Monday, April 19, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide




 
Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 274
Reading I
Acts 7:51—8:1a
Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it.”
When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
 
 But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul. 
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them”;
and when he said this, he fell asleep.
Now Saul was consenting to his execution.
Responsorial Psalm
31:3cd-4, 6 and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab
R.    (6a)  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Be my rock of refuge,
    a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
    for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
    I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
    save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
    from the plottings of men.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Alleluia
Jn 6:35ab
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never hunger.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Jn 6:30-35
The crowd said to Jesus:
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
    He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
So they said to Jesus,
“Sir, give us this bread always.” 
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
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 April 20 : St. Agnes of Montepulciano a Dominican Nun and Foundress who Became a Prioress at Age 15


St. Agnes of Montepulciano
NUN AND FOUNDRESS

Born:
1268 at Gracchiano-Vecchio, Tuscany, Italy
Died:
20 April 1317
Canonized:
1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Born in the neighbourhood of Montepulciano in Tuscany about 1268; died there 1317. At the age of nine years she entered a monastery. Four years later she was commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV to assist in the foundation of a monastery at Proceno, and became its prioress at the age of fifteen. At the entreaty of the citizens of her native town, she established (1298) the celebrated convent of Dominican nuns at Montepulciano which she governed until the time of her death. She was canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. Her feast is celebrated on 20 April.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of Ireland, Calls Government Restrictions on Church Gatherings "Draconian" and Seeks Legal Advice



Archbishop Eamon Martin, the primate of Ireland has called the government's ban on Church gatherings "draconian." 
In a statement, on April 18th 2021, Archbishop Eamon Martin, said he became aware of the latest government measure on Friday, April 16th and consulted with the other Archbishops.
According to RTE, the Archbishop said they considered the move, together with the associated penal provisions, to be "provocative" and "draconian".
The archbishops say are now seeking legal advice and need an immediate meeting with the government's minister Donnelly.
"Together with other Churches and faith communities, we have been cooperating fully with public health messages for more than a year now," they said.
The prime minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin met bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday.
The Archbishops said they consider this to be a "breach of trust".
The chair of Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council has said he is also disappointed by the measure to outlaw religious services.
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri said faith communities have suffered enough and this is the second Ramadan that his community has been unable to visit a place of worship.
He said he is in agreement with the Catholic Archbishops and he is also considering taking legal advice.
Places of worship and faith taken measures to secure their buildings with social distancing, and masking. Religious services are essential for the well-being and mental health of many people. (Edited from RTE.com) 
The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland is seeking a meeting with the Minister for Health over a "draconian" move to outlaw public mass and other religious services. | Read more: https://t.co/WO5zbYxS5Z pic.twitter.com/XKpGPcOFGP

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, April 19, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide



Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 273
Reading I
Acts 6:8-15
Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyreneans, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say,
“We have heard him speaking blasphemous words
against Moses and God.”
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes,
accosted him, seized him,
and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified,
“This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim
that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place
and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him
and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Responsorial Psalm
119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
R.    (1ab)  Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Though princes meet and talk against me,
    your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
    they are my counselors.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
    teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
    and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
    I have set your ordinances before me.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Alleluia
Mt 4:4b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Jn 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you. 
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
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 April 19 : St. Leo IX : Pope who Established Peace for the Empire and Died 1054


