Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Saint June 21 : St. Aloysius Gonzaga : Patron of #Youth , #AIDS Victims and Caregiver

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Feast: June 21

Feast Day:June 21
Born:9 March 1568 at castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montau, Lombardy, Italy
Died:21 June 1591 at Rome
Canonized:31 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine:Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome (his tomb)
Patron of:Young students, Christian youth, Jesuit novices, People with AIDS and their caregivers
Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in the court of Francesco de'Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced Carmelites. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2 November, 1585, a proceeding which  required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the Society, 25 November, 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a  brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. Among his professors were Fathers Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the Saint by Le Gros.

Pope Francis " Jesus came to save, with his Word, not condemn us." FULL TEXT + Video at Audience

Greetings to the sick in the Paul VI Hall

Good morning!

Thank you for this visit. Before going to the Piazza, I wanted to greet you. You will follow the audience in the Piazza with the big screen; we will all be united. Thank you for this visit. I assure you that I pray for you and I ask you to pray for me. Now I invite you to pray the Madonna together.

Recite Ave Maria



Catechesis on the Commandments. 2: "Ten Words" to live the Covenant

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

This hearing takes place in two places: here, in the square, and in Paul VI Hall there are more than 200 sick people who follow the hearing with the big screen. Together we form a community. With applause, we say hello to those in the Chamber.

Last Wednesday we began a new cycle of catechesis on the commandments. We have seen that the Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. But we will have to understand this perspective better.

In the Bible the commandments do not live for themselves, but are part of a relationship, a relationship. The Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to complete it. And there is that relationship of the Covenant [1] between God and his People. At the beginning of chapter 20 of the book of Exodus we read - and this is important -: "God pronounced all these words" (v. 1).

It seems like an opening like any other, but nothing in the Bible is trivial. The text does not say: "God pronounced these commandments", but "these words". The Jewish tradition will always call the Decalogue "the Ten Words". And the term "decalogue" means just that. [2] Yet they are in the form of laws, objectively they are commandments. Why, then, does the sacred author use the term "ten words" right here? Because? And does not he say "ten commandments"?

What is the difference between a command and a word? The command is a communication that does not require dialogue. The word, on the other hand, is the essential means of the relationship as dialogue. God the Father creates by his word, and his Son is the Word made flesh. Love feeds on words, and so does education or collaboration. Two people who do not love each other can not communicate. When someone speaks to our heart, our loneliness ends. He receives a word, gives communication and the commandments are words of God: God communicates himself in these ten words, and awaits our response.

Another is to receive an order, another is to perceive that someone tries to talk with us. A dialogue is much more than the communication of a truth. I can tell you: "Today is the last day of spring, warm spring, but today is the last day". This is a truth, it is not a dialogue. But if I tell you: "What do you think of this spring?", I begin a dialogue. The commandments are a dialogue. Communication is realized for the pleasure of speaking and for the concrete good that is communicated among those who love each other through words. It is a good that does not consist in things, but in the same people who reciprocally give themselves in dialogue "(cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 142).

But this difference is not an artificial thing. Let's look at what happened at the beginning. The Tempter, the devil, wants to deceive man and woman on this point: he wants to convince them that God has forbidden them to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil to keep them submissive. The challenge is this: the first rule that God has given to man, is the imposition of a despot who prohibits and forces, or is the care of a father who is taking care of his children and protects them from self-destruction? Is it a word or is it a command? The most tragic, among the various lies that the snake says to Eve, is the suggestion of an envious deity - "But no, God is envious of you" - of a possessive deity - "God does not want you to have freedom". The facts show dramatically that the snake lied (cf. Gen 2: 16-17; 3.4-5), made believe that a word of love was a command.

Man is facing this crossroads: does God impose things on me or take care of me? Are his commandments just a law or do they contain a word, to take care of me? God is master or Father? God is Father: never forget this. Even in the worst situations, think that we have a Father who loves us all. Are we subjects or children? This fight, both inside and outside of us, occurs continuously: a thousand times we have to choose between a slave mentality and a mentality as children. The commandment is from the master, the word is from the Father.

