Thursday, March 8, 2012


Luke 16: 19 - 31
19 "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz'arus, full of sores,
21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.
24 And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz'arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
27 And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house,
28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
29 But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
30 And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
31 He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"


Vatican City, 8 March 2012 (VIS) - The International Theological Commission is today publishing an English-language document entitled: "Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria".
A communique on the subject, released by the International Theological Commission this morning, states that "the document examines certain contemporary theological issues and proposes, in light of the basic principles of theology, methodological criteria which are vital for Catholic theology with respect to other similar disciplines, such as the religious sciences. The text is divided into three chapters: theology presupposes listening to the Word of God which is accepted in faith (chapter 1); it is practised in communion with the Church (chapter 2); its aim is to elucidate a scholarly approach to the truth of God, in a perspective of authentic wisdom (chapter 3)".
The text of the new document may be consulted on the International Theological Commission's page within the Vatican website ( On the same day it will appear in the magazine "Origins. CNS Documentary Service" and on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. An Italian translation will shortly be available in "La Civiltà Cattolica" and translations are also being planned in other major languages.
The communique also explains how "work on the document began during the preceding quinquennium 2004-2008, in the sub commission presided by Fr. Santiago del Cura Elena, and it was drawn up while taking account of studies undertaken during the current quinquennium, in the sub commission presided by Msgr. Paul McPartlan".
The text was approved "in forma specifica" by the International Theological Commission on 29 November 2011. It was submitted to the president of the Commission, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who authorised its publication.

Vatican City, 8 March 2012 (VIS) - "The Etruscans: Heroic Ideal and Lustrous Wine" is the title of an exhibition, which was presented this morning in the Vatican Museums and which will open in Palazzo Mazzetti in the Italian city of Asti on 17 March.
The exhibition brings together more than 300 pieces, some of which are little known or are being put on display for the first time. One hundred and forty artefacts come from the Gregorian Etruscan Museum of the Vatican Museums, and the others from the principal Etruscan collections in Italy.
The exhibition, which documents the historical and cultural ties between the eastern Mediterranean and the Etruscan world, opens with the helmet of Villanova, symbol of the first contact between the Etruscans and the community of the Tanaro Valley. The helmet was discovered in the late nineteenth century in the river which runs through Asti. The first section of the exhibition is dedicated to the importation of heroic and Homeric ideals into Etruria through a number of features (such as myth, trade and athleticism) which characterised the early phases of Etruscan culture. With the spread of Homeric verse in Italy, the image of authority in the Etruscan community began to change, adopting the model of the prince-hero whose merits included not only military prowess but also the accumulation of wealth. One of the most important pieces in this section of the exhibition is the bronze mask, from the Vatican Museums, which also adorns the poster for theevent.
Section two is dedicated to banqueting ceremonies in their various forms, as documented on precious objects, and on sculptures and paintings. Among the items on display will be the original layout of the frescoes of the "Tomb of the Black Sow", which were removed from the hypogeum in order to conserve them. Another exhibit is the sarcophagus of the Vipiniana of Tuscania, with the image of the deceased participating in the banquet on the lid (held in the National Archaeological Museum of Florence) and the myth of Niobe depicted on the base (part of the collection of the Gregorian Etruscan Museum). The section closes with a number of votive heads of various kinds including children and old people, and two masks held in the store rooms of the Vatican Museums and which come from Etruscan shrines.
The exhibition closes with the Etruscan room of Racconigi Castle, which belonged to Carlo Alberto of Savoia, an example of the Etruscan artistic style which was popular in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Vatican City, 8 March 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- David McAllister, minister president of Lower Saxony, Germany, accompanied by an entourage.
- Twelve prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche.
- Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of Crookston.
- Bishop Paul D. Sirba of Duluth.
- Bishop John Martin LeVoir of New Ulm.
- Bishop John Francis Kinnety of Saint Cloud.
- Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Bernard Joseph Harrington.
- Bishop David A. Kagan of Bismarck.
- Bishop Samuel Joseph Aquila of Fargo.
- Bishop Robert D. Gruss of Rapid City.
- Bishop Paul Joseph Swain of Sioux Falls.
- Nikola Kaloudov, ambassador of Bulgaria, accompanied by his wife, on a farewell visit.

Vatican City, 8 March 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Liam Stephen Cary of the clergy of the archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of St. Mary in Eugene, as bishop of Baker (area 173013, population 502,610, Catholics 37,029, priests 60, permanent deacons 12, religious 25), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Prineville, U.S.A. in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1992. Before ordination he spent many years working with poor people and migrants. Since becoming a priest he has worked in pastoral care in a number of parishes and as vicar forane.


