Sunday, August 5, 2018

Saint August 6 : Feast of The Transfiguration of the Lord - #Transfiguration

The Transfiguration of the Lord
Feast: August 6
 The Transfiguration of Christ is the culminating point of His public life, as His Baptism is its starting point, and His Ascension its end. Moreover, this glorious event has been related in detail by St. Matthew (xvii, 1-6), St. Mark (ix, 1-8), and St. Luke (ix, 28-36), while St. Peter (II Pet., i, 16-18) and St. John (i, 14), two of the privileged witnesses, make allusion to it. About a week after His sojourn in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them to a high mountain apart, where He was transfigured before their ravished eyes. St. Matthew and St. Mark express this phenomenon by the word metemorphothe, which the Vulgate renders transfiguratus est.
The Synoptics explain the true meaning of the word by adding "his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow," according to the Vulgate, or "as light," according to the Greek text. This dazzling brightness which emanated from His whole Body was produced by an interior shining of His Divinity. False Judaism had rejected the Messias, and now true Judaism, represented by Moses and Elias, the Law and the Prophets, recognized and adored Him, while for the second time God the Father proclaimed Him His only-begotten and well-loved Son.
By this glorious manifestation the Divine Master, who had just foretold His Passion to the Apostles (Matt., xvi, 21), and who spoke with Moses and Elias of the trials which awaited Him at Jerusalem, strengthened the faith of his three friends and prepared them for the terrible struggle of which they were to be witnesses in Gethsemani, by giving them a foretaste of the glory and heavenly delights to which we attain by suffering.
LOCATION OF THE TRANSFIGURATION Already in Apostolic times the mount of the Transfiguration had become the "holy mount" (II Pet., i, 18). It seems to have been known by the faithful of the country, and tradition identified it with Mount Thabor. Origen said (A.D. 231-54) "Thabor is the mountain of Galilee on which Christ was transfigured" (Comm. in Ps. lxxxviii, 13). In the next century St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech., II, 16) and St. Jerome (Ep. xlvi, ad Marcel.; EP. viii, ad Paulin.; Ep. cviii, ad Eust.) likewise declare it categorically. Later St. Proculus, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 447; Orat. viii, in Transfig.), Agathangelus (Hist. of Armenia, II, xvii), and Arnobius the Younger (d. 460; Comm. in Ps. lxxxviii, 13) say the same thing. The testimonies increase from century to century without a single dissentient note, and in 553 the Fifth Council of Constantinople erected a see at Mount Thabor (Notitif Antioch. . . . patriarch.). Some modern writers claim that the Transfiguration could not have taken place on Mount Thabor, which, according to Josephus, was then surmounted by a city. This is incorrect; the Jewish historian speaks neither of a city nor a village; he simply fortified, as he repeats three times, "the mount called Itabyrion" ("Bell. Jud.", II, xx, 6; IV, i, 8; Vita , 37). The town of Atabyrion of Polybius, the Thabor or Celeseth Thabor, the "flank of Thabor" of the Bible, is situated at the foot of Mount Thabor. In any case the presence of houses on a wooded height would not have made it impossible to find a place apart. It is again objected that Our Lord was transfigured on Mount Hermon, since He was at that time in its vicinity. But the Synoptics are all explicit concerning the lapse of time, six days, or about eight days including those of departure and arrival, between the discourse in Caesarea and the Transfiguration, which would infer a somewhat lengthy journey. Moreover the summits of Hermon are covered with snow as late as June, and even the lesser peaks of 4000 or 5000 feet are likewise snow-covered in February and March, the period of the Transfiguration. Finally, the ancients judged of the height of mountains by their appearance, and Thabor especially was considered a "high mountain", if not by David and Jeremias, at least by Origen and St. Jerome and the pilgrims who made the ascent.Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Free Catholic Movie - Life of St. John Vianney : "The Wizard of Heaven" Patron of Priests - with Subtitles - B/W


