Sunday, February 17, 2019

Saint February 18 : St. Fra Angelico : Dominican : Patron of Artists

Feast Day: February 18 Beatified: October 3, 1982
Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395 – February 18, 1455) was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects as having "a rare and perfect talent". He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Brother John of Fiesole) and Fra Giovanni Angelico (Angelic Brother John). In modern Italian he is called il Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One); the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".  He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—
Growing up in a small town in Italy, Guido di Pietro was interested in two things. He wanted to follow Christ’s example in all things and he wanted to develop his talent for painting. God showed him how these two things were his vocation. Our vocation is God’s call to share in Jesus’ life and work. Guido was born in 1387, and when he was 18, he joined the Dominican order as a religious brother. Brothers are not priests. Religious brothers serve their community through prayer and work. It Italy, religious brothers are called “Fra.” Religious brothers are often given a new name. Guido’s religious name was “Fra Giovanni” or Brother John. His work in his community was painting beautiful religious art, initially for manuscripts, which at the time were each copied by hand. The moment the members of his religious community saw his beautiful paintings, they said that he “painted like an angel.” That is how he became known as “Fra Angelico.” Every day before he began to paint, Fra Angelico prayed that God would guide his hand and help him to create a painting that would inspire people to grow closer to God. Fra Angelico became very famous. He painted holy figures and angels and was even called to Rome to paint portraits of the saints on the walls of the chapel of Pope Eugenius IV and then Pope Nicholas V. His work can be found in museums and churches and holy buildings throughout the world. He died in Rome in 1455 and was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. The pope declared him the patron saint of Catholic artists in 1984. We call Fra Angelico “Blessed.” His life helps us to understand that we are called to use the gifts we have been given to serve others and to give glory and praise to God.
Prayer to Blessed Fra AngelicoBlessed Fra Angelico,
you created works of beauty
which have inspired countless souls
into a closer union with God.
By your intercession, may God
raise up artists and craftsmen
to beautify His holy dwellings
and all churches to elevate
human hearts and minds to a
more profound relationship
with the Almighty. Amen.

Fra Angelico (Italian, ca. 1390/95-1455)


Free Catholic Movie : "Lilies of the Field" - Stars Sidney Poitier

The film Lilies of the Field, released in 1963,  a wandering ex-G.I. stops by a farm being run by five German nuns and agrees to help them out with various and sundry tasks and chores. At their insistence, he stays on to build a chapel for them, and the nuns are sure that he is a miracle sent from God. Frankly, the real miracle here is that this movie got made at all.  it was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Moreover, Lilies of the Field achieved motion picture history as Sidney Poitier was awarded the Best Actor Oscar, marking the first time in history an Academy Award was awarded to a black man. 

Pope Francis "This is why Jesus opens our eyes to reality - We are called to happiness..." FULL TEXT at Angelus + Video


At 12 o'clock today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

These are the words of the Pope in introducing the Marian prayer:

Before the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today's Gospel (cf. Lk 6: 17-20-26) presents the Beatitudes in the version of St. Luke. The text is articulated in four Beatitudes and four warnings formulated with the expression "trouble to you". With these words, strong and incisive, Jesus opens our eyes, shows us with his gaze, beyond appearances, beyond the surface, and teaches us to discern situations with faith.

Jesus declares blessed the poor, the hungry, the afflicted, the persecuted; and admonishes those who are rich, satiated, laughing and acclaimed by the people. The reason for this paradoxical bliss lies in the fact that God is close to those who suffer and intervenes to free them from their slavery; Jesus sees this, he already sees bliss beyond the negative reality. And equally the "trouble to you", addressed to those who today are doing well, is used to "wake them" from the dangerous deception of selfishness and open them to the logic of love, as long as they are in time to do so.

The page of today's Gospel therefore invites us to reflect on the profound meaning of having faith, which consists in trusting totally the Lord. It is a matter of breaking down worldly idols to open the heart to the living and true God; He alone can give to our existence that fullness so desired and yet difficult to achieve. Brothers and sisters, there are many, in fact, even in our day, those who propose themselves as dispensers of happiness: they come and promise success in a short time, great profits at hand, magical solutions to every problem, and so on. And here it is easy to slip without realizing in sin against the first commandment: that is, idolatry, replacing God with an idol. Idolatry and idols look like things of other times, but in reality they are of all time! Even today. They describe some contemporary attitudes better than many sociological analyzes.

This is why Jesus opens our eyes to reality. We are called to happiness, to be blessed, and we become so from the moment we place ourselves on the side of God, of his Kingdom, on the side of that which is not ephemeral but lasts for eternal life. We are happy if we recognize ourselves in need of God - and this is very important: "Lord I need you" - and if, like him and with him, we are close to the poor, the afflicted and the hungry. We too are before God: we are poor, afflicted, we are hungry before God. We become capable of joy every time that, possessing the goods of this world, we do not make of idols to which to empty our soul, but we are able to share them with our brothers. On this today the liturgy invites us once again to question ourselves and to make truth in our hearts.

The Beatitudes of Jesus are a decisive message, which encourages us not to place our trust in material and transient things, not to seek happiness by following the sellers of smoke - who are often sellers of death - the professionals of illusion. We must not follow them, because they are incapable of giving us hope. The Lord helps us to open our eyes, to acquire a more penetrating look at reality, to heal from chronic myopia that the worldly spirit infects us. With his paradoxical Word he shakes us and makes us recognize what really enriches us, satisfies us, gives us joy and dignity. In short, what really gives meaning and fullness to our lives. May the Virgin Mary help us to listen to this Gospel with an open mind and heart, so that it bears fruit in our lives and we become witnesses of the happiness that does not disappoint, that of God that never disappoints.


After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

from Thursday to Sunday a meeting of the Presidents of all the Episcopal Conferences on the theme of the protection of minors in the Church will take place in the Vatican. I invite you to pray for this event, which I wanted as an act of strong pastoral responsibility before an urgent challenge of our time.

I greet families, parishes, associations and those who came from Rome, Italy and many parts of the world; in particular, pilgrims from Croatia, from Toulon, Marseille and London; the students of Paris and Badajoz. I greet the faithful of Sassari, Fermo, Castiglione del Lago, Concorezzo; the families of Trentino Alto Adige and the pilgrims from the diocese of Vicenza.

I wish everyone a happy Sunday. And please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 17, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - 6th Ord. Time - C


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 78

Reading 1JER 17:5-8

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
but stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
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. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
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. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
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. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Reading 21 COR 15:12, 16-20

Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is preached as raised from the dead,
how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?
If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

AlleluiaLK 6:23AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad;
your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 6:17, 20-26

Jesus came down with the twelve
and stood on a stretch of level ground
with a great crowd of his disciples
and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”