Feast Day:
April 19
Born:
21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace
Died:
19 April 1054 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
Canonized:
1082
(1049-54), b. at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002; d. 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning. As a sign of the tender conscience which soon began to manifest itself in the saintly child, we are told that, though he had given abundant proofs of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. At length it transpired that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When Heilewide had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the little Bruno's studies proceeded unchecked. When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favourite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo's principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.
Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen's at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno's cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as "the good Bruno". In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for  higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds. He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.
The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad's successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favourably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honour which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim's guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attent to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.
He then began the work of reform which was to give the next  hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, "Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English". Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm. It is apparently in connexion with this return journey that we have the first mention of the Golden Rose. The Abbess of Woffenheim, in return for certain privileges bestowed by the pope, had to send to Rome "a golden rose" before Lætare Sunday, on which day, says Leo, the popes are wont to carry it. Also before he returned to Rome, he discussed with Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, the formation of all the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland and Greenland, into a patriarchate, of which the see was to be Bremen. The scheme was never accomplished, but meanwhile Leo authorized the consecration by Adalbert of the first native bishop for Iceland.
In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned;a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honour. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).
The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope's mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.
Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. The slain at Civitella were ever before him, and he was profoundly troubled by the attitude of Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. That ambitious prelate was determined, if possible, to have no superior in either Church or State. As early as 1042, he had struck the pope's name off the sacred diptychs, and soon proceeded, first in private and then in public, to attack the Latin Church because it used unfermented bread (azymes) in the Sacrifice of the Mass. At length, and that, too, in a most barbarous manner, he closed the Latin churches in Constantinople. In reply to this violence, Leo addressed a strong letter to Michael (Sept., 1053), and began to study Greek in order the better to understand the matters in dispute. However, if Michael had taken advantage of the pope's difficulties with the Normans to push his plans, the Greek Emperor, seeing that his hold on Southern Italy was endangered by the Norman success, put pressure on the patriarch to make him more respectful to the pope. To the conciliatory letters which Constantine and Cærularius now dispatched to Rome,  Leo sent suitable replies (Jan., 1054), blaming the arrogance of the patriarch. His letters were conveyed by two distinguished cardinals, Humbert and Frederick, but he had departed this life before the momentous issue of his embassy was known in Rome. On 16 July, 1054, the two cardinals excommunicated Cærularius, and the East was finally cut off from the body of the Church.
The annals of England show that Leo had many relations with that country, and its saintly King Edward. He dispensed the king from a vow which he had taken to make a pilgrimage to Rome, on condition that he give alms to the poor, and endow a monastery in honour of St. Peter. Leo also authorized the translation of the See of Crediton to Exeter, and forbade the consecration of the unworthy Abbot of Abingdon (Spearhafor) as Bishop of London. Throughout the troubles which Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, had with the family of Earl Godwin, he received the support of the pope, who sent him the pallium and condemned Stigand, the usurper of his see (1053?). King Macbeth, the supposed murderer of Duncan, whom Shakespeare has immortalized, is believed to have visited Rome during Leo's pontificate, and may be thought to have exposed the needs of his soul to that tender father. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter's, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Free Catholic Movie : "The Song of Bernadette" about Our Lady of #Lourdes


The Song of Bernadette (1943) 156 min - Biography | Drama - April 1945 (USA)  The Apparitions occurred in 1858 France. Based on the novel by Franz Werfel, "The Song of Bernadette" is a sympathetic account of the life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a sickly (asthmatic) French peasant girl who claimed to have seen 18 miraculous visions of a "beautiful lady" near her home village of Lourdes in 1858. Bernadette had become so happily excited by her initial vision, which she claimed included her having been instructed by this "beautiful lady" to return each day for 15 days*.
Director: Henry King Writers: George Seaton (screenplay), Franz Werfel (novel) Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe

Pope Francis says "Being Christian...is a living relationship with Him, with the Risen Lord..." with Prayers for Peace in Ukraine - FULL TEXT + Video


 

POPE FRANCIS at the REGINA CAELI

Saint Peter's Square Sunday, 18 April 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Buongiorno!

On this Third Sunday of Easter, we return to Jerusalem, in the Cenacle, as guided by the two disciples of Emmaus, who had listened with great emotion to Jesus’ words along the way and then had recognized him “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). Now, in the Cenacle, the Risen Christ presents himself in the midst of the group of disciples and greets: “Peace to you!” (v. 36). But they are frightened and believe “that they saw a spirit” (v. 37), as the Gospel says. Then Jesus shows them the wounds in his body and says: “See my hands and my feet” – the wounds – “that it is I myself; handle me” (v. 39).

 

 And to convince them, he asks for food and eats it before their astonished eyes (cf. vv. 41-42).

There is a detail here, in this description. The Gospel says that the Apostles “they still disbelieved for joy”. The joy they had was such that they could not believe that this was true. And a second detail: they were bewildered, astonished; astonished because the encounter with God always leads you to astonishment: it goes beyond enthusiasm, beyond joy; it is another experience. And they were joyful, but a joy that made them think: no, this cannot be true!... It is the astonishment of God’s presence. Do not forget this frame of mind, which is so beautiful.

