Friday, December 5, 2014

Saint December 6 : Saint Nicholas : Patron of Children, Sailors, Prostitutes, Thieves - The Real Santa Claus

St. Nicholas

Feast: December 6 (Image source: Google)

Feast Day:December 6
Born:270, Patara, Lycia
Died:6 December 343, Myra, Lycia
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy.
Patron of:Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, pawnbrokers, prostitutes, repentant thieves, many cities.

The great veneration with which this saint has been honoured, both in the Greek and Latin churches for many ages, and the great number of altars and churches which have been everywhere erected in his memory, are proofs of his extraordinary sanctity and of the glory which he enjoys with God. The Emperor Justinian built a church in his honour at Constantinople, in the quarter called Blaquernae, about the year 430, and he was titular saint of four churches in Constantanople. All accounts agree that he was a native of Patara, in Lycia. We are told that in his infancy he observed the fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays, refusing to suck the breasts on those days. Happy are they who, from their infancy and innocent age, are inured to the exercises of devotion, penance, and perfect obedience. St. Nicholas increased his fervour in these and all other virtues with his years, especially when he had devoted himself to a religious life in the monastery of Holy Sion, near Myra, of which house he was made abbot by the archbishop, its founder. Charity in comforting and relieving the distressed seemed his characteristical virtue. Amongst many other instances, it is related that when three young virgins were exposed through distress to the danger of falling into vicious courses, he, for three successive nights, conveyed to them through the window a competent sum of money for a fortune for one of them, so that they were all portioned and afterwards happily married. Lycia was a large ancient province of Asia, in which St. Paul had planted the faith. Myra, the capital, three miles from Patara and from the sea, was an archiepiscopal see, founded by St. Nicander, of so great dignity that in later ages, thirty-six suffragan bishoprics were subject to it. This metropolitan church falling vacant, the holy abbot Nicholas was chosen archbishop, and in that exalted station became famous by his extraordinary piety and zeal, and an incredible number of stupendous miracles. The Greek histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment for the faith, and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Diocletian: and that he was present at the great council of Nice, and there condemned Arianism. The silence of other authors make many justly suspect these circumstances.
The history of the translation of his relics place his death in 342. He died at Myra and was buried in his own cathedral. The relics of St. Nicholas were kept with great honour at Myra, till they were translated into Italy. Certain merchants of Bari, a seaport in the kingdom of Naples situated on the Adriatic Gulf, sailed in three ships to the coast of Lycia; and watching an opportunity when no Mohammedans were near the place, went to the church in which the relics of St. Nicholas were kept, which stood in a desert place three miles from the sea, and was guarded by a small community of monks. They broke open the marble coffin in which the sacred bones lay, and carried them off to their ships; the inhabitants, upon the alarm given, pursued them to the shore with horrible outcries, but the Europeans were got safe on board. They landed at Bari on the 9th of May 1087, and the sacred treasure was deposited by the archbishop in the Church of St. Stephen. On the first day, thirty persons were cured of various distempers, imploring the intercession of St. Nicholas, and from that time the tomb of St. Nicholas of Bari has been famous for pilgrimages. The authentic history of this translation, written by John, at that time archdeacon of Bari, by order of the archbishop, is extant in Surius.

Actor Kirk Cameron defends Santa Claus and the Catholic traditional history of the Saint - SHARE

Kirk Cameron, known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV show“Growing Pains” and films. Is promoting his new film defending Christmas. In a video clip released last week “Do You Love Santa Claus” Cameron shows the history of Saint Nicolas. Santa Claus, was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I. St. Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. “He was a devout Christian,” Cameron explains. "was left with a large sum of money when his parents died, and be became famous for his kindness toward the poor and his generous giving of gifts to children.”

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 “He was there at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, one of the most important events in Church history,” he continues, referring to the first ecumenical conference under Constantine. “The Council of Nicaea ended up producing what is known today as the Nicene Creed, a profession of faith used by churches all around the world. The creed affirmed the deity of Christ and the three persons of the trinity.” According to the St. Nicholas Center, Roman Catholics believe that after Nicholas was put into prison for striking another man during the council, “Jesus with His mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way, Nicholas was reinstated.” During a recent speech before hundreds of students at Liberty University, Cameron also made defended St. Nicholas as being a Christian. “They even ‘sainted’ him—that’s why we call him St. Nicholas,” he said. “He became legendary in his time and beyond his time. He became larger than life and reached mythic proportions.” “So the guy that many of us think is distracting from the birth of the Christ child, is really the defender of the faith you and I want to be,” he explained. “So now that you know who the real Santa Claus is, you want to take a picture with him at the mall this Christmas? I do.” December 6th is the Roman Catholic “Feast of Saint Nicholas,”

