Thursday, July 5, 2018

Saint July 6 : St. Maria Goretti : Patron of #Teen #Girls and Crime #Victims

St. Maria Goretti was born to a poor peasant family on 16 October 1890 in Corinaldo, a town near Ancona, Italy. Maria was the third of seven children of Luigi and Assunta Goretti.
When she was seven years old, the Goretti family moved to Ferriere di Conca, a village near Anzio, where they shared a home with Giovanni Serenelli and his son Alessandro. Maria was nine years old when her father died of malaria. While her mother worked the farm Maria took care of her siblings and also cooked for the Serenellis.
Maria was known for her unusual serious-mindedness and piety. Every night she would recite the Holy Rosary for the repose of her father’s soul. As Ferriere had no parish church, nor a priest, Maria would walk for kilometers for the privilege of hearing Mass.
At the time it was not customary to receive First Holy Communion before the age of twelve, but Maria, extremely devout and religious, pleaded with her mother to let her take instructions when Maria was not quite eleven years of age. Every day, Maria walked to the village of Mazzoleni, where she received catechetical instructions. During this time Maria intensified her piety, obedience to her mother and love for her siblings. She was busy preparing her soul to receive Jesus. On Thursday, 29 May 1902, the feast of Corpus Christi, she received her Lord for the first time. Maria would receive the Body of Christ only 4 more times before she died.
Being a beautiful child, Maria attracted the attention of 20-year-old Alessandro. It was 5 July 1902 when Alessandro tried to force his attention on her. He was furious over her refusal to commit an act of impurity and when Maria resisted him with all her strength, crying out repeatedly, “It is a sin. God forbids it,” he drew a knife and stabbed her fourteen times.
At about 6 o’clock in the evening her weakened body was put on a stretcher and put in a horse-drawn ambulance which took her to the hospital at Nettuno. Doctors worked feverishly to save her life. No anesthetic was administered because the attendants feared peritonitis. Despite the intense pain, she uttered not a sound, till she finally lost consciousness. In the morning of 6 July 1902, Maria received Holy Communion for the last time, and openly forgave Alessandro, her murderer. Then Maria died.
Alessandro Serenelli was captured soon after Maria’s death. Originally, he was going to be sentenced to death, but since he was a minor at that time the sentence was commuted to 30 years in prison. He remained unrepentant and incommunicative to the world. In his 8th year of imprisonment he had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden, where a young girl dressed in white was gathering lilies. She smiled, came near him and invited him to accept an armful of lilies. As he accepted them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared.
A local bishop, Monsignor Giovanni Blandini, visited Alessandro in jail. He wrote a thank you note to the Bishop, asking for his prayers and telling him about his dream. Alessandro’s conversion was complete. When he was released from prison after serving 27 years, his first act was to travel to Maria’s mother, Assunta, to beg her forgiveness. She forgave him, saying that if Maria had forgiven him on her deathbed then she could not do less, and they attended Mass together the next day, receiving Holy Communion side by side. Alessandro reportedly prayed every day to Maria Goretti, referring to her as “my little saint.”
Alessandro later became a Capuchin laybrother, living in a convent and working as its receptionist and gardener, until dying peacefully in 1970.
On 27 April 1947, His Holiness, Pope Pius XII beatified Maria, and on 24 June 1950, the same Pope solemnly canonized her and proclaimed Saint Maria Goretti the new patroness of Catholic Youth. This ceremony was attended by 250,000 faithful, including her mother (the first mother to see her child canonized) and her brothers and sisters. St. Maria Goretti has also been a principal patron of the World Youth Day celebrations, begun by Blessed Pope John Paul II, and held around the world.
Prayer
O Saint Maria Goretti, who, strengthened by God’s grace, did not hesitate, even at the age of twelve, to shed your blood and sacrifice life to defend your virginal purity, deign to look graciously on the unhappy human race, which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation.
Teach us all, and especially modern youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee anything that could offend Jesus and defile our souls with sin. Obtain for us from God great horror of sin so that, keeping our souls undefiled, we may live holy lives on earth and win eternal glory in heaven.  Amen.
Text from stmariagoretti-toronto.com 

