Friday, March 20, 2015

Saint March 21 : St. Nicholas of Flue : Patron of Difficult marriages, Large families, Swiss Guards, Switzerland


St. Nicholas of Flue
HERMIT AND SWISS POLITICAL FIGURE
Feast: March 21


Information:
Feast Day:March 21
Born:21 March 1417 at Sachseln, Canton Obwalden, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Died:21 March 1487
Canonized:15 May 1947 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:Sachseln, Switzerland
Patron of:councilmen, difficult marriages, large families, magistrates, parents of large families, Pontifical Swiss Guards, separated spouses, Switzerland
Had Nicholas not been a saint, or had he eaten and drunk like other saints, Switzerland with all it has meant for peace and humanity would probably not exist today. For Nicholas's entire life was ordained in view of his vocation to save his country.
Nicholas von Flue was born on March 21st, 1417 in the Canton of Unterwalden on the lake of Lucerne, a citizen of a peasant democracy and a farmer's son. As he grew up he proved himself a capable farmer, and the ability he displayed in the local parliament, of which every male citizen was a member, led to his election at an early age as councillor and judge. He also proved himself a capable commander of troops. In the war against the duke of Tirol he persuaded his compatriots to respect a convent of nuns. Though willing to perform his military service, Nicholas condemned as immoral, wars of aggression and the slaughter of non-combatants inevitable in any major modern war. About the age of thirty he married a farmer's daughter, Dorothy Wiss, and built a farmhouse to receive her. The couple had ten children and descendants survive to this day.
Nicholas had thus approved himself to his countrymen as a thoroughly capable man, as farmer, military leader, member of the assembly, councillor, judge and father of a family—also a man of complete moral integrity. All the while, however, he led a life of contemplative prayer and rigorous fasting. He was the subject of symbolic visions and a diabolic assault.
After some twenty years of married life, in 1467 Nicholas received a compelling call to abandon his home and the world and become a hermit. Though she had just borne his tenth child his wife heroically consented. His neighbors, however, even his older children, regarded his action as indefensible, unbalanced, immoral and irresponsible. He set out for Alsace, where he intended to live. Had he carried out his intention his vocation would have been missed. A storm, however, symbolically interpreted, and friendly advice not to settle where the Swiss were detested made him turn back from the border. At the same time he became incapable of eating or drinking—a condition which continued for the rest of his life. As an act of obedience to a bishop he once ate with acute agony a piece of soaked bread. (The problem of prolonged fasting is more fully discussed in the account of St. Lidwina of Schiedam.)
He resumed to his native canton, passing the first night undiscovered in the cow-shed of his farm and settled in a hermitage at Ranft within a few miles of his home. It was no temptation to return home, as he never felt the least desire for his former life. Symbolic visions continued to be a feature of his contemplation, and when, after a month's strict surveillance, his countrymen were convinced that his fast was genuine, they recognised his sanctity and vocation, and he became a spiritual guide whose advice was widely sought and followed. Pilgrims came from distant parts to consult him. He  acquired influence with Duke Sigismund of the Tirol, whom he confirmed in his neutrality when the Swiss confederacy met and defeated Charles of Burgundy. Everything was ready for the climax of Nicholas's life: the accomplishment of his unique vocation.
The victorious cantons were at loggerheads. The rural cantons opposed inflexibly the demand of Zurich and Lucerne that Freiburg and Soleure be admitted to the confederacy. A conference held at Stans, December 1481, failed to reach agreement. Next day the delegates would disperse and a civil war ensue which would presumably have destroyed the confederacy. The parish priest, once Nicholas's confessor, hurried to Ranft and laid the matter before the hermit. During the night Nicholas dictated suggested terms of agreement. The priest resumed in time to persuade the delegates to give a hearing to the proposals of a man so widely respected for his well tried practical abilities and so widely venerated for his holiness. The terms suggested—the conditional admittance of Freiburg and Soleure—were unanimously accepted and embodied in the agreement of Stans. Switzerland had been saved.
Nicholas survived his achievement almost six years, universally revered, visited and consulted. On March 21st 1487, his seventieth birthday, he died, apparently of his first illness. One is glad to know that his wife and children attended his deathbed. After all, she had never lost her husband completely. Honored by Swiss Protestants, venerated by Swiss Catholics, Nicholas's cult, uninterrupted since his death, was officially sanctioned by Clement IX (1667-9). In 1947 he was canonized by Pope Pius XII. SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnicholasofflue.asp#ixzz1plOhR62e

