Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Saint November 7 : St. Willibrord a Bishop and Patron of Convulsions; Epilepsy; Netherlands

St. Willibrord

CONFESSOR, FIRST BISHOP OF UTRECHT

Born:
658, Northumbria
Died:
November 7, 739
Major Shrine:
Echternach
Patron of:
convulsions; epilepsy; epileptics; Luxembourg; Netherlands

From his life, written by Alcuin, in two books, the one in prose, the other in verse, together with a homily, and an elegant poem in his honour. Also Bede, l. 5, Hist. c. 11, 12, and St. Boniface, ep. 97. See Batavia Sacra, p. 36, and Mabillon. Annal. Bened. t. 1, l. 18, sec. 4, and Acta Sanct. Ord. S. Bened. Sæc. 3, part 1, p. 601. Calmet, Hist. de Lorraine, t. 3, pr. et t. 1, app. Fabricius, Salutar. Luce Evang. c. 19, p. 442. A.D. 738.
ST. WILLIBRORD was born in the kingdom of Northumberland, towards the year 658, and placed by his virtuous parents, before he was seven years old, in the monastery of Rippon, which was at that time governed by St. Wilfrid, its founder. Wilgis, our saint’s father, retired also into a monastery, afterwards became a hermit, and in his old age founded and governed a small monastery between the ocean and the Humber. He is honoured among the saints in the monastery of Epternac, and in the English calendars. Alcuin has left us an account of his life Willibrord, by carrying the yoke of our Lord with fervour from his infancy, found it always easy and sweet, and the better to preserve the first fruits which he had gathered, made his monastic profession when he was very young. He had made great progress in virtue and sacred learning, when, out of a desire for further improvement, in the twentieth year of his age, he went over into Ireland, with the consent of his abbot and brethren, where he joined St. Egbert or Ecgbright, and the blessed Wigbert, who were gone thither before upon the same errand. In their company our saint spent twelve years in the study of the sacred sciences, and in the most fervent exercise of all virtues. Though his constitution was weak, in fervour and exactness, he outdid the most advanced; he was humble, modest, and of an easy obliging temper; and his whole conduct was regular and uniform. St. Egbert had long entertained an ardent desire of going to preach the gospel to the inhabitants of those unhappy countries, in which barbarism and idolatry still reigned without control, and he had chiefly Friesland or Lower Germany in his eye. But he was diverted from that apostolical design by persons of piety and authority, who engaged him to employ his zealous labours in the islands between Ireland and Scotland, in all which he settled the true manner of celebrating Easter; especially at Hij, where he died a little before Bede wrote his history. St. Egbert is honoured in the English Calendar on the 24th of April. Bede gives a most edifying account of his austere penance, devotion, zeal, and charity. His companion, the holy priest Wigbert, went in the mean time to Friesland; but after staying there two years came back without having met with any prospect of success. This disappointment did not discourage Egbert, and other zealous promoters of this mission; but excited them the more earnestly to solicit the divine mercy with prayers and tears in favour of so many souls, who were perishing eternally. Willibrord, who was then about thirty-one years of age, and had been ordained priest a year before, expressed a great desire to be allowed by his superiors to undertake this laborious and dangerous charge. St. Egbert, by the known zeal and great talents of our saint, and by his cheerfulness, which sufficiently showed him prepared to encounter all difficulties in the prosecution of such a work, doubted not but God had reserved to him the conversion of that nation, and encouraged him in this zealous design. St. Willibrord was joined by St. Swidbert and ten other English monks in this mission. 1 The Frisons, who had formerly occupied a large tract of country on the coasts of the German ocean, crossing the Rhine into Belgic Gaul, had possessed themselves of those provinces about the mouth of the Rhine, which the Catti, who were also originally Germans, then held. 1 Among all the German nations none maintained their liberty against the Romans, with greater success and courage, than the Frisons. Procopius tells us, 2 that some of them came into Britain with the English Saxons: and by their situation they were doubtless the most expert in maritime affairs. St. Ludger 3 mentions that Swidbert, and the rest of these zealous preachers, were desirous to carry the light of the faith to these people, because their ancestors sprang from them. St. Eligius, bishop of Noyon, had preached in part of Friesland, and St. Wilfrid had sown there the seeds of our holy faith in 678. But these seem to have been almost rooted out 4 before St. Willibrord’s arrival in 690 or 691. The authors of Batavia Sacra 5 doubt not but our twelve missionaries landed at Catwic upon the sea, which was at the mouth of the Rhine before it was blocked up with sands, and thither the English were accustomed to export corn, even from the north coasting part of their island; the British tower, as it was called, was built by the Romans at Catwic to defend this harbour. 6 This old channel was not entirely obstructed in 1050, as appears from the Chronicle of Woerden. 