Friday, May 8, 2015

Saint May 9 : St. Pachomius - Bishop - Died 348

St. Pachomius
ABBOTT AND BISHOP
Feast: May 9
Information:

Feast Day:May 9
Born:292, Thebes, Egypt
Died:9 May 348, Egypt
Though St. Antony be justly esteemed the institutor of the cenobitic life, or that of religious persons living in community under a certain rule, St. Pachomius was the first who drew up a monastic rule in writing. He was born in Upper Thebais about the year 292, of idolatrous parents, and was educated in their blind superstition, and in the study of the Egyptian sciences. From his infancy, he was meek and modest, and had an aversion to the profane ceremonies used by the infidels in the worship of their idols. Being about twenty years of age, he was pressed into the emperor's troops, probably the tyrant Maximinus, who was master of Egypt from the year 310; and in 312 made great levies to carry on a war against Licinius and Constantine. He was, with several other recruits, put on board a vessel that was falling down the river. They arrived in the evening at Thebes, or Diospolis, the capital of Thebais, a city in which dwelt many Christians. Those true disciples of Christ sought every  opportunity of relieving and comforting all that were in distress, and were moved with compassion towards the recruits, who were kept close confined, and very ill-treated. The Christians of this city showed them the same tenderness as if they had been their own children; took all possible care of them, and supplied them liberally with money and necessaries.
Such an uncommon example of disinterested virtue made a great impression on the mind of Pachomius. He inquired who their pious benefactors were, and when he heard that they believed in Jesus Christ the only Son of God, and that in the hope of a reward in the world to come, they labored continually to do good to all mankind, he found kindled in his heart a great love of so holy a law, and an ardent desire of serving the God whom these good men adored. The next day, when he was continuing his journey down the river, the remembrance of this purpose strengthened him to resist a carnal temptation. From his infancy he had been always a lover of chastity and temperance but the example of the Christians had made those virtues appear to him far more amiable, and in a new light.
After the overthrow of Maximinus, his forces were disbanded. Pachomius was no sooner returned home, but he repaired to a town in Thebais, in which there was a Christian church, and there he entered his name among the catechumens, or such as were preparing for baptism; and having gone through the usual course of preliminary instructions and practices with great attention and fervor, he received that sacrament at Chenoboscium, with great sentiments of piety and devotion. From his first acquaintance with our holy faith at Thebes, he had always made this his prayer: "O God, Creator of heaven and earth, cast on me an eye of pity: deliver me from my miseries: teach me the true way of pleasing you, and it shall be the whole employment, and most earnest study of my life to serve you, and to do your will." The perfect sacrifice of his heart to God, was the beginning of his eminent virtue. The grace by which God reigns in a soul, is a treasure infinitely above all price. We must give all to purchase it. To desire it faintly is to undervalue it. He is absolutely disqualified and unfit for so great a blessing, and unworthy ever to receive it, who seeks it by halves, or who does not esteem all other things as dung that he may gain Christ.
When Pachomius was baptized, he began seriously to consider with himself how he should most faithfully fulfil the obligations which he had contracted, and attain to the great end to which he aspired. There is danger even in fervor itself. It is often an artifice of the devil to make a novice undertake too much at first, and run indiscreetly beyond his strength. If the sails gather too much wind, the vessel is driven ahead, falls on some rock and splits. Eagerness is a symptom of secret passion, not of true virtue, where it is wilful and impatient at advice. Pachomius was far from so dangerous a disposition, because his desire was pure, therefore his first care was to find a skilful conductor.
Hearing that a venerable old man named Palemon, served God in the desert in great perfection, he sought him out, and with great earnestness begged to live under his direction. The hermit having set before him the difficulties and austerities of his way of life, which several had already attempted in vain to follow, advised him to make a trial of his strength and fervor in some monastery; and, to give him a sketch of the difficulties he had to encounter in the life he aspired to, he added: "Consider, my son, that my diet is only bread and salt: I drink no wine, use no oil, watch one half of the night, spending that time in singing psalms or in meditating on the holy scriptures, and sometimes pass the whole night without sleeping." Pachomius was amazed at this account, but not discouraged. He thought himself able to undertake every thing that might be a means to render his soul pleasing to God, and readily promised to observe whatever Palemon should think fit to enjoin him; who thereupon admitted him into his cell, and gave him the monastic habit. Pachomius was by his example enabled to bear solitude, and an acquaintance with himself. They sometimes repeated together the psalter, at other times they exercised themselves in manual labors (which they accompanied with interior prayer,) with a view to their own subsistence and the relief of the poor. Pachomius prayed above all things, for perfect purity of heart, that being disengaged from all secret attachment to creatures, he might love God with all his affections. And to destroy the very roots of all inordinate passions, it was his first study to obtain the most profound humility, and perfect patience and meekness. He prayed often with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross; which posture was then much used in the church. He was in the beginning often drowsy at the night office. Palemon used to rouse him, and say: "Labor and watch, my dear Pachomius, lest the enemy overthrow you and ruin all your endeavors." Against this weakness and temptation he enjoined him, on such occasions, to carry sand from one place to another, till his drowsiness was overcome. By this means the novice strengthened himself in the habit of watching. Whatever instructions he read or heard, he immediately endeavored fervently to reduce to practice.