Pope Francis “In virtue of their feminine genius, female theologians are able to take up…" Text/Video

Pope Francis greets members of the International Theological Commission. - OSS_ROM
05/12/2014 12:12

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with members of the International Theological Commission, at the beginning of a new five-year mandate (quinquennium).
In his address, the Holy Father noted the mission of the Commission, “to study doctrinal problems of great importance, especially those which present new points of view, and in this way to offer its help to the Magisterium of the Church.” This mission, he said, requires not only “intellectual competence, but also spiritual dispositions.” Among those spiritual dispositions, the Pope said he wanted to draw particular attention to the importance of listening.
The theologian, he said, is first of all a believer who hears the word of God. But the theologian must also “humbly listen” to “‘what the Spirit says to the Churches’ through the diverse manifestations of the lived faith of the Church.” In particular, he noted the significantly greater presence of women on the Commission. “In virtue of their feminine genius,” he said, “female theologians are able to take up… certain unexplored aspects of the unfathomable mystery of Christ.” He invited the Commission “to draw greater profit from this specific contribution of women to the understanding of the faith.”
Pope Francis also called attention to the international character of the Commission, which he said “reflects the catholicity of the Church. “The diversity of points of view should enrich the catholicity without harming the unity,” he said. “The unity of Catholic theologians is born from their common reference to one sole faith in Christ and is nourished by the diversity of gifts of the Holy Spirit. From this foundation and in a healthy pluralism, various theological approaches, developed in different cultural contexts and with the diversity of the methods used, cannot ignore each other, but in theological dialogue ought to reciprocally enrich and correct one another.”
Concluding his address, the Holy Father looked to the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, “under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with all the resources of her feminine genius… has not ceased to enter ever more into ‘all truth.’” He prayed, “May the Madonna, the teacher of authentic theology, obtain for us, with her maternal prayer, that our charity “may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception.” Finally, before blessing the assembled theologians, Pope Francis led the group in the recitation of the “Hail Mary.”

Beautiful story of a Baby saved through Miracle touching - Viral with over 2 Million Views - SHARE

This baby was miraculously saved after a horrible car accident ten years ago where he lost his Daddy, His mom is now on a mission to find the men and women that saved her son's life. Kellie reaches out to these heroes and shares why she is so thankful for them. This might make you cry - so touching....

New Film "Little Boy" Produced by Eduardo Verastegui, Star of Bella - Official Trailer - Beautiful Story...

  • In theaters 2/27/15 - LITTLE BOY is the magical story of a 7-year old boy who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his father home from war.February 27, 2015. 
  • The story reveals the indescribable love a father has for his little boy and the love a son has for his father. This was produced by Eduardo Verastegui, star of Bella and Metanoia Films.
    A little boy tries with all his might to achieve the impossible: bring his father home from war.
  • Stars
    Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Michael Rapaport, David Henrie, Ben Chaplin, Eduardo Verástegui, Ted Levine, Ali Landry, Abraham Benrubi, Kevin James and Tom Wilkinson.
  • Directed/Writer/
    Alejandro Monteverde
  • Screenplay By
  • Alejandro Monteverde, Pepe Portillo
  • Produced By
    Eduardo Verastegui, Leo Severino

Today's Mass Readings : Friday December 5, 2014

Friday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 179

Reading 1IS 29:17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,
those whose mere word condemns a man,
Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
and leave the just man with an empty claim.
Therefore thus says the LORD,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall keep my name holy;
they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Responsorial Psalm PS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
“Son of David, have pity on us!”
When he entered the house,
the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
“Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said,
“Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
And their eyes were opened.
Jesus warned them sternly,
“See that no one knows about this.”
But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

