Saturday, February 8, 2020

Saint February 9 : St. Apollina a Martyr and the Patron of Dentists and Tooth Ache

A holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians previous to the persecution of Decius (end of 248, or beginning of 249). During the festivities commemorative of the first millenary of the Roman Empire, the agitation of the heathen populace rose to a great height, and when one of their poets prophesied a calamity, they committed bloody outrages on the Christians whom the authorities made no effort to protect. The great Dionysius, then Bishop of Alexandria (247-265), relates the sufferings of his people in a letter addressed to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, long extracts from which Eusebius has preserved for us (Church History I.6.41). After describing how a Christian man and woman, named respectively Metras and Quinta, were seized by the seditious mob and put to death with the most cruel tortures, and how the houses of several other Christians were completely pillaged, Dionysius continues: "At that time Apollonia the parthénos presbûtis (virgo presbytera, by which he very probably means not a virgin advanced in years, but a deaconess) was held in high esteem. These men seized her also and by repeated blows broke all her teeth. They then erected outside the city gates a pile of fagots and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat after them impious words (either a blasphemy against Christ, or an invocation of the heathen gods). Given, at her own request, a little freedom, she sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death." Apollonia belongs, therefore, to that class of early Christian martyrs who did not await the death they were threatened with, but either to preserve their chastity, or because confronted with the alternative of renouncing their faith or suffering death, voluntarily embraced the latter in the form prepared for them. In the honour paid to her martyrs the Church made no distinction between these women and others. St. Augustine touches on this question in the first book of the "City of God", apropos of suicide (City of God I.26); "But, they say, during the time of persecution certain holy women plunged into the water with the intention of being swept away by the waves and drowned, and thus preserve their threatened chastity. Although they quitted life in this wise, nevertheless they receive high honour as martyrs in the Catholic Church and their feasts are observed with great ceremony. This is a matter on which I dare not pass judgment lightly. For I know not but that the Church was divinely authorized through trustworthy revelations to honour thus the memory of these Christians. It may be that such is the case. May it not be, too, that these acted in such a manner, not through human caprice but on the command of God, not erroneously but through obedience, as we must believe in the case of Samson? When, however, God gives a command and makes it clearly known, who would account obedience thereto a crime or condemn such pious devotion and ready service?" The narrative of Dionysius does not suggest the slightest reproach as to this act of St. Apollonia; in his eyes she was as much a martyr as the others, and as such she was revered in the Alexandrian Church. In time, her feast was also popular in the West. A later legend assigned a similar martyrdom to Apollonia, a Christian virgin of Rome in the reign of Julian the Apostate. There was, however, but one martyr of this name, i.e. the Saint of Alexandria. The Roman Church celebrates her memory on 9 February, and she is popularly invoked against the toothache because of the torments she had to endure. She is represented in art with pincers in which a tooth is held. There was a church dedicated to her at Rome but it no longer exists. The little square, however, in which it stood is still called "Piazza Sant' Apollonia".
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Prayer for Toothache to Saint Apollonia
O Glorious Apollonia, patron saint of dentistry and refuge to all those suffering from diseases of the teeth, I consecrate myself to thee, beseeching thee to number me among thy clients. Assist me by your intercession with God in my daily work and intercede with Him to obtain for me a happy death. Pray that my heart like thine may be inflamed with the love of Jesus and Mary, through Christ our Lord. Amen. O My God, bring me safe through temptation and strengthen me as thou didst our own patron Apollonia, through Christ our Lord. Amen
St. Apollonia, please Pray for those suffering from dental diseases or toothaches. Amen

Pope Francis met with all Patriarchs of the Middle East and was given a plaque with the Our Father and Hail Mary in Aramaic.


Pope Francis' meeting with Catholic patriarchs from the Middle East was private.

The Holt Father was given a gift of a plaque with the Our Father and Hail Mary in Aramaic.

All the patriarchs of the Middle East met with the pope in the Apostolic Palace,about the survival of Christian minorities in the region. War and persecution have reduced their population throughout the Middle East.

