Friday, December 13, 2019

Free Movie : Mary of #Nazareth - The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Watch Full Film


Here is the drama of MARY OF NAZARETH in English :.

Happy Anniversary to Pope Francis for 50 years in the Priesthood of God as Servant of His People - Watch Video


Pope Francis: 50 years of priesthood serving God and his people
December 13th marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Vatican News celebrates this milestone recalling some of Pope’s reflections regarding priests and the priesthood.
By Sergio Centofanti

On 13 December 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest. His vocation dates back to 21 September 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector converted by Jesus: it was during a confession that day, that the future Pope had a profound experience of God's mercy.

The priest and mercy
Divine Mercy has characterized his entire priestly life. Pope Francis speaks of priests as quietly leaving everything to engage in the daily life of communities, giving others their own lives, moved, like Jesus, when he sees people exhausted and “like sheep without a shepherd".

Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, the Pope said: “In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and a servant to all… Whoever is wounded in life, in whatever way, can find in him attention and a sympathetic ear....Wounds need to be treated… We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy first means treating the wounds”.


The priest and the Eucharist
Pope Francis describes the priest as a decentralized man, because at the center of his life there is not him but Christ. In his homily during the Jubilee for Priests on 3 June 2016, he said: “In the Eucharistic celebration we rediscover each day our identity as shepherds. In every Mass, may we truly make our own Christ’s words: ‘This is my Body, which is given up for you’. This is the meaning of our life: with these words, in a real way we can daily renew the promises we made at our priestly ordination”.

The priest and the confessional
The priest plays an important part of his service to God and His people in the confessional, where he can become an expression of God's mercy. Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, Pope Francis said: “It is normal that there be differences in the style of confessors, but these differences cannot regard the essential, that is, sound moral doctrine and mercy. Neither the laxist nor the rigorist bears witness to Jesus Christ, for neither the one nor the other takes care of the person he encounters. The rigorist washes his hands of them: in fact, he nails the person to the law, understood in a cold and rigid way; and the laxist also washes his hands of them: he is only apparently merciful, but in reality he does not take seriously the problems of that conscience, by minimizing the sin. True mercy takes the person into one’s care, listens to them attentively, approaches the situation with respect and truth, and accompanies them on the journey of reconciliation”.

The priest and prayer
Pope Francis has always said that the priest needs to be, above all, a man of prayer. It is union with God, he says, that overcomes the countless temptations of evil. In his Letter to Priests marking the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, the Pope suggests reciting the Rosary every day. “To contemplate Mary”, he writes, “is to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her, we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong, who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves”.

The priest and the poor
According to Pope Francis, a priest’s spirituality is embodied in the reality of everyday life. His is a prophetic voice in the face of the oppression that tramples on the poor and the weak. In Evangelii gaudium, para. 183, he writes of how the Church "cannot and must not remain on the side-lines of the struggle for justice". The Kingdom of God begins here on earth and it is already here that we encounter Jesus: the last judgment will focus precisely on what we have done to Christ in the poor, the sick, strangers, prisoners. We will be judged on how we have loved. But, as Saint John Paul II said, there can be no love without justice.


The priests risking their lives
In his Letter to Priests for the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, Pope Francis thanks those priests "who make their lives a work of mercy in regions or situations often inhospitable, distant or abandoned, even at the risk of their own lives". He thanks them "for their courageous and constant example" and invites them not to be discouraged, because "the Lord is purifying His Bride and is converting all of us to Himself"

In the same Letter, Pope Francis addresses the question of abuse. While confirming his closeness to the victims, he expresses his gratitude “to all those priests who faithfully and generously spend their lives in the service of others”.

The priest and weariness
During the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, on Holy Thursday 2015, Pope Francis spoke openly about “the tiredness of priests”, saying it was frequently on his mind. “I think about it and I pray about it often”, he said, “especially when I am tired myself. I pray for you as you labour amid the people of God entrusted to your care, many of you in lonely and dangerous places. Our weariness, dear priests, is like incense which silently rises up to heaven. Our weariness goes straight to the heart of the Father”. The Pope described this weariness as something positive, because it comes from being in the midst of people: "It is the tiredness of the priest with the smell of sheep".

The priest and humour
Pope Francis often reminds priests "the saint is capable of living with joy and a sense of humor”. This joy comes from union with Jesus, he says, adding that he himself prays for a sense of humour every day. In a November 2016 interview with Italy’s TV2000, the Pope described how “a sense of humour lifts you up”. It is something very human, he said, but it is also close to the grace of God.

The Pope's appeal to support priests
Pope Francis asks priests to be always close to the people, but at the same time he asks the faithful to support their priests. During his homily at the Chrism Mass on 28 March 2013, he said: "Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart”.

Full Text Source: VaticanNews.va

What is St. Lucy Day - 10 Things to SHARE about the Historic Traditions of #StLucy

1. On the 13th December St. Lucy is honored. She was a 4th century martyr from Sicily, Italy.
2. In Sweden and Norway the darkness of the day is broken by the Lucia figure dressed in a gown of white and a wreath of candles upon her head. December 13th was the longest night of the year in the Julian calendar.
3. According to tradition a white-clad woman, wearing a crown of burning candles, appeared at Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, bringing food to starving villagers during a time of famine.
4. In Sweden and Norway, a girl is chosen to lead the Church procession with crown of candles. Similarly dressed girls (tärnor) and boys wearing a tall pointed hat carrying a star wand (stjärngossar) and follow her. Together they sing beautiful carols (see below) Once the singing is over, the procession enjoy coffee and saffron-flavored buns called lussekatter.

