Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wow Pope Francis Surprises Couple and Officiates the Marriage of Swiss Guard and Fiancee

Pope surprises couple officiating their marriage
Vatican News report: A Swiss guard and his Brazilian wife-to-be were taken aback to see Pope Francis appearing unannounced in the church to bless their wedding.
Pope Francis on Saturday surprised a Swiss guard and his would-be Brazilian wife, by appearing un-announced in the sacristy just ahead of the wedding ceremony and decided to marry them.
Surprise!
Neither the couple nor the few attending the ceremony knew about the Pope’s surprise move, said Brazilian priest Father Renato dos Santos, one of those present.   The priest entered the sacristy of the Church St Stephen of the Abyssinians in Vatican City, to prepare for the celebration when he was taken aback by a smiling pope seated there waiting for him.  The Holy Father took charge and went ahead. 
"Never in my life, never would I have thought of finding the Pope in a sacristy," Fr.  dos Santos told Vatican News. The Brazilian priest noted the people inside the church were so surprised they were wondering if it was really Pope Francis.  "I saw him as a true parish priest who takes care for his own sheep in the parish,” Fr. dos Santos said. “He's always done it this way.”
Three verbs – success to marriage
The Holy Father’s homily was on three verbs: "to begin", "to stop", "to resume the journey" – which he explained are needed to be able to live their marriage in fullness.  “The Pope showed how dear to his heart marriage is,” Fr. dos Santos pointed out.  “The Pope has great love for this sacrament which helps start a family and which wants to put God at the centre," Fr. dos Santo added. 
Text from Vatican News

Saint July 17 : St. Alexis : Man of God - #Rome - Patron of Beggars and Travelers

