Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saint March 1 : St. David : #Bishop : Patron of #Wales

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on a little hill, with a dove on his shoulder. From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March. The earliest mention of St. David is found in a tenth-century manuscript Of the "Annales Cambriae", which assigns his death to A.D. 601. Many other writers, from Geoffrey of Monmouth down to Father Richard Stanton, hold that he died about 544, but their opinion is based solely on data given in various late "lives" of St. David, and there seems no good reason for setting aside the definite statement of the "Annales Cambriae", which is now generally accepted. Little else that can claim to be historical is known about St. David. The tradition that he was born at Henvynyw (Vetus-Menevia) in Cardiganshire is not improbable. He was prominent at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi in Cardiganshire), which has been identified with the important Roman military station, Loventium. Shortly afterwards, in 569, he presided over another synod held at a place called Lucus Victoriae. He was Bishop (probably not Archbishop) of Menevia, the Roman port Menapia in Pembrokeshire, later known as St. David's, then the chief point of departure for Ireland. St. David was canonized by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.
The first biography that has come down to us was written near the end of the eleventh century, about 500 years after the saint's death, by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarchus). According to these other writers St. David was the son of Sant or Sandde ab Ceredig ab Cunnedda, The saint's mother was Nonna, or Nonnita (sometimes called Melaria), a daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch. She was a nun who had been violated by Sant. St. David's birth  took place at "Old Menevia" somewhere about A.D. 454. Afterwards he spent ten years studying the Holy Scripture at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under St. Paulinus (Pawl Hen), whom he cured of blindness by the sign of the cross. At the end of this period St. Paulinus, warned by an angel, sent out the young saint to evangelize the British. St. David journeyed throughout the West, founding or restoring twelve monasteries (among which occur the great names of Glastonbury, Bath, and Leominster), and finally settled in the Vale of Ross, where he and his monks lived a life of extreme austerity.  Here also his monks tried to poison him, but St. David, warned by St. Scuthyn, who crossed from Ireland in one night on the back of a sea-monster, blessed the poisoned bread and ate it without harm. From thence, with St. Teilo and St. Padarn, he set out for Jerusalem, where he was made bishop by the patriarch. Here too St. Dubric and St. Daniel found him, when they came to call him to the Synod of Brevi "against the Pelagians". St. David was with difficulty persuaded to accompany them; on his way he raised a widow's son to life, and at the synod preached so loudly, from the hill that miraculously rose under him, that all could hear him, and so eloquently that all the heretics were confounded. St. Dubric resigned the "Archbishopric of Caerleon", and St. David was appointed in his stead. One of his first acts was to hold, in the year 569, yet another synod called "Victory", against the Pelagians, of which the decrees were confirmed by the pope. With the permission of King Arthur he removed his see from Caerleon to Menevia, whence he governed the British Church for many years with great holiness and wisdom. He died at the great age of 147, on the day predicted by himself a week earlier. His body is said to have been translated to Glastonbury in the year 966. (Edited from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "He asks us for the will to be better to receive him who offers Himself to us in the Eucharist." Audience FULL TEXT + Video

FULL TEXT of Audience: 
The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Continuing with the catechesis on the Holy Mass, the Liturgy of the Word — on which I reflected in the past catechesis –, is followed by the other constitutive part of the Mass, which is the Eucharistic LiturgyIn it, through the holy signs, the Church renders continually present the Sacrifice of the new Covenant sealed by Jesus on the altar of the Cross (Cf. Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 47). The first Christian altar was the Cross, and when we come to the altar to celebrate Mass, our memory goes <back> to the altar of the Cross, where the first sacrifice was made. The priest, who represents Christ in the Mass, carries out what the Lord Himself did and entrusted to the disciples in the Last Supper: He took the bread and the chalice, rendered thanks, and gave them to the disciplessaying: “Take, eat . . . drink: this is my Body . . . this is the chalice of my Blood. Do this in memory of Me.”
Obedient to Jesus’ command, the Church ordered the Eucharistic Liturgy in moments that correspond to the words and gestures done by Himon the vigil of his Passion. Thus, in the preparation of the giftsthe bread and wine are taken to the altar, namely, the elements that Jesus took in His hands. In the Eucharistic Prayer we give thanks to God for the work of Redemption and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It’s followed by the breaking of the Bread and Communion, through which we relive the experience of the Apostles, who received the Eucharistic gifts from the hands of Christ Himself (Cf. Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano), 72).

