Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saint March 23 : St. Turibius de Mogrovejo : Patron of Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru



Information:
Feast Day:March 23
Born:16 November, 1538, Mayorga, Spain
Died:23 March, 1606, Saña, Peru
Canonized:1726
Patron of:Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru



CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF LIMA
St Toribio, or Turibius Alphonsus Mogrobejo, was second son to the lord of Mogrobejo, and born in the kingdom of Leon, on the 16th of November, in 1538. From his infancy he discovered a strong inclination to piety; and in his childhood it was his delight, at times of recreation, to erect and adorn altars, and to serve the poor. He trembled at the very shadow of sin. One day, seeing a poor peddler woman angry because she had lost something out of her pack, he most movingly entreated and exhorted her that she would not offend God by passion; and, in order to appease her, gave her the value of her loss, which he had begged of his mother for that purpose. He was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, said every day her office and rosary, and fasted every Saturday in her honour. Whilst at school, he usually gave part of his slender dinner to the poor, and was so much addicted to fasting that his superiors were obliged, by strict commands, to compel him to moderate his austerities. He began his higher studies at Valladolid, but completed them at Salamanca. He was introduced early to the notice of King Philip II, honoured by him with several dignities, and made president or chief judge at Granada. This office he discharged during five years with so much integrity, prudence, and virtue that the eyes of the whole kingdom were fixed on him, and his life in the world was a holy noviceship to the pastoral charge. The pressing necessities of the infant church of Peru required a prelate who inherited, in a distinguished manner, the spirit of the apostles; and the archbishopric of Lima falling vacant, Turibius was unanimously judged the person of all others the best qualified to be an apostle of so large a country, and to remedy the scandals which obstructed the conversion of the infidels. The king readily nominated him to that dignity, and all parties concerned applauded the choice. Turibius was thunderstruck at this unexpected news, and had no sooner received the message but he cast himself on the ground at the foot of his crucifix, praying, with many tears, that God would deliver him from so heavy a burden, which he thought absolutely above his strength. He wrote the most urgent letters to the king's council, in which he pleaded his incapacity, and other impediments, and laid great stress on the canons, which forbid laymen to be promoted to such dignities in the church. This humility it was that obtained the succor of heaven by which he performed wonders in the service of souls. Being compelled by obedience to acquiesce, he at length testified his submission by falling on his knees and kissing the ground.
After a suitable preparation, he received the four minor orders on four successive Sundays, the better to dispose himself for the  functions of each; and after passing through the other orders, he was consecrated bishop. Immediately after which he set out for Peru, and landed at Lima, in the year 1581, of his age the forty-third. That diocese is extended one hundred and thirty leagues along the coast, comprising three cities and many towns and villages, with innumerable cottages scattered over two ridges of the mountains of the Andes, esteemed the highest and the most rugged in the whole world. Some of the European generals, who first invaded that country were men who seemed to measure every thing by their insatiable avarice and ambition, and had so far lost all sentiments of humanity towards the poor savages, that they deserved the name rather of tyrants and plunderers than of conquerors. Civil wars and dissension completed the misfortune of that country; and covetousness, cruelty, treachery, fraud, and debauchery seemed triumphant. Nor were the repeated orders of the Spanish court able to redress these evils. The sight of these disorders moved the good pastor often to tears, but his prudence and zeal overcame all difficulties, extirpated public scandals, and made the kingdom a flourishing portion of the Christian church. Upon his arrival, he immediately began a visitation of his vast diocese- an undertaking of incredible fatigue, and attended with many dangers. He often crept over the steepest and most rugged mountains, covered with ice or snow, to visit some poor hut of Indians, and give them suitable comfort and instruction. He travelled often on foot, and sometimes barefoot, and by fasting and prayer never ceased to implore the divine mercy for the salvation of the