Friday, October 25, 2013


St. Evaristus

Feast: October 26
Feast Day:
October 26

Date of birth unknown; died about 107. In the Liberian Catalogue his name is given as Aristus. In papal catalogues of the second century used by Irenaeus and Hippolytus, he appears as the fourth successor of St. Peter, immediately after St Clement. The same lists allow him eight years of reign, covering the end of the first and the beginning of the second century (from about 98 or 99 to about 106 or 107). The earliest historical sources offer no authentic data about him. In his "Ecclesiastical History" Eusebius says merely that he succeeded Clement in the episcopate of the Roman Church which fact was already known from St. Irenaeus. This order of succession is undoubtedly correct. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that Evaristus came of a Hellenic family, and was the son of a Bethlehem Jew. It also attributes to him the allotment of definite churches as to the Roman presbyters, and the division of the city into seven or deaconries; in this statement, however, the "Liber Pontificalis " arbitrarily refers to the time of Evaristus a later institution of the Roman Church. More trustworthy is the assertion of the "Liber Pontificalis" that he was laid to rest , near the tomb of St. Peter. The martyrdom of Evaristus, though traditional, is not historically proven. His feast occurs 26 Oct. The two decretals ascribed to him by Pseudo-Isidore are forged. SOURCE:


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called the family a “community of life with its own consistent autonomy”, and that it is the “natural centre of human life”, “the engine of the world and history”, and the “place you learn to love”.

He was speaking on Friday to participants of the XXI Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The Assembly has been looking at the theme “Family, Live the Joy of Faith” and also marked the 30th Anniversary of the Holy See’s 1983 Charter on the Rights of the Family.

“Each of us builds his own personality in the family, growing up with their mother and father, brothers and sisters, breathing in the warmth of the house,” Pope Francis said. “In the family, a person becomes aware of his own dignity, and especially if his education is Christian, recognizes the dignity of every human person, and in a special way, that of the sick, weak and marginalized.”

The Holy Father reminded the participants the family is based on marriage, which he called “like a first sacrament of humanity”.

“In marriage, we give ourselves completely without calculation or reservation, sharing everything - gifts and sacrifices - trusting in God's Providence,” Pope Francis said. “This is the experience that young people can learn from their parents and grandparents. It is an experience of faith in God and mutual trust, of profound freedom, of holiness, because holiness pre-supposes giving of yourself with faithfulness and sacrifice every day of your life!”

The Pope then spoke briefly about two stages of family life: childhood and old age.

“Children and the elderly are the two poles of life and also the most vulnerable, often the most forgotten,” he said. “A society that abandons children and marginalizes the elderly severs its roots and obscures its future. Whenever a child is abandoned and an old person is marginalized, is not just an act of injustice, but it also demonstrates the failure of that society. Taking care of children and the elderly is the only choice of civilization.”

Pope Francis concluded his address by remembering families in crisis.

He said the Church must give attention and show spiritual closeness to all families in need: those forced to leave their homelands, those that are broken, those who are homeless are without work, spouses suffering problems, including those who have separated.

“We … propose to all, with respect and courage, the beauty of marriage and the family enlightened by the Gospel,” said Pope Francis.



VIS - OCT. 24 Yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica Pope Francis consecrated two new bishops: Bishop Giampiero Gloder, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, and Bishop Jean-Marie Speich, apostolic nuncio to Ghana. The Holy Father read the ritual homily, in accordance with the Roman Pontifical for episcopal ordinations, adding some personal reflections.
Brothers and beloved sons,
Think carefully to what high responsibilities Church are called these brothers. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent by the Father to redeem men he sent to his time in the world the twelve apostles, because the full power of the Holy Spirit annunziassero the Gospel to all peoples and bringing them together under one shepherd, and sanctify and guide them to salvation .
In order to perpetuate from generation to generation this apostolic ministry, the Twelve aggregated employees by sending them with the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit received from Christ, who gave the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Thus, through the unbroken succession of bishops in the living tradition of the Church has kept this ministry primary and the Savior's work continues and develops up to our times. In the bishop surrounded by his priests is present among you the same our Lord Jesus Christ, the high priest forever.
And 'Christ, in fact, that in the ministry of the bishop continues to preach the gospel of salvation and sanctification of believers through the sacraments of the faith. And 'Christ in the fatherhood of the bishop of new members increases his body which is the Church. And 'Christ in the wisdom and prudence of the bishop leading the people of God in the earthly pilgrimage to the eternal happiness.
Accept, then, with joy and gratitude our brothers, we bishops by the laying on of hands today associate with the episcopal college. Give them the honor that is due to the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God, who are entrusted with the testimony of the gospel and the ministry of the Spirit for the sanctification. Remember the words of Jesus to the Apostles: "He who hears you hears me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects the one who sent me."
As for you, Jean-Marie and Giampiero, chosen by the Lord, think that you have been chosen from among men and for men, you have been appointed in things pertaining to God "episcopate" is in fact the name of a service, not a honor. The bishop competes more serve the master, according to the commandment of the Master: "Who is the greatest among you become as the youngest. And who governs as he who serves." Always on duty, always.
Proclaim the Word at every opportunity: and out of season. Rebuke, exhort with all patience and teaching. And through prayer and the offering of sacrifice for your people, draw from the fullness of Christ's holiness the richness and variety of divine grace.Through prayer. Remember that first conflict in the Church of Jerusalem, when the bishops had so much work to keep the widows, the orphans and have decided to appoint deacons. Why? To pray and preach the Word. A bishop who does not pray is a bishop in midstream. And if you do not please the Lord, ends up in worldliness.
In the Church entrusted to you be faithful guardians and stewards of the mysteries of Christ, the Father placed at the head of his family always follow the example of the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep, which they are known and they did not hesitate to give life.
The bishop's love, love, love with love of father and brother all those whom God has entrusted to you. First of all, love the priests and deacons. Are your employees are the next closest to you. Never to wait a priest; asks an audience? Respond immediately! Be close to them. But also love the poor, the helpless and those who need to welcome and help. Urged the faithful to cooperate and listen to the apostolic willingly.
Have keen attention to those who do not belong to the one fold of Christ, because they too have been entrusted to you in the Lord. Pray much for them. Remember that in the Catholic Church, gathered together in the bond of charity, you are united to the College of Bishops and you need to bring in the care of all the Churches, generously rescuing those who are most in need of help.
And watch with love to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit puts you to rule the Church of God awake in the name of the Father, which make present the image, in the name of Jesus Christ, his Son, by whom ye made masters , priests and pastors.In the name of the Holy Spirit that gives life to the Church and by his power sustains our weakness. So be it!
[01546-01.01] [Original text: Italian] INTERNET TRANSLATION FROM VATICAN.VA


