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Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Saint April 15 : St. Hunna of Strasbourg who would Wash the clothing of the Poor and the Patron of Laundry and Maids
Posted by Jacob Today, April 15 marks the feast day of a lesser known saint, but one no less important. (She is so "lesser known" that no definitive portraits or pictures were able to be found of her-- therefore, the posted pictures are simple images representing her holy life, but do not necessarily depict the saint herself). Saint Hunna (born, unknown; died 679) is remembered for her love of and service to those less fortunate than herself, despite prevailing prejudice. Hunna’s actions, at a time when the class system was firmly entrenched, created difficulties for herself in her daily life, and embarrassment for her noble husband. Yet, she did not shy away from her service to the poor, as she understood it to be her duty as a Christian.
Saint Hunna was born into a privileged life, the daughter of a duke in Alsace. She matured and married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman, and together they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France). Together, they produced one son, Saint Deodatus, who eventually became a monk (and then a saint!). Saint Hunna was devoted to the Lord, raising her son with constant teaching, and living the virtues of the faith. She spent her days caring for her home and estate, and in prayer, while her husband traveled on diplomatic and political missions.
But this didn’t seem to be enough for Saint Hunna. In her prayer, she felt called to do more, to serve others. By the Lord, her eyes were opened to the poverty and general squalor that the peasants and servants lived in… and she felt moved to assist. Hunna began making daily trips from the estate into the local villages and fields, visiting her poor neighbors, offering them religious instruction, and working for them. At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing, and then spend the better part of each day washing and scrubbing the clothing clean. When the clothing was too dirty, or too threadbare to mend, she would replace it with a new article.
As time went on, her washing service expanded to any task that her neighbors needed help with—cooking, cleaning, childcare, even more demanding physical labor. She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene. Saint Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.
Saint Hunna demonstrates to us great selflessness, borne out of love for the Lord. She willingly left her life of privilege on a daily basis, eventually being shunned by those of her class and station, to intercede in the lives of those who had no one to care for them. She treated the poor, the sick, the forgotten as equals to herself, offering them basic human respect, love, and charity. Saint Hunna welcomed all into her life as the family of God. The life of Saint Hunna provides a gentle reminder of our own hesitancy to venture beyond our comfortable lives, to actively engage in community service to those in need. We are mindful of the fact that we are called to service and social justice, and that embarking on that mission may be difficult or even painful. We look to Saint Hunna as inspiration—inspiration to embody the love of Christ, and to share that love with others in service. Shared from 365 Rosaries
RIP Bishop Camillo Ballin - Death of the Beloved Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia who was a Great Missionary
ASIA/BAHRAIN - Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, Bishop Camillo Ballin passes away, missionary in the lands of Islam
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "Beloved Bishop Camillo Ballin passed away in Rome". This is how the Bahraini media reported the death of Combonian Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar of northern Arabia, who died of cancer at almost 76 years of age on April 12, Easter Sunday, in the Roman hospital where he was hospitalized.
Camillo Ballin had dedicated his life as a missionary and then as a bishop at the service of the Christian communities present in Arab countries with a Muslim majority. Born in Fontaniva (province of Padua, diocese of Vicenza) on June 24, 1944, he entered the Seminary in Vicenza first and then, in 1963, he entered the novitiate of the Religious Institute of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ) founded by San Daniele Comboni, where he made his perpetual profession on 9 September 1968. On 30 March 1969 he received his priestly ordination. After his ordination, in 1970, he learned Arabic in Lebanon and Syria, and from 1971 to 1977 started his priestly apostolate in the Latin parish of St Joseph in Zamalek, Cairo and was then appointed parish priest. From 1977 to 1980 he moved to Lebanon and then to Rome for study reasons, obtaining a licentiate in Eastern liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. From 1981 to 1990, he was a professor at the Institute of Theology in Cairo and Delegation Superior and Provincial Superior of his religious congregation in Egypt. In 1990, he was assigned to the province of Sudan where he opened a Training Institute for the Formation of Religion Teachers in schools (1990-1997).
From 1997 till 2000, he was in Rome for his doctorate on the Church history of Sudan especially in the Mahdiyyah time (1881-1898 - during that period, the practice of any other religion, except the Mahdist Islam, was strictly forbidden) His research was on how Christians and Jews lived in those years of persecution.
Since 2000, he has been director of the Dar Comboni Center of Arab and Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt and professor of Church History in the Inter-Rite Major Seminary.
