|Biographical selection: |
St. Adelaide was a marvel of grace and beauty, according to St. Odilon of Cluny, who was her spiritual director and biographer. Daughter of Rudolph II, King of Burgundy, she was born in 931 and at age 15 married Lothaire II, King of Italy. Later their daughter became Queen of France.
Otto I hastened to her appeal with a powerful army. After defeating her oppressor, Otto became King of Italy and married St. Adelaide. One year later, in 952 he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. The eldest son of this marriage, Otto II, succeeded his father as Emperor. At first, influenced by his jealous wife Theohano, Otto II revolted against his mother. Fearing for her life, she fled to Burgundy. There she came to know St. Odilon and became famous for her charities to many French monasteries.
Later, after her son repented, she returned to Germany where she continued her saintly life. She sent a splendid imperial mantle worn by her son to be placed in the grave of St. Martin. She wrote these instructions to the one charged with the mission:
“When you will reach the tomb of the glorious St. Martin, say these words: ‘Bishop of God, receive these humble gifts from Adelaide, servant of the servants of God, sinner by nature and Empress by the grace of God. Receive this mantle of Otto, her eldest son. You, who had the glory to cover Our Lord with your mantle in the person of a poor man, pray for him.’”
After Theophano died, Adelaide became the regent of her grandson, Otto III. She used her position to help the poor, evangelize, and build and restore monasteries and churches. When she felt her end was near, she asked to be taken to the Convent of Seltz in Alsace that she had built. She was laid to rest next to the tomb of Otto the Great, her second husband.
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Sunday, December 15, 2019
Pope Francis says "..ask the Lord to renew the miracle of Christmas every year, offering ourselves as instruments of his merciful love..." at Gaudete Mass - Full Text
HOLY MASS FOR THE PHILIPPINE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters,
today we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah invites the whole earth to rejoice over the coming of the Lord, who brings salvation to his people. He comes to open the eyes of the blind and the ears to the deaf, to cure the lame and the dumb (see 35.5-6). Salvation is offered to all, but the Lord manifests a special tenderness for the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the poorest of his people.
From the words of the Responsorial Psalm we learn that there are other vulnerable people who deserve a look of special love from God: they are the oppressed, the hungry, the prisoners, the foreigners, the orphans and the widows (see Psalm 145.7-9 ). They are the inhabitants of the existential peripheries of yesterday and today.
In Jesus Christ the saving love of God becomes tangible: "The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the Gospel is announced to the poor" (Mt 11: 5) . These are the signs that accompany the realization of the Kingdom of God. Not trumpet blasts or military triumphs, not judgments and condemnations of sinners, but liberation from evil and an announcement of mercy and peace.
Also this year we are preparing to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation, of Emmanuel, the "God with us" who works wonders in favor of his people, especially the smallest and most fragile. These wonders are the "signs" of the presence of his Kingdom. And since the inhabitants of the existential peripheries continue to be still many, we must ask the Lord to renew the miracle of Christmas every year, offering ourselves as instruments of his merciful love towards the least.
To prepare ourselves adequately for this new outpouring of grace, the Church offers us the time of Advent, in which we are called to awaken in our hearts the expectation and to intensify our prayer. To this end, in the richness of the different traditions, the particular Churches have introduced a variety of devotional practices.
In the Philippines, for centuries, there has been a novena in preparation for the Holy Christmas called Simbang-Gabi (Mass of the night). During nine days, the Filipino faithful gather in their parishes for a special Eucharistic celebration. In recent decades, thanks to Filipino migrants, this devotion has crossed national borders and has arrived in many other countries. Simbang-Gabi has also been celebrated in the diocese of Rome for years, and today we celebrate it together here, in St. Peter's Basilica.
Through this celebration we want to prepare ourselves for Christmas according to the spirit of the Word of God which we have heard, remaining constant until the Lord's definitive coming, as the Apostle James recommends (cf. James 5: 7). We want to commit ourselves to manifest God's love and tenderness towards everyone, especially the least. We are called to be leaven in a society that often fails to taste the beauty of God and to experience the grace of its presence.
And you, dear brothers and sisters, who have left your land in search of a better future, you have a special mission. Your faith is "leaven" in the parish communities to which you belong today. I encourage you to multiply meeting opportunities to share your cultural and spiritual wealth, while at the same time allowing yourself to be enriched by the experiences of others. We are all invited to build together that communion in diversity that constitutes a distinctive trait of the Kingdom of God, inaugurated by Jesus Christ, Son of God made man. We are all called to practice charity together with the inhabitants of the existential peripheries, putting our different gifts at the service, so as to renew the signs of the presence of the Kingdom. We are all called to proclaim the Gospel together, the Good News of salvation, in all languages, so as to reach as many people as possible.
The Holy Child that we are preparing to worship, wrapped in poor swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, bless you and give you the strength to carry on your testimony with joy.