5. In homes the eldest daughter had the honour to be Lucia. She and her siblings woke up the family with their singing. Then the family gathered together with saffron buns at breakfast.
Saffron Buns Recipe: Ingredients: Servings: 24 Units: | 300 ml milk 1 g saffron 50 g baker's yeast 150 g sugar 125 g butter or 125 g margarine 700 g all-purpose flour 1 egg salt raisins Directions: 1 Melt butter or margarine in a pan and add the milk and the saffron. 2 Warm the mixture to 37 oC (100 oF). 3 Use a thermometer; the correct temperature is important! 4 Pour the mixture over the finely divided yeast; then add the remaining ingredients (except for the egg and the raisins), which should have a temperature of 21-23 oC (72-75 oF). 5 Mix into a smooth dough. 6 Cover the dough with a piece of cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes. 7 Knead the dough, divide it into 25-30 pieces and form each piece into a round bun. 8 Let the buns rest for a few minutes, covered by a piece of cloth. 9 Form each bun into a string, 15-20 cm long, then arrange the string in a suitable shape, e.g. an S or double S. Regardless of the shape, the ends of the string should meet. 10 Press a few raisins into the dough. 11 Cover the"Lucia cats" with a piece of cloth and let them rise for 40 minutes. 12 Whip the egg together with a few grains of salt, and paint the"Lucia cats" with the mixture. 13 Bake them for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 250 oC (475 oF) until golden brownish yellow.


SANKTA LUCIA SONG
It is traditional in Sweden to sing the Sankta Lucia song with the same melody as the well-known Italian song.
Natten går tunga fjät rund gård och stuva; kring jord, som sol förlät,skuggorna ruva. Då i vårt mörka hus, stiger med tända ljus, Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Natten går stor och stum nu hörs dess vingar i alla tysta rum sus som av vingar. Se, på vår tröskel står vitklädd med ljus i hår Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Mörkret ska flyta snart ur jordens dalar så hon ett underbart ord till oss talar. Dagen ska åter ny stiga ur rosig sky
 Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. The night goes with heavy steps around farm and cottage; round the earth the sun has forsaken, the shadows are brooding.There in our darkened house, stands with lighted candles Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The night passes, large and mute now one hears wings in every silent room whispers as if from wings. See, on our threshold stands white-clad with candles in her hair Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The darkness shall soon depart from the earth's valleys then she speaks a wonderful word to us. The day shall be born anew Rising from the rosy sky. Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
In Italy:
6. Santa Lucia is celebrated all over Italy.
7. In Sicily she is remembered for her intervention during a severe famine in 1582. Miraculously, ships filled with grain appeared in the harbor on December 13. The people were so hungry that they boiled the grains immediately.
8. On this day a most popular dish called cuccia which is made with boiled whole wheat berries, ricotta and sugar. In Lombardy and Veneto, goose is eaten on this day.
9. Santa Lucia brings the presents to children, not Father Christmas. She travels on a donkey on the eve of December 13, and children leave bowls of milk and carrots and hay to attract the hungry donkey and make sure Santa Lucia stops at their house.
10. Children sing for this feast: Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Fill my stocking with candies If my mother won't do it My stocking will stay empty But with father's money Saint Lucia will prevail.
SEE Also: 
Novena to St. Lucy - Patron of Blind - SHARE #Prayers to #StLucy
https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2018/12/novena-to-st-lucy-patron-of-blind-share.html
St. Lucy Crown Recipe - Special Sweet Bread - Easy to make #StLucy - SHARE - #Recipe

Pope Francis says to Artists "All these expressions of human creativity can be channels of fraternity and peace between the peoples that make up the human family, and of dialogue between the world’s religions."


GREETING OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE ARTISTS OF THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT IN THE VATICAN
Clementine Hall
Friday, 13 December 2019


