Thursday, February 12, 2015

Saint February 13 : St. Catherine de Ricci : Mystic and Counselor to Future Popes

Feast Day:February 13
23 April 1522 at Florence, Italy
Died:2 February 1590 at Prato, Italy
Canonized:29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV
The Ricci are an ancient family, which still subsists in a flourishing condition in Tuscany. Peter de Ricci, the father of our saint, was married to Catherine Bonza, a lady of suitable birth. The saint was born at Florence in 1522, and called at her baptism Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine at her religious profession. Having lost her mother in her infancy, she was formed to virtue by a very pious godmother, and whenever she was missing she was always to be found on her knees in some secret part of the house. When she was between six and seven years old, her father placed her in the Convent of Monticelli, near the gates of Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. This place was to her a paradise: at a distance from the noise and tumult of the world, she served God without impediment or distraction. After some years her father took her home. She continued her usual exercises in the world as much as she was able; but the interruptions and dissipation, inseparable from her station, gave her so much uneasiness that, with the in consent of her father, which she obtained, though with great difficulty, in the year 1535, the fourteenth of her age, she received the religious veil in the convent of Dominicanesses at Prat, in Tuscany, to which her uncle, F. Timothy de Ricci, was director. God, in the merciful design to make her the spouse of his crucified Son, and to imprint in her soul dispositions conformable to his, was pleased to exercise her patience by rigorous trials For two years she suffered inexpressible pains under a complication of violent distempers, which remedies themselves served only to increase. These sufferings she sanctified by the interior dispositions with which she bore them, and which she nourished principally by assiduous meditation on the passion of Christ, in which she found  an incredible relish and a solid comfort and joy. After the recovery of her health, which seemed miraculous, she studied more perfectly to die to her senses, and to advance in a penitential life and spirit, in which God had begun to conduct her, by practicing the greatest austerities which were compatible with the obedience she had professed; she fasted two or three days a week on bread and water, and sometimes passed the whole day without taking any nourishment, and chastised her body with disciplines and a sharp iron chain which she wore next her skin. Her obedience, humility, and meekness were still more admirable than her spirit of penance. The least shadow of distinction or commendation gave her inexpressible uneasiness and confusion, and she would have rejoiced to be able to lie hid in the centre of the earth, in order to be entirely unknown to and blotted out of the hearts of all mankind, such were the sentiments of annihilation and contempt of herself in which she constantly lived. It was by profound humility and perfect interior self-denial that she learned to vanquish in her heart the sentiments or life of the first Adam—that is, of corruption, sin, and inordinate self-love. But this victory over herself, and purgation of her affections, was completed by a perfect spirit of prayer; for by the union of her soul with God, and the establishment of the absolute reign of his love in her heart, she was dead to and disengaged from all earthly things. And in one act of sublime prayer she advanced more than by a hundred exterior practices in the purity and ardour of her desire to do constantly what was most agreeable to God, to lose no occasion of practicing every heroic virtue, and of vigorously resisting all that was evil. Prayer, holy meditation, and contemplation were the means by which God imprinted in her soul sublime ideas of his heavenly truths, the strongest and most tender sentiments of all virtues, and the most burning desire to give all to God, with an incredible relish and affection for suffering contempt and poverty for Christ. What she chiefly laboured to obtain, by meditating on his life and sufferings, and what she most earnestly asked of him, was that he would be pleased, in his mercy, to purge her affections of all poison of the inordinate love of creatures, and engrave in her his most holy and divine image, both exterior and interior—that is to say, both in her conversation and her affections, that so she might be animated, and might think, speak, and act by his most Holy Spirit. The saint was chosen, very young, first, mistress of the novices, then sub-prioress, and, in the twenty-fifth year of her age, was appointed perpetual prioress. The reputation of her extraordinary sanctity and prudence drew her many visits from a great number of bishops, princes, and cardinals—among others, of Cervini, Alexander of Medicis, and Aldobrandini, who all three were afterwards raised to St. Peter's chair, under the names of Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI.
Something like what St. Austin relates of St. John of Egypt happened to St. Philip Neri and St. Catherine of Ricci. For having some time entertained together a commerce of letters, to satisfy their mutual desire of seeing each other, whilst he was detained at Rome she appeared to him in a vision, and they conversed together a considerable time, each doubtless being in a rapture. This St. Philip Neri, though most circumspect in giving credit to or in publishing visions, declared, saying that Catherine de Ricci, whilst living, had appeared to him in vision, as his disciple Galloni assures us in his life. And the continuators of Bollandus inform us that this was confirmed by the oaths of five witnesses. Bacci, in his life of St. Philip, mentions the same thing, and Pope Gregory XV, in his bull for the canonization of St. Philip Neri, affirms that whilst this saint lived at Rome he conversed a considerable time with Catherine of Ricci, a nun, who was then at Prat, in Tuscany. Most wonderful were the raptures of St. Catherine in meditating on the passion of Christ, which was her daily exercise, but to which she totally devoted herself every week from Thursday noon to three o'clock in the afternoon on Friday. After a long illness she passed from this mortal life to everlasting bliss and the possession of the object of all her desires, on the feast of the Purification of our Lady, on the 2nd of February, in 1589, the sixty-seventh year of her age. The ceremony of her beatification was performed by Clement XII in 1732, and that of her canonization by Benedict XIV in 1746. Her festival is deferred to the 13th of February.
In the most perfect state of heavenly contemplation which this life admits of, there must be a time allowed for action, as appears from the most eminent contemplatives among the saints, and those religious institutes which are most devoted to this holy exercise. The mind of man must be frequently unbent, or it will be overset. Many, by a too constant or forced attention, have lost their senses. in he body also stands in need of exercise, and in all stations men owe several exterior duties both to others and themselves, and to neglect any of these, upon presence of giving the preference to prayer, would be a false devotion and dangerous illusion. Though a Christian be a citizen of heaven, while he is a sojourner in this world, he is not to forget the obligations or the necessities to which this state subjects him, or to dream of flights which only angels and their fellow inhabitants of bliss take. As a life altogether taken up in action and business, without frequent prayer and pious meditation, alienates a soul from God and virtue, and weds her totally to the world, so a life spent wholly in contemplation, without any mixture of action, is chimerical, and the attempt dangerous. The art of true devotion consists very much in a familiar and easy habit of accompanying exterior actions and business with a pious attention to the Divine Presence, frequent secret aspirations, and a constant union of the soul with God. This St. Catherine of Ricci practiced at her work, in the exterior duties of her house and office, in her attendance on the sick (which was her favourite employment, and which she usually performed on her knees), and in the tender care of the poor over the whole country. But this hindered not the exercises of contemplation, which were her most assiduous employment. Hence retirement and silence were her delight, in order to entertain herself with t. Creator of all things, and by devout meditation, kindling in her soul the fire of heavenly love, she was never able to satiate the ardour of her desire in adoring and praising the immense greatness and goodness of God.


