Sunday, November 24, 2019

Saint November 25 : St. Catherine of Alexandria - a Martyr at age 18 and Patron of Educators, Librarians, Mechanics, Nurses, Philosophers, secretaries, unmarried

VIRGIN, MARTYR

Born:
287, Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
305, Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights

A virgin and martyr whose feast is celebrated in the Latin Church and in the various Oriental churches on 25 November, and who for almost six centuries was the object of a very popular devotion. Of noble birth and learned in the sciences, when only eighteen years old, Catherine presented herself to the Emperor Maximinus who was violently persecuting the Christians, upbraided him for his cruelty and endeavoured to prove how iniquitous was the worship of false gods. Astounded at the young girl's audacity, but incompetent to vie with her in point of learning the tyrant detained her in his palace and summoned numerous scholars whom he commanded to use all their skill in specious reasoning that thereby Catherine might be led to apostatize. But she emerged from the debate victorious. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death. Furious at being baffled, Maximinus had Catherine scourged and then imprisoned. Meanwhile the empress, eager to see so extraordinary a young woman, went with Porphyry, the head of the troops, to visit her in her dungeon, when they in turn yielded to Catherine's exhortations, believed, were baptized, and immediately won the martyr's crown. Soon afterwards the saint, who far from forsaking her Faith, effected so many conversions, was condemned to die on the wheel, but, at her touch, this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed. The emperor, enraged beyond control, then had her beheaded and angels carried her body to Mount Sinai where later a church and monastery were built in her honour. So far the Acts of St. Catherine.
 Unfortunately we have not these acts in their original form, but transformed and distorted by fantastic and diffuse descriptions which are entirely due to the imagination of the narrators who cared less to state authentic facts than to charm their readers by recitals of the marvellous. The importance attached throughout the Middle Ages to the legend of this martyr accounts for the eagerness and care with which in modern times the ancient Greek, Latin and Arabic texts containing it have been perused and studied, and concerning which critics have long since expressed their opinion, one which, in all likelihood, they will never have to retract. Several centuries ago when devotion to the saints was stimulated by the reading of extraordinary hagiographical narrations, the historical value of which no one was qualified to question, St. Catherine was invested by Catholic peoples with a halo of charming poetry and miraculous power.
Ranked with St. Margaret and St. Barbara as one of the fourteen most helpful saints in heaven, she was unceasingly praised by preachers and sung by poets. It is a well-known fact that Bossuet dedicated to her one of his most beautiful panegyrics and that Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honour: "Vox Sonora nostri chori", etc. In many places her feast was celebrated with the utmost solemnity, servile work being suppressed and the devotions being attended by great numbers of people. In several dioceses of France it was observed as a Holy Day of obligation up to the beginning of the seventeenth century, the splendour of its ceremonial eclipsing that of the feasts of some of the Apostles. Numberless chapels were placed under her patronage and her statue was found in nearly all churches, representing her according to medieval iconography with a wheel, her instrument of torture. Whilst, owing to several circumstances in his life, St. Nicholas of Myra, was considered the patron of young bachelors and students, St. Catherine became the patroness of young maidens and female students. Looked upon as the holiest and most illustrious of the virgins of Christ, it was but natural that she, of all others, should be worthy to watch over the virgins of the cloister and the young women of the world.
The spiked wheel having become emblematic of the saint, wheelwrights and mechanics placed themselves under her patronage. Finally, as according to tradition, she not only remained a virgin by governing her passions and conquered her executioners by wearying their patience, but triumphed in science by closing the mouths of sophists, her intercession was implored by theologians, apologists, pulpit orators, and philosophers. Before studying, writing, or preaching, they besought her to illumine their minds, guide their pens, and impart eloquence to their words. This devotion to St. Catherine which assumed such vast proportions in Europe after the Crusades, received additional eclat in France in the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it was rumoured that she had appeared to Joan of Arc and, together with St. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser.
Although contemporary hagiographers look upon the authenticity of the various texts containing the legend of St. Catherine as more than doubtful, it is not therefore meant to cast even the shadow of a doubt around the existence of the saint. But the conclusion reached when these texts have been carefully studied is that, if the principal facts forming the outline are to be accepted as true, the multitude of details by which these facts are almost obscured, most of the wonderful narratives with which they are embellished, and the long discourses that are put into the mouth of St. Catherine, are to be rejected as inventions, pure and simple.
An example will illustrate. Although all these texts mention the miraculous translations of the saint's body to Mount Sinai, the itineraries of the ancient pilgrims who visited Sinai do not contain the slightest allusion to it. Even in the eighteenth century Dom Deforis, the Benedictine who prepared an edition of Bossuet's works, declared the tradition followed by this orator in his panegyric on the saint, to be in a great measure false, and it was just at this time that the feast of St. Catherine disappeared from the Breviary of Paris. Since then devotion to the virgin of Alexandria has lost all its former popularity. SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis meets with Victims at Hiroshima and Prays for Peace saying "Make us instruments and reflections of your peace!" Video - Full Official Text