Dear Friends,
I offer a cordial greeting to all of you and I am pleased to meet you before the Christmas Concert in which you will take part. I greet Cardinal Versaldi and the officials of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
The time before Christmas calls us to ask ourselves: what is it that I am waiting for in my life? What is the great desire of my heart? You too, with your songs, help awaken or reawaken this healthy human “yearning” in the hearts of many people. Deep down, it is God himself who puts this desire, this “thirst” in our hearts. And he comes to meet us by this route. Certainly not in the vain compulsion to acquire possessions or to keep up appearances. It is not there that God comes; no one will meet on that route. But surely he comes wherever there is hunger and thirst for peace, hunger and thirst for justice, freedom and love.
Once more this year, in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi, I asked everyone to see in the nativity scene a simple and admirable sign of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. “The nativity scene clearly teaches that we cannot let ourselves be fooled by wealth and fleeting promises of happiness… By being born in a manger, God himself launches the only true revolution that can give hope and dignity to the disinherited and the outcast: the revolution of love, the revolution of tenderness. From the manger, Jesus proclaims, in a meek yet powerful way, the need for sharing with the poor as the path to a more human and fraternal world in which no one is excluded or marginalized (Admirabile Signum, 6).
In this act of humility, we find ourselves before a disconcerting mystery. God is unpredictable and constantly acts in unforeseeable ways. By taking us aback in this way, he constantly invites us not to grow proud but to grasp his disarming power in every little gesture of goodwill. This is all the more true for those who – like you – work closely with young people, and have a certain influence on their ways of thinking and acting. Speaking about your role, Saint Paul VI observed that the world “needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the heart of man; it is that precious fruit that resists the wear and tear of time, unites generations and makes them share in wonderment” (Address of Pope Paul VI to Artists, 8 December 1965).
For this reason, all of us are called to build a “global village of education”, weaving a web of human relationships, for these are the best antidote to all forms of discrimination, violence and bullying. In this village, education and art meet through the languages of music and poetry, painting and sculpture, theatre and cinema. All these expressions of human creativity can be channels of fraternity and peace between the peoples that make up the human family, and of dialogue between the world’s religions. In this regard, I express my grateful appreciation to the Salesians and to Scholas Occurrentes for the commitment with which, in this spirit of service, they carry out their projects in the Amazon.
Dear artists, I thank you for all that you do. I wish you the best for your activities and your spiritual growth. May your hearts melt before the mystery of Christmas, so that you can convey some of that same tenderness to those who listen to you. Thank you and best wishes for your concert!
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va

Novena to St. Lucy the Patron of Blind - Special Prayers to #StLucy

Say this prayer for 9 days:
O St Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out instead of denying the faith and defiling your soul; and God, through an extraordinary miracle, replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes to reward your virtue and faith, appointing you as the protector against eye diseases. I come to you for you to protect my eyesight and to heal the illness in my eyes.
 O St Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes so that I may see the beauties of creation, the glow of the sun, the colour of the flowers and the smile of children. Preserve also the eyes of my soul, the faith, through which I can know my God, understand His teachings, recognise His love for me and never miss the road that leads me to where you, St Lucy, can be found in the company of the angels and saints. St Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith. Amen.
 (Say: 1 “Our Father”, 1 “Hail Mary”, 1 “Glory be”each day of 9 days)
 O! Glorious St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, you greatly glorified the Lord by preferring to sacrifice your life rather than be unfaithful. Come to our aid and, through the love of this same most loveable Lord, save us from all infirmities of the eyes and the danger of losing them. Through your powerful intercession, may we spend our life in the peace of the Lord and be able to see Him with our transfigured eyes in the eternal splendour of the Celestial Homeland. Amen. St Lucy, pray for us and for the most needy, to Christ our Lord. Amen.

BREAKING Teenager Violently beaten to Death and Hung on Pole by Protesters in Iraq while Crowd takes Selfies


Horror in Baghdad as protesters beat to death 17-year-old, hang him from a light pole
by Pierre Balanian
The young man complained about protesters burning tires in the street near his home. The crowd stirred up violence against the young man and took selfies. The body was desecrated. Shia religious authorities and the government condemn the incident. Videos posted on Twitter.

 Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Seventeen-year-old Haitham Ali Ismael  was born in a poor neighbourhood near Al Wathba Square. He had hopes for a better life and a decent job to allow him to look after his mother. Instead, Haitham's life ended in a brutal and horrific way.

Yesterday, an enraged mob of protesters broke into Haitham's home, beat his mother in front of him, forcibly dragged him out, beat him up, and set fire to the house. They slit his throat, tied his body to a van and dragged him before hanging him by the feet from a traffic light pole (picture 1). Compounding the horror, people in the street reacted by encouraging the executioners, taking selfies to capture the moment.

This kind of violence closely resembles the criminal practices of the Islamic State group, from which Iraq freed itself two years ago. Some justified the gruesome deed claiming that Haitham was a "Jocker", a sobriquet used in Iraq for members of a "fifth column in the pay of the Americans", people thought to sow disorder in protests, indiscriminately shooting at and killing protesters and police, and sparking new violence.

Sources who spoke to AsiaNews tell a different story. According to Hussein Suker, an eyewitness, protesters had been in front of Haitham’s house for days, creating unease among the women inside, who stopped going out, especially after they were harassed by some protesters.

According to Hussein, most protesters were not locals, but people from other provinces. Yesterday, Haitham asked them not to burn tires in front of their house because it was making it hard for people to breathe, to burn them further away instead.

Baghdad’s Al Wathba Square, where Haitham lived, leads to Ahrar Bridge, near Al Khilani Square and the Sanak Bridge, on the way to the Green Zone.

"He is a Jocker, he is one of the Resistance," some rebels shouted. Haitham’s mother tried to calm the crowd, but was beaten up. Haitham, trying to protect his mother, took a Kalashnikov and fired some shots without killing anyone.

At that point the rioters accused him of being an infiltrator, a jocker, and the horrible crime took place with people proudly taping it with their mobile phones. After the body was taken down from the makeshift gallows, it was mutilated.

Iraq's highest-ranking Shia clerics (marjayya) strongly condemned the inhuman crime. Government authorities called the summary execution "infamous" and ordered police to bring the perpetrators to justice within 48 hours.

For over a month Iraq has been the scene of a broad protest movement against the government and the authorities. Protests have been forcibly suppressed by police, but in the end Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was forced to resign. However, protesters, irrespective of ethnic or religious background, want the fall of the whole political class.

In general, protests are peaceful, but in late November, crowds twice attacked the Iranian consulate in Najaf, with the escalating violence causing the death of 450 people and injuring some 20,000.

Some videos of Haitham’s summary execution – with very violent images – were posted on Twitter: Video one and Video two.
Full Text Source: AsiaNews IT

New Bishop Appointed for Sioux Falls by Pope Francis - Resignation of Bishop Paul Swain and Appointment of Rev. Donald DeGrood


Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Paul Swain and Appoints Rev. Donald DeGrood as Bishop of Sioux Falls

December 12, 2019
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Paul J. Swain from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and has appointed Reverend Donald Edward DeGrood to succeed him. Father DeGrood is a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father DeGrood was born February 14, 1965 in Fairbault, MN, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on May 31, 1997. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, and attended St. Paul Seminary, where he graduated in 1997. In 2009, he participated in the Institute for Continuing Education at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at All Saints Parish in Lakeville (1997-2000); Spiritual Director at Saint John Vianney Seminary (2000-2004); Pastor at Church of St. Peter in Forest Lake (2004-2013); Vicar for Clergy (2013-2017); Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Saint Paul (2013-2015). Since 2017, he has been Pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in Savage.

Bishop-elect DeGrood has also served on the Archdiocesan Incardination Committee, the Ministerial Review Board, the Ministerial Standards Board, the Pastors Review Board, and the Clergy Review Board. He has also been a member of the ad hoc committees related to the Archdiocesan Clergy Support Initiative (mentoring, continuing education, substance abuse and addiction, etc.). He presently serves on the board of the Seminaries of Saint Paul.

The Diocese of Sioux Falls is comprised of 35,091 square miles in the state of South Dakota and has a total population of 570,605 of which 110,386 are Catholic.
FULL TEXT release by USCCB

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, December 13, 2019 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 185
 

Reading 1 IS 48:17-19 
  Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence.

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R.(see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord will come; go out to meet him!
He is the prince of peace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."

St. Lucy Crown Recipe - Special Sweet Bread - Easy to make #StLucy Recipe to Share!

St. Lucy is the patron saint of light. She wore a wreath of candles on her head to free her arms to carry bread to starving Christians hiding in the catacombs. This is a sweet bread called a Lucia Crown. 

Santa Lucia Crown

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, divided use
Powdered Sugar Glaze, optional (recipe follows)
Red candied cherry halves, optional

Directions:
1) Place 1/4 cup warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, warm milk, sugar, butter, salt, saffron, and 1-1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in 2 eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
2) Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 36-inch rope. Braid ropes. Place on a greased baking sheet and knot into a crown shaped circle. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake crown for 25 minutes or until done, covering braid with foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excess browning. Remove braid from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
4) Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze and garnish with candied cherry halves. Insert candles.

Powdered Sugar Glaze: In small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted; 4 to 5 teaspoons milk; and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Saint December 13 : St. Lucy : Patron of Blind; Martyrs; Epidemics; Salesmen, Throat infections

Born:284, Syracuse
Died:304, Syracuse
Major Shrine:San Geremia, Venice
Patron of:blind; martyrs; epidemics; salesmen, throat infections
A virgin and martyr of Syracuse in Sicily, whose feast is celebrated by Latins and Greeks alike on 13 December. According to the traditional story, she was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. Her father was of Roman origin, but his early death left her dependent upon her mother, whose name, Eutychia, seems to indicate that she came of Greek stock.
Like so many of the early martyrs, Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to devote all her worldly goods to the service of the poor. Her mother was not so single-minded, but an occasion offered itself when Lucy could carry out her generous resolutions. The fame of the virgin-martyr Agatha, who had been executed fifty-two years before in the Decian persecution, was attracting numerous visitors to her relics at Catania, not fifty miles from Syracuse, and many miracles had been wrought through her intercession. Eutychia was therefore persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, in the hope of being cured of a hæmorrhage, from which she had been suffering for several years. There she was in fact cured, and Lucy, availing herself of the opportunity, persuaded her mother to allow her to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor.
The largess stirred the greed of the unworthy youth to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed, and he denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Sicily. It was in the year 303, during the fierce persecution of Diocletian. She was first of all condemned to suffer the shame of prostitution; but in the strength of God she stood immovable, so that they could not drag her away to the place of shame. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, and again God saved her. Finally, she met her death by the sword. But before she died she foretold the punishment of Paschasius and the speedy termination of the persecution, adding that Diocletian would reign no more, and Maximian would meet his end. So, strengthened with the Bread of Life, she won her crown of virginity and martyrdom.
This beautiful story cannot unfortunately be accepted without criticism. The details may be only a repetition of similar accounts of a virgin martyr's life and death. Moreover, the prophecy was not realized, if it required that Maximian should die immediately after the termination of his reign. Paschasius, also, is a strange name for a pagan to bear. However, since there is no other evidence by which the story may be tested, it can only be suggested that the facts peculiar to the saint's story deserve special notice. Among these, the place and time of her death can hardly be questioned; for the rest, the most notable are her connexion with St. Agatha and the miraculous cure of Eutychia, and it is to be hoped that these have not been introduced by the pious compiler of the saint's story or a popular instinct to link together two national saints. The story, such as we have given it, is to be traced back to the Acta, and these probably belong to the fifth century. Though they cannot be regarded as accurate, there can be no doubt of the great veneration that was shown to St. Lucy by the early church. She is one of those few female saints whose names occur in the canon of St. Gregory, and there are special prayers and antiphons for her in his "Sacramentary" and "Antiphonary". She is also commemorated in the ancient Roman Martyrology. St. Aldhelm (d. 709) is the first writer who uses her Acts to give a full account of her life and death. This he does in prose in the "Tractatus de Laudibus Virginitatis" (Tract. xliii, P.L., LXXXIX, 142) and again, in verse, in the poem "De Laudibus Virginum" (P.L., LXXXIX, 266). Following him, the Venerable Bede inserts the story in his Martyrology.
With regard to her relics, Sigebert (1030-1112), a monk of Gembloux, in his "sermo de Sancta Lucia", says that he body lay undisturbed in Sicily for 400 years, before Faroald, Duke of Spoleto, captured the island and transferred the saint's body to Corfinium in Italy. Thence it was removed by the Emperor Otho I, 972, to Metz and deposited in the church of St. Vincent. And it was from this shrine that an arm of the saint was taken to the monastery of Luitburg in the Diocese of Spires--an incident celebrated by Sigebert himself in verse.
The subsequent history of the relics is not clear. On their capture of Constantinople in 1204, the French found some of the relics in that city, and the Doge of Venice secured them for the monastery of St. George at Venice. In the year 1513 the Venetians presented to Louis XII of France the head of the saint, which he deposited in the cathedral church of Bourges. Another account, however, states that the head was brought to Bourges from Rome whither it had been transferred during the time when the relics rested in Corfinium.
SEE Also: 
Novena to St. Lucy - Patron of Blind - SHARE #Prayers to #StLucy
https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2018/12/novena-to-st-lucy-patron-of-blind-share.html
St. Lucy Crown Recipe - Special Sweet Bread - Easy to make #StLucy - SHARE - #Recipe

