Sunday, May 5, 2019

Pope Francis at Mass says "In Jesus, God always offers us another chance." FULL Text Homily + Video in Bulgaria


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO BULGARIA AND NORTH MACEDONIA
HOLY MASS
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS
Knyaz Alexandar I Square I (Sofia)
Sunday, 5 May 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is risen! Christos vozkrese!
It is wonderful to see how with these words Christians in your country greet one another in the joy of the Risen Lord during the Easter season.
The entire episode we have just heard, drawn from the final pages of the Gospels, helps us immerse ourselves in this joy that the Lord asks us to spread. It does so by reminding us of three amazing things that are part of our lives as disciples: God callsGod surprisesGod loves.
God calls. Everything takes place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus first called Peter. He had called him to leave behind his trade as a fisher in order to become a fisher of men (cf. Lk 5:4-11). Now, after all that had happened to him, after the experience of seeing the Master die and hearing news of his resurrection, Peter goes back to his former life. He tells the others disciples, “I am going fishing”. And they follow suit: “We will go with you” (Jn 21:3). They seem to take a step backwards; Peter takes up the nets he had left behind for Jesus. The weight of suffering, disappointment, and of betrayal had become like a stone blocking the hearts of the disciples. They were still burdened with pain and guilt, and the good news of the resurrection had not taken root in their hearts.
The Lord knows what a strong temptation it is for us to return to the way things were before. In the Bible, Peter’s nets, like the fleshpots of Egypt, are a symbol of a tempting nostalgia for the past, of wanting to take back what we had decided to leave behind. In the face of failure, hurt, or even the fact that at times things do not go the way we want, there always comes a subtle and dangerous temptation to become disheartened and to give up. This is the tomb psychology that tinges everything with dejection and leads us to indulge in a soothing sense of self-pity that, like a moth, eats away at all our hope. Then the worst thing that can happen to any community begins to appear – the grim pragmatism of a life in which everything appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small-mindedness (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 83).
But it was at the very moment of Peter’s failure that Jesus appears, starts over, patiently comes to him and calls him “Simon” (v. 15) – the name Peter received when he was first called. The Lord does not wait for perfect situations or frames of mind: he creates them. He does not expect to encounter people without problems, disappointments, without sins or limitations. He himself confronted sin and disappointment in order to encourage all men and women to persevere. Brothers and sisters, the Lord never tires of calling us. His is the power of a Love that overturns every expectation and is always ready to start anew. In Jesus, God always offers us another chance. He calls us day by day to deepen our love for him and to be revived by his eternal newness. Every morning, he comes to find us where we are. He summons us “to rise at his word, to look up and to realize that we were made for heaven, not for earth, for the heights of life and not for the depths of death”, and to stop seeking “the living among the dead” (Homily at the Easter Vigil, 20 April 2019). When we welcome him, we rise higher and are able to embrace a brighter future, not as a possibility but as a reality. When Jesus’s call directs our lives, our hearts grow young.
God surprises. He is the Lord of surprises. He invites us not only to be surprised, but also to do surprising things. The Lord calls the disciples and, seeing them with empty nets, he tells them to do something odd: to fish by day, something quite out of the ordinary on that lake. He revives their trust by urging them once more to take a risk, not to give up on anyone or anything. He is the Lord of surprises, who breaks down paralyzing barriers by filling us with the courage needed to overcome the suspicion, mistrust and fear that so often lurk behind the mindset that says, “We have always done things this way”. God surprises us whenever he calls and asks us to put out into the sea of history not only with our nets, but with our very selves. To look at our lives and those of others as he does, for “in sin, he sees sons and daughters to be restored; in death, brothers and sisters to be reborn; in desolation, hearts to be revived. Do not fear, then: the Lord loves your life, even when you are afraid to look at it and take it in hand” (ibid.).
We can now turn to the third amazing thing: God calls and God surprises, because God loves. Love is his language. That is why he asks Peter, and us, to learn that language. He asks Peter: “Do you love me?” And Peter says yes; after spending so much time with Jesus, he now understands that to love means to stop putting himself at the centre. He now makes Jesus, and not himself, the starting point: “You know everything” (Jn 21:18), he says. Peter recognizes his weakness; he realizes that he cannot make progress on his own. And he takes his stand on the Lord and on the strength of his love, to the very end.
The Lord loves us: this is the source of our strength and we are asked to reaffirm it each day. Being a Christian is a summons to realize that God’s love is greater than all our shortcomings and sins. One of our great disappointments and difficulties today comes not from knowing that God is love, but that our way of proclaiming and bearing witness to him is such that, for many people, this is not his name. God is love, a love that bestows itself, that calls and surprises.
Here we see the miracle of God, who makes of our lives works of art, if only we let ourselves to be led by his love. Many of the witnesses of Easter in this blessed land created magnificent masterpieces, inspired by simple faith and great love. Offering their lives, they became living signs of the Lord, overcoming apathy with courage and offering a Christian response to the concerns that they encountered (cf. Christus Vivit, 174). Today we are called to lift up our eyes and acknowledge what the Lord has done in the past, and to walk with him towards the future, knowing that, whether we succeed or fail, he will always be there to keep telling us to cast our nets.
Here I would like to repeat what I said to young people in my recent Exhortation. A young Church, young not in terms of age but in the grace of the Spirit, is inviting us to testify to the love of Christ, a love that inspires and directs us to strive for the common good. This love enables us to serve the poor and to become protagonists of the revolution of charity and service, capable of resisting the pathologies of consumerism and superficial individualism. Brimming with the love of Christ, be living witnesses of the Gospel in every corner of this city (cf. Christus Vivit, 174-175). Do not be afraid of becoming the saints that this land greatly needs. Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, it will take away none of your vitality or joy. On the contrary, you and all the sons and daughters of this land will become what the Father had in mind when he created you (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 32).
Called, surprised and sent for love!