July 14, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Ballin as the Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, with the episcopal title of the seat of Arna. On September 2, 2005, in the cathedral of Kuwait City dedicated to the Holy Family, Ballin was consecrated bishop by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, at that time Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. Then, on May 31, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the first Apostolic Vicar of northern Arabia. He oversaw the territories of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
In the last fifteen years, Bishop Ballin had served with apostolic realism and perspicacity the many communities of baptized Catholics - two and a half million, of whom one and a half million in Saudi Arabia, without churches - who arrived in his Apostolic Vicariate following the flows of immigration for work and from dozens of different countries, starting with India and the Philippines. A multilingual and multicolored Christianity, which increased without the contribution of any missionary strategy of evangelization, born from vital and concrete interests that pushed millions of people to leave their homelands and look for a decent salary. The effect - unexpected and not sought - is that in the Arabian Peninsula there have never been as many Christians as now (after the centuries of hiding following the first, exciting missionary progression, carried out by the ancient Church of the East, of Nestorian ancestry).
The Venetian Ballin had obtained the Bahrain passport to be able to travel freely in all the territories of the Vicariate. When he felt ill, more than a month ago, he was in Saudi Arabia, and from there he was taken to Rome.
In his public speeches, even answering questions that aimed to emphasize oppositions between Christianity and Islam, Bishop Ballin recognized that in the countries included in the Vicariate entrusted to him "there are no ongoing persecutions", he reported that he had never tried to convert an Islamist to Christianity, and he remembered that even in those lands mission consists "in imitating Jesus".
The intensity of the gaze of faith with which he looked at the events of Christians of the Arabian Peninsula had also surfaced in the words entrusted to him by Agenzia Fides (see Fides, 5/3/2016) on the occasion of the martyrdom of the four Missionary Sisters of Charity slaughtered on March 4, 2016 in Yemen by the command of terrorists who attacked a nursing home in the city of Aden that day, slaughtering 12 other people together with the religious women.
On that occasion, Bishop Ballin had looked at the massacre in Yemen in the light of the martyrdom experience that accompanies the whole history of the Church in its walk in history. "The closer the Church is to Jesus - the Apostolic Vicar of northern Arabia told Fides - the more closely she shares in his passion”. The massacre by a group of armed men committed inside a Home for elderly and disabled persons entrusted to the care of the Sisters of Mother Teresa is “a sign that the Congregation is very close to Jesus Christ, because the nearer a person comes to Jesus Christ the more they come close to his cross. No Christian who is far from Christ will never be touched by persecution, whereas the Christian who comes close to Christ becomes involved in his passion and death and will be close to him in the glory of his victory". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 14/4/2020)
As we prepare to celebrate Easter 2020, finally the world is united. We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and if we or our family members will survive this terrible moment.
We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to turn as science, our governments and the knowledge we have developed to this point in history offer us no solutions.
The pandemic is making the suffering of vulnerable people – migrants and refugees, the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed – even deeper. We urge our governments to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable. We pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility in all of our countries.
At this point in history, this turning point which is throwing our lives and societies into chaos, can each of us have the honesty and courage to say “I alone do not have the answer”? Can our governments admit that many of them got it wrong when they didn’t allow everyone to belong to the human family in a dignified way? Can our societies put aside economic concerns and show that they care for everyone without exception?
In the midst of loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening: we are noticing the bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.
It is as though the stone that covers the tomb is slowly being rolled back to allow a light of recognition. This light heralds Easter and the Risen Christ.
Meanwhile, changes that would have been unthinkable three months ago are actually happening: air quality has improved in a number of countries and warring parties in some others have called ceasefires. These may be temporary, but they remind us that seemingly irresolvable human problems aren’t eternal. We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final say when you make space for hope.
Caritas organisations are facing this global emergency as one confederation and by working in unity, sharing what they have learned with other countries and offering a helping hand to each other. One by one, Caritas organisations around the world have activated to warn, prevent and take care of those affected by the Coronavirus.
My deepest thanks go to Caritas workers and volunteers and all those who are by the side of people who have fallen sick or who are vulnerable and isolated in the midst of this crisis. I feel immense gratitude towards all those who trustingly open their hearts and give themselves fully to bring the lights of love and hope into people’s lives at this dark time. Caritas staff and volunteers and their families are in my prayers as our communities face this enormous challenge.
“Caritas christi urget nos” – the love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14). This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. COVID-19 knows no borders but neither do faith, hope and love.
