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Saturday, February 9, 2019
480, Nursia, ItalyDied:
convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain
BENEDICTINE ABBESS AND FOUNDER, VIRGIN
“St. Gregory tells us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, and it seems clear that St. Scholastica must have been their abbess, under his direction. She used to visit her brother once a year and, since she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he used to go with some of his monks to meet her at a house a little way off. They spent these visits praising God and in conversing together on spiritual matters.
“St. Gregory gives a remarkable description of the last of these visits. After they had passed the day as usual they sat down in the evening to have supper. When it was finished, Scholastica, possibly foreseeing that it would be their last interview in this world, begged her brother to delay his return till the next day that they might spend the time discoursing of the joys of Heaven. Benedict, who was unwilling to transgress his rule, told her that he could not pass a night away from his monastery. When Scholastica found that she could not move him, she laid her head upon her hands which were clasped together on the table and besought God to interpose on her behalf.
“Her prayer was scarcely ended when there arose such a violent storm of rain with thunder and lightning that St. Benedict and his companions were unable to set foot outside the door. He exclaimed, ‘God forgive you, sister; what have you done?’ Whereupon she answered, ‘I asked a favour of you and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it.’
“Benedict was therefore forced to comply with her request, and they spent the night talking about holy things and about the felicity of the blessed to which they both ardently aspired and which she was soon to enjoy.
“The next morning they parted, and three days later St. Scholastica died. St. Benedict was at the time alone in his cell absorbed in prayer when, lifting up his eyes, he saw his sister’s soul ascending to Heaven as a dove. Filled with joy at her happiness, he thanked God and announced her death to his brethren. He then sent some of the monks to fetch her body which he placed in a tomb which he had prepared for himself.”
Edited from Butler's Lives of the Saints
Pope Francis to Academics ".. frankly witnessing to the Christ "Way, truth and life" Full Text + Video
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
OF THE ALPHONSIAN ACADEMY-SUPERIOR INSTITUTE OF THEOLOGY
Saturday, 9 February 2019
Father Moderator General,
Dear brothers and sisters,
I meet you on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Alphonsian Academy. I thank the Moderator General for his words and I extend a cordial greeting to all of you. This recurrence of your university institution is a moment of gratitude to the Lord for the service of research and theological formation that it has been able to accomplish. The specific theological field of the Alphonsian Academy is that of moral knowledge, which is responsible for the difficult but indispensable task of bringing and accepting Christ in the concreteness of daily life, as the One who, freeing ourselves from sin, sadness, inner emptiness, from isolation, it gives birth and re-birth in us joy (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 1).
In these seventy years, the Alphonsian Academy has committed itself, as your Statutes recall, to deepen the moral theology sub lumine Mysterii Christi trying to respond to the evolution of society and cultures, in constant respect for the Magisterium (see No. 1) ). And he did so by drawing inspiration from his heavenly Patron, Saint Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori.
The celebration of the anniversary of an institution like yours can not be limited to the memory of what has been done, but it must above all push forward to look forward, to find enthusiasm in the mission, to design courageous steps to better respond to the expectations of the people of God And it is providential that your seventieth comes in the period when all the academic structures of the Church are called to a more resolute commitment to redesign and renewal. This is what I have called to do with the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium on the Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties. Enhancing the «rich patrimony of in-depth studies and addresses», originated by Vatican II and implemented with the «persevering commitment of cultural and social mediation of the Gospel put into action by the People of God in the different continental spheres and in dialogue with different cultures», it is necessary to open oneself to «that wise and courageous renewal that is required by the missionary transformation of an" outgoing "Church» (see No. 3).
