Sunday, May 19, 2019

Saint May 20 St. Bernardine of Siena who is the Patron of #Gamblers and Advertisers

 
St. Bernardine of Siena


FRANCISCAN PREACHER AND MISSIONARY

Feast Day:
May 20
Born:
1380, Massa Marittima, Italy
Died:
1444, Aquila, Italy
Canonized:
24 May 1450 by Pope Nicholas V
Patron of:
advertisers; advertising; Aquila, Italy; chest problems; Italy; gambling addicts; public relations personnel; public relations work; respitory illnesses
Prayer:
Saint Bernardine, who propagated the devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, give us a tender love for the Redeemer and obtain for us protection from respiratory illnesses, with which you yourself were tried.  We ask this through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
-Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be

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St. Bernardine, a true disciple of St. Francis, and an admirable preacher of the word of God, inflamed with the most ardent love of our divine Redeemer, was made by God an instrument to kindle the same holy fire in innumerable souls, and to inspire them with his spirit of humility and meekness. He was born at Massa in 1380, of the noble family of Albizeschi, in the republic of Sienna. He lost his mother when he was but three years old, and his father, who was chief magistrate of Massa, before he was seven. The care of his education devolved on a virtuous aunt called Diana who infused into his tender soul ardent sentiments of piety towards God, and a tender devotion to his blessed Mother. This aunt always loved him as if he had been her own son; and indeed his towardly dispositions won him exceedingly the affections of all who ever had the care of him. He was modest, humble, and devout; and took great delight in prayer, visiting churches, serving at mass, and hearing sermons, which he would repeat again to his companions with an admirable memory and gracefulness of action. In that tender age he had a great compassion for the poor. One day it happened that his aunt sent away a poor person from the door without an alms, because there was but one loaf in the house for the dinner of the family. Bernardine was much troubled to see the beggar go away unrelieved, and said to his aunt, "For God's sake, let us give something to this poor man; otherwise I will neither dine nor sup this day. I had rather the poor should have a dinner than myself." This  wonderfully comforted his good aunt, who never ceased to incite him to all virtues, and, according to his strength, to accustom himself by degrees to fasting. Young as he was, he fasted every Saturday in honor of the blessed Virgin; which pious custom he always continued. At eleven years of age he was called to Sienna by his uncles, and put to school under the ablest masters, who all admired the quickness of his parts, and the solidity of his judgment; but much more, his docility, modesty, and virtue. If he chanced to hear any word the least unbecoming, he, by blushing, testified what confusion it gave him, and how much it wounded his very heart; and though he was otherwise most condescending, civil, and respectful to all, he could never bear with patience any indecent discourse. For a single word of that kind he so severely reprimanded a man of quality, that it was to him a warning during the remainder of his life to govern his tongue; and many years alter, hearing Bernardine preach, he was so moved that he seemed to be drowned in tears. The modesty of the virtuous youth was a check to the most impudent, and kept them in awe in his presence: in whatever company, if the conversation was too free, it was dropped when he appeared, and the very loosest rakes would say, "Hush! here comes Bernardine:" as the presence of Cato among the Romans restrained the lewd libertinism of a festival.1 Nor did the saint behave on these occasions in such a manner as might render virtue the subject of ridicule, but with a surprising dignity. Nevertheless, an impure monster had once the insolence to make an attempt upon his virginal purity, and to solicit him to sin. But the saint, not content to testify his scorn and indignation, excited the whole troop of his little innocent playfellows against the lewd villain, who pelted him with clods and stones, and made him ashamed any more to show his face. Bernardine was exceeding comely and beautiful; but his known virtue secured him from any further assaults; and he never ceased to beg of God the grace of purity, particularly through the intercession of the blessed  Virgin Mary. When he had completed the course of his philosophy, he applied himself to the study of civil and canon law, and afterwards of that of the holy scriptures, with such ardor that he could never from that time relish any other study.
PRAYER O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena a great love for the holy Name of Jesus, grant through his merits and prayers, that we may ever be set aflame with the spirit of your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Saint Bernardine, please help those struggling with the addiction to Gambling. We ask this in the name of Jesus. AMEN St. Bernardine of Siena, Pray for Us!

