Sunday, February 28, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, March 1, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Monday of the Second Week in Lent
Lectionary: 230
Reading I
Dn 9:4b-10
“Lord, great and awesome God,
you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
and observe your commandments!
We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
our fathers, and all the people of the land.
Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
we are shamefaced even to this day:
we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
and all Israel, near and far,
in all the countries to which you have scattered them
because of their treachery toward you.
O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
for having sinned against you.
(Mass starts after the Stations of the Cross at the 14:41 Mark)

 
 But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
Yet we rebelled against you
and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.”
Responsorial Psalm
79:8, 9, 11 and 13
R.    (see 103:10a)  Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
    may your compassion quickly come to us,
    for we are brought very low.
R.    Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Help us, O God our savior,
    because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
    for your name’s sake.
R.    Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
    with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    through all generations we will declare your praise.
R.    Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Verse before the Gospel
See Jn 6:63c, 68c
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
Gospel
Lk 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”
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 March 1 : St. David a Bishop and the Patron of Wales who Founded 12 Monasteries and was Known for Miracles


(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on a little hill, with a dove on his shoulder. From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March. The earliest mention of St. David is found in a tenth-century manuscript Of the "Annales Cambriae", which assigns his death to A.D. 601. Many other writers, from Geoffrey of Monmouth down to Father Richard Stanton, hold that he died about 544, but their opinion is based solely on data given in various late "lives" of St. David, and there seems no good reason for setting aside the definite statement of the "Annales Cambriae", which is now generally accepted. Little else that can claim to be historical is known about St. David. The tradition that he was born at Henvynyw (Vetus-Menevia) in Cardiganshire is not improbable. He was prominent at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi in Cardiganshire), which has been identified with the important Roman military station, Loventium. Shortly afterwards, in 569, he presided over another synod held at a place called Lucus Victoriae. He was Bishop (probably not Archbishop) of Menevia, the Roman port Menapia in Pembrokeshire, later known as St. David's, then the chief point of departure for Ireland. St. David was canonized by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.
The first biography that has come down to us was written near the end of the eleventh century, about 500 years after the saint's death, by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarchus). According to these other writers St. David was the son of Sant or Sandde ab Ceredig ab Cunnedda, The saint's mother was Nonna, or Nonnita (sometimes called Melaria), a daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch. She was a nun who had been violated by Sant. St. David's birth  took place at "Old Menevia" somewhere about A.D. 454. Afterwards he spent ten years studying the Holy Scripture at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under St. Paulinus (Pawl Hen), whom he cured of blindness by the sign of the cross. At the end of this period St. Paulinus, warned by an angel, sent out the young saint to evangelize the British. St. David journeyed throughout the West, founding or restoring twelve monasteries (among which occur the great names of Glastonbury, Bath, and Leominster), and finally settled in the Vale of Ross, where he and his monks lived a life of extreme austerity.  Here also his monks tried to poison him, but St. David, warned by St. Scuthyn, who crossed from Ireland in one night on the back of a sea-monster, blessed the poisoned bread and ate it without harm. From thence, with St. Teilo and St. Padarn, he set out for Jerusalem, where he was made bishop by the patriarch. Here too St. Dubric and St. Daniel found him, when they came to call him to the Synod of Brevi "against the Pelagians". St. David was with difficulty persuaded to accompany them; on his way he raised a widow's son to life, and at the synod preached so loudly, from the hill that miraculously rose under him, that all could hear him, and so eloquently that all the heretics were confounded. St. Dubric resigned the "Archbishopric of Caerleon", and St. David was appointed in his stead. One of his first acts was to hold, in the year 569, yet another synod called "Victory", against the Pelagians, of which the decrees were confirmed by the pope. With the permission of King Arthur he removed his see from Caerleon to Menevia, whence he governed the British Church for many years with great holiness and wisdom. He died at the great age of 147, on the day predicted by himself a week earlier. His body is said to have been translated to Glastonbury in the year 966. (Edited from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Prayer: O God, who graciously bestowed on your Bishop Saint David of Walesthe virtue of wisdom and the gift of eloquence, and made him an example of prayer and pastoral zeal; grant that, through his intercession, your Church may ever prosper and render you joyful praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pope Francis says "We are called to experience the encounter with Christ so that, enlightened by his light, we might take it and make it shine everywhere." FULL TEXT + Video


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 28 February 2021
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Buongiorno
!

This Second Sunday of Lent invites us to contemplate the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, before three of his disciples (cf. Mk 9:2-10). Just before, Jesus had announced that in Jerusalem he would suffer a greatly, be rejected and put to death. We can imagine what must have happened in the heart of his friends, of those close friends, his disciples: the image of a strong and triumphant Messiah is put into crisis, their dreams are shattered, and they are beset by anguish at the thought that the Teacher in whom they had believed would be killed like the worst of wrongdoers. And in that very moment, with that anguish of soul, Jesus calls Peter, James and John and takes them up the mountain with him.

The Gospel says: He “led them up a high mountain” (v. 2). In the Bible, the mountain always has a special significance: it is the elevated place where heaven and earth touch each other, where Moses and the prophets had the extraordinary experience of encountering God. Climbing the mountain is drawing somewhat close to God. Jesus climbs up with the three disciples and they stop at the top of the mountain. Here, he is transfigured before them. His face radiant and his garments glistening, providing a preview of the image as the Risen One, offer to those frightened men the light, the light of hope, the light to pass through the shadows: death will not be the end of everything, because it will open to the glory of the Resurrection. Thus, Jesus announces his death; he takes them up the mountain and shows them what will happen afterwards, the Resurrection.