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
(19-26 NOVEMBER 2019)
MEETING FOR PEACE
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
Peace Memorial (Hiroshima)
Sunday, 24 November 2019

“For love of my brethren and friends, I say: Peace upon you!” (Ps 122:8).
God of mercy and Lord of history, to you we lift up our eyes from this place, where death and life have met, loss and rebirth, suffering and compassion.
Here, in an incandescent burst of lightning and fire, so many men and women, so many dreams and hopes, disappeared, leaving behind only shadows and silence.  In barely an instant, everything was devoured by a black hole of destruction and death.  From that abyss of silence, we continue even today to hear the cries of those who are no longer.  They came from different places, had different names, and some spoke different languages.  Yet all were united in the same fate, in a terrifying hour that left its mark forever not only on the history of this country, but on the face of humanity.
Here I pay homage to all the victims, and I bow before the strength and dignity of those who, having survived those first moments, for years afterward bore in the flesh immense suffering, and in their spirit seeds of death that drained their vital energy.
I felt a duty to come here as a pilgrim of peace, to stand in silent prayer, to recall the innocent victims of such violence, and to bear in my heart the prayers and yearnings of the men and women of our time, especially the young, who long for peace, who work for peace and who sacrifice themselves for peace.  I have come to this place of memory and of hope for the future, bringing with me the cry of the poor who are always the most helpless victims of hatred and conflict.
It is my humble desire to be the voice of the voiceless, who witness with concern and anguish the growing tensions of our own time: the unacceptable inequalities and injustices that threaten human coexistence, the grave inability to care for our common home, and the constant outbreak of armed conflict, as if these could guarantee a future of peace.
With deep conviction I wish once more to declare that the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.  The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago.  We will be judged on this.  Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth.  How can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?  How can we speak about peace even as we justify illegitimate actions by speeches filled with discrimination and hate?
I am convinced that peace is no more than an empty word unless it is founded on truth, built up in justice, animated and perfected by charity, and attained in freedom (cf. SAINT JOHN XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 37).
Building peace in truth and justice entails acknowledging that “people frequently differ widely in knowledge, virtue, intelligence and wealth” (ibid., 87), and that this can never justify the attempt to impose our own particular interests upon others.  Indeed, those differences call for even greater responsibility and respect.  Political communities may legitimately differ from one another in terms of culture or economic development, but all are called to commit themselves to work “for the common cause”, for the good of all (ibid., 88).
Indeed, if we really want to build a more just and secure society, we must let the weapons fall from our hands.  “No one can love with offensive weapons in their hands” (SAINT PAUL VI, United Nations Address, 4 October 1965, 10).  When we yield to the logic of arms and distance ourselves from the practice of dialogue, we forget to our detriment that, even before causing victims and ruination, weapons can create nightmares; “they call for enormous expenses, interrupt projects of solidarity and of useful labour, and warp the outlook of nations” (ibid.).  How can we propose peace if we constantly invoke the threat of nuclear war as a legitimate recourse for the resolution of conflicts?  May the abyss of pain endured here remind us of boundaries that must never be crossed.  A true peace can only be an unarmed peace.  For “peace is not merely the absence of war... but must be built up ceaselessly” (Gaudium et Spes, 78).  It is the fruit of justice, development, solidarity, care for our common home and the promotion of the common good, as we have learned from the lessons of history. 
To remember, to journey together, to protect.  These are three moral imperatives that here in Hiroshima assume even more powerful and universal significance, and can open a path to peace.  For this reason, we cannot allow present and future generations to lose the memory of what happened here.  It is a memory that ensures and encourages the building of a more fair and fraternal future; an expansive memory, capable of awakening the consciences of all men and women, especially those who today play a crucial role in the destiny of the nations; a living memory that helps us say in every generation: never again!
That is why we are called to journey together with a gaze of understanding and forgiveness, to open the horizon to hope and to bring a ray of light amid the many clouds that today darken the sky.  Let us open our hearts to hope, and become instruments of reconciliation and peace.  This will always be possible if we are able to protect one another and realize that we are joined by a common destiny.  Our world, interconnected not only by globalization but by the very earth we have always shared, demands, today more than ever, that interests exclusive to certain groups or sectors be left to one side, in order to achieve the greatness of those who struggle co-responsibly to ensure a common future.
In a single plea to God and to all men and women of good will, on behalf of all the victims of atomic bombings and experiments, and of all conflicts, let us together cry out from our hearts: Never again war, never again the clash of arms, never again so much suffering!  May peace come in our time and to our world.  O God, you have promised us that “mercy and faithfulness have met, justice and peace have embraced; faithfulness shall spring from the earth, and justice look down from heaven” (Ps 84:11-12).
Come, Lord, for it is late, and where destruction has abounded, may hope also abound today that we can write and achieve a different future.  Come, Lord, Prince of Peace!  Make us instruments and reflections of your peace!
“For love of my brethren and friends, I say: Peace upon you!” (Ps 122:8).
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - official Translation

