Sunday, May 12, 2019

Pope Francis says turn to "..Mary, Mother of Christ the Good Shepherd. She, who promptly responded to God's call, helps in particular those who are called..." Full Text + Video


Regina  Coeli

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 12 May 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's Gospel (see Jn 10.27-30) Jesus presents himself as the true Shepherd of God's people. He speaks of the relationship that binds him to the sheep of the flock, that is, of his disciples, and insists that it is a relationship of mutual knowledge. «My sheep - he says - listen to my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will not be lost "(vv. 27-28). Reading this sentence carefully, we see that Jesus' work is expressed in some actions: Jesus speaks, Jesus knows, Jesus gives eternal life, Jesus guards.

The Good Shepherd - Jesus - is attentive to each one of us, seeks and loves us, addressing us to his word, knowing our hearts, our desires and our hopes, as well as our failures and disappointments. It welcomes us and loves us as we are, with our strengths and our faults. For each of us he "gives eternal life": that is, he offers us the possibility of living a full life, without end. Moreover, it keeps us and guides us with love, helping us to cross the inaccessible paths and the sometimes risky roads that appear on the path of life.

To the verbs and gestures that describe the way in which Jesus, the Good Shepherd, relates to us, the verbs concerning the sheep, that is us: "listen to my voice", "follow me". These are actions that show how we must correspond to the tender and caring attitudes of the Lord. In fact, listening to and recognizing his voice implies intimacy with him, which is consolidated in prayer, in the meeting heart to heart with the divine Master and Pastor of our souls. This intimacy with Jesus, this being open, talking with Jesus, strengthens in us the desire to follow him, coming out of the labyrinth of wrong paths, abandoning selfish behaviors, to set out on the new paths of fraternity and the gift of ourselves, in imitation of He.

Let us not forget that Jesus is the only Pastor who speaks to us, knows us, gives us eternal life and keeps us. We are the only flock and we must only strive to listen to his voice, while with love he scrutinizes the sincerity of our hearts. And from this continuous intimacy with our Pastor, from this conversation with him, comes the joy of following him, leaving us to lead to the fullness of eternal life.

We now turn to Mary, Mother of Christ the Good Shepherd. She, who promptly responded to God's call, helps in particular those who are called to the priesthood and the consecrated life to welcome Christ's invitation to be his most direct collaborators in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the service of the Kingdom with joy and availability of God in our time.

After the Regina Coeli

Dear brothers and sisters!

In many countries, "Mother's Day" is celebrated today. I would like to send a warm greeting to all the mothers, thanking them - all applause for the mothers! - for their precious work in raising children and protecting the value of the family. We also remember the mothers who look at us from the sky and continue to watch over us with prayer. Our thoughts also go to our celestial Mama, whom we will celebrate tomorrow May 13th, with the name of Our Lady of Fatima. We entrust ourselves to her to continue our journey with joy and generosity.
Today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Sunday of the "Good Shepherd", is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which this year has as its theme: "The courage to risk for the promise of God". The courage to risk for God's promise: following Jesus is always a risk, but it takes courage. In all communities we pray in a special way for vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. This morning, in St. Peter's Basilica, I had the joy of ordaining nineteen new priests. As I affectionately greet these new presbyters together with their family and friends, I invite you to remember how many the Lord continues to call by name, as he did one day with the Apostles on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, so that they may become "fishers of men" . Of these nineteen new priests, two have invited them to greet you and bless you with me.

I greet all of you, families, church groups and individual faithful from Italy and from different countries. In particular, I greet the pilgrims from Texas and those from Valencia; the faithful of Gela and Pistoia; the boys of the Confirmation of Parma, the scouts of Cossato and those of Frosinone. And now I will ask these new priests to bless you all with me.

[Blessing]

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
FULL TEXT Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Special Prayers for Mothers and for Mothers to say for Children


A Prayer for Mothers
Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church.