Saint February 17 : Founders of the Orders of Servites

(SERVANTS OF MARY). The Order of Servites is the fifth mendicant order, the objects of which are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows. In this article we shall consider: (1) the foundation and history of the order; (2) devotions and manner of life; (3) affiliated associations; (4) Servites of distinction. Foundation and history
To the city of Florence belongs the glory of giving to the Church the seven youths who formed the nucleus of the order: Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Bartolomeo degli Amidei (Amideus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sosteneus), and Alessio de' Falconieri (Alexius); they belonged to seven patrician families of that city, and had early formed a confraternity of laymen, known as the Laudesi, or Praisers of Mary.
While engaged in the exercises of the confraternity on the feast of the Assumption, 1233, the Blessed Virgin appeared to them, advised them to withdraw from the world and devote themselves entirely to eternal things. They obeyed, and established themselves close to the convent of the Friars Minor at La Camarzia, a suburb of Florence. Desiring stricter seclusion than that offered at La Camarzia, they withdrew to Monte Senario, eleven miles north of Florence. Here the Blessed Virgin again appeared to them, conferred on them a black habit, instructed them to follow the Rule of St. Augustine and to found the order of her servants (15 April, 1240). The brethren elected a superior, took the vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, and admitted associates. In 1243, Peter of Verona (St. Peter Martyr), Inquisitor-General of Italy, recommended the new foundation to the pope, but it was not until 13 March, 1249, that the first official approval of the order was obtained from Cardinal Raniero Capocci, papal legate in Tuscany. About this time St. Bonfilius obtained permission to found the first branch of the order at Cafaggio outside the walls of Florence. Two years later (2 Oct., 1251) Innocent IV appointed Cardinal Guglielmo Fieschi first protector of the order. The next pope, Alexander IV, favoured a plan for the amalgamation of all institutes following the Rule of St. Augustine. This was accomplished in March, 1256, and about the same time a Rescript was issued confirming the Order of the Servites as a separate body with power to elect a general. Four years later a general chapter was convened at which the order was divided into two provinces, Tuscany and Umbria, the former of which St. Manettus directed, while the latter was given into the care of St. Sostene. Within five years two new provinces were added, namely, Romagna and Lombardy. After St. Philip Benizi was elected general (5 June, 1267) the order, which had long been the object of unjust attack from jealous enemies, entered into the crisis of its existence. The Second Council of Lyons in 1274 put into execution the ordinance of the Fourth Lateran Council, forbidding the foundation of new religious orders, and absolutely suppressed all mendicant institutions not yet approved by the Holy See. The aggressors renewed their assaults, and in the year 1276 Innocent V in a letter to St. Philip declared the order suppressed. St. Philip proceeded to Rome, but before his arrival there Innocent V had died. His successor lived but five weeks. Finally John XXI, on the favourable opinion of three consistorial advocates, decided that the order should continue as before. The former dangers reappeared under Martin V (1281), and though other popes continued to favour the order, it was not definitively approved until Benedict IX issued the Bull, "Dum levamus" (11 Feb., 1304). Of the seven founders, St. Alexis alone lived to see their foundation raised to the dignity of an order. He died in 1310.
We must here make mention of St. Peregrine Laziosi (Latiosi), whose sanctity of life did much towards increasing the repute of the Servite Order in Italy. Born at Forli in 1265, the son of a Ghibelline leader, Peregrine, in his youth, bitterly hated the Church. He insulted and struck St. Philip Benizi, who, at the request of Martin V, had gone to preach peace to the Forlivese. Peregrine's generous nature was immediately aroused by the mildness with which St. Philip received the attack and he begged the saint's forgiveness. In 1283 he was received into the order, and so great was his humility it was only after much persuasion he consented to be ordained a priest. He founded a monastery in his native city, where he devoted all his energies to the restoration of peace. His humility and patience were so great that he was called by his people a second Job. He died in 1345. His body remains incorrupt to the present day. He was canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726, and his feast is celebrated on 30 April. One of the most remarkable features of the new foundation was its wonderful growth. Even in the thirteenth century there were houses of the order in Germany, France, and Spain. Early in the fourteenth century the order had more than one hundred convents including branch houses in Hungary, Bohemia, Austria, Poland, and Belgium; there were also missions in Crete and India. The disturbances during the Reformation caused the loss of many Servite convents in Germany, but in the South of France the order met with much success. The Convent of Santa Maria in Via (1563) was the second house of the order established in Rome; San Marcello had been founded in 1369. Early in the eighteenth century the order sustained losses and confiscations from which it has scarcely yet recovered. The flourishing Province of Narbonne was almost totally destroyed by the plague which swept Marseilles in 1720. In 1783 the Servites were expelled from Prague and in 1785 Joseph II desecrated the shrine of Maria Waldrast. Ten monasteries were suppressed in Spain in 1835. A new foundation was made at Brussels in 1891, and at Rome the College of St. Alexis was opened in 1895. At this period the order was introduced into England and America chiefly through the efforts of Fathers Bosio and Morini. The latter, having gone to London (1864) as director of the affiliated Sisters of Compassion, obtained charge of a parish from Archbishop Manning in 1867. His work prospered: besides St. Mary's Priory at London, convents were opened at Bognor (1882) and Begbroke (1886). In 1870 Fathers Morini, Ventura, Giribaldi, and Brother Joseph Camera, at the request of Rt. Rev. Bishop Melcher of Green Bay, took up a mission in America, at Neenah, Wisconsin. Father Morini founded at Chicago (1874) the monastery of Our Lady of Sorrows. A novitiate was opened at Granville, Wisconsin, in 1892. The American province, formally established in 1908, embraces convents in the dioceses of Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Superior, and Denver. In 1910 the order numbered 700 members in 62 monasteries, of which 36 were in Italy, 17 in Austria-Hungary, 4 in England, 4 in North America, 1 in Brussels. Devotions: manner of life
In common with all religious orders strictly so called, the Servites make solemn profession of the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The particular object of the order is to sanctify first its own members, and then all men through devotion to the Mother of God, especially in her desolation during the Passion of her Divine Son. The Servites give missions, have the care of souls, or teach in higher institutions of learning. The Rosary of the Seven Dolours is one of their devotions, as is also the Via Matris. The fasts of the order are Advent, Lent, and the vigils of certain feasts. All offices in the order are elective and continue for three years, except that of general and assistant- generals which are for six years. The canonized Servite saints are: St. Philip Benizi (feast 23 Aug.), St. Peregrine Latiosi (30 April), St. Juliana Falconieri (19 June), and the Seven Holy Founders (12 Feb.).  Affiliated associations
Connected with the first order of men are the cloistered nuns of the second order, which originated with converts of St. Philip Benizi. These sisters have convents in Spain, Italy, England, The Tyrol, and Germany. The Mantellate, a third order of women founded by St. Juliana (see SERVANTS OF MARY), have houses in Italy, France, Spain, England, and Canada. In the United States they are to be found in the dioceses of Sioux City and Belville. There is also a third order for seculars, as well as a confraternity of the Seven Dolours, branches of which may be erected in any church.
The Catholic Encyclopedia