Thursday, February 20, 2014

POPE FRANCIS records special message to Pentecostal gathering via iPhone - Full Text - Video

A video message was recorded on an iPhone by a Pentecostal pastor named Tony Palmer. Pope Francis knew Palmer in Argentina.  The Pope says all Christians share blame for their divisions and he says that God will bring the miracle of Christian unity to completion.
Here is the complete transcript: “Two rules: Love God above all, and love the other (neighbor), because he is your brother and sister. With these two rules we can go ahead. I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We’ve been friends for years. He told me about your conference, about your meeting. And it’s my pleasure to greet you. A greeting both joyful and nostalgic (yearning). Joyful because it gives me joy that you have come together to worship Jesus Christ the only Lord. And to pray to the Father and to receive the Holy Spirit. This brings me joy because we can see that God is working all over the world. Nostalgic (yearning) because but…it happens, as within our suburbs. In the suburbs there are families that love each other and families that don’t love each other. Families that come together and families who separate themselves. We are kind of…permit me to say, separated.
(SKIP to 31:42 for Pope Francis)
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 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW http://www.facebook.com/catholicnewsworld  Separated because, it’s sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord. I am nostalgic (yearning), that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion. I am nostalgic (yearning), of that embrace that the Holy Scripture speaks of when Joseph’s brothers began to starve from hunger, they went to Egypt, to buy, so that they could eat. They went to buy. They had money. But they couldn’t eat the money. But there they found something more than food, they found their brother. All of us have currency. The currency of our culture. The currency of our history. We have lot of cultural riches, and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions. But we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together like Joseph did. These tears will unite us. The tears of love. I am speaking to you as a brother. I speak to you in a simple way. With joy and nostalgia (yearning). Let us allow our nostalgia (yearning) to grow, because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another. And together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of History. I thank you profoundly for listening to me. I thank you profoundly for allowing me to speak the language of the heart. And I also ask you a favor. Please pray for me, because I need your prayers. And I will pray for you, I will do it, but I need your prayers. And let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun. A famous Italian author named Manzoni, once wrote in his novel, of a simle man amongst the people, who once said this, “I’ve never seen God begin a miracle without Him finishing it well.” He will complete this miracle of unity. I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you. Thank you.”

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 21 : ST. PETER DAMIAN


St. Peter Damian
BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: February 21