1st Time in History Pope Francis appoints Lay Man as Prefect for Dicastery of Communication - Doctor Paolo Ruffini


Pope names new Prefect for Dicastery for Communication
Paolo Ruffini, the Director of the Catholic television station TV2000, has been named the new Prefect for the Dicastery for Communication
By Vatican News Pope Francis on Thursday named Doctor Paolo Ruffini as the new Prefect for the Dicastery for Communication. Dr Ruffini has been serving as Director of the television station of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, TV2000.
Biographical information
Paolo Ruffini was born in Palermo, Sicily, on 4 October 1956.
He attained his degree in Jurisprudence from La Sapienza University of Rome.
Dr Ruffini has been a professional journalist since 1979. He has worked for the papers Il Mattinoof Naples (1979-1986); and Il Messaggero of Rome (1986-1996); in radio at Giornale Radio Rai(1996-2002), Canale Gr Parlamento (1998-2002), Radio 1 (1999-2002) and Inblu Radio (2014-2018); and on television at Rai3 (2002-2011), La 7 (2011-2014); and Tv2000 (2014-2018).
He has received numerous awards for journalism, and taken part in numerous conferences on the role of communications ethics, the new media, and the role of Christians in media.
Dr Ruffini is married to Maria Argenti.

#BreakingNews Genocide of Christians in Nigeria with another attack - 6000 Christians this year - Please Pray

An anti-Christian mob have attacked another village in Nigeria killing six an “ethnic cleansing” of religious groups.  A Christian church, hospital and homes were burned in the latest attack. There is a religious crisis which has seen thousands of Christians killed in what is being called “ethnic cleansing”. Attackers arrived in the village of Rahwol-Fwi, central Nigeria, on motorcycles at night, in an hour-long raid before the military intervened. At least 17 homes were torched, when they then set fire to the Baptist church, the vicarage and a government run hospital. Major Umar Adams, spokesman of the military Special Task Force, said four people had been arrested in connection with the attack. The attack comes just days after 238 Christians were killed at the weekend in a number of attacks by militia in Plateau State. The Christian Association of Nigeria reports that 6,000 Christian worshippers have already been killed this year.   They said: “There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage. “What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately.”
Please join in Prayers for Peace in Nigeria.....

#BreakingNews Bishops of Mexico Congratulate New President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - "We congratulate Mr. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who according to the preliminary results of the National Electoral Institute, has been declared the winner. We are all called to collaborate positively with our elected authorities. We can only create better conditions of development for all, if we commit ourselves in first person.
No ruler has all the ideas and solutions. It is our responsibility to continue to participate with civic sense, always respecting human rights and the true common good": this is the communiqué of the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) which congratulates the new President of the Republic, winner of the elections held last Sunday , 1 July.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at the head of the left-wing coalition "Juntos haremos historia", won with more than 53% of the votes, which would be the largest winning margin seen for many years in Mexico. Furthermore, the percentage of voters was very high on this occasion.
The CEM press release, sent to Fides, continues by pointing out the priorities of the Mexican reality: "Education and the fight against poverty, truth, freedom, respect for difference and the search for consensus are ways to overcome inequality, selfishness and abuse. We reject the acts of violence which occurred in some parts of the country, especially those against human life", concludes the text, signed by the Archbishop of Guadalajara and President of CEM, Mgr. José Francisco Cardenal Robles Ortega.
Fides also received from the Archdiocese of Mexico City, the letter of Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, primate Archbishop of Mexico, who greets not only the provisional presidential winner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but also Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, who will be at the next head of government. 
"We pay special recognition to the millions of Mexicans who gave an example of democratic maturity by going to the polls to exercise their right to vote in an orderly manner", reads the letter. "Now it is up to all of us to work with our authorities so that the desired transformation, which society has asked for, can be made effective, so that the country takes a positive direction and poverty stops hurting the social fabric; so that Mexico reaches an optimal level of development and criminal acts cease to be the distinguishing feature of our country", reads Cardinal Aguiar Retes’ letter.
During the electoral campaign, since last autumn, over 130 politicians and political operators have been killed. (CE) (Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 3/07/2018) 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday July 5, 2018 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 380

Reading 1AM 7:10-17

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam,
king of Israel:
"Amos has conspired against you here within Israel;
the country cannot endure all his words.
For this is what Amos says:
Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel shall surely be exiled from its land."