Three very concrete verbs characterize this Gospel passage. In a certain sense, they reflect  our individual and community life: to look, to touch and to eat. Three actions that can give joy from a true encounter with the living Jesus.

To look. “See my hands and my feet”, Jesus says. To look is not only to see, it is more; it also involves intention, will. For this reason, it is one of the verbs of love. A mother and father look at their child; lovers gaze at each other; a good doctor looks at the patient carefully…. Looking is a first step against indifference, against the temptation to look the other way before the difficulties and sufferings of others. To look. Do I see or look at Jesus?

The second verb is to touch. By inviting the disciples to touch him, to verify that he is not a ghost – touch me! –  Jesus indicates to them and to us that the relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters cannot remain “at a distance”. Christianity does not exist at a distance; Christianity does not exist only  at the level of looking. Love requires looking and it also requires closeness; it requires contact, the sharing of life. The Good Samaritan did not limit himself to looking at that man whom he found half dead along the road: he stopped, he bent down, he treated his wounds,  he touched him, he loaded him on his mount and took him to the inn. And it is the same with Jesus himself: loving him means entering into a communion of life, a communion with Him.

And thus, we come to the third verb, to eat, which clearly expresses our humanity in its most natural poverty, that is, our need to nourish ourselves in order to live. But eating, when we do so together, among family or friends, also becomes an expression of love, an expression of communion, of celebration…. How often the Gospels present Jesus to us who experiences this convivial dimension! Even as the Risen One, with his disciples. To the point that the Eucharistic Banquet has become the emblematic sign of the Christian community. Eating together the Body of Christ: this is the core of Christian life.

Brothers and sisters, this Gospel passage tells us that Jesus is not a “ghost”, but a living Person; that when Jesus draws near to us he fills us with joy, to the point of disbelief, and he leaves us bewildered, with that astonishment that only God’s presence gives, because Jesus is a living Person.

Being Christian is not first of all a doctrine or a moral ideal; it is a living relationship with Him, with the Risen Lord: we look at him, we touch him, we are nourished by Him and, transformed by his Love, we look at, touch and nourish others as brothers and sisters. May the Virgin Mary help us to live this experience of grace.


After the Regina Caeli:

Dear brothers and sisters!

Yesterday in the Abbey of Casamari, Cardon and five companion martyrs, Cistercian monks of that Abbey, were proclaimed Blessed. In 1799, when French soldiers withdrawing from Naples sacked churches and monasteries, these meek disciples of Christ resisted with heroic courage, unto death, to defend the Eucharist from desecration. May their example spur us to a greater commitment of fidelity to God, even capable of transforming society and making it more just and fraternal. A round of applause for the new Blesseds!

And this is something sad. I am following with deep concern the events in several areas of eastern Ukraine, where in recent months violations of the cease-fire have multiplied, and I observe with great apprehension the increase of military activities. Please, I firmly hope that the increase of tensions may be avoided and, on the contrary, gestures may be made that are capable of promoting mutual trust and fostering reconciliation and peace, so necessary and so desired. May we also keep at heart the grave humanitarian situation being experienced by that population, to whom I express my closeness and for whom I invite you to pray. Ave Maria….

Today in Italy we are celebrating the Day for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, which for one hundred years has offered a valuable service for the formation of the new generations. May it continue to carry out its educational mission to help young people to be protagonists of a future rich in hope. I offer my heartfelt blessing to the staff, professors and students of the Catholic University.

And now I offer a warm greeting to all of you, people of Rome and pilgrims…, Brazilians, Poles, Spanish people…, and I see another flag there…. Thanks be to God we can find ourselves again in this Square for the Sunday and holiday appointment. I’ll tell you something: I miss the Square when I have to recite the Angelus in the library. I am happy, thanks be to God! And thank you for your presence…. To the young people of the Immacolata, who are good…. And to everyone I wish a happy Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci!