One Easter-day Palemon bade the disciple prepare a dinner for that great festival. Pachomius took a little oil, and mixed it with the salt, which he pounded small, and added a few wild herbs, which they were to eat with their bread. The holy old man having made his prayer, came to table; but at the sight of the oil he struck himself on the forehead, and said, with tears: "My Saviour was crucified, and shall I indulge myself so far as to eat oil?" Nor could he be prevailed upon to taste it.
Pachomius used sometimes to go into a vast uninhabited desert, on the banks of the Nile, called Tabenna, in the diocese of Tentyra, a city between the Great and Little Diospolis. While he was there one day in prayer, he heard a voice which commanded him to build a monastery in that place, in which he should receive those who should be sent by God to serve him faithfully. He received, about the same time, from an angel who appeared to him, certain instructions relating to a monastic life.. Pachomius going back to Palemon, imparted to him this vision; and both of them coming to Tabenna, built there a little cell towards the year 325, about twenty years after St. Antony had founded his first monastery. After a short time, Palemon returned to his former dwelling, having promised his disciple a yearly visit, but he died soon after, and is honored in the Roman Martyrology on the 11th of January.
Pachomius received first his own eldest brother John, and after his death many others, so that he enlarged his house; and the number of his monks in a short time amounted to a hundred. Their clothing was of rough linen; that of St. Pachomius himself often haircloth. He passed fifteen years without ever lying down, taking his short rest sitting on a stone. He even grudged himself the least time which he allowed to necessary sleep, because he wished he could have been able to employ all his moments in the actual exercises of divine love. From the time of his conversion he never ate a full meal. By his rule, the fasts and tasks of work were proportioned to every one's strength; though all are together in one common refectory, in silence, with their cowl or hood drawn over their heads, that they might not see one another at their meals. Their habit was a tunic of white linen without sleeves, with a cowl of the same stuff; they wore on their shoulders a white goatskin, called a Melotes. They received the holy communion on the first and last days of every week. Novices were tried with great severity before they were admitted to the habit, the taking of which was then deemed the monastic profession, and attended with the vows. St. Pachomius preferred none of his monks to holy orders, and his monasteries were often served by priests from abroad, though he admitted priests, when any presented themselves, to the habit, and he employed them in  the functions of their ministry. All his monks were occupied in various kinds of manual labor: no moment was allowed for idleness. The saint, with the greatest care, comforted and served the sick himself. Silence was so strictly observed at Tabenna, that a monk, who wanted any thing necessary, was only to ask for it by signs. In going from one place to another, the monks were ordered always to meditate on some passage of the holy scripture, and sing psalms at their work. The sacrifice of the mass was offered for every monk that died, as we read in the life of St. Pachomius. His rule was translated into Latin by St. Jerome, and is still extant. He received the sickly and weak, rejecting none for the want of corporal strength, being desirous to conduct to heaven all souls which had fervor to walk in the paths of perfection. He built six other monasteries in Thebias, not far asunder, and from the year 336, chose often to reside in that of Pabau, or Pau, near Thebes, in its territory, though not far from Tabenna, situated in the neighboring province of Diospolis, also in Thebais. Pabau became a more numerous and more famous monastery than Tabenna itself. By the advice of Serapion, bishop of Tentyra, he built a church in a village for the benefit of the poor shepherds, in which for some time he performed the office of Lector, reading to the people the word of God with admirable fervor; in which function he appeared rather like an angel than a man. He converted many infidels, and zealously opposed the Arians, but could never be induced by his bishop to receive the holy order of priesthood. In 333, he was favored with a visit of St. Athanasius at Tabenna. His sister, at a certain time, came to his monastery desiring to see him; but he sent her word at the gate, that no woman could be allowed to enter his enclosure, and that she ought to be satisfied with hearing that he was alive. However, it being her desire to embrace a religious state, he built her a nunnery on the other side of the Nile, which was soon filled with holy virgins. St. Pachomius going one day to Pane, one of his monasteries, met the funeral procession of a tepid monk deceased. Knowing the wretched state in which he died and to strike a terror into the slothful, he forbade his monks to proceed in singing psalms, and ordered the clothes which covered the corpse to be burnt, saying: "Honors could only increase his torments; but the ignominy with which his body was treated, might move God to show more mercy to his soul; for God forgives some sins not only in this world, but also in the next." When the procurator of the house had sold the mats at market at a higher price than the saint had bid him, he ordered him to carry back the money to the buyers, and chastised him for his avarice.
