Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saint January 26 : St. Timothy : 1st Bishop of Ephesus - Patron of Stomach and Intestinal Disorders



Information:
Feast Day:January 26
Born:
17
Died:80, Ephesus
Patron of:intestinal disorders, stomach diseases

A native of Lystra, he was the son of a Jewish woman named Eunice and a Greek Gentile. Converted to the faith by St. Paul, Timothy willingly received circumcision in order to assuage the Jews to whom he and Paul would be preaching, especially as it was known that his father was a Gentile. Paul found Timothy a very valuable assistant and companion, using him on several missions, such as those to the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:17) and the Thessalonians (1 Thes 3:2-3). According to tradition, he was the first bishop of Ephesus, the basis for this being his journey to the city at the command of Paul to act as his representative (1 Tm 1:3). He is mentioned with St. Paul in the salutations of seven epistles in the New Testament and was teh addressee of two of three pastoral letters - 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. His martyrdom on January 22, 97 by a mob of angry pagans came about through his opposition to the celebration of the feast of Diana; it was recorded in the fourth-century Acta S. Timothei.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Saint January 26 : 1st Bishop of Crete - Companion of St. Paul : St. Titus



Information:
Feast Day:January 26
Died:96 at Goryna, Crete
Patron of:Crete
Then, as regards the figure of Titus, whose name is of Latin origin, we know that he was Greek by birth, that is, a pagan (cf. Gal 2:3). Paul took Titus with him to Jerusalem for the so-called Apostolic Council, where the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles that freed them from the constraints of Mosaic Law was solemnly accepted.
In the Letter addressed to Titus, the Apostle praised him and described him as his "true child in a common faith" (Ti 1:4). After Timothy's departure from Corinth, Paul sent Titus there with the task of bringing that unmanageable community to obedience.
Titus restored peace between the Church of Corinth and the Apostle, who wrote to this Church in these terms: "But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me.... And besides our own comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all" (II Cor 7:6-7, 13).
From Corinth, Titus was again sent out by Paul — who called him "my partner and fellow worker in your service" (II Cor 8:23) — to organize the final collections for the Christians of Jerusalem (cf. II Cor 8:6).
Further information from the Pastoral Letters describes him as Bishop of Crete (cf. Ti 1:5), from which, at Paul's invitation, he joined the Apostle at Nicopolis in Epirus (cf. Ti 3:12). Later, he also went to Dalmatia (cf. II Tm 4:10). We lack any further information on the subsequent movements of Titus or on his death.



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/sttitus.asp#ixzz1kZaAH4AG

Wow Over 45000 at March for Life in #Paris - Against #Euthanasia

An Impressive march against euthanasia. Over 45,000 marchers in Paris The March for Life  prove that the defenders of life in France are increasingly present. Julie Graziani , spokesperson of the March for Life said today in reading the Manifesto life: " We know that history will bring us justice and that future generations will be surprised to know that in France , in this century, they killed children in the womb and dying in their hospital beds ".The count conducted by the organization said there were more than 45,000 marchers in the streets of Paris. At a time when Fran├žois Hollande wants to hire a reform of the end of life that will legalize euthanasia certain acts, walkers are supporting Viviane Lambert . Of large posters announcing "I'm Vincent Lambert ." This young minimally conscious state became a symbol. 

Sunday Mass Online : January 25, 2015 - 3 Ordinary Time


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 68


Reading 1JON 3:1-5, 10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’S bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, “
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (4a) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Reading 21 COR 7:29-31

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

AlleluiaMK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

#PopeFrancis "Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises because..." #Angelus - Text/Video


Two children join Pope Francis to launch doves of peace - AP
25/01/2015 14:04





(Vatican Radio) On Sunday and before the Angelus, the Pope recalled the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and its theme, "Give me a drink", the sentence uttered by Jesus to the Samaritan woman.
He told the faithful gathered that the "desire for unity" of the disciples of Jesus is part of our "thirst not only material for water, but above all our thirst for a full life, free from the slavery of evil and death."
He went on to say that "Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises because it is he who gives to the Holy Spirit, the 'living water' that quenches our restless hearts, hungry for life, love, freedom, peace, thirsty for God.
Pope Francis continued on the theme of unity by saying that, “It is a bad thing that Christians are divided, Jesus wants us united, one body. Our sins, history has divided us. For this we must pray that the Holy Spirit bring us together again".
Joining the Holy Father were a boy and a girl from the Catholic Action Rome movement who were part of a group of thousands in the square marking the annual January "Caravan of Peace". They, along with Pope Francis launched white doves from the window of his studio.
Following the Angelus, the Pope also remembered the World Day for Sufferers of Leprosy, saying, “I express my closeness to all the people who suffer from this disease, as well as to those who care for them, and to those who struggle to remove the causes of the disease, that is, living conditions unworthy of man. Let us renew our commitment of solidarity to these brothers and sisters. "
And finally bringing his Angelus address to a close, and in light of his recent visit to Asia, the Holy Father had greetings for the Filipino community in Rome, thanking them for their strong and joyful faith.