Latest News from Vatican Information Service and Pope Francis - Official Release

05-12-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 217 

The Pope reminds the Theological Commission of the importance of listening to the People of God
- The family, special home of solidarity
- Pope's message to the Santa Marta Group in London against human trafficking
- Peace, central theme of the Advent sermons in the Redemptoris Mater chapel
- Fr. Lombardi's response to questions on Cardinal George Pell's article in “Catholic Herald”
- Audience with the President of Mozambique: Church's fundamental contribution to development
- Francis receives the volunteers of the FOCSIV
- St. Peter's Square prepares for Christmas
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope reminds the Theological Commission of the importance of listening to the People of God
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received the members of the International Theological Commission (CIT), whose president is Cardinal Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Commission was established shortly after Vatican Council II following the request by the Synod of Bishops in order to enable the Holy See to make more direct use of the reflection of theologians from various parts of the world. The mission of the Commission is therefore that of “examining doctrinal questions of major importance”, especially those that present new aspects and, in this way, of offering assistance to the Magisterium of the Church.
This mission, as Francis remarked, presupposes not only intellectual competences but also spiritual dispositions; among the latter, the Pope focused in particular on listening. He cited the passage from Ezekiel: “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you”, emphasising that “the theologian is, above all, a believer who listens to the living Word of God and welcomes it into his heart and mind … but he must also humbly listen to what the Spirit tells the Church through the different manifestations of faith lived by the People of God”.
Indeed, this activity is mentioned in the recent document of the Commission on “The sensus fide in the life of the Church”. The Pope continued, “Along with the Christian people, the theologian opens his eyes and ears to the signs of the times. He or she is required to “hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage”.
In this light, the Pope expressed his satisfaction at the increasingly diverse composition of the Commission, in particular the presence of women, “a presence that is an invitation to reflect on the role that women can and should occupy in the field of theology”, and the contribution that they bring to “the intelligence of faith”.
Another aspect of the Commission is its international character, which reflects “the Catholicity of the Church”. Therefore, “the diversity of points of view must enrich Catholicity without prejudice to unity”, since “the unity of Catholic theologians derives from their common reference to a single faith in Christ and is nurtured by the diversity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit”. “Starting from this foundation in a healthy pluralism, various theological approaches, developed in different cultural contexts and using different methods, cannot ignore each other, but must enrich and correct each other in theological dialogue”.
The Holy Father commented that “the Virgin is a teacher of authentic theology” since, as a “privileged witness to the great events of salvation history”, she “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart”. “Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with all the resources of her female wisdom, she never ceased to further enter into 'all the truth'. Mary is therefore the icon of the Church who, anxiously awaiting her Lord, progresses day after day in the intelligence of faith, thanks to the patient work of theologians, male and female”.
The family, special home of solidarity
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – “The future of humanity depends upon the family, and it is therefore necessary to allow it to play its role”, writes the Pope in his message to the participants in the Festival of the Family, taking place in Riva del Garda, Italy, on the theme “The Life and Work Ecosystem”. “But”, he adds, “it is not enough to reiterate the importance of the family and to affirm its rights: it is necessary to consider how the tasks of the family and of society can be structured in real terms, especially with regard to the relationship between professional life and family life”.
The family has its own mission, in the service of its members, its development, and life; it has rights and therefore needs support and guarantees to be able to exercise them. On the other hand, the family also has a duty to society; it must offer its collaboration in the service of the community. It is a privileged environment for the harmonious practice of solidarity and subsidiarity, or rather a synergy between public and private, enterprise and families. Precisely on account of the effort and responsibility required to raise and educate children, families need appropriate assistance from public agencies and companies, in the context of mutual collaboration. The worrying demographic trend requires an extraordinary and courageous strategy, on the part of all interested parties, in favour of families. This may also give rise to an economic recovery for the country. In this regard, the crisis of unemployment, especially amongst the young, must be addressed and resolved”.
