Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Saint September 17 : St. Robert Bellarmine a Doctor of the Church and the Patron of Catechists, Canon Lawyers and Catechumens

(Also, "Bellarmino"). A distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal, born at Montepulciano, 4 October, 1542; died 17 September, 1621. His father was Vincenzo Bellarmino, his mother Cinthia Cervini, sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, afterwards Pope Marcellus II. He was brought up at the newly founded Jesuit college in his native town, and entered the Society of Jesus on 20 September, 1560, being admitted to his first vows on the following day. The next three years he spent in studying philosophy at the Roman College, after which he taught the humanities first at Florence, then at Mondovì. In 1567 he began his theology at Padua, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Having been ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures thus delivered grew into the work "De Controversiis" which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness. This monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the blow it dealt to Protestantism being so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Nor has it even yet been superseded as the classical book on its subject-matter, though, as was to be expected, the progress of criticism has impaired the value of some of its historical arguments.
In 1588 Bellarmine was made Spiritual Father to the Roman College, but in 1590 he went with Cardinal Gaetano as theologian to the embassy Sixtus V was then sending into France to protect the interests of the Church amidst the troubles of the civil wars. Whilst he was there news reached him that Sixtus, who had warmly accepted the dedication of his "De Controversiis", was now proposing to put its first volume on the Index. This was because he had discovered that it assigned to the Holy See not a direct but only an indirect power over temporals. Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the Holy See was intense, took this greatly to heart; it was, however, averted by the death of Sixtus, and the new pope, Gregory XIV, even granted to Bellarmine's work the distinction of a special approbation. Gaetano's mission now terminating, Bellarmine resumed his work as Spiritual Father, and had the consolation of guiding the last years of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in the Roman College in 1591. Many years later he had the further consolation of successfully promoting the beatification of the saintly youth. Likewise at this time he sat on the final commission for the revision of the Vulgate text. This revision had been desired by the Council of Trent, and subsequent popes had laboured over the task and had almost brought it to completion. But Sixtus V, though unskilled in this branch of criticism, had introduced alterations of his own, all for the worse. He had even gone so far as to have an impression of this vitiated edition printed and partially distributed, together with the proposed Bull enforcing its use. He died, however, before the actual promulgation, and his immediate successors at once proceeded to remove the blunders and call in the defective impression. The difficulty was how to substitute a more correct edition without affixing a stigma to the name of Sixtus, and Bellarmine proposed that the new edition should continue in the name of Sixtus, with a prefatory explanation that, on account of aliqua vitia vel typographorum vel aliorum which had crept in, Sixtus had himself resolved that a new impression should be undertaken. The suggestion was accepted, and Bellarmine himself wrote the preface, still prefixed to the Clementine edition ever since in use. On the other hand, he has been accused of untruthfulness in stating that Sixtus had resolved on a new impression. But his testimony, as there is no evidence to the contrary, should be accepted as decisive, seeing how conscientious a man he was in the estimation of his contemporaries; and the more so since it cannot be impugned without casting a slur on the character of his fellow-commissioners who accepted his suggestion, and of Clement VIII who with full knowledge of the facts gave his sanction to Bellarmine's preface being prefixed to the new edition. Besides, Angelo Rocca, the Secretary of the revisory commissions of Sixtus V and the succeeding pontiffs, himself wrote a draft preface for the new edition in which he makes the same statement: (Sixtus) "dum errores ex typographiâ ortos, et mutationes omnes, atque varias hominum opiniones recognoscere cœpit, ut postea de toto negotio deliberare atque Vulgatam editionem, prout debebat, publicare posset, morte præventus quod cœperat perficere non potuit". This draft preface, to which Bellarmine's was preferred, is still extant, attached to the copy of the Sixtine edition in which the Clementine corrections are marked, and may be seen in the Biblioteca Angelica at Rome. In 1592 Bellarmine was made Rector of the Roman College, and in 1595 Provincial of Naples. In 1597 Clement VIII recalled him to Rome and made him his own theologian and likewise Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office. Further, in 1599 he made him Cardinal-Priest of the title of Santa Maria in viâ, alleging as his reason for this promotion that "the Church of God had not his equal in learning". He was now appointed, along with the Dominican Cardinal d'Ascoli, an assessor to Cardinal Madruzzi, the President of the Congregation de Auxiliis, which had been instituted shortly before to settle the controversy which had recently arisen between the Thomists and the Molinists concerning the nature of the concord between efficacious grace and human liberty. Bellarmine's advice was from the first that the doctrinal question should not be decided authoritatively, but left over for further discussion in the schools, the disputants on either side being strictly forbidden to indulge in censures or condemnations of their adversaries. Clement VIII at first inclined to this view, but afterwards changed completely and determined on a doctrinal definition. Bellarmine's presence then became embarrassing, and he appointed him to the Archbishopric of Capua just then vacant. This is sometimes spoken of as the cardinal's disgrace, but Clement consecrated him with his own hands--an honour which the popes usually accord as a mark of special regard. The new archbishop departed at once for his see, and during the next three years set a bright example of pastoral zeal in its administration.