7 And Alcuin expressly says, that these missionaries landed at the mouth of the Rhine, and travelled thence to Utrecht, a town built by the Romans at the great passage over the Rhine; whence it was called Trajectum, afterwards Trecht, and lastly Utrecht, (from Outrecht, the Old Passage, and Ultrajectum, or Passage at the town Vulta,) to distinguish it from the ancient town of Maestricht or Passage over the Maese. Pepin of Herstal, or the Big, who was at that time duke of the French, and mayor of the king’s palace, and had lately conquered part of Friesland, received courteously St. Willibrord and his companions. But Willibrord set out for Rome, and cast himself at the feet of Pope Sergius, begging his apostolic blessing and authority to preach the gospel to idolatrous nations. The pope, charmed with his zeal and sanctity, granted him the most ample licenses for that purpose, and gave him a great quantity of relics for the consecration of churches. With this treasure the saint returned with all possible expedition to his province, considering the pressing necessities and dangers of so many souls which called for his compassion and relief. St. Swibert was taken from him and ordained bishop of the Borroctuarians, who seemed to have inhabited the territory of Berg, and the neighbouring country towards Cologne.
 St. Willibrord, with his ten other companions, under the protection of Pepin, preached the gospel with wonderful success, in that part of Friesland that had been conquered by the French; so that after six years, Pepin, by the advice of his bishops, sent the saint to Rome, with strong letters of recommendation, that he might be ordained bishop. His humility made him endeavour that some other should be pitched upon for that dignity; but he was not heard. Pope Sergius, who still sat in St. Peter’s chair, received him with great marks of honour, changed his name into that of Clement, with great solemnity ordained him archbishop of the Frisons in St. Peter’s church, and gave him the pallium with authority to fix his see in what part of the country he should think most convenient. The holy man staid only fourteen days in Rome, being impatient to return to his flock, and regretting an hour’s absence from them, more than was necessary to procure them greater advantages. He came back to Utrecht the same year, 696, and chose that city for his residence, Pepin having bestowed on him the royal castle of Viltaburg, which, as Bede assures us, 8 was at Utrecht, though Cluverius will have it to have been the present Wiltenburg, three miles and a half from Utrecht; but this town itself was called Vulta, or the city of the Vultæ. 9 St. Willibrord built at Utrecht the church of our Saviour, in which he fixed his metropolitical see, says St. Boniface, 10 and that of St. Martin, though this latter he only restored, for it had been a church, but destroyed by the Pagans. 11 Heda and Beka think it had been built by king Dagobert, at the desire of St. Wilfrid. This latter church became afterwards the cathedral, and both were served by colleges of canons. The archbishop’s indefatigable application to the conversion of souls seemed to prove, that with the new obligation he had received at his consecration, of labouring to enlarge the kingdom of his Divine Master, he had acquired fresh strength and a considerable augmentation of his zeal. In the second year after his episcopal consecration, assisted by the liberality of Pepin, and the abbess Irmina, who is said to have been daughter of Dagobert II., he founded, in 698, the abbey of Epternac, in the diocess of Triers, and now in the duchy of Luxemburg, 12 which he governed to his death. Alcuin relates, that the nunnery of Horrea, of which Irmina was abbess, had been delivered from a pestilence by water, blessed by St. Willibrord, and by his saying mass in the church. Pepin of Herstal, before his death put away his concubine, Alpais, by whom he had Charles Martel, and was reconciled to his wife Plectrudis, and in his last will, which is signed by Plectrudis, he recommended to St. Willibrord, his nephews, (without any mention of his natural son Charles,) and bestowed on our saint the village of Swestram, now Susteren, in the duchy of Juliers, near the Mews, with which the holy man endowed a nunnery which he built there. 13 3 Pepin of Herstal died in December, 714. A little before his death, Charles Martel’s son, Pepin the Short, afterwards king of France, was born, and baptized by St. Willibrord, who on that occasion is related by Alcuin to have prophesied, that the child would surpass in glory all his ancestors. Charles Martel in a short time became mayor of the palace, and approved himself equally the first general and statesman of his age. In 723, he settled upon the monastery which St. Willibrord had erected at Utrecht to serve his cathedral, all the royal revenues belonging to his castle there. 14 Of this monastery St. Gregory was afterwards abbot; in succeeding times it was secularized. Several other donations of estates made by Charles Martel to several churches founded by our saint, may be seen in Miræus and others. By a charter, that prince conferred on him the royalties of the city of Utrecht with its dependencies and appurtenances. 15 By such establishments our saint sought to perpetuate the work of God. Not content to have planted the faith in the country which the French had conquered, he extended his labours into West-Friesland, which obeyed Radbod, prince or king of the Frisons, who continued an obstinate idolater; yet hindered not the saint’s preaching to his subjects, and he himself sometimes listened to him. The new apostle penetrated also into Denmark: but Ongend, (perhaps Biorn,) who then reigned there, a monster of cruelty rather than a man, was hardened in his malice, and his example had a great influence over his subjects. The man of God, however, for the first fruits of this country, purchased thirty young Danish boys, whom he instructed, baptized, and brought back with him. In his return he was driven by stress of weather upon the famous pagan island, called Fositeland, now Amelandt, on the coast of Friesland, six leagues from Leuwarden, to the north, a place then esteemed by the Danes and