Friday, February 6, 2015

Saint February 7 : St. Colette of Corbie : Foundress of Colettine Poor Clares

Feast Day:February 7 or March 6
13 January 1381, at Corbie in Picardy, France
Died:6 March 1447, Ghent
Canonized:24 May 1807

Founder of Colettine Poor Clares (Clarisses), born 13 January 1381, at Corbie in Picardy, France; died at Ghent, 6 March, 1447. Her father, Robert Boellet, was the carpenter of the famous Benedictine Abbey of Corbie; her mother's name was Marguerite Moyon. Colette joined successively the Bequines, the Benedictines, and the Urbanist Poor Clares. Later she lived for a while as a recluse. Having resolved to reform the Poor Clares, she turned to the antipope, Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna), then recognized by France as the rightful pope. Benedict allowed her to enter to the order of Poor Clares and empowered her by several Bulls, dated 1406, 1407, 1408, and 1412 to found new convents and complete the reform of the order. With the approval of the Countess of Geneva and the Franciscan Henri de la Beaume, her confessor and spiritual guide, Colette began her work at Beaume, in the Diocese of Geneva. She remained there but a short time and soon opened at Besancon her first convent in an almost abandoned house of Urbanist Poor Clares. Thence her reform spread to Auxonne (1410), to Poligny, to Ghent (1412), to Heidelberg (1444), to Amiens, etc. To the seventeen convents founded during her lifetime must be added another begun by her at Pont-a-Mousson in Lorraine. She also inaugurated a reform among the Franciscan friars (the Coletani), not to be confounded with the Observants. These Coletani remained obedient to the authority of the provincial of the Franciscan convents, and never attained much importance even in France. In 1448 they had only thirteen convents, and together with other small branches of the Franciscan Order were suppressed in 1417 by Leo X. In addition to the strict rules of the Poor Clares, the Colettines follow their special constitutions sanctioned in 1434 by the General of the Franciscans, William of Casale, approved in 1448 by Nicholas V, in 1458 by Pius II, and in 1482 by Sixtus IV.

St. Colette was beatified 23 January, 1740, and canonized 24 May, 1807. She was not only a woman of sincere piety, but also intelligent and energetic, and exercised a remarkable moral power over all her associates. She was very austere and mortified in her life, for which God rewarded her by supernatural favours and the gift of miracles. For the convents reformed by her she prescribed extreme poverty, to go barefooted, and the observance of perpetual fast and abstinence. The Colettine Sisters are found today, outside of France, in Belgium, Germany, Spain, England, and the United States


Breaking News Iraq Terrorists blow Up Immaculate Virgin Church - One of the Oldest Christian Churches