Today, March 8, is International Women's Day. The 1st national "Women's Day" was held on February 28, 1909 in the USA. The International Women's Day was celebrated on March 18, 1911. To celebrate this many hold parades or conferences in honour of women's roles in society. It also serves to call attention to the plight of many women suffering unjustly in many countries world wide.
In honor of women's day; here is a list of
1. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD Mary of Nazareth was born before the 1st century AD. Mary was born to Anne and Joachim. She was the mother of Jesus Christ. She conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit and remained a virgin. The angel Gabriel came to her and announced that she would conceive and bear a son who would be Emmanuel. She proclaimed the famous inspired prayer found in the Gospels: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. Shall call me blessed: These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever." (Luke 1: 46)
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. The Bojaxhiu family was of Albanian descent. When she turned 18 she entered the Sisters of Loreto of Ireland. She took the name Teresa after St. Therese of Lisieux. She taught in a missionary school in India until 1948. While traveling through India she felt God calling her to serve the poorest of the poor. She received permission to leave her order and began to help the poor with volunteers. In 1950, she was given permission from the Vatican to start the order "The Missionaries of Charity".In 1979, she received the Nobel peace prize for her tireless work for the poor. (picture above)
Her order rapidly spread around the world to care for the poor, sick and marginalized in over 120 countries. She spoke of this ministry in her own words, "I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days."
3.  ST. MARY MACKILLOP was born in Victoria, Australia, on January 15, 1842 and died on August 8, 1909. She is also known as St. Mary of the Cross. She founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart with Father Julian Tenison Woods. They focus on education for the poor. She was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. (Image: She is the first Australian Canonized Saint. Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Victoria.
was born near the Rhine River, in Germany, in 1098 and died  on September 17, 1179. She was a visionary, musician, doctor, abbess and theologian.  She founded 2 monastaries. Hildegard composed Ordo Virtutem, the 1st passion play. She was taught in a monastery from the age of 8. Later she became an Abbess. She was the youngest of 10 children. Her books include: Scivias and Vita.
Mother Angelica was born in Canton, Ohio, on April 20, 1923, with the name Rita Rizzo. She founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in 1980. She became a novice and then nun with the Poor Clares of Adoration in 1944. In 1962 she founded a house for the Poor Clares in Alabama. Her network has reached over 1 billion viewers world-wide. They run Catholic programming. It also offers a Website and Radio.                                           
were African martyrs from Carthage in 202. Both of them were young mothers when they were killed by the Roman Emperor. Perpetua is quoted as saying: "We were in the hands of our persecutors, when my father, out of the affection he bore me, made new efforts to shake my resolution. I said to him: 'Can that vessel, which you see, change its name?' He said: 'No.' I replied: 'Nor can I call myself any other than I am, that is to say, a Christian." Felicity is quoted replying to a guard: "It is I that suffer what I now suffer; but then there will be another in me that will suffer for me, because I shall suffer for him." They and other martyrs were severly tortured; St. Pertua said before death:  "Continue firm in the faith, love one another, and be not scandalized at our sufferings." Their names are mentioned in the Canon of the Roman Catholic Mass. Their feast is on March 7.
7. ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, born as Edith Stein, was a Jewish woman born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11. She was an academic and worked for a university. In 1917, Edith was converted when visiting a friend; she wrote "This was my first encounter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me—Christ in the mystery of the Cross". On 1 January 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. She entered the Carmelite convent of Cologne on 14 October and was clothed in the habit on 15 April 1934.
During the time of Nazi power Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the convent. Her last words to her sister: "Come, we are going for our people". She and her sister were killed in Auschwitz. Her feast day is August 9.
8. ST. ALPHONSA MUTTATHUPADATHU was born on August 19 1910 and died on July 28, 1946. She was a Franciscan Sister. She is the 1st Indian canonized Saint. Alphonsa was from the Syro-Malabar Eastern Rite founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. She was born in Kudamlloor, Kerala, India and spoke Malayalam.  She became a nun in 1936 and though sickly, taught in school for  years. Many miracles are attributed to her. She was canonized on October 12, 2008 and her feast is July 28.
9. ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX was born on January 2, 1873 and died on September 30, 1897. She was born in Alencon, France. Her original name was Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin. She became a Carmelite nun at the age of 15. Her other names were St. Therese of the Child Jesus, of the Holy Face and the Little Flower. She was a sacristan who became ill with Tuberculosis and died at age 24. She and her 5 sisters all became nuns.  Her memoirs entitled Story fo a Soul have become famous. She never left the convent but had an intense prayer life and love of God. She was declared a Doctor of the Church and the patroness of missions. Her feast day is October 1st or 3rd.
10. ST. JOSEPHINE BAKHITA was born in Sudan, Africa, in 1869 and died on February 8, 1947. She was a slave and became a Canossian nun in Italy. She worked for 45 years in Europe. She was born in Darfur to the Daju people; and belonged to a wealthy family. As a young child she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders, severally tortured and enslaved. She was forcibly converted to Islam. After much tortue under her masters she was sold to an Italian Consul who was kind. She moved to Italy with the family and worked in peace for them. She was declared free by an Italian court in 1889. Bakhita was baptised and confirmed in 1890. In 1893 she entered the Canossian Sisters and was welcomed by Pope Pius X. She was cook, sacristan and portress. Her reputation for holiness spread throughout Italy. Her feast is February 8.
by: Miriam Westen