As the Apostle Peter exclaimed (cf. v. 5), it is good to pause with the Lord on the mountain, to live this “preview” of light in the heart of Lent. It is a call to remember, especially when we pass through a difficult trial – and so many of you know what it means to pass through a difficult trial –  that the Lord is Risen and does not permit darkness to have the last word.

At times we go through moments of darkness in our personal, family or social life, and of fear that there is no way out. We feel frightened before great enigmas such as illness, innocent pain or the mystery of death. In the same journey of faith, we often stumble encountering the scandal of the cross and the demands of the Gospel, which calls us to spend our life in service and to lose it in love, rather than preserve it for ourselves and protect it. Thus, we need a different outlook, of a light that illuminates the mystery of life in depth and helps us to move beyond our paradigms and beyond the criteria of this world. We too are called to climb up the mountain, to contemplate the beauty of the Risen One who enkindles glimmers of light in every fragment of our life and helps us to interpret history beginning with his paschal victory.

Let us be careful, however: that feeling of Peter that “it is well that we are here” must not become spiritual laziness. We cannot remain on the mountain and enjoy the beauty of this encounter by ourselves. Jesus himself brings us back to the valley, amid our brothers and sisters and into daily life. We must beware of spiritual laziness: we are fine, with our prayers and liturgies, and this is enough for us. No! Going up the mountain does not mean forgetting reality; praying never means avoiding the difficulties of life; the light of faith is not meant to provide beautiful spiritual feelings. No, this is not Jesus’ message. We are called to experience the encounter with Christ so that, enlightened by his light, we might take it and make it shine everywhere. Igniting little lights in people’s hearts; being little lamps of the Gospel that bear a bit of love and hope: this is the mission of a Christian.

Let us pray to Mary Most Holy, that she may help us to welcome the light of Christ with wonder, to safeguard it and share it.


After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters! I join my voice with that of the Bishops of Nigeria to condemn the vile abduction of 317 girls, taken away from their school, to Jangebe, in the northwest of the country. I pray for these girls, that they may return home soon. I am close to their families and to the girls themselves. Let us pray to Our Lady that she safeguard them. Hail Mary….

Today is World Rare Disease Day…. [looking at the Square] You are here. I greet the members of several associations committed in this field, who have come to the Square. In the case of rare diseases the support network among family members, favoured by these associations, is more important than ever. It helps not to feel alone and to exchange experiences and advice. I encourage the initiatives that support research and treatment, and I express my closeness to the sick, to the families, but especially to children. Being close to sick children, suffering children, praying for them, helping them feel God’s loving caress, tenderness…. Taking care of children with prayer, even…. When there are these diseases that no one knows what they are, or there is a somewhat brutal prognosis. Let us pray for all the people who have these rare diseases; let us pray especially for children who are suffering.

I wholeheartedly greet you all, faithful of Rome and pilgrims from various countries. I wish everyone a good journey in this Season of Lent. And I recommend you fast, a fast that will not make you hungry: a fast from gossip and slander. It is a special way. In this Lent I will not speak ill of others; I will not gossip…. And we can all do this, everyone. This is a good fast. And do not forget that it will also be helpful to read a passage of the Gospel, to carry a small Gospel in your pocket, in your purse, and pick it up when you can, any passage. This will make the heart open to the Lord.

And please, do not forget to pray for me. Happy Sunday. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci!

 FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Official Translation -  


#BreakingNews 317 Girls Kidnapped from a Boarding School in Nigeria - Pope Francis Asks Everyone to Pray for them



On Friday, February 26, 2021, an armed group of men kidnapped 317 girls from a boarding school in the town of Jangebe in northwest Nigeria, Africa.

Over 300 young girls were abducted from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe.

According to reports the attack began after 1 a.m. as the militants forced some girls into vehicles while others were forced to walk into the Rugu forest, which covers hundreds of miles across three states, The Wall Street Journal reported.

UNICEF's Nigeria representative, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement. “We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria.”

According to Vatican News, speaking at the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis forcefully condemned the “vile kidnapping of 317 girls” in Nigeria’s Zamfara State.

He invited everyone to pray for them, so that they might return home soon.

“I am near to their families and to them,” said the Pope. “Let us pray that Our Lady might keep them safe.”

And he led the faithful in the recitation of the Hail Mary.

Human Rights Watch, tweeted HRW Nigeria researcher Anietie Ewang's comment about the attack: “The repeated school abductions in Nigeria’s northwest are a worrying sign that children have become prime targets for criminal gangs seeking recognition of financial gain.”


Less than two weeks ago a similar attack in northwest Nigeria occurred where gunmen abducted 42 individuals, including 27 schoolboys, from the Government Science College in Kagara on Feb. 17. The 42 kidnapped students, parents and teachers are still being held captive, according to CBN.

On Dec. 11, Boko Haram, a terrorist group, kidnapped nearly 500 schoolboys in an attack on a boarding school. The terrorist group later freed 344 boys after security forces negotiations, but many of the boys remain missing.


