Tuesday, July 9, 2013
St. Veronica Giuliani
Feast: July 9
Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Citt' di Castello, 9 July, 1727. Her parents, Francesco Giuliana and Benedetta Mancini, were both of gentle birth. In baptism she was named Ursula, and showed marvelous signs of sanctity. When but eighteen months old she uttered her first words to upbraid a shopman who was serving a false measure of oil, saying distinctly: "Do justice, God sees you." At the age of three years she began to be favoured with Divine communications, and to show great compassion for the poor. She would set apart a portion of her food for them, and even part with her clothes when she met a poor child scantily clad. These traits and a great love for the Cross developed as she grew older. When others did not readily join in her religious practices she was inclined to be dictatorial. In her sixteenth year this imperfection of character was brought home to her in a vision in which she saw her own heart as a heart of steel. In her writings she confesses that she took a certain pleasure in the more stately circumstances which her family adopted when her father was appointed superintendent of finance at Piacenza. But this did not in any way affect her early-formed resolution to dedicate herself to religion, although her father urged her to marry and procured for her several suitors as soon as she became of marriageable age. Owing to her father's opposition to her desire to enter a convent, Veronica fell ill and only recovered when he gave his consent.
In 1677 she was received into the convent of the Capuchin Poor Clares in Citt' di Castello, taking the name of Veronica in memory of the Passion. At the conclusion of the ceremony of her reception the bishop said to the abbess: "I commend this new daughter to your special care, for she will one day be a great saint." She became absolutely submissive to the will of her directors, though her novitiate was marked by extraordinary interior trials and temptations to return to the world. At her profession in 1678 she conceived a great desire to suffer in union with our Saviour crucified for the conversion of sinners. About this time she had a vision of Christ bearing His cross and henceforth suffered an acute physical pain in her heart. After her death the figure of the cross was found impressed upon her heart. In 1693 she entered upon a new phase in her spiritual life, when she had a vision of the chalice symbolizing the Divine Passion which was to be re-enacted in her own soul. At first she shrank from accepting it and only be great effort eventually submitted. She then began to endure intense spiritual suffering. In 1694 she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, the wounds being visible and the pain permanent. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief. Yet, although she lived in this supernaturally mystical life, she was a practical woman of affairs. For thirty-four years she was novice-mistress, and guided the novices with great prudence. It is noticeable that she would not allow them to read mystical books. In 1716 she was elected abbess and whilst holding that office enlarged the convent and had a good system of water-pipes laid down, the convent hitherto having been without a proper water supply. She was canonized by Gregory XVI in 1839. She is usually represented crowned with thorns and embracing the Cross.
Below, please find Vatican Radio’s full text of the Holy Father’s homily:
Immigrants who died at sea, from that boat that, instead of being a way of hope was a way of death. This is the headline in the papers! When, a few weeks ago, I heard the news – which unfortunately has been repeated so many time – the thought always returns as a thorn in the heart that brings suffering. And then I felt that I ought to come here today to pray, to make a gesture of closeness, but also to reawaken our consciences so that what happened would not be repeated. Not repeated, please! But first I want to say a word of sincere gratitude and encouragement to you, the residents of Lampedusa and Linosa, to the associations, to the volunteers and to the security forces that have shown and continue to show attention to persons on their voyage toward something better. You are a small group, but you offer an example of solidarity! Thank you! Thanks also to Archbishop Francesco Montenegro for his help and his work, and for his pastoral closeness. I warmly greet the Mayor, Mrs Giusy Nicolini. Thank you so much for all you have done, and for all you do. I give a thought, too, to the dear Muslim immigrants that are beginning the fast of Ramadan, with best wishes for abundant spiritual fruits. The Church is near to you in the search for a more dignified life for yourselves and for your families. I say to you “O’ scia’!” [trans.: a friendly greeting in the local dialect].
This morning, in light of the Word of God that we have heard, I want to say a few words that, above all, provoke the conscience of all, pushing us to reflect and to change certain attitudes in concrete ways.
“Adam, where are you?” This is the first question that God addresses to man after sin. “Where are you Adam?” Adam is disoriented and has lost his place in creation because he thought to become powerful, to dominate everything, to be God. And harmony was broken, the man erred – and this is repeated even in relations with his neighbour, who is no longer a brother to be loved, but simply someone who disturbs my life, my well-being. And God puts the second question: “Cain, where is your brother?” The dream of being powerful, of being as great as God, even of being God, leads to a chain of errors that is a chain of death, leads to shedding the blood of the brother!
These two questions resonate even today, with all their force! So many of us, even including myself, are disoriented, we are no longer attentive to the world in which we live, we don’t care, we don’t protect that which God has created for all, and we are unable to care for one another. And when this disorientation assumes worldwide dimensions, we arrive at tragedies like the one we have seen.
