Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Saint April 10 : Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835) - Foundress of the Canossian Family


Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835)
virgin, foundress of the Canossian Family of Daughters and Sons of Charity
MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, was a woman who believed in the love of the Lord Jesus and, sent by the Holy Spirit among those most in need, she served them with a Mother's heart and an Apostle's zeal.
Born in Verona on 1st March 1774, of a noble and wealthy family, she was the third of six children.
By way of painful events such as her father's death, her mother's second marriage, illness, misunderstanding, the Lord guided her towards unforeseen paths on which Magdalene tentatively set out.
A CALL
Drawn by the love of God, at the age of seventeen she planned to consecrate her life to God and twice tried her vocation at a Carmel.
However, the Holy Spirit urged her to follow a new path: to allow herself to be loved by Jesus Crucified, to belong to Him alone, in order to dedicate herself exclusively to those in greatest need.
She returned to her family and, being compelled by sad events and the tragic political circumstances at the end of the 18th century, she nurtured her true vocation in the depth of her heart and went on with life at Canossa Palace, shouldering the burden of running her family's large estate.
A GIFT
With complete dedication Magdalene carried out her daily tasks and widened her circle of friends while at the same time remaining open to the mysterious action of the Holy Spirit who gradually moulded her heart and enabled her to share in the love of the Father for mankind revealed by Jesus' complete and supreme offering of Himself on the Cross, and by the example of Mary, the Sorrowful Virgin Mother.
Moved by that love, Magdalene responded to the cry of the poor, hungry for food, instruction, understanding and the Word of God. She discovered them in the suburbs of Verona, where the echoes of the French Revolution, the occupation by various foreign powers and the Verona uprising had left evident signs of devastation and human suffering.
A PROJECT
Magdalene sought and found her first companions called to follow Christ, poor, chaste, obedient and who were to be sent out as witnesses of His unconditional Love towards all people.
In 1808, Magdalene overcame her family's opposition and left Canossa Palace once and for all to begin in the poorest district of Verona what she knew in her heart to be the Will of God: to serve the neediest persons with the heart of Christ.
A PROPHECY
Charity is like a blazing fire! Magdalene opened her heart to the Holy Spirit who guided her to the poor in other cities: Venice, Milan, Bergamo, Trent ... In only a few decades the number of her houses increased, her religious family grew in the service of the Kingdom of God.
The Love of the Crucified and Risen Lord burnt in Magdalene's heart who, together with her companions, became a witness of that same love in five specific areas:
Charity schools, providing an all-round formation geared to pupils status in life. Catechesis, given to all classes of people, with special attention to those most ignorant of the Faith.
Support given to women patients in hospital.
Residential seminars, to train young teachers for rural areas and valuable helpers for parish priests in their pastoral activities.
Yearly courses of Spiritual Exercises for Ladies of the nobility, with the aim of deepening their spiritual life and involving them in various charitable works.
Later on, this last activity was offered to all those who had a desire for it.
Contemporary to Magdalene and her apostolic work, flourished other witnesses of Charity: Leopoldina Naudet, Antonio Rosmini, Antonio Provolo, Carlo Steeb, Gaspare Bertoni, Teodora Campostrini, T. Eustochio Verzeri, Elisabetta Renzi, Cavanis brothers, Pietro Leonardi, all of whom founded Religious Institutes.