At seventeen years of age he enrolled himself in the confraternity of Our Lady in the hospital of Scala, to serve the sick. Here he began with new vigor to tame his flesh by severe fasts, watchings, hair-shirts, disciplines, and other austerities; but he applied himself more to the interior mortification of his will, which rendered him always most mild, sweet, patient, and affable to every one. He had served this hospital four years, when, in 1400, a dreadful pestilence which had already made great havoc in several other parts of Italy, and was increased by the concourse of pilgrims to the jubilee, reached Sienna; insomuch that twelve, eighteen, or twenty persons died every day in this hospital; and among others were carried off almost all the priests, apothecaries, and servants, that belonged to the place. Bernardine therefore  persuaded twelve young men to bear him company in the service of the hospital, expecting heaven for their speedy recompense; and they all strove which should come up the nearest to Bernardine in cheerfulness, humility, and assiduity in performing the most sacred offices, and in exerting themselves in the service of the sick. The saint was intrusted in a manner with the whole care of the hospital, which, in the space of four months, he put into excellent order. It is hardly credible how many lives he saved, or with what charity and pains he night and day attended the patients, and furnished them with every comfort and succor which it was in his power to afford them. God preserved him from the contagion during these four months, at the end of which the pestilence ceased. He then returned home, but sick of a fever which he had contracted by his fatigues, which obliged him to keep his bed four months; during which time he edified the city, no less by his resignation and patience, than he had done by his charity. He was scarce well recovered when he returned to the like works of charity, and with incredible patience attended a dying aunt for fourteen months, named Bartholomaea, a woman of great piety, who was blind and bedridden. When God had called her to himself, Bernardine retired to a house at some distance from the city, making the walls of his garden the bounds of his enclosure. Here, in solitude, fasting, and prayer, he endeavored to learn the will of God in the choice of a state of life. After some time he took the habit of the order of St. Francis, among the fathers of the Strict Observance at Colombiere, a solitary convent a few miles from Sienna; and after the year of his novitiate, made his profession on the 8th of September, 1404. Having been born on the feast of the Nativity of the blessed Virgin, out of devotion to her, he chose the same day for the principal actions of his life: on it he took the religious habit, made his vows, said his first mass, and preached his first sermon. His fervor increased daily; and while some sought interpretations to mollify the severity of the rule, he was always studying to add to it greater austerities and heroic practices of virtue, the more perfectly to crucify in himself the old man. He was pleased with insults and humiliations, and whatever could be agreeable to the most ardent spirit of humility and self-denial. When he went through the streets in a threadbare short habit, the boys sometimes cast stones at him, with injurious language; in which contempt the saint found a singular joy and satisfaction. He showed the same sentiments when a near kinsman with bitter invectives reproached him, as disgracing his friends by the mean and contemptible manner of life he bad embraced. These and all other virtues he learned in the living book of Christ crucified, which he studied night and day, often prostrate before a crucifix, from which he seemed one day to hear our Lord speak thus to him: "My son, behold me hanging upon a cross: if thou lovest me, or art desirous to imitate me, be thou also fastened naked to thy cross, and follow me; thus thou wilt assuredly find me." In the same school he learned an insatiable zeal for the salvation of souls, redeemed by the blood of Christ. Having in retirement prepared himself for the office of preaching, his superiors ordered him to employ his talent that way for the benefit of others. He labored under a natural impediment from weakness and hoarseness of voice; the removal of which obstacle he obtained by addressing himself to his glorious patroness, the mother of God. For fourteen years his labors were confined to his own country; but when the reputation of his virtue was spread abroad, he shone as a bright light to the whole church.