The preparation of the gifts corresponds, then, to Jesus’ first gesture: “He took the bread and the chalice of wine. It’s the first part of the Eucharistic Liturgy. It’s good that it’s the faithful that present the bread and wine to the priest, because they signify the spiritual offering of the Church, gathered there for the Eucharist. It’s beautiful that it’s in fact the faithful that bring the bread and wine to the altar. Although today “the faithful no longer bring, as before, their own bread and wine destined to the Liturgy, yet the rite of the presentation of these gifts keeps its value and spiritual meaning” (Ibid., 73).  And in this connection, it’s significant that, in ordaining a new presbyter, the Bishop, when he gives him the bread and wine, says: “Receive the offerings of the holy people for the Eucharistic sacrifice” (Roman Pontifical – Ordination of Bishops, of presbyters and of deacons). <It’s> the people of God that brings the offering, the bread and wine, the great offering for the Mass! Therefore, in the signs of the bread and wine the faithful people put their own offering in the priest’s hands, who places it on the altar or table of the Lord, “which is the center of all the Eucharistic Liturgy”((OGMR, 73). That is, the center of the Mass is the altar, and the altar is Christ. It’s always necessary to look at the altar, which is the center of the Mass. Offered, therefore, in the “fruit of the earth and the work of man,” is the commitment of the faithful to make of themselves, obedient to the divine Word, a “pleasing sacrifice to Almighty God the Father,” “for the good of all His Holy Church.” Thus “the life of the faithful, their suffering, their prayer, their work, are united to those of Christ and to His total offering, and in this way they acquire a new value” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1368).
Our offering is certainly a small thing, but Christ is in need of this small thing. The Lord asks little of us, and He gives us so much. He asks little of us. He asks us for good will in ordinary life; He asks us for an open heart; He asks us for the will to be better to receive him who offers Himself to us in the Eucharist. He asks us for these symbolic offerings, which will then become His Body and His Blood. An image of this self-giving movement of prayer is represented by incense that, consumed in the fire, gives off a perfumed smoke that goes up on high: to incense the offerings, as is done on feast days, to incense the cross, the altar, the priest and the priestly people manifest visibly the offertory bond that unites all these realities to Christ’s sacrifice (Cf. OGMR, 75). And don’t forget: it’s the altar that is Christ, but always in reference to the first altar, which is the Cross, and on the altar, which is Christ, we bring our little gifts, the bread and wine, which then will become so much: Jesus Himself who gives Himself to us.
And all this is what the prayer over the offerings expresses. In it the priest asks God to accept the gifts that the Church offers Him, invoking the fruit of the wonderful exchange between our poverty and His richness. In the bread and wine, we present our life to Him, so that it’s transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s sacrifice and becomes, with Him, one spiritual offering pleasing to the Father. While the preparation of the gifts is thus concluded, it disposes us to the Eucharistic Prayer (Cf. Ibid, 77).
May the spirituality of the gift of selfwhich this moment of the Mass teaches, be able to illume our days, our relations with others, the things we do, the sufferings we meet, helping us to build the earthly city in the light of the Gospel.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I am happy to receive the participants in the General Chapter of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, the Christian Brothers Schools and “God’s Volunteers” of the Focolare Movement.
I greet the faithful of Pavullo nel Frignano, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Germano Bernardini; the young people guests of the Hospitality Center of L’Aquila; the school Institutes, especially those of Civitavecchia and of the Pallotine Sisters of Rome; the members of the Order of Malta of Lombardy and Veneto and the FAIPA associates: “The Golden Keys.” I hope that you all can live the faith as service to God and to brothers.
Finally I greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Lent is a favourable time to intensify the spiritual life: may the practice of fasting be of help to you, dear young people, to acquire greater mastery over yourselves; may the thought of the future help you, dear elderly, to give hope to young people: speak with them; may prayer be for you, dear sick, the means to entrust your sufferings to God and to feel Him always close; finally, may the works of mercy help you, dear newlyweds, to live your conjugal life always oriented to the needs of brothers.
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
I greet the faithful present in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Thank you! Thank you so much for your patience in waiting up to now. May the Lord bless you — bless your patience. But I thought it was better to be here than in the cold, no? Truly? Yes? All right. Now I will give you the Blessing, but first let us pray to Our Lady.
[Hail Mary . . .]
[Blessing]

