Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Saint March 21 : St. Nicholas of Flue : Patron of Difficult #Marriages, Large families, #Swiss Guards, Switzerland




St. Nicholas of Flue
HERMIT AND SWISS POLITICAL FIGURE
Born:
21 March 1417 at Sachseln, Canton Obwalden, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Died:
21 March 1487
Canonized:
15 May 1947 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Sachseln, Switzerland
Patron of:
councilmen, difficult marriages, large families, magistrates, parents of large families, Pontifical Swiss Guards, separated spouses, Switzerland

Born 21 March, 1417, on the Flüeli, a fertile plateau near Sachseln, Canton Obwalden, Switzerland; died 21 March, 1487, as a recluse in a neighboring ravine, called Ranft. He was the oldest son of pious, well-to-do peasants and from his earliest youth was fond of prayer, practiced mortification, and conscientiously performed the labor of a peasant boy.
At the age of 21 he entered the army and took part in the battle of Ragaz in 1446. Probably he fought in the battles near the Etzel in 1439, near Baar in the Canton of Zug in 1443, and assisted in the capture of Zürich in 1444. He took up arms again in the so-called Thurgau war against Archduke Sigismund of Austria in 1460. It was due to his influence that the Dominican Convent St. Katharinental, whither many Austrians had fled after the capture of Diessenhofen, was not destroyed by the Swiss confederates. Heeding the advice of his parents he married, about the age of twenty-five, a pious girl from Sachseln, named Dorothy Wyssling, who bore him five sons and five daughters. His youngest son, Nicholas, born in 1467, became a priest and a doctor of theology.
Though averse to worldly dignities, he was elected cantonal councillor and judge. The fact that in 1462 he was one of five arbiters appointed to settle a dispute between the parish of Stans and the monastery of Engelberg, shows the esteem in which he was held. After living about twenty-five years in wedlock he listened to an inspiration of God and with the consent of his wife left his family on 16 October, 1467, to live as a hermit. At first he intended to go to a foreign country, but when he came into the neighborhood of Basle, a divine inspiration ordered him to take up his abode in the Ranft, a valley along the Melcha, about an hour's walk from Sachseln.
Here, known as "Brother Klaus", he abode over twenty years, without taking any bodily food or drink, as was established through a careful investigation, made by the civil as well as the ecclesiastical authorities of his times. He wore neither shoes nor cap, and even in winter was clad merely in a hermit's gown. In 1468 he saved the town of Sarnen from a conflagration by his prayers and the sign of the cross. God also favored him with numerous visions and the gift of prophecy. Distinguished persons from nearly every country of Europe came to him for counsel in matters of the utmost importance. At first he lived in a narrow hut, which he himself had built with branches and leaves, and came daily to Mass either at Sachseln or at Kerns. Early in 1469 the civil authorities built a cell and a chapel for him, and on 29 April of the same year the chapel was dedicated by the vicar-general of Constance, Thomas, Bishop of Ascalon. In 1479 a chaplain was put in charge of the chapel, and thenceforth Nicholas always remained in the Ranft. When in 1480 delegates of the Swiss confederates assembled at Stans to settle their differences, and civil war seemed inevitable, Henry Imgrund, the pastor of Stans, hastened to Nicholas, begging him to prevent the shedding of blood. The priest returned to the delegates with the hermit's counsels and propositions, and civil war was averted. Nicholas was beatified by Pope Clement IX in 1669. Numerous pilgrims visit the chapel near the church of Sachseln, where his relics are preserved. His feast is celebrated on 21 March.
Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia
PRAYER OF ST. NICHOLAS OF FLUE My Lord and my God, take everything from me that keeps me from You. My Lord and my God, give everything to me that brings me near to You. My Lord and my God, take me away from myself and give me completely to You. Amen.

Pope Francis "God with his love knocks on the door of our hearts." FULL TEXT + Video


GENERAL AUDIENCE


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Catechesis on the "Our Father": 10. Let your will be done
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Continuing our catecheses on the "Our Father", today we pause on the third invocation: "Your will be done". It must be read in unity with the first two - "let your name be sanctified" and "your Kingdom come" - so that the whole forms a triptych: "hallowed be thy name", "your Kingdom come", " Thy will be done. " Today we will talk about the third.

Before the care of the world by man, there is the untiring care that God uses towards man and the world. The whole Gospel reflects this reversal of perspective. The sinner Zacchaeus climbs a tree because he wants to see Jesus, but he does not know that, much earlier, God had looked for him. Jesus, when he arrives, tells him: "Zacchaeus, come down immediately, because today I must stay at your house." And in the end he declares: "The Son of man has come to seek and to save what was lost" (Lk 19: 10.10). Here is the will of God, the one we pray to be done. What is the will of God incarnated in Jesus? Search and save what is lost. And we, in prayer, ask that the search for God be successful, that his universal plan of salvation be fulfilled, first, in each of us and then in the whole world. Have you thought what does it mean that God is looking for me? Each of us can say: "But, God is looking for me?" - "Yes! Search for yourself! Search for me ": look for everyone, personally. But it's great God! How much love is behind all this.

