Friday, September 13, 2019

Saint September 14 : The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Feast - #Cross

The Feast of the Cross like so many other liturgical feasts, had its origin at Jerusalem, and is connected with the commemoration of the Finding of the Cross and the building, by Constantine, of churches upon the sites of the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary. In 335 the dedication of these churches was celebrated with great solemnity by the bishops who had assisted at the Council of Tyre, and a great number of other bishops. This dedication took place on the 13th and 14th of September. This feast of the dedication, which was known by the name of the Encnia, was most solemn; it was on an equal footing with those of the Epiphany and Easter. The description of it should be read in the "Peregrinatio", which is of great value upon this subject of liturgical origins. This solemnity attracted to Jerusalem a great number of monks, from Mesopotamia, from Syria, from Egypt, from the Thebaïd, and from other provinces, besides laity of both sexes. Not fewer than forty or fifty bishops would journey from their dioceses to be present at Jerusalem for the event. The feast was considered as of obligation, "and he thinks himself guilty of a grave sin who during this period does not attend the great solemnity". It lasted eight days. In Jerusalem, then, this feast bore an entirely local character. It passed, like so many other feasts, to Constantinople and thence to Rome. There was also an endeavour to give it a local feeling, and the church of "The Holy Cross in Jerusalem" as intended, as its name indicates, to recall the memory of the church at Jerusalem bearing the same dedication.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross sprang into existence at Rome at the end of the seventh century. Allusion is made to it during the pontificate of Sergius I (687-701) but, as Dom Bäumer observes, the very terms of the text (Lib. Pontif., I, 374, 378) show that the feast already existed. It is, then, inexact, as has often been pointed out, to attribute the introduction of it to this pope. The Gallican churches, which, at the period here referred to, do not yet know of this feast of the 14th September, have another on the 3rd of May of the same signification. It seems to have been introduced there in the seventh century, for ancient Gallican documents, such as the Lectionary of Luxeuil, do not mention it; Gregory of Tours also seems to ignore it. According to Mgr. Duchesne, the date seems to have been borrowed from the legend of the Finding of the Holy Cross (Lib. Pontif., I, p. cviii). Later, when the Gallican and Roman Liturgies were combined, a distinct character was given to each feast, so as to avoid sacrificing either. The 3rd of May was called the feast of the Invention of the Cross, and it commemorated in a special manner Saint Helena's discovery of the sacred wood of the Cross; the 14th of September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, commemorated above all the circumstances in which Heraclius recovered from the Persians the True Cross, which they had carried off. Nevertheless, it appears from the history of the two feasts, which we have just examined, that that of the 13th and 14th of September is the older, and that the commemoration of the Finding of the Cross was at first combined with it.
The Good Friday ceremony of the Adoration of the Cross also had its origin in Jerusalem, as we have seen, and is a faithful reproduction of the rites of Adoration of the Cross of the fourth century in Jerusalem which have been described above, in accordance with the description of the author of the "Peregrinatio". This worship paid to the Cross in Jerusalem on Good Friday soon became general. Gregory of Tours speaks of the Wednesday and Friday consecrated the Cross—probably the Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. (Cf. Greg., De Gloriâ Mart. I, v.) The most ancient adoration of the Cross in Church is described in the "Ordo Romanus" generally attributed to Saint Gregory. It is performed, according to this "Ordo", just as it is nowadays, after a series of responsory prayers. The cross is prepared before the altar; priests, deacons, subdeacons, clerics of the inferior grades, and lastly the people, each one comes in his turn; they salute the cross, during the singing of the anthem, "Ecce lignum crucis in quo salus mundi pependit. Venite, adoremus" (Behold the wood of the cross on which the salvation of the world did hang. Come, let us adore) and then Psalm 118. (See Mabillon, Mus. Ital., Paris, 1689, II, 23.) The Latin Church has kept until today the same liturgical features in the ceremony of Good Friday, added to it is the song of the Improperia and the hymn of the Cross, "Pange, lingua, gloriosi lauream certaminis".
Besides the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday and the September feast, the Greeks have still another feast of the Adoration of the Cross on the 1st of August as well as on the third Sunday in Lent. It is probable that Gregory the Great was acquainted with this feast during his stay in Constantinople, and that the station of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, on Lætare Sunday (the fourth Sunday in Lent), is a souvenir, or a timid effort at imitation, of the Byzantine solemnity.
Text source: The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image Source: Google Images

Free Movie : "The Song of Bernadette" about #OurLady of Lourdes

The Song of Bernadette (1943) 156 min - Biography | Drama - April 1945 (USA)  The Apparitions occurred in 1858 France. Based on the novel by Franz Werfel, "The Song of Bernadette" is a sympathetic account of the life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a sickly (asthmatic) French peasant girl who claimed to have seen 18 miraculous visions of a "beautiful lady" near her home village of Lourdes in 1858. Bernadette had become so happily excited by her initial vision, which she claimed included her having been instructed by this "beautiful lady" to return each day for 15 days*.
Director: Henry King Writers: George Seaton (screenplay), Franz Werfel (novel) Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe |

Pope Francis explains reasons for giving Relics to Patriarch Bartholomew "...our common witness and our evangelizing mission...:" Full Text











Pope Francis writes to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, and explains the motivation behind his gift of a portion of the relics of Saint Peter.

LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW I, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE,
ACCOMPANYING THE GIFT OF SOME RELICS OF SAINT PETER

To His Holiness Bartholomew
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch
Your Holiness, dear Brother,
With deep affection and spiritual closeness, I send you my cordial good wishes of grace and peace in the love of the Risen Lord. In these past weeks, I have often thought of writing to you to explain more fully the gift of some fragments of the relics of the Apostle Peter that I presented to Your Holiness through the distinguished delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate led by Archbishop Job of Telmessos which took part in the patronal feast of the Church of Rome.
Your Holiness knows well that the uninterrupted tradition of the Roman Church has always testified that the Apostle Peter, after his martyrdom in the Circus of Nero, was buried in the adjoining necropolis of the Vatican Hill. His tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful from every part of the Christian world. Later, the Emperor Constantine erected the Vatican Basilica dedicated to Saint Peter over the site of the tomb of the Apostle.
In June 1939, immediately following his election, my predecessor Pope Pius XII decided to undertake excavations beneath the Vatican Basilica. The works led first to the discovery of the exact burial place of the Apostle and later, in 1952, to the discovery, under the high altar of the Basilica, of a funerary niche attached to a red wall dated to the year 150 and covered with precious graffiti, including one of fundamental importance which reads, in Greek, Πετρος ευι. This contained bones that can quite reasonably be considered those of the Apostle Peter. From those relics, now enshrined in the necropolis under Saint Peter's Basilica, Pope Saint Paul VI had nine fragments removed for the private chapel of the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace.
The nine fragments were placed in a bronze case bearing the inscription, Ex ossibus quae in Archibasilicae Vaticanae hypogeo inventa Beati Petri apostoli esse putantur: “Bones found in the earth beneath the Vatican Basilica considered to be those of Blessed Peter the Apostle”. It was this same case, containing nine fragments of the bones of the Apostle, that I desired to present to Your Holiness and to the beloved Church of Constantinople over which you preside with such devotion.
As I reflected on our mutual determination to advance together towards full communion, and thanked God for the progress already made since our venerable predecessors met in Jerusalem over fifty years ago, I thought of the gift that Patriarch Athenagoras gave to Pope Paul VI: an icon depicting the brothers Peter and Andrew embracing, united in faith and in love of their common Lord . This icon that, at the behest of Pope Paul VI, is displayed today in the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has become for us a prophetic sign of the restoration of that visible communion between our Churches to which we aspire and for which we fervently pray and work. Hence, in the peace born of prayer, I sensed that it would be highly significant were some fragments of the relics of the Apostle Peter to be placed beside the relics of the Apostle Andrew , who is venerated as the heavenly patron of the Church of Constantinople.
I sensed that this thought came to me from the Holy Spirit, who in so many ways prompts Christians to regain that full communion for which our Lord Jesus Christ prayed on the eve of his glorious Passion (cf. Jn 17:21).
This gesture is intended to be a confirmation of the journey that our Churches have made in drawing closer to one another: a journey at times demanding and difficult, yet one accompanied by evident signs of God’s grace. Pursuing this journey calls above all for spiritual conversion and renewed fidelity to the Lord who requires on our part greater commitment and new, courageous steps. Difficulties and disagreements, now and in the future, must not distract us from our duty and responsibility as Christians, and particularly as Pastors of the Church, before God and history.
The joining of the relics of the two brother Apostles can also serve as a constant reminder and encouragement that, on this continuing journey, our divergences will no longer stand in the way of our common witness and our evangelizing mission in the service of a human family that today is tempted to build a purely secular future, a future without God.
Your Holiness, beloved Brother, I have found great comfort in sharing these thoughts with you. In the hope of soon encountering you once more, I ask you to pray for me and to bless me, and I exchange with Your Holiness a fraternal embrace of peace.
From the Vatican, 30 August 2019
FRANCIS


US Bishops' VP leads Delegation to Vatican to present Encuentro Proceedings on Hispanic Ministry to the Pope

U.S. Bishops’ Vice-President Leads Delegation to the Holy See to Present V Encuentro Proceedings and Conclusions to Pope Francis

