Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Saint April 22 : St. Opportuna : Virgin Abbess

St. Opportuna
Feast: April 22

Feast Day:April 17
Born:at the castle of Exmes, Argentan, near Ayesmes, Normandy, France
Died:22 April 770, Montreuil, France
Patron of:Diocese of Séez
Virgin and abbess of Montreuil, three miles from Seez, an episcopal see in Normandy, of which her brother, St. Chrodegang, was bishop. This holy prelate, returning from a pilgrimage of devotion which he had made to Rome and other holy places, went to pay a visit to his cousin, St. Lantildis, abbess of Almanesches, in his diocese; but was murdered in the way, at Normant, on the 3d of September, 769, by the contrivance of Chrodobert, a powerful relation, to whom he had intrusted the administration of his temporalities during his absence. He is honored in the Breviary of Seez on the day of his death: his head is enshrined in the abbey of St. Martin in the Fields, at Paris, and his body in the priory of Isle-Adam upon the Oise, near Pontoise. St. Opportuna did not long survive him, dying in 770, on the 22d of April, having lived an accomplished model of humility, obedience, mortification, and prayer. Her relics were carried from Seez during the incursions of the Normans, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to the priory of Moussy, between Paris and Senlis, in 1009: and some time after to Senlis. In the reign of Charles V., in 1374, her right arm was translated to Paris with great devotion and pomp, and deposited in the church which was built in her honor, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to receive a former portion of her relics then brought from Moussy. It was then a small church, built at the entrance of a wood, near a hermitage, called before, Notre Dames des Bois Paris. The town being since extended much beyond this church, it was made parochial and a collegiate of canons. Great part of the head of St. Opportuna remains at Moussy; her left arm, with part of her skull, at Almenesches: one jaw in the priory of St. Chrodegang, at l'Isle-Adam, and a rib, with her right arm, in her church at Paris. In processions, when the shrine of St. Genevieve is taken down, and carried, the ancient portion of the relics of St. Opportuna, kept in a large shrine, is also carried next the shrine of St. Honoratus. She is commemorated in the Paris Breviary, and is the titular saint of a parish in that city.

source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/O/stopportuna.asp#ixzz1snWan7iX

SHARE Amazing #ProLife #Viral Orchestra plays with Babies wrapped around them...

 Diana Rosenfield, creator of Wrap Your Baby, brought together a group of musicians to perform a special performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” — while wearing their babies. Musicians play the symphony, and the babies enjoy the calming music. In fact several of the babies peacefully sleep as the music continues.  This incredible video is part of International Babywearing Week, and to point out that parents should “celebrate having their hands free for everything from housework to artistic pursuits.”
Please SHARE show the World that Babies are a Blessing!

#BreakingNews Missionary Nun Killed in South Africa who helped the poor children for 60 years

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) – An 86-year-old Austrian missionary nun, Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher CPS (Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood), was killed in the night between Saturday 19 and Sunday, April 20 in her room, in the mission of the Sacred Heart of Ixopo, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, in the east of South Africa.
According to reports sent to Agenzia Fides, a nun found the body of Sister Tiefenbacher around 3 am on Sunday: she was bound and gagged. The nun died suffocated. Before her death she also suffered sexual abuse. Sister Tiefenbacher dedicated herself to the poor children of the local community. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/04/2015)

#Breaking 800 Dead in Migrant Ship from Egypt - Worst Tragedy - Please PRAY

UN: 800 dead in the worst Mediterranean migrant tragedy 
The ship that sank came from Egypt and made a stop in Tripoli (Libya) to load new passengers. The refugees were from Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Eritrea, Bangladesh and Syria. A boat sinks near the coast of Rhodes, with 80 survivors. The EU seeks solution to stop human trafficking. In 2014 more than 170 thousand people reached Italy.

Rome (AsiaNews) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has confirmed today that the shipwreck that took place two days ago off the coast of Libya has cost the lives of 800 migrants and constitutes the "worst tragedy" to date in the Mediterranean.
The figure emerged after interviews with the majority of the 27 survivors who arrived in Sicily yesterday. In shock, the migrants said that the boat overturned when a Portuguese merchant ship approached and the crowd, massed on the bridge, all moved to one side causing the boat to capsize.

According to survivors’ accounts, the ship had left Egypt and had stopped in Tripoli, Libya, to load more migrants. Many of them were closed in the hold below, and there met with their death. The survivors are from Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Eritrea and Bangladesh, at least 150 Syrians had also been loaded on the boat.

Based on the testimonies of those who escaped death, Italian police arrested two of the survivors suspected of being traffickers. One is a Tunisian and the other Syrian,  the captain and first mate of the sunken ship.

Yesterday, in an emergency meeting, the European Union decided to strengthen patrols to control the Mediterranean, to target human trafficking organizations and to work with the countries of origin of migrants to try to dissuade people to take to the sea ​​in these "journeys of hope".

These trips cost about 4 thousand euro per person; there are more and more women and children among migrants. It is thought that there were at least 50 women and children up to 10-12 years of age who died in the sinking two days ago.

According to Frontex, the EU agency that monitors borders, in 2014 more than 170 thousand migrants arrived in Italy, the highest number to a single nation in the history of the EU. The previous year there were 40 thousand arrivals. Every single person left from Libya.

Another path is from the east, in which migrants pass through Turkey and arrive in Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus.  50 830 arrived through this route.

Even as the EU were discussing what to do, two other rescue operations were performed off Libya, with two barges carrying a 100-150 people and the other 300 people.

Meanwhile, a boat carrying dozens of migrants sunk a few meters from the coast of the island of Rhodes. Three people died and 80 were brought to shore by the Coast Guard and the local population.

Of the whole tide of migrants, last year 626 thousand people sought asylum in the EU, of whom at least one-fifth are Syrians. The requests are made for the most part to Germany (203 thousand); then to Sweden (81 thousand); and Italy (65 thousand). Shared from Asianews.it

Bishop Robert Finn Resigns after pleading guilty to failing to report abuse

Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who pleaded guilty to failing to report a suspected child abuser.   Finn, who led the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, waited six months before notifying police about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years' probation in 2012. Some parishioners petitioned Pope Francis to remove him from the diocese. Finn, who apologized for Ratigan's abuse and took measures to make the diocese safe for children. In a statement issued by the diocese, Finn said it had been an "honor and joy for me to serve here among so many good people of faith." He asked for prayers for the next bishop. Archbishop Joseph Naumman will lead the diocese temporarily until a new bishop is named. In a letter to the faithful, Nauman said he prayed "that the coming weeks and months will be a time of grace and healing for the diocese." (Edited from Kansascity.com)

#PopeFrancis "God’s Word is inconvenient when you have a stone heart...."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis today said that “ours is a Church of martyrs”. Speaking during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta the Pope recalled the many Christians who are currently being persecuted and killed for their faith.
Drawing inspiration from the First Reading of the Act of the Apostles which tells of the stoning and martyrdom of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, the Pope remembered “our brothers whose throats have been slit on the beaches of Libya”, he spoke of “the young boy who was burnt alive by his companions because he was Christian”, he recalled “the migrants who were thrown from their boat into open sea” because, they too, were Christians.
Martyrs – Pope Francis said – do not need “other bread”, their only bread is Jesus, and Stephen – he explained – did not have the need to negotiate or find a compromise with those who put him to death. And reflecting on the reading the Pope pointed out that Stephen’s witness was such that his persecutors ‘covered their ears and rushed upon him together.’
Just like Jesus – he explained – Stephen had to deal with false witnesses and the anger of the people. Stephen – he said – reminded the elders and the scribes that their ancestors had persecuted other prophets for having been true to God’s Word, and when he described his vision of the heavens opening “and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” they did not want to listen but threw him out of the city and began to stone him:
“God’s Word is always rejected by some. God’s Word is inconvenient when you have a stone heart, when you have a pagan heart, because God’s Word asks you to go ahead trying to satisfy your hunger with the bread which Jesus spoke of. In the history of the Revelation many martyrs have been killed for their faith and loyalty towards God’s Word, God’s Truth”.
Pope Francis continued comparing the martyrdom of Stephen to that of Jesus: he too “died with that Christian magnanimity of forgiveness, praying for his enemies’.
And those who persecuted the prophets - the Pope pointed out – believed they were giving glory to God; they thought they were being true to God’s doctrine.
“Today – the Pope said – I would like to remember that the true history of the Church is that of the Saints and the martyrs,” of so many who were persecuted and killed by those who thought they possessed the ‘truth’- whose heart was corrupted by ‘truth’:
“In these days how many Stephens there are in the world! Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his companions because he was a Christian; let us think of those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians… and of many others. Many others of whom we do not even know and who are suffering in jails because they are Christians… The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness”. The Pope also pointed out that there are also many “hidden martyrs: those men and women who are faithful to the voice of the Spirit and who are searching for new ways and paths to help their brothers better love God”.
He said they are often viewed with suspicion, vilified and persecuted by so many modern ‘Sanhedrins’ who think they are the possessors of truth. (Linda Bordoni)

Today's Mass Readings : Tuesday April 21, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 274

Reading 1ACTS 7:51—8:1A

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it.”

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them”;
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:3CD-4, 6 AND 7B AND 8A, 17 AND 21AB

R. (6a) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 6:35AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never hunger.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:30-35

The crowd said to Jesus:
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

So they said to Jesus,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”