Sunday, April 8, 2018

Transferred Solemnity to April 9 - Saint March 25 : The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary : #Annunciation


The Solemnity of the Annunciation has been transferred to April 9 in 2018 because the actual feast day fell on Passion Sunday. 
The fact of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is related in Luke 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused (i.e. married) to Joseph, of the same royal family. She had, however, not yet entered the household of her spouse, but was still in her mother's house, working, perhaps, over her dowry. (Bardenhewer, Maria Verk., 69). And the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: "Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favoured one), the Lord is with thee." Mary having heard the greeting words did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the cause of his coming, nor the meaning of the salutation. And the angel continued and said: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." The Virgin understood that there was question of the coming Redeemer. But, why should she be elected from amongst women for the splendid dignity of being the mother of the Messiah, having vowed her virginity to God? (St. Augustine). Therefore, not doubting the word of God like Zachary, but filled with fear and astonishment, she said: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?"
The angel to remove Mary's anxiety and to assure her that her virginity would be spared, answered: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." In token of the truth of his word he made known to her the conception of St. John, the miraculous pregnancy of her relative now old and sterile: "And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth; she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God." Mary may not yet have fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity might be reconciled with her vow of virginity, but clinging to the first words of the angel and trusting to the Omnipotence of God she said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word."
Since 1889 Holzmann and many Protestant writers have tried to show that the verses Luke 1:34-35, containing the message of conception through the Holy Ghost are interpolated. Usener derives the origin of the "myth" from the heathen hero worship; but Harnack tries to prove that it is of Judaic origin (Isaiah 7:14, Behold a Virgin shall conceive, etc.). Bardenhewer, however, has fully established the authenticity of the text (p. 13). St. Luke may have taken his knowledge of the event from an older account, written in Aramaic or Hebrew. The words: "Blessed art thou among women" (v. 28), are spurious and taken from verse 42, the account of the Visitation. Cardinal Cajetan wanted to understand the words: "because I know not man", not of the future, but only of the past: up to this hour I do not know man. This manifest error, which contradicts the words of the text, has been universally rejected by all Catholic authors. The opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation was an aged widower and Mary twelve or fifteen years of age, is founded only upon apocryphal documents. The local tradition of Nazareth pretends that the angel met Mary and greeted her at the fountain, and when she fled from him in fear, he followed her into the house and there continued his message. (Buhl, Geogr. v. Palaest., 1896.) The year and day of the Annunciation cannot be determined as long as new material does not throw more light on the subject. The present date of the feast (25 March) depends upon the date of the older feast of Christmas.
The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of the historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God, St. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint April 8 : St. Julia Billiart : Patron of Poverty, Sick people : #Foundress


Born:12 July 1751 at Cuvilly,France
Died:8 April 1816 at Namur, Belgium
Canonized:22 June 1969 by Pope Paul VI
Patron of:against poverty, bodily ills, impoverishment, poverty, sick people, sickness

Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, born 12 July, 1751, at Cuvilly, a village of Picardy, in the Diocese of Beauvais and the Department of Oise, France; died 8 April, 1816, at the motherhouse of her institute, Namur, Belgium. She was the sixth of seven children of Jean-François Billiart and his wife, Marie-Louise-Antoinette Debraine. The childhood of Julie was remarkable; at the age of seven, she knew the catechism by heart, and used to gather her little companions around her to hear them recite it and to explain it to them. Her education was confined to the rudiments obtained at the village school which was kept by her uncle, Thibault Guilbert. In spiritual things her progress was so rapid that the parish priest, M. Dangicourt, allowed her to make her First Communion and to be confirmed at the age of nine years. At this time she made a vow of chastity. Misfortunes overtook the Billiart family when Julie was sixteen, and she gave herself generously to the aid of her parents, working in the fields with the reapers. She was held in such high esteem for her virtue and piety as to be commonly called, "the saint of Cuvilly". When twenty-two years old, a nervous shock, occasioned by a pistol-shot fired at her father by some unknown enemy, brought on a paralysis of the lower limbs, which in a few years confined her to her bed a helpless cripple, and thus she remained for twenty-two years. During this time, when she received Holy Communion daily, Julie exercised an uncommon gift of prayer, spending four or five hours a day in contemplation. The rest of her time was occupied in making linens and laces for the alter and in catechizing the village children whom she gathered around her bed, giving special attention to those who were preparing for their First Communion.
At Amiens, where Julie Billiart had been compelled to take refuge with Countess Baudoin during the troublesome times of the French Revolution, she met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, Viscountess of Gizaincourt, who was destined to be her co-laborer in the great work as yet unknown to either of them. The Viscountess Blin de Bourdon was thirty-eight years old at the time of her meeting with Julie, and had spent her youth in piety and good works; she had been imprisoned with all of her family during the Reign of Terror, and had escaped death only by the fall of Robespierre. She was not at first attracted by the almost speechless paralytic, but by degrees grew to love and admire the invalid for her wonderful gifts of soul. A little company of young and high-born ladies, friends of the viscountess, was formed around the couch of "the saint". Julie taught them how to lead the interior life, while they devoted themselves generously to the cause of God and His poor. Though they attempted all the exercises of an active community life, some of the elements of stability must have been wanting, for these first disciples dropped off until none was left but Françoise Blin de Bourdon. She was never to be separated from Julie, and with her in 1803, in obedience to Father Varin, superior of the Fathers of the Faith, and under the auspices of the Bishop of Amiens, the foundation was laid of the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame, a society which had for its primary object the salvation of poor children. Several young persons offered themselves to assist the two superiors. The first pupils were eight orphans. On the feast of the Sacred Heart, 1 June, 1804, Mother Julie, after a novena made in obedience to her confessor, was cured of paralysis. The first vows of religion were made on 15 October, 1804 by Julie Billiart, Françoise Blin de Bourdon, Victoire Leleu, and Justine Garson, and their family names were changed to names of saints. They proposed for their lifework the Christian education of girls, and the training of religious teachers who should go wherever their services were asked for. Father Varin gave the community a provisional rule by way of probation, which was so far-sighted that its essentials have never been changed. In view of the extension of the institute, he would have it governed by a superior-general, charged with visiting the houses, nominating the local