#BreakingNews Catholic Churches Vandalized in Scotland and Government officials say "..anti-Catholic discrimination...must be eradicated"

A shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa was desecrated and a statue of Jesus smashed in the attack on St Simon's in Partick. The Archdiocese of Glasgow has condemned a "shameful attack" on the city's third oldest church. Police Scotland were called to St Simon's in Partick at about 16:20 on Monday, April 29, 2019 .  The Archdiocese of Glasgow's Facebook page said: "Whatever the motive this is a shameful attack on a much loved church. "Let's help find those responsible. This kind of activity is unacceptable."
The government also voiced a complaint MSP Sandra White, in whose constituency St Simon’s is located, the First Minister said the vandalism was ‘absolutely appalling and a complete outrage.’   Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the ‘whole congregation of St Simon’s have my solidarity, and we must do all we can to stamp anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland.’ Speaking on Thursday during First Minister’s Questions, Mrs Sturgeon said: “While it is for the police to investigate such incidents and any motivation for it, we should all be clear that this anti-Catholic or possibly anti-Polish discrimination must not be tolerated “Just like anti-semitism or Islamaphobia, anti-Catholic discrimination is a scourge on our society and it must be eradicated. Places of worship whether Christian churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, any places of worship must be places of peace and sanctuary.” She added that she and the justice secretary have ‘given a commitment’ to exploring what the government could do to ensure safety and security at places of worship.
 The incident comes one week after Holy Family Parish in Mossend, Motherwell Diocese, was subjected to anti-Catholic graffiti scrawled on a nearby bus stop. The words ‘F**k the pope’ were tagged onto the bus stop one month after the local Catholic primary school’s windows were smashed. Edited from the Scottish Catholic Observer

Pope Francis visits Patriarch "..in the certainty that prayer is the door that opens to every path of goodness." FULL TEXT + Video - #Orthodox


VISIT TO THE PATRIARCH AND TO THE HOLY SYNOD
GREETING OF HIS HOLINESS
Palace of the Holy Synod (Sofia)
Sunday, 5 May 2019

Your Holiness,
Venerable Metropolitans and Bishops,
Dear Brothers,
Christos vozkrese!
In the joy of the Risen Saviour, I offer you Easter greetings on this Sunday known in the Christian East as “Saint Thomas Sunday”. Let us consider the Apostle, who puts his hand in the Lord’s side, touches his wounds and proclaims, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28). The wounds opened in the course of history between us Christians remain painful bruises on the Body of Christ which is the Church. Even today, their effects are tangible; we can touch them with our hands. Yet, perhaps together we can touch those wounds, confess that Jesus is risen, and proclaim him our Lord and our God. Perhaps together we can recognize our failings and immerse ourselves in his wounds of love. And in this way, we can discover the joy of forgiveness and enjoy a foretaste of the day when, with God’s help, we can celebrate the Paschal mystery at one altar.
On this journey, we are sustained by great numbers of our brothers and sisters, to whom I would especially like to render homage: the witnesses of Easter. How many Christians in this country endured suffering for the name of Jesus, particularly during the persecution of the last century! The ecumenism of blood! They spread a pleasing perfume over this “Land of Roses”. They passed through the thicket of trials in order to spread the fragrance of the Gospel. They blossomed in fertile and well-cultivated ground, as part of a people rich in faith and genuine humanity that gave them strong, deep roots. I think in particular of the monastic tradition that from generation to generation has nurtured the faith of the people. I believe that these witnesses of Easter, brothers and sisters of different confessions united in heaven by divine charity, now look to us as seeds planted in the earth and meant to bear fruit. While so many other brothers and sisters of ours throughout the world continue to suffer for their faith, they ask us not to remain closed, but to open ourselves, for only in this way can those seeds bear fruit.
Your Holiness, this meeting, which I have greatly desired, follows that of Saint John Paul II with Patriarch Maxim during the first visit of the Bishop of Rome to Bulgaria. It also follows in the footsteps of Saint John XXIII, who, in the years he lived here, became greatly attached to this people, “so simple and good” (Giornale dell’anima, Bologna, 1987, 325), valuing their honesty, their hard work and their dignity amid trials. Here, as a guest welcomed with affection, I experience a deep fraternal nostalgia, that healthy longing for unity among children of the same Father that was felt with growing intensity by Pope John during his time in this city. During the Second Vatican Council, which he convened, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sent observers, and from that time on, our contacts have multiplied. I think of the visits that, for fifty years now, Bulgarian delegations have made to the Vatican and which I annually have the joy of receiving; so too, the presence in Rome of an Orthodox Bulgarian community that prays in one of the churches of my Diocese. I appreciate the gracious welcome given to my envoys, whose presence has increased in recent years, and the cooperation shown with the local Catholic community, especially in the area of culture. I am confident that, with the help of God, and in his good time, these contacts will have a positive effect on many other dimensions of our dialogue. In the meantime, we are called to journey and act together in order to bear witness to the Lord, particularly by serving the poorest and most neglected of our brothers and sisters, in whom he is present. The ecumenism of the poor.
Our guides on this journey are, above all, Saints Cyril and Methodius, who have linked us since the first millennium and whose living memory in our Churches continues to be a source of inspiration, for despite adversities they made their highest priority the proclamation of the Lord, the call to mission. As Saint Cyril put it: “With joy I set out for the Christian faith; however weary and physically weak, I will go with joy” (Vita Constantini, VI, 7; XIV, 9). And despite premonitions of the painful divisions which would take place in centuries to come, they chose the prospect of communion. Mission and communion: two words that distinguished the life of these two saints and that can illumine our own journey towards growth in fraternity. The ecumenism of mission.
Cyril and Methodius, Byzantines by culture, were daring enough to translate the Bible into a language accessible to the Slavic peoples, so that the divine Word could precede human words. Their courageous apostolate remains today a model of evangelization and a challenge to proclaim the Gospel to the next generation. How important it is, while respecting our own traditions and distinctive identities, to help one another to find ways of passing on the faith in language and forms that allow young people to experience the joy of a God who loves them and calls them! Otherwise, they will be tempted to put their trust in the deceitful siren songs of a consumerist society.
Communion and mission, closeness and proclamation. Saints Cyril and Methodius also have much to say to us about the future of European society. Indeed, “they were in a certain sense the promoters of a united Europe and of a profound peace among all the continent’s inhabitants, showing the basis for a new art of living together, with respect for differences, which in no way are an obstacle to unity” (SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Greeting to the Official Bulgarian Delegation, 24 May 1999: Insegnamenti XXII, 1 [1999], 1080). We too, as heirs of the faith of the saints, are called to be builders of communion and peacemakers in the name of Jesus. Bulgaria is a “spiritual crossroads, a land of contacts and mutual understanding” (ID., Address at the Arrival Ceremony, Sofia, 23 May 2002: Insegnamenti, XXV, 1 [2002], 864). Here various confessions, from the Armenian to the Evangelical, and different religious traditions, from the Jewish to the Muslim, have found a welcome. The Catholic Church has met with acceptance and respect both in her Latin tradition and in her Byzantine-Slavic tradition. I am grateful to Your Holiness and the Holy Synod for this benevolent reception. In our relationships, too, Saints Cyril and Methodius remind us that, “far from being an obstacle to the Church’s unity, the diversity of customs and observances only adds to her beauty” and that between East and West “various theological formulations are often to be considered complementary rather than conflicting” (Unitatis Redintegratio16-17). “We can learn so much from one another (Evangelii Gaudium, 246)!
Your Holiness, shortly I will be able to visit the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Aleksander Nevskij and to pray there in memory of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Saint Aleksander Nevskij, from the Russian tradition, and the Holy Brothers, from the Greek tradition and apostles of the Slavic peoples, show us the extent to which Bulgaria is a bridge-country. Your Holiness, dear Brothers, I assure you of my prayers for you, for the faithful of this beloved people, for the lofty location of this nation, and for our journey in an ecumenism of blood, of the poor and of mission. In turn, I ask a place in your prayers, in the certainty that prayer is the door that opens to every path of goodness. I thank you once again for the welcome I have received and I assure you that I will cherish the memory of this fraternal encounter. Christos vozkrese!

FULL TEXT + Image shared from Vatican.va

Pope Francis to Authorities "..., an inspiration for fruitful dialogue, harmony and fraternal encounter between Churches..." FULL Text + Video in Bulgaria


MEETING WITH THE AUTHORITIES, WITH CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
Atanas Burov Square (Sofia)
Sunday, 5 May 2019

Mr President,
Mr Prime Minister,
Honourable Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Authorities,
Representatives of the various Religious Confessions,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christos vozkrese!
I am happy to be here in Bulgaria, a place of encounter between many cultures and civilizations, a bridge between Eastern and Southern Europe, an open door to the Near East, and a land of ancient Christian roots that nourish its vocation to foster encounter both in the region and in the international community. Here diversity, combined with respect for distinctive identities, is viewed as an opportunity, a source of enrichment, and not as a source of conflict.
I cordially greet the Authorities of the Republic, and I thank them for the invitation to visit Bulgaria. I thank His Excellency the President for his gracious words of welcome here in this historic Square named after the statesman Atanas Burov, who suffered under a regime that could not tolerate freedom of thought.
I send my respectful greetings to His Holiness Patriarch Neofit, with whom I will shortly meet, to the Metropolitans and Bishops of the Holy Synod, and to all the faithful of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. My affectionate greetings go to the Bishops, priests, men and women religious, and all the members of the Catholic Church, whom I have come to confirm in faith and to encourage along their daily path of Christian life and witness.

I also cordially greet the Christians of other Ecclesial Communities, the members of the Jewish community and the followers of Islam. With you, I reaffirm “the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity, and harmonious coexistence” (Document on Human Fraternity, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019). Let us profit from the hospitality of the Bulgarian people so that every religion, called to foster harmony and concord, can contribute to the growth of a culture and an environment of complete respect for the human person and his or her dignity, by establishing vital links between different civilizations, sensibilities and traditions, and by rejecting every form of violence and coercion. In this way, those who seek by any means to manipulate and exploit religion will be defeated.
My visit today recalls that of Saint John Paul II in May 2002, and evokes the happy memory of the nearly decade-long presence in Sofia of the then Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. The latter never ceased to feel deep gratitude and esteem for your nation, to the point that he once said that wherever he would go, his house would always be open to everyone, Catholic or Orthodox alike, who came as a brother or sister from Bulgaria (cf. Homily, 25 December 1934). Saint John XXIII worked tirelessly to promote fraternal cooperation between all Christians. With the Second Vatican Council, which he convoked and over whose first phase he presided, he gave great encouragement and decisive support to the development of ecumenical relationships.
It is in the wake of these providential events that from 1968 on – a full fifty years ago – an official Delegation composed of the highest civil and ecclesiastical Authorities of Bulgaria has made a yearly visit to the Vatican on the occasion of the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius. These two Saints evangelized the Slavic peoples and were at the origin of the development of their language, their culture, and above all their abundant and enduring fruits of Christian witness and of holiness.
Blessed be Saints Cyril and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe! By their prayers, their genius and their joint apostolic efforts, they serve as an example for us and they continue to be, more than a millennium later, an inspiration for fruitful dialogue, harmony and fraternal encounter between Churches, States and peoples! May their radiant example raise up many followers in our own day and open up new paths of peace and concord!
Now, at this particular moment of history, thirty years after the end of the totalitarian regime that imprisoned its liberty and initiatives, Bulgaria faces the effects of the emigration in recent decades of over two million of her citizens in search of new opportunities for employment. At the same time, Bulgaria – like so many other countries of Europe – must deal with what can only be called a new winter: the demographic winter that has descended like a curtain of ice on a large part of Europe, the consequence of a diminished confidence in the future. The fall in the birth rate, combined with the intense flow of emigration, has led to the depopulation and abandonment of many villages and cities. In addition, Bulgaria confronts the phenomenon of those seeking to cross its borders in order to flee wars, conflicts or dire poverty, in the attempt to reach the wealthiest areas of Europe, there to find new opportunities in life or simply a safe refuge.
Mr President,
I am aware of the efforts that the nation’s leaders have made for years to ensure that young people, in particular, not be constrained to emigrate. I would encourage you to persevere on this path, to strive to create conditions that lead young people to invest their youthful energies and plan their future, as individuals and families, knowing that in their homeland they can have the possibility of leading a dignified life. To all Bulgarians, who are familiar with the drama of emigration, I respectfully suggest that you not close your eyes, your hearts or your hands - in accordance with your best tradition – to those who knock at your door.
Your country has always distinguished itself as a bridge between East and West, capable of favouring encounter between the different cultures, ethnic groups, civilizations and religions that for centuries have lived here in peace. The development of Bulgaria, including her economic and civil development, necessarily entails a recognition and enhancement of this specific trait. May this land, bordered by the great Danube River and by the shores of the Black Sea, rendered fruitful by the humble labour of so many generations, open to cultural and commercial exchanges, integrated in the European Union, and with solid links to Russia and Turkey, offer all her sons and daughters a future of hope.