souls committed to his charge. He placed everywhere able and zealous pastors, and took care that no one in the most remote corners of the rocks should be left destitute of the means of instruction and of the benefit of the sacraments. To settle and maintain discipline, he appointed diocesan synods to be held every two years, and provincial synods every seven; and was vigilant and severe in chastising the least scandal, especially of avarice, in the clergy. Without respect of persons, he reproved injustice and vice, and made use of all the means which his authority nut into his hands, to check the insolence of public sinners, and to protect the poor from oppression. Many of the first conquerors and governors of Peru, before the arrival of the most virtuous viceroy Francis of Toledo, were men who often sacrificed every thing to their passions, and for their private ends. From some of these the saint suffered many persecutions, and was often thwarted by them in the discharge of his duty. But by the arms of meekness and patience he overcame all affronts and injuries, and with an invincible constancy he maintained the rights of justice and truth. He showed that many sinners misconstrued the law of God to make it favour their passions; but that, as Tertullian observes, "Christ calls himself the truth, not custom," and will weigh our actions not in the false balance of the world, but in the true scales of the sanctuary. Thus he extirpated the most inveterate abuses, and established with so great fervour the pure maxims of the gospel, as to revive in many the primitive spirit of Christianity. To extend and perpetuate the advantages of religion, which by his zeal he had procured, he filled this country with seminaries, churches, and many hospitals; but would never suffer his own name to be recorded in any of his munificent charities or foundations. When he was at Lima, he every day visited several hospitals, comforted and exhorted the sick. and administered the sacraments. When a pestilence, though that calamity is seldom known in Peru, raged in some parts of his diocese, Turibius distributed his own necessaries in relieving the afflicted: he preached penance, because sins are the cause of chastisements, and infinitely the worst of evils. He walked in the processions, bathed in tears, with his eyes always fixed on a crucifix, and offering himself to God for his flock; fasted, watched, and prayed for them without intermission, till God was pleased to remove the scourge.
Nothing gave the saint so much pleasure as the greatest labours and dangers, to procure the least spiritual advantage to one soul.  Burning with the most vehement desire of laying down his life for his flock, and of suffering all things for him who died for us, he feared no dangers. When he heard that poor Indians wandered in the mountains and deserts, he sought them out; and to comfort, instruct, or gain one of them he often suffered incredible fatigues and dangers in the wildernesses, and boldly travelled through the haunts of lions and tigers.1 He spent seven years in performing his first visitation; his second employed him four years, but the third was shorter. He converted innumerable infidels, and left everywhere monuments of his charity. In travelling, he either prayed or discoursed on heavenly things.. On his arrival at a place, it was his custom to repair first to the church to pray before the altar. To catechise the poor, he would sometimes stay two or three days in places where he had neither bed nor any kind of food. He visited every part of his vast diocese, and when others suggested to him the dangers that threatened him from rocks, precipices, marshes, rivers, robbers, and savages, his answer was that Christ came from heaven to save man, we ought not therefore to fear dangers for the sake of immortal glory. He preached and catechised without intermission, having for this purpose learned, in his old age, all the various languages of the barbarous nations of that country. Even on his journeys he said mass every day with wonderful fervour and devotion. He always made a long meditation before and after it, and usually went to confession every morning; though they who best knew his interior testified that they were persuaded he had never in his whole life forfeited his baptismal innocence by any mortal sin. He seemed to have God and the divine honor alone before his eyes in all his words and actions so as to give little or no attention to any thing else; by which means his prayer was perpetual. He retired in private to that exercise often in the day, and for a long time together. In it his countenance seemed often to shine with a divine light. The care with which he studied to disguise and conceal his great mortifications and works of piety, was the proof of his sincere humility. His munificence in relieving the poor