Friday, January 12, 2018

Saint January 13 : St. Hilary of Poitiers : #Bishop of #Poitiers



Born:
300, Poitiers
Died:
368, Poitiers

Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according to the most accredited opinion, or according to the Roman Breviary, on 13 January, 368. Belonging to a noble and very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, but, having also taken up the study of Holy Scripture and finding there the truth which he sought so ardently, he renounced idolatry and was baptized. Thenceforth his wide learning and his zeal for the Faith attracted such attention that he was chosen about 350 to govern the body of the faithful which the city had possessed since the third century. We know nothing of the bishops who governed this society in the beginning. Hilary is the first concerning whom we have authentic information, and this is due to the important part he played in opposing heresy. The Church was then greatly disturbed by internal discords, the authority of the popes not being so powerful in practice as either to prevent or to stop them. Arianism had made frightful ravages in various regions and threatened to invade Gaul, where it already had numerous partisans more or less secretly affiliated with it. Saturninus, Bishop of Arles, the most active of the latter, being exposed by Hilary, convened and presided over a council at Béziers in 356 with the intention of justifying himself, or rather of establishing his false doctrine. Here the Bishop of Poitiers courageously presented himself to defend orthodoxy, but the council, composed for the most part of Arians, refused to hear him, and being shortly afterwards denounced to the Emperor Constantius, the protector of Arianism, he was at his command transported to the distant coasts of Phrygia.
But persecution could not subdue the valiant champion. Instead of remaining inactive during his exile he gave himself up to study,  completed certain of his works which he had begun, and wrote his treatise on the synods. In this work he analysed the professions of faith uttered by the Oriental bishops in the Councils of Ancyra, Antioch, and Sirmium, and while condemning them, since they were in substance Arian, he sought to show that sometimes the difference between the doctrines of certain heretics and orthodox beliefs was rather in the words than in the ideas, which led to his counselling the bishops of the West to be reserved in their condemnation. He was sharply reproached for his indulgence by certain ardent Catholics, the leader of whom was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari. However, in 359, the city of Seleucia witnessed the assembly in synod of a large number of Oriental bishops, nearly all of whom were either Anomoeans or Semi-Arians. Hilary, whom everyone wished to see and hear, so great was his reputation for learning and virtue, was invited to be present at this assembly. The governor of the province even furnished him with post horses for the journey. In presence of the Greek fathers he set forth the doctrines of the Gallic bishops, and easily proved that, contrary to the opinion current in the East, these latter were not Sabellians. Then he took part in the violent discussions which took place between the Semi-Arians, who inclined toward reconciliation with the Catholics, and the Anomoeans, who formed as it were the extreme left of Arianism.
After the council, which had no result beyond the wider separation of these brothers in enmity, he left for Constantinople, the stronghold of heresy, to continue his battle against error. But while the Semi-Arians, who were less numerous and less powerful, besought him to become the intermediary in a reconciliation between themselves and the bishops of the West, the Anomoeans, who had the immense advantage of being upheld by the emperor, besought the latter to send back to his own country this Gallic bishop, who, they said, sowed discord and troubled the Orient. Constantius acceded to their desire, and the exile was thus enabled to set out on his journey home. In 361 Hilary re-entered Poitiers in triumph and resumed possession of his see. He was welcomed with the liveliest joy by his flock and his brothers in the episcopate, and was visited by Martin, his former disciple and subsequently Bishop of Tours. The success he had achieved in his combat against error was rendered more brilliant shortly afterwards by the deposition of Saturninus, the Arian Bishop of Arles by whom he had been persecuted. However, as in Italy the memory still rankled of the efforts he had made to bring about a reconciliation between the nearly converted Semi-Arians and the Catholics, he went in 364 to the Bishop of Vercelli to endeavour to overcome the intolerance of the partisans of the Bishop Lucifer mentioned above. Almost immediately afterwards, that it might be seen that, if he was full of indulgence for those whom gentleness might finally win from error, he was intractable towards those who were obstinate in their adherence to it, he went to Milan, there to assail openly Auxentius, the bishop of that city, who was a firm defender of the Arian doctrines. But the Emperor Valentinian, who protected the heretic, ordered Hilary to depart immediately from Milan.
He then returned to his city of Poitiers, from which he was not again to absent himself and where he was to die. This learned and energetic bishop had fought against error with the pen as well as in words. The best edition of his numerous and remarkable writings is that published by Dom Constant under the title: "Sancti Hilarii, Pictavorum episcopi opera, ad manuscriptos codices gallicanos, romanos, belgicos, necnon ad veteres editiones castigata" (Paris, 1693). The Latin Church celebrates his feast on 14 January, and Pius IX raised him to the rank of Doctor of the Universal Church. The Church of Puy glories in the supposed possession of his relics, but according to one tradition his body was borne to the church of St-Denys near Paris, while according to another it was taken from the church of St-Hilaire at Poitiers and burned by the Protestants in 1572.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "If a prayer is not courageous it is not Christian." Homily at Mass in Vatican