May God bless Bulgaria, keep her in peace and ever hospitable, and grant her prosperity and happiness!
FULL TEXT +Image Share from Vatican.va - Official Translation

Arrival Ceremony of Pope Francis in Bulgaria - FULL Videos


The Pope arrives in Bulgaria
Vatican News Release: The papal plane landed at 9.50 a.m. local time in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. While flying out of Rome, Pope Francis sent a telegram greeting Italian President Mattarella saying that the purpose of his pastoral visit to Bulgaria and North Macedonia is to "meet his brothers in faith and the inhabitants of those nations". He also met reporters on board following him.
Pope Francis arrived in Sofia at 9.50 local time on Sunday. A few minutes later, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, and the Head of Protocol came on board to greet the Pope.   Descending the steps of the aircraft, the Holy Father shook hands with Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.  He caressed 4 children in traditional dress who greeted him with flowers at the start of his 3-day visit to Bulgaria and North Macedonia, in what is the 29th apostolic journey abroad.

Accompanied by the Prime Minister and walking on a red carpet to a guard of honour, arrived at the Governmental Lounge of Sofia airport, where he had a brief private conversation with Borisov.

Pope Francis arrived in Bulgaria after a 2-hour flight from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport on an Alitalia Airbus A321 aircraft.

During his flight, the Holy Father met reporters on board who gifted him a T-shirt from the Bulgarian national football team that is made up of homeless people.

He had special words of greetings for Aura Miguel, the Portuguese journalist of Radio Renascença, who today boarded a papal flight for the hundredth time.

Introducing the meeting with reporters, the interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, first recalled the two saints who were somehow the protagonists of the trip – St. Pope John XXIII who was the papal representative in Bulgaria for nearly 10 years, and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was born in Skopje, in what is North Macedonia today.  Gisotti them mentioned Aura Miguel.

Pope Francis, hearing her name, recalled her Portuguese origin and the journalists applauded their travelling colleague.

The Holy Father thanked the journalists for their work and "for the company".  He added: “It will be a short trip, just three days” but the organizers have made them “full” of meetings and appointments.

As usual, the Pontiff went about greeting the reporters, photographers and cameramen one by one.

Bulgarian journalists donated him a T-shirt of the Bulgarian national football team of the homeless with the words, “Team of hope Bulgaria. 3. Francis” emblazoned on it. A Bulgarian TV offered

an ancient stamp, while other journalists gave the Pope messages and some of them gave him drawings made for him by their children. Among the gifts offered was a book on China.

Full Text + Image Release from Vatican News va

Pope Francis says "Christ is alive, and he wants you to be alive!" at Regina Coeli on visit to Bulgaria - FULL TEXT + Video