Wow Christ the King Statue in Poland is the Largest in the World - made the Guinness book of Records - SHARE to Inspire!

Christ the King (Polish: Pomnik Chrystusa Króla, lit. Monument of Christ the King) statue of Jesus Christ is located in Świebodzin, western Poland. It was completed on 6 November 2010. The figure is 33 metres (108 ft) tall, the crown is 3 metres (9.8 ft) tall, and with its mound, it reaches 52.5 metres (172 ft). Five years were spent in construction and the costs were approximately $1.5 million to build. This was collected from donations of the 21,000 residents of the town and led by Sylwester Zawadzki, a retired Polish priest. It is the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. The statue was built on a 16.5 metre embankment of stones and rubble. Christ the King has a height of 33 metres, representing Jesus' age at his death.The Crown of the temple is 3.5 metres in diameter and 2 m in height. It weighs 440 tons. Each hand is 6 m in length and the distance between the ends of the fingers is 24 metres. It is made of concrete and fibreglass. This statue is 3 meters taller than the better known Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, standing at 30.1 metres (99 ft) tall. The design was primarily produced by Mirosław Kazimierz Patecki and the technical design by Assoc. Jakub Marcinowski and Assoc. Mikołaj Kłapeć. The clothing and the arms of the statue were designed by Tomasz Stafiniak and Krzysztof Nawojski. Marian Wybraniec, was responsible for the design of the foundations. The construction work was undertaken by staff employed by the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Świebodzin. Construction began on 29 September 2006 when the city council of Świebodzin passed a resolution on the establishment of Christ the King. This is the largest statue of Jesus according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Edited from Wikipedia - and ChristianPost

Pope Francis at Mass says "..we are called to be a leaven of Christ’s Kingdom wherever we find ourselves: in the family, at work or in society at large." Full Text in Baseball Stadium in Japan


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
(19-26 NOVEMBER 2019)
HOLY MASS
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS
Baseball Stadium (Nagasaki)
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - Sunday, 24 November 2019

“Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power” (Lk 23:42).
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we join our voices to that of the criminal crucified beside Jesus, who acknowledged and acclaimed him a king. Amid cries of ridicule and humiliation, at the least triumphal and glorious moment possible, that thief was able to speak up and make his profession of faith. His were the last words Jesus heard, and Jesus’ own words in reply were the last he spoke before abandoning himself to the Father: “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
The chequered history of the thief seems, in an instant, to take on new meaning: he was meant to be there to accompany the Lord’s suffering. And that moment does nothing more than confirm the entire meaning of Jesus’ life: always and everywhere to offer salvation. The attitude of the good thief makes the horror and injustice of Calvary – where helplessness and incomprehension are met with jeers and mockery from those indifferent to the death of an innocent man – become a message of hope for all humanity. “Save yourself!” The shouts of scornful derision addressed to the innocent victim of suffering will not be the last word; rather, they will awaken a response from those who let their hearts be touched, who choose compassion as the authentic way to shape history.
Today, in this place, we want to renew our faith and our commitment. We know too well the history of our failures, sins and limitations, even as the good thief did, but we do not want them to be what determines or defines our present and future. We know how readily all of us can take the easy route of shouting out: “Save yourself!” and choose not to think about our responsibility to alleviate the suffering of innocent people all around us. This land has experienced, as few countries have, the destructive power of which we humans are capable. Like the good thief, we want to speak up and profess our faith, to defend and assist the Lord, the innocent man of sorrows. We want to accompany him in his ordeal, to stand by him in his isolation and abandonment, and to hear once more that salvation is the word the Father desires to speak to all: “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.
Saint Paul Miki and his companions gave their lives in courageous witness to that salvation and certainty, along with the hundreds of martyrs whose witness is a distinguished element of your spiritual heritage. We want to follow in their path, to walk in their footsteps and to profess courageously that the love poured out in sacrifice for us by Christ crucified is capable of overcoming all manner of hatred, selfishness, mockery and evasion. It is capable of defeating all those forms of facile pessimism or comfortable indolence that paralyze good actions and decisions. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, they are sadly mistaken who believe that, because we have here no lasting city and keep our gaze fixed on the future, we can ignore our responsibility for the world in which we live. They fail to see that the very faith we profess obliges us to live and work in a way that points to the noble vocation to which we have been called (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 43).
Our faith is in the God of the living. Christ is alive and at work in our midst, leading all of us to the fullness of life. He is alive and wants us to be alive; he is our hope (cf. Christus Vivit, 1). Each day we pray: Lord, may your kingdom come. With these words, we want our own lives and actions to become a hymn of praise. If, as missionary disciples, our mission is to be witnesses and heralds of things to come, we cannot become resigned in the face of evil in any of its forms. Rather, we are called to be a leaven of Christ’s Kingdom wherever we find ourselves: in the family, at work or in society at large. We are to be a little opening through which the Spirit continues to breathe hope among peoples. The kingdom of heaven is our common goal, a goal that cannot be only about tomorrow. We have to implore it and begin to experience it today, amid the indifference that so often surrounds and silences the sick and disabled, the elderly and the abandoned, refugees and immigrant workers. All of them are a living sacrament of Christ our King (cf. Mt25:31-46). For “if we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified” (John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49).
On that day at Calvary, many voices remained silent; others jeered. Only the thief’s voice rose to the defence of the innocent victim of suffering. His was a brave profession of faith. Each of us has the same possibility: we can choose to remain silent, to jeer or to prophesy.
Dear brothers and sisters, Nagasaki bears in its soul a wound difficult to heal, a scar born of the incomprehensible suffering endured by so many innocent victims of wars past and those of the present, when a third World War is being waged piecemeal. Let us lift our voices here and pray together for all those who even now are suffering in their flesh from this sin that cries out to heaven. May more and more persons be like the good thief and choose not to remain silent and jeer, but bear prophetic witness instead to a kingdom of truth and justice, of holiness and grace, of love and peace (cf. Roman Missal, Preface of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe).
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - official Translation

Solemnity of Christ the King Explained with Novena + Consecration - Litany with Prayers to SHARE for #ChristtheKing


The last Sunday before Advent is the Feast of Christ the King. (24 Nov. in 2019)

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, is referred to as the Feast of Christ the King. It was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI in the Roman Catholic Church. 
Novena to Christ the King
Recite One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be per day followed by the Novena Prayer:
O Lord our God, You alone are the Most Holy King and Ruler of all nations.
We pray to You, Lord, in the great expectation of receiving from You, O Divine King, mercy, peace, justice and all good things.
Protect, O Lord our King, our families and the land of our birth.
Guard us we pray Most Faithful One.
Protect us from our enemies and from Your Just Judgment
Forgive us, O Sovereign King, our sins against you.
Jesus, You are a King of Mercy.
We have deserved Your Just Judgment
Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us.
We trust in Your Great Mercy.
O most awe-inspiring King, we bow before You and pray;
May Your Reign, Your Kingdom, be recognized on earth.