of every class, especially those who were too bashful to make their necessities publicly known, always exhausted his revenues. The decrees of his provincial councils are monuments of his zeal, piety, learning, and discretion: they have been ever since esteemed, not only in the new world, but also in Europe, and at Rome itself, as oracles. The flourishing state of the church of Peru, the great numbers of saints and eminent pastors with which it abounded, and the establishment of innumerable seminaries of piety and learning, and hospitals for the poor, were the fruit of his zeal. If he did not originally plant the faith, he was at least the great propagator of it, and the chief instrument of God in removing scandals and advancing true piety in that vast country, which till then had been a land of abominations: whilst Francis of Toledo, the great viceroy, first settled the civil government in peace and tranquillity by salutary laws, which have procured him the title of the Legislator of Peru. St. Turibius, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, in 1606 during the visitation of his diocese, fell sick at Santa, a town one hundred and ten leagues distant from Lima. He foretold his death, and ordered him to be rewarded who should bring him the first account from his physician that his recovery was despaired of. The ardour of his faith, his hope, his love of his Creator and Redeemer, his resignation, and perfect sacrifice of himself, gathered strength in the fervent exercises and aspirations which he repeated almost without ceasing in his illness. By his last will he ordered what he had about him to be distributed among his servants, and whatever else he otherwise possessed to be given to the poor. He would be carried to the church, there to receive the holy Viaticum, but received extreme  unction in his sick bed. He often repeated those words of St. Paul, <I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ>; and in his last moments he ordered to be sung by his bedside those of the Psalmist, <I rejoiced in the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord.> He died on the 23rd of March, repeating those other words of the same prophet, <Into thy hands I commend my spirit.> His body being translated the year after to Lima, was found incorrupt, the joints flexible, and the skin soft. His historian, and the acts of the canonization, mention many sick restored to their health, and a girl raised to life by him whilst he was living; also many miracles wrought through his intercession after his death. He was beatified by Innocent XI in 1679,1 and solemnly canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. On the miracles wrought by his inter. cession, see Benedict XIV,2 and especially the acts of his canonization.
A pastor of souls must be careful to animate all his exterior actions and labours in the service of his neighbour with the interior spirit of compunction, humility, zeal, charity, and tender devotion. Without this he loses the fruit of all the pains he takes, and by them will often deserve only chastisements in the world to come; so much will his intention and the affections of his heart be infected with self-love, and depraved by various imperfections, and secret sinister desires, even in the most holy functions. Therefore, a fervent noviciate, employed in the exercises of an interior life, ought to be a part of the preparation for this state; and in the discharge of his duties, a person ought always to unite contemplation with action, and reserve to himself sufficient-time for conversing with God and his own soul, and taking a frequent review of his own interior. From his labors he must return frequently to prayer, and constantly nourish in his soul a spirit of fervent devotion, which will thus accompany all his exterior actions and keep his thoughts and affections always united to God. Those who are not faithful in thus maintaining and improving in themselves an interior spirit of piety, and in watching with fear and compunction over the motions of their own hearts, will generally advance very little the kingdom of Christ in the souls of others, and are in great danger of losing their own. This is what St. Bernard feared in his disciple Pope Eugenius III, whom he conjured with tears never to give himself up entirely to the care of others, so as not to live also for himself; so to communicate a spirit of piety to others, as not to suffer it to be drained in his own heart; to be a basin to hold it, not a pipe for it to run through. This lesson is applicable, with due proportion, to other states, especially that of teaching the sciences, in which the exercises of an interior life are so much the more necessary, as the employment is more distracting, more tumultuous, and more exposed to the waves of vanity, jealousy, and other secret petty passions.

source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stturibiusdemogrovejo.asp#ixzz1pudK1KRx

RIP 7 Kids Killed in house Fire of Jewish family in Brooklyn with cries of "Mommy, help me..."

Seven siblings of an Orthodox Jewish family were killed on Saturday, March 21, 2015 due to house a fire. The fire spread through their Brooklyn home after they were in bed around midnight. Firefighters think is was caused by a broken hot plate left on for Sabbath. The fire killed three girls and four boys aged 5 to 16. The mother and sister narrowly escaped and are in critical condition. Some Orthodox Jews do not use electricity on Sabbath, to keep the day holy. Therefore, some families leave the hot plate on without violating any religious traditions. Police identified the victims of the Sassoon family girls: Eliane, 16, Rivkah, 11 and Sara, 6 and boys: David, 12, Yeshua, 10, Moshe, 8 and Yaakob, 5. The father was at a conference at the time. The home in Midwood, is part of a Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish population. Firefighters were on the scene in four minutes after the 911 call. The mother Gayle Sassoon, 45, and her 15-year-old daughter jumped from second-floor windows. (Image shared from katenews2day/

Thousands at Day of the Unborn Child in Australia with #PROLIFE Procession

Cathedral Mass & Procession to Mark Day of the Unborn Child

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
19 Mar 2015

The unborn child parents never had a chance to know or love
For the first time ever an Archbishop of Sydney will lead the Day of the Unborn Child's rosary procession through the streets of Sydney on Sunday, 22 March.
In previous years Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese, the Most Rev Julian Porteous, who is now Archbishop of Hobart, and Bishop Terry Brady have led the procession. But this year Sydney's Archbishop, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP who was installed last November, will celebrate Mass for the Unborn Child at St Mary's Cathedral and then lead the procession through the CBD.
"On average each year depending on the weather between 2500 to 3000 join the procession. But this year with Archbishop Anthony leading the procession, even though rain is forecast, we think the numbers will be at a record level and may even exceed 4000," says Paul Hanrahan, Executive Director of Family Life International which helps organise the Mass for the Unborn Child and the rosary procession each year in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Sydney's Life Marriage and Family Centre.

Last year's procession on Day of Unborn Child makes its way to Parliament House
A leader and author in the field of bioethics, Archbishop Anthony  was the founding Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.
"He has been a strong advocate for God's precious gift of life and was a member of various Pro-Life groups campaigning against abortion when he was still a still a law student at the University of Sydney and before he entered the legal profession or began to discern his vocation as a priest," Paul says.
Each year in Australian more than 100,000 unborn children are aborted, losing their chance at life.

The Madonna and Child Memorial to Unborn Children at Rookwood Cemetery
"As many as 2000 babies are aborted every week. These are shocking statistics but this number doesn't include the number of chemical abortions women are having using drugs such as RU486 or some other abortifacient to trigger a miscarriage," he says admitting that no one has any idea of just how many babies may be lost this way through drug-induced abortions.
Each year the Day of the Unborn Child is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March. One of the most important Feasts in the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the day the Holy Virgin was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus Christ, son of God.
Paul says the Feast of the Annunciation is the ideal time to remember and pray for the unborn child, particularly as we are now entering the final weeks of Lent.
Since the start of Lent, Paul and members of Family Life International as well as all those who believe in the sanctity of life have gathered to pray each day on the corner opposite Sydney's oldest and best known Preterm abortion clinic in Surry Hills as part of the annual 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

Priests and Religious join young Catholics to participate in 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil
"The tragic reality of abortion continues on a daily basis and claims the lives of tens of thousands of unborn children and causes untold suffering and pain to mothers, fathers, abortion workers, families and society at large," Paul says. "Each human life is uniquely initiated by God and every baby is precious from the moment he or she is conceived."
Following Sunday's Mass for the Unborn Child which will be celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral at 10.30 am by Archbishop Anthony, the Archbishop will lead the praying of the Angelus after which he will walk in front of the procession down through the CBD and then back up to Macquarie Street to the NSW Parliament where different speakers will celebrate the sanctity of each and every human life, and the pray for the Unborn Child.
The procession will then return to the Cathedral for Benediction.

#PopeFrancis meeting with 100,000 Youth "we have to get closer to Christ on the cross”.