Today, July 17, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Alexis (also known as Saint Alexius, died 404), “Man of God.” Saint Alexis lived in poverty and service to the poor, despite wealthy upbringing and worldly opportunity. His faith and piety was attested to by the Blessed Virgin, who spoke through a holy painting, revealing him to be a “Man of God” to those who regarded him as a beggar. The life of Saint Alexis reminds us that appearances are not what is important to the Lord, but rather the holy fire burning within the heart and soul of the faithful.
Alexis was born in Rome, into a holy and pious family. His parents, Euphemianus and Aglais, wealthy and noble, had for some time taken great pity on the poor, and distributed both food and clothing to those in need on a daily basis. From a young age, Alexis imitated his parents, spending hours reading the Holy Scriptures, fasting strictly, distributing alms, and engaging in acts of penance and mortification (such as wearing a hair shirt beneath his fine clothing). He recognized and reported to his parents his calling to serve the Lord, but they had already arranged a marriage to a beautiful and virtuous young woman. Obediently, he agreed to marry, but upon his wedding night, left his bride after giving her his ring and belt, saying, “Keep these things, Beloved, and may the Lord be with us until His grace provides us with something better.”
Alexis disguised himself, leaving his homeland, and sailing East. He arrived in the city of Edessa in Syria, where he sold his remaining belongings (distributing them to the poor) and took up residence beside the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos (Mary, Mother of God). There, he begged for alms, which in turn he bought bread with to feed the aged and infirm. On Sundays he spent the day in the church, receiving the Eucharist, and praying in earnest. His parents sought him everywhere, dispatching servants throughout Europe and the East, but none could find him. Those sent to Edessa could not recognize him without his fine clothing. Plus, he had aged considerably, his body shrunken from fasting, and his former youth and vigor erased by long days and nights of begging. Alexis was thankful, and raised a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, that his own servants had given him alms, saying "I thank Thee, O Lord, who hast called me and granted that I should receive for Thy name's sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work Thou hast begun."
Saint Alexis lived in Edessa for seventeen years, during which time Our Blessed Mother revealed his true holiness. One morning, in the church, an icon of the Theotokos spoke to the sacristan as he readied the altar for Mass. She said, “Lead into My church that Man of God, worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. His prayer rises up to God like fragrant incense, and the Holy Spirit rests upon him.” The sacristan searched, but could not find any many that fit the description of the Holy Mother. Confused and frustrated, he prayed to Mary, begging clarity. Again, a voice from the icon spoke, proclaiming the beggar who sat in the church portico to be the Man of God. The sacristan, despite his misgivings, brought Saint Alexis into the church, and many began to recognize him and praise him thereafter.
Having attracted unwanted attention, and wishing to return to his life of humility and poverty, Alexis left Edessa, boarding a ship for Cilcia, his intended destination the Church of Saint Paul in Tarsus. However, the plan of the Lord is mighty, and a storm forced the ship to dock in Italy. So close to the home of his parents, Alexis traveled by foot to Rome, and took up residence in his own home, beneath the stairs of the grand house he had grown up in. Euphemianus, not recognizing his own son, provided the beggar with a cell in which to live, and ordered that he be given daily rations from the dinner table. Alexis, for his part, lived in humility and prayer, fasting and contemplating the Word of God, enduring the constant jeering and insults at the hands of the servants. He also endured the constant weeping of his wife, whose pain tormented him each day. The only times he left his cell were to attend Mass and teach the local children about the Lord and the faith.
Saint Alexis lived in his family home for seventeen more years, until his death, which the Lord revealed to him in advance. On the day of his death, he took pen and paper, writing a note of apology and begging for forgiveness for the earthly pain he had caused his wife and parents. That day, the day of his death, heavenly voices spoke at Masses offered throughout the city—one to Archbishop Innocent saying, “On Friday morning, the Man of God comes forth from the body. Have him pray for the city, that you may remain untroubled.” Those present were terrified, falling to the ground upon hearing the heavenly voice. Upon recovering, they searched the city, but were unable to locate humble Alexis, living under the stairs in his father’s courtyard. A second voice was heard by the Pope, while serving Mass in the Church of Saint Peter. The voice spoke, “Seek the Man of God in the house of Euphemianus.” Many traveled to the house, including the Pope and Emperor, but Alexis was found to be dead. His face was transformed into that of a angel, his youth and vigor restored and enhanced. In his hand, he clasped his final note, but it was unable to be pried free until the Pope and Emperor—addressing him as if he were alive—asked to read it.
Upon hearing the request, the hand of Alexis opened, and the letter was read. His wife and parents tearfully venerated his body, praising the Lord for returning their lost son and husband to them, and for giving him the strength of will to live a life of penance from the day of his marriage to the day of his death. Carried by the Pope and Emperor, the body of Saint Alexis was displayed for the citizens of Rome to venerate, and then interred in a marble crypt within the Church of Saint Boniface. Many miracles were reported at his tomb side, and a sweet myrrh was noted to flow from the crypt, healing the sick.
The life of Saint Alexis is one of humility and obedience. This Man of God is also remarkable for his daily struggle against the vice of pride. On many occasions—while enduring the jeers of his servants, while starving, while becoming invisible to society—Alexis could have asserted his position by stating his identity, embracing his pride and putting aside his penance and suffering. Rather, he asserted his love for the Lord, himself diminishing. We all struggle with pride, in this modern age. We are judged by others by our worldly accomplishments, wealth, status, position, successes—all of which foster a sense of individual responsibility for the course of our lives. We might look to Saint Alexis on this, his feast day, as a reminder that all we have—all we are graced with—is given to us by Our Heavenly Father. We do not achieve, rather we accept. And in that acceptance, we recognize our weakness. We recognize that we are undeserving. And we give thanks and praise to the Lord for allowing us to “succeed”—not for our personal glory, but for His.
I give thanks to You, heavenly Father, for protecting me through the night and granting me another day. I ask You to fortify me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit, and give Your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You, so that Your will may be my will.
Today, make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind, form and degree of pride.
Today, empty me of self, and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your revealing light.
Today, do not allow attribution to me, for the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, that all honor be to you.
Today, may your presence in me, and your work through me, testify of your holiness and saving grace.
Help me to die to self each day, and continuously seek your glorification in all that I think or do.
This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the exemplar of humility.
Amen.

Shared from 365Rosaries Blogspot

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday July 17, 2018 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 390

Reading 1IS 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah,
Rezin, king of Aram,
and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah,
went up to attack Jerusalem,
but they were not able to conquer it.
When word came to the house of David that Aram
was encamped in Ephraim,
the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled,
as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.

Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz,
you and your son Shear-jashub,
at the end of the conduit of the upper pool,
on the highway of the fuller’s field, and say to him:
Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear;
let not your courage fail
before these two stumps of smoldering brands
the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans,
and of the son Remaliah,
because of the mischief that
Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah,
plots against you, saying,
“Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force,
and appoint the son of Tabeel king there.”

Thus says the LORD:
This shall not stand, it shall not be!
Damascus is the capital of Aram,
and Rezin is the head of Damascus;
Samaria is the capital of Ephraim,
and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria.

But within sixty years and five,
Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.
Unless your faith is firm
you shall not be firm!

Responsorial PsalmPS 48:2-3A, 3B-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (see 9d) God upholds his city for ever.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
is the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
For lo! the kings assemble,
they come on together;
They also see, and at once are stunned,
terrified, routed.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Quaking seizes them there;
anguish, like a woman’s in labor,
As though a wind from the east
were shattering ships of Tarshish.
R. God upholds his city for ever.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.


For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”