#BreakingNews 7 People Killed as Christians and Muslims Fight over inter-faith Dating - Please Pray

Seven persons were killed, yesterday, while 15 others were injured, as Christian and Muslim youths clashed at Kasuwan Magani, Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The clash was over forcible conversion and dating of girls of opposite faith.  Several houses were also set ablaze in the bloody clash. There were rumors of an attempt to forcibly convert some Christian girls who were allegedly taken to the residence of the local chief. . A statement by his spokeman, Samuel Aruwan, said while condemning the incidence, Governor El-Rufai expressed his sympathy to those affected by the incidence. The governor urged all citizens and communities to reject violence and division, and uphold their neighbours in peace and harmony.
Edited from All Africa/Vanguard

#BreakingNews 4 Catholic Protesters Killed by Police in Congo and 47 Injured - Please Pray

 At least four anti-government protesters were killed and 47 were injured by security forces at a nationwide protest against Congo President Joseph Kabila. This protest was organized by Christian leaders, according to the United Nations. Leila Zerrougui, the head of Congo's U.N. mission, said Sunday that 47 people were injured and more than 100 were arrested across the country for participating in a protest organized by the Catholic Church and other church groups to call for the government to organize a long overdue presidential election. Slain activist was 36-years-old Rossy Mukendi, who is an assistant university professor shot by police outside of a church in Kinshasa's Lemba neighborhood. "Since 7:00 am we have received three injured people from the Catholic march," Dr. Francois Kajingulu from the St Joseph de Limete hospital told AFP. "Two were seriously injured and one died from a bullet wound in the chest."  Kabila, who has been office since 2001, was the first president elected under these rules and his second term was to end in 2016.  The organizers of Sunday's demonstration are calling for a new election. "Our people no longer believe in the political will of our current leaders to ensure a peaceful transition of power," the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC). In a statement the CLC said that "there will be no respite for the government in place as long as we have not recovered our dignity and our liberty."  According to AFP, three priests were arrested for leading a march in east Kisangani. In Kisangani, hundreds marched but retreated into a Cathedral when police used tear gas and began firing bullets. Deutsche Welle news reported, government forces killed as many as 12 protesters in the previous two recent anti-Kabila demonstrations. Earlier this year, it was reported that security forces in Congo had fired bullets and used tear gas on protesters inside of churches. Eight Christians were killed and at least 82 were arrested.

RIP Brother Chukwunonye Osunwoke, OP - 1st Nigerian Dominican Dies at Age 85

OP Release: The Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana has lost its very first Nigerian Dominican, Brother Chukwunonye Linus Osunwoke, O.P., popularly known as Brother Nonye, aged 85 years. He was a Cooperator Brother. Born in January 15, 1933, he joined the Order in the early 60s, made first profession on October 7, 1964 and solemn profession on October 7, 1970.
Brother Nonye established the popular Dominican Arts in Ibadan in the early 70s. It was well known in Nigeria for the design and production of church vestments and robes, and African traditional wears. In 1977, he went to the United States for the provincial chapter in River Forest. After the Chapter, he was approved to do some studies in the United States. In 1985, he came back with a Masters degree in Clinical Counseling. On his return to Nigeria, he was assigned to the formation house, Ibadan, as Assistant Student Master, (my Assistant Student Master). He loved farming; in the early 1990s, he got over 30 hectares of land and started the Ibadan Farm Project, known as “Moniya Farms”, which today is the Center for Human Resources and Development.
As he advanced in years, he was transferred to St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos. He was fully involved in the pastoral life of the parish, teaching catechism to the young and old, had ministries to different pious societies in the parish, marriage preparation, administered Holy Communion to the sick and elderly, and helped with the distribution of Holy Communion on Sundays and weekdays, a major ministry in the parish. Brother Nonye was very faithful to this service until his health started to fail. He was also the sacristan for the priory chapel.
Brother Nonye loved his Dominican life and gave all of us a great example. He had a very strong and disciplined personality. As our Assistant Student Master, we used to call him “Lion”. However, he was at the same time a jovial person, and very free with the younger brothers who called him “fellow novitiate”. He loved community life and activities and was regular in observing them. He was regular at community rosary and often led it. He was very meticulous in maintaining the sacred vessels, linens and clothsin the priory chapel. One would often find him alone in the chapel praying the rosary.
He remained strong in health until he celebrated his 80th birth anniversary five years ago. Immediately after that celebration, his health went south. He started becoming weak, there was no specific sickness but he could no longer climb steps easily or do what he regularly did before. He held on to his faith to the end. On January 15 this year, the brothers in St. Dominic Priory celebrated his 85th birthday in his room, sang for him while he watched gleefully. That was his last birthday as he died on February 17. He will be laid to rest at the provincial cemetery, St. Thomas Aquinas, Priory, Ibadan, on March 2. May the soul of Brother Nonye and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
fr. Charles UKWE, op