superiors, corresponding with the members dispersed in the different convents, and assigning the revenues of the society. The characteristic devotions of the Sisters of Notre Dame were established by the foundress from the beginning. She was original in doing away with the time-honored distinction between choir sisters and lay sisters, but this perfect equality of rank did not in any way prevent her from putting each sister to the work for which her capacity and education fitted her. She attached great importance to the formation of the sisters destined for the schools, and in this she was ably assisted by Mother St. Joseph (Françoise Blin de Bourdon), who had herself received an excellent education.
When the congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame was approved by an imperial decree dated 19 June, 1806, it numbered thirty members, In that and the following years, foundations were made in various towns of France and Belgium, the most important being those at Ghent and Namur, of which the latter house Mother St. Joseph was the first superior. This spread of the institute beyond the Diocese of Amiens cost the foundress the greatest sorrow of her life. In the absence of Father Varin from that city, the confessor of the community, the Abbé de Sambucy de St. Estève, a man of superior intelligence and attainments but enterprising and injudicious, endeavored to change the rule and fundamental constitutions of the new congregation so as to bring it into harmony with the ancient monastic orders. He so far influenced the bishop. Mgr. Demandolx, that Mother Julie had soon no alternative but to leave the Diocese of Amiens, relying upon the goodwill of Mgr. Pisani de la Gaude, bishop of Namur, who had invited her to make his episcopal city the center of her congregation, should a change become necessary. In leaving Amiens, Mother Julie laid the case before all her subjects and told them they were perfectly free to remain or to follow her. All but two chose to go with her, and thus, in themid-winter of 1809, the convent of Namur became the motherhouse of the institute and is so still. Mgr. Demandolx, soon undeceived, made all the amends in his power, entreating Mother Julie to return to Amiens and rebuild her institute. She did indeed return, but after a vain struggle to find subjects or revenues, went back to Namur. The seven years of life that remained to her were spent in forming her daughters to solid piety and the interior spirit, of which she was herself the model. Mgr. De Broglie, bishop of Ghent, said of her that she saved more souls by her inner life of union with God than by her outward apostolate. She received special supernatural favors and unlooked-for aid in peril and need. In the space of twelve years (1804 - 1816) Mother Julie founded fifteen convents, made one hundred and twenty journeys, many of them long and toilsome, and carried on a close correspondence with her spiritual daughters. Hundreds of these letters are preserved in the motherhouse. In 1815 Belgium was the battlefield of the Napoleonic wars, and the mother-general suffered great anxiety, as several of her convents were in the path of the armies, but they escaped injury. In January, 1816, she was taken ill, and after three months of pain borne in silence and patience, she died with the Magnificat on her lips. The fame of her sanctity spread abroad and was confirmed by several miracles. The process of her beatification, begun in 1881, was completed in 1906 by the decree of Pope Pius X dated 13 May, declaring her Blessed. [Note: She was canonized in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.]
St. Julie's predominating trait in the spiritual order was her ardent charity, springing from a lively faith and manifesting itself in her thirst for suffering and her zeal for souls. Her whole soul was echoed in the simple and naove formula which was continually on her lips and pen: "Oh, qu'il est bon, le bon Dieu" (How good God is). She possessed all the qualities of a perfect superior, and inspired her subjects with filial confidence and tender affection.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Death Toll Rises to 70 including Children Killed in Chemical Gas attack in Syria - Please PRAY

 70 have been killed and many injured in a rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, due to a poison gas attack. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday condemned this calling it a  "mindless chemical attack" in Syria that killed women and children.
"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," President Trump tweeted. " Syrian activists, rescuers and medics have release videos and images of the poison gas attack in Douma which has killed at least 70 people, with families found suffocated in their houses and shelters. The developments come as Trump has moved to scale back U.S. presence in Syria, pushing for a quick military withdrawal despite resistance.   Images were released by the Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets, a volunteer organization, which show children lying on the ground motionless and foaming at the mouth. The Assad government, in a statement posted on the state-run news agency SANA, denied responsibility. Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday  "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the assault on innocent lives, including children," Pence tweeted. Fighting in Syria's Ghouta prevents evacuation of 1,000 needing medical treatment Chemical weapons. PLEASE Pray for Peace in Syria

Pope Francis at Divine Mercy Sunday Mass "...power of life is to receive God’s forgiveness and to go forward..." Homily FULL TEXT + Video

HOLY MASS ON THE LITURICAL FEST OF DIVINE MERCY
FULL TEXT HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Saint Peter's Square
Second Sunday of Easter, 8 April 2018

In today’s Gospel, we hear, over and over, the word “see”.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord (Jn 20:20).  They tell Thomas: “We have seen the Lord” (v. 25).  But the Gospel does not describe how they saw him; it does not describe the risen Jesus.  It simply mentions one detail: “He showed them his hands and his side” (v. 20).  It is as if the Gospel wants to tell us that that is how the disciples recognized Jesus: through his wounds.  The same thing happened to Thomas.  He too wanted to see “the mark of the nails in his hands” (v. 25), and after seeing, he believed (v. 27).
Despite his lack of faith, we should be grateful to Thomas, because he was not content to hear from others that Jesus was alive, or merely to see him in the flesh.  He wanted to see inside, to touch with his hand the Lord’s wounds, the signs of his love.  The Gospel calls Thomas Didymus (v. 24), meaning the Twin, and in this he is truly our twin brother.  Because for us too, it isn’t enough to know that God exists.  A God who is risen but remains distant does not fill our lives; an aloof God does not attract us, however just and holy he may be.  No, we too need to “see God”, to touch him with our hands and to know that he is risen, and risen for us.
How can we see him?  Like the disciples: through his wounds.  Gazing upon those wounds, the disciples understood the depth of his love.  They understood that he had forgiven them, even though some had denied him and abandoned him. To enter into Jesus’ wounds is to contemplate the boundless love flowing from his heart. This is the way. It is to realize that his heart beats for me, for you, for each one of us.  Dear brothers and sisters, we can consider ourselves Christians, call ourselves Christians and speak about the many beautiful values of faith, but, like the disciples, we need to see Jesus by touching his love.  Only thus can we go to the heart of the faith and, like the disciples, find peace and joy (cf. vv. 19-20) beyond all doubt.
Thomas, after seeing the Lord’s wounds, cried out: “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).  I would like to reflect on the adjective that Thomas repeats: my.  It is a possessive adjective.  When we think about it, it might seem inappropriate to use it of God.  How can God be mine?  How can I make the Almighty mine?  The truth is, by saying my, we do not profane God, but honour his mercy.  Because God wished to “become ours”.  As in a love story, we tell him: “You became man for me, you died and rose for me and thus you are not only God; you are my God, you are my life.  In you I have found the love that I was looking for, and much more than I could ever have imagined”.
God takes no offence at being “ours”, because love demands confidence, mercy demands trust.  At the very beginning of the Ten Commandments, God said: “I am the Lord your God” (Ex 20:2), and reaffirmed: “I, the Lord your God am a jealous God” (v. 5).  Here we see how God presents himself as a jealous lover who calls himself your God.  From the depths of Thomas’s heart comes the reply: “My Lord and my God!”  As today we enter, through Christ’s wounds, into the mystery of God, we come to realize that mercy is not simply one of his qualities among others, but the very beating of his heart.  Then, like Thomas, we no longer live as disciples, uncertain, devout but wavering.  We too fall in love with the Lord!  We must not be afraid of these words: to fall in lovewith the Lord.
How can we savour this love?  How can we touch today with our hand the mercy of Jesus?  Again, the Gospel offers a clue, when it stresses that the very evening of Easter (cf. v. 19), soon after rising from the dead, Jesus begins by granting the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins.  To experience love, we need to begin there: to let ourselves be forgiven.  To let ourselves be forgiven.  I ask myself, and each one of you: do I allow myself to be forgiven?  To experience that love, we need to begin there.  Do I allow myself to be forgiven?  “But, Father, going to confession may seem difficult…”.  Before God we are tempted to do what the disciples did in the Gospel: to barricade ourselves behind closed doors.  They did it out of fear, yet we too can be afraid, ashamed to open our hearts and confess our sins.  May the Lord grant us the grace to understand shame, to see it not as a closed door, but as the first step towards an encounter.  When we feel ashamed, we should be grateful: this means that we do not accept evil, and that is good.  Shame is a secret invitation of the soul that needs the Lord to overcome evil.  The tragedy is when we are no longer ashamed of anything.  Let us not be afraid to experience shame!  Let us pass from shame to forgiveness!  Do not be afraid to be ashamed!  Do not be afraid.
But there is still one door that remains closed before the Lord’s forgiveness, the door of resignation.  Resignation is always a closed door.  The disciples experienced it at Easter, when they recognized with disappointment how everything appeared to go back to what it had been before.  They were still in Jerusalem, disheartened; the “Jesus chapter” of their lives seemed finished, and after having spent so much time with him, nothing had changed, they were resigned.  We too might think: “I’ve been a Christian for all this time, but nothing has changed in me; I keep committing the same sins”.  Then, in discouragement, we give up on mercy.  But the Lord challenges us: “Don’t you believe that my mercy is greater than your misery?  Are you a backslider?  Then be a backslider in asking for mercy, and we will see who comes out on top”.  In any event, – and anyone who is familiar with the sacrament of Reconciliation knows this – it isn’t true that everything remains the way it was.  Every time we are forgiven, we are reassured and encouraged, because each time we experience more love, and more embraced by the Father.  And when we fall again, precisely because we are loved, we experience even greater sorrow – a beneficial sorrow that slowly detaches us from sin. Then we discover that the power of life is to receive God’s forgiveness and to go forward from forgiveness to forgiveness.  This is how life goes:  from shame to shame, from forgiveness to forgiveness.  This is the Christian life.

After the shame and resignation, there is another closed door.  Sometimes it is even ironclad: our sin, the same sin.  When I commit a grave sin, if I, in all honesty, do not want to forgive myself, why should God forgive me?  This door, however, is only closed on one side, our own; but for God, no door is ever completely closed.  As the Gospel tells us, he loves to enter precisely, as we heard, “through closed doors”, when every entrance seems barred.  There God works his wonders.  He never chooses to abandon us; we are the ones who keep him out.  But when we make our confession, something unheard-of happens: we discover that the very sin that kept us apart from the Lord becomes the place where we encounter him.  There the God who is wounded by love comes to meet our wounds.  He makes our wretched wounds like his own glorious wounds.  There is a transformation: my wretched wounds resemble his glorious wounds.  Because he is mercy and works wonders in our wretchedness.  Let us today, like Thomas, implore the grace to acknowledge our God: to find in his forgiveness our joy, and to find in his mercy our hope.
OFFICIAL TRANSLATION BY VATICAN.VA

What is #DivineMercy - FREE Resources - Plenary Indulgence Rules - SHARE!

Divine Mercy Sunday is a Feast celebrated the Sunday after Easter. It comes from the visions of a Polish Nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, that began on February 21, 1931. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and, during the ceremony, he declared:

It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.
She saw a vision of Jesus standing and was told to have the image made with the prayer : JESUS I TRUST IN YOU. The visions that speak of Jesus' great mercy for sinners if they come to him lasted from 1931-1938.

PLENARY INDULGENCE
Pope John Paul II established that this Sunday have a plenary indulgence, 
In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters. . . .
a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).

Sister Faustina was declared a Saint by Pope John Paul II on in 2000. Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted at the same time.
It is a universal Feast for the entire Church. The promise of Jesus to St. Faustina was: "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion... on the Feast of My mercy. Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."
Our Lord also asked…"I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere.
Here are the DIRECTIONS for fulfillment of Divine Mercy promise for the Sunday:
The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion
1. Celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday
 2. Sincerely repent of all our sins
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus
4. Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday (or within a week)
5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast
6. Venerate the Image of The Divine Mercy
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.    
8. Say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy (Instructions below)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Then say: (optional)
O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.
Sister Faustina who gave us the Chaplet from God acknowledges the following:

"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
punishment...."

"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".

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http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

Pope Francis "...nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations." Regina Caeli - FULL TEXT


POPE FRANCIS

REGINA COELI

St. Peter's Square
Sunday of Divine Mercy, 8 April 2018



Dear brothers and sisters,

Before the final Blessing, we will address in prayer to our heavenly Mother. But first of all I would like to thank all of you who have participated in this celebration, especially the Missionaries of Mercy, gathered for their meeting. Thank you for your service!

To our brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches who today, according to the Julian calendar, celebrate the Solemnity of Easter, I offer my best wishes. May the Risen Lord fill them with light and peace, and comfort the communities that live in particularly difficult situations.

A special greeting to the Roma and the Sinti present here on the occasion of their International Day, the "Roman Dives". I wish peace and brotherhood to the members of these ancient peoples, and I hope that today's day will foster the culture of encounter, with the good will to know each other and respect each other. This is the road that leads to true integration. Dear Rom and Sinti, pray for me and pray together for your Syrian refugee brothers.

I greet all the other pilgrims present here, the parish groups, the families, the associations; and together we place ourselves under the mantle of Mary, Mother of Mercy

Regina Caeli ...

APPEAL

Terrible news of bombing comes from Syria with dozens of victims, many of whom are women and children. News of so many people affected by the effects of chemical substances contained in the bombs. We pray for all the dead, for the injured, for the families who suffer. There is no good and bad war, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations. We pray that the political and military leaders choose the other way, that of negotiation, the only one that can lead to a peace that is not that of death and destruction.
SOURCE: VATICAN.VA - Unofficial Translation