“Where is your brother?” the voice of his blood cries even to me, God says. This is not a question addressed to others: it is a question addressed to me, to you, to each one of us. These our brothers and sisters seek to leave difficult situations in order to find a little serenity and peace, they seek a better place for themselves and for their families – but they found death. How many times to those who seek this not find understanding, do not find welcome, do not find solidarity! And their voices rise up even to God! And once more to you, the residents of Lampedusa, thank you for your solidarity! I recently heard one of these brothers. Before arriving here, he had passed through the hands of traffickers, those who exploit the poverty of others; these people for whom the poverty of others is a source of income. What they have suffered! And some have been unable to arrive!
“Where is your brother?” Who is responsible for this blood? In Spanish literature there is a play by Lope de Vega that tells how the inhabitants of the city of Fuente Ovejuna killed the Governor because he was a tyrant, and did it in such a way that no one knew who had carried out the execution. And when the judge of the king asked “Who killed the Governor?” they all responded, “Fuente Ovejuna, sir.” All and no one! Even today this question comes with force: Who is responsible for the blood of these brothers and sisters? No one! We all respond this way: not me, it has nothing to do with me, there are others, certainly not me. But God asks each one of us: “Where is the blood of your brother that cries out to me?” Today no one in the world feels responsible for this; we have lost the sense of fraternal responsibility; we have fallen into the hypocritical attitude of the priest and of the servant of the altar that Jesus speaks about in the parable of the Good Samaritan: We look upon the brother half dead by the roadside, perhaps we think “poor guy,” and we continue on our way, it’s none of our business; and we feel fine with this. We feel at peace with this, we feel fine! The culture of well-being, that makes us think of ourselves, that makes us insensitive to the cries of others, that makes us live in soap bubbles, that are beautiful but are nothing, are illusions of futility, of the transient, that brings indifference to others, that brings even the globalization of indifference. In this world of globalization we have fallen into a globalization of indifference. We are accustomed to the suffering of others, it doesn’t concern us, it’s none of our business.
The figure of the Unnamed of Manzoni returns. The globalization of indifference makes us all “unnamed,” leaders without names and without faces.
“Adam, where are you?” “Where is your brother?” These are the two questions that God puts at the beginning of the story of humanity, and that He also addresses to the men and women of our time, even to us. But I want to set before us a third question: “Who among us has wept for these things, and things like this?” Who has wept for the deaths of these brothers and sisters? Who has wept for the people who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who wanted something to support their families? We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the cry, the plea, the great lament: “Rachel weeping for her children . . . because they are no more.” Herod sowed death in order to defend his own well-being, his own soap bubble. And this continues to repeat itself. Let us ask the Lord to wipe out [whatever attitude] of Herod remains in our hears; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty in the world, in ourselves, and even in those who anonymously make socio-economic decisions that open the way to tragedies like this. “Who has wept?” Who in today’s world has wept?
O Lord, in this Liturgy, a Liturgy of repentance, we ask forgiveness for the indifference towards so many brothers and sisters, we ask forgiveness for those who are pleased with themselves, who are closed in on their own well-being in a way that leads to the anaesthesia of the heart, we ask you, Father, for forgiveness for those who with their decisions at the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord!
O Lord, even today let us hear your questions: “Adam, where are you?” “Where is the blood of your brother?” Amen.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
|THE POPE TO SEMINARIANS, NOVICES AND THOSE DISCERNING THIEIR VOCATIONS: OUR MISSION IS TO ENCOUNTER THE LORD WHO CONSOLES AND TO CONSOLE THE PEOPLE OF GOD|
Vatican City, 7 July 2013 (VIS) – The joy of consolation, the Cross and prayer were the reference points in Christian mission proposed by Pope Francis to the young seminarians, novices and all those who participated in Mass celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. A broad summary of the Holy Father's homily is given below:
“You are seminarians, novices, young people on a vocational journey, from every part of the world. You represent the Church’s youth! If the Church is the Bride of Christ, you in a certain sense represent the moment of betrothal, the Spring of vocation, the season of discovery … in which foundations are laid for the future. … Today the word of God speaks to us of mission. … What are the reference points of Christian mission? The readings we have heard suggest three: the joy of consolation, the Cross and prayer.