In 1605 Clement VIII died, and was succeeded by Leo XI who reigned only twenty-six days, and then by Paul V. In both conclaves, especially that latter, the name of Bellarmine was much before the electors, greatly to his own distress, but his quality as a Jesuit stood against him in the judgment of many of the cardinals. The new pope insisted on keeping him at Rome, and the cardinal, obediently complying, demanded that at least he should be released from an episcopal charge the duties of which he could no longer fulfil. He was now made a member of the Holy Office and of other congregations, and thenceforth was the chief advisor of the Holy See in the theological department of its administration. Of the particular transactions with which his name is most generally associated the following were the most important: The inquiry de Auxiliis, which after all Clement had not seen his way to decide, was now terminated with a settlement on the lines of Bellarmine's original suggestion. 1606 marked the beginning of the quarrel between the Holy See and the Republic of Venice which, without even consulting the pope, had presumed to abrogate the law of clerical exemption from civil jurisdiction and to withdraw the Church's right to hold real property. The quarrel led to a war of pamphlets in which the part of the Republic was sustained by John Marsiglio and an apostate monk named Paolo Sarpi, and that of the Holy See by Bellarmine and Baronius. Contemporaneous with the Venetian episode was that of the English Oath of Alliance. In 1606, in addition to the grave disabilities which already weighed them down, the English Catholics were required under pain of prœmunire to take an oath of allegiance craftily worded in such wise that a Catholic in refusing to take it might appear to be disavowing an undoubted civil obligation, whilst if he should take it he would be not merely rejecting but even condemning as "impious and heretical" the doctrine of the deposing power, that is to say, of a power, which, whether rightly or wrongly, the Holy See had claimed and exercised for centuries with the full approval of Christendom, and which even in that age the mass of the theologians of Europe defended. The Holy See having forbidden Catholics to take this oath, King James himself came forward as its defender, in a book entitled "Tripoli nodo triplex cuneus", to which Bellarmine replied in his "Responsio Matthfi Torti". Other treatises followed on either side, and the result of one, written in denial of the deposing power by William Barclay, an English jurist resident in France, was that Bellarmine's reply to it was branded by the Regalist Parlement of Paris. Thus it came to pass that, for following the via media of the indirect power, he was condemned in 1590 as too much of a Regalist and in 1605 as too much of a Papalist. Bellarmine did not live to deal with the later and more serious stage of the Galileo case, but in 1615 he took part in its earlier stage. He had always shown great interest in the discoveries of that investigator, and was on terms of friendly correspondence with him. He took up too--as is witnessed by his letter to Galileo's friend Foscarini--exactly the right attitude towards scientific theories in seeming contradiction with Scripture. If, as was undoubtedly the case then with Galileo's heliocentric theory, a scientific theory is insufficiently proved, it should be advanced only as an hypothesis; but if, as is the case with this theory now, it is solidly demonstrated, care must be taken to interpret Scripture only in accordance with it. When the Holy Office condemned the heliocentric theory, by an excess in the opposite direction, it became Bellarmine's official duty to signify the condemnation to Galileo, and receive his submission. Bellarmine lived to see one more conclave, that which elected Gregory XV (February, 1621). His health was now failing, and in the summer of the same year he was permitted to retire to Sant' Andrea and prepare for the end. His death was most edifying and was a fitting termination to a life which had been no less remarkable for its virtues than for its achievements. His spirit of prayer, his singular delicacy of conscience and freedom from sin, his spirit of humility and poverty, together with the disinterestedness which he displayed as much under the cardinal's robes as under the Jesuit's gown, his lavish charity to the poor, and his devotedness to work, had combined to impress those who knew him intimately with the feeling that he was of the number of the saints. Accordingly, when he died there was a general expectation that his cause would be promptly introduced. And so it was, under Urban VIII in 1627, when he became entitled to the appellation of Venerable. But a technical obstacle, arising out of Urban VIII's own general legislation in regard to beatifications, required its prorogation at that time. Though it was reintroduced on several occasions (1675, 1714, 1752, and 1832), and though on each occasion the great preponderance of votes was in favour of the beatification, a successful issue came only after many years. This was partly because of the influential character of some of those who recorded adverse votes, Barbarigo, Casante, and Azzolino in 1675, and Passionei in 1752, but still more for reasons of political expediency, Bellarmine's name being closely associated with a doctrine of papal authority most obnoxious to the Regalist politicians of the French Court. "We have said", wrote Benedict XIV to Cardinal de Tencin, "in confidence to the General of the Jesuits that the delay of the Cause has come not from the petty matters laid to his charge by Cardinal Passionei, but from the sad circumstances of the times" (Études Religieuses, 15 April, 1896). [Note: St. Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1931. He is the patron saint of catechists.] Text from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Special Prayers by St. Hildegard von Bingen and Prayer for her Intercession - Patron of Music, Medicine, Theology

