Monday, March 4, 2013


Vatican City, 4 March 2013 (VIS) – Early this afternoon Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, informed reporters on the proceedings of the first of the General Congregations of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals' meeting took place this morning at 9:30am in the Synod Hall, which is located above the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican building created by the Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi. (Image source DNA India)
The Congregation was headed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College, accompanied by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., camerlengo of the Apostolic Camera, and Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. The members of the College took their places following the hierarchical order of precedence: first those belonging to the order of Cardinal-bishops, then the Cardinal-priests, and finally the Cardinal-deacons. Each cardinal has an assigned seat to facilitate the process of voting.
After the opening prayer, “Veni Sancte Spiritus”, followed by the “Adsumus” prayer, Cardinal Sodano greeted those present in Italian, informing them of the procedures related to the Sede Vacante and how the Congregations, regulated by the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”, will operate. Following that, technical guidance on the use of microphones and the voting apparatuses was given. The proceedings are being simultaneously translated in five languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English.
There were 142 of the total 207 cardinals present this morning; 103 of those present were Cardinal electors. Expected to arrive this afternoon and tomorrow, therefore, are 63 others including the remaining 12 Cardinal electors. This number—115 Cardinal electors—takes into account the two cardinals who have already indicated that they will not be attending: the archbishop emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia and the archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland.
The gathered cardinals swore to keep secret the deliberations for the election of the future Pope, after which the Cardinal dean, Angleo Sodano, read the oath in Latin, everyone present reciting along with him. After that, each cardinal, according to their order of precedence came forward and took the oath before a Crucifix and with their hand on the Gospels. This process occupied a good portion of the meeting's time.
Three assistants to the camerlengo were also drawn by lot from the Cardinal electors of each of the orders. As established in No. 7 of “Universi Dominici Gregis”, these three will assist the Cardinal camerlengo for the first three days of the Congregations. Chosen were Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re from the order of bishops, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe from the order of priests, and Cardinal Franc Rode from the order of deacons. After being chosen these three also took their places next to the Camerlengo at the head table.
According to tradition, it is expected that the preacher of the Pontifical Household, Fr. Raniero Catalamessa, O.F.M. Cap, will give the first meditation to the College of Cardinals early this afternoon.
“During the course of the meeting,” Fr. Lombardi added, “Dean Sodano proposed to the cardinals that, if they sent a message to the Pope emeritus, he would give a written response for one of the following meetings.” The Holy See Press Office Director also commented that the atmosphere was very friendly and that the cardinals took a 45-minute break for coffee and to exchange thoughts.
From 11:45am until 12:30pm, 13 cardinals took the floor to address issues mainly related to the process of the proceedings and the questions to be faced, also bearing in mind the results of the latest Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.
“You could define this initial encounter,” Fr. Lombardi concluded, “as serene, constructive, and positive.”
Vatican City, 4 March 2013 (VIS) – A student of the history of the Roman Curia, in particular the office called the Apostolic Camera, will find that, as early as the 11th century, the term "camera thesauraria" (treasure chamber) appeared, describing an office set up to administer the finances of the Roman Curia and the temporal goods of the Holy See. Today it performs the latter task only in the period of "sede vacante" or vacant see.
In the 12th century, the head of that office was known as the "camerarius," or camerlengo (chamberlain) - a title which carries over to today. That same century saw the former offices of viceroy, treasurer and wardrobe guardian incorporated into this single department. In the 13th and 14th centuries it acquired judicial functions in fiscal matters as well as certain penal and civil cases.
The camerlengo of Holy Roman Church (to be distinguished from the camerlengo of the College of Cardinals) was often a cardinal, but this became mandatory only in the 15th century. Then – as now – he was assisted by a vice-camerlengo, a general auditor and chamber clerks, called Cleric Prelates. Today there is also a notary.
In the early centuries the camerlengo, individual clerks, and chamber auditor had acquired specific competencies and presided over special tribunals, though the "camera plena" or full chamber functioned as a collegial court. Throughout the 19th century the Camera was above all a tribunal for the pontifical state. With his Apostolic Constitution "Sapienti Consilio" of 29 June 1908, Pope St. Pius X confirmed the Apostolic Camera in its functions of temporal power which it had exercised in the past.
Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution "Regimini Ecclesiae Universae" of 15 August 1967 preserved the Apostolic Camera, presided over by the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church or, if he is impeded, by the vice-camerlengo. It thus maintains the function of caring for and administering the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See during the period of Sede Vacante, that is, between the end of the reign of one Pope and the election of his successor.
A reconfirmation of these special duties was given in John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" of 28 June 1988.
As confirmed by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis" of February 1996, the camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the penitentiary major are the only two heads of curial offices whose functions do not cease during the Sede Vacante. In fact, those of the camerlengo actually increase during this period.
The current camerlengo of Holy Roman Church is Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, S.D.B. The cardinal was born on 2 December 1934 in Romano Canavese, Piedmont, Italy and was ordained in 1960. He holds a doctorate in canon law and was the rector of the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome in 1989. He received episcopal ordination as archbishop of Vercelli, Italy in 1991. In 1995 Blessed John Paul II appointed him secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect at the time was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In 2002 he was named metropolitan archbishop of Genoa, Italy and on 21 October 2003 he was created a cardinal. On 22 June 2006, Benedict XVI appointed him as secretary of State and on 4 April 2007, as camerlengo.
On 1 March 2013, the complete Apostolic Camera met for the beginning of the period of the Sede Vacante resulting from His Holiness Benedict XVI's renunciation of the Petrine ministry in effect from 8:00pm the previous day, 28 February. The Apostolic Camera currently consists of: Camerlengo Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.; Vice-camerlengo Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata; Auditor General Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca; and the College of Clerics: Msgr. Assunto Scotti; Msgr. Paolo Luca Braida; Msgr. Philip James Whitmore; Msgr. Winfried Konig; Msgr. Osvaldo Neves de Almeida; Msgr. Krzysztof Jozef Nykiel; Msgr. Lucio Bonora, and; Msgr. Antonio Lazzaro.