Amen.

Consecration to Christ the King with Indulgence

 One may gain a plenary indulgence by the public recitation of the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and we exhort all faithful Catholics to offer, or renew, their consecration to the Sacred Heart of our Sovereign Lord.
“The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart.
We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October–the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day.”
Quas Primas, 
Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 11, 1925 On the Feast of Christ the King, this Act of Consecration is to be read solemnly with the Litany of the Sacred Heart before the blessed Sacrament exposed. Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honour forever. Amen.


Litany to Christ the King



Lord, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us, 
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

God, our Heavenly Father, Who has made firm for all ages your Son's Throne, 
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Jesus, our Victim-High Priest, True Prophet, and Sovereign King, 
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, poured out upon us with abundant newness, 
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, Three Persons yet One God in the Beauty of Your Eternal Unity, 
Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, our Eternal King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Most Merciful King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, extending to us the Golden Scepter of Your Mercy,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, in Whose Great Mercy we have been given the Sacrament of Confession,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Loving King Who offers us Your Healing Grace,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, our Eucharistic King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, the King foretold by the prophets,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King of Heaven and earth,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King and Ruler of All Nations,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Delight of the Heavenly Court,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Most Compassionate toward Your subjects,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King from Whom proceeds all authority,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, in whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we are One,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Kingdom is not of this world,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Sacred Heart burns with Love for all mankind,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who has given us Mary, the Queen, to be our dear Mother,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who will come upon the clouds of Heaven with Power and Great Glory,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Throne we are to approach with confidence,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who made Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who made Mary Co-Redemptrix, Your partner in the Plan of Salvation,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who desires to heal us of all division and disunity,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King wounded by mankind's indifference,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who gives the balm of Your Love with which to console Your Wounded Heart,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who is the Great I AM within us, our Wellspring of Pure Delight,
 Reign in our hearts.


Jesus, King of All Nations, True Sovereign of all earthly powers,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, subjecting under Your feet forever the powers of hell
 , May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, the Light beyond all light, enlightening us in the darkness that surrounds us, 
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Mercy is so Great as to mitigate the punishments our sins deserve
,  May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, recognized by the Magi as the True King,
May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, the Only Remedy for a world so ill,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who blesses with Peace those souls and nations that acknowledge You as True King,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who Mercifully sends us your Holy Angels to protect us,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Chief Prince is Saint Michael the Archangel,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who teaches us that to reign is to serve,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Just Judge Who will separate the wicked from the good,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, before Whom every knee shall bend,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Dominion is an everlasting Dominion,
May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Lamb who will Shepherd us,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who after having destroyed every sovereignty,
 May we serve You.  authority and power, will hand over the Kingdom to Your God and Father,
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Reign is without end,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose kindness toward us is steadfast, and whose fidelity endures forever,
 May we serve You. 


Eternal Father, Who has given us Your Only Begotten Son, to be our Redeemer, One True Mediator, and Sovereign King, 
We praise and thank You.
Loving Jesus, Sovereign King, Who humbled Yourself for Love of us and took the form of a servant, , We praise and thank You.

Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Trinity, Love of the Father and the Son, Who sanctifies us and gives us Life, We praise and thank You.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, who mediates to Jesus on our behalf,
Pray for us.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, through whom all Grace come to us, 
Pray for us.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, Singular Jewel of the Holy Trinity,
  We love You.

Holy Angels and Saints of our Divine King,  
Pray for us and Protect us.

Amen.
 

Pope Francis honors Martyrs of Japan and says As a young Jesuit he "...found powerful inspiration in the story of the early missionaries and the Japanese martyrs."


