Thursday, February 7, 2019

Saint February 8 : St. Josephine Bakhita - Slave to Saint + Litany Prayer to Share!


Happy Childhood (1869-1876)

Bakhita was born in 1869 in Olgossa, in Darfur, a territory to the South-East of Sudan, inhabited by the Dajus, one the major ethnic groups who had settled in that region centuries before. Bakhita's family was prosperous, possessing lands with plantations and cattle. She herself said, "My life was completely happy. I did not know the meaning of sorrow". Bakhita had three brothers and three sisters. In 1874 the elder sister was kidnapped.
Harsh Slavery (1876-1882)
In 1876 two men kidnapped Bakhtia, who was then about seven years of age. After a month's imprisonment she was sold to a slave-trader (the second master). With great courage the girl attempted to escape, but was recaptured by a shepherd (her third master) and sold again to a fierce-looking man (her fourth master) who sold her to a slave-trader (fifth master). One day she was beaten and left unconscious and bleeding on the ground. 
She was then sold to a Turkish general (6th master), whose wife subjected Bakhita to the torture of tattooing. Her torturer spared only her face, because it was very beautiful, while he inflicted 114 cuts with a razor on her stomach and arms.

 The poor little victim felt she was dying, especially when salt was rubbed into her wounds to keep them open. Immersed in a pool of blood, she was carried away on a pallet and left for a month without even a rag to dry the serum that oozed from her wounds.

To Freedom (1882-1885)

In 1882 the Turkish general sold Bakhita in Khartoum to the consular official Callisto Legnani (seventh master), who was very kind to her. Right away he showed his benevolence, dressing her for the first time in a tunic which restored her dignity as a woman. He would have brought her back to her own village if Bakhita had been able to remember its name, but she was too small at the time of her kidnapping to register exact details. When, in 1885, Legnani was preparing to leave Africa for Italy, Bakhita asked for and received permission to go with him. They embarked, together with a friend of the consul, Augusto Michieli. It was to the latter that Legnani gave the young African upon their arrival in Genoa.
In Italy

Mr. Michieli, a rich businessman from Venice, took Bakhita with him to his villa at Zianigo, near Mirano Venetto. Here, for three years, Bakhita was nursemaid to the little daughter, Alice, nicknamed Mimmina. The Michieli were good, honest people, but not church-goers. Mrs. Turina Michieli, who was Orthodox, had forbidden Bakhita to enter a church. However, Providence had placed on Bakhita's path the Michieli's manager, Illuminato Checchini, who played a fundamental part in her journey of faith. "A man with a heart of gold and an enlightened conscience" was how Bakhita described him; he always had a "fatherly love" for her. It was he, in fact, who concerned himself the religious education of the young African. When the Michieli returned in 1886 to Africa, where they had acquired a large hotel at Suakim and took Bakhita with them, the good Illuminato felt remorse, because he had not yet been able to speak to her about God. He was, thus, very happy, the following year, when he saw her return with his wife and the little girl, and inwardly promised to do everything he could for the benefit of that soul. "The missionaries", he said, "go to Africa to convert its inhabitants, shall we do nothing to enlighten this poor girl?" He began by presenting her with a little crucifix, saying to himself: "Jesus, I entrust her to you. Now, you look after her". He was also instrumental in placing Mimmina and Bakhita in the care of the Canossian sisters in Venice when the Michieli had to leave again for Suakim. At this Institute Bakhita was admitted to the catechumen ate. When, after nine months, Mrs Michieli returned for her daughter and the girl whom she regarded as in some way, her slave, in order to take them back again to Africa, she encountered a very firm attitude on the part of the latter. It was on that occasion that Bakhita, who was still a catechumen, displayed singular strength of spirit and great faith. In fact, when confronted with the affection and economic security offered her by the Michieli family, and the hope of rediscovering her family if she returned to Africa, she preferred God's love and abandonment to divine Providence for her future, which in human terms, was very uncertain. Thus she said, with determination: "No, I cannot return to Africa, because I would not be able to profess my faith in the Lord. I love the lady and her little girl very much, but I cannot lose my God. So I am remaining". It was 29 November 1889, as bakhita later recorded in her memoirs. This moment of courageous decision is most significant; it was to set the tone for her entire life.