By Mark Greaves on Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Breakaway Anglicans reject Pope’s offerArchbishop Hepworth greets Cardinal Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Photo: Deborah Gyapong)
The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the world’s largest breakaway group of Anglicans, has announced that it will not be joining a Personal Ordinariate.
The move represents an remarkable turnaround. Five years ago the group sent a letter to Rome asking for “full, corporate and sacramental union”.
At a meeting near Johannesburg, South Africa, the group’s bishops deposed its primate, Archbishop John Hepworth. They voted unanimously that he “cease to hold the office of primate immediately”.
In a statement the bishops said there was a “strong feeling” at the meeting that “a new direction had been taken by the TAC”.
They said the meeting was “long overdue”. Their statement said: “Over the past two years, several members of the College of Bishops had requested of the primate an urgent meeting of the college. Anglicanorum coetibus or the Apostolic Constitution, for example, had never been discussed or debated within the College of Bishops. Meetings of the College of Bishops had, in fact, been scheduled at least twice over the past two years.
“Most recently, a meeting was called by the TAC primate for mid-2011. This meeting was cancelled abruptly by the primate. Accordingly, the meeting in Johannesburg was voted to be the overdue meeting of the College of Bishops,” the bishops said.
They said they had appointed Archbishop Samuel Prakash, one of the TAC’s founders, as acting primate.
Archbishop Hepworth announced in December that he would step down this year, saying that “considerable dissension” had arisen within the TAC.
Earlier last year he alleged that he had been sexually abused and raped by two priests while he was a seminarian and young Catholic priest in southern Australia. The Melbourne archdiocese has apologised and given him $75,000 in compensation, but the Archdiocese of Adelaide has dismissed his claims.
In 2007, at a meeting in Portsmouth, England, the TAC bishops agreed to send a letter to Rome asking to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. It was understood that they had accepted the teachings of the Catechism and that Archbishop Hepworth had offered to step down to the level of a priest.
The TAC says it has about 400,000 members and has branches in North America, Ireland, southern Africa, Australia, India and Japan


The National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church releases a report on the tragic conditions faced by minority women. Blasphemy and forced conversion are the first level of threat. Lower education and higher infant mortality are the second.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Women from Pakistan's minority communities have a lower level of education but a higher level of infant mortality. They suffer discrimination in the workplace and are the victims of constant attempts at forced conversion or false charges of blasphemy, this according to a recent report titled 'Life on the margins' on the status of minority women released by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church. About a thousand Christian and Hindu women took part in the survey. They are from 8 districts in the Punjab and 18 in Sindh Province, which together represent 95 per cent of the country's religious minorities. More than 90 per cent of Pakistanis are Muslim, predominantly Sunni.

One factor in discrimination is forced conversion. One non-Muslim woman in two experiences pressures to convert to Islam, which often come with violence and coercion. Looming in the background is the blasphemy law, seen by many as the most serious obstacle to social and cultural equality.

Another factor is higher than average infant mortality among minorities with 314 infant deaths out of 3,050 live births for a rate of 10.30 per cent compared to the national average of 8.7 per cent.

Discrimination also affects education. The report found that only 47 per cent of the minority women interviewed have a formal education, which is far lower than the national average of 57 per cent and far behind the urban literacy rate of women of 65 per cent.