Prayers St. Hildegard von Bingen composed - and prayer for her Intercession:
 Prayers written by St. Hildegard
O Great FatherO Great Father we are in great need;
Now therefore we implore, we implore you
Through your Word, by which you have
Filled us with [those things] we need;
Now it may please you Father for it befits you
To consider us with your help,
So that we might not fail and lest your name
Might be blackened in us
And through your name, deign to help us.
O Eternal LordO eternal Lord,
it is pleasing to you
to burn in that same fire of love,
like that from which our bodies are born,
and from which you begot your Son
in the first dawn before all of Creation.
So consider this need which falls upon us,
and relieve us of it for the sake of your Son,
and lead us in joyous prosperity.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

O Shepherd of SoulsO Shepherd of souls
and o first voice
through whom all creation was summoned,
now to you,
to you may it give pleasure and dignity
to liberate us
from our miseries and languishing.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
O Ruby Blood
O ruby blood
which flowed from on high
where divinity touched.
You are a flower
that the winter
of the serpent’s breath
can never injure.
-Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

O Leafy BranchO leafy branch,
standing in your nobility
as the dawn breaks forth:
now rejoice and be glad
and deign to set us frail ones
free from evil habits
and stretch forth your hand
and lift us up.
by Hildegard von Bingen

Prayers for St. Hildegard’s IntercessionPrayer to St. HildegardFather, Source of Life,
you have bestowed on St Hildegard of Bingen
many excellent graces.
Help us to follow her example
of meditating on your ineffable Majesty
and to follow you
so that we, amidst the darkness of this world,
recognise the Light of your clarity
to cling to you without fail.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer to St. HildegardO Lord, you were generous with your gifts of grace to the virgin Hildegard. By following closely her example and teaching, may we pass from the darkness of this life into your marvelous light. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Source: catholicsaintmedals
Documentary of the Life of St. Hildegard von Bingen below:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday September 17, 2019 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 444

Reading 11 TM 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial PsalmPS 101:1B-2AB, 2CD-3AB, 5, 6

R.(2) I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Saint September 17 : Saint Hildegard von Bingen a Doctor of the Church and Patron of Music, Medicine who Founded a Monastery

Hildegard was born in 1098 at Bermersheim, Alzey, to parents of noble lineage who were wealthy landowners. At the age of eight she was received as an oblate at the Benedictine Abbey of Disibodenberg, where in 1115 she made her religious profession. Upon the death of Jutta of Sponheim, around the year 1136, Hildegard was called to succeed her as magistra. Infirm in physical health but vigorous in spirit, she committed herself totally to the renewal of religious life. At the basis of her spirituality was the Benedictine Rule which views spiritual balance and ascetical moderation as paths to holiness. Following the increase in vocations to the religious life, due above all to the high esteem in which Hildegard was held, around 1150 she founded a monastery on the hill of Rupertsberg, near Bingen, where she moved with twenty sisters. In 1165, she established another monastery on the opposite bank of the Rhine. She was the Abbess of both.
Within the walls of the cloister, she cared for the spiritual and material well-being of her sisters, fostering in a special way community life, culture and the liturgy. In the outside world she devoted herself actively to strengthening the Christian faith and reinforcing religious practice, opposing the heretical trends of the Cathars, promoting Church reform through her writings and preaching and contributing to the improvement of the discipline and life of clerics. At the invitation first of Hadrian IV and later of Alexander III, Hildegard practised a fruitful apostolate, something unusual for a woman at that time, making several journeys, not without hardship and difficulty, to preach even in public squares and in various cathedral churches, such as at Cologne, Trier, Liège, Mainz, Metz, Bamberg and Würzburg. The profound spirituality of her writings had a significant influence both on the faithful and on important figures of her time and brought about an incisive renewal of theology, liturgy, natural sciences and music. Stricken by illness in the summer of 1179, Hildegard died in the odour of sanctity, surrounded by her sisters at the monastery of Rupertsberg, Bingen, on 17 September 1179.
3. In her many writings Hildegard dedicated herself exclusively to explaining divine revelation and making God known in the clarity of his love. Hildegard’s teaching is considered eminent both for its depth, the correctness of its interpretation, and the originality of its views. The texts she produced are refreshing in their authentic “intellectual charity” and emphasize the power of penetration and comprehensiveness of her contemplation of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Church, humanity and nature as God’s creation, to be appreciated and respected.
These works were born from a deep mystical experience and propose a perceptive reflection on the mystery of God. The Lord endowed her with a series of visions from childhood, whose content she dictated to the Benedictine monk Volmar, her secretary and spiritual advisor, and to Richardis von Stade, one of her women religious. But particularly illuminating are the judgments expressed by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who encouraged her, and especially by Pope Eugene III, who in 1147 authorized her to write and to speak in public. Theological reflection enabled Hildegard to organize and understand, at least in part, the content of her visions. In addition to books on theology and mysticism, she also authored works on medicine and natural sciences. Her letters are also numerous — about four hundred are extant; these were addressed to simple people, to religious communities, popes, bishops and the civil authorities of her time. She was also a composer of sacred music. The corpus of her writings, for their quantity, quality and variety of interests, is unmatched by any other female author of the Middle Ages.
Her main writings are the Scivias, the Liber Vitae Meritorum and the Liber Divinorum Operum. They relate her visions and the task she received from the Lord to transcribe them. In the author’s view her Letters were no less important; they bear witness to the attention Hildegard paid to the events of her time, which she interpreted in the light of the mystery of God. In addition there are 58 sermons, addressed directly to her sisters. They are her Expositiones Evangeliorum, containing a literary and moral commentary on Gospel passages related to the main celebrations of the liturgical year. Her artistic and scientific works focus mainly on music, in the Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum; on medicine, in the Liber Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum and in the Causae et Curae, and on natural sciences in the Physica. Finally her linguistic writings are also noteworthy, such as the Lingua Ignota and the Litterae Ignotae, in which the words appear in an unknown language of her own invention, but are composed mainly of phonemes present in German.
Hildegard’s language, characterized by an original and effective style, makes ample use of poetic expressions and is rich in symbols, dazzling intuitions, incisive comparisons and evocative metaphors.
Source: Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI's Letter declaring St. Hildegard a Doctor http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20121007_ildegarda-bingen.html