Catholic Quote to SHARE by Mother Teresa on Love

"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting." --Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Hillsong - #ViralMusic Video - Christian Inspiration to SHARE!

This music video by Hillsong has reached over 10 Million Views - Let its words be an Inspiration to you and your Friends...Share and help others find the Love of God through the Cross...."Lead Me To The Cross" is track #6 on the album All of the Above. It was written by Brooke Fraser.
Savior I come, quiet my soul
Remember, redemption's hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost
Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
Oh, lead me, lead me to the cross
You were as I, tempted and trialed
You are, the word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now You're risen
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost
Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
Oh lead me, lead me to the cross
to your heart
to your heart
Lead me to Your heart, Your heart
Lead me to Your heart, Your heart
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost
Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
Oh lead me, lead me
Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
Oh, lead me
Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
So lead me, lead me to the cross

Latest from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis

12-02-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 030 

- The Extraordinary Consistory opens in a spirit of collaboration
- Reform of the Curia, at the centre of the Extraordinary Consistory
- Children: a gift from God that opens up the future
- Francis prays for the victims of the Lampedusa tragedy
- Eighth session of the Council of Cardinals
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Extraordinary Consistory opens in a spirit of collaboration
Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – At 9 a.m. this morning, in the Vatican's Synod Hall, 
the Extraordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals began, attended by the Holy Father and by those who will be created cardinals in next Saturday's consistory. The works will take place over two days, today and tomorrow, with sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Following the Terce prayer and greetings from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, the Holy Father Francis gave a brief address to those present. “Welcome to this communion, expressed in collegiality”, he began, thanking the Comission of the nine cardinals and its coordinator, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga and the secretary, Bishop Marcello Semeraro who presented a summary of the work carried out during these months in drafting the new Apostolic Constitution on the reform of the Curia. This summary, noted Pope Francis, “has been prepared on the basis of many suggestions, also on the part of the heads and officers of the dicasteries, alongside experts on the subject”.
“The aim is always that of promoting greater harmony in the work of the various dicasteries and offices, in order to achieve more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency that edifies authentic synodality and collegiality”, he continued, commenting that “reform is not an end in itself, but a way of giving strong Christian witness; to promote more effective evangelisation; to promote a fruitful ecumenical spirit; and to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all”.
“Reform, strongly advocated by the majority of cardinals in the context of the general congregations before the Conclave, must continue to enhance the identity of the Roman Curia itself, that is, that of assisting Peter's Successor in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and in the service of the universal Church and the particular Churches, in order to strengthen unity of faith and the communion of the people of God, and to promote the mission of the Church in the world”, continued the Pontiff.
“Certainly, reaching this objective is not easy: it requires time, determination and, above all, the collaboration of all. But to achieve this we must first of all trust in the Holy Spirit, Who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer the gift of authentic discernment”, he concluded. “With this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins; it will be fruitful thanks to the contribution that each one of us is able to express with parrhesia, fidelity to the Magisterium and the awareness that all this contributes to the supreme law, that is, the 'salus animarum'. Thank you”.
Reform of the Curia, at the centre of the Extraordinary Consistory
Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – A total of 165 cardinals participated in this morning's first session of the Extraordinary Consistory with the Holy Father. Twenty-five were unable to attend due to illness or other serious problems, according to a report from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., following the morning meeting.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga explained that the meeting of the Council of Cardinals (the so-called “C9”) which came to an end yesterday afternoon, focused primarily but not exclusively on the reform of the Curia; other themes addressed were the regulation of the Synod, the work of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, and relations with the economic entities of the Holy See (COSEA and IOR).
Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary of the C9, presented the main lines of reform of the Roman Curia, in the light of the meeting of heads of the dicasteries that took place in November 2014. The issues to be considered are the functions of the Roman Curia, its relationship with other entities such as the episcopal conferences, the criteria for rationalisation and simplification that must guide it in its tasks, the Secretariat of State, the coordination of the dicasteries of the Curia, the relationship between religious and laypersons and the procedures that must govern the preparation of the new constitution.
Reference was also made to the institution of two congregations. The first would encompass those organisms that until now have been concerned with the laity, the family and life. The second would deal with matters linked to charity, justice and peace. The collaboration of the Pontifical Councils and Academies dedicated to these themes could be strengthened.
Twelve prelates intervened during the morning session, observed Fr. Lombardi: mainly cardinals who have a profound knowledge of the workings of the Curia, although there have been contributions from a diverse range of contexts. It has been observed that reform is twofold, theological and juridical, and many of its assumptions relate to canon law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as well as relationships with the episcopates. It was also noted that the Pope is assisted not only by the Curia, but also by the College of Cardinals and the Synod of Bishops. In this regard, the themes of synodality and collegiality were discussed, and preference was expressed for the latter denomination rather than the former.
The issue of the ongoing training of staff of the Roman Curia was not overlooked, and consideration was given to the possibility of a rotation of duties to counteract routine. In this sector, both favourable and contrary opinions were expressed by the cardinals, who emphasised that some fields require a high level of specialisation and that for this reason, change would be inadvisable.
Children: a gift from God that opens up the future
Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – The Pope held this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square. In his catechesis, the Holy Father continued his reflections on the family, referring on this occasion to children as a gift from God to their parents and to society as a whole. “There is a close link between the hope of a people and harmony between the generations”, he said. “The joy of children makes their parents' hearts leap and opens up the future. Children are the joy of the family and of society. They are not a matter of reproductive biology, or one of the many ways of producing them, much less their parents' possession. Children are a gift. They are a gift. Each one is unique and unrepeatable, and at the same time unmistakably linked to his or her roots. Indeed, to be a son or a daughter according to God's plan, means carrying in oneself the memory and hope of a love that has become tangible by kindling the life of another human being, original and new. And for parents each child is him- or herself, different, unique”.
Francis emphasised the gratuitous dimension of the love that we receive as sons and daughters: “children are loved before they are born. I often encounter expectant mothers in the square who ask me to bless their unborn babies. These children are loved before they come into the world. This is gratuitousness, this is love; they are loved before they are born, like the love of God, Who always loves us first. They are loved before having done anything to deserve it, before being able to speak or to think, even before being able to come into the world. To be sons and daughters is the fundamental condition for knowing God's love, which is the ultimate source of this authentic miracle. In the soul of every child, although vulnerable, God places the seal of this love, which is the basis of his or her personal dignity, a dignity that nothing and no-one can destroy”.
The Pope remarked that the good relations between generations can be learned from the Heavenly Father Who “does not take steps backwards in His love for us – never! He always moves forward, and if He cannot go ahead He waits for us, but He never goes backwards; He wants all his children to be courageous and take their steps ahead. Sons and daughters, on their part, must not be afraid of the commitment to building a new world: it is right for them to want it to be better than the one they have received! But this must be done without arrogance, without presumption”.
He mentioned the fourth commandment, to honour one's father and mother, and explained that “a society of children who do not honour their parents is a society without honour. It is a society destined to become full of barren and greedy young people”. He added that a society in which the adult generations “do not love to be surrounded by children, considering them above all as a worry, a burden, a risk, is a depressed society” and that while the conception of children must be responsible, having many children should not automatically be considered an irresponsible decision, and choosing not to have children is “a selfish decision”. “Life is rejuvenated and acquires energy by multiplying; it is enriched, not impoverished. … In the multiplication of generation there is the mystery of the enrichment of the life of all, that comes from God Himself. We must rediscover this, challenging prejudice; and live it, in faith and in perfect joy”. He concluded by addressing the mothers and fathers who raise their children to be blessed as he passes through the square: “it is a gesture that is almost divine. Thank you for doing it!”.
Francis prays for the victims of the Lampedusa tragedy