“The first element: the joy of consolation. The prophet Isaiah is addressing a people that has been through a dark period of exile, a very difficult trial. But now the time of consolation has come for Jerusalem; sadness and fear must give way to joy. ... What is the reason for this invitation to joy? Because the Lord is going to pour out over the Holy City and its inhabitants a 'cascade' of consolation, a veritable overflow of consolation, a cascade of maternal tenderness: 'You shall be carried upon her hip and dandled upon her knees'. As when a mother takes her child upon her knee and caresses him or her: so the Lord will do and does with us. This is the cascade of tenderness which gives us much consolation. … Every Christian, and especially you and I, is called to be a bearer of this message of hope that gives serenity and joy: God’s consolation, his tenderness towards all. But if we first experience the joy of being consoled by him, of being loved by him, then we can bring that joy to others. This is important if our mission is to be fruitful: to feel God’s consolation and to pass it on to others! I have occasionally met consecrated persons who are afraid of the consolations of God, and … the poor things, they were tormented, because they are afraid of this divine tenderness. But do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of the consolations of the Lord. We must find the Lord who consoles us and go to console the people of God. This is the mission. People today certainly need words, but most of all they need us to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord, which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good. What a joy it is to bring God’s consolation to others!
“The second reference point of mission is the Cross of Christ. Saint Paul, writing to the Galatians, says: 'Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ'. … In his ministry Paul experienced suffering, weakness and defeat, but also joy and consolation. This is the Paschal mystery of Jesus: the mystery of death and resurrection. ... In the hour of darkness, in the hour of trial, the dawn of light and salvation is already present and operative. The Paschal mystery is the beating heart of the Church’s mission! And if we remain within this mystery, we are sheltered both from a worldly and triumphalistic view of mission and from the discouragement that can result from trials and failures. Pastoral fruitfulness, the fruitfulness of the Gospel proclamation is measured neither by success nor by failure according to the criteria of human evaluation, but by conforming to the logic of the Cross of Jesus, which is the logic of stepping outside oneself and offering oneself, the logic of love. It is the Cross – always the Cross that is present with Christ, because at times we are offered the Cross without Christ: this has no purpose! … It is from the Cross, the supreme act of mercy and love, that we are reborn as a 'new creation'.
“Finally the third element: prayer. In the Gospel we heard: 'Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, to send out labourers into his harvest'. The labourers for the harvest are not chosen through advertising campaigns or appeals of service and generosity, but they are 'chosen' and 'sent' by God. It is He who chooses, it is He who sends ... it is He who gives the mission. For this, prayer is important. The Church, as Benedict XVI has often reiterated, is not ours, but God’s; and how many times do we, consecrated men and women, think that the Church is ours! We make of it… something that we invent in our minds. But it is not ours!, it is God’s. The field to be cultivated is His. The mission is grace. And if the Apostle is born of prayer, he finds in prayer the light and strength of his action”.
“Dear seminarians, dear novices, dear young people discerning your vocations. … Listen well: 'evangelization is done on one’s knees'. Always be men and women of prayer! Without a constant relationship with God, the mission becomes a job. But for what do you work? As a tailor, a cook, a priest – is your job being a priest, being a sister? No. It is not a job, but rather something else. The risk of activism, of relying too much on structures, is an ever-present danger. If we look towards Jesus, we see that prior to any important decision or event he recollected himself in intense and prolonged prayer. Let us cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and heavy duties. And the more the mission calls you to go out to the margins of existence, let your heart be the more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love. Herein lies the secret of pastoral fruitfulness, of the fruitfulness of a disciple of the Lord!
“Jesus sends his followers out with no 'purse, no bag, no sandals'. The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed by the number of persons, nor by the prestige of the institution, nor by the quantity of available resources. What counts is being permeated by the love of Christ, allowing oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross.
“Dear friends, with great confidence I entrust you to the intercession of Mary Most Holy. She is the Mother who helps us to take life decisions freely and without fear. May she help you to bear witness to the joy of God’s consolation, without being afraid of joy, she will help you to conform yourselves to the logic of love of the Cross, to grow in ever deeper union with the Lord in prayer. Then your lives will be rich and fruitful!”
|ANGELUS: JESUS IS NOT AN ISOLATED MISSIONARY|
Vatican City, 8 July 2013 (VIS) – At midday, following the Holy Mass celebrated on the Day for seminarians, novices and those discerning their vocations, in the context of the Year of Faith, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The Bishop of Rome appealed to all those present to pray for the participants in this Day, “that their love for Christ might mature more and more in their lives and that they might become true missionaries of God's Kingdom”, and then went on to comment on gospel, relating it to the call to the vocation.
“Jesus is not an isolated missionary”, he said; “he does not want to fulfill his mission alone, but involves his disciples. Today we see that, in addition to the Twelve Apostles, He calls seventy-two others, and sends them into the villages, two by two, to announce that the Kingdom of God is near. This is very beautiful! Jesus does not want to act alone, He has come to bring to the world the love of God and wants to spread that love with communion and fraternity. For this reason, he immediately forms a community of disciples, a missionary community, and trains them for the mission”.
“Beware, however: the purpose is not to socialize, to spend time together – no, the purpose is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and this is urgent! There is no time to waste in small talk, no need to wait for the consent of all – it is necessary to go out and proclaim. The peace of Christ is to be brought to everyone, and if some do not welcome it, then you go on. Healing is to be brought to the sick, as God wishes to heal man from all evil. How many missionaries do this! They sow life, health, comfort in the peripheries of the world”.