In Message for 33rd Prayer Meeting for Peace Pope Francs explains "We are in fact aware, as believers, that prayer is at the root of peace." FULL TEXT

[Madrid, 15-17 September 2019]

To the Venerable Brother
Archbishop of Madrid
and to the participants in the Prayer Meeting for Peace
"Peace without borders"

I greet with joy and gratitude Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of Madrid, and all of you, representatives of the Churches and Christian communities and of world religions gathered in Madrid for the XXXIII Prayer Meeting for Peace, organized jointly by the Community of Sant'Egidio and from the Archdiocese of Madrid. It is a source of joy to see that this pilgrimage of peace, begun following the World Day of Prayer for Peace, convened in Assisi in October 1986 by St. John Paul II, has never stopped but continues and grows in number of participants and for the fruits of good he brings. It is a pilgrimage that has traveled peoples and cities to witness everywhere the strength of that "spirit of Assisi" which is prayer to God and promotion of peace among peoples.

This year this itinerary stops in Madrid, to reflect on the theme "Peace without borders". The mind goes thirty years ago when, in the heart of Europe, the Berlin Wall fell and a lacerating division of the European continent that caused so much suffering ended. From Berlin to the whole of Eastern Europe from that day new hopes of peace were ignited that spread all over the world. To encourage that collapse contributed - we are convinced - the prayer for peace of so many sons and daughters of God. Moreover, the biblical story of Jericho reminds us that the walls fall when they are "besieged" with prayer and not with weapons , with yearnings for peace and not for conquest, when we dream of a good future for all. This is why it is always necessary to pray and dialogue in the perspective of peace: the fruits will come! We are not afraid, because the Lord hears the prayer of his faithful people.

In these first two decades of the twenty-first century we have unfortunately witnessed, with great sadness, the waste of that gift of God which is peace, squandered with new wars and with the construction of new walls and new barriers. After all, we know that peace must be continually increased from generation to generation with dialogue, meetings and negotiations. It is foolish, in the perspective of the good of peoples and the world, to close spaces, separate peoples, or rather to oppose one another, to deny hospitality to those in need and to their families. In this way the world is "broken up", using the same violence with which the environment is ruined and the common home is damaged, which instead asks for love, care, respect, just as humanity invokes peace and fraternity. The common house does not support walls that separate and, even less, that contrast those who live there. Instead, it needs open doors that help to communicate, to meet, to cooperate in order to live together in peace, respecting diversity and tightening responsibilities. Peace is like a home from the many dwellings we are all called to inhabit. Peace is without borders. Always, without exception. St. John XXIII hoped for this when - in a difficult time - he wished to address his word to all believers and men of good will by invoking "peace in all lands".

Distinguished representatives of the Churches and Christian communities and of the great world Religions, with this greeting of mine, I wish to tell you that I am close to you in these days and that together with you I invoke peace from the One who alone can give it. In the tradition of these International Prayer Meetings for Peace - which I also attended in Assisi in 2016 - the prayer that rises to God occupies the main and decisive place. It unites us all, in a common feeling, without any confusion. Close, but not confused! Because the yearning for peace is common, in the variety of religious experiences and traditions.
We are in fact aware, as believers, that prayer is at the root of peace. Whoever practices it is a friend of God, as was Abraham, a model of a man of faith and hope. The prayer for peace, in this time marked by too many conflicts and violence, unites all of us even more, beyond the differences, in the common commitment to a more fraternal world. We know well that fraternity among believers, as well as a barrier to enmities and wars, is the leaven of fraternity among peoples. It is in this horizon that in February last year, in Abu Dhabi, together with the Great Imam of Al-Azhar, I signed the "Document on Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Living". It is an important step on the path to world peace. Together we said that "religions never incite war and do not urge feelings of hatred, hostility, extremism, nor invite violence or bloodshed". I wish to entrust the intentions of that Document to all of you who participate in this Prayer Meeting for Peace. The spirit of Assisi, 800 years after the meeting of St. Francis with the Sultan, also inspired our work that led to the Abu Dhabi act.

What we are experiencing is a grave moment for the world. We must all hold on - I would like to say with one heart and one voice - to shout that peace is without borders, without borders. A cry that rises from our heart. It is there, in fact, from the hearts, that we must eradicate the frontiers that divide and contrast. And it is in hearts that feelings of peace and fraternity should be sown.

Distinguished representatives of the Christian Churches and Communities and of the great world Religions, men and women of good will who participate in this Meeting, the great task of peace is entrusted also to our hands. The God of peace gives us abundance of wisdom, boldness, generosity and perseverance.


From the Vatican, 13 September 2019

Pope Francis "The State Railways are a fundamental means of transport and connection..." to Managers of Railway - Full Text

Clementine Hall
Monday, 16 September 2019

Mr. Chief Executive Officer,
Ladies and gentlemen executives,
I cordially greet all of you, and I thank Dr. Battisti for his kind words.