It is not just a revision of the statutes and study plans, but a renewal of the entire academic life, also favored by the possibilities that IT development offers today to research and teaching. For this purpose it is essential to assume as a "priority and permanent" criterion [...] that of contemplation and spiritual, intellectual and existential introduction into the heart of the kerygma, and that is to say of the ever new and fascinating joyful news of the Gospel of Jesus ". It will then be possible to implement a "wide-ranging dialogue: not as a mere tactical attitude, but as an intrinsic requirement to make a community experience of the joy of Truth and to deepen its meaning and practical implications". And the care for "the inter- and trans-disciplinarity exercised with wisdom and creativity in the light of Revelation" will be accompanied by the recognition of the "urgent need to" make a network "», not only among the ecclesial institutions of the whole world, but also "with the academic institutions of the different countries and with those that are inspired by the different cultural and religious traditions", taking care of the "epochal problems that affect humanity today, coming to propose appropriate and realistic paths of resolution" ( see No. 4).
These are instances to which I am sure that the Alphonsian Academy is already sensitive and will be able to respond promptly and confidently, as in the second half of the last century it managed to implement the renewal of the moral theology desired by the Second Vatican Council.
Fidelity to the Alphonsian roots of your Institute is now asking you for an even more convinced and generous commitment to a moral theology animated by the missionary tension of the Church "outgoing". Like St. Alphonsus, we must always avoid letting ourselves be imprisoned in school positions or in judgments formulated "far from the concrete situation and the real possibilities" of people and families. Likewise, it is necessary to guard against an "excessive idealization" of the Christian life which is not capable of awakening "trust in grace" (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Apostolic Apostolate, Amoris Laetitia, 36). Instead, listening to respectful of reality and trying to discern the signs of the presence of the Spirit, which generates liberation and new possibilities, we can help everyone to walk with joy in the path of goodness.
The reality to listen to is above all the sufferings and the hopes of those who the thousand forms of the power of sin continue to condemn insecurity, poverty and marginalization. St. Alphonsus soon realized that it was not a world from which to defend himself and even less to condemn, but to heal and free, in imitation of Christ's action: to incarnate and share needs, to reawaken the deepest expectations of the heart, to make sure that everyone, however fragile and sinful, is in the heart of the Heavenly Father and is loved by Christ to the cross. Who is touched by this love, feels the urgency to respond loving.
All the words of moral theology must allow themselves to be shaped by this merciful logic, which allows them to be effectively met as words of life in fullness. They are in fact an echo of those of the Master who tells his disciples not to have come "to condemn the world, but to save the world" (Jn 12, 47), and that his Father's will is that "they have life and they have in abundance "(Jn 10,10) and participate in the fullness of his joy (cf. Jn 17,13). "Although it is true that the integrity of the moral teaching of the Church must be treated, special attention must always be given to highlighting and encouraging the highest and most central values of the Gospel, especially the primacy of charity as a response to the free initiative of the Church. 'love of God' (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Apostolic Posts, Amoris Laetitia, 311).
With the apostle Paul, moral theology is called to make everyone experience that "the law of the Spirit, which gives life in Christ Jesus", frees "from the law of sin and death", so we can not "fall back into fear. »Having received« the Spirit who makes adoptive sons, through whom we cry: "Abba! Father! "» (Cf. Rom 8:15). And the same Spirit makes sure that this freedom can never be indifference towards those in need, but "the heart of the neighbor" who lets himself be questioned and is ready to take care of him lovingly.
In recent years moral theology has pledged to welcome the strong warning of Vatican Council II to "overcome individualistic ethics" and to promote awareness that "the more the world is united, the more openly the obligations of men outweigh the groups particular and extend little by little to the whole world "(Cost. past. Gaudium et spes, 30). The steps taken must prompt us to face the new and serious challenges arising from the rapidity with which our society evolves with greater speed. I limit myself to remember those due to the growing domination of the logic of "competitiveness and the law of the strongest" which "considers the human being in itself as a consumer good, which can be used and then thrown" giving "beginning of culture" of the "waste" »(cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 53).
