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Thursday, April 30, 2020
SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND FOSTER FATHER OF JESUS
Feast: MAY 1Died:
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The glorious St. Joseph was lineally descended from the greatest kings of the tribe of Judah, and from the most illustrious of the ancient patriarchs; but his true glory consisted in his humility and virtue. The history of his life hath not been written by men; but his principal actions are recorded by the Holy Ghost himself God entrusted him with the education of his divine Son, manifested in the flesh. In this view he was espoused to the Virgin Mary. It is an evident mistake of some writers, that by a former wife he was the father of St. James the Less, and of the rest who are styled in the gospels the brothers of our Lord; for these were only cousin-germans to Christ, the sons of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin, wife of Alphaeus, who was living at the time of our Redeemer's crucifixion. St. Jerome assures us1 that St. Joseph always preserved his virgin chastity; and it is of faith that nothing contrary thereto ever took place with regard to his chaste spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was given her by heaven to be the protector of her chastity, to secure her from calumnies in the birth of the Son of God, and to assist her in his education, and in her journeys, fatigues, and persecutions. How great was the purity and sanctity of him who was chosen the guardian of the most spotless Virgin! This holy man seems, for a considerable time, to have been unacquainted that the great mystery of the Incarnation had been wrought in her by the Holy Ghost. Conscious, therefore, of his own chaste behaviour towards her, it could, not but raise a great concern in his breast to find that, notwithstanding the sanctity of her deportment, yet he might be well assured that she was with child. But being <a just man>, as the scripture calls him, and consequently possessed of all virtues, especially of charity and mildness towards his neighbour, he was determined to leave her privately, without either condemning or accusing her, committing the whole cause to God. These, his perfect dispositions, were so acceptable to God, the lover of justice, charity, and peace, that before he put his design into execution he sent an angel from heaven, not to reprehend anything in his holy conduct, but to dissipate all his doubts and fears, by revealing to him this adorable mystery. How happy should we be if we were as tender in all that regards the reputation of our neighbor; as free from entertaining any injurious thought or suspicion, whatever certainty our conjectures or our senses may seem to rely on; and as guarded in our tongue! We commit these faults only because in our hearts we are devoid of that true charity and simplicity, whereof St. Joseph sets us so eminent an example on this occasion.
SEE ALSO: 10 Amazing St. Joseph Facts to Share that you might not Know!
Free Easy Recipe St. Joseph's Cream Puffs
In the next place we may admire in secret contemplation with what devotion, respect, and tenderness he beheld and adored the first of all men, the new-born Saviour of the world, and with what fidelity he acquitted himself of his double charge, the education of Jesus and the guardianship of his blessed mother. "He was truly the faithful and prudent servant," says St. Bernard,2 "whom our Lord appointed the master of his household, the comfort and support of his mother, his foster-father, and most faithful co-operator in the execution of his deepest counsels on earth." "What a happiness," says the same Father, "not only to see Jesus Christ, but also to hear him: to carry him in his arms, to lead him from place to place, to embrace and caress him, to feed him, and to be privy to all the great secrets which were concealed from the princes of this world!"
"O astonishing elevation! O unparalleled dignity!" cries out the pious Gerson,3 in a devout address to St. Joseph, "that the mother of God, queen of heaven, should call you her lord; that God himself, made man, should call you father, and obey your commands. O glorious Triad on earth, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, how dear a family to the glorious Trinity in heaven, Father, Son,, and Holy Ghost! Nothing is on earth so great, so good, so excellent." Amidst these extraordinary graces, what more wonderful than his humility! He conceals his privileges, lives as the most obscure of men, publishes nothing of God's great mysteries, makes no further inquiries into them, leaving it to God to manifest them at his own time, seeks to fulfil the order of providence in his regard without interfering with anything but what concerns himself. Though descended from the royal family which had long been in the possession of the throne of Judea, he is content with his condition, that of a mechanic or handicraftsman, and makes it his business, by labouring in it, to maintain himself, his spouse, and the divine Child.
We should be ungrateful to this great saint if we did not remember that it is to him, as the instrument under God, that we are indebted for the preservation of the infant Jesus from Herod's jealousy and malice, manifested in the slaughter of the Innocents. An angel appearing to him in his sleep bade him arise, take the child Jesus, and fly with him into Egypt, and remain there till he should again have notice from him to return. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey, with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses, nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all his servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation.4 "Joseph," says he, "is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear; he rejoices at the child's birth, but a great fear succeeds; the furious king seeks to destroy the child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away his life. This is followed by another joy- the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises; he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance." It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled, and in many places fell to the ground, according to that of Isaiah xix.: <And the statues of the Egyptians shall be shaken in his presence.> The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages most fruitful in saints.
After the death of King Herod, which was notified to St. Joseph by a vision, God ordered him to return with the child and his mother into the land of Israel, which our saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus succeeded Herod in that part of the country, apprehensive he might be infected with his father's vices- cruelty and ambition-he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done, for the more commodious education of the child. And therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of his brother Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth, where the wonderful occurrences of our Lord's birth were less known. St. Joseph being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the passover. Archelaus being banished by Augustus and Judea made a Roman province, he had now nothing more to fear at Jerusalem. Our Saviour being advanced to the twelfth year of his age, accompanied his parents thither; who, having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast, were now returning with many of their neighbours and acquaintances towards Galilee, and, never doubting but that Jesus had joined himself with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day's journey without further inquiry after him before they discovered that he was not with them. But when night came on, and they could hear no tidings of him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem; where, after an anxious search of three days, they found him in the temple, sitting among the learned doctors of the law, hearing them discourse, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of his understanding: nor were his parents less surprised on this occasion. And when his mother told him with what grief and earnestness they had sought him, and to express her sorrow for that, though short, privation of his presence, said to him, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I sought thee in great affliction of mind": she received for answer that, being the Messias and Son of God, sent by his Father into the world in order to redeem it, he must be about his Father's business, the same for which he had been sent into the world; and therefore that it was most likely for them to find him in his Father's house: intimating that his appearing in public on this occasion was to advance his Father's honour, and to prepare the princes of the Jews to receive him for the Messias; pointing out to them from the prophets the time of his coming. But though in thus staying in the temple, unknown to his parents, he did something without their leave, in obedience to his heavenly Father, yet in all other things he was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them.
Aelred, our countryman, Abbot of Rieval, in his sermon on losing the child Jesus in the temple, observes that this his conduct to his parents is a true representation of that which he shows us, whilst he often withdraws himself for a short time from us to make us seek him the more earnestly. He thus describes the sentiments of his holy parents on this occasion."5 Let us consider what was the happiness of that blessed company, in the way to Jerusalem, to whom it was granted to behold his face, to hear his sweet words, to see in him the signs of divine lie wisdom and virtue; and in their mutual discourse to receive the influence of his saving truths and example. The old and young admire him. I believe boys of his age were struck with astonishment at the gravity of his manners and words. I believe such rays of grace darted from his blessed countenance as drew on him the eyes, ears, and hearts of every one. And what tears do they shed when he is not with them." He goes on considering what must be tie grief of his parents when they had lost him; what their sentiments, and how earnest their search: but what their joy when they found him again. "Discover to me," says he, "O my Lady, Mother of my God, what were your sentiments, what your astonishment and your joy when you saw him again, and sitting, not among boys, but amidst the doctors of the law: when you saw every one's eyes fixed on him, every one's ears listening to him, great and small, learned and unlearned, intent only on his words and motions. You now say: I have found him whom I love. I will hold him, and will no more let him part from me. Hold him, sweet Lady, hold him fast; rush on his neck dwell on his embraces, and compensate the three days' absence by multiplied delights in your present enjoyment of him. You tell him that you and his father sought him in grief. For what did you grieve? not for fear of hunger or want in him whom you knew to be God: but I believe you grieved to see yourself deprived of the delights of his presence even for a short time; for the Lord Jesus is so sweet to those who taste him, that his shortest absence is a subject of the greatest grief to them." This mystery is an emblem of the devout soul, and Jesus sometimes withdrawing himself, and leaving her in dryness, that she may be more earnest in seeking him. But, above all, how eagerly ought the soul which has lost God by sin to seek him again, and how bitterly ought she to deplore her extreme misfortune!
As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry. We cannot doubt but he had the happiness of Jesus and Mary attending at his death, praying by him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments: whence he is particularly invoked for the great grace of a happy death, and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that tremendous hour. The church reads the history of the Patriarch Joseph on his festival, who was styled the saviour of Egypt, which he delivered from perishing by famine; and was appointed the faithful master of the household of Potiphar, and of that of Pharaoh and his kingdom. But our great saint was chosen by God the saviour of the life of him who was the true Saviour of the souls of men, rescuing him from the tyranny of Herod. He is now glorified in heaven, as the guardian and keeper of his Lord on earth. As Pharaoh said to the Egyptians in their distress, "Go to Joseph"; so may we confidently address ourselves to the mediation of him, to whom God, made man, was subject and obedient on earth.
The devout Gerson expressed the warmest devotion to St. Joseph, which he endeavoured by letters and sermons to promote. He composed an office in his honour, and wrote his life in twelve poems, called Josephina. He enlarges on all the circumstances of his life by pious affections and meditations. St. Teresa chose him the chief patron of her order. In the sixth chapter of her life she writes thus: "I chose the glorious St. Joseph for my patron, and I commend myself in all things singularly to his intercession. I do not remember ever to have asked of God anything by him which I did not obtain. I never knew anyone who, by invoking him, did not advance exceedingly in virtue; for he assists in a wonderful manner all who address themselves to him." St. Francis of Sales, throughout his whole nineteenth entertainment, extremely recommends devotion to him, and extols his merits, principally his virginity, humility, constancy, and courage. The Syrians and other eastern churches celebrate his festival on the 20th of July; the western church on the 19th of March. Pope Gregory XV in 1621, and Urban VIII in 1642, commanded it to be kept a holiday of obligation.
The holy family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph presents to us the most perfect model of heavenly conversation on earth. How did those two seraphim, Mary and Joseph, live in their poor cottage! They always enjoyed the presence of Jesus, always burning with the most ardent love for him, inviolably attached to his sacred person, always employed and living only for him. What were their transports in beholding him, their devotion in listening to him, and their joy in possessing him! O heavenly life! O anticipation of the heavenly bliss! O divine conversation! We may imitate them, and share some degree of this advantage, by conversing often with Jesus, and by the contemplation of his most amiable goodness, kindling the fire of his holy love in our breasts. The effects of this love, if it be sincere, will necessarily appear in our putting on his spirit, and imitating his example and virtues; and in our studying to walk continually in the divine presence, finding God everywhere, and esteeming all the time lost which we do not spend with God, or for his honor.
Source: "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, 1864.
Source: "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, 1864.
#BreakingNews Death of Bishops and Priests in Russia among Orthodox causes Patriarch Kirill to Demand Obedience to Prevention Measures
Tragic death of bishops and priests. Patriarch Kirill demands obedience to prevention measures
by Vladimir Rozanskij
All the main hierarchical structures of the Russian Orthodox Church are grappling with “corona" problems: Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, many other large cities, the main monasteries, seminaries and theological academies. Priests who disobey the measures decided by the Church risk suspension or reduction to a lay state. A novice from Saint Sergius, who found himself positive for the virus, set himself on fire. President Vladimir Putin's confidence level drops to 28.3%.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - Cases of infection and deaths among high-ranking members of the Orthodox Church due to coronavirus are growing. This is why Patriarch Kirill (Gundjaev) has decided to call all the faithful, even with rather threatening tones, to assume their responsibilities.
The patriarchal committee issued a statement on the measures to be implemented in the coronavirus crisis. It calls on everyone to observe these measures "decided in the Church with the blessing of the Patriarch from the moment the threat of the epidemic appeared." In reality, everyone in the country criticizes patriarchy for its delays in reacting to the crisis.
The statement continues Kirill has initiated procedures to "ascertain the responsibilities of priests" who have disobeyed the prescriptions. This procedure can go as far as suspension or reduction to the lay state. In any case, "faithful" priests are recommended to ensure pastoral assistance in homes, with all necessary precautions.
Meanwhile, the tragic death of Russian priests continues: Archdeacon Damaskin , the first soloist of the choir of the Sretensky monastery in Moscow, has also died of coronavirus. A novice from the Lavra di St. Sergius monastery, Dmitry Pelinenko, killed himself by setting himself on fire after receiving the diagnosis of coronavirus infection and after escaping from the window of the hospital where he was hospitalized. The head of the secretariat of the patriarchate of Moscow and vicar of the patriarch, the bishop of Pavlovo Foma , was in turn hospitalized on April 27 for coronavirus. He had just been appointed new parish priest of the Epiphany patriarchal cathedral in Elokhovo, replacing Father Aleksandr Agejkin, who also died of the infection. The patriarchate, however, has denied the news, even if the cathedral remains closed for the faithful.
Other striking cases occur in the Urals: the Chelyabinsk metropolitan Grigorij (Petrov) contracted the virus along with a dozen priests, all serving in the local cathedral of San Simeone, where they had concelebrated the Easter vigil with the metropolitan. Also several relatives of the priests were hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms of a more or less serious nature. After hospitalization, the metropolitan decided to close the churches starting today 29 April.
All of the main hierarchical structures of the Russian Orthodox Church are grappling with the problems of the "corona", as it is simply called in Russia: the patriarchal administration, the cathedrals of Moscow, Kiev, Minsk and many other major cities, the major monasteries, seminaries and theological academies. News of the death of the bishop of Zheleznogorsk Venjamin (Korolev - see photo 3), which took place on Sunday 26 April, was also released. In short, the leadership of the patriarchal Church, together with the monks, have suffered the consequences of the pandemic, much more than the married priests in the parishes.
The inadequate responses to the coronavirus, on the other hand, do not only concern the Orthodox Church. According to Vitsom polls, President Vladimir Putin's level of confidence has never been lower, standing at 28.3% of the population. In the last twenty-four hours, the number of coronavirus infected people has reached 6411 cases in 83 of the 89 regions of the Russian Federation, with 72 deaths for a total of almost 900 in the last month.
Full Text Source: Asia NewsIT
Bishops of Canada Release Official Prayers to Join in Joint US Consecration to Mary on May 1st - FULL TEXT
CCCB Release: Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Church in time of pandemic,
Friday 1 May 2020 -
Resources available To assist dioceses and eparchies with preparations for the upcoming Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Church on Friday 1 May, 2020, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) prepared a ritual and a specific prayer to recite during the act of Consecration. Along with Bishops across the country, pastors, families, groups, individuals and other faith communities may likewise choose to join the consecration as part of the global effort to unite in faith and prayer in this most difficult time.
- As part of the resources developed for the 2017 Marian consecration of Canada, the CCCB developed a document entitled Consecrating Canada to the Blessed Virgin Mary Insights for Adult Catechesis, providing helpful answers to gain a deeper spiritual understanding of the nature and significance of a Marian consecration.
- As we approach the Marian month and in order to express love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father recently published a letter addressed to all faithful for the month of May. In this encouraging letter, and in light of the restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis invites everyone to pray the Rosary at home and offers two prayers to be recited at its conclusion.
The Litany of Loreto may also be useful to accompany prayers to the Blessed Mother.
Photo credit : « Magnificat » : Ref. : MA-41 © www.bradi-barth.orgCONSECRATION OF CANADA TO THE
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Press Release from CCCB
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Press Release from CCCB
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH,
IN TIME OF PANDEMIC
1 May 2020
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bishop: Peace be with you.1
All: And with your spirit.
Brothers and Sisters, in this time of pandemic marked by desolation and with worry about the future, let us
entrust our country2
to the care and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may benefit from her powerful
intercession as we join our prayers and efforts with her maternal mediation in Christ.
By imploring the incomparable help of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, we invoke her solicitude upon our
country and ask that she intercede with her Son Jesus to hear the prayers of her children who seek protection
from the ravages of the coronavirus, healing for those who are ill, wisdom and courage for those who assist the
sick and distressed, and eternal rest for those who have died.
During this month of May,3
which the Church particularly dedicates to the Mother of Christ, we are one in
consecrating ourselves and our loved ones to Mary most Holy, the humble Handmaid of the Lord and his most
perfect Disciple. We lift up in prayer and in recognition all those many women and men, clergy, religious and laity,
who tirelessly commit themselves to the care of others. The innumerable acts of deep human kindness as well
as authentic Christian charity which we witness across the globe are a source of great consolation for all. We are
reminded evermore of the need to believe and hope against all hope, and we are called to reach out to the needy,
the lonely and the dying, and so welcome the graces of divine consolation.
Let us pray.
O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross,
chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother,
to be our Mother also,
grant, we pray, that with her loving help
your Church may be more fruitful day by day
and, exulting in the holiness of her children,
may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Word of God John 19.25-27
@ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John.
Standing near the Cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary
Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,
“Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple
took her into his own home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. R. Amen. Rosary – Jesus is Crucified Recalling Jesus’ words as he hung on the cross – “Behold your mother” – we meditate on the fifth sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord. Our Father 4 10 Hail Marys Glory Be O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Prayer of Consecration
Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church,
in this time of pandemic, we turn our gaze to you, and in Christ consecrate to you the faithful of our Diocese/Eparchy 5 together with all the people of Canada. At the Annunciation,
fear gave way to trust as you embraced the mysterious and loving plan of God, who through his providence, care and concern brought about newness of life in you and through you.
Intercede, we pray, on our behalf as your children, Virgin most faithful.
Grant us faith, hope and perseverance, as we strive to serve and bear witness to all persons, responding to the needs of those affected by this virus.
Standing at the foot of the Cross at Calvary,
you united yourself with the sufferings of Christ and so uniquely contributed to the mystery of our redemption. We beseech you as Health of the sick, draw to yourself in maternal compassion the brothers and sisters of your Son Jesus and all those who are grieved by this pandemic.
Strengthen the dying and comfort those who weep so that all may experience the healing grace of Christ our Divine Physician.
At the Cenacle, after the Resurrection,
you accompanied the Apostles with prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In your maternal care as Consoler of the afflicted, accompany healthcare professionals, all who minister to the sick and those who seek a cure to end this pandemic, that the Holy Spirit may renew the face of the earth. To all of us, dearest Mary, Mother of all the living,
be present and show forth your tenderness, as we raise our eyes to you who shines forth before the entire community as a merciful and compassionate companion on our journey. Time and time again, with burdens weighing heavily on their hearts and in their many necessities, the Christian faithful have sought refuge under your mantle of protection.
Come quickly to our aid at this time, Mother of Mercy, and deliver us from the dangers that surround us in our hour of need; watch over especially the elderly, the weak and the infirm, our children and the unity of our families, and all those who give of themselves selflessly in pastoral care to those in need until in your arms and in your gentle embrace we all find safety and solace.
United as one Body in Christ, let us direct our prayer to our All-loving God, who wants us to honour Mary our
Mother; with her we, too, praise the Lord’s mighty deeds as he continues to lift up the lowly, remembering his
promise of mercy:
R. Look upon Mary and hear our prayer.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, who experienced the cares and hardships of earthly life, the
weariness of daily toil, the trials of poverty and the sorrows of Calvary, come to assist the needs of the Church, the
initial budding forth of your Kingdom on earth, and all of humankind. R.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, lend a gracious ear to the devout pleas of those who from across
the world implore her goodness for health, safety and peace, especially for our parishes, our domestic churches and
all our communities of faith. R.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, obtain the gifts of knowledge and wisdom for government
officials and medical professionals that a cure for the virus may be found, and for all who care for the sick, the
suffering and the dying, may she obtain from the Lord courage and benevolence. R.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, pray on our behalf and with us to the Lord of life and love,
who rules the winds and storms, to calm the tempests in our minds and hearts and grant us consolation, security
and peace in our day. R.
The Lord’s Prayer
As we conclude this consecration, we ask the blessing of Almighty God:
Bestow the grace of your kindness
upon your supplicant people, O Lord,
that, formed by you, their Creator,
and restored by you, their sustainer,
through your constant action they may be saved.
Through Christ our Lord.
Final Blessing Bishop/Priest/Deacon:
The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.
Regina caeli laetare, alleluia; Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia : Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia : Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For Christ, your Son and Son of God, alleluia, has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray to God for us, alleluia.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Press Release from CCCB
State House would like to clarity that His Excellency, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, has not directed churches to open. In his address to the nation on Friday, the President said; “I have decided that some activities such as the following may continue being undertaken normally subject to adhering to public health regulations, guidelines and certification:
Places of Worship may congregate while observing social distancing, mandafory face masks, hand sanitising, and hand washing.”
He, in the first place, did not close any Church but individual Churches opted to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even now, Churches are free to open or not to open their places of worship. Generally, in his speech, the President was giving hope in the midst of despair due to the Coronavirus.
Special Assistant To The President
Press And Public Relations
Press Release: Grand Magistry Announces Death of H.M.E.H. Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto
With profound regret the Grand Magistry announces the death of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and 80th Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, which took place in Rome a few minutes after midnight on 29th April, following an incurable disease diagnosed a few months ago. According to article 17 of the Constitution of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Grand Commander Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas has assumed the functions of Lieutenant ad interim and will remain head of the Sovereign Order until the election of the new Grand Master.
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto was born in Rome on 9 December 1944. He graduated in Literature and Philosophy from the Sapienza University of Rome, specializing in Christian archaeology and art history. He held academic positions in the Pontifical Urbaniana University, teaching classical Greek, and also served as chief librarian and archivist for the university’s important collections. He has published a range of academic articles and essays on aspects of mediaeval art history.
Admitted to the Sovereign Order in 1985 as Knight of Honour and Devotion, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto took his solemn vows in 1993. From 1994 to 1999 he was Grand Prior of Lombardy and Venice and from 1999 to 2004 a member of the Sovereign Council. He was elected Grand Commander at the Chapter General of 2004 and on the death of the 78th Grand Master, Fra’ Andrew Bertie, in February 2008 he became Lieutenant ad interim. From 2008 to 2017 Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre held the position of Grand Prior of Rome. Upon the resignation of the 79th Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the Council Complete of State of 29 April 2017 elected him Lieutenant of the Grand Master for a year. In the subsequent Council Complete of State of 2 May 2018 he was elected 80th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
A man of great spirituality and human warmth, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto always personally assisted the disadvantaged, serving meals to rough sleepers in the Termini and Tiburtina railways stations in Rome. He participated in numerous Order of Malta international pilgrimages to Lourdes and national ones to Loreto and Assisi. He showed great joy in taking part in the Order’s international summer camps for young disabled people where he was greeted with great affection by the young volunteers and guests.
As Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre carried out numerous official and state journeys. Only last January he made a state visit to Benin and in July last to Cameroon. More recently, he travelled to Germany, Slovenia and Bulgaria for meetings with their respective authorities. During these journeys he always made a point of visiting the Order’s social-health facilities to greet personally both the staff and the patients.
A marked humanity and a profound dedication to charitable works have always inspired the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, who will be remembered by all who knew him for his human qualities and his cordial and affectionate manner.
Image Source: https://ordenconstantiniana.org/fra-giacomo-dalla-torre-del-tempio-di-sanguinetto-elected-the-80th-grand-master-of-the-sovereign-order-of-malta/?lang=en
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Without witness and prayer, apostolic preaching cannot be done"
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Let us pray today for the deceased, those who died from the pandemic; and also especially for the deceased - let's say - anonymous: we have seen the photos of the mass graves. Many…
"No one can come to me unless the Father draws him" ( Jn 6:44). Jesus recalls that even the prophets had foretold this: "And all will be instructed by God" ( Jn 6:45). It is God who attracts knowledge of the Son. Without this, one cannot know Jesus. Yes, one can study, even study the Bible, even know how he was born, what he did, this yes. But knowing it from within, knowing the mystery of Christ is only for those who are attracted by the Father to this.
This is what happened to this economy minister of the queen of Ethiopia. You can see that he was a pious man and that he took the time, in the midst of so many of his affairs, to go to worship God. A believer. And he returned home by reading the prophet Isaiah (cf Acts 8,27-28). The Lord takes Philip, sends him to that place and then says to him: "Go ahead and come to that cart" (v. 8,29). And he hears the minister reading Isaiah. He approaches and asks him a question: "Do you understand?" - "And how could I understand, if nobody guides me?" (v. 31), and asks the question: "Whose prophet does this say? ... Please, get in the carriage". And during the journey - I don't know how long, I think at least a couple of hours - Philip explained, explained Jesus (cf. vv. 26-35).
That restlessness that this gentleman had in reading the prophet Isaiah belonged to the Father, who attracted him to Jesus (cf. Jn 6:44): he had prepared him, brought him from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship God and then, with this reading, he had prepared his heart to reveal Jesus. To the point that as soon as he saw the water he said, "Can I be baptized?" (see v. 36). And he believed.
And this - that no one can know Jesus without the Father attracting him (cf. v. 44) - this is valid for our apostolate, for our apostolic mission as Christians. I also think of missions. "What are you going to do in the missions?" - "I, to convert people" - "But stop, you will not convert anyone! The Father will attract those hearts to recognize Jesus ”. Going on a mission is giving testimonyof one's faith; without testimony you will do nothing. Go on a mission - and missionaries are good! - does not mean building large structures, things…, and stopping like this. No, structures must be testimonials. You can make a hospital, educational structure of great perfection, of great development, but if a structure is without Christian testimony, your work there will not be a witness work, a work of true preaching of Jesus: it will be a charity society, very good - very good! - but nothing more.
If I want to go on a mission ..., if I want to go to the apostolate, I have to go with the willingness that the Father draws people to Jesus, and this testifies to it. Jesus himself says this to Peter, when he confesses that He is the Messiah: "You are blessed, Simon Peter, because this has been revealed to you by the Father" (cf. Mt 16:17). It is the Father who attracts, and also attracts with our testimony. "I will do many works, here, here, there, of education, of this, of the other ...", but without testimony they are good things, but they are not the announcement of the Gospel, they are not places that give the possibility that may the Father draw knowledge of Jesus (cf. Jn 6:44). Work and testimony.
"But how can I do so that the Father worries about attracting those people?". Prayer . This is the prayer for the missions: pray for the Father to attract people to Jesus. Testimony and prayer go together. Without witness and prayer apostolic preaching cannot be made, announcement cannot be made. You will make a beautiful moral sermon, you will do many good things, all good. But the Father will not have the possibility of attracting people to Jesus. And this is the center: this is the center of our apostolate, that the Father may attract people to Jesus (cf. Jn6.44). Our testimony opens the doors to people and our prayer opens the doors to the heart of the Father to attract people. Testimony and prayer. And this is not only for the missions, it is also for our work as Christians. Do I really testify to Christian life with my lifestyle? I pray that the Father will attract people to Jesus?
This is the great rule for our apostolate, everywhere, and especially for missions. Going on a mission is not proselytizing. Once, a lady - good, you could see she was of good will - came up with two boys, a boy and a girl, and said to me: "This boy, Father, was a Protestant and converted: I was I convinced. And this girl was ... "- I don't know, animist, I don't know what she said to me -" and I converted her ". And the lady was good: good. But she was wrong. I lost my patience a little and said: “Listen, you haven't converted anyone: it was God who touched people's hearts. And don't forget: testimony, yes; proselytism, no. "
We ask the Lord for the grace to live our work with testimony and prayer, so that he, the Father, can attract people to Jesus.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot make communion make spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of others. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come into my body. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let me ever separate you from you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Italian
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Italian