPII

Pope takes 27 candidates a step closer to sainthood‎
Vatican News Report: Pope Francis has authorized 12 decrees on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of 22 men and 5 ‎ Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Monday took 27 men and women a step closer to sainthood.  The Pope received Card. Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized him to promulgate 12 decrees regarding 22 men and 5 women from as many as 8 nations.  They concern 3 miracles, a martyrdom and 8 heroic virtues.  Nineteen candidates, including 3 miracles and the martyrdom of 16,  have been cleared for Beatification, the penultimate stage before Canonization or sainthood.
Fr. Patrick Peyton Among the 12 is the decree on the heroic virtues of the noted “Rosary Priest”, Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton of the Congregation of Holy Cross (CSC). Born on 9 January, 1909 at Carracastle, Ireland, Fr. Peyton died on 3 June, 1992, in San Pedro, US.  Fr. Peyton is the founder of the "Family Rosary Crusade."  He was the first to proclaim the phrases "The family that prays together stays together" and "A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński
Another person whose heroic virtues have been recognized is Servant of God, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the former primate of Poland. The cardinal who was Bishop of Lublin and later Archbishop of Warsaw and Gniezno died on 28 May, 1981, in Warsaw.  He is known for his struggle against the Communist state over freedom and the basic rights of the Church, and he even suffered imprisonment.
19 approved for Beatification
Among the 12 decrees are 3 miracles through the intercession of 2 priests and a nun who have been cleared for Beatification.  They are French priest Fr. Giovanni Battista Fouque, who died on 5 December, 1926; Spanish Jesuit Father Tiburzio Arnáiz Muñoz, who died on 18 July, 1926; and Venezuelan Sister Maria Carmen Rendiles Martínez, foundress of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus of Venezuela, who died on 9 May, 1977. 
Pope Francis also authorized a decree on the martyrdom of Servants of God, Father Dio Teodoro Illera Del Olmo of the Congregation of St. Peter in Chains and his 15 companions, who were killed for their faith during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War.  All 16 martyrs have been cleared for Beatification.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 20, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 196

Reading 1IS 7:10-14

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
"I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.