The following web site has started a prayer initiative for the election of the new Pontiff: 

Background information

It's good to know that with our prayers and daily toil we can become part of something great and tie in with a world-embracing Church. In these significant days we not only want to stand side by side to thank God for Pope Benedict XVI and our Church, but also to beseech God to grant us a devout and holy new Shepherd who is strong in Faith and teaching.
Well aware how much God yearns for our prayer, coming before him, our call on his Mercy (John 14,13f). This is why we have launched this initiative.
Let us support our shepherds with the strength of our faith and let us help them carry the burden of these days (Gal. 6,2). So that in our prayers and fasting we may be like Moses and his helpers who with their prayer invoked strength and protection upon their warriors (Ex. 17, 8-15).
Like the apostles together with Mary at Pentecost, we want to implore the Holy Spirit (Acts 1,14) to enlighten our cardinals so they may open up to God's will, think His thoughts, do His deeds and speak His words. With all our hearts we hope that God's wise and merciful plans may be put into action through his cardinals.
We fervently believe that God takes joy in our prayer and that He is pleased about each one of us who joins in and that He shall gladly answer our prayers (Mt. 18, 19f).

What about you? Do you feel the same way too?
  • Are you infinitely thankful to God for having given us such a wonderful, wise and benevolent pope in Benedict XVI.?
  • Do you sincerely hope that the Church will be granted a worthy successor: a rock of faith, a leader open to the Holy Spirit, a pope prayerful and holy?
  • Do you as an important part of the Body of Christ wish to contribute through the power of your prayers so that the Holy Spirit may guide, protect and enlighten our Cardinals when they determine the next successor of St. Peter?
You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.

Currently 253428 people have adopted a Cardinal! 


Sede Vacente stamps & coins | Sede Vacente stamps & coins

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City State has issued four stamps with the image of an angel raising the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera, the work of Italian artist Daniela Longo. The stamps cost: Euro 0.70 for mail to Italy, with a light green background; Euro 0.85 for mail to Europe, with a blue background; Euro 2.00 for mail to the Americas, with a grey background; and Euro 2.50 for mail to Oceania, on a yellow background.
The use of these stamps as postage is only available during the Sede Vacante, ending with the election of the new Pope. Their philatelic use is allowed afterwards and the office will continue to sell them to collectors. The initial printing is for 230,000 complete series. The folder including all four stamps costs Euro 15.00. There is also a smaller folder that was created on Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the pontificate, which includes two stamps and costs Euro 10.00.
Regarding coins, a Euro 2.00 one commemorating the Sede Vacante will be issued. It is the only one that will be circulated seeing that, according to the European convention with the Vatican City State, only one coin is allowed to be issued per year, with an extra one permitted in the case of a Sede Vacante. There will, therefore, be two coins in 2013: one for the Sede Vacante and the other, to be issued in April, with an image of Benedict XVI.