 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sunday Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, April 18, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - 3rd of the Easter Season



 Third Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 47
Reading I
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Peter said to the people:
“The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
 
 Responsorial Psalm
4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
R.  (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
    you who relieve me when I am in distress;
    have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R.  Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
    the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R.  Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
    You put gladness into my heart.
R.  Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
    for you alone, O LORD,
    bring security to my dwelling.
R.  Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Reading II
1 Jn 2:1-5a
My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
Alleluia
Cf. Lk 24:32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Lk 24:35-48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them 
in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish; 
he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”
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 April 18 : St. Apollonius the Apologist, a Martyr of Rome whose Defense of the Faith, is Called one of the Most Priceless Documents of the Early Church


St. Apollonius the Apologist
a Martyr whose Apologia or defense of the faith, is called one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perenis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints) 

Pope Francis Receives Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who said “Pope Francis is the voice of the most marginalized people..." VIDEO



Pope Francis on Friday, April 16, 2021, received in audience the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, and discussed migration and refugee issues.
Pope Francis said "Thank you for what you do." Filippo answered, "Thank you for having me. Thank you for what you say and what you do. Without you we also would not be able to do our work." Filippo Grandi is the head of the UN Refugee Agency. He held several meetings in Rome with authorities about refugees.
   

The UN Refugee Agency is often in communication with the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See, established by the Pope. (Romereports)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi praised Pope Francis’ holistic approach to global displacement and the needs of the most vulnerable, including those forced to flee their homes, as expressed in the encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, during a private Audience at the Holy See today.

The High Commissioner highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Holy See and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in welcoming, protecting and integrating asylum-seekers and refugees during his visit to the Vatican City.

His Holiness, handing over to the High Commissioner a signed copy of his message for the celebration of the 54th World Day of Peace, shared his concern over the extent of global humanitarian emergencies. More than 80 million people are forced to flee conflict, persecution and violence, with the poorest countries bearing the brunt of the world’s refugee crisis.

“Pope Francis is the voice of the most marginalized people: refugees, the forcibly displaced and migrants”, Grandi said. “His tireless commitment has made a concrete difference in the response to those who are fleeing major humanitarian crises, by providing a safe place and effective assistance for integrating the most vulnerable in receiving countries”, he added.

UNHCR is looking forward to extending its existing partnership with the Vatican in line with the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees, which aims at sharing responsibility with those countries hosting and supporting the largest numbers of displaced people.
The Pope has repeatedly denounced these problems and supported refugees and persecuted people throughout the world. 

In February 2016 he visited the border between Mexico and the United States. In April of that same year he traveled to a refugee camp in Greece and brought several of its residents to Italy. He then met with a group of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh in 2017.

Top 10 Quotes of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to SHARE - Powerful Quotes to Change your Life!

1. Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving heart.
2. Believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love.
3. Truth is not determined by a majority vote.
4. In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration.
5. Children truly are the family's greatest treasure and most precious good. Consequently, everyone must be helped to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion. In attacking human life in its very first stages, it is also an aggression against society itself. Politicians and legislators, therefore, as servants of the common good, are duty bound to defend the fundamental right to life, the fruit of God's love.
6. Celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom means embracing a life completely devoted to love, a love that enables you to commit yourselves fully to God's service and to be totally present to your brothers and sisters, especially those in need.
7. Because the truth of God is love, conversion to God is conversion to love.
8. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives.
9. The new evangelization ... begins in the confessional.
10. Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness. Listen to God. Adore Him in the Eucharist.

Biden Administration Cancels Bioethics Advisory Board - Taxpayer Funding will Now be Used for Research with Unborn Baby Body Parts