 Pope Francis received in audience: -
His Beatitude Em.ma Card. Béchara Boutros Raï, O.M.M., Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites (Libanon); -
His Beatitude  Em.ma Card. Louis Raphaël Sako, Patriarch of Babilonia of the Chaldeans (Iraq);
 - His Beatitude  Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of Alexandria of Coptics (Egypt);
 - His Beatitude  Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch dei Siri (Lebanon);
 - His Beatitude Youssef Absi, Society of the Missionaries of S. Paul, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites (Siria);
 - His Beatitude  Grégoire Pierre XX Ghabroyan, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians (Libano);

Legionaries of Christ Elect New Director Fr. John Connor, LC and Council





Legionaries of Christ Elect New General Council


On February 7th and 8th, The General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ held elections for the general councilors and the general administrator, whose terms will coincide with the term of the new general director, Fr. John Connor, LC, for the next six years.
Elected were: Father John Connor, LC, general director, 
Father Hernán Jiménez, LC, vicar general
Father Jesús Villagrasa, LC, second general councilor
Father Rafael Ducci, LC, third general councilor
Father Pedro Barrajón, LC, fourth general councilor
Father Gerardo Flores, LC, fifth general councilor
Father Michael Brisson, LC, sixth general councilor
Father José Cárdenas, LC, general administrator

General Director: Father John Connor, LC

Biography:
Father John Lane Connor, LC, was born on February 15, 1968, in Severna Park, Maryland, USA. In 1990, he graduated with a degree in finance from Loyal University Maryland. He entered the Novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ on September 15, 1991 in Roetgen, Germany. In 1994 he worked at the Everest School Montecarlo de Madrid, Spain. He made his perpetual profession on May 1, 2000, and was ordained to the priesthood on January 2, 2001, in Rome. From his ordination until 2004 he worked in the Legion’s fundraising office on the East Coast of the United States. From 2004 to 2010 he was the local coordinator of apostolate in the New York City metro area, and he helped found and direct the Lumen Institute. From 2009 to 2010 he was the superior of the Legionary apostolate community in New York. From 2010 to 2011 he was the territorial director of the Atlanta Territory. From 2011 to 2014, he served as assistant to the territorial director for apostolate for the North American Territory. Since 2014 he was the territorial director of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, and since 2019 member of the Territorial Directive College of Regnum Christi in North America. On February 6, 2020, the General Chapter elected him to the office of general director of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.
Job description:
It is the responsibility of the general director to govern the Congregation in such a way that it safeguards its spiritual patrimony and carries out its mission in the Church according to God’s will.
Priorities:
  1. Attentively foster the members’ prayer life, fervor, good religious spirit, integral formation, fraternal life in common and perseverance
  2. Further the consolidation, projection and development of the apostolate
  3. Promote the pastoral work for vocations of the Legion and the other branches of Regnum Christi
  4. Implement the directives and guidelines issued by the General Chapter
  5. Ensure that everyone—especially the territorial directors, the rectors and superiors, and the formators—carry out their duties in accordance with proper law
  6. Promote the consolidation, development and institutional unity of Regnum Christi, and work closely with the appropriate governing bodies of the Movement in regard to preserving its spirit and to planning, apostolate and economy
  7. Strengthen the Congregation’s stable patrimony, supervise the administration of goods and promote a healthy economy
  8. Promote the desirable institutional communication. 
    Source: https://legionariesofchrist.org/legionaries-of-christ-elect-new-general-council/

Full Text Speech of US President Trump at 68th Prayer Breakfast "Prayer makes us strong...God alone is the author of life and the giver of grace." Video


Remarks by President Trump at the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast
Issued on: February 6, 2020
Washington, D.C. - 9:11 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Well, thank you very much.  I’m working very hard for you, I will tell you.  (Laughter.)  And sometimes you don’t make it easy, and I certainly don’t make it easy on you.  (Laughter.)  And I will continue that tradition, if I might, this morning.  And, Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.  (Laughter.)  But I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.  (Laughter.)  But I love listening to you.  It’s really great.  Thank you very much.