The workplace is another area of discrimination. Some 43 per cent of Hindu and Christian women said that they faced discrimination, stress and psychological pressure where they worked.

On International Women's Day, which is celebrated today, 8 March, NCJP activists lament the fact that, in the third millennium, discrimination based on race and religion remains a shameful blot on Pakistan.

One figure stands out. According to the report, 62 per cent of respondents believe that, in the wake of religious disturbances like those in Shatinagar, Gojra, Korian and Sialkot, the majority community would not stand with them.

NCJP executive director Peter Jacob said that a copy of the report would be sent to the provincial governments in Sindh and Punjab as well as the Ministry of Human Rights and Interfaith Harmony

It will also be posted on the NCJP's own website at,-discrimination-against-Christian-and-Hindu-women-in-Pakistan-24183.html


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
8 Mar 2012

Fish Friday 2012 raised more than $3000
for Project Compassion
Despite February's almost non-stop rain, Sydneysiders turned out in force for Fish Friday in Martin Place and helped raise more than $3000 for Project Compassion 2012.
Fish Friday in the heart of the CBD is a popular feature of Caritas' annual fundraiser.
Each year well known chef, Peter Doyle and his team from the five star restaurant, @Quay serve approximately 2000 lunches of fish and rice to shoppers, CBD workers and passersby who donate the cost of whatever their usual city lunch costs.
Caritas is the aid and development arm of the Catholic Church. The world's largest aid agency after the Red Cross, Caritas provides ongoing help and assistance to the world's poorest communities. Through education and improved agriculture, hygiene, medical care, accessible fresh water and schools, Caritas helps communities to break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient.

Fish Friday in Martin Place has become a tradition
of Project Compassion
Teams from Caritas are also involved in emergency relief work offering tents, food, portable water and medical care to victims of natural disasters such as victims of Japan's devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, East Africa's ongoing famine and last year's floods that swept Pakistan and South East Asia, destroying crops, homes and livelihoods.
'Caritas Australia is about helping people help themselves and is also about delivering justice and peace which in turn leads to stability and security," says Jack de Groot, CEO of Caritas Australia.
The agency's Project Compassion throughout Lent first began 48 years with individuals, groups, organisations and schools all pitching in to make a difference.
Last year a record $9.7 million was raised to support Caritas projects in 220 countries. This year it is hoped the amount raised will not only break new records but top the $10 million mark.
But as Project Compassion enters its third week, sad news comes from Zimbabwe that 39-year-old Colletta, who was chosen as one of Caritas Australia's ambassadors for this year's fund raiser, had died.

Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot
full of praise for selfless generosity
of Australians
Colletta lived in the drought-stricken, conflict ridden district of Chirumanzu and through the help of Caritas managed to support her elderly mother, two sons and two nieces despite having suffered tuberculosis and being diagnosed HIV positive.
But before Caritas' intervention in her village, educating them about growing vegetables and herbs, supplying agricultural equipment and rehabilitating old bore holes and wells, Colletta desperately struggled to keep her family alive.
"I had lost hope in life and found it difficult to even find enough for one decent meal for my family each day. We were labelled a family of beggars and the community where we lived had no money, poor nutrition, no safe water or sanitation," she said earlier this year and described how her life was changed by the people from Caritas.
A leader in her village, Colletta was instrumental in helping Caritas and her community join together to develop nutritious food, access to clean water, healthy livestock and the sustainability of crops and land.
"Physically I am stronger and can work in the garden and I want to thank Australians for their generosity and request they assist more people so that their lives can improve as mine as done," she reported, praising Caritas for their help.
But this week news came through that Colletta, weakened by the tuberculosis, had lost her courageous battle against HIV.

Colletta lost her fight for life but others in her village have
new hope thanks to Caritas
"Her death highlights the reality that despite strong programs the people with whom Caritas works are among the world's most vulnerable," says Jack de Groot. "But Colletta's courage in life will leave an ongoing legacy to her community."
To donate to Project Compassion and help make a difference in communities such as the one in Zimbabwe where Colletta fought against poverty and disease, log on to


