Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Easter Thursday



Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 264
Reading I
Acts 3:11-26
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
(Mass video starts at the 4:25 Mark below)
 
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:
    A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
        from among your own kin;
    to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
    Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
        will be cut off from the people.    
“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
    In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
Responsorial Psalm
8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9
R.    (2ab)  O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
O LORD, our Lord,
    how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
    or the son of man that you should care for him?
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You have made him little less than the angels,
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
    putting all things under his feet.
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All sheep and oxen,
    yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
    and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Alleluia
Ps 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
 R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Lk 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish; 
he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint April 8 : St. Julia Billiart the Patron of Poverty, Sick people and Foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame


Born: 12 July 1751 at Cuvilly,France
Died:
8 April 1816 at Namur, Belgium
Canonized:
22 June 1969 by Pope Paul VI
Patron of:
against poverty, bodily ills, impoverishment, poverty, sick people, sickness Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, born 12 July, 1751, at Cuvilly, a village of Picardy, in the Diocese of Beauvais and the Department of Oise, France; died 8 April, 1816, at the motherhouse of her institute, Namur, Belgium. She was the sixth of seven children of Jean-François Billiart and his wife, Marie-Louise-Antoinette Debraine. The childhood of Julie was remarkable; at the age of seven, she knew the catechism by heart, and used to gather her little companions around her to hear them recite it and to explain it to them. Her education was confined to the rudiments obtained at the village school which was kept by her uncle, Thibault Guilbert. In spiritual things her progress was so rapid that the parish priest, M. Dangicourt, allowed her to make her First Communion and to be confirmed at the age of nine years. At this time she made a vow of chastity. Misfortunes overtook the Billiart family when Julie was sixteen, and she gave herself generously to the aid of her parents, working in the fields with the reapers. She was held in such high esteem for her virtue and piety as to be commonly called, "the saint of Cuvilly". When twenty-two years old, a nervous shock, occasioned by a pistol-shot fired at her father by some unknown enemy, brought on a paralysis of the lower limbs, which in a few years confined her to her bed a helpless cripple, and thus she remained for twenty-two years. During this time, when she received Holy Communion daily, Julie exercised an uncommon gift of prayer, spending four or five hours a day in contemplation. The rest of her time was occupied in making linens and laces for the alter and in catechizing the village children whom she gathered around her bed, giving special attention to those who were preparing for their First Communion.

At Amiens, where Julie Billiart had been compelled to take refuge with Countess Baudoin during the troublesome times of the French Revolution, she met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, Viscountess of Gizaincourt, who was destined to be her co-laborer in the great work as yet unknown to either of them. The Viscountess Blin de Bourdon was thirty-eight years old at the time of her meeting with Julie, and had spent her youth in piety and good works; she had been imprisoned with all of her family during the Reign of Terror, and had escaped death only by the fall of Robespierre. She was not at first attracted by the almost speechless paralytic, but by degrees grew to love and admire the invalid for her wonderful gifts of soul. A little company of young and high-born ladies, friends of the viscountess, was formed around the couch of "the saint". Julie taught them how to lead the interior life, while they devoted themselves generously to the cause of God and His poor. Though they attempted all the exercises of an active community life, some of the elements of stability must have been wanting, for these first disciples dropped off until none was left but Françoise Blin de Bourdon. She was never to be separated from Julie, and with her in 1803, in obedience to Father Varin, superior of the Fathers of the Faith, and under the auspices of the Bishop of Amiens, the foundation was laid of the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame, a society which had for its primary object the salvation of poor children. Several young persons offered themselves to assist the two superiors. The first pupils were eight orphans. On the feast of the Sacred Heart, 1 June, 1804, Mother Julie, after a novena made in obedience to her confessor, was cured of paralysis. The first vows of religion were made on 15 October, 1804 by Julie Billiart, Françoise Blin de Bourdon, Victoire Leleu, and Justine Garson, and their family names were changed to names of saints. They proposed for their lifework the Christian education of girls, and the training of religious teachers who should go wherever their services were asked for. Father Varin gave the community a provisional rule by way of probation, which was so far-sighted that its essentials have never been changed. In view of the extension of the institute, he would have it governed by a superior-general, charged with visiting the houses, nominating the local superiors, corresponding with the members dispersed in the different convents, and assigning the revenues of the society. The characteristic devotions of the Sisters of Notre Dame were established by the foundress from the beginning. She was original in doing away with the time-honored distinction between choir sisters and lay sisters, but this perfect equality of rank did not in any way prevent her from putting each sister to the work for which her capacity and education fitted her. She attached great importance to the formation of the sisters destined for the schools, and in this she was ably assisted by Mother St. Joseph (Françoise Blin de Bourdon), who had herself received an excellent education.
When the congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame was approved by an imperial decree dated 19 June, 1806, it numbered thirty members, In that and the following years, foundations were made in various towns of France and Belgium, the most important being those at Ghent and Namur, of which the latter house Mother St. Joseph was the first superior. This spread of the institute beyond the Diocese of Amiens cost the foundress the greatest sorrow of her life. In the absence of Father Varin from that city, the confessor of the community, the Abbé de Sambucy de St. Estève, a man of superior intelligence and attainments but enterprising and injudicious, endeavored to change the rule and fundamental constitutions of the new congregation so as to bring it into harmony with the ancient monastic orders. He so far influenced the bishop. Mgr. Demandolx, that Mother Julie had soon no alternative but to leave the Diocese of Amiens, relying upon the goodwill of Mgr. Pisani de la Gaude, bishop of Namur, who had invited her to make his episcopal city the center of her congregation, should a change become necessary. In leaving Amiens, Mother Julie laid the case before all her subjects and told them they were perfectly free to remain or to follow her. All but two chose to go with her, and thus, in themid-winter of 1809, the convent of Namur became the motherhouse of the institute and is so still. Mgr. Demandolx, soon undeceived, made all the amends in his power, entreating Mother Julie to return to Amiens and rebuild her institute. She did indeed return, but after a vain struggle to find subjects or revenues, went back to Namur. The seven years of life that remained to her were spent in forming her daughters to solid piety and the interior spirit, of which she was herself the model. Mgr. De Broglie, bishop of Ghent, said of her that she saved more souls by her inner life of union with God than by her outward apostolate. She received special supernatural favors and unlooked-for aid in peril and need. In the space of twelve years (1804 - 1816) Mother Julie founded fifteen convents, made one hundred and twenty journeys, many of them long and toilsome, and carried on a close correspondence with her spiritual daughters. Hundreds of these letters are preserved in the motherhouse. In 1815 Belgium was the battlefield of the Napoleonic wars, and the mother-general suffered great anxiety, as several of her convents were in the path of the armies, but they escaped injury. In January, 1816, she was taken ill, and after three months of pain borne in silence and patience, she died with the Magnificat on her lips. The fame of her sanctity spread abroad and was confirmed by several miracles. The process of her beatification, begun in 1881, was completed in 1906 by the decree of Pope Pius X dated 13 May, declaring her Blessed. [Note: She was canonized in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.]
St. Julie's predominating trait in the spiritual order was her ardent charity, springing from a lively faith and manifesting itself in her thirst for suffering and her zeal for souls. Her whole soul was echoed in the simple and naove formula which was continually on her lips and pen: "Oh, qu'il est bon, le bon Dieu" (How good God is). She possessed all the qualities of a perfect superior, and inspired her subjects with filial confidence and tender affection.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Gunshots Fired at Benedictine Catholic Convent of Nuns in Missouri, USA just Missing the Mother Abbess