And thank you, congressmen, for the great job you’ve been doing and the relationship and the help.  You’re a warrior.  Thank you very much.  And, Kevin, you’re a warrior.  Thank you.  The job you’ve done is incredible.  It wasn’t supposed to be that way.  A lot of extra work.  Unnecessary work.

It’s wonderful to be with the thousands of religious believers for the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast.  I’ve been here from the first one, where I had the privilege of being asked.  I’ve been with you for a long time before then.  And we’ve made tremendous progress.  Tremendous progress.  You know what we’ve done.  I don’t think anybody has done more than all of us together during these last three years.  And it’s been my honor.

But this morning, we come together as one nation, blessed to live in freedom and grateful to worship in peace.  As everybody knows, my family, our great country, and your President, have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people.  They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation.  They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.

Weeks ago, and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, the fortitude, and strength to do what everyone knows was right.  I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.  Nor do I like people who say, “I pray for you,” when they know that that’s not so.

So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on.  And I’ll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House.

We’re joined today by two people whose faith inspires us all: our amazing, wonderful friend, Vice President Mike Pence — (applause) — and his wonderful wife, Karen.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

Thank you to all of our great political leaders out there — so many that I’ve been working with so hard over the last three years.  And we’ve accomplished so much.  And to members of my Cabinet in attendance — Secretary Mike Pompeo, Mark Esper, David Bernhardt — (applause) — Gene Scalia, Alex Azar, Ben Carson, Dan Brouillette, Betsy DeVos, Robert Wilke, and Administrator Jovita Carranza.

Joining us — (applause) — for this cherished tradition are a lot of friends in the audience.  And many, really, have become friends.  They are political leaders.  They’ve become great friends.  That’s all I get to meet anymore.  (Laughter.)  That and the enemies and the allies.  And we have them all.  We have allies.  We have enemies.  Sometimes the allies are enemies, but we just don’t know it.  (Laughter.)  But we’re changing all that.  But thank you all, and thank you all for being here.

I also want to welcome foreign dignitaries from more than 140 countries.  That’s something.  (Applause.)  That’s something.  Everyone here today is united by a shared conviction.  We know that our nation is stronger, our future is brighter, and our joy is greater when we turn to God and ask him to shed his grace on our lives.

On Tuesday, I addressed Congress on the state of the Union and the great American comeback.  That’s what it is.  (Applause.)  Our country has never done better than it is doing right now.  Our economy is the strongest it has ever been.  And for those of you that are interested in stocks, it looks like the stock market will be way up again today.

According to the latest Gallup poll that just came out a little while ago, a few minutes ago, American satisfaction is at the highest level ever recorded.  Can you imagine?  And that’s from Gallup — no friend of mine.  (Applause.)  Ninety percent of Americans say they are satisfied with their personal lives.  How about that?  Isn’t that something?  Just came out today.  (Applause.)  They must have known I was going to be here.  (Laughter.)

In everything we do, we are creating a culture that protects freedom, and that includes religious freedom.  (Applause.)

As I said on Tuesday in the House Chamber, “In America, we don’t punish prayer.  We don’t tear down crosses.  We don’t ban symbols of faith.  We don’t muzzle preachers.”  We don’t muzzle pastors.  “In America, we celebrate faith, we cherish religion, we lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God.”  (Applause.)

So much of the greatness we have achieved, the mysteries we’ve unlocked, and the wonders we’ve built, the challenges we’ve met, and the incredible heights that we’ve reached has come from the faith of our families and the prayers of our people.

Before America declared independence, patriots in all 13 colonies came together in days of fasting and prayer.  In the bitter cold of Valley Forge, Washington and his men had no food, no supplies, and very little chance of victory.  It reminded me a little bit of 2016.  We had very little chance of victory.  (Laughter.)  Except for the people in this room and some others believed we were going to win.  I believed we were going to win.  But what they did have was have an unwavering belief that God was with them.  I believe that too. God is with the people in this room.

Before a single skyscraper rose up in New York City, thousands of poor American families donated all they could to build the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  (Applause.)
When Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon, he said, “Houston, I would like to request a few moments of silence.”  Then, he read from the Bible.  (Applause.)

At every stage, our nation’s long march for civil rights was inspired, sustained, and uplifted by faith, prayer, and devotion of religious believers.

To protect faith communities, I have taken historic action to defend religious liberty, including the constitutional right to pray in public schools.  (Applause.)

We can also talk about the Johnson Amendment.  We can talk about Mexico City Policy.  We’ve done a lot.  But I also recently took executive action to stop taxpayer dollars from going to colleges and universities that spread the poison of anti-Semitism and bad things about Christianity.  (Applause.)

We are upholding the sanctity of life — sanctity of life.  (Applause.)  And we are doing that like nobody has ever done it before from this position.  You better get out and vote on November 3rd — (laughter) — because you have a lot of people out there that aren’t liking what we’re doing.

And we’re pursuing medical breakthroughs to save premature babies because every child is a sacred gift from God.  (Applause.)

Together, we are building the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society.  We are lifting up citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.  We are bringing hope to forgotten communities.  And more Americans are working today — 160 million.  A little bit short.  Just a little bit.  One hundred and sixty million.  We’ve never been even close — than ever before.  Think of it: More Americans are working today — almost 160 million — than ever before.  Our unemployment numbers are the best in the history of our country.  (Applause.)

A more specific number and numbers that you hear me say, if you listen: African American, Asian American, Hispanic American — the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country.  Women — best in 71 years.  Sorry.  We’ll have you there soon.  Soon, it will be “historic.”  I have to apologize to the women; it’s only 71 years.

But the best unemployment numbers, we have — we’re doing things that nobody thought possible.  We’re setting records that nobody thought achievable.

And to give former prisoners a second chance at life, which so many people in this room have worked on for so long — (applause) — we passed criminal justice reform into law, and I signed it nine months ago.

And it’s proving more and more that America is indeed a nation that believes in redemption.  What’s happened with prisoners is a miracle.  Prisoners would come out and nobody would give them a job.  And oftentimes, most of the time — almost all of the time — they’d go back into prison.  They’d get caught doing something bad.  They had no money.  They had no hope.  They had no job.  Now they’re coming out into a booming economy.  And employers are hiring them, and to a certain extent, maybe because they’re having a hard time getting people.

First time in our country’s history, actually, we’re running out of people.  We have plants moving in by the thousands.  We have car companies coming from Japan and from Germany, from lots of other places, and we need people.  And employers are hiring prisoners, and they would have never done it, except for what we’ve done with criminal justice reform.  But even before that, because the economy has become so powerful.

And these prisoners have done an incredible job.  The employers are saying, “Why didn’t I do this 20 years ago?”

So it’s an incredible thing what’s happening to people that are given a second chance, and sometimes a third chance, in all fairness.  And it’s something that everybody in this room should be very proud about, because you’ve always felt that way long before it was fashionable.  So I want to thank you for that.  (Applause.)

As we revive our economy, we are also renewing our national spirit.  Today we proudly proclaim that faith is alive and well and thriving in America.  And we’re going to keep it that way.  Nobody will have it changed.  (Applause.)   It won’t happen.  As long as I’m here, it will never, ever happen.  (Applause.)

Something which wasn’t done nearly enough — I could almost say wasn’t done at all — we are standing up for persecuted Christians and religious minorities all around the world — (applause) — like nobody has ever done.

Last year, at the United Nations, I was honored to be the first President to host a meeting of religious freedom.  It was based all on religious freedom.  That was the first meeting of its kind ever held at the United Nations.  There I called upon all nations to combat the terrible injustice of religious persecution.  And people listened.

And countries that we give billions of dollars to, they listened because they had to listen.  (Laughter.)  It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?  (Laughter.)  That nobody ever played that game before.  (Laughter.)

Weeks ago, a 21-year-old woman, who goes by the name of Mary, was seized and imprisoned in Iran because she converted to Christianity and shared the Gospel with others.

In Venezuela, the dictator Maduro has arrested church leaders.  At the State of the Union, I was honored to host the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.  (Applause.)  Good man.  I told him that all Americans stand with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.

Yesterday, our administration launched the International Religious Freedom Alliance, the first-ever alliance devoted to promoting religious liberty.  It was something.  Really something.  (Applause.)

More than 25 countries have already joined our campaign.  I want to thank Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with Ambassador Sam Brownback, who are both here this morning, for leading this historic initiative.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Mike.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

All of us here today reaffirm these timeless truths: Faith keeps us free.  Prayer makes us strong.  And God alone is the author of life and the giver of grace.  (Applause.)

With us this morning is a pastor who embodies the miracle of faith and the power of prayer: Reverend Gerald Toussaint from Louisiana.  Reverend Toussaint is an Army veteran, a truck driver, and a pastor.  He leads the same church that his father led, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, which has been a pillar of the community for more than 140 years.

Last year, Mount Pleasant was one of three African American churches in Louisiana that was destroyed in a fire set by a wicked, hate-filled arsonist.

Yet, in the wake of such shocking evil, America witnessed the unshakable unity, devotion, and spirit of Reverend Toussaint and his entire highly spirited, beautiful congregation.  Families quickly came together in prayer.  Soon, people from all across Louisiana came to help any way they could.  Americans in all 50 states and 20 different countries heard about it and they donated more than $2 million to help rebuild Mount Pleasant — (applause) — and the other two churches that were (inaudible).

On Easter Sunday, just days after he lost his church, Reverend Toussaint preached about what it all meant.  What does it mean?  “The Easter season,” he said, “is a fitting metaphor for recent events.  It was dark the day that Jesus was crucified.  It was dark [at] night when they burned our church.  What has happened since is like a resurrection.”  Old things are gone, but it’s going to be a brand-new start, and it’s going to be better than ever, Reverend.  (Applause.)  Better than ever.  Fantastic.

And today, just 10 months later, the ground is cleared.  Careful plans have been made, and they’re beautiful plans.  And construction is about to begin on the new and very, very magnificent Mount Pleasant Church.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

You know, the Reverend says that we’re rebuilding because that’s what Jesus does.  He rebuilds, he lives, and he breathes.  It’s what he does.  He wants it to be rebuilt.  It was torn apart, but it’s being rebuilt again, and I’ll bet you it will indeed be bigger, better, and nicer than before.  What do you think, Reverend?  Yes?  And it’s going to have your mark on it.  It did have and now it will have even great.  And your father is looking down on you right now and he’s very, very proud of the job that you’ve done.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Very much inspire us, Reverend.  Thank you.

Well, I want to just thank everybody.  This has been very special.  Tell your congregation that — and all of your people — that we have 350 million people in our country.  They’re proud Americans.  And they respect what we’re doing, even those that you don’t think so much like us, respect us, want to be with us.  They’re respecting our fight, and we are in a fight.

Religion in this country and religion all over the world — certain religions in particular — are under siege.  We won’t let that happen.  We are going to protect our religions.  We are going to protect Christianity.  We are going to protect our great ministers and pastors and rabbis and all of the people that we so cherish and that we so respect.

America is eternally in the debt of our nation’s African American churches all throughout this country.  That’s why it’s so fitting and so — it’s one of the reasons we chose this particular church in Louisiana.  For generations, they bravely fought for justice and lifted up the conscience of our nation.  And we’re grateful beyond any measure.

But I can say that going beyond that, we’re grateful to the people in this room for the love they show to religion.  Not one religion, but many religions.  They are brave.  They are brilliant.  They are fighters.  They like people.  And sometimes they hate people.  I’m sorry.  I apologize.  I’m trying to learn.  (Laughter.)  It’s not easy.  It’s not easy.  (Applause.)
When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them?  It’s not easy, folks.  (Laughter.)  I do my best.

But I’ll tell you what we are doing: We’re restoring hope and spreading faith.  We’re helping citizens of every background take part in the great rebuilding of our nation.  We’re declaring that America will always shine as a land of liberty and light unto all nations of the world.  We want every nation to look up to us like they are right now.  We were not a respected nation just a few years ago.  We had lost our way.  Our country is respected again by everybody.  (Applause.)

This morning, let us ask Father in Heaven to guide our steps, protect our children, and bless our families.  And with all of our heart, let us forever embrace the eternal truth that every child is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.

Thank you.  God Bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-68th-annual-national-prayer-breakfast/

World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking - Prayer and Resources from Bishops



World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking


"If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference." Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000.
On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.
Prayer:
Loving Father,
We seek your divine protection for all who are exploited and enslaved.
For those forced into labor, trafficked into sexual slavery, and denied freedom.
We beseech you to release them from their chains.
Grant them protection, safety, and empowerment.
Restore their dignity and provide them a new beginning.
Show us how we might end exploitation by addressing its causes.
Help us reach out in support of victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Make us instruments of your spirit for their liberation.

For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Visit our Become a SHEPHERD page to help you host an awareness raising event locally. 
World Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking 2020 Please join us in prayer by downloading the materials available on the Vatican Migrants & Refugees Section website of this initiative, including the prayer to Saint Josephine Bakhita, and the Pontifical Orientations on Human Trafficking. Source: USCCB

A Priest in Pakistan shares his Vocation - in a Country where Christians are Persecuted an Encounter at Holy Mass Inspires!


Faisal Pervaiz, is a priest in Pakistan, a country where Christians often suffer persecution. He uses his faith to reach others through social media with many friends on Facebook.  Here he explains his path to the priesthood and his daily priestly schedule (an inspiration to many!) His favorite Saint was St. John Vianney.
It was my wish from my childhood to be a good Pakistani solider, for this I was very excited. I always took part in games, especially in wrestling. I wanted to be more strong and healthy to be fit for army when I was studying in Shahadara Lahore School, I regularly prayed on Tuesday the( Holy Mass) Novena of St. Anthony. Every Tuesday I sat in my Classroom after school time do my home work and when there was time for Church I went straight to go to the church and after Holy Mass i returned to my home. My home was 7 kilometer far from my School and church. One day there was no one who could read the reading from the lectionary,  so, Fr. Tariq Isacc, for the first time pushed me up to read the reading in the church. After the holy Mass one lady came to me and asked me to be come a priest. I immediately responded that I wanted to be a solider - she replied that that as a priest you become solider of Christ I said I wanted to join Pakistani Army. She replied that it is a army of Christ you should go for that after some conversion she finally said I am not forcing you just take a time and think about it. I said ok.
 Then in those day there was a program for vocation promotion namely "Jashan-e-Bolahat" so my Uncle and Aunt Suggested I go there. so in 2004 i participated in that program there just to make fun I said I will become a priest . it was first time I said that I will be a priest in future there was also another reason that after my matriculation completion of my school study I joined a college namely "Government College Civil lines Lahore" there some of my classmate tried to force me to convert to Islam. I denied them, so we had some difficult conversations -  so after that I decided to join the seminary to learn about my faith and to teach others about my faith. As I was answer-less in front of my college classmates - so I hoped by learning about my faith and teaching it, others may not be in such situation after me. So, on the 3rd of September 2006 I joined the St. Mary's Seminary 30 Mason Road Lahore

Fr. Faisal's Academic History:
I completed my Primary studies in Goverment School Ferozwala Village in 2000.

From there, I succeeded and completed metric from the City District Govt High School Shahdara Lahore in 2005.

The grace of God called me for the priestly vocation so I entered in St. Mary's Seminary 30 Mason Road Lahore on 3rd of Sep, 2007, later I completed my F.A. from St. Mary's Seminary in 2008.

I graduated in Philosophical studies from St. Francis Xavier Seminary Youhanabad Lahore in 2012.

The Blessing of God was with me thus, I was promoted to Christ the King Seminary Karachi and joined there on 25 of Aug, 2013, with the help of God I completed my Theology in Christ the King Seminary Karachi and graduated with a degree on 11 June 2016.

I started my pastoral work in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gujranwala on 25 July 2016.