As Jihadists destroy Mosul's Church of the Immaculate Virgin, Chaldeans get ready for unity synod in Baghdad
by Joseph Mahmoud
Attacked back in June, the historic building is now a mound of rubbles. In the capital, the Chaldean Church welcomes two new bishops, but the focus will be on its upcoming Synod and the issue of a rebellious US diocese. In Zakho, a thousand faithful attended the ordination of 5 deacons and 12 sub-deacons. For Mgr Rabban, it was a day of celebration for the community.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Islamic State militants blew up the Church of the Immaculate Virgin, one of the largest and oldest Chaldean churches in the old section of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and now a jihadist stronghold.
Security sources from the Nineveh police district report that the destruction took place last Monday, but given the difficulty in communication with the jihadist-held city, the information leaked out only today.
Using a great quantity of explosives, caliphate militants blew up the historic building, one of the largest and oldest places of worships belonging to the Chaldean community in Iraq.
Local witnesses report that the terrorists "finished wiring the church with explosives this morning and detonated it, leaving widespread destruction in the church and neighbouring buildings."
Jihadists had already targeted the church Last June when they tore down and decapitate the statue of Our Lady that stood on the clock tower.
The Church of the Immaculate Virgin stood on the foundation of what was the most ancient Christian church in Mosul - which had already been destroyed in past centuries.
Since Iraq's invasion, it had withstood attacks by Islamic militants, including a car bomb on 17 January 2008 that injured two people. Not far from the church is the old Chaldean Bishop's Residence, which was itself attacked in 2004.
Meanwhile today in Baghdad, the leaders of the Chaldean Church celebrated the ordination of two new bishops - Mgr Emanuel Hana Shaleta, from the Chaldean Diocese of Saint Addai and Mgr Basel Yaldo, the new patriarchal vicar.
Church Fathers are also getting ready for their Extraordinary Synod, scheduled for tomorrow, an important step in a period of major difficulties for the historic Church of the East.
In addition to the tragic fate of hundreds of thousands of faithful who, in recent months, were forced to flee Mosul and villages in the Nineveh plain to escape the Islamic State group, the Church is also facing some rebellious priests, monks and a bishop.
Since 2013, Patriarch Raphael I Louis Sako and Bishop Sarhad Jammo of the Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle (San Diego, California) have been at loggerheads over several priests and monks who fled Iraq without permission of their bishops or superiors.
On several occasions, the patriarch called on the monks and priests to come back to Iraq, reminding the bishop of his duty of obedience, so far without results. On 17 February, the Vatican is expected to rule on the dispute, which does not seem easy to settle.
For his part, Mar Sako has announced that if his instructions continue to be disregarded, he would resign from the office of patriarch, because it would just be "an honorific title to which I am not attached."
Although the risk of a small schism within the Chaldean Church remains a real possibility, the Iraqi Church continues to show signs of vitality and hope.
This was best illustrated by the ordination of five deacons, 12 sub-deacons and various readers, of both sexes, some young, on 30 January in the Diocese of Zakho, in Iraqi Kurdistan. The local bishop, Mgr Rabban al Qas, led the solemn ceremony (pictured).

"The church was crowded, with a thousand faithful," the prelate told AsiaNews, "103 people involved in all" in the ordination ceremony. For the local community, "it was a day of celebration" an opportunity "to get together" and "bear witness to a strong living faith."
Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Breaking Death Toll in Ukraine reaches 5,300 in conflict with Russia - Please PRAY

In the past 3 weeks 200 people have been killed by Russia-sponsored rebel attacks in Ukraine. According, to reports there were attacks on marketplaces, hospitals, and kindergartens.  Many Ukrainians are fleeing to refugee camps away from military conflicts. UN blames, Russia-backed rebels for killing civilians. The Russian government propaganda has provoked an anti-West sentiment. US administration is considering providing defensive weapons to Kyiv. President Petro Poroshenko said his government badly needs aid to help prevent the rebel attacks in the crisis that has left 5,300 people dead. According to reports Russia was supplying the separatists "in a very significant way."
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Wow Dad does not give up Son born with Down Syndrome despite Mom's Ultimatum for Divorce...

Samuel Forrest was shown his baby for the 1st time and told he did not have to keep him because he had Down Syndrom. "They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he's beautiful -- he's perfect and I'm absolutely keeping him." Samuel explained that his wife, Ruzan Badalyan then wanted a divorce, "She told me if I kept him then we would get a divorce." Forrest, a freelance business contractor, plans to move with Leo to his home country of New Zealand. Mr. Forrest's GoFundMe page titled "Bring Leo Home" has raised over $200,000.
GoFundMe Release: Leo Forrest was born on 21st January 2015 with Down Syndrome, in Armenia. His Armenian mother and her family abandoned him at birth. His father, a New Zealander, was no longer welcome in the family home because he wanted to 'keep' Leo. The mother refused to even look at or touch the newborn for fear of getting attached in a society where defects are not accepted, often bringing shame on the family involved. With little work, no money, resources or family, and now no home, his father Sam wants to return to New Zealand with Leo, where Leo can have a quality of life and acceptance, integration into society that sadly, is not yet possible in Armenia. As a now solo father, Sam's aim is to raise enough money to be able to care for Leo fulltime himself for at least a year, to give him the love, cuddles & devotion he needs to thrive. Your support will help to ensure this gorgeous little guy has a chance at a normal life. In advance, thank you, Leo's Support Team Note about Armenia: In this tiny, landlocked country renowned for its' hospitality, scores of babies are abandoned each year, for reasons ranging from physical or intellectual disabilities and minor 'imperfections'. This practice of abandoning children due to disabilities is unfortunately widespread throughout Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, resulting from a culture which refused to accept human defects. Health professionals estimate that 98% of all Down Syndrome babies born in Armenia are abandoned, every year. These abandoned babies are often placed in squalid orphanages, where they live and die, rejected and forgotten by society. Your support of Leo will also help draw healthy attention to this enormous problem - Armenia's hidden shame - and help the push for change, education and acceptance - for Armenia's forgotten babies.

Over 300 Muslims attack Catholic Community and Set Fire to all Homes - Please PRAY

Dinajpur, Catholic village attacked. Bishop: End the violence
by Sumon Corraya
Msgr. Sebastian Tudu launches appeal after weeks of tension. Over 300 Muslims attacked the community over issues related to land and property of tribal Catholics. Muslim dies in clashes: the group responds by setting fire to all the houses.

Dinajpur (AsiaNews) - "We want a permanent solution and to live in peace with all communities. The government must help us": This is the urgent call launched through AsiaNews by Msgr. Sebastian Tudu, bishop of the diocese of Dinajpur, after a series of clashes between Catholics and Muslims in the village of Chirakhota over issues related to land. Tensions peaked on 24 January, when more than 300 Muslims attacked the Catholic community, made up of tribal Santal.
The disputed plots are owned by the Catholic community, which has held regular permits since 1971. At the time, the height of the war of liberation from Pakistan, a Hindu woman sold them the land. Recently, a Muslim attempted to expropriate the plot, but the court ruled in favor of the Santal.
On January 24, over 300 members of the Islamic community descended upon the village. The Catholics defended themselves with bows and arrows, their traditional weapons, and a Muslim was killed. The sparked the Muslims anger and a mob looted rice, food, clothes, money, more than 100 cows, and set fire to all the 60 houses of the settlement.
Police arrested 19 Catholics for the death of a Muslim. Both sides have reported many wounded.

Dipali Tudu, a 22 year-old Catholic, was in the village at the time of the attack. Now he has left the area for security reasons: "The Muslims attacked us and tried to molest some of us. So I fled to another town. We are disappointed, we want to live in peace."

Last year, the Catholic church in Boldipukur - also in Dinajpur diocese - was targeted in a similar story, over land issues. The assailants stole various objects and documents of land ownership. Three sisters were beaten and suffered an attempted rape.

Shared from ASIANEWSIT

#Vatican Building for Poor to get a Free Shower, Hair Cut,ToothBrush and Underwear - 7 Days a Week

(Vatican Radio) Work has now been completed on the building of three showers and a barber’s booth for the homeless under the colonnades of St Peter’s Square. The shower unit was commissioned by Pope Francis after learning from his Almoner that homeless people in Rome lacked places where to wash themselves or have their hair cut.
The 3 showers and the barber’s booth have been installed in an existing lavatory block used by pilgrims and tourists visiting the Vatican area that was completely refurbished for this purpose. The showers will be available every day, except on Wednesday during the Pope’s general audience and when celebrations take place, either in St Peter’s Basilica or in the Square.
The barber service will be available on Monday between 9am and 3pm.  A number of barbers in Rome have volunteered to offer their services as well as final-year students from a hairdressing school in Rome.  Sisters from Mother’s Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity Order will be among those helping to welcome the homeless who come to use the showers.
Each of the homeless people using the shower units will receive two free kits, a complete change of underwear and a kit containing towel, soap, toothpaste and brush, deodorant plus razor and shaving cream for the men. Many of the articles have been offered free of charge by various firms and private individuals who have wanted to show their solidarity with this project. The Pope’s Almoner will be responsible for purchasing, as needed, future supplies using money raised from the selling of parchments with a Papal Blessing. 
The shower block is expected to open its doors for Rome’s homeless people very shortly.  Radio Vaticana Text Share