(24 February 2018)
Full Text Press Release of Order Preachers - (Dominicans)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. February 28, 2018 - #Eucharist


Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232


Reading 1JER 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before The GospelJN 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

GospelMT 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Saint February 28 : St. Hilary : #Pope

St. Hilary
POPE
Feast: February 28



Feast Day:February 28 or November 17
Born:
at Sardinia
Died:28 February 468 at Rome, Italy
Information:
Elected 461; the date of his death is given as 28 Feb., 468. After the death of Leo I, an archdeacon named Hilarus, a native of Sardinia, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", was chosen to succeed him, and in all probability received consecration on 19 November, 461. Together with Julius, Bishop of Puteoli, Hilarus acted as legate of Leo I at the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus in 449. There he fought vigorously for the rights of the Roman See and opposed the condemnation of Flavian of Constantinople (see FLAVIAN, SAINT). He was therefore exposed to the violence of Dioscurus of Alexandria, and saved himself by flight. In one of his letters to the Empress Pulcheria, found in a collection of letters of Leo I ("Leonis I Epistolae", num. xlvi., in P.L., LIV, 837 sq.), Hilarus apologizes for not delivering to her the pope's letter after the synod; but owing to Dioscurus, who tried to hinder his going either to Rome or to Constantinople, he had great difficulty in making his escape in order to bring to the pontiff the news of the result of the council. His pontificate was marked by the same vigorous policy as that of his great predecessor. Church affairs in Gaul and Spain claimed his special attention. Owing to political disorganization in both countries, it was important to safeguard the hierarchy by strengthening church government. Hermes, a former archdeacon of Narbonne, had illegally acquired the bishopric of that town. Two Gallican prelates were dispatched to Rome to lay before the pope this and other matters concerning the Church in Gaul. A Roman synod held on 19 November, 462, passed judgment upon these matters, and Hilarus made known the following decisions in an Encyclical sent to the provincial bishops of Vienne, Lyons, Narbonne, and the Alps: Hermes was to remain Titular Bishop of Narbonne, but his episcopal faculties were withheld. A synod was to be convened yearly by the Bishop of Arles, for those of the provincial bishops who were able to attend; but all important matters were to be submitted to the Apostolic See. No bishop could leave his diocese without a written permission from the metropolitan; in case such permission be withheld he could appeal to the Bishop of Arles. Respecting the parishes (paroeciae) claimed by Leontius of Arles as belonging to his jurisdiction, the Gallican bishops could decide, after an investigation. Church property could not be alienated until a synod had examined into the cause of sale. Shortly after this the pope found himself involved in another diocesan quarrel. In 463 Mamertus of Vienne had consecrated a Bishop of Die, although this Church, by a decree of Leo I, belonged to the metropolitan Diocese of Arles. When Hilarus heard of it he deputed Leontius of Arles to summon a great synod of the bishops of several provinces to investigate the matter. The synod took place and, on the strength of the report given him by Bishop Antonius, he issued an edict dated 25 February, 464, in which Bishop Veranus was commissioned to warn Mamertus that, if in the future he did not refrain from irregular ordinations, his faculties would be withdrawn. Consequently the consecration of the Bishop of Die must be sanctioned by Leontius of Arles. Thus the primatial privileges of the See of Arles were upheld as Leo I had defined them. At the same time the bishops were admonished not to overstep their boundaries, and to assemble in a yearly synod presided over by the Bishop of Arles. The metropolitan rights of the See of Embrun also over the dioceses of the Maritime Alps were protected against the encroachments of a certain Bishop Auxanius, particularly in connection with the two Churches of Nice and Cimiez.
In Spain, Silvanus, Bishop of Calahorra, had, by his episcopal ordinations, violated the church laws. Both the Metropolitan Ascanius and the bishops of the Province of Tarragona made complaint of this to the pope and asked for his decision. Before an answer came to their petition, the same bishops had recourse to the Holy See for an entirely different matter. Before his death Nundinarius, Bishop of Barcelona, expressed a wish that Irenaeus might be chosen his successor, although he had himself made Irenaeus bishop of another see. The request was granted, a Synod of Tarragona confirming the nomination of Irenaeus, after which the bishops sought the pope's approval. The Roman synod of 19 Nov., 465, took the matters up and settled them. This is the oldest Roman synod whose original records have been handed down to us. It was held in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. After an address of the pope, and the reading of the Spanish letters, the synod decided that the church laws must not be tampered with. In addition to this Hilarus sent a letter to the bishops of Tarragona, declaring that no consecration was valid without the sanction of the Metropolitan Ascanius; and no bishop was permitted to be transferred from one diocese to another, so that some one else must be chosen for Barcelona in place of Irenaeus. The bishops consecrated by Silvanus would be recognized if they had been appointed to vacant sees, and otherwise met the requirements of the Church. The "Liber Pontificalis" mentions an Encyclical that Hilarus sent to the East, to confirm the Oecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the dogmatic letter of Leo I to Flavian, but the sources at our disposal furnish us no further information. In Rome Hilarus worked zealously for the integrity of the Faith. The Emperor Anthemius had a favourite named Philotheus, who was a believer in the Macedonian heresy and attended meetings in Rome for the promulgation of this doctrine, 476. On one of the emperor's visits to St. Peter's, the pope openly called him to account for his favourite's conduct, exhorting him by the grave of St. Peter to promise that he would do all in his power to check the evil. Hilarus erected several churches and other buildings in Rome. Two oratories in the baptistery of the Lateran, one in honour of St. John the Baptist, the other of St. John the Apostle, are due to him. After his flight from the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus, Hilarus had hidden himself in the crypt of St. John the Apostle, and he attributed his deliverance to the intercession of the Apostle. Over the ancient doors of the oratory this inscription is still to be seen: "To St. John the Evangelist, the liberator of Bishop Hilarus, a Servant of Christ". He also erected a chapel of the Holy Cross in the baptistery, a convent, two public baths, and libraries near the Church of St. Laurence Outside the Walls. He built another convent within the city walls. The "Liber Pontificalis" mentions many votive offerings made by Hilarus in the different churches. He died after a pontificate of six years, three months, and ten days. He was buried in the church of St. Laurence Outside the Walls. His feast day is celebrated on 17 November.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis Encourages Confession ‘Come on, don’t be afraid, come. There is forgiveness...Go to the Lord with an open heart:" Homily

