Saturday, April 3, 2021

Easter Sunday Mass Online : Sunday April 4, 2021 - Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - #Easter Holy Mass



 Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Day
Lectionary: 42
Reading I
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea, 
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached, 
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil, 
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Responsorial Psalm
118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R.  (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
R.  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
    the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
    and declare the works of the LORD.”
R.  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.
R.  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Reading II
Col 3:1-4
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, 
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
OR:
I Cor 5:6b-8
Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, 
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, 
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, 
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Sequence
Victimae paschali laudes
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
    Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
    Christ, who only is sinless,
    Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
    The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
    What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
    The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
    The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
    to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
    Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
    Amen. Alleluia.
Alleluia
Cf. 1 Cor 5:7b-8a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Jn 20:1-9
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.
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 4 : St. Isidore of Seville a Bishop of Spain and Patron of the Internet with Prayer


St. Isidore of Seville
Feast Day: April 4
Born: 560 at Cartagena, Spain
 Died: 4 April 636 at Seville, Spain
Canonized: 1598, Rome by Pope Clement VIII Patron of: Internet, computer technicians, computer users, computers, schoolchildren, students Born at Cartagena, Spain, about 560; died 4 April, 636. Isidore was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; whilst a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious. Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, which was the first of its kind in Spain, the trivium and quadrivium were taught by a body of learned men, among whom was the archbishop, Leander. With such diligence did he apply himself to study that in a remarkably short time mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Whether Isidore ever embraced monastic life or not is still an open question, but though he himself may never have been affiliated with any of the religious orders, he esteemed them highly. On his elevation to the episcopate he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks. In 619 he pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who should in any way molest the monasteries. On the death of Leander, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. His long incumbency to this office was spent in a period of disintegration and transition. The ancient institutions and classic learning of the Roman Empire were fast disappearing. In Spain a new civilization was beginning to evolve itself from the blending racial elements that made up its population. For almost two centuries the Goths had been in full control of Spain, and their barbarous manners and contempt of learning threatened greatly to put back her progress in civilization. Realizing that the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the nation depended on the full assimilation of the foreign elements, St. Isidore set himself to the task of welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples who made up the Hispano-Gothic kingdom. To this end he availed himself of all the resources of religion and education. His efforts were attended with complete success. Arianism, which had taken deep root among the Visigoths, was eradicated, and the new heresy of Acephales was completely stifled at the very outset; religious discipline was everywhere strengthened. Like Leander, he took a most prominent part in the Councils of Toledo and Seville. In all justice it may be said that it was in a great measure due to the enlightened statecraft of these two illustrious brothers the Visigothic legislation, which emanated from these councils, is regarded by modern historians as exercising a most important influence on the beginnings of representative government. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun 13 November, 619, in the reign of Sisebut. But it was the Fourth National Council of Toledo that afforded him the opportunity of being of the greatest service to his county. At this council, begun 5 December, 633, all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. St. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments. It was at this council and through his influence that a decree was promulgated commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville. Within his own jurisdiction he had availed himself of the resources of education to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism. His was the quickening spirit that animated the educational movement of which Seville was the centre. The study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, was prescribed. Interest in law and medicine was also encouraged. Through the authority of the fourth council this policy of education was made obligatory upon all the bishops of the kingdom. Long before the Arabs had awakened to an appreciation of Greek Philosophy, he had introduced Aristotle to his countrymen. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge. This encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern. In it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise had been hopelessly lost. The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. His style, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition. It particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Arévalo counts in all Isidore's writing 1640 Spanish words. Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Spanish people from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Spain, The Eighth Council of Toledo (653) recorded its admiration of his character in these glowing terms: "The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore". This tribute was endorsed by the Fifteenth Council of Toledo, held in 688. Text of the Catholic Encyclopedia
PRAYER before Using the Internet:

Almighty and eternal God, who has created us in thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee that through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Father we ask you this, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

FULL TEXT - Pope Francis says "...in these dark months of pandemic we hear the Risen Lord who invites us to start again, to never lose hope." at Easter Vigil Homily + Video


 
EASTER VIGIL IN THE HOLY NIGHT

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

St. Peter's Basilica - Altar of the Chair - Holy Saturday, April 3, 2021

The women thought they would find the body to anoint, but instead they found an empty tomb. They had gone to mourn a dead man, but instead they heard an announcement of life. For this reason, the Gospel says, those women "were full of fear and amazement" ( Mk 16: 8), full of fear, fearful and full of amazement. Amazement: in this case it is a fear mixed with joy, which surprises their hearts to see the great stone of the tomb rolled away and into a young man in a white robe. It is the wonder of hearing those words: «Do not be afraid! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified one. He is risen "(v. 6). And then that invitation: "He goes before you to Galilee, there you will see him" (v. 7). We too welcome this invitation, the Easter invitation: we go to Galilee where the Risen Lord precedes us. But what does it mean to "go to Galilee"?