Information:
Feast Day:February 14
Born:
988, Ravenna
Died:February 22, 1072, Faenza
Peter, surnamed of Damian, was born about the year 988 in Ravenna, of a good family, but reduced. He was the youngest of many children, and, losing his father and mother very young, was left in the hands of a brother who was married, in whose house he was treated more like a slave, or rather like a beast, than one so nearly related; and when grown up, he was sent to keep swine. He one day became master of a piece of money, which, instead of laying it out in something for his own use, he chose to bestow in alms on a priest, desiring him to offer up his prayers for his father's soul. He had another brother called Damian, who was arch-priest of Ravenna, and afterwards a monk; who, taking pity of him, had the charity to give him an education. Having found a father in this brother, he seems from him to have taken the surname of Damian, though he often styles himself the Sinner, out of humility. Those who call him De Honestis confound him with Peter of Ravenna, who was of the family of Honesti. Damian sent Peter to school, first at Faenza, afterwards at Parma, where he had Ivo for his master. By the means of good natural parts and close application, it was not long before he found himself in a capacity to teach others, which he did with great applause, and no less advantage by the profits which accrued to him from his professorship. To arm himself against the allurements of pleasure and the artifices of the devil, he began to wear a rough hair shirt under his clothes, and to inure himself to fasting, watching, and prayer. In the night, if any temptation of concupiscence arose, he got out of bed and plunged himself into the cold river. After this he visited churches,  reciting the psalter whilst he performed this devotion till the church office began. He not only gave much away in alms, but was seldom without some poor person at his table, and took a pleasure in serving such, or rather Jesus Christ in their persons, with his own hands. But thinking all this to be removing himself from the deadly poison of sin but by halves, he resolved entirely to leave the world and embrace a monastic life, and at a distance from his own country, for the sake of meeting with the fewer obstacles to his design. While his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of the order of St. Benedict belonging to Font-Avellano, a desert at the foot of the Apennine in Umbria, happened to call at the place of his abode; and being much edified at their disinterestedness, he took a resolution to embrace their institute, as he did soon after. This hermitage had been founded by blessed Ludolf about twenty years before St. Peter came thither, and was then in the greatest repute. The hermits here remained two and two together in separate cells, occupied chiefly in prayer and reading. They lived on bread and water four days in the week: on Tuesdays and Thursdays they ate pulse and herbs, which every one dressed in his own cell: on their fast days all their bread was given them by weight. They never used any wine (the common drink of the country) except for mass, or in sickness: they went barefoot, used disciplines, made many genuflections, struck their breasts, stood with their arms stretched out in prayer, each according to his strength and devotion. After the night office they said the whole psalter before day. Peter watched long before the signal for matins, and after with the rest These excessive watchings brought on him an insomnia, or wakefulness, which was cured with very great difficulty. But he learned from this to use more discretion He gave a considerable time to sacred studies, and became as well versed in the scriptures and other sacred learning as he was before in profane literature.
His superior ordered him to make frequent exhortations to the religious, and as he had acquired a very great character for virtue and learning, Guy, Abbot of Pomposia, begged his superior to send him to instruct his monastery, which consisted of a hundred monks. Peter stayed there two years, preaching with great fruit, and was then called back by his abbot, and sent to perform the same function in the numerous abbey of St. Vincent, near the mountain called Pietra Pertusa, or the Hollow Rock. His love for poverty made him abhor and be ashamed to put on a new habit, or any clothes which were not threadbare and most mean. His obedience was so perfect that the least word of any superior, or signal given, according to the rule of the house, for the performance of any duty made him run that moment to discharge, with the utmost exactness, whatever was enjoined. Being recalled home some time after, and commanded by his abbot, with the unanimous consent of the hermitage, to take upon him the government of the desert after his death, Peter's extreme reluctance only obliged his superior to make greater use of his authority till he acquiesced. Wherefore, at his decease, in 1041, Peter took upon him the direction of that holy family, which he governed with the greatest reputation for wisdom and sanctity. He also founded five other numerous hermitages; in which he placed priors under his inspection. His principal care was to cherish in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity, and humility. Among them many became great lights of the church. He was for twelve years much employed in the service of the church by many zealous bishops, and by four popes successively, namely, Gregory VI, Clement II, Leo IX, and Victor II. Their successor, Stephen IX, in 1057, prevailed with him to quit his desert, and made him Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. But such was his reluctance to the dignity that nothing less than the pope's threatening him with excommunication, and his commands, in virtue of obedience, could induce Peter to submit.
Stephen IX dying in 1058, Nicholas II was chosen pope, a man  of deep penetration, of great virtue and learning, and very liberal in alms, as our saint testifies, who assisted him in obliging John, Bishop of Veletri, an anti-pope, set up by the capitaneos or magistrates of Rome, to quit his usurped dignity. Upon complaints of simony in the church of Milan, Nicholas II sent Peter thither as his legate, who chastised the guilty. Nicholas II dying, after having sat two years and six months, Alexander was chosen pope, in 1602. Peter strenuously supported him against the emperor, who set up an anti-pope, Cadolaus, Bishop of Parma, on whom the saint prevailed soon after to renounce his pretensions in a council held at Rome; and engaged Henry IV, King of Germany, who was afterwards emperor, to acquiesce in what had been done, though that prince, who in his infancy had succeeded his pious father Henry III, had sucked in very early the corrupt maxims of tyranny and irreligion. But virtue is amiable in the eyes of its very enemies, and often disarms them of their fury. St. Peter had, with great importunity, solicited Nicholas II for leave to resign his bishopric, and return to his solitude; but could not obtain it. His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon to allow it, in 1062, but not without great difficulty, and the reserve of a power to employ him in church matters of importance as he might have occasion hereafter for his assistance. The saint from that time thought himself discharged, not only from the burden of his flock, but also from the quality of superior, with regard to the several monasteries the general inspection of which he had formerly charged himself with, reducing himself to the condition of a simple monk.
