Friday, August 2, 2019

Saint August 3 : St. Gamaliel the Elder - a Teacher of the Apostle St. Paul


(Greek form of the Hebrew name meaning "reward of God"). The name designates in the New Testament a Pharisee and celebrated doctor of the Law. Gamaliel is represented in Acts 5:34 sqq., as advising his fellow-members of the Sanhedrin not to put to death St. Peter and the Apostles, who, notwithstanding the prohibition of the Jewish authorities, had continued to preach to the people. His advice, however unwelcome, was acted upon, so great was his authority with his contemporaries. We learn from Acts 22:3, that he was the teacher of St. Paul; but we are not told either the nature or the extent of the influence which he exercised upon the future apostle of the Gentiles. Gamaliel is rightly identified with an illustrious Jewish doctor of the Law, who bore the same name and died eighteen years before the destruction of Jerusalem. In the Talmud, this Gamaliel bears, like his grandfather Hillel, the surname of "the Elder", and is the first to whom the title "Rabban", "our master", was given. He appears therein, as in the book of the Acts, as a prominent member of the highest tribunal of the Jews. He is also treated as the originator of many legal ordinances; as the father of a son, whom he called Simeon, after his father's name, and of a daughter who married the priest Simon ben Nathanael. The Jewish accounts make him die a Pharisee, and state that: "When he died, the honour of the Torah (the law) ceased, and purity and piety became extinct." At an early date, ecclesiastical tradition has supposed that Gamaliel embraced the Christian Faith, and remained a member of the Sanhedrin for the purpose of helping secretly his fellow-Christians (cf. Recognitions of Clement, I, lxv, lxvi). According to Photius, he was baptized by St. Peter and St. John, together with his son and with Nicodemus. His body, miraculously discovered in the fifth century, is said to be preserved at Pisa, in Italy. the Catholic Encyclopedia

Touching Song written by Eric Clapton after his Conversion to Holy Mother Mary and Sung by Pavarotti

Eric Clapton’s had some problems with alcoholism, so he wrote a song to the Blessed Virgin Mary called “Holy Mother.” 
Clapton had a conversion to Faith in Christ as he explained:
I had found a place to turn to… From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray, and with my ego, this is the most I can do.
"Holy Mother"
Holy Mother, where are you?
Tonight I feel broken in two.
I've seen the stars fall from the sky.
Holy mother, can't keep from crying.

Oh I need your help this time,
Get me through this lonely night.
Tell me please which way to turn
To find myself again.

Holy mother, hear my prayer,
Somehow I know you're still there.
Send me please some peace of mind;
Take away this pain.

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait any longer.
I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait for you.

Holy mother, hear my cry,
I've cursed your name a thousand times.
I've felt the anger running through my soul;
All I need is a hand to hold.

Oh I feel the end has come,
No longer my legs will run.
You know I would rather be
In your arms tonight.

When my hands no longer play,
My voice is still, I fade away.
Holy mother, then I'll be
Lying in, safe within your arms.

RIP Fr. Paul Offu - Another Catholic Priest Killed by Herdsmen in Enugu, Nigeria - Please Pray

Another Catholic priest has been shot dead by suspected herdsmen in Enugu, Nigeria, Africa.  Fr. Offu was the parish Priest of St. James, the Greater Parish, Ugbawka, in Enugu State. The shooting took place on Thursday evening by suspected Fulani herdsman. The death was announced on the Facebook page of the Diocese.
 It read:
“Tragedy strikes again in  Enugu Diocese! ”With a deep sense of sorrow, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu announces the tragic death of REV FR PAUL OFFU who was shot dead this evening (1st August 2019) by some hoodlums suspected to be the notorious and murderous Fulani herdsmen, along Ihe-Agbudu Road in Awgu LGA. ”Offu hailed from Okpatu in Udi LGA of Enugu State and until his death, was the parish priest of St. James the Greater Parish, Ugbawka. ”May perpetual light shine upon his gentle and illustrious soul.”
“His painful death is coming at the heels of a recent attack on Rev. Fr. Ikechukwu Ilo, along Nomeh axis of Nkanu East Local Government Area on Wednesday Jul 17th by suspected kidnappers who opened fire on him after he refused to obey their instruction to stop his car,” the Diocese said. The Priests of Catholic Diocese of Enugu on Friday afternoon marched towards Enugu State Government House over the murder of their brother priest.
Please pray for Christians in Nigeria as violence continues. 
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#BreakingNews 3,000 people at Rally in Philippines defending Bishops against Sedition charges by President


By CBCP News

July 31, 2019

Dagupan City

Thousands of supporters rallied behind Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan and other clergymen who are facing sedition charges.

The justice department will start on Aug. 9 its preliminary investigation into the churchmen and opposition figures over police charges of sedition against them.

About 3,000 people marched in prayer through the city’s streets on Wednesday to dramatize their support for the church leaders.

Livestream footage shows supporters walking beside Archbishop Villegas, many of them carrying posters and banners calling for the dismissal of the charges.

Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog of Lingayen-Dagupan urged the faithful to stand up for truth, justice and human rights amidst “persecution”.

Speaking during Mass held before the procession, he said that protecting justice and peace is a Christian obligation.

“We are doing this not only for you but also for others who are maligned and persecuted, whose human rights are crushed to the ground,” Layog said in his homily.

“No one should take away the truth of our human rights. Let us stand for the truth, let us protect justice, let us stand for our human rights,” he said.

Thirty-six people, including Vice President Leni Robredo, are accused of sedition and cyber libel for orchestrating a series of online videos alleging that President Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Aside from Villegas, among those charged were Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, retired prelate Teodoro Bacani Jr..

Also accused of the same charges were Divine Word priest Flaviano Villanueva, Jesuit priest Albert Alejo, Father Robert Reyes, and La Salle Brother Armin Luistro.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has come to the defense of the accused prelates, saying the allegations were “beyond belief”.

“These are individuals whose love for country and dedication for the welfare of our people I cannot doubt,” said Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, CBCP president. Full Text Release from CBCPNEWS

Pope Francis' message to Missionary Congress " “So, take courage, go forward, always forward: baptized and sent,”


Pope to Indonesia missionary congress: A Christian always walks forward
Pope Francis has sent a video message to the National Missionary Congress of Indonesia, which kicked off in the capital Jakarta on Thursday.
By Robin Gomes

A Christian is a missionary who, urged forward by the Holy Spirit, lives his or her Baptism as yeast in society, spreading the message of Jesus.

This is the heart of a brief video message that Pope Francis sent to the participants a 3-day National Missionary Congress, organized by Indonesia’s Catholic Church.

"Baptized and Sent"
The August 1 to 4 conference, being held at the Mercure Convention Center,  Ancol, in Jakarta, has as its theme, "Baptized and Sent".

Speaking in Italian, the Pope exhorts the Congress participants to reflect well on the theme.  “When we are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit, who is a treasure; we receive the message of Jesus, the Gospel within us,” the Pope says in the video message that was projected during the opening ceremony.

The Pope draws attention to the two words of the theme, “Baptized and Sent”.  “When you have a beautiful thing and are enthusiastic about it,” he says, “you feel the impetus to share it and give it to others.”  “Baptized and Sent”, he says, are the two things that must be the leitmotif of the Congress.

Yeast
He asks how a Christian lives his or her Baptism, not only in personal life but also as “yeast, social leaven in society, to carry forward this message of Jesus.”

Walking forward – urged by the Spirit
The Argentine Pope reminds the congress participants that a Christian always walks forward.  According to the Bible, he explains, “we are not people who go backwards”; “we are people who go forward, always.”

“When one goes back,” he stresses, “one is not a Christian.”

When a Christian goes forward, he points out, he or she is “sent”.  "It is the Holy Spirit that impels me to go forward”.

“So, take courage, go forward, always forward: baptized and sent,” the Pope urges and asks them to pray to our Lady that she may protect them and help them forge ahead.

Pope Francis also asks the Congress participants to pray for him and concludes imparting his blessing on them.