In this difficult struggle Bakhita had the support of the Patriarch of Venice and the King's Procurator, who, according to Italian law, which forbade slavery, declared her to be a free person.
"If I did not die", Bakhita was to say later, "it was by a miracle of God, who had destined me for better things".
Josephine Bakhita
As preparations were made for the great day - January 9, 1890 - when she was to receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion at the hands of the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Agostini, Bakhita experienced very mixed feelings. On the one hand, she was profoundly aware of her own unworthiness, while on the other, she felt indescribable joy at the thought that she would become a child of God. Realizing God's ineffable love, she was at times intensely moved. She then had moments when she was unable to grasp how she, a poor black girl, a slave, an ignorant person, could be called by the Lord His daughter, she who had nothing to offer Him. She would then run to Mother Fabretti, her catechists, who calmed her, assuring her that in the eyes of God, wealth and wisdom were worth nothing: all that counted was love. "And you love the Lord, don't you?" Bakhita would agree, smiling contentedly, her eyes wet with tears. "Go in peace, then", concluded Mother Fabretti, "and call Him with confidence: "Our Father who art in Heaven...

After she had been baptized, receiving the names of Josephine, Margherita and Fortunata, Bakhita remained at the Institute of the Catechumens, where she soon became aware of the call to a life of special consecration. She did not dare expressed this desire, feeling herself to be unworthy. She feared that she might disfigure the Congregation on account of her black skin. Her confessor reassured her. God does not look at the colour of one's skin, but rather at the innermost depths of one's heart.

Bakhita was accepted, and after three years of Novitiate she made her Vows on Decembe 8, 1896. Cardinal Sarto, the then Patriarch of Venice, examined her and told her: "Pronounce your holy vows without fear. This is what Jesus wants. Jesus loves you. Love Him and serve Him always in this way". He also reassured her about the eternal salvation of her dear ones: "God has infinite ways of making Himself known and when He chooses a person to be His bride, He also thinks of her family".
After she had been baptized, receiving the names of Josephine, Margherita and Fortunata, Bakhita remained at the Institute of the Catechumens, where she soon became aware of the call to a life of special consecration. She did not dare expressed this desire, feeling herself to be unworthy. She feared that she might disfigure the Congregation on account of her black skin. Her confessor reassured her. God does not look at the colour of one's skin, but rather at the innermost depths of one's heart.

Bakhita was accepted, and after three years of Novitiate she made her Vows on Decembe 8, 1896. Cardinal Sarto, the then Patriarch of Venice, examined her and told her: "Pronounce your holy vows without fear. This is what Jesus wants. Jesus loves you. Love Him and serve Him always in this way". He also reassured her about the eternal salvation of her dear ones: "God has infinite ways of making Himself known and when He chooses a person to be His bride, He also thinks of her family".

After her religious profession, which took place in Verona, Mother Bakhita returned to Venice, and later was sent to the house in Schio. Here she spent the best part of 45 years, immediately gaining the sympathy and esteem of all the town's inhabitants, who began to call her affectionately 'Madre Moretta' (Black Mother). Bakhita achieved the ideals set by the Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa, who wished her daughters to be "anchorites and apostles". Whether in church or sacristy, at the door or in the kitchen, she was engrossed in her Lord, and daily bore witness to the Lord's love for all His creatures. During the First World War, with great love, she set about easing the physical suffering and moral anguish of all those around her, in particular, the soldiers looked after in the Institute, which had been turned into a military hospital. During the Second World War people attributed to her presence the fact that Schio was preserved from the bombing. In fact, when the alarm sounded, Bakhita would say, "Don't worry, because the 'Master' knows what He has to do nothing will happen here."

From the moment of her profession, she showed how close she felt to her African brothers and sisters. On that day she uttered the following heartfelt prayer: "O Lord, if I could but fly to my people and preach aloud Your goodness to everyone! Oh, how many souls would I win for you. Among the first would be my mother, my father, my brothers, my sister, still a slave... all, all the poor black people of Africa. Grant, Jesus, that they too may know and love you!" Between 1936 and 1938 Mother Bakhita was at Vimercate, the seat of the Canossian Missionary Novitiate. This was her base for journeys to various Italian cities to promote the missions. She was accompanied by another Sister, who had returned from her mission in China. Everyone wanted to hear first-hand her "wonderful story". Referring to this experience, Mother Bakhita was to say later: "Many will think I enjoyed travelling around, but for me it was real martyrdom". Wherever she went, she left goodness in her wake, even though she herself was not aware of it.