Among many miracles wrought by him, the author of his life assures us, that though he had never learned the Greek or Latin tongues, he sometimes miraculously spoke them; he cured the sick and persons possessed by devils with blessed oil. But he often told sick or distressed persons, that their sickness or affliction was an effect of the divine goodness in their behalf; and he only prayed for their temporal comfort, with this clause or condition, if it should not prove hurtful to their souls. His dearest disciple, St. Theodorus, who after his death succeeded him in the government of his monasteries, was afflicted with a perpetual headache. St. Pachomius, when desired by some of the brethren to pray for his health, answered: "Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater." He chiefly begged of God the spiritual health of the souls of his disciples and others, and took every opportunity to curb and heal their passions, especially that of pride. One day a certain monk having doubled his diligence at work, and made two mats instead of one, set them where St. Pachomius might see them. The saint perceiving the snare, said, "This brother hath taken a great deal of pains from morning till night, to give his work to the devil." And, to cure his vanity by humiliations, he enjoined him, by way of penance, to keep his cell fire months, with no other allowance than a little bread, salt, and water. A young man named Sylvanus; who had been an actor on the stage, entered the monastery of St. Pachomius with the view of doing penance, but led for some time an undisciplined life, often transgressing the rules of the house, and still fond of entertaining himself and others with buffooneries. The man of God endeavored to make him sensible of his danger by charitable remonstrances, and also employed his more potent arms of prayer, sighs, and tears, for his poor soul. Though for some time he found his endeavors fruitless, he did not desist on that account; and having one day represented to this impenitent sinner, in a very pathetic manner, the dreadful judgments which threaten those that mock God, the divine grace touching the heart of Sylvanus, he from that moment began, to lead a life of great edification to the rest of the brethren; and being moved with the most feeling sentiments of compunction, he never failed, wheresoever he was, and howsoever employed, to bewail with bitterness his past misdemeanors. When others entreated him to moderate the floods of his tears, "Ah," said he, "how can I help weeping, when I consider the wretchedness of my past life, and that by my sloth I have profaned what was most sacred? I have reason to fear lest the earth should open under my feet, and swallow me up, as it did Dathan and Abiron. Oh! suffer me to labor with ever-flowing fountains of tears, to expiate my innumerable sins. I ought, if I could, even to pour forth this wretched soul of mine in mourning; it would be all too little for my offences." In these sentiments of contrition he made so "real progress in virtue, that the holy abbot proposed him as a model of humility to the rest; and when, after eight years spent in this penitential course, God had called him to himself by a holy death, St. Pachomius was assured by a revelation, that his soul was presented by angels a most agreeable sacrifice to Christ. The saint was favored with a spirit of prophecy, and with great grief foretold the decay of monastic fervor in his order in succeeding ages. In 348 he was cited before a council of bishops at Latopolis, to answer certain matters laid to his charge. He justified himself against the calumniators, but in such a manner that the whole council admired his extraordinary humility. The same year, God afflicted his monasteries with a pestilence, which swept off a hundred monks. The saint himself fell sick, and during forty days suffered a painful distemper with incredible patience and cheerfulness, discovering a great interior joy at the approach of the end of his earthly pilgrimage. In his last moments he exhorted his monks to fervor, and having armed himself with the sign of the cross, resigned his happy soul into the hands of his Creator in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He lived to see in his different monasteries seven thousand monks. His order subsisted in the cast till the eleventh century: for Anselm, bishop of Havelburgh, writes, that he saw five hundred monks of this institute in a monastery at Constantinople. St. Pachomius formed his disciples to so eminent a degree of perfection chiefly by his own fervent spirit and example; for he always appeared the first, the most exact, and the most fervent, in all the exercises of the community. To the fervor and watchfulness of the superior it was owing that in so numerous a community discipline was observed with astonishing regularity, as Palladius and Cassian observe. The former says that they ate with their cowl drawn so as to hide the greatest part of their faces, and with their eyes cast down, never looking at one another. Many contented themselves with taking a very few mouthfuls of bread and oil, or of such like dish; others of pottage only. So great was the silence that reigned among them while every one followed his employment, that in the midst of so great a multitude; a person seemed to be in a solitude. Cassian tells us, that the more numerous the monastery was, the more perfect and rigorous was regular observance of discipline, and all constantly obeyed their superior more readily than a single person is found to do in other places. Nothing so much weakens the fervor of inferiors as the example of a superior who easily allows himself exemptions or dispensations in the rule. The relaxation of monastic discipline is often owing to no other cause. How enormous is the crime of such a scandal!
source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpachomius.asp#ixzz1uQSTm4uV