Pope: there are no threats in the confessional – only forgiveness The Lord never grows weary of calling each of us to change our lives, to take a new step towards Him by being converted; and He does it with the sweetness and confidence of a Father. Confessors do the same. This was the heart of Pope Francis’ homily at the Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday.
By Gabriella Ceraso
Lent is a time that is “helpful for conversion,” for growing close to God, for changing our life – and this is a grace we should ask for from the Lord.
Jesus calls us with the sweetness and confidence of a Father
Pope Francis’ homily began with the first reading, from the book of Isaiah, which he described as a true call to conversion. This reading, he said, shows us the special attitude Jesus takes with regard to our sins: “He does not threaten,” the Pope said, but instead, calls us “with kindness, gentleness, giving us confidence.” In the reading, after having pointed out to them the evil they should avoid and the good they should do, the Lord says to the rulers of Sodom and the people of Gomorrah: “Come, let us reason together.” And, the Pope said, He does the same with us:
“The Lord says, ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ Let’s talk for a while. He doesn’t frighten us. He is like a father of a small child who has pulled a prank, and he has to correct him. And he knows that if he approaches him with a stick in hand, things will not go well. He has to approach him with trust and confidence. In this passage, this is how the Lord calls us: ‘Come on, let’s have a coffee together. Let’s talk this over, let’s discuss it. Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to beat you.’ And since he knows his child is thinking ‘But I did something wrong…’, he immediately [adds], ‘Even if your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow. If they be crimson red, they may become like wool’.”
No threats, even in the confessional
Just like the father confronting his young child, Jesus begins by inspiring trust and confidence, to lead bring us to “forgiveness, and a change of heart.” He acted in the same way, the Pope said, when he called Zacchaeus and Matthew; and He acts in this way in our lives, too. He helps us to see “how to take a step forward along the path of conversion”:
 “Let us thank the Lord for His goodness. He does not want to beat us and condemn us. He gave His life for us and this is His goodness. And He is always looking for a way to get to the heart. And when we priests, in the place of the Lord, have to hear confessions, we too should have this attitude of goodness. As the Lord says: ‘Come on, let’s discuss this. It’s no problem, there is forgiveness.’ And from the beginning, there is no threat.”
Come to the Lord with an open heart: He is a Father who is waiting for you
The Pope spoke about the experience of a cardinal who heard confessions. When faced with sins that he understood were very serious, the confessor didn’t dwell on them, but moved on, continuing the conversation: “And this opens the heart,” the Pope emphasized, “and the other person feels at peace.” The Lord does the same with us, saying, “Come now, let us discuss it, let’s talk. Receive forgiveness. There is forgiveness”:
“It is helpful to me to see this attitude of the Lord: the [attitude of a] father with the child who thinks he is big, that he is all grown up, and yet is only halfway there. And the Lord knows that all of us are halfway there, and often we need this, we need to hear these words: ‘Come on, don’t be afraid, come. There is forgiveness.’ And this encourages us. Go to the Lord with an open heart: He is the Father who is waiting for you.”
Text Source: Vatican News