 
LifeNews reports that the Biden administration announced that President Joe Biden will make Americans fund research using body parts from aborted babies with their taxpayer dollars.
It is overturning a pro-life rule President Donald trump put in place barring taxpayer funding for federally-funded studies involving the use of fetal tissue taken from babies killed in abortions.
During his administration President Trump put in place a new bioethics advisory board recommending that the government reject funding for 13 of 14 research projects that plan to use aborted baby body parts
However, on April 16th, 2021 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially revoked the ban on using aborted baby parts in research.
Biden’s NIH released a notice saying that the agency was overturning the Trump administration’s policy that required all applicants for NIH grants involving fetal tissue from elective abortions to be reviewed by an ethics board. The notice indicated Biden was cancelling the ethics advisory board.
“NIH reminds the community of expectations to obtain informed consent from the donor for any NIH-funded research using human fetal tissue … and of continued obligations to conduct such research only in accord with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations, including prohibitions on the payment of valuable consideration for such tissue,” the notice reads.
A prominent pro-life group immediately condemned the decision.
“Biden and Harris, working hand-in-glove with radical appointees like Xavier Becerra, are moving rapidly to pay back their abortion industry allies and wipe out pro-life progress made under the Trump-Pence administration,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “From day one they have sought to expand abortion on demand, funded by taxpayers, against the will of the strong majority of Americans. Now they would force Americans to be complicit in barbaric experiments using body parts harvested from innocent children killed in abortions, with no limits of any kind. Pro-abortion Democrats push this deeply unpopular agenda at their own political peril.”
Pro-life scientists indicated research with aborted baby parts is unnecessary.
Dr. Tara Sander Lee, senior fellow and director of life sciences at Charlotte Lozier Institute, added: 
“The HHS decision to resume experiments using the body parts of aborted children defies both the best ethics and most promising science. Exploiting the bodies of these young human beings is unnecessary and grotesque. Fetal tissue was not, and has never been, used for polio or any other vaccine, nor  to produce or manufacture any pharmaceutical. There are superior and ethical alternatives available such as adult stem cell models being used by countless scientists worldwide to develop and produce advanced medicines treating patients now, without exploitation of any innocent life. All scientists should reject the administration’s attempts to prey on fears related to the pandemic to advance the practice of harvesting fetal tissue.”
Source: https://www.sba-list.org/newsroom/press-releases/biden-harris-admin-to-ramp-up-experiments-using-aborted-baby-body-parts
Edited from LifeNews and SBA List

Mass Shooting in Indianapolis with 8 People Killed - US Bishops say "...let us pray for renewed reverence for the gift of life...and work towards peace.” FULL TEXT



A gunman (pictured above) who killed eight people at a FedEx facility in the US city of Indianapolis was a former employee. Police named the suspect as 19-year-old Brandon Hole (age 19), who began shooting "randomly" almost immediately after exiting his car, according to police. Seven people were also injured and the gunman apparently killed himself before police arrived.

U.S. Bishop Chairman Calls for Easter Response to Mass Shooting in Indianapolis

WASHINGTON — Following the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:


“Tragically, we awoke to learn of another mass shooting today, this time in Indianapolis, that has reportedly left eight dead and several wounded. As we heard at Mass yesterday, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted’ (Ps. 34:19). We again need prayer and concrete acts of charity for the families, and for all victims of violent crime. 


“Again and again, we react in horror to these violent acts, but many cannot agree on how to stop them. The bishops continue to support a number of policy measures to try to reduce homicides and suicides.[1] In this Easter season, when we are reminded that there is always hope, even when we seem to be at a dead end, I would ask our political leaders, and all people of good will, once more to examine this issue and propose prudential solutions. It is good that President Biden and some leaders in Congress are drawing renewed attention to this. For a comprehensive and long-lasting path to peace, it will take bipartisan cooperation. In the spirit of Easter, let us pray for renewed reverence for the gift of life, and faith that by the grace of God, we can always begin again and work towards peace.”  

Source: USCCB

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman Statement on Abortion Pill Policy Change "...a woman’s health, future fertility, and life are placed in serious jeopardy." FULL TEXT





U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Chairman on Chemical Abortion Pill Policy Change

APRIL 16, 2021 

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that they will no longer be enforcing the “in-person dispensing requirement” for the chemical abortion pills during the remainder of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This requirement was put in place by public health officials over twenty years ago, under President Bill Clinton, as a necessary precondition to ensure that pregnant women do not have contraindications that would make the abortion pills even more unsafe and possibly deadly for the woman. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:


“It is difficult to see the FDA’s decision to not enforce important safety protocols as anything other than callous capitulation to the requests of abortion activists without regard for the health and safety of the women involved. An in-person evaluation by a medical professional is necessary to accurately determine the age of the baby (abortion pills are only approved for use in the first 70 days), whether the pregnancy is ectopic (which the woman has no way of knowing on her own), and to test and treat for Rh-incompatibility between mother and baby. Without this information and proper treatment, a woman’s health, future fertility, and life are placed in serious jeopardy. With this decision, not only are women being sold the lie that abortion will solve their problems, but also that chemical abortion is a safe and easy way to go about it. By pushing women away from medical oversight, abortion advocates are luring women into isolated, unsafe, and medically unwise decisions. The inalienable dignity of women and their unborn children deserves so much more.”