REGINA COELI
Saint Alexander Nevsky Square (Sofia)
Sunday, 5 May 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is risen!
With these words, Christians – Orthodox and Catholic – here in Bulgaria have from ancient times greeted one another in the Easter season: Christos vozkrese! These words express great joy for the triumph of Jesus Christ over evil, over death. They are an affirmation and a testimony of the very heart of our faith: Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to each of you are these: Christ is alive, and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. He walks with you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He continually calls you, he waits for you to return to him and start over again. He is never afraid to start over again: he always gives us his hand for us to begin again, to get up and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, – sadness ages us – resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope (cf. Christus Vivit, 1-2). He lives, he wants you to live and he walks with you.
This faith in Christ, risen from the dead, has been proclaimed for two thousand years in every part of the world, thanks to the generous missionary effort of so many believers, called to give themselves completely and selflessly to the spread of the Gospel. In the history of the Church, also here in Bulgaria, there have been many pastors outstanding for the holiness of their lives. Among them, I readily recall my predecessor, whom you call “the Bulgarian saint”, Pope John XXIII, a holy pastor whose memory is particularly honoured in this land, where he lived from 1925 to 1934. Here he learned to esteem the traditions of the Eastern Church and built friendly relationships with the other religious confessions. His diplomatic and pastoral experience in Bulgaria left so deep a mark on his pastor’s heart that he was led to promote in the Church the prospect of ecumenical dialogue, which received a notable impulse in the Second Vatican Council, which he himself wished to convene. In a certain sense, we can thank this land for the sage and inspired intuition of “good Pope John”.
In pursuing this ecumenical journey, I will shortly have the joy of greeting the representatives of various religious confessions of Bulgaria, which, while an Orthodox country, is a crossroads where various religious expressions encounter one another and engage in dialogue. The very welcome presence in this meeting of representatives of these different communities is a sign of the desire of all to pursue the increasingly necessary journey towards “the culture of dialogue as a path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard” (Document on Human Fraternity, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019).
We find ourselves near the ancient church of Saint Sofia, and next to the Patriarchal Church of Saint Aleksander Nevsky, where just now I prayed in memory of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the evangelizers of the Slavic peoples. As evidence of my esteem and affection for this venerable Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, I have had the joy of greeting and embracing my brother, His Holiness Patriarch Neofit and the Metropolitans of the Holy Synod.
Let us now turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of heaven and earth, asking her to intercede before the Risen Lord, that he may grant this beloved land the necessary impulse always to be a land of encounter. A land in which, transcending all cultural religious and ethnic differences, you can continue to acknowledge and esteem each other as children of the one heavenly Father. We make our plea with the song of the ancient prayer, Regina Caeli. We make that prayer here, in Sofia, before the icon of Our Lady of Nessebar, whose name means “Gate of Heaven”, so dear to my predecessor Saint John XXIII, who began to venerate her here in Bulgaria, and carried her with him to the day of his death.

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va

Sunday Mass Online : Readings + Video : Sun. May 5, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide


Third Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 48
Reading 1ACTS 5:27-32, 40B-41
When the captain and the court officers had brought the apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders, did we not,
to stop teaching in that name?
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles
to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

Responsorial PsalmPS 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
 but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2REV 5:11-14

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels
who surrounded the throne
and the living creatures and the elders.
They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and blessing."
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out:
"To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever."
The four living creatures answered, "Amen, "
and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, creator of all;
he has shown pity on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 21:1-19 

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing."
They said to him, "We also will come with you."
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"
They answered him, "No."
So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something."
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord."
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast."
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?"
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep."
Jesus said to him the third time,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
"Do you love me?" and he said to him,
"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."
Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go."
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."

OrJN 21:1-14

At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, " am going fishing."
They said to him, "e also will come with you."
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"
They answered him, "No."
So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something."
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "AIt is the Lord."
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast."
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?"
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