In vain cloth the minister of God confide in the weak resources of mere human eloquence and pomp of words, by which he rather debases the dignity and majesty of the sacred oracles: while he pleases the ear and gains the applause of his audience, he leaves their hearts dry. The great apostle of Andalusia, the venerable holy John D'Avila, being desired to lay down some rules for the art of preaching, answered, he knew no other art than the most ardent love of God and zeal for his honor. He used to say to young clergymen, that one word spoken by a man of prayer would do more good, and have a more powerful influence, than all the most eloquent discourses; for it is only the language of the heart that speaks to the heart; and a life of mortification and prayer not only draws down the dew of the divine benediction upon the labors of the preacher, but it replenishes his soul with a sincere spirit of humility, compunction, and all virtues, and with an experimental knowledge and feeling sense of the great truths which he delivers. Zealous ministers who are filled with the Spirit of God, are a great blessing to the people among whom they labor; and this reflection unfolds the secret how saints possess so extraordinary a grace of converting souls to God. This was the excellent talent of Bernardine. They who heard him preach felt their souls to melt in sentiments of compunction, divine love, humility, and the contempt of the world, and returned home new men, striking their breasts, and bathed in tears. The word, of God was in his mouth as a fire, and as a hammer breaking the hardest rocks. Another eminent preacher of his order being asked the reason why his sermons did not produce equal fruit with those of Bernardine, answered, "Brother Bernardine is a fiery glowing coal. What is only warm hath not the power of kindling a fire in others like the burning coal." The saint himself being consulted what was the way to preach with profit, gave this rule: "In all your actions seek in the first place the kingdom of God and his glory; direct all you do purely to his honor; persevere in brotherly charity, and practice first all that you desire to teach others. By this means the Holy Ghost will be your master, and will give you such wisdom and such a tongue that no adversary will be able to stand against you." This he faithfully practiced, and from his assiduous communication with God he imbibed that eminent spirit of virtue which gave him the most powerful ascendant over the hearts of men. Among the great truths of religion, he principally labored to inculcate a sincere contempt of the vanity of the world, and an ardent love of our blessed Redeemer. He wished he could cry out with a trumpet which could be heard over the whole earth, that he might sound aloud in the ears of all men that great oracle of the Holy Ghost: O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love vanity, and seek after lying? O children, how long will you love childishness?3 And he never ceased with the thunder of his voice to raise men from grovelling always on this earth, to the important consideration of the things which belong to their eternal welfare, and to the love of Jesus Christ. So much was he affected with the mysteries of the incarnation and sufferings of the Son of God, that he could never pronounce his sacred name without appearing in transports of love and adoration. Often at the end of his sermon he showed to the people the sacred name of Jesus curiously cut on a board with gold letters, inviting them to adore Christ with him on their knees, reciting a pious doxology. This was misconstrued by some, who also cavilled at certain expressions which he had used. Upon their complaints, pope Martin V. summoned him to appear, and commanded him silence for a while. The humble saint meekly acquiesced without making any reply. But his holiness, after a full examination of his doctrine and conduct, dismissed him with his benediction, high commendations, and ample leave to preach everywhere. The same pope pressed him to accept the bishopric of Sienna in 1427; but he declined that dignity, alleging for his excuse, that if he were confined to one church, he could no longer employ himself in the service of so many souls. In 1431 he no less resolutely refused that of Ferrara, which Eugenius III. earnestly desired to confer upon him, and again that of Urbino, in 1435. When the saint preached first at Milan, the haughty duke Philip Mary Visconti took offence at certain things which he had said in his sermons, and threatened him with death if he should presume to speak any more on such subjects; but the saint declared, that no greater happiness could befall him than to die for the truth. The duke, to try him, sent him a present of one hundred ducats of gold in a golden bowl. The saint excused himself from receiving the money to two different messengers; but being compelled by a third to accept it, he took the messenger with him to the prisons, and laid it all out in his presence in releasing debtors. This disinterestedness turned the duke's aversion into the greatest veneration for the saint ever after.