Agenzia Fides REPORT – The Rwanda National Police (RNP) and the Catholic Church have entered a partnership to strengthen the campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV). The partnership comes one year to the end of a Catholic Church project, which started in 2010 to sensitize the public against GBV, identify and counsel victims and help them access justice and health services.
The three-year programme, funded by the European Union, through Caritas International, also meets health insurance costs of the victims and offers legal services.
His Exc. Mgr. Servilien Nzakamwita, Bishop of Byumba and President of the Episcopal Commission "Justice and Peace", observed that despite the achievements realized, challenges still remain which need to be addressed immediately.
"There are people who have no knowledge on the law that penalizes GBV offenders while others do not know where to seek help", said Mgr. Nzakamwita when officially opening the meeting at the police headquarters in Kacyiru. The Bishop of Byumba noted that some victims do not get the necessary services on time and the culprits do not face the hand of Justice accordingly. The Bishop also denounced the fact that doctors do not help GBV by providing medical documentation necessary to report the accident.
"GBV offenders are protected by some civil servants who at times help them escape. There is also corruption at various levels," said Mgr. Nzakamwita, who promised the support of the Commission "Justice and Peace" to victims, in order for justice to be served. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/03/2012)


St. John of God
Feast: March 8

Feast Day:March 8
March 8, 1495, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal
Died:March 8, 1550, Granada, Spain
October 16, 1690, Rome by Pope Alexander VIII
Patron of:alcoholics; bookbinders; dying people; firefighters; heart patients; hospital workers; publishers; sick people
Born at Montemor o Novo, Portugal, 8 March, 1495, of devout Christian parents; died at Granada, 8 March, 1550. The wonders attending the saints birth heralded a life many-sided in its interests, but dominated throughout by implicit fidelity to the grace of God. A Spanish priest whom he followed to Oropeza, Spain, in his ninth year left him in charge of the chief shepherd of the place, to whom he gradually endeared himself through his punctuality and fidelity to duty, as well as his earnest piety. When he had reached manhood, to escape his mastery well-meant, but persistent, offer of his daughter's hand in marriage, John took service for a time in the army of Charles V, and on the renewal of the proposal he enlisted in a regiment on its way to Austria to do battle with the Turks. Succeeding years found him first at his birthplace, saddened by the news of his mother's premature death, which had followed close upon his mysterious disappearance; then a shepherd at Seville and still later at Gibraltar, on the way to Africa, to ransom with his liberty Christians held captive by the Moors. He accompanied to Africa a Portuguese family just expelled from the country, to whom charity impelled him to offer his services. On the advice of his confessor he soon returned to Gilbratar, where, brief as had been the time since the invention of the printing-press, he inaugurated the Apostolate of the printed page, by making the circuit of the towns and villages about Gilbratar, selling religious books and pictures, with practically no margin of profit, in order to place them within the reach of all.
It was during this period of his life that he is said to have been granted the vision of the Infant Jesus, Who bestowed on him the name by which he was later known, John of God, also bidding him to go to Granada. There he was so deeply impressed by the preaching of Blessed John of Avila that he distributed his worldly goods and went through the streets of the city, beating his breast and calling on God for mercy. For some time his sanity was doubted by the people and he was dealt with as a madman, until the zealous preacher obliged him to desist from his lamentations and take some other method of atoning for his past life. He then made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, where the nature of his vocation was revealed to him by the Blessed Virgin. Returning to Granada, he gave himself up to the service of the sick and poor, renting a house in which to care for them and after furnishing it with what was necessary, he searched the city for those afflicted with all manner of disease, bearing on his shoulders any who were unable to walk.
For some time he was alone in his charitable work soliciting by night the needful supplies, and by day attending scrupulously to the needs of his patients and the rare of the hospital; but he soon received the co-operation of charitable priests and physicians. Many beautiful stories are related of the heavenly guests who visited him during the early days of herculean tasks, which were lightened at times by St.Raphael in person. To put a stop to the saint's habit of exchanging his cloak with any beggar he chanced to meet, Don Sebastian Ramirez, Bishop of Tuy, had made for him a habit, which was later adopted in all its essentials as the religious garb of his followers, and he imposed on him for all time the name given him by the Infant Jesus, John of God. The saint's first two companions, Antonio Martin and Pedro Velasco, once bitter enemies who had scandalised all Granada with their quarrels and dissipations, were converted through his prayers and formed the nucleus of a fourishing congregation. The former advanced so far on the way of perfection that the saint on his death-bed commended him to his followers as his successor in the government of the order. The latter, Peter the Sinner, as he called himself, became a model of humility and charity.
Among the many miracles which are related of the saint the most famous is the one commemorated in the Office of his feast, his rescue of all the inmates during a fire in the Grand Hospital at Granada, he himself passing through the flames unscathed. His boundless charity extended to widows and orphans, those out of employment, poor students, and fallen women. After thirteen years of severe mortification, unceasing prayer, and devotion to his patients, he died amid the lamentations of all the inhabitants of Granada. His last illness had resulted from an heroic but futile effort to save a young man from drowning. The magistrates and nobility of the city crowded about his death-bed to express their gratitude for his services to the poor, and he was buried with the pomp usually reserved for princes. He was beatified by Urban VIII, 21 September, 1638, and canonized by Alexander VIII, 16 October, 1690. Pope Leo XIII made St. John of God patron of hospitals and the dying.