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Latest #News from #VaticanCity and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


08-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 086 

Summary
- Pope Francis: sport is an educational path
- Programme of the Pope's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay
- Statutes of the Commission for the Protection of Minors approved
- Publication of the Chirograph by which Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
- The Pope meets with a group of evangelical pastors
- Audiences

Pope Francis: sport is an educational path
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) - “Sport is an educational path”, said the Holy Father this morning as he received in audience seven thousand members of the Italian Tennis Federation in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. “There are three fundamental pillars for children and young people”, he added: “Education – in school and in the family – sport, and work. When we have all three of these, then there exist the conditions for developing a full and authentic life, thus avoiding those dependencies that poison and ruin existence”.
“The Church is interested in sport because she has man, the full man, at heart, and recognises that sporting activity has an impact on the formation of the person, on relationships, and on spirituality. You athletes have a mission to accomplish: to be, for those who admire you, valid role models. And you too, directors, trainers and sports workers, are called upon to give good witness to human values, as masters of a sporting practice that is always fair and clear”.
The Pope commented that tennis is a very competitive sport, but “the pressure to achieve significant results must never drive you to take short cuts such as in the case of doping. How ugly and sterile a victory is if it is obtained by cheating and deceiving others”.
“The apostle Paul uses the example of the athlete to illustrate an important characteristic of human existence”, said the bishop of Rome. “'Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it'. In a certain sense, this is your daily experience in tennis. But St. Paul refers to the challenge of giving an ultimate meaning to life itself. I would therefore exhort each one of you to play the game not only in sport – as you already do, and with excellent results – but also in life, in the search for goodness, true goodness, without fear, with courage and enthusiasm. Play the game with others and with God, giving the best of yourself, spending your life for what is truly valuable and which stands the test of time. Put your talents to the service of the encounter between people, friendship, and inclusion”.
Programme of the Pope's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the programme of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay (5 to 13 July 2015).
The Pope will leave Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m. on Sunday 5 July and will arrive at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, at 3 p.m. local time, where the welcome ceremony will be held. On Monday 6 he will proceed to Guayaquil to celebrate Mass in the shrine of Divine Mercy, after which he will lunch at the Colegio Javier with the Jesuit community. Upon return to Quito, he will pay a courtesy visit to the Ecuadorian president in the presidential palace and will subsequently visit the Cathedral. In the morning of Tuesday 7 July he will meet with the bishops of Ecuador in the Congress Centre of the Bicentenary park, where he will celebrate Mass. In the afternoon he will encounter representatives of schools and universities in the Pontifical University of Ecuador, and later, representatives of civil society in the Church of San Francisco, after which he will pay a private visit to the “Iglesia de la Compania”. On Wednesday 8, he will first visit the Rest Home of the Missionaries of Charity, and will then meet with clergy, men and women religious and seminarians at the national Marian shrine, El Quinche. On the same day he will depart by air for Bolivia.
Upon arrival at the airport of El Alto in La Paz, he will give an address and, following the welcome ceremony, will transfer to the Government Palace to pay a courtesy visit to the president. From there, he will go to the Cathedral of La Paz, where he will meet with the civil authorities, after which he will travel by air to Santa Cruz de la Sierra where he will spend the night. On Thursday 9 he will celebrate Mass in the the square of Cristo Redentor, and will meet with men and women religious in the Don Bosco school, after which he will participate in the World Meeting of Popular Movements in the Expo trade fair centre. On Friday 10 he will visit the Santa Cruz-Palmasola re-education centre and, in the same morning, will meet with the bishops of Bolivia in the parish church of Santa Cruz. The Pope will leave Bolivia from the Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, destined for Paraguay; his aircraft is expected to land at around 3 p.m. local time in the Silvio Pettirossi airport of Asuncion.
After arriving in Paraguay, the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to the president in the Palacio de Lopez, where he will also meet with the authorities and the diplomatic corps. On Saturday 11 July, he will visit the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” general paediatric hospital and will subsequently officiate at Mass in the square of the Marian sanctuary of Caacupe. In the afternoon he will meet with representatives of civil society in the Leon Condou stadium of the San Jose school. The day will conclude with the celebration of vespers with the bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, seminarians and Catholic movements in the metropolitan cathedral of Our Lady of Asuncion. Sunday 12 will begin with a visit to the people of Banado Norte in the Chapel of San Juan Batista, and Mass in the Nu Guazu field. The Holy Father will meet the bishops of Paraguay in the Cultural Centre of the apostolic nunciature, where they will then dine. His last engagement will be a meeting with young people at the Costanera riverside area. At 7 p.m. local time Francis will depart by air for Rome, where he is expected to arrive on Monday 13 July at around 1.45 p.m.