Bless our mother. Let the example of her faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, her family,

may honor her always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen. Source: Usccb
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Prayer of a Mother for her Unborn Baby

Almighty God, in Thy wisdom Thou hast entrusted to me a soul to rear for Thy honor and glory. It is a great responsibility. I am proud and a little afraid, but I trust in Thy fatherly goodness and the intercession of the Mother of Jesus, who knew all the hopes and fears of one who expects a child.

Dear God, give me courage and fortitude when I need it. Let my child be born strong and healthy and with the disposition for wanting to become a Saint. Good Saint Elizabeth, cousin of our Lady and mother of John the Baptist, pray for me and the child to come.

Mary, most pure Virgin and Mother of God, I remind thee of the blessed moment when thou didst see for the first time thy newly born Child and folded Him in thy arms. Through this joy of thy maternal heart, obtain for me the grace that I and my child may be protected from all danger.

Mary, Mother of my Saviour, I remind thee of the unspeakable joy you felt when, after three days of painful seeking, thou again didst find thy Divine Son. Through this joy, obtain for me the grace to worthily bring into the world the child He didst create for me and his father.

Most glorious Virgin Mary, I remind thee of the heavenly joy that flooded thy maternal heart when thy Son appeared to thee after His Resurrection. Through this great joy, obtain for my child the blessings of holy Baptism, so that my child may be admitted to the Church, the Mystical Body of thy Divine Son, and to the company of all the Saints. Amen.  Source: catholictradition.org

A prayer of a mother for her children
Holy Mary, Mother of God, help me in all my problems. Teach me patience and wisdom. Show me how to train my children to be worthy children of God. Let me be kind and loving, but keep me from foolish indulgence.

Pray for my children, dear Mother. Keep them from all danger, especially from spiritual danger. Help them to become virtuous citizens of their own country, but let them not forget the Kingdom of God.
Jesus of Bethlehem, make my children love each other and their home. Help them to work and pray together in holy peace.

Holy Family of Nazareth, be with us all, father, mother and children, every day of our lives.

A prayer asking Guardian Angels to protect children
I humbly greet thee, faithful Guardian Angels of my children. I give thee heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. Someday I shall repay your care for them with thanks more worthy than I can now give, and before the whole heavenly court shall acknowledge their debt of gratitude to thy guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray also for me, for my husband, and for my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in thy blessed company in Heaven. Amen.

Our Lady of Providence, my Queen and my Mother, to thee I confide the children God has entrusted to me. While they are small, provide for them safety of body, mind and heart. When I shall no longer be with them, when the responsibilities and greater temptations of life shall be theirs, then, O my Lady, pray for my sons and daughters. Continue to be the Mother of Providence.

Above all, my Queen, be with my children when the Angel of Death hovers near. I beg thee to take my children into eternity in the arms of thy loving providence so that forever they may praise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. Source: catholictradition.org


#BreakingNews 6 People including Priest Killed in Attack on Catholic Church during Mass in Burkina Faso





An attack in a Catholic church in north-central Burkina Faso  on Sunday, May 12 in the morning, has left six people, including the priest, dead.

At the beginning of Mass attackers opened fire on the congregation. The attack occurred in the village of Dablo, 90 km from Kaya, according to FRANCE 24.

"Towards 9:00am, during mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic Church," the mayor of Dablo, Ousmane Zongo, told AFP. "They started firing as the congregation tried to flee."

A "group of some twenty to thirty armed men" is reported to have commenced the attack on Sunday.

"They burned down the church, then shops and a small restaurant before going to the health centre where they searched the premises and set fire to the head nurse's vehicle," Mr. Zongo said. "The city is filled with panic. People are holed up at home."

Burkina Faso has often been the location for deadly terrorist attacks over the past four years, which are attributed to jihadist groups.

(Edited from FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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Pope Francis Ordains 19 to Priesthood "One can never give a homily, a preaching, without much prayer..." Full Text Homily + Video


HOLY MASS WITH PRESBITERAL ORDINATIONS

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 12 May 2019


Dear brothers and sisters,

These children of ours have been called to the Order of the Presbyterate. It will be good for all of us to think carefully about which ministry will be elevated in the Church. As you well know, brethren, the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest of the New Testament, but in him also all the holy people of God has been constituted priestly people. Nevertheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wants to choose some in particular, because by publicly exercising in the Church in his name the priestly office in favor of all men, he continued his personal mission as teacher, priest and pastor.