The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of sons, he is the Spirit of Jesus. A spirit of slaves can only accept the Law in an oppressive way, and can produce two opposite results: either a life made up of duties and obligations, or a violent reaction of refusal. All Christianity is the passage from the letter of the Law to the Spirit that gives life (cf. 2 Cor 3: 5-17). Jesus is the Word of the Father, it is not the condemnation of the Father. Jesus came to save, with his Word, not condemn us. It is seen when a man or a woman has lived this passage or not. People realize if a Christian reasons as a son or a slave. And we ourselves remember if our educators took care of us as fathers and mothers, or if they only imposed rules on us. The commandments are the path to freedom, because they are the word of the Father that makes us free on this journey. The world does not need legalism, but care. He needs Christians with children's hearts. [3] He needs Christians with children's hearts: do not forget this. 
SOURCE - Unofficial Translation
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les personnes de langue française, en particulier les pèlerins venus de Haïti, les jeunes venus du Chablais, en Suisse, et de Nouméa, en Nouvelle Calédonie, ainsi que les pèlerins de Saint Brieuc accompagnés par l’Evêque, Mgr Denis Moutel. Frères et sœurs, rappelons-nous que le monde a besoin du témoignage de chrétiens à l’esprit filial et non pas d’esclaves de la loi. Donnons ce témoignage par notre comportement dans toute notre vie. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Sweden, Switzerland, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
Mit Freude begrüße ich die Pilger aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Der Dekalog der Zehn Gebote ist das Geschenk des Bundes Gottes mit uns Menschen. Wir wollen als seine Kinder unsere Beziehung mit dem Herrn leben, indem wir seinem Wort folgen und dem Heiligen Geist, der lebendig macht. Betet für mich und für meine ökumenische Pilgerreise morgen nach Genf. Der Herr behüte euch und eure Lieben.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Nuestro mundo no tiene necesidad de legalismo, sino de sentirse amado y cuidado. Pidámosle con confianza al Señor el don de su Espíritu Santo, para que nos conceda acoger sus mandamientos con espíritu filial, y vivir como hermanos en la libertad de los hijos de Dios. Muchas gracias.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, sede bem-vindos! A todos vos saúdo, com menção particular dos fiéis da paróquia Nossa Senhora Medianeira, de Paraná, e desejo que possais viver e crescer na amizade com Deus Pai, deixando que o seu amor sempre vos regenere como filhos e vos reconcilie com Ele e com os irmãos. Desça, sobre vós e vossas famílias, a abundância das suas bênçãos.
أرحّب بمودّة بالأشخاص الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من لبنان، ومن الأردن ومن ‏الأراضي المقدسة. لقد وهبنا الله روحه القدوس كيما نعيش كأبناء له، ونرى في كلمته وفي وصاياه، لا قواعد ‏وممنوعات تجعل منّا عبيدًا، إنما محبّته الوالدية التي تهبنا الحياة والحرّية وتنير مسيرتنا. ليبارككم الربّ جميعًا ‏ويحرسكم من الشرّير!
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich, a szczególnie przedstawicieli młodych, którzy na statku „Dar Młodzieży” opływają świat, aby dotrzeć na Światowe Dni Młodzieży w styczniu przyszłego roku w Panamie. Witam wiernych z Archidiecezji Szczecińsko-Kamieńskiej wraz z Arcybiskupem Andrzejem Dzięgą, którzy proszą o błogosławieństwo koron papieskich, jakimi zostanie ozdobiona ikona Matki Bożej Częstochowskiej w Bazylice św. Jana Chrzciciela. Niech Zwycięska Królowa Polski wstawia się za nami, byśmy idąc przez życie stale wzrastali w wierności Bożym przykazaniom. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
* * *
Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai fedeli di lingua italiana.
Saluto gli artisti del Circo che ci hanno fatto vedere come la bellezza fa bene all’anima e al corpo, e questa bellezza che loro ci hanno fatto vedere, non è una bellezza che si trova così: è una bellezza che loro fanno con tanto lavoro, con ore e ore di allenamento. Ma alla fine, sono riusciti a fare questo che, come ogni bellezza, ci avvicina a Dio. Grazie tante a tutti voi. Grazie!
Sono lieto di accogliere i Padri Vincenziani; le coppie di sposi dalla Diocesi di San Marino-Montefeltro, accompagnati dal Vescovo, Monsignor Andrea Turazzi e quelle della Diocesi di Tivoli. Auguro che la visita alle Tombe degli Apostoli sia l’occasione per una rinnovata testimonianza cristiana.
Saluto il Gruppo dell’Ospedale pediatrico Meyer di Firenze; l’Associazione italiana sclerosi laterale amiotrofica; l’Istituto Gioacchino da Fiore di San Giovanni in Fiore; i Cori partecipanti al Festival internazionale Roma in canto; la Banda civica di Magenta.
Un pensiero speciale porgo ai giovani, agli anziani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli.
Nel mese di giugno la pietà popolare ci fa pregare con più fervore il Sacro Cuore di Gesù. Quel Cuore Misericordioso vi insegni ad amare senza chiedere alcun contraccambio e vi sostenga nelle scelte più difficili della vita. Pregatelo anche per me e per il mio ministero, ma anche per tutti i sacerdoti, affinché rafforzi la fedeltà alla chiamata del Signore.
I extend a cordial welcome to the faithful of the Italian language.