Frisons as most sacred in honour of the idol Fosite. It was looked upon as an unpardonable sacrilege, for any one to kill any living creature in that island, to eat of any thing that grew in it, or to draw water out of a spring there without observing the strictest silence. St. Willibrord, to undeceive the inhabitants, killed some of the beasts for his companions to eat, and baptized three persons in the fountain, pronouncing the words aloud. The idolaters expected to see them run mad or drop down dead: and seeing no such judgment befal them, could not determine whether this was to be attributed to the patience of their god, or to his want of power. They informed Radbod, who, transported with rage, ordered lots to be cast three times a day, for three days together, and the fate of the delinquents to be determined by them. God so directed it that the lot never fell upon Willibrord; but one of his company was sacrificed to the superstition of the people, and died a martyr for Jesus Christ. 4
The saint, upon leaving Amelandt, directed his course to Warckeren, one of the chief islands belonging to Zealand. His charity and patience made considerable conquests to the Christian religion there, and he established several churches. After the death of Radbod, which happened in 719, Willibrord was at full liberty to preach in every part of the country. He was joined in his apostolical labours, in 720, by St. Boniface, who spent three years in Friesland: then went into Germany. Bede says, when he wrote his history in 731, “Willibrord, surnamed Clement, is still living, venerable for his old age, having been bishop thirty-six years, and sighing after the rewards of the heavenly life, after many conflicts in the heavenly warfare.” 16 He was, says Alcuin, of a becoming stature, venerable in his aspect, comely in his person, graceful and always cheerful in his speech and countenance, wise in his counsel, unwearied in preaching and all apostolic functions, amidst which he was careful to nourish the interior life of his soul by assiduous prayer, singing of psalms, watching, and fasting. Alcuin, who wrote about fifty years after his death, assures us, that this apostle was endowed with the gift of miracles, and relates, that whilst he preached in the isle of Warckeren, where the towns of Flessingue and Middleburg are since built, going from village to village, he found in one of them a famous idol to which the people were offering their vows and sacrifices, and full of holy zeal threw it down, and broke it in pieces. In the mean time an idolater, who was the priest and guardian of the idol, gave him a blow on the head with his backsword, with which, nevertheless, the saint was not hurt: and he would not suffer the assassin to be touched, or prosecuted. But the unhappy man was soon after possessed with a devil, and lost his senses. By the tears, prayers, and zealous labours of this apostle and his colleagues, the faith was planted in most parts of Holland, Zealand, and all the remaining part of the Netherlands, whither St. Amand and St. Lebwin had never penetrated; and the Frisons, till then a rough and most barbarous people, were civilized, and became eminent for virtue, and the culture of arts and sciences. St. Wulfran, archbishop of Sens, and others, excited by the success of our saint’s missions, were ambitious to share in so great a work under his direction. St. Willibrord was exceedingly cautious in admitting persons to holy orders, fearing lest one unworthy or slothful minister should defeat by scandal, all the good which the divine mercy had begun for the salvation of many souls. It is also mentioned of him, that he was very strict and diligent in examining and preparing thoroughly those whom he admitted to baptism, dreading the condemnation which those incur, who, by sloth or facility, open a door to the profanation of our most tremendous mysteries. The schools which St. Willibrord left at Utrecht, were very famous. 17 Being at length quite broken with old age he resigned the administration of his diocess to a coadjutor whom he ordained bishop, 18 and in retirement prepared himself for eternity. He died, according to Pagi, in 739; according to Mabillon, in 740 or 741, and according to Mr. Smith, 19 in 745, some adhering to Alcuin, others to Bede, &c. St. Boniface says, that St. Willibrord spent fifty years in preaching the gospel, 20 which Mr. Smith dates from his episcopal consecration; Mabillon, 21 from his coming into Friesland: but others think these fifty years mean only thereabouts. For Alcuin says, he came into Friesland in the thirty-third year of his age, and lived eighty-one years; which account only allows him forty-eight years employed in preaching. But, if St. Boniface comprises the two years in which he preached in Ireland, and the Scottish islands, his Chronology agrees with Alcuin’s dates, and it follows that St. Willibrord died in 738: which is confirmed by the Chronicle of Epternac, compiled from the Necrology and manuscript registers of that monastery. Alcuin and Rabanus Maurus place his death on the 6th of November: but the Chronicle of Epternac, Usuard, Ado, and the Roman and Benedictin Martyrologies commemorate him on the 7th. He was buried, as he had desired, at his monastery of Epternac, and his relics are there enshrined at this day. The portative altar which he made use of for the celebration of the divine mysteries, in travelling through Friesland, Zealand, and Holland, is kept in the Benedictin abbey of our Lady ad martyres, at Triers. 22 St. Willibrord’s Testament in favour of his monastery of Epternac was published by F. Ch. Scribanius, S. J. in his Antwerp, by Miræus, 23 with notes by Boschart; and by Calmet, among the proofs of his History of Lorrain. 24 From Lives of the Saints by Butler