In fact, because of this he had been sent by the Father, so he in turn sent to the world first the Apostles and then the Bishops and their successors, to whom were finally given as collaborators the presbyters, who, united to them in the priestly ministry , they are called to serve the People of God.

After many years of reflection - reflection on them, reflection of the superiors, of those who accompanied them on this path -, today they presented themselves so that I may confer on them the priestly order.

They will in fact be configured to Christ the Supreme and Eternal Priest, or they will be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, and for this reason, which unites them in the priesthood to their Bishop, they will be preachers of the Gospel, Pastors of the People of God, and will preside over the actions of worship, especially in the celebration of the Lord's sacrifice, that is, in the Eucharist.

As for you, dear brothers and children, who are about to be promoted to the order of the presbyterate, consider that by exercising the ministry of the Sacred Doctrine you will be participants in the mission of Christ, the only Master. This is not a cultural association, it is not a union. You will be participants in the ministry of Christ. Dispense to all that Word of God, which you yourselves have received with joy. And for this you read and meditate assiduously on the Word of the Lord to believe what you have read, to teach what you have learned in faith, to live what you have taught. One can never give a homily, a preaching, without much prayer, with the Bible in hand. Don't forget about this.

Let your doctrine be therefore nourishment to the People of God: when it comes from the heart and is born of prayer, it will be so fruitful. May the perfume of your life be joy and support for the faithful of Christ: men of prayer, men of sacrifice, so that with the Word and example you build the house of God, which is the Church. And so you will continue the sanctifying work of Christ. Through your ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect, because it is combined with the sacrifice of Christ, which in your hands, in the name of the whole Church, is offered in a bloodless way on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries. Be careful in the celebration of the Eucharist. So recognize what you do. Imitate what you celebrate because by participating in the mystery of the Lord's death and resurrection, you carry the death of Christ in your members and walk with Him in newness of life. The Lord wanted to save us for free. He himself told us: "Give free what you have received for free". The celebration of the Eucharist is the culmination of the Lord's gratuity. Please don't mess it up with petty interests.

With Baptism you will aggregate new faithful to the People of God. With the Sacrament of Penance you will forgive sins in the name of God, of Christ, of the Church. And here, please, I ask you not to tire of being merciful. Merciful as the Father, as Jesus was merciful to us, to all of us. With holy oil you will give relief to the sick. You waste time visiting the sick and the sick. Celebrating the sacred rites and raising the prayer of praise and supplication in the various hours of the day, you will make yourselves the voice of the People of God and of all humanity.
Aware of having been chosen among men and constituted in their favor to await the things of God, exercise in joy and charity, with sincerity, the priestly work of Christ, solely intent on pleasing God and not yourselves. Priestly joy is found only on this path, seeking to please God who has elected us. Finally, by participating in the mission of Christ, the Head and Pastor, in filial communion with your Bishop, commit yourselves to uniting the faithful into one family. Here are the closeness of the priest: close to God in prayer, close to the bishop who is your father, close to the presbytery, to other priests, as brothers, without "peeling" one another [speak ill of one another ], and close to the People of God. Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to seek and save what was lost.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

New Mission Aims to Stop Extinction of Christians - "One Voice for Christians" - with Powerful Video!


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Pope Francis says "..look at others and things with the very eyes of Jesus: with the eyes of God.." Full Text


SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ITALIAN SPORTS CENTER

Sala Clementina
Saturday, 11 May 2019


Dear friends of the Italian Sports Center!

I am pleased to see you today, indeed to see you again, after our meeting five years ago, of which I have a beautiful memory. I greet your President, whom I thank for his words, and the Executives. And I greet all of you, boys and girls, and your coaches, referees and educators. You are celebrating the seventy-fifth birthday of your Association, which has more than one million two hundred thousand members, and brings together a large number of sports clubs and associations, as well as members and parochial sports groups and affiliated oratories, present in every part of Italy.