Pope Francis on #ChristianUnity "All of us are at the service of the one Gospel!" Full Text - Video

Pope Francis concludes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis this evening has gathered with the faithful of the diocese of Rome and with the representatives of the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities, in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Please find below a English language translation of the Pope's words during Vespers at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls
On his way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus passes through Samaria.  He has no problem dealing with Samaritans, who were considered by the Jews to be heretics, schismatics, separated.  His attitude tells us that encounter with those who are different from ourselves can make us grow.
Weary from his journey, Jesus does not hesitate to ask the Samaritan woman for something to drink.  His thirst, however, is much more than physical: it is also a thirst for encounter, a desire to enter into dialogue with that woman and to invite her to make a journey of interior conversion.  Jesus is patient, respectful of the person before him, and gradually reveals himself to her.  His example encourages us to seek a serene encounter with others.  To understand one another, and to grow in charity and truth, we need to pause, to accept and listen to one another.  In this way, we already begin to experience unity.
The woman of Sychar asks Jesus about the place where God is truly worshiped.  Jesus does not side with the mountain or the temple, but goes to the heart of the matter, breaking down every wall of division.  He speaks instead of the meaning of true worship: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24).  So many past controversies between Christians can be overcome when we put aside all polemical or apologetic approaches, and seek instead to grasp more fully what unites us, namely, our call to share in the mystery of the Father’s love revealed to us by the Son through the Holy Spirit.  Christian unity will not be the fruit of subtle theoretical discussions in which each party tries to convince the other of the soundness of their opinions.  We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities and overcomes conflicts.
Gradually the Samaritan woman comes to realize that the one who has asked her for a drink is able to slake her own thirst.  Jesus in effect tells her that he is the source of living water which can satisfy her thirst for ever (cf. Jn 4:13-14).  Our human existence is marked by boundless aspirations: we seek truth, we thirst for love, justice and freedom.  These desires can only be partially satisfied, for from the depths of our being we are prompted to seek “something more”, something capable of fully quenching our thirst.  The response to these aspirations is given by God in Jesus Christ, in his paschal mystery.  From the pierced side of Jesus there flowed blood and water (cf. Jn 19:34).  He is the brimming fount of the water of the Holy Spirit, “the love of God poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5) on the day of our baptism.  By the working of the Holy Spirit, we have become one in Christ, sons in the Son, true worshipers of the Father.  This mystery of love is the deepest ground of the unity which binds all Christians and is much greater than their historical divisions.  To the extent that we humbly advance towards the Lord, then, we also draw nearer to one another.
Her encounter with Jesus made the Samaritan women a missionary.  Having received a greater and more important gift than mere water from a well, she leaves her jar behind (cf. Jn 4:28) and runs back to tell her townspeople that she has met the Christ (cf. Jn 4:29).  Her encounter with Jesus restored meaning and joy to her life, and she felt the desire to share this with others.  Today there are so many men and women around us who are weary and thirsting, and who ask us Christians to give them something to drink.  It is a request which we cannot evade.  In the call to be evangelizers, all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities discover a privileged setting for closer cooperation.  For this to be effective, we need to stop being self-enclosed, exclusive, and bent on imposing a uniformity based on merely human calculations (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 131).  Our shared commitment to proclaiming the Gospel enables us to overcome proselytism and competition in all their forms.  All of us are at the service of the one Gospel!
In this joyful conviction, I offer a cordial and fraternal greeting to His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to His Grace David Moxon, the personal representative in Rome of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to all the representatives of the various Churches and Ecclesial Communions gathered here to celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.  I am also pleased to greet the members of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, and I offer them my best wishes for the fruitfulness of the plenary session to be held in these coming days.  I also greet the students from the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, and the young recipients of study grants from by the Committee for Cultural Collaboration with the Orthodox Churches, centred in the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Also present today are men and women religious from various Churches and Ecclesial Communities who have taken part in an ecumenical meeting organized by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to mark the Year for Consecrated Life.  Religious life, as prophetic sign of the world to come, is called to offer in our time a witness to that communion in Christ which transcends all differences and finds expression in concrete gestures of acceptance and dialogue.  The pursuit of Christian unity cannot be the sole prerogative of individuals or religious communities particularly concerned with this issue.  A shared knowledge of the different traditions of consecrated life, and a fruitful exchange of experiences, can prove beneficial for the vitality of all forms of religious life in the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities.
Dear brothers and sisters, today all of us who thirst for peace and fraternity trustingly implore from our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ the one Priest, and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostle Paul and all the saints, the gift of full communion between all Christians, so that “the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 2) may shine forth as the sign and instrument of reconciliation for the whole world.