The State Railways are a fundamental means of transport and connection for the country, as well as representing a support and incentive for economic and social development. They constitute a capillary structure that unites the various areas of the country both from a practical and ideal point of view, encouraging the exchange of people and goods, of experience and knowledge, of culture and wealth.
As managers, you bear a great responsibility in the name of the community. First of all, towards the employees, whom you are called to lead and whose tasks you organise. May they always find in you models of dedication and impartiality, capable of combining the firmness, typical of those who must decide, with the understanding of those who care about the problems and the concrete needs of people. Your responsibility also extends to those who, occasionally or on a daily basis, use the train as a means of transport, to go to work or for tourism, or to reach their loved ones who live far away. In fact, the effort to make the rail service more efficient has a major impact on their quality of life, making their journeys faster and more comfortable. Your activity then extends to the whole of society, since the quality of rail transport affects many social dynamics and the economic prospects of the country itself.
You are entrusted with a wide range of issues, from safety in the workplace to the management of contracts, from environmental sustainability to regulatory aspects and interaction with the territory. This is why a great deal of effort is required of you, and I hope you will apply it with passion, to work with the extra care, availability and creativity that is typical of those who love the situations and the people they serve.
This year you are celebrating the first decade of High Speed, a public work of strategic importance, which provides an essential link along the main axes of the country and every day offers thousands of passengers a high quality service. The progress made and the innovations introduced in this short period of time are truly sensational, with an increase in travel speed, an increase in services and comfort for passengers, an increasingly strong interaction with territories and other means of transport, as well as a great development of the High Speed stations.
This rapid evolution is the result of careful and prudent planning, of which you, the directors, together with the top management of the company, are the interpreters and promoters. In a society in such rapid evolution as ours, it is essential to formulate a clear plan of action, inspired by a vision of the future that is being built, to be adapted gradually on the basis of new circumstances.
This vision is the result of in-depth study, requires collaboration with experts and a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of society, to whose needs it is intended to respond. Even more than in the past, it must be an overall view of reality and problems, because never before has it been necessary to recognise that individuals, groups, local communities and states are not realities in their own right: globalisation puts us in front of the urgent need to work and think together, because we are not islands, but rather points of connection.
We are, in different ways and each one according to his or her position, junctions. A junction connects, allows passage from one road to another, from one rail to another; those who act as junctions do not only think for themselves, but multiply relationships and shared projects, knowing that the good of individuals and communities, at every level, passes from the good of all, then from the good of each of the others.
I would like to express my wish for the Italian Railways with three qualities: that they may be increasingly attractivesustainable and supportive.
They should be attractive inasmuch as they are capable of attracting investment, improving quality, encouraging trade and generating new business realities. May they be attractive because they are increasingly beautiful, places where you feel welcome and at ease, and where it becomes pleasant to return.
May rail transport become increasingly sustainable, both because it is economical for the business world and for individual citizens, and because it is respectful of the territory it passes through and of the environment. Sustainable also from an environmental point of view, an aspect to which you already dedicate a lot of effort, to ensure that the impact is as limited as possible, and that the carbon dioxide emissions, so harmful to the ecosystem and to its balance, are reduced as far as possible. I can only praise you for this effort, which you make through precise structural decisions, and which make the train the means of transport with by far the least impact, by comparison with automobiles or aircraft.
Finally, may the railways that you imagine for the near future become increasingly supportive: may they favour families and assist those who are most in difficulty due to advanced age, physical limitations, or reduced income. May they be supportive also, however, through their effective diffusion and through an equal quality of services they offer in the various zones and on the different types of train. Indeed, the railway network is responsible for connecting and in some way keeping alive the different areas of the country, even the most remote, just like veins and capillaries, which bring life to the members farthest from the heart. Thus, the Railways should ensure that no centre is excluded and is therefore marginalised and impoverished. Likewise, may those who travel on trains considered secondary not have to face the fatigue of overcrowding or difficult environmental conditions in the carriages every day.
This challenge certainly does not depend only on you, and requires the concomitance of many factors, including the availability of large investments. However, may you be committed to ensuring that the service provided by the Railways does not lead to discrimination between more or less fortunate users, and those who are more or less able to afford a comfortable and dignified journey. This commitment, in which you are already active, complies with the principles of equality and non-discrimination, which are the main points of your Code of Ethics.
Dear friends, I thank you for your service to the common good and I invoke upon you God’s blessing. And I also ask you, please, to pray for me.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: www.vatican.va

Pope Francis asks for Prayers for Governments and Politicians "..pray for the other, for those who have a different opinion than I do.” in Homily

Vatican News. va reports of Pope Francis' homily at Mass. The Pontiff said to pray for people in government and for politicians, that they “may work for the common good.”
Vatican News -

Pope Francis issued that appeal in his homily at Mass on Monday in the Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope said St Paul, in his letter to Timothy (1 Tm 2:1-8), calls us to pray for everyone, “for kings and for all in authority” and that it should be done “without anger or argument”. St Paul adds that we do this so “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”

“Paul emphasizes the environment surrounding the believer: prayer. Here he focuses on intercessory prayer: ‘Everyone should pray, for all, so that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life, in dignity and devotion to God.’ Prayer helps make this possible. But there is an emphasis I would like to talk about: ‘For everyone’ and then he adds ‘for kings and for all in authority’. So, he is talking about prayer for people in government, for politicians, and for the people responsible for political institutions, nations, and regions.”

Pray for those with different opinions
Pope Francis went on to say that politicians often receive either “praise from their supporters or insults”.