The same must be said for the cry of the earth, raped and wounded in a thousand ways by selfish exploitation. The ecological dimension is an essential component of the responsibility of every person and every nation. It makes me reflect the fact that when I administer Reconciliation - even before, when I did it - someone rarely accuses himself of having violated nature, the earth, and creation. We are not yet aware of this sin. It is your job to do it. Moral theology must make its own the urgent need to participate firmly in a common effort to care for the common home through feasible ways of integral development.
A dialogue and a shared commitment moral research is called to fulfill also with regard to the new possibilities that the development of the biomedical sciences makes available to humanity. However, the frank testimony of the unconditional value of every life must never fail, reaffirming that the weakest and most defenseless life is the one we are called to take on in solidarity and trust.
I am sure that the Alphonsian Academy will continue to work for a moral theology that does not hesitate to "get its hands dirty" with the concreteness of the problems, especially with the fragility and suffering of those who see their future threatened, frankly witnessing to the Christ "Way, truth and life" (Jn 14: 6).
Dear brothers and sisters, as I thank you for this visit, I encourage you to continue your ecclesial service, in constant adherence to the Magisterium of the Church, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all. Please remember to pray for me! Thank you.
Timely Ministry Resources for Black Catholics
Radical Islamists attack Northern Nigeria, Killing 60 people and burning homes.
At least 60 people were killed by Islamic terrorists in northern Nigeria last week.
Amnesty International says the terrorists attacked the northeastern Nigeria border town of Rann, The town was almost destroyed, and left in flames.
The attackers, believed to be from the Boko Haram terrorist group, drove motorcycles through the town near the Cameroon border, killing people and setting their houses on fire.
Amnesty tweeted satellite imagery of the town which shows hundreds of burned structures. The group reports tens of thousands of people have fled the area near the border with Chad in recent weeks due to an extremist "resurgence" there.
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) February 1, 2019
Boko Haram in Nigeria includes a powerful Islamic State offshoot which has been escalating the violence over the past year, according to the US-backed Africa Center for Strategic Studies.
"We have now confirmed that this week's attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed," said Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
"Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities failure to protect people all the more unacceptable," Ojigho said.
After several attacks in January, nearly 40,000 people fled into Cameroon, hoping to find safety.
"Many people were in a state of shock and were clearly distressed by what they had witnessed. Now they have lost all that they have," said Hugues Robert, the Nigeria program director for Doctors Without Borders.
This latest attack came just two weeks before President Muhammadu Buhari tries for re-election.
Edited from CBN news
Pope Francis tells Judges "In fact, mercy always has the best in judgment" quoting the Bible - FULL Text + Video
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MAGISTRATED NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Hall of the Consistory
Saturday, 9 February 2019
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I extend a cordial greeting to you, to your President, whom I thank for his words, to the Central Steering Committee and to the entire National Magistrates Association. It takes one hundred and ten years: an occasion that becomes an occasion for recognition and budget, a moment in which you can confirm your intentions and recalibrate your goals, in the light of the changed context.
For over a century, through initiatives of a cultural, welfare and social security, the National Magistrates Association supervises the proper functioning of the delicate and precious function of the magistrate. At the same time it fulfills an important task of monitoring democratic rules and promoting constitutional values, at the service of the common good. By promoting these values, through internal debate and press releases, national congresses, the magazine and dialogue with the institutions, you make a significant contribution to the most relevant issues concerning the administration of justice. The membership of your Association of about 90% of Italian magistrates makes you privileged interlocutors, in particular for the legislative bodies of the State, because it allows you to draw on a wide range of professional experiences, giving you a direct knowledge of the life of citizens and of its critical points.
We live in a context crossed by tensions and lacerations, which risk weakening the very estate of the social fabric and weaken the civic consciousness of many, with a withdrawal into the private that often generates disinterest and becomes a breeding ground for illegality. The claim of a multiplicity of rights, up to those of third and fourth generation connected to new technologies, is often accompanied by a poor perception of their duties and a widespread insensitivity to the primary rights of many, even multitudes of people. For these reasons, it should be reaffirmed with constancy and determination, in attitudes and practices, the primary value of justice, indispensable for the proper functioning of every area of public life and for everyone to lead a serene life.