Saint January 25 : Conversion of St. Paul


Information:
Feast Day:January 25
This great apostle was a Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin. At his circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth, he received the name of Saul. His father was by sect a Pharisee, and a denizen of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia: which city had shown a particular regard for the cause of the Caesars; on which account Cassius deprived it of its privileges and lands; but Augustus when conqueror, made it ample amends by honoring it with many new privileges, and with the freedom of Rome, as we read in the two Dions and Appian. Hence St. Paul, being born at Tarsus, was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire. His parents sent him young to Jerusalem, where he was educated and instructed in the strictest observance of the law of Moses, by Gamaliel, a learned and noble Jew, and probably a member of the Sanhedrin; and was a most scrupulous observer of it in every point. He appeals even to his enemies to bear evidence how conformable to it his life had been in every respect. He embraced the sect of the Pharisees, which was of all others the most severe, though by its pride the most opposite to the humility of the gospel. It was a rule among the Jews that all their children were to learn some trade with their studies, were it but to avoid idleness, and to exercise the body, as well as the mind, in something serious. It is therefore probable that Saul learned in his youth the trade which  he exercised even after his apostleship, of making tents.

Saul, surpassing all his equals in zeal for the Jewish law and their traditions, which he thought the cause of God, became thereby a  blasphemer, a persecutor, and the most outrageous enemy of Christ. He was one of those who combined to murder St. Stephen, and by keeping the garments of all who stoned that holy martyr, he is said by St. Austin to have stoned him by the hands of all the rest6 to whose prayers for his enemies he ascribes the conversion of St. Paul: "If Stephen," said he, "had not prayed, the church would never have had St. Paul."