“Really horrifying news from the Benedictines of Mary,” tweeted journalist Matthew Walther on Holy Tuesday. “These good sisters are always worthy of support, but they need it now more than ever.”
“It seems that the news of a recent incident at our Abbey is quickly spreading, as we have received a great many emails in these past few days, assuring us of prayers and support,” said a recent letter from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in Gower, MO.
On March 24th, 2021, “loud gunshots were heard by many Sisters in the Abbey,” the  letter explained. “Some of the Sisters arose, but soon returned to sleep, as we have sadly become desensitized on account of the many incidents of inappropriate activity around our monastery.”
The next morning, however, “Mother Abbess discovered two bullet holes in her bedroom,” the letter explained: 
A bullet had entered through the exterior wall, punched a hole beneath the Sacred Heart picture, and continued to penetrate through the wall directly opposite, being stopped by shower wall on its other side. Mother Abbess was sleeping several feet from the bullet’s trajectory.
The incident has local law enforcement perplexed. What is more, this was the third such event to occur during Lent of this year, “with other bullet holes observed by the police in the door jamb of the dining room next to the Abbey church, and in the stone of the church itself.” 
Police have “no leads,” the Benedictines report, “though the local sheriffs are working diligently to find the perpetrator,” and are “also maintaining extra surveillance around our area.”
The nuns say they are still “very much at peace.”
“These types of situations, while very disturbing, are exceedingly good reminders to heed St. Benedict’s words to ‘keep death daily before ones eyes,’” they wrote.
In addition, the Abbey has now made it a priority to take extra security precautions. In particular, they plan to erect new fencing — “tall fencing or sturdy wall panels to protect our buildings on this northeast section of our property, including our gardens where the Sisters work every day.”
“If you are able to support this endeavor with a monetary gift, we would be deeply grateful,” they wrote. “The total cost will most likely be over $200,000.”

Pope Francis says "To pray for others is the first way to love them and it moves us toward..." FULL TEXT + Video at Catechesis on Prayer



POPE FRANCIS at the GENERAL AUDIENCE

Library of the Apostolic Palace - Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Catechesis on prayer - 28. Praying in communion with the Saints

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today, I would like to reflect on the connection between prayer and the communion of saints. In fact, when we pray, we never do so alone: even if we do not think about it, we are immersed in a majestic river of invocations that precedes us and proceeds after us. A majestic river.

Contained in the prayers we find in the Bible, that often resound in the liturgy, are the traces of ancient stories, of prodigious liberations, of deportations and sad exiles, of emotional returns, of praise ringing out before the wonders of creation… And thus, these voices are passed on from generation to generation, in a continual intertwining between personal experience and that of the people and the humanity to which we belong. No one can separate themselves from their own history, the history of their own people. We always bear in our attitudes this inheritance, even in the way we pray. In the prayer of praise, especially that which unfolds from the hearts of the little ones and the humble, echo parts of the Magnificat that Mary lifted up to God in front of her relative Elizabeth; or of elderly Simeon’s exclamation who, taking the Baby Jesus in his arms, spoke thus: “Now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word” (Lk 2:29).

Those prayers that are good are “expansive”, like anything that is good; they propagate themselves continuously, with or without being posted on social networks: from hospital wards, from moments of festive gatherings to those in which we suffer silently… One person’s pain is everyone’s pain, and one person’s happiness is transmitted to someone else’s soul. Pain and happiness, all a story, stories that create the story of one’s own life, this story is relived through one’s own words, but the experience is the same.

Prayer is always born again: each time we join our hands and open our hearts to God, we find ourselves in the company of anonymous saints and recognized saints who pray with us and who intercede for us as older brothers and sisters who have preceded us on this same human adventure. There is no grief in the Church that is borne in solitude, there are no tears shed in oblivion, because everyone breaths and participates in one common grace. It is no coincidence that in the ancient church people were buried in gardens surrounding a sacred building, as if to say that, in some way, the hosts of those who have preceded us participate in every Eucharist. Our parents and grandparents are there, our godfathers and godmothers are there, our catechists and other teachers are there… The faith that is passed on, transmitted, that we have received. Along with faith, the way of praying and prayer have been transmitted.

The saints are still here not far from us; and their representations in churches evoke that “cloud of witnesses” that always surrounds us (see Heb 12:1). At the beginning, we heard the reading from the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews. They are witnesses that we do not adore – that is understood that we do not adore these saints – but whom we venerate and who in thousands of different ways bring us to Jesus Christ, the only Lord and Mediator between God and humanity. A “saint” that does not bring you to Jesus is not a saint, not even a Christian. A saint makes you remember Jesus Christ because he or she trod the path of living as a Christian. The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold. Even at the last moment. In fact, we read in the Gospel that the first saint canonized by Jesus Himself was a thief, not a Pope. Holiness is a journey of life, a long or short or instantaneous encounter with Jesus. But he or she is always a witness, a saint is a witness, a man or woman who encountered Jesus and followed Jesus. It is never too late to be converted to the Lord who is good and great in love (see Ps 103:8).

The Catechism explains that the saints contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. […] Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world” (CCC, 2683). There is a mysterious solidarity in Christ between those who have already passed to the other life and we pilgrims in this one: from Heaven, our beloved deceased continue to take care of us. They pray for us, and we pray for them and we pray with them.

The connection in prayer between ourselves and those who have already arrived – we already experience this connection in prayer here in this earthly life. We pray for each other, we make requests and offer prayers…. The first way to pray for someone is to speak to God about him or her. If we do this frequently, each day, our hearts are not closed but open to our brothers and sisters. To pray for others is the first way to love them and it moves us toward concretely drawing near. Even in conflictual moments, a way of dissolving the conflict, of softening it, is to pray for the person with whom I am in conflict. And something changes with prayer. The first thing that changes is my heart and my attitude. The Lord changes it so it might be turned into an encounter, a new encounter so that that the conflict does not become a never-ending war.

The first way to face a time of anguish is by asking our brothers and sisters, the saints above all, to pray for us. The name given to us at Baptism is not a label or a decoration! It is usually the name of the Virgin, or a Saint, who expect nothing other than to “give us a hand” in life, to give us a hand to obtain the grace from God that we need. If the trials of life have not reached the breaking point, if we are still capable of persevering, if despite everything we proceed trustingly, more than due to our own merits, perhaps we owe all this to the intercession of all the saints, some who are in Heaven, others who are pilgrims like us on earth, who have protected and accompanied us, because all of us know there are holy people here on this earth, saintly men and women who live in holiness. They do not know it; neither do we know it. But there are saints, everyday saints, hidden saints, or as I like to say, “saints who live next door”, those who share their lives with us, who work with us and live a life of holiness.

Therefore, blessed be Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world, together with this immense flowering of saintly men and women who populate the earth and who have praised God through their own lives. For – as Saint Basil confirmed – “The Spirit is truly the dwelling of the saints since they offer themselves as a dwelling place for God and are called his temple” (On the Holy Spirit, 26, 62: PG 32, 184A; see CCC, 2684).


Special Greeting

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!
 


APPEALS

I want to assure a remembrance in prayer for the victims of the flooding in these past days that has hit Indonesia and East Timor. May the Lord welcome the deceased, comfort their families and support those who have lost their homes.

Yesterday, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, established by the United Nations, was celebrated. I hope that this might set in motion once again the experience of sports as a team event, to promote dialogue through different cultures and peoples.

In that perspective, I am happy to encourage Vatican Athletics to continue their commitment to spreading a fraternal culture in the world of sports, placing attention on those who are weakestj, thus becoming witnesses of peace.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot


RIP Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi - Peace Advocating Cardinal who was Kidnapped and Released in Cameroon Dies on Good Friday at Age 90




In Cameroon, Catholic Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, a well known advocate for peace in the  Anglophone separatist crisis in the country, died. The 90-year-old cardinal was abducted for 24 hours by the separatist fighters in November for asking them to disarm. Cardinal Tumi died in the coastal city of Douala on Saturday.He was kidnapped by Anglophone separatist fighters in Cameroon's Northwest region in November and released after 24 hours. Separatists claimed responsibility for the abduction on social media. They said they were angry over the cardinal's suggestion that fighters should disarm and work toward a peace.
Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop emeritus of Douala (Cameroon), was born on 15 October 1930 in Kikaikelaki, Cameroon. He did his secondary studies at diocesan seminaries and at the seminaries of Ibadan, Bodija and Enugu in Nigeria. From 1969 to 1973 he obtained in Nigeria a Teachers’ Training Grade; a University General Certificate of Education at Ordinary Level in London; a licentiate in theology at the Catholic Faculty of Lyon; a doctorate in philosophy at the Catholic University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is well versed in his native dialect, Nso, Pidgin and Hausa, Latin, English, and French.
He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1966 in Soppo, diocese of Buéa and from 1966 to 1967 carried out his ministry as a parochial vicar at Fiango (Kumbo). From 1967 to 1969 he was a professor at the Bishop Rogan College minor seminary. In 1973, after having studied abroad, he returned to his diocese and was named rector of the major regional seminary of Bambui, archdiocese of Bamenda. He was also chaplain to the Association of Catholic Dames and was very involved in promoting the ecumenical movement, obtaining much esteem by Presbyterians and Baptists.
President of the presbyteral diocesan council, on 6 December 1979 he was elected the first bishop of the diocese of Yagoua, erected the same day. He received episcopal ordination on 6 January 1980 in St. Peter’s Basilica. During his pastoral care, the local church developed rapidly, enriched with institutions and centers of formation, nursery schools and dispensaries.
Elected on 23 April 1982 vice-president of the Episcopal Conference, on 19 November 1982 he was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Garoua. On 17 March 1984 he was made Archbishop.
In 1985 he was elected as president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (until 1991). President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), 1990 - 1994.
He participated in the 6th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1983) and in the extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops of 1985. President delegate to the 8th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1990); President delegate to the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops (1994). He participated in the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops (October 2009).
Archbishop of Douala, 31 August 1991 - 17 November 2009.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 28 June 1988, of the Title of Ss. Martiri dell'Uganda a Poggio Ameno (Martyrs of Uganda at Poggio Ameno).
Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi died on 2 April 2021.

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Easter Wednesday



Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 263
Reading I
Acts 3:1-10
Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day 
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you: 
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.
Responsorial Psalm
105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R.    (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
    make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
    proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R.    Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
    rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
    seek to serve him constantly.
R.    Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
    sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
    throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R.    Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R.    Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
    which he made binding for a thousand generations-
Which he entered into with Abraham
    and by his oath to Isaac.
R.    Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Alleluia
Ps 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Lk 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, 
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him, 
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning 
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
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 7 : St. John Baptist de la Salle the Patron of Teachers, Educators, School principals with Prayer


Born:1651 at Rheims, France
Died:
1719 at Rouen, France
Canonized:
24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Sanctuary of John Baptist de La Salle, Casa Generalizia, Rome, Italy.
Patron of:
educators, school principals, teachers