Amazing #PROLIFE story of Kimberly Henderson - how God saved her Baby after 7 hours in Abortion clinic

Shared from Facebook Page of Kimberly Henderson: Two years ago today I was sitting in an abortion clinic thinking not having Vaida was best for me. People remember dates for birthdays, and anniversaries. Well this date is forever burned in my brain. It's a day that I will remember and I remember every single detail of that day. I think that is Gods way of showing me that HIS plan is and will always be greater and bigger than anything and everything I've ever known. I sat in the abortion clinic for nearly 7 hours. I remember wearing a pink t shirt that was soaking wet from crying. Below is my post from that day and I remember crying the entire time I was writing it. I hope that by sharing this that it touches someone.
"Today I was at the abortion clinic. I had my mind made up. My boyfriend was cheating on me. I have small kids, what will people think?? I kept telling myself I'm all alone I need to do this. Sitting there.. I could hardly make out anyone or anything through the tears. People were eating fast food around me, laughing, texting. I on the other hand was a wreck. I kept my face down, my face was drenched in tears. I kept telling and giving myself every reason to go through with this even though I did not believe in it. I kept saying I'm on birth control this could not happen..I kept trying to justify it. But my heart was heavy. I felt like I was about to make a horrible horrible decision and God was giving me signs to not do it.. I woke up this morning, my daughter was sick I had to find a sitter, I got lost, my car broke down for about 15 mins and I got here late but they still got me in. I prayed God would stop and give me a sign, give me the strength to get up and walk out of here.. The lady called me to the desk.
Last step before you go back. I fumbled through my wallet to find my drivers license and out fell a card a couple left on the table Saturday night when I was working... It had their church name on it.. On the back was a common verse... "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10 I knew God was speaking to me. Two of my best friends called me just in time and said the most comforting things. "I will be there for you..There's a reason God gave you that gift." I told the lady I changed my mind. As I was about to walk out. A young girl no older than probably 19 says to me.."Are you going to do it?" I told her I couldn't.. She said.."I wish I could be brave like you.." I told her she was brave and she could do the same thing. She said she had to do it because of some serious circumstances.. As I turned around she said.."When you see your baby's face for the first time you're gonna be so glad you walked out of here today." Pouring tears I walked out and felt a huge weight off my shoulders. No matter what your circumstances are God doesn't make mistakes and he is here for you. This is my testimony. If you have any negative comments you can refrain from making them here. I will let it be known that I do not care what people think. Hence this post. My friends and family mean the world to me. And have my back 100%. Even if I have to do this by myself. I thank God everyday for them. " Most of all I remember the enormous amount of relief and strength I felt when I walked out those doors. No guilt. No shame. No regrets. I remember feeling that this all... This all has to mean something one day. My daughter Vaida Everly has a purpose. Her name means beautiful life. And lord she is just that.. A beautiful life. After a scary pregnancy, and after countless weak moments thinking I just could not do this by myself.. September 12 2013 I welcomed my beautiful Vaida Everly into this world with both my best friends by my side. I remember seeing her for the first time and bursting into tears.
And engraved in my head were the words that girl told me before leaving the clinic that day. "When you see your baby's face for the first time you are going to be so happy you walked out of here today.." She was beyond right. 6lbs 4oz of pure perfection and no matter what pain I felt physically and emotionally... She gave me a feeling of joy that I can't even explain. A kind of joy that if a war was going on outside I wouldn't even know it. I am so in love. My once tiny 6lb baby is now 18lbs. Full of life. Full of energy. Loves to laugh. Loves to smile. And last but not least she is that beautiful baby girl I was singing to at midnight in the kitchen. The video that has touched millions of people all over the world. Singing to her in our kitchen for a memory keep sake is the reason our entire life is about to change. For the good. For the better. She was meant to be here. I'm so lucky. ‪#‎tinyhearts‬
(Words of Kimberly Henderson from her Facebook Page)
Below is the VIRAL video that made her Famous with over 4 Million Views

Today's Mass Readings : Friday March 20, 2015


Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 248


Reading 1WIS 2:1A, 12-22

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls’ reward.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23

R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

GospelJN 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

#PopeFrancis speaks Strongly against #DeathPenalty “does not bring justice to the victims..."