The Wizard of Heaven - the Life of St. John Vianney - On February 9, 1818, a 32 year-old priest began his journey to Ars, France, with his few meager possessions. Ordained less than 3 years before, Fr. John Marie Baptist Vianney (1786 - 1859) was on route to take up his first pastoral assignment. Vianney's path to the priesthood had been marked by many uncertainties, failures and tears. Virtually failing his studies, his ordination had only come about because his close friend was able to pull some strings in the Diocese of Lyons. And even when ordained, few held any hopes for this illiterate, simple peasant. Assignments for new priests were based on their talents. It was not by accident, therefore, that Vianney was sent to what was considered "a Siberia for the clergy of the Lyons diocese." For a man to be sent to Ars was held by his brother priests as a disgrace. And so, on that cold winter day, a young priest, barely ordained, was banished to a tiny, remote, impoverished village that had lost its faith and morals. It was clearly a recipe for failure. Anyone could see that ... but God had something else in mind! A cinematic treasure has been found in the 1949 French Film, Le Sorcier du Ciel. Digitally remastered, The Wizard of Heaven tells the compelling and remarkable story of St. John Marie Baptist Vianney, the humble, pastor of Ars, France, who battled with the devil himself, not only for the Faith of his Parish, but even for that of his country. Starting with the Saint's arrival at Ars, this film brings to life the hardships, indifference, ridicule and opposition he encountered, as well as the zeal with which he strove to overcome them. Moreover, The Wizard of Heaven, captures an excellent portrayal of the incredible, ardent love for souls that consumed the heart of this noble priest and compelled him to the very heights of sanctity. Rightfully has the Church confided her priests to the care and guidance of the Cure of Ars, whose conquest of souls merited the following rebuke - “Vianney! How you make me suffer . . . If there were three more like you on earth, my kingdom would be destroyed” - satan French with English subtitles 90 minute runtime

Pope Francis "Jesus came to bring us something more: to open our existence to a wider horizon than the daily preoccupations..." FULL TEXT + Video

Before the Angelus:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In these last Sundays, the liturgy has shown us Jesus’ image full of tenderness, who goes to meet the crowds and their needs. In today’s evangelical account (Cf. John 6:24-35) the perspective changes: it’s the crowd, fed by Jesus, which again begins to look for Him. However, for Jesus it’s not enough that the people seek Him; He wants the people to know Him. He wants the search for Him and the meeting with Him to go beyond the immediate satisfaction of material needs. Jesus came to bring us something more: to open our existence to a wider horizon than the daily preoccupations of eating, of dressing, of careers and so on. Therefore, turning to the crowd He exclaims: “You seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (v. 26). Thus He stimulates the people to take a step forward, to question themselves about the meaning of the miracle, and not only to profit from it. In fact, the multiplication of the loaves and of the fish is a sign of the great gift that the Father has made to humanity, which is Jesus Himself!
He, true “bread of life” (v. 35), wants to satiate not only bodies but also souls, giving the spiritual food that can satisfy the greatest hunger. Therefore, He invites the crowd to procure for themselves not the food that doesn’t last, but the <food> that remains for eternal life (Cf. v. 27). It’s a food that Jesus gives us every day: his Word, his Body, and his Blood. The crowd listens to the Lord’s invitation, but doesn’t understand the meaning – as happens so many times also with us – and they ask Him: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (v. 28). Jesus’ listeners think that He is asking them to observe precepts to obtain other miracles, such as that of the multiplication of the loaves. This is a common temptation: to reduce religion to the practice of laws, projecting on our relationship with God the image of the relationship between servants and their master. Servants have to execute the tasks that the master has assigned to them, to enjoy his benevolence. We all know this. Therefore, the crowd wants to know from Jesus what action they must do to please God. However, Jesus gives an unexpected answer: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (v. 29). These words are addressed, today, also to us: the work of God doesn’t consist so much in “doing” things but in “believing” in Him that He has sent.  This means that faith in Jesus enables us to carry out the works of God. If we let ourselves be involved in this relationship of love and of trust with Jesus, we will be able to carry out good works with the fragrance of the Gospel, for the good and the needs of brothers.
The Lord invites us not to forget that, if it’s necessary for us to be concerned about material bread, it’s more important yet is to cultivate our relationship with Him, to reinforce our faith in Him who is the “bread of life,” come to satiate our hunger for truth, our hunger for justice and our hunger for love.
On the day in which we remember the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Salus populi romani, may the Virgin Mary support us on our journey of faith and help us to abandon ourselves joyfully to God’s plan for our life.
[Original text: Italian]  [SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester] 
 After the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Forty years ago, Blessed Paul VI was living his last hours on earth. In fact, he died on the evening of August 6, 1978. We remember him with so much veneration and gratitude while awaiting his canonization next October 14. From Heaven, may he intercede for the Church, which he so loved, and for peace in the world. We all greet with applause this great Pope of modernity!
I greet you all affectionately, Romans and pilgrims from various countries: families, parish groups, Associations and individual faithful.
In particular, I greet the cycle-pilgrimage from Velehrad (Moravia), the faithful of Lorca (Spain), and the young people and youngsters of Novoli.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you! And enjoy your lunch!
[Original text: Italian]  [Text SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday August 5, 2018 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - 18th Ord. Time - B


Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 113

Reading 1EX 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 
The Israelites said to them,
"Would that we had died at the LORD's hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! 
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!"

Then the LORD said to Moses,
"I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. 
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

"I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. 
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. 
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. 
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, "What is this?"
for they did not know what it was. 
But Moses told them,
"This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat."

Responsorial PsalmPS 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54

R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Reading 2EPH 4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

AlleluiaMT 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?" 
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you. 
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." 
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" 
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." 
So they said to him,
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? 
What can you do? 
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat."
So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."

So they said to him,
"Sir, give us this bread always." 
Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

Saint August 5 : Our Lady of the Snows : Dedication of #Basilica of Saint #MaryMajor in #Rome

("Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives"). A feast celebrated on 5 August to commemorate the dedication of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The church was originally built by Pope Liberius (352-366) and was called after him "Basilica Liberii" or "Liberiana". It was restored by Pope Sixtus III (432-440) and dedicated to Our Lady. From that time on it was known as "Basilica S. Mariæ" or "Mariæ Majoris"; since the seventh century it was known also as "Maria ad Præsepe". The appellation "ad Nives" (of the snow) originated a few hundred years later, as did also the legend which gave this name to the church. The legend runs thus: During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to Our lady. They prayed to her that she might make known to them in what manner they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On 5 August, during the night, snow fell on the summit of the Esquiline Hill and, in obedience to a vision which they had the same night, they built a) basilica, in honour of Our Lady, on the spot which was covered with snow. From the fact that no mention whatever is made of this alleged miracle until a few hundred years later, not even by Sixtus III in his eight-lined dedicatory inscription [edited by de Rossi, "Inscript. Christ.", II, I (Rome, 1888), 71; Grisar (who has failed to authenticate the alleged miracle), "Analecta Romana", I (Rome, 1900), 77; Duchesne, "Liber Pontificalis", I (Paris, 1886), 235; Marucchi, "Eléments d'archéologie chrétienne", III (Paris and Rome, 1902), 155, etc.] it would seem that the legend has no historical basis. Originally the feast was celebrated only at Sta Maria Maggiore; in the fourteenth century it was extended to all the churches of Rome and finally it was made a universal feast by Pius V. Clement VIII raised it from a feast of double rite to double major. The mass is the common one for feasts of the Blessed Virgin; the office is also the common one of the Bl. Virgin, with the exception of the second Nocturn, which is an account of the alleged miracle. The congregation, which Benedict XIV instituted for the reform of the Breviary in 1741, proposed that the reading of the legend be struck from the Office and that the feast should again receive its original name, "Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ". Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint August 5 : St. Afra : #Convert and Former #Prostitute