Pope Francis says "Today let us too ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with culture..." Full Text + Video


General Audience, 06.11.2019 




  This morning’s General Audience took place in Saint Peter’s Square, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and all over the world.


In his address in Italian the Pope continued his catechesis on the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, this time focusing on the passage: “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” (Acts of the Apostles 17: 23).
After summarising his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father addressed special greetings to the groups of faithful present. The General Audience concluded with the recitation of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Let us continue our “journey” with the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. After the trials he experienced in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea, Paul arrives in Athens, right in the heart of Greece (cf. Acts 17: 15). This city, which lived in the shadow of ancient glories despite political decadence, still held the primacy of culture. Here the Apostle’s “spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17: 16). This “impact” with paganism, however, instead of making him flee, drives him to create a bridge to dialogue with that culture.
Paul chooses to become familiar with the city and thus begins to frequent the most significant places and people. He goes to the synagogue, symbol of the life of faith; he goes to the square, symbol of city life; and he goes to the Areopagus, symbol of political and cultural life. He meets Jews, Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, and many others. He meets all the people, he does not close himself up; he goes to speak with all people. In this way Paul observes the culture, he observes the environment of Athens “with a contemplative gaze” which discovers “God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares” (Evangelii gaudium, 71). Paul does not look at the city of Athens and the pagan world with hostility but with the eyes of faith. And this makes us question our way of looking at our cities: do we observe them with indifference? With contempt? Or with the faith that recognizes the children of God in the midst of the anonymous crowds?
Paul chooses the gaze that drives him to open up a passage between the Gospel and the pagan world. In the heart of one of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient world, the Areopagus, he offers an extraordinary example of inculturation of the message of faith: he proclaims Jesus Christ to the worshippers of idols, and does not do so by attacking them, but by making himself a “pontiff, a builder of bridges” (Homily at Santa Marta, 8 May 2013).
Paul takes his cue from the altar of the city dedicated to “the unknown god” (Acts 17: 23) – there was an altar with the inscription, “to the unknown god”, no image, nothing, just that inscription. Starting out from that “devotion” to the unknown god, to enter into empathy with his listeners, he proclaims that God dwells among the citizens (cf. Evangelii gaudium, 71) and “does not hide Himself from those who seek Him with a sincere heart, even though they do so tentatively” (ibid). It is precisely this presence that Paul seeks to reveal: “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” (Acts 17: 23).
To reveal the identity of the god the Athenians worship, the Apostle starts from creation, that is the biblical faith in the God of the revelation, arriving at redemption and judgement, that is the proper Christian message. He shows the disproportion between the greatness of the Creator and the temples built by man, and explains that the Creator always makes himself sought so that each person may find Him. In this way Paul, according to a beautiful expression by Pope Benedict XVI, “is proclaiming Him Whom men do not know and yet do know – the Unknown-Known” (Benedict XVI, Meeting with representatives from the world of culture, Collège des Bernardins, 12 September 2008). Then, he invites everyone to go beyond “the times of ignorance” and to decide for conversion in view of the imminent judgement. Paul thus arrives at the kerygma and alludes to Christ, without naming Him, defining Him as “a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17: 31).
And here, there’s the problem. The word of Paul, who until now had held his interlocutors in suspense – because it was an interesting discovery – finds a stumbling block: the death and resurrection of Christ appears to be “foolishness” (1 Cor 1: 23) and arouses mockery and derision. Paul then moves away: his attempt seems to have failed, yet some adhere to his word and open themselves to faith. Among them is a man, Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, and a woman, Damaris. Even in Athens the Gospel takes root and flow with two voices: that of the man and that of the woman!
Today let us too ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with culture, with those who do not believe or with those who have a different creed from ours. Always build bridges, always reach out, no aggression. Let us ask Him for the capacity to delicately inculturate the message of faith, turning a contemplative gaze to those who are ignorant of Christ, moved by a love that warms even the most hardened hearts.

Greetings in English
I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

Greetings in various languages
Summary of catechesis and greetings in different languages

In French

Speaker:

Frères et sœurs, poursuivant notre «voyage» in the livre des actes des Apôtres, nous rencontrons saint Paul à Athènes. The veut entrer en contact avec cette ville, here conservit encore the premiere of the culture, and fréquenter les personnes et les lieux les plus significatifs, rencontrant toutes sortes de gens aux cultures diverses. The ne regarde pas Athènes et le monde païen avec hostilité, maize avec le regard de la foi. The cherche à annoncer Jésus-Christ aux adorateurs d 'idoles non pas en les agressant mais en construisant des ponts. Dieu est déjà présent. The ne if cache pas à ceux qui le cherchent avec un cœur sincère, même si c’est à tâtons. N'y a-t-the pas dans la ville un autel dédié au «dieu inconnu»? C est cette présence that the Apôtre cherche à révéler: "Celeste que vénérez sans le connaître, voilà que, moi, je viens vous l'annoncer". Cependant, the prédication de Paul, bien accueillie jusque-là, rencontre un écueil: la mort et résurrection du Christ qui semble être une folie et provoque la dérision. The tentative of Paul semble avoir échoué, according to that-adhèrent à sa parole et s’ouvrent à la foi.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims, in particular the young people of the Diocese of Paris. Brothers and sisters, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to build bridges with those who do not believe. May you always know how to witness to them our faith, turning on them a look of love that also touches the most hardened hearts. God bless you!

Speaker:

The cordial greetings of the langue française, in particulier les jeunes du diocèse de Paris. Frères et sœurs, demandons à l'Esprit Saint de nous apprendre à construire des ponts avec ceux qui ne croient pas. Que nous sachions touours leur témoigner de notre foi, in portante sur eux a regard d amour qui touche même les cœurs les plus endurcis. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

In English

Speaker:

Dear brothers and sisters: In preaching before the Areopagus in Athens, the cultural capital of the pagan world. In a city filled with idols, Paul proclaims the Gospel by appealing to the religious of his hearers and their desire to know the truth. Seeing an altar dedicated to an "unknown god", Paul states that God, the transcendent Creator of the world, has made himself known, and he is his friend. Yet when Paul begins to speak of Christ's death and resurrection, his listeners lose interest. The mystery of the cross, in which Gods wisdom and power are revealed, appears in the eyes of the Greeks (cf. 1 Cor 1:23). Yet Paul's preaching bears fruit in the conversion of some Athenians, including Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris. As we think of our own culture, may we, like Paul, be sensitive to people 's deepest yearnings in order to propose the mystery of Christ and his saving love.

Holy Father:

I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

Speaker:

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

In German language

Speaker:
In German language

Speaker:

Liebe Brüder und Schwestern, in der heutigen Katechese betrachten wir das Wirken des Apostels Paulus in Athen, der Hauptstadt der antiken Kultur. Beim Anblick der zahlreichen Götzenbilder „wurde sein Geist von heftigem Zorn erfasst“. Dieser Zusammenstoß mit dem Heidentum jedoch treibt ihn nicht zur Flucht, surveyor zum Dialog mit jener Kultur: Er macht sich mit der Stadt vertraut und sucht ihre wichtigsten Orte und Plätze auf, wo er Juden, stoischen und epikureischen Philosophen sowie vielen anderen begegnet. So begibt er sich in den Mittelpunkt einer der berühmtesten Institutionen der antiken Welt, auf den Areopag, wo er Jesus Christus verkündet. Ausgendend einem „dem unbekannten Gott“ geweihten Altar, erklärt er seinen Zuhörern einfühlsam, dass Gott unter den Menschen wohnt und sich vor denen nicht verbirgt, die ihn suchen. So kann Paulus über die christliche Offenbarung sprechen, über den Schöpfer, über die Erlösung und das Gericht. Zwar stößt er beim Thema der Auferstehung Christi auf Spott und Hohn, doch bleibt seine Mission nicht ohne Frucht: Einige Menschen öffnen sich für den Glauben, so dass das Evangelium auch in Athen Wurzel schlagen kann. Möge auch heute das Licht Christi die Herzen derer, die ihn noch nicht kennen, erleuchten und erwärmen.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the German-speaking pilgrims. The Holy Spirit makes you grow steadily in the knowledge of God so that you can spread his love and truth in the world.

Speaker:

Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Der Heilige Geist lasse euch beständig in der Erkenntnis Gottes wachsen, so dass ihr seine Liebe und seine Wahrheit in der Welt verbreiten könnt.

[01757-DE.01] [Originalsprache: Deutsch]

In Spanish

Queridos hermanos y hermanas:

Siguiendo nuestro viaje por el book de los Hechos de los Apóstoles, hoy acompañamos al apóstol Pablo a su llegada a Atenas, la gran ciudad de la culture griega. En ella, el apóstol frecuenta the synagogue, símbolo de la fe en Dios; la plaza, center of la vida ciudadana, y el Areópago, corazón de la vida cultural y política. El contacto con el paganismo no asusta, until it empuja to crear a puente para dialogar with aquella culture.

With contemplative mirada, Pablo describes that Dios habita in the houses of the atenienses, in sus calles, in sus plazas; no aims el paganismo con hostilidad, sino que, en un ejemplo extraordinario de inculturación, announces to Christ partendo de su fe en a "Dios desconocido", to which they built an idol. Después de captar on benevolencia desde este puente, comienza a explicar paso a paso la revelación, desde la creación hasta la resurrección de Cristo.

Aparente este camino no dio el resultado esperado, por a tiempo escucharon con simpatía, but muerte y resurrección de Cristo if reveló como a escándalo para los judíos y necedad para los paganos, arousing desprecio y burlas. But no es así, algunos se convirtieron y quedaron como semilla de la fe también en Atenas.

I am warmly present at los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos hoy to the Espíritu Santo de enseñarnos to construir puentes with quienes no creen or tienen otra fe distinct to the nuestra. Pidamos the capacity of inculturar with delicadeza el mensaje de la fe. Que el fuego de su amor que es capaz de inflamar el corazón más endurecido abra los ojos de que todavía no conocen to Christ.

Que el Señor los bendiga


In Portuguese language

Speaker:

Nos Atos dos Apóstolos, após as provas que experimentiu em Filipos, Tessalônica and Beréia, Paulo chega in Atenas, no coração da Grécia. Embora fosse uma cidade que vivia à sombra de suas glórias do passado, Atenas ainda conservava or primado da cultura. Aqui, apesar de ficar revoltado com idolatria, or Apóstolo procura ver o mundo pagão não com hostilidade, mas com os olhos da fé. De Concrete Mode, no Areópago, símbolo from vida cultural and política, pronounce um discurso que, partindo da existência de um altar dedicado to um “deus desconhecido”, anunciava aos atenienses a identidade daquele que adoravam sem conhecer: o Deus único and verdadeiro, que a fé bíblica ensina ser o criador and salvador do mundo. Porém ao ouvir falar from ressurreição de Cristo, muitos ouvintes acabam losing or interest. If no tratou, contudo, de frassasso: para alem do fato de alguns se converteram, Paulo nos deixou um exemplo extraordinário de inculturação da mensagem evangélica and from importância de se construir pontes com a cultura.

Holy Father:

I extend a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the members of the Associação de Imprensa de Inspiração Cristã, of Portugal, and to the Brazilian faithful of Niterói. Dear friends, in this month of November, we are invited to pray for the dead. Guided by faith in the communion of saints, try to entrust your deceased relatives, friends and acquaintances to God, especially in the Eucharist, feeling close to them in the great spiritual company of the Church. God bless you all!

Speaker:

Directo uma saudação cordial aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, especially os membros da Associação de Imprensa de Inspiração Cristã, de Portugal, and os fiéis brasileiros de Niterói. Queridos amigos, neste mês de novembro, somos convidados a rezar pelos defuntos. Guiados pela fé na comunhão dos Santos, procurai encomendar to Deus, sobretudo na Eucaristia, os vossos familiares, amigos and conhecidos falecidos, sentindo a proximidade deles na great compañía espiritual da Igreja. Que Deus vos abençoe a todos!