In this retirement he edified the church by his penance and compunction, and laboured by his writings to enforce the observance of discipline and morality. His style is copious and vehement, and the strictness of his maxims appears in all his. works, especially where he treats of the duties of clergymen and monks. He severely rebuked the Bishop of Florence for playing a game at chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be a faulty sloth in a man of his character, and received the saint's remonstrance with great mildness, and submitted to his injunction by way of penance, namely, to recite three times the psalter, to wash the feet of twelve poor men, and to give to each a piece of money. He shows those to be guilty of manifold simony who serve princes or flatter them for the sake of obtaining ecclesiastical preferments. He wrote a treatise to the bishop of Besanzon, against the custom which the canons of that church had of saying the divine office sitting; though he allowed all to sit during the lessons. This saint recommended the use of disciplines whereby to subdue and punish the flesh, which was adopted as a compensation for long penitential fasts. Three thousand lashes, with the recital of thirty psalms, were a redemption of a canonical penance of one year's continuance. Sir Thomas More, St. Francis of Sales, and others testify that such means of mortification are great helps to tame the flesh and inure it to the lab ours of penance; also to remove a hardness of heart and spiritual dryness, and to soften the soul into compunction. But all danger of abuses, excess, and singularity is to be shunned, and other ordinary bodily mortifications, as watching and fasting, are frequently more advisable. This saint wrote most severely on the obligations of religious men,4 particularly against their strolling abroad; for one of the most essential qualities of their state is solitude, or at least the spirit of retirement. He complained loudly of certain evasions, by which many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed: "We can never restore what is decayed of primitive discipline; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair such breaches. Let us not draw upon ourselves so base a reproach; but. let us faithfully transmit to posterity the examples of virtue which we have received from our forefathers." The holy man reconciled discords, settled the bounds of the jurisdiction of certain dioceses, and condemned and deposed in councils those who were convicted of simony. He notwithstanding tempered his severity with mildness and indulgence towards penitents where charity and prudence required such a condescension. Henry IV, King of Germany, at eighteen years of age, began to show the symptoms of a heart abandoned to impiety, infamous debauchery, treachery, and cruelty. He married, in 1066, Bertha, daughter to Otho, Marquess of Italy, but afterward, in 1069, sought a divorce by taking his oath that he had never been able to consummate his marriage. The Archbishop of Mentz had the weakness to be gained over by his artifices to favour his desires, in which view he assembled a council at Mentz. Pope Alexander II forbad him ever to consent to so enormous an injustice, and pitched upon Peter Damian for his legate to preside in that synod, being sensible that a person of the most inflexible virtue, prudence, and constancy was necessary for so important and difficult an affair, in which passion, power, and craft made use of every engine in opposition to the cause of God. The venerable legate met the king and bishops at Frankfort, laid before them the orders and instructions of his holiness, and in his name conjured the king to pay a due regard to the law of God, the canons of the church, and his own reputation, and seriously reflect on the public scandal of so pernicious an example. The noblemen likewise all rose up and entreated his majesty never to stain his honour by so foul an action. The king, unable to resist so cogent an authority, dropped his project of a divorce; but, remaining the same man in his heart, continued to hate the queen more than ever.
St. Peter hastened back to his desert of Font-Avellano. Whatever austerities he prescribed to others he was the first to practice himself, remitting nothing of them even in his old age. He lived shut up in his cell as in a prison, fasted every day, except festivals, and allowed himself no other subsistence than coarse bread, bran, herbs, and water, and this he never drank fresh, but what he had kept from the day before. He tortured his body with iron girdles and frequent disciplines, to render it more obedient to the spirit. He passed the three first days of every Lent and Advent without taking any kind of nourishment whatsoever; and often for forty days together lived only on raw herbs and fruits, or on pulse steeped in cold water, without touching so much as bread, or any thing which had passed the fire. A mat spread on the floor was his bed. He used to make wooden spoons, and such like useful mean things, to exercise himself at certain hours in manual labour. Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, having been excommunicated for grievous enormities, St. Peter was sent by Pope Alexander II, in quality of legate, to adjust the affairs of the church. When he arrived at Ravenna, in 1072, he found the unfortunate prelate just dead, but brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt, and imposed on them a suitable penance. This was his last undertaking for the church, God being pleased soon after to call him to eternal rest, and to the crown of his labours. Old age and the fatigues of his journey did not make him lay aside his accustomed mortifications, by which he consummated his holocaust. In his return towards Rome, he was stopped by a fever in the monastery of our Lady without the gates of Faenza, and died there on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks were reciting matins round about him. He passed from that employment which had been the delight of his heart on earth to sing the same praises of God in eternal glory, on the 22nd of February, 1072, being fourscore and three years old. He is honoured as patron at Faenza and Font-Avellano on the 23rd of the same month.




source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeterdamian.asp#ixzz1n2mqLnHe

PRAY FOR THE UKRAINE - Here's why...

The Ukraine protests began the 21st of November 2013 in the capital Kiev. Violence centered around Euromaiden - the square in Kiev. Now protesters are calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government. The protests started when the government suspended preparations for signing an Association Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and chose to have closer economic relations with Russia. Over 500,000 people were protesting in the square during December.

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Over 100 were killed today alone (Thurs. Feb. 20, 2014) President Yanukovych was trying to avoid the EU demand to free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Two years ago, she was found guilty in a Russian gas deal and sentenced to seven years in prison.
The head of the protesters is Vitali Klitschko a former world champion boxer. Klitschko heads the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms party. President flew to Moscow, where he and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and slash the price Kiev pays for its gas. He enforced a anti-protest law. Protesters took over City Hall for three months. The law was overturned. However, protests grew and became more violent. The President offered a bargain but the opposition refused. A truce was called Wednesday. Gunfire erupted Thursday at Maidan, or Independence Square, International officials are trying to end this violence. 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged President Yanukovich to end the crackdown. 

"President Yanukovich has to decide whether he wants to protect his people, or further mayhem,"
he said.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church leaders has said that prayers for the current government will no longer be included in the liturgy. 
Instead the Holy Synod, asks believers to ask God to protect Ukraine and its people, and to pray and the many victims. 
This is because the government is using assault weapons, including snipers with automatic rifles, against Ukrainian people. (Ukraine Church update from Radio Vatican excerpt)


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POPE FRANCIS “A society is truly welcoming towards life when it recognizes that (life) is valuable..." to Pontifical Academy of Life

(Vatican Radio) “The loss of health and disability are never a good reason for excluding, or worse, for eliminating a person” - that’s what Pope Francis says in a message dated February 19th to the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Msgr. Carrasco de Paula. The Council, established by John Paul II with the publication of the Motu Proprio "Vitae Mysterium" on February 11, 1994, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month.

In his message to the president and participants of the Council’s General Assembly, Pope Francis recalls that the institution’s specific task is to study and provide information and training regarding biomedical ethics and law - particularly in the promotion and defense of life.

This service, the Pope writes, helps put science and technology “at the service of the human person” and contributes to “the integral good of the person.”

Describing the Assembly’s theme, “Ageing and disability” as “a very topical one…dear to the Church,” Pope Francis says “In fact, in our societies we find the tyrannical rule of an economic logic that excludes and sometimes kills.” He notes that many have fallen victim to this logic, especially “our elderly.” 

Referring to our society today, the Pope uses the expression, “throwaway culture” which we’ve often heard him use before, adding that this attitude “is even promoted.” 

But, the Pope warns, “It is no longer simply the phenomenon of exploitation and oppression, but of something new.” With exclusion, the idea of “belonging” to the society in which one lives is struck to its very core, says the Pope. It no longer matters if you are “powerless” or “live in the slums” or “the outskirts” of society – you are simply “out.” The excluded are not "exploited" but rather, they are considered “waste” (it: rifiuti) or “leftovers.” 

In a rapidly ageing society, the Pope notes, elderly people, especially those who are “sick, disabled, or vulnerable for any reason” are targets for exclusion. People seem to forget, he says, that relations between people are always based on “mutual dependence,” which varies in degree according to “sickness, disability, suffering in general.” This is where “interpersonal and community relationships” are needed to assist those who require help.

Pope Francis reflects here on the value we place on people and on health, which can form “the basis of discrimination and exclusion.” “Health is certainly an important value, but it does not determine the value of the person,” the Pope writes. 

Moreover, the lack of good health and disability “are never a good reason to exclude, or worse, to eliminate a person.” The worst deprivation that older people suffer, he stresses, “is not the weakening of the body and disability” but “abandonment, exclusion, deprivation of love.”

The family teaches us to welcome and provide solidarity to others. In the family we learn that “the loss of health is not a reason to discriminate” against certain individuals ; The family shows us the importance of “us” and keeps us from falling into the individualistic trap of “me.” It shows us how to care for others. Besides expressing solidarity, families must also advocate on behalf of the elderly who can continue to make important contributions to their communities.

“A society is truly welcoming towards life when it recognizes that (life) is valuable even in old age, in disability, in severe disease and even when it is dying,” and “when it teaches that…human fulfillment does not exclude suffering” but holds it up as “a gift” that calls the entire community to “solidarity and responsibility.”



