Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Saint March 25 : The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Angel Gabriel that Jesus would be her Son


 


The fact of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is related in Luke 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused (i.e. married) to Joseph, of the same royal family. She had, however, not yet entered the household of her spouse, but was still in her mother's house, working, perhaps, over her dowry. (Bardenhewer, Maria Verk., 69). And the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: "Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favoured one), the Lord is with thee." Mary having heard the greeting words did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the cause of his coming, nor the meaning of the salutation. And the angel continued and said: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." The Virgin understood that there was question of the coming Redeemer. But, why should she be elected from amongst women for the splendid dignity of being the mother of the Messiah, having vowed her virginity to God? (St. Augustine). Therefore, not doubting the word of God like Zachary, but filled with fear and astonishment, she said: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?"

The angel to remove Mary's anxiety and to assure her that her virginity would be spared, answered: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." In token of the truth of his word he made known to her the conception of St. John, the miraculous pregnancy of her relative now old and sterile: "And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth; she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God." Mary may not yet have fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity might be reconciled with her vow of virginity, but clinging to the first words of the angel and trusting to the Omnipotence of God she said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word."
Since 1889 Holzmann and many Protestant writers have tried to show that the verses Luke 1:34-35, containing the message of conception through the Holy Ghost are interpolated. Usener derives the origin of the "myth" from the heathen hero worship; but Harnack tries to prove that it is of Judaic origin (Isaiah 7:14, Behold a Virgin shall conceive, etc.). Bardenhewer, however, has fully established the authenticity of the text (p. 13). St. Luke may have taken his knowledge of the event from an older account, written in Aramaic or Hebrew. The words: "Blessed art thou among women" (v. 28), are spurious and taken from verse 42, the account of the Visitation. Cardinal Cajetan wanted to understand the words: "because I know not man", not of the future, but only of the past: up to this hour I do not know man. This manifest error, which contradicts the words of the text, has been universally rejected by all Catholic authors. The opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation was an aged widower and Mary twelve or fifteen years of age, is founded only upon apocryphal documents. The local tradition of Nazareth pretends that the angel met Mary and greeted her at the fountain, and when she fled from him in fear, he followed her into the house and there continued his message. (Buhl, Geogr. v. Palaest., 1896.) The year and day of the Annunciation cannot be determined as long as new material does not throw more light on the subject. The present date of the feast (25 March) depends upon the date of the older feast of Christmas.
The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of the historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God, St. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia 

RIP Fr Giuseppe the Catholic Priest who Died of Coronavirus when he offered his Respirator to a Younger Person


Fr Giuseppe Berardelli, who died on the field as a priest, and gave up his respirator to give it to a younger person

Fr. Giuseppe had been priest of Casnigo for almost fourteen years and would have concluded his mission in Casnigo. He life ended early, in a hospital in Lovere, hit by the coronavirus. Already last year he had had health problems. His perennial smile, his availability, but also his activism in the realization of important and expensive works, that smile hid the worries. “He was a simple, straightforward person, with a great kindness and helpfulness towards everyone, believers and non-believers. His greeting was 'peace and good'. Always friendly and available to the public administration, associations and not only those of the parish, he participated in all the events without ever being intrusive. The party of the conscripts of '47 never failed. Even for the funeral watches, he asked his relatives first if his presence was appreciated, to say the discretion he had. He was loved by everyone, his former parishioners still came from Fiorano after years to find him. But he also had an incredible ability to solve economic problems, to knock on the right doors for help.