To Amos, Amaziah said:
"Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel;
for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple."
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Now hear the word of the LORD!"

You say: prophesy not against Israel,
preach not against the house of Isaac.
Now thus says the LORD:
Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city,
and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword;
Your land shall be divided by measuring line,
and you yourself shall die in an unclean land;
Israel shall be exiled far from its land.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (10cd) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.

Alleluia2 COR 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
"This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
"Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he then said to the paralytic,
"Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Saint July 5 : St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria : Founder of #Barnabites or Clerks Regular of St. Paul

Founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites; b. in Cremona, Italy, 1502; d. 5 July, 1539. While he was still an infant his father died, leaving the care of the child's education to his mother, who taught him compassion for the poor and suffering by making him her almoner. After completing the studies given in the schools at Cremona he was sent to Padua for his philosophy, and in 1520, when he had finished this course, began the study of medicine in the university at that place. At the age of twenty-two he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine and returned to Cremona to practise his profession. Three years later he began to study theology and received holy orders in 1528.
 He now devoted himself with renewed energy to works of charity and mercy, visiting and consoling the sick in hospitals and poor-prisons. The ministry of preaching and the administration of the sacraments produced such great fruit that St. Antonio was encouraged to seek a larger field for his labours and to carry out a great project which he hard formed for the good of souls. He went to the populous city of Milan, of which he was a burgess, and entered the Confraternity of Eternal Wisdom. Among the members of this religious body he allied himself with two priests, Fathers Ferrari and Morigia, and told them of his idea of founding a congregation of secular clergy. Northern Italy at this period was in a deplorable condition.
Frequent wars had devastated the country. The advent of the Lutheran soldiery and their contempt for everything Catholic had spread the contagion of bad example, while famine and plague followed in the track of the soldiers. These scourges combined to produce a state of misery that appealed most powerfully to Antonio and his associates. "The Congregation of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul", St. Antonio's work, which began with five members, was canonically sanctioned by Pope Clement VII in 1533. Their rule bound them to "regenerate and revive the love of the Divine worship, and a truly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and the faithful administration of the sacraments." The first superior of the new congregation was St. Antonio, who soon became known in Milan as an apostle. Besides giving conferences in churches to ecclesiastics and lay people, he went into the streets of the city with crucifix in hand, and produced great fruit in souls by preaching on the Passion and Death of Christ and the need of penance for sin. In 1536 he resigned the superiorship to Father Morigia and later went to Vicenza at the request of Cardinal Ridolfi. There he succeeded in reforming morals and in bringing two religious communities of women to a stricter observance of their rule. In the latter labour he was greatly aided by a congregation of nuns "The Angelicals of St. Paul", which he had founded in Milan. He introduced, also, the devotion of the "Forty Hours' Prayers", in Vicenza. The last two years of his life were spent in Milan. He sought there a more suitable church for his Congregation and accepted the offer of the church of S. Barnabas, but died before the affair was arranged. From this church of St. Barnabas, the Congregation received the name by which its members are commonly known, i.e. Barnabites. Worn out by his voluntary penances, as well as by his untiring labours of charity, he was attacked by fever during one of his mission. Knowing that this illness was his last, he had himself brought to his native city, Cremona. There, in his mother's house, he received the last sacraments and peacefully expired at the early age of thirty-seven. His body was found incorrupt 27 years after his death. He was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in 1849. (See BARNABITES.) On 15 May, 1897, he was solemnly canonized in St. Peter's, Rome, by Pope Leo XIII. His writings are: "Detti notabili, raccolti da varii autori" (Venice, 1583); "Constitutiones ordinis clericorum regularium" (not published); "Sermones super praeceptis Decalogi" (not published).
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia