Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Pope Francis gives a thumbs up as he greets the crowd at the 2013 World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. CNS Photo/Paul Haring
Pope Francis gives a thumbs up as he greets the crowd at the July 2013 World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Marking the First Anniversary of Pope Francis

From the moment Pope Francis, dressed simply in a white cassock, stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time on March 12, 2013, he signaled that his pontificate would bring some style differences to the papacy.  In his first year the "pope of firsts"  has had a profound impact on the Church and has captured the attention of the world's media.  
Meeting in Washington on March11, 2014,the USCCB Administrative Committee issued a statement on the occasion of Pope Francis' anniversary expressing thanksgiving. 
Pope Calls on Catholics To Renew Gospel Values
Wants Church To Be for the Poor, Reach Out to Marginalized
Emphasis on Mercy, Humanity Inspires People Around the Globe

WASHINGTON—The first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, March 13, is a time to give thanks, said the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee, meeting in Washington, March 11-12. The Administrative Committee is the highest ranking body of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the bishops are not in plenary session.  

“He has encouraged us to be a Church of the poor and for the poor, reaching out to the marginalized and being present to those on the periphery of society,” the bishops said in the statement issued March 11. “He has set an example by choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing the badly disfigured.”

The entire statement follows.


Gathered together in Washington, DC, for their annual March meeting, the members of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have noted with thanksgiving the first anniversary of the election of His Holiness Pope Francis as the 266th successor of the Apostle Peter.  

In his first year in office, Pope Francis has consistently called upon Catholics to look again at the fundamental values of the Gospel. He has encouraged us to be a Church of the poor and for the poor, reaching out to the marginalized and being present to those on the periphery of society. He has set an example by choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing the badly disfigured. His Holiness has also set in motion a process that will lead to the reshaping of the Roman Curia in a way that will enhance the effectiveness of his ministry and better serve the needs of the Church in our present day.  

In this way the Holy Father has brought to light new dimensions of the Petrine Ministry and added new life to the office he holds. His constant outreach to the alienated, his emphasis on mercy and his sheer humanity have served as an inspiration not only to Catholics but also to other Christians and people of good will around the globe. On this first anniversary of his election, the Administrative Committee invites the prayers of all the faithful that Christ our Lord will bless Pope Francis and grant him many years of fruitful ministry as Bishop of Rome, as the Servant of the Servants of God.
Read what some Church leaders have to say about Pope Francis' first year and stories from Catholic News Service about the impact of his papacy.  And most importantly, as he asked of the crowd gathered in St. Peter's square on the night of his election, prayfor Pope Francis. 
How Pope Francis Inspires My Ministry
by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sent Out into a Messy World: the Mission of Pope Francis
by Father Larry Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA


The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium): Apostolic Exhortation

Joy of the Gospel ad
Read the pope's teaching on the proclamation of the Gospel.
Published December 2013, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) has sold to date over 51,000 copies from the USCCB bookstore and shot to the number one position in the Amazon categories of Christian Leadership, Christian Faith, and Catholicism, where it also received over 50 five-star ratings, making it one of the most popular religious books available early this year on Amazon.
Quotes include "thought provoking," and "I am an evangelical protestant but it is my fervent hope that this 'exhortation' will be widely read across the community of Christ throughout the world."
In Pope Francis' scope for this exhortation, he says: "I am reaping the rich fruits of the Synod's labors."  The XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops gathered Oct. 7-28, 2012 to discuss the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, Francis continues, "I intend to express my own concerns about this particular chapter of the Church's work of evangelization"  (EG, nos. 14 and 16).

The Simple Wisdom of Pope Francis 2-volume collection

Simple Wisdom Ad
Read the pope’s Wednesday catecheses from April 2013, starting with Palm Sunday 2013, to June 2013, right before World Youth Day in Brazil. Be transported to St. Peter’s Square and listen to Pope Francis teachings, his simple and profound insights for our modern world.

Pope Francis Releases his First Encyclical Letter

Pope Francis Cover Image of the Encyclical Lumen Fidei - The Light of Faith
Pope Francis' first encyclical, which he has said is largely the work of retired Pope Benedict XVI, was released  on July 5, 2013.
Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). . . was presented at aJuly 5 Vatican news conference featuring Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops; Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization,
An encyclical on faith was long expected as the last volume in Pope Benedict's trilogy on the three "theological virtues," following his encyclicals "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) on charity, and "Spe Salvi" (2007) on hope.
"It's an encyclical written with four hands, so to speak, because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me," Pope Francis said. "It's a strong document. I will say in it that I received it and most of the work was done by him and I completed it."
Read Lumen Fidei. . . |  Order copies from USCCB | News Release
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St. Euphrasia
Feast: March 13

Feast Day:March 13
Virgin, b. in 380; d. after 410. She was the daughter of Antigonus, a senator of
Constantinople, and a relation of Emperor Theodosius. Her father died shortly after her birth, and her mother, also Euphrasia, devoted her life thenceforth exclusively to the service of God.

To carry out this ideal she abandoned the capital, and, with her seven-year-old daughter, repaired to Egypt, where she dwelt on one of her estates, near a convent, and adopted the nuns' austere mode of life. This example aroused in her daughter the desire to enter the convent, and her mother gave her into the care of the superior, that she might be trained in the ascetic life.

After her mother's death she declined an offer of marriage made, by the Emperor
Theodosius, on behalf of a senator's son, transferred to the emperor her entire fortune, to be used for charitable purposes, and took up, with a holy ardour, the rigorous practices of Christian perfection. She was about thirty when she died. Her feast is celebrated in the Greek Church on 25 July, and in the Latin Church on 13 March. She is mentioned by St. John Damascene, in his third "Oratio de imaginibus".

Image - Google Images



Sts. Roderic and Salomon
Feast: March 13

Feast Day:March 13
9th century southern Spain
Roderic, also called Rudericus and Rodrigo, was a priest at Cabra who was assaulted by his two brothers, one a Muslim and the other a lapsed Catholic. He was denounced by the Muslim brother and imprisoned for falling away from the Islamic faith. Roderic proclaimed that he had always been a Christian but was charged with apostasy. In prison, he met Salomon, a man under the same charge. They were beheaded at Cordoba after a long period of imprisonment.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


St. Theophanes
Feast: March 12

Feast Day:February 14
758, Constantinople
Chronicler, born at Constantinople, about 758; died in Samothracia, probably 12 March, 817, on which day he is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology. He was the son of Isaac, imperial governor of the islands of the White Sea, and of Theodora, of whose family nothing is known. After the early death of his parents he came to the Court of Constantine Copronimus. He was married at the age of twelve, but induced his wife to lead a life of virginity, and in 799, after the death of his father-in-law, they separated with mutual consent to embrace the religious state, she choosing a convent on an island near Constantinople, while he entered the monastery called Polychronius in the district of Sigriano near Cyzicus. Later he built a monastery on his own lands on the island of Calonymus (now Calomio). After six years he returned to Sigriano, founded an abbey known by the name "of the great acre", and governed it as abbot. As such he was present at the second General Council of Nicaea, 787, and signed its decrees in defense of the sacred images. When the emperor Leo the Armenian again began his iconoclastic warfare, he ordered Theophanes to be brought to Constantinople and tried in vain to induce him to condemn what had been sanctioned by the council. Theophanes was cast into prison and for two years suffered cruel treatment; he was then banished to Samothracia, where, overwhelmed with afflictions, he lived only seventeen days and wrought many miracles after death.
At the urgent request of his friend George Syncellus (d. 810), Theophanes undertook the continuation of his chronicle, during the years 810-15 (P. G., CVIII, 55). He treated of the time from the year 284-813, and made use of material already prepared by Syncellus, probably also the extracts from the works of Socrates, Sozomenus, and Theodoret, made by Theodore Lector, and the city chronicle of Constantinople. The work consists of two parts, the first giving the history, arranged according to years, the other containing chronological tables, full of inaccuracies, and therefore of little value. It seems that Theophanes had only prepared the tables, leaving vacant spaces for the proper dates, but that these had been filled out by someone else (Hurter, "Nomencl." I, Innsbruck, 1903, 735). The first part, though lacking in historical precision and criticism, which could scarcely be expected from a man of such ascetical disposition, greatly surpasses the majority of Byzantine chronicles (Krumbacher, "Gesch. der byz. Litt., 1897, 342). The chronicle was edited at Paris in 1655 by Goar; again at Venice in 1729 with annotations and corrections by Combefis. A Latin version was made by Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and both were ably edited by de Boor (Leipzig, 1883).

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)