Saint May 5 : St. Hilary of Arles : Bishop - Died 449 - #France


St. Hilary of Arles
BISHOP
Feast: May 5


     Information:
Feast Day:May 5
Born:400 at Lorraine
Died:449
This saint was nobly born about the year 401, and was related to St. Honoratus of Arles, and of the same country in Gaul, which was probably Lorraine, or some other part of Austrasia. He was brought up in a manner suitable to his birth, in the study of the liberal arts, and of every branch of polite learning. especially of eloquence and philosophy. But how little value we ought to set on all things that appear great in the eyes of the world, he himself has taught us. "We are all equal," says he, "in Jesus Christ; and the highest degree of our nobility is to be of the number of the true servants of God. Neither science, nor birth, according to this world, can exalt us, but in proportion to our contempt of them." Before God had put these sentiments into his heart, he seems to have been not altogether insensible to the advantages of this world, in which he was raised to the highest dignities. His kinsman, St. Honoratus, who had forsaken his country to seek Christ in the solitude of the isle of Lerins, where he had founded a great monastery, was the instrument made use of by the Almighty to open his eyes. This holy man had always loved Hilary, and thought he could not give him more solid proof of his friendship than by endeavoring to gain him entirely to God. He therefore left his retirement for a few days to seek him out, and endeavored to move him by the same powerful, weighty reflections, which had made the deepest impression on his own mind, and induced him to break the chains of the world. "What floods of tears," says St. Hilary, "did this true friend shed to soften the hardness of my heart! How often did he embrace me with the most tender and compassionate affection, to obtain of me that I would take into serious consideration the salvation of my soul! Yet, by an unhappy victory, I still remained conqueror." Honoratus, finding his endeavors to wean him from the charms of a deceitful world ineffectual, had recourse to prayer, his ordinary refuge. "Well," said he to Hilary, "I will obtain of God, what you will not now grant me." Upon which they took leave of each other. Hilary, reflecting on what Honoratus had said to him, was not long before he began to feel a violent conflict within himself. "On one side," says he, "me-thought I saw the Lord calling me; on the other the world offering me its seducing charms and pleasures. How often did I embrace and reject, will and not will the same thing! But in the end Jesus Christ triumphed in me. And three days after Honoratus had left me, the mercy of God, solicited by his prayers, subdued my rebellious soul." He then went in person to seek St. Honoratus, and appeared before him as humble and tractable as the saint had left him haughty and indocile.
From this moment there appeared in Hilary that wonderful change which the Holy Ghost produces in a soul which he truly converts. His words, looks, and whole comportment breathed nothing but humility, patience, sweetness, mortification, and charity. Every one saw in him a man who began to labor in earnest to save his soul, and who had put his hand to the plough to look no more behind him, or to send a single thought alter v. hat he had left for Christ's sake. Aspiring to perfection, he sold all his several estates to his brother, and distributed all the money accruing from the sale among the poor, and the most indigent monasteries. Thus disengaged from the world, and naked, no less in the inward disposition of soul than in his exterior, he, like Abraham, took leave of his own country, and made the best of his way to Lerins; where from his first entrance he made it appear that he was worthy to live in the company of saints. He set out in the pursuit of monastic perfection with such zeal and fervor, as to become in a short time the pattern of those on whose instructions and example he came to form his own conduct. His application to prayer and mortification, and his watchfulness and care to avoid the smallest faults and imperfections, prepared him to receive the gift of tears. It is thought that his baptism was posterior to his retirement. St. Honoratus having been chosen archbishop of Arles, in 426, Hilary followed him to that city; but it was not long before his love of solitude occasioned his return to Lerins. All the holy inhabitants of that isle testified as great joy to receive him again,  as he felt to see himself among them. But God, who had other designs upon him, did not permit him to enjoy long his beloved retirement. St. Honoratus begged his assistance, and the comfort of his company, and as he did not yield to entreaties, went himself to fetch him from Lerins. Soon after God called St. Honoratus to himself, his death happening in 428 or 429. Hilary, though sensibly afflicted for the loss of such a friend, rejoiced however to see himself at liberty, and set out directly for Lerins. But no sooner were the citizens apprized of his departure, than messengers posted after him with such expedition, that he was overtaken, brought back, and consecrated archbishop, though only twenty-nine years of age.
In this high station the virtues which he had acquired in solitude shone with lustre to mankind. The higher he was exalted by his dignity, the more did he humble himself beneath all others in his heart. He reduced himself in every thing to the strictest bounds of necessity: and he had only one coat for winter and summer. He applied himself diligently to meditation on the holy scriptures, and preaching the word of God, was assiduous in prayer, watching, and fasting. He had his hours also for manual labor, with a view of gaming something for the poor; choosing such work as he could join with reading or prayer. He travelled always on foot, and had attained to so perfect an evenness of temper, that his mind seemed never ruffled with the least emotion of anger. He had an admirable talent in preaching. When he spoke before the learned of the world, his elocution, his accent, his discourse, his action, were such as the greatest orators justly admired, but despaired ever to come up to. Yet when he instructed the illiterate, he changed his manner of address, and proportioned his instructions to the capacities of the most simple and ignorant, though always supporting the dignity of the divine word by a maimer and expression suitable to its majesty. He preached the truth in its purity, without flattering the great. He had often in private admonished a certain judge