Today, August 5, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Afra (died 304), Martyr of the Church. Saint Afra worked as a prostitute, but kindly hid her local bishop during the persecution of Christians. From his influence, she converted to the faith, dedicated herself to acts of charity, and was eventually persecuted and executed for her beliefs. The life of Saint Afra reminds us that true conversion and repentance for past sins is always possible, and that Our Loving Father calls us to Him regardless of the sins we have committed in the past!
Afra was originally a courtesan in the German town of Augsburg, having grown up in Cyprus, and moved to that area.
Upon moving to Ausburg, it is likely that Afra worked in a brothel, possibly close to the pagan Temple of Venus. At the onset of the persecution of Christians under the orders of Emperor Diocletian, Afra and her mother, Hilaria, hid the local bishop from harm. The holy man, Bishop Narcissus of Girona, did not know the profession of Afra and her mother, and through his witness, converted them to the faith. Afra and her mother, as well as her servants, were baptized, and began spending their time in charitable acts to the poor and suffering around them.
Despite the threat of death and persecution, Afra continued to hide the holy bishop until she herself was arrested and brought before the authorities. The judge, Gaius, knew of Afra and her profession, and ordered her to sacrifice to the pagan gods or be condemned to death.

Afra declared: “I was a great sinner before I knew God; but I will not add new crimes, nor do what you command me. My capitol is Jesus Christ, whom I have always before my eyes. I every day confess my sins; and, because I am unworthy to offer him any sacrifice, I desire to sacrifice myself for his name, that this body in which I have sinned may be purified and sacrificed to him by torments.” 

Gaius persisted, referencing her former profession, and urging her to recant her faith. “I am informed,” he said, “that you are a prostitute. Sacrifice, therefore, as you are a stranger to the God of the Christians, and cannot be accepted by him.”
But Afra replied, “Our Lord Jesus Christ hath said, that he came down from heaven to save sinners. The gospels testify that an abandoned woman washed his feet with her tears, and obtained pardon, and that he never rejected the publicans, but permitted them to eat with him.” 

Gaius said, “Jesus Christ will have nothing to do with you. It is in vain for you to acknowledge him for your God: a common prostitute can never he called a Christian.”

Afra replied, “It is true, I am unworthy to bear the name of a Christian; but Christ hath admitted me to be one.” 

Growing frustrated, the judge ordered her again: “Sacrifice to the gods, and they will save you.”
The martyr replied: “My Savior is Jesus Christ, who upon the cross promised paradise to the thief who confessed him. The only subject of my confusion and grief are my sins.”

Having run out of patience, Gaius declared, “I am ashamed that I have disputed so long with you. If you do not comply, you shall die.”

Afra replied: “That is what I desire, if I am not unworthy to find rest by this confession. Let that body which hath sinned undergo torments; but as to my soul, I will not taint it by sacrificing to demons.” 

Throwing up his hands, Gaius sentenced Afra to death. “We condemn Afra, a prostitute who hath declared herself a Christian, to be burnt alive, because she hath refused to offer sacrifice to the gods.”
Afra was immediately seized, stripped of her clothing, tied to a stake, and set ablaze. While she burned, she lifter her eyes to heaven and prayed:“O Lord Jesus Christ, Omnipotent God, who camest to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance, accept now the penance of my sufferings, and by this temporal fire deliver me from the everlasting fire, which torments both body and soul. I return thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, for the honor thou hast done me in receiving me a holocaust for thy name’s sake; thou who hast vouchsafed to offer thyself upon the altar of the cross a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, the just for the unjust, and for sinners. I offer myself a victim to thee, O my God, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.”

Having prayed and handed her life over to her creator, Saint Afra died. Her mother and her servants rescued her body and interred her relics in a selpuchre. In the process of this act they were caught, and refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods, were likely executed.
Inspired by Saint Afra, today we pray for the conversion of sinners throughout the world, and for our own personal conversion and repentance. Holy Saint Afra, pray for us!

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.
Amen. Shared from 365Rosaries