Thursday, September 19, 2019

Saint September 20 : St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions Martyrs and Patron Korean Clergy


St. Andrew Kim Taegon
MARTYR
Born:
August 21, 1821
Died:
September 16, 1846
Canonized:
6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Chŏltusan (Martyr's Mound), Seoul, South Korea
Patron of:
Korean Clergy
 Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon is known as Korea's first Roman Catholic priest. Born into a family of Christian converts at a time of unprecedented governmental opposition to Christianity (Christian teachings threatened the hierarchical system of Confucianism and ancestor worship), Kim and his family led lives of deprivation and hardship. Although there were repeated efforts made by the Korean monarchy (who feared European colonization of Korea through Christianity), to uproot the religion of the barbarian foreigners from 1794 to 1866, converts to Christianity continued to increase.
Even though Kim's family members and eventually Kim himself would suffer persecution, torture and eventual martyrdom under the repressive Korean monarchy, as it desperately tried to preserve itself and Korea's Confucian culture by eradicating Christianity; the sacrifice of these early Korean Christians became the foundation for the Christian Church in Korea to flourish today. Andrew Kim Taegon is revered today for his sacrifice and dedication in bringing Christianity to Korea.
Early Catholic Church In Korea
During the 1592 invasion of Korea by Japan, Japanese soldiers introduced Christianity into Korea by baptizing Koreans. A Japanese commander, Konishi Yukinaga, took a Korean girl, Julia Ota-a to Japan and she became one of the first Korean Christians. Father Gregorious de Cespedes, a Jesuit priest, visited Konishi in Korea in 1593. Korean diplomat, Yi Gwang-jeong returned to Korea from Beijing bearing several theological books written by Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest living in China. Some two centuries later, members of the Silhak (practical learning) school were drawn to Christian thought because it advocated a social structure based upon merit rather than birth rank. Most early Christians had family ties to the Silhak school.
During the late Joseon Dynasty and under its Confucian influence, Christianity was heavily suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Kim Taegon was born into this environment, and just one of several thousands of Catholic, Presbyterian, or Methodist Christians who were tortured and executed because of their faith during this time. In 1866, Regent Heungseon Daewongun (father of King Gojong) signed a decree to execute all Catholics. Over 2,000 Catholics were beheaded at Jeoldusan, "Beheading Hill." Their bodies were thrown into the Han River. Some were as young as 13. Fewer than 40 were identified.[1]
At this time, Korea was isolated from the world; the only outside contact being with Peking, where taxes were paid. Jesuits in China managed to smuggle Christian literature into Korea. When Korea saw its first missionaries arrive from France and America in the mid 1800s, several thousand Koreans were already practicing Christianity.
Kim Family
Andrew Kim Taegon was born in Nol-Mae (Solmoe), Chu’ung-Chong Province (in South Central Korea. At the age of seven, the Kim family moved to Golbaemasil Mankok-ri, Youngin-gun County (Mirinae) Kyungki Province. Kim’s great-grandfather, Kim Jin-Hu was martyred in 1814. Kim’s grand-uncle, Kim Han-hyun was also martyred in 1816. Kim’s father, Kim Je-jun (Ignatius Kim), was subsequently martyred in 1839 for practicing Christianity.[2] With so many male relatives martyred, Kim grew up very poor; his mother reduced to begging.
Ordination and Mission Work
After being baptized at the age of 15, Kim traveled over 1200 miles in 1836 to study at a seminary in the Portuguese Colony of Macau, China. He returned to Korea through Manchuria. That same year, he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai, where he was ordained a priest in 1845 by the French Bishop, Jean Ferréol. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. These grueling trips between China and Korea, on foot and by small unworthy fishing vessels, allowed Kim to explore the terrain and increase the accuracy of the maps he had been using to plan better routes for the French missionaries to infiltrate Korea.
Handwritten map by Father Andre Kim (Kim Tae Gon, the first Korean Catholic priest, who managed to make this map in the short time he had to travel and work in Korea, before he was executed, 1846.)
Imprisonment
In June of 1846, while trying to arrange for passage for additional missionaries to enter Korea by boat along the southeast coast, Kim was arrested by the border patrol. While imprisoned and awaiting his fate, Andrew Kim Taegon wrote to his parish:
"My dear brothers and sisters know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among who am I myself, have been thrown into prison. Just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties? However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.
Execution
On September 26, at the age of 25, Kim was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. His ears were pierced with arrows; his face covered with lime.[3] A group of Christians led, by Yi Min-Sik, later moved his body to Mt. Mi-ri-nai, about 35 miles from Seoul.
Before Father Jean Joseph Ferréol, the first Bishop of Korea, died from exhaustion on the third of February in 1853, he wanted to be buried beside Andrew Kim, stating: “You will never know how sad I was to lose this young native priest. I have loved him as a father loved his son; it is a consolation for me to think of his eternal happiness.”Shared from NewWorldEncyclopeidia
Image source: Google Images