Afterword I was transfer to St. Roque's Catholic Church Pasrur I reached there on 21 Nov, 2016. There God blessed me with the ministry of Deacon on 3rd of June 2017.

(in between 27th March 2017 to 5th May I stayed in St. Francis Xavier Parish Gujranwala. with Fr. Ashraf Gill)

God Blessed me on 12th of June to work as a Deacon in St. Joseph and Mary's Parish in Mariamabad the National Marian Shrine in Mariamabad.

God gave me grace and I was Ordained as a priest on 7th September 2017 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Archdiocese of Lahore.

I have worked in Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish Mariamabad as deacon form Jun 2017 to September 2017

7th September 2017 to November 2017 as Assistant Parish Priest on the same place.

I was appointed as assistant to assistant in Francis Xavier Parish Gujranwala in November 2017 to January 2018.

I was appointed as an Acting Parish Priest in St. Roque's Catholic Church Pasrur 3rd January 2018 to 23rd February 2018.

Recently, I was appointed a assistant Parish Priest in Bethania Catholic Church Pacca Garha Sialkot.

Below Fr. Faisal shares his busy schedule in life as a priest - Please keep him in your prayers!
My Sunday activities

4:00 am Rising and getting ready

4:30 am I leave my parish house for Holy Mass

1- Holy Mass at 5:00 am in Kotli Ranjan.

2- Holy Mass at 7:00 am in Dhaleywali.

3- Holy Mass at 9:00 am in Kharota Saidan.

4- Holy Mass at 11:00 am in Chak Mandhar.

5- any other prayer if someone asks me.

6- Holy Mass at 5:00 pm in Khambran wala.

7- Holy Mass at 7:00 pm in Kalaghuman.



My daily Activities

1- Rising and getting ready for Holy Mass at 5:00 am

2- Holy Mass at 6:00 am

3- Personal prayer and walk 7:00 am

4- Breakfast at 8:00 am

5- Parish Office work 9:00 am to 11:30 am

6- Visit to the families, 1:00 pm till 9:00 pm.

Pope Francis tells Police and Security Guards "..you are called to combine...the indispensable rules public order and the peaceful development of life.."


GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE OFFICERS AND AGENTS OF THE PUBLIC SECURITY INSPECTORATE
AT THE VATICAN

Clementine room
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mr. Chief of Police,
Mr. Prefect and Mr. Manager,
Dear Officials and Agents!

This meeting, at the beginning of the year, between the Successor of Peter and you, who form the Inspectorate of Public Security at the Vatican, is part of a beautiful and consolidated tradition. I thank Prefect Gabrielli for his words, in particular for the reference to the value of consistency. God help us all in this! I welcome you with pleasure, especially to express once again to each of you my gratitude for your precious work. 2020 is already late, but I also wish to offer you my best wishes for this year that the Lord gives us. May it be a time of serenity and peace, for you and your families.

Your service to the Holy See and to the Vatican City State has a special meaning and value. It is not easy to relate every day with tourists and pilgrims who visit the Square and St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, or who come to meet the Pope. In the variety of situations, you are called to combine their needs with the indispensable rules public order and the peaceful development of life around the Vatican City and places sacred to the Catholic faith. And your work is equally important on the occasion of my pastoral visits to Rome and Italy, wherever the exercise of the ministry leads me. Now many times I have been able to see for yourself your discreet presence as attentive and effective! This I want to underline: discreet; effective and careful, but discreet. And this says the high human level. For this, thank you very much.

Your work, in addition to competence and professionalism, manifests sincere love and faithful attachment to the Apostolic See. I am personally grateful to you for everything, especially your daily service, done in a commendable way; and on this occasion I intend to renew my esteem for the spirit that animates it. The constant cooperation with the Vatican Gendarmerie makes it even more effective and meritorious.

Dear friends, the pleasure of finding ourselves in this almost familiar meeting translates on my part into prayer and hope. At the beginning of the year, I entrust to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary the intentions that you carry in your heart, so that the Lord may bless your every activity and your whole life, the ideals, the resolutions, the aspirations. May Our Lady especially protect your children and your elders, and help your loved ones who live in difficult times.