Pope Francis greets young people on Naples waterfront - AP
21/03/2015 18:37




(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis denounced a hidden euthanasia of elderly telling thousands of young people gathered on Naples waterfront that family affection is the best medicine for the elderly, solitude their worst poison.
Some 100 thousand young people gathered on Naples waterfront in what was Pope Francis’ last appointment on his busy one day pastoral visit to the southern Italian Campania region.
Greeted to cheers shouted in the local dialect on arriving on the stage the Pope took the microphone to encourage the crowd to shout the name of Jesus and proclaim their faith in Him and not that of the Pope.
Then in what has become the Pope’s preferred form of encounter, people were invited to pose questions for him to answer.  As he responded to the first question on how to recognize God in today’s world, he apologized for reaming seated, confessing his tiredness after a hectic day.
“Our God is a God of words,  gestures and silences”, he replied pointing to the parable of the Good Shepherd.  He is a God who knows us better then we know ourselves,  who speaks to us in the silence of our hearts. But God can’t speak to us if we are not silent, if we do not silently gaze at the Crucifix. We can draw near to the silence of God by contemplating Christ crucified abandoned.
God did create us to be happy, but that does not mean that everything in life will be perfect if we believe in Him. The Pope said one of the great silences of God regards why do children suffer. We can't always understand the silence of God, so "we have to get closer to Christ on the cross”.
The second question, posed by an elderly women, was about the integration of the elderly into society today so they are not left alone or abandoned.
In his response Pope Francis roundly condemned the throw away culture of today with discards not only the elderly but also children and the unborn, which considers children useless and the affection of a cat or dog preferable.
He also clearly condemned a society which sees euthanasia as a solution to the ills of old age. However, not just ‘technical euthanasia’ administered with an injection, the Pope also spoke of a ‘hidden euthanasia’, when old people are denied medicine, food, the affection of their family. Solitude, said Pope Francis is the great poison of the old. And he urged all present with elderly parents to examine their conscience, and think of when was the last time they phoned or visited them.
The Third question regarded ideological attacks on family, to which Pope Francis replied "The family is in crisis. It's true. But it's not new. He said marriage and family life isn't like learning a language – eight lessons and you're fluent. It takes time. And must be well prepared. Above all he concluded it requires the witness of married couples, who can teach young people how to face and resolve problems together.
Taking his leave of the crowds as the sun set over the Bay of Naples, the Pope said that youth and elderly must remain united. The youth have the strength. The elderly have the memory and the wisdom.
“Today is the first day of Spring. Pray for young people. For their future. For hope”.

(Emer McCarthy)

Sunday Mass Online : March 22, 2015 - 5th of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Lectionary: 35


Reading 1JER 31:31-34

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Reading 2HEB 5:7-9

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Verse Before The GospelJN 12:26

Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
and where I am, there will my servant be.

GospelJN 12:20-33

Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”
Philip went and told Andrew;
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven,
“I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered and said,
“This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

Miracle of Blood Liquefying at Pope Francis meeting with Religious and his 3 Recommendations


Pope Francis kisses the relics of St. Januarius, in his visit to the Duomo Naples - AFP
21/03/2015 18:12