(Vatican Radio) To have the courage in the presence of the confessor to call sin by its name, without hiding it: Pope Francis homily this morning at the Casa Santa Marta was focused entirely on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To go to Confession, he said, is to encounter the love of Jesus with sincerity of heart and with the transparency of children, not refusing, but even welcoming the “grace of shame” that makes us perceive God’s forgiveness. 

For many believing adults, confessing to a priest is an unbearable effort – that often leads one to avoid the Sacrament – or such a painful process that it transforms the moment of truth into an exercise of fiction. Pope Francis, commenting on the Letter to the Romans, says that Saint Paul does exactly the opposite: he admits publically to the community that “good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.” He acknowledges that he is a “slave” who does not do the good that he wants to do, but the evil that he does not want to do. This happens in the life of faith, the Pope said, that “when I want to do good, evil is close to me”: 

“This is the struggle of Christians. It is our struggle every day. And we do not always have the courage to speak as Paul spoke about this struggle. We always seek a way of justification: ‘But yes, we are all sinners.’ But we say it like that, don’t we? This says it dramatically: it is our struggle. And if we don’t recognize this, we will never be able to have God’s forgiveness. Because if being a sinner is a word, a way of speaking, a manner of speaking, we have no need of God’s forgiveness. But if it is a reality that makes us slaves, we need this interior liberation of the Lord, of that force. But more important here is that, to find the way out, Paul confesses his sin to the community, his tendency to sin. He doesn’t hide it.”

Confession of sins, done with humility, is something the Church requires of all of us, Pope Francis noted, citing the invitation of Saint James: “Confess your sins to one another.” Not to get noticed by others, the Pope explained, “but to give glory to God,” to recognise that it is God Who saves me. That, the Pope continued, is why one goes to a brother, a “brother priest” to confess. And one must do as Paul did – above all, confessing with the same “concreteness”: 

“Some say: ‘Ah, I confess to God.’ But it’s easy, it’s like confessing by email, no? God is far away, I say things and there’s no face-to-face, no eye-to-eye contact. Paul confesses his weakness to the brethren face-to-face. Others [say], ‘No, I go to confession,’ but they confess so many ethereal things, so many up-in-the-air things, that they don’t have anything concrete. And that’s the same as not doing it. Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber: it’s saying to the Lord, ‘Lord, I am a sinner,’ but saying it through the brother, because this says it concretely. ‘I am sinner because of this, that and the other thing.’”

Concreteness and honesty, Pope Francis added, and a sincere ability to be ashamed of one’s mistakes. There are no shadowy lanes that can serve as an alternative to the open road that leads to God’s forgiveness, to the awareness, in the depths of the heart, of His forgiveness and His love. And here the Pope explained we must imitate little children: 

“Little children have that wisdom: when a child comes to confess, he never says something general. ‘But father, I did this and I did that to my aunt, another time I said this word’ and they say the word. But they are concrete, eh? They have that simplicity of the truth. And we always have the tendency to hide the reality of our failings. But there is something beautiful: when we confess our sins as they are in the presence of God, we always feel that grace of shame. Being ashamed in the sight of God is a grace. It is a grace: ‘I am ashamed of myself.’ We think of Peter when, after the miracle of Jesus on the lake, [he said] ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinner.’ He is ashamed of his sins in the presence of the sanctity of Jesus.”