After the martyrdom of the holy deacon, the priests and magistrates of the Jews raised a violent persecution against the church at Jerusalem, in which Saul signalized himself above others. By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains, and thrust them into prison. He procured them  to be scourged in the synagogues, and endeavored by torments to compel them to blaspheme the name of Christ. And as our Saviour had always been represented by the leading men of the Jews as a n enemy to their law, it was no wonder that this rigorous Pharisee fully persuaded himself that <he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.> By the violences he committed, his name became everywhere a terror to the faithful. The persecutors not only raged against their persons, but also seized their estates and what they possessed in common, and left them in such extreme necessity, that the remotest churches afterwards thought it incumbent on them to join in charitable contributions to their relief. All this could not satisfy the fury of Saul; he breathed nothing but threats and the slaughter of the other disciples." Wherefore, in the fury of his zeal, he applied to the high priest and Sanhedrin for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as public examples for the terror of others. But God was pleased to show forth in him his patience and mercy: and, moved by the prayers of St. Stephen and his other persecuted servants. for their enemies, changed him,, in the very heat of his fury, into a vessel of election, and made him a greater mall in his church by the grace of the apostleship, than St. Stephen had ever been, and a more illustrious instrument of his glory. He was almost at the end of his journey to Damascus, when, about noon, he and his company were ml a sudden surrounded by a great light from heaven, brighter than the sun. They all saw the light, and being struck with amazement, fell to the ground.. Then Saul heard a voice, which to him was articulate and distinct; but not understood, though heard by the rest : < Saul, Saul, why cost thou persecute me>? Christ said not: Why cost thou persecute my disciples? but me: for it is he, their head, who is chiefly persecuted in his servants. Saul answered: <Who art thou, Lord>? Christ said: <Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutes. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad>:—" to contend with one so much mightier than thyself. By persecuting my church you make it flourish, and only prick and hurt yourself." This mild expostulation of our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, strongly affecting his soul, cured his pride, assuaged his rage, and wrought at once a total change in him. Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out: <Lord, what wilt thou have me to do>? What to repair the past? What to promote your glory? I make a joyful oblation of myself to execute your will in every thing, and to suffer for your sake afflictions, disgraces, persecutions, torments, and every sort of death. The true convert expressed this, not in a bare form of words, nor with faint languid desires, nor with any exception lurking in the secret recesses of his heart; but with an entire sacrifice of himself, and au heroic victory over the world with its frowns and charms, over the devils with their snares and threats, and over himself and all inclinations of self-love; devoting himself totally to God. A perfect model of a true conversion, the greatest work of almighty grace! Christ ordered him to arise and proceed on his journey to the city, where he should be informed of what he expected from him. Christ would not instruct him immediately by himself, but St. Austin observes, sent him to the ministry which he had established in the church, to be directed in the way of salvation by those whom he had appointed for that purpose. He would not finish the conversion and instruction of this great apostle, whom he was pleased to call in so wonderful a manner, but by remitting him to the guidance of his ministers; showing us thereby that his holy providence has so ordered it, that all who desire to serve him, should seek his will by listening to those whom he has commanded us to hear, and whom he has sent in his own name and appointed to be our guides. So perfectly would he abolish in his servants all self-confidence and presumption, the source of error and illusion. The convert, rising from the ground, found that, though his eyes were open, he saw nothing. Providence sent this corporal blindness to be an emblem of the spiritual blindness in which he had lived, and to signify to him that he was henceforward to die to the world, and learn to apply his mind totally to the contemplation of heavenly things.. He was led by the hand into Damascus, whither Christ seemed to conduct him in triumph. He was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas, where he remained three days blind, and without eating or drinking. He doubtless spent his time in great bitterness of soul, not yet knowing what God required of him. With what anguish he bewailed his past blindness and false zeal against the church, we may conjecture both from his taking no nourishment during those three days, and from the manner in which he ever after remembered and spoke of his having been a blasphemer and a persecutor. Though the entire reformation of his heart was not gradual, as in ordinary conversions, but miraculous in the order of grace, and perfect in a moment; yet a time of probation and a severe interior trial (for such we cannot doubt but he went through on this occasion) was necessary to crucify the old man and all other earthly sentiments in his heart, and to prepare it to receive the extraordinary graces which God designed him. There was a Christian of distinction in Damascus, much respected by the Jews for his irreproachable life and great virtue; his name was Ananias. Christ appeared to this holy disciple, and commanded him to go to Saul, who was then in the house of Judas at prayer: Ananias trembled at the name of Saul, being no stranger to the mischief he had done in Jerusalem, or to the errand on which he was set out to Damascus. But our Redeemer overruled his fears, and charged him a second time to go to him, saying: <Go, for he is a vessel of election to carry my name before Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: and I will show him how much he has to suffer for my name.> For tribulation is the test and portion of all the true servants of Christ. Saul in the mean time saw in a vision a man entering, and  laying his hands upon him, to restore his sight. Ananias, obeying the divine order, arose, went to Saul, and laying his hands upon him, said: <Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.> Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his eyesight. Ananias added: <The God of our fathers hath chosen thee that thou shouldst know his will and see the just one, and shouldst hear the voice from his mouth: and thou shalt be his witness unto all men to publish what thou hast seen and heard. Arise, therefore, be baptized and washed from thy sins, invoking the name of the Lord.> Saul then arose, was baptized, and took some refreshment. He stayed some few days with the disci. pies at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues, that Jesus was the Son of God, to the great astonishment of all that heard him, who said: <Is not this he who persecuted at Jerusalem those who invoked the name of Jesus, and who is come hither to carry them away prisoners>? Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle, and chosen to be one of the principal instruments of God in the conversion of the world.

St. Paul never recalled to mind this his wonderful conversion, without raptures of gratitude and praise to the divine mercy. The church, in thanksgiving to God for such a miracle of his grace, from which it has de rived such great blessings, and to commemorate so miraculous an instance of his almighty power, and to propose to penitents a perfect model of a true conversion has instituted this festival, which we find mentioned in several calendars and missals of the eighth and ninth centuries, and which pope Innocent III. commanded to be observed with great solemnity. It was for some time kept a holy day of obligation in most churches in the West; and we read it mentioned as such in England in the council of Oxford in 1222 in the reign of king Henry III.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/conversionofstpaul.asp#ixzz1kUlhUVEN