The answer to this crisis lies in all of us and in our unity. As people around the world face Easter without the possibility of physical communion, without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together, we have a time of slow down where we can reflect deeply on what “Body of Christ” means for each of us. In the darkness of this crisis, the light of Christ will shine. Jesus is truly risen! He will not die again. May Jesus rise for people around the world through our love!
Let us pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge that is facing the whole of humanity and which is calling us to faith and to resurrection.
I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.
Yours in Christ,
Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle
Full Text Source - https://www.caritas.org/
The Easter Vigil is the "Mother of All Vigils."Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times.Easter is the celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost.It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian:Alleluia! (IMAGE SHARE GOOGLE)
All faith flows from faith in the resurrection:"If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith." (1 Cor 15:14)
"What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind;…So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one (1 Cor 15:36-37, 42-49)..
Easter culminates in Pentecost, wherein the gift of the Spirit brings Christ's victory to the members of his Body, the Church.With the gift of the Spirit, we begin, already now, to share in Christ's rising from the dead.It is this faith which brings peace and hope to troubled hearts in a troubled world.The faith of Easter does not mean there will no longer be evils in this world, but rather that the evils of this world are no longer the final word.Suffering has not been removed, but filled with the presence of the Lord, who inspires hope, endurance and above all, love.
The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday.It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day.In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.
The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East."The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world.The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ.It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time, and lit for all liturgical celebrations.
Liturgical Notes for Easter
From Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:
At Easter Tuesday Mass, Pope Francis Prays for " the grace of unity among us. May the difficulties of this time make us discover the communion between us." Full Video/Text
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The grace of loyalty"
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Let us pray that the Lord will give us the grace of unity among us. May the difficulties of this time make us discover the communion between us, the unity that is always superior to any division.
Peter's preaching, on the day of Pentecost, pierces the hearts of the people: "What you crucified is risen" (cf. Acts 2:36). "Upon hearing these things they felt their heart pierced and said to Peter and the other apostles: 'What should we do?'" (Acts 2.37). And Peter is clear: “Get converted. Repent. Change life. You who have received the promise of God and you who have strayed from the Law of God, from so many things of yours, among idols, so many things ... get converted. Return to fidelity "(cf. Acts 2.38). Converting is this: returning to being faithful. Loyalty, that human attitude that is not so common in people's lives, in our lives. There are always illusions that attract attention and many times we want to go behind these illusions. Loyalty: in good times and in bad times. There is a passage from the Second Book of Chronicles that affects me so much. It is in chapter XII, at the beginning. "When the kingdom was consolidated - he says - King Reboam felt safe and moved away from the law of the Lord and all Israel followed him" (cf. 2 Chron. 12.1). So says the Bible. It is a historical fact, but it is a universal fact. Many times, when we feel secure, we begin to make our plans and slowly move away from the Lord; we do not remain in loyalty. And my security is not what the Lord gives me. He is an idol. This is what happened to Rehoboam and the people of Israel. He felt safe - consolidated kingdom - he moved away from the law and began to worship idols. Yes, we can say, "Father, I don't kneel before idols." No, maybe you don't get on your knees, but that you look for them and many times in your heart you love idols, it's true. A lot of times. Your security opens the door to idols.
But is your security bad? No, it's a grace. Be sure, but also be sure that the Lord is with me. But when there is security and I at the center, I move away from the Lord, like King Reboam, I become unfaithful. It is so difficult to maintain loyalty. The whole history of Israel, and then the whole history of the Church, is full of infidelity. Full. Full of selfishness, of its own certainties that make the people of God turn away from the Lord, lose that fidelity, the grace of faithfulness. And even among us, among people, loyalty is not a cheap virtue, certainly. One is not faithful to the other, to the other ... "Be converted, return to fidelity to the Lord" (cf. Acts 2.38).
And in the Gospel, the icon of faithfulness: that faithful woman who had never forgotten all that the Lord had done for her. He was there, faithful, before the impossible, before the tragedy, a faithfulness that also makes her think that she is capable of carrying the body ... (cf. Jn 20:15). A weak but faithful woman. The icon of fidelity of this Mary of Magdala, apostle of the apostles.
Today we ask the Lord for the grace of faithfulness: to thank when He gives us certainties, but never to think that they are "my" certainties and always, to look beyond one's own certainties; the grace of being faithful even before the graves, before the collapse of many illusions. Loyalty, which always remains, but it is not easy to maintain it. That it is He, the Lord to guard it.
Prayer for spiritual communion:
At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. Amen.