Statutes of the Commission for the Protection of Minors approved
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – On 21 April, Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, approved by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, “ad experimentum” for three years, the Statutes of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the draft of which had been presented by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, president of the aforementioned Commission.
The Statutes will be published today in the Italian original and in English translation. The document is composed of six articles: Nature and Competence, Composition and Members, Plenary Assembly, Personnel, Working Groups, and General Norms.
The first part explains that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is an autonomous institution linked to the Holy See with a public legal personality and has an advisory function in the service of the Holy Father. The protection of minors, the text continues, is of the first importance, and therefore it is the role of the Commission to propose initiatives to the Pontiff, following the modalities indicated in the Statutes, to promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults. These proposals will have to receive prior approval by the majority of two thirds of the members of the Commission. For the elaboration of the proposals, when the matter falls within the competence of other ecclesial bodies, the president of the Commission, with the assistance of the secretary, will consult the competent entities for the protection of minors in the particular Churches, the episcopal conferences, the conferences of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the dicastery of the Roman Curia competent in the matter. This consultation will take place in a transparent manner with the members of the Commission, based in Vatican City State.
The Commission, according to the second part, is composed of a maximum of eighteen members appointed by the Holy Father for a three-year period, which may be reconfirmed, and are selected from persons of recognised competence in various areas linked to the activity entrusted to the Commission. Both the president and the secretary are appointed from among the members by the Holy Father for a period of three years, a mandate that may be reconfirmed.
The plenary assembly, as explained in the third part, will be convoked twice yearly. Upon request by two thirds of the Members and with the consent of the president, an extraordinary plenary assembly may be convoked. For the plenary assembly to be considered valid, at least two thirds of the members must be present; they may participate via video conference.
The members of the Commission, the personnel and the collaborators with the working groups, according to the final part, are required to observe the norms of professional secrecy regarding the news and information they become aware of in the exercise of their tasks and functions.
Publication of the Chirograph by which Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – To complete the publication of the Statutes, the Chirograph by which the Pope instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on 22 March 2014 was also published today.
“The effective protection of minors and a commitment to ensure their human and spiritual development, in keeping with the dignity of the human person, are integral parts of the Gospel message that the Church and all members of the faithful are called to spread throughout the world. Many painful actions have caused a profound examination of conscience for the entire Church, leading us to request forgiveness from the victims and from our society for the harm that has been caused. This response to these actions is the firm beginning for initiatives of many different types, which are intended to repair the damage, to attain justice, and to prevent, by all means possible, the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.
For these reasons, and after having received the counsel of many cardinals and members of the college of bishops, together with other collaborators and experts in these matters, I decided to continue the work begun by my Predecessors by establishing a permanent Commission attached to the Holy See. The aim of the Commission is to promote the protection of the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults, using the forms and methods, consonant with the nature of the Church, which they consider most appropriate, as well as through their cooperation with individuals and groups pursuing these same objectives.
As I had the opportunity to highlight during an encounter with several victims of sexual abuse, I rely on the members of this Commission for the effective protection of minors and vulnerable adults, regardless of religion they profess, because they are the little ones on whom the Lord looks with love. To my collaborators in this work, I ask for all efforts possible to assist me in responding to these needs of these little ones.
The Commission’s specific task is to propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church. The Commission is to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults.
It is for all these reasons that I have instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
All that is established with the present Chirograph has full and stable effect, anything to the contrary not notwithstanding, even if deserving of special mention”.
The Pope meets with a group of evangelical pastors
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father received in private a group of around one hundred Pentecostal evangelical pastors from various parts of the world, who had expressed their wish to meet him. The group was led by Pastor Giovanni Traettino, whose community the Pope visited in Caserta last year. The meeting took place in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall and was characterised by lively cordiality and a spirit of prayer for unity. The Holy Father was accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
Audiences
Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., emeritus secretary of State;
- Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life;
- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