This saint is the patron of teachers, his great achievement having been to provide a system of education for the common people at a time when the poor were grossly neglected; not mercy by founding charity schools, a cling which had been attempted countless times before only to end in repeated failure, but by creating a body of trained teachers, and thus setting them on the only possible basis which guaranteed success.
It was not by inclination, but solely by chance chat he was led to take up this work. Indeed his family background and early training seemed hardly to have prepared him for it. Born in Rheims on April 30th, 1651, the eldest son of an aristocratic family, he inherited the rank and fortune of his parents, which set a gulf between him and the teeming masses of the poor. At sixteen, while he was pursuing a course of classical studies at the College des Bons Enfants, he became a canon of Rheims, and seemed to be marked out for a successful career in the church. He subsequently studied at Saint Sulpice and the Sorbonne for the priesthood, and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. Up to this point nothing denoted what his mission was to be, and he himself had no inkling of it. But it was shortly after this that he was asked to co-operate in establishing some charity schools in his native town, and this led him to take charge of the teachers, to bring them into his own home and to train them. Little by little he became further involved in the work until he began to realize that everything pointed to his being the chosen instrument of Providence for the creation of a system of Christian education for the poor, whose ignorance and depravity were the disgrace of this 'splendid century', so remarkable for its achievements in every other sphere.
As he had made the will of God the guiding principle of his life, he decided to give himself up completely to this task, resigning his canonry and giving away his fortune in order to be on the same footing as the teachers with whom he lived. In so doing he aroused the anger of his relatives and incurred the derision of his class-minded compatriots, but this in no way made him alter his resolution. In 1684 he transformed his group of schoolmasters into a religious community, under the name of Brothers of the Christian Schools, and this was the origin of the order which continues to this day and is spread all over the world. So chat his order might confine itself solely to the work of teaching, he laid down that no brother might become a priest and that no priest might join the order. This rule is still observed. The first years were marked by poverty and hardship, but these were cheerfully endured, thanks to the  example of self-abnegation and extraordinary power of leadership shown by de la Salle, who vowed chat he would live on bread alone, if necessary, rather than abandon the work he had begun.
The religious and professional training of his brothers became his chief care, but he saw that he would never be able to satisfy all the requests he received for teachers unless he undertook the formation of secular schoolmasters as well, so he organized a training college for some forty youths in Rheims in 1687; the first instance of such an institution in the history of education.
After opening schools in a number of neighboring towns, in addition to chose in Rheims itself, he went to Paris in 1683 to take over a school in the parish of St. Sulpice, and there he established his headquarters. In the capital his work spread rapidly, and before long the brothers were teaching over 1,100 pupils. In Paris, too, he founded another training college, with a charity school attached, and organized a Sunday academy, or continuation school for youths already employed. When the exiled monarch, James II, entrusted fifty Irish youths to his care, he arranged for special courses to be given them to suit their needs.
The scope of his work was now such that it aroused the bitter antagonism of the writing masters and the teachers of the Little Schools, who saw their fee-paying pupils drifting into his free schools, and they brought law-suits against him. His schools were pillaged, and he found himself condemned and forbidden to open training colleges or charity schools anywhere in the Paris area. As a result he was excluded for a time from the capital, but by now his brothers were established in other localities, notably in Rouen, Avignon and Chartres, so that the decrees against him failed to ruin his work. Indeed from this time on, his communities multiplied all over France: in Marseilles, Calais, Boulogne, Mende, Grenoble, Troyes and other places. In Rouen he founded two important institutions: a fee-paying boarding school for the sons of bourgeois, who desired an education superior to that of the primary school but more practical than that of the 'classical' colleges; and a reformatory school for youthful delinquents and young men detained under <lettres de cachet.> Both proved very successful, and were significant forerunners of modern institutions of a similar kind.
In 1709 he established a third training college, at St. Den, but this lasted only a couple of years, after which it had to be closed as a result of an unfortunate law-suit.
De la Salle spent the last years of his life in Rouen, completing the organization of his institute, writing the Rule of the brothers in its definitive form, and composing <Meditations> and a <Method of Mental Prayer.> On Good Friday, April 9th, 1718, he died.
His brothers, already established in twenty-two towns of France and in Rome, now expanded their work rapidly. In 1725 they received a bull of approbation of their institute from the pope and letters patent from the king granting them legal recognition. The Revolution ruined their work in France, but they were by now established in Switzerland and Italy, so that they were able to survive this catastrophe and returned to France when more favorable conditions prevailed under Napoleon. Today they number over 15,000 and conduct educational institutions of every kind all over the world. In the United States alone there are some 2,000 brothers in five different Provinces.
De la Salle's pedagogical system is outlined in <The Conduct of Schools>, which he composed in 1695, and which is now considered an educational classic. It shows clearly his practical turn of mind and his essentially religious approach to the education of children. He wrote also several school manuals, notably <The Rules of Good Behaviour> and <The Duties of a Christian>, which proved very popular and went through over a hundred editions.
Shortened from "The Saints: A concise Biographical Dictionary", edited by John Coulson, published by Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1960. - Image Source : Google Images
Prayer for Teachers:
You, O Lord,
are my strength, my patience, my light, and my counsel.
It is you who touch the hearts of the children entrusted to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own guidance and that of my students,
grant me the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of a holy fear of you and an ardent zeal to procure your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ, and I beg the Most Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph, the Guardian Angels, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle to protect me this day in the performance of my duties. Amen 
Source of Prayer : delasalle.com -