Pope Santa Marta: Christian prayer is courageous
Faith in Jesus and courage to go beyond difficulties as many saints have done, this characterizes Christian prayer. Those were the Pope’s words during his homily at Mass on Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the healings narrated in the Gospel. During his homily at morning Mass on Friday, Pope Francis reflected on how it is that those who pray to the Lord get what they ask for, in passages from the Gospel.
Prayer in faith and from faith
The Pope recalled that the Gospel readings from Mark tell of two healings, that of the leper and the  paralytic. Both pray to receive, both do it with faith: the leper, underlined the Holy Father, also challenged Jesus with courage, saying: "If you want you can purify me!". And the Lord's answer is immediate: "I want to". Thus everything is, as the Gospel teaches, "possible for those who believe":
Always, when we approach the Lord to ask for something, we must start from faith and do it in faith: "I have faith that you can heal me, I believe you can do this" and have the courage to challenge you, like this leper, this paralytic. Pray in faith.
We do not pray like parrots
Pope Francis went on to say that, the Gospel therefore leads us to question ourselves on our way of praying. We do not do this as "parrots" and without "interest" in what we ask for,  if anything, suggests the Pope, we beg the Lord to "help our little faith" even in the face of difficulties. In fact, there are many episodes in the Gospel in which to approach the Lord is difficult for those in need and this serves as an example to each of us. The Holy Father continued, the paralytic, in today's Gospel of Mark, for example, is even lowered from the roof because his stretcher reaches the Lord who is preaching among the immense crowd. "One’s will finds a solution", underlined the Pope, and "goes beyond the difficulties":
Courage to fight to get to the Lord. Courage to have faith, at the beginning: "If you want you can heal me If you want, I believe '" And courage to get closer to the Lord, when there are difficulties. That courage ... Many times, it takes patience and knowing how to wait for the moment, but do not give up, always go forward. But if I go with faith to the Lord and say: "But if you want, you can give me this grace", and then but ... as the grace after three days has not arrived, another thing ... and I forget.
If prayer is not courageous it is not Christian
Saint Monica, the mother of Augustine, said Pope Francis, prayed and "cried a lot" for the conversion of her son, and managed obtain it.  The Pope quoted her among the many saints who have had great courage in their faith. Courage "to challenge the Lord", courage to "get involved", even if you do not immediately get what you ask, because in "prayer you play hard" and "if prayer is not courageous is not Christian":
Christian prayer is born of faith in Jesus and always goes with faith beyond difficulties. A phrase to carry in our hearts today will help us, from our father Abraham, to whom the inheritance was promised, that is, to have a child at the age of 100. The apostle Paul says: "Believe" and with this he was justified. Faith and to "set out" in faith and do everything to get to that grace that I am asking for. The Lord told us: "Ask and it will be given to you". We also take this Word and we trust, but always with faith and putting ourselves at stake. This is the courage that Christian prayer has. If a prayer is not courageous it is not Christian.

Wow #PopeFrancis gives over 2000 Poor People a Free Ticket to the Circus in Rome!

Pope Francis gives joy of circus to Rome’s poor
VaticanNews Report:
Pope Francis offers the joy of a night at the circus to Rome's poor through the Papal Almoner, taking the opportunity to provide the services of health care professionals to those in need. Those who live on the existential peripheries of Rome are to be treated to a special “Circus of Solidarity”, thanks to the generosity of Pope Francis.
 The Holy Father is offering a ticket for a fun-filled evening to more than 2,000 of Rome’s poor or homeless people, several refugees, a group of prisoners, and many families in great need. Report by Devin Watkins The event will take place on the evening of Thursday, 11 January at the Medrano Circus in Rome’s northern Saxa Rubra district. The Papal Almoner released a press statement on Wednesday containing details of the event. Not content with offering just an evening of fun, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski said Pope Francis’ generosity is also providing a “sack supper” and medical personnel. Those in need can be visited by doctors and nurses assisted by a mobile clinic from the Vatican’s Healthcare system. Beauty of the Circus At a recent General Audience, Pope Francis told the performers of the Medrano Circus: “Circus performers create beauty… This is good for the soul, for we greatly need beauty!” The Almoner’s statement said, “This gift given by the Circus – who with constancy, effort, and many sacrifices seek to create and offer beauty for themselves and others – will hopefully become for our poorest brothers and sisters an encouragement to overcome the bitterness and difficulties of life, which often seem insurmountable.” Circus of Solidarity The impetus behind the Circus of Solidarity is the businessman Fabrizio Grandi and the Casartelli family who has directed the Medrano Circus for seven generations. Braian Casartelli said his team “seeks to give its whole heart to transmit happiness and passion” through their performances. He said Thursday’s event would be “a marvelous evening in honor of the many people of Rome who live in difficulty.”

Wow 1 Priest keeps Latin Language Alive and Makes Learning #Latin Cool!

Father Reginald Foster, a priest, gives Latin language lesson for free in the basement of a nursing home in Milwaukee. One of his students' explained, "He's like the rock star of the Latin world, so it's just great to be in his orbit." Latin was once the language at the heart of Western culture, and for centuries, most books and official letters were written in Latin. Today, it's the official language of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Foster said, "And if you think it seems too hard to learn, he's not buying it.  No. Every poor person, derelict, prostitute, anyone else in Rome spoke Latin." Foster, the son of a Milwaukee plumber, became a priest in Rome with a proficiency in the language. In 1970, he got a call from the Vatican. They wanted him to translate Latin for the pope. For the next 40 years, he would write speeches and letters in the names of four popes.  Instead of a priest's habit, he dressed like a working man. Instead of a mattress, he slept on the floor. His way of teaching involved treating Latin as a living, spoken language. It was a radical departure in approach.  Foster maintains that Latin is easy – only if it's taught right.

Today's Mass Readings and Video " Friday January 12, 2017 - #Eucharist


Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 309


Reading 11 SM 8:4-7, 10-22A

All the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah
and said to him, "Now that you are old,
and your sons do not follow your example,
appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us."

Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them.
He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer:
"Grant the people's every request.
It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king."

Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full
to those who were asking him for a king.
He told them:
"The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows:
He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses,
and they will run before his chariot.
He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups
of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers.
He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting,
and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 
He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers.
He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves,
and give them to his officials.
He will tithe your crops and your vineyards,
and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.
He will take your male and female servants,
as well as your best oxen and your asses,
and use them to do his work.
He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When this takes place,
you will complain against the king whom you have chosen,
but on that day the LORD will not answer you."

The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel's warning and said,
"Not so! There must be a king over us.
We too must be like other nations,
with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare
and fight our battles." 
When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say,
he repeated it to the LORD, who then said to him,
"Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them."

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:16-17, 18-19

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
For you are the splendor of their strength,
and by your favor our horn is exalted.
For to the LORD belongs our shield,
and to the Holy One of Israel, our King.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
"Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what 
they were thinking to themselves, 
so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
–he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once, 
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

Saint January 12 : St. Bernard of Corleone : #Religious


Born:
1605, Sicily
Died:
12 January 1667, Palermo
Canonized:
10 June 2001, by Pope John Paul II

Saint Bernard was born on the island of Sicily in the year 1605. His father was a shoemaker and taught his son the ways of the trade. But it was difficult for the lively youth to interest himself in this work. Upon the death of his father, he immediately left the shop and, led by the love of adventure, he took up fencing. It was not long before he became quite adept at wielding the sword. His unusual vigor qualified him to challenge any comer to a contest.
As a youth and young adult he spent the greater part of his time in training and eagerly seized every opportunity to match swords with his countrymen.
Although this manner of life led him far away from God, nevertheless many noble characteristics were perceptible in St. Bernard. In taking up any quarrel he liked to defend old people and other helpless and defenseless persons against violence. He frequently made devout visits to a crucifix that was highly honored by the people, and provided that a lamp be kept burning before it. Moreover, he cherished great devotion towards Saint Francis of Assisi.
At one point, St. Bernard had been challenged to a duel, in the course of which he wounded his opponent mortally. In order to escape from his avengers, he sought refuge amongst the Capuchin Franciscans.
In order to atone for his sins, he begged for admission among the Capuchins as a lay brother, and on December 13, 1632 he entered the Franciscan novitiate. If in the past St. Bernard had yielded his bodily members to wayward purposes, he now used them as an atoning sacrifice unto salvation. It is reported that seven times a day he scourged himself to the blood. His sleep was limited to three hours on a narrow board, with a block of wood under his head. He fasted for the most part on bread and water. If anything delicious was placed before him, he would carry the food to his mouth so as to whet his appetite, and then lay it down without having tasted it. In spite of his austere life, he still undertook the most unpleasant and annoying tasks as being his due.
St. Bernard had an especially ardent devotion at prayer. St. Bernard cherished a special love for the Blessed Mary, and encouraged others to do the same. The Blessed Mother appeared to him and placed the Divine Child in his arms. Moreover, she gave him knowledge of the day of his death four months in advance. He died at Palermo on January 12, 1667.
His biographers stated that, attracted by the fame of his sanctity, there gathered for his burial so many people who raised their voices in praise of the deceased, that it was less a funeral cortège than a triumphal procession. Numerous miracles occurring at his grave promoted the cause of his beatification by pope Clement XIII in 1767 and subsequent canonization by pope John Paul II in 2001.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)