He added that priests and bishops receive the same treatment. Some people say they will pray for their priest or bishop “only if they are worthy”, and go on to list a litany of “insults and curse words”, said the Pope.

But, he noted, people in authority “have the responsibility to guide their nation”. “How can we leave them alone, without asking God to bless them?” he asked. The Pope said that few people pray for those in government, spending most of their time “insulting them.”

St Paul, said Pope Francis, makes it clear that we must “pray for all of them”.

Italian government crisis
The Pope then recalled the recently resolved crisis in the Italian government.

“Who of us prayed for people in government? Who of us prayed for parliamentarians, so that they might reach an agreement and guide the nation forward? It seems that the patriotic spirit doesn’t reach into prayer. Sure, criticism, hate, fighting, and it ends there. ‘It is my wish, then, that in every place people should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.’ Discussion must happen, and this is the role of parliament. Discussion must occur, but without annihilating the other. Rather, each must pray for the other, for those who have a different opinion than I do.”

Call to conversion
In the face of those who say certain politicians are “too communist” or “corrupt”, Pope Francis – citing the day’s Gospel of Luke (7:1-10) – invites us not to discuss politics but to pray.

The Pope said some people say “politics is dirty”, but Pope Paul VI held that it is “the highest form of charity”.

“It may be dirty, just like any profession can be dirty… We are the ones who dirty something but it is not so by nature. I believe that we must convert our hearts and pray for politicians of all stripes, all of them! Pray for people in government. This is what Paul asks of us. As I listened to the Word of God, I thought about this beautiful event from the Gospel – the person in authority who prays for one of his underlings: the centurion who prays for his servant. Even people in government must pray for their people, and this man prays for his servant, who may have been a domestic servant. ‘But no, he is my servant. I am responsible for him.’ People in government are responsible for the life of their country. It is good to think that, if people pray for authorities, people in government will be capable of praying for their people, just like this centurion who prays for his servant.”
Full Text Source: Vatican News.va - Image source: Google Images - 

Forests in Bolivia, South America, have been Burning for 2 Months - Bishops call on Government for Action

AMERICA/BOLIVIA - The forest has been burning for two months: the Bishops ask for the intervention of authorities and harsh sanctions for those responsible Friday, 13 September 2019
Santa Cruz (Agenzia Fides) - For two months now the Bolivian forest has been burning in different parts without stopping. Some experts in the field consider that no intervention to extinguish the fire will succeed in a positive way, as "it is necessary to isolate the largest outbreaks of the fire with bulldozers or other machinesin order not to allow the fire to spread", as governor of the eastern province of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costa says. The Secretary General of the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference (CEB) has sent Fides the declaration of 11 September, entitled "Irreparable damage to our common home" on what the country is experiencing. In the text Mgr. Aurelio Pesoa, Secretary General of the CEB, refers to a natural and unprecedented disaster in three specific areas of the Bolivian territory: the Bolivian Amazon, Chiquitanía and Chaco. The national government is then asked to "intervene urgently and immediately, to declare the national emergency in the affected areas, to promulgate a decree of absolute prohibition of any cultivation and extraction, promoting only reforestation activities, as well as efficiently administering resources from national and international aid".
"The fires are destroying a priceless natural wealth in the eastern part of our country, more than two million hectares have already been burned", reads the text. "There are serious indications that behind this national and humanitarian disaster there is a decision to expand the agricultural frontier in Bolivia without taking into account the interests of the common home, nor the basic principles of ecological ethics, nor of indigenous peoples", states the Bishops’ text. "In the name of the God of life, we ask the autonomous government of Santa Cruz and the municipal governments to make every effort so that aid reaches the affected areas and is distributed based on the real damage of the inhabitants, who have seen their property, their animals and their crops destroyed. These measures must be accompanied by exemplary sanctions for those causing these fires, considering the seriousness of the crime against the ecosystem and biodiversity". The text concludes with a request to all Bolivians to bring aid through parishes, which is focused on helping the victims of this terrible tragedy. (CE) (Full Text source: Agenzia Fides, 13/9/2019)
Image Source: Google Images of Bolivian forests

Pope Francis to Visit Japan and Thailand and will Reunite with his 2nd Cousin Sister Ana Rosa Sivori

Vatican News has announced that Pope Francis will visit Japan and Thailand in November, 2019. His upcoming visit to Thailand will involve a family reunion.
Buenos Aires Times reports that Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, originally from Buenos Aires, shares a great-grandfather with Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who, six years ago, became Pope Francis. So, she and the pontiff are second cousins. Next month, the two will come face-to-face... in Thailand.
St. Mary's School Vice-Principal Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, centre, at the girls' school in Udon Thani, about 570 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, Thailand. Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, originally from Buenos Aires in Argentina, shares a great-grandfather with Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who, six years ago, became Pope Francis. So, she and the pontiff are second cousins.
Catholics in Thailand are celebrating the official announcement of the first papal visit in 35 years, but one 77-year-old nun in a far-flung corner of the country has a connection that makes the occasion particularly special.

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Thailand on November 20 for a four-day visit, the first leg of an Asia trip that will also take him to Japan, Catholic officials announced Friday.

The pontiff's arrival will lead to a reinvigoration of belief among the nearly 400,000 faithful here. But for Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, it also means the pleasure of a family reunion.

At St. Mary's girls' school in Udon Thani, about 570 kilometres (355 miles) northeast of Bangkok, the pupils have only recently realised their unassuming vice principal's connection to the pope.