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Pope Francis says "Advent is a time of grace..it is necessary to purify our faith every day...make space in our heart for Him.." Full Text + Video
St. Peter's Square
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
On this third Sunday of Advent, called Sunday "of joy", the Word of God invites us on the one hand to joy, and on the other to the awareness that existence also includes moments of doubt, in which it is hard to believe. Joy and doubt are both experiences that are part of our life.
To the explicit invitation to the joy of the prophet Isaiah: "Let the desert and the dry land rejoice, let the steppe rejoice and flourish" (35,1), the doubt of John the Baptist is opposed in the Gospel: "You are the one who must come or should we wait for another? "(Mt 11: 3). In fact, the prophet sees beyond the situation: he has before him discouraged people: weak hands, shaky knees, lost hearts (see 35.3-4). It is the same reality that tests faith at all times. But the man of God looks beyond, because the Holy Spirit makes his heart feel the power of his promise, and he announces salvation: "Courage, do not fear! Behold your God, [...] He comes to save you "(v. 4). And then everything is transformed: the desert blooms, the consolation and joy take possession of the lost of heart, the lame, the blind, the mute are healed (see vv. 5-6). This is what is accomplished with Jesus: "the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the Gospel is announced to the poor" (Mt 11: 5).
This description shows us that salvation envelops the whole man and regenerates him. But this new birth, with the joy that accompanies it, always presupposes a dying to ourselves and to the sin that is in us. Hence the call to conversion, which is the basis of the preaching of both the Baptist and Jesus; in particular, it is a question of converting the idea we have of God. And the time of Advent encourages us to do so precisely with the question that John the Baptist asks Jesus: "Are you the one who must come or must we wait for another? "(Mt 11: 3). We think: for the whole life John has been waiting for the Messiah; his lifestyle, his own body is shaped by this expectation. This is also why Jesus praises him with these words: no one is greater than he who was born of a woman (see Mt 11,11). And yet, he too had to convert to Jesus. Like John, we too are called to recognize the face that God has chosen to assume in Jesus Christ, humble and merciful.
Advent is a time of grace. It tells us that it is not enough to believe in God: it is necessary to purify our faith every day. It is a matter of preparing to welcome not a fairy-tale character, but the God who calls us, involves us and before whom a choice is imposed. The Child who lies in the crib has the face of our most needy brothers and sisters, of the poor who "are the privileged of this mystery and, often, those who are most able to recognize the presence of God in our midst" (Letter to . Admirabile signum, 6).
May the Virgin Mary help us, because, as we approach Christmas, we do not let ourselves be distracted by external things, but make space in our heart for Him who has already come and wants to come again to heal our illnesses and give us his joy.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters!
I greet all of you, families, church groups and associations, who have come from Rome, Italy and from many parts of the world. In particular I greet the pilgrims from Korea, Valencia and the Rotzo group (VI).
I greet you, dear children, who have come with the statues of the Child Jesus for your crib. Raise the figurines! I cordially bless you. «The crib is like a living Gospel. [...] While we contemplate the Christmas scene, we are invited to set out spiritually on the way, attracted by the humility of Jesus, God, the One who became man to meet each of us. And we discover that he loves us so much that he joins us, so that we too can unite with him "(see Apostolic Letter Admirabile signum, 1).
In less than a year, from 13 to 20 September 2020, the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Budapest. The Eucharistic Congresses, for more than a century, remind us that the Eucharist is at the center of the Church's life. The theme of the next Congress will be "All my springs are in you" (Ps 87: 7). We pray that "the Eucharistic event in Budapest can promote processes of renewal in the Christian communities" (Address to the Pont. Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, 10 November 2018).
And I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good Christmas Novena. You guys bring the little children for the crib and please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye.
1st Speech by New President of Argentina : Alberto Fernández who refers to the Pope as "dear Pope Francis"
AMERICA/ARGENTINA - First speech by new President Fernández: "We must get out of this situation with solidarity"Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - The new President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, recalled several expressions of Pope Francis in his first speech before the Legislative Assembly. The leader of the Frente de Todos, who won the elections, accompanied by Cristina Fernández as vice president, used the formula "for God, Fatherland and the holy Gospels" when he swore as president.
In his first message as President, according to Aica news agency, Fernández referred to the Pope as "dear Pope Francis" and used some of his usual expressions: "waste culture", "marginalized and excluded", "the last", "inclusion and equity", "common house", among others. In the same way, he anticipated that the ministry of the environmental area will be inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sì, which he defined "ethical and ecological magna charter at a universal level".
"The marginalized and excluded from our homeland, those affected by the culture of waste, not only need a piece of bread. They must be part and be guests of the same table, of the great table of a nation that must be our common home", the new President underlined.
Referring to the situation in the country, Alberto Fernández highlighted that "in a context of extreme gravity, of emergency, we must understand that there is no possibility of asking for sacrifices to those who are hungry, you cannot ask for sacrifices to those who cannot reach the end of the month. We must get out of this situation with solidarity". He then continued: "If we can stop hatred, we can stop the decline of Argentina. First and foremost liberation as a country is to guarantee that hatred has no power over our spirits. (CE) (Full Text: Agenzia Fides, 12/12/2019