The Sede Vacante coin, 125,000 of which will be minted, bears the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera.
There will also be 10,000 silver Euro 5.00 coins minted for the SedeVacante that will have a dove of the Holy Spirit and the words 'Veni Sancte Spiritus' on one side and the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera and the phrase 'Sede Vacante 2013' on the other. Likewise, 5,000 gold Euro 10.00 coins will be minted. This will be a very small coin (13.85mm in size and 3g in weight) and will have the same images and writing as the silver coin.
The Euro 5.00 and Euro 10.00 coins are collectibles and, theoretically, can only be used within the Vatican. They are not legal tender outside of the Vatican.
Source: VIS


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The murder of a French nun caused deep emotion in Mandritsara in the north-east of Madagascar. Sister Marie Emmanuel Helesbeux was killed on 1 March in a village in Madagascar. "The nun was first hit with a stick and then strangled. Three people have been arrested and confessed to the crime. It seems that they owed the victim money " refers to Fides Agency Fr. Luca Treglia, Director of Radio Don Bosco in Antananarivo.
Sister Marie Emmanuel Helesbeux of the Soeurs de la Providence (also known as "Soeurs de Saint Thérèse d'Avesnes) was 82 years old, 42 of which she spent on mission in Madagascar always in Mandritsara.
"Upon hearing of the death of Sister Marie Emmanuel people took to the streets wanting to get justice. The religious was much loved and respected in Mandritsara for her works of charity. The authorities have appealed for calm. " concludes Fr. Luca. (L.M.) 


Luke 4: 24 - 30

24And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.25But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli'jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land;26and Eli'jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar'ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli'sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na'aman the Syrian."28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.29And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.30But passing through the midst of them he went away.