#Devotion to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows and Litany #Prayers to SHARE with Miracle Promises


Sorrow 1
The Presentation in the Temple

FIRST PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Sorrow 2
The Flight into Egypt
 
THE SECOND PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there.
Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 3
Loss of Jesus For Three Days
THE THIRD PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the lost of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen. 
Sorrow 4
The Way to Calvary
 
THE FOURTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 5
The Crucifixion 
THE FIFTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 6
The Descent from the Cross
THE SIXTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of
understanding.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 7
The Burial of Jesus
THE SEVENTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. BONAVENTURE TO
THE MOTHER OF SORROWS

O sorrowful Virgin, unite me at least to the humiliations and wounds of thy Son, so that both He and thee may find comfort in having someone sharing thy sufferings. Oh, how happy I would be if I could do this! For is there perhaps anything greater, sweeter, or more advantageous for a person? Why dost thou not grant me what I ask? If I have offended thee, be just and pierce my heart. If I have been faithful to thee, leave me not without a reward: give me thy sorrows.

 

PRAYER OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI
 

O afflicted Virgin, O soul great in virtues, as in sorrows, both the one and the other spring from that great fire burning in thyr heart for God, the only love of thy heart!
Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favor me also, with thy consolations. Amen. 
The Seven Graces of this Devotion
  1. I will grant peace to their families.
  2.They will be enlightened about the Divine mysteries.
  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
  6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
  7. I have obtained this Grace from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

APPROVED BY POPE PIUS VII  IN 1815 

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

by Pope Pius VII
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, [etc.]
Sorrowful Mother
Mournful Mother
Sighing Mother
Afflicted Mother
Foresaken Mother
Desolate Mother
Mother most sad
Mother set around with anguish
Mother overwhelmed by grief
Mother transfixed by a sword
Mother crucified in thy heart
Mother bereaved of thy Son
Sighing Dove
Mother of Dolors
Fount of tears
Sea of bitterness
Field of tribulation
Mass of suffering
Mirror of patience
Rock of constancy
Remedy in perplexity
Joy of the afflicted
Ark of the desolate
Refuge of the abandoned
Shiled of the oppressed
Conqueror of the incredulous
Solace of the wretched
Medicine of the sick
Help of the faint
Strength of the weak
Protectress of those who fight
Haven of the shipwrecked
Calmer of tempests
Companion of the sorrowful
Retreat of those who groan
Terror of the treacherous
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs
Treasure of the Faithful
Light of Confessors
Pearl of Virgins
Comfort of Widows
Joy of all Saints
Queen of thy Servants
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled
V. Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son
7. The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.


Litany by Pope Pius VII

#BreakingNews Famous Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem Shut to Protest Taxes

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - Even today, Tuesday, February 27, for the third day in a row, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City remains shuttered in a tax standoff with the city's municipality and in protest of a proposed land expropriation law. 
Many groups of faithful – refer local sources to Agenzia Fides - were left to pray in the courtyard outside the church.
The "closure" of the Holy Sepulcher was decided by the leaders of the three ecclesial realities - Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Armenian Apostolic Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land - who share the management of the Basilica, as a measure of public denunciation against what they consider a "systematic campaign against Churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the 'Status Quo'", implemented by the Israeli authorities. A campaign that, according to the Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem, has reached "unprecedented levels" with the request of the municipality's plan to tax the church's assets around the city.
On Monday, February 26, Saeed Abu Ali, Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League for Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, also condemned the imposition of taxes on ecclesiastical assets ordered by the Israeli authorities, describing it as "yet another aggression against the Palestinian people", put in place to consolidate "the occupation of the Holy City", and which also has the effect of emptying the agreements already signed and the negotiations still ongoing between Israel and the Holy See. (GV) (FULL TEXT by Agenzia Fides, 27/2/2018