Pope Francis at Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe says "Mary is our Mother, she is Mother of our peoples, she is Mother of all of us, she is Mother of the Church..." Full Text


OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
HOLY MASS FOR LATIN AMERICA

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Today's celebration, the biblical texts we have heard, and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that reminds us of the Nican mopohua, suggest three adjectives for her: lady-woman, mother and mestizo.

Maria is a woman. She is a woman, she is a lady, as Nican mopohua says. Woman with the manor of woman. It is presented as a woman, and is presented with a message from another, that is, it is a woman, lady and disciple. Saint Ignatius liked to call her Our Lady. And it is that simple, does not pretend otherwise: she is a woman, a disciple.

Christian piety throughout the ages always sought to praise it with new titles: they were filial titles, titles of the love of the people of God, but they did not touch that woman-disciple being at all.

St. Bernard told us that when we talk about Mary, praise, praise titles are never enough, but they did not touch that humble discipleship of her at all. Disciple.

Faithful to his Master, who is his Son, the only Redeemer, he never wanted to take anything from his Son. He never introduced himself as co-redeemer. No, disciple.

And some Holy Father says that discipleship is more worthy than motherhood. Matters of theologians, but disciple. He never stole anything from his Son, he served it because he is a mother, he gives his life in the fullness of time, as we hear that Son born of a woman.

Mary is our Mother, she is Mother of our peoples, she is Mother of all of us, she is Mother of the Church, but she is also a figure of the Church. And she is the mother of our heart, of our soul. Some Holy Father says that what is said about Mary can be said, in her own way, of the Church, and in her own way, of our soul. Because the Church is feminine and our soul has that ability to receive grace from God, and in a sense the Fathers saw it as feminine. We cannot think of the Church without this Marian principle that extends.

When we seek the role of women in the Church, we can go by way of functionality, because women have functions to fulfill in the Church. But that leaves us halfway.

The woman in the Church goes further, with that Marian principle, that "maternalizes" the Church, and transforms her into the Holy Mother Church.

Mary woman, Mary mother, without another essential title. The other titles — think of the Litanian latanies — are titles of children in love who sing to the Mother, but do not touch the essentiality of Mary's being: woman and mother.

And third adjective that I would say looking at her, she wanted us mixed race, she mixed up. But not only with Juan Dieguito, with the people. He was mixed to be the Mother of all, he was mixed with humanity. Why? Because she mixed God. And that is the great mystery: Mary Mother mestizo, God, true God and true man, in her Son.

When we come with stories that we had to declare this, or do this other dogma or this, do not get lost in nonsense: Mary is a woman, she is Our Lady, Mary is the Mother of her Son and the Holy Mother hierarchical Church and Mary is mestizo, woman of our peoples, but who mestizo, God.

Let him speak to us as he spoke to Juan Diego from these three titles: with tenderness, with feminine warmth and with the proximity of miscegenation. So be it.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe - Powerful Prayers with Chaplet and Special Prayer written by St. Pope John Paul II

Miraculous Prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe
Beautiful Virgin of Guadalupe, I ask you on behalf of all my brothers and sisters of the world that you bless us and protect us. Give us proof of your love and kindness. Oh pure Virgin of Guadalupe, give me through your Son, forgiveness for my sins, blessings for my job, cure for my diseases and needs, and all that you deem necessary I ask for my family. Oh Mother of God, do not disdain the pleas we present to you in our needs. Amen.

Prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe by Pope John Paul II
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church! You, who from this place reveal your clemency and your piety to all those who ask for your protection; hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of mercy, teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love.
We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities, and our sorrows.
Grant peace, justice, and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother.
We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church: Hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls.
Contemplate this immense harvest, and interced with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole People of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God's mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Fair Love, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, lookk upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, most holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which comes to us from your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe
First DayDearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness
and strength. Hear my humble prayer offered with heartfelt confidence to beg this favor....
(name your intention)Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Second DayO Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent
devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to you under the glorious Aztec title
of Guadalupe. Obtain for me a lively faith to do your Son's holy will always: May His
will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Third DayO Mary, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk
valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Obtain for me the strength to
be a true imitator of you. This I ask you, my dear Mother.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Fourth DayDearest Mother of Guadalupe, I beg you for a fortified will to imitate your divine Son's
charity--to always seek the good of others in need. Grant me this, I humbly ask of you.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Fifth DayO most holy Mother, I beg you to obtain for me pardon of all my sins, abundant graces to
serve your Son more faithfully from now on, and lastly, the grace to praise Him with you
forever in heaven.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Sixth DayMary, Mother of vocations, multiply priestly vocations and fill the earth with religious
houses which will be light and warmth for the world, safety in stormy nights. Beg your
Son to send us many priests and religious. This we ask of you, O Mother.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Seventh DayO Lady of Guadalupe, we beg you that parents live a holy life and educate their children
in a Christian manner; that children obey and follow the directions of their parents; that
all members of the family pray and worship togeter. This we ask of you, O Mother.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Eighth DayWith my heart full of the most sincere veneration, I prostrate myself before you,
O Mother, to ask you to obtain for me the grace to fulfill the duties of my state in life
with faithfulness and constancy.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Ninth DayO God, You have been please to bestow upon us unceasing favors by having placed us
under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant us, Your humble
servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face
to face in heaven.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of Holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my prayer, offered with deep-felt confidence to beg this favor...(mention your intentions here).
O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to thee under the glorious Aztec title of "Guadalupe"--the Virgin who crushed the serpent.
Queen of Martyrs, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Invoke the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to fortify my will to frequent the Sacraments so that, thus enlightened and strengthened, I may prefer God to all creatures and shun every occasion of sin.
Help me, as a living branch of the Vine that is Jesus Christ, to exemplify His divine charity always seeking the good of others. Queen of Apostles, aid me to win souls for the Sacred Heart of my Saviour. Keep my apostolate fearless, dynamic, and articulate, to proclaim the loving solicitude of Our Father in heaven so that the wayward may heed His pleading and obtain pardon, through the merits of your merciful Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chaplet of Our Lady of Guadalupe
On the Crucifix:Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession for our Holy Church, protect the sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most Holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.
1 Our Father, 4 Hail Mary's, 1 Glory Be
First Apparition: Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to Juan Diego the first time. Our Lady requests a temple in her honor.
1 Our Father, then Meditation: Our Lady of Guadalupe, my Queen and my Mother, I thank you for your first apparition to Juan Diego when you revealed that you are the Most Pure Virgin, Mary. Mother of the true God and Mother of all mankind, I thank you for your requesting a temple to be built where you stood, to bear witness to your love, your compassion, your aid, and your protection for all who would love you, trust you, and invoke your help.
3 Hail Mary's, 1 Glory Be
Second Apparition: Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to Juan Diego a second time.
1 Our Father, then Meditation: Our Lady of Guadalupe, my Queen and my Mother, I thank you for your second apparition to Juan Diego when, upon his return from the Bishop's house, he knelt in humiliation and defeat before you since he was unable to accomplish your mission. I thank you for the courage and encouragement you gave to Juan Diego to make a second appeal to the Bishop.
3 Hail Mary's, 1 Glory Be
Third Apparition: Our Lady of Guadalupe promises a sign to Juan Diego for the Bishop.
1 Our Father, then Meditation: Our Lady of Guadalupe, my Queen and my Mother, I thank you for your third apparition to Juan Diego when after this unsuccessful attempt to have a temple built, you said to him, "So be it, son. Return tomorrow in order that you may secure for the Bishop the sign for which he has asked. When this is in your possession, he will believe you; he will no longer doubt your word and suspect your good faith. Be assured that I shall reward you for all that you have undergone."
3 Hail Mary's, 1 Glory Be
Fourth Apparition: Our Lady of Guadalupe fulfills her promise by showing herself on the tilma of Juan Diego.
1 Our Father, then Meditation: Our Lady of Guadalupe, my Queen and my Mother, I thank you for your fourth apparition to Juan Diego when you ordered him to pick the roses he would find on the summit of the hill and bring them to you. I thank you for arranging them in his tilma when you said, "this cluster of roses is the sign you shall take to the Bishop. You are to tell him in my name that in this he will recognize my will and that he must fulfill it. You are my ambassador, wholly worthy of confidence. Only in the presence of the Bishop shall you unfold your mantle and disclose that which you carry." I thank you for your image printed on the tilma which appeared when the roses were released.
3 Hail Mary's, 1 Glory Be
Closing Prayer: Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother, to you I come, before you I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Pope Francis on World Day of Peace "It requires us to set aside every act of violence in thought, word and deed, whether against our neighbours or against God’s creation." Full Text


