Saturday, September 6, 2014

Latest from the Vatican Information Service and Pope Francis


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – This morning the president of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, was received in audience by Pope Francis, and subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the discussions, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, the Parties focused on the collaboration between the Church and the State in facing a number of social problems, especially those pertaining to the young, the poor and the most vulnerable.
Finally, mention was made of various regional questions in view of the forthcoming Seventh Summit of the Americas, as well as a number of international problems, highlighting the country’s commitment to peace-building.
Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – This morning the head of government of the Principality of Andorra, Antoni Martí i Petit, was received in audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace by Pope Francis. He subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial discussions brought to the fore the traditional good relations between the Holy See and the Principality of Andorra, consolidated by the Agreement ratified on 12 December 2008, which aimed to develop mutual collaboration between the Catholic Church and the State.
The Parties then focused on various themes of common interest in the social sphere.
Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon in the Synod Hall, Pope Francis brought to a close the third world congress of “Scholas Occurrentes”, an international network of interreligious and multicultural educational institutions, whose aim is social inclusion through education, and which is heir to the “Escuela de Vecinos”, School of Neighbours and “Escuelas Hermanas”, School of Sisters, two associations formed in Buenos Aires during the Holy Father's period of office as archbishop of the city. The Pontiff answered by live connection to questions from students in Istanbul, Israel, South Africa, San Salvador and Australia and concluded with an off-the-cuff greeting to the thousands of young people who followed the event from around the world.
The first question was from an Australian student who asked how the Scholas programme will help bridge gaps between the youths of various countries.
“Walls separate and divide”, the Pope replied. “Bridges bring people closer. In response to your question, 'what can be done?', we can keep communicating, communicate experiences … and through communication no-one commands but everything works. It is the spontaneity of life, a 'yes' to life. Communication is giving, communication is generosity, communication is respect, communication means avoiding all types of discrimination”.
Francis went on to speak with a member of Scholas from Israel who asked if he would be willing to visit them. “I would like to visit”, he replied. “I was there a few months ago and was very happy to be there, very happy”:
The third question was from a young person from Istanbul who wanted to know if the Pope thought that the world in the future would be better or worse than it is now.
“I do not have a crystal ball to look into the future”, he joked. “However, I would like to say one thing: where does the future lie? The future lies with the young. But be careful: young people with two qualities: with wings and roots. Young people who have wings so they can fly, to dream, to create, and roots to receive the wisdom of their elders”.
A student from South Africa posed a question regarding the origins of the idea of a “school platform”.
“Scholas came about from the formation of a school of neighbours, in the diocese of Buenos Aires. As well as schools, a network of schools of neighbours, to build bridges between the schools of Buenos Aires. And it built many bridges, even trans-oceanic bridges. Why? Because we are convinced that the young need to communicate, to demonstrate and share their values. The young of today needs three key pillars: education, sport and culture. Therefore, Scholas combines all three … so that states can provide solid job opportunities for these young people who are accompanied in life by education, sport and culture. Sport is important as it teaches how to play as a team. Sport saves us from selfishness, it helps us not to be selfish. Therefore, it is important to work in a team, to study in a team, and to walk the path of life as a team”.
Ernesto, a student from San Salvador, worried about future employment, asked the Pope to make an appeal to all universities and private enterprises, and Francis, after emphasising the advances of his country in education, warned against “maras”, or gangs, since “just as bridges exist to unite you, there are also forms of communication that exist to destroy. Be alert when there are groups that seek destruction, that seek war, and who do not know how to work as a team. Defend yourselves together, as a team, as a group, and work hard at this. I know that you are working well, and are very well supported. And the Ministry of Education also supports you. Keep going along this path of teamwork and defend yourselves against those who wish to atomise and take away the strength of the group”.
Finally, the presenter of the programme asked the Holy Father what message he would like to transmit to viewers.
“Something that is not mine”, concluded Francis. “Jesus said it many times: do not be afraid. In my country, we have an expression that I am not sure I can translate into English: 'do not crumple'. Do not be afraid, go ahead and build bridges of peace, play as a team, and dream of a better future, because the future is in your hands. Dream of the future, flying, but do not forget the cultural, intellectual and religious heritage your elders have handed down to you. Go ahead courageously, and create the future”.
In his brief address at the end of these three Days of the World Network of Schools for Encounter, the Pope emphasised that the “culture of encounter” is the great challenge. “Nowadays there is no doubt that the world is at war. And there is no doubt, of course, that the world is in a state of discord. It is necessary to propose somehow a culture of encounter. A culture of integration, encounter, of bridges. … But remember this African saying: 'it takes a village to raise a child'. To educate a person, all of this is necessary”.
“Please, we cannot leave children alone!” he exclaimed. “Already we have incorporated the phrase 'street children' into our languages, as if a child is able to stay alone, isolated from his cultural and family environment … and it is necessary to rebuild an educational pact, to rebuild this village to educate a child. We cannot leave them alone, we cannot leave them on the street, unprotected and at the mercy of a world in which the worship of money, violence and waste prevail. Children are discarded, as are the elderly and now also a whole generation of young unemployed in developed countries, aged twenty-five and younger, and without work. This means we have to get up and make sure we do not leave the young by themselves, at least for this reason. And this is our task”.
“In this respect, it is very important to strengthen bonds: social, family and personal bonds. All of us, but especially children and the youngest among us, need the right surroundings, a truly human habitat offering the conditions for harmonious personal development and integration in the broader context of society. Commitment to creating a strong and extensive “network” of truly human ties, that supports children, calmly and confidently opening them up to reality, is therefore important. … I encourage you to work towards creating this human, increasingly human village, that offers children a present of peace and a future of hope”.
Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Council of the Economy met yesterday, 4 September, in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace in the morning and evening session, under the presidency of Cardinal Reinhardt Marx and with the participation of Cardinals Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, and George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Among the members previously appointed (communicated on 8 March 2014), the following were absent: Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, due to heavy previous commitments, and Cardinal Jean-Baptiste de Frassu, who had presented his resignation following his appointment as president of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) and will therefore be substituted.
The meeting focused mainly on the examination of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy and the Auditor General, as well as the notice of the transfer of the Ordinary Section of the APSA to the aforementioned Secretariat (cf. Motu proprio 8.7.2014) and the instructions for Vatican bodies regarding budget preparation and accounting.
The next meetings of the Council for the Economy will take place on 2 December 2014 and on 6 February 2015. It is expected that these meetings will conclude the work of defining the Statutes of the main administrative organs (Council, Secretariat, Auditor General).
Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – According to the agreement reached during the meeting of the joint Working Group between Vietnam and the Holy See held in Vatican City in June 2013, the fifth meeting of the Group will take place in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on 10 and 11 September, as agreed. The aim of the meeting is to deepen and develop bilateral relations between Vietnam and the Holy See”.
Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations and the Organisation of American States (O.A.S.).
- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Vatican City, 4 September 2014 (VIS) – The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Robert William Donnelly, auxiliary emeritus of Toledo, Ohio, USA, on 21 July at the age of 83.
- Bishop Pedro Luis Antonio, emeritus of Kwito-Bie, Angola on 25 July, at the age of 93.
- Bishop Spiridon Mattar, emeritus of Nossa Senhora do Paraiso em Sao Paulo of the Greek Melkites, Brazil, on 26 July at the age of 93.
- Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, president emeritus of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See, on 27 July at the age of 85.
- Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy, archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia, on 3 August at the age of 90.
- Archbishop Benedito de Ulhoa Vieira, emeritus of Uberaba, Brazil, on 3 August at the age of 93.
- Bishop Luciano Bux, emeritus of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi, Italy, on 8 August at the age of 78.
- Bishop Edmund John Patrick Collins, M.S.C, emeritus of Darwin, Australia, on 8 August at the age of 83.
- Archbishop Leonardo Zamora Legaspi, O.P., emeritus of Caceres, Philippines, on 8 August at the age of 78.
- Archbishop Armando Cirio, O.S.I. emeritus of Cascavel, Brazil, on 11 August at the age of 98.
- Bishop Morkos Hakim, O.F.M., emeritus of Sohag of the Copts, Egypt, on 11 August at the age of 83.
- Bishop Paul Nguyen Thanh Hoan, emeritus of Phan Thiet, Vietnam, on 18 August at the age of 74.
- Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president emeritus of the Governorate of Vatican City State, on 20 August at the age of 86.
- Bishop Ramon Echarren Isturiz, emeritus of the Canary Isles, Spain, on 25 August at the age of 84.
- Bishop John Joseph Nevins, emeritus of Venice, Florida, USA, on 26 August at the age of 82.
- Bishop Simon Akwali Okafor, emeritus of Awka, Nigeria, on 29 August at the age of 79.