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis spoke of the ‘terrorism of gossip’ as the biggest sign of the devils work in a meeting with priests, religious and seminarians at Naples Cathedral Saturday.
The Gothic ‘Duomo’ – home to the much revered relic of St. Januarius patron Saint of Naples - was the setting for Pope Francis’ first appointment of the afternoon.
He was welcomed by Cardinal Crescenzio Seppe, the Archbishop of Naples and then surrounded by an enthusiastic group of cloistered nuns who had been given special permission to attend the encounter.
The spontaneity of the cloistered set the tone for a convivial meeting, so much so, that in what has become a classic move, Pope Francis began saying "I prepared a speech, but speeches are boring” before launching into a forty minute off-the-cuff reflection on priestly and religious life.  
Pope Francis reminded the priests, religious, seminarians and deacons present to put Jesus at the center of their life and not personal problems with their bishop, other priests or members of their community.  He said “If the center of your life is someone you have a problem with, you'll have no joy” and when there's no joy in life of priest or nun, ‘people can smell it’.
To seminarians, he said “If Jesus isn't center of your life, postpone ordination”, while he urged religious men and women to nurture a deep relationship with Mary saying “if you don't know the Mother, you won't know Son”.
Pope Francis also spoke of the danger of attachment to worldly goods. He said when priests or nuns are attached to money, they unconsciously prefer people with money.  Here, in a humorous aside, the Pope told the story of one nun so attached to money that when she fainted someone suggested putting 100 pesos under her nose to wake her up. Instead, ordained and consecrated must always have a preferential option for the poor.
Pope Francis also tested those present asking how many could remember the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Too many of us can't, he said. He spoke of a convent that remodeled and put TVs in every room, which hindered community life.
“Community life isn't easy” Pope Francis admitted. Often because “the devil sows jealously” which is revealed in the ‘terrorism of gossip’, that can destroy others.  This, he stated “is the greatest sign of the devil's work”.
But all of these dangers can be avoided by three simple things, Pope Francis concluded: Adoration, love of the Church and apostolic zeal. Warning that the Church isn't an NGO, Pope Francis said "I leave you with three things: adore Jesus, love the Church, be a missionary”.
The encounter concluded with the veneration of the relics of St. Januarius, a vile of dried blood which each March 19th on the Feast of the great patron is moved, liquefies and visibly flows again.  It has become inseparable in popular imagination with good fortune.
As the Pope kissed the reliquary, cardinal Sepe announced the blood of St Januarius "is already halfway liquefied". To which Pope Francis calmly responded if the blood only half liquefied it means the Saint thinks we're only half converted. "We must keep going."
Following his encounter with the clergy and religious of Naples, Pope Francis held a closed door encounter with the sick and disabled in the Jesuit Church in Naples. 

(Emer McCarthy)

Wow Pope Francis eats lunch with 120 Prisoners in a Jail - Message of Hope

(Vatican Radio) Following the celebration of Mass with thousands of faithful at Plebiscito Square, Pope Francis made his way to the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center of Poggioreale in Naples.
The Pope was welcomed to the center by Antonio Fullone, director of the Detention Center and it’s chaplain, Fr. Franco Esposito. The highlight of the visit came as he shared lunch with 120 inmates of the prison. His 12 table guests included an Argentinean and the overseer of the prison, some of whom were given the opportunity to ask the Holy Father a few questions.
For his part, the Holy Father addressed the detainees, expressing his happiness at being able to visit them.
He spoke at length with them and engaged in a spontaneous "off-the.cuff" conversation. In his prepared remarks that were handed to those present, the Pope said he came to bring them “the love of Jesus” who came to the world save everyone.
“At times you may feel disappointed, discouraged, abandoned by all, but God does not forget his children, He never abandons them!” he said. “He is always at our side, especially in times of trial; He is a Father who is "rich in mercy", who always turns towards us his serene and benevolent gaze, always waiting for us with open arms.”
The Holy Father went on to encourage the prisoners, saying that no matter what mistakes they committed in life, the Lord never tires of showing them the path that leads to Him and that “not even jail bars” can separate them from God’s love. “The only thing that can separate us from Him is our sin, but if we recognize Him and confess with sincere repentance, that very sin becomes the place of encounter with Him, because He is mercy” he said.
Acknowledging the many letters he receives from prisoners around the world, the Pope sympathized with them and the undignified conditions many find themselves in.
However, he also praised the work of the directors, chaplains, educators and pastoral workers who remain close to them. He also called for the development of a positive experience in prison life so that, once freed, detainees can contribute to both society and the Church.
Concluding his remarks, Pope Francis called on the prisoners to live every day in God’s presence. “Even in the midst of so many problems, even serious ones, let us not lose our hope in the infinite mercy of God and in His providence,” he said.

Saint March 22 : Blessed Clemens August von Galen - Cardinal in Germany



Information:
Feast Day:March 22
Born:16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died:22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Beatification:9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI


BISHOP OF MUNSTER, CARDINAL
Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/blclemensaugustvongalen.asp#ixzz1po7aFPYz