At the height of World War II, on December 8, 1943, Mother Bakhita celebrated the 50th anniversary of her religious life. Not only her own community, but the whole of Schio, celebrated, despite the adverse circumstances of the time. But now, for Bakhita, aches and pains were beginning to make themselves felt, crippling arthritis, asthmatic bronchitis with cough, convulsed her body. This was not to be wondered at, considering the suffering she had undergone in her younger years and the rigours of the northern climate to which she was not accustomed. During her long illness never a complaint passed her lips. When she was asked: "Don't you feel anything, Mother Bakhita?" She replied: "Of course I feel something - I'm alive; it's only the dead who can't feel anything". "And how is it that you never complain?" "Oh, when nature wants something, I say: now be good, we'll see about it. Then I think about Jesus on the cross, and about the Sorrowful Virgin. That way, nature is calmed, and I no longer need anything". What heroic patience! Very soon she had to abandon her walking-stick in favour of a wheelchair, until broncho pneumonia brought her inexorably to the end. Fully conscious, and to the great edification of all, she received the last sacraments. The Virgin Mary came to comfort her at the moment of her death on Saturday, February 8, 1947. "How happy I am... the Madonna, the Madonna! These were her last words as she passed from this earthly life to the full freedom of God's children.
Her Motto

From her childhood, Bakhita learnt to wonder at the beauty of creation. Even as a slave, she found comfort in admiring the sun, the moon, and the stars. She told how, when she had, finally, lost hope of ever seeing her family again, she began to appreciate more the beauties of nature. She wondered who could have been their Maker and ardently desired to know Him so as to be able to thank Him and do Him homage.

She was utterly surprised when she began to grasp the meaning of this truth: through Baptism you will become a child of God. "A child of God - I, a poor black girl!", she would repeat, filled with amazement. Her baptism gave her such great joy that she felt its beneficial effects ever after. "Here, I became a child of God!" she exclaimed with emotion, kneeling at the baptismal font when she had the good fortune to visit the church where she had been baptized. Baptism shaped her human and Christian future completely, and her whole life was overwhelmed with wonder at the goodness of a Father who orders everything for the good of those whom He has chosen. This, then, was the source of Bakhita's constant goodness.

The moment that had a great and decisive impact on her life was when she discovered the infinite love of God, manifested in his Crucified Son. Seeing the image of Jesus on the cross for the first time, Bakhita was greatly impressed, and asked: "What did that man do that was so wrong, for him to be treated in such a way?" "Nothing," was the reply, "He wished to die for us, for love of us, and also for you". "Also for me!" astonished Bakhita repeatedly. Always drawn irresistibly by the love of Jesus who had died on the cross for her, she became a strong woman, firm and unshakeable in her decision to devote herself totally to the service of her new heavenly Master. Consequently, her former resignation to her fate was transformed into free and holy abandonment to the divine will of Him whom she still gladly called "el Paron", "the Master", out of long-standing mental habit, but now no longer as a slave of arbitrary and evil masters by fate, but as a "slave of love" carrying out the orders of the good God, who loves His servants as a Father.

Her life, after death, would also depend on the will of the "Master". For this reason, when she was sick, she replied to those who asked for her prayers: "If the Lord permits, I will look after everyone from Heaven, I will obtain many graces for the salvation of souls."
Inner Face
"In St. Josephine Bakhita we find an outstanding witness to God's fatherly love and a bright sign of the enduring value of the Beatitudes. In our time, when the race for power, money, and pleasure causes distrust, violence and loneliness, the Lord is giving us Sister Bakhita as the Universal Sister, so that she may reveal to us the secret of the truest happiness: the Beatitudes. Hers is a message of heroic goodness, mirroring the goodness of the heavenly Father. She has left us a testimony of evangelical reconciliation and forgiveness, which will surely give comfort to the Christians in her homeland, Sudan, so sorely tried by conflict that has lasted for many years and caused many victims. Their faithfulness and their hope are reason fro pride and thanksgiving on the part of the whole Church. At this time of great tribulations, Sister Bakhita goes before them on the road of imitation of Christ, a deepening of the Christian life and of unshakeable attachment to the Church." (John Paul II - May 17,1992).