Vatican City, 11 February 2015 (VIS) – “I follow with concern the news from Lampedusa, where there have been deaths among immigrants due to the cold during the Mediterranean crossing. I offer the assurance of my prayers for the victims and again encourage solidarity so that those affected do not lack the necessary aid”, said the Holy Father following the catechesis of today's general audience.
The Pope also invited prayer for the upcoming Consistory, so that “the Holy Spirit might assist in the work of the College of Cardinals and enlighten the new Cardinals and their service to the Church”.
Eighth session of the Council of Cardinals
Vatican City, 11 February 2015 (VIS) – The Eighth Session of the Council of Cardinals took place from 9 to 11 February, with meetings both in the morning and the afternoon.
All members of the Council were present, and the Pope participated in all the meetings apart from on Wednesday morning, as usual, due to the General Audience.
The first meeting on Monday morning was dedicated to the preparation of the Report on the work carried out by the Council and on the theme of reform of the Curia, which will be presented on Thursday 12 at the Consistory of the College of Cardinals. The Secretary of the Council, Bishop Semeraro, gave a presentation.
The Monday afternoon meeting was dedicated to a meeting with Cardinal Ravasi regarding the Pontifical Council for Culture within the framework of reform of the Curia.
The Tuesday morning meeting was instead dedicated mostly to a presentation by Msgr. Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Commission for Vatican Media, of the Commission’s Interim Report, with the main results and proposals for the reorganisation of Vatican media. The Council expressed its appreciation for the work carried out by the Commission and confirmed its principle orientations.
In the afternoon, questions regarding the Secretariat and Council for the Economy were again taken into consideration, in view of the finalisation of the Statutes of these new entities.
The first part of the meeting on Wednesday morning was again devoted to the preparation of the following day’s Consistory, especially the contribution to be offered by the Coordinator of the Council, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, while during the second part an update was offered on the organisation and activities of the Secretariat for the Economy.
In the final meeting, on Wednesday morning, the topics covered in the morning will be examined again with the Holy Father, and it is expected that a report will be given by Cardinal O’Malley on the recent plenary session of the new Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience Shahindokht Molaverdi, deputy president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Fr. Luc Crey, C.J.M., as bishop of Puy-en-Velay (area 5,000, population 231,877, Catholics 181,700, priests 147, permanent deacons 10, religious 459), France. The bishop-elect was born in Lille, France in 1958, gave his perpetual vows in 1988 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a doctorate in biology and a licentiate in theology, and has served in a number of roles in the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists), as rector of the interdiocesan seminary of Orleans, president of the Conference of Major Superiors in France, and pontifical commissioner for the province of France and Switzerland of the Societe des Filles du Coeur de Marie. He is currently procurator general of the Congregation of Eudists in Rome.
- Fr. Francois Gnonhossou, S.M.A., as bishop of Dassa-Zoume (area 13,931, population 717,772, Catholics 217,401, priests 85, religious 65), Benin. The bishop-elect was born in Dassa-Zoume, Benin in 1961, gave his religious vows in 1996, and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a licentiate in civil law and a bachelor's degree in theology, he has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest in Guffanti, Nigeria; chaplain of the Apprentis d'Auteil in Paris; vice-superior and subsequently superior of the S.M.A. district in formation Africa, assistant in various parishes in the diocese of Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada; parish vicar of St. Sylvain, Montreal, Canada, and bursar of the local community. He is currently general counsel of the Society of African Missions in Rome.
- Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano, nunciature counsellor, as Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.O.), International Fund for Agricultural Development (I.F.A.D.), and World Food Programme (W.F.P.).
On Wednesday, 11 February, the Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Juan Nsue Edjang Maye of Ebebiyin, Equatorial Guinea, as archbishop of Malabo (area 2,034, population 312,000, Catholics 283,000, priests 37, religious 106), Equatorial Guinea. He succeeds Archbishop Ildefonso Obama Obono whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Fr. Ernest Ngboko Ngombe, C.I.C.M., as bishop of Lisala (area 67,674, population 1,683,000, Catholics 897,000, priests 66, religious 124), Democratic Republic of Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Kanya Mbonda, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1964, gave his perpetual vows in 1987, and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied philosophy and theology in Yaounde, Cameroon, and theology at the Catholic Theological Union (C.T.S.), U.S.A. He has served as a missionary and parish priest in Dakar, Senegal; superior of the autonomous C.I.C.M. district of Senegal for three consecutive mandates; rector of the theological seminary of Cameroon and coordinator of the C.I.C.M. for the Region Africa. He is currently vicar general of his Congregation in Rome.