The philosophical tradition presents justice as a cardinal virtue, and the cardinal virtue par excellence, because the others also contribute to its realization: prudence, which helps to apply the general principles of justice to specific situations; fortress and temperance, which perfects its attainment. Justice is therefore a virtue, that is, an internal dress of the subject: not an occasional dress or to be worn for parties, but a dress that must always be worn, because it covers and envelops you, influencing not only concrete choices, but also intentions and intentions. And it is cardinal virtue, because it indicates the right direction and, like a pivotal point of reference, it is a point of support and junction. Without justice, all social life remains jammed, like a door that can no longer open up, or ends up grinding and creaking in a muddled movement.
Therefore, all the positive energies present in the social body must contribute to the attainment of justice, because it, in charge of making each one his own, is the main requirement for achieving peace. To you, magistrates, justice is entrusted in a very special way, because not only do you practice it with alacrity, but you also promote it without tiring; it is not in fact an order already realized to be preserved, but a goal towards which to strive every day.
I am aware of the many difficulties you encounter in your daily service, hampered in its effectiveness by the lack of resources for the maintenance of the structures and for the recruitment of personnel, and by the increasing complexity of legal situations. Every day you must then deal with the overabundance of laws, which can cause overlap or conflict between different laws, old and new, national and supranational; and, on the other, with legislative gaps in some important issues, including those relating to the beginning and the end of life, to family law and the complex reality of immigrants. These critical issues require the magistrate to assume responsibility that goes beyond his normal duties, and demands that he establishes the events and pronounces themselves on them with even greater accuracy.
In a time in which so often the truth is counterfeited, and we are almost overwhelmed by a whirlwind of fleeting information, it is necessary that you be the first to affirm the superiority of reality on the idea (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 233); in fact, "reality is simply, [while] the idea is elaborated" (ibid., 231). Your commitment to ascertaining the reality of the facts, even if made more difficult by the amount of work entrusted to you, is therefore always punctual, accurately reported, based on an in-depth study and on a continuous updating effort. It will be able to make use of the dialogue with the various extra-juridical knowledge, to better understand the changes taking place in society and in people's lives, and be able to implement with skill, where necessary, an evolutionary interpretation of the laws, on the basis of fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution.
In a social context in which more and more is perceived as normal, without any scandal, the search for individual interest even at the expense of the collective, you are called to offer a sign of disinterested dedication that your Statute recalls from its first article , and made possible by the important prerogative of independence, which has always been guarded as a National Association. External independence, which leads to firm affirmation of its non-political character (cf. Statute, article 2), keeps away favoritism and currents from you, which pollute choices, relations and appointments; and internal independence (cf. Statute, article 1), instead, frees you from seeking personal advantages, capable of rejecting "pressure, signaling or direct solicitation to unduly influence the timing and methods of administration of justice" (Statute, art. . 2).
Precisely the times and the ways in which justice is administered touch the living flesh of people, especially those most in need, and leave signs of relief and consolation in it, or wounds of forgetfulness and discrimination. Therefore, in your precious task of discernment and judgment, always try to respect the dignity of every person, "without discrimination and prejudices of sex, culture, ideology, race, religion" (Statute, Article 9). Your gaze on those you are called to judge is always a look of goodness. "In fact, mercy always has the best in judgment" (Letter of James 2:13), teaches us the Bible, reminding us that a careful look at the person and his needs is able to grasp the truth in an even more authentic way. The justice that you administer becomes increasingly "inclusive", attentive to the last and to their integration: in fact, having to give everyone what is due to him, he can not forget the extreme weakness that affects the lives of many and influences their choices.