A FAMILY
The Institute of the Daughters of Charity, between 1819 and 1820, received its ecclesiastical approval in the various dioceses where the communities were present.
His Holiness Pope Leo XII approved the Rule of the Institute with the Brief Si Nobis, of 23rd December 1828.
Towards the end of her life, after unsuccessful attempts with A. Rosmini and A. Provolo, Magdalene was able to start the male branch of the Institute which she had planned to set up from the very beginning.
On 23th May 1831 in Venice, she began the first Oratory of the Sons of Charity for the Christian formation of boys and men. She entrusted it to the Venetian priest Don Francesco Luzzo, helped by two laymen from Bergamo: Giuseppe Carsana and Benedetto Belloni.
Magdalene's active and fruitful life ended when she was 61 years of age. She died in Verona surrounded by her Daughters on 10th April 1835. It was the Friday of Passion Week.
A MISSION
Above all make Jesus Christ known! This heartfelt concern of Magdalene's was the great inheritance that the Daughters and Sons of Charity are called to live, a life of complete availability to God and service towards others, willing to go to the most distant countries for the sake of this holy work. (MAGDALENE, Ep. II/I, p. 266).
The Daughters of Charity traveled for the Far East in 1860. Today there are about 4000 sisters throughout the world, grouped into 24 provinces.
The Sons of Charity number about 200. They work in various cities in Italy, Latin America and the Philippines.
Canossian Religious, called to a missionary vocation, "ad gentes", make themselves receptive to those basic Christian values, "the seeds of the Word", present in every culture while giving witness to and proclaiming what the "have seen, heard, contemplated...": the Love of the Father who, in Christ, reaches out to every person so that they may have life. Through this giving and receiving, the charism is enriched and bears fruit for God's Kingdom.
The charism which the Holy Spirit brought to life in Magdalene did not exhaust itself in the vitality of the two Institutes.
Consequently, various groups of lay people have found in Magdalene and in her ideals, their special way of living the faith, of witnessing charity, in all walks of Christian life.
A SONG OF THANKSGIVING
The Church draws our attention, especially that of her Sons and Daughters, to Magdalene, a Witness of the constant and freely given love of God.
We give thanks to Him for the gift of this Mother and Sister of ours and through her intercession we ask that we may love Him, as she did, above all other things, and make Him known to our fellow men by living our specific vocation.
Source Shared from Vatican.va

Spiritual retreat in the Vatican for Leaders of South Sudan to promote Resolution of Conflict - Led by Anglican Archbishop Welby


The Holy Father, Pope Francis, approved the proposal presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby, to organize a spiritual retreat to take place in the Vatican, within the Domus Sanctae Marthae, from the 10-11 of this month of April, in which the highest civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan will participate.
Representing the civil authorities in the event, are the members of the Presidency of the Republic of South Sudan, who, under the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, will assume positions of great national responsibility this coming 12 May: Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic, as well as four of the five designated Vice Presidents: Mr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Mr. James Wani Igga, Mr. Taban Deng Gai and Ms. Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior. Representing the ecclesiastical authorities of the country, eight members of the South Sudan Council of Church will take part in the retreat. His Excellency, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Archbishop of Gulu (Uganda), and the Reverend Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, S.J., President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar, will provide the preaching during the retreat.
This event, both ecumenical and diplomatic at the same time, was organized by mutual agreement between the Secretariat of State and the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the goal of offering on the part of the Church a propitious occasion for reflection and prayer, as well as an occasion for encounter and reconciliation, in a spirit of respect and trust, to those who in this moment have the mission and the responsibility to work for a future of peace and prosperity for the South Sudanese people.
The conclusion of the retreat will take place on the afternoon of Thursday, the 11th, when, at 5:00pm, the Holy Father will pronounce His discourse. Following that, those participating in the retreat will be given a Bible, signed by His Holiness Pope Francis, by His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by the Reverend John Chalmers, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, with the message “Seek that which unites. Overcome that which divides”. At the end, the leaders of South Sudan, who will take up the common task for peace, will receive the blessing.
FULL TEXT Press Release from Vatican.va

Quote to Share by St. Thérèse of Lisieux - "How can we complain when He Himself was considered 'as one struck by God and afflicted"


"How can we complain when He Himself was considered 'as one struck by God and afflicted"
by St Thérèse of Lisieux

Pope Francis approves updated norms issued by CDF "Anglicanorum coetibus" - for Former Anglicans-Episcopalians - FULL TEXT


Vatican.va Release: Explanatory Note on the Complementary Norms of the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 09.04.2019

In an article published in today’s “L’Osservatore Romano” regarding the Complementary Norms of the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus”, the author Nicola Gori explains that in 2009 Benedict XVI signed the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus on the institution of personal Ordinariates for Anglicans who enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, in response to requests from some Anglican groups who wished to be received, also corporately, in full Catholic communion. Currently, there exist three Ordinariates: Our Lady of Walsingham in England, the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States of America, and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
The 2009 constitution provides general norms, integrated with complementary norms. During the ten years that have passed since its publication, some suggestions and theological indications have been received, both ecumenical and in relation to canon law, to make the application of the provisions more consistent with the spirit of the Apostolic Constitution. This led to a new version of these norms, decided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope Francis on 8 March this year.
“In more detail”, Gori explains, “in Article 4, where reference is made to the Ordinariate which has the faculty of incardinating into the Ordinariate the Anglican ministers who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, in the revised complementary provisions particular reference is made to those who are already incardinated in a diocese by virtue of the Pastoral Provision and the candidates belonging to the Ordinariate promoted by him to the Sacred Orders”. In addition, “clerics who are about to be incardinated in the Ordinariate must be uncardinated from their original dioceses”.
As Gori reiterates, the Pastoral Provision, authorized by Saint John Paul II in 1980, was created in 1980 in the United States of America to receive married former Anglican priests in the Catholic ordained ministry.
“With regard to the faithful of the Ordinariate, dealt with by Article 5, the new Complementary Norms specify the case of a person who has been validly baptized in another ecclesial community outside the Catholic Church”, the author continues. “When such a person expresses the wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, thanks to the efforts and the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate, he may be admitted and belong to the Ordinariate from the moment in which he enters into full communion and receives the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist. Furthermore, it should be underlined that this is applied also to those who have not been validly baptized, but who again thanks to the evangelizing action of the Ordinariate have discovered the faith so as to receive all the sacraments of initiation”.
In Article 10, regarding the clergy, a further novelty is introduced. While in previous paragraph 2, it was specified that the “candidates may receive other aspects of priestly formation at a seminary program or house of formation established, with the consent of the Governing Council, expressly for the purpose of transmitting Anglican patrimony”. In the new Complementary Norms, the same paragraph 2 states that “Ordinariate Seminarians will receive their theological formation with other seminarians at a seminary or theological faculty in agreement with the Diocesan Bishop or Bishops concerned”. By adding that such candidates “may receive other aspects of priestly formation”, the norm is simplified and adapted to current needs. Again in Article 10, regarding the clergy, in paragraph 5 it is added that the Ordinariate, for the purpose of the continuing formation of its clergy, will promote participation both “in local programs for formation provided by the Episcopal Conference and the Diocesan Bishop” and “in their own programs of ongoing formation”.
In the new Complementary Norms, an entire article has been added, number 15, dedicated to the celebration of Divine Worship. It is acknowledged that the Missal proper to the personal Ordinariates, entitled “Divine Worship”, namely the form approved by the Holy See for use by the Ordinariate, expresses and preserves for Catholic worship “the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity”.
This is the reason for the emphasis that public liturgical worship following Divine Worship is limited to the personal Ordinariates, as established by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, explains Gori. “Any priest incardinated in the Ordinariate is authorized to celebrate using Divine Worship. This applies outside the parishes of the Ordinariate when the priest celebrates Mass without the participation of the faithful, and also publicly with the permission of the rector or parish priest of the church or of the parish concerned. Furthermore, when pastoral needs demand it, or in the absence of a priest incardinated in an Ordinariate, if requested, any priest incardinated in the diocese or in an institute of consecrated life or of a society of apostolic life can celebrate in accordance with Divine Worship for the members of the Ordinariate. Finally, it is granted to any priest incardinated in the diocese or in an institute of consecrated life or in a society of apostolic life to concelebrate following Divine Worship.
Complementary Norms of the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 09.04.2019



CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Complementary Norms
for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus
Jurisdiction of the Holy See
Article 1
Each Ordinariate is subject to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It maintains close relations with the other Roman Dicasteries in accordance with their competence.

Relations with Episcopal Conferences and Diocesan Bishops
Article 2
§1. The Ordinary follows the directives of the national Episcopal Conference insofar as this is consistent with the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus §2. The Ordinary is a member of the respective Episcopal Conference.
Article 3
The Ordinary, in the exercise of this office, must maintain close ties of communion with the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Ordinariate is present in order to coordinate its pastoral activity with the pastoral program of the Diocese.

The Ordinary
Article 4
§1. The Ordinary may be a bishop or a presbyter appointed by the Roman Pontiff ad nutum Sanctae Sedis, based on a terna presented by the Governing Council. Canon Law 383-388, 392-394, and 396-398, of the Code of Canon Law, apply to him.
§2. The Ordinary has the faculty to incardinate in the Ordinariate former Anglican ministers who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church; particularly those already incardinated in a diocese by virtue of the Pastoral Provision; as well as candidates belonging to the Ordinariate and promoted to Holy Orders by him. Clerics incardinating into the Ordinariate must excardinate from their former Diocese.
§3. Having first consulted with the Episcopal Conference and obtained the consent of the Governing Council and the approval of the Holy See, the Ordinary can erect as needed territorial deaneries supervised by a delegate of the Ordinary covering the faithful of multiple personal parishes.
The Faithful of the Ordinariate
Article 5
§1. The lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition who wish to belong to the Ordinariate, after having made their Profession of Faith and received the Sacraments of Initiation, with due regard for Canon 845, are to be entered in the apposite register of the Ordinariate. Those who have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate.
§2. A person who has been baptized in the Catholic Church but who has not completed the Sacraments of Initiation, and subsequently returns to the faith and practice of the Church as a result of the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Sacrament of the Eucharist or both.1
§3. A person, who has been validly baptized in another Ecclesial Community outside of the Catholic Church, and subsequently desires to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate upon reception into full communion and conferral of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. Also, this applies to the case of those not being validly baptized that have come to the faith through the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate and therefore receive in it all of the sacraments of initiation.
§4. Lay faithful and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, when they collaborate in pastoral or charitable activities, whether diocesan or parochial, are subject to the Diocesan Bishop or to the pastor of the place; in which case the power of the Diocesan Bishop or pastor is exercised jointly with that of the Ordinary and the pastor of the Ordinariate.
The Clergy
Article 6
§1. In order to admit candidates to Holy Orders the Ordinary must obtain the consent of the Governing Council. In consideration of Anglican ecclesial tradition and practice, the Ordinary may present to the Holy Father a request for the admission of married men to the presbyterate in the Ordinariate, after a process of discernment based on objective criteria and the needs of the Ordinariate. These objective criteria are determined by the Ordinary in consultation with the local Episcopal Conference and must be approved by the Holy See.
§2. Those who have been previously ordained in the Catholic Church and subsequently have become Anglicans, may not exercise sacred ministry in the Ordinariate. Anglican clergy who are in irregular marriage situations may not be accepted for Holy Orders in the Ordinariate.
§3. Presbyters incardinated in the Ordinariate receive the necessary faculties from the Ordinary.
Article 7
§1 The Ordinary must ensure that adequate remuneration be provided to the clergy incardinated in the Ordinariate, and must provide for their needs in the event of sickness, disability, and old age.
§2 The Ordinary will enter into discussion with the Episcopal Conference about resources and funds which might be made available for the care of the clergy of the Ordinariate.
§3. When necessary, priests, with the permission of the Ordinary, may engage in a secular profession compatible with the exercise of priestly ministry (cf. CIC, can. 286).
Article 8
§1. The presbyters, while constituting the presbyterate of the Ordinariate, are eligible for membership in the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese in which they exercise pastoral care of the faithful of the Ordinariate (cf. CIC, can. 498, §2).
§2. Priests and Deacons incardinated in the Ordinariate may be members of the Pastoral Council of the Diocese in which they exercise their ministry, in accordance with the manner determined by the Diocesan Bishop (cf. CIC, can. 512, §1).
Article 9
§1. The clerics incardinated in the Ordinariate should be available to assist the Diocese in which they have a domicile or quasi-domicile, where it is deemed suitable for the pastoral care of the faithful. In such cases they are subject to the Diocesan Bishop in respect to that which pertains to the pastoral charge or office they receive.
§2. Where and when it is deemed suitable, clergy incardinated in a Diocese or in an Institute of Consecrated Life or a Society of Apostolic Life, with the written consent of their respective Diocesan Bishop or their Superior, can collaborate in the pastoral care of the Ordinariate. In such case they are subject to the Ordinary in respect to that which pertains to the pastoral charge or office they receive.
§3. In the cases treated in the preceding paragraphs there should be a written agreement between the Ordinary and the Diocesan Bishop or the Superior of the Institute of Consecrated Life or the Moderator of the Society of Apostolic Life, in which the terms of collaboration and all that pertains to the means of support are clearly established.
Article 10
§1. Formation of the clergy of the Ordinariate should accomplish two objectives: 1) joint formation with diocesan seminarians in accordance with local circumstances; 2) formation, in full harmony with Catholic tradition, in those aspects of the Anglican patrimony that are of particular value.
§2. Ordinariate Seminarians will receive their theological formation with other seminarians at a seminary or theological faculty in agreement with the Diocesan Bishop or Bishops concerned. Candidates may receive other aspects of priestly formation at a seminary program or house of formation established, with the consent of the Governing Council, expressly for the purpose of transmitting Anglican patrimony.
§3. The Ordinariate must have its own Program of Priestly Formation, approved by the Holy See; each house of formation should draw up its own rule, approved by the Ordinary (cf. CIC, can. 242, §1).
§4. The Ordinary may accept as seminarians only those faithful who belong to a personal parish or community of the Ordinariate or who were previously Anglican and have established full communion with the Catholic Church.
§5. The Ordinariate sees to the continuing formation of its clergy, through their participation in local programs for formation provided by the Episcopal Conference and the Diocesan Bishop, as well as in their own programs of ongoing formation.
Former Anglican Bishops
Article 11
§1. A married former Anglican Bishop is eligible to be appointed Ordinary. In such a case he is to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church and then exercises pastoral and sacramental ministry within the Ordinariate with full jurisdictional authority.
§2. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate may be called upon to assist the Ordinary in the administration of the Ordinariate.
§3. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate and who has not been ordained as a bishop in the Catholic Church, may request permission from the Holy See to use the insignia of the episcopal office.
The Governing Council
Article 12
§1. The Governing Councilin accord with Statutes which the Ordinary must approve, will have the rights and responsibilities accorded by the Code of Canon Law to the College of Consultors and the Presbyteral Council.
§2. In addition to these responsibilities, the Ordinary needs the consent of the Governing Council to:
  1. admit a candidate to Holy Orders;
  2. erect or suppress a personal parish;
  3. erect or suppress a house of formation;
  4. approve a program of formation.
§3. The Ordinary also consults the Governing Council concerning the pastoral activities of the Ordinariate and the principles governing the formation of clergy.
§4. The Governing Council has a deliberative vote:
  1. when choosing a terna of names to submit to the Holy See for the appointment of the Ordinary;
  2. when proposing changes to the Complementary Norms of the Ordinariate to present to the Holy See;
  3. when formulating the Statutes of the Governing Council, the Statutes of the Pastoral Council, and the Rule for houses of formation.
§5. The Governing Council is composed according to the Statutes of the Council. Half of the membership is elected by the priests of the Ordinariate.
The Pastoral Council
Article 13
§1. The Pastoral Council, constituted by the Ordinary, offers advice regarding the pastoral activity of the Ordinariate.
§2. The Pastoral Council, whose president is the Ordinary, is governed by Statutes approved by the Ordinary.
The Personal Parishes
Article 14
§1. The pastor may be assisted in the pastoral care of the parish by the parochial vicar, appointed by the Ordinary; a pastoral council and a finance council must be established in the Parish.
§2. If there is no vicar, in the event of absence, incapacity, or death of a pastor, the pastor of the territorial parish in which the church of the personal parish is located can exercise his faculties as pastor so as to supply what is needed.
§3. For the pastoral care of the faithful who live within the boundaries of a Diocese in which no personal parish has been erected, the Ordinary, having heard the opinion of the local Diocesan Bishop, can make provisions for quasi-parishes (cf. CIC, can. 516, §1).
The Celebration of Divine Worship
Article 15
§1. Divine Worship, the liturgical form approved by the Holy See for use in the Ordinariate, gives expression to and preserves for Catholic worship the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity.
§2. Public liturgical celebration according to Divine Worship is restricted to the Personal Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Any priest incardinated in an Ordinariate may celebrate according to Divine Worship outside the parishes of the Ordinariate when celebrating Mass without a congregation, or publicly with the permission of the rector/pastor of the corresponding church or parish.
§3. In cases of pastoral necessity or in the absence of a priest incardinated in an Ordinariate, any priest incardinated in a Diocese or in an Institute of Consecrated Life or Society of Apostolic Life may celebrate according to Divine Worship for members of the Ordinariate who request it. Any priest incardinated in a Diocese or in an Institute of Consecrated Life or Society of Apostolic Life may concelebrate Mass according to Divine Worship.
The Supreme Pope Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on March 8, 2019, approved this updated version of the Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, March 19, 2019, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church.
Luis F. Card. LADARIAS.I.
Prefect
X Giacomo MORANDI
Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri
Secretary
______________________________________________
1 This paragraph was added to the text of the Complementary Norms according to a decision of the Ordinary Session held on 29 May 2013, approved by Pope Francis on 31 May 2013.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Press Release - Official Translation
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Wow Holy Stairs where Jesus climbed to Pilate now Available to Public after 300 Years with Restored Frescoes - Video

Restoration work on the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs in Rome will lead to an April 11 unveiling of the renovated sanctuary. Pilgrims will then have the opportunity to climb the bare marble stairs.
For the first time in 300 years, the marble steps of the Holy Stairs will be free from wooden panels installed in 1723 to protect the stairs and left uncovered for the public.

For about 40 days, people will be able to touch and climb the bare stones that, according to tradition, are the ones Jesus climbed when Pontius Pilate brought him before the crowd and handed him over to be crucified.

The cleaned steps will be uncovered the week before Holy Week, during a special blessing ceremony at the Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs.
This 20-year-long project was overseen by the Vatican Museums and funded with the help of private donors, foundations and the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

Tradition holds that St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, brought the stairs to Rome from Jerusalem in 326 A.D.

The sanctuary walls and ceilings are covered with newly restored decorative paintings and frescoes depicting Christ’s passion and events of the Old Testament. It was built specifically for the stairs to be venerated by the public in the late 1580s, by order of Pope Sixtus V.

Since then, millions of people climbed the steps on their knees.
 According to tradition, Jesus fell at the 11th step, cracking it with his knee. A cross marks the point of impact,  and an open grate covers what was said to have been a spatter of his blood.

Workers carefully bagged the written prayer requests and mementos, which had been stuck into the open slats in the stair risers. They were to be given to the Passionist Fathers in charge of the sanctuary for cataloging and study. Text Edited and Shortened from CNS
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#BreakingNews Pope Francis brings several People closer to Sainthood by Authorizing Decrees



Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, 08.04.2019


On 6 April 2019, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the Congregation to promulgate the decrees regarding:
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Donizetti Tavares de Lima, diocesan priest; born on 3 January 1882 in Cássia, Brazil, and died on 16 June 1961 in Tambaú, Brazil;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Carlo Cavina, diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Francis de Sales; born in Castel Bolognese, Italy on 29 August and died on 15 September 1880 in Lugo, Italy;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Raffaele da Sant’Elia a Pianisi (born Domenico Petruccelli), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin; born in Sant’Elia a Pianisi, Italy on 14 December 1816 and died there on 6 January 1901;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Damiano da Bozzano (born Pio Giannotti), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin; born in Bozzano, Italy on 5 November 1898 and died in Recife, Brazil on 31 May 1997;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Victorin Nymphas Arnaud Pagés (born Augustin), professed friar of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; born in Onzillon, France on 7 September 1885 and died in San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico on 16 April 1966;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Consolata Betrone (born Pierina Lorenzina Giovanna), professed religious of the Capuchin Poor Clares; born in Saluzzo, Italy on 6 April 1903 and died in Moriondo, Italy on 18 July 1946;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Nelson Santana, layperson; born in Ibitinga, Brazil on 31 July and died in Araraquara, Brazil on 24 December 1964;
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Gaetana Tolomeo, known as “Nuccia”, layperson; born in Catanzaro, Italy on 10 April 1936 and died there on 24 January 1997.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Press Release - Image Share Google Images
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Pope Francis at Mass “May the Lord always give us hope for the future and the strength to keep going”.


Pope at Mass: Christians must not give in to failure
Pope Francis celebrates morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta commenting on the “spirit of tiredness” that “takes away hope”.
By Linda Bordoni

Reflecting on the First Reading of the day, which is taken from the Book of Numbers, Pope Francis said that at times Christians “prefer failure”, leaving room for complaint and dissatisfaction, a perfect terrain, he said, for the devil in which to sow his seeds.

According to the Reading, the people of God, he explained, could not bear the journey: their enthusiasm and hope as they escaped slavery in Egypt gradually faded, their patience wore out, and they began muttering and complaining to God: “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in this desert?”

“The spirit of tiredness takes away our hope,” the Pope remarked, adding that “tiredness is selective: it always causes us to see the negative in the moment we are living, and forget the good things we have received”.

“When we feel desolated and cannot bear the journey, we seek refuge either in idols or in complaint... (…) This spirit of fatigue leads us Christians to be dissatisfied (…) and everything goes wrong…  Jesus himself taught us this when he said we are like children playing games when we are overcome by this spirit of dissatisfaction.”

Fertile land for the devil
The Pope said some Christians give in to “failure” without realizing that this creates the “perfect terrain for the devil.”

They are “afraid of consolation”, “afraid of hope”, “afraid of the Lord’s caress” he said.

Pope Francis lamented the fact that this is the life of many Christians: “They live complaining, they live criticizing, they mutter and are unsatisfied”.

“The people of God could not bear the journey. We Christians often can't bear the journey. We prefer failure, that is to say desolation.”

He said it is the desolation of the serpent: the ancient serpent, that of the Garden of Eden. Here it is a symbol, he explained, of that same serpent that seduced Eve. It is a way, he continued, of showing the serpent inside that always bites in times of desolation.

Fear of hope
Those who spend their lives complaining, the Pope said, are those who “prefer failure”, “who bear to hope”, “of those who could not bear the resurrection of Jesus”.

Pope Francis concluded inviting Christians to ask the Lord to free us from this disease.

“May the Lord, he said, “always give us hope for the future and the strength to keep going”.
FULL TEXT Source: Shared from Vatican News va

Touching True Story as Nurse at Franciscan Hospital Adopts Sick Baby Nobody came to Visit - Video


Liz always wanted a family and children; but sometimes her career got in the way. She accepted a position at Franciscan Children’s, where she had volunteered 20 years prior, as the Senior Director of Nursing.  Both Liz’s brother and sister had children and, as much as she loved being an auntie to her 13 nieces and nephews, she knew she wanted more. Approaching 40, Liz decided to see a fertility specialist but received some sad news.
On that same day,  Liz met Gisele, a little girl that would change her life forever.
Gisele was born prematurely at just 29 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces. She was born with neonatal absence syndrome (NAS), a consequence of being exposed to narcotics during the pregnancy. Gisele was immediately weaned off of the drugs, but faced additional complications from her prematurity in addition to the exposure.
 Needing continued care for her complex medical needs, Gisele was transferred to Franciscan Children’s.
Liz instantly bonded with Gisele and visited her frequently through all her complications and setbacks. “I went to see her every day,” she said, “It was kind of my reward after a long workday.”
The state claimed custody of Gisele in October 2016, shortly after her arrival at Franciscan Children’s. Gisele’s birth parents were facing an uphill battle of addiction and were not fit to care for a child. Liz decided to foster Gisele.

When Liz first began fostering Gisele the goal was reunification with her birth parents. This meant that Geisel’s birth parents had weekly visits with her, supervised by the Department of Children and Family Services. The end goal was to reunite her with her family. 
“I remember certain nights, one in particular, when she was hooked up to the feed and I was walking by the mirror and the thought went into my head of losing her,” explained Liz, “I had to go there in my mind because it was still a reality, but it made me sick to my stomach. You can’t just love a certain percentage. You have to give it your all.”
When Gisele’s birth parents did not appeal their rights being terminated and no biological relatives were fit to adopt her it became clear that Liz’s life was about to change dramatically.
On October 18, 2018  her family gathered in the Brockton courthouse to finalize the adoption.
The judge stood up and said, “When a judge walks in the room, everyone stands out of respect. But today I stand in respect for you, Liz because you deserve the respect from this room. A birthing day is a miracle. But adopting a child from miles away is destiny. That’s what brought you two together.”
It wasn’t until the judge actually read her name aloud as “Gisele Katherine Smith” and called her mom that she felt her dream of becoming a mom had come true.
For Liz, it’s hard to remember life before Gisele. “I remember some of the painful pieces at times, but when I look at her I’m so happy I can’t believe I was ever so upset. I can’t remember the hard times because she makes me so happy,” explained Liz.
 Liz and Gisele’s inspiring story of love was chronicled on the TODAY Show on NBC. Watch their incredible story come to life in the video below.
Edited from franciscanchildrens.org
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Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, April 8, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent


Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 252

Reading 1NM 21:4-9

From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But with their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
"Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!"

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us."
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live."
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21

R. (2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer,
and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;  
in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
R. O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
"The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die."
R. O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

Verse Before The Gospel

The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.

GospelJN 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come."
So the Jews said,
"He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?"
He said to them, "You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins."
So they said to him, "Who are you?"
Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world."
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
"When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him."
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.