St. Casimir
Feast: March 4

Feast Day:March 4
October 3, 1458(1458-10-03), Wawel, Kraków
Died:March 4, 1484, Hrodna, Belarus
1522, Rome by Pope Adrian VI
Major Shrine:Vilnius Cathedral
Patron of:patron saint of Poland and Lithuania
St Casimir was the third among the thirteen children of Casimir III, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter to the Emperor Albert II, a most virtuous woman, who died in 1505. He was born in 1458, on the 3rd of October. From his childhood he was remarkably pious and devout. His preceptor was John Dugloss, called Longinus, canon of Cracow, a man of extraordinary learning and piety, who constantly refused all bishoprics and other dignities of the church and state which were pressed upon him. Uladislas, the eldest son, was elected King of Bohemia in 1471, and became King of Hungary in 1490. Our saint was the second son; John Albert the third son, succeeded the father in the kingdom of Poland in 1492; and Alexander, the fourth son, was called to the same in 1501. Casimir and the other princes were so affectionately attached to the holy man, who was their preceptor, that they could not bear to be separated from him. But Casimir profited most by his pious maxims and example. He consecrated the flower of his age to the exercises of devotion and penance, and had a horror of that softness and magnificence which reign in courts His clothes were very plain, and under them he wore a hair shirt. His bed was frequently the ground, and he spent a considerable part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. He often went out in the night to pray before the church-doors; and in the morning waited before them till they were opened to assist at matins. By living always under a sense of the divine presence he remained perpetually united to, and absorbed in, his Creator, maintained an uninterrupted cheerfulness of temper, and was mild and affable to all. He respected the least ceremonies of the church: everything that tended to promote piety was dear to him. He was particularly devout to the passion of our blessed Saviour, the very thought of which excited him to tears, and threw him into transports of love. He was no less piously affected towards the sacrifice of the altar, at which he always assisted with such reverence and attention that he seemed in raptures. And as a mark of his singular devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he composed, or at least frequently recited, the long hymn that bears his name, a copy of which was, by his desire, buried with him. His love for Jesus Christ showed itself in his regard for the poor, who are his members, to whose relief he applied whatever he had, and employed his credit with his father, and his brother Uladislas, King of Bohemia, to procure them succour. His compassion made him feel in himself the afflictions of every one.
The Palatines and other nobles of Hungary, dissatisfied with Matthias Corvin, their king, son of the great Huniades, begged the King of Poland to allow them to place his son Casimir on the throne. The saint, not then quite fifteen years of age, was very unwilling to consent; but in compliance with his father's will he went, at the head of an army of twenty thousand men, to the frontiers in 1471. There hearing that Matthias had formed an army of sixteen thousand men to defend him, and that all differences were accommodated between him and his people, and that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an embassy to divert his father from that expedition, he joyfully returned, having with difficulty obtained his father's consent so to do. However, as his dropping this project was disagreeable to the king his father, not to increase his affliction by appearing before him he did not go directly to Cracow, but retired to the Castle of Dobzki, three miles from that city, where he continued three months in the practice of penance. Having learned the injustice of the attempt against the King of Hungary, in which obedience to his father's command prevailed upon him to embark when he was very young, he could never be engaged to resume it by fresh pressing invitation of the Hungarians, or the iterated orders and entreaties of his father. The twelve years he lived after this he spent in sanctifying himself in the same manner as he had done before. He observed to the last an untainted chastity, notwithstanding the advice of physicians who excited him to marry, imagining, upon some false principle, this to be a means necessary to preserve his life. Being wasted with a lingering consumption, he foretold his last hour, and having prepared himself for it by redoubling his exercises of piety, and receiving the sacraments of the church, he made a happy end at Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, on the 4th of March, 1484, being twenty-three years and five months old. He was buried in the Church of St. Stanislas. So many were the miracles wrought by his intercession that Swiecicki, a canon of Vilna, wrote a whole volume of them from good memoirs in 1604. He was canonized by Pope Leo X, whose legate in Poland, Zachary Ferrier, wrote the saint's life. His body, and all the rich stuffs it was wrapped in, were found quite entire, and exhaling a sweet smell one hundred and twenty years after his death, notwithstanding the excessive moisture of the vault. It is honoured in a large rich chapel of marble, built on purpose in that church. St. Casimir is the patron of Poland and several other places, and is proposed to youth as a particular pattern of purity. His original picture is to be seen in his chapel in St. German des Prez in Paris, built by John Casimir, King of Poland, the last of the family of Waza, who, renouncing his crown, retired to Paris, and died Abbot of St. Germain's in 1668.
What is there on earth which can engage the affections of a Christian, or be the object of his ambition, in whose soul God desires to establish his kingdom? Whoever has conceived a just idea of this immense happiness and dignity must look upon all the glittering bubbles of this world as empty and vain, and consider every thing in this life barely as it can advance or hinder the great object of all his desires. Few arrive at this happy and glorious state, because scarce any one seeks it with his whole heart, and has the courage sincerely to renounce all things and die to himself: and this precious jewel cannot be purchased upon any other terms. The kingdom of God can only be planted in a soul upon the ruins of self-love: so long as this reigns, it raises insuperable obstacles to the perfect establishment of the empire of divine love. The amiable Jesus lives in all souls which he animates by his sanctifying grace, and the Holy Ghost dwells in all such. But in most of these how many worldly maxims and inclinations diametrically opposite to those of our most holy heavenly king, hold their full sway! how many secret disorders and irregular attachments are cherished! how much is found of self-love, with which sometimes their spiritual exercises themselves are infected! The sovereign King of men and their merciful Redeemer is properly said to reign only in those souls which study effectually, and without reserve, to destroy in their affections whatever is opposite to his divine will, to subdue all their passions, and to subject all their powers to his holy love. Such fall not into any venial sins with full deliberation, and wipe away those of frailty into which they are betrayed, by the compunction and penance in which they constantly live, and by the constant attention with which they watch daily over themselves. They pray with the utmost earnestness that God deliver them from all the power of the enemy, and establish in all their affections the perfect empire of his grace and love; and to fulfil his will in the most perfect manner in all their actions is their most earnest desire and hearty endeavour. How bountifully does God reward, even in this life, those who are thus liberal toward him! St. Casimir, who had tasted of this happiness, and learned truly to value the heavenly grace, loathed all earthly pomp and delights. With what joy ought not all Christians, both rich and poor, to be filled when they hear: The kingdom of God is within you! With what ardor ought they not to devote themselves to make God reign perfectly in their hearts! How justly did St. Casimir prefer this pursuit to earthly kingdoms!