Source: USCCB

Bishops of Brazil Statement "We cannot be silent when life is threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and violence is established..." FULL TEXT



Release CNBB: The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) released this Friday, April 16, the message of the Brazilian episcopate that gathered, online, at the 58th General Assembly of the CNBB, addressed the people at this grave moment.
In the text, the bishops affirm that given the current situation that Brazil is going through, especially in times of pandemic, they cannot remain silent when life is “threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and the violence is established”. The bishops assure that they are pastors and that they have a mission to care. “Our hearts suffer with the restricted participation of the People of God in the temples. However, the sacredness of human life requires us to be sensible and responsible ”, they say.
In the message, the bishops reiterate that at the present time they need to continue to observe the sanitary measures that concern the face-to-face celebrations. They gratefully acknowledge that families have been a privileged space for experiencing faith and solidarity. “They have found in the initiatives of our communities, through subsidies and online celebrations, the possibility of experiencing the domestic Church intensely. United in prayer and care for life, we will overcome this moment ”.
The bishops affirm that the three powers of the Republic have, each in its own specificity, the mission of leading Brazil in the dictates of the Federal Constitution, which advocates health as a "right of all and duty of the State" and that the moment demands competence lucidity. "Discourses and attitudes that deny the reality of the pandemic, disregard health measures and threaten the Democratic Rule of Law are unacceptable," they say.
They also make a strong call for the unity of the Churches, entities, social movements and all people of good will, around the Pact for Life and for Brazil: “Let us assume, with renewed commitment, concrete initiatives for the promotion of solidarity and solidarity. sharing. The journey towards a new era is challenging, however, we have the privileged opportunity to rebuild Brazilian society on the foundations of justice and peace, following the path of fraternity and dialogue. As Pope Francis encouraged us: “the Easter announcement is an announcement that renews hope in our hearts: we cannot give up!”.
FULL TEXT MESSAGE FROM THE 58TH CNBB GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO THE BRAZILIAN PEOPLE
We expect new heavens and a new earth, where justice will dwell. (2Pd 3.13)
 
Moved by the hope that flows from the Gospel, we Bishops of Brazil, gathered online, at the 58th General Assembly of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil-CNBB, from April 12 to 16, 2021, at this grave moment, we addressed our message to the Brazilian people.
We express our prayer and our solidarity with the sick, with families that have lost their loved ones and with all those who suffer most from the consequences of Covid-19. In the certainty of the Resurrection, we bring in our prayers, particularly, the deceased. At the same time, we express our deep gratitude to health professionals and to all the people who have donated their lives on behalf of the sick, provided essential services and contributed to facing the pandemic.
Brazil is experiencing a deepening of a serious health, economic, ethical, social and political crisis, intensified by the pandemic, which challenges us, exposing the structural inequality rooted in Brazilian society. Although everyone suffers from the pandemic, its consequences are more devastating in the lives of the poor and vulnerable.
This reality of suffering must find an echo in the hearts of Christ's disciples [1]. Everything that promotes or threatens life concerns our mission as Christians. Whenever we take positions on social, economic and political issues, we do so as required by the Gospel. We cannot be silent when life is threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and violence is established [2].
We commend the testimony of our communities in their tireless and anonymous search to alleviate the consequences of the pandemic. Many brothers and sisters, bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay Christians and lay people, moved by the authentic Christian spirit, expose their lives in aid to the most vulnerable. With Pope Francis, we affirm that “prayer to God and solidarity with the poor and the sick are inseparable” [3]. Community initiatives for sharing and solidarity should always be encouraged more. It's Time to Care!
We are pastors and our mission is to care. Our hearts suffer with the restricted participation of the People of God in the temples. However, the sacredness of human life requires us to be sensible and responsible. Therefore, at that moment, we need to continue to observe the sanitary measures that concern the face-to-face celebrations. We gratefully acknowledge that our families have been a privileged space for experiencing faith and solidarity. They have found in the initiatives of our communities, through subsidies and online celebrations, the possibility of experiencing intensely the domestic Church. United in prayer and care for life, we will overcome this moment.
In civil society, the three powers of the Republic have, each in their own specificity, the mission of leading Brazil in the dictates of the Federal Constitution, which advocates health as "the right of all and the duty of the State" [4]. This requires competence and lucidity. Discourses and attitudes that deny the reality of the pandemic, disregard sanitary measures and threaten the Democratic Rule of Law are unacceptable. It is necessary to pay attention to science, encourage the use of a mask, social distance and guarantee vaccination for all, as soon as possible. Emergency assistance, worthy and for as long as necessary, is essential to save lives and boost the economy [5], with special attention to the poor and unemployed.
It is necessary to ensure greater investments in public health and due assistance to the sick, preserving and strengthening the Unified Health System - SUS. Systematic attempts to dismantle the social protection structure in the country are inadmissible. We strongly reject any initiative that attempts to release government officials from the application of the constitutional minimum budget in health and education.
Education, weakened for years by the absence of an efficient national educational project, suffers even more in the context of the pandemic, with serious consequences for the future of the country. In addition to effective state public policies, engagement in the Global Educational Pact, proposed by Pope Francis [6], is essential.
We are also concerned about the serious problem of the multiple forms of violence spread in society, favored by easy access to weapons. Disinformation and hate speech, especially on social media, generate boundless aggression. We note, with regret, the use of religion as an instrument of political dispute, justifying violence and creating confusion among the faithful and in society.
The care for the common home deserves constant attention, submitted to the voracious logic of “exploitation and degradation” [7]. It is urgent to understand that a preserved biome fulfills its productive function of maintaining and generating life on the planet, respecting the right balance between production and preservation. Desertification of the land arises from the desertification of the human heart. We believe that "human freedom is capable of limiting technique, guiding it and placing it at the service of another type of progress, healthier, more human, more social, more integral" [8].
It is increasingly necessary to overcome social inequality in the country. For that, we must promote the best policy [9], which does not submit to economic interests, and is guided by fraternity and social friendship, which implies not only the approximation between distant social groups, but also the search for a renewed encounter with the poorest and most vulnerable sectors [10].
We make a strong call for the unity of civil society, Churches, entities, social movements and all people of good will, around the Pact for Life and for Brazil. Let us assume, with renewed commitment, concrete initiatives to promote solidarity and sharing. The journey towards a new era is challenging, however, we have the privileged opportunity to rebuild Brazilian society on the foundations of justice and peace, following the path of fraternity and dialogue. As Pope Francis encouraged us: “the Easter announcement is an announcement that renews hope in our hearts: we cannot give up!” [11]
With faith in the Risen Christ, the source of our hope, we invoke God's blessing on the Brazilian people, through the intercession of São José and Nossa Senhora Aparecida, patron saint of Brazil.

Brasília, 16 de abril de 2021.

Dom Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo
Arcebispo de Belo Horizonte – MG
Presidente da CNBB

Dom Jaime Spengler, OFM
Arcebispo de Porto Alegre – RS
1º Vice-Presidente  

Dom Mário Antônio da Silva
Bispo de Roraima – RR
2º Vice-Presidente

Dom Joel Portella Amado
Bispo Auxiliar do Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Secretário-Geral da CNBB

 

[1] cf. Gaudium et Spes, 1.
[2] cf. CNBB, Mensagem ao Povo de Deus, 2018.
[3] Papa Francisco, Mensagem para o IV Dia Mundial dos Pobres, 2020.
[4] Constituição Federal, art. 196.
[5] cf. CNBB, OAB, C.Arn´s, ABI, ABC e SBPC, O povo não pode pagar com a própria vida,10 de março de 2021.
[6] cf. Papa Francisco, Mensagem para o lançamento do Pacto Educativo Global, 12 de setembro 2019.
[7] Papa Francisco, Laudato Si´, 145.
[8] Papa Francisco, Laudato Si´, 112.
[9] Papa Francisco, Fratelli Tutti, Cap. V.
[10] cf. Papa Francisco, Fratelli Tutti, 233.
[11] Papa Francisco, Mensagem 58ª. AG CNBB.

Saint April 17 : St. Kateri Tekakwitha - “Lily of the Mohawks” and Patron of Ecology and Natives and Mohawks (Canada)

KATERI’S LIFE
Born:1656, Ossernenon, Iroquois Confederacy (Modern Auriesville, New York)
Died:17 April 1680 at Caughnawaga, Canada
Beatified:22 June 1980 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:St Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
FEAST DAY is April 17 in Canada and July 14 in the USA

In 1656,  Kateri Tekakwitha known as “Lily of the Mohawks” was born of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in Ossernenon in the Mohawk Valley, now known as Auriesville, New York. Kateri was four years old when the horrible European disease of smallpox devastated her village. Many perished along with Kateri’s parents and younger brother. She survived the deadly disease but her eyesight was greatly affected and her face ravaged with smallpox scars.

Because of Kateri’s near blindness, she held her hands in front of her to feel her way along and protect herself from injury. It was from this characteristic she was renamed Tekakwitha or “She moves things”.

In 1667, 11 year old Kateri Tekakwitha meets the Jesuit Missionaries in her uncle’s cabin. By this time the village had moved to the north side of the Mohawk River to Caughnawaga, now known as Fonda New York. As a young girl, she helped with the meals, collected berries from the woods, made baskets, did beadwork and strung the wampums. With the coming of the missionaries Kateri found comfort and understanding of her situation in Christianity and began her dialogue with Father James de Lamberville and expressed the ardent desire for Baptism in 1666, and was subsequently baptized in 1676 at the age of 20.

In 1677, Kateri Tekakwitha traveled from the Mohawk valley to the north eastern part of the Territory to the village of Kahnawake and the Mission of Saint Francis Xavier on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Father de Lamberville had given her a letter for the Superior of the Mission.  The words of this letter were, “ I ask you to please take charge of directing her; it is a treasure which we are giving you.  Guard it well and make it bear fruit for the glory of God and the salvation of a soul which is certainly very dear to Him.”  A few months after her arrival, she received her First Holy Communion on Christmas Day at the age of 21.

In 1680 with her health failing, she became gravely ill and on April 17, 1680, 24 year old Kateri Tekakwitha died. Soon after her death and because of her faith in Christ, her scared face was restored to its former beauty and softness. She was buried in a wooden coffin next to the wooden cross where she prayed on the banks of the great river.  The favors and miracles obtained through her intercession began immediately.

In 1717, the Mohawks of Kahnawake moved to their final and present day location where Kateri’s remains were housed in a sacred chest of polished wood in the sacristy of the Mission.

On Saturday December 6, 1884 the Bishops and Archbishops of the United States of America of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore addressed the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII to institute the process for the beautification of Catherine Tekakwitha. Letters were submitted by various Indian tribes, petitioning the Introduction of the Cause of the  Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha to the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII.

In 1931, after years of preparation the cause was instituted by the Most Reverend Bishop of Albany, Edmund Francis Gibbons and in June 1938, the Historical Section of the Congregation of Rites at Rome declared that the documents of the case of Tekakwitha were complete, genuine and trustworthy, that they established Tekakwitha’s renown for holiness, and a solid basis for final judgement that her virtues were heroic.

On January 3rd 1943 his Holiness Pope Pius XII offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Then he  solemnly proclaimed: It has been proved in this instance and for the purpose under consideration, that the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, Love of God and Neighbour, and the cardinal virtues, Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude and subordinate virtues of the Venerable Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha, were heroic.  Pope Pius XII signed the DECREE in which Catherine Tekakwitha was “Venerable”.

In 1980,  Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II and declared “BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA”.

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI announced the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha.  He signed a decree approving a miracle attributed to Kateri for saving the life of a young boy, Jake Finkbonner who suffered from a flesh eating disease.The official date for her canonization ceremony was October 21, 2012 in Rome Italy. St Kateri Tekakwitha’s Shrine is located at the St. Francis Xavier Mission in Kahnawake. Text from kateritekakwitha.net