Text from Vatican Radio website 

CARDINALS GATHER AT VATICAN CONSISTORY ON FAMILY - POPE FRANCIS INTRODUCTION

(Vatican Radio) The Extraordinary Consistory of all the Cardinals began on Thursday morning, ahead of the creation of 19 new Cardinals on Saturday. In his remarks to the Cardinals, Pope Francis spoke about the topic of their reflections: The Family.

"Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life," Pope Francis said. "We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires."

The full text of the Pope's remarks are below


Dear brothers,
I extend a warm greeting to you all and, with you, I thank the Lord who has given us these days of meeting and working together. We welcome especially our brothers who will be created Cardinals on Saturday and we accompany them with our prayers and fraternal affection.
During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family, which is the fundamental cell of society. From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply, and so the family then is an image of the Triune God in the world.
Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life. We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires. May we do so thoughtfully and without falling into “casuistry”, because this would inevitably diminish the quality of our work. Today, the family is looked down upon and mistreated. We are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity. We are called to make known God’s magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience this plan in their lives, as we accompany them amidst so many difficulties.
We thank Cardinal Walter Kasper for his valuable contribution which he will offer us with his introduction.
Thank you all, and have a good day! 
Text from Vatican Radio website 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. FEB. 20, 2014

Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 338

Reading 1    JAS 2:1-9

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please,”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
But you dishonored the poor.
Are not the rich oppressing you?
And do they themselves not haul you off to court?
Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin,
and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Responsorial                Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Gospel        MK 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

POPE FRANCIS Invites 19 Prisoners to his house - Amazing!

(Vatican Radio) Nineteen inmates of the Italian prisons of Pisa and Pianosa were received in a private meeteing by Pope Francis on Wednesday morning , 19th February, in the Casa Santa Marta , before the weekly General Audience . The Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano reported the news that the Pope prayed with them and blessed them before the image of " Our Lady who unties knots ," especially dear to him. Then he greeted each of them and listened to them one by one. He shared words of mercy and forgiveness in particular, for one inmate who gave him a personal letter.

The inmates were on a spiritual pilgrimage to Rome and were accompanied by two chaplains. They met with Pope Francis after attending an early morning Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri in the Vatican Grottoes. Informed of their presence , the Pope wanted to personally meet them and welcomed them into his home, at 9 am. Also on hand for the forty-five minute long encounter were the director of the penitentiary Pianosa , magistrates, and prison guards.

Archbishop Baldisseri described the meeting as " beautiful and moving ." 


Text from Vatican Radio website 

POPE FRANCIS "Following Jesus with our strength, but also with our sins, but always following Jesus."

(Vatican Radio) Jesus is known more by following Him than by studying Him. That was the message of Pope Francis at his homily during the Mass celebrated Thursday morning at Casa Santa Marta. Every day, he explained, Christ asks “who” He is for us, but it is only possible to answer by living as disciples. 

It is the life of a disciple, more than a life of study, that allows a Christian to really know who Jesus is for him. A journey in the footsteps of the Master, where clear witness and even betrayals, falls and new impulses, can intersect. But it is not only an intellectual approach. Pope Francis took the example of Peter, who in the Gospel of the day portrays at the same time both as a “courageous” witness — who responded to Jesus’ question to the Apostles, “Who do you say I am for you?” by saying, “You are the Christ” — and immediately afterwards as an adversary, when he feels he has to reproach Jesus, who had just announced that he had to suffer and die, and then to rise. “Many times,” the Pope said, “Jesus turns to us and asks us: “But who am I for you?” and getting “the same response that Peter gave, the one we learned in the catechism.” But that is not enough: 

“It seems that to respond to that question that we have heard in our hearts — ‘Who is Jesus for us?’ — what we have learned, what we have studied is not enough. It is important to study and to understand, but it is not enough. To know Jesus it is necessary to take the journey that Peter took: after that humiliation, Peter went forward with Jesus, he saw the miracles Jesus did, he saw his power. Then he paid the tax as Jesus had told him, he caught a fish, removed a coin, he saw many miracles like that. But, at a certain point, Peter denied Jesus, he betrayed Jesus, and he learned that most difficult knowledge — more than knowledge, wisdom — of tears, of weeping.”