The high moral concern, expressed with clarity from your Code of Ethics, always animate your action, because you are more than officials, but models in front of all citizens and especially towards younger people. For this I congratulate you because you remember the magistrates who suffered and lost their lives in the faithful performance of their duties. To each of them I also address a particular and grateful memory today.
The Lord blesses all of you, your work and your families. Thank you.
A holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians previous to the persecution of Decius (end of 248, or beginning of 249). During the festivities commemorative of the first millenary of the Roman Empire, the agitation of the heathen populace rose to a great height, and when one of their poets prophesied a calamity, they committed bloody outrages on the Christians whom the authorities made no effort to protect. The great Dionysius, then Bishop of Alexandria (247-265), relates the sufferings of his people in a letter addressed to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, long extracts from which Eusebius has preserved for us (Church History I.6.41). After describing how a Christian man and woman, named respectively Metras and Quinta, were seized by the seditious mob and put to death with the most cruel tortures, and how the houses of several other Christians were completely pillaged, Dionysius continues: "At that time Apollonia the parthénos presbûtis (virgo presbytera, by which he very probably means not a virgin advanced in years, but a deaconess) was held in high esteem. These men seized her also and by repeated blows broke all her teeth. They then erected outside the city gates a pile of fagots and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat after them impious words (either a blasphemy against Christ, or an invocation of the heathen gods). Given, at her own request, a little freedom, she sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death." Apollonia belongs, therefore, to that class of early Christian martyrs who did not await the death they were threatened with, but either to preserve their chastity, or because confronted with the alternative of renouncing their faith or suffering death, voluntarily embraced the latter in the form prepared for them. In the honour paid to her martyrs the Church made no distinction between these women and others. St. Augustine touches on this question in the first book of the "City of God", apropos of suicide (City of God I.26); "But, they say, during the time of persecution certain holy women plunged into the water with the intention of being swept away by the waves and drowned, and thus preserve their threatened chastity. Although they quitted life in this wise, nevertheless they receive high honour as martyrs in the Catholic Church and their feasts are observed with great ceremony. This is a matter on which I dare not pass judgment lightly. For I know not but that the Church was divinely authorized through trustworthy revelations to honour thus the memory of these Christians. It may be that such is the case. May it not be, too, that these acted in such a manner, not through human caprice but on the command of God, not erroneously but through obedience, as we must believe in the case of Samson? When, however, God gives a command and makes it clearly known, who would account obedience thereto a crime or condemn such pious devotion and ready service?" The narrative of Dionysius does not suggest the slightest reproach as to this act of St. Apollonia; in his eyes she was as much a martyr as the others, and as such she was revered in the Alexandrian Church. In time, her feast was also popular in the West. A later legend assigned a similar martyrdom to Apollonia, a Christian virgin of Rome in the reign of Julian the Apostate. There was, however, but one martyr of this name, i.e. the Saint of Alexandria. The Roman Church celebrates her memory on 9 February, and she is popularly invoked against the toothache because of the torments she had to endure. She is represented in art with pincers in which a tooth is held. There was a church dedicated to her at Rome but it no longer exists. The little square, however, in which it stood is still called "Piazza Sant' Apollonia".
Catholic Encyclopedia Entry - Image Share GOOGLE Images
Catholic Encyclopedia Entry - Image Share GOOGLE Images
Prayer for Toothache to Saint Apollonia
O Glorious Apollonia, patron saint of dentistry and refuge to all those suffering from diseases of the teeth, I consecrate myself to thee, beseeching thee to number me among thy clients. Assist me by your intercession with God in my daily work and intercede with Him to obtain for me a happy death. Pray that my heart like thine may be inflamed with the love of Jesus and Mary, through Christ our Lord. Amen. O My God, bring me safe through temptation and strengthen me as thou didst our own patron Apollonia, through Christ our Lord. Amen
St. Apollonia, please Pray for those suffering from dental diseases or toothaches. Amen