Mother Josephine Bakhita's life is marked by unconditional surrender to the will of God. Her motto was "What the Master Wishes". Thus she made her spiritual life very simple, because "doing God's will well" is the essence of perfection.

In all the positions she held as a Canossian - cook, embroiderer, sacristan, portress - Bakhita always showed herself to be a true "Daughter of Charity, Servant of the poor". The virtues that mark her relationship with her neighbours are: Goodness, Meekness, Tenderness. Her black hands caressed the heads of the children who attended the Institute's schools daily. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection of her African songs, was pleasing to the little children, comforting to the poor and the suffering, and encouraging to all who knocked at the door of the Institute.

The value of forgiveness is evident in Bakhita: "If I met those slave traders who kidnapped me and treated me so cruelly, I would kneel to kiss their hands, because if that had not happened, I would not be a Christian and a religious today." One is impressed above all by the excuse she makes for them: "Poor things, maybe they did not know they were hurting me so much: they were the masters, I was their slave. Just as we are used to doing good, so they did that by force of habit, not because they were wicked". As she told her terrible story, she continued to thank the Lord, who, in unimaginable ways, had led her to the faith and made her His bride. There was no hint of resentment in her words: she had forgiven everyone from her heart and prayed for them all.

St. Josephine Bakhita body remains incorrupt.


Litany of St. Josephine Bakhita



Lord, have mercy, 
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy, 
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy, 
Lord, have mercy

Christ hear us, 
Christ, graciously hear us

God, our heavenly Father 
Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world 
Have mercy on us
God, the Holy Spirit 
Have mercy on us

Holy Mary 
Pray for us
St. Joseph 
Pray for us
St. Magdalen of Canossa 
Pray for us
St. Josephine Bakhita 
Pray for us

Flower of Sudan 
Pray for us
Universal Sister 
Pray for us
Model of Hope 
Pray for us
Child slave 
Pray for us
The Fortunate One 
Pray for us
Daughter of God 
Pray for us
Consecrated Virgin 
Pray for us
Bride of Christ 
Pray for us

Bakhita, most innocent 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most forgiving 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most chaste 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most courageous 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most free 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most prayer ful 
Pray for us
Bakhita, most faithful 
Pray for us

Reflection of Charity 
Pray for us
Wonderful Storyteller 
Pray for us
Lover of Children 
Pray for us
Exemplar of Hospitality 
Pray for us
Patient Model of Bead workers 
Pray for us
Diligent Sacristan 
Pray for us
Humble Porter 
Pray for us
Great Cook 
Pray for us
Mother Moretta 
Pray for us
Missionary at heart 
Pray for us
Hope of the sick 
Pray for us
Comfort to soldiers 
Pray for us
Pillar to anxious families 
Pray for us
Protector of Schio 
Pray for us
Powerful Intercessor of those in need 
Pray for us
Patron of the dying 
Pray for us
Tale of Wonder 
Pray for us

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, 
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, 
Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, 
Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Leader: God delivered her from slavery and given her true freedom in Christ
All: And made her his daughter and his bride.
Leader: Let us pray

Heavenly Father, Your Son Jesus Christ, through His suffering and death on the cross, gave Himself as a gift of love for the reconciliation and salvation of all his peoples. He continues to express this love by giving us St. Josephine Bakhita. She too offered herself through her suffering in slavery. We humbly pray that through her intercession, she may obtain for us this favour which we now ask ______________, for the needs of our parish community, for her brothers and sisters in Sudan, and for the whole world the gift of justice and peace. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
SHARED FROM stjosephinebakhita.ca/
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Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for February "Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence." Video


Pope's February prayer intention: Human Trafficking
Pope Francis on Thursday released a video with his prayer intention for February.
In his prayer intention for the month of February 2019, Pope Francis calls us to pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.

The full text of his intention is below:
Although we try to ignore it, slavery is not something from other times.

Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash their hands of it without being, in

some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity.

We cannot ignore the fact that there is as much slavery in the world today as

there was before, or perhaps more.

Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of

enforced prostitution, and of violence.