Free Catholic Movie : The Song of Bernadette - Stars Jennifer Jones - About Lourdes

The Song of Bernadette (1943) 156 min - Biography | Drama - April 1945 (USA) In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. Director: Henry King... Writers: George Seaton (screenplay), Franz Werfel (novel) Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday February 12, 2015

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 332

Reading 1GN 2:18-25

The LORD God said:
“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Responsorial PsalmPS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (see 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

AlleluiaJAS 1:21BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.

#PopeFrancis opens Consistory of Cardinals to Reform Roman Curia - Full Text/ Video

Pope Francis speaks with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York ahead of the Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals in the Synod Hall - ANSA
12/02/2015 11:40

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis says the end goal of the reform of the Roman Curia is to harmonize work among the Vatican offices, to achieve a more effective collaboration and promote collegiality.
The Holy Father was speaking Thursday morning to the College of Cardinals at the opening session of the Extraordinary Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on Saturday.
The College of Cardinals gathers together the Pope’s closest collaborators in the governance of the Universal Church.  Currently there are 207 members in the College, 110 of whom are Cardinal electors, that is, eligible to vote in conclave for a papal election.
The College is meeting in two closed sessions Thursday and Friday at the Synod Hall, where they will be briefed on progress in the reform of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, in the governance of the Church.
Opening the working session – which included the 20 prelates who will be created Cardinals on Saturday – Pope Francis spoke of the recently concluded Council of Nine, thanking the Council members for their work in overseeing the reform process.
He said that “the reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to promote a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all”.
Pope Francis also pointed out that the reform of the Curia was strongly advocated by the majority of the Cardinals in the context of the general congregations before the conclave in which he was elected Pope.
The Holy Father warned the Cardinals that the goal of reform “it is not easy to achieve”, that it “requires time, determination and above all  everyone’s cooperation”. He concluded that above all it demands prayer and openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Below please find a Vatican Radio Translation of the Holy Fathers address to the College of Cardinals.
Dear brothers,

"How good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together!" (Ps 133,1).

In the words of the Psalm we give praise to the Lord who has called us together and gives us the grace to welcome the 20 new cardinals in this session. To them and to all, I give my cordial greetings. Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality.
Thanks to all those who have prepared this event, especially to His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. I thank the Commission of nine Cardinals and the coordinator, His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga. I also thank His Excellency Marcello Semeraro, Secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: Today he will present a summary of the work done in recent months to develop the new Apostolic Constitution for the reform of the Curia. As we know, this summary has been prepared on the basis of many suggestions, even those made by the heads of the Dicasteries, as well as experts in the field.
The goal to be reached is always that of promoting greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, in order to achieve a more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency which builds authentic sinodality and collegiality.
The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to promote a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.
The reform, strongly advocated by the majority of the Cardinals in the context of the general congregations before the conclave, will further perfect the identity of the same Roman Curia, which is to assist the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good of and in the service of the universal Church and the particular Churches. This exercise serves to strengthen the unity of faith and communion of the people of God and promote the mission of the Church in the world.
Certainly, it is not easy to achieve such a goal: it requires time, determination and above all  everyone’s cooperation. But to achieve this we must first entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the true guide of the Church, imploring the gift of authentic discernment in prayer.
It is in this spirit of collaboration that our meeting begins, which will be fruitful thanks to the contribution which each of us can express with parrhesía, fidelity to the Magisterium and the knowledge that all of this contributes to the supreme law, that being the salus animarum. Thank You. Pope Francis (Radio Vaticana Translation: Emer McCarthy)

Saint February 12 : St. Saturninus & Companions : Bishop & Martyr


Feast Day:February 12
St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by   the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the <Taur> (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.