Originally from Buenos Aires in Argentina, Sister Ana Rosa came to Thailand in 1966 and has worked as a missionary in several parts of the country. She shares a great-grandfather with Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who, six years ago, became Pope Francis. She and the pontiff are second cousins.

As word of a planned papal visit spread ahead of the official announcement, Sister Ana Rosa went from being an almost invisible presence to being at the centre of increasingly excited attention in her community.

"Many people who are not Catholics, they are asking me every time. Is he coming? When is he coming? He, will he be coming? Because, it means that they are interested. They want to see him. They want to meet him," she said.

"Then, of course, for the Catholics, it would be a push to be a good Catholics, to be good Christians."

Two years ago, Pope Francis paid a historic visit to Myanmar. It came at the height of the Rohingya Muslim crisis. Myanmar's army carried out human rights abuses against the ethnic minority, and the call to hold officials responsible led to intense scrutiny of whom the pope met and what he said.

Hundreds of thousands flocked to see the pope on that visit, including many who traveled from neighbouring Thailand — but not Sister Ana Rosa. She said she didn't want to take up his time.

She insists, however, that the two are close, and stay in touch. He is "old school," she says, never sending emails and instead writing letters by hand and dispatching them through the Vatican's embassy in Bangkok.

The last time the cousins met face to face was two years ago at the Vatican.

"I will be glad to see him, and he will be glad to see me also," she said, smiling broadly. "We will have the chance to see each other and have the chance to talk a little bit."

In 1984, John Paul II became the first pope to visit Thailand when he spent two days in country, partly to thank the kingdom for sheltering refugees who fled wars in neighbouring countries. He visited a refugee camp to spread a message of hope.

The Catholic mission to Thailand began 350 years ago, but the country remains overwhelmingly Buddhist, with Catholics accounting for less than 1% of the population.

Edited from Buenos Aires Times
Image Source: Google Images of Sister Sivori

Prince Charles will lead a UK delegation to Rome for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman

Catholic Ireland reports that Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, will attend the canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Rome on 13th October.

The announcement was made by Clarence House, the official residence of the heir to the British throne.

Next month’s event will be the first canonisation of an English saint since the 1970 canonisation of the Forty Martyrs, men and women, lay and religious, who were victims of the English parliament’s programme of persecuting Catholics during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said he is delighted that Prince Charles will be leading the UK delegation to the canonisation ceremony in St Peter’s Square.

“Cardinal Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ,” said the English and Welsh Catholic primate.

“His ministry, especially among the poor, is a permanent sign of the Church’s pastoral compassion and a challenge to us all today.”

Archbishop Nichols said it was particularly appropriate that Prince Charles led the delegation. “As one who has been a lifelong champion of the spiritual in everyday life, to promote understanding between faiths, and who has sought to alleviate poverty and disadvantage through his charitable work, the Prince of Wales is particularly qualified to mark the canonisation, which will be such a significant and joyful moment for this country.”

Born in 1801, Cardinal Newman was an Anglican priest before he converted to Catholicism while a teacher of theology at Oxford University. After being ordained a Catholic priest, he served in Dublin where he was instrumental in establishing the Catholic University of Ireland, which subsequently evolved into University College Dublin.

He was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XII in 1879. Privately, he was an accomplished poet, and he wrote the popular hymn “Lead, Kindly Light”. He died in 1890.

When he is canonised, he will be the fifth saint of the City of London; the others being Thomas Becket, Thomas More, Edmund Campion and Polydore Plasden.

Edited from https://www.catholicireland.net By Cian Molloy - 14 September, 2019
Image Source: Google Images

Remains of over 2,000 aborted Babies found in Abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer home after his Death

WNDU News reports that Abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer, had over 2000 bodies of aborted babies in his home.
Ulrich George Klopfer, whose medical license was suspended in 2015, died on Sept. 3. He had been charged with misreporting abortion.

On Sept. 12, the  family reported finding fetal remains among Klopfer's personal property and requested proper removal.

Will County sheriff’s detectives, crime scene investigators and representatives from the coroner’s office went to the address and were directed to an area of the property where 2,246 medically preserved fetal remains were located.

"Indiana recently passed a law that fetal remains need to be given proper burial or cremated," said Jackie Appleman Executive Director with Saint Joseph County Right to Life.

Right to Life say they will work with authorities to ensure the remains are given the proper burial.

The coroner’s office took possession of the remains.

Klopfer performed abortions at the Women's Pavillion in South Bend and at clinics in Fort Wayne and Gary.

In a statement, Whole Woman's Health Alliance, a local abortion provider, said: "All of us at Whole Woman's Health Alliance are shocked by yesterday's news. We join the community seeking more information and awaiting the results of the investigation...Whole Woman's Health of South Bend is proud to serve the community with high-quality abortion care services that respect the dignity of women and families. We adhere to the highest healthcare standards and we treat our patients with compassion and respect when they need it most."