"And I am deeply moved by the fact that the  Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli - to whom the parish community had bought a respirator - asked to assign it to someone younger than him": the words are from a Healthcare Worker of the San Giuseppe di Casnigo Rest Home. Yes, Fr Giuseppe had given up on the respirator, even if he needed it, and this is perhaps the best photograph of the soul of a priest who in the years spent in Val Seriana had conquered everyone: “He was a priest who listened to everyone, he knew how to listen, whoever turned to him knew that he could count on his help ..."
The priest of Casnigo Fr/ Giuseppe Berardelli was 72 years old. Born on August 21, 1947, he was originally from Fonteno. Ordained priest on June 30, 1973, his first assignment had been coadjutor in the parish of San Giuseppe in the upper town, then in Calolzio from 1976 to 1984. He later became parish priest of Gaverina and from 1993 parish priest of Fiorano al Serio. In 2006 he was appointed archpriest of Casnigo. He had had health problems but he fought with his usual smile and that determination to those who rely on God. He died at the Lovere hospital. No funeral but the people of Caserta greeted him in their own way, at noon on Monday 16 March they looked out onto the balcony of their home and greeted him with applause.
Source: https://www.bergamonews.it/2020/03/24/addio-a-don-giuseppe-di-casnigo-gli-avevano-donato-un-respiratore-lha-lasciato-ad-altri/362189/

5 Powerful Prayers against Evil by Late Exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth to Help you in Life


Father Gabriele Amorth the Chief Exorcist from the Diocese of Rome  died at the age of 91. He performed thousands of Exorcisms.
In one of his books he revealed the secret to being free from the Devil.
It is really not something one says but rather keeping oneself free from sin and striving to live a Holy life. He noted in particular that Regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist are most important. The following prayers were recommended by Fr. Gabriele these prayers should be said together with the Our Father Prayer and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
 Prayers of Deliverance
 1. Prayer Against Malefice from the Greek Ritual
Kyrie eleison. God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and All-mighty, You Who made everything and Who transform everything simply by Your will. You Who in Babylon changed into dew the flames of the ‘seven-times hotter’ furnace and protected and saved the three holy children. You are the doctor and the physician of our soul. You are the salvation of those who turn to You. We beseech You to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power, presence, and machination; every evil influence, malefice, or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against Your servant [name of person/s]. Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory, and charity. O Lord, You Who love man, we beg You to reach out Your powerful hands and Your most high and mighty arms and send the angel of peace over us, to protect us, body and soul. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against us by corrupt and envious people. Then, under the protection of Your authority may we sing, in gratitude, ‘The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear? I will not fear evil because You are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages.” Yes, Lord our God, be merciful to us, Your image, and save your servant [name of person/s] from every threat or harm from the evil one, and protect him/her by raising him/her above all evil. We ask You this through the intercession of our Most Blessed, glorious Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the most splendid archangels and all Your saints. Amen!
 2. Anima Christi Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from the side of Christ, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; within Thy wounds, hide me; let me never be separated from Thee; from the evil one, deliver me; at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to Thee, that with Thy saints, I may praise Thee forever and ever. Amen.
 3. Prayer Against Every Evil Spirit of our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Virgin Mary, angels, archangels, and saints of heaven, descend upon me. Please purify me, Lord, mold me, fill me with yourself, use me. Banish all the forces of evil from me, destroy them, vanish them, so that I can be healthy and do good deeds. Banish from me all spells, witchcraft, black magic, malefice, ties, maledictions, and the evil eye; diabolic infestations, oppressions, possessions; all that is evil and sinful, jealously, perfidy, envy; physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, diabolical aliments. Burn all these evils in hell, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world. I command and bid all the power who molest me – by the power of God all powerful, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary – to leave me forever, and to be consigned into the everlasting hell, where they will be bound by Saint Michael the archangel, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, our guardian angels, and where they will be crushed under the heel of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.
 4. Prayer for Inner Healing Lord Jesus, You came to heal our wounded and troubled hearts. I beg You to heal the torments that cause anxiety in my heart; I beg You, in a particular way, to heal all who are the cause of sin. I beg You to come into my life and heal me of the psychological harms that struck me in my early years and from the injuries that they caused through my life. Lord Jesus, You know my burdens. I lay them all on Your Good Shepherd’s Heart. I beseech You – by the merits of the great, open wound in Your heart-to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal the pain of my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety. Heal, O Lord, all those wounds that have been the cause of all the evil that is rooted in my life. I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You Who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my own heart. Heal, my Lord Jesus, those intimate wounds that cause me physical illness. I offer You my heart. Accept it, Lord, purify it and give me the sentiments of Your Divine Heart. Help me to be meek and humble. Heal me, O Lord, from the pain caused by the death of my loved ones, which is oppressing me. Grant me to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that You are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to Your Resurrection, Your victory over sin and death, Your living presence among us. Amen.
 5. Prayer for Deliverance My Lord, you are all powerful, you are God, you are Father. We beg you through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of Heaven, come to our aid. From anxiety, sadness and obsessions, we beg You. Free us, O Lord. From hatred, fornication, envy, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every thought of suicide and abortion, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every sort of spell, malefic, witchcraft, and every form of the occult, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, My peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy your peace always. In the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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Pope Francis at Mass says of Medical Personnel “I thank God for their heroic example” and Prays for their Families


