Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Saint November 21 : The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple by her parents - #BVM


November 21: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today, November 21, we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the moment in which her parents,Saints Anna and Joaquim, committed Our Blessed Mother to the Lord at the age of three.

Saint Jerome, in his writings, says Our Blessed Mother, along with the other virgins committed to the temple, would arise at dawn and pray until nine o’clock. From 9:00 until 3:00, she would engage in manual work. At 3:00, she would return to prayer. As Saint Jerome recorded, Our Blessed Mother was “One most applied to study, the most fervent in the chanting of Psalms, the most zealous in works of charity, the purest among the virgins...after Her will come countless legions of virgins consecrated to the Lord, both in the shadow of the altars or engaged in the charitable occupations of the Church in the world.” She shared her remaining food to the poor. Angels visited her regularly. She was described as beautiful and cheerful, never angry, and full of grace in her conversations. Mostly, Our Blessed Mother spent her time praying before the Holy of Holies.
The Following is from The Catholic Encylopedia: 
The Protoevangel of James, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, and other apocryphal writings (Walker, "Apocryph. Gosp.", Edinburgh, 1873) relate that Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated. The corresponding feast originated in the Orient, probably in Syria, the home of the apocrypha. Card. Pitra (Anal. Spici. Solesmensi, p. 265) has published a great canon (liturgical poem) in Greek for this feast, composed by some "Georgios" about the seventh or eighth century. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century, like the "Calend. Ostromiranum" (Martinow, "Annus græco-slav.", 329) and the Menology of Basil II (e’ísodos tes panagías Theotókon). It appears in the constitution of Manuel Comnenos (1166) as a fully recognized festival during which the law courts did not sit. In the West it was introduced by a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Chancellor of the King of Cyprus, who spent some time at Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI. It was celebrated in the presence of the cardinals (1372) with an office accommodated from the office chanted by the Greeks. In 1373 it was adopted in the royal chapel at Paris, 1418 at Metz, 1420 at Cologne. Pius II granted (1460) the feast with a vigil to the Duke of Saxony. It was taken up by many dioceses, but at the end of the Middle Ages, it was still missing in many calendars (Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", III, 137). At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to 30 September. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (1 September, 1585). In the province of Venice it is a double of the second class with an octave (1680); the Passionists and Sulpicians keep it as a double of the first class; the Servites, Redemptorists, Carmelites, Mercedarians, and others as a double of the second with an octave. In the Roman Calendar it is a major double. The Greeks keep it for five days. In some German dioceses, under the title "Illatio", it was kept 26 November (Grotefend, III, 137).

Pope Francis' Video Message to Youth in Thailand "We have to keep our hearts open to God, since we receive our strength from him..."


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
(19-26 NOVEMBER 2019)
VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER
TO YOUNG PEOPLE IN THAILAND

Dear Young Friends,
I know that this evening you are keeping a vigil of prayer, you are praying.  And I know that others are still on their way, journeying here. How beautiful these two things are: to pray and to journey!
There are two things that we have to do in life. We have to keep our hearts open to God, since we receive our strength from him, and we have to keep journeying, because in life one can never stand still. A young person cannot retire at the age of twenty! He or she must keep walking. He or she must always keep moving forward, always going uphill.
One of you can say to me: “Yes, Father, but sometimes I am weak and I fall”. That doesn’t make any difference! There is an old Alpine song that says: “In the art of climbing, the important thing is not to keep from falling, but never to remain down on the ground”.
I offer you these two pieces of advice. Never stay down, immediately get up; let someone help you to get up. That’s the first thing. The second thing is: Don’t spend your life sitting on a couch! Live your life, build your life, do it, keep moving forward! Keep advancing on the journey, get involved and you find extraordinary happiness. I can assure of you of that.

May God bless you. I am praying for you; please pray for me.
Source: Vatican.va

BREAKING Mob enters Catholic Cathedral in Nicaragua and Beat Priest and Attack Nun - Please Pray!