God is not ambiguous, does not hide behind enigmas, has not planned the future of the world in an indecipherable manner. No, he is clear. If we do not understand this, we risk not understanding the meaning of the third expression of the "Our Father". In fact, the Bible is full of expressions that tell us of God's positive will towards the world. And in the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find a collection of quotations that testify to this faithful and patient divine will (see nos. 2821-2827). And St. Paul, in the First Letter to Timothy, writes: "God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2,4). This, without a doubt, is the will of God: the salvation of man, of men, of each one of us. God with his love knocks on the door of our hearts. Why? To attract us; to attract us to Him and carry us forward on the path to salvation. God is close to each of us with his love, to take us by hand to salvation. How much love is behind this!

So, praying "your will be done", we are not invited to bend the head slavishly, as if we were slaves. No! God wants us to be free; it is the love of Him that frees us. In fact, the "Our Father" is the prayer of children, not slaves; but of children who know the heart of their father and are certain of his design of love. Woe to us if, pronouncing these words, we would shrug our shoulders in surrender before a destiny that repels us and that we cannot change. On the contrary, it is a prayer full of ardent trust in God who wants good for us, life, salvation. A courageous prayer, even combative, because in the world there are so many, too many realities that are not according to God's plan. We all know them. Paraphrasing the prophet Isaiah, we could say: "Here, Father, there is war, abuse of power, exploitation; but we know that You want our good, therefore we beg you: your will be done! Lord, overturn the plans of the world, turn swords into plows and spears into sickles; that no one should practice more in the art of war! "(see 2: 4). God wants peace.

The "Our Father" is a prayer that ignites in us the same love of Jesus for the will of the Father, a flame that drives us to transform the world with love. The Christian does not believe in an ineluctable "fate". There is nothing haphazard in the faith of Christians: there is instead a salvation that waits to manifest itself in the life of every man and woman and to be fulfilled in eternity. If we pray it is because we believe that God can and wants to transform reality by overcoming evil with good. To this God it makes sense to obey and abandon oneself even in the hour of the hardest trial.

So it was for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he experienced anguish and prayed: "Father, if you want, remove this cup from me!" However, not my will but yours be done "(Lk 22:42). Jesus is crushed by the evil of the world, but trustingly abandons himself to the ocean of the love of the will of the Father. Even the martyrs, in their trial, did not seek death, they sought after death, the resurrection. God, out of love, can lead us to walk on difficult paths, to experience painful wounds and thorns, but he will never abandon us. He will always be with us, next to us, within us. For a believer this, rather than a hope, is a certainty. God is with me. The same that we find in that parable of the Gospel of Luke dedicated to the need to pray always. Jesus says: "Will God not do justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will it make them wait long? I tell you that he will do them justice promptly "(18,7-8). This is how the Lord loves us, so he loves us. But, I want to invite you all together now to pray to the Our Father. And those of you who don't know Italian, pray it in their own language. Let's pray together.

Recitation of the Our Father

APPEAL FOR FLOODS IN AFRICA



These days, great floods have sown grief and devastation in various regions of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. To these dear people I express my pain and my closeness. I entrust the many victims and their families to God's mercy and I implore comfort and support for those affected by this calamity.



* * *

I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Capitulars of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; the participants in the meeting promoted by the Focolare Movement and the Deacons of the Diocese of Milan.

I greet the parish groups, in particular that of Gesualdo; the pastoral units of San Martino in Campo; the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome; the Associations: AIDO of Alessandria; White Roses on the asphalt of Senigallia; Bronte active citizenship; The Chorus of the White Hands of Melissano, and the Educational Institutes: there are many!

A special thought I address to young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

The journey of Lent, which we are following, is an occasion for each one of authentic conversion, so that we can reach the full maturity of faith in Christ, eager to spread his Gospel in every environment of life in which we find ourselves.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier le Séminaire de la Société Saint Jean Marie Vianney, les jeunes et toutes les personnes venant de France, de Monaco, de Suisse et de Belgique. En ce temps de carême, contemplons Jésus à Gethsémani, écrasé par le mal mais qui s’abandonne avec confiance à la volonté du Père. Dieu, peut nous conduire sur des sentiers difficiles et douloureux, mais - c’est une certitude - il ne nous abandonnera jamais. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Belgium, Croatia, Norway, Nigeria, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that this Lent will be a time of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Aus Wien ist die interreligiöse Bewegung „Earth Caravan” gekommen, die eine Pilgerfahrt für Gerechtigkeit und Frieden unternimmt. Bemühen wir uns, den Willen Gottes immer tiefer zu ergründen, seinen Willen für uns und unser Leben, für unsere Gemeinschaften und für die ganze Welt. Versuchen wir eifrige Mitarbeiter seines Heilswillens zu sein! Euch allen wünsche ich eine gute Fastenzeit!