Our Lady of La Salette who Prophesied future sufferings if People don't Pray to God in 1846


La Salette, France: Apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette


The story of La Salette:
The village of La Salette is in the French Alps not far from Grenoble. On Saturday afternoon, September 19, 1846, Maximim Giraud, a boy age 11 and Melanie Mathieu-Calvat, a girl age 14, were attracted to a brilliant light in a ravine.

The figure of a crowned woman with a radiant dress and rose-edged slippers gradually became visible. She was crying and wore a golden crucifix…the youths thought that she was a ‘saint’.

She spoke first to both of them, then gave each a ‘secret’ individually. After a final admonition to both to ‘make this known’ she rose in the air looking heavenward in joy, glanced momentarily toward Rome, and then gradually disappeared. Melanie and Maximim told their fellow townspeople of the vision, but met with initial unbelief (with the exception of Fr. Perrin, the parish priest, who announced the event during Mass).

As time progressed, conversions (including Maximim’s father and a locally known rebellious priest) and over 23 healings associated with a stream of water which flowed again from a dried-up spring at the apparition site, made the townsfolk reformed and firm believers.

A three-year investigation led to the Bishop’s approval of the apparition. Construction began a year later on a basilica which draws thousands of pilgrims to honor the ‘Virgin of Converts’, the ‘Reconciler of Sinners’.

Here is a sampling of Our Lady’s messages:
“If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.”

“A forerunner of the antichrist with his troops from several nations will fight against the true Christ, the only Savior of the world; he will spill much blood, and will want to annihilate the worship of God in order to make himself be looked upon as a God.”
Source: https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/france/france-la-salette-lady-la-salette/

Pope Francis at Mass explains Ministry is a gift to be contemplated “It is not a job contract: ‘I have to do it’ - Video


Vatican News reports that Pope Francis at Mass explains Ministry is a gift to be contemplated
In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, Pope Francis says ordained ministry is a gift which should be appreciated and shared.
By Vatican News

Pope Francis reflected on ordained ministry at Mass on Thursday, saying Jesus offers this gift to deacons, priests, and bishops so they might serve others.

The occasion for his remarks was the presence of a group of priests and bishops celebrating their silver jubilee, or 25 years of ordination.

The Pope invited everyone to reflect on the day’s first reading (1 Tim 4:12-16), in which St Paul invites Timothy not to neglect the gift of ordained ministry.

“It is not a job contract: ‘I have to do it’. The act of doing is in the second place. I must receive the gift and care for it, and from there flows all the rest: in contemplation of the gift. When we forget this, appropriate the gift, and turn it into a function, then we lose the heart of ministry and lose Jesus’ gaze who looked upon us and said: ‘Follow me.’ Gratuitousness is lost.”

Risk of self-centered ministry
Pope Francis then warned everyone against the risk of making ministry into a self-centered exercise.

If we do not contemplate the gift we have received, he said, “all the deviations we can imagine are unleashed, from the most horrible – which are terrible – to the most mundane, which make us turn our ministry into being about us, rather than about the gratuitousness of the gift and about our love for He who gave us the gift of ministry.”

First contemplate, then act
The Pope invited deacons, priests, and bishops to contemplate their ministry and service as a gift. We do what we can, he said, with good intentions, intelligence, and “even with a little cunning”, but always taking care of the gift.

It is human to forget this aspect, said Pope Francis, as the Pharisee does in the day’s Gospel (Lk 7:36-50) when he forgets several rules of hospitality as he welcomes Jesus to his table.

“There was this man, a good man, a good Pharisee but he had forgotten the gift of courtesy, the gift of hospitality – which is also a gift. Gifts are always forgotten when there is some sort of self-interest involved, when I want to do this or that thing – always doing, doing… Yes, we priests must all do things, and our first task is to proclaim the Gospel, but we must take care of our center, our source from which our mission flows, which is the gift we have freely received from the Lord.”

God guides the gift
Pope Francis concluded his homily with a prayer for all the Church’s ordained ministers.

May the Lord “help us to care for this gift, to consider our ministry above all as a gift, then as service”, he prayed.

In this way, said the Pope, ministers can avoid becoming “businessmen or do-gooders”.

Full Text Source: VaticanNews.va - Image Source - Screen shot of Pope Francis OSR

Mother rejects abortion after Rape and gives birth to a Son who later became a Catholic Priest and Missionary


Colombian father Alfar Antonio Vélez was conceived in rape. He is pastor of two Catholic churches in Argentina. His mother decided not to have an abortion because of her faith. The Clarín newspaper told this in a story.

The mother of a Colombian priest, named Alfar Antonio Vélez, became pregnant during a rape.

The woman faced the crude circumstance of her son's conception and the moral condemnation of her family. She was able to  see her son Antioqueño Vélez become a priest in Colombia and then a missionary in Argentina.

The Catholic leader decided to tell his testimony of life based on faith, with the intention of offering a sobering message.

 Vélez's mother was born in Algeria de María (Antioquia). From a young age, the woman moved to Medellín to study medicine.

One night she went out with some coworkers and they, drunk, drugged her and raped her. The consequence was a pregnancy which she decided to carry to full term, clinging to deep spiritual values ​​that gave her strength to move forward.

Her son learned the story when he was 10 years old.

"My mother was a woman of great faith, very practicing and very holy. She said that, despite the terrible circumstances, she carried in her womb the miracle of a new life, a life that God had given her and that, because of it she couldn't have an abortion, and if God had given him to her she should find the meaning in it. The hardest thing for her was to not be able to show me a father to love me, to teach me how to walk, but I bore the feeling that I filled her completely. "says Father Vélez in the article.

He tells us that over time he went to a church to claim from God the way he had come to the world. A priest who met on that occasion answered his question: "It is not why but for what." Later those words motivated him to fully incorporate himself into religious life.

"God created us in his image and likeness. My breath is the breath of God. We are the most beautiful thing in the world. So, we have no right to take the life of any innocent because it is not to blame for how it came into the world. "says the priest.


"I would say that God is the owner of life and that he made it an instrument of life. That the rapist is to blame, not the child in the womb. I think the decision to abort will end when we think that all life is a gift from God, beyond how it was conceived, of pain, or of joy, "he says.


"God uses me to do works; I am only his instrument. And if he wants my testimony to help make a person reconsider and save a life, then this interview will have been worth it," concludes the priest.

Edited from
Semana.com 

Pope Francis to Eastern Churches “the commitment to build a synodal Church — a mission to which we are all called..." Full Text


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE CONFERENCE PROMOTED
BY THE SOCIETY FOR THE LAW OF THE EASTERN CHURCHES
Clementine Hall
Thursday, 19 September 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning.
I offer my cordial greeting to all of you, professors of canon law, experts and members of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, and to your President, whom I thank for her words. I congratulate you on the fiftieth anniversary of the Society, founded here in Rome in 1969, soon after the Second Vatican Council. The Society’s founder was Father Ivan Žužek, who made significant contributions to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. I am grateful for this visit on the occasion of your jubilee celebration, which afforded me the joyful opportunity to embrace my dear brother, Patriarch Bartholomew, the Society’s first Vice-President.
The work of the Society, bringing together experts from different Churches – Eastern Catholics, Orthodox and Oriental Churches – is of fundamental assistance to ecumenical dialogue. How much we can learn from one another in all areas of ecclesial life: theology, the experience of spirituality and liturgy, pastoral activity and, certainly, canon law.
Canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue. Many of the theological dialogues pursued by the Catholic Church, especially with the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Churches, are of an ecclesiological nature. They have a canonical dimension too, since ecclesiology finds expression in the institutions and the law of the Churches. It is clear, therefore, that canon law is not only an aid to ecumenical dialogue, but also an essential dimension. Then too it is clear that ecumenical dialogue also enriches canon law.
I would like to offer the example of synodality. When translated into established institutions and procedures of the Church, synodality expresses the ecumenical dimension of canon law. On the one hand, we have the opportunity to learn from the synodal experience of other traditions, especially those of the Eastern Churches (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 246). On the other hand, it is clear that the way in which the Catholic Church experiences synodality is important for its relations with other Christians. This is a challenge for ecumenism. Indeed, “the commitment to build a synodal Church — a mission to which we are all called, each with the role entrusted him by the Lord — has significant ecumenical implications” (Address during the Ceremony Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Institution of the Synod of Bishops, 17 October 2015).
Based on the common canonical heritage of the first millennium, the current theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church seeks precisely a common understanding of primacy and synodality and their relationship in the service of the unity of the Church.
Dear friends, your research also has a synodal dimension: you walk together and, in mutual listening, evaluate your traditions and experiences to find ways to full unity. I am grateful for your work which, I am certain, will be of great help not only for the development of canon law but for our moving ever closer to the fulfilment of the Lord’s prayer: “that they may all be one; [...] so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).
Invoking God’s blessing upon your Society, I entrust all of you to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she may watch over you with her maternal affection. I assure you of my prayers, and I ask you also to pray for me. Thank you!
Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Image Share from VaticanNews.va

New Polls reveal widespread Discrimination against Healthcare workers of Faith and public support for Conscience Rights laws

USCCB Poll: Americans Support Conscience Protection for Healthcare Professionals

 
September 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two new polls have revealed widespread discrimination against healthcare workers of faith, as well as broad public support for conscience rights laws and protections. The findings were released today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committees on Pro-Life Activities; Religious Liberty; Domestic and Social Development; and the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, as well as the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), the largest faith-based association for healthcare professionals.

The findings come in the wake of enforcement actions taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) against the University of Vermont Medical Center, which is alleged to have coerced a nurse into participating in an abortion against her beliefs.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas and Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Robert J. McManus, of Worcester and Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James D. Conley, of Lincoln and Chairman of the Subcommittee for Promotion and Defense of Marriage offered the following statement on the findings:
“An overwhelming majority of Americans agree: no healthcare professional should be forced to violate deeply-held beliefs in order to keep a job. The practice of medicine depends on those courageous and generous enough to serve all people—especially the poor and marginalized—with the highest ethical standards. If we exclude people of faith from the medical profession, Americans will suffer, especially those most in need.”
---FULL Text Release from USCCB

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. September 19, 2019 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 446

Reading 11 TM 4:12-16

Beloved:
Let no one have contempt for your youth,
but set an example for those who believe,
in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word
with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,
so that your progress may be evident to everyone.
Attend to yourself and to your teaching;
persevere in both tasks,
for by doing so you will save
both yourself and those who listen to you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:7-8, 9, 10

R.(2) How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaMT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Saint September 19 : St. Januarius the Patron of Blood banks and Volcanic eruptions

Martyr, Bishop of Beneventum. St. Januarius is believed to have suffered in the persecution of Diocletian, c. 305. With regard to the history of his life and martyrdom, we know next to nothing. The various collections of "Acts", though numerous (cf. Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina, n. 4115-4140), are all extremely late and untrustworthy. Bede (c. 733) in his "Martyrologium" has epitomized the so-called "Acta Bononiensia" (see Quentin, Les Martyrologes historiques", 76). To this source we may trace the following entry in the present Roman Martyrology, though the reference to the miracle of the liquefaction is an addition of much later date. "At Pozzuoli in Campania [the memory] of the holy martyrs Januarius, Bishop of Beneventum, Festus his deacon, and Desiderius lector, together with Socius deacon of the church of Misenas, Proculus deacon of Pozzuoli, Eutyches and Acutius, who after chains and imprisonment were beheaded under the Emperor Diocletian. The body of St. Januarius was brought to Naples, and there honourably interred in the church, where his holy blood is kept unto this day in a phial of glass, which being set near his head becomes liquid and bubbles up as though it were fresh."
In the Breviary a longer account is given. There we are told that "Timotheus, President of Campania," was the official who condemned the martyrs, that Januarius was thrown into a fiery furnace, but that the flames would not touch him, and that the saint and his companions were afterwards exposed in the amphitheatre to wild beasts without any effect. Timotheus declaring that this was due to magic, and ordering the martyrs to be beheaded, the persecutor was smitten with blindness, but Januarius cured him, and five thousand persons were converted to Christ before the martyrs were decapitated. Then, as the Breviary lesson continues, "the cities of these coasts strove to obtain their bodies for honourable burial, so as to make sure of having them advocates with God. By God's will, the relics of Januarius were taken to Naples at last, after having been carried from Pozzuoli to Beneventum and from Beneventum to Monte Vergine. When they were brought thence to Naples they were laid in the chief church there and have been there famous on account of many miracles. Among these is remarkable the stopping of eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, whereby both that neighbourhood and places afar off have been like to be destroyed. It is also well known and is the plain fact, seen even unto this day, that when the blood of St. Januarius, kept dried up in a small glass phial, is put in sight of the head of the same martyr, it is wont to melt and bubble in a very strange way, as though it had but freshly been shed."
.Text shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia - Image Source: Google Images

PRAYER COLLECT FROM THE MASS OF THE DAY

O God, who grant us to venerate the memory of the Martyr Saint Januarius, give us, we pray, the joy of his company in blessed happiness for all eternity. 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.