In the Arabic language

Speaker:

أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء ، نتابع "رحلتنا" مع كتاب أعمال الرسل. بعد المحن التي عاشها في فيليبي وتسالونيقي وبِيرِيَة وصل بولس إلى أثينة ، قلب اليونان. هذه المدينة التي كانت تعيش في ظلِّ الأمجاد القديمة بالرغم من الانحلال السياسي ، كانت لا تزال تحافظ على أولوية الثقافة. هنا "ثارَ ثائِرُ بولس إِذ رأَى المَدينَة تَملأُها الأَصنام". لكنّ هذا "الاصطدام" مع الوثنية لم يجعله يهرب بل دفعه ليخلق جسرًا من أجل الحوار مع تلك الثقافة. اختار بولس أن يدخل في ألفة مع المدينة وبدأ هكذا يتردّد إلى الأماكن ويلتقي بالأشخاص المهمّين. ذهب إلى المجمع ، رمز حياة الإيمان ، ذهب إلى الساحة علامة الحياة المدنية ، وذهب إلى الأَريُوباغُس رمز الحياة السياسية والثقافية. لم ينظر بولس إلى مدينة أثينة والعالم الوثني بعداوة وإنما بواسطة أعين الإيمان. وهذا الأمر يجعلنا نتساءل حول أسلوبنا في النظر إلى مدننا: هل نراقبها بغير مبالاة؟ أو بازدراء؟ أم بواسطة الإيمان الذي يرى أبناء الله وسط الجموع المجهولة الهوية؟ لقد اختار بولس النظرة التي تدفعه لكي يفتح معبرًا بين الإنجيل والعالم الوثني ، وحقق نموذجًا رائعًا لانثقاف رسالة الإيمان. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء ، لنطلب نحن اليوم أيضًا من الروح القدس أن يعلّمنا أن نبني جسورًا مع الثقافة ومع الذي لا يؤمن أو مع ن ا مختلفًا عنا.

Holy Father:

I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, before the many sufferings of our time, let us ask the Lord to make us builders of bridges, and to open our hearts to the needs of the needy, the defenseless, the poor, the unemployed, and those who knock on our door in search of bread, shelter and recognition of its dignity. The Lord bless you!

Speaker:

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية ، وخاصةً بالقادمين من الشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء, إزاء العديد من معاناة عصرنا, لنطلب من الرب أن يجعل منا بناة جسور, وأن يفتح قلوبنا على احتياجات المعوزين, والعزل, والفقراء, والعاطلين عن العمل, وأولئك الذين يقرعون بابنا بحثا عن الخبز والملجأ والاعتراف بكرامتهم. ليبارككُم الرّبّ!


In the Polish language

Speaker:

Kontynuujemy naszą „podróż” z Księgą Dziejów Apostolskich. Po trudnych doświadczeniach przeżytych w Filippi, Tesalonice i Berei Paweł dotarł do serca Grecji - Aten. Tutaj Apostoł "burzył się wewnętrznie na widok miasta pełnego bożków" (Dz 17,16). To „zderzenie” z pogaństwem pobudziło go do poszukiwania płaszczyzn dialogu z kulturą grecką. Postanowił zapoznać się z miastem i zaczął odwiedzać najważniejsze miejsca i osoby. W synagodze, na placu, na Areopagu spotykał Żydów, filozofów epikurejskich i stoickich, i innych przedstawicieli tamtej społeczności. Nie patrzył na Ateny i świat pogański z wrogością, ale oczyma wiary. Szukał dróg dotarcia z przesłaniem Ewangelii. Na Areopagu Paweł wykorzystał znajdujący się tym mieście ołtarz poświęcony „nieznanemu bogu” (Dz 17,23), i wychodząc od tej „pobożności”, przekonywał, że Bóg „nie ukrywa się przed tymi, którzy Go szukają szczerym sercem, chociaż czynią to po omacku ​​”(tamże). Paweł „głosi Tego, którego ludzie nie znają, a jednak znają: Nieznanego-Znanego” (BENEDYKT XVI, Spotkanie ze światem kultury w Collège des Bernardins, 12 września 2008 r.). Dochodzi do kerygmy i nawiązuje do Chrystusa, określając Go jako „Człowieka, którego [Bóg] na to przeznaczył, po uwierzytelnieniu Go wobec wszystkich przez wskrzeszenie Go z martwych” (Dz 17, 31). Tu przepowiadanie Pawła napotyka przeszkodę: śmierć i zmartwychwstanie Chrystusa jawi się im jako „głupstwo” (1 Kor 1, 23) i budzi pogardę i drwiny. Wówczas Paweł odchodzi. Wydaje się, że jego próba się nie powiodła, a jednak niektórzy przystają na jego słowo i otwierają się na wiarę. Również w Atenach zakorzenia się Ewangelia. Prośmy również dzisiaj Ducha Świętego, aby nauczył nas budować pomosty z kulturą, z niewierzącymi lub ludźmi, których wiara różni się od naszej.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear Brothers and Sisters, next Sunday the Church in Poland celebrates the 11th Solidarity Day with the Persecuted Church, organized by the Papal Foundation "Helping the Church in Need", together with the Polish Episcopal Conference. This year, spiritual and material aid is especially aimed at Christians in South Sudan. Your prayer and the concrete works of solidarity will bring relief and help to the brothers and sisters who suffer for Christ in different parts of the world. I cordially bless you!

Speaker:

Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w najbliższą niedzielę Kościół w Polsce będzie obchodził XI Dzień Solidarityści z Kościołem Prześladowanym, organizowany przez Stowarzyszenie „Pomoc Kościołowi w Potrzebie” i Konferencję Episkopatu Polski. W tym roku pomoc duchowa i materialna w sposób szczególny jest kierowana do chrześcijan w Sudanie Południowym. Wasza modlitwa i konkretne dzieło solidarności niech przynosi wytchnienie the wsparcie braciom i siostrom, którzy cierpią dla Chrystusa w różnych częściach świata. Z serca wam błogosławię!


In Italian language

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the Dominicans of the Immaculate Conception; the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the parish groups, especially those of Andria and San Ferdinando di Puglia.

I also greet the Grande Termoli defense sports group; and the primary schools of Rimini and Riccione.

Finally, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

The month of November, dedicated to the memory and prayer of the dead, is for all the occasion to reconsider the meaning of human existence and eternal life. This time is an encouragement to understand that life is of great value if lived as a gift, not only to itself, but to God and neighbor.

FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews 3 Mothers and 6 Children Killed and Burned Alive in Mexico - Teen Son Hid rest of Siblings and Walked 6-hours for help


Three mothers and six of their children were killed in an ambush in Mexico, while they were on their way to visit family. Three cars carrying the women and 14 children were traveling between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua Monday when officials say members of a criminal group, possibly a cartel, attacked them. The attack may have been targeted, officials say.
 The members of an agricultural Mormon-sect community, who were dual US-Mexican citizens, were shot in their cars and burned alive, said family member Alex LeBaron. They ranged in age from 8 months to 43 years. Four children in one family killed Rhonita Marie Miller, 30, was driving with some of her seven children to Arizona to pick up her husband, Howard, who was in the US for work, her sister-in-law Kendra Lee Miller said.
 The bottom photo shows Howard Jackob Miller, Jr., Rhonita Maria Miller, infant twins, Titus Alvin Miller and Tiana Griciel Miller, and Krystal Bellaine Miller, who all died in the attack.
 Howard Miller, the adult male pictured, is alive and is not believed to have been present at the attack.
 Along the journey, her car was stopped by a flat tire, which she left behind to switch to another family car and continue on with her children, Kendra said. "My brother was fixing Rhonita's broken-down vehicle, saw a fire, didn't think anything of it," Kendra Lee Miller said. But that fire and the explosion that came with it were coming from the three cars carrying the families. "My dad, Andre and couple of uncles and relatives went to check up on the vehicle. All they found was charred remains, ash and bones," Kendra Lee Miller said. Rhonita died in the attack along with her twin 8-month-olds, Titus Alvin Miller and Tiana Gricel Miller and her children Howard Jacob Miller Jr., 12, and Krystal Bellaine Miller, 10.
The family was supposed to go to Kendra's wedding next week in La Mora, the bride-to-be said. Brother hid survivors in bushes Dawna Ray Langford, 43, was driving the second car 10 miles ahead to go visit family in Chihuahua with her nine children, Kendra Lee Miller said in a statement posted to Facebook.
Dawna Ray Langford with her son, Trevor, who both died in the attack. She was shot to death along with two of her children: Trevor Harvey Langford, 11, and Rogan Jay Langford, 2. Having witnessed the death of his mother and brothers, 13-year-old Devin Blake Langford hid his six surviving siblings in bushes, covering them with branches, Kendra Lee Miller said in the post. He then walked 14 miles to the La Mora community and delivered the news of the attack, Kendra Lee Miller said. "Devin's uncles armed themselves with guns and returned to try and find the hidden children, knowing many of them were injured. They didn't get far before realizing they would be risking death, since there had been continual shooting for hours, all over the mountains near La Mora," Kendra Lee Miller wrote. Five of the six children that Devin hid were taken to a local hospital and later flown to the US. The sixth child, Devin's 9-year-old sister, went missing after she left in a second attempt to get help. Relatives and Mexican soldiers found the girl after searching the area for about two hours, Kendra Lee Miller said. Christina Marie Langford Johnson was driving the third car with her 7-month-old to meet her husband and the rest of her children to move to North Dakota. Their car was near Dawna Langford's. Christina Marie Langford, who died in the attack and Johnson also died in the attack. Her daughter, however, was found alive and uninjured in the car with bullet holes all around her. Witnesses said they found her in her car seat, and it looked like she was moved to the floor by her mother for protection, Kendra Lee Miller said.
Edited from CNN
Please Pray for the victims and their families....

Pope Francis' November Prayer Intention : Pray that "a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East."

Pope Francis' prayer intention for November, which is that interreligious dialogue and peace may reign in the Middle East.
In his prayer intention for the month of November 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that "a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East."

The full text of his intention is below:

In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds.

The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands.

Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.
The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed "The Pope Video" initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

Catholic Churches in China Shut down and Demolished and Ban on Religious Education for Children under 18 - Please Pray


Sinicisation crushing official and underground communities
by Li Ruohan
Churches have been shut down in Jiangxi and Fujian. Underground priests have been driven from their parishes. Young people under 18 have been dragged away from churches. Religions’ subordination to Chinese culture closely resembles the policy of Qing emperors. The Pope's authority must be subservient to that of the emperor. the Church must be part of the structures of the state and obey political authorities.