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday February 27, 2018 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 231

Reading 1IS 1:10, 16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

Responsorial PsalmPS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?"
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Verse Before The Gospel EZ 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

GospelMT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Pope Francis meets with Cardinals for their 1st 2018 Session - 23rd Meeting of the C9 Council

Vatican News Release: Pope meets cardinal advisors for first 2018 session The 23rd meeting of the C9 Council, charged with advising the Pope on reforming the Roman Curia, has begun in the Vatican. By Richard Marsden
 Pope Francis has met with his C9 Council of Cardinals for the first time in 2018 to continue their study of reform of the Roman Curia, with a particular focus on the main dicasteries. The 23rd meeting of the body set up in September 2013 by Pope Francis began on Monday and is set to end on Wednesday. In a recent interview with Vatican News, the secretary of the C9, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, explained that this working session would continue the “final phase” of study on the fundamental dicasteries of the Curia. Bp Semeraro: For Pope spiritual exercises are the ongoing reform “Change in mentality” During the interview, the Bishop of Albano added that “the reform for organisations is real, changes in structures, but the first change that must be made - and permanently - is a change in mentality.” Bishop Semeraro said the reforms intend to express “a harmony with what the Pope has written in the Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium” followed by “putting oneself in that paradigm of missionary activity, of proclaiming the Gospel, in the light of which all other organisational and institutional realities are faced.” The C9 body was established with the task of helping Pope Francis “in the government of the universal church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus.”
Source: Text and Image Share from Vatican News

Monday, February 26, 2018

Saint February 27 : St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows : #Patron of: #Students, #Youth, #Seminarians : Passionist Monk