St. Bernardine preached several times through the greatest part of Italy; some say also in Spain; but this seems uncertain. Nothing was more spoken of over all Italy than the wonderful fruit of his sermons, miraculous conversions, restitution of ill-gotten goods, reparations of injuries, and heroic examples of virtue. The factions of the Guelfs and Ghibellins then horribly divided many cities of Italy, and gave frequent employment to the saint. Hearing once of a great dissension at Perugia, he hastened thither from the marquisate of Ancona, and entering the city, thus addressed the inhabitants, "God, who is highly offended at this division among you, hath sent me, as his angel, to proclaim peace to men of good will upon earth." After preaching four sermons to persuade them to a mutual forgiveness of all injuries, and a general amnesty, at the end of the last he bade all those who forgave each other and desired to live in peace, to pass to the right hand. All present did so except one young nobleman, who stayed on the left, muttering some thing between his teeth. The saint, after a severe reproach, foretold him his sudden death, which happened soon after, and without the benefit of the sacraments. In 1433 he accompanied the emperor Sigismund to his coronation at Rome; after which he retired for a short time to Sienna, where he put the finishing hand to his works.

Amidst the greatest applause and honors, the most sincere humility always appeared in his words and actions; and he ever studied to conceal the talents with which God had enriched him. How great his esteem of humility was, he testified when a brother of his order asked him the means by which he might speedily arrive at perfection. The saint, instead of giving him any answer by words, threw himself at his feet; showing at the same time his own great affection to humility, and also that this virtue raises the soul to divine love and every grace. God, however, was pleased to honor his servant before men. Besides several predictions and miraculous cures of many lepers and other sick persons, the saint is recorded to have raised four dead to life. He was appointed vicar-general of his order of the Strict Observance in Italy, in 1438, in which he settled a rigorous reformation; but, after five years, obtained a discharge from his office; and in his old age continued the function of preaching through Romania, Ferrara, and Lombardy. He returned to Sienna in 1444, preached a most pathetic farewell sermon at Massa on concord and unity, and being taken ill of a malignant fever on the road, still preached as usual till he arrived at Aquila in Abruzzo. There, being confined to his bed, he prepared himself for his passage out of this life by the rites of the church. When he was speechless, he made a sign to be taken off his bed and laid upon the floor; where, lifting up his eyes to heaven, he surrendered his pure soul into the hands of his Creator on the 20th of May, 1444, after a life of sixty-three years, eight months, and thirteen days. His tomb was rendered illustrious by many miracles, and he was canonized by Nicholas V. in 1450. His body is kept in a crystal shrine, enclosed in one of silver, in the church of his order at Aquila.
Source Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest murdered in El Salvador for refusing to pay Gang - RIP Fr. Cecilio Perez Cruz


Vatican News reports that Father Cecilio Perez Cruz had reportedly refused to pay ‘protection fees’ to a well-known criminal gang. Rev. Cruz was 38 years old when he was shot dead by a gang member as he slept in the parish rectory. The shooting occurred on Saturday, May 18, 2019 in the night in El Salvador. Father Perez was the parish priest of San José la Majada, in Sosonate Diocese near the Guatemala border. His body had three bullet wounds, and was found in his room by a group of parishioners who had agreed to meet him at 5am for morning prayers. Besides his body was a hand-written note signed by the Mara Salavatrucha gang saying “he did not pay the rent.” The Bishop of Sonsonate, Constantino Barrera, who has asked for prayers for Father Perez, expressed his grief and praised the work the priest was doing with his parishioners saying he was close to the people. Government response The Government of El Salvador condemned the murder and expressed its condolences to the priest’s family and to the Catholic community. In a statement it also said new orders have been issued to security forces to make sure the priest’s killers are brought to justice.
The murder rate last year in the Central American country of El Salvador was 50.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, or 9.2 murders a day. (Fr. Cecilio is pictured at front left in the picture)
Edited from Vatican News and El Salvador Times
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BREAKING Cardinal Müller says Pope "Francis is not a heretic" and "Such an accusation...is the worst that can happen in the Church.."