I renew my hope that your daily commitment, sometimes not without risks, will always be animated by the flame of faith, hope and charity. A humble, simple but genuine flame.

Bring my best wishes also to your family members at home. For all I invoke prosperity, harmony and peace from the Lord. I bless you all and your work; and I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you!
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Saint February 8 : St. Jerome Emiliani the Patron of Orphans and Founder of the Order of Somascha


FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF SOMASCHA
Born
1481, Venice Died:
8 February 1537, Somasca
Canonized:
1767 by Pope Clement XIII
Patron of:
orphans
Founder of the Order of Somascha; b. at Venice, 1481; d. at Somascha, 8 Feb., 1537; feast, 20 July; son of Angelo Emiliani (popularly called Miani) and of Eleonore Mauroceni, joined the army, and in 1508 defended Castelnuovo against the League of Cambray. Taken prisoner and miraculously liberated, he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Treviso, in fulfillment of a vow. He was then appointed podestà of Castelnuovo, but after a short time returned to Venice to supervise the education of his nephews. All his spare time was devoted to the study of theology and to works of charity. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1518, the hospitals and the hovels of the poor were his favourite resorts. In the year of plague and famine (1528), he seemed to be everywhere, and showed his zeal especially for the orphans, whose number had so greatly increased. He rented a house for them near the church of St. Rose and, with the assistance of some pious laymen, ministered to their wants. To his charge was also committed the hospital for incurables, founded by St. Cajetan. In 1531 he went to Verona and induced the citizens to build a hospital; at Brescia he erected an orphanage, at Bergamo one for boys and another for girls. Here also he founded the first home for fallen women who wished to do penance. Two priests, Alessandro Besuzio and Agostino Bariso, now joined him in his labours of charity, and in 1532 Jerome founded a religious society, placing the motherhouse at Somascha, a secluded hamlet between Milan and Bergamo. In the rule, Jerome puts down as the principal work of the community the care of orphans, poor, and sick, and demands that dwellings, food and clothing shall bear the mark of religious poverty. Jerome fell a martyr to his zeal; contracting a disease at Bergamo, he died at Somascha. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1747, and canonized by Clement XIII in 1767. The Office and Mass in his honour were approved eight years later. His biography was first written by Scipio Albani (1600); another by Andreas Stella (1605). The best was written by Aug. Tortora (Milan, 1620; in "Acta SS.", Feb., II, 217 sq.).
After the death of Jerome his community was about to disband, but was kept together by Gambarana, who had been chosen superior. He obtained the approval (1540) of Paul III. In 1547 the members vainly sought affiliation with the Society of Jesus; then in 1547-1555 they were united with the Theatines. Pius IV (1563) approved the institution, and St. Pius V raised it to the dignity of a religious order, according to the Rule of St. Augustine, with solemn vows, the privileges of the mendicants, and exemption. In 1569 the first six members made their profession, and Gambarana was made first superior general. Great favour was shown to the order by St. Charles Borromeo, and he gave it the church of St. Mayeul at Pavia, from which church the order takes its official name "Clerici regulares S. Majoli Papiae congregationis Somaschae". Later the education of youth was put into the programme of the order, and the colleges at Rome and Pavia became renowned. It spread into Austria and Switzerland, and before the great Revolution it had 119 houses in the four provinces of Rome, Lombardy, Venice, and France. At present the order has ten houses in Italy two of which are in Rome. The general resides in Rome at S. Girolamo della Carita.

(Taken frrom Catholic Encyclopedia) 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, February 8, 2020 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 328 Reading 11 KGS 3:4-13
Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice there,
because that was the most renowned high place.
Upon its altar Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings.
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Solomon answered:
“You have shown great favor to your servant, my father David,
because he behaved faithfully toward you,
with justice and an upright heart;
and you have continued this great favor toward him, even today,
seating a son of his on his throne.
O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant,
king to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this–
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right–
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.
In addition, I give you what you have not asked for,
such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like.”

Responsorial Psalm119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12b)  Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.