#BreakingNews Severe Flooding in Australia causes thousands of flooded homes including Bishop of Townsville


The Australian Bishops' conference stated in a release about the severe flooding in Australia:

Townsville Bishop Tim Harris was himself caught in the middle of the flooding disaster, having to self-evacuate on Friday afternoon as a precaution. “Water was coming up at the back and front of the house, so I took the advice of others and moved to higher ground” he said. “Talking to neighbours, who were rescued by boat on Saturday, they have described the area as ‘Armageddon’; it will take a long time to clean up. “I haven’t been back to the house yet, but from what I have seen from aerial footage being shown on television and social media, I feel that I will return to a house that has had water rushing through it,” Bishop Harris said on Monday evening. Bishop Harris said the scale of the flooding is something he has never experienced before. (Source: ACB Conference)
Here is the FULL TEXT Release from Agenzia Fides: 
OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Flood in Townsville, the Bishop: "Do not give up: there is new life after death"
Townsville (Agenzia Fides) - "It is necessary to remember that we may have lost clothes and personal belongings, but we have our lives.
When we can all return to our homes, we can put everything back in its place. It is time to reunite, as men and women of faith, in the awareness that the loss is only temporary and that there is new life after death". This is what was stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides, by the Bishop of Townsville, Mgr. Timothy J. Harris, after the recent flood that brought the city of the Queensland region to its knees: the area was hit by heavy rains for 9 days, which resulted in two deaths, 650 displaced people, thousands of flooded homes and the invasion of crocodiles and snakes in urban streets.
The same seat of the Bishop was also hit: "The water was near my house, so I accepted the advice to evacuate and move to a higher area. It is encouraging, however, to see the joint effort of solidarity: the streets are full of volunteers, emergency personnel, police and army offering assistance in the evacuation phase and supplying sandbags: everyone is here to help others and in moments like this, one sees people's true hearts".
The note states that, according to the Catholic Education Executive Director, Jacqui Francis, most of the Catholic schools in the Townsville area have not suffered particularly serious damage, except for "St. Margaret Mary's College", located in an area particularly affected by the flood.
In recent hours, the Cardinal Secretary of the Vatican State, Pietro Parolin, has sent a message of condolence in the name of Pope Francis, who assured "sincere solidarity and his prayers for all those who have been affected by this disaster". (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 7/2/2019
)

President Trump's Pro-Life message in State of the Union Address receives Praise from Life Advocates

President Donald Trump gave a strong pro-life message during the State of the Union Address .

He lamented that fact that the governors of New York and Virginia for promoted abortion up to birth and infanticide. And he called for Congress to pass a ban on late-term abortions on babies who are capable of feeling pain.
Here are the Pro-Life excerpts from President Donald Trump's Address: 

I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave -- so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child. There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.
And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children -- born and unborn -- are made in the holy image of God.
...... We must keep freedom alive in our souls. 
And we must always keep faith in America's destiny -- that one Nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world! Thank you. God Bless You, God Bless America, and good night!
****
Many pro-life leaders responded positively to President Trump's remarks saying:

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life:

We greatly appreciate the leadership President Trump has shown in advancing the cause for life during his time in office. Tonight, he used his State of the Union address to highlight the extremism of the pro-abortion agenda most recently and fully on display in New York and Virginia, and stressed the need for legislation like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. President Trump has once again demonstrated the paramount importance of protecting mothers and their unborn children.

Susan B. Anthony List praised President Trump’s remarks:

“Once again President Trump has proved he is our nation’s most pro-life president ever and he is keeping his promise to the voters who fueled his victory,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The contrast between President Trump’s vision for the future and that of the Democratic Party, now dominated by abortion extremists, is stark. Senate Democrats had the chance yesterday to prove they are not the party of infanticide, and instead they doubled down on a radical agenda of abortion on demand through birth and even beyond. That position that is simply irreconcilable with the values of the American people. We ask Congress to heed President Trump’s request, and to send the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to his desk without delay. This popular, compassionate legislation would protect unborn babies after five months – more than halfway through pregnancy, and a point at least by which these children can feel the pain of abortion.”

“The greatness of our nation is defined by the way we treat the most innocent and vulnerable among us, and the time for choosing is more pivotal than ever. All decent Americans must stand up, speak out, and defeat abortion extremism at the ballot box in 2020.”

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins:

“Never before has the contrast between the two parties been more clear, as there seems to be no line that the Democratic Party will draw when it comes to protecting either life in the womb or the health of women in abortion facilities. And as we saw with Pelosi’s guest, Planned Parenthood has friends in government as it draws in more than half-a-billion in taxpayer dollars.