Today's Mass Readings : Friday February 6, 2015

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 327

Reading 1HEB 13:1-8

Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,
for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:

The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 3, 5, 8B-9ABC

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.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
For he will hide me in his abode
in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent,
he will set me high upon a rock.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

AlleluiaSEE LK 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart,
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:14-29

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
That is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”;
still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
“It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

#PopeFrancis "First, I think of our martyrs, the martyrs of our times..." Homily

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Casa Santa Marta chapel - OSS_ROM
06/02/2015 11:22

(Vatican Radio) At Mass on Friday Pope Francis called for people to remember the Martyrs of 2015, the men, women and children who are being massacred right now in hatred of the faith. The martyrdom of Christians is not a thing of the past, today too there are many victims of "people who hate Jesus Christ", said Pope Francis.
The Pope was reflecting on the life and death of John the Baptist, inspired by the Gospel of St. Mark. Referring to him as “John the Great”, the Pope said his life is a parable for the many, many Christians whose blood is spilled today because they proclaim a God whom many people hate.
Pope Francis noted that John the Baptist "never betrayed his vocation", he was "conscious that his duty was only to proclaim" that the Messiah “was close at hand".  John the Baptist was aware that he was "only a voice," because "the Word was Someone else" and he "ends his life like the Lord, with martyrdom”.
John victim of a corrupt king
Pope Francis went on to say that when he ends up in prison at the hands of Herod Antipas,  "the greatest man born of woman" becomes "small, so very small”.  Firstly he is struck by a dark night of the soul, when he doubts that Jesus is the One for whom he prepared the way. Then again, when he meets his end, ordered by a king both fascinated and puzzled by John. An end that gave the Pope pause for thought:
"In the end, after this purification, after this ongoing slide into nothingness, this path towards the total annihilation of Jesus, his life ends. That perplexed king becomes capable of making a decision, but not because his heart was converted, but because the wine gave him courage. And so John ends his life under the authority of a mediocre, drunk and corrupt king, at the whim of a dancer and the vindictive hatred of an adulteress. That's how the the Great Man ends his life, the greatest man born of woman”.
Christians hated today
The Pope said : "When I read this passage I confess I get emotional" and I always think of "two things": "First, I think of our martyrs, the martyrs of our times, men, women, children who are being persecuted, hated, driven out of their homes, tortured, massacred. And this is not a thing of the past: this is happening right now. Our martyrs, who are meeting their end under the authority of corrupt people who hate Jesus Christ. It would do us good to think of our martyrs. Today we remember Paolo Miki but that happened in 1600. Think of our present-day ones!  Of 2015 ".
No one can "buy" their life
The Pope  said “this abasement of John the Great, this ongoing slide into nothingness makes me think that all of us are on this road and we are travelling towards the land, where we will all end up. This makes me think of myself: I too will meet my end. We all will. No one can "buy" their life.  All of us, willingly or unwillingly, are travelling on the road of the existential annihilation of life, and this, at least to me, makes me pray that this annihilation is as similar as possible to that of Jesus Christ, to his annihilation".

(Emer McCarthy)

#PopeFrancis will make History as the 1st Pope to Address US Congress

For the first time in history, a Pope will address a joint meeting of the United States Congress. In an announcement made today by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Pope Francis will visit Washington September 24th. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed the Holy Father's acceptance.
"On that day, he will become the first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress," the statement read. "It will be a historic visit, and we are truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation." Boehner explained the necessity for compassion and dignity "in a time of global upheaval." “His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another," he wrote. "We look forward to warmly welcoming Pope Francis to our Capitol and hearing his address on behalf of the American people.”