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE
FRANCIS
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE
53rd WORLD DAY OF PEACE
1 JANUARY 2020

PEACE AS A JOURNEY OF HOPE:
DIALOGUE, RECONCILIATION AND ECOLOGICAL CONVERSION

1. Peace, a journey of hope in the face of obstacles and trial
Peace is a great and precious value, the object of our hope and the aspiration of the entire human family. As a human attitude, our hope for peace is marked by an existential tension that makes it possible for the present, with all its difficulties, to be “lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey”.[1] Hope is thus the virtue that inspires us and keeps us moving forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.
Our human community bears, in its memory and its flesh, the scars of ever more devastating wars and conflicts that affect especially the poor and the vulnerable. Entire nations find it difficult to break free of the chains of exploitation and corruption that fuel hatred and violence. Even today, dignity, physical integrity, freedom, including religious freedom, communal solidarity and hope in the future are denied to great numbers of men and women, young and old. Many are the innocent victims of painful humiliation and exclusion, sorrow and injustice, to say nothing of the trauma born of systematic attacks on their people and their loved ones.
The terrible trials of internal and international conflicts, often aggravated by ruthless acts of violence, have an enduring effect on the body and soul of humanity. Every war is a form of fratricide that destroys the human family’s innate vocation to brotherhood.
War, as we know, often begins with the inability to accept the diversity of others, which then fosters attitudes of aggrandizement and domination born of selfishness and pride, hatred and the desire to caricature, exclude and even destroy the other. War is fueled by a perversion of relationships, by hegemonic ambitions, by abuses of power, by fear of others and by seeing diversity as an obstacle. And these, in turn, are aggravated by the experience of war.
As I observed during my recent Apostolic Journey to Japan, our world is paradoxically marked by “a perverse dichotomy that tries to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, one that ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any form of dialogue. Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation. They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family of today and tomorrow”.[2]
Every threatening situation feeds mistrust and leads people to withdraw into their own safety zone. Mistrust and fear weaken relationships and increase the risk of violence, creating a vicious circle that can never lead to a relationship of peace. Even nuclear deterrence can only produce the illusion of security.
We cannot claim to maintain stability in the world through the fear of annihilation, in a volatile situation, suspended on the brink of a nuclear abyss and enclosed behind walls of indifference. As a result, social and economic decisions are being made that lead to tragic situations where human beings and creation itself are discarded rather than protected and preserved.[3] How, then, do we undertake a journey of peace and mutual respect? How do we break the unhealthy mentality of threats and fear? How do we break the current dynamic of distrust?
We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God and exercised in dialogue and mutual trust. The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this.
2. Peace, a journey of listening based on memory, solidarity and fraternity
The Hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are among those who currently keep alive the flame of collective conscience, bearing witness to succeeding generations to the horror of what happened in August 1945 and the unspeakable sufferings that have continued to the present time. Their testimony awakens and preserves the memory of the victims, so that the conscience of humanity may rise up in the face of every desire for dominance and destruction. “We cannot allow present and future generations to lose the memory of what happened here. It is a memory that ensures and encourages the building of a more fair and fraternal future”.[4]
Like the Hibakusha, many people in today’s world are working to ensure that future generations will preserve the memory of past events, not only in order to prevent the same errors or illusions from recurring, but also to enable memory, as the fruit of experience, to serve as the basis and inspiration for present and future decisions to promote peace.
What is more, memory is the horizon of hope. Many times, in the darkness of wars and conflicts, the remembrance of even a small gesture of solidarity received can lead to courageous and even heroic decisions. It can unleash new energies and kindle new hope in individuals and communities.
Setting out on a journey of peace is a challenge made all the more complex because the interests at stake in relationships between people, communities and nations, are numerous and conflicting. We must first appeal to people’s moral conscience and to personal and political will. Peace emerges from the depths of the human heart and political will must always be renewed, so that new ways can be found to reconcile and unite individuals and communities.
The world does not need empty words but convinced witnesses, peacemakers who are open to a dialogue that rejects exclusion or manipulation. In fact, we cannot truly achieve peace without a convinced dialogue between men and women who seek the truth beyond ideologies and differing opinions. Peace “must be built up continually”;[5] it is a journey made together in constant pursuit of the common good, truthfulness and respect for law. Listening to one another can lead to mutual understanding and esteem, and even to seeing in an enemy the face of a brother or sister.
The peace process thus requires enduring commitment. It is a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honour the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance. In a state based on law, democracy can be an important paradigm of this process, provided it is grounded in justice and a commitment to protect the rights of every person, especially the weak and marginalized, in a constant search for truth.[6] This is a social undertaking, an ongoing work in which each individual makes his or her contribution responsibly, at every level of the local, national and global community.
As Saint Paul VI pointed out, these “two aspirations, to equality and to participation, seek to promote a democratic society… This calls for an education to social life, involving not only the knowledge of each person’s rights, but also its necessary correlative: the recognition of his or her duties with regard to others. The sense and practice of duty are themselves conditioned by the capacity for self-mastery and by the acceptance of responsibility and of the limits placed upon the freedom of individuals or the groups”.[7]
Divisions within a society, the increase of social inequalities and the refusal to employ the means of ensuring integral human development endanger the pursuit of the common good. Yet patient efforts based on the power of the word and of truth can help foster a greater capacity for compassion and creative solidarity.