“President Trump’s comments in support of life are an important call to action for all of us. I applaud him for using the bully pulpit to celebrate life.”
(Quotes from Pro-Life leaders from Life News com)

Pope Francis “Conversion is the first step of healing in the sense that it opens the heart so that the Word of God may enter” Homily + Video

Pope at Mass: 'humility and meekness open hearts'
Pope Francis’s homily at morning Mass on Thursday focused on the conversion and healing we are all in need of.
By Linda Bordoni

Urging believers never to feel superior, Pope Francis said that in order to make a breach in people’s hearts and invite them to conversion, we must be meek and humble, following in the footsteps of Christ.

He was speaking during the homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the Gospel reading of the day.

It tells, he said, of how Jesus sends his disciples into the world to bring healing, just as He Himself came into the world to heal, the Pope noted, “to heal the root of sin in us”, “the original sin”.

Healing, the Pope said, is a bit like “creating from anew”:

“Jesus recreated us from the root and then allowed us to move forward with his teaching, with his doctrine, a doctrine that heals” he said.

But, the first requisite is that there be conversion.

“Conversion is the first step of healing in the sense that it opens the heart so that the Word of God may enter” he said.

The Pope compared it to seeking to be cured from a medical doctor saying that “if someone is sick and refuses to go to the doctor he will not be healed”.

He also noted that, as Christians, we may do many good things, but if our hearts our closed, it’s only a fa├žade.

The shepherd must not seek the milk or the wool of the sheep
Pope Francis then went on to say that in order “to proclaim so that people may convert, one requires authority” that comes from being like Jesus.

In the Gospel, he said,  Jesus instructs the Apostles to “to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick - no food, no sack, no money in their belts”. In essence, he noted: poverty.

The apostle must be a pastor, he said,  “who does not seek sheep's milk, who does not seek sheep's wool" referring to the concept  as expressed by Saint Augustine explained that “the shepherd who seeks milk seeks money, and the shepherd who seeks wool likes to dress with vanity”. 

Inviting Christians to follow a path of “poverty, humility, meekness” he noted that Jesus told the Apostles “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet”, but do so with meekness and humility.

 “If an apostle, an envoy, one of us goes, with his nose in the air, believing himself superior to the others or because of self-interest looking for some human interest (…) he will never heal anyone, he will never succeed in opening anyone's heart, because his word will have no authority” he said.

Authority comes from being interested in people
After having exhorted to conversion, the “Twelve drove out many demons” and they could do so because they had the authority, the Pope said, to say “This is a demon! This is a sin.”

This authority, he said, is not the authority of someone who speaks down to people, but of someone who is interested in people.

“Demons flee before humility, before the power of Christ’s name with which the apostle carries out his mission” the Pope said, because demons “cannot bear that sins be healed”.

We can all bring healing with a good word and patience
Then, the Pope said, the Apostles also “anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” The anointing, he explained, “is the caress of God,” so all apostles must learn “this wisdom of God’s caresses”.

He pointing out that all Christians can bring healing, not only priests and bishops: “each of us has the power to heal his brother or sister.”

Pope Francis concluded saying “We all need to be healed, and we can all heal others if we are humble and meek: with a good word, with patience, with a glance”.
FULL TEXT Share from Vatican News va

#BreakingNews US Bishops' Pro-Life Head Urges Senate to Pass Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection - FULL TEXT



Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Urges Senate Vote and Passage of Born -Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

February 5, 2019
WASHINGTON–Last night, the Senate failed to adopt by unanimous consent the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act—legislation that would ensure that a child born alive following an abortion would receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement in response:

“Last night, the United States Senate had an opportunity to unanimously declare to the nation that infanticide is objectively wrong. That they failed to do so is unconscionable. No newborn should be left to suffer or die without medical care. It is barbaric and merciless to leave these vulnerable infants without any care or rights. Congress must take up and pass this bill and ensure that the legacy of Roe v. Wade does not extend itself from killing unborn children to killing newborn babies.”

The Archbishop also sent a letter to the U.S. Senate today urging the body to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor for a vote and to pass it this week. In his letter, Archbishop Naumann asked the Senate to support the “common-sense legislation” that would protect infants who survived abortion attempts.

Pope Francis "It takes prayer every day for the Lord to give you good sense" FULL TEXT to Prison Guards + Video

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

TO THE STAFF OF THE "REGINA COELI" CIRCONDARY HOUSE IN ROME

Paul VI Hall
Thursday, 7 February 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to meet you and cordially greet you, starting with the chaplain, Father Vittorio Trani and the Director Dr. Silvana Sergi, whom I thank for their words. You represent the working community that serves the inmates of the Roman prison of "Regina Coeli": custodians, administrative staff, doctors, educators, chaplains and volunteers, accompanied by your family members. I express to each one my and the Church's gratitude for your work alongside the inmates: it requires inner strength, perseverance and awareness of the specific mission to which you are called. It's another thing. It takes prayer every day for the Lord to give you good sense: common sense in the different situations in which you find yourself.

Prison is a place of punishment in the double sense of punishment and suffering, and needs much attention and humanity. It is a place where everyone, the Penitentiary Police, Chaplains, educators and volunteers, are called to the difficult task of healing the wounds of those who, because of mistakes made, find themselves deprived of their personal freedom. It is well known that a good collaboration between the different services in the prison plays a great support for the rehabilitation of prisoners. However, due to the lack of personnel and chronic overcrowding, the laborious and delicate work risks being partly frustrated.

The work stress caused by pressing shifts and often the distance from families are factors that weigh down a job that already involves a certain psychological effort. Therefore, professional figures like yours need personal balance and valid motivations constantly renewed; in fact you are called not only to guarantee the custody, order and security of the institution, but also very often to bind the wounds of men and women whom you encounter daily in their departments.

No one can condemn the other for the errors he has committed, nor to inflict suffering on offending human dignity. Prisons need to be more and more humanized, and it is painful to feel that many times they are considered as places of violence and illegality, where human evilness rages. At the same time, we must not forget that many prisoners are poor people, they have no references, they do not have security, they have no family, they do not have the means to defend their rights, they are marginalized and abandoned to their destiny. For society, inmates are uncomfortable individuals, they are a waste, a burden. This is painful, but the collective unconscious takes us there.

But experience shows that prison, with the help of prison workers, can truly become a place of redemption, resurrection and change of life; and all this is possible through paths of faith, work and professional formation, but above all of spiritual closeness and compassion, following the example of the good Samaritan, who has stooped to look after his wounded brother. This attitude of proximity, which finds its root in the love of Christ, can favor in many prisoners the trust, the awareness and the certainty of being loved.

Moreover, the punishment, every penalty, can not be closed, must always have "the open window" for the hope, both from prison and from every person. Everyone must always have the hope of partial reintegration. Let's think of the life sentences, too: "With my job in prison ...". Giving, doing jobs ... Always the hope of reintegration. A hopeless punishment does not serve, does not help, provokes feelings of rancor in the heart, so many times of revenge, and the person comes out worse than he entered. No. We must always ensure that there is hope and help to always see beyond the window, hoping for reintegration. I know you work hard, looking at this future to reintegrate everyone who is in jail.

I encourage you to carry out your important work with feelings of harmony and unity. All together, Direction, Penitentiary Police, Chaplains, educational area, volunteering and the external community are called to march in one direction, to help rise again and grow in hope, those who unfortunately have fallen into the trap of evil.
For my part, I accompany you with my affection, which is sincere. I have so much closeness with prisoners and people working in prisons. My affection and my prayer, so that you can contribute, with your work, to making prison, a place of pain and suffering, also a laboratory of humanity and hope. In the other diocese [Buenos Aires] I often went to prison; and now every fortnight, on Sundays, I make a phone call to a group of prisoners in a prison I frequently visit. I'm close. And I always had a feeling when I entered the prison: "why not them and me?". This thought has done me so much good. Why them and not me? I could have been there, but no, the Lord has given me a grace that my sins and my failings have been forgiven and unseen, I do not know. But that question helps a lot: why not them and me?

I warmly bless all of you and your loved ones; and I ask you to please pray for me, that I need it. Thank you!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. February 7, 2019 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 326

Reading 1HEB 12:18-19, 21-24

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said,
"I am terrified and trembling."
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently
than that of Abel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 48:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 9, 10-11

R. (see 10)  O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Mount Zion, "the recesses of the North,"
the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God;
God makes it firm forever.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.

AlleluiaMK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
"Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them."
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.