Also in a statement, U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski said: 
“Every human life is precious, and every woman and baby deserves care and respect. This tragic case shows why abortion providers must be held to strict guidelines and face rigorous oversight. I will be looking into federal legislation to ensure the remains of aborted babies are always treated with dignity, including in the case of chemical abortions."
Edited from https://www.wndu.com

#BreakingNews Thousands continue to Protest for Freedom of Hong Kong as Police use Force - there are appeals for UK to Intervene

Hong Kong, the peaceful (illegal) march and night clashes (Photo and Video)
by Bernardo Cervellera
The police had denied permission, but tens of thousands of people of all ages poured into the center to "walk". Police officers accused of being "mafiosi" and implementing the law in a "selectively". Stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails thrown against the government headquarters. Heavy damage to metro stations. Groups of "Fujian mobsters" clash with protesters and journalists at North Point. Card Zen asks for prayers for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - A march in central Hong Kong, illegal but peaceful, has given rise to clashes between protesters and police setting fire to the center of the island at Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. Late in the evening and at night there were other clashes between pro-China groups, linked to the Mafia, and anti-China protesters on the outskirts of the island, at North Point and Fortress Hill, leaving at least eight wounded.

Originally yesterday's march was to be organized by the Civic Front for Human Rights, which brings together many democracy groups and has already organized peaceful marches in the past gathering millions of people. However, the police denied permission, citing security reasons. But the anti-extradition movement issued indications to still gather, claiming the right to assembly, and advising supporters to go to Causeway Bay for "shopping" and then take a "walk" to Central, in Chater Garden, the area around the old parliament building.

From 2.30pm on a sultry day, tens of thousands of people poured into Causeway Bay. The crowds included parents with small children, elderly, and especially young people. Many of these wore the "uniform" of the movement, with black shirts and masks on their faces. In a clear criticism against China that wants to destroy the liberal society of Hong Kong, denying democracy, many waved American, British, Australian, the flag of Hong Kong when it was still an English colony. The strongest criticism was born on placards depicting the flag of the People’s Republic of China, with the stars forming a swastika and with the inscription "Chinazi" .

People with megaphones shouted slogans repeated by the crowd ("Liberate Hong Kong: a revolution of our time"), chanting the song "Glory to Hong Kong", which has become a kind of movement anthem.

In Wan Chai, when the long procession passed next to the police headquarters, the slogans became one, continuously punctuated: "Gangsters, gangsters, gangsters!" The reference is to the collusion - proven by a video - of support that the police gave to Mafia groups in Yuan Long, who attacked demonstrators and underground passengers, without the police intervening. Moreover, in all of the clashes taking place here and there between pro-China groups and pro-democracy demonstrators, the police promptly arrest the protesters dressed in black, but leave the others free. For this reason they are accused of "applying the law selectively".

In Admiralty, passing in front of the official headquarters of the Hong Kong government, people raised their arms with an open hand to indicate the "five", ie the five demands for which the movement demands a response from the government: to eliminate the law on the extradition; not to characterize violent confrontations as "revolts"; remove the accusations against the demonstrators arrested during the clashes and free them unconditionally; a full and independent investigation into the actions of the police and their collusion with mafia groups; implement universal suffrage.

Carrie Lam, the chief executive, after three months of demonstrations, agreed to permanently withdraw the law, but ruled out an independent inquiry into police actions and postponed talks on the democracy. The government had already promised these talks three years ago, during the Occupy Central sit-ins, which, however, were not followed by any concrete gesture, indeed sit-in leaders were arrested and some pro-democracy youths were excluded from the parliamentary elections . For this reason, as a young student, who wants to remain anonymous, tells AsiaNews "we will continue our battles, perhaps only on weekends, but we will never give up".

The government's wall of silence before the "Five demands, not one less" - as one of the slogans of young people shouts - and the increasingly heavy-handed violence of the police, which some say is driven directly by Beijing, in the eyes of young people justifies the urban guerrilla warfare which also broke out last night.

Almost over, a hundred young men in black suits with masks on their faces started throwing stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails against the seat of government. The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets fired at eye level.

At the launch of other Molotov cocktails, the police responded with hydrants and stinging and colored water. A Molotov hit a vehicle that went on fire. The crowd of radical protesters then destroyed the entrance to the Admiralty subway station (MTR) and caused damage to the Causeway Bay and Man Chai stations.

The MTR is accused of working for the police, allowing it to break into stations and beat and arrest young protesters and passengers. In addition, the company refuses to make public the surveillance videos on what happened at the Prince Edward station last August 31, when dozens of policemen used tear gas, pepper sprays and beat passengers and young demonstrators, holding siege in the station for hours .

Late in the evening, the most serious incidents occurred at Fortress Hill and North Point. Groups of middle-aged people, dressed in white and yellow, waved stools, sticks, butcher knives and bottles of flammable liquid at passers-by, even striking some journalists.

Others, describing themselves as members of the "Fujian Mafia" clashed with young men dressed in black and journalists filming the scene. Several people were injured. Some media point out that the police defended the "Fujian Mafia ", protecting them from the crowd and taking them away.

Yesterday, while the clashes took place in Admiralty and Wan Chai, Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, held a prayer meeting in the church of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, asking all participants to pray for Hong Kong .
FULL TEXT Source: Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, September 16, 2019 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Lectionary: 443

Reading 11 TM 2:1-8

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle
(I am speaking the truth, I am not lying),
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Responsorial PsalmPS 28:2, 7, 8-9

R.(6) Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you,
lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield.
In him my heart trusts, and I find help;
then my heart exults, and with my song I give him thanks.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
the saving refuge of his anointed.
Save your people, and bless your inheritance;
feed them, and carry them forever!
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.