The competitions and activities that you organize, aimed in particular at the youngest, but open to all age groups, cover a large number of disciplines, more than a hundred! I would not even be able to identify such a large number of different disciplines, and this allows me to imagine the variety of your proposals and the immense fantasy of the world of sport, where everyone can find the specialty for which he feels most suited.
It is through this great commitment to sporting animation that the Italian Sports Center carries out its mission, that of offering young people, through sport, a healthy and positive lifestyle, based on the Christian vision of the person and of society. Sport, in fact, is a great school, on the condition that we live it in control of ourselves and in respect for others, in a commitment to improve ourselves that teaches dedication and perseverance, and in a competitive spirit that does not make us lose our smile and also train to accept defeats.

A great lesson of sport, which helps us to face even the daily effort of study and work as well as relationships with others, is that we can have fun only in a framework of very precise rules. In fact, if in a race someone refuses to respect the offside rule, or left before the "go", or in a slalom jumped some flag, there would be no competition, but only individual and disordered performances. On the contrary, when you face a race, you learn that rules are essential for living together; that happiness is not found in recklessness, but in faithfully pursuing one's goals; and you also learn that you don't feel free when you don't have limits, but when, with your own limits, you give your best. We must be masters of our limits and not slaves of our limits.

Here are the horizons opened to us by the world of sport, and how many are the beneficial consequences, for yourself and for society as a whole, of a sporting experience lived as an opportunity for aggregation, growth and fraternity. This is why in your Statute it is said that the Italian Sports Center intends to testify to the value of sport as a tool to promote hospitality, health, employment, equal opportunities, environmental protection, protection of children and children. adolescence, cohesion and social integration (see Introduction).

They might ask you how you can hope that sport is the tool to solve so many problems, and to bring about such a profound transformation of our society. We can answer that sport can do it because it improves people, and can foster a culture of dialogue and respectful encounter. The fight with the opponents, in sports competitions, is always called "encounter", and never "confrontation", because in the end, although it is better to win, in a certain sense you win both. Here is the world we dream of, and with determination we want to build, on the basis of a healthy competitive spirit, that we always see a friend and a brother in the adversary.

This is the heart of the Christian vision of man, which for you is also the basis of sporting activity. With this attitude, with this heart so enlarged, every sporting activity can be called play, play. Children play; play is the activity of joy, always. Only from this base can we achieve such high and beautiful ideals. Perhaps you boys will ask me: "Father, what would this Christian vision of life propose to us? Is it perhaps an abstract principle, or a concept that can be understood after having studied a lot? ". No! This is not studied! The Christian vision means learning to look at others and things with the very eyes of Jesus: with the eyes of God, with the same eyes with which God looks at me; see how he saw Jesus, see how he sees God. It means listening to his words to understand his feelings and try to imitate his gestures. Be assured of it: a more beautiful and more just world emerges from the Gospel, in which the diversity of others is not a motive for division, but for growth and mutual aid.
I encourage you to live with this spirit in the oratories and parishes where you work, and to preserve the faith that is given to you, which is the most precious asset for your life. May you always be grateful to those who educate you and accompany you, to coaches, educators, parents and your families. May you be bearers of hope in all the environments in which you find yourself living; and always stay close to those of you who are weaker because of a disability, so that you participate in various activities together with others and never feel excluded. May you also accompany, with your friendship and active support, those of you who are dedicated to international sports volunteering projects, which you are carrying out in different countries and represent a precious sign for our time. This is gratuitousness. Your activity must be inspired by gratuitousness: giving! And this is why it is important in sport to preserve the amateur dimension. It is very important, because it preserves gratuitousness, the gratuitousness of being, of giving oneself.

I wish you to always live your associative life with joy and to become missionaries in the places you frequent, transmitting the joy of improving yourself every day and always tending to those around you your friendly hand. The Lord bless your path, and also bless mine. And you pray for me and I pray for you. Thank you!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation - Image source: VaticanNews.va