In our Christian experience, we constantly remember Christ, who gave his life to reconcile us to one another (cf. Rom 5:6-11). The Church shares fully in the search for a just social order; she continues to serve the common good and to nourish the hope for peace by transmitting Christian values and moral teaching, and by her social and educational works.
3. Peace, a journey of reconciliation in fraternal communion
The Bible, especially in the words of the Prophets, reminds individuals and peoples of God’s covenant with humanity, which entails renouncing our desire to dominate others and learning to see one another as persons, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters. We should never encapsulate others in what they may have said or done, but value them for the promise that they embody. Only by choosing the path of respect can we break the spiral of vengeance and set out on the journey of hope.
We are guided by the Gospel passage that tells of the following conversation between Peter and Jesus: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt 18:21-22). This path of reconciliation is a summons to discover in the depths of our heart the power of forgiveness and the capacity to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters. When we learn to live in forgiveness, we grow in our capacity to become men and women of peace.
What is true of peace in a social context is also true in the areas of politics and the economy, since peace permeates every dimension of life in common. There can be no true peace unless we show ourselves capable of developing a more just economic system. As Pope Benedict XVI said ten years ago in his Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, “in order to defeat underdevelopment, action is required not only on improving exchange-based transactions and implanting public welfare structures, but above all on graduallyincreasing openness, in a world context, to forms of economic activity marked by quotas of gratuitousness and communion” (No. 39).
4. Peace, a journey of ecological conversion
“If a mistaken understanding of our own principles has at times led us to justify mistreating nature, to exercise tyranny over creation, to engage in war, injustice and acts of violence, we believers should acknowledge that by so doing we were not faithful to the treasures of wisdom which we have been called to protect and preserve”.[8]
Faced with the consequences of our hostility towards others, our lack of respect for our common home or our abusive exploitation of natural resources – seen only as a source of immediate profit, regardless of local communities, the common good and nature itself – we are in need of an ecological conversion. The recent Synod on the Pan-Amazon Region moves us to make a pressing renewed call for a peaceful relationship between communities and the land, between present and past, between experience and hope.
This journey of reconciliation also calls for listening and contemplation of the world that God has given us as a gift to make our common home. Indeed, natural resources, the many forms of life and the earth itself have been entrusted to us “to till and keep” (Gen 1:15), also for future generations, through the responsible and active participation of everyone. We need to change the way we think and see things, and to become more open to encountering others and accepting the gift of creation, which reflects the beauty and wisdom of its Creator.
All this gives us deeper motivation and a new way to dwell in our common home, to accept our differences, to respect and celebrate the life that we have received and share, and to seek living conditions and models of society that favour the continued flourishing of life and the development of the common good of the entire human family.
The ecological conversion for which we are appealing will lead us to a new way of looking at life, as we consider the generosity of the Creator who has given us the earth and called us to a share it in joy and moderation. This conversion must be understood in an integral way, as a transformation of how we relate to our sisters and brothers, to other living beings, to creation in all its rich variety and to the Creator who is the origin and source of all life. For Christians, it requires that “the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them”.[9]
5. “We obtain all that we hope for”[10]
The journey of reconciliation calls for patience and trust. Peace will not be obtained unless it is hoped for.
In the first place, this means believing in the possibility of peace, believing that others need peace just as much as we do. Here we can find inspiration in the love that God has for each of us: a love that is liberating, limitless, gratuitous and tireless.
Fear is frequently a source of conflict. So it is important to overcome our human fears and acknowledge that we are needy children in the eyes of the One who loves us and awaits us, like the father of the prodigal son (cf. Lk 15:11-24). The culture of fraternal encounter shatters the culture of conflict. It makes of every encounter a possibility and a gift of God’s generous love. It leads us beyond the limits of our narrow horizons and constantly encourages us to a live in a spirit of universal fraternity, as children of the one heavenly Father.
For the followers of Christ, this journey is likewise sustained by the sacrament of Reconciliation, given by the Lord for the remission of sins of the baptized. This sacrament of the Church, which renews individuals and communities, bids us keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, who reconciled “all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20). It requires us to set aside every act of violence in thought, word and deed, whether against our neighbours or against God’s creation.
The grace of God our Father is bestowed as unconditional love. Having received his forgiveness in Christ, we can set out to offer that peace to the men and women of our time. Day by day, the Holy Spirit prompts in us ways of thinking and speaking that can make us artisans of justice and peace.
May the God of peace bless us and come to our aid.
May Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Mother of all the peoples of the earth, accompany and sustain us at every step of our journey of reconciliation.
And may all men and women who come into this world experience a life of peace and develop fully the promise of life and love dwelling in their heart.
From the Vatican, 8 December 2019

Franciscus

 [1] BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi (30 November 2007), 1.
[2] Address on Nuclear Weapons, Nagasaki, Atomic Bomb Hypocenter, 24 November 2019.
[3] Cf. Homily at Lampedusa, 8 July 2013.
[4] Address on Peace, Hiroshima, Peace Memorial, 24 November 2019.
[5] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 78.
[6] Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Italian Christian Workers’ Associations, 27 January 2006.
[7] Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (14 May 1971), 24.
[8] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (24 May 2015).
[9] Ibid., 217.
[10] Cf. SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, Noche obscura, II, 21,8.