Going to Galilee means, above all, starting overFor the disciples it means returning to the place where the Lord sought them for the first time and called them to follow him. It is the place of the first meeting and the place of the first love. From that moment, leaving the nets, they followed Jesus, listening to his preaching and witnessing the wonders he performed. Yet, even though they were always with him, they did not fully understand him, they often misunderstood his words and ran away from the cross, leaving him alone. Despite this failure, the Risen Lord presents himself as the One who, once again, precedes them in Galilee; it precedes them, that is, it stands before them. He calls them and calls them to follow him, without ever getting tired. The Risen One is telling them: “Let's start again from where we started. Let's start again. I want you again with me, despite and beyond all the failures ”. In this Galilee we learn the amazement of the Lord's infinite love, which traces new paths within the paths of our defeats. And so is the Lord: he traces new paths within the paths of our defeats. He is like that and he invites us to Galilee to do this.

Here is the first Easter announcement that I would like to deliver to you: it is always possible to start over again , because there is always a new life that God is capable of restarting in us beyond all our failures. Even from the rubble of our heart - each of us knows, knows the rubble of his own heart - even from the rubble of our heart God can build a work of art, even from the ruinous fragments of our humanity God prepares a new history. He always precedes us: in the cross of suffering, desolation and death, as well as in the glory of a life that is reborn, of a history that changes, of a hope that is reborn. And in these dark months of pandemic we hear the Risen Lord who invites us to start again, to never lose hope.

Going to Galilee, secondly, means following new pathsIt is moving in the opposite direction to the tomb. Women look for Jesus at the tomb, that is, they go to remember what they lived with him and which is now lost forever. They go to stir up their sadness. It is the image of a faith that has become a commemoration of a beautiful but finished fact, only to be remembered. Many - we too - live the "faith of memories", as if Jesus were a character from the past, a friend of his youth now far away, a fact that happened a long time ago, when I attended catechism as a child. A faith made up of habits, of things from the past, of good childhood memories, which no longer touches me, no longer challenges me. Going to Galilee, on the other hand, means learning that faith, to be alive, must get back on the road. It must revive the beginning of the journey every day, the amazement of the first encounter. And then trust, without the presumption of already knowing everything, but with the humility of one who lets himself be surprised by God's ways. We are afraid of God's surprises; we are usually afraid that God will surprise us. And today the Lord invites us to let ourselves be surprised. We go to Galilee to discover that God cannot be placed among the memories of childhood but is alive, always surprising. Risen, he never ceases to amaze us.

Here is the second Easter announcement: faith is not a repertoire of the past, Jesus is not an outdated character. He is alive, here and now . Walk with you every day, in the situation you are experiencing, in the trial you are going through, in the dreams you carry inside. It opens new ways where it seems to you that there are none, it pushes you to go against the tide of regret and the "already seen". Even if everything seems lost to you, please open yourself in amazement to its novelty: it will surprise you.

Going to Galilee also means going to the bordersBecause Galilee is the most distant place: in that composite and variegated region live those who are farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem. Yet Jesus began his mission from there, addressing the announcement to those who carry on daily life with difficulty, addressing the announcement to the excluded, the frail, the poor, to be the face and presence of God, who goes to seek without whoever is discouraged or lost, who moves to the limits of existence because in his eyes no one is last, no one excluded, get tired. There the Risen One asks his followers to go, even today he asks us to go to Galilee, to this real "Galilee". It is the place of daily life, they are the roads we travel every day, they are the corners of our cities where the Lord precedes us and makes himself present, right in the life of those who pass by and share with us time, home, work, efforts and hopes. In Galilee we learn that we can find the Risen One in the faces of the brothers, in the enthusiasm of those who dream and in the resignation of those who are discouraged, in the smiles of those who rejoice and in the tears of those who suffer, especially in the poor and in those who are marginalized. We will be amazed at how God's greatness is revealed in littleness, how his beauty shines in the simple and the poor.

Here, then, is the third Easter proclamation: Jesus, the Risen One, loves us without boundaries and visits each of our life situations. He planted his presence in the heart of the world and invites us too to overcome barriers, overcome prejudices, approach those around us every day, to rediscover the grace of everyday life . Let's recognize it present in our Galilee, in everyday life. With him, life will change. Because beyond all defeats, evil and violence, beyond all suffering and death, the Risen One lives and the Risen One leads history.

Sister, brother, if on this night you carry a dark hour in your heart, a day that has not yet dawned, a buried light, a broken dream, go, open your heart with amazement at the announcement of Easter: " risen! He awaits you in Galilee ”. Your expectations will not remain unfinished, your tears will be dried, your fears will be overcome by hope. Because, you know, the Lord always goes before you, always walks ahead of you. And, with him, life always begins again.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot


Watch LIVE the Shroud of Turin on Holy Saturday - JOIN in Contemplation and Prayer of Jesus with a Blessing for the World

Watch below Holy Saturday special Prayers LIVE streamed at the Cathedral where the Shroud of Turin is located. 
You can participate via the Video below! (When LIVE is over the Recorded version is below)
 The Archbishop explained that this is being done to support the faithful in this time of the coronavirus pandemic and to ask Christ for “the grace to overcome evil as He did on the Cross”. "Stronger is the love. This is the Easter proclamation that the Shroud brings us to relive and that fills our hearts with gratitude and faith", said Archbishop Nosiglia. 
Last year, in his message to the archbishop, Pope Francis said "I, too, join in your prayer," . "In the face of the Man of the Shroud we also see the faces of many sick brothers and sisters, especially those most alone and least cared for, but also all the victims of wars and violence, slavery and persecution."
Offering his blessing to all who watch the exposition online or on television, Pope Francis said, "we live these days in intimate union with the passion of Christ so as to experience the grace and joy of the resurrection."
SEE ALSO: 

Powerful Prayers to SHARE to the Holy Face of Jesus with Novena, Litany and Promises - 

http://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/02/powerful-prayers-to-share-to-holyface.html

(Video below starts at 11:20 mark)

Easter Vigil Mass Online : Saturday April 3, 2021 - Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - #EasterVigil Holy Mass



 Holy Saturday
At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter
Lectionary: 41
Reading I
Gn 1:1—2:2
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
(Mass starts at 23:00 mark on Video below )
 
 Then God said,
"Let there be light,"" and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.
Then God said,
"Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other."
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome "the sky."
Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.
Then God said,
"Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear."
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land "the earth, "
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it."
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.
Then God said:
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,
and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth."
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.
Then God said,
"Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky."
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
"Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth."
Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds."
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said:
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished
with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
Or
Gn 1:1, 26-31a
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said:
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35
R. (30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
not to be moved forever;
with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
above the mountains the waters stood.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You send forth springs into the watercourses
that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
from among the branches they send forth their song.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You water the mountains from your palace;
the earth is replete with the fruit of your works.
You raise grass for the cattle,
and vegetation for man's use,
Producing bread from the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
R.  Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Ps 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20 and 22
R.  (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
 and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
 of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
 by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
 in cellars he confines the deep.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
 the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
 he sees all mankind.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
 who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
 who have put our hope in you.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Reading II
Gn 22:1-18
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."
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
took with him his son Isaac and two of his servants as well,
and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust,
set out for the place of which God had told him.
On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
Then he said to his servants:
"Both of you stay here with the donkey,
while the boy and I go on over yonder.
We will worship and then come back to you."
Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust
and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders,
while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
"Father!" Isaac said.
"Yes, son," he replied.
Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood,
but where is the sheep for the holocaust?"
"Son," Abraham answered,
"God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust."
Then the two continued going forward.
When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Next he tied up his son Isaac,
and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
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.
Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh;
hence people now say, "On the mountain the LORD will see."
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."
Or
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
Ps 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
 the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Reading III
Ex 14:15—15:1
The LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the Israelites to go forward.
And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
split the sea in two,
that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land.
But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
that they will go in after them.
Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army,
his chariots and charioteers.
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
when I receive glory through Pharaoh
and his chariots and charioteers."
The angel of God, who had been leading Israel's camp,
now moved and went around behind them.
The column of cloud also, leaving the front,
took up its place behind them,
so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians
and that of Israel.
But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed
without the rival camps coming any closer together
all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.
Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers."
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army
which had followed the Israelites into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the Israelites had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
Responsorial Psalm
Ex 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18
R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The LORD is a warrior,
LORD is his name!
Pharaoh's chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The flood waters covered them,
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power,
your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
You brought in the people you redeemed
and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, LORD, which your hands established.
The LORD shall reign forever and ever.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
Reading IV
Is 54:5-14
The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
but with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the LORD, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
my love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
I lay your pavements in carnelians,
and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established,
far from the fear of oppression,
where destruction cannot come near you.
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13   
R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Reading V
Is 55:1-11
Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.
Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.
For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Responsorial Psalm
Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
 is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Reading VI
Bar 3:9-15, 32--4:4
Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
listen, and know prudence!
How is it, Israel,
that you are in the land of your foes,
grown old in a foreign land,
defiled with the dead,
accounted with those destined for the netherworld?
You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have dwelt in enduring peace.
Learn where prudence is,
where strength, where understanding;
that you may know also
where are length of days, and life,
where light of the eyes, and peace.
Who has found the place of wisdom,
who has entered into her treasuries?
The One who knows all things knows her;
he has probed her by his knowledge--
The One who established the earth for all time,
and filled it with four-footed beasts;
he who dismisses the light, and it departs,
calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
before whom the stars at their posts
shine and rejoice;
when he calls them, they answer, "Here we are!"
shining with joy for their Maker.
Such is our God;
no other is to be compared to him:
he has traced out the whole way of understanding,
and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
to Israel, his beloved son.
Since then she has appeared on earth,
and moved among people.
She is the book of the precepts of God,
the law that endures forever;
all who cling to her will live,
but those will die who forsake her.
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
walk by her light toward splendor.
Give not your glory to another,
your privileges to an alien race.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
for what pleases God is known to us!
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11 
R. (John 6:68c) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
Reading VII
Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28
The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land,
they defiled it by their conduct and deeds.
Therefore I poured out my fury upon them
because of the blood that they poured out on the ground,
and because they defiled it with idols.
I scattered them among the nations,
dispersing them over foreign lands;
according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
But when they came among the nations wherever they came,
they served to profane my holy name,
because it was said of them: "These are the people of the LORD,
yet they had to leave their land."
So I have relented because of my holy name
which the house of Israel profaned
among the nations where they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD:
Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel,
but for the sake of my holy name,
which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4
When baptism is celebrated.
R.  (42:2) Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
I went with the throng
and led them in procession to the house of God,
Amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving,
with the multitude keeping festival.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Or 
Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
When baptism is not celebrated.R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
 proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
 is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
or
Ps 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
When baptism is not celebrated R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Epistle
Rom 6:3-11
Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.
For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Mark 16:1-7
When the sabbath was over, 
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome 
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, 
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 
‘He is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him, as he told 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

US Bishops Statement on the Situation at the US-Mexico Border "For most, the decision to migrate...is a matter of life or death." FULL TEXT



WASHINGTON- The bishops along the border of the United States and Northern Mexico have issued a joint statement on the situation at the border of the two countries.
Their joint statement follows:
As U.S. and Mexican bishops along the border, we witness daily the dilemma that our migrant sisters and brothers face. For most, the decision to migrate is not motivated by an indifference toward their homeland or the pursuit of economic prosperity; it is a matter of life or death. The situation is all the more difficult for children.
Challenges such as these require humanitarian solutions. Undoubtedly, nations have the right to maintain their borders. This is vital to their sovereignty and self-determination. At the same time, there is a shared responsibility of all nations to preserve human life and provide for safe, orderly, and humane immigration, including the right to asylum.
For that reason, we renew our appeal to our governments, to political leaders, and civil society, that they work together to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants in accordance with their intrinsic dignity, as well as work with other countries in the region to eliminate conditions that compel their citizens to resort to dangerous and irregular migration, producing long-term solutions.  “Unlike disagreement and conflict,” Pope Francis reminds us, “persistent and courageous dialogue does not make headlines, but quietly helps the world to live much better than we imagine.”
Conscious of the importance of public health and safety, we encourage policies supported by sound scientific rationales. We maintain that family unity must be a vital component of any response. We ask that special attention be given to particularly vulnerable populations, such as children. We strongly urge that structures be put in place and reforms in our laws be made to both promote a welcoming culture for our sisters and brothers and respect the sovereignty and safety of our countries.
We pledge our support to continue helping our respective governments’ efforts to protect and care for families, as well as individuals who feel compelled to migrate. To accomplish this we commit   to the ongoing work of Catholic organizations at the border and elsewhere, which are generously tended to by lay people, consecrated persons, and the clergy.
One year ago, on the eve of Easter Sunday, Pope Francis, exclaimed: “How beautiful it is to be Christians who offer consolation, who bear the burdens of others and who offer encouragement: messengers of life in a time of death.” As we once again enter into Holy Week, in which we experience the power of love in Christ’s Death and Resurrection, we feel encouraged to keep going, helping migrants, conscious that while the way ahead is long and arduous, it is not impossible if we journey together.
U.S. Bishops:
-Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration
-Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz
Bishop of El Paso
-Most Reverend James A. Tamayo
Bishop of Laredo
-Most Reverend Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Tucson
-Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores
Bishop of Brownsville
-Most Reverend Peter Baldacchino
Bishop of Las Cruces
-Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy
Bishop of San Diego
-Most Reverend Michael J. Sis
Bishop of San Angelo
-Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS
Archbishop of San Antonio
Mexican Bishops:
-Monsignor José Guadalupe Torres Campos
Bishop of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Encargado de la Dimensión Episcopal de Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DEPMH)
-Monsignor Jesús José Herrera Quiñones
Bishop of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
-Monsignor Alonso Garza Treviño
Bishop of Piedras Negras, Coahuila
-Monsignor Enrique Sánchez Martínez
Bishop of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
-Monsignor Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía
Bishop of Matamoros, Tamaulipas
-Monsignor Hilario González García
Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila
Source: Full official Text release from the USCCB

Saint April 3 : St. Luigi Scrosoppi the Patron Saint of Football and Founder of the Congregation of Providence

LUIGI SCROSOPPI
(1804 - 1884)  

Luigi Scrosoppi was born on the 4th of August 1804 in Udine,a city in the region of Friuli in the north of Italy. He grew up in a family atmosphere of faith and Christian charity. At twelve years of age he began preparing for the priesthood at the Udine diocesan seminary, and was ordained in 1827. At his side were his two brothers Charles and John Baptist, both of them also priests.
The wretchedly poor conditions during the 1800s in a Friuli devastated by famine, wars and pestilence were for Luigi an invitation to care for those most in need. With other priests and a group of young teachers he dedicated himself to gathering together and educating poor and abandoned girls from Udine and the surrounding countryside. To them he devoted all his material possessions, his energies and his affection. He did not spare himself, and when the situation called for it he went around begging; he relied on people's help, and above all, trusted in the Lord. In fact his whole life bears witness to his great trust in Divine Providence. Regarding the works of charity in which he was engaged, he wrote: "The providence of God, who prepares minds and hearts to undertake His works, was alone the foundation of this Institute... that loving tender Providence that never deserts those who trust in Him". He lost no opportunity in fostering this confidence in the girls he gathered together and in the young women devoted to their education. They came to be called "school mistresses" because they were skilled in sewing and embroidery but were also able to teach "reading, writing and arithmetic" as they used to say. They were women of different ages and backgrounds, and in each of them there matured the decision to place their lives in the hands of the Lord and to consecrate themselves to Him, serving Him in the family of the "outcast". On the evening of the 1st of February 1837, as a sign of their definitive decision, nine women put aside their possessions and chose to live their total dedication to Him in poverty. In this simple manner the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence, the religious family founded by Father Luigi, came into being. Others came to join the first group. Some were rich, others poor, some educated, others illiterate, some from the nobility, others of humble origins. In the house of Providence there was room for all and all become sisters.
The founder encouraged them to make sacrifices and urged them to take affectionate care of the girls, whom they were to regard as the "apple of their eyes". He said to them: "More than anything else, these daughters of the poor need to be educated in affection and to learn all that is necessary to live an honest life". And once again: "The weariness, persevering effort, constant work and the tiresome attention needed to assist and teach them should not cause you discouragement because you know you are doing all this for Jesus".
In the meantime, Luigi was reflecting on the need to make a more total consecration to the Lord. He was attracted by the ideal of poverty and universal brotherhood of St Francis of Assisi, but the events of his own life and of history led him to follow in the footsteps of St Philip Neri, the singer of joy and freedom, the saint of prayer, humility and pastoral charity. Luigi followed his "Oratorian" vocation in 1846, and at the mature age of 42 he became a son of St Philip. From him he learned that meekness and tenderhearted spirit which would make him ever more suited to the task of founder and father of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence.
Showing great regard and concern for the human development of the Sisters and their growth in holiness, he spared neither help, nor advice nor encouragement. He carefully watched over their vocation, putting their faith to the test so that they might grow strong. He condemned vanity, the desire to be noticed, and could be severe when he saw attitudes of hypocrisy and superficiality. Yet what paternal tenderness he showed in the face of frailty and the need to be understood, supported and consoled!
Gradually Father Luigi took on the fundamental traits of a spiritual life centred on Jesus Christ, loved and imitated in the humility and poverty of his incarnation in Bethlehem, in the simplicity of his working life at Nazareth, in his total immolation on the cross on Calvary, and in the silence of the Eucharist. And since Jesus had said: "Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me", it is to them that every day Father Luigi devoted his life with the practical commitment to "seek first the kingdom of God and his justice" convinced that all the rest will be given according to the gospel promise.
All the works he set in motion during his life reflect this preferential option for the poorest, the lowliest, the abandoned. "I shall open twelve houses" - he prophesied - "before I die" and so it was. Twelve houses in which the Sisters of Providence devote themselves to a service that is humble, enterprising and joyful on behalf of young girls left helpless, of the poor, the sick and neglected, of the elderly left alone.
At the same time, however, deeply committed to doing good, Father Luigi did not limit himself to his own works, in which the Sisters collaborated with generous people ever ready to give them a helping hand. He willingly gave his spiritual and material assistance to other initiatives undertaken in Udine by people of good will. He supported all the activities of the Church and showed particular concern for the young men in the Udine seminary, especially the poorest of them.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the different regions of Italy were being united. The political and military aspects of this unification resulted in a particularly difficult period for Udine and the whole of Friuli, which is on the frontier and at the cross roads between the north and south of Europe and between east and west. One of the consequences of the unification, which unfortunately took place in a climate of anticlericalism, was a decree suppressing the "House of the Orphans" and the Congregation of the Oratorian Fathers in Udine.
Father Luigi thus began a difficult struggle to save his work on behalf of the orphans. In this he succeeded, but he could do nothing to prevent the suppression of the Congregation of the Oratory. The unhappy political situation led to the destruction of the material structures of the Congregation of the Oratory in Udine but it did not succeed in preventing Father Luigi from remaining to the end a faithful disciple of St Philip.
Now an old man, but with his habitual openness of spirit, he understood that the time had come to hand over the reins to the Sisters, and this he did with tranquility and hope. At the same time he maintained contact with them all through his letters in which he strengthened the ties of affection and love, and in his paternal concern never tired of recommending community spirit and trust.
Through his deep union with God and his experience over many years Father Luigi had acquired a special spiritual wisdom and intuition which enabled him to read hearts: sometimes he even revealed the gift of knowledge about secret inner thoughts and situations which were known only to the person concerned.
At the end of 1883, as his strength began to decline, he was forced to give up all work, and he constantly suffered from a high fever. The illness took its inexorable course. He refold the Sisters not to be afraid "because it was God who raised up their religious family and made it grow and He it is who will see to its future".
When he knew the end was near, he wished to greet everyone. So he wrote his last words to the Sisters: "After my death, your Congregation will have many troubles, but afterwards it will have a new life. Charity! Charity! This is the spirit of your religious family: to save souls and to save them with Charity".
During the night of Thursday, the 3rd of April 1884, he finally went to meet Jesus. The whole of Udine and the people of the surrounding countryside hastened to see him one last time and to beg his protection from heaven.
Through his efforts on behalf of the little ones, of the poor, of young people in difficulty, of those who are suffering, of all those living in trying circumstances, Father Luigi still continues today to show everyone the path of union with God, of compassion and of love, and is still ready to accompany the steps of those who entrust themselves to the Providence of God.
Source: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20010610_scrosoppi_en.html

Touching Meditative "Stay with Me" by Taizé with Images from Christ's Passion will move your Soul!

Listen to this Beautiful Meditative "Stay with Me" by Taizé with Images from Christ's Passion that will touch your Soul! Taizé is a group from France famous for their repetitive prayerful songs that are often based on scriptural texts.