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de América Latina, de modo particular a la Fundación Manos Unidas de España que, desde el compromiso cristiano en su campaña contra el hambre, busca cumplir la voluntad de Dios para que a nadie falte el pan cotidiano ni lo necesario en sus vidas. Pidamos al Señor que nuestro testimonio y nuestra oración, sean el revulsivo para que todos los hombres lleguen al conocimiento de la verdad y se salven. Que Dios los Bendiga a todos. Muchas gracias.
Dirijo uma saudação cordial aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular aos brasileiros de Ribeirão Preto. Queridos amigos, no tempo da Quaresma, a Igreja nos recomenda de aumentar o tempo que dedicamos à oração. Que esses momentos de diálogo filial com Deus nos ajudem a descobrir sempre mais o seu amor infinito por nós e assim nos tornemos instrumentos de misericórdia e paz. Deus vos abençoe!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، يعلّمنا القديس بولس أنّه علينا أن ننفتح في صلاتنا على حضور الروح القدس الذي يصلّي فينا بأَنَّاتٍ لا تُوصَف؛ ليحملنا على اتباع الله بكلِّ قلبنا وكل كياننا. هكذا يصبح روح المسيح قوّةً لصلاتِنا الضعيفة،ونارًا لصلاتنا الفاترة، ويعطينا الحريّة الداخلية الحقيقيّة ويعلمّنا أن نعيش ونواجه محن الحياة مدركين أننا لسنا وحدنا. ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, Saint Paul teaches us that in our prayer we must open ourselves to the presence of the Holy Spirit, who prays in us with inexpressible groans, to lead us to adhere to God with all our heart and with our whole being. Thus the Spirit of Christ becomes the strength of our weak prayer, the fire of our dry prayer, giving us true inner freedom, teaching us to live facing the trials of existence, in the certainty of not being alone. The Lord bless you!]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Wczoraj obchodziliśmy uroczystość świętego Józefa. Jego troska o świętą Rodzinę jest dla nas wymownym wzorem. Jak on, troszczmy się z miłością o Pana Jezusa, gdy przyjmujemy Go w Eucharystii, kiedy do nas mówi. Z taką samą miłością zwracajmy się do Maryi, prosząc o wsparcie i dobrą radę w codziennym życiu. Uczmy się od świętego Józefa zawierzenia Bogu, pokory, odwagi i posłuszeństwa. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

#BreakingNews Cardinal Barbarin of France Resignation to Pope not Accepted - so he Withdraws Temporarily




Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon, France met with Pope Francis and presented his resignation. However, the Pontiff did not accept the resignation so the Cardinal will withdraw temporarily from the diocese.
Official Communiqué - meeting of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and Pope Francis on March 18, 2019
On Monday morning, I handed over my mission to the Holy Father.

By invoking the presumption of innocence, he did not want to accept this resignation.

He left me the freedom to make the decision that seems to me the best for the life of the diocese of Lyon, today.

At his suggestion and because the Church of Lyon has been suffering for 3 years, I decided to go back for a while and leave the leadership of the diocese to the vicar general moderator, Father Yves Baumgarten.

This decision takes effect as of this day.

Lyon, March 19th, 2019.
Source: http://lyon.catholique.fr/

Famous 15 Prayers and Promises on Passion of Christ -Perfect for Lent from St. Bridget in Pieta Booklet - SHARE


The Fifteen Prayers


Revealed by Our Lord to
Saint Bridget of Sweden In the Church of St. Paul at Rome
Are published under sanction of the Decree of November 18, 1966, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 58, No. 16 of December 29, 1966.
Prayers
Approved by Pope Pius IX
First Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus Christ!  Eternal Sweetness to those who love Thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire, Salvation and Hope of all sinners, Who hast proved that Thou hast no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men, recall all the sufferings Thou hast endured from the instant of Thy conception, and especially during Thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from all eternity in the Divine plan.
Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Thy disciples, having washed their feet, Thou gavest them Thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time Thou didst sweetly console them, Thou didst foretell them Thy coming Passion.
Remember the sadness and bitterness which Thou didst experience in Thy Soul as Thou Thyself bore witness saying: “My Soul is sorrowful even unto death.”
FOR  PRAYERS, INSPIRATIONAL STORIES AND FREE MOVIES
LIKE http://facebook.com/catholicnewsworld 
Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that Thou didst suffer in Thy delicate Body before the torment of the Crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, Thou wast betrayed by Judas, Thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation Thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges during the flower of Thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.
Remember that Thou wast despoiled of Thy garments and clothed in those of derision; that Thy Face and Eyes were veiled, that Thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Thy Hands, that Thou was crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.
In memory of all these pains and sufferings which Thou didst endure before Thy Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins.  Amen