Pope Francis is not a heretic, said curia cardinal Gerhard Müller in conversation with the "Tagespost". (the interviewers questions are in italics)
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller defended the pope against heresy accusations and at the same time warned against a personality cult around him. Francis is not a heretic, Müller said in this newspaper. It was also "fundamentally wrong" to blame him for everything that is currently going wrong in the church.
The following are some excerpts from the lengthy German Interview:
Eminence, the signatories of an open letter to Pope Francis, accuse him of heresy. How serious do  you this accusation is?
Such an accusation against the supreme representative of the true faith revealed by God in Christ is the worst that can happen in the "Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and the Foundation of Truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). For the Pope, as Bishop of Rome, is the successor of St. Peter, to whom the Lord has built his Church. In Peter every pope repeats the confession of the Church at all times: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). Since the authors are renowned theologians, it would be important for the Holy Father to have an official clarification published by the Congregation of the Faith, not by the State Secretariat or by friendly journalists and theologians.

How is the charge historically classified? Were earlier popes also exposed to the charge of heresy?
Historically, there were few popes who were accused in one or the other point of error - thus the inerrancy ex cathedra was not in question. Here, the charge goes deeper, namely, that the whole structure of the Catholic faith in its principles of knowledge and in some of its essential contents would be uprooted. I do not share that. In my opinion, the problems stem from the wrong approach, that the church has lagged behind the times, and that faith needs modernization so that the contradiction in important questions of morality vis-à-vis the leading forces of the Western world is not so blatant. In the camp of the "friends" of the Pope - as some call themselves self-legitimating by branding every devout faithful Catholic to the Pope's enemies - one confuses faith with a neo-Marxist-neoliberal ideology. One speaks of traditionalist and modern believers. And they think that only with them and through them alone does the church have a future. In fact, the faith of the Church rests on the self-revelation of God, transmitted through the Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition, and interpreted by the whole Church, and especially the Magisterium of Bishops, with the Pope as the principle of their unity, unadulterated and uncircumcised.

The Church is indeed internally and externally in one of the most serious crises in its history. It will not continue if it transforms into a religious-political NGO, relativising or completely abandoning its Christ-taught faith and morality. Self-secularization, which has been going on for over 50 years, does not save the church from the abyss, but brings it closer and closer.

What do you see then the problem?
The problem is that the theological criterion of orthodoxy and heresy, that is, the belief according to the revelation or the false belief in their own opinion, has been replaced by the ideological-power-political scheme of the conservative-traditionalist-fundamentalist-right brakes against the left-liberal-modernist-cosmopolitan pacesetter in the utopia. This is the stale salt that you throw on the street, where it is crushed by the people. If the adaptation to the decline of morality is spent as a synodal process, then one will soon no longer recognize the church. But it will not be different, it will not be any more, at least in the regions where false prophets set the tone.

They defended "Amoris laetitia" as Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith. What position do you represent today?
Even after my time as Prefect, I defended "Amoris laetitia" in order to contradict the assumption from the opposite side that in my statements I would be guided by opportunistic considerations. I have welcomed the fact that the Pope is also pastoral for Catholics in irregular marriages, but some clarification of the doctrine of the Church is in need of clarification. It is often the case with his documents that while the preparatory people may be his confidants, they are neither officially nor professionally expelled from theology, and they are guilty by causing irritation that greatly affects the Pope and the papacy damage. It can not be denied conspicuously to the pope by an adviser that each bishop decides that Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church may receive holy communion except in the event of death or spiritual constraints , The individual bishop can not override the authentic doctrine on a case-by-case basis, but only determine whether there is a condition that a non-Catholic Christian, in extreme cases, be at risk for his salvation, the sacraments of penance (which is even more urgent) and the sacred Communion may receive. It is a sign of intellectual and moral decay when the professors of the Catholic faith are accused by those who disfigure him of disobedience to the pope and the bishops, and of controversy and division.