Pope at Mass: “I thank God for their heroic example”
Medical personnel who have given their lives caring for coronavirus patients receive the Pope’s admiration during Mass on Tuesday at the Casa Santa Marta.
By Vatican News

Pope Francis began his Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning with these words:

“I received the news that in these days, a number of doctors and priests have died, I don't know if there were a few nurses. They were infected…because they were serving the sick. Let’s pray for them, for their families. I thank God for the example of heroism they give us in caring for the sick.”

He then reflected on the theme of water suggested by the readings of the fourth Tuesday of Lent (Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; John 5 1-16).

Water heals
Pope Francis began his homily saying that the day’s readings present water as a sign and means of salvation. This water brings life, and heals the “waters of the sea”, making it “new water”.

It is beside a pool of water that Jesus encounters a paralyzed man. He’d been waiting beside that water to be healed for 38 years. Pope Francis then delved into the incongruity of a man who waited that long without doing anything to help himself.

 “It makes us think. It's a bit long, isn't it? Because someone who wants to be healed would have organized things so that someone would help him….”

The paralysis of apathy
His response also makes us wonder. “He doesn't say ‘Yes”; he complains. About the illness? No.” the Pope said. Neither do we see him jumping for joy or “telling the whole world” as others did after they were healed. He doesn’t even thank Jesus when they meet up again in the Temple. Rather, he goes off to inform the authorities. What’s wrong with this man?

“His heart was sick. His soul was sick. He was ailing from pessimism…from sadness…from apathy (acedia). This is the man’s sickness. ‘Yes, I want to live’, and he just stayed there. Is his response: ‘Yes, I would like to be healed’? No, it’s ‘it's always the others that get there first’. It's always the others. The response to Jesus’s offer of healing is complaining about the others…for 38 years…doing nothing to be healed”.

Surviving not living
The Pope went on to describe this as a “sin of surviving and complaining about others’ lives”. It inhibits this man from “making any decisions for his own life”. “ ‘I'm a victim of this life’. These type of people breathe by complaining,” the Pope remarked. We do not see the “joy and decisiveness” that the man blind from birth had after being healed. “Many of us Christians live in this state of apathy”, the Pope said.

“They are incapable of doing a lot but they complain about everything. Apathy is poison. It’s a fog that surrounds the soul that doesn’t allow it to live. It's also a drug because if you taste it often, you like it. You end up addicted to sadness, addicted to apathy…. This is a fairly habitual sin among us. Sadness, apathy…. I’m not going to say melancholy, but it's very similar…. It is a gray life, gray because of this bad spirit of apathy, sadness, melancholy”.

The waters of Baptism makes us new
Pope Francis concluded his homily encouraging us to reread the 5th chapter of John.

“Let's think of water, that water that is the symbol of our strength, of our life – the water that Jesus used to regenerate us in Baptism. Let’s also think about ourselves – if there is the danger that one of us might slip into this apathy, into this “neutral” sin – neither black nor white…. This is a sin that the devil can use to drown our spiritual life and our personal life. May the Lord help us understand how awful and evil this sin is.”
FULL TEXT+ Image Source: VaticanNews.va