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
(19-26 NOVEMBER 2019)
TRIBUTE TO THE MARTYR SAINTS
GREETINGS OF HIS HOLINESS
Martyrs’ Monument - Nishizaka Hill (Nagasaki)
Sunday, 24 November 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Good morning!
I have very much looked forward to this moment. I have come here as a pilgrim to pray, to confirm you in the faith, and to be confirmed by the faith of these brothers and sisters who by their witness and devotion light up our path. I thank all of you for your warm welcome.
This shrine bears the images and names of Christians who were martyred long ago, starting with Paul Miki and his companions on 5 February 1597, and a host of other martyrs who consecrated this ground by their suffering and their death.
However, this shrine does more than speak of death; it also speaks of the triumph of life over death. Saint John Paul II saw this place not simply as the mount of the martyrs but a true Mount of the Beatitudes, where our hearts can be stirred by the witness of men and women filled with the Holy Spirit and set free from selfishness, complacency and pride (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 65). For here the light of the Gospel shone forth in the love that triumphed over persecution and the sword.
This shrine is above all a monument to Easter, for it proclaims that the last word – despite all evidence to the contrary – belongs not to death but to life. We are not destined for death but for the fullness of life. This was the message the martyrs proclaimed. Yes, here we see the darkness of death and martyrdom, but also the light of the resurrection, as the blood of the martyrs becomes the seed of the new life that Jesus wishes to bestow on us. Their witness confirms us in faith and helps us to renew our dedication and commitment to that missionary discipleship which strives to create a culture capable of protecting and defending all life through the daily “martyrdom” of silent service towards all, especially those in greatest need.
I have come to this monument of the martyrs to pay homage to these holy men and women. But I also come in humility, as one who himself, as a young Jesuit from “the ends of the earth”, found powerful inspiration in the story of the early missionaries and the Japanese martyrs. May we never forget their heroic sacrifice! May it not remain as a glorious relic of the past, to be kept and honored in a museum, but rather as a living memory, an inspiration for the works of the apostolate and a spur to renewed evangelization in this land. May the Church in the Japan of our own day, amid all its difficulties and signs of hope, feel called to hear anew each day the message proclaimed by Saint Paul Miki from the cross, and share with all men and women the joy and the beauty of the Gospel which is the way of truth and life (cf. Jn 14:6). May we free ourselves daily from whatever weighs us down and prevents us from walking in humility, freedom, parrhesia and charity.
Brothers and sisters, in this place we are united with those Christians throughout the world who, in our own day, suffer martyrdom for the faith. They are the martyrs of the twenty-first century and their witness summons us to set out with courage on the path of the Beatitudes. Let us pray with them and for them. Let us speak out and insist that religious freedom be guaranteed for everyone in every part of our world. Let us also condemn the manipulation of religions through “policies of extremism and division, by systems of unrestrained profit or by hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and the future of men and women” (Document on Human Fraternity, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019).
Let us ask Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, Saint Paul Miki and all his companions, who throughout history have proclaimed by their lives the wonders of the Lord, to pray for your country and for the whole Church. May their witness awaken and sustain in all of us the joy of the mission.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - official Translation

In Japan, Pope Francis honors Memory of Victims of Hiroshima and calls for Peace and an end to Nuclear Weapons - Video


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS
IN THAILAND AND JAPAN
(19 - 26 November 2019)

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
ON THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park (Nagasaki)
Sunday, November 24, 2019


Dear brothers and sisters!

This place makes us more aware of the pain and horror we can inflict on ourselves as human beings. The bombed cross and the statue of the Madonna, recently discovered in the Cathedral of Nagasaki, remind us once again of the horror untold immediately in their flesh by the victims and their families.

One of the deepest desires of the human heart is the desire for peace and stability. The possession of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is not the best answer to this desire; indeed, they seem to constantly put it to the test. Our world lives the perverse dichotomy of wanting to defend and guarantee stability and peace on the basis of a false security supported by a mentality of fear and mistrust, which ends up poisoning relations between peoples and preventing any possible dialogue.

Peace and international stability are incompatible with any attempt to build on the fear of mutual destruction or on a threat of total annihilation; they are possible only from a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation at the service of a future shaped by interdependence and co-responsibility in the entire human family of today and tomorrow.