Second Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus! True liberty of angels, Paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which Thou didst endure when Thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded Thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of-cruelties, tormented Thee at will.  In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech Thee, O my Savior, to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Thy protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation.  Amen
Third Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Creator of Heaven and earth Whom nothing can encompass or limit, Thou Who dost enfold and hold all under Thy Loving power, remember the very bitter pain Thou didst suffer when the Jews nailed Thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and not finding Thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged Thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched Thy Body on the Cross, pulled Thee from all sides, thus dislocating Thy Limbs.  I beg of Thee, O Jesus, by the memory of this most Loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear Thee and to Love Thee.  Amen.
Fourth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine.  From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet, forgetting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins.  Amen.
Fifth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Mirror of eternal splendor, remember the sadness which Thou experienced, when contemplating in the light of Thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy Sacred passion, Thou didst see at the same time, the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless lost and unfortunate sinners.
Through this abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which Thou displayed to the good thief when Thou saidst to him: “This day, thou shalt be with Me in paradise.”  I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, Thou wilt show me mercy.  Amen.
Sixth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Beloved and most desirable King, remember the grief Thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, Thou was fastened and raised on the Cross, when all Thy relatives and friends abandoned Thee, except Thy Beloved Mother, who remained close to Thee during Thy agony and whom Thou didst entrust to Thy faithful disciple when Thou saidst to Mary:  “Woman, behold thy son!”  and to St. John: “Son, behold thy Mother!”
I beg of Thee O my Savior, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my affliction and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen
Seventh Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, Who by a profound gesture of Love, said from the Cross: “I thirst!” suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race.  I beg of Thee O my Savior, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts; and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desires.  Amen
Eighth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which Thou didst taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that they may serve as a remedy and consolation for our souls.  Amen
Ninth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain Thou didst endure when, plunged in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the Jews, Thou didst cry out in a loud voice that Thou was abandoned by Thy Father, saying: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Through this anguish, I beg of Thee, O my Savior, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen
Tenth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou was plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of Thy Feet to the crown of Thy Head.  In consideration of the enormity of Thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee.  Amen
Eleventh Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of Thee, in memory of Thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Thy Bones and to the depth of Thy being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offenses, away from sin and to hide me from Thy Face justly irritated against me, hide me in Thy Wounds, until Thy anger and just indignation shall have passed away.  Amen
Twelfth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Mirror of Truth, symbol of unity, link of Charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which Thou was covered from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Thy adorable blood.  O great and universal pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy virginal flesh for love of us!  Sweetest Jesus!  What is there that Thou couldst have done for us which Thou hast not done! May the fruit of Thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Thy passion, and may Thy love increase in my heart each day, until I see Thee in eternity, Thou Who art the treasury of every real good and every joy, which I beg Thee to grant me, O sweetest Jesus, in Heaven.  Amen
Thirteenth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  Strong Lion, Immortal and Invincible King, remember the pain which Thou didst endure when all Thy strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted, Thou didst bow Thy head, saying:  “It is consummated!”
Through this anguish and grief, I beg of Thee Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish.  Amen
Fourteenth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus! Only Son of the Father, splendor and figure of His substance remember the simple and humble recommendation Thou didst make of Thy Soul to Thy Eternal Father, saying: “Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit!”  And with Thy body all torn, and Thy Heart broken, and the bowels of Thy mercy open to redeem us, Thou didst expire.  By this precious death, I beg of Thee O King of Saints, comfort me and help me to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that being dead to the world I may live for Thee alone.  I beg of Thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to Thee. Amen
Fifteenth Prayer 
Our Father – Hail Mary.