Wow 30th Annual International Youth Festival in Medjugorje with over 50,000 Young People


Mladifest in Medjugorje, is the annual Youth Festival. During this youth prayer meeting in Medjugorje from July 31 to August 6th every year over 50.000 youth and 620 priests and 14 Cardinals from the whole world gather together. They pray, give testimonies, play music, and take part in procession with candles, adoration; there are also concerts, dances and spiritual activities for young people. (Present are Curia Archbishops Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and Jose Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Institute for Consecrated Life, and Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cardinals Antonio Canizares Llovera (Valencia) and Vinko Puljic (Bosnia), and Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who was commissioned by the Pope last year to serve as apostolic visitor to the parish of Medjugorje.)

This year marks the 30th International Youth Prayer Festival in Medjugorje. The daily schedule during the Medjugorje Youth Festival centres on Mass, Rosary, Confession and Adoration. The opening Mass for 2019, was presided over by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of Rome, on August 1st. 
He conveyed greetings and blessings from Pope Francis. Only in May, the Pope had allowed official pilgrimages to the Bosnian pilgrimage site. As it was then known, the apparitions of Our Lady Mary, have been recorded here since 1981.
The closing ceremony is to be presided over by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation on August 6th.
Our Lady of Medjugorje brings many messages of peace and calls for prayer:
 "Dear Children, Also today the Mother calls you with joy. I bring peace to you today, carry that peace to others. Be, dear children, my carriers of peace. I bring you love, dear children, carry that love to others. Also today I call you, dear children, through this time, renew my messages; live my messages. Thank you, dear children, for having responded to my call." Ivan's Prayer Group Message of June 19th, 2006. (Here is video from last year's Mass)

Saint August 2 : Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula and How You can get a Special Indulgence Today!

Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula

A town and parish situated about three-quarters of a mile from Assisi. The town, numbering about 2000 inhabitants and officially known as Santa Maria degli Angeli, has grown up around the church (basilica) of Our Lady of the Angels and the adjoining Franciscan monastery. It was here that on 24 Feb., 1208, St. Francis of Assisi recognized his vocation; here was for the most part his permanent abode, after the Benedictines (of the Cluny Congregation from about 1200) had presented him (about 1211) with the little chapel Portiuncula, i.e. a little portion (of land); here also he died on Saturday, 3 October, 1226. According to a legend, the existence of which can be traced back with certainty only to 1645, the little chapel of Portiuncula was erected under Pope Liberius (352-66) by hermits from the Valley of Josaphat, who had brought thither relics from the grave of the Blessed Virgin. The same legend relates that the chapel passed into the possession of St. Benedict in 516. It was known as Our Lady of the Valley of Josaphat or of the Angels -- the latter title referring, according to some, to Our Lady's ascent into heaven accompanied by angels (Assumption B.M.V.); a better founded opinion attributes the name to the singing of angels which had been frequently heard there. However this may be, here or in this neighbourhood was the cradle of the Franciscan Order, and on his death-bed St. Francis recommended the chapel to the faithful protection and care of his brethren. Concerning the form and plan of the first monastery built near the chapel we have no information, nor is the exact form of the loggia or platforms built round the chapel itself, or of the choir for the brothers built behind it, known. Shortly after 1290, the chapel, which measured only about twenty-two feet by thirteen and a half, became entirely inadequate to accommodate the throngs of pilgrims. The altar piece, an Annunciation, was painted by the priest, Hilarius of Viterbo, in 1393. The monastery was at most the residence, only for a short time, of the ministers-general of the order after St. Francis. In 1415 it first became associated with the Regular Observance, in the care of which it remains to the present day. The buildings, which had been gradually added to, around the shrine were taken down by order of Pius V (1566-72), except the cell in which St. Francis had died, and were replaced by a large basilica in contemporary style. The new edifice was erected over the cell just mentioned and over the Portiuncula chapel, which is situated immediately under the cupola. The basilica, which has three naves and a circle of chapels extending along the entire length of the aisles, was completed (1569-78) according to the plans of Jacob Barozzi, named Vignola (1507-73), assisted by Alessi Galeazzo (1512-72). The Doric order was chosen. 
The basilica forms a Latin cross 416 feet long by 210 feet wide; above the middle of the transept rises the magnificent cupola, flanked by a single side-tower, the second never having been finished. In the night of 15 March, 1832, the arch of the three naves and of the choir fell in, in consequence of an earthquake, but the cupola escaped with a big crack. Gregory XVI had all restored (1836-40), and on 8 Sept., 1840, the basilica was reconsecrated by Cardinal Lambruschini. By Brief of 11 April, 1909, Pius X raised it to a "patriarchal basilica and papal chapel". The high altar was therefore immediately rebuilt at the expense of the Franciscan province of the Holy Cross (also known as the Saxon province), and a papal throne added. The new altar was solemnly consecrated by Cardinal De Lai on 7 Dec., 1910. Under the bay of the choir, resting against the columns of the cupola, is still preserved the cell in which St. Francis died, while, a little behind the sacristy, is the spot where the saint, during a temptation, is said to have rolled in a briar-bush, which was then changed into thornless roses. During this same night the saint received the Portiuncula Indulgence. The representation of the reception of this Indulgence on the façade of the Portiuncula chapel, the work of Fr. Overbeck (1829), enjoys great celebrity.
The Portiuncula Indulgence 

 The norms and grants of indulgences were completely reformed by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in his Apostolic Constitution "Indulgentiarum Doctrina" (1967), and the Portiuncula Indulgence was again confirmed at that time. According to the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, the Catholic faithful may gain a plenary indulgence on 2 August (the Portiuncula) or on such other day as designated by the local ordinary for the advantage of the faithful, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Holy Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), by devoutly visiting the parish church, and there reciting at least the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. The Indulgence applies to the cathedral church of the diocese, and to the co-cathedral church (if there is one), even if they are not parochial, and also to quasi-parochial churches. To gain this, as any plenary indulgence, the faithful must be free from any attachment to sin, even venial sin. Where this entire detachment is wanting, the indulgence is partial.

SOURCE: Shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia 

Saint August 2 : St. Eusebius Vercelli a Martyr and Bishop who Died in 371

Born:

283, Sardinia
Died:
August 1, 371, Vercelli, Piemonte
Patron of:
Vercelli

Bishop of Vercelli, b. in Sardinia c. 283; d. at Vercelli, Piedmont, 1 August, 371. He was made lector in Rome, where he lived some time, probably as a member or head of a religious community (Spreitzenhofer, Die Entwickelung des alten Mönchtums in Italien, Vienna, 1894, 14 sq.), Later he came to Vercelle, the present Vercelli, and in 340 was unanimously elected bishop of that city by the clergy and the people. He received episcopal consecration at the hands of Pope Julius I on 15 December, of the same year. According to the testimony of St. Ambrose (Ep. lxiii, Ad Vercellenses) he was the first bishop of the West who united monastic with clerical life. He led with the clergy of his city a common life modelled upon that of the Eastern cenobites (St. Ambrose, Ep. lxxxi and Serm. lxxxix). For this reason the Canons Regular of St. Augustine honour him along with St. Augustine as their founder (Proprium Canon. Reg., 16 December).
In 364 Pope Liberius sent Eusebius and Bishop Lucifer to Cagliari to the Emperor Constantius, who was then at Arles in Gaul, for the purpose of inducing the emperor to convoke a council which should put an end to the dissentions between the Arians and the orthodox. The synod was held in Milan in 355. At first Eusebius refused to attend it because he foresaw that the Arian bishops, who were supported by the emperor, would not accept the decrees of the Nicene council and would insist upon the condemnation of St. Athanasius. Being pressed by the emperor and the bishops to appear at the synod, he came to Milan, but was not admitted to the synod until the document condemning St. Athanasius had been drawn up and was awaiting the signature of the bishops. Eusebius vehemently protested against the unjust condemnation of St. Athanasius and, despite the threats of the emperor, refused to attach his signature to the document. As a result he was sent into exile, first to Scythopolis in Syria, where the Arian bishop Patrophilus, whom Eusebius calls his jailer, (Baronius, Annal., ad ann. 356, n. 97), treated him very cruelly; then to Cappodocia, and lastly to Thebaid. On the accession of the Emperor Julian, the exiled bishops were allowed to return to their sees, in 362. Eusebius, however, and his brother-exile Lucifer did not at once return to Italy. Acting either by force of their former legatine faculties or, as is more probable, having received new legatine faculties from Pope Liberius, they remained in the Orient for some time, helping to restore peace in the Church. Eusebius went to Alexandria to consult with St. Athanasius about convoking the synod which in 362 was held there under their joint presidency. Besides declaring the Divinity of the Holy Ghost and the orthodox doctrine concerning the Incarnation, the synod agreed to deal mildly with the repentant apostate bishops, but to impose severe penalties upon the leaders of several of Arianizing factions. At its close Eusebius went to Antioch to reconcile the Eustathians and the Meletians. The Eustathians were adherents of the bishop St. Eustatius, who was deposed and exiled by the Arians in 331. Since Meletius' election in 361 was brought about chiefly by the Arians, the Eustathians would not recognize him, although he solemnly proclamed his orthodox faith from the ambo after his episcopal consecration. The Alexandrian synod had desired that Eusebius should