The attacks on schools follow the kidnapping of the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in 2014, which caught international attention with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Over 112 of the Chibok schoolgirls remain missing. 

The Global Terrorism Index has ranked Nigeria as the third country most affected by terrorism in the world.
(with information from Christian Post)

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Sunday Holy Mass Online : Sun. February 28, 2021 - 2nd Sunday in Lent - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - B



 Second Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 26
Reading I
Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, 
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust 
on a height that I will point out to you.”
When they came to the place of which God had told him, 
 
 Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven, 
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about, 
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram 
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: 
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD, 
that because you acted as you did 
in not withholding from me your beloved son, 
I will bless you abundantly 
and make your descendants as countless 
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; 
your descendants shall take possession 
of the gates of their enemies, 
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”
Responsorial Psalm
116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
R. (116:9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted.”
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
O LORD, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
Reading II
Rom 8:31b-34
Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son 
but handed him over for us all, 
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised— 
who also is at the right hand of God, 
who indeed intercedes for us.
Verse Before the Gospel
Cf. Mt 17:5
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
Gospel
Mk 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John 
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them, 
and his clothes became dazzling white, 
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, 
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, 
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents: 
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; 
from the cloud came a voice, 
“This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, 
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
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 February 28 : St. Hilary : a Pope who Hid in the Crypt of St. John the Apostle after the 2nd Council of Ephesus

St. Hilary
POPE 
 Feast Day:
February 28 or November 17
Born:
at Sardinia
Died:28 February 468 at Rome, Italy
 Information: Elected 461; the date of his death is given as 28 Feb., 468. After the death of Leo I, an archdeacon named Hilarus, a native of Sardinia, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", was chosen to succeed him, and in all probability received consecration on 19 November, 461. Together with Julius, Bishop of Puteoli, Hilarus acted as legate of Leo I at the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus in 449. There he fought vigorously for the rights of the Roman See and opposed the condemnation of Flavian of Constantinople (see FLAVIAN, SAINT). He was therefore exposed to the violence of Dioscurus of Alexandria, and saved himself by flight. In one of his letters to the Empress Pulcheria, found in a collection of letters of Leo I ("Leonis I Epistolae", num. xlvi., in P.L., LIV, 837 sq.), Hilarus apologizes for not delivering to her the pope's letter after the synod; but owing to Dioscurus, who tried to hinder his going either to Rome or to Constantinople, he had great difficulty in making his escape in order to bring to the pontiff the news of the result of the council. His pontificate was marked by the same vigorous policy as that of his great predecessor. Church affairs in Gaul and Spain claimed his special attention. Owing to political disorganization in both countries, it was important to safeguard the hierarchy by strengthening church government. Hermes, a former archdeacon of Narbonne, had illegally acquired the bishopric of that town. Two Gallican prelates were dispatched to Rome to lay before the pope this and other matters concerning the Church in Gaul. A Roman synod held on 19 November, 462, passed judgment upon these matters, and Hilarus made known the following decisions in an Encyclical sent to the provincial bishops of Vienne, Lyons, Narbonne, and the Alps: Hermes was to remain Titular Bishop of Narbonne, but his episcopal faculties were withheld. A synod was to be convened yearly by the Bishop of Arles, for those of the provincial bishops who were able to attend; but all important matters were to be submitted to the Apostolic See. No bishop could leave his diocese without a written permission from the metropolitan; in case such permission be withheld he could appeal to the Bishop of Arles. Respecting the parishes (paroeciae) claimed by Leontius of Arles as belonging to his jurisdiction, the Gallican bishops could decide, after an investigation. Church property could not be alienated until a synod had examined into the cause of sale. Shortly after this the pope found himself involved in another diocesan quarrel. In 463 Mamertus of Vienne had consecrated a Bishop of Die, although this Church, by a decree of Leo I, belonged to the metropolitan Diocese of Arles. When Hilarus heard of it he deputed Leontius of Arles to summon a great synod of the bishops of several provinces to investigate the matter. The synod took place and, on the strength of the report given him by Bishop Antonius, he issued an edict dated 25 February, 464, in which Bishop Veranus was commissioned to warn Mamertus that, if in the future he did not refrain from irregular ordinations, his faculties would be withdrawn. Consequently the consecration of the Bishop of Die must be sanctioned by Leontius of Arles. Thus the primatial privileges of the See of Arles were upheld as Leo I had defined them. At the same time the bishops were admonished not to overstep their boundaries, and to assemble in a yearly synod presided over by the Bishop of Arles. The metropolitan rights of the See of Embrun also over the dioceses of the Maritime Alps were protected against the encroachments of a certain Bishop Auxanius, particularly in connection with the two Churches of Nice and Cimiez. In Spain, Silvanus, Bishop of Calahorra, had, by his episcopal ordinations, violated the church laws. Both the Metropolitan Ascanius and the bishops of the Province of Tarragona made complaint of this to the pope and asked for his decision. Before an answer came to their petition, the same bishops had recourse to the Holy See for an entirely different matter. Before his death Nundinarius, Bishop of Barcelona, expressed a wish that Irenaeus might be chosen his successor, although he had himself made Irenaeus bishop of another see. The request was granted, a Synod of Tarragona confirming the nomination of Irenaeus, after which the bishops sought the pope's approval. The Roman synod of 19 Nov., 465, took the matters up and settled them. This is the oldest Roman synod whose original records have been handed down to us. It was held in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. After an address of the pope, and the reading of the Spanish letters, the synod decided that the church laws must not be tampered with. In addition to this Hilarus sent a letter to the bishops of Tarragona, declaring that no consecration was valid without the sanction of the Metropolitan Ascanius; and no bishop was permitted to be transferred from one diocese to another, so that some one else must be chosen for Barcelona in place of Irenaeus. The bishops consecrated by Silvanus would be recognized if they had been appointed to vacant sees, and otherwise met the requirements of the Church. The "Liber Pontificalis" mentions an Encyclical that Hilarus sent to the East, to confirm the Oecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the dogmatic letter of Leo I to Flavian, but the sources at our disposal furnish us no further information. In Rome Hilarus worked zealously for the integrity of the Faith. The Emperor Anthemius had a favourite named Philotheus, who was a believer in the Macedonian heresy and attended meetings in Rome for the promulgation of this doctrine, 476. On one of the emperor's visits to St. Peter's, the pope openly called him to account for his favourite's conduct, exhorting him by the grave of St. Peter to promise that he would do all in his power to check the evil. Hilarus erected several churches and other buildings in Rome. Two oratories in the baptistery of the Lateran, one in honour of St. John the Baptist, the other of St. John the Apostle, are due to him. 
After his flight from the "Robber Synod" or the repudiated 2nd council of Ephesus, Hilarus had hidden himself in the crypt of St. John the Apostle, and he attributed his deliverance to the intercession of the Apostle. Over the ancient doors of the oratory this inscription is still to be seen: "To St. John the Evangelist, the liberator of Bishop Hilarus, a Servant of Christ". He also erected a chapel of the Holy Cross in the baptistery, a convent, two public baths, and libraries near the Church of St. Laurence Outside the Walls. He built another convent within the city walls. The "Liber Pontificalis" mentions many votive offerings made by Hilarus in the different churches. He died after a pontificate of six years, three months, and ten days. He was buried in the church of St. Laurence Outside the Walls. His feast day is celebrated on 17 November. (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis sends Letter Marking 100th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows



Vatican News reports that Pope Francis sent a letter marking the start of a jubilee year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the canonisation of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
By Vatican News staff writer
On the anniversary of his death on 27 February 1862, Pope Francis sent a letter marking one hundred years since the canonisation of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Canonised by Pope Benedict XV, Saint Gabriel died at the young age of 24, at the island of Gran Sasso in Italy.
In his letter, addressed to Bishop Lorenzo Leuzzi of Teramo-Atri, Pope Francis wrote that "this event showed that his Christian witness was so extraordinary and singular that it can be held up as a model for the whole Church, especially for new generations."
Example of charity, enthusiasm
The Pope went on to express his solidarity by joining spiritually in commemorating the significant anniversary with "this Diocese, the Passionist Fathers, the Christian communities of Abruzzo and Molise, and all those who will take part in the beginning of the Jubilee with the opening of the Holy Door at the Shrine dedicated to the patron saint of youth." 
Pope Francis also described St. Gabriel as "a young man of his time, full of life and enthusiasm, animated by a desire for fullness."
It was this same fullness, continued the Pope, that "impelled him beyond worldly and passing things to take refuge in Christ." St. Gabriel, to this day, he said, "invites young people to recognise within themselves the desire for life and fulfillment."
"May the example of this young Passionist religious, strong in faith, firm in hope and ardent in charity, guide the path of consecrated persons and of the lay faithful in the tension of love towards God and towards their neighbour."
Blessed Jubilee Year
The Pope noted that, especially as we face the ongoing pandemic and the resulting economic and social fragility, "it is necessary that the Lord's disciples become ever more instruments of communion and fraternity, extending to others the charity of Christ and radiating it with concrete attitudes of closeness, tenderness and dedication."
Finally, Pope Francis addressed "all those who will take part in the various initiatives promoted to live this significant Jubilee Year in prayer and charity," expressing his desire for them "to rediscover the Lord, seeing him in the face of every brother and sister to whom I offer consolation and hope."
Source: VaticanNews.va

Powerful Devotion to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows and Litany Prayers to SHARE with Promises

 

The Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows remembers, in prayer, 7 times when the mother of Jesus experienced great pains in her heart due to the sufferings of Jesus. Honoring Our Lady due to her sorrows became popular in the 12th Century especially by the Benedictines. A feast to Our Lady of Sorrows was first celebrated in 1482 under the title of Our Lady of Compassion. In 1814 the feast was changed to Our Lady of Sorrows and is celebrated on September 15. (On February 27, is the feast day of St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows, who promoted this devotion)

The Seven Graces (promises) of this Devotion
  1. I will grant peace to their families.

  2.They will be enlightened about the Divine mysteries.

  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
  6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
  7. I have obtained this Grace from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.


7 Sorrows Devotional Prayers: 

Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrow 1

The Presentation in the Temple

FIRST PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 2
The Flight into Egypt
 
THE SECOND PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there.
Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 3
Loss of Jesus For Three Days
THE THIRD PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the lost of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen. 
Sorrow 4
The Way to Calvary
 
THE FOURTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 5
The Crucifixion 
THE FIFTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 6
The Descent from the Cross
THE SIXTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of
understanding.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 7
The Burial of Jesus
THE SEVENTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
NOVENA PRAYER TO
THE MOTHER OF SORROWS (Say for 9 days - with 1 Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son. Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before you. I venerate your sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of your wounded heart. Presenet them, I beseech you, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to you, Mother of Mercy? You have drunk so deeply of the chalice of your Son, you can compassionate our sorrows. Holy Mather, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of your divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain for me from our Lord {mention your petition}, it it be for His honor and glory, and for my good. Amen..

 

PRAYER OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI
 

O afflicted Virgin, O soul great in virtues, as in sorrows, both the one and the other spring from that great fire burning in thyr heart for God, the only love of thy heart!
Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favor me also, with thy consolations. Amen. 

APPROVED BY POPE PIUS VII  IN 1815 

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

by Pope Pius VII
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, [etc.]
Sorrowful Mother
Mournful Mother
Sighing Mother
Afflicted Mother
Foresaken Mother
Desolate Mother
Mother most sad
Mother set around with anguish
Mother overwhelmed by grief
Mother transfixed by a sword
Mother crucified in thy heart
Mother bereaved of thy Son
Sighing Dove
Mother of Dolors
Fount of tears
Sea of bitterness
Field of tribulation
Mass of suffering
Mirror of patience
Rock of constancy
Remedy in perplexity
Joy of the afflicted
Ark of the desolate
Refuge of the abandoned
Shiled of the oppressed
Conqueror of the incredulous
Solace of the wretched
Medicine of the sick
Help of the faint
Strength of the weak
Protectress of those who fight
Haven of the shipwrecked
Calmer of tempests
Companion of the sorrowful
Retreat of those who groan
Terror of the treacherous
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs
Treasure of the Faithful
Light of Confessors
Pearl of Virgins
Comfort of Widows
Joy of all Saints
Queen of thy Servants
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled
V. Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son
7. The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.


Litany by Pope Pius VII

Catholic Bishops' of Nigeria say "We Must Pull Back from the Brink of Collapse" in Message to People - FULL TEXT



FULL TEXT Letter of the Bishops to the People of Nigeria :
We Must Pull Back From The Brink Of Collapse.
A Message of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria
to all People of Goodwill in Nigeria
23 February 2021
Our dear brothers and sisters,
1. Our country Nigeria has gone through many crises, and so
far, has managed to survive them, by God’s grace. But the ongoing crisis
in the country should be of grave concern to everyone who still
believes in “one united nation under God”. We are really on the brink of
a looming collapse, from which we must do all we can to pull back before
the worst overcomes the nation. This is not merely crying wolf without
cause!
2. The very survival of the nation is at stake. The nation
is falling apart. Serious insecurity, clearly evident in widespread loss of
lives and property, for long unaddressed, has left the sad and dangerous
impression that those who have assumed the duty and authority to
secure the nation are either unable – or worse still, unwilling – to take
up the responsibilities of their office. Time is running out and the
situation needs to improve!
3. The clamour for self-defense is fast gaining ground. Many ethnic
champions are loudly beating the drums of war, calling not only for
greater autonomy but even for outright opting out of a nation in which
they have lost all trust and sense of belonging. The calls for secession
on an ethnic basis from many quarters should not be ignored or taken
lightly. Many have given up on the viability and even on the desirability
of the Nigeria project as one united country. No wonder many non-state
actors are filling the vacuum created by a palpable failure of
government. The Federal Government under President Muhammadu
Buhari can no longer delay rising to its obligation to govern the nation;
not according to ethnic and religious biases but along the lines of
objective and positive principles of fairness, equity and, above all,
justice. It is not too much for Nigerians to demand from Mr President
sincerity both in the public and private domain. There are no more
excuses.
4. We, of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, with members
from all parts of Nigeria, are very highly disturbed about the present
state of instability in the land. This must not be allowed to continue to
fester and degenerate. We are raising this alarm because of our deep
patriotic love for our nation, not for any sectional interests, be they
political, ethnic or even religious.
5. Despite the persistence of crises around us; assassinations, Covid 19,
kidnappings, murders, banditry, armed robberies, we sincerely affirm
our faith in the viability and desirability of the Nigeria Project, as one
prosperous nation under God. But we are also convinced that building
such a nation, especially in our present circumstances, comes at a cost.
We are also convinced that the alternative of tearing
ourselves apart, comes with a cost that is far higher than what it
takes to keep ourselves together. We must be ready to seek a common
purpose with sincerity of mind. As individuals and as groups, we ought
to be ready to make the necessary sacrifices that would enable us to
manage our differences better and turn them into a positive rather than
a negative force. Governments at different levels ought to lead the way.
6. We need to have the courage to admit that there is a lot wrong with
our nation. It is our patriotic duty to point this out, with all objectivity
and sincerity. The rule of law has too often been disregarded, giving way
to widespread impunity, leading to a progressive break down of good
order. There is a wide consensus that even the laws and rules we have
made for ourselves are often the cause of our problems. No wonder there
is an on-going clamour for constitution review,
restructuring, decentralization of the security agencies and calls for
many changes to many things we have been taking for granted.
Examples include issues surrounding national census, constituency
delimitations, states and the nagging issue of Local Government
autonomy, violence and lack of internal democracy in political parties, a
weak and compromised National Assembly, the Amendment of
the Electoral Act etc. In these matters, the nation is not lacking in many
good and brilliant ideas. What has been lacking has been the political will
to embrace the change that is necessary for building a better nation.
7. We note the changes in the Command of the Service Chiefs. They are
insiders and should be familiar with the problems of the insurgency and
banditry. It is our prayer that we will witness a more co-ordinated
strategy with State Governments and other security agencies for winning
this sad war.
8. In conclusion, we wish to remind our countrymen and women that
there are some basic values and principles that we need to uphold if the
Nigeria project is to be successful. These include mutual respect for and
acceptance of our diversities, a deep sense of justice for every person,
equity, solidarity and inclusiveness. In addition, we must be ready for
sincere dialogue, in the true sense of the word, as it was once defined
by His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, who is a renowned expert in
dialogue: “You talk, I listen. I talk, you listen.” On the one hand, there
should be a dialogue between the people and the government.
Government has the duty to create room for such dialogue, with groups
and with individuals. It means being open and receptive to criticism. On
the other hand, we the people need to dialogue with one another across
our various lines of diversities and identities. In particular, ethnic and
religious groups need to find a way to put their heads together to deal
with our common challenges.
9. We note with deep sorrow, the events that have occurred in Niger
State. These developments still expose our collective vulnerability. There
is an urgent need for a clear strategy between the federal security
agencies and the state governments to end the tragedy that we face. In
addition, we propose the need for a formal meeting of statesmen and
women across the board for us to think through the challenges that seem
poised to push us into the abyss.
10. We pray, and we call on all to pray and work for the achievement of
one Nigeria under God where the principle of the common good will be
thought out and enshrined. We submit ourselves to the directives of God
the Almighty Father to fill us with the wisdom and courage to pull back
from this brink of collapse. Amen.
President - Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze 
Secretary - Most Rev. Camillus Raymond Umoh
Archbishop of Benin-City Bishop of Ikot Ekpene 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, February 27, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 229
Reading I
Dt 26:16-19
Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.”
Responsorial Psalm
119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
R.    (1b)  Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
(Mass starts after the Stations of the Cross at the 14:31 Mark)
 
 Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
    who seek him with all their heart.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
    be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
    of keeping your statutes!
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
    when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Verse before the Gospel
2 Cor 6:2b
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
Gospel
Mt 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
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 February 27 : St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows the Patron of: Students, Youth, Seminarians and a Passionist Monk

February 27, marks the feast day of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862), the patron saint of young people, students, and young religious. Saint Gabriel’s short life is marked by piety, faith, and obedience to the Lord, and religious vocation at the behest of Our Blessed Mother. While the last six years of his life, spent as a brother in the Passionist Order, were marked by humility, self-denial, and simplicity, Gabriel’s early life was quite the opposite. His complete consecration of his life to the Lord, despite the temptations of the modern world which he so loved, make his sacrifice a vivid example of the Christian love and obedience we should strive for.
SEE ALSO - Powerful Prayers to Our Lady of Sorrows:
https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/02/powerful-devotion-to-our-lady-of-seven.html
Born Francis Possenti, in Assisi, Italy in 1838, Saint Gabriel was the eleventh of thirteen children produced by the union of his parents. His father, a pious man with great political recognition in the area, and his mother, a well-connected religious woman from a respected family, were delighted in their son. He was baptized at the same font that his saintly namesake had been baptized nearly 600 years earlier.
From an early age, Francis demonstrated the potential for thoughtfulness and piety. He encouraged his teacher and siblings to pay more attention to the poor, oftentimes choosing to give some of his portions to those in need. Before he reached the age of four, his mother passed away from a serious illness, as did four of his siblings. Francis, the most sensitive of the family, was severely moved by these losses, increasing his empathy for others and his sensitivity to those in need.
As Francis matured, he developed insight into the fact that he was smart, charming, and attractive. He pursued hedonistic pleasures like art and theater, which he would later write to friends almost “cost him his soul.” He dressed to perfection, paying careful attention to his appearance. Francis excelled at school, and was generally the award-winner in all of his classes. He was chosen to give his commencement address upon graduation from the Jesuit College. Francis embraced the world, and to his classmates and friends, he appeared to have all the tools required for great success. He was the center of attention wherever he went, all the doors of the finest families and establishments open to him throughout the city. And while he was impulsive, prone to anger, and pridefully vain, he was poised to achieve great worldly things.
But Francis felt called in a different direction. Twice, Francis came down with serious illnesses while in school, illnesses he was not expected to recover from. During these times, he prayed to the Lord, promising to become a religious if his life was spared. While a student at the Jesuit College, he had asked permission to enter the Order, and was granted permission from his spiritual director. But Francis delayed entering the Order, finding reasons to wait. He maintained his faith, praying daily in the chapel and receiving the Eucharist, but could not commit to the religious life and give up his worldly enjoyments. As time went on, Francis began to doubt his choice of the Jesuit Order, instead feeling called to become a Passionist, the Order formed by Saint John of the Cross. His spiritual director encouraged him to wait and pray, and see where the Lord led him.
Following the cholera outbreak in 1856, the town rejoiced in thanks to the Blessed Mother, who interceded to save Spoleto. In veneration, a statue of Our Lady was carried throughout the streets. Francis observed the procession, more curious than devoted. As the statue was carried past him, he gazed into the face of the Blessed Virgin, and through the eyes of the statue, Mary pierced his heart with a gaze so strong it felt as a ‘dart of fire.” At the same time, he heard the words deep within in, “Why! thou art not made for the world! What art thou doing in the world? Hasten, become a religious!”
From that moment, Francis’ life changed. He entered the noviatiate of the Passionists, where he would live until his death. The Passionist Order is a strict order, and his family and friends urged him not to commit to such a life. Rather, they suggested he become a priest, or better yet, not become a religious and use his “talents” in the world. Francis was not to be disuaded. After his initial retreat, he was clothed in the robes of the Passionists, and gave up his name for a new name: Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
His days were spent in prayer, chanting, study, and manual labor. The Passionist Order maintains a rule of silence, and speaking was forbidden without permission. Gabriel spent the majority of his time meditating on the Passion of Christ, and praying the Rosary to Our Lady of Sorrows. Despite the rules and strict lifestyle, Gabriel was filled with joy. “My life is a continuous delight; what I experience inside these sacred walls is almost inexpressible; the 24 hours of the day seem to me like 24 short instants; really my life is full of delight.” He looked at each sacrifice as a way in which to polish away his sinful life, his pride, his vanity, and devote his life to Jesus. He wrote, “I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
Saint Gabriel looked to the Blessed Mother as his comfort and refuge in times of suffering, of which he had plenty due to illness. He wrote of her to his brother, “Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.” Within a few years of joining the Order, Gabriel was stricken with Consumption. He died a slow and painful death, over the course of two years, during which he maintained a cheerful and joyous disposition, so much so that his brothers in the Order wished to spend their days with him. In his dying moments, he asked for his picture of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin standing at the foot of the cross. It was well-worn from use. He devoutly kissed it, placed it upon him, folded his hands across it, and began to pray. With indescribable love he began to say aloud: “Oh, my Mother make haste, make haste!”
Many from the Order watched and prayed in his cell with him, as they knew his moment of death was close at hand. They were moved to tears by his devotion, and by the love with which he implored the comfort of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. By their records, Gabriel suddenly turned his eyes to the left and above him, gazing in rapture upon some heavenly vision. With a peaceful smile, he died, never letting go of his beloved picture. Not yest a priest when he died at age 24, Gabriel was buried at the Passionist retreat in Isola di Gran Sasso, Italy.
Since his death, numerous miracles have been reported via his intercession. For exmaple, Saint Gemma (1878-1903), a young woman with numerous ailments including deafness from meningitis, paralysis, abcesses, and curvature of the spine was miraculously cured after praying a novena to Saint Gabriel. In her own words, "I grew in admiration of his virtues and his ways. My devotion to him increased. At night I did not sleep without having his picture under my pillow, and after that I began to see him near me. I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt his presence. At all times and in every action Brother Gabriel came to mind.”
When she was approximately 20, and on her deathbed, Gemma began her novena to Saint Gabriel. While trying to sleep, she heard the rattling of a Rosary and he appeared to her, saying, “Do you wish to recover? Pray with faith every evening to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will come to you until the Novena is ended, and will pray together to this Most Sacred Heart.” On the last night of the Novena, Gemma was miraculously cured of all her ailments, a scientific impossibility at the time. Saint Gemma went on to be visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bore the stigmata throughout her prayerful life, committed to Jesus.
One of his brothers wrote of him: “In the garden within the monastery walls at Isola stands a large crucifix. A seed fell to the ground before it. A plant sprang up, and twined itself around the cross until it reached the feet of the figure nailed upon it. It then bent outward, as if to behold what was above. A bud formed, swelled, burst into bloom, and gazed in loving awe upon the figure of Christ Crucified. Lo! it was a true flower of the Passion! Its heart was pierced and stamped with the signs of Him Who hung upon the cross. The seed that fell at the foot of the crucifix was Francis Possenti. The plant that grew there from and flowered was Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist.”
Text shared from 365 Rosaries

Wow Princess Diana's Great Uncle on the Road to becoming Saint - Pope Francis Approves Heroic Virtues of Fr. Ignatius Spencer of the Passionists


Pope Francis has  approved the heroic virtues of Ignatius of Saint Paul who will now have the title Venerable. Servant of God Ignatius of Saint Paul, an English Passionist priest, was born George Spencer on 21 December 1799 in London, a son of the 2nd Earl Spencer.He is a relative of Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as the great uncle of Second World War Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Spencer family, mostly members of the Church of England, were the fifth wealthiest family in England at the time.
The great-great-great uncle of Princess Diana, was an Anglican vicar until he converted to Catholicism at the age of 31. As a Catholic, he was ordained a priest and became a Passionist. The then Father Ignatius (the former George Spencer) was drawn to Christianity: 
“He had not shown strong feelings toward Christianity until he saw Mozart’s Don Giovanni during a visit to Paris and was struck by a scene in which the anti-hero Giovanni, a seducer and blasphemer, is carried off to Hell by a troop of devils.” 
Fr. Ignatius is portrayed in a stained glass in British chapel. He was named pastor of an Anglican parish in Brighton; and there he worked for the poor, the sick and dying. George began to question his Anglican faith. He investigated other Christian traditions. He questioned the truth of the Thirty-Nine Articles, the defining statements of doctrine upon which the English Reformation was based. Also his earlier studies of Scripture did not support the doctrines which were central to Anglicanism. When Spencer began to read the writings of the Early Church Fathers he found that St. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great explained differences between Catholic and Protestant thought. He was encouraged by other Catholic priests. When Spencer met Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, a recent English convert to Catholicism, he soon resigned his pastorate on January 30, 1830. He was received into the Catholic Church. There he then studied Catholic tradition and joined the Passionists Order (which lived in poverty). George wrote the story of his conversion from Protestantism to the Catholicism, that was published in Catholic journals of the time. George Spencer’s friend Ambrose de Lisle spoke of the priest’s conversion: 
“To renounce the errors and prejudices imbibed in childhood is, perhaps, the most difficult act of duty that a human being can ever be called upon to perform; there it was that he embraced the Catholic faith, thereby accomplishing an act that it will ever be memorable in the history of the Church; an act, the fame of which has penetrated wherever the faith of the Church is preached, from one end of the world to the other, and deservedly so; for it was accompanied with the utter renunciation of all his worldly goods and prospects, all of which he cheerfully sacrificed to follow the dictates of his upright conscience, that he might possess that greatest of all blessings —the communion and privileges of Christ’s true Church.” 
Spencer, wished that he could die in poverty like Jesus–”in a ditch, unseen and unknown.” He had a seizure on a country lane near Edinburgh, Scotland, and died there alone. The Vatican's investigations have declared that Father Ignatius Spencer, who is buried in Merseyside, lived a life of "heroic virtue". The priest, is buried in the church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic, in St Helens. He was a great, great, great uncle of Diana, Princess of Wales and thus, a relative of Prince William and Prince Harry. He was born as George Spencer in 1799, he was the youngest child of the second Earl Spencer, who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. He grew up at Althorp, where Diana Princess of Wales is now buried. The Spencers, were ancestors of Winston Churchill, were very wealthy. The Vatican, which has been studying his writings since 2007, said it had concluded that he lived a holy life and there was nothing in his written work which was contrary to Roman Catholic teachings on faith and morals. 

Patriarchate of Iraq Releases Official Prayer for Pope Francis' Trip to Iraq from March 5-8 - Inviting Everyone to Pray Daily for the Visit - FULL TEXT



The Chaldean Patriarchate, which oversees Iraq, has just released through its official website a prayer to place Pope Francis' next trip to Iraq (5-8 March) in the hands of the Lord, It asks the the Holy Spirit of Christ come to support and enlighten his gestures and words during the trip, also touching the hearts of all those who will meet and listen to him during the apostolic visit. It is asked that everyone to recite it every day of the week before the start of the trip. "
FULL TEXT:
 Prayer for the week before the Pope's visit (5-8 March 2021) 
 Lord, we entrust to you, Pope Francis' trip to Iraq from 5 March. May your Holy Spirit be in his gestures and words, and in the hearts of those who meet and listen to him, so that encouragement, consolation, the meeting between different ethnic groups, cultures and religions and the commitment to fulfill courageous steps of reconciliation and collaboration for the common good. May the church in Iraq be given comfort, light and strength not to tire of weaving new bonds of brotherhood and peace. Lord, free Iraq and the countries of the Middle East from hatred and violence. Amen.

Vatican Releases Announcement about the 1st Liturgical Commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek from the Congregation for the Eastern Churches


 

Press Release of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches

and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

First Liturgical Commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek

According to the General Roman Calendar

Following the Decree of His Holiness Pope Francis to inscribe February 27 as the liturgical commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek, Abbot and Doctor of the Church, in the General Roman Calendar, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have organized a celebration in Vatican City this Saturday 27 February, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See.

His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10.30 am, which will be followed by an Ecumenical Prayer at the statue of St. Gregory of Narek blessed by Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens in 2018.

Concelebrating with Cardinal Sandri will be His Excellency Lévon Bogos Zékyian, Archbishop of Istanbul for the Armenian Catholic faithful and Pontifical Delegate for the Mekhitarist Congregation, and His Excellency Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Ecumenical Prayer will be presided by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Rome, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Source: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/02/26/0115/00240.html

Beautiful Lent Hymn "O Sacred Head wounded by Crown of piercing thorn" Sung by King's College Choir

"O Sacred Head surrounded By crown of piercing thorn" is one of the most famous hymns from passiontide within the Lenten season. It is generally attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux as author. The translator: H. W. Baker. This famous tune is known as PASSION CHORALE by (Hassler) - JS Bach.  
Lyrics:
1 O sacred head, so wounded
defiled and put to scorn.
O bleeding head, surrounded
so shamed and put to scorn!
What sorrow  comes o'er thee,
the glow of life decays;
yet angel-hosts adore thee,
and tremble as they gaze.
2 Thy comeliness and vigour
is withered up and gone,
and in thy wasted figure
I see death drawing on.
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesu, all grace supplying,
turn thou thy face on me.
3 In this thy bitter passion,
good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.
Image: Stom,_Matthias_-_Christ_Crowned_with_Thorns_-_c._1633-1639 - Google Images