I greet the circus artists who showed us how beauty is good for the soul and the body, and this beauty that they showed us is not a beauty that is so: it is a beauty that they do with a lot of work , with hours and hours of training. But in the end, they managed to do this that, like any beauty, brings us closer to God. Thank you so much to all of you. Thank you!

I am pleased to welcome the Vincentian Fathers; the married couples from the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Andrea Turazzi and those of the Diocese of Tivoli. I hope that the visit to the Tombs of the Apostles is an opportunity for a renewed Christian witness.

I greet the Group of the Meyer Children's Hospital in Florence; the Italian Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association; the Gioacchino da Fiore Institute of San Giovanni in Fiore; the Choirs participating in the International Rome in singing competition; the Civic Band of Magenta.

A special thought for the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds.

In June, popular piety makes us pray more fervently the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That Merciful Heart teaches you to love without asking for any exchange and support you in the most difficult choices of life. Pray also for me and for my ministry, but also for all priests, so that you may strengthen fidelity to the Lord's call.

[1] Chap. 20 of the Exodus book is preceded by the Alliance's offer to chap. 19, in which the pronouncement is central: "Now, if you will listen to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be for me a particular property among all peoples; mine indeed is the whole earth! You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation "(Ex 19: 5-6). This terminology finds an emblematic synthesis in Lv 26.12: "I will walk among you, I will be your God and you will be my people" and will come to the pre-announced name of the Messiah, in Isaiah 7,14 or Emmanuel, who comes to Matthew: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son: to him will be given the name of Emmanuel, which means God with us "(Mt 1,23). All this indicates the essentially relational nature of the Jewish faith and, to the highest degree, of the Christian faith.

[2] See also Exodus 34,28b: "He wrote on the plates the words of the covenant, the ten words".

[3] Cf. John Paul II, Lett. Enc. Veritatis splendor, 12: "The gift of the Decalogue is a promise and sign of the New Covenant, when the law is again and definitively written in the heart of man (cf. Jer 31: 31-34), substituting the law of sin, that heart had disfigured (cf. Jer 17: 1). Then a "new heart" will be given because in it will live "a new spirit", the Spirit of God (cf. Ez 36: 24-28) ».

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest infected with Ebola is Cured as Diocese Rejoices! Video

Fr. Lucien Ambunga to Itipo, had been battling Ebola for weeks. But now he has been cured.
A photo of him in quarantine went viral on social media. In the photo he receives a blessing from the Archbishop Coadjutor of Kinshasa, Monsignor Fridolin Ambongo Besungu. 
FR. LUCIEN AMBUNGA was quoted as saying: 
“What can I say now? It’s not a lot, but it’s what is in my heart: it is joy, since they said that I was already dead, but the Lord showed me grace and I came back to life.”
 Masses had been canceled for weeks but now the diocese of Mbandaka-Bikoro, has now come back to its pastor. Fr. Lucien has a message;
“Now, what I have to do first, is make my parish aware that this virus exists (Ebola), they have to accept that. They have to accept, in case they are sick, to go quickly to the hospital, like I did. Then they will have an 80 percent chance of being cured like me, and to return to the community like me.”
A member of the World Health Organization, Julienne Anoko said, 
“We need to take care of their reintegration because many of them are being stigmatized by their communities, because the communities don’t know. They are afraid.”
The Congo has been trying to contain Ebola for about a month, almost 50 infections have been recorded that have cost the lives of about 30 people.

#BreakingNews Alfie Evans Father speaks out against Treatment by Hospital “The world needs to know what happened in those five days..."

Tom Evans, the father of Alfie Evans explained in a recent Facebook post that his son was not treated properly by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The family spoke out publicly for the first time since his son died after a children’s hospital removed his life support without his parents permission. 
Here is what Tom Evans wrote:
“It’s been 1 month and 2 weeks since our gladiator was taken away from us,” Tom Evans wrote, adding that Alfie was “deprived, neglected, mistreated, and disrespected.” He said he and Kate “will never come to terms with it and will never accept Alfie’s death or cause of death.” “There is one thing that keeps us going and that’s our belief and faith that we will meet our angel again in the future, so we cherish the times we have had with him and look forward to the future to making more memories with him,” Evans said.
“We wanted everyone to know that in time as we grieve, we will be speaking out further to the build up to Alfie’s death and we will be speaking out the truth and in detail about the week that we had to go through, that no other patient should have to go through or imagine,” Evans wrote. “The world needs to know what happened in those five days and what we did and went through to have Alfie cared for when he proved doctors wrong.”
Here’s more from the message of Alfie’s father:
Instead they paid £143k on murdering my son and taking our lives away from us!!!!
We are not done!
we are angry,upset,distraught,and truly heartbroken 😔 Alfie ment the world to us he’s been apart of our lives for 2 years and through the good and bad we have cherished him through every moment and always felt blessed to have him apart of us.
We thank everyone for your amazing courageous support it’s helped us in the deepest struggles and in the hardest days but you along with Alfie have helped us get through it and we thank you all sincerely.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday June 20, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 367

Reading 12 KGS 2:1, 6-14

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:20, 21, 24

R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

Saint June 20 : St. Silverius : #Pope

St. Silverius
Feast: June 20

Feast Day:June 20
Born:480 at Frosinone (in modern Italy)
Died:November 537
Patron of:Ponza, Italy
Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the higher clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, 22 April, 536. The Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites sought to bring about the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then at Constantinople and had given her the desired guarantees as to the Monophysites. However, Theodatus, King of the Ostrogoths, who wished to prevent the election of a pope connected with Constantinople, forestalled her, and by his influence the subdeacon Silverius was chosen. The election of a subdeacon as Bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverius in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) relates, a strong opposition to it appeared among the clergy. This, however, was suppressed by Theodatus so that, finally, after Silverius had been consecrated bishop (probably on 8 June, 536) all the Roman presbyters gave their consent in writing to his elevation. The assertion made by the author just mentioned that Silverius secured the intervention of Theodatus by payment of money is unwarranted, and is to be explained by the writer's hostile opinion of the pope and the Goths. The author of the second part of the life in the "Liber pontificalis" is favourably inclined to Silverius. The pontificate of this pope belongs to an unsettled, disorderly period and he himself fell a victim to the intrigues of the Byzantine Court.

After Silverius had become pope the Empress Theodora sought to win him for the Monophysites. She desired especially to have him enter into communion with the Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, who had been excommunicated and deposed by Agapetus, and with Severus of Antioch. However, the pope committed himself to nothing and Theodora now resolved to overthrow him and to gain the papal see for Vigilius. Troublous times befell Rome during the struggle that broke out in Italy between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines after the death of Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great. The Ostrogothic king, Vitiges, who ascended the throne in August, 536, besieged the city. The churches over the catacombs outside of the city were devastated, the graves of the martyrs in the catacombs themselves were broken open and desecrated. In December, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius garrisoned Rome and was received by the pope in a friendly and courteous manner. Theodora sought to use Belisarius for the carrying out of her plan to depose Silverius and to put in his place the Roman deacon Vigilius, formerly apocrisary at Constantinople, who had now gone to Italy. Antonina, wife of Belisarius, influenced her husband to act as Theodora desired. By means of a forged letter the pope was accused of a treasonable agreement with the Gothic king who was besieging Rome. It was asserted that Silverius had offered the king to leave one of the city gates secretly open so as to permit the Goths to enter. Silverius was consequently arrested in March, 537, roughly stripped of his episcopal dress, given the clothing of a monk and carried off to exile in the East. Vigilius was consecrated Bishop of Rome in his stead.

Silverius was taken to Lycia where he was went to reside at Patara. The Bishop of Patara very soon discovered that the exiled pope was innocent. He journeyed to Constantinople and was able to lay before the Emperor Justinian such proofs of the innocence of the exile that the emperor wrote to Belisarius commanding a new investigation of the matter. Should it turn out that the letter concerning the alleged plot in favour of the Goths was forged, Silverius should be placed once more in possession of the papal see. At the same time the emperor allowed Silverius to return to Italy, and the latter soon entered the country, apparently at Naples. However, Vigilius arranged to take charge of his unlawfully deposed predecessor. He evidently acted in agreement with the Empress Theodora and was aided by Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. Silverius was taken to the Island of Palmaria in the Tyrrhenian Sea and kept their in close confinement. Here he died in consequence of the privations and harsh treatment he endured. The year of his death is unknown, but he probably did not live long after reachingPalmaria. He was buried on the island, according to the testimony of the "Liber pontificalis" on 20 June; his remains were never taken from Palmaria. According to the same witness he was invoked after death by the believers who visited his grave. In later times he was venerated as a saint. The earliest proof of this is given by a list of saints of the eleventh century (Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1893, 169). The "Martyrologium" of Peter de Natalibus of the fourteenth century also contains his feast, which is recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 20 June.

[Editor's note: According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope St. Silverius was exiled not to Palmaria, but rather to the Island of Palmarola, a much smaller and more desolate island near Ponza, Italy, in the Bay of Naples.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pope Francis "The Christian prayer is: ‘Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.’ Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.”

Pope at Mass: ‘Forgive, love our enemies’
In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis says Christians should forgive, love, and bless our enemies, to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Pope Francis at Mass on Tuesday morning said the mystery of Christian life is loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors. He drew inspiration from the day’s Gospel (Mt 5:43-48), in which Jesus invites his followers to a higher standard of human relations, so as to be “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The Holy Father said forgiveness, prayer, and love for those who seek to destroy us is the path Jesus has laid out for us.

Forgive to be forgiven

The challenge of Christian life, he said, is asking the Lord for the grace “to bless our enemies” and to love them.
“To pray for those who want to destroy me, my enemies, so that God may bless them: This is truly difficult to understand. We can recall events of the last century, like the poor Russian Christians who, simply for being Christians, were sent to Siberia to die of cold. And they should pray for the executing government that sent them there? How can that be? Yet many did so: they prayed. We think of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Should they pray for the dictator who sought a ‘pure race’ and killed without scruple, even to pray that God should bless him? And yet many did so.”

Learn from Jesus and martyrs

Pope Francis said Jesus’ “difficult logic” is contained in his prayer for those who put him to death on the Cross.
Jesus asks God to forgive them, he said.
“There is an infinite distance between us – we who frequently refuse to forgive even small things – and what the Lord asks of us, which he has exemplified for us: To forgive those who seek to destroy us. It is often very difficult within families, for example, when spouses need to forgive one another after an argument, or when one needs to forgive their mother-in-law. It’s not easy… Rather, [we are invited] to forgive those who are killing us, who want us out of the way… Not only forgive, but even pray that God may watch over them! Even more, to love them. Only Jesus’ word can explain this.”

Perfect like the Father

Finally, Pope Francis said it is a grace “to understand this Christian mystery and be perfect like the Father, who gives good things to the good and the bad.”
“It would do us well, today, to think of our enemy – I think all of us have one – someone who has hurt us or wants to hurt us. The Mafia’s prayer is: ‘You’ll pay me back.’ The Christian prayer is: ‘Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.’ Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday June 19, 2018 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 366

Reading 11 KGS 21:17-29

After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite:
"Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel,
who rules in Samaria.
He will be in the vineyard of Naboth,
of which he has come to take possession.
This is what you shall tell him,
'The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession?
For this, the LORD says:
In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth,
the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.'"
Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me out, my enemy?"
"Yes," he answered.
"Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD's sight,
I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you
and will cut off every male in Ahab's line,
whether slave or freeman, in Israel.
I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat,
and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah,
because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin."
(Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared,
"The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.")
"When one of Ahab's line dies in the city,
dogs will devour him;
when one of them dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour him."
Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil
in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab,
urged on by his wife Jezebel.
He became completely abominable by following idols,
just as the Amorites had done,
whom the LORD drove out before the children of Israel.

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments
and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh.
He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued.
Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite,
"Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me?
Since he has humbled himself before me,
I will not bring the evil in his time.
I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son."

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 11 AND 16

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment;
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Saint June 19 : St. Romuald : Abbot - #Founder of #Camaldolese Order

St. Romuald
Feast: June 19Feast Day:
June 19
950 at Ravenna, Italy
19 June 1027 at Val-di-Castro, Italy
1582 by Pope Gregory XIII
Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his first biographer, and almost all the Camaldolese writers assert that St. Romuald's age at his death was one hundred and twenty, and that therefore he was born about 907. This is disputed by most modern writers. Such a date not only results in a series of improbabilities with regard to events in the saint's life, but is also irreconcilable with known dates, and probably was determined from some mistaken inference by St. Peter Damian. In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of the tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the eremetical life. At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe and after some hesitation entered religion. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity. About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts. For the next thirty years St. Romuald seems to have wandered about Italy, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place. In 1005 he went to Val-di- Castro for about two years, and left it, prophesying that he would return to die there alone and unaided. Again he wandered about Italy; then attempted to go to Hungary, but was prevented by persistent illness. In 1012 he appeared at Vallombrosa, whence he moved into the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend, a certain Maldolus, who had seen a vision of monks in white garments ascending into Heaven, gave him some  land, afterwards known as the Campus Maldoli, or Camaldoli. St. Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous mother-house of the Camaldolese Order. In 1013 he retired to Monte-Sitria. In 1021 he went to Bifolco. Five years later he returned to Val-di-Castro where he died, as he had prophesied, alone in his cell. Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found \still incorrupt; it was translated to Fabriano in 1481. In 1595 Clement VIII fixed his feast on 7 Feb., the day of the translation of his relics, and extended its celebration to the whole Church. He is represented in art pointing to a ladder on which are monks ascending to Heaven.

[Note: By the Apostolic Constitution Calendarium Romanum, promulgated in 1969, the feast of St. Romuald was assigned, as an "Optional Memorial," to 19 June, the day of his death.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis Invites You to Share Lunch - Full Text Message for Caritas "Share the Journey" Global Campaign


Dear brothers and dear sisters,

with this message I would like to encourage you to continue on your journey with migrants and refugees and to share a meal with them, like the one organized here by Caritas.

Like Caritas, you have accepted an invitation to launch a global awareness campaign to support migrants and refugees: it is the "Let's share the journey" campaign, which we inaugurated together on 27 September. Today, I would like to invite all - migrants, refugees, Caritas operators and institutions - to grasp the features of this journey that have marked you the most: what hope does your journey lead to? Try to share this thought and to "celebrate" for what we have in common.

Lastly, I would like to encourage you, Caritas, the community of the faithful and its pastors, and all people of good will to create new spaces for sharing, so that from our meetings a renewed fraternity may flourish with migrants and refugees.

I warmly bless your table and wish you a good lunch.

From the Vatican, 19 June 2018

Vatican News excerpt: You too can participate in the “Share the Journey” Global Week of Action by taking part in one of the many events and initiatives set up by Caritas organizations across the globe.

#BreakingNews Catholic Missionary Sister is allowed to Stay in the Philippines as Court rules in her favor

ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Expulsion overturned: the Australian Sister Patricia Fox will be able to continue her missionary work Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The Philippines justice department, with a provision issued on June 18, has overturned an order for the deportation of Australian missionary nun Sister Patricia Fox, from the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion. As Fides learns, the 71-year-old religious, who has taken care of the poor especially in rural areas for 27 years, welcomed the news with joy, along with her entire congregation and the Catholic community. Her visa, for pastoral reasons, has been renewed and she may remain in the country. When asked by Fides, the nun said: "I will continue to give my life for the indigenous peoples, for the poor in urban areas and for the oppressed farmers, I will continue the missionary work because this is my life, it is my mission". Sr. Patricia continues: "I live my commitment as an urgency to bring the Gospel and as a mandate of the Church, which sends me on a mission to the suburbs".
On 25 April, at the request of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, the Immigration Office Sister Fox’s visa was revoked, ordering her to leave the country within a month for her alleged involvement in "political activism". The religious appealed to the Ministry of Justice and was allowed to stay in the country pending a ruling on her case.
Among the accusations brought against the religious were some photos - taken during a visit to a prison in the southern Philippines - that depicted her with a banner that read "Stop the killing of peasants". The nun was also involved in an investigation of human rights abuses committed against farmers and tribal peoples in the southern Philippines.
Bishops, ecclesial leaders, priests, nuns, social workers and human rights activists, had expressed solidarity with Sr. Fox, inviting the government to renew her permanent visa. Sister Elenita Belardo, national coordinator of the "Rural Missionaries" in the Philippines, expressed joy and satisfaction for the Ministry’s decision, "especially on behalf of all those poor people that the religious helps and accompanies". (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 19/6/2018 - Full Text Source)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Saint June 19 : Saint Juliana Falconieri : Servants of Mary or #Servite Order

Saint Juliana Falconieri

Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270, in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up more like an angel than a human being, as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable; never during her entire lifetime did she look at her reflection in a mirror. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once, on hearing of a scandal, she fainted.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order, and at the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.

She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.

Saint Juliana in her old age suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when in her seventieth year she was at the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart, at the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.

Reflection. Meditate often, says Saint Paul of the Cross, on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of Her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

#BreakingNews Catholic Bishops in the USA release Statement Against Separation of Children from Families

Fort Lauderdale, FL—"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.
Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral." (FULL TEXT Release from USCCB)

Pope Francis warns Against Slander "after having destroyed both a person and a situation with slander" Homily

Pope denounces “slanderous communication” of dictatorships
In his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, June 18, the Pope spoke about the devastating power of slanderous communication used by dictators against others. It is something that happens even today. If you want to destroy institutions or people, you start by speaking ill of them.  This is the “slanderous communication” that Pope Francis exhorted Christians to watch out against in his homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta residence. 

Slander makes martyrs of innocents

The Pope was reflecting on the episode in the First Book of Kings, where Jezebel, the cruel wife of King Ahab of Samaria, used slander and falsehood to have Naboth killed in order to take possession of his vineyard which her husband greatly coveted.  
The Pope described Naboth as a “martyr of fidelity to the inheritance" that he had received from his forefathers: "an inheritance of the heart".
He said the story of Naboth is repeated in the story of Jesus, Saint Stephen and all the martyrs who were falsely condemned with slander.  The episode also reflects the ways of  “many heads of state or government".  One begins with a lie and, "after having destroyed both a person and a situation with slander", one judges and condemns them.

Dictatorship of evil communication

Pope Francis pointed out that even today this method of slanderous communication is used in many countries.  Media and communication law is brushed aside with the entire communication system handed to a company or a group that weakens democratic life with slander and falsehood. The judges then condemn these weakened institutions and destroyed people.  That’s how dictatorship works, the Pope said.
The Pope said all dictatorships began by adulterating communication by putting it in the hands of an unscrupulous person or government.

The seduction of scandals

This also happens in daily life, the Pope pointed out, saying one begins to destroy a person by starting with communication – speaking ill of others, slandering and spreading scandals, which he said have great seductive power.
Good news doesn’t seduce, it passes by, but a scandal draws attention.  This is how a person, institution and country ends up in ruins. 
The Pope said many persons and nations have been destroyed by evil and slanderous dictatorships, such as in the last century.  He particularly pointed to the example of the persecution of Jews, who because of a slanderous communication did not deserve to live and thus ended up at Auschwitz.
Calling it a horror, the Pope said it happens even today in small societies, in persons and in many countries.
The Pope said James the Apostle speaks precisely of the "destructive capacity of evil communication".   The Holy Father thus exhorted Christians to re-read the episode of Naboth and think of  the many people and countries destroyed by dictatorships of 'white gloves'.
SOURCE of Text Vatican News