“These seventy-two disciples, whom Jesus sent ahead of him, who are they? Whom do they represent? If the Twelve are the Apostles, and therefore also represent the Bishops, their successors, these may represent seventy-two other ordained ministers – priests and deacons – but in a wider sense we can think of other ministries in the Church, catechists and lay faithful who engage in parish missions, those who work with the sick, with the various forms of discomfort and alienation, but always as missionaries of the Gospel, with the urgency of the Kingdom that is at hand. Everyone must become missionaries, everyone can hear Jesus' call and go on to proclaim His kingdom!
“The Gospel says that those seventy-two returned from their mission full of joy, because they had experienced the power of the Name of Christ against evil. … We should not boast as if we were the protagonists: the protagonist is the Lord and His grace. Our joy is only this: in being His disciples, His friends. … Do not be afraid of being joyful! … It is the joy that the Lord gives us when we let Him enter into our lives and invite us to go forth into the peripheries of life and announce the Gospel, with joy and courage!”
After the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned that two days ago his first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (On the Light of Faith) was published. Pope Benedict XVI had started this encyclical for the Year of Faith and to follow the previous encyclicals dedicated to love and hope. “I picked up this fine project and completed it. I offer it with joy to the whole People of God: indeed, today more than ever before, we need to return to the essentials of the Christian faith, to deepen it, and to measure current issues by it. I think that this encyclical, at least in some parts, can also be useful to those who are searching for God and for the meaning of life. I entrust it to the hands of Mary, the perfect icon of faith, that it may bring the fruits the Lord wishes”.
The Holy Father went on to greet the young people of the diocese of Rome who are preparing to go to Rio de Janeiro to participate in World Youth Day. “Dear young people, I too am preparing! Let us walk together towards this great celebration of faith! May Our Lady accompany us”.
Finally, he greeted the Franciscan Sisters and the Rosminian Angeline Sisters, who are holding their General Chapters, and the leaders of the Community of Sant'Egidio who have come to Rome from various countries to attend a training course.
|AUDIENCE WITH PRESIDENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO|
Vatican City, 6 July 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience the president of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the course of the colloquial discussions, several topics were covered including the contribution the Catholic Church offers to the population, especially in the fields of education, health and assistance to the needy and vulnerable. The Parties expressed their commitment to fruitful collaboration in supporting the young in the fight against crime and violence.
Finally, the focus turned to important themes such as the full formation of the person and the protection of the family.
|CARDINAL VAN THUAN: A WITNESS OF HOPE|
Vatican City, 6 July 2013 (VIS) - “A witness of hope” was how Pope Francis defined the late Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who had been the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and for whom the diocesan phase of the beatification process has now come to an end.
This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father greeted the participants in the closing session of this phase and thanked Waldery Hilgeman, postulator of the cause of Cardinal Van Thuan's beatification, emphasizing that “many people can testify to their edification through meeting the Servant of God Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan in various stages of his life”.
“The experience shows that his renowned holiness was transmitted through the testimony of the many people who met him and who cherish within their hearts his gentle smile and the greatness of his sensibility. Many encountered him through his writings, simple yet profound, which demonstrate his priestly heart, deeply united with He who called him to be the minister of His mercy and His love. Many people have written to tell of grace received and signs attributed to the intercession of this venerated Brother, son of the east, who has completed his earthly journey in the service of Peter's Successor.
“We entrust the furthering of his cause, and all the others currently in process, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. May Our Lady help us to live ever more the beauty and joy of communion with Christ”, the Pope concluded.
On Saturday 6 July the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Achille Silvestri, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
On Saturday 6 July the Holy Father appointed Archbishop George Kocherry as apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh. Archbishop Kocherry, titular of Othona, was previously apostolic nuncio to Zimbabwe.
Government snubs $38m bailout request
Christ the Redeemer, Rio (picture: Shutterstock)
- Donna Bowater for Independent Ireland
- THE Vatican has asked Brazil for an additional €30.3m to help cover an expected shortfall in funding for the visit of the Pope to Rio de Janeiro later this month, according to reports.
Pope Francis will make his first international trip to the world's largest Catholic country for the WorldYouth Day celebrations to be held between July 23 and 28. A shortage in the expected millions of pilgrims – whose contributions are part-funding the cost – led to the Vatican identifying a black hole of up to €51m, according to Brazilian media.
But Brazil's federal, state and city officials in Rio de Janeiro, who have already committed at least €46.7m of public money to the €117m event, are said to have refused to contribute any more.
It is understood that recent mass protests across Brazil – in which more than a million people demonstrated against the lack of investment in public services compared with the Pope's visit, the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics – may have played a part in the decision.
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS - Independent Ireland