O Jesus!  True and fruitful Vine!  Remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which Thou didst so generously shed from Thy Sacred Body as juice from grapes in a wine press.
From Thy Side,  pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth until there was not left in Thy Body a single drop, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh lifted to the top of the Cross, Thy delicate flesh was destroyed, the very Substance of Thy Body withered, and the Marrow of Thy Bones dried up.
Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Thy precious Blood, I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, to receive my soul when I am in my death agony.  Amen


Conclusion
O Sweet Jesus!  Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habitation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever.  Amen

Magnificent Promises to Saint Bridget of Sweden


Pope Benedict XV expressed himself as follows on the Revelations of St. Bridget:
“The approbation of such revelations implies nothing more than, after mature examination, it is permissible to publish them for the unit of the faithful.  Though they don’t merit the same credence as the truths of religion, one can, however, believe them out of human faith, conforming to the rules of prudence by which they are probable, and supported by sufficient motives that one might believe in them piously. (Les Petits Bollandistes, tome XII) The 14th of June 1303, at the moment Bridget was born, Benedict, the curate of Rasbo, prayed for the happy deliverance of Ingeborde.  Suddenly he found himself enveloped by a luminous cloud out of which Our Lady appeared: “A child has been born at Birger; her voice will be heard by the entire world.”
Sagii, die XXIV Aprilis 1903, Imprimature. FJ. Girard, V.G.


These prayers and these Promises have been copied from a book printed in Toulouse in 1740 and published by the P. Adrien parvilliers of the Company of Jesus, Apostolic Missionary of the Holy Land, with approbation, permission and recommendation to distribute them.
Parents and teachers who will read them to young infants for at least one year will assure their being preserved for life from any grave accident which would involve the loss of one of their five senses.
Pope Pius IX took cognizance of these Prayers with the prologue; he approved them May 31, 1862, recognizing them as true and for the good  of Souls.
This sentence of Pope Pius IX has been confirmed by the realization of the promises by all persons who have recited the prayers and by numerous supernatural facts by which God wanted to make known their exact truth.  A collection of small books, these prayers among them, was approved by the Great Congress of Malines on August 22, 1863.
Question – Must one recite the prayers everyday without interruption to obtain the privileges?
Answer -  One should miss saying them as few times as possible; but if for a serious reason one is obliged to miss them, one doesn’t lose the privileges attached to them, as long as one recites 5480 Prayers during the year.  One must say them with devotion and concentrate on the words one pronounces. These prayers can serve as the Way of the Cross.
Visitors to the Church of St. Paul at Rome can see the crucifix, above the Tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, sculptured by Pierre Cavallini, before which St. Bridge knelt when she received these 15 prayers from Our Lord.  The following inscription is placed in the church to commemorate the event: “Pendentis, Pendente Dei verba accepit aure accipit et verbum corde Brigitta Deum.  Anno Jubilei MCCCL.”
As St. Bridget for a long time wanted to know the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He one day appeared to her and said: “I received 5480 blows on My Body.  If you wish to honor them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Mary’s with the following Prayers (which He taught her) for a whole year.  When the year is up, you will have honored each one of My Wounds.”
Our Lord made the following promises to anyone who recited the 15 St. Bridget Prayers for a whole year:
Promises

 1.
I will deliver 15 souls of his lineage from Purgatory.
 2.
15 souls of his lineage will be confirmed and preserved in grace.
 3.
15 sinners of his lineage will be converted.
 4.
Whoever recites these Prayers will attain in the first degree of perfection.
 5.
15 days before his death I will give him My Precious Body in order that he may escape eternal starvation; I will give him My Precious Blood to drink lest he thirst eternally.
 6.
15 days before his death he will feel a deep contrition for all his sins and will have a perfect knowledge of them.
 7.
I will place before him the sign of My Victorious Cross for his help and defense against the attacks of his enemies.
 8.
Before his death I shall come with My Dearest Beloved Mother.
 9.
I shall graciously receive his soul, and will lead it into eternal joys.
10.
And having led it there I shall give him a special draught from the fountain of My Deity, something I will not for those who have not recited My Prayers.
11.
Let it be known that whoever may have been living in the state of mortal sin for 30 years, but who will recite devoutly, or have the intention to recite these Prayers, the Lord will forgive him all his sins.
12.
I shall protect him from strong temptations.
13.
I shall preserve and guard his 5 senses.
14.
I shall preserve him from a sudden death.
15.
His soul will be delivered from eternal death.
16.
He will obtain all he asks for from God and the Blessed Virgin.
17.
If he has lived all his life doing his own will and he is to die the next day, his life will be prolonged.
18.
Every time one recites these Prayers he gains 100 days indulgence.
19.
He is assured of being joined to the supreme Choir of Angels.
20.
Whoever teaches these Prayers to another, will have continuous joy and merit which will endure eternally.
21.
There where these prayer are being said or will be said in the future God is present with His grace.

14 People brought Closer to Sainthood as Pope Francis authorizes New Decrees


Vatican News Report: Pope brings 14 men and women a step closer to sainthood
Pope Francis on Tuesday authorized the promulgation of 8 new decrees that gave the Church 9 new Blesseds and 5 Venerables.
By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis on Tuesday took 14 men and women a step closer to sainthood, among them an Italian missionary martyred in Myanmar and 7 bishops killed for their faith in Romania.

The Pope received Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized the promulgation of 8 new decrees, recognizing the heroic virtues of 4 Italian nuns and an Italian priest, a miracle attributed to the intercession of a Spanish nun and the martyrdom of 8 men.

9 Blesseds
A decree recognized a miracle through the intercession of Spanish nun Sister Maria Emilia Riquelme y Zayas, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate.  She was born in Granada (Spain) on August 5, 1847 and died there on December 10, 1940.

A decree recognized the martyrdom of 7 Romanian bishops who killed under the country’s Communist regime between 1950 and 1970.  They are Valeriu Traian Frenţiu, Vasile Aftenie, Ioan Suciu, Tit Liviu Chinezu, Ioan Bălan, Alessandru Rusu and Iuliu Hossu.

A separate decree recognized the martyrdom of Italian PIME missionary Father Alfredo Cremonesi.  He was born on May 16, 1902, and killed in the village of Donoku , Myanmar, on February 7, 1953.

Following the withdrawal of Japanese troops at the end of World War II from what was then called Burma, Fr. Cremonesi became a victim of the conflict between government troops and the Karen rebels.  He and his Christians were suspected of backing the rebels.  Fr. Cremonesi tried to convince the government forces they were neither rebels nor their sympathizers.  But before he could finish explaining, he and the village chief were gunned down. Fr. Cremonesi was immediately invoked as a "martyr" for giving his life for his flock. 

5 Venerable Servants of God
Five other decrees recognized the heroic virtues of the following:

Italian diocesan priest Father Francesco Maria Di Francia, founder of the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  He was born in Messina on February 19, 1853, and died in Roccalumera (Italy) on December 22, 1913.

Italian nun Sister Maria Hueber, foundress of the Congregation of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis.  She was born in Bressanone (Italy today) on May 22, 1653, and died there on July 31, 1705.

Italian nun Sister Maria Teresa Camera, foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy.  She was born in Ovada (Italy) on October 8, 1818, and died there on March 24, 1894.

Italian nun Sister Maria Teresa Gabrieli, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Women - Palazzolo Institute.  She was born in Bergamo (Italy) on September 13, 1837, and died there on February 6, 1908.

Italian nun Sister Giovanna Francesca dello Spirito Santo (born Luisa Ferrari), foundress of the Institute of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Incarnate Word; born in Reggio Emilia (Italy) on September 14, 1888, and died in Fiesole (Italy) on December 21, 1984. 
FULL TEXT Release Shared from Vatican News va

#BreakingNews Ongoing Attacks against Christians in Nigeria Kill 120 People since February, including Children - Please Pray


Nigerian Christians being Attacked results in over 120 people killed since February

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that over 120 people have been killed in a series of alleged attacks by the Fulani militia on Christian communities in the Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna in Nigeria since February.
The organization reported 52 people were killed and 100 homes were destroyed last Monday in the latest attacks on Inkirimi and Dogonnoma villages in Maro, Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA).  The victims included women and children.

Survivors of the attack told CSW that their assailants divided into three groups. One group shot and killed people, another set fire to homes as people ran away, and the third waited in the bush to intercept fleeing villagers.

Later that same day, dozens of people were injured and 43 houses were destroyed in another attack by militant Fulani herdsmen on another village.

The Fulani herdsmen, also known as the Fulani militia, are a semi-nomadic group herding cattle over vast areas, living in the central regions of Nigeria. The majority of the herdsmen are Muslim and have fought with Christian farmers over grazing land for centuries.

Disagreements between herders and local farmers over land, grazing areas, and water are said to be the major source of the ongoing conflict between the two groups, according to the BBC.

Thousands of people have left their homes as a result of the recent violence. The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el Rufai, ordered a dawn to dusk curfew.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas appealed to both Nigeria's state and federal governments to bring a quick end to the violence.

"The relentless death and destruction is a sad indictment of the continuing failure by both levels of government to fulfill the primary mandate of protecting all its citizens impartially," he said in a statement.

Militant Fulani herdsmen killed thousands of Christians last year, The Christian Post reports.

Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world for Christian persecution, according to the Open Doors USA's 2019 World Watch List.
Source:
Edited from CBN News  and https://www.csw.org.uk/2019/03/14/press/4249/article.htm
This video from a few months ago gives witness to an ongoing situation that has killed thousands over several years....please Pray....
 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday March 20, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent


Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232

Reading 1JER 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b)  Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before The Gospel JN 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

GospelMT 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saint March 20 : Saint Cuthbert : Bishop

Bishop of Lindisfarne, patron of Durham, born about 635; died 20 March, 687. His emblem is the head of St. Oswald, king and martyr, which he is represented as bearing in his hands. His feast is kept in Great Britain and Ireland on the 20th of March, and he is patron of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, where his commemoration is inserted among the Suffrages of the Saints. His early biographers give no particulars of his birth, and the accounts in the "Libellus de ortu", which represent him as the son of an Irish king named Muriahdach, though recently supported by Cardinal Moran and Archbishop Healy, are rejected by later English writers as legendary.
Moreover, St. Bede's phrase, Brittania . . . genuit (Vita Metricia, c. i), points to his English birth. He was probably born in the neighbourhood of Mailros (Melrose) of lowly parentage, for as a boy he used to tend sheep on the mountain-sides near that monastery. While still a child living with his foster-mother Kenswith his future lot as bishop had been foretold by a little play-fellow, whose prophecy had a lasting effect on his character.
He was influenced, too, by the holiness of the community of Mailros, where St. Eata was abbot and St. Basil prior. In the year 651, while watching his sheep, he saw in a vision the soul of St. Aidan carried to heaven by angels, and inspired by this became a monk at Mailros. Yet it would seem that the troubled state of the country hindered him from carrying out his resolution at once. Certain it is that at one part of his life he was a soldier, and the years which succeed the death of St. Aidan and Oswin of Deira seem to have been such as would call for the military service of most of the able-bodied men of Northumbria, which was constantly threatened at this time by the ambition of its southern neighbor, King Penda of Mercia. Peace was not restored to the land until some four years later, as the consequence of a great battle which was fought between the Northumbrians and the Mercians at Winwidfield.
 It was probably after this battle that Cuthbert found himself free once more to turn to the life he desired. He arrived at Mailros on horseback and armed with a spear. Here he soon became eminent for holiness and learning, while from the first his life was distinguished by supernatural occurrences and miracles. When the monastery at Ripon was founded he went there as guest-master, but in 661 he, with other monks who adhered to the customs of Celtic Christianity, returned to Mailros owing to the adoption at Ripon of the Roman Usage in celebrating Easter and other matters. Shortly after his return he was struck by a pestilence which then attacked the community, but he recovered, and became prior in place of St. Boisil, who died of the disease in 664. In this year the Synod of Whitby decided in favour of the Roman Usage, and St. Cuthbert, who accepted the decision, was sent by St. Eata to be prior at Lindisfarne, in order that he might introduce the Roman customs into that house. This was a difficult matter which needed all his gentle tact and patience to carry out successfully, but the fact that one so renowned for sanctity, who had himself been brought up in the Celtic tradition, was loyally conforming to the Roman use, did much to support the cause of St. Wilfrid. In this matter St. Cuthbert's influence on his time was very marked. At Lindisfarne he spent much time in evangelizing the people. He was noted for his devotion to the Mass, which he could not celebrate without tears, and for the success with which his zealous charity drew sinners to God.
 At length, in 676, moved by a desire to attain greater perfection by means of the contemplative life, he retired, with the abbot's leave, to a spot which Archbishop Eyre identifies with St. Cuthbert's Island near Lindisfarne, but which Raine thinks was near Holburn, where "St. Cuthbert's Cave" is still shown. Shortly afterwards he removed to Farne Island, opposite Bamborough in Northumberland, where he gave himself up to a life of great austerity. After some years he was called from this retirement by a synod of bishops held at Twyford in Northumberland, under St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. At this meeting he was elected Bishop of Lindisfarne, as St. Eata was now translated to Hexham. For a long time he withstood all pressure and only yielded after a long struggle. He was consecrated at York by St. Theodore in the presence of six bishops, at Easter, 685. For two years he acted as bishop, preaching and labouring without intermission, with wonderful results. At Christmas, 686, foreseeing the near approach of death, he resigned his see and returned to his cell on Farne Island, where two months later he was seized with a fatal illness. In his last days, in March, 687, he was tended by monks of Lindisfarne, and received the last sacraments from Abbot Herefrid, to whom he spoke his farewell words, exhorting the monks to be faithful to Catholic unity and the traditions of the Fathers. He died shortly after midnight, and at exactly the same hour that night his friend St. Herbert, the hermit, also died, as St. Cuthbert had predicted.