Can a pope, who has made no binding decision on matters of faith except for the change in the catechism (death penalty), incur the charge of heresy?
The concept of the heretic includes the obstinate denial of a revealed and infallibly submitted doctrine of the church. This is not the case with Pope Francis. As much as one understands the concerns of the theologians of this explanation, one must say that one must choose the right means for the legitimate aim of greater clarity in some of Pope Francis' statements. Above all, every Catholic is entitled to oppose the claim of alleged Pope friends who claim for themselves a papal authority.
(Image source: Google Images - CNS Harding)
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Excerpts Translated from Tagespost Interview https://www.die-tagespost.de/kirche-aktuell/Zeit-fuer-ein-klares-Wort;art312,198158

Pope Francis tells Journalists "...too many hostile words, in which to speak ill...it must always be remembered that every person has his intangible dignity..' Full Text


SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO MEMBERS OF THE FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION IN ITALY

Sala Clementina
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,

With pleasure I welcome you, together with your family, a few days after the celebration, in many countries, of World Communications Day. I thank the outgoing President, Mrs. Esma Çakir, and the new President, Mrs. Patricia Thomas, for the words they addressed to me.

I want to tell you first of all that I value your work; the Church esteems you, even when you put your finger on the wound, and perhaps the wound is in the ecclesial community. Yours is a precious work because it contributes to the search for truth, and only the truth makes us free. In this regard, I like to repeat what St. John Paul II said when he visited the headquarters of your Association 31 years ago: "The Church is on your side. Be Christian or not, in the Church you will always find the right esteem for your work and the recognition of freedom of the press "(17 January 1988: Insegnamenti XI, 1 [1988], 135).

Yours is an indispensable role, and this also gives you a great responsibility: it asks for a particular care for the words you use in your articles, for the images you transmit in your services, for everything you share on social media. This is why today I renew to you an exhortation that applies to everyone in the digital age: as Benedict XVI said, sometimes "the mass media tend to always make us feel" spectators ", as if the evil only concerned others, and certain things could never happen to us. Instead we are all "actors" and, in evil as well as in good, our behavior has an influence on others "(Speech in Piazza di Spagna, 8 December 2009: Insegnamenti V, 2 [2009], 672). I therefore urge you to work according to truth and justice, so that communication is really a tool to build, not to destroy; to meet, not to clash; to dialogue, not to monologize; to orient, not to disorient; to understand each other, not to misunderstand; to walk in peace, not to sow hatred; to give voice to those who have no voice, not to be the megaphone for those who shout louder.

I was struck by the many references to humility present in your President's speech - after all, your headquarters is on Via dell'Umiltà! Humility is an essential virtue for spiritual life; but I would say that it can also be a fundamental element of your profession. Some of you might tell me: "Father, in our work there are other characteristics that count: professionalism, competence, historical memory, curiosity, writing skills, ability to investigate and ask the right questions, speed of synthesis, ability to make what happens to the vast public is understandable ... ". Certainly. Yet humility can be the keystone of your business.

Each of us knows how difficult and how much humility the search for truth requires. And how much easier it is not to ask too many questions, to be satisfied with the first answers, to simplify, to remain on the surface, to appear; settle for discounted solutions, which do not know the fatigue of a survey capable of representing the complexity of real life. The humility of not knowing everything first is what drives research. The presumption of knowing everything is what blocks it.

Humble journalists do not mean mediocre, but rather aware that through an article, a tweet, a live television or radio you can do good but also, if you are not careful and scrupulous, of harm to others and sometimes to entire communities. I am thinking, for example, of how certain "shouted" titles can create a false representation of reality. A rectification is always necessary when one is wrong, but it is not enough to restore dignity, especially at a time when, through the Internet, false information can spread to the point of appearing authentic. For this, you journalists should always consider the power of the tool you have available, and resist the temptation to publish an insufficiently verified news.

In a time when many tend to pre-judge everything and everyone, humility also helps the journalist not to be dominated by haste, to try to stop, to find the time necessary to understand. Humility brings us closer to reality and to others with an attitude of understanding. The humble journalist tries to correctly know the facts in their entirety before telling and commenting on them. It does not nourish "the excess of slogans which, instead of setting the thought in motion, cancel it" (Speech to the managers, employees and operators of TV2000, 15 December 2014). It does not build stereotypes. He is not satisfied with representations of convenience that portray "individuals as if they were able to solve all problems, or on the contrary as scapegoats, on which to discharge all responsibility" (ibid.).

At a time when, especially in social media but not only, many use violent and derogatory language, with words that hurt and sometimes destroy people, it is rather to calibrate the language and, as your patron Saint Francis of Sales said in Philothea, use the word how the surgeon uses the scalpel (see chapter XXIX). In a time of too many hostile words, in which to speak ill of others has become for many a habit, together with that of classifying people, it must always be remembered that every person has his intangible dignity, which can never be taken away. At a time when many spread fake news, humility prevents you from selling the spoiled food of misinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth.

The humble journalist is a free journalist. Free from conditioning. Free from prejudices, and therefore courageous. Freedom requires courage!

I listened with pain to the statistics on your colleagues killed while doing their work with courage and dedication in many countries, to inform about what happens during the wars and the dramatic situations that so many of our brothers and sisters live in the world. Freedom of the press and of expression is an important index of a country's state of health. Let us not forget that dictatorships, one of the first measures they take, are to remove the freedom of the press or "disguise it", do not leave the press free. «We need a free journalism, at the service of the true, of the good, of the right; a journalism that helps to build the culture of encounter "(Pontifex Tweet, 3 May 2019). We need journalists who are on the side of the victims, on the side of those who are persecuted, on the side of those who are excluded, rejected, discriminated against. You and your work are needed to be helped not to forget many situations of suffering, which often do not have the light of the spotlight, or they have it for a moment and then return to the darkness of indifference. A question that one of you asked me a short time ago comes to my heart and memory: "What do you think of forgotten wars?" But what wars do you forget? Those wars that are still going on but people forget about, are not on the agenda in the newspapers, in the media. Be careful: don't forget the reality, because now "the blow has passed". No, reality continues, we continue. This is a nice service. In concrete terms, wars forgotten by society, but which are still ongoing.

This is why I want to thank you for what you do. Because you help us not to forget the lives that are suffocated before they are even born; those that, when just born, are extinguished by hunger, hardship, lack of care, wars; the lives of child soldiers, the lives of violated children. Help us not to forget so many women and men persecuted for their faith or their ethnicity. I ask myself a question: who is speaking today about the Rohingya? Who's talking about the Yazidis today? They are forgotten and continue to suffer. Help us not to forget that those forced - from calamities, wars, terrorism, hunger and thirst - to leave their land is not a number, but a face, a story, a desire for happiness. Your President talked about migrants: we must not forget this Mediterranean that is turning into a cemetery.
The humble and free journalist tries to tell the good, even if more often it is the evil that makes the news. What has always comforted me in my ministry as a bishop is to find out how much good there is between us, how many people sacrifice themselves - even heroically - to assist a parent or sick child, how many people engage in daily service to others, how many they stretch out their hands instead of turning away. Please continue to tell even that part of reality that thanks to God is still the most widespread: the reality of those who do not surrender to indifference, of those who do not flee before injustice, but build patiently in silence. There is a submerged ocean of good that deserves to be known and that gives strength to our hope. In this story, women are very attentive, and I am pleased to see that the contribution of women is fully recognized in your Association. Women see better and understand better, because they feel better.

In conclusion, I would like to assure you that I appreciate the commitment with which you carry out your work, which, lived in a spirit of service, becomes a mission. During my apostolic journeys I can realize the effort involved in your work. Furthermore, live far from your countries of origin and find yourself a mirror of the country in which you work, knowing how to grasp the positive and negative aspects. I invite you to be a mirror that knows how to reflect hope, sow hope. And I wish you to be humble and free men and women, who are the ones who leave a good imprint in history.