in the province of a criminal partiality in the administration of justice, but without effect. One day the magistrate came into the church, attended by his officers, while the saint was preaching. The holy bishop broke off his sermon on the spot, and gave his surprised audience for reason, that he who had so often neglected the advice he had given him for his salvation, was not worthy to partake of the nourishment of the divine word. the judge no sooner heard his reflection, but withdrew in  confusion, and the saint resumed his discourse Observing one day that many went out of the church immediately after the reading of the gospel, just as he was going to preach, he prevailed with them to return, by saying: "You will not so easily get out of hell, if you are once unhappily fallen into its dungeons." He had such a love for the poor, that to have the more to bestow on them, he lived himself in the greatest poverty: he never kept a horse, and labored hard in digging and manuring the ground, though educated according to the dignity of his family. To redeem captives, he caused the church plate to be sold, not excepting the sacred vessels; making use of patens and chalices of glass ill the celebration of the divine mysteries. If his compassion for the corporal miseries of the faithful was so tender, we may judge how much more he was moved to pity at their spiritual necessities. He bore the weak with tenderness, but never indulged the passions or sloth of any. When he put any one in a course of penance he was himself bathed in tears; whereby he troth excited the penitent to the like, and with ardent sighs and prayer obtained for him of God the grace of compunction and pardon. He visited the bishops of his province, and endeavored to make them walk in the perfect spirit of Christ, the prince of pastors. He established many monasteries and took particular care to enforce a strict observance of monastic discipline among them. He had a close friendship with St. Germanus, whom he called his father, and respected as an apostle. He presided in the council of Ries in 439, in the first council of Orange in 441, in the council of Vaison in 442, and probably in 443, in the second council of Arles, in all which several canons of discipline were framed.
His zeal exasperated several tepid persons; and some of these, by misconstruing his actions, gave the holy pope St. Leo a disadvantageous character of him. His zeal, indeed, had been on some occasions too hasty and precipitate: but this was owing in him to mistake, not to passion; for the circumstances of his actions, and of his eminent piety, oblige us to interpret his intention by the same spirit by which he governed himself in his whole conduct. This disagreement between St. Leo and St. Hilary proved a trial for the exercise of zeal in the former, and of patience in the latter, for his greater sanctification by humility, submission, and silence. Chelidonius, bishop of Besancon, had been deposed by St. Hilary Upon an allegation, that, before he was consecrated bishop, he had married a widow, and had condemned persons to death as magistrate; both which were looked upon as irregularities or disqualifications for holy orders. Chelidonius hereupon set out for Rome, to justify himself to the pope, St. Leo, who received his appeal from his metropolitan, and acquitted him of the irregularity with which he stood charged. St. Hilary, upon hearing that his suffragan was gone for Rome, followed him thither on foot, and in the midst of winter. The pope having assembled a council to judge this affair, St. Hilary took his seat among the other bishops that composed it: but from his not attempting to prove the irregularity which had been alleged against Chelidonius, the saint seemed to own that he had been imposed on as to the matter of fact. But he pretended, that the cause ought not to be judged otherwise than by commissaries deputed by the pope to take cognizance of it in the country that gave it birth, a point for which some Africans had contended. This plea was overruled, the contrary having been frequently practiced, when both parties could appear at Rome: though the manner of judging appeals is only a point of discipline, which may vary in different places. Another affair brought St. Hilary into a greater difficulty. Projectus, a bishop of his province, being sick, St. Hilary, upon information, hastened to his see, and ordained a new bishop: after which Projectus recovering, there were two bishops contending for the same see, and Hilary supported the last ordained; perhaps because the first might remain disabled for his functions. The author of St. Hilary's life does not clear up his conduct in this particular: but we cannot doubt of the sincerity of his intention. Moreover the discipline of the church in such matters was not at that time so clearly settled by the canons as it has been since. St. Hilary therefore imagined a metropolitan might have a discretionary power in such matters. However St. Leo rightly judged such an ordination irregular, liable to great inconveniences, and productive of schisms. Wherefore he forbade St. Hilary to ordain any bishops for the future. Our holy prelate cancelled his mistakes by his patience, and St. Leo, writing immediately after the saint's death, to his successor Ravennus, calls him, <Hilary of holy memory>. Exhausted by austerities and labors, St. Hilary passed to a better life on the 5th of May, 449, being only forty-eight years old. St. Honoratus, the eloquent bishop of Marseilles, who has given us an abstract of his life, relates several miraculous cures wrought by the saint while he was living. His body lies in a subterraneous chapel, under the high altar, in the church of St. Honoratus at Arles, with an elegant ancient epitaph. The name of St. Hilary stands in the Roman Martyrology.
That this saint never gave in to the Semi-Pelagian doctrine, though it hard not been then condemned by any decree of the pastors of the church, is clearly shown by Tillemont and Dom. Rivet. This is proved from several passages in his life by St. Honoratus; and in the Martyrologies of Rabanus and Notker it is mentioned that he vigorously exerted his zeal in bringing a light and in correcting the Pelagian heresy, which is taught in the conferences of Cassian. His exposition of the creed, commended by the ancients, is now lost: his homilies on all the feasts of the year were much esteemed, but are not known at present. The best edition of his works is given by John Salinas, regular canon of St. John Lateran, in Italy, in 1731.

Lives of the Saints - Alban Butler