Death chamber in Huntsville, Texas - AP
20/03/2015 14:
(Vatican Radio) Capital punishment is cruel, inhuman and an offense to the dignity of human life. There is no crime in the world that deserves the death penalty. That was Pope Francis’ unequivocal message to members of the International Commission against the death penalty who met with him on Friday morning in the Vatican.In a lengthy letter written in Spanish and addressed to the president of the International Commission against the death penalty, Pope Francis thanks those who work tirelessly for a universal moratorium, with the goal of abolishing the use of capital punishment in countries right across the globe.
Pope Francis makes clear that justice can never be done by killing another human being and he stresses there can be no humane way of carrying out a death sentence. For Christians, he says, all life is sacred because every one of us is created by God, who does not want to punish one murder with another, but rather wishes to see the murderer repent. Even murderers, he went on, do not lose their human dignity and God himself is the guarantor.
Capital punishment, Pope Francis says, is the opposite of divine mercy, which should be the model for our man-made legal systems. Death sentences, he insists, imply cruel and degrading treatment, as well as the torturous anguish of a lengthy waiting period before the execution, which often leads to sickness or insanity.
The Pope also condemns the use of the death penalty by “totalitarian regimes” or “fanatical groups” who seek to exterminate “political prisoners”, “minorities”, or anyone seen as a threat to political power and ambitions.
But he makes quite clear that the use of capital punishment signifies “a failure” on the part of any State. However serious the crime, he says, an execution “does not bring justice to the victims, but rather encourages revenge” and denies any hope of repentence or reparation for the crime that has been committed.

Wow Actress Cybill Shepherd finds Faith in God again - Inspired by Film "Do You Believe?"

Cybill Shepherd is a famous actress who has been involved in a modeling and Hollywood for many years. Shepherd said, “I think I had a broken heart and there was part of it that was never going to heal and that’s when I turned to Jesus and then I got the offer to do this film.” She reveals how she turned to Jesus again and praises the new movie 'Do You Believe?' that she stars in.

#BreakingNews Woman beaten to death for burning Koran Pages - Please Pray

Afghanistan, woman beaten to death for burning Koran pages 
According to her parents, the victim (27 years old) had suffered from mental problems for several years. Her gesture was not intentional. A video on the internet shows hundreds of men beating her with sticks and bricks and kicking her. Once dead her body was burned and thrown into the river. 


Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of people have beaten to death a 27 year old woman in Kabul for having allegedly burned pages of the Koran. The attack took place last night near the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque. Afghan's Tolo news agency said quoted the parents of the woman, named only as Farkhunda, as saying she had suffered from a mental illness for 16 years. The parents, who were not named, claimed she had not intentionally burnt the Koran.
Police have not yet commented on the circumstances that led to the attack, but they promised to bring the women's killers to justice. Local sources point out that it is the first such incident to have ever occurred in Afghanistan.

A video, showing the attack on Farkhunda, has gone viral. It shows a mob beating her with sticks; some walking on her legs; a man hitting her with a brick. Others are seen kicking and punching her lifeless body. At that point, they carried her body to the banks of the river Kabul: here they set fire to her body and threw it into the river.

The images also show many bystanders doing nothing to stop the attackers, but filming everything with mobile phones.

At that point, the police arrived and dispersed the crowd, which had grown to "thousands of people". Human rights activists have raised concerns about what has been done to stop the attackers.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, confirmed the attack, stating that his ministry is conducting an investigation of this "very unfortunate" event. On his Twitter account the politician confirmed the arrest of four suspects.
Shared from AsiaNewsIT - Image source Google Images