Here, in this city, which is witness to the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of a nuclear attack, there will never be enough attempts to raise the voice against the arms race. This fact wastes precious resources that could instead be used for the benefit of the integral development of peoples and for the protection of the natural environment. In today's world, where millions of children and families live in inhuman conditions, the money spent and the fortunes earned to manufacture, modernize, maintain and sell weapons, ever more destructive, are a constant attack crying out to the sky.

A world in peace, free from nuclear weapons, is the aspiration of millions of men and women everywhere. Transforming this ideal into reality requires the participation of everyone: people, religious communities, civil societies, states that possess nuclear weapons and those that do not possess them, military and private sectors and international organizations. Our response to the threat of nuclear weapons must be collective and concerted, based on the arduous but constant construction of mutual trust that will break the currently prevalent mistrust dynamic. In 1963, Pope St. John XXIII in the Encyclical Pacem in terris, also asking for the prohibition of atomic weapons (see n. 60), affirmed that a true and lasting international peace cannot rest on the balance of military forces, but only on mutual trust (see n. 61).

It is necessary to break the mistrust dynamics that currently prevails and that runs the risk of arriving at the dismantling of the international arms control architecture. We are witnessing an erosion of multilateralism, even more serious in the face of the development of new weapons technologies; this approach seems rather inconsistent in the current context marked by interconnection and constitutes a situation that requires urgent attention and also dedication on the part of all leaders.

The Catholic Church, for its part, is irrevocably committed to the decision to promote peace between peoples and nations: it is a duty for which it feels obligated before God and before all the men and women of this land. We can never tire of working and insisting without delay on the main international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. Last July, the bishops of Japan launched an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and in August the Japanese Church celebrates a ten-day prayer meeting for peace. May prayer, tireless research for the promotion of agreements, insistence on dialogue be the "weapons" in which we place our trust and also the source of inspiration for efforts to build a world of justice and solidarity that provides real guarantees for peace.

In the belief that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these do not defend us from threats to national and international security of our time. We need to consider the catastrophic impact of their use from a humanitarian and environmental point of view, renouncing to strengthen a climate of fear, mistrust and hostility, fueled by nuclear doctrines.
The current state of our planet requires, in turn, a serious reflection on how all these resources could be used, with reference to the complex and difficult implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and therefore to achieve objectives such as integral human development. This is what Pope Paul VI suggested in 1964, when he proposed to help the most disinherited through a World Fund, fueled by a part of military expenditure (see Speech to journalists, Mumbai, December 4, 1964; Enc. Populorum progressio, March 26, 1967, 51).

For all this, it is crucial to create tools that guarantee mutual trust and development and to be able to count on leaders who are up to the circumstances. A task that, in turn, involves us and challenges us all. No one can be indifferent to the pain of millions of men and women who still today continue to affect our consciences; no one can be deaf to the cry of the brother who calls from his wound; no one can be blind to the ruins of a culture incapable of dialogue.

I ask you to join us in prayer every day for the conversion of consciences and for the triumph of a culture of life, of reconciliation and of fraternity. A fraternity that knows how to recognize and guarantee the differences in the search for a common destiny.

I know that some of those present here are not Catholics, but I am sure that we can all make our own the prayer for peace attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where hate is, that I may bring love;
where there is offence, that I may bring forgiveness;
where there is doubt, that I may carry the faith;
where there is despair, that I may bring hope;
where the darkness is, that I may bring the light;
where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

In this place of memory, which impresses us and cannot leave us indifferent, it is even more meaningful to trust in God, to teach us to be effective instruments of peace and to work so as not to make the same mistakes as in the past.

May you and your families, and the entire nation, experience the blessings of prosperity and social harmony!
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. November 24, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - Solemnity of Christ the King - End of Liturgical Year


The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Lectionary: 162

Reading 12 SM 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
"Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you,
'You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.'"
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2COL 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

AlleluiaMK 11:9, 10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
"He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
"If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read,
"This is the King of the Jews."

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
"Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us."
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
"Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal."
Then he said,
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him,
"Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise."