Friday, April 27, 2018

Saint April 28 St. Louis de Montfort - Established #TrueDevotion to Mary


St. Louis de Montfort
CONFESSOR, MARIAN DEVOTEE, FOUNDER
Feast: April 28

Feast Day:
April 28
Born:
31 January 1673 at Montfort-La-Cane, Brittany, France
Died:
1716 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sovre, France
Canonized:
1947 by Pope Pius XII
Missionary in Brittany and Vendee; born at Montfort, 31 January, 1673; died at Saint Laurent sur Sevre, 28 April, 1716.
From his childhood, he was indefatigably devoted to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and, when from his twelfth year he was sent as a day pupil to the Jesuit college at Rennes, he never failed to visit the church before and after class. He joined a society of young men who during holidays  ministered to the poor and to the incurables in the hospitals, and read for them edifying books during their meals. At the age of nineteen, he went on foot to Paris to follow the course in theology, gave away on the journey all his money to the poor, exchanged clothing with them, and made a vow to subsist thenceforth only on alms. He was ordained priest at the age of twenty-seven, and for some time fulfilled the duties of chaplain in a hospital. In 1705, when he was thirty-two, he found his true vocation, and thereafter devoted himself to preaching to the people. During seventeen years he preached the Gospel in countless towns and villages. As an orator he was highly gifted, his language being simple but replete with fire and divine love. His whole life was conspicuous for virtues difficult for modern degeneracy to comprehend: constant prayer, love of the poor, poverty carried to an unheard-of degree, joy in humiliations and persecutions.
The following two instances will illustrate his success. He once gave a mission for the soldiers of the garrison at La Rochelle, and moved by his words, the men wept, and cried aloud for the forgiveness of their sins. In the procession which terminated this mission, an officer walked at the head, barefooted and carrying a banner, and the soldiers, also barefooted, followed, carrying in one hand a crucifix, in the other a rosary, and singing hymns.
Grignion's extraordinary influence was especially apparent in the matter of the calvary at Pontchateau. When he announced his determination of building a monumental calvary on a neighbouring hill, the idea was enthusiastically received by the inhabitants. For fifteen months between two and four hundred peasants worked daily without recompense, and the task had just been completed, when the king commanded that the whole should be demolished, and the land restored to its former condition. The Jansenists had convinced the Governor of Brittany that a fortress capable of affording aid to persons in revolt was being erected, and for several months five hundred peasants, watched by a company of soldiers, were compelled to carry out the work of destruction. Father de Montfort was not disturbed on receiving this humiliating news, exclaiming only: "Blessed be God!"
This was by no means the only trial to which Grignion was subjected. It often happened that the Jansenists, irritated by his success, secure by their intrigues his banishment form the district, in which he was giving a mission. At La Rochelle some wretches put poison into his cup of broth, and, despite the antidote which he swallowed, his health was always impaired. On another occasion, some malefactors hid in a narrow street with the intention of assassinating him, but he had a presentiment of danger and escaped by going by another street. A year before his death, Father de Montfort founded two congregations -- the Sisters of Wisdom, who were to devote themselves to hospital work and the instruction of poor girls, and the Company of Mary, composed of missionaries. He had long cherished these projects but circumstances had hindered their execution, and, humanly speaking, the work appeared to have failed at his death, since these congregations numbered respectively only four sisters and two priests with a few brothers. But the blessed founder, who had on several occasions shown himself possessed of the gift of prophecy, knew that the tree would grow. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Sisters of Wisdom numbered five thousand, and were spread throughout every country; they possessed forty-four houses, and gave instruction to 60,000 children. After the death of its founder, the Company of Mary was governed for 39 years by Father Mulot. He had at first refused to join de Montfort in his missionary labours. "I cannot become a missionary", said he, "for I have been paralysed on one side for years; I have an affection of the lungs which scarcely allows me to breathe, and am indeed so ill that I have no rest day or night." But the holy man, impelled by a sudden inspiration, replied, "As soon as you begin to preach you will be completely cured." And the event justified the prediction. Grignion de Montfort was beatified by Leo XIII in 1888. 
SOURCEStlouisdemontfort.Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis "We are on the path towards ..the final meeting with Jesus. Heaven is the encounter with Jesus.” Homily

Pope at Mass: ‘Heaven is not boring!’
In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, Pope Francis said heaven is the place of eternal joy in the face-to-face encounter with Jesus, not just some boring place as some imagine. Pope Francis at Mass on Friday reflected on the Christian’s earthly journey toward heaven, where we will be welcomed by the joy of a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. The Holy Father drew inspiration from the First Reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles, which contains Paul’s speech in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. Paul tells the Jews that the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their religious leaders did not recognize Jesus, condemning him to death. But he was raised from the dead. Walk with the promise of God in our heart

Paul, said Pope Francis, calls Jesus’ resurrection the fulfillment of God’s Promise. He said that the people of God walked with this promise in their heart, knowing their status as “the elect”. The Pope said that, even when they were unfaithful, “the people of God trusted in the promise, because they knew God is faithful.”
“We, too, are in movement along the path. When asked where we are heading, we say, ‘Towards heaven!’ ‘So what’s heaven?’ some ask. There we begin to be unsure in our response. We don’t know how best to explain heaven. Often we picture an abstract and distant heaven… And some think: ‘But won’t it be boring there for all eternity?’ No! That is not heaven. We are on the path towards an encounter: the final meeting with Jesus. Heaven is the encounter with Jesus.”

Jesus prays for us


Pope Francis said we must often recall this idea: “I am travelling in life to meet Jesus.” This meeting will make us happy forever, he said.
“But what does Jesus do in the meantime?” the Pope asked. As John’s Gospel points out, he said, Jesus is working for us and praying for us.
Pope Francis recalled Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, when he promises Peter he will pray for him.
“Each of us must say: ‘Jesus is praying for me, working to prepare me a place.’ He is faithful. He does so because he has promised it. Heaven will be this encounter, this meeting with the Lord who went ahead to prepare a place for each of us. This increases our faith.”

Jesus’ intercessory prayer


Finally, Pope Francis said Jesus is the priestly intercessor, right up to the end of the world.
“May the Lord give us the awareness of walking along a path with this promise. May the Lord give us the grace to look upwards toward heaven and think: ‘The Lord is praying for me’.”
Source: Vatican News 

Alfie Evans' Parents release Statement asking Supporters to Leave the Hospital to receive permission to take him Home

Alfie Evans father wants to 'build bridges' with Alder Hey hospital. Some supporters of the family think this latest letter is an effort to bring Alfie home by pleasing the hospital.
Alfie is currently still alive and receiving oxygen. He parents say he is doing well.
 Tom Evans says he wants to "build his relationship" with the hospital. Tom Evans, has been fighting to take his 23-month-old son out of Alder Hey Children's Hospital for months. He now asking to be "left alone". Tom thanked supporters Alfie's Army but asked them "to go home". Alfie's parents have lost every legal appeal to a High Court ruling in February allowing the hospital to switch off the toddler's ventilator. The toddler's life support was withdrawn on Monday. Mr. Evans delivered a statement outside Alder Hey after a meeting with doctors at the hospital. On behalf of himself and Alfie's mother, Kate James, he said: "Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation. Our little family along with Alder Hey has become the centre of attention for many people around the world and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like."  He continued, "We are very grateful and we appreciate all the support we have received from around the world, including from our Italian and Polish supporters, who have dedicated their time and support to our incredible fight. "We would now ask you to return back to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it." He said: "Together we recognise the strains recent events have put upon us all and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned. "In Alfie's interests we will work with his treatment team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs." He added there would be no more  interviews given. The couple had expressed strong criticism of medical staff at Alder Hey during the legal proceedings. Mr Evans had suggested his son was a "prisoner" at the hospital to the European Court of Human Rights. He also suggested Alfie had been misdiagnosed. After a meeting with Pope Francis, Tom Evans and Kate James had hoped Alfie could be taken to the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome. The hospital is complaining that their staff has been subject to "unprecedented personal abuse that has been hard to bear" from the supporters of Alfie gathered outside. A military air ambulance was on standby "at the request of the Pope". On Monday, the Italian government granted Alfie citizenship. Alfie, who has been diagnosed with a rare undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition. He has been in Alder Hey since December 2016. Alder Hey Hospital has been unavailable for comment.

