Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saint February 18 : St. Fra Angelico : #Dominican : Patron of #Artists

Feast Day: February 18 Beatified: October 3, 1982
Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395 – February 18, 1455) was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects as having "a rare and perfect talent". He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Brother John of Fiesole) and Fra Giovanni Angelico (Angelic Brother John). In modern Italian he is called il Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One); the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".  He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—
Growing up in a small town in Italy, Guido di Pietro was interested in two things. He wanted to follow Christ’s example in all things and he wanted to develop his talent for painting. God showed him how these two things were his vocation. Our vocation is God’s call to share in Jesus’ life and work. Guido was born in 1387, and when he was 18, he joined the Dominican order as a religious brother. Brothers are not priests. Religious brothers serve their community through prayer and work. It Italy, religious brothers are called “Fra.” Religious brothers are often given a new name. Guido’s religious name was “Fra Giovanni” or Brother John. His work in his community was painting beautiful religious art, initially for manuscripts, which at the time were each copied by hand. The moment the members of his religious community saw his beautiful paintings, they said that he “painted like an angel.” That is how he became known as “Fra Angelico.” Every day before he began to paint, Fra Angelico prayed that God would guide his hand and help him to create a painting that would inspire people to grow closer to God. Fra Angelico became very famous. He painted holy figures and angels and was even called to Rome to paint portraits of the saints on the walls of the chapel of Pope Eugenius IV and then Pope Nicholas V. His work can be found in museums and churches and holy buildings throughout the world. He died in Rome in 1455 and was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. The pope declared him the patron saint of Catholic artists in 1984. We call Fra Angelico “Blessed.” His life helps us to understand that we are called to use the gifts we have been given to serve others and to give glory and praise to God.
Fra Angelico (Italian, ca. 1390/95-1455)
The Virgin of Humility, ca. 1436-38
Tempera on panel
29 1/8 x 24 in.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pope Francis appoints New Members for Commission for Protection of Minors

Pope Francis appoints new members to Commission for Protection of Minors
The Holy Father has nominated sixteen members to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, including nine new members from all corners of the world. By Christopher Wells
Pope Francis has renewed the membership of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), confirming Cardinal Se├ín O’Malley as President of the Commission, and adding nine new members to the advisory body. Seven more nominees are returning to the Commission after their terms had expired in December.
During his recent trip to South America, Pope Francis addressed concerns about the expiry of the Commission’s mandate, saying the time taken to nominate members to the body was normal. “Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has given much prayerful consideration in nominating these members,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a press release. “The newly appointed members will add to the Commission’s global perspective in the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.  The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our Commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.”
Among the new members are several experts from English-speaking countries: the Hon. Neville Owen from Australia; Sr Jane Bertelsen, FMDM, from the UK; and Ms. Teresa Kettelkamp from the United States. 
The Commission’s press release noted that the eight men and eight women who form the membership of the Commission were chosen “from a multi-disciplinary field of international experts in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from the crime of sexual abuse.” The members come from several different countries, “reflecting the global reach of the Church and the challenge of creating safeguarding structures in diverse cultural contexts.”
According to the press release, several of the members of the Commission are themselves victims of clerical sexual abuse. However, it is the practice of the PCPM to respect the privacy of abuse victims, and those named today have chosen not speak publicly about their experiences.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has the mission of proposing “to the Holy Father best practice initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults from the crime of sexual abuse and to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches for the protection of all children, young people, and vulnerable adults.” The PCPM’s “future goal and greatest challenge,” is “inculturating abuse prevention and protection into the life and action of local churches.”
Documentation cocerning the founding and mission of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors can be found on the Vatican website

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday February 17, 2018 - #Eucharist

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 222


Reading 1IS 58:9B-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
"Repairer of the breach," they shall call you,
"Restorer of ruined homesteads."

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD's holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with maliceB
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial PsalmPS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (11ab) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you. 
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Verse Before The GospelEZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

GospelLK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
"Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."lsls

Pope Francis warns of "Fake fasting" and says “pray more during Lent” in Homily

Pope Francis warns against 'fake fasting' during Lent
Pope Francis has reminded the faithful to give up something for Lent only if it demonstrates compassion and enriches others.
 Vatican News Report By Linda Bordoni 
Pope Francis'  words of warning against what he called “fake fasting” came during the homily on
Friday at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.
When fasting, Pope Francis said, a true Christian must be consistent, not putting himself on show, never despising others or engaging in quarrels or disagreements.
Warning against behavior that is inconsistent with the Lenten spirit, the Pope invited those present to ask themselves how they interact with others.
He reflected on the First Reading of the day that highlights how the fasting that is acceptable to the Lord aims to “release those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke”.

Don’t pretend to be virtuous

Pope Francis reminded believers that fasting is one of the tasks of Lent, and said that even “if you cannot commit to a total fast, the kind that makes you feels hunger in your bones” you can still fast humbly and consistently.
Isaiah, he said, highlights so many inconsistencies in the practice of virtue, like “carrying out your own pursuits, driving all your laborers, and yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting”,
Fasting, the Pope said, is a little like “stripping oneself” of pride. He said that to thank the Lord and at the same time despise your labourers that are forced to fast because they do not have enough to eat is inconsistent and unchristian.
Inviting those present to perform penance in peace, he said “you cannot talk to God on the one hand and to the devil on the other”.
He also warned against the temptation of ‘showing off’ by fasting: “by making a fuss of it and letting people know that we are practicing Catholics and we do penance, so that people think ‘what a good person’. This is a trick” he said: “It’s pretending to be virtuous”.

Fasting with a smile

“We must pretend, Francis continued, but with a smile. That is not showing others that we are performing acts of penance.”
He invited the faithful to fast in order “to help others. But always with a smile”.
Fasting, he said, also involves lowering oneself by reflecting on one’s sins and asking forgiveness from the Lord.
How ashamed would I be, he continued, if my sin was to become common knowledge through the press? And referring again to the Scripture Reading of the day he invited Christians to “release unjust bounds.”
“I think of so many maids who work for their bread and they are humiliated and despised ... I have never been able to forget the time I went to a friend's house as a child and I witnessed the mother slapping the 81-year-old maid…”
Reiterating that he has never forgotten that shameful episode, Pope Francis urged the faithful to ask themselves whether they treat their domestic workers with fairness, whether they treat them “as people or as slaves”, whether they are paid a just salary and have the right to holidays and are recognized in their human dignity.

Fasting with consistency

Pope Francis went on to tell another story stemming from personal experience. He said that once, when speaking to a very cultured gentleman who was known to exploit his domestic workers, he explained to him that this is a serious sin because we are all created in the image of God.
And referring again to the First Reading that tells us “to share our bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless, clothe the naked when we see them, not turn our back on our own”, the Pope noted that currently there is much discussion around whether or not to give shelter to those who ask for it.
He exhorted Christians to “do penance”, to “feel a little hunger”, to “pray more during Lent” and to ask themselves how they behave towards the other:
“Does my fast help others? If it does not it's fake, it's inconsistent and it takes you on the path to a double life, pretending to be a just Christian - like the Pharisees or the Sadducees” he said.
Let us ask for the grace of consistency he concluded:” if I am unable to do something, I will not do it. I will do only what I can with the consistency of a true Christian.