#PopeFrancis "It’s the Spirit which creates change, which creates the momentum for going ahead"


Pope Francis at Mass in the Santa Marta residence - OSS_ROM
08/05/2015 12:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says discussions within the Church are to seek unity and and it should not be a place where people are always clashing, betraying each other and forming lobbies to win their argument. He said the Holy Spirit helps bring change and moves things forward within the Church but at the same time it creates unity between all its members. This was the core message of his homily on Friday (May 8th) at morning Mass in the Santa Marta residence.
Pope Francis said the Holy Spirit creates movement within the Church which at first sight might appear to be confusion but if this movement or change is welcomed with prayer and a spirit of dialogue it always generates unity between Christians. 
‘No forming of lobbies’
Taking his cue from the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Pope pointed to the example of the outcome from the first Council of Jerusalem where the early Christian community was able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to resolve differences of opinion and reach an agreement. The Christian community had clashed between the so-called ‘closed in’ Christians who remained very attached to the Jewish laws and who wanted to impose those same laws on the early Christians and Paul of Tarsus who strongly opposed this.
“How do they resolve this problem? They hold a meeting and each person gives his opinion, his views. They discuss this issue but like brothers and sisters and not like enemies. They don’t form external lobbies in order to win, they don’t go to the civil authorities in order to win and they don’t kill in order to triumph. They seek the path of prayer and dialogue. Those who had opposing views have a dialogue with the other side and they reach an agreement.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.”
‘Spirit creates harmonious unity
Pope Francis stressed that the Holy Spirit moves us towards harmony and that was why the Christians taking part in the Council of Jerusalem were able to agree on a final decision.
“A Church where there are never problems of this type makes me think that the Holy Spirit is not very present within it. And a Church where its people are always arguing and there are lobbies and people are betraying their brothers and sisters, is a Church where there is no Holy Spirit! It’s the Spirit which creates change, which creates the momentum for going ahead, that creates new spaces, that creates that wisdom which Jesus promised: ‘It will teach you!’ This moves things but is also what at the end creates the harmonious unity between everyone.”
‘Church faithful to movements of Holy Spirit’
The Pope concluded his homily by noting the words used at the conclusion of the day’s gospel reading. He said these words reveal the soul of Christian harmony, not a simple act of goodwill but a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“That’s what this Reading teaches us today, it teaches us about the first ecumenical Council. It appears fine both to the Spirit and to us….this is the formula used when the Spirit makes everybody reach agreement. Let us now continue the Eucharistic celebration and let us ask our Lord Jesus who will be present among us to always send the Holy Spirit to us, to each one of us. May he send it to the Church and may the Church always know how to be faithful to the movement that the Holy Spirit creates.”

Today's Mass Readings : Friday May 8, 2015


Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 289


Reading 1ACTS 15:22-31

The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’“

And so they were sent on their journey.
Upon their arrival in Antioch
they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.
When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.

Responsorial PsalmPS 57:8-9, 10 AND 12

R. (10a) I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory!
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 15:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

Saint May 8 : St. Peter of Tarantaise - Archbishop - Died 1174


St. Peter of Tarantaise
ARCHBISHOP
Feast: May 8


     Information:
Feast Day:May 8
Born:1102, Saint-Maurice-l'Exil near Vienne, a town ot the Rhône-Alpes
Died:1174, Bellevaux Abbey
Major Shrine:1191 by Pope Celestine III
He was a native of Dauphine. A strong inclination to learning, assisted by a good genius and a happy memory, carried him very successfully through his studies. At twenty years of age he took the Cistercian habit at Bonnevaux, a monastery that had been lately filled by a colony sent by St. Bernard from Clairvaux. They employed a great part of the day in hewing wood, and tilling the ground in the forest, in perpetual silence and interior prayer. They ate but once a day, and their fare was herbs or roots, mostly turnips of a coarse sort. Four hours in the twenty-four was the usual allowance for sleep; so that, rising at midnight, they continued in the church till it was morning, and returned no more to rest: which was the primitive custom of that order. Peter practiced the greatest austerities with fervor and alacrity: he was most exactly obedient, obliging to all, humble, and modest. His pious parents, after the birth of four children, lived in perpetual continency, and the practice of rigorous abstinence, prayed much, and gave large alms: their house they seemed to turn into a hospital, so great was the number of poor and strangers they constantly entertained, whom they furnished with good beds, while they themselves often lay on straw. The father and his two other sons at length followed Peter to Bonnevaux and the mother and daughter embraced the same order in a neighboring nunnery. The year after Peter had taken the monastic habit, his example was followed by Amedeus, nearly related to the emperor Conrad III., and sixteen other persons of worth and distinction. Amedeus, indeed, having there made his solemn profession with the rest, by the advice of persons of great virtue and discretion, spent some time at Cluni, the better to superintend his son's education, in the school established there for the education of youth: but he returned after some time to Bonnevaux; and made it his request, at his  readmission, that he might be enjoined the lowest offices in the house. To this the abbot, for his greater advancement in humility and penance, consented. The earl of Albion, his uncle, coming one day to see him, found him in a sweat, cleaning the monks' dirty shoes, and, at the same time, so attentive to his prayers, as not to perceive him. The earl remembering in what state he had seen him in the world, was so struck and so much edified at this spectacle, that he ever after retained the deep impression which it made on his mind, and published it at court. Amedeus built four monasteries of his order: among which was that of Tamies, or Stomedium, in the desert mountains of the diocese of Tarentaise, of which he procured his intimate friend St. Peter, not then quite thirty years of age, to be appointed the first abbot, in 1128. Amedeus worked himself with his spade and mattock in building some of these monasteries, and died at Bonnevaux, in the odor of sanctity, in 1140. His son Amedeus, for whose education in piety he had always the greatest concern, after having spent part of his youth in the court of his kinsman the emperor, became a Cistercian monk under St. Bernard, at Clairvaux, and died bishop of Lausanne.
The monastery of Tamies seemed a house of terrestrial angels; so constantly were its inhabitants occupied in the employment of angels, paying to God an uninterrupted homage of praise, adoration, and love. St. Peter, by the help of Amedeus III., count of Savoy, founded in it a hospital to receive all the poor sick persons of the country, and all strangers; and would be himself its servant to attend them. In 1142, the count of Savoy procured his election to the archbishopric of Tarentaise, and he was compelled by St. Bernard and the general chapter of his order, though much against his own inclinations, to accept of that charge. Indeed, that diocese stood extremely in need of such an apostolic pastor, having been usurped by a powerful ambitious wolf, named Idrael, whose deposition left it in the most desolate condition. The parish-churches and tithes were sacrilegiously held by laymen; and the clergy, who ought to have stemmed the torrent of iniquity, contributed but too often to promote irregularity by their own wicked example. The sight of these evils drew tears from the eyes of the saint, with which he night and day implored the divine mercy upon the souls intrusted to his care. He directed all his fasts, his prayers, and labors, for the good of his flock: being persuaded that the sanctification of the people committed to his charge was an essential condition for securing his own salvation. He altered nothing in the simplicity of a monastic life, and looked on the episcopal character as a laborious employment rather than a dignity. His clothes were plain, and his food coarse; for he ate nothing but brown bread, herbs, and pulse, of which the poor had always their share. He made the constant visitation of his diocese his employ; he everywhere exhorted and instructed his whole charge with unwearied zeal and invincible patience, and besides, he provided the several parishes of his diocese with able and virtuous pastors. When he came to his bishopric, he found the chapter of his cathedral full of irregularities, and the service of God performed in a very careless manner; but he soon made that church a pattern of good order and devotion. He recovered the tithes and other revenues of the church that had been usurped by certain powerful laymen; made many excellent foundations for the education of youth, and the relief of the poor; repaired several churches, and restored everywhere devotion and the decent service of God. The author of his life, who was the constant companion of his labors, and the witness of the greatest part of his actions after he was made bishop, assures us he wrought many miracles in several places, chiefly in curing the sick, and multiplying provisions for the poor in times of great distress; so that he was regarded as a new Thaumaturgus. The confusion his humility suffered from the honors he received, joined to his love of solitude, made him resolve to retire from the world; and accordingly, in 1155, after he had borne the weight of the episcopal character thirteen years, having settled his diocese in good order, he disappeared on a sudden; and made his way to a retired monastery of Cistercians in Germany, where he was not known. In the mean time, his family and diocese mourned for the loss of their tender father. Strict inquiry was made in all the neighboring provinces, especially in the monasteries, but in vain; till, after some time, divine providence discovered him by the following accident. A young man, who had been brought up under his care, came to the monastery in which he lay concealed, and upon observing the monks as they were going out of the church to their work, he knew his bishop, and made him known to the whole community. The religious no sooner understood who he was, but they all fell at his feet, begged his blessing, and expressed much concern for not having known him before. The saint was inconsolable at being discovered, and was meditating a new escape, but he was so carefully watched, that it was not in his power; so that he was forced to go back to his diocese, where he was received with the greatest demonstrations of joy. He applied himself to his functions with greater vigor than ever. The poor were always the object of his peculiar care. He was twice discovered to have given away, with the hazard of his own life, in extreme cold weather in winter, the waistcoat which he had on his back. For three months before the harvest he distributed general alms among all the inhabitants of the mountains, provisions being always very scarce there at that season. He founded hospitals on the Alps, for the entertainment of poor travellers; because, before that time, many perished for the want of such a succor. To preserve in his heart the spirit of devotion and penance, he continued to practise, as much as possible, all the austerities and other rules of his order, only commuting manual labor for the spiritual functions of his charge. By his conversation with the God of peace, he imbibed an eminent spirit of that virtue, and learned, by humility and charity, to be truly the man of peace; having also a singular talent for extinguishing the most implacable and inveterate enemies. He often reconciled sovereign princes when they were at variance, and prevented several bloody wars. The emperor Frederic I. set up Octavian, a schismatical pope, under the name of Victor, against Alexander III. St. Peter was almost the only subject of the empire who had the courage openly to oppose his unjust attempt, and he boldly defended the cause of justice in presence of the tyrant, and in many councils. The emperor, who banished others that spoke in favor of that cause, stood in awe of his sanctity: and Peter, by his mild counsels, frequently softened his fierceness, and checked the boisterous sallies of his fury, while, like a roaring lion, he spread terror on every side. The saint preached in Alsace, Burgundy, Lorraine, and in many parts of Italy; and confounded the obstinate by numberless miraculous cures of the sick, performed by the imposition of his hands and prayer. He was ordered by the pope to go into France and Normandy, to endeavor a reconciliation between the kings of England and France, who had made peace in 1169, but quarrelled again the next year. Though then very old, he preached wherever he went. Louis VII. sent certain gentlemen of his court to meet him at a great distance, and received him with the greatest marks of honor and respect; but honors and crowds were of all things the most troublesome to the saint. The man of God restored the use of sight to one blind in the presence of the count of Flanders, and many other noblemen, who were at that time with the king of France: who, being also himself an eye-witness, examined carefully all the circumstances, and declared the miracle to be evident and incontestable. The saint went from Paris to Chaumont, on the confines of Normandy, where Henry II., king of England, met him: and when he arrived in sight of the holy man, alighted from his horse, and coming Up, fell at his feet. The people stole the cloak or hood of St. Peter, and were going to cut it in pieces to divide the scraps, being persuaded that they would perform miracles. But the king took the whole cloak for himself, saying: I have myself seen miraculous cures performed by his girdle, which I already possess." In his presence, the saint restored the use of speech to a girl that was dumb. On Ash-Wednesday, in 1171, St. Peter being at the Cistercian abbey of Mortemer, in the diocese of Rouen, the king of England came thither with his whole court, and received ashes from his hands. The archbishop prevailed on the two kings to put an end to their differences by a treaty of peace, and to procure councils to be assembled in their dominions, in which Alexander's title should be solemnly recognised. The holy man hereupon returned to his church, but was some time after sent again by the pope to the king of England, to endeavor to compose the difference between him and his son: but his journey had not the desired effect. He fell sick on his return, and died the death of the just, at Bellevaux, a monastery of his order, in the diocese of Besancon, in 1174, being seventy-three years old. He was canonized by pope Celestine III., in 1191. See his life written nine years after his death by Geoffrey, some time his companion, and afterwards abbot of Hautecombe, by the order of pope Lucius III. See also Le Nain, t. 2, p. 83.



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeteroftarantaise.asp#ixzz1uGVgBnhP