Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wow over 1000 create a Nativity for Performance of 'Angels we have heard on High' with Piano Guys - SHARE

"This Is The Best Christmas Song I Have Ever Heard. It Will Give You Chills." This according to the many listeners of The Piano Guys, YouTube VIRAL music video. It features Peter Hollens, and former American Idol star David Archuleta who joined more than 1,000 people to create the most beautiful performance of ‘Angels We Have Heard On High.’ This is spectacular - Please SHARE this Amazing production! 

How Pope Francis helped restore peaceful relations between the USA and Cuba after decades


President Obama publicly thanked Pope Francis for his role helping improve relations between Cuba and the  U.S. Cuba has released US citizen Alan Gross from Cuban prison.  “Pope Francis personally issued an appeal in a letter that he sent to President Obama and to President Raul Castro calling on them to resolve the case of Alan Gross and the cases of the three Cubans who have been imprisoned here in the United States and also encouraging the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer relationship,” said an official. “The Vatican then hosted the US and Cuban delegations where we were able to review the commitments that we are making today.” About half the Cuban population is Catholic, according to Research.
  (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday offered his congratulations to the governments of the United States and Cuba, as they announced the two countries will start talks on resuming diplomatic relations. A statement from the Vatican Secretariat of State said that in recent months the Pope had written to both Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama, inviting them to “resolve humanitarian questions of common interest”. The Holy See also met with delegations from both countries in the Vatican last October, providing what the statement calls “its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue”. The communiqué says the Holy See will continue to offer support for initiatives on the part of both countries to strengthen bilateral relations and promote the wellbeing of their respective citizens. Please find below the full communiqué from the Secretariat of State 
The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the Governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history. In recent months, Pope Francis wrote letters to the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Mr Raúl Castro, and the President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama, and invited them to resolve humanitarian questions of common interest, including the situation of certain prisoners, in order to initiate a new phase in relations between the two Parties The Holy See received Delegations of the two countries in the Vatican last October and provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both Parties. The Holy See will continue to assure its support for initiatives which both nations will undertake to strengthen their bilateral relations and promote the wellbeing of their respective citizens. From the Vatican, 17th December 2014

Official Novena for Christmas : Day 1 : Plenary Indulgence - SHARE

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.


Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
end.

Amen. 

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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Day 1 Prayers



The Incarnation.


O most sweet infant Jesus, who descended from the bosom of the eternal Father into the womb of the Virgin Mary, where, conceived by the Holy Ghost, you took upon yourself, O Incarnate Word, the form of a servant for our salvation. Have mercy on us.


Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.


Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with Thee blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


FROM THE RACCOLTA OFFICIAL
NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on  any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

Happy Birthday Pope Francis! SHARE

TODAY IS POPE FRANCIS BIRTHDAY.  He turns 78 today December 17, 2014. He was born in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina in South America. Francis was named Jorge Mario Bergoglio by his parents. He was born on December 17, 1936. He became the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13,  2012. The Pontiff was ordained a priest in 1969. Jorge was the oldest of 5 children to Mario and Regina of Italy. 
PRAYER FOR THE POPE:
 Let us pray for our Pontiff Francis.

May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. 
Let us pray.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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Pope Francis blows out candles on a birthday cake presented to him during the General Audience. - AP
17/12/2014 12:04

(Vatican Radio) There was a festive atmosphere at the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, as Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday.
As he made his way through the crowds, Pope Francis stopped by a group of seminarians from the Legion of Christ, who offered him a birthday cake, complete with lighted candles. The Holy Father also took the opportunity to take a sip of maté, a traditional Argentinian drink, offered my pilgrims at the Audience. On the Via della Conciliazione, which leads up to St Peter's Square, tango enthusiasts danced in the street to celebrate the Pope's birthday.
Among those sending birthday greetings from around the world was Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. "I would like to sing happy birthday for him," the Cardinal said. "And if I could, I’d join in the dancing in St Peter’s Square that I believe is taking place this morning."
Cardinal Nichols said the Catholic community in England and Wales wants "to wish Pope Francis a very, very happy birthday. We want to wish him every health and blessing, and we want to thank him for all this remarkable leadership that he’s giving." Pope Francis didn’t mention his birthday during the audience, but his reflections on the importance of simple, humble family life, lived on the peripheries, was certainly appropriate for the occasion.
Vatican Radio joins Catholics and well-wishers from around the world in wishing Pope Francis a very happy birthday. Ad multos annos!
A prayer for the Pope: 
V. Let us pray for Francis, the Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of his enemies.
V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.
R. And upon your son whom you have anointed.
Let us pray. O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Pope Francis prays "... convert the hearts of the violent who do not hold back even before children. ” Audience Video/Text


Pope Francis prays during General Audience - AFP
17/12/2014 11:

(Vatican Radio) 
Pope prays for conversion of terrorists who do not even spare children

Pope Francis has asked for prayers for the victims of the “inhuman terror attacks perpetrated in the past days in Sydney, Australia and in Peshawar, Pakistan”.
Concluding his address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience, the Pope asked those present to join him in his prayers to the Lord to receive the deceased in peace, to bring comfort to their families and to convert the hearts of the violent who do not hold back even before children. ”
Taliban militants in Pakistan killed at least 132 children and 9 staff members at a school in Peshawar on Tuesday, whilst an Islamist militant killed 2 people during a siege on a Café in Sydney on Monday.  
The Pope’s appeal came after his second catechesis in preparation for next October’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops. 
He said that the Extraordinary Synod that took place last October represented the first step of a journey which will conclude next year with another Synodal Assembly on the theme “Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the World”.
Francis said that his weekly Wednesday prayers and meditations are part of that common journey, and that is why he has chosen to reflect, this year, on the family: “this great gift of the Lord to the world, right from the beginning, when he entrusted Adam and Eve with the mission to “be fruitful, increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 1, 28). A gift – the Pope said – that Jesus confirmed and put his seal on in the Gospel.
And the Pope pointed out that Christmas brings much light to this mystery. The incarnation of the Son of God – he said - opens a whole new chapter in the universal history of man and woman. This new beginning – he pointed out - took place within a little family, in Nazareth.
The Son of God – he said – chose to be born into a human family in an obscure town on the periphery of the Roman Empire. Not in Rome, not in a great city, but in an almost invisible – even rough – periphery, as described by the Gospels “Nazareth, can anything good come from there?” (John 1, 46).
Perhaps, the Pope said, in many parts of the world we too use that kind of language when we hear talk of some of the urban peripheries of our own cities: “Well, that’s exactly where the most holy of stories began, that of Jesus amongst mankind!”
Jesus – he said – stayed in that periphery for over 30 years as narrated by Luke (2, 51 – 52). There is no talk of miracles or preaching, but of a very normal family life.
And Pope Francis spoke of the tenderness aroused by the descriptions of Jesus’s life as an adolescent who was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, learning from the words and examples of Mary and Joseph, and growing in wisdom, age and grace.
In imitation of the Holy Family, the Pope said, every Christian family must make a place for Jesus in its home, for it is through the love of such “normal” families, even in the peripheries of the world, that God’s Son quietly comes to dwell among us bringing Salvation to our world.    

(Linda Bordoni)


Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday December 17, 2014

Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 193


Reading 1GN 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love;
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.

Saint December 17 : St. John of Matha : Founder

St. John of Matha
FOUNDER
Feast: December 17


Information:
Feast Day:December 17
Born:June 23, 1160, Faucon in Provence
Died:December 17, 1213, Rome
The life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacrifice for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and other worldly advantages. At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signified, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance. The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries. The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, over- i powered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud." Suddenly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis. Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three.