, February 27, marks the feast day of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862), the patron saint of young people, students, and young religious. Saint Gabriel’s short life is marked by piety, faith, and obedience to the Lord, and religious vocation at the behest of Our Blessed Mother. While the last six years of his life, spent as a brother in the Passionist Order, were marked by humility, self-denial, and simplicity, Gabriel’s early life was quite the opposite. His complete consecration of his life to the Lord, despite the temptations of the modern world which he so loved, make his sacrifice a vivid example of the Christian love and obedience we should strive for.
Born Francis Possenti, in Assisi, Italy in 1838, Saint Gabriel was the eleventh of thirteen children produced by the union of his parents. His father, a pious man with great political recognition in the area, and his mother, a well-connected religious woman from a respected family, were delighted in their son. He was baptized at the same font that his saintly namesake had been baptized nearly 600 years earlier.
From an early age, Francis demonstrated the potential for thoughtfulness and piety. He encouraged his teacher and siblings to pay more attention to the poor, oftentimes choosing to give some of his portions to those in need. Before he reached the age of four, his mother passed away from a serious illness, as did four of his siblings. Francis, the most sensitive of the family, was severely moved by these losses, increasing his empathy for others and his sensitivity to those in need.
As Francis matured, he developed insight into the fact that he was smart, charming, and attractive. He pursued hedonistic pleasures like art and theater, which he would later write to friends almost “cost him his soul.” He dressed to perfection, paying careful attention to his appearance. Francis excelled at school, and was generally the award-winner in all of his classes. He was chosen to give his commencement address upon graduation from the Jesuit College. Francis embraced the world, and to his classmates and friends, he appeared to have all the tools required for great success. He was the center of attention wherever he went, all the doors of the finest families and establishments open to him throughout the city. And while he was impulsive, prone to anger, and pridefully vain, he was poised to achieve great worldly things.
But Francis felt called in a different direction. Twice, Francis came down with serious illnesses while in school, illnesses he was not expected to recover from. During these times, he prayed to the Lord, promising to become a religious if his life was spared. While a student at the Jesuit College, he had asked permission to enter the Order, and was granted permission from his spiritual director. But Francis delayed entering the Order, finding reasons to wait. He maintained his faith, praying daily in the chapel and receiving the Eucharist, but could not commit to the religious life and give up his worldly enjoyments. As time went on, Francis began to doubt his choice of the Jesuit Order, instead feeling called to become a Passionist, the Order formed by Saint John of the Cross. His spiritual director encouraged him to wait and pray, and see where the Lord led him.
Following the cholera outbreak in 1856, the town rejoiced in thanks to the Blessed Mother, who interceded to save Spoleto. In veneration, a statue of Our Lady was carried throughout the streets. Francis observed the procession, more curious than devoted. As the statue was carried past him, he gazed into the face of the Blessed Virgin, and through the eyes of the statue, Mary pierced his heart with a gaze so strong it felt as a ‘dart of fire.” At the same time, he heard the words deep within in, “Why! thou art not made for the world! What art thou doing in the world? Hasten, become a religious!”
From that moment, Francis’ life changed. He entered the noviatiate of the Passionists, where he would live until his death. The Passionist Order is a strict order, and his family and friends urged him not to commit to such a life. Rather, they suggested he become a priest, or better yet, not become a religious and use his “talents” in the world. Francis was not to be disuaded. After his initial retreat, he was clothed in the robes of the Passionists, and gave up his name for a new name: Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
His days were spent in prayer, chanting, study, and manual labor. The Passionist Order maintains a rule of silence, and speaking was forbidden without permission. Gabriel spent the majority of his time meditating on the Passion of Christ, and praying the Rosary to Our Lady of Sorrows. Despite the rules and strict lifestyle, Gabriel was filled with joy. “My life is a continuous delight; what I experience inside these sacred walls is almost inexpressible; the 24 hours of the day seem to me like 24 short instants; really my life is full of delight.” He looked at each sacrifice as a way in which to polish away his sinful life, his pride, his vanity, and devote his life to Jesus. He wrote, “I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
Saint Gabriel looked to the Blessed Mother as his comfort and refuge in times of suffering, of which he had plenty due to illness. He wrote of her to his brother, “Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.” Within a few years of joining the Order, Gabriel was stricken with Consumption. He died a slow and painful death, over the course of two years, during which he maintained a cheerful and joyous disposition, so much so that his brothers in the Order wished to spend their days with him. In his dying moments, he asked for his picture of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin standing at the foot of the cross. It was well-worn from use. He devoutly kissed it, placed it upon him, folded his hands across it, and began to pray. With indescribable love he began to say aloud: “Oh, my Mother make haste, make haste!”
Many from the Order watched and prayed in his cell with him, as they knew his moment of death was close at hand. They were moved to tears by his devotion, and by the love with which he implored the comfort of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. By their records, Gabriel suddenly turned his eyes to the left and above him, gazing in rapture upon some heavenly vision. With a peaceful smile, he died, never letting go of his beloved picture. Not yest a priest when he died at age 24, Gabriel was buried at the Passionist retreat in Isola di Gran Sasso, Italy.
Since his death, numerous miracles have been reported via his intercession. For exmaple, Saint Gemma (1878-1903), a young woman with numerous ailments including deafness from meningitis, paralysis, abcesses, and curvature of the spine was miraculously cured after praying a novena to Saint Gabriel. In her own words, "I grew in admiration of his virtues and his ways. My devotion to him increased. At night I did not sleep without having his picture under my pillow, and after that I began to see him near me. I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt his presence. At all times and in every action Brother Gabriel came to mind.”
When she was approximately 20, and on her deathbed, Gemma began her novena to Saint Gabriel. While trying to sleep, she heard the rattling of a Rosary and he appeared to her, saying, “Do you wish to recover? Pray with faith every evening to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will come to you until the Novena is ended, and will pray together to this Most Sacred Heart.” On the last night of the Novena, Gemma was miraculously cured of all her ailments, a scientific impossibility at the time. Saint Gemma went on to be visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bore the stigmata throughout her prayerful life, committed to Jesus.
One of his brothers wrote of him: “In the garden within the monastery walls at Isola stands a large crucifix. A seed fell to the ground before it. A plant sprang up, and twined itself around the cross until it reached the feet of the figure nailed upon it. It then bent outward, as if to behold what was above. A bud formed, swelled, burst into bloom, and gazed in loving awe upon the figure of Christ Crucified. Lo! it was a true flower of the Passion! Its heart was pierced and stamped with the signs of Him Who hung upon the cross. The seed that fell at the foot of the crucifix was Francis Possenti. The plant that grew there from and flowered was Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist.”
Text shared from 365 Rosaries