The Pope goes on to write about policy in relation to families, the social and legal status of the family in general, the assistance that should be offered to those who are materially or morally disadvantaged, and the attention that should be given to female work. “We must ensure that women are not, for economic reasons, compelled to undertake too heavy a burden or accept excessive working hours, which are then added to all their responsibilities in housekeeping and raising children. But above all, it is necessary to recognise that women's work, at all levels of family life, also constitutes an unparalleled contribution to the family and the future of society”.
Pope's message to the Santa Marta Group in London against human trafficking
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – The Pope has sent a message to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and president of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales on the occasion of the Second Conference of the Santa Marta Group, taking place in London, United Kingdom, on 5 and 6 December.
The Santa Marta Group – whose name derives from the Holy Father's residence, where the members stayed during their first conference held in the Vatican last April – is composed of High Commissioners of international police forces and bishops from around the world who, along with members of civil society, are working together to prevent and eradicate human trafficking, and to help victims. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, London, and Cardinal Nichols are the co-presidents of the group.
Francis expressed his deep gratitude to all present for their resolve in combating this evil and for your commitment to carry on the work begun at the conference held in the Vatican in April of this year. “Your labours to promote ongoing dialogue on the legal remedies to human trafficking and on the essential care of those who suffer this enslavement are especially important because of the hidden nature of this crime. We must never forget, nor may we ignore, the suffering of so many men, women and children whose human dignity is violated through this exploitation”.
He went on to thank the Home Secretary of the British government, the Metropolitan Commissioner of Police, and the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for organising the event and the delegates “who demonstrate anew their commitment by their participation in this initiative. In assuring you that the Church remains steadfast in her pledge to combat human trafficking and to care for victims of this scourge, I offer the promise of my prayers that Almighty God may bless and guide your efforts”.
Peace, central theme of the Advent sermons in the Redemptoris Mater chapel
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Redemptoris Mater chapel the Holy Father attended the first sermon of Advent, pronounced by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., preacher of the Papal Household. The theme was “Peace on earth to humanity, loved by the Lord”, based on the Gospel of St. Luke.
Peace, as Fr. Cantalamessa explained to L'Osservatore Romano, was selected as the theme in part due to its tragic current relevance and also to restore to the word the richness of its meaning as it is used in the Bible.
Today's sermon was dedicated to peace as a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ, for as the Preacher of the Papal Household remarked, “the Word of God teaches us that the primary and most important form of peace , is vertical – that is, between God and humanity”.
The sermon of 12 December will focus on peace as a task that requires work, with reference to the phrase from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers”. The third meditation will be on peace as a fruit of the Spirit, or rather the inner peace of the soul.
Fr. Lombardi's response to questions on Cardinal George Pell's article in “Catholic Herald”
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., today issued the following declaration in response to requests for clarification regarding an article by Cardinal George Pell published in the Catholic Herald.
“It should be observed that Cardinal Pell has not referred to illegal, illicit or poorly administered funds, but rather funds that do not appear on the official balance sheets of the Holy See or of Vatican City State, and which have become known to the Secretariat for the Economy during the current process of examination and revision of Vatican administration, to acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of the latter in view of the planned rationalisation. It is indeed a sign and result of constructive cooperation between the various Vatican institutions.
“Moreover, it was known and had been previously explained, also publicly by the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, that the consolidated balance sheets of the Holy See and Vatican City State, presented every year to the College of Cardinals, do not in any way encompass the totality of the numerous administrations under Vatican auspices, but only the main institutions of the Roman Curia and the State”.
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
- Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations at Specialised Institutions in Geneva and at the World Trade Organisation; Holy See Representative at the International Organisation for Migration;
- Salvatore Martinez, president of Renewal in the Holy Spirit in Italy;
- Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Joseph Obanyi Sagwe as bishop of Kakamega (area 3,517, population 2,744,000, Catholics 696,138, priests 92, religious 410), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Kebiro, Kenya in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied at the Pontifical Lateran University and has served as parish vicar and diocesan coordinator for pastoral ministry in the diocese of Kisii, Kenya. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral and vicar general of the same diocese.
04-12-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 216 