St. Cuthbert was buried in his monastery at Lindisfarne, and his tomb immediately became celebrated for remarkable miracles. These were so numerous and extraordinary that he was called the "Wonder-worker of England". In 698 the first transfer of the relics took place, and the body was found incorrupt. During the Danish invasion of 875, Bishop Eardulf and the monks fled for safety, carrying the body of the saint with them. For seven years they wandered, bearing it first into Cumberland, then into Galloway and back to Northumberland. In 883 it was placed in a church at Chester-le-Street, near Durham, given to the monks by the converted Danish king, who had a great devotion to the saint, like King Alfred, who also honoured St. Cuthbert as his patron and was a benefactor to this church. Towards the end of the tenth century, the shrine was removed to Ripon, owing to fears of fresh invasion. After a few months it was being carried back to be restored to Chester-le-Street, when, on arriving at Durham a new miracle, tradition says, indicated that this was to be the resting-place of the saint's body. Here it remained, first in a chapel formed of boughs, then in a wooden and finally in a stone church, built on the present site of Durham cathedral, and finished in 998 or 999. While William the Conqueror was ravaging the North in 1069, the body was once more removed, this time to Lindisfarne, but it was soon restored. In 1104, the shrine was transferred to the present cathedral, when the body was again found incorrupt, with it being the head of St. Oswald, which had been placed with St. Cuthbert's body for safety — a fact which accounts for the well-known symbol of the saint.
From this time to the Reformation the shrine remained the great centre of devotion throughout the North of England. In 1542 it was plundered of all its treasures, but the monks had already hidden the saint's body in a secret place. There is a well-known tradition, alluded to in Scott's "Marmion", to the effect that the secret of the hiding-place is known to certain Benedictines who hand it down from one generation to another. In 1827 the Anglican clergy of the cathedral found a tomb alleged to be that of the saint, but the discovery was challenged by Dr. Lingard, who showed cause for doubting the identity of the body found with that of St. Cuthbert. Archbishop Eyre, writing in 1849, considered that the coffin found was undoubtedly that of the saint, but that the body had been removed and other remains substituted, while a later writer, Monsignor Consitt, though not expressing a definite view, seems inclined to allow that the remains found in 1827 were truly the bones of St. Cuthbert. Many traces of the former widespread devotion to St. Cuthbert still survive in the numerous churches, monuments, and crosses raised in his honour, and in such terms as "St. Cuthbert's patrimony", "St. Cuthbert's Cross", "Cuthbert ducks" and "Cuthbert down". The centre of modern devotion to him is found at St. Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, near Durham, where the episcopal ring of gold, enclosing a sapphire, taken from his finger in 1537, is preserved, and where under his patronage most of the priests for the northern counties of England are trained. His name is connected with two famous early copies of the Gospel text. The first, known as the Lindisfarne or Cuthbert Gospels (now in the British Museum, Cotton manuscripts Nero D 4), was written in the eighth century by Eadfrid, Bishop of Lindisfarne. It contains the four gospels and between the lines a number of valuable Anglo-Saxon (Northumbrian) glosses; though written by an Anglo-Saxon hand it is considered by the best judges (Westwood) a noble work of old-Irish calligraphy and illumination, Lindisfarne as is well known being an Irish foundation. The manuscript, one of the most splendid in Europe, was originally placed by its scribe as an offering on the shrine of Cuthbert, and was soon richly decorated by monastic artists (Ethelwold, Bilfrid) and provided by another (Aldred) with the aforesaid interlinear gloss (Karl Bouterwek, Die vier Evangelian in altnordhumbrischer Sprache, 1857). It has also a history scarcely less romantic than the body of Cuthbert. When in the ninth century the monks fled before the Danes with the latter treasure, they took with them this manuscript, but on one occasion lost it in the Irish Channel. After three days it was found on the seashore at Whithern, unhurt save for some stains of brine. Henceforth in the inventories of Durham and Lindisfarne it was known as "Liber S. Cuthberti qui demersus est in mare" (the book of St. Cuthbert that fell into the sea). Its text was edited by Stevenson and Warning (London, 1854-65) and since then by Kemble and Hardwick, and by Skeat (see LINDISFARNE). The second early Gospel text connected with his name is the seventh-century Gospel of St. John (now in possession of the Jesuit College at Stonyhurst, England) found in 1105 in the grave of St. Cuthbert. Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint March 20 : St. Jozef Bilczewski : Archbishop of Lviv : Poland




Jozef Bilczewski (Latin-rite) was born into a peasant family in Wilamowice on 26 April 1860. He was eldest of nine. In August 1880 he entered the Seminary of Kraków and was ordained a priest on 6 July 1884. He then moved to Vienna to continue his studies and earned a doctorate in theology. In Rome and Paris he specialized in dogmatic theology and in Christian archaeology. In 1891 he became a professor at the University of Lviv. He was appointed Archbishop of Lviv for Latins on 18 December 1900. In his episcopal mission he had to face difficulties due to internal problems and the conflicts of the First World War. He often intervened with the civil authorities on behalf of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. The Polish-Ukrainian War (1918-19) brought a new wave of violence to the people and many priests were killed or put in prison. Then the Bolshevik invasion (1919-20) was unleashed with all its fury against the Catholic Church. He stood firm to protect one and all without distinctions of race or religion. From 1918-21 his Archdiocese lost about 120 priests. Seriously ill, he accepted sickness calmly and courageously. He died on 20 March 1923 in Lviv. Source: Vatican.va