Novena Birth of Mary Mother of Jesus - SHARE - Plenary Indulgence - 7

To all faithful Christians who, in private or public, in church or in their own houses, shall keep any of the following Novenas, in preparation for the principal feasts of most holy Mary, Pope Pius VII., at the prayer of several holy persons, granted, by Rescripts issued through his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, Aug. 4 and Nov. 24, 1808, and Jan. 11, 1800 (all of which are kept in the Segretaria of the Vicariate) -
i. An indulgence of 300 days, daily.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin ac cording to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


(Beginning Aug. 30.)

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

i. So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honour from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria.

ii. We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria.

iii. We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria.

iv. We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria.

v. We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria.

vi. We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria.

vii. We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria.

viii. We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria.

ix. We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Saviour of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria.


O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favour in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death. Sit nomen Mariae mel in ore, melos in aure, et jubilus in corde. Amen. Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.

V. Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo.
R. Gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo.

Famulis tuis, quaesumus Domine, coelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut quibus Beata Virginis partus extitit salutis exordium, nativitatis ejus votiva solemnitas pacis tribuat incrementum.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.


V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.

Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through, &c.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday September 6, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 436

Reading 11 COR 4:6B-15

Brothers and sisters:
Learn from myself and Apollos not to go beyond what is written,
so that none of you will be inflated with pride
in favor of one person over against another.
Who confers distinction upon you?
What do you possess that you have not received?
But if you have received it,
why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?
You are already satisfied; you have already grown rich;
you have become kings without us!
Indeed, I wish that you had become kings,
so that we also might become kings with you.

For as I see it, God has exhibited us Apostles as the last of all,
like people sentenced to death,
since we have become a spectacle to the world,
to angels and men alike.
We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but you are strong;
you are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty,
we are poorly clad and roughly treated,
we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands.
When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we respond gently.
We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all,
to this very moment.

I am writing you this not to shame you,
but to admonish you as my beloved children.
Even if you should have countless guides to Christ,
yet you do not have many fathers,
for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:17-18, 19-20, 21

R. (18) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD keeps all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Gospel LK 6:1-5

While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath,
his disciples were picking the heads of grain,
rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said,
“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Have you not read what David did
when he and those who were with him were hungry?
How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering,
which only the priests could lawfully eat,
ate of it, and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

Saint September 6 : St. Eleutherius : Died 585

A wonderful simplicity and spirit of compunction were the distinguishing virtues of this holy man. He was chosen abbot of St. Mark's near Spoleto, and favored by God with the gift of miracles. A child who was possessed by the devil, being delivered by being educated in his monastery, the Abbot said one day: "Since the child is among the servants of God, the devil dares not approach him." These words seemed to savor of vanity, and thereupon the devil again entered and tormented the child. The Abbot humbly confessed his fault, and fasted and prayed with his whole community till the child was again freed from the tyranny of the fiend. St. Gregory, the Great, not being able to fast on Easter-eve on account of extreme weakness, engaged this Saint to go with him to the church of St. Andrew's and offer up his prayers to God for his health, that he might join the faithful in that solemn practice of penance. Eleutherius prayed with many tears, and the Pope, coming out of the church, found that he was enabled to perform the fast as he desired. It is also said that St. Eleutherius raised a dead man to life. Resigning his abbacy, he died in St. Andrew's monastery in Rome about the year 585.
Image source : CatholicOnline

Pope Francis "... the law of love – total love – as Jesus loved us, are the fullness of the Law."

Pope Francis at Mass on Friday

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Friday morning. In remarks to the gathered faithful following the readings of the day, the Holy Father reflected on the “newness” of the Gospel – as Good News, and as a bringer of New Things – that frees the person who believes it from slavery to automatic legalism, and opens the heart to the new commandment: love.The Gospel reading for Friday told the story of the Scribes, who badgered Jesus about the behavior of His disciples, by pointing out that they did not – as the disciples of John the Baptist regularly did – fast and offer prayers. The Lord would not let Himself be provoked, however:
“New wine, new wineskins: the ‘novelty’ of the Gospel – and what does the Gospel bring us? Joy and renewal [It. novità]. These Doctors of the Law were hidebound by their commandments, their rules. St. Paul, speaking of them, tells us that, before faith came – that is, Jesus – we were all kept in custody, as prisoners under the Law. This Law, of this people, was not bad: they were cared for, but they were prisoners, awaiting the advent of faith – that faith, which would be revealed in Christ, itself.”  
Pope Francis went on to observe that the People had both the Mosaic Law and a host of customs and smaller legal requirements that the Doctors of the Law had codified. “The Law,” said Pope Francis, “cared for the people, albeit as prisoners are cared-for, and the people were awaiting liberty – that ultimate liberty that God would give to His people through His son.”“One of you might say to me: ‘But Father, don’t Christians have laws?’ Yes. Jesus said: ‘I do not come to [abolish the Law], but to fulfil it.’ – and the Beatitudes, for example – the law of love – total love – as Jesus loved us, are the fullness of the Law. Jesus, when he reproves these Doctors of the Law, is taking them to task for not caring for the people with the Law, but making them slaves to so many little laws, so many little things that had to be done.”
Pope Francis went on to explain that all these “little things” that had to be done, had to be done without the freedom that Jesus brings to us with the new law, which He promulgated with His blood. “This,” he said, “is precisely the ransom that the people were awaiting,” while they were, “under the guardianship of the Law, however as prisoners.” The Holy Father also explained that another central lesson of this reading is that the Lord wants us not to be afraid of changing things according to the law of the Gospel:
“St. Paul clearly distinguishes the children of the law from the children of faith: new wine in new wineskins – and this is why the Church asks all of us to change certain things. She asks us to let go of decadent structures – they are useless – and to take up new wineskins, those of the Gospel. One sannot understand the mentality of these Doctors of the Law – for example – these Pharisaical ‘teachers’: the style of the Gospel is a different style, that brings the fullness of the Law – yes- but in a new way: it is the new wine in new wineskins.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying once again that the Gospel is something new, something that brings joy, something that can only be lived fully by a heart that is joyful and renewed, and prayed that God give everyone the grace to keep the new commandment of love, and the joy of that freedom, which the Good News brings.