Beijing (AsiaNews) - Has there been any change for the Catholic Church in China after the Sino-Vatican agreement? Is the situation better or worse in China? To find out, I visited several dioceses in the country and what I write here is the report of what is going on.

Even now, the Chinese government is promoting sinicisation[*], which entails the submission of religions to Chinese culture. This is very similar to the policy of Emperor Kangxi at the time of the Chinese rites controversy. All religions, especially Catholics and Protestants, must obey and follow this policy it.

In Fujian province, the Archdiocese of Fuzhou is the victim of persecution and violence. Almost all the churches that belong to the underground Church have been closed, especially in Fuqing. The government is trying to force underground priests to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

In his encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principi, Pius XII had already said that the purpose of this association was to gradually push Catholics to embrace the foundations of atheist materialism, denying God and rejecting religious principles. Even today it is seen as contrary to Catholic doctrine and a violation of people's conscience.

In Jiangxi, acts of persecution have also been reported, especially in the Diocese of Yujiang. Local government officials have often entered churches during ceremonies to forcibly drag out children and young people under the age of 18. The ban on religious education for children under 18 years is now enforced everywhere in China.

The government is thus going after both official and underground communities, even if the latter are the most affected. It has forced underground priests to leave the ministry and their parishes.

Even private homes are now considered "illegal places of worship", so Catholics risk fines and jail time if they meet. Prayer books, liturgical songs and Bibles have been seized in churches and everyone is forced to raise the flag.

Some local leaders thought that the persecution in Jiangxi and Fujian occurred because local Catholics are a small minority. In this sense, the new regulations and sinicisation were a kind of test, to see how much resistance it generated and to study how to defeat it.

Now the new regulations are enforced across the country, even in places like Hebei and Shanxi, where Catholics constitute a substantial percentage of the population.

Since the signing of the Sino-Vatican agreement, persecution has not diminished; on the contrary, it has gotten worse. The government continues to dream as if we lived at the time of the Qing dynasty: the pope’s authority must be subordinate to that of the emperor, and the Church is part of the structures of the state and must obey political authorities.

The government only views Christianity as a foreign religion and a potentially dangerous one. If Christians want to live in China, they must accept the principles of sinicisation. The aim is to force Christians, Catholics and Protestants, to accept the authority of the state above God and their faith.

The Communist Party knows that religions cannot be destroyed overnight. This is very clear and evident in a 1982 document by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The latter read: “Those who think that with the establishment of the Socialist system and with a certain degree of economic and cultural progress, religion will die out within a short period are not being realistic. Those who expect to rely on administrative decrees or other coercive measures to wipe out religious thinking and practices with one blow are even further from the basic viewpoint Marxism takes toward the religious question. They are entirely wrong and will do no small harm.”

In practice, the so-called sinicisation is just another attempt to subjugate all religions, make them accept communist ideology and push believers to abandon their faith. As much as we are committed to dialogue, we should learn the lessons of history.

[*] This policy looks to Chinese culture to express the faith, and entails total submission to the Chinese Communist Party. See Bernardo Cervellera, “A new prison for the Church in China: Sinicization,” AsiaNews.it, 17 August 2018.
Full Text Source: AsiaNewsIT - Image Source: Youtube Screenshot from Google images 

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman Urges Congress to Support Dignified Treatment of Aborted Babies Remains - #ProLife


USCCB Pro-Life Chairman Urges Congress to Support Dignity for Aborted Children Act Legislation calls for dignified treatment of human remains

 
November 1, 2019
WASHINGTON - On October 31, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities sent a letter to Members of Congress supporting S. 2590 and HR 4934, the Dignity for Aborted Children Act. In the letter, Archbishop Naumann cited the recent discovery of careless retention of fetal remains in the state of Illinois by a recently deceased abortion doctor, as well as other instances of shameful and disrespectful disposal of bodies discarded in toilets or cardboard medical waste boxes.
Such actions make “people on both sides of the abortion debate uncomfortable, sad, angry,” he said, and that this is not surprising, given every culture and religious tradition has customs and practices surrounding how to care for and dispose of the dead. “For Catholics, the Church has long taught that 'the human body shares in the dignity of ‘the image of God’,’ that our bodies are a reminder of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and of that resurrection, which we too will experience after death, and burying the dead is taught as one of the seven corporal works of mercy.”
“Other faiths and belief systems likewise promote dignified treatment of the deceased and respectful disposal of their remains,” he continued, and health regulations, ethical guidance for medicine and science, trauma and emergency response, and religious and moral belief all point towards the need for a society to respectfully dispose of each human body. He urged Members of Congress to support the Dignity for Aborted Children Act, saying, “Whether you support or oppose legalized abortion, I hope you will agree that these human bodies should not be wantonly discarded as medical waste or preserved at the whim of the abortion doctor. Such basic courtesy is in keeping with society’s treatment of all other deceased persons including cadavers, donated organs and tissues, remains that are recovered after traumatic incidents, and so on. As a nation, we can at least come together to ensure all human remains are treated with basic human dignity.”
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Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - #Eucharist



Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 487

Reading 1ROM 13:8-10

Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet,

and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1B-2, 4-5, 9

R.( 5a) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia1 PT 4:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple."