Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Happy Birthday Pope Francis! SHARE to Wish Pope Francis a Happy 84th with a Prayer for Him!

POPE FRANCIS BIRTHDAY is December 17, 2020 -  he turns 84 . 
He was born in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina in South America.
Francis was named Jorge Mario Bergoglio by his parents. 
He was born on December 17, 1936. Francis became the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic 
Church on March 13,  2012. He is a member of the Jesuit Order.
The Pontiff was ordained a priest in 1969. Jorge was the oldest of 5 children to Mario and Regina of Italy.



PRAYER FOR THE POPE:
 Let us pray for our Pontiff Francis. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. 
Let us pray.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen 

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, December 17, 2020 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 193
Reading 1
GN 49:2, 8-10
Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.
“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
 
 He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage.”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17
R. (see 7)  Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
 
 
Alleluia 
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar. 
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab. 
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab. 
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth. 
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. 
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph. 
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah. 
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. 
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok. 
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar. 
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. 
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may 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. So be it. Amen

Saint December 17 : St. John of Matha the Founder of the Trinitarians an Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives

St. John of MathaBorn:
June 23, 1160, Faucon in Provence
Died:
December 17, 1213, RomeJohn of Matha was born in the Year 1160 at Faucon in Provence on the Feast of St. John Baptist. His parents, who were considerable both for their virtue and rank in the world, took a particular care to give him a religious education. His childhood was full of manly virtues; his modesty, sweetness, prudence, and innocence engaged the affections of all that knew him. He made his first studies at Aix the Capital of Provence, and there learned fencing, riding, and other genteel exercises. But none of those gay amusements broke in upon his virtues. What money his parents allowed him for his pocket was distributed amongst the poor; and at an age which usually abounds with levity, and a false niceness proceeding from pride, and want of compassion, he visited the hospitals once a week, and took a singular pleasure in binding up and cleansing the wounds of the patients. Thus he spent his first years, in acquiring such learning as was suitable to his age, and practising those virtues which make the brightest part of the character of a Saint.
At his return from Aix he retired to a little hermitage near Faucon; but finding he could not enjoy the solitude he longed for so near his relations, to whose conversation he was exposed, he got leave of his parents to study Divinity at Paris. His capacity and application distinguished him in that learned University, where he passed all his degrees with applause. Here he was ordained Priest, and said his first Mass in the Bishop's Chapel, where he was honoured with the presence of the Maurice Bishop of Sully, the Abbots of St. Victor and St. Genevieve, and the Rector of the University. But this was an inconsiderable favour in comparison of another that he received at that time. For it was then that God opened to him his particular vocation, and while employed in offering the Price of our Redemption, gave him the first thoughts of employing his time and care for the relief of Christians oppressed with slavery. But he thought himself obliged to consult the will of God in silence, and prepared himself for the execution of so great and glorious a design by prayer, and penance.
While our saint was considering on a place proper for those pious employments, he remembered he had heard of Felix of Valois, that lived in a Wood near Gandelu in the Diocese of Meaux, and was famous for sanctity and penance. Persuaded that holy hermit would be a proper master for him, he begged to be received into his Hermitage, and favoured with his instructions. Felix entertained him, according to his desire, and looked upon him as one sent by Divine Providence for his benefit and improvement. Here they lived in the constant practice of such Virtues as are to be expected from those that live for heaven only. Fasting and other austerities were their whole business; prayer, and contemplation their ordinary employment; and their conversation always tended to excite one another to the love of God. After some time thus spent together, John communicated to Felix the pious design he had conceived at his first Mass; and enlarged upon the necessity and advantage of such an undertaking. He did this in so moving and strong a manner, that Felix was persuaded the proposal came from God; and offered to join him in the execution of it. They entered into the particulars of this great work, and finding it attended with many difficulties, prepared themselves for it by three days strict fast and continual prayer; and then set out for Rome in order to consult the Pope about the matter. They began their journey in the dead of winter 1197, and reached the City in January following. Innocent the III was then just raised to the Holy See. Upon reading their letters of recommendation from the Bishop of Paris, and the Abbot of St. Victors received them like two angels sent from heaven, and gave them an appartment in his own Palace. They had several audiences of his Holiness, in which they explained their whole design. The Pope called his Cardinals and some bishops together in St. John Lateran's, Church, laid the proposal before them, and desired the assistance of their advice in this important affair.
After this consultation, his Holiness ordered a fast, and some particular prayers to be offered up Feb. 8 upon this occasion; and having thus recommended the business to God, gave them leave to erect a New Order, which should be under the direction of the Saint, who was first favoured with the Design. The Bishop of Paris, and the Abbot of St. Victor were employed in drawing up the Rules, which the Pope approved of, with some few additions, by a Bull dated December 17, 1198. Those,that are admitted into this Order, are to wear a white habit, with a red and blue Cross on the breast; and devote a third part of their substance to the redemption of slaves. All their churches are to be dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This Order afterwards took the name of Mathurins, from an old Church dedicated to that Saint at Paris, and given to them about thirty Years afterward.
When things were thus settled, the two holy hermits returned to France, where Philip was then King. Upon their report of what had passed at Rome, his Majesty allowed them to set up their Order in his Kingdom; and contributed very largely toward the good work. After founding several houses in his own Country, he left the care of them to his companion in that pious undertaking, and went to Rome; where he obtained of the Pope a monastery for his Order on Mount Celius. His Holiness had wrote to Mirammolin, King of Morocco, the Year after this new Order was formed, desiring him to second the charitable designs of the Trinitarians, who would either pay the ransom of his Christian slaves, or give an equal number of his subjects that were detained in Italy, France, and Spain, in exchange for them. In Consequence of this application in the Year 1200, John sent two of his Religious in that Kingdom, on that errand. Their success was answerable to the purity of their intention, and they redeemed 186 Christians. The year following he went into Barbara and there purchased the Liberty of 110 Slaves. From thence he returned into his own Country, where he met with very considerable encouragement and assistance in his charitable designs. After that he went to Spain; where the large contributions of Princes and men of the first rank enabled him to build several Monasteries of his Order. About nine years after his first voyage to Barbary, he made a second to that country, and brought away 120 Captives.
The Fatigues of this last expedition, joined to his continual mortifications, quite disabled him and obliged him to spend the remainder of his days at Rome; while Felix employed all his concern and actions for advancing the Order in France. Our Saint being now incapable of pursuing his inclinations in his former way, found an employment proportioned to his strength, and spent the two last years of his life, in visiting the prisons, relieving the poor, assisting assisting the sick, and preaching. In these Exercises of charity he quite exhausted himself, and died on the 21st of December, in the Year 1213. He was buried in St. Thomas's Church at Rome and his festival fixed to this Day by Pope Innocent XI. in 1679. (The Lives of the Saints)

Pope Francis Suggests Prayer saying "On our Advent journey, may the light of Christ illumine our paths..." and "When we pray we are in tune with God’s mercy..." VIDEO



GENERAL AUDIENCE

Library of the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
  

Catechesis on prayer: 19. The prayer of intercession

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Those who pray never turn their backs on the world. If prayer does not gather the joys and sorrows, the hopes and the anxieties of humanity, it becomes a “decorative” activity, a superficial, theatrical, solitary way of behaving. We all need interiority: to retreat within a space and a time dedicated to our relationship with God. But this does not mean that we evade reality. In prayer, God “takes us, blesses us, then breaks us and gives us”, to satisfy everyone’s hunger. Every Christian is called to become in God’s hands bread, broken and shared. That is, it is concrete prayer, that is not an escape.

 

 So, men and women of prayer seek solitude and silence, not so as not be disturbed, but so as to listen better to God’s voice. Sometimes they withdraw from the world altogether, in the secret of their own room, as Jesus recommended (see Mt 6:6). But wherever they are, they always keep the doors of their hearts wide open: an open door for those who pray without knowing how to pray; for those who do not pray at all but who carry within themselves a suffocating cry, a hidden invocation; for those who have erred and have lost the way… Whoever can knock on the door of someone who prays finds a compassionate heart which does not exclude anyone. Prayer comes from our hearts and our voices and gives heart and voice to so many people do not know how to pray or who do not want to pray or for whom it is impossible to pray: we are the heart and the voice of these people, rising to Jesus, rising to the Father as intercessors. In the solitude of those who pray, whether the solitude lasts a long time or only a half hour, to pray, those who pray separate themselves from everything and from everyone to find everything and everyone in God. These people pray for the whole world, bearing its sorrows and sins on their shoulders. They pray for each and every person: they are like God’s “antennas” in this world. The one who prays sees the face of Christ in every poor person who knocks at the door, in every person who has lost the meaning of things. In the Catechism we read: “intercession - asking on behalf of another (…) has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God's mercy”. This is beautiful. When we pray we are in tune with God’s mercy; having mercy regarding our sins, being merciful with ourselves, but also merciful with all those who have asked to be prayed for, those for whom we want to pray in tune with God’s heart. This is true prayer: in tune with God’s mercy, with His merciful heart. “In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ's, as an expression of the communion of saints” (n. 2635). What does it mean to participate in Christ’s intercession? When I intercede for someone or pray for someone: because Christ is before the Father He is the intercessor, He prays for us, He prays showing the Father the wounds of His hands because Jesus is physically present before the Father with His body. And Jesus is our intercessor and to pray is to be a bit like Jesus: to intercede in Jesus to the Father, for others. This is very beautiful.

The human heart tends toward prayer. It is simply human. Those who do not love their brother or sister do not pray seriously.  Someone might say: one cannot pray when steeped in hatred; one cannot pray when steeped in indifference. Prayer is offered only in the spirit of love. Those who do not love pretend to pray, they believe they are praying, but they are not praying because the lack the proper spirit, which is love. In the Church, those who are familiar with the sadness and joy of others dig deeper than those who investigate the worlds “chief systems”. Because of this, human experience is present in every prayer, because no matter what mistakes people may have committed, they should never be rejected or set aside.

When believers, moved by the Holy Spirit, pray for sinners, no selection is made, no judgement or condemnation is uttered: they pray for everyone. And they pray for themselves. At that moment they know they are not that different from those for whom they pray. They realize they are sinners among sinners and they pray for everyone. The lesson of the parable of the Pharisee and the publican is always alive and always relevant (see Lk 18:9-14): we are not better than anyone, we are all brothers and sisters who bear fragility, suffering and being sinners in common. Therefore, a prayer that we can say to God is this: “Lord, no one is just in your sight” (see Ps 143:2), this is what one of the Psalms says: “Lord, no one who lives is just in your sight, none of us: we are all sinners – we are all in debt, each with an outstanding balance to pay; no one is without sin in Your eyes. Lord, have mercy on us!” And with this spirit, prayer is fruitful because we go humbly before God and pray for everyone. Instead, the Pharisee was praying proudly: “I thank you, Lord, because I am not like others, sinners: I am just, always always do…”. This is not prayer: this is looking at yourself in a mirror, it is not looking at one’s own reality, no. It is like looking at yourself made-up in a mirror because of your pride.

The world keeps going thanks to this chain of people who pray, who intercede, and who are unknown for the most part…but not unknown to God! There are many anonymous Christians who, in times of persecution, have repeated the words of our Lord: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).

The Good Shepherd remains faithful even before the awareness of the sin of His own people: the Good Shepherd continues to be a Father even when His children distance themselves and abandon Him. He perseveres in His service as shepherd even with those who have bloodied His hands; He does not close His heart to those who have even made Him suffer.

The Church, in all of her members, has the mission to practice the prayer of intercession: to intercede for others. This is especially so for those who exercise roles of responsibility: parents, teachers, ordained ministers, superiors of communities… Like Abraham and Moses, they must at times “defend” the people entrusted to them before God. In reality, we are talking about protecting them with God’s eyes and heart, with His same invincible compassion and tenderness. Pray with tenderness for others.

Brothers and sisters, we are all leaves on the same tree: each one that falls reminds us of the great piety that must be nourished in prayer, for one another. So let us pray for each other. It will do us good and do good for everyone. Thank you.


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. On our Advent journey, may the light of Christ illumine our paths and dispel all darkness and fear from our hearts.  Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

5 Ways to Gain a Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Saint Joseph as Proclaimed by Pope Francis - VIDEO



Pope Francis proclaimed the year of St. Joseph; this special year will last from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.The Apostolic Penitentiary issues a Decree granting plenary indulgences under certain conditions. 

This was on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. 

 

 During this year, the faithful can obtain a plenary indulgence

The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St. Joseph:


1)        The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph. “St. Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us”, the decree reads, “to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”


2)      The indulgence can also be obtained by those who, following St. Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual (To instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to admonish the sinner, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive offenses willingly, to comfort the afflicted, to pray for the living and the dead)  or corporal work of mercy (to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to give shelter to travellers, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, and to bury the dead). St. Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties,” the decree notes.


3)       The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences, in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”


4)      Everyone who entrusts their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of St. Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. On 1 May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties.”


5)     The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to St. Joseph (for the Byzantine tradition), or any other prayer to St. Joseph proper to the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. Because, the decree notes, “the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment.”


Special Feast Days - 

In addition to these, the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, for example, “To you, O blessed Joseph” especially on “19 March, on 1 May, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on St. Joseph’s Sunday (according to the Byzantine tradition) on the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the memory of the saint according to the Latin tradition.”

Special Circumstances -  

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the gift of the plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes.


They too can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from any sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, offering to God the pains and hardships of their lives.

With Information and Quotations from Vatican News.va

Quote to SHARE by St. Mother Teresa “We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, in a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another.”



"We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, in a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another.” 
 Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Pope Francis explains "Education is always an act of hope that, from the present, looks to the future." at Launch of Educational Pact



VIDEO MESSAGE FROM HOLY FATHER FRANCISCO FOR THE LAUNCH OF MISSION 4.7 AND THE EDUCATIONAL PACT

Education is an act of hope

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Education is always an act of hope that, from the present, looks to the future. There is no static education. Today's meeting at Casina Pío IV is an act of hope and generational solidarity, of hope and solidarity between generations. Young leaders and global educators are coming together from all over the world to promote a new type of education, which will allow us to overcome the current globalization of indifference and the culture of discard. Two great evils of our culture, indifference and dismissal.

This has been an extraordinary year of suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic; a year of forced isolation and exclusion, of anguish and spiritual crises and not a few deaths, and of an unprecedented educational crisis. More than one billion children have faced interruptions in their education.  Hundreds of millions of children have been left behind in opportunities for social and cognitive development. And in many places, biological, psychological and economic crises have been made much worse by the associated political and social crises.

You have come together today in an act of hope; an act of hope so that the impulses of hatred, divisions and ignorance can and will be overcome through a new good wave, let's say so, a new good wave of educational opportunities based on social justice and mutual love, a new pact Global for Education launched already in October with some of those present. First of all, I thank you for meeting today to make our hopes and shared plans grow in a new education that promotes the transcendence of the human person, integral and sustainable human development, intercultural and religious dialogue, the safeguarding of the planet, meetings for peace and openness to God.

The United Nations offers a unique opportunity for the governments and civil society of the world to unite in both hope and action for a new education. I quote with pleasure the message of recognition of Saint Paul VI to the United NationsIt says thus: «You have accomplished, gentlemen, and you are accomplishing a great work: to teach men peace. The United Nations is the great school where this education is received. The UNESCO Constitution, adopted in 1945 at the end of the tragedy of the Second World War, recognized that “since wars are born in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the bulwarks of peace must be erected ». Seventy-five years ago, the founders of UNESCO called for “ensuring to all full and equal access to education, the possibility of freely investigating objective truth and the free exchange of ideas and knowledge ... so that the peoples understand each other better and acquire a more precise and true knowledge of their respective lives ”( Preamble ).

In our time, in which the global education compact has been broken, I see with satisfaction that governments have again committed to putting these ideas into practice by adopting the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in synergy with the global pact on education.

At the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals is the recognition that quality education for all is a necessary foundation for protecting our common home and fostering human brotherhood. Like the global pact for education, so also fundamentally, SDG 4 commits all governments to “guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education, as well as promoting learning opportunities throughout life, and this for all”.

The Global Compact for Education and Mission 4.7 will work together for the civilization of love, beauty and unity. Let me tell you that I hope you are the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty, as of the safeguarding of the land on which we stand. Do not forget the elderly and grandparents who are carriers of the most decisive human values. Thank you for what you do and please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.

Wow Beautiful #Advent Hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with Stunning Images of Art - will touch your heart - Share with a Friend!


An absolutely haunting and beautiful rendition of this song from Linda Ronstadt's "A Merry Little Christmas" 
album, released in 2000. Stunning vocal performance . . .to SHARE

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 189
Reading 1
IS 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25
I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
 
 I, the LORD, have created this.
For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.
Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (Isaiah 45:8)  Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
 
 
Alleluia
See IS 40:9-10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Raise your voice and tell the Good News:
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
LK 7:18B-23
At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” 
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind. 
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. 
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may 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. So be it. Amen

Saint December 16 : St. Adelaide the Patroness of Princesses who Helped the Poor, Evangelized, and Built and Restored Monasteries


Biographical selection of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira : 

St. Adelaide was a marvel of grace and beauty, according to St. Odilon of Cluny, who was her spiritual director and biographer. Daughter of Rudolph II, King of Burgundy, she was born in 931 and at age 15 married Lothaire II, King of Italy. Later their daughter became Queen of France.



Adelaide was 18-years-old when she lost her husband, who was supposedly poisoned by his political competitor Berengarius of Ivrea. The latter soon proclaimed himself King of Italy and proposed to unite Adelaide in marriage with his son. The widow refused and Berengarius confiscated her estates and held her prisoner in the Castle of Garda. St. Adelaide managed to escape and fled to the Castle of Canossa, property of the Church. From that impregnable fortress she directed a plea to Otto I, King of Germany, to come to her aid.

Otto I hastened to her appeal with a powerful army. After defeating her oppressor, Otto became King of Italy and married St. Adelaide. One year later, in 952 he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. The eldest son of this marriage, Otto II, succeeded his father as Emperor. At first, influenced by his jealous wife Theohano, Otto II revolted against his mother. Fearing for her life, she fled to Burgundy. There she came to know St. Odilon and became famous for her charities to many French monasteries.

Later, after her son repented, she returned to Germany where she continued her saintly life. She sent a splendid imperial mantle worn by her son to be placed in the grave of St. Martin. She wrote these instructions to the one charged with the mission:

“When you will reach the tomb of the glorious St. Martin, say these words: ‘Bishop of God, receive these humble gifts from Adelaide, servant of the servants of God, sinner by nature and Empress by the grace of God. Receive this mantle of Otto, her eldest son. You, who had the glory to cover Our Lord with your mantle in the person of a poor man, pray for him.’”

After Theophano died, Adelaide became the regent of her grandson, Otto III. She used her position to help the poor, evangelize, and build and restore monasteries and churches. When she felt her end was near, she asked to be taken to the Convent of Seltz in Alsace that she had built. She was laid to rest next to the tomb of Otto the Great, her second husband.

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