Peter, Pope Francis continued, asks forgiveness from Jesus — and yet, after the Resurrection, he is questioned three times by Jesus on the beach of Tiberias: “Do you love me?” Probably, the Pope said, in his reaffirming his total love for his Master, he wept, and was ashamed at the memory of his triple denial: 

“This first question for Peter — ‘Who am I for you?’ — can only be understood along a path, after a long path, a path of grace and of sin, a path of a disciple. Jesus did not say to Peter and to His Apostles “Know me”; He said, “Follow me!” And this following of Jesus makes us know Jesus. Following Jesus with our strength, but also with our sins, but always following Jesus. It is not a study of things that is necessary, but a life of a disciple.”

It takes “a daily encounter with the Lord, every day, with our triumphs and our weaknesses.” But, the Pope added, it is “a journey that we can’t make on our own.” The intervention of the Holy Spirit is necessary: 

“To know Jesus is a gift of the Father; it is He who makes us know Jesus. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, who is a great worker. Not a trade unionist — He is a great worker and He works in us always. He does this work of explaining the mystery of Jesus, and of giving us this sense of Jesus. We look at Jesus, Peter, the Apostles, and we hear in our hearts the question: ‘Who am I for you?’ And as disciples let us ask the Father that He would grant to us to know Christ in the Holy Spirit, that He would explain this mystery.”


Text from  Vatican Radio website 

SAINT : FEB. 20 : BLESSED JACINTA AND FRANCESCO OF FATIMA

Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920),  together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) were from Aljustrel near Fátima, Portugal. They saw three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. They reported visions of Our Lady of Fatima. The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto were Francisco and Jacinta. They were illiterate and they worked with cousin Lucia, tending sheep. Francisco preferred to pray alone, as he said "to console Jesus for the sins of the world". They saw terrifying vision of Hell at the third apparition. All three children practiced prayer and penance for sin as the lady asked. Jacinta told her parents ‘Oh, Mother! I saw Our Lady today!’. On 13th August, The Administrator, Santos, ‘kidnapped’ the children to prevent them going to the next Apparition, and threatened them with a cauldron of boiling oil. On Sunday, 19th August, the children witnessed their fourth Apparition. 
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At the Apparitions in 1917 Francisco heard nothing and had to rely on Lucia and Jacinta to tell him what was said by the Lady. Jacinta and Francesco became very ill during the Spanish Influenza epidemic in October, 1918.  The priest heard Francisco’s confession on the evening of 2nd April and brought Communion to him the next morning.Opening his eyes, he asked: ‘When will you bring me the Hidden Jesus again?’ This was what he said when talking of the Host in the Tabernacle. 
Jacinta developed pneumonia and then tuberculosis. She died in hospital just before her 11th birthday. Visitors who saw Jacinta in her open coffin exclaimed that she seemed to be alive, with the loveliest colour. When Jacinta’s coffin was opened on 12th September, 1935 and her face was seen to be perfectly incorrupt. 

 Jacinta's relics and those of Francisco lie in the Basilica at Fatima, with the simple inscription: “Here lie the mortal remains of Francisco and Jacinta to whom Our Lady appeared.” Jacinta and her brother Francisco were beatified- declared ‘Blessed’, by Pope John Paul II on 13th May, 2000 at Fatima. 

SPECIAL PRAYERS GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN AT FATIMA:
Our Lady of Fatima:
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

ANGEL OF FATIMA:
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. The Angel's Prayer is an Act of Reparation to The Holy Trinity.
Edited from “The Message of Fatima” by Fr. Martindale, S.J. and other sources. (All Images Google )
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TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 20 : ST. EUCHERIUS BISHOP


St. Eucherius
BENEDICTINE BISHOP OF ORLEANS
Feast: February 20


     Information:
Feast Day:February 20
Born:
687 AD, Orléans, France
Died:20 February 743
Benedictine Bishop of Orleans, France, exiled for opposing Charles Martel (r. 714-741), the famous and powerful mayor of the palace in the Frankish kingdom. Born in Orleans, Eucherius became a Benedictine at Jumieges about 714 and bishop in 721. He immediately set about protesting Charles Martel's seizure of Church properties. Charles exiled Eucherius to Cologne, Germany, where he became very popular as a result. Eucherius was then held captive in Liege, Belgium, but was allowed to retire to Saint-Trond Abbey near Maastricht, Netherlands, where he died in the monastery. Apparently, he was never reconciled with Charles.
(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/E/steucherius.asp#ixzz1mvJo6fHS