Audience with the President of Mozambique: Church's fundamental contribution to development
Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) – Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Mozambique were highlighted. In this context, reference was made to the fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church to the development of the country through her educational and healthcare institutions, and her important role in the promotion of peace and national reconciliation.
Finally, attention turned to various regional challenges, such as disarmament and the struggle against poverty and social inequality.
Francis receives the volunteers of the FOCSIV
Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) – The image of a Church at work in the service of those in difficulty is promoted by the Federation of Christian Organisations for International Volunteer Service (FOCSIV), which seeks to combine the accumulated experience of its members with the dimension of voluntary service to the poor in the style of the good Samaritan and according to Gospel values. Starting from their Christian identity, they are “volunteers in the world”, offering many development projects to offer concrete responses to the “scandals” of hunger and war. Pope Francis emphasised these characteristics in his address to two thousand members of the federation in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall this morning.
“Your work alongside men and women in difficulty is a living announcement of the tenderness of Christ, Who walks alongside humanity in all times”, affirmed the Pope. “There is a great need to bear witness to the value of gratuity: the poor must not become an opportunity for profit! The face of poverty is changing nowadays, and there are those among the poor who are developing different expectations: they aspire to be protagonists, they are organised, and above all they practise that solidarity that exists between those who suffer, between those who are left behind. You are called upon to perceive these signs of the times and to become an instrument of service to assist in enabling leadership among the poor. Solidarity with the poor means thinking in terms of community, of the priority of the life of all above the appropriation of goods by the few. It also means combating the structural causes of poverty: inequality, unemployment and homelessness, and the denial of social and working rights. Solidarity is a way of making history with the poor, avoiding supposedly altruistic works that reduce others to passivity”.
Among the main causes of poverty, Francis did not neglect to mention the existence of an economic system that exploits natural resources. “I think in particular of deforestation, but also of environmental disasters and the loss of biodiversity. It is necessary to reaffirm that creation is not property from which we can derive pleasure and dispose of as we please, and much less the property of just a few. Creation is a marvellous gift that God has given us for us to take care of and use for the benefit of all, with respect. I therefore encourage you to continue in your commitment to ensuring that creation remains the patrimony of all, to be handed on in all its beauty to future generations”.
Many of the countries where the FOCSIV works are at war, and the Pope emphasised that working for the development of the people also means cooperating in building peace, “seeking with tenacious perseverance to disarm minds, to draw closer to people, to build bridges between cultures and religions. Faith will help you to do this even in the most difficult countries, where the spiral of violence no longer seems to leave space for reason. A sign of peace and hope is your activity in refugee camps, where you encounter desperate people, faces marked by abuse, children who hunger for food, freedom and a future. How many people in the world flee from the horrors of war! How many people are persecuted for their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their homelands, their loved ones! How many broken lives! How much suffering, how much destruction! Faced with all of this, a disciple of Christ cannot step or turn away, but instead seeks to take care of this suffering humanity with evangelical closeness and acceptance”.
The Pope reiterated his concerns for migrants and refugees, who “seek to flee from hard living conditions and dangers of every type”, and insisted on the need for collaboration between “institutions, NGOs and ecclesial communities, to promote itineraries of harmonious co-existence between different peoples and cultures. “Migratory movements require adequate forms of reception that do not leave migrants at the mercy of the sea and bands of unscrupulous traffickers. At the same time, there is a need for active collaboration between States to regulate and effectively manage such phenomena”.
Finally, Francis thanked the volunteers of the Federation who, for more than forty years, have shown themselves to be “true witnesses of charity, workers of peace, builders of justice and solidarity”, and, encouraging them to continue in their progress, he invited them to find time each day for a personal encounter with God in prayer. “It will be your strength in moments of greatest difficulty, disappointment, solitude and incomprehension”.
St. Peter's Square prepares for Christmas
Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) – The 25 and a half metre-tall white fir tree that will decorate St. Peter's Square this Christmas arrived in the Vatican this morning. From Passo dell'Abbate, in the Italian province of Fabrizia, Calabria, its peculiar characteristic is its double or “twin” trunk: two trunks joined together as one.
The ceremony of the lighting of the tree will take place on 19 December at 4.30 p.m. and will coincide this year with the illumination and unveiling of the nativity scene. Entitled “Il Presepe in Opera” (“The Nativity Scene in Opera”) and composed of around 25 life-size terracotta statues, it is a gift from the “Verona for the Arena” Foundation and will be inspired by the operatic works for which the city is famed, with the intention of promoting Italian opera throughout the world. This also provides the basis for the title of the display, which is a play on the double meaning of the word “opera” in Italian: it is “at work”, in the sense that its message is universal and active, and also based on the material used to stage the operatic work “The Elixir of Love” by Gaetano Donizetti.
Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop emeritus of Turin;
- Archbishop Michael W. Banach, apostolic nuncio in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands;
- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio in Brazil;
- Juan Pablo Cafiero, ambassador of Argentina to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Patrick Michael O'Regan as bishop of Sale (area 44,441, population 405,000, Catholics 120,340, priests 39, permanent deacons 5, religious 34), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a licentiate in liturgy and sacramental theology from the Institut Catholique, Paris, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy parish priest in Lithgow, Cowra and Orange, vice dean of the Cathedral of Bathurst, parish priest in Wellington and Layney, diocesan administrator and chancellor of the diocese of Bathurst. He is currently dean of the Cathedral and vicar general of the same diocese.

Saint December 5 : St. Sabbas : Hermit : Died 532

St. Sabbas
Feast: December 5

Feast Day:December 5
Born:439 at Motalala, Cappadocia
Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532. He entered a Basilian monastery aat the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa. A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of "Typicon S. Sabæ" (Venice, 1545), a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title (Kurtz in "Byzant, Zeitschrift", III, Leipzig, 1894, 167-70), is doubtful. After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.