I thank you for this meeting. I bless you, your loved ones and your work. And you, too, please pray for me. And I would like to give everyone the blessing. I know that not all of you are believers, and for this I will do the blessing in silence, for everyone. May God bless everyone, bless everyone's heart. Amen.
Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Trans. - Image source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews Spanish Don Bosco Missionary Priest Stabbed to Death in Burkina Faso - RIP Fr. Fernando

A Spanish Salesian killed in Bobo Dioulasso
Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) – A Spanish priest, Father Fernando Fernández, was stabbed to death, and another injured on Friday evening, 17 May in Don Bosco center of Bobo-Dioulasso in the Southwest of Burkina Faso,.
During lunch, a former cook who worked in the facility for seven years, hurled the Spanish religious with a knife and killed him. A second priest of Togolese origin was injured in the accident. Fr. Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, director of studies, was immediately transported to the hospital and is out of danger. The killer was immediately arrested by the police.
From the first investigations it seems that the cook wanted to take revenge for having been sacked two months ago.
Fr. Fernández was the treasurer of the Don Bosco center in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second city of Burkina Faso, located in the south-western part of the country, in the province of Houet, about 300 km west of the capital Ouagadougou. In Bobo Dioulasso, since 1994, the Salesians have set up: an assistance center for street boys and girls, a literacy center and a professional training center with over 300 students.
The killing of the Spanish Salesian and the injury of theTogolese confrere is only the latest episodes in the country's religious communities. On February 15, another Spanish Salesian father, Fr. Antonio César Fernández Fernández had been killed in a jihadist attack perpetrated forty kilometers from the southern border of Burkina Faso (see Fides, 16/02/2019).
This week, within 24 hours, two very serious attacks were committed against the Catholic community. On the first Sunday, May 12, against the parish of Dablo during which an armed group killed Don Siméon Yampa and five faithful (see Fides, 13/5/2019), the second on May 13 against a Marian procession in Singa, with the death of four faithful and the destruction of the statue of the Virgin (see Fides, 14/5/2019). (L.M.) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 18/5/2019)
Image Salesianos España
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Saint May 19 St. Crispin of Viterbo - #Franciscan Lay Brother who Died 1750 and Remains Incorrupt

FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

Born:
13 November 1668, Viterbo
Died:
19 May 1750, Rome
Canonized:
20 June 1982 by Pope John Paul II
Friar Minor Capuchin; b. at Viterbo in 1668; d. at Rome, 19 May, 1750. When he was five years old, his pious mother took him to a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, a short distance from Viterbo, where she consecrated him to the Mother of God and placed him under her special protection. The child grew beyond his years in virtue and science of the saints; so that the townsfold of Viterbo were wont to call him il Santarello, the little saint. As Crispin one day saw the Capuchin novices walking in procession, God inspired him with the desire to embrace the religious life. He was shortly afterwards received into the Franciscan Order as a simple lay brother. Having been employed for some time as cook in the convent at Viterbo, he was sent to Tolfa, a town not far distant from Civita Becchia, to fulfil the same office. Thence he was sent to Rome and finally to Albano. Here Crispin was visited by the men of the world, by bishops and cardinals, and even by the pope himself, who always took delight in conversing with the humble lay brother. It was Crispin's constant endeavour to imitate the virtues of his patron, St. Felix of Cantalice, whom he had chosen as his model of perfection at the beginning of his religious life. Like St. Felix, he used to call himself the ass or beat of burden of the Capuchins, and, having on one occasion been asked by a stranger why he went bare-headed, Crispin answered jocosely, that "an ass does not wear a hat." Enfeebled by old age and by his numerous austerities, he was sent to Rome by his superiors, there to end his holy life. His body, which even at the present time is still in a remarkable state of preservation, rests under one of the side altars in the church of the Capuchin Fathers in Rome. Blessed Crispin was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius VII in 1806.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)