Vatican City, 7 March 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning Benedict XVI concluded a series of catecheses dedicated to the prayer of Jesus. Today he turned his attention to the theme of alternating words and silence which characterised Christ's earthly life, above all on the Cross, and which is also significant in two aspects of our own lives.
Addressing the 10,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope explained that the first of these aspects "concerns accepting the Word of God. Interior and exterior silence are necessary in order to hear that Word", he said. Yet, "our age does not, in fact, favour reflection and contemplation; quite the contrary it seems that people are afraid to detach themselves, even for an instant, from the spate of words and images which mark and fill our days".
However, "the Gospels often show us ... Jesus withdrawing alone to a place far from the crowds, even from His own disciples, where He can pray in silence". Moreover, "the great patristic tradition teaches us that the mysteries of Christ are linked to silence, and only in silence can the Word find a place to dwell within us".
"This principle", the Holy Father went on, "holds true for individual prayer, but also for our liturgies which, to facilitate authentic listening, must also be rich in moments of silence and of non verbal acceptance. ... Silence has the capacity to open a space in our inner being, a space in which God can dwell, which can ensure that His Word remains within us, and that love for Him is rooted in our minds and hearts, and animates our lives".
The Pope then turned to focus on the second important aspect of the relationship between silence and prayer. "In our prayers", he said, "we often find ourselves facing the silence of God. We almost experience a sense of abandonment; it seems that God does not listen and does not respond. But this silence, as happened to Jesus, does not signify absence. Christians know that the Lord is present and listens, even in moments of darkness and pain, of rejection and solitude. Jesus assures His disciples and each one of us that God is well aware of our needs at every moment of our lives".
"For us, who are so frequently concerned with operational effectiveness and with the results ... we achieve, the prayer of Jesus is a reminder that we need to stop, to experience moments of intimacy with God, 'detaching ourselves' from the turmoil of daily life in order to listen, to return to the 'root' which nourishes and sustains our existence. One of the most beautiful moments of Jesus' prayer is when, faced with the sickness, discomfort and limitations of his interlocutors, He addresses His Father in prayer, thus showing those around him where they must go to seek the source of hope and salvation".
Christ touches the most profound point of His prayer to the Father at the moment of His passion and death, Pope Benedict said. And citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church he concluded by noting that "His cry to the Father from the cross encapsulated 'all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word. Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising His Son. Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation'".

Vatican City, 7 March 2012 (VIS) - At the end of his catechesis during this morning's general audience, the Holy Father addressed some words of greeting to His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, and to bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church who have come to Rome for a Synod. Benedict XVI spoke of his "sincere gratitude" for the patriarch’s faithfulness to his Christian traditions and to the Successor of the Apostle Peter.
"I accompany your Synod with my fervent prayers and with an apostolic blessing, in the hope that it may favour communion and understating among pastors, helping them to guide, with renewed evangelical fervour, Armenian Catholics along the path of generous and joyful witness to Christ and His Church. ... My prayerful thoughts also go to the regions of the Middle East, and I encourage pastors and faithful to persevere with hope amidst the great suffering which afflicts those dear peoples".
Finally the Pope addressed greetings in various languages to the pilgrims gathered before him in St. Peter's Square. Speaking Polish he mentioned the victims of a recent rail accident in the country. "I pray for the eternal repose of the deceased", he said, "and for the speedy return to health of the injured".

Vatican City, 7 March 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Wolfgang Schauble, federal minister of finance of the Federal Republic of Germany, accompanied by an entourage.

Vatican City, 7 March 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Included as members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy; Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, and His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites.
- Confirmed Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, as president of the Italian Episcopal Conference for the next five years.
- Appointed Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, also as secretary of the College of Cardinals.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses: Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
- Appointed Bishop Paulo Mendes Peixoto of Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil, as metropolitan archbishop of Uberaba (area 27,228, population 746,000, Catholics 539,000, priests 78, permanent deacons 21, religious 181), Brazil. He succeeds Archbishop Aloisio Roque Oppermann S.C.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.