September 10, 2019
WASHINGTON— Archbishop José H. Gomez, of Los Angeles, and Vice-President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop Nelson J. Pérez, of Cleveland, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and Bishop Arturo Cepeda, of Detroit, chairman of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs will lead a delegation that will visit the Holy See, September 13-18, to present to Pope Francis the Proceedings and Conclusions of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry.
Delegates accompanying the Bishops include USCCB staff, members of the National V Encuentro Team and a cross-section of V Encuentro delegates representing a diversity of ages, geographical areas, ministries and states in life. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the leadership and staff of various Vatican offices, including the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The visit will conclude with an audience and encounter with the Holy Father.
“This visit to the Holy See provides an important opportunity to follow up with Vatican offices on what we have seen and heard, what we learned so far, and the next steps in the V Encuentro process. We bring with us the voices and wisdom of thousands of Hispanic Catholics and other leaders who have accompanied us in this process,” said Bishop Pérez. “Meeting with the Holy Father and handing over a copy of the Proceedings and Conclusions will be a very special moment. Pope Francis and Vatican officials have been very supportive of the V Encuentro process and have followed its developments closely. They have accompanied us with their presence, messages and prayers. We are extremely grateful and pleased to have this opportunity to offer them a report on the V Encuentro.”
The USCCB’s Administrative Committee authorized the publication of the Proceedings and Conclusions of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic Latino Ministry during its September meeting. The resource will be available for sale at the USCCB store in October; other related tools and resources will be posted soon thereafter on the V Encuentro website.
The document is expected to facilitate collaboration and coordination on Hispanic Ministry initiatives between the Bishops’ Conference and dioceses across the country. Numerous initiatives are emerging at the local, regional, and national level as a direct result of the V Encuentro.

For the last two and a half years, the Catholic Church in the United States has taken Pope Francis’ call to embrace an experience what it means to evangelize, reaching out in a special way to those in the peripheries (Evangelii Gaudium, 20-24), specifically through the V National Encuentro. The Proceeding and Conclusions, meant to be a practical resource for utilization by dioceses, captures the five steps of the V Encuentro process.
The Proceedings and Conclusions provide a summary of challenges and opportunities, hopes and dreams, gifts and talents, insights, recommendations, strategies, and successful practices for the pastoral care and accompaniment of the Hispanic/Latinos in the United States. Dioceses around the country have already begun a process of incorporating V Encuentro findings to their existing pastoral plans or are in the process of developing new ones.
More information about the V Encuentro can be found at: https://vencuentro.org/. . .
The following is a complete list of V Encuentro Delegates that will travel to the Holy See:
Bishops:

• Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice-President

• Most Rev. Nelson J. Pérez, Bishop of Cleveland, Chairman, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church

• Most Rev. Arturo Cepeda, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, Chairman, Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs
USCCB Staff:
• María del Mar Muñoz-Visoso, Executive Director, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

• Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director of Hispanic Affairs, National Coordinator of the V Encuentro, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

Delegates and National V Encuentro Team:
• Junuee Castro, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Diocese of Salt Lake City

• Dr. Patricia Jiménez, V Encuentro Communications Coordinator

• Ken Johnson-Mondragón V Encuentro Research Coordinator

• Mario and Paola Martínez, Co-Directors, Office of Marriage and Family Life Ministry, Diocese of San Bernardino

• Roberto Navarro, Senior Director of U.S. Church Engagement, Catholic Relief Services

• Luis Peña, Hispanic Ministry Inter-Parish Coordinator, Archdiocese of New York

• Wanda Vásquez Director of Hispanic Ministry, Archdiocese of New York, and Board Member of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM), Episcopal Region II Representative
FULL TEXT release USCCB

Canadian Pro-Life activist Mary Wagner Free from Jail after 5 months for giving Roses to Expectant mothers


Canadian Pro-Life activist Mary Wagner was released from jail. She enters abortion clinics and gives roses to the expectant mothers. Mary has spent many years in jail for her pro-life actions. Her statement to the Court this morning: "This conviction is nothing I am ashamed of. On the contrary, I am pleased that the court has found there is enough evidence to conclude that I interfered with the business of destroying helpless unborn children, who remain unprotected and abandoned by the courts."
The BC Catholic Reports: 
The judge found Wagner guilty of mischief  and trespassing at Everywoman’s Health Centre in Vancouver April 17. (The arresting police officer had been unfamiliar with B.C.’s “bubble zone” law and so she was charged with different offences than she typically is.) She’d been locked up since that day, and so, having spent more time behind bars than the maximum sentence for her crime, was set free the same day she was sentenced.
“You are not the sort of person we usually deal with in the courts,” Jette said during the proceedings.
Wagner isn’t mired in fraud or drug trafficking or other crimes many accused people who enter the provincial court are mixed up in. She is a pro-life woman with convictions that run so deep she enters abortion clinics with the urgency of someone who has learned a human life is in danger and dashes in to see if she can save it.
Though the judge found her guilty under Canadian law, he recognized Wagner’s actions come from her heart. When the Crown attorney asked for 30 hours of community service and a three-year probation, the judge gave her two years of probation and said he saw no reason for her to do community service.
“I’m satisfied that you are somebody who gives back to the community on a daily basis,” he told Wagner. “It’s in your DNA.”
That was an extraordinary statement indeed, her lawyer Peter Boushy told me afterward. “You rarely hear a judge compliment an accused person.”
Source: Mary Wagner FB page and https://bccatholic.ca/

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, September 13, 2019 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 441

Reading 11 TM 1:1-2, 12-14

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial PsalmPS 16:1B-2A AND 5, 7-8, 11

R.(see 5) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.

AlleluiaSEE JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite!  Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."