Father Rodolfo López, vicar of the Managua Cathedral was beaten and slapped by Sandinista mobs who took the cathedral from early hours to prevent the hunger strike carried out by mothers of political prisoners.
Source: https://100noticias.com.ni/nacionales/96744-nicaragua-policia-iglesia-catolica-presos-politico/
CNS (excerpt) reports: 
Independent media reported police stood by idly as the mob moved into the cathedral, where the mothers of political prisoners were carrying out a hunger strike as part of a campaign to have their children released for Christmas.
Videos subsequently uploaded to social media show screaming protesters swarming the cathedral vicar, Father Rodolfo Lopez, and later pummeling him. The nine hunger strikers inside the cathedral were forced to relocate, according to press reports.
An Archdiocese of Managua statement issued Nov. 18 after the incident said Father Lopez and Sister Arelys Guzman, the cathedral administrator, "are fine, but had to leave the church to protect themselves."
López was rammed by more than 10 supporters of the Murillo ortega regime.

The Archdiocese released a Plea for Action from the Government and asks for Prayer
See: http://curiamanagua.org/comunicados/notadeprensasobrecatedral181119.pdf
Here is an excerpt: 
We ask the President of the Republic Mr. Daniel Ortega and the Vice President that
take immediate action so that all our Catholic temples are respected,
also to the National Police to withdraw their troops that besiege and intimidate the
Cathedral and our parishes.
We urge all our people to intensify the moments of prayer in front of
Jesus Sacramented and the Prayer of the Holy Rosary, asking for Peace in our country
"Our Strength is Prayer."
Image Source: Google Images - El Mundo

Bishop Bryan Bayda appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada



Apostolic Administrator Appointed for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada
Ottawa - Today, the Congregation for Eastern Churches announced that His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Reverend Bryan Bayda C.Ss.R., as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada while remaining Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy Saskatoon.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada has 55 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 23,700 served by 62 diocesan priests, three priests and 18 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as 16 permanent deacons.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy Saskatoon has 69 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 5,800 served by 19 diocesan priests, seven priests and 15 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as three permanent deacons.
FULL TEXT Release : CCCB
Image Source: Catholic Saskatoon News - Google Images 

#BreakingNews Protests in Iran due to High Fuel Prices with over 100 people Killed in 21 cities


Aljazeera reports that Rights group calls for end to 'brutal crackdown' on anti-government demonstrations, reporting 106 deaths in 21 cities.
Days of protests in Iran over rising fuel prices and a subsequent government crackdown have killed more than 100 people across the country, according to rights group Amnesty International.

In a statement on Tuesday, the UK-based organisation accused Iranian security forces of using "excessive and lethal force" to crush the demonstrations since they started on Friday.

"At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed, according to credible reports," Amnesty said. "The real death toll may be much higher with some reports suggesting as many as 200 have been killed."
The semi-official ISNA news agency reported late on Monday that three members of Iran's security forces were killed by "rioters" near the capital, Tehran.

Raha Bahreini, Amnesty's researcher on Iran and Human Rights, said their death toll was based on information received from witness accounts on the ground, human rights activists inside the country, as well as journalists and reliable sources outside the country.

"The information that we have obtained reveals a horrific pattern of unlawful killings across the country," she told Al Jazeera from London.

"The information that we've received so far suggests that in a pattern consistent with past practices, security forces are even refusing to return the bodies of many of those killed to their families, or are forcing families to bury their loved ones under rushed circumstances and without an independent autopsy, which is of course against international law and standards."

Since Friday, Iran has been rocked by nationwide protests sparked by growing anger and frustration after authorities rolled out a petrol-rationing scheme and slashed subsidies in a move that sent prices soaring by 50 percent.

President Hassan Rouhani has promised the price increase will be used to fund new subsidies for poor families.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday in remarks published on his official website the protests were a security matter and not carried out by the people.


Khamenei previously blamed the turmoil on Iran's foreign foes, including the United States, and denounced protesters as "thugs".

An Iranian militia commander also accused Washington of instigating unrest in the country, saying "America's plot failed."

"Snipers have also shot into crowds of people from rooftops and, in one case, a helicopter," the rights group Amnesty reported.

Unverified social media footage showed protesters burning images of senior officials and calling on clerical rulers to step down, as well as clashes between security forces and protesters.

About 1,000 demonstrators have been arrested, authorities said.

Amnesty called on Iranian authorities to lift the "near-total block on internet access designed to restrict the flow of information about the crackdown to the outside world".

It also urged the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, to hold Iranian authorities to account for the "unlawful killings".


Edited from SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Quote to SHARE by St MotherTeresa "Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted...let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."
 St. Mother Teresa 

#BreakingNews Pope Francis arrives in Thailand for his 32nd Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan - Video of Official Welcome


Vatican News reports that Pope Francis has arrived in Thailand for his 32nd Apostolic Journey.
Pope Francis arrived at the Bangkok Airport after an eleven-hour flight from Rome. Thailand is the first stop on his seven day Apostolic Journey to Asia taking him to Thailand and Japan.

The plane with the Pope, his entourage and about 70 journalists and media professionals, arrived in Bangkok just after noon, local time, on Wednesday.

The Holy Father will be in Thailand until 23 November and then Japan until 26 November. He will encourage these nation’s small Catholic communities in the faith, promoting interreligious dialogue, defending life and the environment: these are just some of the themes underlining the visit.

A representative of the Royal Council of Thailand, and another six authorities representing the Thai Government, met the Pope on his arrival, together with members of the Thai Bishops’ Conference. Also there to greet him were his cousin, a Salesian Missionary Sister, Ana Rosa Sivori, age 77 and 11 children representing the dioceses of Thailand where Catholics number around 300,000.

The Pope’s motorcade then left immediately for the Nunciature where Pope Francis is expected to rest before the first full day of the visit begins on Thursday.

The Pope’s first appointment on Thursday is at Government House where the official Welcome Ceremony will take place. Pope Francis will meet privately with Thai Prime Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, before addressing authorities, members of civil society and the diplomatic corps. Immediately afterwards, he will visit the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch, Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong, at the Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple.

Before lunch, Pope Francis will meet medical staff and a group of patients at the St. Louis Hospital in Bangkok. This important healthcare facility was founded by Catholics in 1898. In the afternoon, the Pope will pay a private visit to the King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn Rama X, at the Amphorn Royal Palace.

The Pope’s first full day of events will conclude with the celebration of a Mass with young people in the National Stadium of Bangkok.
Edited from VaticanNews.va
VaticanNews reported that on the eve of his 32nd apostolic journey to Asia, Pope Francis went this Tuesday morning to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome to pray before the image of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani. Pope Francis has visited the Basilica many times. The first time was the day after his election as Pope, on March 14, 2013. As has become customary, the Pope visits St. Mary Major before and after his trips abroad.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - #Eucharist


Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 499

Reading 12 MC 7:1, 20-31

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.

Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
"I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man's beginning,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law."

Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words,
thought he was being ridiculed.
As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him,
not with mere words, but with promises on oath,
to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs:
he would make him his Friend
and entrust him with high office.
When the youth paid no attention to him at all,
the king appealed to the mother,
urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
After he had urged her for a long time,
she went through the motions of persuading her son.
In derision of the cruel tyrant,
she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
"Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
nursed you for three years, brought you up,
educated and supported you to your present age.
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner,
but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
"What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king's command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God."

Responsorial PsalmPS 17:1BCD, 5-6, 8B AND 15

R.(15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

AlleluiaSEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
"A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
'We do not want this man to be our king.'
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
He replied, 'Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.'
Then the second came and reported,
'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
And to this servant too he said,
'You, take charge of five cities.'
Then the other servant came and said,
'Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.'
He said to him,
'With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
And to those standing by he said,
'Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.'
But they said to him,
'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
He replied, 'I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.'"

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.