reconcile the Eustathians with Bishop Meletius, by purging his election of whatever might have been irregular in it, but Eusebius, upon arriving at Antioch found that his brother-legate Lucifer had consecrated Paulinus, the leader of the Eustathians, as Bishop of Antioch, and thus unwittingly had frustrated the pacific design. Unable to reconcile the factions at Antioch, he visited other Churches of the Orient in the interest of the orthodox faith, and finally passed through Illyricum into Italy. Having arrived at Vercelli in 363, he assisted the zealous St. Hilary of Poitiers in the suppression of Arianism in the Western Church, and was one of the chief opponents of the Arian Bishop Auxientius of Milan. The church honours him as a martyr and celebrates his feast as a semi-double on 16 December. In the "Journal of Theological Studies" (1900), I, 302-99, E.A. Burn attributes to Eusebius the "Quicumque".
Three short letters of Eusebius are printed in Migne, P.L., XII, 947-54 and X, 713-14. St. Jerome (De vir. ill., c. lvi, and Ep. li, n. 2) ascribes to him a Latin translation of a commentary on the Psalms, written originally in Greek by Eusebius of Cæsarea; but this work has been lost. There is preserved in the cathedral at Vercelli the "Codex Vercellensis", the earliest manuscript of the old Latin Gospels (codex a), which is generally believed to have been written by Eusebius. It was published by Irico (Milan 1748) and Bianchini (Rome, 1749), and is reprinted in Migne, P.L. XII, 9-948; a new edition was brought out by Belsheim (Christiania, 1894). Krüger (Lucifer, Bischof von Calaris", Leipzig, 1886, 118-30) ascribes to Eusebius a baptismal oration by Caspari (Quellen sur Gesch, Des Taufsymbols, Christiania, 1869, II, 132-40). The confession of faith "Des. Trinitate confessio", P.L., XII, 959-968, sometimes ascribed to Eusebius is spurious.
SOURCE:  the Catholic Encyclopedia

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stFriday, August 2, 2019 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 405

Reading 1LV 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34B-37

The LORD said to Moses,
"These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate
at their proper time with a sacred assembly.
The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month,
at the evening twilight.
The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD's feast of Unleavened Bread.
For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work.
On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD.
Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work."

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the children of Israel and tell them:
When you come into the land which I am giving you,
and reap your harvest,
you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest
to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD
that it may be acceptable for you.
On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this.

"Beginning with the day after the sabbath,
the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf,
you shall count seven full weeks,
and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day,
you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.

"The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement,
when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves
and offer an oblation to the LORD.

"The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD's feast of Booths,
which shall continue for seven days.
On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly,
and you shall do no sort of work.
For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD,
and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and offer an oblation to the LORD.
On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.

"These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD
on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly,
and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings,
sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day."

Responsorial PsalmPS 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11AB

R. (2a)  Sing with joy to God our help.
Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel,
the pleasant harp and the lyre.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our solemn feast.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
For it is a statute in Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob,
Who made it a decree for Joseph
when he came forth from the land of Egypt.
R.  Sing with joy to God our help.
There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.

Alleluia1 PT 1:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.