#BreakingNews Historic Meeting of North Korea with South as Catholics Pray for Peace

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) – While the leaders of North Korea and South Korea met for an inter-korean Summit on 27 April, South Korean Catholics in the different dioceses were praying that the meeting would be a success. “It is our most sincere desire that it will launched a long term talks. Dialogue can open the doors to peace, prosperity and reconciliation in the region”, Fides was told by Fr Ho Chang.
The history making meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in was held on Korean soil, just south of the village of Panmunjom, inside the demilitarised territory where the end of the Korean war was signed in 1953. 
This is the third such summit, after two held in the past in Pyongyang, North Korea, the last one 11 years ago. Kim Jong-un is the first leader North Korean leader to cross the frontier and enter south korean territory since the end of the Korean war in 1953. 
The summit will focus on a possible giving-up of nuclear weapons on the part of North Korea and is propaedeutic to a meeting between Kim and the president of the United States Trump scheduled for early June. “The whole world is watching the summit with attention and with hope. In South Korea Christians as well as other believers in Asia hope this event will be decisive for opening a marvellous opportunity for dialogue”, says Fr. Ho.
Prayers for peace are incessant also in other Asian countries: in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the CCA, ecumenical Christian Conference of Asia comprising leaders of various Christian confessions, held special prayers for a positive outcome to the summit.
“With fervent prayer we hope and we ask God that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea will identify suitable solutions and paths for building peace and reconciliation, based on equality, reciprocal respect, reciprocal goodwill and peaceful co-existence ”, CCA Secretary General, Mathews George Chunakara, told Fides . "It is our sincere hope that this inter-korean meeting may level the path towards a much awaited meeting of North Korean Kim Jong Un and President Trump of the United States ", says Chunakara. “Christian communities throughout Asia - he concludes – are praying and supporting the request, expressed also by the North Korea Council of Churches (NCCK), for the signing of a real peace agreement to replace the armistice agreement signed in 1953". (SD) (Agenzia Fides 27/4/2018)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday April 27, 2018 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 283

Reading 1ACTS 13:26-33

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11AB

R. (7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
No one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Saint April 27 : St. Zita : Patron of Patron of Servants, #Homemakers , #Rape victims, Waitresses


St. Zita
VIRGIN
Feast: April 27

Information:
Feast Day:April 27
Born:1218 at Monsagrati near Lucca, Italy
Died:27 April 1272 at Lucca, Italy
Canonized:5 September 1696 by Pope Leo X and Pope Innocent XII
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca
Patron of:Domestic servants, homemakers, lost keys, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, single laywomen, waiters, waitresses

She was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca in Italy. She was brought up with the greatest care, in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious sentiments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general corruption of nature, so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother reduced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say, "This is most pleasing to God; this is the divine will"; or, "That would displease God."

The sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed everyone who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work; but her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers. At twelve years of age she was put to service in the family of a citizen of Lucca, called Fatinelli, whose house was contiguous to the church of St. Frigidian. She was thoroughly persuaded that labour is enjoined all men as a punishment of sin, and as a remedy for the spiritual disorders of their souls; and far from ever harbouring in her breast the least uneasiness, or expressing any sort of complaint under contradictions, poverty, and hardships, and still more from ever entertaining the least idle, inordinate, or worldly desire, she blessed God for placing her in a station in which she was supplied with the most effectual means to promote her sanctification, by the necessity of employing herself in penitential labour, and of living in a perpetual conformity and submission of her will to others. She was also very sensible of the advantages of her state, which afforded all necessaries of life, without engaging her in the anxious cares and violent passions by which worldly persons, who enjoy most plentifully the goods of fortune, are often disturbed; whereby their souls resemble a troubled sea, always agitated by impetuous storms, without knowing the sweetness of a true calm. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance; and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them.
Notwithstanding her extreme attention to her exterior employments, she acquired a wonderful facility of joining with them almost continual mental prayer and of keeping her soul constantly attentive to the divine presence. Who would not imagine that such a person should have been esteemed and beloved by all who knew her?
Nevertheless, by the appointment of divine providence, for her great spiritual advantage, it fell out quite otherwise and for several years she suffered the harshest trials. Her modesty was called by her fellow-servants simplicity, and want of spirit and sense; and her diligence was judged to have no other spring than affectation and secret pride. Her mistress was a long time extremely prepossessed against her, and her passionate master could not bear her in his sight without transports of rage.
It is not to be conceived how much the saint had continually to suffer in this situation. So unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten, she never repined nor lost her patience; but always preserved the same sweetness in her countenance, and the same meekness and charity in her heart and words, and abated nothing of her application to her duties. A virtue so constant and so admirable at length overcame jealousy, antipathy, prepossession, and malice.
Her master and mistress discovered the treasure which their family possessed in the fidelity and example of the humble saint, and the other servants gave due praise to her virtue. Zita feared this prosperity more than adversity, and trembled lest it should be a snare to her soul. But sincere humility preserved her from its dangers; and her behaviour, amidst the caresses and respect shown her, continued the same as when she was ill-treated and held in derision; she was no less affable, meek, and modest; no less devout, nor less diligent or ready to serve everyone. Being made housekeeper, and seeing her master and mistress commit to her with an entire confidence the government of their family and management of all their affairs, she was most scrupulously careful in point of economy, remembering that she was to give to God an account of the least farthing of what was intrusted as a depositum in her .hands; and, though head-servant, she never allowed herself the least privilege or exemption in her work on that account.
She used often to say to others that devotion is false if slothful. Hearing a man-servant speak one immodest word, she was filled with horror, and procured him to be immediately discharged from the family. With David, she desired to see it composed only of such whose approved piety might draw down a benediction of God upon the whole house and be a security to the master for their fidelity and good example. She kept fast the whole year, and often on bread and water; and took her rest on the bare floor or on a board. Whenever business allowed her a little leisure, she spent it in holy prayer and contemplation in a little retired room in the garret; and at her work repeated frequently ardent ejaculations of divine love, with which her soul appeared always inflamed. She respected her fellow-servants as her superiors. If she was sent on commissions a mile or two in the greatest storms, she set out without delay, executed them punctually, and returned often almost drowned, without showing any sign of reluctance or murmuring.
By her virtue she gained so great an ascendant over her master that a single word would often suffice to check the greatest transports of his rage; and she would sometimes cast herself at his feet to appease him in favour of others. She never kept anything for herself but the poor garments which she wore: everything else she gave to the poor. Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as it were, in her hands, gave her ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the poor, which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do nothing without his express authority. If she heard others spoken ill of, she zealously took upon her their defence and excused their faults.
Always when she communicated, and often when she heard mass, and on other occasions, she melted in sweet tears of divine love: she was often favoured with ecstasies during her prayers. In her last sickness she clearly foretold her death, and having prepared herself for her passage by receiving the last sacraments, and by ardent signs of love, she happily expired on the 27th of April, in 1272, being sixty years old: one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved. Her body was found entire in 1580 and is kept with great respect in St. Frigidian's church, richly enshrined; her face and hands are exposed naked to view through a crystal glass. Pope Leo X granted an office in her honour. The city of Lucca pays a singular veneration to her memory.
The solemn decree of her beatification was published by Innocent XII in 1696, with the confirmation of her immemorial veneration. See her life, compiled by a contemporary writer, and published by Papebroke, the Bollandist, on the 27th of April, p. 497, and Benedict XIV De Canoniz. lib. ii. c. 24, p. 245.
Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler